It was slightly unsettling this lunchtime to see the children just staring up at the spooky, apocalyptic sky with its unnerving red sun. They had all sorts of theories…from an imminent zombie invasion, God’s anger, Mars coming into orbit, or a ghost moon! Children’s imaginations are just amazing, thriving on the wonders around them. The late Sir Terry Pratchett used to write about ‘inspiration particles’ in his Discworld novels, and it’s as if the lunchtime sky today was filled with them!
Here is a link to some scientific information, courtesy of the BBC, should you wish to discuss other factors behind this phenomenon with your children.
Well, here we are at the end of another busy week at Eynsham Primary. The Year 5s had a wonderful time at Hill End, we have elected our eight new Year 6 house captains, and the first three pieces of work have been placed on our new Golden Board in the hall. Today Jill Plant, of Jill Plant Photography, spent some time around the school capturing children hard at work and then at play, and I am really looking forward to sharing those photographs with you on this site and on our reception TV screen in the coming weeks.
Today, myself and our deputy headteacher, Mrs Roberts, enjoyed spending time in every class looking at behaviour and learning, as we do regularly. During our visit to Bobcats Class, we were struck by this piece of descriptive writing from Laurie, which I really wanted to share with you.
As you enter the awe-inspiring mass of the forest, the first thing you notice will be the autumnal orange of the leaves on the dark trees silhouetted against the creeping sunlight. Underfoot, you spot a crinkly auburn mass of thousands of pieces of fallen bracken. Looking up, you shield your eye against the dazzling sunlight illuminating the glorious crimson flowers. Above them, the spidery branches reach out to the beckoning thorns. Suddenly, you catch a glimpse of majestic stages with horns like branches of a river, their chestnut blending with the mahogany of the tress.
There is a growing awareness of mental health difficulties increasing amongst children and teenagers. Some cite the stresses of modern life, including nigh-on 24/7 social media, lives spent on-line, financial difficulties amongst families, and the pressures of schooling. I wanted to share this BBC article on a new study on teenagers, to illustrate where things have got to currently and where they may be headed.
This is not just a teenage issue, it is something for the parents and schools of younger children to act on also.
I promised the children in assembly today that I would post the video of Austin’s Butterfly so that they could watch it again or share with the big people at home, if they wished.
During today’s assembly I reminded the children about our new school charter, and the idea of respecting ourselves, one another and our surroundings. I talked about having a positive attitude and good manners, and also about how they should all be leaving school tired each day having jolly well worked their socks off in lessons.
I then handed over to Mrs Roberts, whom I had asked to share a video she had told me about called Austin’s Butterfly. She showed it, and discussed the messages we receive from it, messages about perseverance, constructive feedback and striving for excellence.
It has been lovely today walking around the school and seeing the children engrossed in a variety of activities already. Something in particular I saw a lot of was children reading, or selecting their reading books. This led to some lovely conversations with them, including two Year 6s who just couldn’t put their books down during the lunch break. A good number of the older children were reading one of the Harry Potter books, and were really enthusiastic in talking about them with me.
During the holidays I came across an article entitled ‘Harry Potter: How the boy wizard enchanted the world’, which I planned to share on my blog at some point. Talking to the children today, and the fact that the 1st September 2017 was the day that Harry Potter’s youngest son started Hogwart’s, has prompted me to share this now.
Here is an interesting and important article for anyone wishing to gain some insight into the context schools are operating within at the moment. It is long, but worthwhile. For my part, I think the best way of protecting our children is to stick it out, to carry on working as hard as one possibly can to be an effective headteacher and safeguard children in terms of welfare, attainment, progress and choice.
‘I wake at 2am worrying about the children’: the headteachers leaving Britain’s schools
Too little money, too many tests: senior staff talk frankly about life on education’s frontline
I wanted to share with you a correspondence from the National Association of Headteacher’s concerning the impact the school funding crisis had on the electorate. I know a number of you have been supportive of this, so thank you for anything you have done. Below is a summary of the article, which is available in full via this link.
SPECTRE OF SCHOOL FUNDING CUTS STRUCK A CHORD WITH VOTERS
Press reports have confirmed this week that school funding played a part in helping the electorate decide how to vote in the General Election. This suggests that our high profile funding campaign, with union colleagues and funding groups, had a significant impact as people went to the polls last Thursday. “My thanks goes to all NAHT members and officials and to our colleagues in the education community,” says NAHT general secretary Russell Hobby. “It shows that if you blend energy, evidence and ethics, you can achieve a great deal in a campaign. Now we need to keep the pressure up towards an Autumn budget.”
The Eynsham Primary Key Stage 2 mock election 2017 results are now in, following children considering the parties’ policies then submitting their preferences to the ballot box. The results are as follows:
The Labour Party = 69 votes
The Liberal Democrats = 61 votes
The Green Party = 36 votes
The Monster Raving Loony Party = 18 votes
The Conservative Party = 16 votes
The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) = 4 votes
So, if the children of Eynsham were the voting populace of the United Kingdom, the Labour Party would govern the country under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. The children have all learned a great deal through this process.
We are enjoying a calm, busy start to the new term.
Key Stage 2 children engaged in an assembly about the general election, during which they learned lots about how our democracy works and what will happen on June 8th. The main political parties were discussed, and the children now have some time to consider the main policies of each before casting their vote in our very own election this Thursday.
Here is a link to some Newsround resources that help understand each of the main political parties, which could be helpful for you to watch and discuss at home.
Today is a momentous day here at Eynsham Community Primary School. In achievement assembly this morning, not only, for the first time ever, did we have an amazing FOUR classes receive best attendance certificates, but each of them was celebrating 100% attendance and punctuality.