30th April 2021
Over the last few weeks we have been busy looking at our curriculum and ensuring that it is the very best that it can possibly be. As a school, it has always been really important to us that the curriculum we teach, is based around our ASPIRE values, and that it is carefully written for the exacting needs and interests of our children. Although this piece of work has been going on for a few years, we believe that it is essential that the curriculum is under a continual process of review and improvement - to ensure that it is the very best that it can be. Over the last few weeks, each of our curriculum leaders has been looking at their curriculum and ensuring that there is a coherent progression across the units and year groups. Research shows that when a curriculum has a logical sequence, with units that build upon one another, it ensures that children know more and remember more over time. We have plans to put all of our curriculum onto our website, so that it is easily accessible for teachers, governors and parents. We have already added lots of information, but do keep checking back over the next half term as we continue to update the curriculum documents and upload them to the website Curriculum Website Pages
Today the school has been alive with the sound of high energy, fast paced activity as we have held skipping workshops for the whole school. It has been so lovely to hear the excited screams and laughter as the children have used all of their ASPIRE values (particularly resilience and aspiration) to match the requirements of the 2 minute challenge! The workshop is perfectly aligned with the aims of our school development plan, as Miss Thornhill has been determined to increase the physical daily activity of each of our children this year. I was particularly pleased to hear the instructor talking to the children about having a 'Growth Mindset' and remembering that they are only in competition with themselves and no one else. These, of course are key messages that our staff deliver on a daily (hourly!) basis so it is wonderful that the children hear the same messages from external visitors too.
The children will all keep their skipping ropes in school, and the plan is to ask classes to build in 'skipping breaks' for 2 minutes a few times a week, to build up fitness levels. This type of daily activity has also been shown to build concentration, boost learning power and also enhance our mental health and wellbeing over time. Details will be coming home about the opportunity for you to purchase 'family' skipping rope packs, so that you can take the sport up at home and get fit as a family!
As I am sure you will remember, we entered a national essay writing competition before Christmas with the Don Hanson Charitable foundation.
The competition asked children to write a 500 word essay about what they believed had been the greatest invention of the last century and why. They were then asked to aspire towards what would be the greatest invention of the next century. We felt that it was important to ask all children to enter the competition as opportunities such as these give writing a direct and meaningful purpose. In addition, of course the theme also linked very neatly with our aspirational values and looking towards the future for what we dream will happen.
We were incredibly proud to discover that we had 5 winners in the competition, which is a real achievement when you consider that pupils, from schools all around the UK entered. More information is available here: https://hansonbox.org/2020-competitions/
Diversity Day Reflections from Year 5
On Census Day, children were asked to reflect on the diversity of their family and also of Chesham and the wider United Kingdom. Although I reported a few weeks ago about the 'buzz' that we had across school on that day, I have been even more impressed by the quality of aspirations and reflections that have been coming in to me since that date. The children were all asked to reflect on what they had learned about the purpose of the census, and also what they had discovered about our local diversity.
We also asked the children to reflect on their own personal aspirations, where did they envisage being in 10 years when the next census is held in 2031? The results show you how incredible our children are.