Happy New Year and welcome back to Stoneygate.
On Monday and Tuesday this week staff were involved in various activities: planning, meetings and INSET (IN SErvice Training). On Monday, Ian Anderson (from Dragonfly Training) hosted an excellent session on ‘Stretch and Challenge’ at Stoneygate…and I’m delighted to hear that some of his practical methods are already being implemented.
Every school in the country can improve and schools should find time to discuss this issue. On Tuesday I found myself both leading meetings and discussing issues surrounding “how to improve Teaching and Learning at Stoneygate”. The topics varied from ‘When to introduce I movie trailers’ to ‘How we can inspire our pupils through comprehension’.
In one session we discussed pupil organisation. For hundreds of years teachers have heard the lines, “I can’t find my pencil, sir” or “I’ve run out of ink, Miss”.
Teachers want to get on with the lesson. Should we therefore have a permanent supply of pens and pencils in every room, especially for those pupils who struggle with organisational issues? If we do, are we pandering to their needs and actually not helping develop their independence and organisational skills? As parents could you please check that your child has the correct stationery at the start of every term. Yes, pupils will continue to lose pens and school will, of course, be on hand with a copious supply of ‘spare pens and pencils’.
Pupils ought to be taught the importance of responsibility and this was touched on in assembly this week. I spoke to the pupils about the origins of the word January and its derivation from the Roman God, Janus. Janus, looked both to the past and the future; I then made the rather tenuous link between ‘looking both ways’ with regard to road safety. The assembly was divided into three sections, with pupils watching age related material.
The clip below was shown to pupils from Year 3 upwards. The series are quite scary in content, but I believe it needs to be, as we cannot allow our pupils to be complacent about road safety.
I ended the assembly by speaking to pupils from Years 7- 9. For them, my biggest concern is walking and not concentrating. There has been a huge increase in teenage related injury due to children not looking where they are going and not concentrating when crossing a road. Too many teenagers are texting, playing games or switching music videos on their mobile phones and therefore oblivious to danger.
Last year Honolulu became the first major city to ban texting whilst walking under new legislation dubbed “the distracted pedestrian law”. Police in Hawaii’s capital can now fine pedestrians up to $99 for ‘viewing a device whilst crossing a road’. A sign of things to come perhaps?
Dates for the diary:
Tuesday 16th January- School shop & Year 6 Parents’ evening
Thursday 18th January- Forest school (Recpetion & Year 1)
Friday 19th January- Forest school (Year 2 & Year 3)
Monday 22nd January- Year 4 Parents’ evening
Tuesday 23rd January- Year 8 “Life on Earth” Challenge, Year 3 Parents’ lunch & ‘Half price Book Fair’ begins
Wednesday 24th January- SSA Quiz and Curry Night
I look forward to seeing many of you at these events; please do join us for the ‘Quiz and Curry’ evening… I can’t promise intellectual stimulation, but I can promise fun!