It’s always very sad to read the kind of article found in the TES this week (link here), detailing the decline of music teaching in UK schools. Edenhurst parents are well aware of the importance we attach to music as a subject, whether that be in class lessons, or as individual instrumental teaching. We know the various benefits to children in terms of their learning across the curriculum and how music can INSPIRE them to perform in public.
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The Bellevue Learning Review of Edenhurst took place on February 5th and 6th, involving two days of lesson observation and interviews with staff, pupils and parents. The Reviews are conducted by Bellevue Heads who take teams of experienced teachers from the group into the schools. Indeed, I was doing the same a few weeks ago at another of the schools. The emphasis is on the development of teaching and learning across all the schools.
Each of the Bellevue Schools takes their turn to host a Learning Review - an opportunity for a small team of teachers and leaders from other schools in our group to come and see what we are doing well, and an opportunity for us to share good practice. Next Monday and Tuesday it will be Edenhurst's team to host Bridget Saul, Headteacher of Wandsworth Preparatory School, London; Emma Thomson, Forest Prep School, Altrincham; and Stephanie Niland, Forest Park Prep School, Sale.
It was lovely to see the children returning after their Christmas holidays: they looked so eager to start the new term!
It was therefore very appropriate that one of our first assignments was for them to undertake a Pupil Attitude survey, which they did willingly and efficiently.
As this was the first time we have used this particular survey, which comes as part of the digital assessment system from GL Assessments, it is taking some time to wade through the enormous amounts of data.
However, the headline figures are really interesting and encouraging
At the end of a truly wonderful term, in which the children of Edenhurst have ACHIEVED so much: scholarships and entrance exam success; sporting achievements and musical performances to name a few. At the time of writing I am looking forward to my last Carol Service as Head of Edenhurst and I know the children will be INSPIRED by singing in St Giles Church.
Ownership (n): the act, state or right of possessing something.
Throughout Edenhurst we are working to increase pupils’ sense of owning their lessons: that they are not merely being taught but are active participants in the process of learning. By doing this, everyone gains a sense that they have something to contribute and share with their fellow pupils. Staff use a range of ways to engage the children and get them to work with each other, to increase their sense of involvement.
“I don’t believe it!” Another half term has whizzed by and we are thrilled by the start the children have made to their learning, in and out of the classroom. Based on the conversations we had at Parents Evenings last week, I would say that parents are delighted too!
Each day, the same conversation happens in millions of cars and homes between 3-5pm: ‘What have you done at school today?’ Answers will range from ‘I’ve forgotten’ to a long and detailed narrative of every single activity that took place, according to your child’s preference and memory!
The WHAT part of the conversation is easy - all of us, adults and children, can say WHAT we have done. But the challenge is to get behind this and talk about the reason WHY we have done something. Do we know the purpose for learning a subject or skill?
This was the fourth annual residential that we have offered to our Prep 6 children and it has now become an eagerly-anticipated event at the beginning of the school year. Once again the children returned, to use Adam M's words, 'tired, dirty and having had little sleep...in other words, it was amazing!'
Welcome to the new School Year!
It’s been a pleasure to see how well all the children have settled back into school life and we extend a particularly warm welcome to all our many new starters and their families throughout the school. I know all the form and subject teachers are looking forward to meeting their children’s parents at our Parents’ Evenings in October.