Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Summer Safety Resources

This week's Safeguarding briefing has compiled an resource list under the theme 'Summer Time Safeguarding'. Includes this link to a great website put together by Manchester Fire Brigade. Whilst some of the site is dedicated to local information and things to do in the holidays, there is lots of good advice for all of us on:
Barbecue Safety
Countryside Safety
Water Safety
Fire Safety
Two videos: Setting deliberate fires, and Water Safety

Summer Time Safeguarding

Summer time, and particularly the summer holidays, can be full of hazards and risks to manage. Here's a roundup of some resources to help you help children and parents.

Water Safety


Beach Safety

Shore Thing (RNLI)

Sun Safety

Teenage Cancer Trust
Cancer Research
Skcin (including their school accreditation scheme)

Railway Safety

Network Rail - Primary school resources
Network Rail - Secondary school resources

Keeping safe away from home (NSPCC)
Keeping safe away from home (NSPCC)

Protection from sexual abuse

Whilst its an uncomfortable thought, parents need to ask questions of any childcare provider, play scheme or holiday centre children's services, about how they prevent their workers harming a child. The NSPCC has a useful video about the prevention of sexual abuse in particular and what adults can do to ask organisations about how they keep children safe. You can watch the video here: 
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse (NSPCC)

Monday, 17 July 2017

'CPA' Examples... Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract Teaching and Learning in Maths

Some examples that we worked through on our Maths Inset of using concrete, pictorial and abstract methods when teaching Maths. We're hoping to ensure that 'CPA' methods will be used to support children's learning and secure concepts in the future. I think it's also going to be 'fun' - if that's a word we're allowed to use when talking about Maths!

Friday, 14 July 2017

Maths: Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract...?

Our recent Maths INSET was a focus on the use of 'manipulatives' which means practical resources in lessons. Ofsted’s 2012 report ‘Made to Measure’ suggests that although manipulatives are used in some primary schools to support teaching and learning they are not used as effectively or as widely as they might be. Research suggests the use of manipulatives give children a deep understanding of maths. We discussed the use of concrete, pictorial and abstract ways of learning which need to be considered with equal importance when learning new concepts. Concrete resources give time for pupils to investigate a concept first - and then make connections when formal methods are introduced.  The pictorial stage allows pupils to demonstrate and sustain their understanding of mathematical concepts and processes. Most importantly, the abstract stage should run alongside the concrete - pictorial stage to enable pupils to read mathematical statements and show their understanding using concrete resources or pictorial representations.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Supporting children through tragic events...

Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community in Manchester after the horrific and tragic events earlier in the week. We are aware that some children may be upset and quite frightened by it. Therefore, we have attached some resources and guidance (published by different agencies) that may support parents, if your child raises it and you need support:

Monday, 15 May 2017

E-Safety Advice for Parents

We have recently updated our website to include some e-safety resources for parents. You can find a great deal of advice and support from the internet to support you in keeping your children safe. Some sound advice from Internet Matters follows:

Agree boundaries
Be clear what your child can and can’t do online – where they can use the internet, how much time they can spend online, the sites they can visit and the type of information they can share. Agree with your child when they can have a mobile phone or tablet.

Explore together
The best way to find out what your child is doing online is to ask them to tell you about what they do and what sites they like to visit. If they’re happy to, ask them to show you. Talk to them about being a good friend online.

Put yourself in control
Install parental controls on your home broadband and any internet-enabled devices. Set up a user account for your child on the main device they use and make sure other accounts in the household are password-protected so that younger children can’t access them by accident.

Use airplane mode
Use airplane mode on your devices when your child is using them so they can’t make any unapproved purchases or interact with anyone online without your knowledge.

Stay involved
Encourage them to use their tech devices in a communal area like the lounge or kitchen so you can keep an eye on how they’re using the internet and also share in their enjoyment.

Talk to siblingsIt’s also a good idea to talk to any older children about what they’re doing online and what they show to younger children. Encourage them to be responsible and help keep their younger siblings safe.

Search safely
Use safe search engines such as Swiggle or Kids-search. You can save time by adding these to your ‘Favourites’. Safe search settings can also be activated on Google and other search engines, as well as YouTube.

Check if it’s suitable
The age ratings that come with games, apps, films and social networks are a good guide to whether they’re suitable for your child. For example, the minimum age limit is 13 for several social networking sites, including Facebook and Instagram. Although sites aimed at under-10s like Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin also have social networking elements.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Assessment Without Levels Report (NASUWT)

In the midst of a wide consultation over primary assessment, this report sets out the findings of research undertaken by the NASUWT on the impact of the removal of levels from the National Curriculum in England. It also contains a summary of implications of Assessment Without Levels (AWL) for the practice of teachers and school leaders.


A revised National Curriculum for pupils aged 5-16 in England was introduced in September 2014. The revised National Curriculum is substantially different from previous versions. Most notably, while the use of programmes of study, describing what pupils should be taught, was retained in the new framework, the use of progressive level descriptions to assess pupils’ attainment was discontinued. Under the revised National Curriculum, schools are required to establish an assessment system that enables them to check what pupils have learned, whether they are on track to meet expectations at the end of the Key Stage and to report regularly to parents. Schools have considerable discretion over how they meet this requirement in practice, although they can no longer make use of levels set out in previous versions of the National Curriculum. The removal of National Curriculum levels also had significant implications for statutory end of Key Stage assessment. Previously, levels were used to assess and report pupils’ attainment in external tests and statutory teacher assessment. However, from 2015/16, the results of tests have been assessed using a system of ‘scaled scores’, while teacher assessments are made with reference to a series of ‘interim’ performance frameworks in English, mathematics and science.

Monday, 8 May 2017

How are our Schools Financed...?

We recently attended a briefing on school finance by the local authority. While all the information presented is widely available, you have to know where to look and have the inclination to do so! So it was good to have it presented to us in a clear and concise way, particularly in a period of great financial challenge to both schools and local authorities. Funding is allocated and published to each school by a “budget share” which is calculated based on allowable factors set by the DfE. Allowable factors are things like deprivation and English as an additional language. The values and factors used are locally determined and agreed within a 'Schools Forum'. Minutes of recent meetings of this body can be found here: Schools Forum. The case for reform is clear as the current funding system is out of date and based on historic allocations from 2005 - clearly much has changed in the last 10 years. Factor in 150 local authorities making independent decisions and the system is in need of change. For your interest, here are a few of the many acronyms we have to 'master':

ABG – Area Based Grant
AP – Alternative Provision
AWPU – Age Weighted Pupil Unit
DFC – Devolved Formula Capital
DfE – Department for Education
DSG – Dedicated Schools Grant
EAL – English as an Additional Language
EFA – Education Funding Agency
ESG – Education Services Grant
EYSFF – Early Years Single Funding Formula
FSM – Free School Meals
SCC – Southampton City Council
IDACI – Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index
INMSS – Independent & Non-Maintained Special Schools
ISB - Individual Schools Budget
LA – Local Authority
LAC – Looked After Children
LSA – Learning Support Assistant
MFG – Minimum Funding Guarantee
NOR – Number on Roll
PRU – Pupil Referral Unit
SEN – Special Educational Needs
SBUF – School Block Unit Funding