A few updates!
I cannot believe how quickly the weeks fly by and that we are already a significant way through this term. The school is a lovely place to be and it really does feel like our community is beginning to return to normal. Our routines and structures are certainly not what they were during pre-COVID times but we are getting there! We are very much looking forward to future ‘wider’ events such as trips and residentials and are delighted that the government have confirmed that these can go ahead as part of the further easing of restrictions on May 17th. Our residentials for the next academic year have now been scheduled and you will receive details of these very shortly.
Our catch up plans are now well under way and we are very grateful for your support with this. You will now have been contacted if your child needs any aspects of catch up. Please rest assured that we are keeping an eye on the academic and emotional progress of all children. We will contact you if your child needs any additional support or interventions over the next few weeks.
Please could I remind you about the start times for our different classes. These are as follows:
- Class 4 : 8.30am
- Class 3: 8.40am
- Class 2: 8.50am
- Class 1: 9.00am
There are a number of children arriving a little late, particularly for our earlier 8.30 and 8.40 starts. I do know that most of these times are earlier than previously but, for all children, our learning starts straight away. Registration occurs as the children complete their first task of the day; just 5 minutes missed can make a difference!
Whilst it is lovely that we are all able to see friends and family again, please could I also remind you about attendance. I really do understand how difficult it is to reschedule previously postponed trips and that you all need to see friends and family, after such a long time. The unauthorised absence rate is, however, creeping up and, as a school, we are monitored on this, particularly by Ofsted! Please bear this in mind when organising trips or holidays.
The start to our term has seen a re-launch of our Global Curriculum and the children are very enthusiastic about it. You may recall at the very beginning of our curriculum journey, we talked about widening children’s perspectives and equipping them with the skills for lifelong learning and occupations in an interconnected world. In many of my recent assemblies, we have looked at the meaning of the word ‘global’ and how this may look in school. The children have been amazing in their responses about equality, taking responsibility for their actions, looking after our environment etc. Many aspects of this are linked to the children’s current topic learning but we would also like to encourage the children to adopt positive global attitudes in wider school life.
We have been thinking long and hard about what makes a good global citizen and, more importantly, what this looks like from a child’s point of view. To complement our existing SMART values (self-confident, aspirational, motivated, resilient, team player) we have, as a school, agreed the values we would like to instil in our children in a global context. These are to:
- Take responsibility for their actions
- Respect and value diversity
- Recognise that they can make a contribution to the wider community at a range of levels.
- Be aware of the wider world and how it works
- Understand equality and fairness.
We have designed a badge to recognise any child’s contribution to these. I have shared this with the children in my assemblies. We will look to award these at termly special assemblies but are also encouraging the children to write to myself (in an age appropriate way) to persuade me that they deserve a global badge and why!
Boys’ Reading and Writing
Another aspect of learning we have been looking at is boys’ reading and writing. Nationally, and indeed within our school, there is a gap between the achievement in reading and writing for boys as opposed to girls. We have surveyed all the boys in school about their reading and writing preferences, perceived barriers to learning and the subject matter they would like to read or write about. We are going to ask you to complete a similar survey about boys’ reading and writing at home…watch out for the link over the next couple of days.
We are going to trial a boys only reading and writing club at lunchtimes which is very much targeted to their interests; those taking part in the trial have already been notified. We will let you know how we get on and when, and if, we can ‘roll it out’ to other boys. Please rest assured that the girls have not been forgotten! We are looking to provide similar opportunities for them but really do need to try and redress the balance in literacy at the moment.
It has been so lovely to write to you all about issues other than COVID! As usual, please come back to me if you have any questions or concerns.