Message from CEO – 3 December 2017
Thanks to the hard work, high aspirations and creativity of teachers, leaders, Teaching Assistants and staff, pupils across our Trust are demonstrating a thirst for and love of learning.
Year 3 and 4 children at St John the Evangelist Clevedon were delighted to welcome Ali Ball, a local Egyptologist, this week. Ali led practical Ancient Egyptian maths workshops: pupils learnt to read hieroglyph numbers – reading and counting from 1 to infinity; some played Bingo in teams, translating numbers up to 100,000 from hieroglyphs and calling out “bingo” in Egyptian! Other pupils discovered the Ancient Egyptians used a number system similar to ours, based on 10, and used this to record complex pyramid-building calculations.
On Wednesday, Wembdon St George’s Church School held a ‘Mathmagical’ open morning for pupils, parents and carers. There was a real buzz around the school as parents and pupils worked together, exploring creative, engaging and challenging approaches to developing mathmagical understanding. These images and reflections from pupils capture the essence of the morning.
‘This was the best maths lesson ever. Can we do it again?’
‘I really enjoyed doing maths with my mum.’
‘We had to crack the code to get into the box. It was great fun.’
This term, Wembdon St George’s is focusing on developing teaching and learning through collaboration: Y5 and 6 staff are planning, observing lessons, reflecting on their own teaching and developing inspiring way to motivate learners with other teachers from the Taunton Hub – ‘Blue Planet’ has really captured pupils imaginations and made them keen to learn more; Y1 and 2 teachers are working collaboratively on the teaching and learning of Phonics with a South Somerset hub school and a small group of Y5 and Y6 pupils have been chosen to become ‘Academy Leaders’ – visiting and finding out about teaching and learning in another Taunton school.
This week, pupils at Holy Trinity Church School in Yeovil started to take home Posada boxes to celebrate the coming of Christmas with their families. ‘Posada’ means ‘inn’ in Spanish. Posada celebrations originated in Mexico where two young people were chosen to dress up as Mary and Joseph, travel from house to house in their village – telling people about the imminent arrival of Jesus and asking if they had a room for Him. The modern day equivalent encourages people to give a home to the Nativity figures for a night. This symbolises making room for Jesus in our lives, our homes and our communities.
On Friday, Head teachers from all of our schools worked collaboratively to plan the next steps in the development of leadership, learning and teaching across our Trust. Thank you for the quality of your input about how we work together most effectively and, particularly, how we can develop the best quality provision for pupils across our Trust in receipt of the Pupil Premium grant. Thank you to all at St James who shared how the school is setting the highest expectations for its Pupil Premium pupils and what teachers and leaders are doing to enable children to achieve these. Thanks also to St James amazing Y6 teacher, Jess, who inspired us all with her passion, skill and commitment to supporting the learning needs of her pupils.
In every classroom, every school, every hub, every day, it is what you all – teachers, support staff and leaders – do that has the potential to make learning happen, to make learning come alive for our pupils. When we get it right, a creative, imaginative, challenging curriculum nurtures mind, body and spirit, high quality teaching responds to learners needs and interests, learning environments motivate and inspire, written and verbal feedback celebrate each pupil’s progress and set clear, ambitious next steps. Together these create a thirst for and a love of learning in our pupils that opens up the way for them to reach to achieve their very best.