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Free our minds…

We have had a great first week back to school! It has been so lovely to see everyone again, smiley and engaged in their new learning. The curriculum letters will provide you with an overview of what your child will be learning over Term 2. Please ask your child what they are doing at school, as I know from my conversations with them, they are often keen to talk and do so beautifully with great enthusiasm.

During our inset training on the last day of term, our teaching and learning focus introduced a principle, based on strong evidence, that information is more easily learnt when it is repeated multiple times, with time passing between the repetitions. This approach is known as ‘spaced learning’ and is contrasts with a ‘massed learning’ approach, where content is learnt all at once with no spacing. For your child, this means that learning will be regularly revisited and children will be given the opportunity to retrieve it so we can see if information is firmly retained in the child’s long term memory. Once information is safely locked in the long term memory and becomes automatic to recall, it frees space in the mind and reduces cognitive load. We are in danger of overloading children’s minds if we don’t revisit learning and help them practise retrieving it. This is now forming part of our daily learning through carefully planned questions at the start of each English and Maths lesson regarding what they learn last term, last week and the last session. To compliment this principle, we are supporting memory development by giving the children lots of strategies to support their recall and retrieval ability. Over the term, we will share some of the techniques they use – you may find some of them useful yourself. I’m all in favour of anything that’s going to help me remember everything!

Part of freeing our mind involved enjoying some great music and having a dance at the school disco yesterday. I loved supporting the boys with their ‘dance-off’ against the girls and the Halloween game made by Miss Cramp was great fun. A big thank you to Mrs Noakes and the PTFA members for organising a super event. Extra thanks to Mr Evans, our resident DJ, who provided plenty of spooky tunes. Along with all the fun had, there was a profit of £260 made that will be added to the school funds. Next week, I’m meeting with the PTFA to talk about what the funding could be used towards – any ideas from parents and carers are very welcome!

Continuing the dancing theme, this weekend I’m off to see the Rambert ballet at Sadlers Wells in London. I love dance and did a lot of contemporary dance in my secondary school days so here is a little clip for you to enjoy.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! See you Monday for a week of celebrating kindness, as part of anti-bullying week, and a time to remember all those that have dedicated their time, lives and loved ones, in war over the years. Poppies are available for a small donation, all week, if children would like to wear them. Don’t forget that club uniforms can also be worn on Monday as a mark of respect. Lest we Forget.

Jo Campbell

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