New Beginnings

Last week saw the start of a new beginning for Unsworth with us officially converting to Academy status alongside our new partners Elms Bank and Broad Oak to form Oak Learning Partnership. For myself and Mrs Reynolds it is also the start of something new as we move forward into our different roles. I started at Unsworth thirteen years ago in 2006 as a class teacher within KS2 and when I look back overtime I can reflect on how the school has changed in that period of time. I feel incredibly proud of all of the pupils and staff within the school and it really is a privilege to now be the Head teacher as Mrs Reynolds starts her role as Director of School Improvement and Executive Headteacher of the partnership. It is true to say that Unsworth in 2019 is a different place to what it was in 2006, but what we have always protected at Unsworth and what we will continue to promote is that all our children are at the centre of what we do. I have always believed that “Together We Build Understanding” captures all that we do as a school and community. Our new partnership will continue to take this forward and our colleagues at Elms Bank and Broad Oak will help us to continue to change and evolve. Our partnership unites our schools with one vision: To give our learning community a highly effective education in a truly inclusive environment. At Unsworth inclusion is something that we have thought a lot about and for us it is as simple as providing all of our children with what they need to be successful. For us as a school, the learning environment and the products of learning are what help our children to flourish. This is achieved through our enquiry curriculum, which has been designed by our staff to map out what we want our children to experience when they come to us at 4 up until they leave us at 11. It has been lovely this week to hear from lots of our new families who will be starting with us in September and I look forward to welcoming them into Unsworth with the rest of the staff across the summer term. We see this new beginning as the next chapter in Unsworth’s story; a story that belongs to all of the characters past, present and future who have helped shape it into the place that it is and will be. A place where learning about each other and the world around us is at the heart of what we...

read more

Digital Worries

Our digital leaders have been working hard across the 1st half term, having weekly meetings and completing weekly challenges. All of the digital leaders have created their own introduction videos for their display board to explain who they are and why they wanted to be a digital leader. Their second task was to check that their class had e-safety rules displayed and to also be able to talk about what the rules mean. Task three was to create a digital worry box for their classroom, where children could post any problems or worries they were having with technology. All of the digital leaders brought in their own boxes and worked in pairs to create a box. The were also challenged with introducing the box to their class and had the additional challenge of recording this through a video, pic collage or comic life. After half term they will be sharing their creations, delivering an e-safety session to their class and meeting with our school governors to explaining their work across the...

read more

Parent Hub Communication App

Parent Hub Communication App

We are always looking at ways to develop our communications with parents further and during our recent parent survey most parents felt that the texting service was a valuable way of getting up to date information about what is happening in school. There are some limitations to the service, such as the fact that within the text message we are unable to add direct attachments or images and we are limited to the amount of characters we can add to a text message. Recently our School Management Information System where we store all our pupil data and contact details has joined with “Parent Hub” which is a communications app for parents. The app hosts a messaging service for schools which allows attachments and pictures to be linked with messages, offers no limit on the length of messages and also links to our school Twitter feed. The benefit of this app is that it is completely free both for parents and for us as a school. The text message service does cost us a large amount as a school and in terms of the admin time it takes to update details each year and as changes are made. As the app is linked to our Management Information System, the updating of details would happen automatically and as a school we could save a large sum of money whilst also providing a more advanced messaging service, which would allow us to streamline communications between school and home. We would like to trial the “Parent Hub” app and get your feedback about it. Our aim is to get parents to sign up to the app across the summer term so that we can start to send messages through it, with the aim being that across the autumn term all our messaging goes through the app so that we can make a decision at the end of the autumn term about which messaging system is most effective . It is really simple to set up the app on any kind of phone. If you click here you can  download a poster about how to join the app and once you enter your phone number, it will let us know that you have signed up. The best way to join is by downloading the Parent Hub app (the white app). If you want to know more about the app, do visit the Parent Hub website by clicking here or arrange to speak to Mr Rhodes about it. We feel that this is a great opportunity for us to develop our communication system...

read more

Parking Charter

Parking Charter

On Friday 17th February our school councillors continued the work of last year’s council on developing awareness of the parking issues that we have around Unsworth. Last year the council developed a set of visual posters, which were put onto the school fence this morning. This year’s councillors worked with members of staff to collect signatures from our school community for our “Parking Charter”, which was developed in the summer term. The idea of the charter is for parents/carers to agree to consider following a set of guidelines when parking their cars. It has been developed to help keep children safe and to think about how we can be as fair as possible to our neighbours who live in close proximity to the school. Our councillors did a fantastic job, collecting 61 signatures in 10 minutes and we would like to thank all those members of our school community who signed up. To read our charter click here and feel free to download a copy, sign it and send it in if you would like to. Our councillors are going to add their thoughts below, so why not read what they have to...

read more

E-safety Mark Achievement

E-safety Mark Achievement

An Assessor from the South West Grid for Learning recently visited Unsworth to review the school’s e-safety provision. The Assessor met school staff, parents and carers, Governors and pupils  and was pleased to find that the school provides a high level of protection for users of the new technologies. The South West Grid for Learning Trust provides the internet connection and a range of other services to schools across the SW region and is in the forefront of national developments in e-safety.  To enhance these services, they have developed a tool to help schools address e-safety issues, not least the changes to Ofsted inspections, which include a stronger focus on safeguarding. The online tool allows schools to evaluate their e-safety policy and practice and then suggests how the school might do more to protect young people and staff. To apply for the 360 degree safe E-Safety Mark, schools have to reach a series of benchmark levels when they complete the online self review. The evidence is then verified by a visit from experienced Assessors. The prime benefit of using the review and applying for the E-Safety Mark is that it does not focus on the individual aspects of e-safety such as technological solutions, but instead it integrates e-safety into school policy and the curriculum, challenging teachers and managers in the school to think about their provision and its continual evolution. Schools are expected to show that they have provided a high standard of e-safety education and awareness for all staff, pupils and also for parents and carers, to ensure that these users of the new technologies can be safe online – whether they are in school, in their homes or out and about using mobile phones or other handheld devices. Following their visit the Assessor reported that the main areas of strength were:  strong leadership and commitment shown by the e-safety officer planned programme of e-safety training for staff and pupils a consistent whole school approach to, and awareness of, e-safety parental engagement through the school’s website the logging, monitoring and dealing with reported incidents Ron Richards, Lead Assessor for the 360 degree safe E-Safety Mark congratulated the school on its success and commented that it was re-assuring to know that the school had put a lot of thought and effort into improving the on-line  safety of the staff and young people, by addressing these important safeguarding...

read more