What a year! I can’t believe another year is at its end and we are at the start of the 6 week holiday period. We’ve had such a prolonged period of good weather, we’ve been in holiday mode for the last month or so. Let’s hope it continues now we have finally broken up, although an occasional shower would be welcome I’m sure, if only to cool us down and to help the grass recover!
I’d like to start my final blog of the school year by paying tribute to the Year 6 children who left us this past Friday. What an amazing Leaver’s Assembly – the best in my time at the school by a long way! I sat on the front row, so immensely proud of just how much every child had grown in confidence and maturity; it was a real pleasure to hear them all take to the microphone to give a final address. They had so many memories from their time in our school and I know that these will stay with them for the rest of their days. I have no doubt that they are more than ready for the next phase of their journey – secondary education. The best part of being a Headteacher, is seeing children ‘grow’ and develop as they journey through our school. Every decision that we take, and everything we offer to our children is centred around developing rounded citizens who have the temperament and confidence to face the big wide world in the future – outside of the ‘Coton bubble.’ This Year 6 group are more than ready for this challenge! I remember this year group vividly from when they were in Year 3; I taught them at my interview three years ago. I could see their extraordinary potential even then and they have not failed to live up to this in my time at the school. I wish each and every one of them a successful future – we will miss them greatly!
I’d also like to say big goodbye to a few other people who left us last Friday. Firstly, we wish Oliver and Maximus (Super Squirrels) all the best at their new schools. We will never forget them; they have both provided our staff with many enjoyable moments over the last two or three years and we are blessed to have taught them.
It has been another blessing to have had Mrs Beer on our school team over recent months. She has been a welcome addition in our school office whilst we became GDPR compliant, supporting us with the implementation of many of our new systems – it has been a really busy time. Many people think that working in a school office is easy – and this is probably because Mrs Beer and Mrs Cresswell have done such a great job and maintained a sense of professionalism at all times as the face of our school. The role of a School Secretary has changed hugely over recent years, with greater demands from the government and the local authority. All of these demands have had greater implications on the smooth running of schools in general. As Mrs Beer’s contract comes to an end, we wish her well and we are sure that she will continue to be a positive advocate for all that we do, outside of the school gates. Thank you Kate.
It is also a time to say a fitting goodbye to Miss Walton. On Friday, we held a special McDonald’s quiz in assembly, in light of Miss Walton’s fascination for take-away food; it went down a real treat and it was a fitting send-off! Miss Walton has been a great character to have around the place since Christmas and she has played a huge part in delivering stability to our Year 5 class. She leaves us with many memories and I know that she will never forget the children in Funky Foxes; there were her first class! Thank you Miss Walton; we hope to see you soon!
As the school year ends, it is always important to reflect on what we have achieved in our school this year. It is only when you stop and think, that you realise our list is endless! A key part of our school vision is about continuous improvement – and not resting on our laurels. We can always get better at things and sometimes, things don’t go smoothly – we don’t get everything right first time. However, as I said in my closing remarks at our Leaver’s Assembly last Friday, two words that are most poignant to hold onto are ‘togetherness’ and ‘resilience.’ It is these two qualities that have played a big part in our success this year.
This year we can celebrate our best Year 1 phonics screening check results since 2014, with 94% achieving the expected standard. Our results in Early Years are our best since 2015 and are slightly above national for the first time in years and our Key Stage 2 results show an upward trajectory for the third year in a row. Many of our Year 6 children achieved their personal best scores on the tests. All of these achievements are a testament to the drive and determination of the children and the hard work put in by all parents and staff.
We held a magical Coton Royal Wedding Day – and many said it was not possible to do it with children as young as four! Our Key Stage 2 children reached new heights with their production of ‘Oliver’ at the Brewhouse -despite the show being ambitious for a small, village primary school to put on. We have entered 21 sporting competitions with other schools this year and who would have thought that we could enter so many events, with only 115 children on roll?
We have also been able to secure additional funding to get our Key Stage 2 toilets refurbished. I believe that this has been on the ‘to do list’ for many years and it is great that we have finally been able to get this done. In the office, we have set up online payment, online parents’ evening booking and purchased a new electronic signing-in system. All of which will be integral in making things easier for parents. And let’s not forget the new doors which have recently been fitted around school. They look really smart!
The truth is, we still have a long way to go but we leave this academic year in good shape and with real optimism for the future. Where there is challenge, we have to show tenacity, ‘stickability’, and resilience to overcome it. If we all support each other and work together; the world is our oyster!
Before I leave you for the summer, I just want to give a ‘shout out’ to both Archie’s parents and Jayney’s parents (Brilliant Badgers) for getting all green fingered over the last couple of days. They have voluntarily dug the Early Years’ Area and prepared it for September. Next year, outdoor learning will be a big focus for us and it really helps to have so many willing people who can lend a hand to support us. Keep a check on our Facebook page to see how they are getting on!
Thank you to everyone, for supporting us this year, and what we have offered the children. It has been a pleasure working with you once again. Have a wonderful summer break – make sure you spend lots of time with your nearest and dearest. I look forward to working with you in the new school year.
Enjoy the weather! See you Tuesday 4th September!