I’m sure that you have all heard the famous saying; “practice makes perfect” over the years, either from your teachers or your own mum and dad at some point. No matter how many times we hear it, the message never loses its importance. School this week has been living proof that if we put in the hard graft and keep on top of the things that matter, it really does pay off. There have been many examples of this ringing true.
I was immensely proud of all of the Key Stage 2 children on Thursday evening when they participated in Young Voices at the Genting Arena in Birmingham. Every year, we always question the amount of work needed to ensure that the children know the songs and in turn whether we will be able to get the children ready in time. Despite the amount of practising involved, it never fails to be a worthwhile event and a real awe and wonder moment for our children to take part in. The very moment when the lights go down and the whole arena descends into darkness, except for the torch lights of 6300 children taking part, really is a remarkable sight. Although we had many tired children on Friday, those who took part had experienced something simply incredible and their hard work had paid off! Well done to all of the children involved who put in the hours to learn the words and thank you to the staff who supported this.
I had a great surprise on Wednesday this week, when both Catherine and Arlo (Super Squirrels) came to see me with their work. Arlo had achieved 40 out of 40 in his times tables test and Catherine had got every question right in her big maths test. Again, this is living proof that with a little practice anything is possible. The key thing is remembering to practice in the first place and not taking that you know these number facts for granted! In Key Stage 2 we are starting to see a flurry of children who are now achieving their times table grand prix awards also. Remember why we are asking you to go to all this trouble! If we can all know our times tables from memory, so we can recall them instantly, it means that we can be efficient mathematicians in real life outside of school. It means that we can calculate the cost of something quickly when we go shopping, it means that we can solve mathematical problems with ease and it means that have the right skills for what we want to be when we grow up. Mrs Bains tells me that next week is going to be a real watershed moment for the Brilliant Badgers as a number of children are really close to getting their next award. The Funky Foxes will be looking to continue their good work towards this too – having made big strides forward last week. I also hope that we have some children in the Wise Owls who can reach the dizzy heights of ‘Platinum.’ I think I am right in saying that at the moment – Reuben (Funky Foxes) is leading the way and he is the first to achieve this in our school! Many congratulations Reuben! Make sure that you all have your brains switched on during collective worship on Thursday – Mrs Weston will be doing her first times tables challenge for you all!
It has been fantastic to see our library open for use once again. Mrs Billings is taking on the role of librarian after lunch each day to enable every child to have the opportunity to choose another book to read. We are blessed with many interesting titles in our school library – some fiction and some non-fiction. I really hope that by opening up our library once again, you will all be motivated to read in your spare time. Remember – practice makes perfect – even if you are a fluent reader. Never take this skill for granted! Reading is a skill that you have to continually develop and what’s more – it is pretty cool! Mille (Funky Foxes) was really keen to come and find me on Monday morning last week, to share what she had been reading in her spare time. She had been reading about prehistoric animals and she could recall lots of interesting facts. It would be great if we had some of you who could recommend a book to a friend in school! Let me know if you have a title that you want me to promote – maybe we could start a ‘Recommended Reads’ section in our library.
Mrs Smith has had a busy week in school, working with myself and Darren Hooley (Ladycross Infants School) to ‘fine tune’ our new assessment system – A.L.P.S. We are now able to see how much progress you are all making throughout the year based on what you have been taught in class. We are also able to see if you are making the right amount of progress as you go through our school, based on how well you did when you were in Reception and also Year 2! Some of you will be working with your teachers in collective worship time if we feel that you need a little bit more help on what you have been learning in class. Remember, we are doing this because we care about your learning and we want to help you understand everything better.
Our Big Big Question this week has been around the topic of ‘change’ and what skills is takes to change. Despite having high hopes at the start of the week, I only had two children who managed to put a post-it note on the board in the reflection area. Sophie (Wise Owls) said that anybody can change if they persevere. Charlotte (Funky Foxes) said that you have to have courage to change yourself or to change something. Please remember what we have talked about many times this year, change is scary, change requires us to work hard and it may mean that we have to practice something before it becomes second nature but we can all make a difference if we put our mind to it.
On Tuesday evening this last week, a few children really caught my eye, whilst your teachers were looking at the class work produced this year. First of all, well done to Jake (Wise Owls) for producing an improved quantity of work in last week’s arithmetic lesson. Jake had done lots of calculations during this week’s lesson and therefore got lots of practice in! Well done also to the children in Super Squirrels. Both the quality and quantity of your work is improving with every day and many of you are writing lots and lots of sentences in a lesson now. Please keep this up – we are really pleased with your progress.
On the subject of the Super Squirrels, thank you for being such a pleasure to teach this past Monday. I really enjoyed working with you all and it certainly got my week off to a fantastic start. It is not often that I get the chance to teach you but it was wonderful to see how much you had all improved and grown up.
I’d also like to thank Year 6. It was a real pleasure to see all of the Wise Owl children who attended Young Voices, fully engaged and enjoying themselves last Thursday evening – setting a good example to the younger children and showing our school off in a good light. Remember Year 6- our whole school looks up to you to set the standard! I think many of you fully embraced your final Young Voices experience!
I am pleased to announce that at our Christingle service (held just before Christmas) we raised a fantastic total of £59 for the Children’s Society. Thank you to all who offered to the collection.
The class with the best attendance this last week was the Super Squirrels, with a total of 99.6%. Well done Squirrels, there has been a lot of illness recently due to the seasonal bugs that go around at this time of year. Being in school every day, improves your chances of making good progress and it also means that you get to spend lots of time with your friends! Well done to the Wise Owls – 85% of you completed all of your home-learning last week for Mrs Weston – this made you winning class.
Before I leave you I have a few announcements.
- The Cuppa and Cake session, which was scheduled for this coming Friday 19th January, will now be rearranged for the date of Thursday 1st February between 9 and 10.
- Another new date for your diaries – we are holding Whitemoor Lakes Y4/5 Residential meeting for parents on Monday 22nd January @ 2:30. At this meeting we will be asking parents to sign the consent forms and we will be giving out the kit list. It will also be a chance for parents to ask any questions about the arrangements and timetable.
- Don’t forget that Back to School Week is around the corner. This will take place on the week commencing 22nd January and it will have a reading focus. This is a chance for you to come into school and learn how your child is taught reading. Wise Owl parents are invited on the Monday from 9am, parents of children in Brilliant Badgers are invited in on the Tuesday from 9am, Wednesday it’s the Happy Hedgehogs, Thursday will be the turn of Super Squirrels and on the Friday, parents of the Funky Foxes are invited into school.
Have a good week!
This week’s blog box question: How many children took part in the Young Voices Arena concert in total (including other schools) ?