It has been a very hectic week in school, awash with awe and wonder and a real buzz. I’d like to start by saying how immensely proud I was of our Key Stage 2 children on Tuesday, when they took part in Young Voices at the Genting Arena in Birmingham. This was an incredible experience for our children, to be joining together with other schools in the midlands area, forming a choir of 6654 children! Our children behaved impeccably and showed respect and good manners at all times whilst representing our school. On a personal note – I’d like to thank them for making me proud to be their Headteacher. For Year 3, it was their first experience of Young Voices and they were amazed by it all. Particularly the awesome moment when the lights were turned down and the arena descended into darkness! The award for the best staff dancer has to go to Mrs Brace who was busy bopping away throughout the whole evening. Thank you to all of the staff members who gave up their time to support the children at this event and also, thank you to all the parents who came to be in the audience. The greeting that you gave the children in the school hall, when they arrived off the coach at the end of the night, was simply wonderful. I know all of the children appreciated the warm, impromptu round of applause.
Mrs Mailer missed out on all the fun on Tuesday as she was very busy on a first aid training course. We are so lucky to have a community first responder, in Mrs Mailer, working at our school, always on hand if your child has a ‘bump.’ She has been really busy this week as she also took a group of children to an athletics competition at Greenbank Leisure Centre. We are proud to provide so many opportunities for our children to join together with other schools and it is vitally important, as part of our school improvement agenda, that our school continues to adopt a more outward facing approach.
Champion Chestnuts were going to be having a visit from Anglesey Primary Academy this week also, but it has had to be rearranged for another date. You may remember that back in November, Miss Popple took the Year 3 and Year 4 children to Anglesey to make new friends and to develop their awareness of other cultures and traditions. Many of the children came back with Mehndi patterns on their hands and they were armed with information about the countries in which the Anglesey children arrived from. Well, rest assured, Miss Popple is currently liaising with the teachers at Anglesey for them to visit our school in the very near future. We are planning to take them to Coton Woods so they can see what our local community is like. Watch this space! Preparations are going well for Miss Popple’s end of term class assembly also, which is to be performed in our end of term church service on Friday 10th February. Parents, don’t forget to put the date in your diary – it would be great if you could join us from 2:30pm.
In collective worship this week, we have been thinking about how we can make the world a better place. The children came up with some excellent ideas on the Big Big Question board. Sophie suggested that we should focus on improving the environment by being respectful and thinking ‘green’, once again one of our key words from the school’s new vision came up – ‘compassion’ and Rosie in Eager Elms thought that education was the way forward. We talked about how sometimes you have to work together to make something wonderful happen and often you have to show a will and a desire to keep going and overcome challenges. Remember the words that I put on our altar– “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”
There has been some super work going on in classrooms this week. I had a lovely surprise yesterday when Thomas and Seb knocked on my door from the Outstanding Oaks. They came to show me some brilliant sentences that they had written for their own version of Handa’s Surprise. Mrs Thorne and I were amazed earlier on in the week with Harriet and Liliah in Year 5 had worked tirelessly throughout the whole lesson on reading the time on an analogue clock. They made phenomenal progress in the lesson and we were really proud. There was some good writing being produced in Wonderful Willows on Wednesday morning also – Arwen’s animal sentences were a delight to read and they made me smile!
Mrs Weston and I have had a busy week too. We went on a Maths Learning Walk this week to check on how you are working in Maths lessons. There was some super learning happening and we were really glad to hear your teachers asking you to reason and to explain your answers. In Hardworking Hazels, Oliver really impressed Mrs Weston with his explanation for converting time into the 24 hour clock. We are going to be asking the teachers to give all the children a gentle reminder about how they set out their work in maths lessons however – remember every piece of work should be ‘DUMTUM’d’ and the squares should be used properly for writing digits. It is really important that they have all the right equipment with them at the start of the lesson so that we maximise the amount of time available for learning and continue to ensure that the children are making progress.
On Tuesday, Mrs Weston and I met to map out a plan for the Year 6 SATs revision period. I am really proud of the Y6 work ethic at the moment and the accelerated progress they are all making. As a school, we are determined to do all we can to ensure that they are ‘secondary ready’ by the time they leave us. We really hope that you all enjoy the SATS Prepare Aware sessions that we have planned for you and your child over the coming weeks. Don’t forget that this Monday coming, we have the first of 3 sessions. It will be focused on Maths – reasoning and arithmetic. We look forward to welcoming you between 6 and 7pm. Once again, we have planned this session for later in the evening so that many of you are able to attend.
Also next week, Reverend Janet is in school to have another nosey around school and to see how you are all getting on in classrooms. Michaela Goodhead’s dance club are at the Dance Platform Competition on Wednesday evening and it is also Back to School Week for your parents and relatives to come and learn with you. We had an amazing response last term when we held Maths Back to School Week so we hope it will prove to be a success once again. All workshops are happening between 9:15 and 10:15. Parents, please make sure that you check the letter that your child sent home tonight as it will tell you what day your child’s workshop is. On Thursday, we are welcoming Elizabeth Stanley Wainwright into our school to carry out our SIAMS church inspection – I am sure that you will all make her feel very welcome. It is about 5 years since we were last inspected and we look forward to getting her feedback on how we can improve our school further. Our school has gone on an incredible journey over the last year and recent months in particular, it is important to ensure that we continue the pace of improvement in our quest towards excellence.
Before I leave you for another week, I have just a little plea. Please can you all ensure that your child has their name written on coat labels, hats, PE Kits etc. We have a large amount of lost property at the moment and it is really frustrating that we are unable to hand it back to the rightful owners. Also, a little challenge for you all: don’t forget to answer the blog box question. I have some regular ‘blog boxers’ (some are parents) who arrive without fail every Monday morning to post their entry. It would be amazing if we could have at least 30 entries in the box by next Friday. So….get ready………….here we go:
This week’s blog box question is…..Which member of staff got a special ‘shout out’ for being the best staff dancer at Young Voices on Tuesday evening?