19 Oct

It was the last week of our current round of lesson observations this week, and like I mentioned last week, it’s been another exciting and inspiring experience. The opportunities for learning created by our teachers and the progress our pupils have made have been outstanding. I always know when I’m seeing something special when I begin to wish I was a pupil in the lesson! Delivering high quality teaching and learning in our classrooms is essential if we are to continue to ensure our children develop the knowledge and skills they require and achieve the outcomes and destinations they aspire to when they finish school.

However, it is only part of the picture; to be able to make the most of our curriculum offer, our children often have to overcome any number of barriers to learning. I was reminded earlier this week, whilst reading an interesting article with a very thought provoking title (click here to view it) that mental ill health is often one of these barriers. Accurately understanding the mental health needs of our children is a challenge we are facing nationally and it is important we get this right. A sensitive understanding of a child’s lived experience and the individual challenges he or she is facing can provide the key to developing positive mental health, open the door to the child’s engagement with teaching and learning and ultimately lead to successful outcomes. Unfairly labelling a child as ‘naughty’ or ‘disruptive’ can do the complete opposite.

As I mentioned in previous blogs, we have recently begun to pilot the work of a professional counsellor and a sensory integration therapist. Both of these individuals will help us to further develop a sensitive understanding of our children’s needs alongside the information we currently gain from working in partnership with parents and carers, educational psychologists, clinical psychologists, specialist teachers, health professionals and therapists. We believe our work in this area is already very positive, however as the article suggests, this needs to keep improving. As such we will continue to put the goal of positive mental health for all our pupils at the forefront of what we do.

This week, our curriculum focus is on Living Skills. Mrs Sarwar’s Year 7 group are working on the topic ‘Helping at Home’ and have been making toast, setting the table and sitting down to eat together..

They have also done a very good job of sorting out the clean laundry and matching up all the odd socks!

Year 8 are working on ‘Around the House’ and have been practising cleaning routines for different rooms in the house by following a rota..

KS3HBF are studying ‘Home Safety’, looking at food and non-food items, separating them and making the right choices..

Mrs Patchett’s Life Skills pathway have enjoyed cooking. They have been learning about finding the correct pieces of equipment they need and working on their chopping and grating skills and tidying up after they have used the kitchen area..

They have also been learning about identifying different feelings and communicating/expressing how they feel..

Our Key Stage 4 Duke of Edinburgh’s options group had a lovely time collecting leaves for a very unusual Autumn mobile..

Have a great week,

Gavin

You can find Dawn’s blog for the Learning Centre here

For news on our Key Stage 5 pathway groups at Medtia Square please click here

Click here to read this week’s news from Graham

You can find previous blog posts here