Autumn Term First Half
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.