What a busy term! Moving on, moving up!

It is with great pleasure that I post my first ever Headteacher blog as part of our new website. Look out for this each week as I will take the time to celebrate what has been achieved in school over the week and your child may get a ‘special mention’ from me. I hope you will find it a useful way of keeping up to date with all that is happening in school. Communication can always be improved and I sincerely hope that this goes a long way to help!

It has been a very eventful term and we have made real progress in many areas of school over the last 4 ½ weeks. Our new school website has been launched and we are very happy with the results. It is fresh and much easier to find information. May I take this time to remind you that all classes have an interest space and each half term teachers will update the information on there so you can best support your child at home. In addition, don’t forget to sign up for the email alerts service. Our aim is to be paperless before the school year is out!

Our school breakfast continues to grow and should you visit the page on the website you will find the booking forms which you can download and then return to the school office. This term, the children at breakfast club have made Easter bonnets, Mother Day cards, played dodge-ball and took part in many craft activities such as painting and sewing – they have been so busy, I don’t know how they have found time to eat their breakfast! I am sure that Owen in Class 4 will agree with me when I say that Mrs Mailer and Mrs Billing rustle up a 5-star breakfast!

I have been really pleased with the new displays which are in the library area. I must say a big thank you to the children for doing some wonderful writing and also to the staff for displaying them so vibrantly. It has really helped to brighten up our school.

You will see from our School Improvement board in Reception that we have been working very hard on a number of things this year – one being marking. We have tried to make marking much more precise so that the children are clear about what they need to do to improve. I must say that I am very impressed with how well the children have been using ‘purple polishing pens’ to respond to the teacher’s marking in class. Staff spend valuable time in making sure that we not only celebrate the achievements of children in lessons but also that they offer further challenge using a ‘now sentence.’ We have also spent some time this term developing our collective worship and Mrs Weston took 5 Year 6 children to a big conference at Swanwick last week. It was all about the BIG questions! I am looking forward to posing a few BIG questions of my own after the Easter break.

Our ‘Back to School’ mornings for reading were very well attended this term. As the school’s new Headteacher – this is something that I want to do more of as the year rolls on. We have a date planned in to do the same next term but with a Maths focus. We hope that many of you will be able to attend as it helps you to understand how best to support your child at home and it is a vital snap-shot of what life is like to be a pupil at Coton in the Elms Primary. Also our ‘Fly on the wall’ Thursday mornings in Class 1 continue to be a great success.

Our School Parliament continues to make a valuable contribution to the full life of the school. This term, our Ministers for Playtime (Reuben, Frasier and Kiera) took part in a learning walk with me and also Mrs Robinson (our Anti-Bullying Governor). We were really pleased to see all children playing co-operatively on the field or in the MUGA. We heard some really good manners and it was pleasing to see older children helping our younger ones! Long may this continue! The new playtime equipment that school parliament chose is going down a real treat!

Last week we held our annual Governors’ Day. We had 6 governors who were able to attend and be a ‘fly on the wall’ for the day. Our children did us proud as always. The governors spoke to a number of children about how safe they feel in school, about marking, online safety, British Values and also about their learning. I must say a huge thank you to the staff at this time for facilitating this process throughout the morning.

As regards staffing, I am pleased to announce that we appointed a Miss Amy Forrest to teach at our school, starting in the final half term and Mr. Genders has kindly agreed to prolong his stay until May half-term. Our staffing restructure is taking shape! I must thank you all for bearing with us at this time of change. Change isn’t easy and it brings out many different emotions for us all – but it also gives us a chance as a school to take stock and reflect on what we do and why we do it! We can always improve and we are committed to delivering the very best education that we can because we care passionately about every child in our care.

My special mentions this week go to Archie and Caitlin in Class 5. It was great to hear about their wonderful work in Spanish for Mrs Moore. Also, I’d like to thank Summer in Class 1 for my lovely card and Isla in Class 3 for the brilliant Easter cross which we have placed on our school alter.

My final special mention this week goes to somebody who may not be young as she once was but she is certainly very young at heart! After an incredible 25 years at our school, today we say a fond farewell to Miss Wordley. She has touched the lives of so many young people in her time and we are all going to miss her greatly. On a personal note, I have only worked with her for 6 short months but one thing is abundantly clear – her commitment to the children in her care never falters! She has been a great support to me in my first few months here at Coton and I take this time to wish her a very happy retirement.

I wish you all very Happy Easter and a safe holiday. We look forward to seeing you on Monday 11th April.