12th November 2018
Between 2011 and 2017 the number of hours dedicated to PE in state-funded secondary schools fell by 5 per cent at key stage 3 and by 21 per cent at key stage 4. PHSE lessons have also reduced dramatically; they have almost halved for KS4 pupils. PE and PSHE are not the only subjects to see a cut in hours. There has been a drop in the amount of time spent on music, art and drama.
The government has said that all pupils must be taught about good physical and mental health from 2020, with mental resilience, developing confidence and recognising when they or others are struggling with poor mental health among the subjects that pupils can expect to be taught as part of compulsory health education proposals.
Being all things to all people – particularly in the sphere of education – is demanding albeit not impossible. Is it just about HKS topping the Wyre Forest league of GCSE results?
At Heathfield Knoll School all pupils, including in Early Years, receive a balanced yet broad curriculum. PE specialist teaching starts in Reception and school representation across a plethora of sports begins in Year 4 - everything from triathlon to tri golf and hockey to horse riding. The two games / PE curriculum slots facilitate coaching and practice in addition to fixtures with other independent and local Wyre Forest schools. Music groups start in Early Years and the new Director of Music, Mrs Cain, is responsible for the vertical organisation of music across the school. The new position of teacher of drama and English is also strategically important as our creative curriculum develops further. Use of timetabled enrichment slots continue to be hugely popular and include, for example, wellbeing lessons (the donkeys, part of this programme for younger children, will make a welcome return to school in the near future)! Our pupil happiness survey has just been completed in school this week.
The pressures on our young people have never been more demanding. A 2018 study concluded that the average school pupil today is likely to have spent a staggering 20 years of their life on screen time by the time they reach 80 years of age – and this does not include screen time associated with ‘work’ of any kind. Keeping our children fit and healthy, in both mind and body, requires an holistic approach to education that offers breadth, challenge and (fun) engagement in equal measure. I believe we are achieving the right balance at HKS but there is no room for complacency; use of the newly installed astropitch and cross-curricular STEAM learning space are some of the developments that will help to ensure we continue to meet our vision.
Phonics and Mark Making Workshop
02nd November 2018
We had a wonderful morning at the Phonics and Mark Making Workshop. It was fabulous to see so many family members in the Studio, learning about how we teach phonics and writing and the differences. Later, the children welcomed everyone into their classrooms where they were able to join in with an exciting and engaging plethora of phonics and writing activities that parents can make at home. It was fantastic to receive such positive feedback from everyone.
We are looking forward to undertaking a similar sharing of activities in the future.
31st October 2018
It is a fact that children who read are happier, healthier, more empathetic and more creative than those who don't. They also do better at school which is why we are so keen to encourage our pupils to read!
Bookbuzz is a BookTrust sponsored programme which, along with the school, provides a free book for every child in Years 7 and 8 from a range of titles and genres. Recognising that modelling reading behaviour is really important in encouraging children to read and to help pupils choose their book, members of HKS staff read one of the books and introduce it to the children. Bookbuzz always creates excitement among the pupils (and the staff) and they can't wait for their books to arrive!
World Values Day
17th October 2018
World Values Day Thursday 18th November 2018
At HKS we are keen to support the children in becoming well rounded, understanding and supportive members of the community. We work with our families to instill fundamental values in our young people. This begins with developing children who are tolerant of other people and their beliefs, accepting of the needs and wants of others, sharing and looking after each other. Our children learn to welcome visitors and new friends and to share their toys, activities and learning. They understand and accept that everyone is different and that is what makes them special. We broaden their experiences through celebrations, visits, activities and lots of fun! From the time the children enter First Steps, all of these skills and experiences are introduced in engaging and exciting ways so that as the children progress through the school they develop and grow into the extraordinary young people that we know they can be. We know that they will continue to be accepting, understanding and caring people, even after they have left HKS; they will share the values that have been fostered here, with their families and with everyone that they meet.
National Poetry Day
04th October 2018
Thursday 4th October is National Poetry Day. Here at HKS we are celebrating by sharing some of our favourite poems from Shakespeare to Spike Milligan.
We have some fantastic writers in Year 5 and here is an original piece called ‘Dreams’
One night is not enough,
Although it is tough.
Though one thing I can not stand,
Nightmares there not that grand.
Still I don’t understand,
My little sweet dreamland,
I might go there I might not.
Though I just can’t stop,
I’m in bed I just might weep,
But please be quiet I’m trying to sleep!