Week beginning 30th September 2019

It has been a second week packed with teacher appraisal meetings for me, so I haven’t managed to leave my office very much. The meetings have been very productive and have given me the chance to thank the teachers for all of the hard work that they do for our pupils.

On Tuesday, we had our first look around for prospective parents wanting Nursery and Reception places for next September. It was lovely for Mrs Clougher and I to meet them and show them our great school. These visits continue in October, November and December, so if you know anyone who is interested, please point them to the website news page where they will find more details about days and times.

The school photographer was in on Wednesday and everybody looked beautiful! He will turn these photographs round in good time for Christmas, so that you can send them to your family and friends. I know Gran always loves a picture.

On Thursday evening, the Curriculum, Communication and Community Committee met. We discussed the new emphasis from Ofsted on delivering a broad and balanced curriculum and how Ravenswood were responding to this. We have always offered this breadth of learning at school and are very proud of this, but we are now looking at the key learning that we want pupils to take with them at the end of every year in each subject. The committee looked in detail at the Geography curriculum and were pleased with our progress so far. As this work starts to become embedded into the school, I will be telling you more about it and sharing this learning journey with everyone so you can support your child at home.

On Thursday morning I attended my first board meeting of the Tyne Wear PE and School Sport Alliance. I have been asked to represent Newcastle schools on this board and I am delighted to do so. One of the jobs of the alliance is to promote healthy and active life styles across our region and we spent some time looking at the new government document “School Sport and Activity Action Plan”. In this document, the departments of Health, Education and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have come together to make some recommendations. One of these is to spread the message of “at least 60 minutes a day.” It is hoped that all schools offer children the chance to have at least 30 minutes a day being active and that parents also support their child to do another 30 minutes before or after school. This initially sounds like a lot, but a quick survey with the lovely Class 20, whom I have the pleasure of teaching every Thursday afternoon, showed that many of them did this and much more. We are incredibly lucky to have the facilities at school to promote a healthy lifestyle and the support of parents in taking the children to clubs, on walks and out for bike rides. We have a high proportion of very fit pupils, but there is still work to be done. One activity suggested in the document is using the journey to and from school to build up minutes. Walking, cycling or scooting to school gets us out in the fresh air, maintains our fitness and at the same time reduces congestion and pollution. I cycle to school every day (unless I have a School Sport board meeting at John Spence in the middle of the morning – how ironic!) and can thoroughly recommend it. If you have any thoughts on this subject, feel free to catch me on the yard or drop me an email. I would love to hear them.

As I advertised in last week’s Blog, it is Book Looks next week. If you can’t make the Book Look, feel free to request that the books are brought home next weekend. This will give you a chance to see how your child is doing before meeting with the teacher in the week beginning 14th October.

By the way, there is a vicious rumour going round that Mrs Clougher is 50 this weekend. I’m afraid it is true. Congratulations to her; I remember the good old days when I was 50…