It only takes a small pin to burst a balloon or a single smile to make a stranger feel at home. One solitary pebble can cause ripples on tranquil lake and we’ve all had that little itch that can’t be reached without asking for help from a trusted friend. You see – the truth is, the little things in life really do make a massive difference. In school this week, we’ve been working really hard to embrace this notion because we know that ‘excellence’ has to start somewhere and getting the ‘little things’ right is the theme for my blog this week.
Whether it’s making effective use of time, using good manners, looking smart, showing good table etiquette, presentation and handwriting, practising our times tables or reading regularly at home it all adds up and goes a very long way and the children have made an absolutely glorious start this week.
I was really really impressed when I popped into the Happy Hedgehogs on Wednesday morning to see them all writing their names on their whiteboards within minutes of coming into the classroom first thing in the morning. I know that Mrs Smith has really high hopes for our new intake after working with them over the last fortnight. In equal measure, Mrs Weston’s Wise Owls have been concentrating very carefully on getting their presentation right – making sure that all titles are underlined, their handwriting is formed carefully and, in maths, that they set out their calculations correctly – one digit in each square.
I had a great time reading with Sophie (Brilliant Badgers) and Jamey (Wise Owls) last week also. It was great to see that they had been making good use of their new Home Learning Log at home and reading in their spare time. I did ask them some tricky questions to check that they had not only read but they had also taken in what they had been reading. Remember, it doesn’t matter what you read – it can be anything: a set of instructions for manual or game, a recipe or even the back pages of a newspaper. I hear from the staff that there are many children who are already well on course for achieving their 25 privilege points. Remember – if the children reads every day, completes their times tables practice and learns their spellings then they’ll automatically earn themselves 5 points! I am hoping that this Friday will see the first Privilege Time of the new school year taking place.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all of the parents and representatives who attended our welcome meetings this week. In total, we have had 69 home adults who attended over the week and I am sure this will make a massive difference to the success that the children will go on to make this year. We know that we still have much work to do in providing you with the information you need in order to best support your child in their educational journey but hopefully you can see that we are trying to improve this with every passing term. If you couldn’t make it this week and you would like a copy of the key information that we handed out, please speak to Mrs Cresswell in the office. We understand that getting time off work to attend can be tricky at times so we’d be happy to hand over anything that may be of use.
One of the agenda items at this week’s welcome meeting was information on our new Key Stage 2 Times Table Grand Prix. Mrs Weston has worked incredibly hard to put together a whole school approach to the recalling of times tables. We want learning times tables to be motivating, fast paced and above all – fun! Our Year 6 team understand first-hand, how important it is that our children have a firm and confident grasp of their mathematical facts so they can access the upper Key Stage 2 curriculum and be best prepared to succeed in the wider society when they leave Coton school. We made great strides forward with our introduction of ‘reasoning’ last year and the children really enjoyed the ‘And Finally Ticket’ idea that we put in place. The certificates for our grand prix are printed off and ready to go – It will be really interesting to see how quickly we can get through them before we need to print off some more.
I had a lovely surprise on Tuesday morning when both Kyan and Rocco visited me with some super maths work. Mrs Smith was really proud of them, as was I. They could show me the progress they had made with the reading of some tricky numbers in words. Thanks Rocco, thanks Kyan for brightening my day! I’d also like to pay tribute to Sydnie from Mrs Dyke’s class, who has caught my eye in collective worship this week, showing me great listening and sitting up smartly, setting a marvellous example for the rest of the school.
Next week, we have a very important visitor in school. Mrs Heather Wheeler MP will be joining us on Wednesday morning to oversee the election process for our new school Prime Minister. We have been really lucky to have had two brilliant past Prime Ministers in Amy (who left our school in 2016) and in Mark (who left us for pastures new last summer). Both previous post holders carried out their responsibilities with pride and represented our school so magnificently. I look forward to hearing this year’s candidates each read their manifesto in front of the whole school. It is always such a great occasion. We will be setting up a polling station for all of the children in school to vote on Wednesday afternoon.
I am hoping to pop into Michaela’s dance lesson this week to see how the Funky Foxes are getting on. Michaela was full of enthusiasm when she left last Tuesday and she couldn’t believe how quickly the Year 5 children had learnt the dance that she taught them. Remember, Michaela runs a dance club on Monday evening, please get your form into the office to ensure that your child is signed up if you haven’t already done so – there are only a few spaces left. Equally, we still have some spaces for Wednesday’s film club. Get your form in to secure your place.
On Friday, if you fancy a cuppa, come in and join me from 9am. I will be hosting my termly Cuppa and Cake session. We will be discussing the following things: a new home-school agreement, our improvement priorities for the forthcoming year, parent welcome meetings and getting feedback on the new learning logs. It is always a really informal opportunity to get your thoughts heard.
I really hope that I will have plenty of blog box entries this week. Not one single person posted in my box last week. However, I did have two girls come and find me on the yard at the end of the day on Friday with the correct answer to the question I posted.
This week’s blog box question is: What was the name of our first school Prime Minister?
Before I leave you, I’d just like to send my thoughts to the innocent people who were affected by this week’s terror attack in London. I’d simply say, stand firm and embrace the freedoms that we are fortunate to uphold whilst living in Britain.
P.E.A.C.E be with you!