CEO Blog – 10/05/19

CEO Blog – 10/05/19

Dear readers,

Welcome to Term 5 – the shortest term of the academic year, but by far not the quietest!

The Easter break flew by and many of our schools were still the hubbub of the community with the doors open for Easter school and revision sessions.

We received a letter from Nick Gibb and Lord Agnew this week congratulating the staff and pupils of the Trust on the excellent progress being made which was a brilliant start to our week!

I was delighted to see that some of our schools were referenced in Russel Grigg & Helen Lewis’ new book “Creative and Critical Thinking in Schools”.

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Our very own Thinking Lead, Hanna Miller, featured in the TES magazine this week. Her article discussing the benefits of “Thinking Maps” is brilliant. Well done Hanna. To read her article click here:

https://www.tes.com/magazine/article/how-thinking-maps-help-students-learn

The Portsmouth Academy have been selected to be part of a research group through The Outwood Bound Trust which includes a part-funded residential for 24 students in Wales – congratulations TPA.

Student voice are obviously a very important element of both our secondary and primary schools, I have been pleased to hear of a shared vision for the schools between the students and staff.

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The week of 6th May 2019 marked ‘Deaf Awareness week’, which of course is incredibly important and close to our hearts at All Faiths Children’s Academy, which runs a provision for deaf students. The children at the school have been learning to finger spell their names through sign language. The deaf pupils held their very own assembly, teaching their fellow students about what it means to be deaf and the different ways that they are able to listen and communicate.

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Teaching our pupils about the importance of understanding other cultures and what our British values are is incredibly important. RGS held their annual multicultural fashion show and New Horizons celebrated St George’s day by representing what it means to be English. Children were invited to wear clothes that represent their culture and participate in a range of activities including Samba dancing, African drumming as well as creating some brilliant Rangoli patterns in their outside learning space. Gordon Children’s Academy also held a diversity day and children took part in activities such as Scottish dancing, Sikh dress and they learnt about other traditions.

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Meon Junior School have been raising money for World Malaria day.

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Many of you may already know that  the Trust wellbeing initiative was launched last September and each term the wellbeing committees across the schools have been focusing on each of the wellbeing topics. Last term was ‘Take Notice’ and Goodwin Academy were the winners.

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Year 4 students at Newbridge and Gordon Junior Schools have started their new topic this term – Blue Abyss. Gordon took part in observational drawings of real fish, they didn’t even noticed the smell that had permeated through the entire junior block! Anna Webb, Headteacher of Newbridge let me know that one of her pupils was so inspired by the new topic that he wrote her a letter requesting that the school does something to help clean our seas.

This time of year also means that lots of schools trips are happening. The Year Rs at Penhale have been to Longdown dairy farm. Kate Keller, Headteacher at the school, told me that the children have been asking if they can have cows at the school! Year 4 students from Cedar have been on a visit to Rochester, Year 3 were visited by Birds of Prey and Year 1 visited Wingham Wildlife Park. Year 5 students at All Faiths went to watch Gillingham play their last game of the season. Moorings Way children visited the wildlife reserve at Milton Locks.

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Our recruitment teams have been supporting ”Teach in Kent” events at Goodwin Academy and Rochester Grammar School. The recruitment window is well and truly upon us and we are excited by the appointments made so far for September 2019. Some absolutely fantastic new employees are joining us and will be striving for our pupils to ”be their best”.

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Meon Junior School have won their third football title of the year, U11, U10 and U9 – they are on fire, congratulations to the team.

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Sara Paine, Headteacher at Meon Junior School also let me know of a successful INSET day with her staff receiving training from health care professionals including occupational health, speech and language therapists and physiotherapists. Meon Junior also saw Steve Bayliss retire last week after 26 years working at the school! His leaving assembly included song, poems and speeches.

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Meon Infant School, just next door, received biscuits as a well done for their brilliant peer review too. Our biscuits are all made by our very own Debbie Clark-Basrai, Trust Attendance Lead.

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We are fast approaching public examination period now with the SATs starting next week, IB already underway and GCSE and A Level not far behind. A crucial time for our pupils and I wish each and every one of them the very best of luck and remind them to use their “Thinking” tools.

 

All the best

 

Stuart