News - 24 NOV 2016
Dear Parents and Carers
Things seem to be speeding up as we approach Christmas, with only 3½ weeks to go until the end of term! There are lots of exciting activities with class assemblies, nativities and carol services to come, not to mention science challenges, pantomimes, quizzes, Christmas Fairs, mufti days, Christmas tree Sales, Christmas lunches, rock concerts, singing on the Village Green and REACH assemblies! Term finishes on Wednesday 21st December at 1.30pm.
Staff will attend a training day at Woolmer Hill School on the morning of Tuesday 3rd January 2017, returning to St Mary’s for afternoon meetings and further training. Children return to school on Wednesday 4th January, ready for the start of the spring term.
Mrs Newton was out of school on Tuesday, consulting with and engaging in training and moderation with other Year 6 teachers. This is especially useful for a one-form entry school, such as St Mary’s where there is only one teacher per year group and it gives teachers an opportunity to share ideas, look at the work done in other schools, including topics covered and compare marking and feedback styles.
Reception parents met Mrs Lawrence this week for feedback about their children’s progress in their first term in school. Children have made a good start and settled well, which is testament to the success of Mrs Lawrence’s transition programme along with parents’ support and encouragement.
School Governors met on Tuesday evening when Miss Hughes gave feedback about the developments in Computing and E-safety and I reported, on behalf of Mrs Lawrence, her response to relevant sections of the Ofsted report.
On Wednesday afternoon, Mrs Buckley attended a SENDCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)s’ network meeting at Beacon Hill School, where she shared information about how to support pupils with specific learning difficulties.
On Thursday, Year 6 children presented a brilliant science assembly on the subject of light which was very topical at this time of year! Well done Year 6 pupils and thank you to Mrs Newton and Year 6 colleagues.
This morning, I attended a Confederation Heads’ Planning meeting, where I met with the Heads of other confederation schools to discuss achievements within the confederation and begin formulating a new action plan for the group of schools in the New Year.
Congratulations to those pupils that attended the cross country event at Glebelands School last Saturday. Although they just missed out on medals, there were some sterling efforts, worthy of commendation, from Scott, Henry, Barnaby and Isaac. Well done to participants and thank you to Mrs Wright! More about this in Mrs Wright’s report below.
Thank you to those of you that attended Thursday evening’s meeting for feedback following the Ofsted inspection report. I am indebted to the many parents who have continued to write in support of the school this week, and to those of you that have shared your concerns with Ofsted. I expect to hear from the Complaints Team by 30th December and will let you know the outcome as soon as I have any more information. It is not unknown for complaints to go unheeded, and we will need to be prepared for this, but, together with your support, we could not have done any more to press for a re-inspection and a more justified report.
Finally, I assure you that we will, of course, continue to work hard and aspire to improve the school still further. We will continue to embed ‘thinking schools’ learning principles to extend and challenge pupils according to their ability, encouraging them to reflect, formulate questions of their own and respond in depth to questions posed of them. Some examples of our extension activities include science challenge days, maths group work with senior school students, teaching opportunities in computing/IT and ‘Able Writers’ Days; the latter next to be held at Chandler School, on Friday 2 December, when some of our able writers in Years 5 and 6 will attend. We wish them luck and hope they enjoy their day!
Have a great weekend!