Dear parents, I cannot quite believe we have reached half-term already but here we are! We have had a very positive start to the year. Our new Reception and Nursery children have settled very well and the rest of the children are now used to their new classes and their new routines. I visited the classes earlier this week and I was very happy to see the children already making excellent progress. It was obvious that the focus on
developing a growth mindset has inspired lots of our children to persevere, to learn from their mistakes and recognise the 'power of yet'! We have also introduced a whole school calculation policy to ensure consistency in our approach to the teaching of calculations, which is embedding successfully. We touched on both these developments at the parent's workshops last week but more information is available on the school website. I hope that those of you that attended the workshops found them useful. The slides are available on the web-site.
Lots of other exciting initiatives are beginning to take shape as we head into the second half of the Autumn term. Years 4, 5 & 6 children have begun the Alive and Kicking health and fitness programme. This is a nine week programme which aims to educate our pupils about the importance of healthy eating and exercise through a series of classroom based and fitness based activities. A special thank you to Mrs McClune for
running the programme here at St. Michael's.
Our approach to teaching reading is also evolving this year with the guidance of Dr Wayne Tennant, who is supporting the staff through this Autumn term. The children now have three guided reading sessions a week. The first session is spent reading a text, the second session is spent discussing key questions with an adult and the rest of their group and the third session is an independent follow up activity.
When we return from half term, the voting for the Tesco's Bags of Help scheme will begin. As you know, we are hoping to win the top prize of £12,000 to improve our play facilities but will, no doubt, face stiff opposition so we need your votes! Voting will take place in the stores listed below. On the subject of fundraising money, could I take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Mr Abbey who managed to secure two donations this week totalling £3000 for IT and the Play Project from his company, Nexen. Many large corporations also have charitable committees that are willing to support local causes so it may be worth making an enquiry at work. I am willing to shamelessly promote any such generous company! Happy half-term! Mr Lane