Special praise must go to our Year 6 pupils for conducting themselves so sensibly and maturely throughout the SATs tests this week.
I know that it has been a tough week for them, and that the non-stop testing regime has been extremely challenging for them, but they have coped magnificently. Whatever the results we are extraordinarily proud of them!
Whilst I vehemently disagree with the ‘high stakes’ testing regime for 10-11 year olds, they are part of the Government’s education policy and a fact of life. As teachers we sometimes see the anxiety and pressure that our children feel when they sit these tests, no matter how much reassurance that we offer – I only wish that politicians took the time to consider whether their policies really help, or hinder, our children and their education.
This week we bid farewell to Mr Coleman, a trainee teacher who has been working with Miss Todd in the Tiger’s Class. Mr Coleman has worked really hard and has established a super relationship with everyone at Holy Trinity. We wish him every success in the future.
Year 2 have also been engaged in some tests this week. For a few years the testing of 7 year olds became non-statutory. But this year the Department for Education requested that all schools ensured that their 7 year olds took part in testing as part of the assessment process. The main difference between Year 2 and Year 6 testing being that the Year 2 tests are marked internally rather than externally. Again, the children responded magnificently, they did their best and produced some excellent results; we can ask no more of them. Well done Year 2!
This week the Halstead Gazette reported on the worldwide interest in our ‘live feed’ from the Holy Trinity nest box. For the entire week the school has been in a complete ‘flap’ and watching every movement of the family of Blue Tits.
Unfortunately, as I write this week’s newsletter, I am very sad to report that it looks as though the chicks did not survive the night (Thursday). When Mr Handy checked the live feed this morning we were all devastated to see that all the chicks had disappeared. We did not record the overnight feed so we do not know what happened, but we can only assume that the chicks were not strong enough to survive. We have checked the box and there is nothing to suggest that it has been tampered with or that it was attacked by predators.
Whilst we do not want our children to be sad and upset it is important for them to understand that the natural world is extraordinarily fragile, and even though all our chicks safely flew the nest last Spring, we cannot take nature for granted.
On a personal note I would like to thank everyone for the support they have shown for the Willow Foundation after the death of my wife Caroline. This week I was informed that donations made in Caroline’s memory have exceeded £500.00. Furthermore, the PTFA have also very kindly pledged to donate 50% of the proceeds of the Halstead Bake Off to the Willow Foundation.
All I can say is that the Willow Foundation does an amazing job providing really special days for families affected by life-threatening illnesses. Our Special Day will live with me and my children forever, so please be assured that you will have brought a great deal of comfort to a family somewhere who need a ‘Special Day’ and the great memories that it will provide. Thank you for your support, kindness and generosity.
Finally, as I am one of the judges of the Bake Off, I think I should let you know that my two favourites are Chocolate Fudge Cake and Lemon Drizzle Cake!
Have a wonderful weekend.