This week saw the DfE publish national data for how children performed in KS1 assessments and the Phonics Screening Check (PSC) in summer 2023.
The national average for the proportion of children meeting the set standard at the PSC is 79%. The WeST average across our collective 19 primary schools is 90%. This, then, is an indication of how we have worked both strategically and determinedly to ensure that our children can decode accurately. Thank you to the wonderful teams across our schools who teach phonics at the start of every day – it makes such a difference.
Of course, the ability to decode is only the start of the journey to be able to read fluently.
Holding true to our value of aspiration, we have set ourselves the challenging target for this year (2024) of 92% of children meeting the standard at PSC.
One of our key school improvement priorities across all schools is writing. However, to write fluently, our children first need to be able to read with confidence and fluency.
I close by again returning to the theme of attendance and the importance of children attending school every day. A great example of doing so is our daily phonics delivery whereby children benefit from expert target phonics teaching and practice every morning. A session missed, is an opportunity missed to learn to read.
Estates Summer projects
Following the theme of Estates summer projects to improve the facilities for our children.
This weeks project is Eggbuckland Community College Science Block toilets. The existing toilets were in an extremely poor condition with a high level of vandalism and deterioration and were regularly out of action.
The Estates team undertook the full survey, design, tender and management of the project which resulted in a full reconfiguration of the male and female toilets making them gender neutral and open plan.
The works were undertaken during the 6 week summer break which had some complex issues within an already tight programme however the toilets were completed on time and within budget.
The toilets at ECC have greatly improved the overall student experience.
Toilet refurbishment is part of a rolling programme of improvement projects across our school estates. We have now completed 6 set of toilets in three years, with many more to be designed, tendered and installed over the coming years. These are financially expensive projects where the design phase starts approx 5 months prior to construction, which can only be undertaken during the summer holiday. This demonstrates that the design/tender phase of the project often takes longer than the actual project construction phase. However, the reward is worth all the effort.
You can call 0800 174 319 to speak to a professional counsellor or information specialist in confidence 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Just quote that you are an employee of ‘Westcountry Schools Trust’.
You can visit the Care first lifestyle website which offers additional resources and online services at:
Care First will also be hosting a specialist event on “Financial information and advice from PayPlan” which is free for all WeST colleagues. It’s been an unprecedented few years, and economic instability looks set to continue for some time yet, impacting each and everyone of us to varying degrees. Most people delay dealing with their money problems longer than they should. Finances are a core part of our lives and can be the root of many issues. Asking for help early on may help prevent problems later down the line.
Join our webinar event for top tips and information on where to access more support on Monday 23 October at 1pm (register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6921797764825109078) . If you are unable to join the webinar live, a recording of the session can be accessed using the same link above after the webinar has taken place.
"To say thank you for the invaluable support of our local friends and business colleagues in Cornwall and Devon, we invite a range of groups to come and enjoy the Eden Project for free on certain dates." - Eden Project
Please note, only November dates are currently available to book. Bookings for dates in December, January and February will open nearer the time.
(Internal appointment only) Westcountry Schools Trust – Teacher of Maths (across the Trust).
The Trust is seeking to appoint an inspirational full-time teacher of Maths on a permanent basis, commencing in the spring term to provide additional and flexible capacity across secondary settings.
If you are interested in this vacancy, please submit an expression of interest in the form of a letter stating your current role, your Maths teaching experience and why you would like to be considered for this opportunity to firstname.lastname@example.org
For an informal discussion please contact email@example.com who will put you in touch with Nat Parnell, Deputy CEO.
The closing date for expressions of interest is 9am, Thursday 19 October.
We are delighted to inform you of the following exciting career opportunities within our Trust:-
Boringdon Primary School are looking for a friendly and approachable person to join their busy office from 1 January 2024 as a School Office Administrator. As a point of contact for parents and visitors you must be personable, well organised and have an excellent telephone manner and communication skills. For more information, please click here.Closing date: 20 October 2023.
Chaddlewood Primary School would like to recruit two temporary LSA/Teaching Assistants to its KS2 team. Chaddlewood is a school that is passionate about delivering an effective and engaging curriculum that meets the needs of the children and community and enables all children to meet their potential. For more information, please click here. Closing date: 20 October 2023.
Eggbuckland Community College are seeking to appoint Casual Exam Invigilators. Successful candidates will support the exams administrators with the day-to-day operation of examination venues. Duties may include reading and/or scribing for students with special needs. For more information, please click here.
Ivybridge Community College are looking to fill the following vacancies:
Casual Examinations Invigilator - Hours of work are by negotiation, to cover examination sessions throughout the year. The ability to work at least three days a week during the peak times in May and June. A full day, morning (start 8.30am) and afternoon sessions are offered.
Casual Minibus Driver- The post holder will drive the College minibus on local, pre-determined routes. The Minibus Driver represents the public face of Ivybridge Community College. It is important that the post holder therefore conducts themselves in a professional and knowledgeable manner. Closing date: 31 October 2023.
Cover Supervisor - The post holder will be part of the Administrative Team, providing specific support to administer cover arrangements and also provide cover on a daily basis. Closing date:16 October 2023.
Literacy TA - The post holder will work under supervision and direction of the Senior Literacy Teaching Assistant, usually outside the classroom - working with students who need support to fill gaps in literacy and reading. Closing date: 16 October 2023.
Teaching Assistant - The post holder will attend to the welfare and personal care of students, including those with special educational needs and medical needs and work with small groups or one to one. Closing date: 30 October 2023.
For more information on the above vacancies, please click here.
Plymstock School are looking to appoint a SENDCo (L11-L15). Plymstock are looking for someone who demonstrates ambition and professional innovation and possesses excellent leadership skills to take the SEND provision forward. This is a non-teaching role to reflect the nature and priority of SEND within our school community. For more information, please click here. Closing date: 18 October 2023.
South Dartmoor Community College are seeking to appoint Casual Examination Invigilators - The successful candidates will be hardworking, self-motivated and enjoy working in a team as well as under their own initiative. Previous experience within this area would be advantageous. You will be a committed and loyal individual; with high expectations and an unwavering determination to get the best for students. For more information, please click here.Closing date: On-going.
Yealmpton Primary School are looking to appoint a skilled Higher Level Teaching Assistant to be part of our very supportive, hardworking and successful team. For more information please click here. Closing date: 20 October 2023.