It is hard to believe we are at the end of the half term already. I hope you all heard about our visitor on Monday; Tony came with his guide dog and talked to the children about how he manages day to day and about the enormous difference his dog Hester makes to his life. Tony joined us as we ran around the field in our different socks, all in the aim of raising lots of money for Guide dogs for the blind. The children have had such a great attitude towards the event and have truly been walking and running their socks off.
On Tuesday I had the opportunity to meet with other church school headteachers in Oxford. The Oxford Diocese Headteacher conference always provides time for networking, reflection on our school and our provision as well learning from some inspiring speakers. As I am sure you can imagine budgets were a high focus of many discussions and clearly a concern for every headteacher. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank so many of you for supporting the school with a regular contribution. This money is so valuable to the school; we have this month been able to replenish stationary and invest in new English books which we can see are having a huge impact on handwriting. We will send out the letter regarding the monthly contribution again after half term as we have new families and some of you may have missed the original letter. On Tuesday evening we had our Governor meeting. Part of the meeting was discussing developments within school planned for the next few months; they are delighted with the new banner at the front of school, we cannot thank you enough for the support you give FOFSA and for their hard work. The quote on the banner says that our school is an exciting place to be; it certainly feels like it.
I have been pleased this half term that we have not had any pupil with more than 8 lates when arriving in the morning. This is a significant improvement and I thank you all for your support with this. Learning starts as soon as the children arrive and children often feel very self-aware when arriving late for school. I continue to be concerned about our attendance figures and the impact this has on learning and wellbeing. At the end of this term I will be awarding certificates for attendance of 98% and above.
The Year 2 children have now finished their SATs booklets; they have enjoyed doing them and it has been fantastic to see how confidently they work and how secure their learning is. Writing assessments continue for both Year 2 and Year 6 until the end of June so support with home learning over half term would be greatly appreciated. Phonics testing for Year 1 children take place during the middle of June and the children continue to work hard towards this.
On Thursday we took our learning outside; the weather was perfect and the atmosphere around school was fantastic. I joined Rosefinch singing Farmer in the den and Bullfinch in the ballcourt producing beautiful pieces of writing in a natural silence. Thank you Mrs Dodds for leading the day and for your continued inspiration to take learning outside. I have seen so many children this week to celebrate their writing especially from Goldfinch and Chaffinch, I have now run out of headteacher stickers!!
We are finishing the half term with 10 children playing cricket in Shinfield; they played well and improved a lot. Thank you Mr O'Reilly and also Mr Khan for the extra coaching!
Mr O'Reilly has been working hard to plan Sports day. We are changing the structure of the afternoon this year to ensure the children are more active. We would like all children to wear a plain, team coloured tee-shirt for the day instead of their PE tee-shirt. A separate letter has gone out regarding this.
I would like to thank the staff for their hard work this half term; it is short but very intense and busy. We have Wokingham moderations coming up after half term to check our assessments in Early Years and Year 2. Report writing is also starting so I wish staff a good rest over half term. Next term I will share staff arrangements for September. We look forward to welcoming the new Reception families to our school; we have allocated 16 of our 17 places which in a low birth year and with so many unfilled spaces across Wokingham, I are delighted.
Have a great half term and we look forward to seeing lots of children at the NSsport Inset day on Monday 3rd June.