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News from Head of Primary, Zoe Richardson

07 November 2014

Dear All,

Over the past term I have been approached by a number of parents who have all asked a similar question “Why don’t we teach from textbooks in the Primary School?” “Why don’t teachers have a text book for History/Maths/Science/English?”  “When will my child receive the textbook?”

My instant thought to such questions is “If I ruled the educational world, my first decree would be that the use of textbooks be severely limited in all primary classrooms”.  However, there are also very educationally sound reasons why we don’t use the ‘text book approach’ in Primary School.

Textbooks are often designed as the sole source of information on a topic.  They most often provide students with only one perspective on a concept or issue.  The UK National Curriculum encourages students to explore issues from multiple perspectives- newspapers, the internet, books, television etc.  A reliance on ‘the textbook’ does not encourage our students to become critically literate.

Textbooks do not take students’ background knowledge, experiences and past learning into account.  Textbooks limit the teachers’ ability to tailor lessons to the specific attributes and interests of the class.  Throughout the Primary School teachers spend several hours a week meeting and discussing as a team exciting and relevant ways in which they can deliver the curriculum.  We are also very conscious of exposing our students to multiple sources of information to ensure they are constantly critically evaluating media

The textbook needs to be used judiciously. A carpenter, for example, doesn't use only a hammer to build a magnificent oak chest. She may use a plane, chisel, saw, sander, or any number of tools to create the masterpiece she wishes to build. A great classroom program, just like a great piece of furniture, needs many tools in its construction.

Lost property can to be a major issue in school, with large quantities of personal effects being handed in to reception on a daily basis. We spend a lot of time and effort trying to return these items to their owners, with only limited success. Statistically, a child will lose approximately £160 of uniform and sports kit in the first two years of school. In an effort to reduce this problem for parents, we kindly remind you that it is essential that all children’s belonging are labelled with the student’s full name and class so that lost property can be returned easily.  There are many local companies which specialise in creating sew in/iron on labels.  Some parents have recommended the company Podisane;  http://en.podpisane.pl/

Unnamed clothes, bags etc., which are found around the school are placed in the lost property boxes which are found in three locations;

  • In the canteen
  • In the basement, near the Primary cloakrooms;
  • Outside the Primary School Office

 Items are kept for up to three weeks. If they are not claimed after this time items with The British School Logo are washed and kept as spares. All other items are put in the Recycling Bin.


Zoe Richardson

Head of Primary School