I have just returned from watching the Years 3 and 4 dress rehearsals for their productions on Friday. Not only did it amaze me how much topic related information was packed into these creative performances through drama, poetry, music and dance, it really struck me how confident and articulate our children at Gateway are. On Monday evening we held a fabulous Music Tea - it was a sheer joy to watch children from the younger year groups (over sixty children took part) throwing their hearts and souls into their singing and playing. Watching the animated faces of the members of Junior Choir was heart warming and the Junior violin group, with members from Year 1 and above were poised and totally focused on what they were doing - they sounded very good too!
This led me to think about our school ethos and what it is that defines a typical Gateway child. We really do ‘develop and celebrate the individual abilities and talents of each child’, not only in music, but in academic studies, creative arts and on the sports field. This is very apparent from the level of success we regularly achieve in all of these areas, many of which I’m sure you enjoy reading about on a weekly basis. On Monday morning in assembly, Mrs Sahota proudly told us how four children in year 6 qualified to take part in the Bonus Round of the 2019 Primary Maths Challenge. The first stage of the Primary Maths Challenge was held in November last year - 67,000 children across the country took part. 2375 children nationwide qualified to take part in the Bonus Round, so to get this far was a huge achievement. The icing on the cake was that one of the children was awarded a silver medal - only 657 of these were awarded, so it is a real honour.
The archetypal Gateway child is happy, confident, keen to get involved, ready for a challenge and always willing to ‘have a go’ as the example above illustrates. The children here are presented with a varied range of opportunities, within the curriculum and beyond, that allow them to learn for themselves, which empowers them and boosts self-esteem and confidence.
Year 6 demonstrated this brilliantly on Monday, during their auditions for their end of year production of ‘Honk’, which they’ll perform at the Elgiva Theatre in July. Those who wanted to had independently prepared an audition piece and a song to perform in front of the whole year group, a nerve wracking experience in itself. Over 95 percent of the the children auditioned and the whole year group went on to participate in a challenging and energetic dance workshop at the end of the day. All who took part were excellent, not only in their performances but in their attitude - confident, self assured and wholly supportive of each other. Mrs O’Hare and I now have the very difficult job of casting the show!
With only a couple of days left before the end of term, I wish you a happy and hopefully sunny Easter break.