School Development Priorities 2018

Our Summer 2018 Data showed improvement from the previous year, with  notable successes  in Y1 Phonics and KS1 SATs. It was particularly  pleasing to note the improvement made in reading across the school which was a whole school focus last year. Full details of test performance is  posted on the school website.  Each year we use a range of sources to set priorities for the upcoming year.  We explain to children that making  something wonderful Your child may already be able to tell you what some of these are as we have been using assemblies this week to discuss them. Written in child friendly language we have set the following  as aspirations for the end of 2018-19

1. I will know and use numbers to solve problems

2. I will use words well

3. I will love to read

4. I will be active in my learning

5. I will know about life beyond Sutton

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   Grown ups will always support and challenge me to be my best

The thinking behind the plan...

Priority 1 : I will know and use numbers to solve problems

Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. (National Curriculum 2014)

This year we are working hard to ensure that all the children in school know their basic number facts really well to help them to solve problems. We are using lots of games and practice of the key facts in school to make sure they are easy to recall quickly. You will have seen in your child's home learning the KIRFs ( key instant recall facts) that we are focusing on this half term. Each of the KIRFs sheets has some top tips about what you can do with your child to help them learn these facts. There are also some website recommended on our website under Learning—Useful websites for learning. Watch out for more top tips in future newsletters. Key facts children need are:

  • YR numbers to 10 and counting in 10s and 2s
  • Y1 number bonds —the pairs of numbers that make other numbers E.g. 6 and 3 make 9 so 6+3=9 We need the know these for all the numbers less than 20
  • Y2 Ways to make 20, doubling and halving numbers and the x2, x5 and x10 tables
  • Y3 All the bonds to 20 . More on times tables x3, x4 and x8 including division facts
  • Y4 Bonds to 100 and all the times tables and division up to 12x12
  • Y5 All the times tables. Metric conversion. Prime numbers, square numbers and factors of numbers.
  • Y6 All the Y5 facts plus fractions, decimals and %.

Please spend a little bit of time as often as possible helping your child remember these facts

Priority 3 : I will love Reading

Read Read Read! We firmly believe that reading unlocks the key for learning—it’s like a tiny bit of magic. If you can read you can learn and, without this skill, everything is so much harder. This year we will be working hard to further develop our children's skill in reading, and by the end of the year it is our aspiration for every child to ‘love reading.’ As part of this commitment we will continue to develop the fantastic work in the school library. Having appointed our own librarian, Mrs Broughton, last year, children will continue to have access to an ever growing number of quality reading books to take read in school and also take home. This year we have bought a range of age appropriate readers to be based in class—you will recognise several old favourites amongst them; books which children can read and read again (because they love them!) Teachers will be reading to their class at least once a day—because we believe that being read to helps children develop their own art of reading out loud. We strongly recommend that you buy a copy of the current class novel if your child is Y3 and above because reading along when listening develops the skills of understanding the text. At home you can help your child by re-reading sections and pre reading. Whilst we sometimes think that we only need to read something once, in fact the opposite is true. Re reading and pre reading all adds to the understanding and comprehension of stories—all adding to the skills needed to be a consummate reader. We’re in the middle of developing our very own ‘Story Garden’ in the middle quadrangle in school and plan to share it with you on 28th September . This will be a magical space in school for all classes to use as an outside classroom—we can’t wait to show it to you! As a parent, you should take every opportunity to read, read, read, with your child. If they see you reading for lots of different purposes, it will become important to them too and ,whatever they tell you, no one is ever too old to share a good book! Remember that your child’s teacher is always on hand to support you and your child with ideas and suggestions —get in touch!

Priority 4 : I will be active in my learning

The natural order of the classroom has always been for pupils to sit. Whether this involves, talking, discussing, working in groups, or listening to the teacher, most of the time this is all done from the comfort of a chair. Most primary school children spend on average, 70% of their classroom time sitting down. Outside the classroom, the number of children walking to school has decreased and, at the same time, many more children are spending longer staring at screens.

Children aged five to 16 can spend an average of six and a half hours a day in front of a screen compared with around three hours in 1995. In light of these changes to children’s habits outside school, how children spend their time in school is becoming increasingly more important. The UK government’s recent childhood obesity strategy recommends “active lessons” as one way schools can work towards providing children with at least 30 minutes of physical activity during the school day. The benefits of an active classroom It is becoming increasingly clear that in adults a lifetime of sitting can lead to a higher risk of early death, type two diabetes, and heart disease.

Whilst the evidence is still limited when it comes to children’s health, there is certainly an argument that, as sedentary behaviour habits are formed early in life, targeting children is a logical step. Perhaps more important for schools is the growing evidence that points to a link between increased physical activity in the classroom and educational benefits. This includes improved attention to tasks, as well an increase in pupil’s enjoyment of lessons and motivation to learn.

For some pupils in certain subjects academic achievement has also been shown to improve. In some cases curriculum content can be also integrated into these breaks, for example by jumping or squatting a number of times to indicate the answer to a mathematical question. Physically active lessons go further than this and actually “teach through movement” for a portion of, or even the whole of a lesson. As an example imagine younger primary children physically embodying punctuation marks as a classmate reads aloud a passage from a book. Ask your child what active learning has taken place in their class today!

Priority 5 : I will know about life beyond Sutton

The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement. National Curriculum 2014.

Growing up is all about new experiences—childhood is a magical time and we want our children to have firm roots in the place that they grow. Part of this is to experience  life beyond their immediate home and school.  In our world of ever growing access to technologies, virtual worlds and busy lives, we are mindful that some of the simple joyful childhood experiences may be lost.

In  2018/19  here are some of the opportunities we will be offering:

Forest Schools—Encouraging learning in the outdoors—Y3/4 will have regular outdoor learning in the woods, hills and valleys around our school. You can keep up to date with their weekly adventures on our school Facebook Page. This year we plan to introduce the Forest School Approach to our youngest children too. You can find out more about the ethos and educational theory behind the Forest School approach here.

Local visits—we’ll be looking to augment learning in classroom with local visits, whether this is simply  walking to the cenotaph in the park, visiting the shops in the village; every opportunity will be planned to extend children’s thinking, skills and knowledge.

Simple things—we know that many of our children travel by family car everywhere so we’ll be looking to walk, travel by coach, bus and train if we can so that children can have these experiences.

Planned Giving—by carefully planning a programme of charity giving over the year, we’ll enable our children to find out about the lives of others, perhaps less fortunate than themselves. We want to instil our children with the belief that everyone can do something to help and make a positive difference.

Exploring the world—and beyond—we’ll make every use of technology and invite specialists in like the Space Dome at the beginning of term.

Careers—During  the year we’ll plan opportunities from the  world of work activities in order for children to find out about some of the choices that they will have when they are alder. If you’d like to be involved in this please see Mrs Fletcher.  Our belief is that education unlocks doors—and that the more successful children are in school, the more choices they have as adults.

Stepping outside the classroom often needs extra pairs of hands— if you have some time and can help please let us know!

A full copy of our Plan is available from the school office.