BLC Spelling Bee

Our annual BLC Spelling Bee, hosted by St Gabriel’s College, took place last night. As always all the children were on top form showing their exceptional spelling skills. A big thank you to the staff at St Gabriel’s for providing this opportunity for the pupils and congratulations to the winning primary team – Jessop Primary School.

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Confident Creators: Developing a Growth Mindset through the Arts

We are delighted to have been chosen as one of six recipients of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Teacher Development Fund.

The Teacher Development is a new initiative that supports the delivery of effective arts-based teaching and learning opportunities in the primary classroom, and embeds learning through the arts in the curriculum.

Grants have been awarded to partnerships of schools and arts/cultural organisations and will support teachers and school leaders to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, confidence and experience to teach non-arts subjects using arts based approaches. The work is delivered over two academic years.

Schools from our cluster in partnership with the Windmill cluster, will investigate the impact of using opera and visual arts to develop Growth Mindsets amongst their pupils. The approach will explore how arts-based learning can encourage higher-order questioning, risk-taking and problem-solving skills to raise attainment for pupils experiencing disadvantage. Working with Pegasus Opera and artist Liz Atkin, the teachers will experiment and take risks alongside their pupils. This approach will embed a cycle of analysis, experimentation, reflection, refinement and application.

We very much look forward to this exciting piece of work starting in September.

RE leads meeting

Last Thursday RE leads from 4 of our schools met to moderate children’s work across a range of year groups. They also shared planning and it was very interesting to compare a church school to a non-church school’s approach with learning from both. One church school had set up a faith group of children who helped with the co-ordination of various activities in the school. These 6 children had worked with the RE lead over their time in school and it had helped them be very involved with school life. Schools were using classbooks as well as individual books to track children’s work and discussion on RE themes and ideas, as well as including trips and visits and using artifacts to stimulate lessons. In the Autumn the group will meet to work much more closely on assessment,as at the moment this is a challenge for many settings.

BLC Maths Challenge

Yesterday 5 schools from our cluster to take part in a Maths Challenge, hosted and led by Jessop Primary School. The morning challenge was for teams from KS1, the afternoon for KS2. All the teams showed exceptional talent and enthusiasm for Maths – from presenting data on the contents of a tube of Smarties, to TV Countdown buzzer rounds. Well done to the winners, St Saviour’s Primary, but congratulations to each and every competitor for showing their skills and willingness to work as a team.