I spent a lot of time this week thinking and talking about assessment and tracking systems. The staff met on Monday, after school, to discuss their thoughts about how the implementation of our new assessment system is going. Our system measures what individual children can do against the elements in the reading, writing and mathematics curriculum. Class teachers discussed the positives and negatives of using the new system when they made their end of term judgements. We have agreed that we will continue to evaluate what we are doing throughout this academic year.
Whilst the assessment system measures what children can do and informs teachers about the next steps in their learning, our tracking system looks at how well groups and classes are achieving as a whole. In 2016, the government expectation will be that a minimum of 85% of any class achieve age expectation in reading, writing and mathematics. Our leadership team and our governors look at our data at the end of every term in order to judge the performance of each class and to consider any actions needed. At their meeting this week, the Attainment and Progress Committee of the Governing Body looked specifically at the attainment and progress of our Y6 class as they approach their SATs in May.
On Friday afternoon Mr Rhodes and I gave a presentation to the Bury primary school headteachers about our work in this area. We described our system and the tools we have created to assess the new curriculum. Other schools have, in fact, started to purchase our materials and we have had a very positive response from them about the approach we are taking.
On Wednesday afternoon I met with two of our governors, Mr Stanley and Mr Howarth, together with our School Business Manager, Mr Vidler. We have started to work on putting together a Risk Assessment Register and individual risk assessments covering all areas of our work. I am always very grateful for the expertise of our governors in areas such as these and appreciate the time they give in order to assist me in the management of the school.
I really enjoyed working with the children in two assemblies this week, our fortnightly Well Done Assembly and my usual Monday morning assembly with the whole school. On Monday I introduced the theme of ‘courage’. We looked at a number of images of people showing courage and discussed what Nelson Mandella meant when he said,’I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear.’ I am always so impressed with the children’s answers and opinions when we hold these discussions. We can feel proud of who they are growing up to be.
Our week ended with our community cinema night on Friday evening. It was lovely to see so many parents and children back at school to watch Penguins of Madagascar on the big screen. Great fun was had by all!