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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

December 6, 2016 by Ellie Linton

As I sit down to write this blog I find it hard to believe just how quickly the weeks are flying by and that we are already so far into the new academic year! We seem to have moved from running races at Longford Park Stadium in the blazing sunshine to the sounds of Christmas songs drifting from the school hall in a matter of minutes!

Our new Nursery children have settled into school life really well and we hope that any families new to Oswald Road this year have found the start to the year smooth and that you are enjoying being a part of our very special school community.

This term has already been incredibly busy in school in terms of events. One of my personal highlights, which I am sure was also a real highlight for all the children, was the visit from the Brownlee brothers. We’ve also had some great trips and workshops, including the Year 1 trip to Eureka and the Year 5 Portals to the Past Viking workshop. 

We have already made a start on the priorities we have highlighted in this year’s school development plan. In terms of teaching and learning priorities, we will be focusing this year on embedding our pre-teaching concept in Maths and English as well as developing reading comprehensions opportunities through our topic work.  The senior leadership team have spent time researching different approaches to this and we are now firmly in the process of putting a structure together that we feel best suits our school. There will be more information to come regarding this as our plans move forward.

This year we will also be continuing to work closely with other Chorlton schools to further develop our systems for cross moderating pupil attainment and progress in writing. The assessment system we developed last year has undergone further tweaks as we have identified and refined aspects that needed addressing to meet our assessment needs. Our aim this year is to work in partnership with other Chorlton schools to extend the system to support the assessment of the foundation subjects (history, geography, art, etc).

As you will know, our school has previously been awarded the prestigious ‘Rights Respecting’ Level 1 award in recognition of the importance and focus we place on embedding the UNICEF principles and rights respecting ethos for our children. This year we will start to extend this by supporting other schools as we embark on our pursuit towards Level 2. All of our incredibly talented pupils and staff will play their part in showing just how important Rights Respecting is for Oswald Road – so look out on our social media pages for special events, assemblies and other opportunities our pupils and ambassadors will have to address key issues throughout the year!

We already have so much to be proud of this academic year. We were all so proud of the way our school rallied for Children in Need as we raised over £600. The children and staff really enjoyed donning their onesies and pyjamas, and it was so lovely to see just how proud the children were when they saw the total raised – a true lesson in the difference that can be made when a school community pulls together!

We have also been busy over the summer developing our school grounds in the EYFS. It is amazing to see the transformation and difference this has made for our Reception pupils. Also it is worth noting how fantastic the new murals that Mark (Chair of PTA) and his budding team of artists kindly created by giving up their weekends to paint a number of amazing scenes along the EYFS playground wall. We really couldn’t have wished for better support from these parents and are truly thankful for the time and generosity shown.

Even though we’re just entering into December, Christmas fever is beginning to hit as all phases in school begin the hard work of putting their Christmas productions together. The very hardworking PTA also put on a fabulous Christmas fair on 26th November, which was brilliantly attended and has helped raise a great deal of essential funds for the school. We are always so grateful for their efforts and the money that they manage to raise for school which allows us to purchase things that we wouldn’t otherwise have the funds to buy. Any offers of help for future events would be gratefully received by the PTA as they have some fun events planned for 2017. It is a great way to get involved with the wider Oswald Road school community.

We have lots of exciting events coming up in the next few weeks and in the new year – we look forward to welcoming you into school for the Christmas productions and sharing in the festive fun! Bring on the tinsel and mince pies…. Ho Ho Ho.. Merry Christmas!

Mr Beisly