Our Pupils Thrive – Six Weeks Reflection

Our Pupils Thrive – Six Weeks Reflection

As we draw to the close of another Term, I naturally enjoy taking the time to reflect on the last six weeks.

I have spent a lot of this term at Isambard Brunel Junior School in Portsmouth. The school has recently had some leadership changes and I have been delighted to also spend some time supporting the Y6 Maths interventions, whilst also scrubbing up on my times tables and how to “do” fractions!

A huge well done to the Year 6 students who have really made significant progress this term. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at IBJ who have made me feel so welcome at the school and obviously credit must go to the Year 6 team for the determination they have shown.

Moreover, good news stories have flooded in this term and it would be impossible for me to mention them all, however, the following is a flavour of the amazing things happening in our schools: the Year 8 Handball Team at Holcombe Grammar won the Kent Cup and will now play in the Southern Regional Finals in May; Rose from Meon Junior School won the Poetry competition organised by ‘Pompey in the community’; many schools participated in E-Safety Day activities; there was a visit by a parliament of owls; a Year 6 News Club live day ran in association with the Economist; students from Portsmouth Academy participated in the Youth Speaks Competition with Beatrice winning ‘Best Chairperson’; the use of “No Pens” day; Bear Grylls survival days;  student “bake-offs”; we have had renowned authors and local MPs visit our schools and school wellbeing dog walking to name but a few of the fantastic activities that have taken place in our schools during the last few weeks. I am sure you would agree that such a diverse and broad range of activates is fantastic to see and I am delighted in the opportunities our students have to thrive not only in their academic subjects but beyond, helping them to develop as a whole person.

This term has been busy with our independent Quality Assurance process taking place across many of our schools in the last few weeks and I am very pleased that our schools have performed as well or better than expected during these visits – this is a real testimony to the accuracy of our self-assessment and the rigour and standards we hold ourselves to. Well done to everyone involved.

In other matters, many of you will be aware that the new Ofsted Inspection framework consultation opened this term. Our Headteachers met last week and took part in a fantastic discussion around the benefits and adaptions that need to be made to meet the new requirements. Some great food-for-thought for us all, which I feel requires a post of its own in the next few weeks.

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As I am sure many of you reading this post are too, I am looking forward to spending some time with the family next week during half term. My wife has strategically booked herself on a Scout training weekend so that I can have some quality time with “les enfants”. Having spent at least 3-4 days per week away every week this term I am looking forward to reconnecting with my own children. I sense a trip to see the new Lego movie, many games of Star Wars Monopoly, William’s current favourite, and long walks over at Kingswood in my near future! I know Anna from Newbridge is heading off for a skiing holiday, what will you be doing to make the most of February half term?


All the best,