Headteacher's Blog - December 2020
As we approach the end of a very busy and unusual term, I want to share some information about the year so far as we look to the future.
Our school community has pulled together to get through a challenging term both operationally and educationally, and I want to pay tribute to the way the overwhelming majority of students have coped with returning to a very different school and experience than they left in March 2020. In addition, our staff have worked incredibly hard to deliver a quality learning experience, whilst overcoming the changes and challenges of operating in the way we have been forced to. Thank you also to our parents / carers who have supported us and sent messages into us to recognise what we have been doing to get their children back to school and cope. I recognise this has come with a high degree of concern and anxiety which we understand, however there is much to be proud. Our number one task has been to provide the best education we can despite the difficulties faced, and I incredibly proud of how everyone has been so flexible as circumstances have constantly evolved and changed.
There have been many highlights including:
- Excellence at Castle View- we have been on a mission to share excellence both in subject areas, and from our children and young people. Our students can achieve more if they know what excellence looks like, and subject by subject we will be sharing more examples of this. We started with Science and Music recently, and both teachers and students shared this with members of our school community. We announced the email address firstname.lastname@example.org to encourage you to share examples of what your children do outside of school so we can recognise and celebrate at school. Thank you for those who shared examples, we enjoyed hearing and sharing these. Please continue to do so.
- Curriculum and teaching- during lockdown, our staff reviewed and re-wrote much of their curriculum to ensure it was up to date and challenging to enable our children and young people to achieve more. Our website has a wealth of resources, which can support you and your child to know what they are learning, why, and when. Please take the opportunity to have a look at the ‘Curriculum & Teaching’ section of our website, within our ambitious Curriculum Intent Statement, as well as individual Subject Intent Statements. These statements tell you why we teach the subjects we do and the broader concepts that underpin and are essential in these subjects. I certainly wished these were in place when I was a pupil at school as they would have helped me with the subjects that I found difficult. You can also look at individual subjects and identify your child’s current and future curriculum topics using our individual ‘Continuous Curriculum Plans’ (CCPs). This resource can help you engage with your child about what they are learning now, but more importantly look ahead to future topics.
- Reading- the number 1 strategy to improve progress is to read regularly and to read text that stretches you as reader. Last year, our students collectively beat our previous word-count record, with over 130million words being read. Each child has ‘Academic Reading’ texts for every subject that require them to read subject specific text and then test this using the Accelerated Reader quiz programme. To pass, students need to achieve 80% or better. Students are already making significant progress with their reading and this will pay-back in the future, making a huge difference to their future life chances. Please do speak to your child about their academic reading and completing the quizzes, it is the key thing you can do at home as parents / carers to support their overall progress. Thank you.
Thank you for all your messages of support and motivation, they have helped motivate the team and they have felt appreciated.
Have a lovely Christmas with those you care about and best wishes for what we hope will be a brighter and exciting 2021.