Message From CEO – 15 March 2020
This week I want to frame the emphasis that Ofsted have now placed on skills progression and knowledge in the context of the Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust.
We have always placed a high value and strong emphasis on a broad and balanced curriculum, as illustrated each week in this blog. Planning sequences of learning to structure the progression of skills and knowledge we want pupils to learn, is undoubtedly critical.
However, the Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust curriculum is tailored so that it also enables and promotes:
Application – provide opportunities to apply in a range of contexts makes knowledge and skills powerful tools to solve complex problems
Balance – intellectual, moral, spiritual, aesthetic, creative, emotional and physical development as equally important
Relevance – connect the curriculum to the pupils being taught by both drawing on the school context and community and providing experiences and horizons beyond that context
Appropriateness – matches the level of challenge to current knowledge and experience, secures next steps based on accurate assessment
Coherence – makes explicit cross curricular connections between subjects and experiences. A curriculum is not just linear but cross curricular, complex and connected
Read on to see some of the wonderful curricular experiences you are providing for our pupils across our Trust…
At Churchfield Nursery World Book Day celebrations were shared with parents, staff and children. Nursery staff discussed opportunities to bring books to their families lives. They discussed the value of books and ways in which reading stories at home supports early development.
The Churchfield Nursery team made the story of ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea,’ come to life, with a great interactive performance. They finished the session with a wonderful cream tea.
Parent comments included:
I thoroughly enjoyed the tiger came to tea, tea party. Kids enjoyed it and joined in at places I got right into it too. Well done to the staff at playing the roles comically it was fun. Great fun to encourage reading. 10/10.
Thank you for inviting us to the book day story this morning – the tiger who came to tea. You were all amazing, it was very well thought of and was lovely to see all the children enjoying it. I think all the events you do are fantastic, and love being involved as a parent in stuff.
As part of the recent Book Week, Year 5 pupils at Churchfield Church School enjoyed a visit from the author Fleur Hitchcock. In the assembly Fleur talked to the children about how she had the idea of being an author and kindly signed copies of her book.
Pupils expressed their views:
“It shows that we can write books even if we feel like we can’t.”
“It was very inspiring and interesting.”
“It was very inspiring, educational and interesting.”
“A very inspiring experience.”
A group of children from St James Church School in Taunton participated in the World Day of Prayer Service at St James Church. The children sang and recited poetry beautifully to the congregation, including the Mayor. They loved trying on the Mayor’s livery collar after the service.
Cary Class at St Andrew’s Church School in Taunton have been busy investigating 3D shapes and working out what the Snail wrote in his diary about meeting the Whale.
Year 6 children from St John and St Francis Church School travelled to Swindon’s STEAM museum for a WW2 experience day entitled ‘We’ll Meet Again’. A fantastic day of learning was had by all. The children were immersed into the 1940s through dressing up, taking rationed lunches, role play and handling real life artefacts.
The school has just been acclaimed as the number one school in Samsung’s Energy in School initiative for saving energy.
As part of their science work, Batheaston Church School have been busy writing menus for carnivores including ‘orange tiger juice’, ‘lion nuts’, ‘bear sundae’ and ‘dog stew’!
Cherry Class are enjoying voting in class – which book shall we read next?
Their sandpit is also now open and was welcomed by some sunshine!
Last week, Hawks base at St John the Evangelist Church School received a fantastic visitor – Sol the dragon! The children trained Sol, solved the mystery and created short movies which involved running away from dragons and avoiding their fiery breath.
St Vigor & St John Church School were busy all week, as all pupils were motivated to meet the challenge set by British Science Week. Children were set the task of building the strongest tree, with the most effective canopy, that would hold the most ‘monkeys’. The winning team will take their entry to the North Somerset Science Challenge Finals later this month. They also held Fingerprint workshops, extracted the DNA of Kiwi Fruit, ran a Stargazing evening and immersed themselves in the Explorer Dome.
On Monday last week, St Andrew’s Church School in Bath kick-started STEAM week by celebrating STEAM day. Children across the school worked in mixed aged groups throughout the day and thoroughly enjoyed collaborating together.
They participated in a number of different science, technology, engineering, art and maths activities: from finger printing, making paper people, creating ships from cubes, exploring our diverse school through flag making and understanding how animals adapt to suit harsh environments like penguins in Antarctica! The day was finishes with a chance to celebrate their learning in assembly.
Seth said —’I drew people they were all diverse– thank you Emily for helping me’
Kiera said—’I made a spider it was perfectly symmetrical. When they hatch they make a parachute from a web!’
The Explorer Dome visited St Andrew’s in Bath this week as part of STEAM week and took the children on a journey across the planet Earth. The theme was ‘Our Diverse Planet’. During the session, the children learned all about adaptation and food chains; and how the removal of one species, no matter how small can create a huge impact. The big message was to do our bit to look after the world we love.
The curriculum you share each week not only plans for skills and knowledge but promotes application, provides balance, is relevant, is appropriate to pupils next steps and is coherent – connect learning in complex cross curricular ways.
Thank you, the learning you plan for pupils across our Trust is inspiring.
I understand how worried you all are about Coronavirus and how this might impact you, your family, school and class. Please be reassured that the Trust and Headteachers are working together to do all we can to support you and your pupils, and to plan for future developments.
On Friday school leaders and the Central team spent time planning for the impact of Coronavirus. Headteachers will share further guidance with you next week in relation to Trust wide, Hub and school activities, together with further clarity about how we can support each other and manage staff and pupil absences. A letter went out to all parents from the Trust and each individual Headteacher on Friday, outlining the position at the moment. More detailed Trust guidance has been provided to Headteachers and individual schools have drawn up action plans where local decision making is required. Thank to everyone who has contributed to this and particularly to Headteachers for sharing their planning and collaborating across the Trust for the benefit of all schools.