Friday 16th October 2020
Mr Marks, the Deputy Head Teacher, writes...
Dear Parents and Carers,
It is fair to say that the staff are ready for the break and so are the children. Although we haven’t had some of the ‘extra’ curriculum things we would normally fit into Autumn One, such as trips and visitors, we have tried to keep it as close to ‘business as usual’ as possible but at the same time, we’ve worked hard to keep safe and stick to the new guidelines. All of that, coupled with preparing home learning resources, updating the risk assessment regularly, preparing a new way for parents evening to run and having endless discussions about Covid related issues, it isn’t at all surprising we are ready for the break!
As I am writing this, 91% of children have a parents’ evening appointment booked for next week. The booking for the two evenings (20th and 22nd October) closes on Sunday and I am hoping that the number will be at 100% by then. The system seems to have worked well so far and we are crossing our fingers that we don’t have a power cut during one of the evenings! The teachers are busy preparing some things to be sent home on Monday, prior to all the appointments, and they are looking forward to speaking with you all next week.
One way we look at standards across the school is by using an approach called a learning walk. Quite simply, this is where a member of staff walks through the school, visiting classrooms, normally looking at something specific. Each visit is for about ten minutes and it helps that member of staff to get an idea of what is happening on a daily basis in school around their particular focus.
Mr Eardley and I completed a learning walk early on in the term, looking at classroom expectations, routines and how children had settled into their new classes. The member of staff completing the learning walk makes notes, gives feedback to the staff and decides on any areas in need of improvement. We would normally speak with the children during these visits but we need to stick to the guidelines. Adults completing a learning walk keep their distance and make sure they do not spend too long in any one room.
This week Miss Wyatt (UKS2 Team Leader and Maths Lead) completed a learning walk, looking at maths across the school. She was very pleased with the quality of teaching and learning she saw and it has reinforced for her the importance of using full sentences when children answer problems. This will now become something she will support staff with. Next week, Mrs Edwards (Reading Lead) will be visiting classrooms to look at reading and Ms Harries (SENDco/Inclusion Lead) will be popping in to see how support staff are utilised across the school.
My assembly this week was about Ada Lovelace as the 13th October was International Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Her story is fascinating and I hope the children will be able to tell you a little bit about her tonight.
Have a great weekend everybody!
Deputy Head Teacher