Welcome back

It’s good to be back!
The term has started well and pupils have settled into their new classes. Our pupil numbers have increased again, and everyone’s body-clocks are reset back to “work-time” and some great work is already being produced.
Our new Y3 pupils have settled in very well and have already started to make progress from the levels which they reached us with this month. We also welcome our new staff members: Miss Pike, Miss Busby and Mr Dixon and Mrs Burkinshaw.
We, like many schools, are eagerly awaiting a visit from Ofsted. In the meantime, we are certainly working very hard to improve the school, and we think that it is a great place to send your children to learn. However, because we push ourselves to get the best out of both us and the children, we occasionally get things wrong! We certainly don’t pretend that we get everything right. Nevertheless, we’re proud of the progress that we are making; we learn from our mistakes and we can see that we are creating bright futures for your children because we want them to work in the same way. For children to be ambitious they need ambitious adults around them to show them that hard work is the way to success. It is our ambition to help all of our pupils work hard enough to achieve what they are capable of, so that there futures are as bright as they can be!

School Dinners
After October half term, we are again improving the school dinner menu based on the feedback that pupils gave us throughout last year. The alterations will only be small: we will continue with a 10-day menu that repeats every two weeks, but are moving one or two days around and also changing/adding one or two of the meals and puddings because that is what children have asked us for. The new menus will be sent out in the next two weeks to give you plenty of time to decide which days you would like your child to stay. The new menu will be on the school website by the middle of October: www.brumbyjuniorschool.co.uk

New School Building
As you may know, we are in the consultation process regarding our new school building. At the moment we have had no confirmation as to what form this will take, but capital funding from the government has been granted and things should start happening soon. We anticipate that the actual process of building will not begin until the summer term at the earliest, but we are working closely with the funding agency to ensure that the school will be the best design possible.

Breakfast club
Our breakfast club is becoming more and more popular. We have pupils from all year groups attending. Children can choose from a mixture of toast, cereals and juice whilst listening to music and reading books. The cost is only 50p per day, so please send your child if they would like to try it out. It starts at 8:15 a.m.

Uniform:
Thank you to every parent for making such a great effort with school uniform for the start of the year. The new shoes look fantastic, and the trousers, skirts, jumpers and cardigans are as smart as ever. P.E kits are generally very good too. Please continue your support regarding earrings: we do allow small stud or design earrings to be worn, but not large ones!
Holidays in term time
Holidays in term time will not be granted in term time. All schools are now advised to remind parents that “leave of absence” will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, such as a serious family crisis or a parent being given certain holidays if they work for the forces or emergency services. Normal holiday allowances falling in term time are not classed as exceptional circumstances. A full policy and the latest government advice for schools is available from the school office.
Timings
We are happy that children are so keen to come to school, but please note that they should not arrive until after 8:30 a.m. unless they are in the breakfast club. Although the children who arrive early may appear to be safe, the playgrounds are unsupervised at this time, so we cannot be there to act quickly in case of emergencies
Please also ensure that pupils have arrived no later than 8:55 a.m. If your child is going to be absent, please contact the school office before 9:30 a.m. on the day of the illness.

Bikes and scooters
We currently only allow pupils from Year 5 and 6 who have done the school cycle training use their bikes to come to school. Pupils from other years are not allowed to use their bikes for school at the current time. Scooters are not allowed to be kept on the school site during the day at the present time.
Ofsted Parent View
Thank you for your responses to the parent questionnaire at the end of the summer term. We have collated the results and attached them to this blog. We are very pleased that we seem to be doing a good job, yet we know that we can improve even more too. Your feedback has been helpful and changes are already taking place which have come about due to your feedback. Please remember that you can also leave feedback at http://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/

New school rewards and payments system:
Class Dojo
We not only want children to learn about effort and reward whilst they are at school, but also that life involves commitment, hard work, effort and that you don’t get to spend everything that you earn on nice things! Therefore, we have recently launched a new system to reward our children for their efforts, achievements and commitments in school. However, what makes it unique is that it also charges them some fixed costs (such as rent and bills) and fines for misdemeanours (such as forgetting homework, running in corridors, or poor effort or behaviour) too. Any child who works hard and shows good effort and organisation will earn reward “mojos, dojos and credits” which they can save or spend at key times during the year. Parents can log onto the website to monitor their child’s progress, which will provide an extra level of feedback for you and your children to discuss! If you have not had (or your child has lost) your log in details, please contact their class teacher.

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The new challenge

IMG_2438

IMG_2439Hi everyone,

These are the challenges for this week. You can view the posters online, but please drop your answers into the box outside my room…

Mr Foster

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Latest Update

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I have posted anything onto the blog, so I’m really happy that I’ve got the time now to add a post to update everyone with what has been happening.

Teaching and Learning

We’ve had a huge focus on teaching and learning this year. From September onwards we have really raised our expectations in terms of what we expect from our staff and pupils. We have devised our own criteria for Outstanding teaching (based on lots of research!) and we are now implementing our “5 elements” in lessons across the school. These elements are:

1. Take Off Points: These are short tasks or interventions which are used throughout the lessons to ignite the pupils’ learning and thought processes.

2. Planning for Learning: This principle is built around the lesson objectives and outcomes, but with lots of flexibility built in so that lessons can follow the learning needs of the children, rather than a rigid and inflexible plan.

3. Collaboration: We have designed and implemented 8 collaborative learning strategies which we use in class. Pupils now have so many more ways to learn!

4. Feedback: We have learned a lot from the educational research which suggests that feedback is the single most important element in a pupil’s learning. We are learning more and more each week about this…

5. Classroom systems: What exactly does a teacher and a pupil need to do automatically, every day, to make the learning environment as effective as possible?

These are exciting times at Brumby. We have learned that we love learning about learning! Our lessons are getting better, our pupils are achieving more, and this is just the start….

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Update

Hi everyone,

It’s been a really busy half term, and we’ve made lots of changes and improvements to the school over the last 6 weeks.

You’ll have noticed that I am no longer putting the Headteacher’s award pupils onto the blog. Instead, we are showing these around the school (and also giving the pupils a certificate to take home) until we have made sure that all of our internet permission forms are up-to-date.

We’ve had lots of exciting developments in classrooms too. As you may know, Mrs Pitois, Mrs Fox and Mr Fox qualified as Advanced Skills Teachers last year, which means that they work closely with other schools to make sure that teachers are making their lessons as engaging and interesting as possible, therefore enabling pupils to learn much more. In fact, our ASTs have learned so much that they are now part of a team which trains other teachers from other schools too – and they are getting some great feedback. Our own teachers are undergoing this training now, and although all of them are working very hard, they are doing a brilliant job of making their lessons “ignite” the children’s learning.

Thank you to all of you who attended our Reading open-day. It was brilliant to be able to get so many of you into the school and share what we are doing. We hope that we gave you lots of ideas that you can use at home to help your children’s learning to “take off”! It was great to see that management team from Outwood Academy (Brumby) in the school too: they are making some much-needed changes to their school and they want to work closely with us too. It will be great to see our children continue the great progress that they have made throughout the infants and juniors as they go through the secondary school too. Finally, our MP, Nic Dakin also paid another visit to the school and was impressed with what he saw. Thank you to all of you who spoke to him and said such nice things about the school!

In other matters, I must say thank you to all of the parents who have spoken to me in such a positive way about our parking issues. Brumby is a very difficult school to park near if people approach from the Queensway, and we found that our car park was far too dangerous at school opening and closing times. After one near-miss too many, we took the decision to close the car park from 8:40 am to 9:00 am, and also from 2 p.m. to 3:25 p.m. This has had the result of making the school much safer, but I’m also aware that it is much less convenient for parents too. Nevertheless, we had to make a judgement, and after advice from Ofsted representatives and the Highways authority, we are now confident that we have done the right thing. We realise that some delivery drivers have been seen to park up on the Queensway with their hazard warning lights on when the gates are closed, but we have asked them to arrive when the gates are open instead.

Next half term is quite a short one – only 4 weeks and 4 days. Nevertheless, we are really going to encourage the children to achieve as much as they can in that time!

Mr Foster

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Attendance award

We now award a trophy every week to the class that has had the best attendance. So far the winners have been 6LS, 6RM (twice!) and today, 4CJ.

Good attendance is vital for every pupil, and whilst we know that some absences are unavoidable, we also feel that pupils who do their best to get full attendance should be rewarded.

we are the champions on PhotoPeach

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