Teaching & Learning: Pride

You know that feeling when you see an image or watch a scene happen in front of your very eyes and just for a second, your heart skips a beat. You are mesmerized. You catch your breath. Everything else disappears. Everything seems so simple and obvious. Well… here is the first image of 2018 that created that response in me…

Kris Martin works incredibly hard behind the scenes here at St Peter’s on essential grounds work. Kris is currently the proudest man on earth. Our huge congratulations to him, and his partner, on the birth of their baby daughter, Meylah-Rose Evelyn Martin, born 4 January 2018, weighing 8lb 3oz.

The return to school after Christmas might instill dread and loathing in some. In what is often considered the dreariest and most rugged month of January (a month feared by teachers … weather destroying outdoor learning, dodging the coughs, ducking out the way of sneezes, the dreaded wet play. Dare I even mention dealing with the genuine trauma pupils feel if a match has to be cancelled. We would expect a few upsets and few wobbles … But not this year… we appear to have had a tremendous start back (written with everything crossed).


I thought I would share some of my heart skipping moments from this first week back …
I thoroughly enjoyed watching staff take part in Coaching Training with invited guest Elaine Paul last Monday – some amazing revelations and strategies to support pupils in class and ourselves as learners. I have loved watching our pupils hugging each other so tightly because they missed each other during the holidays. I have witnessed Year 8 pupils going out of their way to support Year 1 pupils on their first day back at school. All of them demonstrating understanding and patience way beyond their years. One parent commented…
have you ever thought it unusual that very, very few children ever look apprehensive on their first day back in after a long break?
I have indeed not considered it before. I will monitor it from here on in!

I know I am always PROUD of the atmosphere at St Peter’s and how it supports each child to belong and to shine. Parents play a huge part in creating this community atmosphere. Thank you.
We indeed have a school to be proud of. Please see our latest full review from the Good Schools Guide.

As well as being spellbound and moved this week when watching pupils care and attend to new pupils and taster day pupils. I am also PROUD of the way the children have really taken on board our weekly thought. This was introduced during our first morning in a fantastic ‘Mrs Johnston welcome back’ assembly about resolutions and the Roman God Janus. Mrs Johnston was really able to focus everyone on the task of the term ahead. We are terribly PROUD of Mrs Johnston for representing us at the IAP’s Preparation for Headship where she is currently the course director and facilitating the next generation of new heads.

And so to my favourite images of the first week back… (I have lots more I was not allowed to put in this week as I always make these pieces too long!!!)
Middle Games practicing our netball marking techniques … against a sheep!!! This moment really embraces our ethos of cross-curricular links and being ‘in the moment of teaching and learning’. Luckily we had Rachel Watson, sheep expert extraordinaire on hand and we are sure she just asked it go back in and off it trotted! I have heard of horse whisperers, but sheep whisperers?

I finally had the pleasure of handing a cheque to the wonderful Balloons charity representative, Sara Bennet on Friday for £4000.00 – I think everyone in the presentation assembly felt ‘proud’ of this huge achievement in supporting our Heads Charity this year.

From this week forth… we have asked the children for pride…in appearance, in work ethic, in respect for our beautiful school, in manners, in engagement. We talked about how lesson observations and learning walks identified some elements of low-level behaviour across the second half of last term. (E.g. tardy timekeeping, organisation of equipment, interruptions during teaching and learning time). More detail on our Michaelmas term learning walk findings next week when I will discuss learning behaviours – How we reward and how we approach the dreaded sanctions.
During the Lent Term manners, pride, and calm focus will head the bill in teaching and learning newsletter pieces.
After all…what you put in….you will get out.

L. Ball, Deputy Head of Teaching & Learning

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