Category Archives: headteachers blog

Welcome Back!

Welcome back!

I hope you had a peaceful two weeks – it is a bit of a strange start to the term with two four day weeks, but we have got lots to cram in this term!

We start the term this week with Parents’ Evening – please speak to Dee if you have not got your appointment yet.

There is also a change to the staff structure in Key Stage 2 this term; as you may have been aware Mr Tyrrell was off before the holidays. I am pleased to be able to tell you that he is back now, but is working to a reduced timetable in Class 3. This means that the bulk of the teaching in the class will now be done by Mrs Helliwell, with support from Mrs McNeil. I believe that this arrangement will ensure consistency for Class 3 children – and we will be able to split Class 3 and Class 4 more frequently in the afternoons.

Arrangements across the school for next year are currently being finalised – but, as ever – if you have any concerns please do pop in and see me in school.

In other school news we are currently working with Tullie House to offer a Chinese Club on a Monday lunchtime, and thanks to equipment from Cumbria Stem we are starting a lunchtime Lego challenge club for Year 3. Our popular garden club starts up again this week as well, and if you can spare time for the garden do please get in touch! Running club also starts up again this Thursday.

We have also just been designated a Community Hub by the Computing at School’s association – this is an excellent opportunity for the children and staff here at school, and means that we lead the way in our use of technology in school and in the teaching of computing and ICT.

We put a letter out for interested Parent Governors before Easter – the deadline for this is next Friday. You can find out more details here.

Finally a reminder about the need for healthy snacks in school and a healthy packed lunch (if appropriate) – the number of children bringing chocolate bars in for playground snacks is increasing and I would take the chance to remind you that we encourage the children to make healthy choices; fruit, cereal bars and vegetable crisps. Please remember that we do not allow peanuts in school.

R Stacey
Head Teacher
Castle Carrock Primary School

Celebrating our Chinese Links!

This term we have created links with a school in Guangzhou, China.

Currently our school council is planning a ‘culture box’ to share with the school and they have already sent us videos of their box, which is on it’s way to us!

To reinforce these links we will be celebrating Chinese New Year on Wednesday 6th February, which is a day after the official Chinese New Year on Tuesday 5th.

We will be taking part in traditional crafts such as making Chinese New Year cards, creating paper dragons and learning about the myths and legends which are part of the Chinese Culture. The children will have the chance to cook traditional foods such as rice, noodles and vegetables.

We will also have a slightly different lunch that day of Sweet and Sour Chicken with Sticky Rice Balls (made by Class 4!) for pudding.  If your child doesn’t normally have school lunch on this day they are welcome to opt in – just speak to Dee in the office.

To support us with this, and to share their own culture and language we are also welcoming Chinese students from Austin Friars School in Carlisle.

This will be a fantastic opportunity for the children to learn about the languages in China as well as their culture and traditions.

 

 

Governors Needed!

We will soon be looking for new governors for our Governing Board.

Castle Carrock School will be looking for new governors ready to start in September 2019. Two of these governors will be Parent Representatives – elected by the parents – election dates for this will be forthcoming. There may also be space for community, or co-opted, governors.

The governing body would therefore like to take this opportunity to explain what a governor does, and to ask anybody who may be interested in this role to come and have a chat either with Ms Stacey, or Mr Mark Hetherington, the Chair of the Governing Board.

As a parent governor you do not have to vote in a particular way because you have been pressed to do so by parents. Objectivity, however, is essential.Parent governors are elected by other parents and it is important to establish a rapport with the parental body that elected you, whilst continuing to maintain a strategic approach to school governance.

As an effective parent governor, you:

  • Help to decide the priorities for improving the school
  • Make yourself available to parents, listen to other parents’ opinions and take account of them as you contribute to governors’ decisions
    Work in partnership with the headteacher, senior leadership team and co-operatively with other governors to raise standards and improve outcomes for all children
  • Take responsibility for your own learning and development as a governor including attending training
  • Attend full governing body and relevant committee meetings promptly, regularly, and for the full time
  • Read briefings and newsletters for governors; present a balanced view of issues representing different sections of the community
  • Promote the interests of the school in the wider community
  • Are loyal to the decisions made by the governing body
  • Respect the confidentiality of governing body affairs
  • Never promise to ‘solve a problem’ on your own
  • Never press your own child’s case at the expense of others
  • Declare an interest and withdraw from any meeting where you, a partner or close relative or associate stands to gain, or where you are so close to a matter discussed it is difficult to be impartial
  • Have regard to the broader responsibilities as a governor of a public institution in regard to promoting accountability for the actions and performance of the governing body

It is an incredibly rewarding role – and you play a key part in the vision, ethos and direction of the school!

Dates and deadlines will be advertised soon.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please ask to have a chat with Ms Stacey – or one of the other school governors.

Mini Code Club!

Code Club is a popular part of our school – allowing children the chance to experiment with coding and problem solving. It is open to any child in Key Stage 2 (years 3 and up) – and takes place on a Monday after school – 3:30- 4:30, children are welcome to go on to after school club after this time. This year our Code Clubbers have led a ‘Mini Code Club’ for children from Class 1 who have wanted to try out some of the activities. Using programs such as ‘Scratch’  and the Hour of Code website!

School Development Plan 2018-2019 Part 2

Making Numbers Count!

Another area that the school is currently working on is our Mathematics attainment and progression.

Maths across the school – whilst meeting national progress targets – is one of our most challenging areas. Last year we worked at ensuring our mathematics curriculum progressed appropriately through the classes and that the children were challenged enough in class. We also looked at our  Calculation Policy – which ensured that the children are taught the same methods of calculation throughout the year. Sharing this with parents via the website and in our Parent Maths Sessions has been a key area to work on.

What we are doing:

This year our emphasis is on consistency across the school – consistency with vocabulary, expectations and resources. As such some of the teachers have already attended training looking at the different resources available and how they can be used across school. We are having a whole school maths day at Talkin Tarn – linked with the Carlisle United Community Coaches who will be supporting us with orienteering and direction work. We are continuing to emphasise mental calculation methods – using Times Table Rock Star from Year 2 onwards – and asking our our older children to solve more calculations with mental methods.

What you can do:

Your help is vital for this; the children all have maths targets which detail what they are working on in class. For example in reception it may be about recognising and ordering numbers up to 20 whilst in Year 4 it may be about knowing all of their times tables by heart. Homework as they go through school will also help the children to reinforce learning at home.