Two weeks in and the energy has heightened as the sun has re-emerged. Wednesday was very special in a number of ways, not least because the sun came out seemingly for the first time this term, but because we had the first upper prep football fixtures for two years. All the football matches were won too. I will remember to wear my wellington boots next time…. There was also high energy and some success on the netball court.
Today’s assembly was on memory. Since the Deans for Impact research paper came out in 2015 it has had a real impact on teachers – and had a major impact on my practice. It is far too detailed for prep aged children, so I showed the pupils this video on how memory works to illustrate some of the key ideas. The points I made included that we can only retain a certain amount of information in our short term memory, and need to avoid overwhelming our working memory by locking things into long term memory. I showed them this curve and explained the importance of reviewing knowledge, and encoding knowledge to help them retrieve it.
I have been loving my learning walks in the school this week – seeing the most awesome collaboration and judgement in Year 2 Science, watching Year 4 writing Haiku poems (I had to ask what they were), enjoying the engagement of Year 5 writing on the Tundra, and seeing Year 1 grasp adding and subtracting ten.
It was brilliant yesterday to welcome Sam Selby from Bellevue to support our teachers on assessment and our refresh of the pre-prep curriculum. She will be spending a day a week here to coach the team and help us take the academic life of the school even further on. She is passionate about engaging young learners and helping them move forward. The pre-prep team have built a super plan which is literature rich and full of ‘sparkling starters’ and ‘amazing finishes’ – and I look forward to sharing more as it evolves and builds on the high quality practice in place.
COVID looms around us still. A reminder that for a child to return to school after a positive test they must test negative on a lateral flow test on day 5, and the morning of day 6, before they come into school on day 6. There will still be letters from me requesting daily testing in some year groups when positive cases occur as required by Essex CC – this is an excellent risk management measure. Twice weekly testing is still strongly encouraged; we have been asked to encourage you to report your child’s results to both us (via this form) and the NHS. Thank you for your continued understanding and support.
Have a very good weekend