It has been an incredibly positive first week back with lots of smiling faces and a real sense of purpose.
The two training days were packed with activity. As a staff we did a great deal of work looking at all the information we have about students so that we could tailor our lessons appropriately. We also did a lot of sharing of good teaching ideas in a Teachmeet Carousel. One of the most testing activities was one based on resilience, where all staff had nominated to do an activity they didn’t feel very confident in for example singing or DIY. Staff were filmed “having a go” and reflecting on how resilient they had to be to succeed. The intention is to share this with students when we begin our own work in school on developing resilience.
On one of the training days we also trained staff about how to use STAR lesson, our new filming software for teacher development. I taught a lesson to a group of teachers, who had already had STAR training, whilst other members of staff watched the footage of the lesson in real time and learnt how to use the camera and software. The willingness of staff to embrace this new technology, to develop their teaching even further, was great to see and I am sure it will have a huge impact on making lessons even more engaging.
The highlight of the two days was to be able to hold the training in the Apex, our new innovative classroom space. This is a flexible space which allows for a variety of different learning and training experiences. In this first week the room is already fully booked with teachers saying how much they like the new space and students really enthused by how creative they can be in the area. I will share more details with you as the year goes on.
I have been very impressed with the way Y7 have settled in Chesterton; displaying such mature, happy and positive attitudes. Walking round lessons, and at breaks and lunchtimes, I have enjoyed seeing them finding their way around independently and communicating with their new teachers and friends.
We will be holding some parent information evenings next week for Years 8 and 9. These will be on Thursday with the Y8 beginning at 6.00pm and Y9 at 7.00pm. The aim of these evenings is to provide an overview of how you can best support your child, with advice from teachers and an opportunity to see the resources which can be used. There will also be refreshments provided by our new chef.
Our new chef Spencer Norman, formerly of The Leys, started at the end of the holiday. The food on the staff training days was superb with a member of staff, who has been in the school for fourteen years, commenting that it was the best they had tasted. For the next six weeks we will be in the transition process of a complete handover from our existing contractor and then our catering will be formally in-house. It is a very exciting development and one that we hope students will enjoy more and more as it develops.
A relatively short blog this week as only two full days of school, but there will be lots more to share after a full week back.
Summer Adventure 2014
During the last two weeks of August 28 students came to Chesterton to take part in the Summer Adventure. Along the way students had the opportunity to experience many exciting things including colour changing science experiments, scrummy cup-cake making, immersing themselves in a French day as well as visiting the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Some highly competitive Dodgeball was the highlight of one morning where the students managed to defeat their teacher with relish! Spending time both in and out of the classroom on the Chesterton site has meant that these students were eagerly anticipating their first day at secondary school and students have started their time at Chesterton with new friends and many familiar faces.
Bring on Summer Adventure 2015li>