Next week’s value is Kindness
“The islanders showed us kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold”. Acts 28:2
Our first full week back and things are ramping up! Children are working hard, nowhere more so than in Years 2 and 6, where they are focusing all of their efforts on their learning, with a view to doing as well as they possibly can in the May SATS tests. Year 2 and Year 6 parents should look out for more information about SATS this week, but the over-riding message is to ‘Eat Well, Sleep Well and Stay Calm’!
We are fortunate to have had good enough weather, on Tuesday, for the school photographs to be staged outdoors. Thank you to Mrs Bishop for her organisational skills - it’s a mammoth task to ensure every class in school is photographed, whilst still maintaining order and making the most of all learning time!
On Thursday, we were treated to an extraordinary class assembly performance from Reception G. Taking account of their age and inexperience, the children presented confidently and with enthusiasm, on the subject of ‘bears’, showing that they have learnt a great deal about these animals! Thank you to Reception, Miss Griffiths and Mrs Johnson, for all your hard work and to Year 6 pupils (Daniel and Jake) who helped solve a technical hitch, so that it did not impede or detract from the performance.
Some of our teachers have been out of school this week, for further training in the assessment of writing and to participate in moderating their teacher assessments against other schools within the Haslemere Confederation.
School leaders and teaching staff have also been consulting on marking and feedback systems. We aim to continue to provide meaningful feedback for pupils to enable them to make good progress, whilst, at the same time, eliminating unnecessary and unproductive workload for teachers. We referred to a report of the independent teacher workload review group (March 2016) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/511256/Eliminating-unnecessary-workload-around-marking.pdf
The report suggests that marking should be:
- manageable for teachers
- meaningful and motivating for pupils
The teacher standards say that ‘teachers should give pupils regular feedback both orally and through accurate marking, and pupils should respond to feedback’
We are interpreting the above such that, although we will still provide appropriate and ‘proportionate’ written feedback, we will endeavour to give even more feedback, on the spot, through oral response to children’s work in the classroom and we will provide even more immediate follow-up support where required.
Children were also consulted on what works for them and their responses included:
- If I don’t understand something, (I would like to) go in a group the next day to work on it again.
- Mark it ourselves because then I find out what I’ve got right and wrong and can get better next time.
- Talk to us and mark our work.
- Talk Partner marking our work for us.
- Highlighters – I know I’ve got it when it’s green, and I need more help if it’s orange.
- Talk to us and explain in the lesson if we don’t understand.
- Spellings on a post it note.
- I don’t like you writing comments because the lesson has gone and I forget what we were learning about.
- Working in groups with teacher or TA if we don’t get it.
- Working on my own if I know what to do.
- I like the questioning - reinforces learning - double checks we understand it
- Self-assessment is a bonus - makes reflection easier
- Reflective comments are sometimes quite difficult - we have a brilliant lesson and feel like sometimes we are writing for the sake of it
- Stop writing comments and talk to me!
As an outcome of these consultations we have produced new assessment guidelines, a copy of which is attached for your information. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
The new Judo club, run by ‘Kinsa Judo’, started on Tuesday morning. A surprising number of pupils have registered to participate and we are conscious that this puts even more strain on our entry and security systems. Please do not use the staff car park for parking or turning and be very vigilant when walking across the car park towards the school hall. Please keep hold of young children at all times. Thank you for your cooperation. On the subject of transport and safety, it has been noticed that some parents allow children to ride in the front seats of cars, without a seat belt, whilst travelling quite fast. Please, please ensure that your child is properly strapped in and teach them the importance of seat-belt restraints as potentially life-saving devices. It is also a legal requirement to wear a seat-belt.
Finally, if your child walks to and from school unaccompanied, are you confident that they are mature enough to be trusted to behave sensibly and safely? A small number of children have been witnessed climbing on equipment in the park and community areas, sometimes showing little regard for others and displaying no urgency to arrive in school on time. We would like to remind you that the responsibility for children lies with parents, before and after school hours. The school gate opens at 8.30am and school starts, with the opening of registers at 8.35am. Thank you for your cooperation.
Next week, we are looking forward to a visit from Mr Tony Billings, the new Chief Executive Officer of the Good Shepherd Trust. Mr Billings will meet our Chair of Governors and will write to parents in due course.
Have a lovely weekend!