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.




School Development Plan 2018 – 2019 (Part 1)

As we settle in to a new school year we always take time to review the successes of last year and explore what we could do better in the year to come. Alongside usual school improvement areas such as attainment of pupils and maintaining our high behaviour expectations we have a different things each year that we, as a school community of staff and governors have highlighted.

One area we are working on this year is handwriting. 

Why handwriting? Well – believe it or not, handwriting has to be a certain standard by the end of Key Stage 2 for the children to be deemed as ‘secondary ready’ – namely they should be able to ‘maintain legibility when writing at speed’.  In addition the national curriculum states that pupils should be taught to ‘use the diagonal and horizontal strokes that are needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined’.

What will we be doing?  We have agreed on a standard scheme to use in order to ensure that we all teach handwriting in the same manner and that we all have high expectations of handwriting from the children. We will be using the widely-recognised ‘PenPals‘ from Cambridge Education.

Information for Parents can be found here.

How you can help: Take a look at the information above (which is split into each year group) – this gives you some idea as to what the teacher will cover and the expectations for your child. This way when they are writing at home you can gently encourage the joins and letter formation that we will be working on. Of course, please don’t out your child off writing – sometimes it is better to be thinking creatively and get ideas down and then worry about handwriting later! We always love to see any extra work done at home as well!



Getting Ready for September!

Last week we held two days in school where the children moved into the new class and spent the morning with their new teacher. There are no changes to the teaching staff structure next year, and so for many of the children it is not a new teacher, merely a new year group with new challenges and new opportunities. Some children may have a few anxieties about next year, and we work to allay these.

For the younger children – those moving from Class 1 into Class 2 – Mr Kirby will be a familiar figure. Class 1 and Class 2 work together regularly over the year as this supports the Reception children in becoming used to the formal learning before Year 1. It also offers Year 1 the chance to experience the more familiar continuous provision and so support the development of interests and self confidence. We are looking to build on this successful work next year – exploring more continuous provision in Class 2.

For Class 3 and Class 4 they maintain their now familiar routine. Class 4 will keep Ms Stacey in the morning, with Mrs Buchanan as a Teaching Assistant, and Class 3 will keep Mr Tyrrell with support from Mrs McNeil. Key Stage 2 will continue to be supported by Sports Teacher Mr Burns next year as well and we also hope to build on a successful sports partnership with Carlisle United. Ben Draper will continue to provide choir and music support.

In the meantime we also have a few dates for your diary – the children return back to school on Tuesday September 4th and we have a ‘Meet the Teacher’ time on Wednesday 5th September at 4pm.

As usual, if you have any questions do get in touch!


It’s that time of year again….

Each year we ask our Year 5 and 6 children about their aspirations… What would they like to do when they grow up? What are they interested in and what kind of careers would they like to find out about? Our Aspirations program has meant that we have welcomed people from around the country into school to talk about their work and how they got into their careers. From electricians to farmers; animators to fashion designers – our pupils are always interested in how people made their career choices!

And.. every year we need your help.. 

This year we are looking for another huge range of jobs and careers:

  • Game Designers
  • Butcher
  • Author
  • Dancer
  • Marine Biologist
  • Artist (thinking of painting and drawing)
  • Working in construction
  • Mechanic
  • Equestrian work

Or any other careers that you think our pupils may find interesting!


If you can help please get in touch with the school – 01228670393 or email



Weather Warnings!

Brrrr! Chilly weather is forecast over the next few days and we are looking at snow and ice weather warnings.

If we decide to close the school we will:

  • contact you by text as close to 8 o’clock as possible.
  • put the message on Twitter and the website
  • Notify BBC Radio Cumbria.

Decisions to close the school are never taken lightly and based on the safety of staff and pupils. When weather conditions means that a number of staff and pupils cannot make it in then we will close the school. The bus drivers may also contact parents if they have difficulty getting through.