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The School is a nurturing environment where children, staff, parents and governors know each other and share a common understanding of the School’s purpose – to ‘aim high’ and through shared understanding of Gospel values, ensure that the potential of every child is fully achieved. Our children are happy, sociable, well-behaved and value our diversity, which enriches everything we do. We are moving rapidly from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ and relishing the challenge!

Friday, 5 February 2016

The School wins Pupil Premium Award

The School has today received a congratulatory letter from Sam Gyimah MP, Under Secretary of State for Childcare and Education, commending the School for what it has done since 2011 in terms of the progress and attainment of disadvantaged pupils.  The full letter is shown below.

Graeme McGlasson-West
Head Teacher

Don't miss Monday's Zumba class!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Year 6 participate in Holocaust Memorial Day

Year 6 took part in a Holocaust Memorial Day performance at the Rivoli Ballroom on Sunday 24 January.  Martyna from Year 6 wrote the following account of the day.

On Sunday 24th January our class went to perform at the Rivoli Ballroom.  This experience was truly fascinating.

"An actor called Mark Curtis from Small Nose Theatre came to our School to share his good friend's story.  The lady was called Liane Segal.  She was a kindertransport evacuee.  Mark ran a workshop with us and what we produced we performed at the Rivoli Ballroom.

"We arrived at the Rivoli at 12.15.  We did a run through of our production.  This was extremely exciting since some very important people were going to be there - like Liane herself, four holocaust evacuees, the Mayor and Cantor David Rome.

"At 2.30 the doors opened.  We sat where we were going to do our first performance - the train carriage.  We were all sitting patiently waiting to start.  Suddenly the audience started marching in.  I felt terribly nervous.  First in line was Liane.  We had started.  I learnt a lot from all this.  I learnt what it was like to be an evacuee, Liane's story, it really touched me. I would not want to be one of those children on the train.

"The theme for this production was 'Don't Stand By'.  I think this was a really good theme because it really grabbed me - how we should not let things just happen, but we should stand up and say our opinion, protect others.

"The other schools that were there were Gordonbrock, St.William of York, 2 children from Bonus Pastor and LESOCO College.

"Our other performance was on stage.  We showed everyone at the Rivoli about 'the train that never left'.  The Sir Nicholas Winton train that was sat in Berlin station when the war began.  'The train that never left' - it was devastating to hear that none of the children on that train survived.

"We did this performance to remember the Holocaust.  The world needs to remember what happened.  This should never happen again.  I learnt that one man's evil had such power to take away 6 million people's lives.  The purpose of this is to remember the effect the Holocaust had on humanity, and so it will never happen again."

Monday, 1 February 2016

Head Teacher's Letter to Parents incl. Parents' Days and new Pupil Attainment standards

Dear Mums, Dads and Carers,

I am writing to inform you of the Parent Day dates for this term, which will be as follows:
  • Wednesday 3 February - Y6
  • Monday 14 March - Y3
  • Tuesday 15 March - Y4
  • Thursday 17 March - Y5
  • Friday 18 March - Reception
  • Monday 21 March - Y1
  • Wednesday 22 March - Y2
You may remember from the Parents’ Day meetings last term, that teachers in classes Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6, told you that the Department for Education (DfE) reformed primary assessment arrangements in September 2015.  Schools will no longer be measuring a child’s progress and attainment in levels, but in terms of scaled scores with 100 being the ‘expected standard’.  Children achieving a higher score than 100 will be considered as ‘working at a greater depth in the expected standard’.  The Government will only decide what score constitutes as ‘expected’ and ‘working at a greater depth’ after the new Key Stage tests have been completed.

During your child’s Parent Day the class teachers will have:
  • Assessed the progress and attainment your child has made since last September
  • Predicted (based on their learning so far) what their progress and attainment will be at the end of this academic year, or in the case of Y2 and Y6, whether your child will reach ‘expected’ in their end of Key Stage tests.
  • The above will be in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. In Year 6, your child will have a comment for Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling.
  • A comment will also be made on their learning in Religious Education, because in a Catholic school, this is classed as a core subject
The Government has also set ‘floor standards’ for attainment and progress.  To meet the minimum Government expectation, at least 65% of children must reach the expected standard in Reading, Writing and Mathematics combined, at the end of Key Stage 2.  In SMM last year 100% of pupils attained a level 4, which was then the expected standard.  Tests this year will harder and as yet we do not know what the expected standard will be!  Furthermore the staff and Governors do not consider ‘expected’ to be good enough.  Our aspirations and those of the children are aimed at doing better than the National norm.  This is why we constantly strive to improve children’s behaviour for learning, in order that they access the best quality teaching we offer.

At Parent Day, as well as discussing progress and attainment, teachers will make a comment on how good your child’s behaviour for learning is in class and around the School.

I hope that you will find this letter helpful in understanding the reforms the Government has made this year, but if you require further explanation, please do not hesitate to ask your child’s teacher on Parent Day.

Graeme McGlasson-West
Head Teacher

Friday, 29 January 2016

Welcome to our New Parent Governors

The Governing Board is pleased to welcome Éireann Sharpe and Joice James Pallickamyalil as our two new parent governors.  For those of you who don't already know them, Éireann is a Reception parent and Joice James a Year 1/Year 4 parent.
The two parent governor vacancies were advertised to all parents on 15 January, along with the personal qualities and skillset required.  At the deadline, noon last Friday 22 January, the above two valid nominations had been received.  This meant that no election process was required and the two nominees have been duly appointed.
The Governing Board is made up of 14 governors (see information tab above) and its main functions are:
  • to set the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the School
  • to hold the Head Teacher to account for the educational performance of the School; and 
  • to oversee the School’s financial performance
Amongst other things, Governors are expected to:
  • undertake the necessary training to become an effective Governor
  • attend 2-3 Governing Board meetings each term (held 7.00-9.00pm on weekday evenings) and read the agenda papers thoroughly in advance
  • undertake monitoring visits to the School and to participate in School events
  • take a lead on aspects of the Governing Board’s work (e.g. become maths link governor)
  • adhere at all times to the Governors’ Code of Conduct and take joint responsibility for the decisions of the Governing Board
  • ideally bring relevant, transferable skills from their own work or other experience.
Éireann and Joice James both have excellent skills and experience to complement what we aleady have within the Governing Board.
The Governing Board looks forward to inducting and working with its new members!
Danny McGrath
Chair of the Governing Board