Buddies and Blossoming

Buddies and Blossoming

Well each of our Year Six children have met their buddies, made them a special welcome card ( containing  their own personal message) and presented them in assembly on Thursday, where Reception were officially welcomed into the ‘Unsworth Family’ – our school community.  Sometime is spent carefully matching each Y6 and Reception pupil.  This is definitely a highlight of the school year for our Year 6 pupils and it always a delight to see the care they show towards our youngest pupils.  It is also a very responsible job, which always has a positive effect on our older pupils, who relish the challenge and seem to blossom in both maturity and confidence.  There will be a number of opportunities for the buddies to meet throughout the year.  All of Y6 made us very proud on Thursday, especially when they introduced themselves to parents and carers after the assembly as well.  Our first piece of homework was returned this week and I was impressed with the quality of homework that was produced.  They will use the information gathered to create their own biographies, which will be published and shared at parent’s evening, later in the month.  I know the children are eager to impress and show off their writing skills!  The children have been set a new piece of homework this week, linked to our History enquiry ‘The Battle of Britain’ and they have the opportunity to decide which area they would like to focus on. Each member of class has also been allocated maths games in their Bug Club and Maths Abacus account, which they may like to visit to practise reading larger numbers.  We are still awaiting delivery of our homework books and these should be here hopefully for next week. This week, we will:   find out more about Dunkirk and using historical sources; as well as learning the differences and similarities between viruses, fungi and bacteria; develop our ability to write in a formal biographical style and build on our understanding of place value including rounding and some decimal work. The following are just a few of the pictures from our recent DT topic ‘ War Time Inspired Cooking’.  The children created their own potato scones and various mashed potato spreads for sandwiches as well as some rather delightful salads. This was all shared at our ‘War Time Tea Party’!   It was agreed that most of the foods, smelt or looked better than they tasted.  Our DT floor book showing all the learning that took place in this unit will again be available for viewing at Parents...

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If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.

Earlier this week, the government published its latest response to the review of assessment in primary schools. The full report can be downloaded here. In primary education, we are used to constant change. We have experienced numerous changes in the assessment system since SATs were first introduced in 1990 for all seven year olds. The response paper has recommended that SATs for seven year olds be scrapped by 2023 and that the methodology for assessing writing in Y6 be changed this year. It also recommends the introduction of a times tables test in Y4. The check will be introduced in the 2019 to 2020 academic year. As we do with all changes, we will look at them and adapt our practice accordingly. We have to comply with the accountability agenda without compromising our broad and balanced curriculum offer. For some pupils in some schools, Y6 has become a ‘preparation for SATs’ year. This is not the case at our school. We do prepare the children, but it is important that their last year at primary school is full of rich experiences and opportunities. For instance, during this last week they have enjoyed our celebration of Roald Dahl day (see the picture that accompanies this blog!); they have left school to become evacuees at Stockport Air Raid Shelters and then next week they will be going to Robinwood to experience their residential adventure holiday. Professor John Hattie is a researcher in education. He is Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He has conducted extensive research into what works in education and has become one of the most influential academics in education today. In his work, Hattie analyses the effects of numerous strategies and approaches on pupil achievement. His analysis has some surprising findings. What he does believe, however, is this: “What does matter is teachers having a mind frame in which they see it as their role to evaluate their effect on learning.” This seems an obvious statement but to do it successfully is not so easy. Teachers and other school staff need to see themselves as learners. Constant evaluation of their teaching and its effectiveness is key. It is too easy to collect a bank of teaching resources and approaches and stick to ‘what you know’. Those of you who have had a number of children go through our school will know that this is not our approach. We are always researching and looking for answers to that important question of how to improve children’s learning. In our School Development Plan this year, we are looking at how we can improve the range and quality of what we are calling ‘pupil products’. These are the outcomes of learning. Of course, many of these products will be in the children’s books but we also want to consider how we will use technology and the range of products of learning that are not written down. It will be an exciting challenge to develop this research with our staff and with our pupils. We will look to share this work with you on a daily and weekly basis through our twitter feed @unsworthprimary and through this...

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A huge thank you!

A huge thank you!

A huge thank you to everyone who visited our Book Fair this week and who got involved in celebrating  Roald Dahl’s Birthday on Wednesday by bringing a prop, a book or wearing an entire costume!  It has been lovely to see so many children excited about buying and looking at the books on sale.  The fair and ‘Dress up for Dahl Day’ has been a fantastic success in creating a buzz around books and promoting reading for pleasure, with over £800 worth of books having been sold throughout the week.  Your generosity and support has meant that the school will receive nearly £500 worth of free books for the school library!  Our school library will be open from next Friday lunchtime and our newly appointed librarians or ‘Word Warriors’ as we like to call them will be on hand to help out!  Congratulations as well to our five raffle winners, ( from Reception, Y1, Y4  and Y6)  who all received and cashed in a £5 gift voucher today. ...

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The new school year has begun

The new school year has begun

Well Year Six have begun to get into the swing of things this week, with their first full week. They have all been given jobs of responsiblity around school and are now eagerly awaiting meeting their ‘Reception Buddy’. Our first writing unit of the year has begun and we have started to read a selection of biographies this week, about Usain Bolt, Martin Luther King and of course Roald Dahl ( it was his birthday on Wednesday after all). The class have been set their first homework task, which is to find out some facts about someone who has or has had an interesting life. We have also begun our Battle of Britain topic as well as our science topic where we will begin to learn more about micro-organisms. The class have also had their first session with a gymnastics coach and lots of stretching and balancing was done by all. On Thursday, the class worked with a partner checking the spellings that they had been learning over the past week. I was impressed with how organised the children were with their home spelling books and how well they did. There was of course a great finish to the end of the week with the children being ‘evacuated’ to the safety of Stockport with Mrs Darby. Pictures to follow in a future blog……….. Next year, there is lots to look forward to. Of course there is the trip to Robin Wood for many of our Y6 pupils, with Mrs Ali, Mr Garside and Mr Evans and as well we will be working on our DT food skills, by preparing some war time inspired potato scones, salads and mashed potato sandwich spreads! The children will be able to wear their costumes again on Tuesday if they wish as we prepare our War time ‘feast’ and have a ‘ 1940’s Tea Party’ on Tuesday afternoon. Year Six is definitely a fun, busy place to...

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Reflections of the School Council

This year’s School Councillors have been fantastic! They have been so hardworking and reliable. The Councillors have listened to their classes about ideas for school and have spent a lot of time making things happen, such as Red Nose Day, the Parking Charter and discussions about the cloakrooms. Well done to all of you! Here are some reflections on their year: I enjoyed having meetings with Mrs Reynolds because it made me feel heard,it also made me feel important in helping the school. Oliver Y6 Being a school councillor has made me feel important because we got to have meetings with Mrs Reynolds and have our say in what could improve the school. I liked doing the tuck shop at break time as well as the parking safety topic we did. Layla Y6 This year my favourite part of school councilling is feeling proud that I got to give ideas to make the school better. But overall I loved everything! Laila Y5 This year my favourite thing was doing the tuck shop because we raised a lot of money and got to serve. It was all fun! Oliver  Y5 This year I have enjoyed fundraising because on Red Nose Day we made over £200. Being a school councillor makes me feel like an important person and I liked helping improve the school. Mya Y5 I liked doing Red Nose Day and having school council meetings with Mrs Reynolds . Now I feel like people would listen to me and help me. Ben Y3 I have enjoyed doing the parking charter and having meetings with the cook. Being a school councillor has made me very proud and happy. But most of all I feel like people are listening to me. Charlotte Y3 I have enjoyed fundraising for Red Nose Day but overall I’ve enjoyed everything.Also I have liked helping the school. Elvie Y3 I liked raising money with the tuck shop and helping make the school happy. Zac...

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We’re part of Bury’d Treasure this summer!

We’re part of Bury’d Treasure this summer!

Children from Unsworth Primary School will be setting sail on their very own treasure hunts this summer, as our school has signed the scroll to be part of ‘Bury’d Treasure’, a pirate-themed family adventure game. Back for its second year, Bury’d Treasure is an initiative in partnership with I Will If You Will (IWIYW), Bury Council and Transport for Greater Manchester (TFGM) with the aim of helping more families in Bury to become more active together. This year, Bury’d Treasure launches on Monday 26th June and starts a ten-week treasure hunt around Bury, with clues and puzzles hidden at Nuttall Park, Philips Park, Clarence Park, Close Park, Prestwich Clough, Burrs Country Park and Peel Monument. The clues will change every Monday for ten weeks until Sunday 3rd September, and every time a puzzle is solved by one of our children, and entered via the Bury’d Treasure website, that family will count as an entry into a prize draw to win a special school prize at the end of the adventure. Bury’d Treasure looks set to be the highlight of the summer for families in Bury and we’re sure our children will love hunting for clues in their local park, almost as much as the grownups! For more information visit burydtreasure.org.uk/participate for all the maps and clues. Good luck!  ...

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