This week we have had two visitors to the school to work with us on two key elements of our strategic plan. One spent two days with the Year 1 to 4 teachers enjoying the hard work they have put into planning some exciting and engaging topics (e.g. Claws and Whiskers in Year 1) and helping us all on a key element of this year’s strategic goal of curriculum review. Our staff team spent time engaging with best practice from across the world so we can enhance what is already a super product. The other was looking at potential site development across all phases of the school (this is important to me), in Early Years, for Pre-Prep, the development of the Science labs for all, and the 9-11 recreation space in the Stable Block. We also spent time with Lexden Sport and Rackets to tie down plans for every year to have some taught time on the tennis dome to build fundamental racket skills, from Year 3 this will be an element of PE for a period of time during the year, but for R to 2 as part of their weekly programme.
I have also spent time listening to pupil voice (post parent rep feedback) on the quality, their enjoyment of, and quality of the food. There is a real sense from them that since Tracy’s arrival at the start of this term the food offer has been enhanced – and perceptions are past rather than present. There is plenty of food, we recognise that we need to help pupils to ask for a larger portion when they take their plate, as there is more than enough! The quality of the food and the variety of the menu has been changed too this term, this week alone we have seen three new main dishes cooked from scratch on site – Chicken with Cream and Mushrooms, Moroccan Lamb, and Pork and Apple Casserole. The food that the pupils prefer is undoubtedly the least wholesome, e.g. pizza, but even this has been enhanced from being margherita to barbeque chicken. We monitor the number of these ‘popular’ dishes on the menu but I would be distinctly unpopular if I removed all their favourites from the menu. The salad bar always has some exciting new options on, today’s included red cabbage in orange. Tracy is determined to reduce the amount of fried food. The addition of toast at tea has been greeted very positively. There are very smiley faces there each afternoon. Some parents have asked what will happen when the Catering Contract starts: the team will move under their management, the menu will be enhanced further, the presentation of the food will be developed (I would do that now but we are holding so it is not redone), the supply costs will be reduced due to bulk purchase and we will also have access to central nutritional support. This will be the next major step to providing an outstanding food offering.
This weekend we have a number of Year 6 tennis players taking part in a 24 hour tennis marathon in aid of Bright Ideas for Tennis, we wish them all the very best of luck and if you would like to make a donation you can do so here via our Just Giving page.
Finally, please click here to see the latest Holmwood Review giving you a snapshot of life inside and outside the classroom from last half term.
Have a very good weekend!