Friday 10th February 

One more week until half term! Can’t believe how quickly the time is flying by! 

Our challenge advisor Jayne Arthur was in again on Monday to look at our literacy books. Estyn recommended we continue to improve our writing across the school. We have adopted a new writing ‘toolkit’ that helps children to organise their writing more easily and it is already having a very positive impact on standards in all classes. We have also worked very hard looking at presentation and handwriting so it was pleasing to see the improvements made. 

On Tuesday I attended an Education Improvement Board meeting along with our chair of Governors Helen Arnold-Richardson. As you may know our school is currently in an Amber category which means we get a higher level of support from the EAS. In reality what this means is that advisors visit school and see what our needs are – currently the recommendations from Estyn – and then work with our staff and the children to help and support us to ensure the improvements are made. 

More information about the categorisation of schools can be found on the Welsh Government website (link below).

http://gov.wales/topics/educationandskills/schoolshome/raisingstandards//?lang=en

Also on Tuesday we held our first maths homework workshop. We had some really positive feedback from parents that it helped to understand how we teach certain concepts and how parents can support children at home. I will also take on board other feedback such as the timing wasn’t brilliant – we had already invited parents in for PACT sessions and also parent consultations; and also it was awkward for parents with children in more than one class. As I said it’s the first one so we will try hard to improve things for next time. 

Unfortunately our parents forum clashed this week with the year 6 PACT so I didn’t have to share my biscuits with many parents! Thanks though to those who did come and I will check the diary more carefully next time! 

On Friday I attended a meeting of the Heads of Church schools in the Diocecsan Office in Newport. We discussed common issues and made plans for Church events such as the Leavers’ service in the cathedral (agreed for 23rd June). One of the items we discussed is that from November last year it has been possible for all pupils who have been baptised to receive Holy Communion. Over the next few months I will be working closely with Father Julian to see how we could organise this in school. I will keep you posted on the progress. 

On Friday afternoon I visited Ysgol Y Ffin in Caldicot as part of the new Heads network. It’s the first time I have been to a Welsh medium school and it was really interesting to hear the children conversing in Welsh – even in the Nursery! 
Mrs Joanne Bayton 

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