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Head of Primary Message Week 25

Virtual School has certainly thrown up plenty of discussions over the last 25 weeks. We continue to develop our provision and make necessary amendments along the way as we learn new ways to tackle issues and respond to feedback from all stakeholders. This week, I would like to reflect upon some of the feedback and reflect on how our provision continues with the aim of ensuring everyone excels.

The partnerships forged between home and school are incredibly strong within the ISB community and are vital in the delivery of high quality teaching and learning. Children grow within a strong family and we feel privileged as educators that parents continue to allow us to be part of this journey.

We are delighted that Teachers, Learning Assistants, Learning Support Assistants, students, parents and the wider community remain positive about our Virtual School provision despite the obvious preference for a return to face-to-face learning on campus. We know what Virtual School can achieve and we are very aware of its limitations.

At this moment in time, it is also vital we plan for the return to campus to ensure a smooth and meaningful transition back to 'normal'. Whilst reflecting on recent parent feedback, I would also like to share some of our planning for this important period of change.

We can see from our own analysis and the feedback from parents that students of all ages are engaging well across all areas of the curriculum and enjoyment levels have remained high throughout. The level of parental support required for the core areas of Reading (inc Phonics), Maths and Writing remains relatively higher than other areas of the curriculum. However, it is pleasing to see that the levels of independence remain really high for PE, Wellbeing, Music, House Challenges and Art & Creativity.

In Seesaw, we have received almost 350,000 items and have responded with more than a quarter of a million feedback comments. We consistently receive between 8,000 and 10,000 posts each week (dips are during school holiday times) and are we are amazed at the continued levels of engagement across all areas of school life.

Back to Campus Priorities

Planning has been underway for some time for the return to campus. We are very aware that this is an important time in the young lives of our students and one we must get right. We are thankful for the feedback provided by parents in this area. As parents, you indicated that a focus on Reading and Writing was where you considered the main priority to be alongside Maths. Interestingly, although in third place seen on the overview below, Social Time / Play ranked as first choice for more people when asked for the order of importance. Over 33% of parents in Year 1 to Year 6 stated Social Time / Play to be top of their list of priorities during the return to campus, higher than all other areas (seen in dark orange below).

Parent Feedback March 2022 (Year 1 - Year 6)

We were delighted to receive this feedback from parents as this is exactly in line with our planning, to ensure we take a holistic approach to the 'whole child' and enable opportunities to socialise, negotiate, collaborate and play.

We continue to ensure academic excellence across all areas of our curriculum, with a Maths Mastery approach and our ethos of promoting a love of Reading and Writing.

Parent Feedback March 2022 (Reception)

In Reception, the overwhelming priority for parents is Phonics. Over the last few years, we have continued to develop and refine our practices to ensure high quality teaching and learning in the area of Phonics across Early Years and into Key Stage 1 (Yr1 and Yr2). We continue to deliver a well planned and systematic approach to the teaching of Phonics and our expert practitioners will ensure no child is left behind in this key area of learning. We are extremely proud of our Early Years provision at ISB and know all children will flourish as a result of our carefully planned approaches.

Significant Achievements

As parents, you highlighted a number of significant achievements during the first two terms of Virtual School. It was great to hear how students have become more independent when undertaking new learning and have grown in confidence working online. It is clear from the feedback parents are confident their children continue to improve academically in all areas of the curriculum, however, we do appreciate the difficulties in accessing every activity and area of learning each week. It was also pleasing to read within the feedback how students have maintained a love of learning throughout the last two terms. Participation in the House and Wellbeing challenges and events has been a huge success. Opportunities outside of the 'classroom' ensure a broad and balanced approach. Parents also highlighted the success of the Eco Warriors and the opportunities for students to engage in activities across the community. Through our Inquire and Share It weeks and the focus on Brunei History, parents highlighted that students of all ages remained curious and continued to ask questions to deepen their understanding. The feedback from students and parents has been great. We know it has not been easy for anyone and we are very aware of the strain Virtual School can put on relationships and life at home. However, it is clear through the feedback that parents are extremely proud of their children and how they have adapted to the last two terms of learning.

Home School Partnership

Thank you to all parents and extended family members for continuing to strengthen the home-school partnerships. I hope that over the last two terms, parents have enjoyed the unprecedented access to our curriculum and practices and have found this insight to be fascinating. Just one week to go before the end of another term. Next week, we have a focus on reading and books, with Book Day taking place on Wednesday 23rd March.

As always, if you have any queries, questions or suggestions about any areas of school life, please do not hesitate to contact me by email or through a message in Seesaw.

Mr Michael Everett | Head of Primary

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