Learning Together with Kind Hearts and Determined Minds
Newsletter – September 2018
As our final Reception children begin their school journey I would like to welcome both new parents and existing parents to a new school year. I hope that you all had a wonderful break over the summer and managed to get some time as a family without the pressures of term time.
The children have settled well into their new classes with new routines, new classmates and teachers. We even have some newly decorated and furnished classrooms and work areas which have been improved during the summer holidays. Our playground now features some amazing new equipment which has extended the trim trail: extremely challenging monkey bars, a spider’s web and a rope swing; the children are enjoying improving their skills and strength. The revamped swimming pool area now boasts a beautiful mural and its cover is enabling us to extend our swimming lessons beyond the summer months with Y5/6 swimming this term. The pool will then close over the winter reopening in February when it will be used by other year groups, local schools and swimming coaches after school.
Last academic year was a year of remarkable achievement for staff, pupils and the whole school community. As well as securing the Silver Sports Mark, individual pupils surpassed themselves yet again in music exams, 3 Year 6 pupils achieving Grade 5 – an outstanding standard for children this young. Our long-awaited Ofsted inspection confirmed that we are a ‘Good’ school and were on the verge of ‘Outstanding’. Areas of excellent practice and leadership (senior leaders, middle leader and governors) were noted in particular our “unrelenting ambition to secure best possible outcomes for all pupils” our “strong family ethos” and “strongly inclusive culture” were highlighted. In parent questionnaires positive comments included:
“There is an overriding feeling of belonging and family” and
“This is an excellent school – all our children have flourished here both academically and socially.”
Exciting Learning Experiences have been launched in all year groups: Year 1/2 are reading “The Tiger Who came to Tea” and learning about food and the Jewish festival of Sukkot; Year 3/4 are designing toys for Disney, exploring circuits and persuading ‘dragons’ to invest in their idea and Year 5/6 are linking heart-stopping moments in tense narratives to the mechanics of the heart in biology.
Our first assembly this term challenged children to go “Above and Beyond” with exemplary behaviour and manners. Already our well-behaved pupils are rising to this challenge and are looking for new ways to be grateful, friendly and helpful. Voting for House Captains has taken place; this position allows our oldest children to rise to new responsibilities, setting high standards and helping other children to also be exemplary. The candidates had all produced a campaign video which included their pledge; the quality of their videos was amazing and they should all be very proud of themselves. Amongst other responsibilities, these young leaders will take house assemblies once a term preparing games and speeches which will motivate their house members to work hard and earn House Points. Once a term the house with the most points receives a reward to recognise their hard work and effort. Later on this week Sports Captains will be chosen and next week; School Councillors elected and all the other positions of responsibility filled after analysing the children’s applications.
This year we have introduced Personal Best Booklets which enable the children to track their progress in P.E. The booklets take a Heart – Head – Hands approach.
HEAD – Thinking/Creative
- Decision makers
- Independent thinkers
HEART – Social/Emotional/Health
- Showing positive behaviours/Attitudes
- Developing character/Values
- Developing healthy active lifestyles – Habits
HANDS – Physical/Competent
- Physically literate
- Age/Stage relevant – Development
Throughout the year the children will be working through bronze, silver and gold levels in gymnastics, dance and games and reflecting on their progress.
On Saturday ‘Music on the Meadow’ took place providing, once again, a relaxing afternoon; I am sure you will join me in congratulating the PTA for putting on yet another wonderful event for us to enjoy.
The week commencing the 1st October will be a Whole School Maths Learning Experience on the theme of Time. We are linking Maths and Literacy by studying an intriguing picture book called "Tuesday" by David Weisner; this fantastical tale involves frogs rising on their lily pads, floating through the air, and exploring the nearby houses while their inhabitants sleep.
All classes will refine their understanding of telling the time and solving problems about time in real-life contexts such as calculating the time taken to complete certain activities, reading timetables and line graphs featuring time and calculating timings in recipes. Skills required to work with time range from using the vocabulary necessary to sequence events such as the names of the days of the week, months of the year and words like 'after', 'next' and 'first'. KS1 pupils learn to tell the time first to the hour and half past, then eventually to five minutes including quarter past and to the hour; KS2 pupils develop this understanding and learn how to convert from hours to minutes, minutes to seconds, years to months and weeks to days. We will also have fun with many practical activities using clocks, stopwatches and timers and converting between analogue and digital 12-hour and 24-hour clocks.
This week would be a perfect opportunity for your child to wear their watch to school; an analogue watch would be preferable.
Prospective parents, of reception age children, who would like to visit our school and learn about our vision, values and curriculum are invited to attend one of our open events: Thursday 18th October in the evening or Tuesday 20th November in the morning. We will be delighted to meet you and show you our extensive grounds and facilities. Please contact the school office if you would like to make an appointment for one of these events or for an individual tour with myself – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01732 883459.
Open Classrooms will take place on the 16th October between 3:30 – 4:30. Please note this is a change of date from the one previously advertised. Open Classroom sessions give you a chance to visit the classrooms with your child so they can show you their work both in their books and around the classroom. This is also an opportunity to catch up with your child’s teacher in an informal setting.
Another date for your diaries is our popular Christmas Fair – this year on Saturday 8th December. We are looking forward to some festive fun and Year 5/6 are already thinking about the products they will be offering on sale. Nearer the date, our PTA will publish more information about how to book your own stall at the fair. Please check the school calendar and class tabs for more information on what is happening in school.
Headteacher, Borough Green Primary