Whilst the wind did wake us a couple of times during the night, the only visible damage was an old tree down on one of the side roads and an abundance of sticks for Yinka to play with on our Sunday morning stroll through the fields. The orchards were surprisingly intact and many still fully leaved in their autumn finery.
It was however a quite welcome anticlimax after a hectic week at school. It was a Chloe weekend for me, always fun but having a teenager daughter of growing independence means that I sometimes end up feeling one carriage removed from what's going. However, I'm not complaining given some of the very exciting events that have been happening at school lately.
The children recently finished their learning on World War One. We will be leaving this theme now other than in one year group that covers it as part of the history National Curriculum. It has provided us with some excellent learning opportunities and the children have really enjoyed using it as a vehicle for their maths, reading and writing in particular. The display of their amazing work in the main hall illustrated just how much learning has come out of this topic. It was wonderful to see how creatively the teaching staff have interpreted this aspect of history and exactly why we regularly chose exciting topics as a vehicle for the children's learning. Many thanks to all of you who supported this and I hope you found the time to see for yourself first hand.
Last brought it's own amazing highlight.....our children performing Shakespeare live on stage.
Some of our junior children, many only nine years old, have been working on a shortened version of A Midsummer Night's Dream for several months as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival.
This is an annual event and culminates in the children performing live on stage in a local theatre. They have worked so hard as a group of children and the opportunity to practice and perform has really helped their development. This is exactly the type of event that we look to create for our children, one that both challenges and rewards them, builds their self-esteem as an individual and a learner and shows the whole school community the art of the possible.
Mrs Froudist has worked tirelessly with this group of children, ably supported by parents and staff and it was a genuinely wonderful evening and one we will now look to be involved in year-on year.
The next such event will be when our choir sings at the O2 arena in the Young Voices charity concert in January.
They have been working on a selection of songs with Miss Dillon our music teacher and it promises to be another incredible night for all concerned.
On a more personal note, I was fortunate to spend time in the classrooms last week looking closely at the teaching and learning, especially for SEND and the Early Years. It was pleasing to see so many good things happening across the school. I was particularly impressed to see the impact our 'Switch-On' programme is having on many of our developing readers and writers. It's clear how much they are getting out of this opportunity thanks to a combination of their hard work and the quality teaching staff are providing.
I was also attended a very interesting course in London on growth mindsets run by Matthew Syed. This is an area we are being to work on as a school. There will be a presentation to parents on this in the New Year and I urge you to try to attend.
It's a really interesting aspect of education that will really benefit our children's development and future success.
We have also been working very hard on the quality and range of recording going on in books and how children self and peer assess their learning. We have had a session on this as a staff team last week, sharing best practice ideas and looking at what is working well and what needs further refinement. It confirmed the progress we have made as a school and something I hope you will notice yourselves when you look at your child's books at the upcoming parent consultations.
It was also anti-bullying week, something we covered during the week with all the children. This included re-visiting our ongoing work on internet safety and cyber bullying.
The week ahead will feature work on road safety as part of national road safety week in schools.