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Being Brave About Assessment


On Friday Mr. Howe and I asked the question-if we don't believe in testing children to produce national data than why are we assessing our children half termly? Neither of us knew the answer as it seems we've somehow become stuck in a wheel grinding around and around. So we took the brave decision that we are reducing our in-school half termly assessments to once a term only. Of course, spelling tests and in class assessments will continue. Teachers received the news with relief as assessment week eats up a whole week each half term out of the teaching timetable.  That means three more teaching weeks in the year. Wonderful.



This term we have had a massive refocus on hearing children read in school. I try to hear children read at least once a day and I can see a significant improvement already in the fluency and confidence of some of the children I hear. To make reading aloud even more special, the Friends of the School have invested in some really funky tub chairs which are now positioned in various places around school. One chair is adult sized and the other child sized. Thank you to all the parents and grandparents who have supported events like the Christmas Fair to make this purchase possible. Every child in the school will benefit.



We are continuing with our school tradition of celebrating World Book Day with fancy dress and Stories at Bedtime. This year the theme is children's classics so there are a multitude of outfits to choose from including the Narnia stories, Wind in the Willows,  Paddington Bear, Heidi, Alice in Wonderland, all the fairy tales, the Famous Five, Treasure Island and the list goes on and on. All I will say is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!



This Friday we are all rushing off after school to Northumbria University to watch Team Loaded in the semis before the Newcastle Eagles match then, hopefully, in the finals at the half time break when the Newcastle Eagles play Leeds. It's my first experience of basketball so the excitement is building. Let's channel all our nervous energy into playing the best we can. Good luck Team Loaded!