QUARRY HILL primary continues to find itself under pressure after the government watchdog Ofsted delivered a highly critical report. The school is similar to its neighbouring senior school, Grays School, in that it appears to have crawled out of special measures but continues to, in football parlance, hover above the relegation zone, with a succession of “Requires Improvement” judgments.
YOU must remember your sports day? Do you now sit at the end of a bar, nursing a whisky, saying to yourself: “I should have won that egg and spoon race in 1976 but it was the pressure: the baying crowd, the press conferences, the lights.” Or maybe it was that you felt that you were the weakest link in the three legged race or you dropped that egg at the vital point as flashbulbs popped.
There are also some great prizes to be won. Spur Steak & Grill is sponsoring a kids colouring competition, offering a first prize of a Nintendo Wii. Fantastic raffle prizes have been generously donated by other local stores and businesses, including products from Lush Lakeside, food vouchers from both Spur Steak & Grill and Oriental Pan Asian Restaurant, Vue cinema tickets and Partyman World family tickets.
THURROCK Council education boss, cllr John Kent, has announced that there had been a change of management at under-fire Corringham primary school.
The leader would not be drawn as to whether this meant the head teacher, David Garland would be leaving but did confirm that a new Interim Executive Board had been installed.
A NEW primary school should be built in western Grays, new education portfolio holder and Leader of the Council, John Kent says.
Speaking at Thurrock Council’s cabinet, Cllr Kent highlighted proposals for a new school at the top of Belmont Road – which, if all goes to plan should open for September 2014.
LEADERS are working with individual teachers to develop their practice through coaching and there has been some improvement in literacy and numeracy teaching. Some evaluations of the quality of teaching in subjects other than mathematics and English, by senior leaders, are too generous. Some weaknesses are missed and therefore feedback is not as helpful as it could be.
CHILDREN from six Corringham primary schools took part in the Corringham Junior School Choir Competition at the Springhouse Club on Wednesday 12th June 2013. The event, organised by the Rotary Club of Corringham Thameside required each school choir to sing two songs of their own choosing which were judged on the following criteria, choice of songs, quality of performance, teamwork, and the enjoyment displayed by the children in the choir.
OFSTED has returned to the Herd Lane school which they placed in special measures in January and have continued to make a number of withering criticisms. It is bad enough for a school to go into special measures but it is quite rare for Ofsted to go back to a school and deliver quite such a damning report. It is as if they have flung back the school’s and the council’s action plan as “Not fit for purpose.” It also makes quite a statement on the salaries of the staff/
STIFFORD Clays Primary School’s cricket team became Thurrock’s ASDA kwik cricket champions following a decisive win over Warren Primary in the final of the event organised by the Thurrock School Sport Partnership and hosted by Belhus Cricket Club on Thursday (6th June 2013).
LOUISE Coates, head teacher at Bonnygate Primary School in South Ockendon, has been awarded a runners-up prize in the prestigious regional Headteacher of the Year awards.
She achieved a distinction in the annual Pearson Teaching Awards, which means she was an outstanding candidate for head teacher of a primary school in London and the south-east.
When Thurrock Council launched its six-month CCTV vehicle trial, local schools were invited to come up with a name as the car’s main aim is to try and bring an end to dangerous and thoughtless parking outside schools.The winner was eight-year-old Jodie Fullerton, from Grays a pupil at St Thomas of Canterbury primary in Ward Avenue.
THURROCK Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, says he welcomes the decision of the Schools Adjudicator over admission proposals by one of the borough’s new academies.
Woodside Academy in Grangewood Avenue, Little Thurrock, had wanted to change its admission criteria to give precedence to children in its nursery classes.
LEADERS monitor the quality of teaching by visiting classrooms, tracking the progress of pupils and looking at the work in their books. Leaders are not yet routinely considering the results of this monitoring together to give an accurate picture of teaching over time. Teachers receive targets to improve their practice but these are not routinely followed through to subsequent observations to ensure that matters improve quickly.
CHILDREN at Woodside Academy were in awe last Friday when they met Paralympic champion Gemma Prescott during a visit organized by the Friends of Woodside. Gemma represented Britain in the London 2012 Paralympic Games where she won the bronze medal for the club throw.
CLLR Oliver Gerrish, the council’s cabinet member for children’s services including schools, said: “In recent years there have been issues around the Chafford Hundred schools, but that doesn’t seem to be so this year. “We have just five on-time applicants from the estate who will not be offered a place at one of its primary schools – this compares with over 20 at this time last year.” He added: “There are another five applicants who made applications after the deadline and they will be offered places at the nearest local school outside Chafford Hundred.”
ANOTHER week, another under-performing Thurrock primary school.1. Teaching is not yet consistently good for enough pupils to make good progress across the school. In some Key Stage 1 classes, teachers do not have high enough expectations of pupils and do not build on pupils’ prior learning to challenge them sufficiently well.
CHILDREN and staff at Woodside Academy are jubilant after Woodside boys’ A team were declared the overall winners of the Thurrock Primary Schools Football League following a decisive 6:3 victory against Gateway Free School in their final game of the season.
And so it looks like the Federation are ringing the changes. First out the door are a number of governors. Chair of governors and local councillor, Tunde Ojetola announced on twitter that he was stepping down. Cllr Ojetola had stepped into the breach, three years ago after a large number of governors had quit.
AS USUAL, the borough stepped up to the plate when it came to Comic Relief. Offices, schools and communities from Aveley to Fobbing: they all did something funny for money. Sainsburys in Chafford Hundred had a host of activities. Captured on film are the staff attempting to eat a doughnut.
DEVELOPING creativity in early years is so cruicial, and combining that with a way to support the foundations of Listening, Reading and Communication means that we are privileged in being able to support the children of this borough from the very outset of their school careers.
A highlight of the week was the book character fancy dress coinciding with World Book Day on Thursday 7th March. Staff and children dressed up as favourite characters from books old and new demonstrating a wide range of reading. There were characters from Dickens and JK Rowling but most popular of all were the green-haired Oompa-Lumpas from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
LOUISE Coates, Headteacher at Bonnygate Primary School in South Ockendon has been selected as a finalist for the 2013 Pearson Teaching Awards, Headteacher of the Year. The Arisdale Avenue school’s deputy head, Gareth Jones, was on hand to meet the judges last week (wednesday, 27 February).
A spokesperson said: “I have been in talks with Hayley Pegg from Southend West SSP and Rebecca Jones from ActiveEssex regarding the ‘School run’ project which we are hoping to roll out in Thurrock.
“The School run is designed to encourage parents to get involved in running/walking with sessions catering for a mix of abilities from beginners to intermediate levels.
Headteacher Edward Caines said “These are exciting times in education. We have become used to failed secondary schools being reopened with a massive cash injection and a face lift but now good primary schools which are already successful are becoming independent academies with the freedom to continue their improvement we are going to see something really special.”