January 18th and it would seem that Christmas holidays are a memory from the distant past. The children and staff have returned energised from their breaks and the school is ‘buzzing’ with the challenges of TT Rock stars, Dojo points and cursive handwriting, to name but a few.
Two ‘Whoops a Daisy Angel’ productions, two Red class Nativities, two Choral Christmas’, two visits into the community to sing, two Christmas lunches: one for the children and one for the community, two pantomime productions, two church services… I am starting to feel a bit like Noah!
It was lovely to tell the children in Worship how proud I could see you were as you looked through books at parent consultations this week. This mirrors the pride I have for all the children who are striving to do their very best. Having walked in and out of classes across the week it is notable how industrious the learning environment is. Whether it be computer programming with Year 2, bell ringing in Year 6, tag making in EYFS, Kensuke’s Kingdom in Year 5, maths problem solving in Year 4, scientific factual accounts in Year 3 or role play of ‘years gone by’ in Year 1 children were engaged, enthusiastic and working collaboratively.
I have had the pleasure of observing teaching and learning in maths across the whole school this week. The level of challenge for our children is pitched suitably so that the children are needing to be resilient but experiencing the success necessary to motivate and develop confidence.
As we prepare for our Harvest Festival Celebrations I am astounded by the generous contributions which have come in over the last ten days. The food bank gratefully received your kindness today and it is good to know we are doing what we can to support those less fortunate than ourselves. Thank you also to all those of you who joined together in Tunstall Church of the first Sunday of this month to celebrate the Harvest Festival with the church community. All Things Bright and Beautiful was sung with the joy it depicts and my gratitude goes to Mr Ingram for giving up part of his weekend to lead the children. As a school, we will be supporting the Remembrance Service and Village Hall laying of poppies and wreaths on the 11th of November. This is in addition to the family service on the 4th.
Finally, the grass has grown through the climbing wall matting and on Friday we deemed it safe and ready for use. I am sure much excitement will be had this week as the children have the opportunity to explore and challenge themselves. I hear from red class that wellington boots are starting to come in to ensure the children can access the outside area whatever the weather. This is something I am certainly keen to encourage across the school. Our ‘outdoor classroom’ area is vast and research evidences the positive impact on children’s academic, social and emotional development outdoor learning can bring.
My first week at Tunstall has been very exciting. I have been made to feel welcome and appreciate the time both children, parents, governors and staff have taken to make me familiar with the Tunstall way of doing things.