It was so lovely to see many parents join us last week for our ‘Meet the Teacher’ meetings. For many it was the first time in about eighteen months that they were together in the school hall and for others it was their first time ever inside the school gate! Either way, there was a wonderful atmosphere, a real sense of community and a tangible buzz of positivity. Thank you for joining us for our first school event.
Today’s second school event, ‘Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning’ was a great success. Thank you to all those keen and talented bakers out there for providing the delicious cakes and to the fabulous FOG parents for their hospitality. I look forward to being able to share news of our fundraising efforts for this event in due course.
We were also pleased to host 25 families for our first Open Morning today and our Year 6 ambassadors were very excited to show our visitors around the school. I was very proud of their diligence and obvious pride at being a Gateway pupil and there were many positive comments from parents about their great tour guides. We look forward to welcoming new children to the school during the course of this year and beyond.
As a school we are always reviewing our practice and offering, to ensure we are providing the very best opportunities for our children and best preparing them for their futures. With this in mind, there are many iterations, improvements and amendments going on all the time. Each year we also look to focus on a few greater priorities and I was fortunate to share these at our ‘Meet the Teacher’ meetings last week. For those of you who were unable to make these meetings, I thought I would share them here.
Developing a curriculum for the future
We have no way of knowing what roles our children may engage with in the future, so our responsibility as a school is to ensure they are as well-equipped as possible for the unknown. We already have a rich curriculum, delivered by committed staff who work collaboratively to make links between subjects. Our academic programme thoroughly prepares the children for their next steps for senior school. Yet we are looking forward to reviewing our curriculum further to expose greater opportunities for links across subjects and to teasing out the set of core skills we believe will be the best selection to draw from as they navigate senior school and on to adult life. We are delighted that we have already been able to integrate some new initiatives to the curriculum to help with this journey for our older pupils - Future Skills, Philosophy, Pupil Leadership and Current Affairs. The whole school will also be benefiting from our enriching Farm School curriculum over the year, delivered by our fabulous farmer, Mr Dyson!
Promoting pupil leadership and empowerment
Another aspect of preparing our pupils for the future is preparation of self. As our Year 6 ambassadors evidenced this morning, our core values of respect, courtesy and confidence are aspects that we build into the everyday experiences for our pupils. We know that leadership is present in many guises and not just those that come with a title, so we look forward to identifying what leadership looks like for all age groups within the school and articulating these through the development of our pupil leadership pathway.
Enhancing and enriching wellbeing
We are very fortunate that our school community is already built on a family-feel, caring and respectful basis, but we are keen to ensure that we recognise and celebrate these qualities more broadly. As a school we will be working on how we can capture the important and wide-ranging aspects of wellbeing, to create a narrative and commitment that the whole school community (pupils, parents and staff) can be a part of.
We look forward to being able to share our progress with these three themes over the course of the year and to continuing to provide the best holistic opportunities for our pupils.