Message From CEO – 11 March 2018
On Friday 9 March, it was wonderful to welcome our Head teachers to an Academy Leaders’ Day at Cannington Court. The day was spent exploring what is at the heart of our Trust: providing a creative, innovative, engaging curriculum and the best possible offer for every BWMAT pupil.
Head teachers worked collaboratively on the shared themes that underpin each of our schools’ creative curriculum: project-based learning; teachers as learners; families and communities; pupils’ involvement; assessment into learning and creative ways of using learning spaces, the length of lessons and technology. They explored the skills, qualities and attributes we want for all our pupils, how we prepare them for the transition to secondary school and life in the 21st century. Ian Doswell shared an inspiring film featuring the pupils of St John’s who were asked: ‘How do I learn best’. Pupil responses were thought provoking and at times unexpected. They ranged from learning in small groups, being in a quiet environment, wanting cooking lessons to being allowed to write freely without the constraints of planning.
The day generated many fantastic ideas, all of which have pupils’ learning, development and personal growth at their heart. It was inspiring to be part of such a buzzing atmosphere that enabled and encouraged Head teachers to learn from one another. Heads left excited to share outcomes from the day with teams in school.
Pupils and teachers at St John’s have been taking part in an ongoing STEM and Mathmagical project which has included STEM Ambassadors, engineers from across the South West, working alongside Year 5 and 6 children to make electronic moving vehicles. Year 3 and 4 children took the lead on a project researching hedgehogs’ survival and the threats they currently face. This week pupils carried out science experiments into forces and energy, using this knowledge to design a hedgehog buggy that would transport a hedgehog through a series of fences. Children from across the school worked in mixed age teams to build the buggy powered by an elastic band. The process included lots of magical maths: careful measuring to make sure the axel and wheels were placed correctly to ensure maximum speed and distance travelled; calculating distances and ordering positions of races. The winning team, below, will represent the school at the regional Hedgehog Buggy final at the University of Bristol next week.
This week we have also seen the launch of our first Wellbeing topic of the term as part of the development of the Trust’s health and well-being offer. The focus for this term is ‘internet safety’. When you have a moment, please visit the Health and Wellbeing section within SharePoint to access all the topic information for staff, pupils, parents and carers. Posters and leaflets will also be available and accessible in staff rooms. Next term’s wellbeing focus will be Mental Health and Stress Management.
To return to our Academy Leaders’ Day, thank you to everyone who attended for your energy, enthusiasm and commitment. Special thanks go to Helen Bath and Lisa Farley who took the time to create and share their films and to Ian Doswell and Adam Beauford who planned and led the day. It will be exciting to see our leaders share their expertise with their teams in schools and hear how each draws on this to further develop their curriculum offer and the skills, qualities and attributes of our Trust’s pupils into the future.