06 Oct 05/10/2017
Executive head teacher news: His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent: Last week the school and children’s centre was officially opened by the Duke of Kent. Unfortunately I was not permitted to advertise the event or give out details until the last minute. I…
Executive head teacher news:
His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent:
Last week the school and children’s centre was officially opened by the Duke of Kent. Unfortunately I was not permitted to advertise the event or give out details until the last minute. I had to follow the orders of the army, the police and Palace security who restricted the number of adults I was allowed to invite which is why I put all parent’s names in a hat. I requested a member of the Royal Family officially open our building rather than a celebrity because of the journey Moreland has been on since the start of the federation in 2011. It is now one of the top schools in the country and merits Royal recognition. I am sure that more parents would have liked to be present but the event would not have been allowed had I not agreed to the security restrictions. HRH was only in the building for 45 minutes and started by going on a brief tour of the school. He commented on the ‘many layers of education’ he saw as he went from class to class which was very perceptive. I told him that we don’t just teach the children the National Curriculum; we go one step further in Moreland as we prepare the children for life and nurture their personalities. It was a very pleasant event and the children enjoyed waving their union flags. HRH unveiled a plaque which marked the event and a plinth which every child and every member of staff has signed which signified the day as being a milestone in the history of Moreland. There will be a press release about the event soon.
The Moreland Way:
This is our behaviour code- the ‘Way’ we do things in Moreland:
Do be kind and helpful – remember to help other children and adults
Do be gentle – remember other people have feelings
Do look after your school- remember to show respect
Do listen to people and show respect – remember your manners
Do work hard – remember to always try your best
Do be honest – remember to always tell the truth
I am continually impressed by the behaviour of the children- they have excellent manners and are courteous and respectful to each other (on the whole) and to adults. Children being children do sometimes have their moments but we do our best to develop positive relationships with every child so they respond well to us and we are firm in our expectations. We endeavour to be as fair as we can be and treat every child the same. We are always telling children that they come to school to learn and we all need calmness and order for this to happen. We always encourage children to tell their family about their school day and anything that may be worrying them, but we also need to know if there is anything troubling them so that we can sort it out straight away.
‘You are the second adult’
From time to time we remind the children about using the words ‘You are the second adult’. If a child has a problem and tells an adult who may be already dealing with or speaking to other children, they should then go to another adult and actually say, “You are the second adult”. This will alert that second adult that the first adult has not been able to deal with the child’s problem. This has worked very well over the years, but we know that children need reminding to use these simple words. We encourage children to tell their family about their school day, but staff at school also need to know if there is anything troubling them so that we can sort it out straight away. The use of the ‘second adult’ helps here.
It is fitting as we are over a month into the new school year that I explain how we reward children for good behaviour, showing a positive attitude and mind set and for hard work and achievement. The expectation is that every child will follow the Moreland Way and that they behave consistently well every day to enable their own learning as well as other children to learn and for emotional and safety reasons
There are times when we can see the effort that some children make to improve as they endeavour to meet our high expectations and we reward this. We are also very mindful of children who behave well ALL the time. We do our best to ensure fairness by carefully noting who gets star of the week, head teacher’s award, power of the letter, merit points or a certificate at the end of each term. Power of the letter is a letter which is posted home which gives children ’the power’ to ask their family for a little treat, however small because they have been exceptional pupils. My head teacher’s award rewards hard work and improvement. We will soon be having a new additional reward- ‘Hot Chocolate Friday’ reward for children with consistently perfect behaviour. They have a cup of hot chocolate with Mr Quinton or me- what a treat!
Children have to earn a reward- we are very clear about this with them. There are 288 children in the school therefore we spread the rewards across the year. We also teach children that in life we do things to improve ourselves and the reward can just be the satisfaction of achieving something- it is not always material it can just be that sense of achievement. We actively encourage them to help each other and to gain satisfaction from that. Older children understand this. I had the pleasure of going to Osmington Bay last week and witnessed this- children encouraging each other, looking after each other, congratulating each other. They had a great week with fabulous weather. Similarly year 5 had a wonderful few days at Cardfields. Both classes have had the opportunity to earn citizenship points for endeavour, maturity, consideration, mindfulness and achievement. The points are logged on their bronze, silver and gold cards which go towards them earning their prefect badge when in year 6.
I explained in the last newsletter that we are using 3 key words Safe…..Attitude….Mindful to reinforce our expectations of children’s behaviour. It is good to see the children using these words too in their conversation to each other.
Some of the staff have been told by the children that they do not read at home. Children as young as 2 years can look at books, talk about the pictures, and pick out individual letters. The attraction of books needs to be nurtured at a very young age. As children grow, they need to learn how to read and understand what they are reading. Reading links very much to writing as children remember letters, sounds and words. The older they get, the more skilled they become. Encouraging children to talk and express themselves and their views and feelings is also very important and directly links to writing. Please read to and with your child as much as you can. Also hear your child read to you. Please also encourage your older children to read themselves. We have books in school they are welcome to take home and Finsbury Library is just up the road. You are welcome to talk to us if you need any help here.
“The more you READ the more things you will know. The more you Learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr Seuss.
Before and after school arrangements, consent letters and trips:
Your class TA will have given you the annual consent form to sign regarding permission for your child to be photographed and about use of these on the internet. We also ask for 3 contacts who are allowed to collect your child. Please make sure you return this as soon as you can. Our greatest concern is to ensure that each child arrives at school safely every morning and returns home safely every evening. Please note:
- All pupils may only be collected by an authorised adult – that is, someone a parent has consented to collect their child.
- Teachers and TAs are not able to speak to you at the end of the day whilst they are dismissing children as they have to make sure every child is picked up by the authorised person. You are welcome to wait until the last child has been collected or see the teacher before school the next day or arrange to see them another time.
- Nursery and Reception pupils may only be brought and collected by a known adult aged 18 or above, when we have received notification from parents.
- Pupils in Years 1- 4 may only be collected by a known person aged 14 (Year 9 in High school) or above when we have received notification from parents.
- Pupils in Years 5 and 6 are allowed to walk home on their own with parents’ permission.
We appreciate your support in this matter and thank you for working with us to help all of our children remain safe at all times.
On entry to the school you all signed giving permission for your child to go on local trips. Instead of sending you a note we will text you informing you of such trips. This is a more reliable way of you receiving information as well as a saving on paper. Please let us know if you change your mobile phone number, or if you move house. We also need a minimum of three emergency contact numbers.
Year 6 parents should have received their secondary transfer book from their local authority by now. Please let us know if you need any support with this process.
This is the sixth year of our successful federation with St Luke’s and I will continue to work across both schools. My days in Moreland remain the same on the whole- I am here Mondays, Wednesdays and most of Fridays but am often in both schools every day as they are so close. You are welcome to contact me at either school.
We continue to write a monthly newsletter which you will receive on the first Friday. This will include a report from each class stating what they have been learning. Please keep an eye on the school website which we up-date quite regularly.
Last but not least Sam our nursery nurse has had a baby boy. Both mother and baby are doing very well.