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Helping our Students to Reach for the Stars!

It has been a busy week with lots of parents coming into school to discuss their children’s progress and learning targets.

These meetings are really important as it is vital that we have strong home-school partnerships to most effectively support children’s learning, and we want to share with you all the great things that your children have been doing! It is also a perfect time mid-year to reflect on achievements so far and to focus children on what now needs to be done to ensure children achieve their very best.

It was really positive to see that many of the Key Stage 2 students were involved in these discussions as we actively encourage children of all ages to take ownership and responsibility for their own learning. We need to help each child to judge how well they are doing in their learning;  where they are now, where they need to go and how to get there.

There are lots of strategies we use to achieve this such as making sure that in each lesson the children understand what is to be learned (the learning objectives) and what we expect the children to be able to do after they have learned it (learning outcomes).

We share the learning objectives with them, usually at the start of the lesson, using language they understand. Throughout the learning process we provide feedback on their responses and work, drawing on our analyses and judgements. This on-going oral and written feedback refers back to the learning objectives in order to identify for the children where they have been successful and what they need to work on next to progress. What is really important is that this process is not simply teacher to student; we empower students to have the skills to assess their own learning and to identify personal targets and next steps. This self-assessment begins at a very young age with even our Year 1 students using self-assessment strategies such as coloured cups to traffic light their understanding. 

We also want every child to have the self-belief that by taking responsibility for their own learning and working hard, they will achieve great things. We aim to instil confidence and drive in students by setting high standards and goals and then pushing every child to apply themselves to reach for these goals. Insisting that all students try to jump the highest bar means that they all push themselves equally to attain. It is then our job as teachers (and parents) to help each child to find ways to get closer to these goals. Of course, all children are different and not everyone will succeed to the same extent, but to ask anything less is to tell them we expect them to come up short.  Encouraging self-belief is central to student attainment and a core purpose of what we do as teachers. We want all children to aim for the stars and then support them to climb the ladder of their ambitions.

If you have any questions about how we support children’s learning, or how you can support at home, please do speak to your child’s class teacher or come and have a chat with any of our Primary Leadership Team.

Thanks for your support and engagement.

- Niki Meehan, Head of Primary

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