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Friday 29th April 2022

Mr Marks, the Deputy Headteacher, writes...

Dear Parents and Carers,

Another week in school has flown by, and it has been a productive and happy five days at Orton Wistow. 

Looking through the tweets coming through from the Grafham trip confirms my suspicions that they were going to have an amazing time. You are all welcome to follow any class Twitter feeds across the school and following the classes in your child's next year group can give you an insight into what they will experience from September. I spoke with Mr. Cowles yesterday and he said the children had been great, following the PRIDE code and making the most of all the activities. 

The OWN Trust recently organised for nine schools in Peterborough to come together to work on a Schools Partnership Project (SPP). Leaders from across the schools visited other settings to focus on a specific element of each school's practice with the goal of giving constructive and honest feedback on what appears to be working well and where the school could improve. We had our visit back in January and this week we had our 90-day check-in to discuss what progress we had made. Our focus was on maths and opportunities for children to improve their fluency skills and be challenged throughout the lessons. All teachers gave feedback, and it is clear that the suggested next steps have already been implemented, and it is an improving picture.

It is important to mention that the team members were overwhelmingly positive in their initial feedback about the quality of maths teaching that was happening in the school and how polite and respectful the pupils were. These latest adjustments are about fine-tuning our practice to make the most of each maths lesson. Our next steps will be to create opportunities for support staff to quickly plug gaps following feedback after lessons and to use pre-teaching to prepare children for what is coming next. 

My assembly this morning was a return to Buckets, Dippers and Lids. When I originally did a series of assemblies on this back in the Autumn term, the children all responded really well to the idea that we all have a bucket that holds our happiness and our choices can either help to fill the bucket or empty it. I have had lots of conversations with children since then about things that have happened that have affected their happiness, and they often talk about their bucket. We talked today about the important part we play in helping others and making good choices to make our school a safe and happy place to be. The children could remember how a negative choice results in their dipper taking happiness from their own bucket and other people's buckets and how they can use their lid to protect themselves and others by being strong in difficult situations and by being an upstander if they see someone else being treated badly. Please ask them about this at home over the weekend, and maybe you could mention how your bucket is filled up every time they make a good choice, especially one that makes others smile. 

Have a great long weekend everyone!

Mr Marks 

Deputy Headteacher

Photo by Mike Cassidy on Unsplash