I have had a wonderful week this week and I feel particularly proud of how our primary pupils have continued to develop. The rate of progress is staggering for many. I love my ‘rounds’ of popping into every class each day to keep up with what is going on, and I have been very impressed with the level of focus and engagement in every single classroom. I said a couple of weeks ago how industrious the spring term often feels and this has proved to be correct, even over and above my expectations.
From this week I have introduced a special ‘Head Teacher Award’ for pupils in the primary department. Every class already has a ‘Star of the Week’ award so the initial criteria for the ‘Head Teacher Award’ is that they should have been recognised in class as ‘Star of the Week’. I will then choose two of those ‘Stars’ for my special award.
This week the class awards have gone to:-
Mrs Dunsdon’s class – Bronson, for writing sentences
Mrs Lomax’s class – Reece, for using his ‘big voice’
Mr Corrigan’s class – Lewis H for interacting with others, being very engaged and a brilliant weatherman
Miss Parkinson’s class – Donte, for having a fantastic week, helping others and trying his very best in every lesson. Donte was also awarded the ‘Good Friend Award’
Mrs Halkyard’s class – Kyle, for lots of reasons! Having a go at tricky work, keeping calm, following instructions with the iPad and being friendly
…. and my Head Teacher Awards are going to go to – Donte and Kyle. I chose these two as they reflect the observations I made above in relation to pupils really settling down this term, showing improved engagement and developing social skills. Well done to Donte and Kyle and all our other ‘Stars’!
This week I have focused on Mrs Lomax’s class and I have seen tremendous progress in their PE lessons; developing gross motor control, co-ordination and also their social interaction and communication skills. Like the Reception class last week, Years 1 and 2 have benefited from our visiting martial arts teacher. In these pictures you can see how they have progressed to kick-boxing..
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They managed to be very disciplined, showing excellent listening skills and great balance and control. Also, in their PE lessons with Mr Smith, they have been working on gymnastic skills, concentrating on balance and co-ordination. For many of our pupils these are skills essential to their development in all areas and their progress in developing physical co-ordination skills can enhance a whole range of skills vital in the classroom, including attention, concentration and determination..
I also have some lovely photos from their music lesson with Mr Bloska. It’s wonderful to see their smiles and excitement, clearly enjoying the lesson. The key to learning is motivation and engagement, and you can see this in the pupils’ faces. They were learning the song ‘What shall we do with a _______ pirate’ and filling the gap with a feeling, either happy, sad or angry. This fits in with their topic ‘Land Ahoy!’ so whilst learning songs in music they are also exploring feelings and emotions as part of Personal and Social Education, and they will be linking this to written work in their literacy projects..
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Practical (kinaesthetic) activities also play a huge part in learning. In these pictures from a maths lesson you can see the pupils using large foam tubing to investigate length, ordering the tubes from tallest to shortest..
The tubing was actually found in a pile headed for the rubbish bins after the soft play area had been completed. Mrs Lomax is a self-confessed scavenger and always has her eyes peeled for innovative resources and materials which can creatively extend her pupils’ experiences and learning.
Finally, I’ve included some pictures of Year 1 and Year 2 in the canteen at break time. We introduced snacks onto the break time menu after Christmas and this has proved to be very successful. Pupils can bring in a small amount of money and purchase a snack (toast and jam, fruit bread, juice) from the canteen. Of course, staff use this as an extra opportunity to reinforce social skills (making requests, using manners, speaking clearly etc.) as well as mathematical skills (using money). The pupils are so intent on their snacks that they don’t realise just how much they are learning..
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Have a lovely weekend,
- Graham has the latest from across the New Bridge Group on his blog here