Message from CEO – 26/11/17
So many people across our Trust – pupils, teachers, leaders and parents – have been setting the highest expectations of what our pupils can achieve. The outcomes, as you will see, have been amazing.
In a wonderful example of cross-hub learning, Academy Ambassadors from St Mark’s in Worle, North Somerset, hosted a visit from Taunton pupils on Thursday. Team captains quizzed their Academy Ambassador counterparts and Head teacher, Mrs Bath, to find out how such a rich reading culture has been created at St Mark’s.
Pupils left with a ream of notes and ideas they were keen to share including interesting examples how children’s reading skills are built, developed and extended. The benefits of such collaboration is summed up in one pupil’s reflection, ‘I can’t wait to meet the Academy Ambassadors again to discuss more of the things we saw and put some of these ideas into action to improve our reading skills.’
It was great to hear from Head teacher Jason Eveleigh that children at St James are focused on developing their maths ‘talk’. In intervention groups, children have been ‘talking as the teacher’. Rowan Class have been recording maths talk on iPads then accessing these videos using the SeeSaw app via QR codes around the classroom.
Regular use of the A.P.E reasoning work is helping to develop pupils’ explanations and, in Year 5, working BIG has helped capture fantastic facts on paper.
Every week since ‘Mathmagical’ there has been high quality, mathmagical teaching and learning. As a result of your skill, your hard work and your creativity pupils are being motivated, encouraged and inspired to work even harder and aim even higher in mathematics.
Two leaders used their school newsletter to share high expectations with parents and carers this week. Jan Thompson commented,
‘I’ve had the privilege of seeing Kingshill teachers and support staff in action over the last few weeks as I have been doing lesson observations. I have been so impressed by the high standards of teaching, the high quality, well presented, well-marked pupils’ books and the fantastic responses of pupils in class.’
Deputy Head Pippa Cohen, who has recently taken responsibility for communicating with parents and the community at Oakhill, wrote:
‘Following our drive to improve handwriting, we are noticing more accurate and consistent writing in pupils’ books. In discussion with children in Key Stage 2, together we agreed what is meant by ‘high quality presentation’. To facilitate ownership and joint understanding, children will present a number of their books to a group which includes staff and children to explain why they believe their presentation meets our agreed criteria. We know that you will understand and support us as, like us, you have high expectations of your children.’
I was delighted to see St Georges beautiful creation mural in progress when I visited. Each child has worked with parent and artist, Nick Crabb, to paint their own daisy onto the mural showing that they are each part of God’s creation.
Alison Grant, KS2 leader, told me children really enjoyed seeing the process unfold with a ‘real artist’. There have been lots of wonderful awe moments when pupils pass Nick painting in the corridor or notice a new detail. It is stunning.
Children at Staplegrove have been filling shoe boxes with small toys to be sent out across the world for children less fortunate than themselves, as part of ‘Operation Christmas Child’.Their commitment to thinking about others has been wonderful. With an idea entirely their own, Maggie and Noah,decided to collect unwanted sleeping bags and blankets for Taunton’s Open Door Charity. They have produced fliers to go out to the community and even set up a ‘Giving Page’ for anyone who wants to donate.
We all want the best possible outcomes for our pupils. What this week has shown is what it takes to bring this about. Our pupils grow in mind, body and spirit when we set the highest expectations. Whatever our aim: accelerating our pupils’ progress in reading, writing or mathematics; setting even higher expectations for the quality and presentation of pupils’ work; helping pupils to think about others; fostering pupils’ artistic or musical skills; enabling pupils to know the wonder of being part of God’s creation, it is your hard work, skill, creativity, optimism, determination and commitment that enables our pupils to achieve the most amazing things.