What a lovely week to start the term and my time at Atwood. The sun has been shining, the children have come to school smiling and looking smart and I’ve managed to navigate through the week without getting lost in the school buildings.
It has been an exciting start to the new term and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has welcomed me so warmly to the school . It has been lovely to meet the children and I am working on learning lots of new names. Likewise, many parents and have come and said hello. Hopefully, over the coming weeks I will be able to put names to faces.
I’m aware that my predecessor used to write a comprehensive weekly newsletter and whilst I will continue this tradition to report events that have been happening in school, the newsletter will be in a somewhat slimmed down version. Website stories will also keep people up to date with what the children have been getting up to.
This week has seen the children hit the ground running. Alongside getting to know their teachers, establishing class routines and the usual maths and English, the children have been looking at artists and reproducing some fantastic pieces for our display boards in school. Have a look at the gallery below and see if you can match the artwork to the artist.
Year 1 have been reading ‘Ruby’s Worry’ and reproducing the artwork of Georges Seurat. Year 2 have read ‘The Lonely Beast’ and created artwork based on the paintings of Heather Galler. In Year 3, the children have been studying the work of Kehinde Wiley and reading ‘Into The Forest’ by Anthony Browne.
Year 4 have been studying ‘The Promise’ by Nicola Davies and recreating Laura Carlin’s artwork from the book while Year 5 have started reading ‘The Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom’ by Louis Sachar and used stencils to create images having looked at the work of Banksy. Finally, Year 6 have been writing haikus and limericks after looking at the poems of Malorie Blackman in the book Cloudbusting. They have also produced some incredibly detailed artwork in the style of Antoni Gaudi.
We are currently reviewing our use of Pupil Reward Points as their use across the school was inconsistent. Many classes were not really using the points at all and classes have their own behaviour reward systems in place. As a result, I won’t be reporting on reward points and we are discussing other ways of celebrating the children’s behaviour and achievements. A new behaviour policy has been introduced across all the Pegasus Schools which can be read here. Unlike other schools in the Trust, this policy won’t mean any significant changes at Atwood. Notably, other schools have adopted some of the Atwood mantras, including the Terrific Trio of Kind thoughts, kind words, kind actions.
In other changes to the newsletter, I won’t be reporting on attendance levels for classes. This does not mean that we do not value attendance highly. The research is clear. Being in school is important to your child’s achievement, wellbeing, and wider development. Evidence shows that the students with the highest attendance throughout their time in school gain the best GCSE and A Level results. Further, pupils who performed better both at the end of primary and secondary school missed fewer days than those who didn’t perform as well. The government currently has a strong agenda regarding school attendance in an effort to address the drop in attendance in the post pandemic era. However, the weekly reporting of attendance data is unfair for those children in classes where there may be persistent absentees or children more prone to illness. Therefore, children miss out through no fault of their own. Attendance is an individual responsibility and we urge all children to be in school every day unless they are clearly not well enough to attend. Appointments should be taken outside of the school day, wherever possible, and you are politely reminded that no absence will be authorised for holidays during term time.
In less positive news, some of you may have noticed that Mrs Holden has not returned after the summer break. She has recently had surgery following a diagnosis in the summer. She is recovering well from the surgery but will not be back in school for a while yet. We wish her a speedy recovery.
Dates for the diary:
Please note the following dates for Year group curriculum meetings. All meetings will start at 9am.
Parent/carer year group meetings will be focused on specific information related to that year group (e.g. statutory assessments, expectations and curriculum). General information will be shared on slides on Google Classroom alongside the slides from the year group meetings for anyone unable to attend.
Thursday 21st September: Year 5
Friday 22nd September: Year 4
Monday 25th September: Year 3
Tuesday 26th September: Year 2
Wednesday 27th September: Year 1
Thursday 28th September: Year 6
I look forward to meeting many of you then.