I am very proud to be the head teacher of our wonderfully diverse and vibrant school community, which we refer to as 'Team Athelstan'. Everyone who works in our school values the whole school community and has a genuine team spirit. We work collaboratively for all our pupils to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens, who will thrive in whatever path they choose in the future. Respect is the cornerstone of our school and we endeavour to ensure that everyone feels valued. We constantly model and teach behaviours that promote respectful, considerate behaviour. These are referred to as our OBE - Outstanding Behaviour Expectations and include both learning and social behaviours.
A very large staff team works tirelessly to make the difference to every single child in our care, both educationally and emotionally and this includes a large pastoral support team, which offers support to a range of pupils and their families. Staff and pupil health and well being are of paramount importance to leaders and governors. A well-motivated, highly skilled staff means that all children benefit from a stable and experienced teaching and support staff which means that everyone has more opportunities to succeed.
We acknowledge that the partnership with parents and carers is paramount for children to achieve their full potential in life, consequently, we have a genuine desire to maintain and further extend this partnership. This means that we are constantly looking for ways of bringing parents and carers into school to see what we do and how we teach various aspects of the curriculum.
Recent years have seen our pupils achieve well, often exceeding national standards in formal tests. Just as importantly, however, we believe that the broader provision that we offer to our pupils is crucial to developing the whole child and his or her unique interests and talents; during their time with us, pupils have opportunities to excel in dance, drama, music, outdoor education and sporting activities. This culminates in a theatre production at the end of year six, a truly memorable experience for all involved. We have been recognised for our curriculum provision by gaining many awards for curriculum subjects such as Art, Science and Geography but we have also been awarded Green Flag Eco-school status which shows our commitment to the wider curriculum.
We are passionate about giving pupils the skills to make healthy lifestyle choices and promote extracurricular experiences for all our children; our ultimate aim being that every single child will participate in a club at least once each and every year. We are extremely fortunate to benefit from a large and pleasant site and we are continually updating and improving our learning environment; this includes the addition of our outdoor library ‘Buster’ which is a retired London double decker bus! Over the last three years, there has been a lot of investment in our outdoor learning areas. Our school places a huge emphasis on using the outdoor spaces to engage children actively and we have an Enchanted Forest Garden at the front of school; there is also a Butterfly Garden which is a restful area for children to enjoy mindful moments at break times. In addition to these, we have our Creation Station, which is a very large outdoor space incorporating a covered learning base, a fire pit and large raised planters for the children to grow their own produce. There is a further area called the Creature Feature, which houses a pond and a domed willow shelter.
No-one can deny that the worldwide pandemic has had a dramatic impact on all of our lives but it is now more important than ever that we help our children to make up for any lost learning and nurture their health and well being so that they can get back to thriving in our school.
After over twenty years of headship, I still genuinely believe it is the best job in the world and want to continue to build on our past successes and create even more opportunities for all the children in our community.