Headteacher Blog 24th June 22
It has been a really positive week at Farfield other than attendance which is still very low by historic standards. Chicken Pox is affecting LOTS of children, especially in the infants, and there are a lot of children on holiday with pent-up demand still working through. I don’t think it is just us, but this level of attendance – just 91% yesterday – would not usually be tolerable for a school and would be expected to adversely affect attainment in school. Last week the press were reporting that the government is planning to centralise the fining of families for taking holidays in term time: great timing in the midst of a cost of living crisis! Personally, I can’t see that happening but I have been wrong many times.
We have had two sets of visitors this week that have been effusive in their praise of the school. On Tuesday we had three visitors come to assess us against Y1-6 Healthy School standards. The assessment covered areas such as food policies, school meals, PSHE and healthy eating curriculums, pastoral support, physical activity, break times and ethos. We have only had verbal feedback so far but it was outstanding across the board. One of the inspectors was completing her first assessment and her much more experienced colleague commented that it probably wasn’t a good first school to do as it set the bar too high! After touring the school grounds during Junior lunch break the more experienced colleague commented that she had “never seen a break time like it” – I am pretty sure that was a compliment! Well done to everyone involved in that work.
On Thursday we had two teachers with us all day from a large primary school in Sheffield. They had heard about our work with Chromebook computers and wanted to learn from our experience before making a big commitment. We didn’t put on anything special for them, but they were ‘blown away’ by what they saw. They confessed that in their heads they had been thinking about the computing curriculum, but they saw confident, efficient and imaginative use of the Chromebooks across the curriculum. They were amazed at how smoothly things went and what good time management there was. Again, they were effusive in their praise of the children (and staff). They particularly commented on how confident our children are – in themselves and in terms of showing their work and using technology.
These two examples of really positive external affirmation are very welcome: a reminder that two normal days at Farfield are maybe not that ordinary.