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Headteacher's Blog

Spring Term First Half

Week 2

What an amazing week to be a Waverley pupil, there has been so many fantastic things happening in school this week. Year 6 have made brilliant board games and I took some time out to have a test (play) a few of them. Year 3 made Ancient Egyptian flatbread as part of their topic whilst half of the class had a forest school/nature walk. Year 4 skyped a friend of Mrs Lynch's who works at a refugee camp - I was so impressed by the questions they asked of her and her work. This afternoon M and M productions have performed Aladdin the children had a fantastic time; "that was the best show yet", "I love having the pantomime at school."


Week 1

Happy New Year and welcome back to Spring Term. This week we have been settling the children back into school life, work and routines. We continue to pack as much as we can into each school day. Clubs start next week. At February half term we are launching our first 2 day Sports camp.


Autumn Term Second Half

Week 7 and 8

Whilst school life is always busy, the last two weeks of this term are more so. Every year group has a party, there are a number of Christmas Nativity plays, Christmas Dinner for the whole school and a quieter more reflective Church Service. It has been wonderful to see so many of you at all of our events. We would all like to wish you a peaceful break and we will see you in the New Year (January 6th).


Week 6

It has been an incredibly busy couple of weeks in school. The team and I have enjoyed welcoming you all into school for Christmas crafts and nativity plays. There has been a hugely supportive turn out for all events. Thank you.


Week 4

The rehearsals are in full swing this week and the tree has gone up in school - the word 'Christmas' can finally be spoken. Let's hope the elves don't get up to too much mischief. See you all at the range of events we have coming up over the next few weeks.


Week 3

Having a celebratory achiever assembly is a great way for all children to see how proud we are of their work both in and out of school. This week we had swimming certificates and gymkhana rosettes as well as a large number of fantastic writers. On Tuesday 3 children from UKS2 went to another school where a gifted writers workshop was being hosted with a  guest poet. The focus of this was performance poetry and once edited we hope to share this on the website. Our football team played in the Duffy League and whilst we only scored 1 goal it was  a cracker - from the halfway line. We often see with Premiership players that they argue amongst themselves and their heads go down so I was pleased with how the children conducted themselves. A hot chocolate and kit-kat debrief the next day with a chat about the evenings matches helped us mentally prepare for the next set of matches. I was delighted to receive an invitation from Year 3 to visit their museum this week. I was super impressed by their geological knowledge and how enthusiastic they all were, I tested the children out on whether they could explain the meaning behind key words they had displayed. Well Done Year 3! On an evening through the week I went to Newcastle University and I am pleased that Waverley has a place on a research project for speech and language whereby a speech and language therapist will undertake a short programme of work with some Early Years pupils. It is exciting to be part of a project such as this whereby we potentially shape the support and suggested programmes across the wider country. Finally this week I had a surprise visit from an up and coming local author Mr Davies who is a grandparent of 2 of our Waverley children. It was fantastic to hear about the book he has written, 'The See Thru Man and The Land of Pleasant'  and how it evolved over time. It was interesting to hear about the setting being recognisable local landmarks. We will be ordering some copies as children from year 3 up to year 6 were interested in reading it. We look forward to working with Mr Davies next year on an exciting project we have in the pipeline for the whole school, but more about that next year.


I am sure you have read in the media during the last week or so about many schools having Novo -virus and other bugs sweep through. We have had a number of children unwell - not yet on the scale seen by others. Every room has hand sanitiser which children use going in and out and we are reminding children about the importance of handwashing. If your child is unwell please adhere to the 48 hours from the last time they were unwell (sick/diarrhea).


Week 1

Wow! What a busy first week back. It was fantastic to see so many of you join with your children in their classroom and 'Paint for Pudsey' there were some fabulous looking T. Shirts and I can't wait to see the children wearing them on Friday 15th November. Remember it is non-uniform for a donation of 50p-£1 all of which will go to this great cause. Also in school this week:

Year 5 and 6 took part in an NSPCC workshop.

Year 3 and 4 took part in a special Parliamentary workshop with the outreach team for Parliament Week. Benches were set out like the House of Commons and the children took to their seats for a debate.

Year 2 took part in the NSPCC 'pants' themed assembly.

Year 1 went to Sugley Church and learnt about Baptism - with the baby at the ready and the parents and Godparents excited the final name was still being decided as the children set off - with Tina being the last name I heard. 

In Nursery the role-play has been transformed into a spaceship.

If that wasn't enough for 1 week the children from Reception to Year 6 had the nasal flu vaccination. The children were fantastic and those who felt a bit nervous were supported by those who were brave. The nursing team were impressed by the high uptake for the vaccination so well done everyone. Oh and Michelle Fowler took the whole school sibling and individual photographs, there were a lot of fabulous smiles so I for one can't wait to see the results.


Behind the scenes of school this week many staff were involved in SEND review meetings, I met with the NELEP to give them an update on our 'careers' work as part of the primary pilot and showed Louise Liddle around Waverley on Tuesday afternoon. Our staff meeting was an Outer West event at Walbottle Campus with a focus on curriculum vocabulary. Staff have started preparing for Christmas events.


Autumn Term First Half

Week 8

This week our Ofsted report was published and went live on the Ofsted website. We were the first Primary school in Newcastle to be inspected under the new framework, as a team we all put nerves aside and were determined to do justice to the work that we have all put into school over the last 3 years. Thank you to the 49 parents who completed the survey and left lovely comments, this is your school and we serve your community, we are passionate about what we do and all want the best for the children. I would like to thank the Governors who undertake this role on a voluntary basis. Together we will continue to drive school forward giving curriculum opportunities, developing pupil character and showing the opportunities that are available as careers to the children.


As you can see it has been another busy half term at Waverley. We have lots of exciting events planned next half term as well. It was lovely to see our Reception children performing some Harvest songs for their families and the children coped really well with lots of eyes watching them.  On Friday they had their own dress up Spooktacular day whilst the rest of school had the opportunity to go to the Halloween Disco. There were some scary costumes and marvellous make up!

Have a restful half term everyone.


Week 7

This week our Year 3 children had a fantastic (but rather wet) visit to the Rising Sun Country Park - see class web page for pictures. The children had a great time making dens and baking bread on the outdoor fire. On Thursday our Year 4 had a visit to the Great North Musuem as part of their Roman topic. Everyone had a great time exploring the museum and for some children it was clear this was their first ever visit to a Musuem.


The Laing  and Baltic (Art), the Discovery Museum (Science/History) and the Great North Museum are all free and often have activities on for children during the Half term holidays.


I hope that many of you managed to attend parents evening. A reminder that if not a telephone consultation is available at an agreed time with the class teacher. Appointment slots are only 10 minutes but all staff are available to give more time if a separate appointment is booked at any point in the year.


Next week we have our Halloween Discos and where possible we would aske that you avoid clown costumes, at this time of year many of the children become upset by this phenomenon from a few years ago.


Finally our Ofsted report will be out on Monday. Under the new inspection framework it is a much faster turn around.



Week 6

This week has been exceptionally busy as you will see when you read on. First I would like to thank those of you who took part in the Ofsted parent survey and to those who spoke to inspectors on Thursday morning, finally to all of you who have given your continued support to myself, the staff and school over the last 3 years.


Waverley was not to be stopped in its tracks by inspection and we carried on as normal - the children had another amazing week of opportunities. Year 4 walked to the local part of the Roman Wall at Denton Burn, carrying with them the shields they had made at home. Some children commented on how fantastic it was to be marching along (the added bonus being the fantastic weather). On Wednesday Year 6 went to Durham Cathedral for the day and took part in a variety of workshops and joined the main service of the day. The clergy were impressed with the manner in which the children conducted themselves. On Thursday Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 had the first of their road safety talks with practical activities to help them remember what to do. On Thursday morning Catherine McKinnell (MP) joined year 6 for a question and answer session about her role as an MP, there were some great questions from the children and we even touched on Brexit. On Thursday night our football team went for the first round of Duffy League matches and we were thrilled to win 1 out of 3 games with a loss and a draw in the other 2. They looked so smart in our new green and black strips. Our inspection took place on both of these days and the children did you all proud. Finally before we all collapsed on Friday we took a team to the Year 5 and 6  Tag Rugby event at Walbottle Campus in conjunction with Gateshead Thunder. We won 2 games and lost 1. We were 1 point off making the semi-final. Well Done Team Waverley this week.

Week 5

Every week I aim to spend as much time as possible visiting classes, talking with the children, looking at their work, hearing readers. This week the Nursery has a Dr's surgery and together we had great fun role-playing the parts. From receptionists to patients to nurses and Dr's we bandaged, booked appointments and learnt the word stethoscope we explored what we use one for. Moving through into Reception I always like to see what is in the 'Curiosity Cube' and the children were busy being creative, there were some amazing ideas for what an egg box could be turned into - my favourite being the unicorn! In Year 1 Mummy Bear had been making porridge and after sharing the instructions on how to make it, it was time for a taste! Yum or Yuk said all the baby bears. Across into year 2 and they were focusing on more and less than in maths, the crocodile snapping up the numbers really helped. Moving up into Year 3 the children were making bottle top woolly mammoths and I promised to bring in my copy of David Walliams 'The Ice Monster' which is all about a woolly mammoth. Up again and into year 4 where the children were showing the amazing shields they have been making ready for their walk to the Roman Wall. In year 5 the children were blurb writing for their Pirate book and up in Year 6 it was shortened form multiplication. Wonderful!


Week 4

This week in school our Year 2 had a fantastic and rather wet visit to Beamish. Back at school they were filled with enthusiasm for the experience (despite the weather). Our Year 1 completed some amazing writing about Little Red Riding Hood earning them joint class of the week with Year 6. Year 6 were enthralled by a Science experiment and using scientific language shared their knowledge. Our staff work this week focused on a scrutiny of Science across year groups 1-6 following out training day in the Summer. It was great to see the impact this has had on pupil work. Some children in year 4 and 5 have gone the extra mile on their homework this week and a gentle reminder that whilst sometimes it is hard in busy lives it is vitally important that you continue to hear your child read regularly at home.


Northern Gas Network will be commencing work in the streets at the back of school, we expect disruption for some time from mid-October to December. Northern Gas are currently negotiating with the Vallum Public House that parents can park on these premises for the duration of the works. I shall keep you updated with this and let you know of plans school has to relieve some of the burden of parking during this time.


In a change of plan we will be hosting a 'Paint for Pudsey' event instead of the advertised parent drop in - see calendar and latest news for information.


Week 3

This week as I toured a prospective parent around school I was reminded about how far the school has moved in the last 2 years and since receiving an RI judgement from Ofsted. There have been many staffing changes and classes which moved from mixed to pure year groups. There have been walls knocked down and classrooms made more spacious. There has been new furniture at size appropriate height for pupil age. There has been a change in uniform with our website logo added. We have invested in technology with I-pads and the moving of our computing suite into the centre of school, we have invested in reading books to extend the school scheme beyond KS1. We have begun to see the impact of Read, Write, Inc and Ten Town on our younger year groups. We have tried to bring consistency to homework, reading and the teaching of handwriting and spellings. We have taken on board new maths schemes of work and a new assessment system.We have invested in Science, PE and computing. Internally we have tried to make the school one the children can be proud of. We have become part of the Primary North East Leadership and Enterprise Partnership. We have been part of SSIF reading, attendance and maths projects some of which run through into 2020. We became a PIXL school.  We continue to participate in OWL events and joint CPD for staff. Our attendance and persistent absence figures have improved dramatically with last week school attendance being 96.6% - we were above the National average and have been for the last 3 weeks. We have achieved academic results for the last 2 years in line with many of our OWL schools, National and Newcastle. Financially school has a balanced budget, our Governing Body has welcomed new members (all of whom volunteer their time). There is so much more that we have done visits, visitors and residentials - too much to write of here, but it is so easy to forget how far we have come. There is a lot for us to be proud of and to celebrate, we know there is still work to do. Our curriculum drivers are Character, Culture and Career we are aspirational in this for the children in everything we as a Waverley team and family do and keep in our hearts. Thank you for your continued support. I still have many plans for the school into the future. Enjoy the weekend.


Week 2

On Friday we welcomed staff from Google into school. The Google team delivered an interactive assembly about internet safety. We were joined by Catherine McKinnell MP who has found this to be one of the main concerns amongst young people in her constituent. The children were shown four different learning platforms all with mottos. The children impressed the Google team with their internet safety knowledge. We will be incorporating some of the sessions into our e-safety sessions. A reminder that information leaflets on Apps are available for parents on request from Mrs Selkirk.


A fantastic week for attendance 96.1% the National Average with only 13 late marks for the whole school all week. Fingers crossed we can keep this going.


Playtimes and lunchtimes outside are looking very different with the appointment of our own Sports coach. The bottom yard has been zoned off into 2 football pitches, the Mugger is available for Dodgeball or Basketball. We have Dodgeballs and Basketballs outside for the children to share and play with. In free areas we have hoops, stilts and teamwork big feet. We have single year groups playing in each zone rather than mixed year groups for example year 6 play football alone rather than mixed in with year 5. It has taken a little bit of getting used to this week - work in progress, we hope.



Week 1

A warm welcome back to Waverley following the Summer break. It was wonderful to see the children so smart in their green uniforms. There was a lot of excited chatter as we all had a good catch up. There were a lot of new faces amongst the staff and we welcome Ms Quiles as Nursery Teacher and Miss Jarvis as TA to Early Years (Nursery and Reception). We now have our own school sports / nutrition coach Miss Cowling. Already there are plans for netball, hockey and other after school clubs. In Year 3 we have Mrs Ross who is working mornings and lunchtimes. In Year 5 we have Mr Armstrong working with Mrs McGettrick. Mrs Phillipson has had to have an operation and so will be absent for the first half term, we have Mr Fryatt in her place up in Year 6. Mrs Annal is our new SENCO and she will be holding a 'drop in' meet and greet on Thursday 12th September in the afternoon so parents of children with SEND or SEND concerns can meet her.


During the Summer we have had some internal building work and our Nursery is now double the size. We have a dedicated space for quieter work away when needed. Please enquire at the office if you require a Nursery place for your child.