This week’s blog is centred around ‘excellence’. ‘Excellence’ is a word that is sometimes wrongly mistaken for ‘perfection’. It is a word which can be often synonymous with hard work, dedication and commitment. In our school we have committed staff who go the extra mile, enthusiastic children who love learning and very dedicated members of our local community who give up their vital time to come into school and support us in many different guises. All of this contributes to our success and this is what makes our school so unbelievably special. ‘Excellence’ is not just about success however. Whilst we must take time to celebrate our successes, ‘excellence’ is a mind-set, it’s an attitude and a commitment to keep moving forward. In the words of Pat Riley: “excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” No matter how successful we are, there is always room to become even better and this is very much at the heart of our new school vision. Over the last week in school, I have seen many examples of this.
On Thursday last week, Miss Popple took a group of children to a 5-a-side football tournament, organised by Derby County. The boys did terrifically well but narrowly missed out on a place in the afternoon rounds. What made me most proud however was the desire of our children and the drive they had to do well. The boys, despite scoring a winning goal on the whistle (which wasn’t allowed), showed amazing sportsmanship and they all came back hungrier than ever to do even better next time. I’d like to thank all of the parents who assisted with transport to the event and Miss Popple who organised the opportunity for our children. We couldn’t have entered the competition without your co-operation.
You can’t hear a pin drop in the Eager Elms classroom at present – they are all striving so hard, trying to improve all of the time so they can reach the ‘expected’ Year 6 standard. Mrs Brace and Mrs Weston are working incredibly hard to keep up with their work ethic – the children have been writing pages and pages of good work. Mrs Weston showed me a brilliant piece of persuasive writing from Harvey, which had been beautifully crafted after spending a week looking at the features of persuasion. She was really proud of his efforts and so am I – it is a real pleasure to see hard work paying off. Miss Forrest was equally impressed with the Greek myths completed by the Hardworking Hazels – they have written their own version of Heracles – they all followed their success criteria carefully to make sure that their writing had all the correct features.
Last week, Mrs Weston and I held parent consultation meetings for all of the Year 6 parents. We have made a big effort this year to plan in more events to support both parents and children in preparation for the SATS, which will be taking place in May. Last year, we saw a sizeable leap in the standard expected from Year 6 children nationally and it is so important that our children are best prepared. Thank you to those parents who attended – don’t forget that we have some Prepare Aware workshop sessions coming up too. The first session is planned for next Monday, 30th January between 6 and 7. We hope to see as many of you there as possible, your child will benefit greatly.
On Wednesday last week, Matilda and Sophie (our Ministers for Anti-Bullying and Playtime) went on a learning walk over lunchtime. Once again, they were very complimentary about the general behaviour of our children but we still do have a few children who need to exercise more care when playing with equipment. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, children are a little rough towards one another in play. This week, I will be looking very closely at this and asking the dinner staff to keep an eye out.
Privilege Time last week was yet again an amazing experience for me personally. We had a total of 23 children who ‘cashed in’ their pass to join in the fun in the hall. One of the best things about Privilege Time is seeing children from all year groups playing together nicely, sharing equipment and helping each other. It is one of the highlights of my week! I must thank our Prime Minister, Mark Howard and the other members of School Parliament who help me set up in time, I couldn’t do it without them. They all take their roles very seriously and they are real ambassadors for all that we do in school.
Speaking of Parliament and all things democracy, you may have heard in the news about Donald J Trump’s inauguration as the new President of America on Friday afternoon. Whatever your view, it is important to recognise that a democracy has spoken and we must all live with the outcome of their election, whether we agree with it or not. Having a democracy, is one of the things which makes our country so special – and there’s too – so now is a time for unity. I was most impressed with the answers to this week’s Big Question in collective worship. The children were asked to think about people who were wise and who they drew strength from. Some of the suggestions included: god, our family, Teresa May, Winston Churchill and ‘my Mum’
Mrs Dyke’s Wonderful Willows received the most stars this week so they have earned some extra play time to be taken when it is convenient. Also, in terms of our Inter-House Sports competition – Mars and Pluto are neck and neck in front with 12 points each. It will be interesting to see what the standings will look like after this week’s sporting events. The children will be playing tennis.
Also this week, Mrs Weston and I are going to be coming into classes to look at how you are learning in Maths. Remember, we are trying to give you more reasoning tasks in lessons which make you think deeper and challenge you a little more. I must remember to switch on my maths brain on Thursday morning in preparation! And on Tuesday it is………
Your child should have received a letter on Friday outlining the arrangements. Please contact the office if you haven’t received one – it promises to be another amazing concert. I really like the songs this year!
Before I leave you, here is this week Blog Box question: Which two children took part in a learning walk on Wednesday lunchtime last week?