A new term….a new blog!

Welcome back after what has been a wonderful break with some fantastic weather.  One of the things that an Easter break affords us all, is more time to spend with our families and the chance to get out into the garden or go away for a few days.  I hope that you have all had the chance to do this over the last fortnight.

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A new term…..and a new format for my Headteacher blog.  I have chatted before about our school improvement journey and the need to ensure that we are continually evolving as a school and improving what we do for the good of the children. It is when schools stop reflecting and refining what they do – that they become less effective in meeting the needs of the children and their families.   Well, with ‘continuous improvement’ in mind, as Headteacher and as a positive advocate for change, I thought I’d lead by example and trial something different this week.  I really hope you like the new format and find it equally as informative.

Here goes…….

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Story of the week: Governor Day

On Thursday, 6 of our governors came into school to take part in our annual governor day. As part of the day, the governors took a great deal of time working in teams and looking into our school improvement priorities.

Being a governor is a very important role but also a very challenging one. The role of our governors is to obtain a strategic overview of what is happening in school and to check on what school leaders are telling them is happening.  They carefully ensure that the operational day to day running of school life is left solely to the educational professionals who are in the best position to make decisions in the interests of the children, whilst at the same time, supporting these professionals to ensure they have all the available resources to make a difference.

During Governor Day this year the following activities were undertaken:

Mrs Mack and Mr Brown looked into our provision for those children who qualify for the pupil premium.  They looked at the types of interventions that were already happening in school and how the impact of these is measured.  They were really encouraged by some of the data that we were able to show them.  Rest assured, that confidentiality was carefully respected and no information about specific children and their progress or attainment was shared.

Mr Evans looked at examples of pupils’ work in maths.  In particular, how teachers are providing feedback to the children through our improved marking policy and the impact that this is having on standards.  Mr Evans was pleased to see that in every classroom, lessons are ending with an ‘And Finally’ ticket.  You will know from previous blog posts that ‘reasoning’ has been a focus on our school improvement plan this year.

One of our new governors, Mrs Scott, had the chance to chat to lots of children about how they felt about school.  I know that she was completely overwhelmed by their responses – all children felt safe and well respected, and they felt that the school was improving.  I was particularly pleased as the children were extremely positive about some of the new things we have put in place like Privilege Time for example.

Mrs Cooper and Mrs Clarke worked on a new marketing strategy for our school during the morning. Many of you will be aware that we revamped our school vision in November and it is important that this underpins our ethos, our teaching in lessons, our behaviour around school and how we work with the children and also our expectations of the children themselves.  I know that they came up with lots of really good ‘unique selling points’ for our school.  We have had new signage around school and we are in the process of having a new prospectus that really celebrates the new P.E.A.C.E agenda that we are working to all of the time. Remember, fostering excellence is not only about wanted to improve it is also about celebrating the amazing things that we do already. Watch this space for more improvements – our school is going places!

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The “I wish I had a camera” moment of the week

This has to be from celebration assembly on Friday where Georgia from the Champion Chestnuts looked thoroughly delighted with Gracie’s success.  Gracie had done really well to get her pen license from Miss Popple.  I know that we were all really pleased for Gracie but also immensely proud of the way in which Georgia reacted.

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Soundbite of the week

This has to be from Oliver in Hardworking Hazels.  Who said: “The adults are really kind and helpful in school and it makes you feel really fuzzy inside!”

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Coton Champion of the week

This award goes to somebody who has been a great advert for our school over the week.

Nobody quite encapsulated our school ethos more that Henry from Wonderful Willows on Thursday.  Henry really welcomed Mrs Scott into our school by being polite and chatting to her about school with real enthusiasm over dinner.  Thank you Henry for selling our school in such a positive light and making our visitor feel extremely welcome.

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Learners of the week (class)

This week, special praise goes to the Y6 children for showing real tenacity and perseverance when taking part in Mock SATS week.  They all gave it their best shot and didn’t give up when it got tough.  Thank you Year 6, I know that Mrs Weston, Mrs Whyman and Mrs Brace are immensely proud of you.  I have said all along to the Year 6 children, as long as they do their best that is all we can ask of them – on a separate point, I must remind the Year 6 team to bring their SATS slippers to work also!  They have worked tirelessly over recent months to go the extra mile in ensuring that the children are best prepared.  Finally, thank you to you as parents – your continued support and encouragement has meant a great deal. Whatever the outcome of the SATS and also whatever your view about their importance in shaping a child’s educational journey, we can only ask that the children do their best and we’ll be proud of them whatever they go on to achieve.

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In other news…….

In conjuction with Mrs Mailer and Miss Popple, I have finalised a design for a new sporting kit which the children will be able to wear when they represent the school in local competitions and events.  Hopefully this will be in school, ready to use, within the next week.  Thanks to Pallex and Enterprise Workwear for their sponsorship

Mrs Smith and the Outstanding Oaks have welcomed a new child into our school.  Welcome Waynus. May I also take this time to welcome Jenna D’Ovidio, who will be in school on a Tuesday to work with the children

The scenery for Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat has been ordered and the Key Stage 2 children should be able to paint it very soon

Next week…..

I will be talking to all the teachers and holding Pupil Progress meetings. I will be asking them to talk about how you are progressing with your learning and we’ll be deciding what we can do to ensure that you make even greater progress this term.  Remember, progress matters!

Some Year 5 pupils are going to Pingle for a trampolining workshop with Mrs Brace

Clubs start next week – please don’t forget to get your forms handed in!  Remember that they are first come, first served.

Right, that is it for another week.  I am sure that more interesting blog categories will develop as time goes on. However, to finish, it wouldn’t be a Headteacher blog without an inspirational quote!

Mr Smith’s thought-provoking quote of the week: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

Have a good weekend!

THIS WEEK’S BLOG BOX QUESTION: Which child was our Coton Champion this week?