School Newsletter

Welcome to the summer term and our new topic is well and truly launched! (‘Where will our stories take us?’). Year 5/6 visit the Theatre Royal – Pupils in Year 5 and 6 have launched this term’s topic with a learning expedition to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal where they had training from a real actor, and went on stage and back stage to see how the theatre worked.

They were amazed at the size and scale of the big space, and were particularly inspired by the actor. We look forward to seeing how they weave the information into their Oliver Twist performance in the summer!

Year 4 Tag Rugby

Well done to Y4 who enjoyed a great day participating in the Tag Rugby Festival in Cramlington this Thursday. They were able to all wear their hoodies and showed a lot of passion working as a team in their games.

Some of the Y3 children are participating in a golf day today. More photos of this will be shared next week.

You can also see photos of our Early Years children enjoying setting up their outdoor areas this week. They are so excited about their new Chicken Licken home role play area too!

Assessments

This term the usual end of year statutory assessments take place which we are required to deliver for the following age groups:

Year 6

Y6 statutory testing takes place Monday the 13th to Thursday the 16th May. These are national assessments that take place across the country under the same strict conditions.

THESE Y6 TESTS CANNOT BE TAKEN AT ANY OTHER TIME

Groupings for secondary school are based on these assessments so please ensure that all the children are in school this week, and contact the school as soon as practically possible if there are any issues with attendance. Pupils in Year 5 and below please be aware that these dates are critical dates for the time your children are in Year 6.

Year 4

This year all schools are being given an opportunity to pilot a new national test for multiplication tables. These are delivered to the children using a screen with identical layout and expectations as the TT Rock stars programme that we already use. The government rightly sees the huge value in sense checking the capacity that schools have to achieve strong knowledge of tables in Y4. It is the one thing that is essential for sound mathematical development, that can be learned by virtually every child.

Year 2

Pupils in Y2 sit a brightly coloured test paper for maths and reading. They are able to have access to a wide range of resources, and the tests are delivered in a relaxed way. Teacher assessment overrides the outcomes of these tests if we feel that for any reason, on the day the children have underperformed. The test papers have to be delivered at some point before the end of May. Generally we play down these tests, and don’t give advance notice of when they are happening as we don’t like to over-stress the children.
Pupils in Y2 who did not pass their phonic screener test last June are given a second opportunity to resit the phonic screener again this year. They are not given other resits after this. The children have been used to practising these tests with Lisa all year!

Year 1

Pupils in Y1 receive a one on one phonic screener check delivered by Lisa Brown. They are accustomed to this as we have practised them regularly throughout the year. We have provided support and guidance to families for children who need an extra boost with their knowledge of phonics so please keep on with the booster sessions. If the children pass the test in year 1 they will avoid having to resit the test next year!

How can you help your child during and before statutory assessment?

  • Reasonable bed times
  • Sensible, normal routines at home (as much as possible)
  • Lots of encouragement, positivity and a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Treats at the end of the test times! Trip to the park, beach, cinema or even tea out!

Research and good practice advises that encouragement and building children’s self esteem strengthens children’s resilience to tackle assessment activities in school, as well as other life situations. For all statutory assessments in school we nurture the children to have a ‘can do’ attitude and we build their self esteem – encouraging them to do their best as that is all we ask of them.

Our children are used to the style of delivery of the tests and we have been proud of their efforts throughout the year to always try their best in all that they do. We’re waiting for testing in forest school, drama and being generally kind and thoughtful – as we have many many experts in these fields! Somehow I think we might be waiting a while as the DfE aren’t currently recognising the significant importance of these life affirming areas!

Parking around school

School staff have noticed that some families are parking around school in ways that can compromise the safety of our children. Please do not block the school gate, or residents’ driveways. It is illegal to park with tyres on the pavements and to park in areas on corners.

Even if it is for a few minutes it is illegal. Please consider our children’s safety and our community relations when dropping off and collecting. We are monitoring the situation carefully with our community police service, and using school mobile phones to collect evidence of dangerous parking.

Accelerated Reader programme

The children are into their fourth week of using the new Accelerated reader programme with quizzes to take after reading every book. Our English Coordinator, Melissa Costello has sent out to families some additional information about the programme as there is not the same somewhat slavish focus on taking children through the ability range of books. As adults, we don’t read more and more, by always choosing books at the top end of our ability range, we read for enjoyment. Some books are more enjoyable that are easy for us to read – yet we are still reading. Releasing our children from being pressured to always read more and more challenging books in terms of the content can destroy pupil enjoyment. As you know from our Ofsted feedback, we are tasked to create more avid readers alongside our quest for more capable readers!

Year 6 Sats timetable

Mon 13th May

SPAG Paper 1 9.20 -10.05 SPAG Paper 2 11.00 – 11.20

Tuesday 14th May

Reading 9.15 – 10.15

Wednesday 15th May

Mathematics Paper 1 9.20 – 9.50 Mathematics Paper 2 11.00 – 11.40

Thursday 16th May

Mathematics Paper 3 9.20 – 10.00

We are keen to minimise staff commitments at these times so ask that you avoid contacting school during the times of these tests as usual senior teams will be unavailable.

Attendance and Punctuality

  • YR 100%(0)
  • Y1 99%(3)
  • Y2 97%(0)
  • Y3 99%(2)
  • Y4 95%(1)
  • Y5 94%(1)
  • Y6 100%(0)

Homework/reading returns (%)

  • YN 35/na%
  • YR 69/84%
  • Y1 70/57%
  • Y2 72/55%
  • Y3 83/67%
  • Y4 73/84%
  • Y5 65/60%
  • Y6 88/100%

Well done to YR and Y6 this week for 100% attendance this week.

Achievement Awards

Kindness Champion this week… Mia Morrow

Dates for your Diary