Away Days and Memories

I am currently on a residential visit with our year six pupils at Peak Venture, near Barnsley.  There was a howling wind as I ventured outside early this morning for my usual walk.  I was met with all manner of weather and it would be fair to say it was a wee bit chilly. I even managed to appreciate some rather stinging sleet!

I was thinking about the things I have seen the children achieve during the first two days of our visit.  I have seen the quieter more reserved children show great courage when climbing to a great height and admired their determination to push themselves to their limit.  It has been a privilege to see the children tackle things they have never done before and it has been clear to me that their resilience and determination has grown.

The greatest part of watching children learning is when you see them having fun and they are sharing experience and knowledge with their peers.  This particular group have been very good at being positive and encouraging their friends when things are tough.

I particularly enjoyed watching them during the activities this morning.

Kingswood Arrival

We have arrived at Kingswood and the children have settled in well.  We have taken part in archery and we are about to go to mini Olympics.  The children have been complemented on their behaviour and they are representing their school well.

 First Pictures on PhotoPeach

Reflections and Projections…

The Christmas Holiday is now gone and we find ourselves digesting the last Rennie and looking forward to what is coming next and looking back over the holiday period and first term.  There is much to discuss in between reciting our times tables ready for another test.  It’s my favourite part of the holiday when we find out what surprises are in store, in terms of the next “new” idea.  I did enjoy the Minister refusing to answer the question regarding 12 x11.  Enough of this though, I want to reflect on the holidays and the near future.  This may prove to  mildly interest the reader and be cathartic for me.

We were really pleased to see our results published and in terms of progress from key stage one to the end of key stage two we are in the top 50 schools in the Country.  In the whole of the East Midlands we are the top performing school in terms of progress.  We see this is as just reward for the effort our children and staff put in.  Our parents support us in all that we do and this has meant our school is enjoying it’s longest period of sustained success.  Seven years of strong performance is further evidence of the commitment of everyone to ensuring our children are well prepared for their next stage of their education.

For us the next stage is to work towards being a multi-academy trust.  We are seeking to work with like-minded schools that are in a strong position and keen to share expertise for the good of all of our children.  This will be an exciting time for all of us as we look forward to developing new partnerships and further strengthening our curriculum.  If you want to talk to us please contact me at school for an informal discussion.

It’s a busy term and our year six pupils go to Kingswood Peak Venture in February.  This is a great visit as you see the children gain so much in terms of confidence and resilience.  It is a big part of our work outside the classroom and is a key strength in our curriculum.

Our double decker bus will be complete this half term as we turn it into a teaching space.  This will be a place where our children work on all areas of the curriculum, with a particular focus on blogging to a global audience.  We are excited about this part of our term as lots of hard work has already taken place to prepare the bus for the children.  Watch this space for news.

It promises to be a very challenging part of our year but we are well-placed to make sure we continue to provide our children with a primary school education that is world class.  As always, we are committed to our school mission to “Be The Best You Can Be”

The only thing left to ask is, “Who is coming with me?”

Work – Life Imbalance

I remember when I first qualified as a teacher and my friends discussing their plans to avoid being a teacher-bore.  I hadn’t really heard of the phrase before but I was reliably informed that it meant that all you ever talked about was your job.  It was essentially the art of being utterly consumed by your role.

I resolved very early in my career that I would avoid the teacher-bore issue at all costs.  This can be even more challenging as your career develops as you often find yourself mixing with teachers in your friendship groups.  It happens when we meet teacher-friends for social events or meals, the night can descend into a briefing about what has been happening with work.

I decided to make sure I had a hobby, something to do that was not connected to the day job of being a teacher or Headteacher.

Some of my hobbies include inline skating, watching ice hockey and photography.  I even did a year on hospital radio as a presenter.  That was fun but sometimes a little stressful.

I sometimes talk to teachers and other friends and they some say they don’t really have time for a hobby or anything that is just for themselves.  This is where I think things can become difficult for people in this profession, as it is so demanding and expectations are always high.  We owe ourselves some down time in order to be able to be at the peak of our performance in our day job.

I am a keen amateur photographer and this helps me wind down and concentrate on something that is not related to being a Headteacher.  What do you do to relax and how do you manage to keep a healthy work-life balance?

shed

Scrooge – A Ghost of a Chance …Rehearsals

I have just had a sneak-preview of our Christmas performance and I have been amazed.  The singing was beautiful and the young lady in the lead role of Scrooge was awesome.  I do not want to give too much away but our parents and visitors will be in for a real treat when this is performed.

It is great to see the children working together and each of them playing their part in creating something that is going to be awesome.  I am looking forward to seeing the first performance and I may even share a snippet on my blog so you can see the quality of the performance.  Check back for more updates soon.

To Tweet or Not To Tweet?

It promises to be an interesting day on a number of fronts.  One of the various items on the agenda today is our visit to Carr Hill Primary School in Retford.  We are going to be working together this year on a number of areas and we take our first steps on our journey today.

It will to be of great benefit to all of us involved as we work together during this academic year.  Collaboration is a powerful process when done well, with real purpose and I am looking forward to developing our work together during this year.

It would help us if you can comment on how you have used social media to help you with your work / blogging.  Thank you.

 

A busy day…

There was lots of excitement outside of my office to day as the children lined up to go off on a visit.  Two year groups are out today and they are visiting the zoo and Harley Gallery.  The children will have an amazing time and I am looking forward to hearing about their adventures when they get back later.

Our boy’s football team have started their season and they were thrilled to beat Redlands school 3-1 in their first game.  Mr Scott and Mr Bellingham were really pleased with the way the boys played and it promises to be a very exciting season.  I am looking forward to seeing the girls start their season as I know that Emily will be smashing goals in again. She is a great talent and is one of the most talented girls in the school.

We are currently rehearsing for our school production of Scrooge and their is a real buzz about this around school.  It promises to be a very successful term and we are celebrating being in the top 1% of schools for progress from key stage one to the end of key stage two.  We are really proud of the efforts of our pupils and we are looking forward to working as hard as possible in this, our “Year of Endeavour”

Watch this space for more news this term.