It was lovely to welcome the children back to school. There are no end of themes for a new year assembly! We chose to start of the new year thinking about our manners. How thinking about manners can ultimately improve our learning dispositions and help others learn too!
In December I sent out this communication:
Recently we have had a number of children coming into school, which is fantastic because with growth comes new opportunity. Immediately, the growth in numbers and the projections for the coming years gives the opportunity to get back to single classes for each year group. So we will be changing the classes so that the Junior children will be staying in year groups all day – like the Infant children do.
So, why are we doing this in the middle of a year?
Ideally we would have waited until September, however, we must act NOW to ensure we have the best provision available for the children NOW – when the need is greatest. To wait would mean we do not do the best for the children. It will mean a change of teacher for some children, however it will also:
- reduce the number of children in each class and allow the teachers to plan and teach within one national curriculum year.
- rejoin the split of children in year 4 and year 5.
- allow the teachers across two schools in the Federation to plan together more effectively.
The classes will be (and the teachers will be based in the same room unless otherwise stated):
|EYFS and Key Stage 1||Key Stage 2|
|Mrs Harding remains teaching Reception
Mr Hookes remains teaching Year 1
Mrs Bartlett remains teaching Year 2
|Mrs Speed will teach Year 3
Mr Hockley will teach Year 4 in the ‘Sea School’ room
Mrs Railston / Mrs Lewis will teach Year 5
Mr Guyler will teach Year 6
We will also be teaching to curriculum strengths in the afternoon as we have done this term, ensuring we maintain our unique Sea School provision which Mr Hockley is working on developing. Classes will continue to receive specialist teaching in languages, music, ICT and PE over the week on a rota basis.
We will be working very hard to ensure that all children make the very best progress at school and to do that we continue to need your help. Please ensure your child sees this change as positive and explain to them that it is necessary to ensure they meet our high expectations.
We held a parents voice, which 5 parents attended. I had a letter from one further parent. We had a fantastic discussion with the group about the school and the changes which we have had to make for the good of the children. Over the coming months I hope to implement much of what the group asked for. Until them, the next parents voice will be on the 21st of January. You are more than welcome to attend.
We hosted a Headteacher from a not too near school on Friday. A reciprocal visit for work I have been doing at her school. It was lovely to complete a learning walk across the whole setting – Tiddlers to Year 6. We saw some great teaching and had a very useful discussion about how we can strengthen our schools.
This week coming I have some miles to cover. Monday is at school with our Executive Head. Tuesday I will be at our Learning Community meeting and then having a Head of School meeting afterwards. On Wednesday our Y6 teachers are moderating work together and we have a joint staff meeting to look at writing across the Federation. On Thursday and Friday I am off to Manchester to attend a PREVENT conference. I will then be delivering training across the Federation in addition to the work we have already been doing.
To most the ‘Alliance’ sounds like something out of Starwars. As part of the Teaching School agenda we are part of the North Devon Teaching School Alliance NDTSA as well as being Federated with Woolacombe.
On the agenda is how we support schools, how we train teachers, the research we do and what continuing professional development we offer. A complex agenda with many local schools and Head Teachers involved. So, I am at Broomhill involved in moving the Teaching School forward in the local and regional arena.
On Wednesday I am at a conference which puts disadvantaged families at it’s centre. One of our biggest challenges is developing all children equally, improving the outcomes for all. The biggest area at CM – where we have good outcomes for disadvantaged children – is attendance. Our Free School Meals attendance can be greatly improved. Expect some new ideas coming soon!
I’m hitting the ground running this week. We have just had a very positive visit from the Local Authority regarding our most recent results.
Tuesday I am at a school nearby working with one of their teachers.
Wednesday morning I am starting at Woolacombe with a learning walk.
Thursday I am part of a school review at a Teaching School Alliance school.
We have Mr Hockley organising a beach clean as part of Sea School on Friday. Better not forget my wellies!
We are doing a lot of work on Meta Cognition or Learning to Learn! This video is good at explaining how we are developing the children’s ability to think…
I’m at the Learning Community today. We are discussing how we will help the children in our schools with our deligated monies.
Always interesting discussions, especially now with the new curriculum. We are looking at systems to ensure that the children sent to secondary are assessed consistently across the schools.
Today I am at Level 3 Safeguarding training. All schools have to have a trained Safeguarding lead and we renew our training regularly.
For the next two weeks the Senior Leaders will be dropping into the classes to watch the learning that is taking place.
It’s a great opportunity to get a flavour of our provision and the areas we need to either share as strengths or develop further. We are in the midst of a huge change and the teachers have a lot to get their heads around – from assessment to what a “on-track” child looks like in the new curriculum.
The first week is nearly over. I’ve 2 teachers to see on Friday but so far it’s been a very positive experience. Seeing the development in Talk Partners and the Growth Mind-set in action is going to have a huge impact.
Apologies first. I made a post that failed over the weekend so have not posted for a few days.
The start to the year is heavily weighted towards learning behaviour! How to maximise learning by understanding how to learn. I have had conversations with children this week whose ‘go to’ response is “I can’t do it!” After a talk it turns out that they weren’t listening effectively and couldn’t say what it was they were asked to do in the first place. In terms of our ‘Super Learner’ and fixed mindset these children are putting barriers in place to create an excuse for not being challenged. We are working hard to change this mindset and allow these children to feel secure being challenged and to have strategies to cope.
Assemblies during the week are instrumental in the development of learning behaviour. On a Monday we talk about the learning behaviour which will be dominant in each class during the week… For example – questioning. The children then undertake their learning in class. At the end of the week two random children are selected to feedback on the learning that has taken place. This cements the value we are placing on learning behaviour and highlights the progress being made as a collective institution.
We are working on a system to introduce this to parents and keep you up to speed. Coming soon as they say!
Finally, have a look at the counting video on Twitter. It’s Class 5 counting. These activities are essential to mathematical thinking and can be done as home learning.