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 school.
At Unsworth, we aim to offer the children many different sporting opportunities and they will be able to access these throughout the year. Many thanks to all the children and staff involved last year – a year in which we earned the Gold Mark for school sport
Here are the sports clubs for Autumn 1:
Monday lunchtime – y5/6 – girls football
Tuesday lunchtime- Y5/6 – boys football
Wednesday lunchtime- y5/6 – netball
Wednesday lunchtime – y3 – badminton
Wednesday after school – y3/4 tag rugby
Thursday lunchtime – y5/6 tag rugby
Please encourage your child to attend these clubs and give them a try
Welcome back to the new academic year where at Unsworth we want to offer your children the very best opportunities for music. I will continue to visit school every Tuesday working with individual Year groups and leading full school ‘Big Sing’ assemblies.
Today Year 2 had their first Ocarina lesson! The Ocarina is a small plastic instrument with 4 holes, and is an ideal instrument for KS1 children to learn. Children will also learn about musical notation and elements of music such as ‘Pitch’ and ‘Rhythm.’
Year 3 had their second recorder lesson this morning. The children are already making amazing progress, as they are able to build on the Ocarina skills they developed in Year 2.
We are delighted to have on board exciting instrumental teachers offering a super range of instruments from children in Y1-6. In our assembly today we welcomed Dave from ‘Fidler Music’ who gave a fantastic demonstration to the children on learning the Ukulele and Guitar. The children were spellbound when he started playing ‘ Despacito’ and other popular songs. I can highly recommend ‘Fidler Music’ as they visit some of the other schools in our Music Collaborative and are very reasonably priced. Each child in Y1 and Y2 has a letter about how they can sign up for lessons with this organisation. Interested children in Key Stage 2 chose to take a letter home.
Year 5 had their Brass session today. We welcome back Mr Watkins, who is a Brass specialist and will be working with Y5 all year as part of the Wider Opportunities Programme. Parents will have received a letter asking permission for children to take their instruments home, so please return the reply slip to school as soon as possible if you haven’t already done so.
Choral group will recommence at lunchtime on Tuesdays for any children in Years 5 and 6 that wish to come and sing. We do request that children who sign up for choir remain in it until the end of term, as we have already been invited to participate in numerous events, particularly in the run up to Christmas. You may like to ‘Save the date’ Monday 11th December, as our choir will be performing at Bury Parish Church in the ‘Bury Hospice’ annual Carol Service. This is always a wonderful event, and I know from experience, children do get very disappointed if they rehearse all the songs and carols, and are then unable to sing at the actual event.
If you wish to speak to me about any musical matters please call in between 8 and 9 am any Tuesday. We truly value music education at School and strive once again this year to give your child the very best opportunities to shine.
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 website.
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.
The first week in September is a special time in school. The wider school staff have worked hard over the summer to make sure school is shiny and new for our children returning this week. On Wednesday morning our classrooms were ready to receive our children for another school year.
It is always lovely to see everyone arrive on the playground on the first morning of the school year. Our children looked very smart in their brand new uniforms and were excited to start in their new classes. Our Reception class have settled in very well.
In our first whole-school assembly, we spoke about our school motto, our five core values and our golden rules. As usual, the children were able to talk about these things with confidence and understanding. It’s a great pleasure to listen to their wise words.
As the week progressed, the children agreed their class rules and reward systems. They also decide on the types of sanctions they think are fair if they make poor choices. They really do understand how their good behaviour contributes to their learning.
As the week ended, the children started to use their new exercise books. These have been personalised with our school motto and have shiny new covers which the children love! They take a lot of pride in producing their personal best work in their ‘learning windows’.
We are looking forward to another successful year for our children and our school.
Year 4 have been creating their own games. The children have worked really well using a lot of skills, programming characters to move, fire objects, speak etc. using simple algorithms. Some of the children have also used repeat commands and variables such as scoring systems/ vanishing characters if they get hit. If you would like to play their games, please use a QR reader and scan the code.
BK EA FM
MT SMS ERR
AT AW LS MJ
JAF MA DI
ERR MT SMS
AK JF TH
JM DH MK
EB MT MR SN
OE JH AH
The Unsworth boy’s team played fantastically well today as a team. We took a team of 10 players to Greenhill; it was a tough decision to only select a starting 7.
This was the quarter final match, having previously defeated Holcombe Brook and Chesham. Unsworth got off to a strong start, passing the ball well and created lots of scoring opportunities. Unsworth took a deserved 3-0 lead into half time, as well as hitting the woodwork 3 times!
The second half followed suit as the team raced into a 6-1 lead. The whole squad contributed to a collective team effort although there were some excellent individual performances too. This was evident as there were 6 different scorers – a few brilliant strikes and team goals!
A lot of credit must go to Greenhill who didn’t give up and scored 2 late consolation goals. Final score Greenhill 3-6 Unsworth.
We eagerly await the semi final draw! Congratulations once again to the team.
As the Easter break starts we can reflect on the fact that we are now two thirds of the way through the academic year. Our Reception class are now settled and confident in school and our Y6 pupils are approaching some big changes and challenges ahead. During this last week we held our progress evenings with parents and carers from Y1 to Y6. During the meetings, we asked parents to complete an Ofsted-style questionnaire in order to seek views on a range of issues. We have analysed the results and we are delighted with the overwhelming support we have received. If you would like to read the report then you can find it here.
During this term, we have worked hard to provide the children with a range of memorable experiences. We have increased the sporting activities for our pupils which culminated in our pupils taking part in the Greater Manchester School Games. We have also enjoyed hearing about their achievements in football, rugby, netball and cross country. Many of our Y5 and Y6 pupils have achieved their level 1 and 2 Bikeability awards after improving their cycling skills on the road. Our Y4 pupils continue with their weekly swimming lessons and will do so until the end of the year, when it is our aim that every one of them will be able to swim.
In addition to sport, we have also planned opportunities for the children to develop their skills in other areas of the curriculum. Our choir continues to work with Miss Geelan and we are planning an event involving the Halle later next term; many of our children are enjoying learning to play instruments with Miss Geelan and with tutors from Fiddler Music and Bury Music Service. In February, we enjoyed great feedback from our parents when we held our Great Unsworth Exhibition. During the weeks before the exhibition, we worked to develop the children’s design and technology skills as inventors. They proved to be both skilful and creative.
We were pleased, this term, to be awarded the E-Safety Award in recognition of our work with the children. This week we asked Bury Teaching School Alliance colleagues to conduct a safeguarding review in our school. The aim was to test our procedures, our policies and our staff knowledge of the whole safeguarding arena. During the process children were asked about how the school helps them to keep safe. They were clear that they felt safe in school, knew that they had people to speak to and that they understood the issues around bullying and e-safety.
During the summer term, we will continue to provide the children with a broad curriculum experience. We will also be planning a number of end of year trips for them to enjoy. During the term there will be a number of class assemblies culminating in a very emotional final assembly from our Y6 class. In the meantime, enjoy your Easter break-we will see you again in a few weeks.
Tag rugby tournament March 2017
The squad of 11 (7 boys and 4 girls) tag rugby players were superb today! The children are developing their skills with every game in individual skills, teamwork and tactics. It was great to see some new players represent Unsworth for the first time too. 8 schools competed today in 2 groups of 4.
Unsworth 1-0 Greenmount – A fantastic win against the holders of the competition
Unsworth 3-1 Guardian Angels
Unsworth 4-0 Old Hall
Unsworth 2-0 Gorsefield
Unworth 0-2 Greenmount
It really was a pleasure to see the children celebrate their victories but also show good sportsmanship throughout, enjoying every minute. They should be proud of their efforts!