Buddy Family Day – BLUE BLUE BLUE!

Today the newly structured buddy house teams spent the day together led by Year 6 pupils. The children took part in a bingo game getting to know each other, developed their trust while completing a blindfolded course, created a poster about what their team represent and created chapattis.

They then spent time back in class in the afternoon drafting logo designs for their new team as well as reflecting and enjoying an intergenerational assembly at the end of the day.

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Learning Festival 2018

Tonight the school hosted their second annual learning festival where members of school community shared projects and updates. Teachers and LSAs discussed through what developments have been happening and the impact it is having on children, them as professionals, the wider school community and beyond the school community.

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The Governors asked questions to find out more. Come and find out!

 

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Equipping Kids Conference – connected learning

Today Maple Cross hosted an Equipping Kids conference as we welcomed colleagues from schools across Hertfordshire as well as other professionals from around the UK.

Under the theme of connected learning we explored how children engage with learning and the language they use to do so. There were opportunities to see Year 6 leading a practical outdoor activity with Year 3 and 4, visit classrooms and then in the afternoon for the children to present their learning.

It was commented on “what you are doing here is a green beacon on an educational desert”. Good to see Maple Cross on the cutting edge as they lead, share and build networks. It was repeatedly commented upon how well the children articulated their learning as well as their passion and enthusiasm for it.

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No marking feedback

On Friday afternoon a pupil from Year 4 shared a detailed update about how non-marking feedback is changing and supporting their learning development. This insight is just a sneak peak of what is to come! Next week pupils across school will be sharing more of their learning with colleagues at a conference hosted by Equipping Kids.

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The pupil shared their thoughts on learning  . . . . .

“I used to feel confused and frustrated in my writing. I had ideas . . . . they were no good ideas. This time I select my targets in the morning. The target can not be too hard or too easy, it has to be just right.”

“You have to stop, think . . . . reflect back. I took ideas from Michael Morpurgo, our Kaspar book and then started to write short sentences to impact the reader.”

“Writing my targets gave me time to think, I need less distractions, music helps me.”

“I used to worry that I can’t do it, now . . . . . . I don’t worry, I know the teacher is around, being frustrated and confused doesn’t happen any more or if I do worry I’ll ask again.”

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Maple Cross at HertsCam Annual Conference 2018

Today 5 colleagues from Maple Cross travelled to Barnwell Middle school to join the HertsCam Annual Conference. There were key note speakers, seminars and workshops all around the central theme of teacher leadership. HertsCam participants from across Hertfordshire primary, secondary and specialist schools joined colleagues from elsewhere in the UK as well as guests from across Europe and China.

Discussions and focusses were around; pupil voice, pupil leadership and school organisations.

We were privileged to hear from students of Challney Girls school in Luton talk about their inspirational work around gender equality and some of the struggles girls and women face. Although, listening to their passionate talks we are sure they will be continuing to challenge and change this.

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Reflection Section – TLDW Update

Today we held our Friday briefing in the sunshine within the Reflection Section. The TLDW participants shared updates of where they are with their project and where they want to take it further.

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The TLDW has empowered colleagues to lead an aspect of school development. It has impacted both the intended development priority and also the participants themselves. We look forward to seeing who takes on a TLDW in the next academic year.

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Televisions . . . . . do they damage our brains?

Today in assembly Key Stage 2 were presented with an emotion graph from Ms Thanki. They noticed how it only contained negative emotions. Ms Thanki shared some ideas about the graph . . .

“Its something I do most days”

“I do this after school but not before school”

“Sometimes I do it on my own and sometimes I do it with my family.”

“It something I enjoy but I notice how it is having a negative impact on my brain.”

 

Each class have been given an envelope with questions to discuss. What do you think?

  • Should children have televisions in their bedroom?
  • What is too much television?
  • How does television affect children’s brains?

 

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Leadership – leading projects across school

Tonight four members of Maple Cross were joined by colleagues from Rickmansworth School and Watford Grammar School for Girls for an evening workshop. The focus of the workshop was reflecting on the impact of leadership, the value of networking, analysis of our emerging stories and identifying the ripple effect of impact.

It was a privilege to be part of such high quality dialogue and reflections. The true collaboration between schools is leading to many exciting developments.

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Leading and learning

Tonight colleagues from Maple Cross travelled to Amwell View School to join the HertsCam Network event. Ms Heydarzadeh shared a poster about a project she is leading in Reception. Ms Heydarzadeh is using Edward DeBono’s thinking hats to support and develop pupils self-regulation. She spoke with a range of other practitioners from primary, secondary and specialist provisions to gain insight and ideas into her project.

Ms Thanki, Mr Flint and Ms Scourfield led workshops around their project themes including developing reasoning skills, use of technology and the computing curriculum and creating music makers and pupil leadership.

Speak to them to find out more.

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Food Bank Donation

Huge thanks to our Maple Cross community for raising a magnificent £231.30 at the KS1 Christmas performance and Christmas Celebration at St Thomas’ church.

Our School Council agreed that this should be donated to the local food bank so that we can help local people who, for a variety of reasons, don’t have enough money for a decent meal. Iris, from the food bank, explained to the School Council how the food bank works and showed them how they organise all their food. It’s quite an operation!

Mr Roberts often talks about ‘making a difference. By making your donation, you helped us to help Iris and her team to make a big difference to nearly 70 people/families in the WD3 area.

Thank you, and Happy Christmas!

 

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