“ALL the leaders here are pleased their work to improve the service has been recognised and they will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the improvements accelerate as a result of the inspection.” While the report recognises the service’s strengths, it says work still needs to be done in some areas of teaching standards, lesson planning, absence management, and publishing information online.”
FORMER Palmer’s student, Rebecca Whyman found her love for accounting whilst studying at Palmer’s College and has just obtained the highest mark in the world in her ACCA exams. Rebecca was awarded a 99% mark in her F5 Management and Performance paper which forms part of the ACCA exam. Local girl Rebecca is currently working as a trainee accountant whilst undertaking her ACCA exams. She said, “I was shocked that I received the highest mark in the world but at the same time was overjoyed with what I had achieved. “I owe my success to Palmer’s as the teachers were always supportive and made my lessons very interesting.
THEY also check for the effectiveness of teacher’s marking, which remains inconsistent. The leader for literacy has noted that in some classes pupils do not have enough opportunities to develop their writing skills. Teachers’ expectations of the amount of writing pupils will complete in their lessons are not always high enough. The scrutiny of pupils’ mathematics work showed that some of it is not challenging enough for the more able pupils.
THURROCK Council boss John Kent has gone on the record to stress that all teachers at free schools in Thurrock will be qualified. The comments came at full council after Tilbury councillor, Steve Liddiard posed a question to the leader.
STAFF deployment lacks organisation, resulting in unchecked volunteers supervising children, which compromises their safety. Staff practice and the educational programme are not well monitored so children do not make good progress. There are inconsistent teaching practices. Staff do not challenge and support children’s learning outside as well as they do inside. Practice is not effectively monitored to promote children’s learning.
Skanska has been building the South Essex College campus since the start of the year and it will be complete in time for the first intake of students in September next year. Leader of the council and local Grays councillor, John Kent, said: “This is great news. Grays town centre hasn’t had a Christmas tree for at least seven years and I’m really grateful to Skanska for their generous Christmas gift.”
PARENTS of children who will be going to school for the first time next September, are being reminded to make sure they register in time. Cllr John Kent, Thurrock Council’s education portfolio holder, says he visited a number of primary schools in recent weeks and was reminded that parents must make sure they register before the deadline.
BTEC Sport student Georgia Stephan has been selected to represent Great Britain at the European Twirling Championships in Belgium next year.
Following on from this success, she recently won gold in the Super X Strut twirling category where she was crowned national champion.
JUDGES awarded the College, which has campuses across Basildon, Southend and Thurrock, for its “broad range of activities which have been achieved and obvious enthusiasm, which provides substantial opportunity for ongoing engagement from staff and students.”
SPY CAMERAS in a Stanford-le-Hope school have been hailed a success. Last year, Big Brother Watch released the results of a Freedom of Information request. It revealed that Hassenbrook Academy were one of over 200 schools in the country that had cameras either in toilets and/or changing rooms. However, in a report on their website, technology providers, ClearView Communications have published a review that highlights the success of the installations.
THE children at Benyon Primary School enjoyed a visit from our local library, to receive their free Book Start packs. Sally from the library showed the children how easy it is to become a member of the library. She then enjoyed sharing the Charlie and Lola book as the children read along with their own copy of the book.
EARLIER this term Woodside won the Thurrock Bike It challenge and in order to keep his promise of cycling a mile for every child’s bike or scooter journey Tim had to cycle to Brighton and back twice. On her own initiative last week a Woodside pupil raised over £50 with a sponsored bike ride to add to the academy’s £750 for Children in Need raised by a cake sale.
CLLR Kent said: “The council’s education team, Gateway Academy and Manor’s head and governing body have come up with a scheme which should solve the short-term places issue and keep both Manor and the free school viable. “We’re not sure if this sort of thing has been tried elsewhere, but as far as I can see, it is a win-win for everybody involved – schools, parents and most importantly, the children themselves.”
PLANS to expand a Thurrock primary school are set to go ahead after Thurrock Council’s cabinet agreed the move on Wednesday (13 November) evening. Following a consultation which showed most people were in favour of doubling the intake of Bonnygate Primary in South Ockendon from one form of entry (30 pupils) to two, members backed the £1.8 million plan.
THE majority of prizes are provided by the William Palmer College Educational Trust, who generously give a huge amount each year to the students in prize money and help with financial assistance in other areas. This is a unique benefit that the College and its students are fortunate to have. Other prizes are kindly sponsored by individuals or local businesses with a current or past connection to the College. This year saw a new prize, the Health & Social Care Award in memory of Anthonia Afelumo, kindly sponsored by The AOFAC Foundation. Anthonia a former Palmer’s student, sadly passed away in September 2012, and was herself nominated for a prize last year, which her mother collected on her behalf.
GOVERNMENT watchdog Ofsted has produced a highly critical report on the standards of performance at Palmer’s College in Thurrock.
The last report classified the college as “Outstanding” but the latest report has placed the college in the “Requires Improvement” category. The findings of the report may well go hand-in-hand with the recent education commission which uncovered that only 1% of all Thurrock students gain three A levels at AAB (the standard required to enter the top 25 universities in GB). The national average is 8%.
A MUCH-LOVED former deputy head of Grays School has lost his battle with leukaemia. Simon Viccars was the principal of Sir Herbert Leon Academy in Bletchley in Buckinghamshire. He had been principal there since 2004. He passed away on Thursday (November 14th). But Simon was best known in Thurrock when he was deputy head of […]
THE last junior and infant school combination in Thurrock could be set to amalgamate following a meeting of Thurrock Council’s cabinet on Wednesday (13 November). Members heard from infant school chair of governors Angie Gaywood – a cabinet member who left the room during the discussion.
She said the amalgamation was an idea which came from the two schools which had been “working closely together for 18 months and share a leadership team” and one governing body which has led to “rapid school improvement”.
A STANFORD-LE-HOPE parent is angry that their daughter was asked to take their poppy off for a school photograph. Tony Bentham’s daughter is in year 6 at St Joseph’s RC primary on Southend Road. The class were set to have their photograph taken but before they were going to be snapped, their teacher asked them all to remove the poppies.
WOODSIDE Academy produced two remarkable performances at the Shakespeare Schools Festival at the Thameside Theatre. The students were not over-awed by the other schools that were there. On the contrary, they produced two sparkling performances. The first performance was Romeo and Juliet followed by Macbeth. Both performances were a success because they were so well […]
Mike Peters, the council’s new Strategic Leader, School Improvement, Learning and Skills, told members there were improvements at all key stages although some were improving more than others.
The report Headline Key Stage Results states: “As a result of intensive support and training for Early Years teaching and moderation in settings and schools, outcomes for Foundation Stage are above national, as are GCSE and individual subjects at Key Stage 1.”
ON Thursday 7Th November pupils at Woodside Academy are performing at the Thameside Theatre Grays as part of the Shakespeare School’s Festival. The nationwide festival gives young people the opportunity to work with professionals in the arts and perform live theatre. Woodside has two classes in year 5 taking part performing an african themed Macbeth and a modern day Romeo and Juliet.
A CONTROVERSIAL teaching method adopted by Treetops special needs school was the focus of an hour-long documentary on BB4 on Tuesday night. First developed in California in the 1960s, ABA uses a system of rewards to change children’s behaviour and teach them new skills.
YOU have quickly made changes to the way that teachers plan and deliver lessons, and the way they mark pupils’ work. This has improved teaching in some classes but there is still a great deal more to do. Too much teaching is inadequate and some teachers are not responding quickly enough to your higher expectations. For example, teachers’ marking of pupils’ work is patchy across the school. Pupils get clear guidance about to how to improve their work in some classes, while in others the marking is brief and infrequent.