Last week I wrote about providing an opportunity for stillness so that we can grow in spirit - in awareness of God and ourselves.
This week, I want to tell you about what we are doing to stretch the thinking of our learners.
At the beginning of the year each teacher groups their class into "National Standards" groups for each learning area - Reading, Writing and Maths and identifies what their hunches about about what teaching actions might help shift each child further forward in their learning, eg from Below to At, At to Above, or Above to Well Above. Teachers then meet with me at the beginning of every term to discuss each child and what will be done to extend that child's learning during the next ten weeks. For a child to achieve Above National Standards they must be working a year above their age expectation and well above is two years above their age expectation. Obviously this is not possible for all children, and our focus is on progress for each child rather than competition against each other.
In recent years, our school has done very well at progressing learners who are Below National Standards to At National Standards, and in 2015-6 our challenge as a staff has been to maintain that push for our underachievers while raising the bar for those who are achieving at their age level to achieving Above and Well Above.
Staff have a number of ways of working with children to raise achievement, and we are regularly reflecting on what is working and not for each child.
We will have Parent-Teacher-Student (Three Way) Interviews on 7th September so that you will be able to discuss how you can help your child to make accelerated progress.
For Terms 1 and 2, Mrs Williams worked with whole classes to develop higher order thinking skills. This term, higher order thinking skills are being actively taught through all learning areas through our focus on Problem Solving and Mrs Williams is working with small groups of gifted and talented learners on Fridays.
Children in Room 1-2 have begun learning to do coding this term using a programme called Kodable. This is yet another way of problem solving that is extending their thinking skills.
As a school we are working hard to raise achievement so that many of our learners can be achieving Above and Well Above National Standards in Reading, Writing and Maths, but also so that they become well-rounded thinkers who can process problems effectively in real life situations and in relationships.
Please make the Three Way Interview a priority on your calendar so that we can work together to create life-long learners who embrace problems with faith, hope and love.
Looking forward to seeing you.