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Sprinting towards the finish line..

We have arrived at that time when we are racing towards the end of the academic year in a frenzy of activity! During this last half term, we have held our whole school enquiry, exhibition and trip; our two sports days and KS2 athletics, cricket, football and rounders competitions; our governors and new parents meetings and a class assembly. We still have a number of class trips to complete and our Party in the Playground on Sunday. Right at the end of term we will also be holding our ‘Meet the Teacher’ sessions, a music concert and our Y6 final assemblies. It has indeed been a busy time!

During the last couple of weeks, class teachers have also been writing the children’s annual reports. The children have reflected on their achievements during the year and on their targets for the next. I have been reading and commenting on all of these and I thoroughly enjoy coming to the final page where I find their comments. If you spend any time at all with our children, you cannot help but be struck by how articulate and thoughtful they are about their learning. Visitors to our school always comment on their behaviour and, in particular, their attitudes to learning. Any walk around our classrooms always demonstrates their engagement and enjoyment in their work.

This year we have reported on the children’s attainment and progress in the new National Curriculum. Our report format has stayed the same. We continue to give the children grades for attainment (where they are in comparison to age-related expectations) and effort. Effort grades reflect how hard they work and how much they stick to a task. Class teachers will judge this across all areas of learning according to the age of the child. Attainment grades will indicate whether a child is meeting age expectations, is working towards age expectations or is exceeding them.

Whilst the format of the report is the same, the attainment judgements have been made against a different curriculum. Apart from in Y2 and Y6, schools have been working on the new expectations from September 2014. The expectations in reading, writing and mathematics are more challenging than they were previously. For this reason it is not always possible to compare grades from previous reports. Class teachers have found that they have had to start the year teaching new content from the previous year. In the case of the maths curriculum, much of the work on fractions which was previously covered at high school is now in the Y5 and Y6 curriculum. Having said that, we have spend a lot of time this year revising our plans and working hard with the children plugging any gaps left by the shift in content. Parents will be able to comment on the reports as usual.

It has been interesting to see how the developments in our use of technology have allowed parents and carers a glimpse into every day life at school. Rather than wait for parents’ evenings or the annual report, our Twitter feed, in particular, gives the opportunity to see what is happening in classrooms each day. The blogs on the website are more extended pieces on classroom practice. Earlier this week saw our website’s two year anniversary and we were amazed by the statistics. Since it began we have clocked up 38,000 individual users and 650 blogs! Our Twitter followers now number 420 making @unsworthprimary one of the most followed schools in Bury.

We have been so pleased with the feedback we have received from parents on our Twitter account and on the website. We have had some lovely comments. We do the job we do because we love it but it is still very, very nice to receive such appreciative comments. Many thanks!

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