All posts by Rebecca Stacey

The Importance of Reading

This year, in a bit of change to our usual World Book Day celebrations we opted for a dress up day with a theme. Kindness. All of our children were asked to dress up with a ‘kind character’ in mind.

As the first time in a few years that we dressed up it was really great to see children and families being so enthusiastic. There was an added incentive of team points for characters who were ‘unique’ which meant that some of the children attempted some of the lesser known characters. We had a fun assembly in the afternoon where each class presented their characters. Key Stage 2 also took part in drama sessions in their lessons.

To go a bit deeper into World Book Day, we also carried out a survey amongst the Key Stage 2 children into their reading habits and what they enjoy about reading. This told us a few interesting things:

  • The older children (Class 4) don’t always read with an adult at home – but they would like to.
  • Most of the children enjoy reading a wide variety of text types – website, blogs and magazines for example.
  • Almost everyone at Castle Carrock School enjoys reading! Yay!
  • They enjoy hearing their teacher read to them – and both classes could name books that their teacher has read to them.
  • They would enjoy the chance to read more of their own books in school.
  • Lots of our children talk to their friends about books.
  • They like the variety of books that we have in school.

This is really positive for school – we always spend lots of money on new books and we make time to both read to our children and to hear them read, no matter what class they are in. The whole school has reading sessions at 09am – 09:40 and we put a huge emphises on reading in all areas of the curriculum.

It’s worth thinking as well, even if you know your child can read, it can be a real confidence boost and an enjoyable way to spend time together to just share a book. If you want some hints and tips for reading with your child – you can look here.

Next year we may not dress up – the School Council always tell us that they enjoyed the sleep over – and the Clue Treasure Hunt. As ever, we are always open to ideas!

Writing with a Purpose

Writing with a purpose, and an audience, can really bring our creativity out. Class 4 have recently been working on their own books – and all they had to do was to write about something they have been working on in class.

They used an online app called ‘Book Creator’ 

 

 

 

 
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Welcome Back! January 2020

Happy New Year! I hope you have had a peaceful break, and managed to find some time for rest amongst the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

This is just a short letter with reminders for the term; class letters will also come out this week which will detail the work we are covering this term as well as Swimming for Class 2, PE with coaches from Carlisle United for Key Stage 2 and class trips that have already been booked. Class 1 parents can also meet their new teacher Mrs Murgatroyd after school on Thursday for an informal chat.

Attendance
Children whose attendance is below 90% will receive a letter from the governors this term – it is vital that we encourage our children to see regular attendance at school as a vital habit and that parents reinforce this. Some circumstances, such as illness, will obviously have an impact on attendance and it is very important that the school is aware of any ways in which we can help.

Uniform
School uniform is important to the identity of the school and the pupils. Please remember that black shoes, or boots, are part of the uniform and trainers are to be worn only for PE and sports. Likewise long hair needs to be tied up, (off of the face), and tied back securely for PE. Leggings are not to be worn as trousers.

E-Safety
Please be aware of your child’s use of the internet particularly when they watch You Tube videos – You Tube does have age restrictions and parental modes but you have to log in with them to use it and they are not always reliable. Remember to check parental settings on any new devices they may have and to ensure that you know who they are talking to online.

We will hold an e-safety briefing later on in the term to review what parents can do at home – and we always share information via our school website: https://www.castlecarrock.cumbria.sch.uk/parents/e-safety/
Remember the school uses the ‘Google Classroom’ infrastructure – and this means that the children have access to apps for things such as word processing, drawing, creating presentations and much more. You can find out more information here:https://www.castlecarrock.cumbria.sch.uk/google-classroom-a-parents-guide/

Packed Lunches
Ensuring that we are a ‘healthy school’ is very important to us. Not only do we need to teach our children about healthy choices they can make but we also need to set a good example. This is especially important at lunch times and this term we will be taking a close look at packed lunches – ensuring that they meet the guidelines for what a ‘healthy packed lunch’ is. More information will come home about this for those children who do have a packed lunch.

We are looking forward to an exciting and busy time (as usual!) – dates for Parents’ Evenings and assemblies will be put on the website in due course.

R Stacey
Head Teacher

Meet our new Chair of Governors

Guest post by Christian Judd – Chair of Governors

Firstly, I would like to thank my predecessor, Mark Hetherington, for the fantastic job that he has done over the past four years. As I now take over as Chair of Governors from Mark, I feel that the school is in a strong position to continue to provide an excellent standard of education for our children.

 

For those of you who do not already know me and my family, Sarah and I live just down the road in Cumrew with our three children. Bella and Alice are currently in the school, with my eldest child, Jamie, having just “graduated” from Castle Carrock School in July. I am a director of an architectural practice in Carlisle and I have been a member of the governing body for a little over 2 years now and for the last 12 months have been the Vice Chair of Governors.

 

My focus as Chair of Governors over the coming years will be to support Rebecca and the excellent teaching and support staff as we strive to address the issues raised by the recent Ofsted report. It should be noted here that, although the final judgement of the assessment that took place in June was disappointing, there was a significant amount of praise for the school’s Early Years and Special Educational Needs provision as well the overall approach to learning that the school adopts. A number of improvement plans and strategies are now being developed and implemented that will address the issues raised by the latest Ofsted Report.

 

Whilst our focus will always be on maintaining and improving academic standards, we continue to face considerable restrictions and constraints from a funding regime that does not adequately reflect the requirements of a small rural school such as ours.  Despite this, I thoroughly intend to enable the governing body to provide the focused support, management and leadership that puts the best interests and learning experiences of our children at the heart of all that we do.

 

Please feel free to contact me about any issues that you may have in relation to the school. I can be contacted through the “Meet the Governors” page of the school’s website.