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Items filtered by date: December 2013

PARENT SURVEY

Broadclyst Community Primary School engaged Kirkland Rowell, for a second year, to conduct surveys of both pupils and parents in July 2015. The resulting reports measured levels of satisfaction among the pupils and their parents for a range of criteria which have been identified as being important to the parents of school pupils, as well as for the core subjects taught at the school. For the first time, teachers at the school were also surveyed.

Pupil survey

240 completed questionnaires were returned representing a response rate of 94.9%, compared with 96.8% in the previous survey.

Key findings

As last year, pupils awarded the highest scores for the delivery of computer access, library facilities and school discipline, and  ‘Outstanding’ scores were also awarded for a further 16 criteria including community spirit, school facilities and caring teachers. Again, the only lower score was for levels of homework – because the school has a no-homework policy (see overleaf).

In additional criteria, pupils’ scores were judged as ‘outstanding’ in 17 of the 18 criteria, including e-safety, encouraging and listening to pupils’ views and the regular marking of work.  The appropriate level of challenge in homework was judged ‘good’. 

Parent survey

69 parents returned questionnaires, representing a response rate of 11.7%, a significant drop compared with 29.8% in the previous survey. However, these parents gave an excellent overall performance score - 94.0% (2% higher than in the previous survey).

Of the parents whose children were not in their first year at the school, 52% said the school had improved over the last year (14% more than the previous survey) and 5% thought that the school’s performance was worse (the same percentage as in the previous survey).

Of the parents of new pupils, 3% felt that the school had not lived up to their expectations (up 2%) while 71% said the school was better than they had expected it to be (up 7%).

 Key findings

Parents are most happy with suitable class sizes (judged ‘good’ last year), levels of homework (judged ‘attention advised’ last year, but parents now understand the no-homework policy) and out-of-school activities – almost all areas were judged as ‘outstanding’. They are relatively less satisfied with school facilities, happiness of child and social health education, but all of these were, nevertheless, judged ‘good’.

Throughout the survey, scores were measured as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ with no issues marked as requiring attention. The majority of parents’ comments were very positive. However, there was also some constructive feedback to which you can find Mr Bishop’s responses below.

Representative comments from parents

“The range and quality of the opportunities that you provide for learning are excellent and my child is always keen to go to school and talks excitedly about what he has done during the day.”

 “We feel very lucky to have our children in such an amazing school! We love the range of opportunities available to the children, great facilities, wide range of after-school activities, fantastic dinner service and excellent standard of teaching.”

 “I would just like to say my daughter has had a fantastic time at school this year.  Miss Patchett has been absolutely brilliant and my daughter has grown in confidence and had such an enjoyable time in her class.  She has learnt a lot and has improved in all areas of her school work. For me one of the most important things is that she is happy and she could not have been happier this year.”

 “I am not sure that in some subjects my daughter is being stretched sufficiently.  She often says she is spending time helping others on her table. I feel she should be improving herself.”

“Communication between school and parent has been particularly lax this year with letters/texts either not being sent at all or arriving last-minute.”

“I am concerned that this year a lot of what I would call the 'key' teachers are leaving.  And there are a lot of new ones, some of which appear to have little experience. In my case, my child will have a new teacher for the second year running.”

Headteacher’s responses to issues raised

  1. Homework
    The school has always had a no-homework policy; we need to support children in their learning, and if they can’t do their homework, and their parents can’t always help, they are unable to complete it. 

    We deliver a broad and balanced curriculum, enriching it with opportunities that develop the whole child, through 26 after-school activities. We also encourage a love of reading, and our library runs software that enables children to choose books with their parents. With work at school that really motivates the children, and the opportunity to access activities online that they can engage in at home, we recognise that parental involvement – doing supportive activities with their children, rather than assigned homework – is key.

    The school currently offers 25 after-school enrichment activities three nights a week. These, combined with the many other activities that primary school-aged children are involved in outside school, extend and enrich the school curriculum and ensure that pupils enjoy a broad range of learning opportunities at school and at home without the need for more conventional homework tasks.

    Parents can, using clear links on our website, be fully engaged in their children’s learning at home.

  1. Communication issues

    Our intention is always to send out notice of events or requirements in a timely manner, at least a week before. However, sometimes requests for a team, or other urgent opportunities, mean that our communications may be last-minute on occasion. In addition, the number of activities in which the school is involved can mean that a large number of messages will be sent at the same time. We appreciate that this is not ideal for all parents, but endeavour to be as communicative as possible.

  2. Reaching a child’s full potential
    The school has, over the past year, implemented a number of new assessments in light of the national curriculum changes that removed historic levels. These assessments look at children’s cognitive ability, perceptions and attitudes towards themselves as learners and towards school, and also at their progress in knowledge and understanding within specific subjects.

    We have introduced a third parents’ evening this year, and the assessments that build a picture of the whole child are shared openly with all parents at all three events. This allows a good partnership between home and school, a partnership that ensures that each child has clear targets and his/her progress is tracked so that every one of them reaches their full potential.

    The school endeavours not only to give children the knowledge that they need but also to develop key skills that will support lifelong learning. Such key skills cut across all subjects, and include literacy and numeracy but also good communication, problem-solving, helping others and teamwork. We therefore encourage children to work in teams to develop these skills in real-life situations. Life skills are fundamental to what BCPS offers – your child is still engaged in a learning process when collaborating with, or supporting, another child.

  3. Changes to teaching staff
    The school is proud to support teachers who want to further their careers, but this does mean that some of them leave to take up leadership roles elsewhere. We also support newly-qualified teachers and endeavour to encourage and inspire them to excel in this profession.

    In addition, the last academic year saw a large number of our teachers leaving to have babies, and several who moved out of the area, leaving us with a greater need to change staff in the classroom than would be ideal.

We have taken steps to manage these issues better this year.

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Ethiopia Trip - Day 3

day3We have arrived successfully in Ethiopia, travelled to Nekemte and had our first day in school today! An eventful day catching up with the staff and organising our projects for the week before being chased off by a swarm of bees!!

We were lucky enough to enjoy some time in the library during an English reading lesson and took part in a coffee ceremony using coffee grown on the school grounds!

We'll be updating our blog throughout the week so stay tuned for further posts.

Hope everyone is enjoying Half-Term,

Mr Beevor and Miss Williams

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Ethiopia Trip - Day 4

Our second day in school was a really interesting one as we spent the morning observing the funeral of a local well respected woman of 92 years! It was a moving occasion that was very different from funerals in England.

day4After that we visited some of the local people in their houses and shared with them some local honey, which they had turned into a sweet drink. Debele, the school’s English teacher, showed us lots of different fruits that we eat at home, including: passion fruit, bananas, mango and anchote!

Finally we returned to school and recapped our phonics project from last year as Miss Williams delivered a phonics lesson to Grade 1 children.

All the best,

Mr Beevor and Miss Williams

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INTERNATIONAL AWARD

BCPShas been awarded the British Council’s prestigious International School Award in recognition of its work to bring the world into the classroom.

The International School Award is a badge of honour for schools that do outstanding work in international education, such as through links with partner schools overseas. Fostering an international dimension in the curriculum is at the heart of the British Council’s work with schools, so that young people gain the cultural understanding and skills they need to live and work as global citizens.

Our international work includes teacher visits to schools in other countries, such as the trip to Ethiopia being undertaken in the October 2015 half-term by Mr James Beevor and Miss Bronnie Williams, and our Microsoft-supported annual Global Enterprise Challenge.

British Council Chief Executive, Sir Ciarán Devane, said: “The school’s fantastic international work has rightfully earned it this prestigious award. The International School Award is a great chance for schools to demonstrate the important work they’re doing to bring the world into their classrooms. Adding an international dimension to children’s education ensures that they are truly global citizens and helps prepare them for successful future careers in an increasingly global economy.”

The award is now available worldwide in countries such as India, Egypt, Lebanon and Pakistan as part of the Connecting Classrooms programme, which is delivered by the British Council and supported by the Department for International Development (DFID).

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:“Young people must be at the heart of our work to create a safer and more prosperous world for everyone and we need to ensure their voices are heard if we are to win the fight against global poverty. That is why I am delighted to celebrate the international work of Broadclyst School and the energy and passion of the young people involved.

“The International School Award is a great way of highlighting how young people have the potential to change things for the better. I’m sure that schools getting involved will be broadening the horizons of their students, which will not only help their careers but benefit their wider lives in the future.”

Around 5,000 International School Awards have been presented to successful schools in the UK since the scheme began in 1999.

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GEC 2015-16

 

We are launching an exciting opportunity for the children in year 6 to be part of a global enterprise community! From now until March 2016 they will be working on the GlobalEnterprise Challenge (GEC), a business enterprise project. You can follow their progress on the website, on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

The children will be working in small teams learning basic business skills, putting their learning into a real-life context. In their groups, they will be designing a product and pitching their business plan to ‘The Dragons Den,’ a team of investors including Mr Bishop, Mr James and Mrs Rothery.  If the children gain their start-up funding from the dragons they will be able to invest in materials to create their product. 

 

 

 

The challenge includes product design, market research, manufacture and marketing, and encompasses many different elements of the curriculum. The exciting part is that not only will the teams be creating their own successful small business in school, they will be working as part of a larger international company, with many schools from around the world, discussing their ideas every step of the way using Yammer, email and Skype for Business.

 

 

 

We already have 21 schools from around the world taking part, from countries including Jamaica, Lebanon and India. There will be a winning team for the most successful final presentation.  Last year, the winners - the bookmark team from R N Podar School, Mumbai, India - were rewarded with a trip to Seattle to meet Anthony Salcito, Microsoft’s vice-president of education. 

 

 

 

This project has been funded and supported by Microsoft, which has allowed it to go global, enabling

 

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Dance-athon

On Thursday we held a sponsered Dance-athon to raise money for the school Ethiopia Project. It was great fun, there was dancing going on all day long, and hopefully we will have raised lots of money.

Throughout the day, from 9.00am to 2.30pm each of the year groups had a session with Kari Brooks, the dance teacher learning the moves for the routine that they would perform as a whole school. At 3.00pm all of the children and staff gathered in the hall and after a few rehearsals they went through the whole routine. There is a clip on the school Facebook page and Twitter feed.

It was filmed by Hayley Burrows and will part of this week's BTV News. You can access it via ClickView.

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ETHIOPIA TRIP

Mr James Beevor and Miss Bronnie Williams will be visiting our partner school, Bekumsa Biya, Ethiopia during half-term.  This partnership has been supported by the British Council for the past eight years enabling the teachers to travel and spend some time with the Ethiopian teachers supporting their best practice development and curriculum. The two will be teaching mathematical investigations that they will bring back and continue in school here as a joint project. They will also be looking at the phonic teaching and teaching of English in Ethiopia and will be collecting video footage and photographs to bring back to the UK.   

The Partnership has enriched our project-based curriculum at BCPS as it has allowed the children to communicate with, and gain an understanding of, many difficulties children living in developing countries face.   

Thank you to all of you who have supported the partnership over the years and for donating to the children’s sponsored Danceathon that took place on Thursday 22 October.

James and Bronnie will be updating a daily blog on the BCPS website and will be posting regular updates on the school’s Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 TAG TEAM WIN

An exciting moment as the largely untried Broadclyst Colts stepped off the bus to play as one of 5 teams in the Lady Seawards World Cup Tournament. First up was Blackpool school and an early two tries from Broadclyst meant victory looked certain. Blackpool fought back with two tries of their own despite a valiant defence before a final Broadclyst try cemented our victory. Final score 3:2 to Broadclyst. No time for rest! Broadclyst Defence getting more and more confident and some spectacular passing leading to a triumph over Lady Seaward B team 4 : 1.

Immediately afterwards Broadclyst played Lady Seaward A team, winning 5 tries to nothing before facing Chudleigh Knighton in a nail-biting final game. Broadclyst defended hard and attacked harder finally winning by 1 point right on the whistle. Final score 2:1.The Broadclyst Colts were: Joseph (Capt), Charlie, Joaquim, Emily, Harriet, Maddie, Ben, Daniel and Daniel.

For the first time, Broadclyst has been able to field 3 senior teams in a tournament. The matches started after lunch with two pools, which inevitably meant that at some point Broadclyst would be playing itself!

In Pool A – Broadclyst A and Broadclyst C. In Pool B – Broadclyst B.

Broadclyst C played extremely well for a team that haven’t played together before and continued to gel throughout the afternoon. Their first match against Silverton was a draw at 4:4, their second game against Lady Seaward B was a draw at 2:2 their third game against Broadclyst A was a loss of 1: 6. The level of respect and general sportsmanship if worthy of comment, with both teams trying to the final whistle and taking the game seriously. Unfortunately this meant that Broadclyst C were knocked out of the Tournament.

Broadclyst B lost their first match to Lady Seaward A at 4:2, before drawing with Whimple 7:7 in a fast paced game with some brilliant passing and tagging. By their final game against Blackpool A, the team were reading the pitch and themselves much better and were just pipped before the final whistle at 3:2.

Broadclyst A, having had the benefit of playing together for the past 2 years played some truly spectacular rugby throughout the Tournament. Their first match against Lady Seawards B was won 7:3. Their second match against Silverton was won 6:3. Against Broadclyst C they won 6:1 which put them through to the final.

The final Tournament match comprised the winners from each pool. Broadclyst A and Blackpool A. Blackpool A were formidable opponents matching Broadclyst point for point through the whole match before Broadclyst put a final try over the line right on the whistle. Final score 8: 7 to Broadclyst and we went home with another very well earned cup! Afterwards a number of the teachers from the other schools commented on the very high standard of Tag Rugby that they had seen and how much Broadclyst had caused them to raise their game.

The Teams were:

Broadclyst C: Talia [Capt], Sam, Joe, Liam, Harry, Izzy, Maggie, Erin.

Broadclyst B: Thomas[Capt], Polly, Alfie, Chloe, Lewis, Keira, Josh, Sam.

Broadclyst A: Jack[Capt}, Dom, Sam, Harry, Breanna, Charlotte, Josef, Jess, Finlay.

 

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LEARNING AT HOME

We launched the school’s strategic maths skill practice at a recent parent training session. We believe that good maths teaching should be investigative and should allow children to solve problems, while also providing them with the core skills that they need to succeed.

Accelerated Maths allows teachers to assign a mathematical skills programme to each child in their class. Children are then able to complete the work on any device with an internet connection. The activities are designed to involve written workings, so the school is providing a specific book for all children in Key Stage 2, which will allow them to work through activities effectively at home.

So, how does this work in practice? In the classroom, students may be engaged in exercises related to their current maths topic. At home, or during independent work time, students will follow a personalised programme throughout the academic year. This will allow them to use the system to practise their current class topics as well as reacquainting themselves with topics that have been covered already.

At the parent training session, we also discussed the school’s updated calculation policy, which aims to demonstrate clearly how the school teaches mathematical operations. The calculation policy is available in each class OneNote notebook and on the school website here:

http://www.bcps.org.uk/index.php/mathmatics.

We also recommend that those wishing to support their child further, at home, make use of the wider bank of online resources available, such as Mathletics, Purple Mash, Espresso and each class’s OneNote notebook.

The school’s login portal for Accelerated Maths can be found here: https://ukhosted19.renlearn.co.uk/1896676/HomeConnect/ or on the ‘Learning at Home’ page of the school website which houses all of our other online resources.

We welcome parent feedback on both Accelerated Maths and on the calculation policy.

 

 

 

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