Headteacher’s Diary March 2012

There has been so much going on across the school and so many new things happening that I am going to struggle to do justice to them all here!

To begin with I am really excited about the launch of our own school newspaper “The Canon” this week, on Friday 16th March. It has been a spectacular effort which has ensured that all Key Stage 2 pupils have been able to interview at least one person, and has also involved a dedicated newspaper editing team and a newspaper after school activity team, as well as staff, parents and a range of personalities and celebrities from across the world. The result will be unveiled on Friday and I am sure that everyone will be impressed. the paper will retail at £1 a copy and is being sold by some Upper Street retailers. Advertising space has been sold and all funds raised will cover the printing costs and ensure that the next edition can be funded and any costs for the after school production team covered, as we want this to become a regular and self sustaining project.

The photograph below shows the display of our newspaper ready to be unveiled on Friday. This is located in the ground floor hall and you are all encouraged to come and have a look when you are next in school. Copies of the paper will be sent home, please contribute as we want to ensure that this project is able to continue and I can also assure you it represents excellent value for money!

Another exciting development has been the introduction of Dan Hunt to our school. Dan is our Head of Brass, working jointly with us and Highbury Grove School. Dan is teaching the whole of Year 4, in small groups, how to play the Euphonium, Cornet or French Horn. This will be extended from September 2012 to two year groups, and with the wider opportunities music offer, we are seriously looking at being able to offer every child at Key Stage 2 the chance to learn free of charge, a musical instrument from September. Dan, Samantha Matthew, our music leader and I are working on a detailed music survey at present and are looking to get our vision for music to share with you over the summer term.

As I’m sure you are aware this musical offer is a wonderful and unique opportunity for Canonbury Pupils and we are grateful for the support in building this vision, that we have had from the PTA, School Foundation and from individual donations. We may well come to you via the PTA and Foundation to see if we can find ways of raising more money for the instruments we will require, as we want every child who is learning to have their own instrument. Music is a gift and a language all of its own. It can inspire children who have never found learning easy to open doors to talents they never knew they had and it gives a pleasure which lasts a lifetime. We are also confident that we can sustain this offer year after year.

Yes, Canonbury will continue to be a school where we drive standards across the core subjects and push really hard to ensure pupil progress, but believe me when I say we are working just as hard to develop music and art throughout our school. I would ask you to reflect on the experience and education your child receives here at Canonbury, and think about getting out in the community to talk proudly about what is happening here and what we are continuing to build together. You can rest assured this is nowhere near the finished product but we are already achieving some really special things on behalf of our children. In my next diary I hope I can tell you some exciting news about our plans for Art, from September.

On that note, I have to say that the Canon-berry, our very own Canonbury healthy tuck shop, seems to have really met a niche in the market. The Year 5 team who have set the company up, and lead on marketing, stock, communication and sales are a powerful group and the response from the children is really positive. Once again, our pupils demonstrate that with a bit of guidance they can demonstrate skills reflecting their innovation and maturity, and which will prepare them as leaders of the future for the challenging and exciting world they will face as young adults.

Finally, we are opening our doors over five days of the Easter holiday, for a targeted group of 18 eager students as part of a Year 6 Easter holiday Mathematics programme. These children will be honing the skills required to gain mathematical understanding and the ability to apply their skills and knowledge, so that they can transfer to secondary school fully prepared. If you are lucky enough to have been the parent of, or one of the children selected for this opportunity then please make sure you take up the place and attend. It will be a mixture of fun, challenge, teaching and hard work, in the company of myself, James Wiltshire and Tracey Boanas. It should be a very interesting trial project and we hope to see some really exciting outcomes.

Best wishes to you all,

Matt Britt – March 2012

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