As I write, the panto is well under way in the Key Stage 2 hall and it is clear that the children (and staff) have enjoyed seeing Peter Pan and Captain Hook at their very best! The socially distanced performances are a well deserved treat for the children who have been wonderful all term. Very many thanks to our super PTA for funding this on behalf of all of the children.
We have a number of other seasonal activities in store including a festive lunch, a Christmas jumper day to raise money for ‘Save The Children’, performances from our reception and Year 5 children, a party afternoon and a mufti day too. The children have all added a bauble to their year groups Christmas trees which you can see from Broad Street. Thank you to staff and friends of the school for taking the time to make and decorate the trees!
The Year 1 children have just completed their Phonics Screen Check and I am delighted to report that this year’s scores are the highest we have ever had so well done to the Year 1 staff and children! All of the children have made really impressive progress since we started the new term back in September. The Standards Testing Agency have recently announced that they have cancelled the end of Key Stage 1 SAT’s, Year 4 multiplication Tables Check and the spelling, punctuation and grammar test at the end of Key Stage 2. Teacher assessments will be used instead. Children in Early Years will be assessed against the new baseline assessments and this will take place during the autumn term.
Our work with a commissioned Ofsted inspector continues and he will be leading a training day on Friday 8th January for staff and governors. I look forward to the school taking this step forwards. Our Senior School Improvement Manager visited EBPS earlier this term and I was very pleased with her findings and the report that followed. It is always reassuring to be told that we are on well on track to move our school towards an outstanding judgement.
It is really pleasing to see the impact of our use of Catch Up funding. Small groups of children are being given additional help from specialist teachers and the feedback from the children and staff is very positive. The parent survey closed recently and I am delighted with the outcomes. There are always matters to address but the overwhelming response was terrific! A big thank you to all of the parents who took the time to take part in the survey.
This term's activities have included an anti-bullying week. Children across the school engaged in age-appropriate activities, from designing odd socks for some of our younger children to exploring the different kinds of bullying further up the school. All children have considered the importance of being kind and what to do if they hear or see somebody being unkind.
We have welcomed back peripatetic music teachers from NMPAT and it is lovely to see and hear more music taking place around the school. I am desperately keen to reopen more clubs and activities – I will keep a close eye on the guidance following the autumn break and will keep parents updated nearer the time.
As the end of the term fast approaches I think it is right to look back and reflect upon what has happened and what has been achieved. I will always remember the nervous excitement that we all felt the night before we reopened our school gates to all of the children on the 3rd September. Whilst that does seem quite some time ago it also feels like the term has flown by. The most important thing for me has been that we have kept everyone as safe as we can and that the children have been in school learning and having a little bit of fun along the way too! In summing up 2020, my thoughts are that this has not been the year to get everything we wanted but to appreciate everything we have.
All that remains is for me to thank everyone linked to our wonderful school for your support and kindness and to wish you and your families a wonderful break and Christmas time.
Very best wishes,