Head Teacher Update #5
Dear parents and carers
I would like to share an update with you that focusses on the good behaviour and safety of the children in our school.
I must start by thanking you. Whenever visitors come in to school, they invariably comment on how calm, polite and happy the children are and this is down to the care and hard work of you, the parents and carers. Indeed, the Head of School Effectiveness and Learning in Devon visited this week and was extremely impressed with how the children were engaged in their activities and how well they could talk through their learning. It creates such a lovely atmosphere for our staff and children to work in and we really appreciate your support.
Being such a large school, a lot of work goes into organising systems and procedures to ensure the calm and safe movement of pupils around the school. The children walk sensibly through the corridors and this is something that we have been practising a lot - we are all very proud of how well they have responded. This is important as it means that the children are then ready to learn as they enter the classroom and settle quickly to their work. We also have a big focus on ensuring positive playtimes and have the expectation that children keep their hands to themselves. To support with this, the children have the chance to take part in sports, games and activities during lunchtime play and we are looking to add to this with further resources very soon.
Within the classroom, teachers are free to teach with minimal disruption. On the occasions that children do need to be spoken to, then Year Heads, Ms Foster and myself will support teachers. Sometimes, children will need to work away from the class. I believe it is very important to have high expectations of behaviour with clear boundaries, including consistently applied consequences, and I would say this is very much a strength of the school. I have had many conversations with parents who are also very supportive of this approach.
Much of our work to promote good behaviour in school is achieved through positive reinforcement. We explain and model the positive behaviours that make for a caring community, we recognise great effort by choosing pupils to be Star of the Day, year group assemblies celebrate excellent attitudes and our Pastoral Team have many conversations with children that may need a little extra support. Through PSHE lessons recently, children have been taught how to try and resolve any conflicts or disagreements they may have using an approach called SOLVE and this is something we are looking to share with parents in a workshop session very soon.
This week is Anti-Bullying week and whilst this is a chance for us to actively promote the importance of respect for each other, the work is something that continues throughout the year. The caring relationships established between staff and children, the calm and well-ordered environment, the Christian ethos that permeates the school and the effective supervision all mean that instances of bullying are rare. On the occasions that it does take place, the school’s response is very effective. Whenever a parent or child reports bullying to a teacher it is always passed directly to me. I meet with the pupils and families of those involved and create a Bullying Incident Log. I then continue to monitor this until the bullying stops and the parents are happy for me to close it. I must strongly urge any parents who may suspect bullying to be taking place to contact your child’s teacher immediately. Not all problems between children are bullying and I will work with parents and children to understand the issues involved and what needs to take place to resolve the problem. When it has taken place, feedback from parents has been very positive that the bullying has stopped and the school has responded well to the concerns raised.
I would like to finish by inviting any parents that would like to have a tour of the school with me to please get in touch. It would be lovely to be able to give you a first-hand experience of just how focussed and hard working the children are throughout the day and I am confident you will be very impressed!
Mr Le Bredonchel