Message from CEO – 13 May 2018
Thinking ahead to Key Stage 2 English and mathematics SATs this week made me reflect for a moment not only on the tests’ undoubted importance for our pupils, staff and our schools. It also reminded me these tests capture just some of the high quality academic, social, emotional and spiritual learning our teachers, TAs and staff work with such thought, ambition and skill to enable our pupils to experience.
The imaginative ways Y6 teachers and teams across our Trust have been designing learning to support pupils in their preparation for SATs is exemplified by this fantastic grammar, punctuation and spelling booklet Y6 Peregrine Class, at St John and St Francis Church School, worked together to produce.
The booklet shows not only the depth and breadth of pupils’ understanding. The lively, imaginative ways pupils share their knowledge evidence their enjoyment of and confidence in what they have learnt. The way they set additional challenges for each other suggest many are potential teachers of the future.
Following their hard work and excellent approach to the Key Stage 1 SATs last week, pupils from Year 2, joined by Y1 and Reception, at St John the Evangelist Church School spent a day with dinosaurs, a project chosen by pupils and designed with staff.
It was an amazing day. Pupils were absorbed by and fascinated to learn how to excavate dinosaur bones. They became palaeontologists, discovered amazing facts about prehistoric times and, having met a ‘real’ one, explored what it was like to be a dinosaur.
Pupils at Bishops Lydeard Church School were fortunate to receive a fantastic box of colourful Christian books for their school library last week, presented to children by Paula Renaulf, Director of the ‘Speaking Volumes’ charity. Paula formerly attended Bishops Lydeard Church School as a pupil. After her presentation, Paula was given a tour of the school by pupil ambassadors. Owl Class were delighted Paula also spent time with them finding out about their learning in RE.
Year 5 and 6 young engineers from Freshford Church School spent a great day at Renishaw racing pupils from other schools in the Greenpower Goblin go-karts they had built. In the morning, pupils proved their drag and slalom driving skills. After lunch, some daring overtaking moves and tight racing lines led to 1st place in the Sprint knockout. As a result, Freshford were crowned overall winners of the whole event. Congratulations to these young engineers. Thank you also to the parents and carers who have given their time and skill to running the after school engineering club.
It was wonderful to hear how the Mathematics Development Days, led by Gareth Metcalfe, motivated and supported teachers and Subject Leaders’ learning about mathematics. Rebekah reflected the comments of many in her summary of what she was taking away from the day: ‘Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations, or algorithms: it is about understanding! I discovered so many games that will not only allow children opportunities to develop skills and understanding, but will engage them and make mathematics fun.’
Kingshill Church School’s ‘Good’ inspection outcome was ratified this week. Congratulations to all at the school. Your report acknowledges and celebrates how you all – Head teacher, leaders, governors, teachers, staff and pupils – are working together to build on the school’s strengths, achieving outcomes we have ambitions to achieve for our Trust overall:
‘Pupils are clearly very proud of their school. They find lessons interesting and challenging….Highly effective teaching results in consistently strong outcomes at the end of Key Stage 2. Attainment in reading, writing and mathematics was significantly above average last year. Progress in reading and writing has been in the top 20% of schools nationally for the past two years.’
In next week’s update, I will share information about recent Head teacher appointments for the coming academic year.
Finally, this week, I am looking forward to welcoming all of our Head teachers, including those from our newly formed Bath Hub, to our Academy Leaders’ Day on Friday 18th May at Dillington House. It will be an exciting, challenging day, fuelled by our talented leaders’ ideas. It is always amazing listening to Head teachers sharing examples of best practice from your classrooms and schools. It will be wonderful to witness the commitment with which they plan how, through their leadership and your skills, we can work together into the future, to reach further, to achieve the highest quality academic, social, emotional and spiritual learning for every pupil, in every classroom, every day in every school and hub across our Trust.