Welcome to 'Mr Civil's Blog'! I hope you will visit the blog regularly to keep up to date with news from Highbank Primary School. Regards Mr G Civil

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

I can see the finishing post!

Nearly there….

Only two weeks to go now until we finish for the end of term! Wahey!

What a busy few weeks we’ve had.

This week we were able to publish our OfSTED inspection findings. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a summary:

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils:

Overall effectiveness …..............................................GOOD

Effectiveness of Leadership and management……….GOOD

Quality of teaching, learning and assessment ……….GOOD

Personal development, behaviour and welfare …….GOOD

Outcomes for pupils ……………………………………………….GOOD

Early years provision ………………………………………………GOOD

This is a good school:

§  The strong and determined leadership of the headteacher has led to a considerable improvement in standards since the last inspection.

§  The quality of teaching has improved as a result of high expectations and good-quality professional development provided by school leaders.

§  Governors and representatives of the Transform Trust provide effective support and challenge to school leaders.

§  Robust systems are in place to check that teaching is effective and that pupils are making good progress. Staff take swift action to provide support to individuals when needed.

§  From low starting points on entry to the school, pupils make good progress and most achieve standards that are at least in line with national averages by the end of key stage 2. The most able pupils achieve above-average standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

§  Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities make good progress overall. Some make rapid progress to reach the expected standards for their age by the end of key stage 2.

§  Children joining the school in the early years settle quickly and make rapid progress. They enjoy their learning and develop secure basic skills that will help them when they move to key stage 1.

§  Pupils’ behaviour is good, both in lessons and at other times of the school day. They have good attitudes to learning and appreciate the efforts of their teachers to make their lessons interesting.

§  The school’s ethos and core values promote respect and tolerance of others and encourage high aspiration. As a result, there is a happy atmosphere and pupils enjoy coming to school.

§  Pupils’ safety and well-being is a high priority for the school. Safeguarding is effective.

§  Improvements in pupils’ achievement in key stage 1 have not been as strong as in the early years and key stage 2. Teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve are not consistently high, and their work is not always well presented.

§  The curriculum is not as broad as it should be. Reading, writing and mathematics are covered well, but there are not enough opportunities to learn about other subjects in depth.

A copy of the full report can be obtained from the office, or from your child’s class teacher. It is also available on the website.

Children’s Challenges & Awards:

·         We’ve had two Poetry Assemblies, the latest of which was F2 with Tyler winning. Well done Tyler.

·         Today we’ve held our first Times Tables Challenge.  Two teams from two classes challenged each other for the trophy. After a tense battle it was 5:5 at the end and so the competition went into knockout, after which the Year 3 team led by T-J won!! It was a magnificent challenge, very tense and very exciting. We shall be holding these challenges throughout the course of next year. If your child wants to be good enough, they need to practice their tables.

·         The Champions League was completed on Friday last. The teachers (led by me!!) won both games (we took no prisoners); 3-1 against the Y3/4 champions and 4-1 against the Y5/6 champions. We all felt a bit sore afterwards! Well, I did!

·         10 of our children were nominated for awards at the Trust Children’s Awards Ceremony. We were very proud to accompany them and celebrate their achievement.

·         The Y6 class had a sleep-over in school. The challenge was to see if anyone would sleep. Some managed it at about 4:00 a.m. others didn’t manage it much at all and one Headteacher had about 20 minutes! Thank goodness it was Friday the following day.


·         School reports are due out to parents this Friday 14th July. We hope you find them informative. We have allowed some time after school on Monday 24th July for parents to come and speak to teachers about their child’s report if they wish to.

·         Tuesday 25th July is our last day of the year. At 2:15 p.m. we shall be holding our final assembly, the leavers’ assembly. We invite parents of leavers to attend.

·         I am sure you will be aware of the sad plight of Bradley Lowery who died recently. He is the young Sunderland fan who suffered with a rare condition called Neuroblastoma. His funeral is on Friday. One of our children (Leon Q) has come up with a great idea to raise funds to support the treatment of such a condition; that is to have a non-uniform day. Ideally, it would be great to have the day on Friday, the same day as his funeral but unfortunately, we have three classes out of school who need to wear their uniform. Therefore, we have allocated Wednesday 19th July as BRADLEY LOWERY DAY. On this day, children (and staff) can come to school dressed in their own clothes but it will cost each person £1. In this way, we expect to raise £350 to support the treatment of Neuroblastoma. We hope you will join us in supporting this venture and remembering Bradley for the person he was.

·         This Thursday afternoon is the Summer Fayre. We shall begin our Summer Fayre celebrations with a family picnic at 12:30 p.m. If you are able to join us, we will deliver your children to you on the field. At this time, they will then be your responsibility. If you are unable to join us for the picnic, your child will enjoy a picnic with us. During this time, we shall also be setting up stalls for the fayre. We ask that you make sure that children keep away from these while we prepare everything. At 2pm, the fayre will begin. You are free to take your children home at any time after that. The raffle will be drawn at 3pm. If you arrive later for the fayre, we shall deliver your child to you and you will be free to take them home when it’s convenient for you. Please let your child’s teacher know when you are leaving. The weather looks as though it’s going to be fine. I hope you have a lovely afternoon with us. The purpose of the day is to raise money for two specific projects that the school budget cannot support:

·         Replacing the trim trail with a new super trim trail

·         Creating a sensory room within our sensory garden

You may have noticed that Miss Kershaw has returned from Maternity Leave now. We are glad she’s back!

I think that’s about it for now. We have pupil review meetings all next week!

See you on the yard,

Mr. C.