Perhaps best to start with a quick run through what's been happening in school and then let you catch up with the me and mine goss!
The new term started with three new members of staff. James McGrath joined us to replace Mrs Angus as the Year 3 teacher and Karen Williams-Brown as the teaching assistant to replace Mrs May. Shortly afterwards our Sarah Semper joined in the new post of Family Support Worker. Her role is to work alongside, advising, helping, supporting parents and families with the range of needs they might face You will find her in the playground at the start and end of days and her office is down by the school dining hall, in what was the original school office before the new build. I'm delighted to report that they have all fitted in as effortlessly as we suspected and are already adding to the quality of our provision here at Wainscott.
Work wise it's been as hectic as I can remember it here. Every couple of weeks we seem to have or so have had a Governor's Meeting that requires a fair bit of paperwork so that they can understand how the school is doing. We have now finished the Year 6 SATs and are nearly through Year 2 SATs. These are demanding on both children and staff and to be honest can be quite stressful sadly. They are an important measure of how well the school is doing and so naturally staff want every child to achieve their best possible outcomes. We also have a new curriculum being tested, for the first time too, so none of us are quite sure what to expect, how demanding the tests will be or how well they will have to do to achieve their expected levels of progress and attainment....so lots of fingers crossed for them all.
On top of that I have had endless rounds of showing job candidates around the school, shortlisting that goes on for hours and days of interviews. It's that time of year for teaching related posts as it's really find someone this side of the May Break or else....with else being taking a risk on who is available at such short notice.
We have been trying to recruit for a few posts. Firstly the additional Year 3 teacher and teaching assistant for September; then someone to replace Miss May who starts her maternity imminently; then specialist Music & Art teachers to take a few days PPA cover a week, a Maths/KS2 specialist to add additional support in the Juniors, another round of trying to find a School Business Manager....I think that's about that to be going on with.
So far we have been able to identify some really excellent staff for the posts so far completed and I am really looking forward to them joining us in due course. It is a reality of a large and growing school that we regularly have to go out to recruit staff to find new or replacement staff.
Within school we have continued to let the children be Headteacher for the day. This tends to happen on the 'quieter' Fridays. The child in question gets to choose their Deputy for the day and they are both given pretend IDs with a school lanyard that they keep. They have break time in the staffroom, lunch with me in my office, they take the afternoon "Thank You' Assembly, we try to find a couple of children to 'tell off' and praise and they get a certificate to mark their memorable day.
Elsewhere in school the plans for the Playground Bus are beginning to take shape. I met with staff from Mid-Kent College last week, who are coming back next term to agree the extent of their help and we will then coordinate this with the many generous offers of parental support so that we have e real community project.