The ‘Coton’ standard

This week has been a great week in school and, following on from last week’s blog, our focus on the things that matter, has ensured that normal service has resumed! Last week, I felt that some children were a little ‘off-par’ and in need of a half term break.  However, this week I have seen a renewed focus from all children in school – It really is turning out to be a great half-term of hard work. Whether it’s lining up for dinner, using good manners, responding to marking or coming into collective worship – we have been back on form – ‘The Coton Standard!’

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Things which make the difference!

This week I have been focussing on the little things that make a huge difference. Clearly – if we can get the simple things right and focus our energy on the things which are going to have the most impact on the children first and foremost, we won’t go far wrong. I am very proud of all that we provide for our children at Coton school – from the variety of after-school clubs on offer each evening, the promotion of competitive sport at lunchtime through our Inter School Sports League, the opportunity to play a musical instrument, our democratically elected School Parliament and our open door policy and working relationships with parents. However, above all of this, there are two main characteristics of a successful school – First things first – we want our children to be happy, healthy and safe at all times and secondly, we want to make sure that every child is making progress in their learning, as a result of quality first teaching – where children are given the ‘correct diet’ to succeed, regardless of their individual ability or their emotional and social need.

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Busy bees!

Friday is upon on us once more and it is time for another weekly round-up of the latest happenings in school. It has been a very busy week and all staff have been working hard in the background on things that will make our school even better.  Unfortunately, I have been out for 3 days this week and so I haven’t been able to get onto the playground in the morning as much as I usually do – but rest assured, I have been beavering away in the background.

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Yesterday, Ms Challinor and I attended the teacher training course for this year’s Young Voices and I can’t wait to begin rehearsals for the big concert.  This year, there is a good variety of songs and the actions complement the words really well.  Over the next few weeks we will be starting to think about how we are going to prepare the children for the big day within school.  As usual – there are lots and lots of words to learn but for me personally, I am just really pleased that we are able to offer our children the chance to be part of a choir consisting of up to 8000 people, under the lights of the Genting Arena.

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Together as one – improving all the time!

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The theme for this week’s blog is ‘togetherness.’ We have had a super start to the new school year and there is a real feeling of optimism around the place at the moment as we continue our agenda of continuous improvement.  We have made several changes this September because we are passionate about getting things right and doing the best that we can. There are many things that make our school so unbelievably special but we are all very busy, working hard behind the scenes to become even better. It is amazing what you can achieve when you have a common goal.

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Back in full swing!

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We have only been back at school for two weeks but already there is so much going on and the place is a hive of activity. After school clubs started this week, and we have seen a great uptake as always. We have really tried to offer a broader range this term and the children have responded well to the choices offered. Miss Popple had 19 children for hockey last night – which was an amazing response. We have our eyes set on entering a competition with some other schools later on this year and I know Miss Popple will make sure they are all ready to compete. Dance club starts with Michaela Goodhead on Monday, there are still a few spaces left so make sure you get your form in before Monday evening to avoid missing out. I started our school choir this week and I really hope that we can work towards putting on a performance in the very near future, make sure your child gets signed up if they haven’t done so already.

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A new year, a new start!

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There has been a lovely feel around school this week for our first week back. Our school has been full of focus and I have been really pleased with how children have settled into their new classes.  A new year always brings renewed energy, enthusiasm and a fresh approach and this week our school has certainly had that in spades!

On Wednesday afternoon, I was delighted to get an invite to go onto the school field and see a special performance from the Eager Elms. They had been learning about performance poetry and the author’s use of personification; I was amazed by their performances. The children had worked brilliantly to portray the poems using a range of performance techniques.  Nikita was great at using his voice in different ways!  I know that the Eager Elms were extremely honoured to be the first class to use our ‘Coton Coliseum.’   For those of you who are not aware, during the school holidays a team of volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover came into school to construct a mini stage/performance space with some audience benches.   Moving forward classes will be able to use it to develop their confidence in speaking and performing to groups of people, it will also be used as a mini-outdoor learning space.  I must take this time to thank Mr Evans, one of our governors, for all his help in getting the team together and Mrs Evans for the bacon rolls!  It certainly kept the team suitably fuelled to get through the day.

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It’s suddenly gone very quiet!

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The lights have been turned off, the trays have been cleared and the classrooms have that bare feel about them – it must be the end of the school year! As I sit here writing this, having just said goodbye to Mrs Cresswell for the next few weeks at least, not a single person is in sight and I am left to reflect on a very eventful year in our school.  I can’t believe that my first year as Headteacher of our school is at an end – so many highlights and so many challenges to face, but I have loved every minute of it, striving to ensure that every child in our school gets the very best every single day.

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Keep calm and carry on together!

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The theme for this week’s blog is unity and togetherness. It has been a historic and monumental few weeks in so many ways for our country but whatever your side and whatever your views – we are one country and when we all come together it is pretty special! This was demonstrated earlier in the week, where we saw every MP in the House of Commons wearing a white rose in memory of Jo Cox and heard so many moving tributes and kind words about how she had the courage and strength to fight relentlessly for what she believed was right. She leaves behind a young family who have some much to be proud of her for and so many happy memories. The EU referendum has been a hot topic of debate over many months but the high turnout reported at polling stations up and down the country shows the sheer force of an active democracy, energising and empowering people to use their voice and express their views. The sight of thousands lining the streets of London, waving their flags to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday and the passion of England fans joining in with a rendition of ‘Football’s Coming Home’ at the Euros fills us with immense pride.  The ‘coming together’ of our great country is an amazing experience and it has been the same in school this week.

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