Headteacher’s Blog

Monday 3rd September
New Beginnings

Welcome back to the start of the new school year. It has been a very busy summer at school with the fitting of a new fire alarm system but we are ready, on time, thanks to lots of graft and teamwork! Teachers and support staff were in a great deal over the holidays, to ensure the classrooms look smart, de-cluttered and welcoming and from the photographs below, I think that they have done a sterling job!

We had many successes last year – SATs results were pleasing and an improvement on the previous year and parental feedback received from the children’s reports was very positive – but a particular target this year is to further improve progress in writing. Now… on with the important job of educating our fantastic children.

Monday 4th June

Sitwell News

We are all firmly in summer mode with the recent warm weather, the children have been able to enjoy and take full advantage of our lovely school environment and learn outside of the classroom. We have had a busy half term, and I would like to say a huge well done to our wonderful Year 6 pupils who were amazing during SATs week. They have worked so hard all year and we are super proud of them.

This next half term will be a busy one as we run up to the end of the school year and the Summer holidays. Y3 are busy rehearsing for their performance of The Tempest, Y4 are excitedly awaiting their residential in Whitby and Y6 are preparing for their next step as they move on to secondary school. Teachers are busy writing Records of Achievement ready to go out later this half term and we await this year’s SATs results arriving in July.

Summer Term Themed Walk to School Event

On Friday 29th June, the school has been chosen to take part in the Rotherham Walk to School Event! The purpose of this is to raise the profile of walking to school. It’s a fun morning and the theme for the walk is the World Cup, so children can dress as flags, countries, footballers – anything along those lines…

The walk will begin in the car park of the Broom Methodist Church, at the bottom of Broom Lane, at 8:15am and will end when the children arrive at school. We ask that parents walk with their children, so there is no limit on numbers able to join in. An actor will lead the walk to school, interacting with the children along the way, chatting and bantering in character. Once we have arrived at the school, the character stays by the gates and says thank you to everyone who has walked and also greets those who perhaps didn’t walk the route to school, as they come in.

For the children, the walk to school is followed by a show in the hall called ‘Travel-in-Time’ and is a fast-paced march through history that highlights the benefits of exercise and fitness in relation to the sustainable travel theme. There are interactive, pantomime style elements and the pupils are encouraged to join in at appropriate moments either by individually volunteering or by group, en-masse silliness.

Important Information for Y3 Parents

At this time of the year, we always review whether classes will move up as they are or whether we need to mix. This year, we feel that there is a need to mix the Y3 cohort. This has partly resulted from a substantial amount of new children during the year having to be placed where there are gaps. All children will be asked to indicate 2 friends that they would like to be with. As ever, the teachers look carefully in their year groups at combinations and will take account of social and academic factors as well as making sure particular groups are balanced across the 3 classes. Children are always free to mix and play with their other friends at breaks and dinner times. In class the drive is always around the best mix for a good learning environment. If you have any requests, please could I receive these by Monday 11th June and while we will endeavour to consider all views, it will very likely be impossible to meet requests listing groups of children being together. Thank you.

Monday 9th April

The Y5 Tudor Trial

First of all, I would like to thank you for attending our Y5 Tudor Trial the Friday before we broke up for Easter. The children thoroughly enjoyed performing to an audience and taking you round to share the work that they have done for their ‘Off with Her Head’ topic. I’m sure you will agree that they all did a fabulous job and produced work to a very high standard. Here are some photographs of the work produced.

Maths Challenge of the Week

The challenge below will continue for another week. Can you figure it out? The hand in date for answers is 16th April. Please hand them into reception. Solution to follow in the next blog.

Fill the blank squares with 8 digits from 1-9, using each digit only once, to match the given sums of rows, columns and diagonals.

Wednesday 21st March

Pupil of the Term

This week we have held our Pupil of the Term assemblies for the Spring Term. Well done to the children who were nominated by their class teachers for showing the Sitwell Seven values throughout Term 2 and to the One Voice Choir, Guitarists and Recorder Club for their beautiful singing and music.

Sport Relief

On Friday, at 1.45pm – 2.45pm, to raise money for this incredible cause, we will be:

· Dressing up for Sport Relief as a sporting person/hero and bringing £1 to school.

· Running a Sport Relief Mile (weather permitting) which is going to be measured all around the      school premises. Markers will clearly identify the start and finish points for the pupils/parents.

If you would like to come along and cheer on your child running the Sports Relief Mile or even run the Sports Relief Mile WITH your child, you are more than welcome to come along and do so.

And, the best bit is, the money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help people living incredibly tough lives, both at home in the UK and across the world’s poorest countries.  To learn more about how Comic Relief spends the money raised for Sport Relief please visit: www.sportrelief.com/schools.

Maths Challenge of the Week

Here is the challenge for this week. Can you figure it out? The hand in date for answers is 11th April. Please hand them into reception. Solution to follow in the next blog.

Last Week’s Maths Challenge

Thank you to the children who took part in the maths challenge last week. Here are the answers:

Y3/Y4 Circle Sums

Y5/Y6 Maze

 

Happy Easter

All that is left to say is have a fantastic Easter and we will see you again for the final term of the school year!

Monday 12th March

Parent Support

Last week gave a good picture of a typical week at Sitwell in terms of parent support, engaging curriculum and inclusion.

Parent engagement was evident in the big turn-out of families for the open afternoon and evening. The governors played their part in ensuring we gained as many parent views as possible with regards to all aspects of school life including safety, behaviour, progress, leadership and home learning. Many thanks for everyone’s support and the lovely feedback provided including ‘A big shout out to the staff for doing a wonderful job!’

Thank you to the 188 parents who took the time to respond and return the recent parent questionnaire. 94% of parents agreed or strongly agreed with all 12 statements. 99% of parents feel their child is happy and safe at school and that their child makes good progress, is well looked after and is taught well. In addition, 99% of parents also agreed the school is well led and managed and would recommend the school to another parent.

94% of parents feel their child receives appropriate home learning for their age, whilst 98% feel that the school ensures all pupils are well behaved, the school responds well to any concerns raised and that they receive valuable information about their child’s progress. Feedback is important and we always welcome open discussion about any issues arising. We will soon be re-introducing the Parent Charter to continue to communicate and work in partnership with parents, children and young people.

This week the school’s leadership team has been auditing our practice around lesson design: whilst there is always room for improvement, there was a wealth of very good practice and we clearly have a very dedicated staff team that is committed to successful practice and consolidation.

Engaging Curriculum

On Monday, we held our forth family learning event and on Tuesday, some of our Y5/Y6 children took part in the Sportshall Athletics Finals at St Pius. Mr Cassell and Mrs Staveley have reported that our children performed brilliantly and modelled the Sitwell Seven values throughout the competition. On Wednesday and Thursday, our Y6 children visited the Anne Frank Exhibition and then the CLC centre at Rawmarsh on Friday. Busy as always!

Maths Challenge of the Week

Here are the challenges for this week. Can you figure them out? The hand in date for answers is 20th March. Please hand them into reception. Solution to follow in the next blog.

Y3/4

Y5/6

Monday 19th February

Welcome back! Before the half term break, the school’s leadership team began to audit our practice around curriculum design and presentation: whilst there is always room for improvement, there was a wealth of very good practice and we clearly have a very dedicated staff team that is committed to providing an innovative and engaging curriculum.

Last half term, despite the freezing weather, we had lots of competitive sport, including the Athletics Festival at Oakwood High School.  The whole team performed brilliantly in their events and we had lots of individual and team 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes. The children will now go to the Rawmarsh Partnership Finals this half term. This is a fantastic achievement for the team as some of the pupils who took part were competing in their first ever School Games Competitive Event. This half term we have the Basketball Finals, Tag Rugby Competition and Hockey Finals. Busy as always!

This half term, we have a number of events taking place in school. To begin the week, we are taking part in ‘Picture This’, which focuses on a selection of artwork (one or more paintings). Schools are invited to use it as an inspiration for cross-curricular work.  The challenge is to use the artwork imaginatively in classrooms as a stimulus for working creatively in areas such as English, art, history, ICT, music, dance and drama. All participating schools are invited to exhibit some of their work at a celebration event which takes place during the summer term, recently as part of Rotherham’s annual Children’s Festival. Tinga Tinga art has been chosen as the stimulus for the 2017/18 Picture This! Project and below are the images chosen.

In addition to this, this half term, we also look forward to a number of events showcasing the children’s learning and topic work including the Y6 Shelter Building afternoon, theY3 Express Day – Scrumdiddlyumptious, the Y4 Traders and Raiders Museum, the Y3 Family Cave Painting afternoon and the Y5 Trial of Anne Boleyn. Look out for more information on the Year Group Newsletters.

As always, there are a number of extra-curricular activities on offer this half term including One Voice Choir Club, Football for girls and boys, Knitting Club, Xcite Sports, Recorder Club, Y5/Y6 Maths Masterclass, Fitness Boot Camp, Spanish Club and Drama Club. See the ‘Clubs’ letter or the School Website for further information.

 

Monday 29th January

Last week, we welcomed a number of visitors into school and it was lovely to hear the positive comments they had regarding our children. They were very impressed with the children’s behaviour and resilience to learning and went away with a very impressive opinion of our school.

Family Learning Event

Last Monday, we held our Family Learning Event, centred around ‘Bringing Books to Life’. Thank you to all of those parents that took part – the feedback has been amazing. The next session will be held today at quarter past 9.

NSPCC Buddy’s Big Workout

It was a good week in school, with all classes taking part in a HIIT workout to raise money for a very important cause. The children showed great resilience and enthusiasm, whilst keeping fit and having fun.

Children’s Safety

To continue to keep children safe and in partnership with Sitwell Infant School, we have decided to lock the gates on the Osbert Road entrance in the morning and afternoon as this is a staff car park and not a drop-off point for children. Please use one of the other two entrances (Grange Road and Acres View) when bringing children into school and taking them home. Thank you for your cooperation with this.

Open Afternoon/Evening

Over the next couple of weeks, you will receive an email/mobile phone text inviting you to attend open afternoon/evening. Once received, please follow the instructions in the email/text to book a ten minute slot to visit your child’s class teacher to find out how they are getting on in school.

The dates and times are as follows:

27th February: Y3/Y4 Open Afternoon 1.30pm – 4.30pm

28th February: Y3-Y6 Open Evening 4pm -7pm

1st March: Y5/Y6 Open Afternoon 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Monday 15th January

Happy New Year everyone and welcome back to school for the start of 2018. I hope that everyone had a great Christmas. The children have made a wonderful start on their return to school and every time I visit their classrooms, they are very keen to chat and share their news or work with me.

Last week, we began pupil progress meetings and it was lovely to hear about the children and how well they have progressed since the start of the school year. This half term, the senior leadership team is looking at progress, pitch and presentation in work and most of what we have seen so far, is very encouraging.

Staff Changes

Last Monday, we welcomed into school Mr A. Hayward-Browne who is now the class teacher for 3NO for the rest of the school year. At the end of January, Mrs O. Nixon will be starting her maternity leave. She is expecting her second child but looks forward to returning later in the year.

Pupil of the Term

Just before Christmas we held our Pupil of the Term assemblies. A big well done to the children who were nominated by their class teachers for showing the Sitwell Seven values throughout Term 1 and to the Young Voices Choir for their beautiful singing.

Times Tables Maths Rock Stars

Finally, please look out for the school letter regarding Times Tables Rock Stars, which is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice. Each week concentrates on a different times table, with a recommended consolidation week for rehearsing the tables that have recently been practised. We will also hold weekly Times Tables Competitions, which the children will take part in as a year group, so please support this programme at home and encourage your child to take part.

Monday 18th December

Here we are at the end of Autumn Term and almost into 2018! We have had a really terrific couple of weeks and I was determined this week to write to recognise the amazing pupils and staff that make Sitwell an incredible place to learn and work.  The Christmas Productions were truly amazing; such talented children and staff. The concerts left me impressed, surprised, speechless, emotional and very proud of everyone involved. The performances were of such high quality you could not fail to be impressed by each and every one of them. The atmosphere was professional, high quality but so warm and festive, making for just the most delightful two days that you could wish for.

There are plenty of events planned for the rest of this festive week including Christmas dinner day, Christmas jumper day and year group Christmas parties. It’s relentless!

All that is left to say is have a lovely Christmas and a happy new year!

Image result for christmas cat gifs

Monday 11th December

Last week certainly put us all in the Christmas mood, particularly after the Christmas fair and the addition of the winter displays around school.

Christmas Fair

Thank you to everyone who visited school on Wednesday for our Christmas Fair. It was great to see so many parents in school supporting the event and we received many positive comments about the items children had made to sell on the day. I was lucky enough to sample some of the delicious baking – yummy!

Winter Displays

The school is looking great for the festive period. Classroom environments have some fantastic work on display from the ‘Winter Book’ projects; bright and welcoming displays to help to organise learning and focus on our Sitwell 7 values.

Christmas Productions

Towards the end of this week sees the start of our Christmas productions, details of which are on the school newsletter and website. We hope you approve of them being at various times over the two days. This is an attempt on our part to allow as many parents / carers as possible to watch their children perform; whatever their work commitments are.

Monday 27th November

The week has begun at the usual top-notch speed and I can’t quite believe that the Christmas production rehearsals have begun! The Christmas period is always a very special time in school and we look forward to sharing many events with our families in the coming weeks. Please all make sure that you have the date for our Christmas fair in your diaries. This will take place on Wednesday, 6th December, from 2pm to 4pm and as always will be organised by our amazing PTA body. Our PTA really is fantastic and support the school in so many ways. This can be hard work though and I am sure that they would appreciate any additional time or support you may be able to offer over the year. It is a great way to meet other parents in school too! Please also note the dates for the Christmas Productions (See the School Weekly Newsletter).

The award season has also begun and it will soon be time for staff to nominate their children for Pupil of the Term. I am looking forward to finding out who these children will be and why they have been nominated. Any children who have attended school for the whole term will also receive their Attendance certificate.

Finally, thank you for your donations for Children in Need. Altogether, we managed to raise £280.47 by having a Spotacular day – the children looked excellent in their spotty clothes! Also, thank you to all who took part in our Children in Need competition to design a Pudsey Bear. I hope you enjoyed taking part and well done to all involved. Here are some of the winning designs below:

Monday 20th November

Winter Displays

Last week, the children worked extremely hard on their winter displays and because of this, the school environment is going to look fabulous. They have worked hard to develop all of the Sitwell Seven values whilst completing their winter work. The children have certainly taken responsibility for their own learning behaviour and have completed their writing and artwork to the best of their abilities. Also, they have used their imagination and have approached all challenges positively, despite, at times, finding things hard. Well done Sitwell – I’m really proud of you all!

Monday 6th November

I’ve had a good half term break but I am nevertheless pleased to be back at school. Since the start of term, I have been focusing on ‘Behaviour and Perseverance’, when dropping into lessons and what I have observed has been overwhelming good. I have also been sampling books recently and the children have shown great pride in their work, showing great resilience and respect. These photos below show some of the writing and maths produced by our Y6 children…

The school is looking great! Wonderful work created by brilliant pupils presented by talented staff! I do love the displays around school. Scroll through the Y6 photographs below…

Monday 23rd October
Extra-Curricular Opportunities

My sketching club have been having fun over the first half term, drawing owls and learning different techniques in preparation for a school display. Here are some of the finished pieces of work:

If you would like your child to get involved, please let school know.

Sitwell Seven Values

Thank you to all of those who have already sent in a photograph to show your child developing one of the Sitwell Seven Values. It is greatly appreciated. The photographs will feature in the next weekly newsletter.

As this week’s value is Reflection. What does this mean to you and your family? Can you capture this as an image?

Parents in School & Parent Questionnaires

It has been great to see so many parents in school for our open afternoon and evening. The partnership between home and school is invaluable and I know you value the opportunity to share information and ensure that your child is performing as well as possible socially and academically. Thank you also to those of you who have already taken the time to complete the parent questionnaire. The responses so far have been overwhelmingly positive. Your feedback is important and so we would really appreciate as many forms returned as possible by the end of this week. This gives us a more accurate picture of your views.

Parent Questionnaire 2017

Rotherham Foodbank

Thank you to everyone who brought in items for the Rotherham Food Bank. The foodbank relies on your goodwill and support and your gifts will make a real difference. Over 90% of the food distributed by foodbanks in The Trussell Trust network is donated by the public – that’s why your food donations are absolutely vital to their ability to give everyone referred to them a balanced and nutritious three day supply of food, so thank you to all who donated. It really is appreciated.

Monday 16th October

New Beginnings

We have had a really exciting start to the new school year. All the children have settled quickly into their new classes and we have welcomed new staff to our team.

Last week, our Y6 children along with the Y6 staff visited Crucial Crew. They had a fantastic time and the children were a credit to themselves, their families and the school. They showed great resilience and respect, whilst also developing their relationship skills.

This week, we’re looking forward to welcoming you into school for our open Afternoon/Evening. At the meeting, you will find out more about your child’s attitude to learning, considering the Sitwell Seven Values and how they have settled into the new school year.

Finally, to celebrate the book fair being in school from Monday 13th November, we will be holding a book festival to celebrate the wonderful world of books. In class, the children will complete a range of activities on a winter book. We are also running a reading competition – please see the newsletter for more information. The deadline is Wednesday 8th November.