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Principal’s Blog – 31st January 2016

Principal’s Blog – 31st January 2016

Musing over the new curriculum….. Tim Oates one of the primary movers and shakers with regard to the new curriculum and assessment without levels wanted a simpler and fairer approach to learning, where children were not focusing on levels and learning incrementally in order to move from one level to the next.  We have yet to see at the end of this academic year whether or not his vision is realised.

I completely agree with children learning times tables by rote.  They need this knowledge for so many mathematical and every day matters.  But……. looking at some of the test papers we have seen just lately there seems to be a big jump. We know the curriculum is much more demanding but a more gradual implementation might have been more achievable.  I agree with children learning spelling and grammar, these elements are vital, but these need to be age appropriate and some of the grammar expectation in the new curriculum  appears to be very complex for 11 year old children.

Children cannot learn tables and spellings alone and more than ever they need your help at home – and without this help they will be seriously disadvantaged.  We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday for our second Assessment Information Evening of the year.

We have had such a strange week with so many of our children dropping ill with flu-like symptoms.  Some classes were seriously depleted and some of the teachers were not much better!  .  We almost fitted into just one hall for Friday’s assembly!  Perhaps last week saw the peak of the illness and children will be feeling better this week.

How many of you took part in the Great British Birdwatch?  I think we had a few blackbirds and wood pigeons. In the early mornings we have a family of bluetits but they tend to forage elsewhere as the day goes on!  Possibly the presence of a cat deters them!  Thank fully we have had no remains of unlucky birds in the house and a rest from the frequent presents of half consumed small mammals in recent weeks also.  Spring approaches though!

Half term approaches too and I am sure you will be looking forward to a less frantic morning regime.  For the children this begins on Thursday 11th February when we have the first of two training days.

Enjoy the week ahead.

Lorraine Hollingworth

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