Schools, nowadays, are so rigorously inspected, monitored, analysed and scrutinized that it is far too easy to focus on league tables and data and forget about the happiness and general well-being of the children we entrust to them. In order to learn, children need to attend school regularly and happily so it’s really important that we don’t undervalue all the stuff that goes on around the, so-called, core subjects. Don’t get me wrong! Teachers work and plan tirelessly in order to make the learning of English grammar or improper fractions relevant and fun but I’m guessing it’s probably not this that motivated your child to get out of bed this morning.
More likely; it is the exciting topic that ties all their learning together, a trip to the woods for Forest School, music, art, drama, PE, , looking after the chickens at lunch time or the excited anticipation of their favourite club at the end of the day. It is also really important that children get to share and celebrate their out-of-school news and achievements. Without showing an interest and doing a little probing it is easy to be ignorant to the fact that one of your children captains their local rugby team, is wonderful with animals, is a carer within their own family, is a gifted ballet dancer, a budding actor, a brilliant magician or has just passed entrance exams and been accepted into a prestigious public school;
The pressures wrought on teachers and children by the expectations of the National Curriculum, in its current guise, make it more important than ever that schools are thoughtful and skilful in the way in which they weave back in the fun, creativity and pure joy of learning through play and discovery.
An outstanding school is the one that your child skips happily to in the morning and leaves tired (and maybe, even a little bit grumpy) at the end of the day.
Debbie Burnett, Headteacher