Dear parents and carers,
As we move towards the close of another school year, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to you for your continued support. This is my last ever newsletter after nearly two decades as a Head Teacher and I can truly say that the last seven years, here at Cliftonville, have been the most exciting and rewarding. To lead a fabulous team in taking a school that was underperforming to outstanding – in every sense of the word, not just Ofsted’s judgment - has been a privilege. The school has grown and in two years time will have nearly nine hundred pupils on roll from Pre-school to Year 6 but with careful planning and outstanding middle leadership from Year Group Leaders, we have retained a ‘family’ feel within the school community.
We are hugely proud of the children who are a real credit to our school, & to you as parents and carers.
Year 6 data is once again in line with national percentages for expected levels and for those children working at the higher levels. This is evidence to show that we are meeting the needs of all groups of children and that, from different starting points, all children are making outstanding progress. Outstanding teaching in every year group is evident in your children’s success and is testament to their hard work and the skill and dedication of all the staff.
I am very grateful to parents who serve on the Parents' Forum. Their feedback, detailing both our strengths and areas for development, has such a positive impact on the success of the school. The banner that was made by the parents, celebrating the values and vision of our school, is incredible. My thanks also go to Mrs Weitzel and Miss Bucceri for facilitating this group and giving freely of their time in the evening after ‘a long day at the office’!
The daily mile started this year in KS2 with huge success and growing participation. We know that regular physical exercise has lots of health benefits for children and young people, such as improving fitness, providing an opportunity to socialise, increasing concentration, improving academic scores, building a stronger heart, bones and healthier muscles, encouraging healthy growth and development and improving self-esteem. Thank you to Mrs Wilson for championing and organising this exciting initiative. There will be a similar project started in KS1 in September.
With your support, we have raised thousands of pounds for local, national and international charities. In addition, we have been very grateful to the fundraising for the school which helps us buy items for the children from our ‘wish list’. This year’s sponsored walk money is being used to help buy some playground ‘gym’ equipment for the younger children…it is being installed over the summer holidays in the KS1 playground.
The Year 7 transition project that our school has led across Hartsdown Academy and The Royal Harbour Academy is showing astounding results…not just in academic outcomes at the end of Year 7 but in pupil engagement, attendance, learning and conduct behaviour and parental satisfaction. Our work is attracting national interest at the highest level and I am pleased that the two secondary schools are receiving justifiable praise for this exciting work. The innovative and highly effective curriculum delivery model will be rolled out into Year 8, ensuring that the progress continues through KS3.
I am incredibly proud of our work with Save the Children. Spending cuts, stagnating wages and increased living costs are putting many families under huge pressure. Our partnership with the charity has directly increased funding for UK projects from benefactors who traditionally tended to only support overseas work. We have run the ‘Families Connect’ programme and ‘Building Blocks’ providing home learning resources and essential home items like beds and tables so that families can eat meals together. Feedback from parents has been extremely positive and the impact on children, immense.
The school has taken part in more sporting competitions than ever before this year and as well as sporting success, our teams have received several ‘fair play’ awards nominated by other schools. This demonstrates that our values are embedded within all aspects of school life.
Inevitably, in a large school there a few staff changes for next year, details of which were included in the last newsletter but I would like to again wish all staff leaving this year the very best for their future plans.
The Year 6 children leaving this year joined the school with me in September 2012 in Year R. We have learnt and grown together! It has been such a joy to watch them develop as wonderful citizens ready for the challenges and successes of secondary school. We hope they look back at their time at Cliftonville with fondness and happy memories.
For our wonderful, talented, smart and kind Year 6…
Go out into the world and show them what you’ve learnt!
For those returning in September, school starts at 8.50 am on Tuesday 3rd September. The new leadership team, with Ms Whichcord as Head Teacher, looks forward to seeing the pupils in their smart Cliftonville Primary School uniform, ready for the challenges of a new academic year.
I am so proud and privileged to have led this school. Cliftonville Primary School is seen as an example of what can be achieved in a ‘no excuse’ culture. The teamwork and dedication of staff, no matter what their role, in making sure your child is thriving educationally, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually is second to none. I know that this will continue under Ms Whichcord’s leadership and I look forward to seeing – from a distance - the journey of the school in the future. Finally, a special mention to Mrs Alison Blake who has lived opposite me in her tiny cupboard for seven years! In addition to skilfully managing the schools finances and HR she has been the most hardworking, efficient and loyal PA any Head Teacher could have wished for.
On behalf of the Cliftonville Primary School staff, I would like to wish you all an enjoyable and safe summer holiday.