World Book Day and the Shortest Spring on Record!

Where did that snow come from? (Yes, I know there’s an obvious answer!) We were just sniffing the first signs of spring in the air and suddenly winter came back with a bang. Hopefully it is just a brief cold snap and the weekend clears up nicely for us. Just part of an interesting week in school with lots of activity, as usual…


As you know, Miss Diggin, one of our brilliant learning mentor team, has been away from school on maternity leave. Now that her family has grown and little Freddie is thriving, she has decided to find a part time job nearer to the family home in Harrogate. We are sorry that she is not coming back to Whitkirk, as she has done great work with lots of our children and families in her time here, but we wish her well in her future endeavours. In the meantime, I am delighted to confirm that Miss Walker, who has been covering Miss Diggin’s maternity leave, will stay as part of our team and continue to work alongside Miss Smith.


It was a real pleasure to show a small group of parents around school this week as part of our ‘Seeing is Believing’ tours. It would have been great to see more people turn out for this chance to glimpse inside the daily life of our school. I always tell you my opinions of the work our staff and children are doing but you will be able to hear from fellow parents when they let me have their feedback. Hopefully, I will have their views in time for next week’s blog and I’ll publish them here.



Not only did we have the usual selection of fantastic costumes yesterday for our World Book Day celebration but we also had a brilliant turnout of parents and family members who came into school to share books with the children. Reading is so important and those of us who love books are passionate about sharing this with children. Not everyone enjoys reading for pleasure but it is such an important part of being an effective learner that we need to encourage all children to find enjoyment in reading so that they can be the very best learner possible. As a dad myself, I was particularly pleased to note how many dads had taken the time to come into school for this event – well done, chaps, you are great role models for your children!


As part of our drive to improve reading standards (as ever, it is on our School Development Plan this year), we are changing the way we deliver guided reading in school. Our focus is now on all children accessing the same text, whatever their reading level, so that they are engaged in reading the same high-quality texts. The children then work on differentiated activities that are appropriate for them. We are investing in some more brilliant books, including:

Year 1: Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

Year 2: The Tunnel by Anthony Browne

Year 3: The Firework Maker’s Daughter by Philip Pullman

Year 4: The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

Year 5: The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde

Year 6: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

We’re still waiting for some of these books to arrive in school but your children will be enjoying them soon.

SPORTS NEWS – Year 5 Netball

As part of the programme of TNLP sports this year, our Year 5 children took part in a netball training camp on Monday this week, along with other schools in our trust. The children, as usual, represented our school brilliantly and we are grateful to Miss Gill and Miss Quarmby for taking the children to Temple Moor.


Please note that, despite what I put in last week’s blog, Year 4 parents are invited to enjoy the children’s fashion show next Wednesday at 2.45 p.m. Should be fun!


After last week’s great figure, this one is a little bit disappointing. Only 95.2% this week.

Cubs 1   87.3%                 Cubs 2   93%

Tigers   98.9%             Cheetahs   97.3%

Lynx   93%                       Snow Leopards   94.5%

Dolphins   97.5%            Penguins   93.4%

Sharks   96.9%                Polar Bears   91.5%

Panthers   98.3%           Golden Eagles   96.7%

Pumas   97.4%               Jaguars   97.4%

Well done Tigers!


Today, in Café Clark, we invented a word, which I promised the children I would use in this message – see if you can spot it (there are no prizes!).

Stars of the Week @Café Clark

Stars of the Week
@Café Clark

We asked the children not to tell us about themselves today but about one of the others in the group. They were great at talking to each other and then telling us about their new friend. They really are a special grunch.

See you on Monday!

Steve Clark, Headteacher



Wednesday 9th – Year 4 ‘Trashy Fashion’ Show 2.45 – 3.30 p.m.

Friday 18th – Sport Relief event (more details to follow)

Friday 25th – School Closed (Good Friday)

Monday 28th – School Closed (Easter Monday)

Wednesday 30th – M&M Theatre Group, ‘The Hobbit’


Friday 1st – School closes for the Easter holiday

Monday 18th – School opens again for the summer term

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