Reflecting on the academic year
Here we are at the end of our school year 2017/2018, every year seems to pass more quickly! What an amazing year we have had from starting our new build last September, through winter months, having some interesting pizza lunchtimes and snow days due to the Beast from the East and on to this term with some amazing sports and fitness events in scorching heat and of course our leavers prom and awards ceremony. I have also had the great privilege of attending the graduation for our Interns at Cadent this week. We have had lots of residentials and fun events but what is also important is the hard work and commitment day to day from all our staff. Our staff are extremely skilled at supporting your children to achieve so well, from learning to communicate a preference to gaining a GCSE. Every achievement is as important as the other. It has been lovely to see so many of you at various events culminating in the after-noon tea on Wednesday which was a lovely event even with the TV cameras!.
Moving on week
We have had a fabulous Moving On week for our older students. They have had so many varied experiences with industry tours, DWP mock interviews, working with other providers such as Achieve with us, Farm visits and the fire service visiting school with one of the fire engines. The students have made us very proud and organisations have been very impressed making comments such as ‘We have had a fantastic day, was an absolute pleasure and the children and staff were all brilliant.’ We have also been supporting Coventry Building Society with their charity, a few pupils from Key Stage 2 have visited over a few days this week. Ewan and Charley really enjoyed their trip, they were chatting to the customers. One customer bought £10 of raffle tickets whilst they were there! The group who attended the Triumph workshop had learnt about motorbikes and the engineering task to build something that would protect an egg. I understand some teams were more successful than others! As we approach the final week of the term we still have no clear date for the opening of the new building. Alison King and I will be meeting with the builders very regularly over the summer. I will keep everyone informed as we gather more information from the builders. We have made sure all pupils have a classroom until it is finished.
Summer fayre, Sports week and Bronze Duke of Edinburgh
Nearing the end of term and what a busy time we are having. It was lovely to see so many of you at the Summer fayre and thank you for helping us raise so much money. This week we have had our Health and Sports week. There have been lots of activities including Judo, Yoga, three sports day events (the final one this morning for secondary pupils). The pupils from Key Stage 1 and 2 enjoyed their sports activities and pupils and staff were all very appreciative of the ice lol-lies made by Tarell’s Mum. Our Bronze Duke of Edinburgh teams managed walking and camp-ing in the heat - all pupils tried really hard and made lots of effort and nearly all completed the expedition successfully. We have also had some visits to the new school this week and have some fabulous pictures of the turret skylights in the new school. Have a great weekend.
The Peak District and the Triangia stove
It was good to see so many of you at Parents Evening this week and I hope you found it useful to meet the staff who will be teaching your child next year.
This week our Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition team have been walking and camping in the Peak District. All has gone well and they have demonstrated excellent team work and skills in navigation (even when they went wrong they found a way back!). They have pitched their tents well and cooked some tasty meals on the Trangia stove. I would like to thank all the staff who take our pupils on their residential visits (we have had lots this year) as all give their time freely and work extra long hours to make sure our pupils can gain these extremely valuable experiences.
Adventures in Sherwood Forest
This week we have had three trips to Sherwood Forest for Key Stage 2 pupils. Two groups have had an overnight stay and one group opted for a long day trip. All have had a super time and it has been good to see the smiling but rather tired faces on their return! They have been involved in den building, sensory stories in the woods and one of the favourites...having a dip in the hot tub. We have heard about lots of cooperation between the pupils and about how much they have challenged themselves to complete some of the adventurous activities as well as making their own pizzas!
Don't forget this week coming is Parents Evening when you will have an opportunity to meet your child’s new teacher. Next weekend - 23rd June is our summer fayre and I do hope we will see lots of you there joining in the fun - not least soaking the teacher!
An excellent start to the last half term of the academic year
The last half term of the year began well, pupils appear refreshed after the half term break. It is work as usual for many and tests and exams for others. Pupils have been very busy and I have seen some super work across the school - in Key Stage 2 two pupils showing a clear understanding of division, in Key Stage 3 one of the pupils showing much better use of his zones of regulation which help him understand his emotions and manage different situations more appropriately. I have seen pupils exploring new materials including coal and I have tasted some super cooking! Preparations for our Summer Fayre on June 23rd are going well and we are looking forward to this. I do hope you will join us as we strive to have lots of fun and raise some money at the same time! I also know that our Year 6 pupils (and staff) are looking forward to their residential and day trip next week.
Dancing through the decades and Royal Wedding Celebrations
Another fun filled week with a fabulous performance at the Curve by the After School Dance Club. The pupils were ‘Dancing through the Decades’ with the bright colours and vibrant moves from the 1990s. Pupils were confident and added a touch of their personal styles to the performances which was lovely to see. Pupil’s from the upper site who went to see the matinee performance were very complimentary of the dancing.
The Royal Wedding has been the focus of lots of learning with pupils preparing, cooking and sharing food together. It has been lovely to see the positive interactions between the pupils with some classes joining together to celebrate the special event. Photos of the Royal Wedding events will feature in next week’s Newsletter. Have a good weekend.
Practice Expedition for Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Team
This week our Duke of Edinburgh Bronze team have been on their practice expedition. Everyone was really enthusiastic in the beginning. The young people have been amazing. Team work has been really strong and they have all supported each other. They did 7 hours of walking on day one with only one shoe malfunction! This morning they packed away their tents ready for the final leg of the journey. The pupils have used the maps and picture books independently and have worked hard to overcome fears of some of the animals that they have met on route. What a great experience for them all - they should sleep well once at home tonight!.
The Return of Redridge on May the Fourth
I think we are all looking forward to some good weather for the long weekend especially those very tired staff who return from a week at Redridge today!. The trip has gone very well and our older students have had some amazing experiences and enjoyed some incredible successes. They have been kayaking, rock climbing, caving, zip-wiring and some also had a trip to the beach. Apparently they had a very competitive day yesterday in three Canadian canoes, paddling them down the canal. They all made it onto the water straight away. Some boats had more paddlers than others, some boats found the bank and the trees more than others and some boats were very competitive!. A fun last day had by all. We look forward to welcoming them all back today. Back at school, Key Stage 2 Forest schools also had a great session on Wednesday in some very muddy and wet conditions. The teacher commented on how there was some fantastic teamwork, building bridges, climbing trees and discovering how deep some of the "puddles" were - think Vicar of Dibley!. Lots of fun was had thanks to some very muddy and wet but enthusiastic staff!.
Have a good long weekend
A HARD WORKING WEEK FOR PUPILS WITH A FEW MAGIC MOMENTS
I have seen some fantastic work over the week from artwork in Venus class stimulated by pictures of a Tsunami to working out money calculations in Hawks and Athena. However, I think the magic moment was in Key Stage 2 with a pupil taking her first independent steps. I am not sure who was more pleased the pupil, the Teacher, the other staff or the pupils Mum!. There have been other super moments for example, Kelly was pleased to see lots of pupils using their communication aids really well during her observations. All busy hard working pupils, they are all ready for the weekend I am sure
KAYAKING, ZIP WIRES AND ADVENTURES
It was good to see so many of you at the Parents Evening before the holiday. Many of you have already downloaded our new School Communication App which will let us send you texts and messages direct to your phones. So far those with the app seem happy that it is working well. We hope it will address your comments about needing more targeted communication. It has been a good week back after the rather wet Easter break. The pupils have all been working hard and of course there has been great excitement for the Year 8 pupils on their residential at PGL. We have heard lots about the trip already - they have been enjoying kayaking, campfire singing, zip wire, sensory trails, orienteering and a disco - I think there may be some very tired pupils when they return today. Our new building is rapidly going up. It more and more feels like a real building with walls and a roof! The very wet and very cold weather have had an impact on the timeline but they are hoping to catch up over the next few months. We will keep you informed if there is to be any delay to the final opening date. Today we say goodbye to Liam who has been leading our fundraising. He has an opportunity to progress his career and with family commitments has made the decision to move on from working at Dorothy Goodman School. He is still very much a supporter of the school and has worked hard to ensure our Ambassadors and the businesses who support us, will remain with us. I am sure you will all join me in wishing Liam all the best in the future. Have a good weekend
AN INTERESTING FIRST WEEK OF TERM
An interesting first week back after half term. We have three new pupils starting at the school, one who came for a visit to Kites this week and one who started in Neptune class. Another pupil will be starting in the next week or so. This week we have had a junk modelling mini beasts competition in KS2 assembly, launching next week’s ‘Creativity Week’. The pupils undertook the competition with great enthusiasm and on a similar theme I was later asked which ‘bug’ I was scared of - the scorpion won for me!. Hercules have visited the new site this week and it is good to see the walls going up. At lower site Lemurs have been trying to sell a cow, driving a hard bargain - eventually they accepted magic beans but a few really wanted gold!. As the cold comes back I hope we will stay snow free next week but we will let you know as soon as we can if there are any implications for school. Please see at the end of the newsletter a consultation from Leicestershire about school term times.
HAVE A LOVELY HALF TERM
A busy week to end the half term. We have had Chinese Warrior dancing, rock climbing, a trip to the Space Centre and of course all the work we usually do!. I have had the pleasure of observing some super lessons this week including a sensory story in Lemurs class. I also enjoyed reading a poem by one of our older pupils it was quite an achievement. Also this week we have had an update meeting about the new build. Alison and I were very pleased to be able to walk around the inside (now it has a roof) but also to be able to climb the scaffolding staircase to look over the roof scape and the land. It gave a great perspective of what a treat it will be to have some space! Have a good half term and we look forward to welcoming the children and young people back on Monday 19 February.
Well done to our D of E walkers
I cannot believe we only have one week until half term break where did the spring term go?. It didn’t feel like Spring on Monday when the weather threw everything it could at the D of E walkers but they all said how much they enjoyed being outside even when the heavens opened and they got a little wet!.
On Tuesday a second visit to the new school from Tyche meant lots of questions (which was really good) ranging from whether there would be a place for pupils to rest inside the school, to what food would be available. On Wednesday the KS4 & 5 Animal Care groups had a fantastic day at Leicester Race Course.
Some of us at Upper school benefited from expert cooking skills of Jamie and Josh who made delicious millionaires’ shortbread. Claire was very impressed with Theo at his Annual Review. He was very clear about his needs that will not change and how he can develop independence with the needs he has, for example how he moves round the classroom and who is the best person to have his microphone for his hearing device in different settings. Have a good weekend.
A SUCCESSFUL WEEK FOR OUR WORK EXPERIENCE STUDENTS
Thank you to those parents who came in to help us decide on the communication app for parents. It was, I hear, a very good meeting and your contributions and ideas were all very welcome.
We have had some super work going on this week. Mia, in Key Stage 3, had new splints fitted and successfully walked (while being supported by staff) from her classroom to my office such determination and great delight when she arrived to receive her sticker and certificate. We were all very impressed with her determination and desire to keep going. Kyle H in Key Stage 5 had a successful first work experience placement this week and although initially reluctant to go he was full of all he had done on the way back to school. Olivia in Key Stage 2 set her own target this year of swimming at the leisure centre. Last term she worked so hard in the hydro pool on her physio programme that she achieved her dream and went swimming at the leisure centre on Monday another great example of determination!.
A BUSY WEEK ALL ROUND
A few people have been asking about the building project and progress so far. The building is progressing well and the latest photos show how much of the construction has been completed & the roofing is still there after the wind this week!.
Jamie in Jupiter gave Claire and Victoria a massive cooking challenge yesterday – the challenge being the cooking not the pupils!. So the pupils explored their own recipes using the ingredients – Ethan B has a very sweet tooth while Abbi prefers the butter!. I would love to see what they looked like. I really enjoyed having lunch with Danish this week and it was also good to see Zara trying to use her knife and George asking for help when he needed it sensibly. Later in the week, during a budget meeting it was also fun to be joined by Tino, Paul, Cassie-Jane and Jo L-O!.
Have a good weekend.
A SUPER START TO THE NEW YEAR
Happy New Year. It has been a super start to the year with lots of learning going on. It has been good to see how much they have retained over the holiday. Pupils are refreshed and ready to come back to school. Craig in Mars was the first to receive a Head Teacher’s award this year with some super work done all by himself in Maths and writing about planets and space. He was closely followed by Matthew and Ellie with their handwashing Science experiments and then by Harrison who had taken over the teacher’s role in his class to teach about the planets. This week the DIY pathway group were (and always will be) the first group of students to have set foot inside our new school!. They stood in the Library and then moved inside the reception area. The whole group were unusually but understandably speechless!. It was a great tour and they all respected and abided by the rules impeccably. As many of you know last term some of our Key Stage 3 pupils took part in the Shakespeare for Schools Festival and we have had our official feedback which is really good to read (see later in the newsletter) a great achievement for them all. Have a lovely weekend.
WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
This will be our last Newsletter this term. What a festive time we have had...although sadly we had to close on Monday, on Tuesday the weather also gave us a challenge especially when Redmoor and Hinckley Academy closed. Our pupils from the two bases were placed across the classes at lower school and the pupils were brilliant at helping with lots of jobs or supporting younger children a great ad hoc work experience for them all and a very tidy library for lower school!. Our staff team worked well to ensure all pupils had dinner (Morrisons and Dominoes helped out as well!) and I would like to thank all the staff for pulling together to make it a super day for the pupils. Christmas dinner and parties have been successful this week and I was surprised at how many pupils like sprouts! KS3 had a super trip out and KS1 & 2 met Santa courtesy of the Fire service helping him out. At Cadent Christmas Fair our Interns and some of our older pupils, Sophie, Harry and Daniel, had a lovely day supported by Georgina. The students were amazing very well mannered, mature and professional sales people. They made £35 for Animal Care selling dog treats, £18 for Enterprise selling items the students have made and £8 for DIY pathway selling candle holders that the students had also made. Daniel wasn’t keen at first but then asked if he could go to Cadent again the next day and Harry has already been thinking of new enterprise ideas for next year. Although we had to cancel the productions we are all looking forward to them next week. I hope to see many of you at one of the productions or the church service. It is then just time for me to wish you all the best for the festive season (will it be a white one I wonder?). I hope you have a good few weeks and I wish you all the best for the New year.
A FUN AND CREATIVE WEEK
Christmas is fast approaching and our pupils are working hard at making things and practising for their respective performances or organising catering arrangements for the afternoon tea at upper site. It has been good to see some very creative decorations being made and some festive dishes being cooked (delicious aromas apart from the burnt ones!). Key Stage 2 had a great time at Drayton Manor this week where much to their delight Santa made a guest appearance during lunch. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the rides although some of the staff looked a little green when talking about them!. I would like to thank Market Bosworth Rotary Club particularly Brian Cox, John Hayes and Robert Braidwood for helping to make it happen. I believe they are now on a mission to collect more Lego for us. I hope you all have a good weekend and I look forward to seeing you at one of the events over the forthcoming week and a half.
HAVE A LOVELY WEEKEND
The weather may be getting colder but the pupils are still working hard as we begin to prepare for a selection of special events. Please feel free to send in extra outdoor clothing to keep pupils warm whilst out playing. Across the school pupils have been exploring different countries and cultures and the bustle of the classroom has been linked to learning about the sights, smells and sounds of Asia for Kites and Owls in Key Stage 3 and of Spain in Key Stage 2. Anton has found a new career aspiration of becoming a bullfighter. Key Stage 5 have started their enterprise scheme
We are pleased to announce that we have two new Co Chairs on our Governing Body following the resignation of our long standing Chair, Jeffrey Bowes. Jeffrey will continue to be a member of the Governing Body, but we would like to express our sincere thanks to him for the many years of passionate leader-ship as the Chair. In his place we have Caroline Henton and Simon Love who have taken on the role as Co Chairs and we also have Christopher White who has taken on the role of Vice Chair. We would like to welcome them in their new roles and thank them for offering their service to the School.
Also, we are also very pleased to welcome Mr Anthony Carr as a new Parent Governor following the recent election and, again, many thanks to Anthony for offering his services. We look forward to the contiued success of the Governing Body’s role and support within the School. Have a good weekend.
Wonderful Team Work
This week we had some colleagues from another school visiting us and observing in classes. They were very impressed with many of the things they saw and commented particularly on the ‘lovely multi-sensory approach in Early Years which had such an individualised approach meeting all the pupils’ needs. Staff were very clear about what each needed to achieve and links between music, textures and visuals. Observers enjoyed the snowflakes and wanted to stay longer!’. They also enjoyed the Key Stage 2 music lesson in the music hut and were impressed with the pupils’ persistence and concentration. They saw wonderful team work and focus at Forest schools with pupils achieving extremely well. I was pleased to see some fantastic independent Maths work from Ellie C and Matthew K this week as well as being able to reward Kieran T for his polite request for friends to play with him. We would also like to congratulate Jamie Rayner on the birth of his son this week. He and his family are all well. Have a good weekend.
A SUCCESSFUL PERFORMANCE
What another busy week; on Monday a group of students performed at the Curve as part of the ‘Shakespeare in Schools’ project. There were so many great moments but Finn telling the audience to 'come back next year to watch Macbeth 2' and Jack saying 'it was the best day ever,' said how much the whole experience had meant to them all. The feedback for our performers from the festival director for the Curve was super. He mentioned how confident they were and what great composure they had on stage. He commented on how the actors owned every word and was especially impressed with the witches scream. He talked about how well they created the dark atmosphere of Macbeth using their voices and movement ensuring the audience understood a scary world. They worked extremely well together as a company and sold the story to the audience showing how the characters felt, who held the power, in summary they were ‘great story tellers and amazing actors’. On Thursday the Curve then came to the upper site to deliver a workshop and the pupils were very engaged during the afternoon session.
On Tuesday, three members of our School Council attended the Local Democracy Event at the Hinckley Hub. It was girl power (Olivia.R, Amy H and Alexie C). The girls were very well behaved and sat and listened well, chatted to the different councillors and did a group task with children from Richmond, which was nice as we now know them. They were a credit to the school well done to all.
Also on Tuesday we hosted a visit from colleagues who work at Ashfield Academy in Leicester they were here to look at our employability provision and met with Louise G, Gail (from Oakwood) and Sue W.
At the time of writing there are lots of interesting dressing up in support of Children in Need day today as one of the charities chosen by our Key Stage 1 & 2. Have a great weekend.
LOVELY ENGAGEMENT AND INTERACTION THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL
I had a super learning walk this week across a number of classes. I saw some lovely engagement and interaction in our early years classes and one group dancing with great enthusiasm before being ready to work. I saw some super number ordering and a very interactive sensory session happening with the pu-pils wearing the new waterproof all in one suits which meant they could become fully involved. Some of our older pupils in Key stage 2 were making decisions about things they would take in a holiday suitcase either for a hot holiday or a cold holiday some were learning to spell some tricky words as well. I was glad to hear about toothbrushes being packed!. At upper school the highlight for some of our pupils this week was working with people from the University on creating virtual reality games to help our older pupils make choices about their futures. Kieran W and Elizabeth were very motivated by the workshop. What was also impressive was how they spoke to the visitors. Another highlight from upper has to be Rhiannon asserting herself in the hydropool and signing clearly to Rachel her teacher what she wanted to happen. You will see from our photographs that the steel structure for the new build is nearly complete and we can now really see which area will be which room. Have a great weekend.
A SUCCESSFUL WEEK AT DOROTHY GOODMAN
This week we have had a very successful Communication week with many special events across the whole school, focusing on Superheroes and Villains. The pupils have responded very well to the theme. I have seen some amazing pictures, costumes and written descriptions of various superheroes and their powers as well as some grizzly villains. A highlight has been the multi-sensory storytelling organised and ran by Dan and Mark again (known as ‘Danilson’ to the pupils!). Today we are looking forward to welcoming a guest who runs ‘Everything with words’, a storytelling workshop, involving masks and puppets for pupils in Key stage 2 and 3. This was a successful event yesterday at upper site. Tag rugby, ran by WASPs coaching, has also been a favourite activity with Owls and Kites this week and last. They will be moving to work with the Richmond site later in the month. School photos seemed to go well and we look forward to seeing the results. We also had our first official pupil visit to the new build site. Stephen, the building site manager, took the pupils round and showed them the plans and helped them see which part would become which room. Once again there is lots going on at the school and within all of this pupils are also working hard day to day and achieving a great deal. I hope you all have a good weekend.
FROM TARZAN SWINGS TO TALLY CHARTS
On Monday an excited group of our secondary aged pupils left for a residential visit to Red Ridge. They have tried lots of activities including the Zipwire, caving (in an artificial cave) and the Tarzan swing which apparently is as scary as it sounds! It was lovely to hear about Josh C’s singing and Daisy C teaching and interacting with other pupils at the Centre and teaching them how to dance. A big thank you to the staff who have supported this all week.
This week I have spent some time in Lemurs where I saw some super independence developing in with the pupils learning to get changed following PE and in Mars pupils were asking questions, very clearly about the colour of peoples’ eyes and making tally charts.
This week we have also seen the steel structure for the new build arrive and it is amazing to see the shape of the building starting.
SUPER WORK BY SUPER STUDENTS
It was lovely to hear that so many of you attended our ‘New parents to DGS event’ yesterday held at Hinckley Rugby Club. Thank you to Julie, Kay, Joanne and Louise for running this. I hope you found it useful and we hope to support all parents and families with similar events throughout the year. In the next few weeks we look forward to seeing many of you at our Harvest Festival events. We will also be holding a parent forum in October and a family Makaton session in November. Please let us know if there are things you would like us to support you with so that we can plan sessions for the future. Dates for parent events are listed on this newsletter and on our website. This week I have seen lots more super work. We have had more sensory dragon adventures in Key Stage 2 alongside our reading and some tricky maths. At upper school, alongside lots of hard work, the annual reviews for this years leavers have been taking place. It has been a pleasure to hear their contributions about what they want in their future. This week Kelly told me how Elouise, usually a very shy person, excelled at talking in her meeting even with new, unfamiliar people present a great achievement. I hope you all have a good weekend.
THE GREAT DGS BAKEOFF
Last weekend two of our students took the upper school cake creations to the G Sellers Bake Off and coffee morning. The staff reported… It was lovely to take Kieran and Elizabeth to the Bake Off on Saturday although none of our 3 entries won we all had a lovely time and the venue was packed. It was great that Kellie was able to bring Mollie along (she really enjoyed the cake) and it was lovely to see Maxine and her family supporting the event. Kieran really flourished and had responsibility for taking some photos of the judging getting that close meant that even though he didn't win, he knew he got a top score for an element of his cake which he was really pleased about. He took some great pictures and our favourite, which made us all laugh, was an action shot of David the judge (eating cake!). I hope you all have a good weekend.
A BUSY WEEK ALL ROUND
This week started off well with the company, who are mending our roof, leading an assembly for Key Stage 2. Sam and Liz explained why they are working at our school - great demonstration of a leaking roof! They then explained the safety aspects of wearing hard hats, hivis jackets and staying away from the fencing around the school. I think the pupils liked the leaking roof the best! Pupils have also been working hard this week. I especially enjoyed joining the classes at Richmond base where Neptune were involved in science investigations with electric circuits, Saturn were finding out good questions to ask to find out about new friends and Tigers were exploring lots of different activities to do with their book ‘Where the wild things are.’ Enjoy your weekend.
A BUSY AND PRODUCTIVE WEEK
This week our first full week of term has been busy and productive. Throughout the week I have seen some fabulous work. On Monday many of the pupils had their swimming session at the leisure centre. Our new arrangements mean that we as a school are following each other into the sessions rather than other schools. This meant that we were more able to give our pupils the time they need to learn to get dry and dressed without being as rushed. I have seen lots of calculations in Key Stage 3 maths lessons, some super reading and communication work in all year groups across the school. At upper we have some very enthusiastic gardeners and I was very privileged to be given some beans from the garden carefully picked by Harley. Also this week the hospitality and catering pathway called me in to judge a chocolate cake competition (perks of being the Headteacher). The two teams had been practising for the G Sellers coffee morning cake competition which is happening next weekend. The cakes were clearly the pupils’ own work both looked great and were delicious – it was a draw, one for the expert bake, the other for the taste! Also at upper pupils have been following instructions to create slime in science/art (very vibrant colours) and pupils were fascinated with its properties even being able to blow it up like a balloon. There was also a wonderful sensory/PE session at lower school based on the funfair theme he pupils thoroughly enjoyed being engaged in the physical aspects as well as some clear learning about cause and effect. I think the pupils will be ready for the weekend!
Thank you to the Stoke Fest organisers for making our school one of their charities. Ben Burgess represented our school extremely well and was delighted with his surprise role distributing the prizes and awards to the winners of the festival.
A BRILLIANT FIRST WEEK BACK
Welcome to our new pupils and welcome back after what I hope was a good summer for our other pupils. Every week we send an electronic version of this newsletter to parents as it contain useful dates and information about things that have happened at school and things that will be happening. We will also be including regular lost property photos to help return some of the non-named items we find to their rightful home (please name items as this helps us tremendously to make sure all pupils’ belongings are kept together).
This week we have sent pupils new to the school a paper copy of this newsletter but please make sure we have your email address so that in future we can email this out to you.
We have had a good start to the new school year and pupils have settled well. I have seen lots a great engagement in lessons and some excellent work going on. It has also been lovely to witness more established pupils helping new pupils to the school or just those who are new to a different site. There was great excitement yesterday as a group of older students joined me for the turning of the soil a ceremonial moment highlighting the start of our new building work on Barwell Lane which will replace our upper school building from September 2018. This year we have some changes to how our health care and school nursing is provided please read to the end of the newsletter as we have shared these arrangements in detail. I hope you all have a good weekend and please do not hesitate to contact school if you have any queries.
THE END OF A FANTASTIC YEAR
The end of another fantastic year of achievements by our young people. There are too many to mention but the range is amazing and really significant for every individual from pupils improving their communication using eye-gaze, improving their mobility and motivation to get up and move to students gaining accreditation and employment. They have all worked extremely hard and deserve their success. We have finished the year with lots of different events and visits. The leavers enjoyed a day at Bosworth water park with canoeing and adventure on the programme. We have had Key Stage 3 classes visiting a local farm which they have thoroughly enjoyed; Key Stage 2 reenacting the battle of Bosworth and visiting the battlefields; Key Stage 1 ventured as far as Birmingham to the Think Space and had a great time exploring everything. The Key Stage 3 prom was a great success with pupils looking very smart and glamorous enjoying the Limo rides and the pizzas! There was also some fabulous dancing particularly from Owls class! It was wonderful to see so many parents at the afternoon tea at upper yesterday and a big thank you to the leavers’ parents who brought us such a generous gift to replenish the staff room equipment! Last night the Upper school and HAJC prom was a wonderful event as well. The students looked amazing and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It is these events which help to make the significant memories for our children and young people.
I would like to thank all the staff for their hard work and extra efforts over and above their jobs to make sure these events are a great success for our children and young people. I wish all our leavers success and happiness in their next stage of life and I hope you all have a good summer and I look forward to welcoming your children back on Tuesday 29th August (and the start of building our new upper school!)
A BUSY WEEK AT DOROTHY GOODMAN SCHOOL
The penultimate week of term and we have had lots of super Moving On events for our older pupils visiting a variety of work places. We have also had various providers in school who can offer different work and life experiences for young people. Some of the highlights included young people who attended the Moving On event with all the stalls speaking to various exhibitors in very age appropriate ways - Karl from HAJC was particularly mentioned by one exhibitor as having had a very positive conversation about his future options. We were disappointed that only one or two parents were able to attend the event but the students benefited massively from looking at and finding out about options they may wish to be involved with in the future when they leave school. I would like to say a big thank you to Sue Whawell who has organised and coordinated all the events for Moving On week as it has been very successful. Also big congratulations to the DofE group for their successful expedition earlier this week camping, navigating and walking!
A SPORTY WEEK
A very busy and sporty week. We have had lots of different sports and fitness events from Dance to Rugby. The Key Stage sports days have been a great success so far with KS3,4 and 5 happening today. Curling was a highlight in Key Stage 1 and I think the sensory cushion sledge was a highlight for Key Stage 2! A big thank you to Tarrell’s Mum for making the fresh fruit and yoghurt lollies for every pupil in KS2 to have at the end of the event (having first checked allergies!). We have also had a few farm trips and trips to Bosworth battlefields this week. There was also an interesting reenactment of the battle by Venus in the ball court earlier this week!
Next week is moving on week for our older students with lots of activities around life after school work and leisure and I hope you join us for the moving on event on Wednesday 5 July. I hope you all have a good weekend.
On Wednesday group of our pupils from different year groups who have been working on the Sinfonia Viva Project performed at De Montfort Hall in Leicester. Their performance was wonderful and extremely inspiring. The involvement of the pupils, their confidence and musicality was impressive. From Tegan controlling the orchestra to Callum playing the wonderful piano in the hall. Molly enjoyed herself but I think was a little thrown by the lights as they came on but she still listened and kept Jenny on her toes when moving about! Mayan and Sam MH who often lack confidence obviously enjoying the experience singing and playing the rhythm. Luke J and Josh B clearly following the conductor, Leighton holding the baseline and of course the batman theme with Bradley on the trumpet. Lennon responding and playing his instrument throughout even the crescendo of pushing it to the floor seemed well timed! Elizabeth singing and playing percussion also following when to play the final drum’s rhythm. It is such a privilege to be part of such positive experiences with our pupils and I am very grateful to all the staff who work so hard to make them a success. The members of the orchestra all commented how much they had enjoyed working with our pupils the challenges and the magic moments! They also said how welcome they had been made to feel. It now looks as if the excessive heat is over but I do hope it stays fine tomorrow for our Summer Fayre and I hope I will see many of you there.
A FUN FILLED WEEK FOR DOROTHY GOODMAN
I am struggling to believe how quickly this term is going by! This week we have had our Year 6 residential visit to Beaumanor when I was writing this they were all having a great time. Our older pupils have had a day out at Drayton Manor and all behaved exceptionally well one highlight came from one of our pupils, Jamie B, who whilst queuing for one of the roller coasters noticed another student from another school becoming upset and not wanting to go on the ride. Apparently Jamie calmed them down and managed to convince them to give it a try and the child enjoyed it in the end. Staff were extremely proud of Jamie.
We have had the first performance from the Sinfonia Viva Project yesterday. I would like to congratulate our young performers for their excellent effort, concentration and hard work. Some of my magic moments were seeing Leighton hold the tune on his guitar, Sam & Dickie hold the rhythm on drums, Abigail involving herself in many aspects of the performance while keeping rhythm, Elizabeth singing clearly and the obvious enjoyment of Kieran T in the audience.
We have also had a ‘maths in real life’ focus this week and I have spoken to some very motivated students from upper school who have found the links to money very interesting - some of them went to use a cash card at an ATM for the first time we have also explained you have to earn the money before taking it out! Another super but very busy week and now time for a restful weekend!
A MUSICAL FIRST WEEK OF TERM
Over the last few weeks some of our pupils we have been involved in a special music project. Mark Wilson has been leading on this from school (and Rachel Barker stepped in when Mark’s baby was born!) Mark has been delighted with the response and it his report I include here today...During the Sinfonia Viva music project there has been some excellent leadership and communication going on. Bradley has had the confidence to try the trumpet for the first time and after an hour working with José (Viva Team) was able to play the Batman Theme tune entirely independently he even asked to take the trumpet home to practice (apologies to his Mum!) Joshua B & Luke J were using the piano and keyboards to contribute towards the whole ensemble composition and held their parts independently and confidently. Similarly, Callum M was able to maintain and hold a steady repeating pulse entirely on his own as well as demonstrating his broad knowledge and skill by playing the 'Church Bell Chimes' on the piano. Sam M-H has grown in confidence to be able to lead the group playing a repeated drum pattern as has Leighton who has developed his guitar skills to be able to accompany the group and independently maintain his own musical motif. Elizabeth worked outstandingly well to compose her own song about her love of singing and how important her friends and family are she has really impressed the Viva Team! Molly, Lennon & Emily have also all experienced a variety of instruments, rhythms and songs and have interacted and responded to each other, staff and the Viva Team in so many positive but unique ways it has been fantastic to see reactions that are rarely seen within the classroom setting.
So far throughout the project it has been great to see how our young people have thrived on new challenges and have surpassed all of our expectations. The Sinfonia Viva team have been so impressed by our young people's determination, creativity and individuality and have thrived on creating & performing music in a completely unique and bespoke way.
What more can I say!
A SUNNY END OF TERM
A hot and sunny week where once again lots has been happening. You can read later down the newsletter about the students training for Duke of Edinburgh bronze award. We were all very proud of their achievements and especially their teamwork and perseverance. We have seen some super work throughout the week from pupils investigating crime scenes to some wonderful clay sculptures. Frequently the senior team carry out lesson observations and this week has been no exception. We have seen some great work from pupils working together in groups with nearly all pupils very well focused. There was a great variety of learning tasks and pupils were really proud of what they were learning. Kate was also impressed with how well some of the pupils were using their communication aids. I hope you all received the letters about class groups yesterday and I wish you a good half term - I hope the weather stays good! We return to school on Monday 5th June.
RIGHTS AND RESPECT WEEK
As you will be able to read in the various Key Stage reports we have had a very successful Rights and Respect week with a theme of Belonging. We have encouraged the pupils to experience a range of different cultures and places of worship and to understand differences in culture and beliefs with respect. We have had Bollywood dancing when the pupils joined in with great enthusiasm and many were very skilled at the style of dance. The KS3 trip to the Sikh temple was a great success all of Key Stage 3 behaved impeccably, Daniel M and Jack E were very inquisitive and were asking lots of questions. All the pupils were a credit to the school, and were very respectful to the Sikh community, covering their heads and removing their shoes. The same was true for the KS2 trip to a local church and the KS5 trip to the Buddhist temple and the journeys on public transport there and back. We have also had many activities within school including a morning finding out about Gypsy traveller communities and customs. The pupils engaged really well with all the activities set up and learnt a great deal while also having fun. Thank you to many of the parents who have helped us establish the events this week including Mr and Mrs Price and Mrs Dattani.
We have also had more good news as one of our pupils based as an intern at National Grid has been offered a job while another has been offered a job with Barwell Parish council. Congratulations to both Jake and Luke.
WHAT A KICK START TO A NEW TERM
On Wednesday night we held the Upper school awards ceremony We were so pleased to see so many of you there. It was a true celebration of resilience and hard work. It was lovely to catch up with the students who left last year and I know many of the current students enjoyed meeting up with old friends. I was also very pleased that the students from Redmoor who join us for our pathways curriculum attended to collect their awards and certificates. Jeffrey our chair of governors began the proceedings with a wonderful quote about being yourself and it was especially good that our three Members (Jeffrey Bowes, Joseph Barsby and John Lees) who oversee the Academy Trust were able to attend and present some of the awards. Sam Harrison also made it just for the last 15 minutes! Unfortunately Jenny our other ambassador who was due to attend had to cancel at the last minutes due to a family emergency. Many people commented on how well the pupils had achieved and how much they enjoyed the event being special and giving recognition to the students for all their achievements.
Also this week we have had a group of our Year 8 students out on a residential trip at PGL. The trip has gone very well. Highlights so far have been: Chloe making her way around the high ropes course which was very scary (Simon can vouch for that): all pupils going kayaking including a brave Atheana and Jack M who didn't want to at first; Lucas finding out he is a star archer and Reece demonstrating an excellent elephant impression! All the pupils enjoyed making shelters and whittling wood on survivor day yesterday and apparently Christopher made an excellent spearhead. On the sensory trail the pupils worked together on communication and following their senses to avoid obstacles, Daisy did a very good job. Their last day will be more archery, climbing and going on a giant swing before travelling back to school. Enjoy the long weekend
THE END OF A SUCCESSFUL TERM
We have reached the end of another busy term with lots going on including various sporting events most recently the Key Stage 2 athletics and Key Stage 3 Boccia competition. As ever our pupils were a credit to the school and were all good sports! I was pleased so many of you were able to attend parents evening or at another time during the last week and thank you to those who completed the parent questionnaire. If you did not have a chance to do this please email the office and they will send you the link electronically so that you can complete it.
It was lovely to see so many of you yesterday at the Easter service. It is always such a pleasure to see all the pupils of the school together. I thought the pupils’ singing, dancing and signing were great and it was lovely to see some super hats and art-work as well. I am sorry we did not have microphones for the readers of the prayer but the leads were not long enough...Tom is going to rectify this before our next service.
Another Successful week
Congratulations to Luke one of our older students who has been offered an apprenticeship with a landscaping and gardening company following his internship this year with Hinckley and Bosworth Council. We are also very proud of Leah Jo who performed at a concert as part of Redmoor Academy choir. She did a wonderful job representing Dorothy Goodman, completely by herself within another school choir and she has been very dedicated to this. I would also like to thank the staff who have sup-ported her at various times outside school hours to ensure she can participate. This week we have also seen contributions from many of our pupils as part of the ‘Area schools litter pick’ working to raise community awareness and a concern for the local environment. They worked very hard and deserve recognition for their positive contribution to the local community. Only one week to go before the end of term - where has the time gone! I hope we see many of you at the church service next Thursday at St Peter's church arrival after 10:15am for a 10:30am start.
A busy week with lots of visitors and visits out. Starting the week off with a visit from Rebekah Vardy and baby much to the delight of many of the pupils. We have also welcomed colleagues from Leicester College, Mair Health care and Mandy a PGCE student who has been based with us for a week. This week Beth has also returned for her final student placement in Turtles and Tigers. Some of our older students have been out visiting colleges - one group went to RNIB on Monday and had a lovely time designing their own cloth bags and making pizza. Daniel W’s pizza looked especially delicious. Another student visited Brooks-by College but was disappointed he didn't see as many animals as he expected! Across school there has been lots of hard work from dissecting fish in Kestrels class, some excellent Shelbourne movement sessions to tricky multiplication in Owls. Such variety and great problem solving from all our pupils.
Cooking up a storm
Spring is definitely in the air and pupils are working and playing hard as a result. This week we have seen lots of active play outside including teenage boys at upper who usually like to play computer games during breaks! Wednesday was a busy day: HAJC was closed so our base pupils had to move to St Francis centre for their lessons at short notice they all managed this extremely well and our thanks to the centre for accommodating us at short notice; Kwoklyn Wan joined the hospitality and catering group much to their delight and we interviewed for a new teacher to cover maternity leave in Kites. There was a very strong field of candidates and it was a very difficult decision. I will be able to tell you the outcome very shortly once we have verified references etc. I hope the good weather stays a little longer - have a good weekend!
A very busy week at Dorothy Goodman
We have had lots of visitors from other special schools recently and it has been a pleasure to take them around our school. They have all been impressed by the work our pupils are involved with and I think one of the best comments made over the last few visits was ‘this is the most inclusive school I have ever been to’. The visitors were impressed with how welcoming our pupils are and how well they mix with each other and support each other. We also saw some super work with Sherbourne movement at upper and using the interactive sensory room at lower. Taking our visitors over to the base at Richmond we saw some super maths happening in Neptune and Saturn. We especially liked Benji’s comment ‘I challenged myself and did four more number sentences all by myself …and got them right!’ In Tigers and Turtles Olivia had done some beautiful counting work which she showed us and Alfie showed us some of his very hard work where he needed ‘just a little bit of help’ from Miss Holder. Yesterday I also had a treat when Jenkin wanted to read me the story he had written using colourful semantics it was great to hear him read and sign his own work.
WORLD BOOK DAY AT DOROTHY GOODMAN
What a great World Book day yesterday from The Gingerbread man in KS1 to Frankenstein in KS4/5. The younger children dressed up in some super costumes and the focus of the book for the day created lots of fun opportunities for learning. It was great to see the upper school students working in the Frankenstein science lab and graveyard. The students at HAJC joined upper English groups for a session and seemed to thoroughly enjoy - finding body parts in the mud, exploring brains and other body parts to make a monster and much more. The older students also wrote some super things on the writing walls. A bit of Harry Potter and his potions was happening in Apollo much to Hanna’s enjoyment. In Key Stage 3 Jamie, Josh and Emma were devising their own play script. The emphasis on independence led to some interesting problem solving and re-writes of the script when they realised the dog was in the wrong place! In Key Stage 2 the jointly created World War 2 book became all about Bob (who had a sad demise) and Courtney had an interesting pet dinosaur - look out the next Booker prize! It was also great to have lots of students coming with raffle tickets and proudly showing their work. Thank you for your help with all the various costumes.
A WINDY WEEK
It was good to see so many pupils keen to be back at school this week, although on Monday a few looked a little sleepy in a teenage sort of way at upper!
This week our new Family leadership programme started with a group of parents and their children from Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 helping our pupils and their families make decisions about their futures and to gain a better understanding of what is available locally as they progress into adulthood.
At our lower site we have seen so many varied activities around World War II with some creative art work, making paper aeroplanes and of course the multi-sensory environment which was hugely motivating for Mars class. I was also impressed with the crime scene work going on in Key Stage 3 and the ‘working out who did it’ in Eagles English stream
On Thursday we saw Storm Doris and all the pupils managed really well with the noise of the storm with some pupils wanting to go outside to feel the wind.
A SNOWY END OF TERM
I have just been to watch the presentations from our students who have been on work inspiration week at National Grid - what another wonderful experience seeing our students present so confidently. They have obviously learnt a great deal about the work at National Grid and the many different jobs that are there. It was also lovely to catch up with the interns who have been placed there this year. They have all grown in confidence and learnt so much on their two placements. They were also a great support to the new students this week. Have a lovely half term I hope you enjoy the snow!
A FUN RUN AT DOROTHY GOODMAN
I hope you have seen the fun run pictures from last Friday - the pupils were amazing and made lots of effort - congratulations to them all! This week there has been lots of hard work as usual... Great success on work experience for some of our older students. Daniel W, Josh Ch and Tom D have been very successful at Tesco's this week on the induction programme. They have all worked very hard. Laura S has had her first placement at Pamela Mann which again was very successful and she enjoyed it very much. Poseidon had some time cooking this week - Disha was enjoying making dough for her chapatis and behaved responsibly when cooking them. Milly, Harry, Ano and Kaylum ended up in tears with yet another class grating onions! (a new craze I think). The onion bhajis they made were delicious. There were lots of science experiments going on in Key Stage 3 looking at states of matter and Stephen shared his solid, liquid, gas dance with me. Next week is our last week before the half term holiday - the time seems to have flown past. Have a good weekend.
HEALTHY SCHOOLS WEEK
Healthy Schools Week has been a real success again, there will be plenty of pictures in next week’s bulletin. Pupils really enjoyed the yoga sessions at lower (although Lotta ached a bit after all of the sessions on Monday too!) The
personal hygiene sessions have also been very successful I saw some wonderful teeth cleaning in Eagles— Kaitlyn’s technique when using the large toothbrush on the large teeth model really made her laugh and Callum could tell me why cleaning them was important.
Some great things have been happening this week and I hope we take the theme of healthy living forward every week.
A POSITIVE WEEK AT DOROTHY GOODMAN
I have had an amazing time this morning interviewing 6 young people from our school who wish to take the opportunity of an internship next year either at National Grid or with another employer. The students demonstrated such a growing confidence and a very sensible and mature approach about why they would like to have one of these opportunities. I always have high expectations of our students but they all surprised even me with their well-considered answers and approach - well done to them all. We will be letting them know next week what the next steps will be. I have also seen some lovely work from our other pupils this week from some excellent communication work between Purno and staff to jokes between Chloe and Matthew to Mollie using a bubble wrap sock to make some lovely art work!
Our first full week back after the holiday and I have seen lots of hard work going on. One of my magic moments was Matthew K going round with his hard hat and tool box at lower mending things ‘all by himself’ I think he is after Dean and Steve’s jobs! This week our older students had an evening meeting to introduce them to the internships programme where Alec D and Liam M spoke confidently and well sharing their experiences of National Grid with the other students and their par-ents. We have seen some super work in Key Stage 3 English with the World War 1 theme - some discussing and recording what they would need to take, others creating a soundscape or making papier mache helmets. At upper following instructions has been a focus in English and some students following recipes independently without help achieved some great results by reading carefully.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Welcome back and a Happy New Year to you all. I hope everyone enjoyed the last two weeks and whatever activities you were involved with. We have had a super start to the new term with children working and playing hard. They seemed very pleased to see each other again. We have also welcomed two new pupils to the school one who is in Mars and one in Venus class. It has been a pleasure to see how the other children have welcomed them and are helping them find their way around. We are also looking forward to Tino returning to Venus class next week.
This term looks as busy as ever. We will be holding a healthy schools week during the week starting 23rd January (it may help us all get over the excess of celebrations!). Our school councils meet on Friday 13th January so no doubt lots of new ideas will come from them for this term.
Just in case you missed the news last term - we now have planning permission for our replacement building for upper school. We have started the process of gaining tenders for the work to be completed so all systems go and great opportunities ahead for our older children and young people to have suitable facilities.
No separate achievers this week as two days is rather a short time but I think everyone should have one for settling back in so well!
"Great news - our planning for the new building to replace upper site was approved. We have secured the funding and are ready to start building phase one to replace the upper school site. However, to meet our ambition for all secondary aged pupils at lower and upper site to be educated on the same site with indoor and outdoor sports facilities and specialist rooms, we need to raise a further £3million. So if you have a few spare million any help gratefully received!"
See the new plans here:
ANOTHER BUSY WEEK AT DOROTHY GOODMAN
I hope you have enjoyed receiving your child’s school photo and are as pleased with the results as we were. I am sure if you are quick with ordering they will arrive promptly. I think the children’s images were captured extremely well this year. Just a reminder to check ‘dates for your diary’ as many Christmas and end of term events are planned and it will be good to see as many of you as possible at the various events. We have already had some early rehearsal work and things are sounding and looking really good! Have a good weekend.
SCHOOL DAY IN YOUR PJ
A great week of busy hard work. I have seen Key Stage 2 pupils experiencing childhood in Victorian times - Venus class side room became a dark, sooty, smelly chimney - the children came out full of exclamations using some wonderful vocabulary! Many pupils from Key Stage 3,4 and 5 went to the Skills Show and had lots to say about different jobs and careers they wish to follow... listen out for Jenkin the DJ in the future. Back at upper, pupils who stayed experienced some basic vocational skills - some great work with hammer and nails and fingers intact at the end! I also enjoyed helping Hannah at lunchtime yesterday and seeing the progress she has made in her life skills. I have seen some fabulous Maths work at lower school this week, measuring and combining number. We have also had school photos this week which seem to have gone well and we are looking forward to seeing the results. The pupils should be exhausted after such a busy week!
An Amazing Week
This week has been a cross-school Arts Week based on the book- ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’. The staff worked extremely hard to create some amazing Narnia environments for pupils to explore including a beaver’s den ! We have had false snow, ice and many winter experiences. Yesterday and today the world changed to spring and the transformation has been amazing. The pupils have been involved in many creative and performing arts activities, I have read some wonderful writing and seen some exciting sensory work throughout the week and the pupils have responded extremely well. I would like to say a big thank you to all the staff and pupils for making this happen.
Another busy week at Dorothy Goodman
Another busy week with lots of hard work. We started off with the good news that the hospitality and catering group won 3rd prize in a bake off competition at the weekend - thank you to Sam and Dougie for representing our school with teachers Jo and Kelly. This week we have had digestive systems being created in Science, write dance with Angel Delight, bucket drumming groups and of course in Key Stage 3 the
Kestrels making French onion soup. This created some hunger interest from escorts and parents at the end of the day but I heard pupils were less keen on the smell of strong French cheese! During this hot weather the alfresco dining at upper school is still proving to be popular but I am not sure this will continue as the weather changes!
Some of you may not have heard that at the end of last term sadly one of our pupils, Luke Edwards died peacefully. His parents have
requested that we inform you all. Many of us were able to attend his funeral which was a very memorable service and shared many memories of Luke’s life. It was especially moving watching the balloons rising into the sky at the end.
Another very busy week at DGS with lots of hard work, but the big news is our new admission. The animal care pathway now have a rabbit which they have named Dorothy. She will be living at upper school in her hand made hutch (made by the DIY pathway last term). As you can imagine there is lots of excitement about our new member! We are also very thankful to the National Grid volunteer team who this week have rejuvenated the upper school garden. Now Dorothy has a beautiful place to live. Have a good weekend.
A Lovely few days of term
We have had a lovely first few days of term. I have seen some lovely moments with our pupils helping people new to the school or their class and some good new friendships growing. This newsletter is sent every week and we are working towards sharing this electronically. This is to help ensure we know everyone has received it as paper sometimes seems to go missing! Please make sure we have the necessary email addresses for your family so that we can send it out each Friday This can be sent to email@example.com We will continue to send paper copies for the first few weeks and ongoing if you require them. We also put a copy of the newsletter on our website. If you have not found our school website the address is http://www.dorothygoodman.co.uk You can also subscribe to our twitter feed and follow us on facebook from the website where the most recent photographs of school events are shared.
You may notice a change in class names this year. We have done this to support our pupils so that when people marry and change their names or when a teacher moves we do not have confusion about class names. The pupils chose the categories last term – Key Stage 1 are named after animals, Key Stage 2 named after planets, Key Stage 3 named after birds, Key Stages 4 and 5 are named after Greek Gods (great aspirations!).
THE END OF A FABULOUS YEAR
We have had a fabulous year with so many events and successes. I would like to give my thanks to all the staff for all their extra efforts and time to provide such a vibrant education for our pupils. Today we say goodbye to a large group of students who are leaving and with them they take so many achievements and memories of interesting and exciting experiences. The photos on our website, Facebook and twitter demonstrate how much the children and young people have enjoyed all the various special events organised by school. This year they have culminated in the school Sports week, Circus skills day, Afternoon tea, Key Stage 3 prom, Festival day and the Upper school leavers party to name just a few! We must also recognise the fantastic achievements of our children and young people which comes from their day to day hard work and I have been privileged to give out numerous certificates and rewards throughout the year for success in gaining skills but also for effort and perseverance which are just as important. As you know we had an Ofsted inspection on 14th June, at the time of writing the report is still not published so we are unable to share this with you until the new term. I hope you all have a lovely summer.
We have had a busy penultimate week of term. Transition days went well and I was impressed by how well the pupils worked and joined in their new classes. There were some lovely moments where existing pupils helped new pupils to the school showing them their favourite parts of the school (usually the playgrounds and soft play!). I was also impressed by how well our own pupils managed the change to new bases and classrooms. They should all be congratulated.
Thank you to all of you who came to the parent drop in session last Friday at upper school – your ideas for the new school have been very helpful and we have already shared them with the architects. Today is the secondary school sports day so we are hoping for dry weather (results next week!) and of course the Key Stage 3 Prom – I am looking forward to seeing the pupils in their finery once again. The pupils and staff had a lovely time at Bosworth Water Park this week. Have a lovely weekend.
Sports, Exams and Summer Fayre Celebrations!
What a fantastic sports week we have had, the pupils have really engaged with all the different activities. Cricket, rugby, dance, multi-skills sports and much more. I thoroughly enjoyed the 10 minute warm up in 2KN and 2TS – there was great enthusiasm from all the pupils and some good progress with crossing midline! The two sports afternoons for Key Stage 1 and then yesterday Key Stage 2, have been very
successful and Harrison Gamble joined us yesterday much to the delight of our pupils. Some of our older students have had a week of
exams in between the sports! They have all coped extremely well and tried very hard to do their best. Thank you to everyone who came to the Summer Fayre last Saturday. We raised over £1500. I hope you all have a good weekend.
Sporting success at Dorothy Goodman
The Queen’s picnic was a great success last Friday – the food was popular, there were great hats, masks and decorations everywhere (and no rain!).…The races and games at upper were adding to the hilarity – egg and spoon - Josh W versus Kelly a very close run (with a little bit of sabotage going on!), splat the rat was also a great success and I wouldn’t mess with Jasmine if you are a rat! Also last Friday, a group of our pupils competed in the Motor Activity Training Programme (MATP) Sports Event – this was a fantastic day which provided Andie, Amelia, Reece, William, Madison and Lucas the opportunity to represent the school at a sports event (this is a sport from the special Olympics). Every pupil succeeded with their individual challenges - well done! Our pupils impressed the key people so much there is a possibility we may be asked to be the East Midland representatives at a bigger event – more details to follow hopefully. As you know, we had visitors from Ofsted on Tuesday and I would like to thank all of you who spoke to the inspectors or submitted your views – the outcome is confidential until we receive the report but we are still smiling. I will let you know more as soon as I have the report. I hope to see you at our Summer Fayre tomorrow.
A PICNIC WITH THE QUEEN
I hope you all had a good week during the break. We have had a lovely week although very hot. The older students had a great
dayout at Drayton Manor on Wednesday with lots of firsts for pupils and a great Gorpro film which will be available to see at parents evening!
At lower site, Wacky Wednesday went well and thank you for all the donations of bottles. We are looking forward to seeing lots of you at
the Summer Fayre. This week we also had some excellent news for one of our interns who has been offered a permanent job at
National Grid. Today we celebrate The Queen's birthday with a lovely picnic event.
It has really been a very interesting busy week. On Monday, several animals and reptiles came to visit the school and KS2 pupils (and some visitors from other key stages) were holding various creatures including tarantulas and snakes. At the upper site I saw some fantastic creative work as the art group got in with the swing of the Rio Carnival with some very imaginative creations being constructed. The ‘slicing’ dance group were once again showing their skills and the choir was sounding good with some lovely rhythms on the drum from James D. Our students who participated in a tour of Auschwitz - Birkenau returned having taken part in an emotional memorial service in the dark at the end where they all lit candles and laid them on the railway tracks inside the camp. Also this week, we have seen many exciting costumes across the school as we celebrated World Book Day with lots of engagement and high levels of independence in Key Stage 2 finding animals, and at upper site with a fully inclusive ‘Lord of the Flies’ day with some amazing individual performances in but also great participation from all.
Another wonderful rock concert last night with Redmoor, HAJC and DGS…so many of our pupils involved. All excelled - Kieran E on drums and guitar (not at the same time!), Reece drumming, Callum H from Richmond base drumming and singing, Thomas D, Ewan B, Lauren Sl, Alec, Meg, Kyle M, Callum R, Liam M, Shannon G and Sophie. We were all especially pleased to see Joe P from our Redmoor base and James D from upper school overcoming their fears to go up on stage and to see Amy T singing a solo – such a beautiful voice. (I hope I haven’t missed anyone). A great night out and fantastic achievement for all the pupils. Having seen some perform before it was really good to see and hear their excellent progress in confidence and skills.… a big thank you to Gill, Nick and Val for supporting the pupils as well as the JAM staff. It was also lovely to see so many parents and friends who went to watch.
What a pleasure it was to interview the possible interns for National Grid next term yesterday. I was impressed by their confidence and thoughtful answers to the questions we asked. I was very impressed with their very positive views about maths and English. In the team challenge many demonstrated great team work skills and others although not as confident were good cooperative team players…see the towers below!
Newborns, Life Savers & Busy Streets
Lots of busy pupils this week and some lovely work being produced. We have also had some good news that Mrs Barton-Harvey had a baby girl on 17th January and both are well. I think some of you may have missed my message on the first week back this term explaining that Mat the school nurse would be leaving his NHS position as a school nurse. We will be interviewing with our NHS colleagues for a replacement school nurse next week. Many of you may have heard of the Anthony Nolan charity which matches individuals willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow to people with blood cancer and blood disorders who need lifesaving transplants (www.anthonynolan.org). Ben (a member of staff at our Redmoor base) has been found to be a match and will be donating bone marrow in the next few weeks. It is a great thing that Ben is doing and we wish him well.
Onto more mundane matters unfortunately we are still receiving complaints from neighbours in Middlefield Lane and Middlefield Close about cars, taxis and parking. I know space is very difficult but please make sure if you do collect your child by car that you do not block any driveways or park near junctions or on the double yellow lines etc - this will also help us to keep our pupils safe – thank you.
Busy times in the freezing cold
Happy New Year!
Congratulations to our new choir from upper school. The choir have so far performed at Hinckley Methodist Church on Tuesday evening and the Wykin Club on Wednesday. They have more engagements booked next week! The choir led by Kathryn, Sally-Ann and supported by Emma and many other staff has grown from a few pupils to a large group of great performers including Amy T, Megan M and John B (who frequently have solo parts to perform) James M, Robbie S, Laura S, Morgan B, Joseph A, Liam M, Dougie B, Daisy C, Kalum B, Millie S, Angel H, Morgan B, Emma-Louis M, Dickie T, Robbie S, Harry C, Rhiannon H and Cameron S. The performances so far have been impeccable and the pupils have been amazing with their enthusiasm and rhythm as well as some beautiful voices. Parents and members of our local community have thoroughly enjoyed the events so far. I am sure their agent will take bookings for the New year! The DIY and Multi Skills group were continuing to work on their bird boxes today and it was good to see how pupils were able to set up their work areas independently. Lewis C was happy to tell a new pupil joining the group that he knows how to use drills safely.
Here is a reminder of some key dates and times coming up:
Tuesday 15th December
10:15am KS1 performance
1:30pm KS2 performance
School Choir at Tudor Road Care Home
Wednesday 16th December
KS3 and Upper Christmas dinner
Thursday 17th December
KS1 and 2 Christmas dinner followed by Santa
School Choir at the Limes Care Home
Friday 18th December
Coffee Morning and farmers market Upper Site
Wednesday 6th January 2016
Students return to school
Shakespeare in Schools - The Curve November 19th 2015
Lots of wonderful news from yesterday the Shakespeare performers did exceptionally well and what stood out the most was the level of independence and the confidence in how they performed on the stage. The pupils worked collaboratively to ensure that everyone could complete their role and the mastering of the Shakespearean language was superb. A big thank you to all staff and especially to Lauren for all of her work with the pupils to get the piece ready and in ensuring that it was a visual performance which allowed everyone to show their skills. The Shakespeare in schools team leader spoke about ‘individual performances, great storytelling, that everyone had a presence on stage and the wonderful teamwork. He said it was an 'uplifting' start to the night’ We should all be proud of what our pupils have achieved.
During Half Term holidays 20 or so volunteers from nearby National Grid came to help us decorate the outside fences and the quiet rooms.
They did a fantastic job over the 3 days despite the best efforts of the lovely British weather and the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo. It is so pleasing to see the space where our children play looking far more attractive and colourful, there are now clearer boundaries for those children with visual impairment and I look forward to seeing the children’s reaction on Monday morning.
On Wednesday BBC Radio Leicester came to visit the school and to talk to Katherine Lightbown from Leicestershire Cares and I about the challenge. You can take a listen to the whole interview below.
Last Friday I went to the launch of the employability scheme at National Grid in Hinckley. It was a great pleasure to see three of our students as three of their first 6 interns. Matthew, George and Beth are all enjoying the experience so far, although I hear the daily getting up and ready for work in a business environment is quite a challenge. The staff at National Grid are keen to continue and develop our links with them and we will be meeting with them soon to look at more ways of collaborating.
As I approach the end of my first year as headteacher of Dorothy Goodman School, all schools are poised to make decisions about what they teach as the Government’s new curriculum is introduced in September 2014. Our school is no exception but we need to hold on to some key principles.
Our school community needs to be forward looking and self-critical to ensure we develop provision to the next levels of success and excellence. An aspirational culture and ethos needs to inform all aspects of our school’s work so that all our children and young people develop the following personal qualities:
Confidence and courage (able to try new things and knowing it is alright to make mistakes)
Enthusiasm for learning
We need to make sure our children and young people have the following experiences and opportunities:
Choices because they have achieved well
Respect and acceptance by others
Awareness of being valued and listened to
Enjoyment of learning (fun)
Equality of opportunities with others
Challenge and motivation
Safety and security
Feeling cared for
Known as a whole person not a diagnosis
Our staff have agreed that we need to ensure we use consistent approaches and make sure our communication is clear. To take things forward we need to be brave and
Risk more that others think is necessary
Care more than others think is wise
Dream more than others think is practical
Expect more than others think is possible
When we look back at our work we will ask ourselves: what do we do? What difference this makes for our children and young people? And how could we do things better?
Our main focus over the last year has been to sustain the excellent quality of provision which has existed in the school for so many years and to plan for the future. If we stick to these principles and uphold these values into the future we will ensure our children and young people receive the very best education for many years to come.