R e f l e c t – the riddled is solved!

Today in assembly we arranged letters to discover the attribute word is reflect.

Everyone in school has been challenged to think how we can describe and explain reflect. Using pictures the children are starting to PAUSE and think of other words and phrases associated. How would you describe reflection? Have a discussion at home and add your ideas to the blog.

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2018.19 – Are you ready?

Welcome back to school. Today in assembly, I shared a beautiful book with the children of a collection of untranslatable words from around the world. What a wonderful word by Nicola Edwards and Luisa Uribe

Gokotta – Swedish – to wake up early in the morning so you can go outside to hear the first birds singing

Poronkusema – Finnish – the distance a reindeer can walk before needing the toilet

Nakama – Japanese – friends who are like family

I then explained to the children that there is a special word for us here at school this term. The problem was they were only given one of the letters in assembly. Over the course of the day different classes have been given a different extra letter. Can you work out the word?

_ e _ _ _ _ _

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INSET Monday 3rd September 2018

Today the team gathered together for a day of learning and planning. Everyone, from the office to those who work in classes, had a focussed day looking at our school priorities and how we each play a part in the success.

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  1. Guess who – we all introduced ourselves and shared our roles
  2. S.T.E.M challenge – who can build the highest balloon tower?
  3. SIP priorities – group the definitions, annotate and discuss
  4. Identify the priorities that we each lead, are involved in and those that don’t directly apply
  5. Reflect on the school attributes and introduce new focus REFLECT, LEAD, ASPIRE
  6. Explored what reflect, lead and aspire mean to us at Maple Cross
  7. Shared reflection projects from last year
  8. Begin to think about the class projects for the forthcoming year

We look forward to another successful day tomorrow.

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Sailing – Day 1

Year 5 had a brilliant day out on the lake. They learnt about appropriate clothing before finding out how to rig and de-rig their boats. They were then challenged to remember all this by paddling out around a buoy returning each time to add an extra piece of equipment to rig their boat. It was amazing to see the progress they made in such a short space of time. All the children persevered, even when they found it really challenging, until all the boats were successfully ready for sailing. Luckily, the wind picked up a bit and Year 5 spent the afternoon sailing, exploring how to steer and getting quite wet. What was the most important thing you learnt, Year 5?

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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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