We have reached the end of the first half term of the school year. What a busy time we have had. On Thursday evening, the governing body met for their Autumn term meeting. We were able to welcome our new parent governor, Mr Cooper, and we were able to discuss the start we have made to the school year and the priorities contained in our School Development Plan. If you would like to know more about our governors and their role then you can follow the link below:
Earlier in the week, we held our Parents’ Progress Meetings. Three of our governors attended the sessions to ask parents their views on the progress of their child and the information on progress provided by the school. Our staff governor, Mrs Channon, also asked our new YR parents their views on our transition processes as children enter our school, during the Welcome Assembly a few weeks ago. It is our intention to issue a report on what parents think and any actions arising from those views. We have also asked two of our senior leaders, Mrs Ali and Ms Sinclair to conduct a parent survey on homework as part of a review of our approach in this area. They will communicate views on this once all the responses have been analysed.
Our children have settled well into their new classes and are working hard. We continue to welcome many visitors into our school who attend the raining courses we run. When visiting teachers and school leaders visit our classrooms, they always comment on the engagement and independence of our children as learners and the outstanding behaviour they see. On a number of occasions this half term, I have had ‘learning conversations’ with individual pupils. This involves them showing me their books and talking to me about their learning challenges. I am always so impressed with the pride they show and their understanding of the learning process. This is also reflected in the comments we receive from our visitors.
The children have also had the opportunity to enjoy a range of activities beyond the classroom. We have welcomed our partners, QFirst Sports into school to increase the range of sports and PE activities on offer to our children in lessons and as extra-curricular clubs; our own teaching staff have also been involved in leading extra-curricular clubs and activities such as football, netball, tag rugby and table tennis. We also had a great day playing (and exercising!) on scooters.
A number of classes have also been out of school on trips and visits including our Y6 adventure holiday to Robinwood. School trips and visits to places in our locality enrich the children’s learning. First hand experiences are memorable and more meaningful to children. We are grateful to the PTA who work hard to raise funds to subsidise the costs of these trips by providing the transport, which can be costly. The parents of three of our classes have been invited to see their class assembly and we have all enjoyed seeing how all children do their best to participate in these.
Across this half term, we have worked with the children to think carefully about our new ‘core values’. Last year we held a vote to select five values which represented our community. All members of the school community were invited to take part in the ballot. When the votes were counted the values of friendship, respect, happiness, honesty and learning had been selected. In assemblies each Monday, I work with the children to unpick the meaning of these words. It can be a very special experience to talk to our children and hear their views on these issues-they are often very thoughtful, not to mention wise, in their thinking.
When we return to school in November we will be stating one of our whole-school enquiries. These take place each term and last for two weeks. Every class is involved in the enquiry. They are planned collaboratively by staff and involve a focus on particular aspects of learning and on particular skills. This next enquiry will focus on our five core values. The children will hear all about it during our whole school assembly when we return after the holiday. Look out for news of our enquiry via our website and Twitter feed.
Enjoy half term, everybody, and thank you for helping us to have such a positive start to the school year.