Headteacher's Blog Updates
- Look after the pennies and the maths will look after itself.
- 'Excellence is not a destination.....
- News, dates and updates
- It’s about more than just neat books...
- Only 26% of 10 year olds ‘like reading’!
- My kids know more about the internet than I do...
- Our recent Ofsted inspection
- Busy Busy Busy
- Help us to gain extra funding for your school
- A Term in Pictures
- WOW! WOW! WOW! - A week in the life of The Grange.
- We're still listening - your views still matter.
- Assessment for Learning
- Every day matters!
- Values Matter
- Please help us to support your child
- The 5 minute routine that makes a MASSIVE difference!
- Smiles Everywhere
- New beginnings
- Together Everyone Achieves More
- In full swing...
- Attendance Matters
- A sense of community
- Delighted and honoured
- We need to talk ...
- Dear Year 2 children,
- Dear Year 6 children,
- A plea ....... (or two!)
- Welcome to the Summer Term
- Happy Easter
- A picture paints a thousand words
- Always question. Always wonder.
- Exciting times!
- Come to our Open Morning
- We're listening...
- It's been a busy term!
- Safer Internet Day 2017
- A love of reading
- Happy New Year!
- Welcome back!
- Happy Holiday!
- What a fabulous start to the new school year!
- A buzz in the air!
- Term 4 already!
- We are Outstanding!
- As busy as ever!
- Wow - what a week!
- We have an exciting week ahead!
- A fabulous first few days!
- Our new arrivals
- Principal's Blog
- Week Four!
- Week Three!
- Welcome Back!
- Ready for this!
- The Mayor's Service
We should never underestimate the importance of the little things. And in this case, those little things are 1p coins.
If your purse, pocket, wallet, handbag is anything like mine, it will gradually become filled with these small coins. If your eyesight is anything like mine, you won't be able to tell the difference between 1p, 2p or 5p coins, and so won't ever have the courage to offer them to a shop assistant. (I'm starting to struggle with 10p and 20p coins now, especially since the introduction of the new £1 coin!). And so, the pile of small coins gradually becomes bigger and heavier.
As you've been reading this, you'll have been able to visualise these coins. We all know the difference between them. We know what the different shapes, sizes and colours mean. We understand that having 3 coins doesn't necessarily mean that we have 3 pence. We know that money is a complex thing to understand, but we understand it instinctively - even when new coins are introduced - because we're used to using these coins.
I remember learning about money by playing with 'coppers'. I remember paying 1p for an imaginary cup of tea, in our kitchen at home. Once that understanding was secure, I progressed to paying 2p for an imaginary cake, or a pretend item from a pretend shop. I paid with two real 1p coins. And then I learnt that a 2p coin was the same as those two pennies. Magic, surely? But not a frightening or scary concept to understand, because I was simply playing with my new 'toys'. Presumably my parents or grandparents saved those small coins for me to play with, because I remember playing with five pennies and learning that it was the same as a shiny, silver coin that had a '5' stamped onto it. I remember the joy of having ten pennies and discovering that those tens pennies could be replaced with one even bigger silver coin! Someone was clearly saving their small change for me and it was like giving me real treasure. Next came the realisation that it was, in fact, real treasure!
After playing with coins came trips to the shop to actually spend these pennies for real. One of the strongest memories of my childhood was of buying penny sweets. (Do they even exist anymore?) The fabulous thing about penny sweets in the sweet shop of my childhood, is that they did cost a penny! So I learned that I could swap one of those small, copper coins for a sweet or two. If I was prepared to part with my bigger, copper coin, I could have more sweets. So I learned that the big copper coin was worth more than the small copper coin. And those silver coins would buy masses of sweets. But so would a pile of the copper coins. It was simple to learn, because it was real life. It wasn't scary, difficult maths. It was easy. I had the motivation to understand it. If I wanted the anticipation of knowing how many sweets I could have at the weekend, I needed to understand those small, metal objects. And so I learned.
My son also played with coins as a child; using them in an imaginary way as part of his games at home. But he had fewer opportunities to use small coins in a real-life situation. Instead of the local sweet shop, he'd shop with us in the supermarket. Instead of actually swapping small coins for sweets, the sweets would be put into the trolley and paid for, along with the rest of the shopping, at the end of our trip. Usually, without any coins appearing! More magic? Of course not. At a very young age - my son knew that you used 'cards' instead of money. Convenient without a doubt, but useless when trying to teach our children a vital life skill. Not just the skill of recognising and using coins with confidence. Not just the beginning of an understanding of money management.
Encouraging our children to use small coins - in play situations and then in real-life situations - they also learn that maths is real. They learn to recognise the sizes, the shapes and the colours of the coins. They learn about the relationship between objects and symbols. They learn that rehearsing using these coins helps them to get better at it and to understand more. They learn to reason mathematically. They learn that, when maths is real, it is simple and easy and not really that frightening after all! This is the most important lesson of all.
We'd love you to encourage your child to recognise, use, describe and reason with these small coins. But we know that the world has moved on since I was a child and that the opportunities to spend small coins are much fewer. Later in the year, we'll be having another Book Fair and we'd love your child to come along and pay for their £1.25 book, using small coins. So, if you can, please encourage your child to start playing with your small coins. Help them to save for a book and to understand how close they are to their £1.25 target. Encourage them to play with their coins, talk to you about them and to come along and spend them in a real life situation.
One last thing - if you find that penny sweets still exist, please let my sweet tooth know!
..... it is a journey that never ends.' (Brian Tracy)
You'll remember that we recently shared our priorities for improvement, that had arisen from our own self-evaluation and our Ofsted inspection in January 2018. We're still working hard to make the improvements we need and we'll continue to keep you updated. We're evaluating every aspect of school provision and practice and making lots of positive changes. In order to quality assure the changes we're making, we're working within agreed national frameworks and we're pleased to tell you that we're working towards achieving nationally recognised awards in the following areas:
. Provision for Children with Special Educational Needs (SEND Inclusion Award)
. Parental Engagement (Leading Parent Partnership Award)
. Wellbeing (Wellbeing Award for Schools)
. Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Provision (The National SMSC Quality Mark).
We've chosen to work towards these awards initially, because we believe that we have some good, high-quality provision already in place but, as the quote above shows, improvement is something that we are always working towards.
The awards process is useful because it starts with a self-evaluation, which allows us to objectively evaluate the quality of the provision we currently offer. This then leads to an action plan, which will inform the changes we need to make in order to improve further. The very end of the initial process is the evaluation of our updated provision and hopefully, the granting of awards. Once the awards are granted, we'll be ensuring that we maintain the standards necessary to hold on to them, as well as identifying some others to work towards!