Diversity Day

Today we have been celebrating ‘Diversity’ at Flitch Green.  Miss Ash has worked tirelessly to organise the day – and I’m sure everyone will join me in thanking her for the hard work and effort she has put in.

Children across the school spent time exploring a range of different countries and cultures.  We had visits from parents who loved sharing how their lives were as children in different countries. You’ll see from the photos we had a range of activities going on throughout the day.

Although we celebrated Diversity day today, this fits in with our ongoing work in school to ensure we prepare our children for life in modern Britain, as part of our PSHE and Citizenship curriculum.

Here are a range of photos showing what a great day we had…


World Book Day

We had our re-arranged World Book Day on Thursday, and as you can see from the photographs, everyone looked amazing.

Miss Pearce led a special assembly.  During this she gave out prizes for the recent story writing competition.  There were 50 entries across the school, with some fantastic winners and runners up!

Welcome back!

I hope everyone has had an enjoyable summer break and has settled back into routine during the first week back at school.

You may have noticed that our three new classrooms are finished and our year 5 and 6 children are enjoying their brand new learning space.  You may also have noticed that although the new hard play area is finished, the field is not quite in the condition we hope for.  This is being addressed and will be rectified soon!

It has been lovely to see all our new children in reception and they have settled in very well to their new classes.  Our year 6 lunchtime ‘assistants’ have been busy helping our youngest children at lunchtime and are enjoying the responsibility.

Maths update

You will have received communication from our maths leader, Jemma Benstead, last week sharing with you our new approach to times tables.  She also shared a link to the maths blog, which I would encourage you to have look at when you get the chance.

Mrs Benstead also shared with you some dates for sessions she is running for parents over the next few weeks.  It will be great to see as many of you as possible attending the sessions.  For those who cannot attend, there will be updates on the maths blog.

Keeping children safe

A session during our Inset day last week was spent with staff recapping our policies and procedures that are in place to ensure our children are safe.  Our Child Protection policy is on our website should you need to refer to it at any point.  It outlines the key statutory documents we have regard for and the processes in place should staff have concerns about the welfare of any child in school.

With online safety being a concern for us all in this day and age, I’d like to point you to a fantastic resource on the NSPCC website.  It contains lots of information and support for parents in helping to discuss specific online safety issues with children, and helping parents keep up to date with the rapid developments in online tools and the way young people communicate online.

Finally, I’m delighted to share that we have been awarded the School Games ‘silver’ award for our sporting provision last year.  This is a step up from our previous ‘bronze’ award, and we’re now looking to reach gold by the the end this year…


World Book Day

We spent a great day today celebrating World Book Day.  Our Year 6 librarians, supported by Miss Pearce, led the whole school assembly this morning, in which they shared their favourite books and book characters.

They also launched a competition for children to enter.

Children need to take a selfie of themselves reading a book in a strange (but safe) place.  These photos need to be printed, placed in an envelope along with 50p entry fee and handed in to the main office by 14th March.  The winning entry will receive a £25 voucher to spend at our Book Fair, which starts on 16th March.  We’re looking forward to seeing some amusing photos!

Here are a few photos of some of the brilliant costumes we saw today.


‘League Tables’

Following the recent publication of ‘league tables’ online, I’m keen to highlight some other outcomes which have not been published online or used to form ‘league tables’.

Firstly, our outcomes for children at the end of their Reception year.  Getting it right in the Early Years is crucial and our outcomes for children at the end of Reception have been improving year on year.  In 2016, 77% of our children achieved the expected ‘Good Level of Development’.  You’ll see from the graph that this is above the national average of 69%.


Children at the end of year 1 are required to take the national phonics screening check.  This is a test of their ability to decode 40 words (20 ‘real’ words and 20 ‘pseudo’ words) and in 2016, 80% of our children reached the expected standard in this phonics check.


Outcomes at the end of key stage 1 (year 2) are Teacher Assessment judgements.  However, children are required to undertake a test in reading and maths, with these tests being used as part of the evidence to finalise these teacher assessments, along with other evidence from children’s ongoing work in class.

Again, you will see that the number of children achieving the expected standard in all subjects is above the national average, with 70% of our children achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths.


Our end of key stage 2 (year 6) test results were disappointing.  Published outcomes at the end of year 6 are based solely on test results for reading and maths, with writing being  teacher assessed.  Children’s work from across the entire year – in reading and maths – is not taken into consideration in the test scores.


Although only 48% of pupils achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths combined, the individual subject breakdown were as follows:

Reading – 72% of our pupils at expected standard (66% national)

Writing – 66% of our pupils at expected standard (74% national)

Maths – 69% of our pupils at expected standard (70% national)


Three of our pupils were one mark away from achieving the expected standard in their reading test.  Had they have scored one more mark each, this would have moved our reading, writing and maths combined figure to 59% – with the national average being 53%.  However, as a school, our expectations are far higher than this.

We have implemented several strategies to further improve our outcomes in key stage 2 tests:

•The Academy Development Plan 2016/17 focusses sharply on progress and attainment (Key Priority 4: Accelerate progress through KS2 across the curriculum; Key Priority 5: Increase level of attainment and progress of more able pupils across the curriculum)

•We have invested in a new assessment tool, which allows teachers – and the leadership team when monitoring progress – to clearly identify strengths and weaknesses in children’s knowledge and then plan learning opportunities to fill these gaps.

•We are now using termly standardised tests across Years 1 to 6.  These tests mirror the KS2 tests which children sit at the end of Year 6 and give us a clear picture of levels of progress across classes, groups an individual children.  They can also identify gaps to guide future teaching.

•Through the introduction of a non-teaching vice principal,  further developments in the quality of teaching and learning through focussed lesson studies, coaching and peer observations have been achieved.


Finally, I am keen to work with a group of parents to explore our current curriculum provision and how it prepares children both academically and for their future lives beyond Flitch Green.  This session will take place on Friday 3rd March 2017 at 2:00pm.

To be clear, this is not an opportunity to discuss individual issues or concerns, but to work alongside other parents, children, staff and governors to focus on our curriculum provision.

If you are interested in taking part, I’d like to invite you to express your interest by completing this short form.  Numbers may be limited as I am keen to ensure that we have a wide spread of parents representing Reception to year 6.


How will we cope…?

Back in the summer, Miss Cordon spent four weeks in Tanzania, working with other UK teachers to provide teacher training for untrained Tanzanian teachers.
Whilst there, she was astounded by the lack of resources available to teachers and children, some of whom did not even have paper or a pencil. In spite of these difficulties, teachers inspired their students (up to 120 in a class!) with songs, dances and peer-to-peer learning. Children learnt to count with collections of bottle tops they had brought in from home.
Here at Flitch Green we are extremely privileged with our resources – not only in comparison to many children abroad, but to others in the UK.
This Wednesday, however, children and teachers will be living for a day what is for so many the reality of daily life.
There will be no laptops, no iPads, no Apple TVs and limited paper and pencils.
Miss Cordon led a session with teachers last week to explore different ways of delivering great lesson with limited resources.  The session provided some good discussion around what makes really great teaching, and I’m looking forward to visiting lessons on Wednesday to take some photos create small sketches of what each class are getting up to!
Miss Cordon will be leading a whole school assembly on Tuesday to share her experiences and to set the challenge for the next day.  Here are a couple of photographs from her trip, which she will share – along with more – on Tuesday.