If there is one lesson that we can all take from this past week in school, it is having the courage to push ourselves and work outside of our comfort zone. When we show the courage to be bold and face our fears or things which are difficult for us, it really leads to benefits in the long term. It was really pleasing to hear Miss Walton highlight Tristen (Funky Foxes) for doing just this, in rewards assembly on Friday. Tristen has shown great perseverance in Maths this week, taking on some really tricky maths work on the subject of time, battling through and not giving up until he had success. Equally, I was really encouraged to hear that Lottie (Brilliant Badgers) performed superbly in the Key Stage 2 Tennis competition on Wednesday afternoon, despite her reluctance to enter because she didn’t think she could do it. In the words of Brian Tracy; you can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.
With this, there is no better place to look than to our Year 6 children! Year 6 have been on their residential at Boughton Woods this week and all of them, including their teachers, have experienced a completely new way of living – primitive living. This is not the first time that our Year 6 children have been away from home by themselves; many went away to Shugborough last year when they were in Year 5. However, this year’s residential was designed to be a ‘step up’ and it was all about moving the children out of their comfort zone and developing their levels of resilience. Away from the comfort of warm running water and their comfy bed, away from food on the table which is prepared for them and away from the soft feel of carpet underneath their feet, Year 6 have not only survived, they have also thrived! I am so proud of each and every one of them for embracing the experience for what it was and for showing ‘stick-ability’ whilst out on camp. I am equally proud of the members of staff who joined them on this adventure. They have given up their precious time, away from their own families, in the best interests of our Year 6 children and this underpins everything that our new school vision is about – putting the children and their needs at the forefront of everything we do.
On the subject of camp, it would be rather remiss of me not share some of the highlights from the 3 days away. It was very reassuring to hear that Mrs Brace, Mrs Mailer and Mrs Weston had been safely rescued from the SOS ‘plane crash’ simulation exercise. They do such a good job for our school, it is great to have them all back in one piece! I gather Mrs Brace was covered in fake blood, Mrs Weston was very convincing in her acting as an ‘unconscious’ pilot in the cock-pit and Mrs Mailer resisted the urge to give herself some emergency first aid for a ‘broken leg.’ I was entertained to hear that James (Wise Owls) and also Owen (Wise Owls) were brave enough to sample the eye of a fresh salmon, whilst preparing tea on Thursday evening. Also, I took great pleasure in hearing about Sophie’s personal journey whilst on camp. According to our staff, Sophie was such a great advert for the art of perseverance that she was nominated by the Centre Staff to receive a special award. Well done everybody – I am sure that the girls will enjoy being able to wash their hair this weekend!
Continuing my theme of pushing yourself, what a great reaction from Frankie (Super Squirrels) in rewards assembly this past Friday. Our Year 1 children have come on leaps and bounds with their phonics this year. As you know, this has been a big improvement focus for us and we have made lots of changes to the way how we are teaching phonics in school. This coming week is National Phonics Screening Week for our Year 1 pupils as well as some Year 2 children; and I am convinced that we will see all the hard work paying off. Thank you to all the parents for their support with phonics this year and for attending the workshop sessions that we have organised. Our children are best-placed to perform very well indeed and this will mean that they are better placed to achieve well in reading as they progress through our school.
On the subject of reading, I hope you all enjoyed your extra day off on Monday this past week! We had a staff INSET Day in school and worked hard to re-band lots of the reading books in school. I am led to believe, after talking to some staff members, that it is at least 8 or 9 years since the school have done this so it is long overdue! It was a massive task but we made a great start. Ready for September, we want every child in school to be able to have a greater choice when visiting the bookcase – reading is supposed to be fun and the children will love it if they can choose books which interest them! Crucially, we want our children to choose books which are appropriate to their age and their ability – books which are suitably challenging expose them to different patterns of language and interesting vocabulary. Finally, we want to share more classic texts with the children. Over the next 6 weeks, we’ll be completing the book-banding process and purchasing some new titles for our children to enjoy.
Mrs Thorne and Mr Sharpe were full of praise for those Key Stage 1 and 2 children who attended the football and tennis competitions on Wednesday afternoon this week. We have a long record of entering into these competitions over the last few years, but being a small school, we have fewer children to call upon to take part. I’d like to thank all of those children who took up the opportunity and give another ‘shout-out’ to Mrs Mailer for beavering around behind the scenes prior to the event, to make sure it was all organised. A special well done to Archie (Brilliant Badgers) who competed with 9 other schools to win the Tennis Tournament. You never know but we may see you grace Centre Court at Wimbledon in ten year’s time, Archie!
Behind the scenes, there is lots of work going on to improve our provision for children with Special Educational Needs at present. Thank you to the few parents who attended the meeting with myself on Friday morning and who were able to hear about our plans going into the new academic year. This will be a school improvement priority as we head into September. We will keep you informed as always but in the meantime, please come and speak to me if you have a question or query.
Next week promises to be another big week in school and our attention turns to the Key Stage 2 production of ‘Oliver!’ This week, we will stage the final few scenes and many children will be added to these because they are ‘street scenes.’ We will also be starting work on the painting of our scenery under the watchful eye of our artist in residence, Mrs Harris! Last week, I successfully managed to secure some sponsorship from Argos (Barton under Needwood) to provide a lorry for the transporting of our scenery and props to the Brewhouse on 20th June. Please remember to get your tickets ordered, we have had so many requests in the last few days and we’d hate for you to miss out! Tickets are now on general sale and you are welcome to produce any additional tickets should you require them. Our Key Stage 1 families are also welcome to support if they wish too. Key Stage 1 children may wish to come and see what they’ll be doing in their future years at our school. The office will be busy in issuing ticket requests this week but please let us know if you want more!!!!!!! Did you like what I did there?!
Tomorrow, I will be showing a Mrs Sue Potter around school, to share some of the improvement work which has been going on this year. Mrs Potter is a Senior School Advisor from Derbyshire County Council, who visits us annually, and she is keen to see how our school is moving forward. I know that they’ll be lots of brilliant things that I will be able to share with her.
Don’t forget about our Father’s Day Lunch event this Wednesday too! This is always a lovely event for the children and we enjoy welcoming lots of ‘special’ males into our school over the lunch period. On Thursday evening this week we also welcome our new EYFS Intake into school to start their transition ready for September. This is also a great occasion and I love beginning the process of learning lots of new names – it is helpful to get a head-start before September! Finally, we have a Parent Council on Thursday from 8pm.
Before I leave you for another week, I just want to say a massive well done to the Happy Hedgehogs for being my Class of the Week! These Hedgehogs are making us all incredibly proud and there has been some super work shown to me throughout the past week. Also, congratulations to the Super Squirrels for having the best attendance with 98.6%. Last week, we had 3 classes who were below 95% for the first time this year – I hope this is a blip!
Finally, can I just remind all parents and grandparents, that no children should be playing on the trim trail or adventure playground equipment at 3:15pm when collection from school is happening. Please pass this message on if your child is picked up by another family member – we don’t want to spoil the fun, we only want to make sure that they are safe.
Enjoy the weather – P.E.A.C.E be with you!
This week’s Blog Box Question is: Which local company is providing us with a lorry to transport the scenery and props to the Brewhouse on June 20th?