“I love EAL trips on the minibus.” – IL
“I like going to ‘Little Pears’ because its fun and I can play games.” – AB
“I love school because I love learning!” – SG
“When I finish my work I help other people.” – CB
“I want to stay in the EAL Class forever!” – AP
“My teacher is the best teacher ever!” – FR
“I enjoy energy club because I play games with my friends.” – AS
“Maths lessons are the best!” – SW
“I use an ipad to help me check my work.” – LF
“My teacher helps me when I don’t understand.” – AM
“Science is great because we get to do experiments.” – NC
“Netball club is good fun.” – SH
“I like the reward trips, especially lazer tag!” – JC
“The football team is great!” – SL
“Maths is my best lesson because I like doing my times tables.” – KH
“I love going on lots of trips.” – TR

Hollymount Governors

Our school governors are:

Mr Phil Clayton (Chairman)

Mrs Vivienne Cranton (Head teacher)

Mr Paul Shoesmith (Finance)

Mrs Jean Atkinson (Clerk to the Governors)

Mrs Pam Clayton

Mrs Julia Cook

Mrs Sara Wood (Teacher)

Mr Darren Davies (Teacher)

Mrs Andrea Donnelly (Teacher)

Mrs Joan Harkins

Mrs Ann Burkert

Mr Phil Collins

Mr Terry Reed

Mrs Agata Maciaszek-Skubinska (Parent)

Mrs Clare Hunt (Parent)

 

My visit to Hollymount on 3rd May 2016

I decided that I would spend a day at school and linked it to a pupil tracking meeting and a Full Governor’s meeting. I will send out Pupil Tracking notes later.

I spent my day on a learning walk to look at the SDP focuses of:

* Technology is used effectively by staff and pupils to develop and enhance literacy skills and encourage high quality speaking and listening such as film and audio

* Matched learning enables individuals and groups to be challenged within their learning

I was able to visit all but one class from the Tots up to year six. We ran out of time and missed one year six class. I saw some lovely lessons in number, writing and a debate. I saw the use of interactive white boards in a number of rooms and also a lot of use of iPads by children for recording their work, photographing their work and looking up information. There were a number of other resources like worksheets, lots of free play activities in reception, nursery and Tots, hands-on cubes etc in maths lessons and many more.

I saw evidence of children being challenged in their work both in number work like multiplication and division and with their writing like writing a story and writing down facts about Italy.

I looked at children’s work in their books and was very impressed by what I saw and also by the comments made by teachers informing the children what they needed to do to improve. Some work was very neat and tidy especially in one maths lesson that I saw. I saw a year six child’s free writing which was of a very high standard.

In all I had a wonderful day and learnt a lot about the school. It is easier for me to list some of the points:

1. The school has used its budget well to ensure that lessons are well resourced.

2. In most classes children sit in groups of similar ability and there are good working relationships in these groups.

3. All the lessons that I saw were calm and children were actively engaged.

4. When I asked children if they enjoyed what they were doing they all said yes even though they had individual preferences about their favourite subjects.

5. The children were very helpful and were able to talk about what they were doing.

6. Many children were able to work on their own and at their own pace.

7. I saw TAs in all classes and they were playing a full and valuable role in lessons.

8. I think that the outside areas for Tots, Nursery and Reception are ideal and well-presented giving children a lot of opportunity for play.

9. Teachers know the children well, not just the ones in their class.

10. Behaviour was excellent.

11. There are some lovely displays in classrooms and in corridors. The classrooms also have information to assist children with their work.

12. And last, but certainly not least, all staff, teachers, TAs, office staff and other support staff work very hard to motivate and provide the best learning environment and opportunities to get the best from the children.

Thank you very much for making me so welcome and for making time for us to do as much as we did in the day.

Julia Cook 03.05.2016

 

My visit to Hollymount on 25th April 2017

I was invited to the school to spend the day looking at ‘Feedback within lessons to enable Progress’ and to learn more about Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) data.

I spent the morning on a learning walk to look at feedback and talking to some teachers about their views on how the system is working.

I was able to visit all but one class from the Tots up to year six. We ran out of time and missed one year six class.

First, I visited the Tots area which has developed so much over the two years that it has been running. The outside area is lovely and the children were learning about rolling things. They were having a super time. The indoor area has also been improved to make the corridor safer for the children.

Then I went to the Nursery and I saw children involved in a number of activities. The area both inside and out is lovely and gives the children lots of opportunities to learn and develop. They had just finished having their snacks which they manage independently.

In Reception, the children were just about to start their Phonics session. They very quickly got themselves into their groups without any fuss and what I saw of the start of the session was very positive. Again the area, like the Tots and Nursery, is perfect for them.

The lessons that I saw were quite varied:

* A lesson where children were planning a story about chickens, which they had previously hatched out in school. They had enjoyed doing this.

* A maths class where children’s learning was matched to their understanding so that they were working on different tasks including a daily challenge sheet.

* Another maths lesson where the books were beautifully set out and I also saw their writing work which was equally impressive. There was evidence of the new writing style that the school promotes.

* An art lesson where children were divided into groups to produce material for a project on Lowry.

* One class working on solving a mystery which involved mathematical and word skills. They loved it.

* One class where some children were also solving a mystery, they also loved it, while others who had finished were just starting work on Anglo Saxons.

* Three classes where children were solving word problems some of which were quite challenging.

* One class where children were practising maths problems for KS2 SATs some of which were quite challenging.

The atmosphere in all the classes was very calm and the children were all busy and on task. I was able to speak to them individually about the way that their work is marked and whether they liked the way that their teachers tell them how well they are doing and what they need to do to improve. The response was always positive. The system uses coloured ticks and dots and all the children that I asked knew what they meant.

The children were all keen to show me their work and were proud of what they had done. I was impressed with what I saw. They also said that their teachers talk to them in class about their work and I saw this happening. I saw TAs giving verbal feedback and marking some maths problems in a year 6 class so that children got instant feedback. I saw examples of matched learning, differentiated work and challenge especially in the maths lessons.

What I saw led me to conclude that the methods that the school has introduced to give the children feedback are being used well and that most importantly the children know what it means. There were a couple of instances where children needed more time in class to go back and correct some of their work but mostly I saw that children had looked at the marks and corrected work that needed it. In one class I saw this being done well with the children using green pen to do their corrections.

At lunch time, three teachers gave up their time to talk to me about the impact and effectiveness of the new feedback methods. They all agreed that teachers and children like it. They said that children are more aware of the

steps that they need to take to make progress; that they are more independent and have a greater ownership of their own learning. They said that progress has improved and that the new system has allowed teachers to have some individuality in how they use it allowing more time for teachers to actively help children to make progress. In the long term they believe that there will be more peer assessment and children will start to ask themselves what they have to do to improve. There are four stages; experiment, reflect, share and then embed the system next year.

It was good to hear the teachers say that the school leadership team (SLT) is supportive and approachable and that there are lots of opportunities for staff to speak to the SLT. There are also opportunities for staff to take on greater responsibilities for example KS1 Literacy, Arts, Curriculum and IT including Class Dojo. As a result the school continues to move forward.

In the afternoon Mrs Hussain, Miss Weston and Miss Pritchard showed me the methods used in EYFS to manage data. It was very impressive and clearly shows how children in Tots, Nursery and Reception, some of whom started in Tots, have progressed over the last two and a half years. The data contains many strands, which are all measured, as well as identifying any children who need specific help to make progress. I am aware that a lot of time and effort has gone into producing this documentation and the teachers must be congratulated on it. It will be a powerful piece of evidence when Ofsted eventually visit. Thank you for making it all so clear to me.

In all I had a wonderful day and learnt a lot about the school. It is easier for me to list some of the points which are very similar to my previous observations.

1. The school has used its budget well to ensure that lessons are well resourced.

2. In most classes children sit in groups of similar ability and there are good working relationships in these groups.

3. I saw TAs in all classes and they were playing a full and valuable role in lessons.

4. Behaviour was excellent.

5. As always, there are some lovely displays in classrooms and in corridors.

6. And last, but certainly not least, all staff, teachers, TAs, office staff and other support staff work very hard to motivate and provide the best learning environment and opportunities to get the best from the children.

Thank you once again very much for making me so welcome and for making time for me to do and see as much as I did in the day.

Julia Cook 28.04.17