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Mrs La Farge's blog - What we do when the children are not here

Dear Parents

In amongst all this rather grey and depressing weather, the term has started very positively at Gateway. It is impossible not to be cheered up by the many happy faces who greet me every morning!

Here at Gateway, we recognise that our staff are fundamental in enabling us to provide an exceptional learning experience for all our pupils. INSET days play a key part in this and our teacher training day last Wednesday had quite a different feel to it as we spent the day at the National Gallery enjoying the opportunity to develop our own cultural education whilst looking at the Take One Picture for this academic year. All the teachers benefitted from the knowledge and enthusiasm of the gallery staff as we learnt about the focus painting, the artist, the period in history and had a chance to see the painting for real.

The gallery’s specialist staff helped us understand how we could cultivate our pupils’ skills and confidence in looking at and responding to paintings and we explored the ways in which we could use the painting as a stimulus for learning across the curriculum. After a full day of stimulating input from the gallery staff, they then helped us begin to plan, in year group and subject-based teams, for some enquiry-based learning activities we will use for this year’s Take One Picture week. The day was a great success and really helped to inspire the talented teaching team at Gateway. We consider it essential to allow teachers time to benefit from quality professional development and this very inspirational day was the perfect way to ensure we are able to go on and plan the very best learning experience for all the children during our Take One Picture project.

We will be unveiling the picture to all the children and parents before February half term in the hope that many families will take the opportunity to visit the gallery and see the painting in all its glory before we start our work. The Year 6 pupils are already booked to visit the National Gallery later this month and they will have an introduction to the painting as part of their visit there.

Please join us in the morning of Saturday 10th March to view our whole school Take One Picture exhibition and to visit your child’s classroom and view their work.

I’m sure you will all agree, we have lots to look forward to!

Have a lovely weekend

Sue La Farge

Head Teacher

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Gateway Pupil in music lesson