Headteacher’s blog 28th February 2020
It has been a positive start to the new half term. I have done quite a bit of teaching in Y6 this week which is an absolute pleasure. I spent an hour in each class looking at changes in technologies, transport and sources of power across the industrial revolution and into modern times, I have been involved in part of Y6’s trip to Armley Mills – leading two walks along the Leeds to Liverpool canal – and spent a morning with 6S interrogating an electronic copy of the 1891 census for Farsley/Calverley. The census work was fascinating, with more than half of the working age population engaged in work relating to woollen cloth. About half the women had no recorded occupation. 50 women in the area were classed as domestic servants and there plenty of quarry men too. The children were all really engaged with this work and we had 30 children all editing the same spreadsheet simultaneously (within ‘Google Classroom’). No women appeared to work with horses or on the railways. Almost all the women in the census were either at home (working hard no doubt!), in the mills or domestic servants. We had some really stimulating discussions of the similarities and differences with today.
The KS2 corridor this week has been brightened up by a series of huge new maps on the walls: the UK, the world, continents. Some maps are political and others are more physical. There will also soon be large, mounted OS maps of Leeds/Bradford and the areas in the Dales to be visited by Years 4 and 5 on trips and residentials. We hope that children being ‘immersed’ in maps every day will increase their global awareness and map reading skills.
Obviously there has been a lot of media attention on coronavirus/Covid-19 this week and we have received advice from multiple sources. Most of it is basic hygiene but we are going to increase vigilance around hand washing. Lots of additional hand sanitizer dispensers will be installed in foyers, cloakrooms and corridors next week and, for a while at least, it may feel more like moving around wards in a hospital. We may not have this regime all year round – not least due to expense – but at the moment it will help with controlling infections and illness such as chicken pox and sickness, as well as being a reasonable response to risks around Covid-19.