News from Cuckoo Hall
Welcome to our Janauary edition. You can download a version of the newsletter with photos here.
I hope you’ve all had a chance to look at the letter we recently received from Ofsted following a monitoring visit that look place in December. If not please following this link www.cuckoohallacademy.org.uk/Ofsted to the school website where you can access the report in full.
The report identifies that we have done a lot since September and there are signs of improvements in teaching and learning, specifically within maths. However, there is much more that needs to be done in a short space of time before the next Ofsted visit. With this in mind I have arranged a meeting on Wednesday 30th January at 9am and again at 6pm to discuss the report and share with you the actions we are taking to secure rapid and sustainable improvements for our children and school. We will provide a crèche at both meetings for your children.
Saturday School Extended
Cuckoo Hall has been running a Saturday maths club for Y6 pupils for two terms now and it’s having a great impact on the children attending. Following on from its success we have extended Saturday School and have now created additional support for children in Y5 and Y6 to help improve their reading skills.
Saturday School has been established to support children in achieving their full potential and offering small group tuition to address misconception and close gaps in children’s knowledge. We are very grateful to the Trust for fully funding this provision which means that the additional tuition is free to you and your children.
As your new Headteacher I have a duty to make sure that every child in our school is ready for secondary school and that they leave us with all the skills necessary to be successful in the future. As teaching and learning continues to improve there will be less need to offer interventions such as Saturday School. However, at the moment too many of our children are at risk of not being prepared for the move to secondary school therefore if your child has been selected to attend, I would urge you to take up this great offer.
Year 6 Pupils
I just want to say a huge thank you to our Y6 pupils who are doing everything they possibly can to rapidly improve their learning. Currently targeted pupils in Y6 are attending additional classes before and after school, on a weekly basis. Children are provided with breakfast or a snack in the afternoon whilst having additional reading and maths training.
The children are enjoying these sessions and have noticed the impact this is having on their learning. One pupil said “I’m lucky to be here. This is really helping me get better”.
New Leadership Posts
As part of my vision for improving teaching and learning at our school I have created a new leadership structure in the school that ensures our good teachers have a responsibility for leading others within their year group. The new Year Group Leader position will take effect from September 2019 and is designed to make sure that all teachers in each year group are supported and challenged to be nothing less than good in all areas of their profession and to ensure all pupils make good progress.
Last week I carried out interviews in school and have appointed the following teachers to this new post: Beth Hiley, Melissa McEachen, Jane Andrew, Fartun Abdi and Emma Mehmet. Congratulations to all of these teachers who display great leadership qualities, a passion for improving teaching and learning and dedication to our school. I will be working closely with them this academic year to train them up in preparation to take on this role in September.
Goodbye and Good Luck
I’m sad to inform you that Sharon Adamson, our School Business Support Manager, will be leaving Cuckoo Hall at the end of this month. Sharon has worked with the Trust for five years and has been a key player in supporting ongoing improvements in the day to day running of our school and streamlining systems across our Trust that makes our schools run smoothly.
We will all miss her greatly but wish her continued success and happiness as she moves to a new school which is closer to her home.
Cuckoo Hall Success
Congratulations to the team of Y5 pupils who took part in an enterprise challenge this month with other local schools. The children attended a Dragon’s Den style meeting where they presented their new product ‘The Raisy Chocy’ cookie which blew away the judges. The children’s pitch, presentation and business plan saw them come top in all categories and were named overall winners.
The team came back with £100 cheque and a magnificent trophy for winning a Dragon’s Den contest. A huge thank you to the staff who have given up their time to support the children
I was delighted to learn that the impressive Cuckoo Hall girls’ football team finished in 2nd place in a very tough tournament against local schools. 4 wins, 1 draw and only a single loss was very impressive. We had lots to celebrate as our team scored the most amount of goals with Cuckoo Hall producing the top scorer in the whole tournament with 10 goals. Our goalkeeper, also kept the cleanest sheet.
From Head teacher, Nicky Ross
Welcome to our November edition. You can download a version of the newsletter with photos here.
There are lots of exciting learning opportunities taking place within the school this term and the staff are working very hard to make children’s learning fun and engaging whilst also making sure the children make good progress.
So far this term Year 4 have travelled to the North Pole on the Polar Express and enjoyed watching the movie in their pyjamas, whist enjoying a hot chocolate. They used this as a stimulus to develop high quality writing and I know they are looking forward to celebrating this Learning Journey when they visit Ongar to travel on a real steam train.
Year three have been learning about the Hindu festival of Diwali and are enjoying the opportunity to understand the story of Ramayana and learn about another culture and religion. Happy Diwali to those in the community who celebrate this festival.
The children thoroughly enjoyed the session from zoo labs and showed lots of courage and care when handling the animals. The children got to hold a snake, gerbil, cockroach and giant snail.
This visit supported the children in developing their reading and writing skills as well as looking at bullying through use of the animal story book. The children were taught a chant with actions “be nice, be kind, that’s good advice”, which they used to teach Ronny how to be a better friend.
As a school we are reviewing our curriculum to make sure that it reflects and meets the needs of our community. Teachers are working incredibly hard to make sure your children develop great learning behaviours and master the skills and knowledge they need to be successful now and in the future.
Children In Need
Wow! What an amazing day raising funds for Children in Need. Everyone enjoyed coming into school in their pyjamas although we all felt a little sleepy throughout the day. The children and staff made a huge effort and your donations will make a big difference to lives of children across the country. Through the sale of our wrist bands, cake sale and dressing up, we raised an amazing £1259. Well done to the whole community for their support.
This year Woodpecker and Cuckoo hall will be holding a joint Christmas fete on Friday 7th December from 3:00-5:00pm. The festivities will begin with the Christmas lights being turned on in Ayse’s Garden at 2pm followed by the joint choir singing their favourite seasonal songs at 2:30pm in Woodpecker main hall. All parents are welcome to come along join in and have a mince pie, tea and coffee. Following on from this there will be delicious food to taste in the Cuckoo Hall dining room, you can visit Santa in his Grotto and take part in all the lovely games and activities. The staff and I look forward to seeing you there.
To help us run a successful event we are asking that your children, on the 30th November, bring into school a jar of sweets, treats, small toys, bubbles etc. so we can use this on one of our stalls. In return for the small jar donation your child can come to school on that day in non- uniform. I know that all the teachers are looking forward to wearing their jeans that day.
Year 1 Nativity
The year one staff and children would like to invite their parents and carers to watch their Nativity production “Lights, Camel, Action” on Tuesday 18th December at 9:30am and again at 2:20pm. I know that you won’t want to miss their brilliant singing and retelling of the Christmas story. Mince pies, teas and Coffee will be available in the lower school hall.
Save the Children- Christmas Jumper Day
On Wednesday 19th December we’d like to invite all children to wear their Christmas jumper to school as a way of raising money for children less fortunate than ourselves. This is a national event which we will be holding on the 19th December as it is the same day that the children have their Christmas dinner. If your child hasn’t got a Christmas jumper, they can just wear non-uniform that day and bring their £1 donation for the charity. The school office will soon be sending out a letter to those children who usually have packed lunch but would like to take part in Christmas dinner.
Thank you to all those who are parking further away from school and walking for five minutes. This is making a difference to the start and end of the school day and making the roads around our school much safer. I’d also like to encourage all parent to refrain from smoking around the school gates so that the entrances are smoke free at all times. Many thanks for your support on this matter.
Just a reminder that school closes on Friday 21st December at 1:30pm and re-opens on Tuesday 8th January at 8:45am.
From Head teacher, Nicky Ross
Welcome to our first newsletter of the school year. I will be writing to you at the end of each half term to keep you up to date on the school’s progress, share with you upcoming events and feedback on the exciting opportunities our children have taken part in.
Firstly, I’d like to thank all those who
came to the ‘Meet the Teacher’ events and to meet with me earlier this term. It
was lovely to meet you and to hear some of your concerns as well as your
positive comments about our school.
As you know we are on a journey out of ‘Special Measures’ and I have been encouraged in my first half term by the hard work and dedication of the teaching staff and the excellent learning behaviours of our children. I know that with continued dedication and a focus on consistently high quality teaching, together we will achieve positive outcomes for our children and our school.
To move our school forward and accelerate children’s progress the school community is focusing on the following three areas of school improvement this year:
- Improve teaching and learning so that it is consistently good and much is outstanding
- Improve pupil progress and outcomes in every year group
- Create an inspirational Cuckoo Hall curriculum
So far this half term we have taken the following actions to make sure we achieve our goals above:
- Working with a maths consultant to improve teaching and learning in maths
- Bought new maths resources for every classroom to support children’s learning
- Involved in a Warwick University project to improve children’s writing
- Reviewing how we teach reading across the school and buying new reading books
- Created a team of teachers to review the national curriculum
I hope that you will soon begin to see some of the changes we are implementing having a positive impact on your children and supporting them in making good progress.
Parent and Teacher Meeting
On Thursday this week you will have the opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher. This is an opportunity for you to hear about your child and what they have been learning so far this term. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask questions, raise concerns and celebrate your child’s success. You should leave the meeting with a clear understanding of what your child can and can’t do. If you are un-clear please speak to a member of the Senior Leadership team who will be available throughout the day. If you haven’t yet made your appointment or are having difficulty accessing the online booking then please speak to your child’s class teacher. Teachers will follow up with any parents who haven’t attended the meeting.
You Said…We Did
During earlier meetings many parents raised the concern that they did not fully understand how to use our online homework tool, Reading Eggs and Mathletics. To support you with this we have organised drop in workshops On Thursday 18th October during ‘Parent-Teacher’ meetings. You can pop into the Upper Hall and staff will be there to show you how to access the online resources and show you the online tool effectively supports your child with their maths and reading at home.
We are also running sessions for parents of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 to understand how to help young children to read and write. These sessions will be held in the Music room and staff will be there to support the Read, Write, Ink session.
The netball girls played their first games on Wednesday 3rd October. The girls showed fantastic effort and determination which led to them winning the first game against St Edmunds 5-0 and winning their second game against Edmonton County 3-1. The girls showed fantastic teamwork, helping support and encourage those who were playing their first ever competitive game!
The Year 6 football team ‘smashed it’ this week with a thumping of Houndsfield and a narrow win in a much closer fought game against Trust rivals Woodpecker. The 4-0 win over Houndsfield was comfortable with some fantastic finishes and team goals. However, the boys had to dig deep to pull it out of the bag against a strong Woodpecker team who took the lead in the first half. They fought back and held on to win 2-1 in the end.
After School Clubs
After the half term all After School Clubs will be
up and running. I apologise that it has taken us a bit of time to get these
started but we reviewed the process for booking children onto clubs in the hope
to make it a fairer system and give more children the opportunity to take part
and learn new skills.
There are a variety of clubs being run across the school by our talented team of Teaching Assistants, from Zumba to cooking to art. We are also looking to engage people outside of the school to run further clubs and extend the range of activities on offer so watch this space for more exciting opportunities coming your way soon.
Road Safety at Cuckoo Hall
I have been monitoring the roads round our school at drop off and pick up times and I have to say that I’m shocked by the lack of road awareness shown by some of our community when dropping off and picking up their children. I have witnessed parents doing three point turns in the middle of a very busy road that just missing hitting children and parents. I have also witnessed many people parking on the yellow zigzag lines which is not allowed. On top of this I have parents and children darting in and out of traffic rather than waiting for a safe time to cross the road. This behaviour will lead to a serious accident happening to one of our children. Please help me make our drop off and pick up times safer for our children, by walking to school. If you live further away and it’s necessary to drive then please park five minutes away from school and walk the last little bit. Together I know we can make the roads round the school much safer. Thank you for your support in this matter.
Happy Half Term Break
I’d like to wish you all a very happy half term break. Enjoy the time with your children and encourage them to continue reading at home.
School reopens on Monday 29th October at 8:45am.