Week Ending 15.02.2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

This week brings to an end a very exciting and rewarding half term. I have very much enjoyed my first 6 weeks at Whitkirk, thanks to the support and very warm welcome from the children, parents and careers, Governors and school team, Red kite colleagues and local Head teachers.

Ensuring Whitkirk is a happy, safe and exciting learning community is at the heart of my vision for the school. The views of all our community are important as we all work together and embark on the next steps of our exciting journey. Many parents have chatted to me on the playground and provided me with lots of positive feedback about the school. I would therefore like to collate the views of all our parents and carers so Miss Pashby has set up an online survey. If you could take a few minutes to complete the survey, this would be very much appreciated. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TCWZGW7Your views will form part of our self-evaluation as we move forward and will be reflected in the Whitkirk school improvement plan.

I would like to thank you for taking part in the Communication Survey. The results of these are being collated and will be shared with you after half term. A survey that was analysed by Miss Pashby, which was linked to our new school values, showed that 97% of parents/carers felt the proposed values were child-friendly and appropriate. This is reflected in school where our children can talk with confidence about the values and suitable behaviours.

Achievement is one of our core school values and a clear focus on achievement creates a strong learning culture for parents, pupils and staff. It is my aim to ensure children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum whilst becoming competent readers, writers and mathematicians. With that in mind, teaching staff and our Vice Chair of Governors have had the opportunity to engage in high quality Continuous Professional Development in Mathematics this week. Investing in professional development supports teachers in providing opportunities for outstanding learning for your child. During the training, teachers have had the opportunity to develop their knowledge of problem solving and reasoning in mathematics, which will be a feature of your child’s learning next half term.

After the half-term, staff will be engaging in exceptional training to develop children as writers across school. Pi Corbett’s approach called ‘Talk4Writing’ is the initiative which supports raising standards in writing. The approach is engaging and exciting for children and staff. We look forward to sharing the approach with you in assemblies, once it is underway in the classrooms.

Friendship is also one of our school values and I strongly believe every child should enjoy the school day with their peers. With that in mind, after half term there will be Friendship Fortnight. The teachers and staff will be working with the children to further develop and strengthen their class and school community, strengthen the understanding of how to make friends and play cooperatively through engaging in some exciting new games to play in the playground.

One of my first tasks as your newly-appointed Head Teacher in January was to review the lunchtime menus at Whitkirk. I have consulted with several providers, including Redkite catering Team. I am pleased to say the Redkite Team arranged a taster session for school staff which was very well received. The Redkite team are hoping to visit Whitkirk next term to provide a taster session for children and parents. Dates and times will be sent to you shortly and I hope to have an opportunity to meet you at the taster session and seek your views about the new proposals for lunch time menus.

From food to sport now, where a group of year 5 children took part in a dodgeball competition this week. They played exceptionally well and did so well in coming second in their group (missing out by one point!) It was a great evening, full of positive energy and lots of fun! 

Miss Gill, our PE coordinator, has also been busy launching the ‘Whitkirk Sport Crew’ to our Year 5 and 6 classes today. This crew will be a diverse group of children who will join together to develop, organise and promote school sport, both in and outside of school. All pupils interested have been given an application form to apply for a specific role. Application forms need to be returned by Friday 1st March. 

Once again, thank you for your support and have a restful half-term break. I look forward to seeing you on Monday 25th February.

Kind regards,

Michelle Kouni

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