End of year post
I am amazed that my first year has already flown past! I have loved to get to know you all. We have a fantastic school community and I feel very privileged and happy to be a part of it.
It is universally recognised that this is the toughest year in memory to be in teaching. We have had many enforced changes brought upon us by the DfE, whilst receiving less money and greater expectations! This situation does not look likely to improve, so I am proud of the hard work and effort of our staff during this time.
The main outcome from this year is that we are much more focussed with a clear vision for the school. We have developed our aims to make them unique to St Peter’s and the needs of our community. We now have a motto that says ‘growing together in mind, body and spirit’. This means we are aiming at academic, sporting, musical and spiritual excellence, whilst developing well-rounded citizens for the future. We still have some way to go, but we are now a lot clearer in the direction. We will share our vision in full next term.
I am delighted with our end of year results which you can view here. Results 2015
We have high academic standards which we are very proud of.
The staff at the school have worked tremendously hard this year, and I have been very pleased with their attitude to improvement. We’ve put in place more opportunities to talk about learning, take risks/try new things, with a focus on research-based strategies and structures. We have also had lots of training this year, whether learning new things or working with each other. We have been putting assessment at the heart of our teaching, starting with the children’s needs. We have moved away from some traditional methods such as hands-up and ability grouping. We now aim to get the children more engaged and challenged through purposeful learning.
Reading has been a focus this year. We are growing into a school in which pupils develop a life-long love of reading. We have invested heavily in training, new resources and systems to support this.
In writing we now use high-quality texts that teach the child how to become good writers. This also allows us to teach grammar in context, rather than from some dry, old worksheets.
We have also developed our teaching of spellings, to make them more fun and easy to learn.
In maths we have invested in practical maths resources, which are allowing us to teach more mathematical fluency and confidence in the key areas of number and calculation.
Across the curriculum we have tried to make sure the learning is more purposeful and engaging. The children have had a much greater say in what they want to learn and how. There have been some wonderful trips and experiences this year, including some parent visitors!
It has taken a long time, but the unique St Peter’s curriculum is nearly finished. We have managed to plot out how to use of fantastic locality in most curriculum areas. A parent-friendly version will be published next term.
The new mantra of ‘Thrill, Will and Skill’ in the Early Years has led to really purposeful and targeted learning with children’s engagement and enthusiasm being built upon.
We are also really pleased with the strong links we have developed with our Church. We have a much clearer RE curriculum, and we’ve had some great ‘Celebrate together’ services at Church.
I’ve saved the pupils until last, to highlight what a privilege it is for me to be their Headteacher. Their behaviour is excellent, and in particular their respect and manners towards others. We’ve tried really hard to make sure we celebrate effort and achievements.
There have been many memorable learning experiences that they have taken part in this year, and lots of opportunities to show-off what they have been doing in school – whether through an exhibition or a performance. They have also received a rich diet from across the curriculum, including specialist sport and music teaching.
We have had lots of academic, musical and sporting success this year. Too many to list – but I am proud of all of our pupils for their effort and hard work this year. They were rewarded with a ‘Really Wild Show’ to say well done.
And that just leaves me to say thank you to all the parents and families that have supported the school this year. Please do keep giving us feedback – good or bad – so we can keep doing or change what we do. I hope you have noticed that we have tried to make the school more accessible this year, whether to speak to staff, to see what your children have been learning about, or to utilise your skills!
The support for the school has been fantastic, but I would like to highlight three groups in particular.
- Our school is best summed up by our wonderful SPSA team, who have given so much to the school in terms of money, man-power, entertainment and activities. I cannot thank them enough.
- It is staggering to think just how amazing the Warm Wish group are for the school. Julie and her team have raised nearly £80,000 to ensure that we are one of only remaining schools with a pool. We all owe them a massive thank you.
- A HUGE thank you to our team of volunteers as well. We really do appreciate you changing books, hearing readers, helping on trips, or supporting us with learning.
And so onto next year: with new staff, new classrooms, a new swimming pool enclosure and more. I want us to be really proud of the school we have, so I hope you notice more positive improvements over the next 12 months.
Please do come and see me with any ideas, suggestions or comments. I’d rather know than not.
Steve and the St Peter’s team.