Now that Year 6 SATs are over we have a breathing space to consider how we can further improve children's learning and experience of primary education. We are very proud of the standards our children reach in the basic skills, and of the opportunities we provide, yet we rarely stand still. Here are some of the ideas we are exploring.
Singapore Style Maths Teaching
Last year 100% of our pupils achieved the national level and beyond in Year 6. Primary Assertive Mentoring with its Big Maths certainly had a massive impact on raising standards in our school but we are intrigued by the methods which are at the core of the success in maths in Singapore. There are still children who find maths difficult and, until they have an understanding of basic computation, they will be unable to work with more complex questions and problems.
In July, Mr. Ashton and Mr. Smith will begin 5 days of intensive training in methods used in Singapore so that they can be introduced into Year 1. Gradually, during the next two years, all staff will receive the same training. We plan for Year 3 to embark on the scheme as soon as Mrs Houston receives her training in the Autumn term.
For the past year we have streamed throughout the school for maths. As the new system is being introduced in September this will no longer be possible so children will be taught maths by their classteacher. However, we will keep Friday Big Maths for children not learning through the Singapore method.
The New National Curriculum
In September 2014 the new curriculum was rather rushed into schools. Developing the curriculum is my passion! Now is the ideal time to reflect on what we are teaching and look at how topics can become more creative and exciting for children. I am working with Mr. Howe on this later in June but have made a start and thoroughly enjoying it. Last week I was exploring volcanic activity and art in Ecuador!
In 2016 there will be no such grade as Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 for any child as national curriculum levels are being scrapped. Instead Year 6 parents will receive a standardised score along with the nationally expected standardised score. There will be no level 6 papers. However, we understand that the standard is being raised across the board so that questions which are the equivalent of Level 5 are to become the expected standard. If you would like to see samples of SATs question papers for 2016 please click here.
Schools will see the reintroduction of tests in science for Year 6 in 2016.
And Back to This Week....
A group of our Year 6 pupils have left for Derwent Hill residential centre this morning with Mr. Howe and Mrs Smith. All groups have a terrific time and, whenever I meet former pupils, they always recall the Derwent Hill week as the best in their primary school.
This afternoon an external assessor will be arriving to look at the evidence in our Basic Skills Primary Quality Mark application. Mrs Dutton will be talking to several staff, children, parents and Governors. We are confident that not only do we teach these subjects well, but we also continually plan to improve our teaching in the key subjects of English and maths.
This afternoon Year 5 will be learning essential life saving skills with the RNLI as they "Hit the Surf" down on the coast.