Last week I had the pleasure of working with some of our year 6 children in their final run-up to their SATs. I was asked to focus on the SPAG test (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) and in particular the difference between main and subordinate clauses. Following our focus switched to relative clauses and determiners. It reminded me once again just how much is expected of year 6 children under the current curriculum guidelines. I appreciate that it was a very long time ago that I was a child in primary school but I do know that we were not expected to know the same information.
As you know as a school we have tried to work really hard with parents to increase levels of attendance over recent months to increase levels of attendance. As part of that work we check each day the percentage of children not in school, look to see if all the children in 1 family are away on the same day and collate the reasons that children are away. It was with some trepidation that I gathered the data for Friday, knowing in the past that the Friday before a Bank Holiday has invariably meant a significant drop in attendance. I should have known better- the figure was 96.3%, which means that only 1 or 2 more children were absent than had been the case on the previous day.
Every Friday we share the achievements of children, whether they are from school activities or outside. One child was really proud of something he had found and certainly in his eyes it was a real achievement, so I agreed that he could show it. So he entertained and informed us all about the deer’s skull he had found and the tooth which had been part of it.” Don’t worry,” he earnestly told me, “I have cleaned the tooth with toothpaste.”
It really set me up for the day.