Thursday, 21 March 2013

Where did those two thirds of a year disappear?

I am (and yes, I know I normally say it at these junctures, but it remains the complete truth) utterly blown away by the fact that we stand here, on the precipice of yet another break.  It seems only 24 school days ago that we started a brand new term, walking in to a bucketload of new and exciting displays and looking down the business end of a new batch of medium term planning.

Only 24 school days, but oh so much accomplished.

We opened our magnificent library with a visit from the magnificent (don't overuse it now Willis) Thomas Docherty.  He kept everyone of us spellbound for ages, thrilling us with his stories.  We followed that up with  a World book day brimming with character-driven dressing up ... including an immaculately timed visit from a caped crusader.

More and more children are now playing musical instruments.  We would count the exact number, but it just keeps growing!  In term 5 and 6, we are planning even more projects to get people playing, but in a normal week at the minute we have children playing the clarinet, the recorder, the double bass, the flute, the violin, the guitar and the drums.  We've kept it very quiet, but we have now received the music for a certain Colston Hall concert in the summer.

Never one to shy away from giving, the staff and children made massive efforts do do funny-for-money stuff during the week of comic relief.  We were so overwhelmed by demand that we ran out of red noses by the Tuesday.  Almost £200 at the last count, but still not finished yet.

Our relationship with the children's centre keeps growing and growing, with more and more shared projects emerging between the two.  Family learning day at the centre tomorrow (22.3.13) all about growing.  All invisible, but a much bigger and potentially better staff team growing behind the scenes all the time.

After the blips of snow days, and despite the attempts of various illnesses and bugs, our attendance rises and rises.  The top classes this term have, on average, been much higher (99.5% this week - so close Miss Dark's class) and the overall figure for the term is back up in line with terms 1 and 2.

But of course, what is a school if not a place of learning and progress?  And how do I back up all these ludicrous claims without the data to match it?  Well, as it happens, I can.  Our children continue to make impressive and pleasing progress in all areas.  Teachers have just given me the data for the end of term 4 which tells me:

 - more and more children are reaching the national average in reading, earlier and earlier;
 - groups of children are making enormous strides in maths;
 - our targetted intervention for specific pupils in writing is starting to pay off;
 - our APS (average point score) in most subjects and year groups is above the national average, especially for girls.

Not bad for what can only be described as "24 days", eh?  And this is just the stuff you can see and touch and measure.  This does not include the new adventures people have embarked on, the favours we've done other schools, and the Local authority visits we have survived ... and impressed at.

It was a horrible, rainy end to term, so I did not get the chance to see as many as you as I would've hoped, so please forgive me, but accept these well meant wishes for a relaxing and enjoyable break.

Until April 8th, not thinking about the box of paperwork I taking home tomorrow evening, that is all.