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Head’s Blog 6th December 2019

Continuing with our focus on the support teams that really do make such a positive impact on our school,  the spotlight this week turns to our wonderful team of Learning Support Officers/Assistants.

This small team supports the learning needs of pupils on a one-to-one and group basis.  They develop a deep understanding of the needs of the pupils with whom they work and really do make a massive difference to the daily lives of our pupils.  

Probably key to their success are the relationships which they build up with our pupils.  Often, pupils will prefer to speak to someone else rather than their teacher and this is something we all understand and respect.  Such is the strength of the relationships they build up, they are able to respond to the needs of pupils far quicker than others in the school; from this point of view, their work is essential.

Their work is quite varied and will involve them in support across all of the curriculum areas within the school.  It is often stated that if you want a true picture of what is going on in classrooms across a school then asking  a member of this team will more often than not provide you with the answer!  They can be seen preparing resources, counselling pupils, supporting with classwork and examinations, working with teaching staff to develop lesson plans and much, much more.  

Thank you to Rachel Mann, Aminita Sharma, Vanessa Howells, Lesley Cooper, Shane Davies, Bethany Hammond Emma Palfreman, Karen Edwards, Bridie Roberts, Andrea Stimpson Jane Gray, Kate Jones and Martine Hancock. The photo shows some of the team as not only are they incredibly hard working but they are also a little ‘camera-shy’!

This week I held my regular ‘Open Meeting’ for parents and carers.  The topics discussed were as follows:

Homework – ensuring parents and carers have full access to resources and so on.

Google Classroom – discussion about how using Google Classroom in the future would benefit the communication links between school and home (especially in the case of homework)

Merits – concern about the lack of detail

Accuracy of attendance records in school

Set lists not being updated accurately

Positive feedback about the new reporting system and the fact that it now recognises the effort that is put in by pupils

The Form Tutor Review meetings were viewed as a significant improvement in terms of the level of contact between school and home and also recognising the important role played by the form tutor.

More detailed and timely communication is needed regarding events in school

A forward-looking calendar of trips and visits would benefit parents and carers as on too many occasions, pupils are left having to choose between different trips/visits that often overlap.

The next Open Meeting is due to take place on Tuesday 11th February at 5.30pm and it would be good to see as many parents and carers as possible there.

Our photo of the week shows some of our pupils who took part in a Fun Run in aid of the Santa Appeal.  It is such a privilege to be part of a school where so many pupils are thinking about others who are less fortunate than themselves.

Thank you for your support