Summer Term at Wreay
Our final half term is in full swing at school and, as ever, is an incredibly exciting and busy time at school. With SATs tests, phonics screening, sporting events, transition days and summer trips out amongst just some of the things taking place, every day at school is even more varied than normal and it has been wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the children for every new opportunity and challenge presented to them.
The summer term is, quite literally, a testing time for children at school; Year 2 and Year 6 have been taking their end of key-stage SATs and Year 1 have undertaken their phonics screening tests. This can be a stressful time for the children involved but it has been fantastic to see the manner in which they have all approached the challenges they have encountered. Year 6 have worked incredibly hard all year, building to their SATs, which took place at the start of May. Whilst some of the papers were tricky, to say the least, the children have all acquitted themselves very well; they can all be extremely proud of the sustained efforts they made throughout the year and hold their heads high, in the knowledge that they all performed to their best. The celebratory lunch to The Plough Inn was extremely well deserved, with the children and staff all enjoying a fantastic, relaxing time after a stressful week.
Year 2's SATs came just a few weeks after Year 6's. With children taking the tests in small groups, a team effort was required from all the staff in KS1, which ensured the tests progressed so smoothly. The children, however, were the real stars, performing to a high level and persevering in the face of some very challenging test papers. As with Year 6, they should be very proud of their efforts; a trip to Eden Rock bouldering centre was just reward for their endeavour and, judging by the smiles on their faces at the end of the day, the children definitely thought it was worth all the hard work.
Finally, Year 1 have undertaken their phonics screening test. With the KS1 team again providing a brilliant logistical effort to allow the children the opportunity to sit the tests in a quiet and calm atmosphere, the children were able to shine.
This week sees the start of construction on our new build, connecting the current Reception and Year 6 classrooms and unifying the school building. This is a hugely exciting project for school which promises to transform the site. In addition to the creation of a large, bright classroom capable of being opened out to form a huge, versatile space and a small office formed from what is currently a storage cupboard, we are also building an additional space, which we are provisionally calling ‘The Hub’. The Hub will be a small teaching space, situated at the far end of what is now the canopy. This room has been included in the designs for the express purpose of allowing us additional teaching space to deliver high-impact, small group work in a quiet area; something that we have been sorely lacking for the past few years.
Obviously the work being carried over the next few weeks will have an impact on the day to day running of school, however I would like to reassure you that we have undertaken a program of comprehensive risk assessment and planning ahead of work commencing to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum, with the health and safety of the children of paramount concern. As such, in addition to Year 6 moving out of their classroom, Year 5 will also be forced to vacate their own room due fire regulations. Mrs Deans and Mr Nelson will share the village hall until the end of term, having worked together to plan a class structure that will ensure that Years 5 & 6 will continue to receive teaching of the highest standard. Fortunately, Reception will not have to move from their classroom; the French doors will be boarded off as work commences but there are no other planned changes to their classroom routine.
Finally, as the KS2 yard will be partially closed off to act as a secure compound for the builders, there will be a slight change in the routines when moving around school. All children will congregate in the KS1 yard first thing in a morning, from where they will be collected by their teachers at 8.50; this yard will also be the fire assembly point for the whole school. When using the temporary toilets, children will be led across the front of school and enter the remaining portion of the KS2 yard by the external gate. This entire route will be fenced off securely to ensure that this is done in the safest possible manner, with children separated from the road.
Despite the construction activity taking place at school, the children can look forward to a fantastic end of term with a huge range of exciting enrichment activities taking place across school. In addition to activities taking place in individual classes, including the summer trips, Y3&4’s trip to Calavaerock Castle, the KS1 bake sale for victims of the Hawaiian volcanic eruption, Y5 performing at Caldew school and Year 2 visiting Eden Rock, there has already been a number of whole school events that they have really enjoyed, with more upcoming that they are really looking forward to.
I believe that our whole-school events are a real highlight of school life at Wreay, offering our children the opportunity to develop and showcase their human qualities and the Christian ethos that runs through everything we do at school. Nowhere was this more evident than at sports day, which I am sure you will agree was an absolutely wonderful afternoon, made even better by the excellent organisation and the fabulous weather. It was lovely to see children of all ages come together in their school teams to work together to achieve their best, with the way in which Year 6 led from the front a particular highlight. The qualities exhibited by all the children taking part - teamwork, determination, sportsmanship and perseverance to name but a few – and the leadership shown by the Year 6 pupils made the afternoon a wonderful exhibition of the way in which children at Wreay not only develop in to great learners but also in to well-rounded, confident and supportive human beings.
Following on from sports day was another whole-school sporting event - the World Cup team morning down at the village hall. Organised by Miss Moir and Mr Carter, children worked in their teams on World Cup themed activities including ball control practice and identifying flags of the competing nations. The children all had a fantastic time and returned to school with big grins across their faces, clutching the football figurines that they had won but the highlight was, once again the way in which the older children in school, as they always do, took the younger members of their team under their wing, ensuring that every member of their team was able to achieve their best.
This time of year sees a flurry of sporting events, as the good weather provides the opportunity for the children to be outside practising and demonstrating their prowess. This year has been no different, with regular delegations of children venturing out to a wide variety of events and festivals. The Year 5&6 girls enjoyed attending the Kwik Cricket festival at Carlisle cricket club, performing to a high standard and gaining experience in a fun tournament setting. Prior to the festival, the girls were able to participate in extra cricket coaching at lunch times leading up to the event, something that no doubt helped them as they were able to progress to the quarter finals before being knocked out by the narrowest of margins. Years 3&4 thoroughly enjoyed a gruelling day out at Hawes End outward bound centre. Dividing their day between climbing up Catbells and canoeing on Derwent Water, the children were able to take themselves out of their comfort zones and get a taste of what they can look forward to at Lockerbie Manor in 18 months time.
The final event of the summer term is the summer concert. Once again, Mrs Wadeson has planned a musical extravaganza and preparations are well under way to ensure that the concert is a spectacular as ever. The concert offers our children an amazing opportunity to perform on stage, both as part of an ensemble and as individuals, in front of a large audience. It is remarkable to see the impact that this has upon the performers and the confidence and pride with which performing imbues them is a valuable asset that the children visibly transfer across all areas of their school life.
I hope you all enjoy the upcoming events and have an enjoyable last month of term before the children have their well-earned summer break.
Posted by Thomas Nelson on 13 June 2018
Category: Headteacher's Blog