Mrs Bickersteth’s Week in Review 9th June 2017

Year 2 children arrived excitedly at the school gates at the start of the week, carrying their wonderful art projects. The children had researched artists and then presented these to their peers in the classroom. This is an example of the way in which children at CHS strengthen their speaking and listening skills and independent learning, building self-confidence whilst broadening their cultural knowledge from an early age. Whilst in classrooms this week I have seen some excellent assessment for learning techniques in action, such as useful peer assessment comments being given in a Year 4 art lesson and in Year 3’s art lesson the children were engaged in creating Rangoli designs, which is an example of how cross-curricular learning takes place. The Year 3 children were enthusiastic when telling me about where Rangoli designs can be seen and about their knowledge of Hinduism. When seeing how the Nursery children have been getting on this week, it has been refreshing to hear them speak with confidence and show such good manners towards each other.

It is important to see that children are enjoying their learning so I was pleased to hear some Year 2 children going on to the playground at break time talking about an “evacuee game”. When I asked them about this, they explained that this was a game about children being sent away in the war. They had just been learning about evacuation in the Second World War I in their history lessons. This is a sign that the lesson had been stimulating enough to spur the children on in their creativity. Reception children have also been keen to recount to me the details of a snail race that they had in the Early Years outdoor area this week.

The Parent Engagement Group met this week to focus on behaviour policy in the school. Parents attending the meeting represented the age range across the whole school and the discussions that took place amongst parents was productive. During the meeting, the positive feedback from recent pupil surveys was shared; the behaviour policy was discussed and the parent-school agreement was examined. It was interesting to hear the range of views that exist and it is clear that parents appreciate consistency and high expectations being applied with regard to pupil behaviour in school. Thank you to the parents who attended this meeting.

Learning outside the classroom is a key part of the curriculum and this week has had several valuable opportunities for this. Year 1 have conducted a traffic survey and visited local shops as part of their geography curriculum; Year 6 attended the Essex Council Crucial Crew event, which taught the children about how to stay safe , with presentations on drugs and alcohol; fire safety awareness; Internet Safety and the consequences of crime and anti-social behaviour. With representatives form the emergency services and the local council, this is such an important part children learning to deal with potential risky situations and knowing what is necessary to be a good citizen. Some of the feedback that the children gave about Crucial Crew was that they found it useful,thought-provoking and fun too.

This week the SLT team attended a governance meeting during which every aspect of the school was discussed and evaluated. There are many strengths in the school and it is clear that the children in the Lower School are benefitting from high expectations set by teachers and that their individual needs are carefully planned for.

Sports days taking place next week will make it a busy but exciting week for everyone and the CHSA will be running their Father’s Day Stalls in school at break times.

I wish you all a lovely weekend.