As the school year draws to a close we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support. It has been a tough year for us all as Covid continued to have a huge impact on children’s attendance and staff levels of absence, but we have remained strong together and ultimately it has been a very successful time for our whole school community. We wanted to share with you some of the areas that have gone particularly well.
Our youngest children have settled into Reception Class very well and, under the expert guidance of Mrs Puddick and Mrs Kench, they have made excellent progress in the Early Years curriculum. They have enjoyed many varied and challenging learning opportunities to inspire them and to fire their imaginations. They have had a great start to school life at Southill and we are really proud of them all.
We changed the way we teach phonics and reading in Reception and KS1 this year by introducing the Little Wandle scheme. We’ve always been very proud of our phonics teaching but we all felt that this scheme would make it even better. And so it has proved – we’re very pleased to tell you that 93% of children passed the screening check at the end of Year 1. This is a great achievement and a credit to all the staff who teach phonics every day, to you for supporting your child with their reading every day and of course to the children who have enthusiastically participated in the daily phonics lessons and reading sessions and have tried their very best. Amazing!
The results at the end of KS1 (Year 2) are equally impressive. Our children have performed above the local and national averages in reading, writing and maths. Well done to the Y2 children and all the staff who have taught them up to this point – and of course you at home who support all the that work we do at school.
Children in Year 4 took part in the very first multiplication check this year. They were tested on all times tables up to 12 x 12. We were very pleased with their performance; evidently all that practice and time on TTRockstars has really paid off!
In May, pupils in Year 6 sat the Standard Assessment Tests (SATs). It’s a very demanding week for children but they dealt with it Southill style – everyone was very calm and collected and knew they just had to try their best for us to be proud of them. The results this year have been exceptional. We are above local and national averages in reading, writing and maths, showing that despite the challenges children have faced over the past couple of years, they have caught up and actually exceeded everyone’s expectations! In particular we would like to tell you about our reading result – 97% of children passed the expected standard in reading with 42% working at greater depth. This is quite astonishing in both a local and national context.
We have no official data to report for Year 3 or 5 but it’s been a great year for them, too. They have made good progress in class and have embraced everything school has to offer with enthusiasm and energy. Both classes enjoyed two very successful residential trips and have much to look forward to next year.
At Southill, we strive for excellence in everything we do for the children because we truly believe in their potential. As children get to the end of their current year and we hear them talking about their memories, it is often the trips they talk about as a highlight. We’re very proud of the opportunities we offer for children to learn outside of the classroom. It’s our policy that all classes should go out on a trip at least once per term and children in KS2 have a residential visit during each school year. As well as being fun and exciting, our trips are carefully planned to enhance the learning that takes place in the classroom and to develop children’s independence and life skills. When children leave us in Year 6 we want them to be confident about trying new things and staying away from home. We do realise that this is over and above what other local schools offer and we’re grateful to our staff for the extra workload it takes to organise these trips and to the parents for supporting the trips financially. We believe they are one of the many things that make Southill an extraordinary place to learn and to grow up.
You may have heard the proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ by which we mean it takes an entire community of people to provide for and interact positively for children to flourish in a safe and happy environment. Our excellent results across the school this year really demonstrate the strength of our school community – our teachers and teaching assistants, catering staff and midday supervisors, admin and site teams, governors, children, parents and carers and our volunteers who give up their time freely each week to ensure that children have the best possible experience at school. On behalf of the Southill children we would like to thank you all for your dedication and commitment to the fact that our children deserve the very best and for supporting us as we strive to deliver that every day.
We’d like to send Year 6 our best wishes for a happy and successful start to the term at their new secondary schools. They are a brilliant group of children and we fully expect them to continue to be brilliant at their next school.
As for everyone else, we look forward to seeing you all in September for another fabulous Southill year.
Have a great holiday everyone.
Mr Mason and Mrs Wood