The fun returns to face to face learning! St Patrick’s Day definitely brought a smile to the children’s faces in Y4 and Y5 this week, as Mr Mullaghan showed off his Irish roots, with a Leprechaun outfit, a Y4 ‘Irish’ scavenger hunt, and a few Irish jokes.
The Irish leprechaun hat craft activity was enjoyed by one and all and the children proudly showed off their creations as you can see from above.
The early years children have been enjoying the sunshine with even more outdoor learning – there is a real push from school on reading and phonics learning in Y1, Y2 and early years, as the children have understandably lost a lot of ground and as a cohort are working considerably below where they should be. We understand they have been through a lot, by being denied their time at school and so we plan to double up on some of the phonics input to support their learning, using our highly effective Read, Write, Inc approach.
We are hugely grateful too for the 6 new volunteers who have started to increase reading in the youngest classes, to help accelerate reading rates. And it’s working already! Thanks to the expertise the children receive, those who have lost most ground are starting to make accelerated progress and those who have sustained their position at expected rates are being challenged to move onto the next stages as well. Thank you so much to families at home for raising the profile of reading – we have had lots of requests for new reading folders, and have noticed children’s enjoyment of reading being reignited in some cases. We celebrate with those children who have continued throughout lockdown to be avid readers, and are also supporting their continued progress with individual reading support pitched at a deeper level if they are working above, and well above the cohorts in which they are in.
Tesco Grant Award
Huge well done to Ashleigh Galloway for successfully submitting a grant to the Tesco “Bags for Money’ Grant programme as we have been awarded £1000 towards plants, growing things and other gardening materials. We have some space available for any avid gardeners on Wednesdays and Thursday afternoons if you would like to volunteer to support. Please let us know soon if you are green fingered and can lend a hand. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering.
‘Maths No Problem’ Text Books
We have also been awarded £2800 to spend on maths text books – which we have been granted to support pupil learning in mathematics. These have been allocated in classes from Y1 to Y6 and children will start to use them from the summer term as a support for our existing approaches. This award came from the Department for Education and has been targeted at our school due to our pupil profile. Thanks again to Ashleigh for coordinating the deliveries and orders!
We are also grateful for a donation from Normedica who gifted us with a whole box of large high quality sanitisers from a parent of Little Angels staff.
Huge thank you to families for supporting the new dropping off and collection arrangements for Covid. This week has been fairly smooth and we really appreciate your support.
Thank you to the majority of families who park with consideration when collecting and dropping off. We ask again for courtesy to be given to our local residents who have informed us that they have been unable to take their cars out of their drives due to families from school parking across the front of their drives. We have passed the information onto our local community police teams who will be increase their patrols in our area.
Letter from Northumberland County Council
Local authority leaders sent us a letter to share with families which coincides with a local school closing the entire school this week due to Covid. We are
all keen to avoid this disruption again. Please remember that while Covid rates are so much lower, they have not been entirely eliminated yet and so we should all try (as hard as it is) to continue with the legal restrictions in place. Thank you to everyone who already make sacrifices, while following the
Staff met this week (socially distanced) and continued the approach to developing reading skills by learning as a team about new ideas on how to ‘immerse’ children in the stories shared. We are really looking forward to developing a whole school approach to reading which will inspire the next generation of readers. Thanks to Debbie and Gemma for allowing me to share their photos!
Y6 update on Sats
The powers that be at government level, have decided not to proceed with the traditional SATs tests in Y6 this year due to the pandemic and there will be no data on school performance published nationally.
However we believe that SATs are just one of many ‘rites of passage’ that Y6 look forward to and having discussed with some of the other local schools, we want to go ahead with the usual process a month later in June.
This will allow us to celebrate the significant progress that all pupils (as individuals) have made over the past twelve months, but will also inform CLV about the specific level of attainment that pupils have achieved in each of the core subject areas. It will also give CLV an overview of the areas of the curriculum in English and Mathematics that have been hit hardest by the lockdown allowing them to plan their curriculum accordingly. There is usually
a question level analysis that takes place cohort by cohort that provides this information which is invaluable for planning next steps.
We know that our children aren’t defined by their SATs results, nor are they limited to the results they achieve, but it gives the most accurate, snapshot (albeit on the day) of their knowledge and understanding within a test situation.
Something that they will continue to undertake throughout their school days. We are working closely to ensure that there are checks and balances in place that will allow the Y6 pupils to receive their individual results. And we plan to share those with the high school as a critical part of the teacher assessment that will support our judgements, in exactly the same way we would normally do.
Miss Koratzitis and Debbie Thompson are fully endorsing this approach and look forward to being able to celebrate the progress the children make, alongside them once the tests are taken, marked and returned. I know some families will be pleased about this, as our children from this cohort will be given the same opportunities as other year groups which have gone before. I also know that some families will have less positive responses. In all this we aim to support and develop resilience in the children to be able to drive their own learning and be prepared as well as possible for undertaking tests at high school which happen from the start of their time there in some subjects.
Entrance Exams for Independent Schools
Congratulations to both Sam Gorton and Poppy Black who have both done exceptionally well during entrance examinations at Dame Allan’s and Royal Grammar School. Both have attracted scholarship support as a result of coming close to the top of the results lists beating hundreds of other keen and very able applicants. Huge well done to you both. We are exceptionally proud of you!
Ashleigh’s outdoor idea
We have been successful in bidding for a grant to put towards developing our allotment. I would like you to think about ideas on how you would like to develop it. Would you like some fruit trees or more raised beds? What would you like to grow? Create a plan for me or take some pictures of an allotment that
you like the look of and I will try my best to make it happen.
Gold celebration children: Reception – Jensen Atkinson and Joseph Gorton, Year 3 – Jessica
Gorton, Isobel Griffiths and Lyla Ives, Year 6 – Max Edington, Niamh Gorham and Joseph Collins