It’s been great to be out in the sunshine once again after last week’s downpours and soggy weather and I have seen lots of classes enjoying their learning outside. Well done to the children who have been demonstrating great Sunsafe behaviour by applying sun-screen, wearing a hat and sunglasses, drinking lots of water and staying in the shade; exactly what I want to see.
Our year 4 classes had a fabulous day on Tuesday when they went to Holmebrook Park in Chesterfield to carry out field-work for their rivers topic. There are some super photos of them wading in the water to measure stream depth and flow speeds as well as looking at areas of erosion and deposition on a meander. Orang-Utans then ventured into the middle area on Wednesday afternoon to create their own meanders in trays using rocks, sand and vegetation from the garden. There was a lot of wonderful collaborative work and some great conversations using geographical vocabulary which demonstrated sound understanding and good learning; exactly what I like to see.
Mrs Moore was in school on Monday and she asked me to say thank you to everyone for making her feel welcome. She was very impressed by the school environment and the way it supports learning. I talked to her a lot about the impact of our school improvement work this year and plans for the future and she gave me lots of really useful advice which I’m going to be implementing straight away.
One thing we identified that needs immediate improvement is consistency in the standard of presentation across the school. Mrs Cormack and I have already been nagging a couple of Y5 boys to improve and we will be doing the same with quite a few more children; you have been warned! At our staff meeting last night we moderated books across the school and teachers all know the standard we are aiming for. We also looked at the way we just the checklists in the front of writing books and personal target cards to make sure they are being used effectively in every classroom. Mrs Cormack has given all of the teachers some new stickers to use on the cards and we will be checking up in the second week back to make sure that everything is being implemented effectively to help you make progress.
Another thing that I reminded staff about is the importance of intervening when they see anything untoward happening on the playground so that I know that you are all feeling safe and happy. I will be following this up a lot more after the holiday and will be sending out our annual Ofsted questionnaires to find out what everyone thinks.
It has been unfortunate that I have been tied up in meetings and missed a couple of assemblies this week as I really want to talk about Respect. Everyone knows that it is one of our key school words and I am passionate about the importance of us all treating each other as we want to be treated ourselves. Unfortunately there are a small group of children in our school who don’t seem to feel that this applies to them and I can assure you that I am working with them to make sure they understand that it definitely does. Being rude to adults; being horrible to peers; damaging school property and thinking that they can break rules are not the types of attitude and behaviour we accept or will tolerate and there are consequences for such actions. Whether we like them or not, rules help to keep us all safe and make sure school is a calm, happy and productive environment in which we can all learn to the best of our ability and I will not let a minority spoil things for the rest of you.
Back on a more positive note I would like to thank Elephants class for the kind invitation to their PPP party on Friday afternoon. Their letters of persuasion worked and I was won over by the arguments they put forward to agree to pizza and fizzy pop; not something we usually allow in school but a reward for their “concentration and positivity” in SATs. I’ll see you all at 2.30pm!
Thanks to Mrs Parker for organising the NSPCC assembly on Monday and Y5 and 6 workshops today. They help us tackle vitally important messages in our mission to keep you all safe and I hope you all understand and follow the guidance they provide.
I am very much looking forward to the FoS fun night later on this evening when we will be watching “Sing”. It looks like a fun movie and I know you will enjoy munching your hot dogs during the interval.
Thank you to the children who joined me on the Golden table last Friday. I really enjoyed spending time with them and our new certificates and prizes for everyone were well received. Don’t forget to give School Council your feedback on how it’s going so we can continue to improve and make it even better.
Unfortunately Foresters forgot to collect house points this week so automatically came in 4th place and relinquished their chance to secure the impressive lead they have in the overall race. However, Brewers are certainly fighting back and have their second star of the ½ term – well done.
Polar Bears won the attendance race this week with a score of 98%. They also had the highest reading scores giving them the honour of looking after Oscar and the Kindle for the second week running; Mrs Haines is very pleased!
We all know that Mrs Cormack is on a mission to get everyone reading more and she was really pleased in the increase in the number of awards she gave out this week. She is however going to make it even tougher and will expect you to read more often; something I know you will all do as you push yourselves to improve.
Our Special Mentions assembly has come round really quickly and I am looking forward to handing out certificates in the morning and hearing about the great things that have been happening in school. I often find myself being so focused on all the things that are still left to do that I forget to stand back and reflect on the many, many good things that happen every day which is why I thoroughly enjoy Special Mentions as it gives me the chance to say “well done” and “thank you”.
Just before I sign off I’d like to ask everyone to join with me in sending our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the families and friends affected by the tragic incident in Manchester on Monday night.
Blog Box question: which class had the best reading scores once again?