Academy News 23rd January

This week our Y6 girls A and B netball teams played their first competitive games of the season, in a friendly set of matches with Abbotsholme. We haven’t previously played against Abbotsholme and pupils were pleased to win 2 of their 3 matches. Most importantly of all, however, they enjoyed themselves playing some great netball.

At the end of last week we had to announce a temporary one week ban for ball games at break time and lunch time. The reason for this is that we had two children hurt by balls during last week, both requiring a visit to hospital. During this week we have met with pupils and staff and we have discussed a new set of protocols, so that we can manage the ball games whilst allowing other pupils to walk and run around. We have spoken to the children about the new rules and have been able to reinstate ball games as the week ends.

This week we have also had a ‘walk by’ for lost property. We have enough lost clothes to dress several entire classes. Very few of the clothes are named. Even where we can match a name label with a pupil, sometimes the pupil denies that the garment belongs to them. We therefore organised a walk-by so that parents could come and look at the items which we have and identify anything which has previously been lost.

We held a parent information event during the week, so that we could talk to parents about the ‘coasting schools’ issue and take the opportunity to discuss our plans and ideas for improvement. We listened to some very good ideas and we took in a lot of written comments and suggestions. We will work through them and we aim to give an individual response to every parent by half term. One of the loudest messages to us was that we need to do better with our communications to parents. We’re now reflecting on practical things which we can do to improve things, and would welcome any further comments from parents on this matter.

In September every pupil took a reading age test. We have been doing some targeted work to improve reading since then. We have re-done the reading tests over the last couple of weeks, so that we could look at which strategies are working. We’ve been pleased to find that 65 of our weakest pupils, who were significantly below their reading ages in September are now at their chronological reading age. We have also found that 2/3 of our pupils are now above their chronological reading age. This is a fantastic achievement and although we still have further to go, we need to say thank you to all those parents who are supporting us to improve reading by spending time each day reading with their children.