The message I would like to communicate with you most of all is that things are going really well at school, despite all the Covid related challenges. The restart has felt like a new start in so many ways. We made a lot of changes: to classrooms, to staff and to our curriculum, but many of the changes we made were not Covid driven, but rather improvements that were already planned on our school development plan. I am really pleased with how the changes have worked out and how much they have improved the school.
One of the most significant developments is that we have started to work from a new curriculum plan. Our new plan ensures that every topic we teach is rooted in quality texts. What better way to understand the Stone Age than to read a class-story that takes you there? (The first class set of books -which the children are reading in the photos- was kindly donated by one of our governors.) We have also invested in a new method of phonics teaching, which was explained in a previous newsletter. The improvements in results and the increased rate in which children progress because of this new phonics method are already visible!
Although the curriculum is important, the children's attitude to learning is even more important. I wish I could invite you to walk round the school when lessons are in full flow, because every day I see that all children are focused on achieving their best. Our new staff have settled in well, and with the increased staffing, the school has the capacity to help your children even better. With a ratio of about 1 adult per 5 children, we are really well resourced to support every child.
But we are also preparing for what could be a rocky road ahead. Many schools are already experiencing the need to provide remote learning for pupils who are self-isolating at home with Covid-symptoms themselves or living with someone who is. This time we are much better prepared to support home learning than we were in March. All teachers are trained to use Google Classroom and we have started to use Google Classroom with pupils in school to road-test it. This way, we will all become familiar with how it works and we can to solve any teething problems with the IT side of things. If we end up experiencing disruption due to Covid-19, pupils in Y1-Y6 will be loaned an iPad that is configured with all the apps needed to carry on their education at home.