Great to be back!

Welcome Back!

I hope you all had a lovely Easter break and you feel refreshed for the new term ahead. Last term was a busy one but we achieved so much in such a short space of time.  On a personal note, this term will be especially busy for me as I prepare to get married in the summer. July 29th is fast approaching! I hope we get some good weather! The summer term is always full of fun with Sports Day, the Summer Fair, new intake in addition to the usual end of year celebrations.

It has been great to officially welcome Mrs Smith into our school – the children in class 1 have soon adapted to her expectations which is a real testament to how amazing they all are! The transition arrangements which we put in place last term (with Miss Wordley having a hand-over period) have been well worthwhile. I have really enjoyed my trips down to Class 1 this week especially as their new topic is about dinosaurs!  It takes me back to when I was little.  I have to admit that I haven’t grown out of my fascination for dinosaurs!  I was most taken by the dinosaur paintings which were completed on Tuesday this week – it has made a great display in their classroom.

The children have been working very hard on their spelling across the school this week. It is one of our school improvement priorities this year and I have been really impressed with how the children are responding!  The children in Class 3 have been busy looking at suffixes– ‘sub’ and ‘re’ and they could explain the meaning of these when questioned.  We now have the whole school doing phonics or spelling activities at 9am every morning for 15 minutes and this is ensuring that the children get straight into their learning at the start of each day with greater urgency.

In Collective Worship this week we have posed the first of our BIG questions to the children: ‘Why is life like a journey?’ The children came up with some amazing responses.  During our lifetimes we go on lots of journeys – whether we are travelling to another place or whether we are striving together to reach a collective goal.  Along any journey there are always many twists and turns and we have to keep going and never give up.  We have to be resolute and determined in the face of challenges and we have to stay positive – things don’t always go to plan.  These are really good qualities to keep in mind in an ever-changing world full of uncertainty.

I must give a ‘shout-out’ to all the children in Mr. Sharp’s English group. All of them entered a writing competition last term and their work has been selected for publication. The children wrote some short stories and they will be published in July.  I am really proud of each and every one of them and I know they will be excited to see their work in print!

Year 6 and Year 2 pupils have been working really hard this week as their revision for the forthcoming SATS has stepped up. It is imperative that the children are here every day so that we can help them to get the best possible results that they are capable of when the time comes around.  Next week, I will be working with some groups of Year 6 children on some bits that they find tricky too – we are committed to giving them the best possible chance of success.

I will be holding Pupil Progress Meetings next week with all of the teachers to chat about how well every child is getting on in Reading, Writing and Maths. These will be useful discussions as we will identify those children who may need some extra support and we will also reflect on why some children have made more progress than others.  These are also useful discussions because we reflect on our teaching and what we can do to improve things to ensure better outcomes for every child.

I must take this time to wish HM Queen Elizabeth a happy 90th Birthday for Thursday next week!  It is phenomenal that she still takes part in many public engagements across the commonwealth and the world in general – I hope that I am as fit and healthy at 90 years of age! We will be celebrating this in school with a BIG lunch on Thursday – all sitting down together at the same time.  The children will learn the National Anthem to sing before they eat and they will also make crowns.  All the children will be making a ‘cloudy lemonade toast’ to the Queen too!

In other news….in a fortnight’s time some of the classrooms will be fitted with brand new interactive TVs to replace the whiteboards which are no longer working to full capacity. The TVs will be much bigger than the existing interactive whiteboards. This is a really exciting development as it will enhance the learning in classrooms across the school and enable the children to actively take part in lessons. Also, many of you may remember our good friend Mr. Baxter, my predecessor.  He is very busy training for the London Marathon at present.  He is running to raise money for a charity called ‘Get Kids Going’ which supports disabled children to get active.  I know that he would be very touched if you could kindly sponsor him. To do this, you need to go to the following page:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MatthewBaxter2

May I take this time to make a few reminders – please can you ensure that you return the letter which was sent out at the end of last term about designated pick-ups. This is so we know who to hand your child over to if you are not able to pick them up.  Also, we have had several complaints about parking recently.  If you do have to park your car when dropping children off, please be careful not to cause an obstruction by blocking, pavements, paths, driveways or entrances.  We work hard to develop positive relationships with the local community and we wish to keep it that way.

I wish you all a very happy weekend – see you on Monday.