It was a shortened week for me this week as I succumbed to the ‘back to school bug’ – an occupational hazard, I guess! At Monday morning assembly I met with the children to introduce our theme for the week which was Eid ul Adha, the Muslim festival which marks the end of the annual pilgrimage, Hajj, to Mecca. It was lovely to hear from some of our Muslim children who shared their understanding of Hajj and even from some who had actually visited Mecca themselves. Whilst we are not a church school, it is important that we acknowledge all the faiths represented in our community and value the experiences the children bring to our school. It is important that all children feel valued whatever their background or culture and assembly is an excellent way for us to do this.
At our staff meeting on Monday we turned our thoughts to the second priority area contained in our School Development Plan namely the implementation of the SEN Code of Practice, 2014. Our SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) Mrs Canning briefed the staff on the main changes to the new code. We also discussed the roles and responsibilities of the staff and our action plan for the development. The main thrust of the change is to put children and families at the centre of the decision making process when it comes to providing for children’s needs. Eventually, all children with statements of SEN will be transferred to Education Health Care Plans. This may take a number of years to complete. We are in the process of completing our SEN Information Report which will soon be published on our website. This will contain a wide range of information about our approach to SEN.
On Friday, I accompanied Mr Rhodes to a briefing session delivered to other Headteachers and senior leaders in Bury. During his presentation he outlined the Unsworth approach to the demands of a new assessment process. The work we have done was well received by other schools and we enjoyed sharing ideas with our colleagues in other schools. It is very important to collaborate and learn with and from others, particularly at this time of huge change.