The news media repeatedly report two significant issues for school children arising from the pandemic, with lockdowns, remote learning and stop/start attendance at school. These are the potential adverse impact on both academic achievement and wellbeing, losing a year of building childhood memories and experiences.
Despite all the ups and downs, it is a matter of particular pride this year of all years that our children made excellent progress both during remote teaching and back in the classroom. Although not academically selective, our small class sizes, our positive and supportive pupil/teacher relationships and excellent curriculum empower all our children to achieve to a very high level. We are very proud that the majority of our pupils achieved educational progress and attainment results significantly higher than national and regional expectations this year.
We are also delighted that all our Year 8 pupils are moving on to their senior school of choice with twelve achieving Scholarships to Lancing College including six Academic Scholarships, including the top Sankey, Melsome and the Jack Robinson Carter awards, along with Drama and Sports awards and one pupil goes to Brighton College, achieving both an Academic Scholarship and a Millennium Award.
The Hive, run by Mrs Pelling and the Wellbeing Team has again been a haven for children this term, with a postbox for messages, drop-in appointments, weekly check-ins with the team and the opportunity for weekly sessions with our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant for those who benefit from a little more support. The children had a super idea to decorate the room wall with a life-size painting of a tree with a bee and its hive, which a member of the team has now created and it looks amazing.
Our children have come together again, albeit in year group bubbles, and enjoyed experiences together that will create memories. Years 5 and 6 had super activity days out in sunshine at the Lodge Hill Centre and Year 8 had a ‘grand day out’, spirits undampened by the weather starting with a competitive game of rounders, followed by unlimited rides on Brighton’s Palace Pier and pizza for lunch at Dominos. They finished the day taking over the Worthing Dome Cinema for a private viewing of a latest release blockbuster film. For some, it was their first visit to the cinema in over a year and they were very excited to eat their popcorn!
Sports days and prize days had to be slimmed down but were filmed for parents to view. The races were combined with this year’s Bannister Mile fundraiser which brought the school community together, in its various bubbles, to raise a truly impressive £2,900 for NHS Charities Together. Our Third Generation Day this year was based at school but with an international theme. Animal treasure hunts, a dynamic Capoeira martial arts dance workshop, Indian and country dancing, world music, art and design projects plus fabulous ice cream served by a bicycle vendor, just to mention a few of the activities, made it a spectacular day for the children and the staff worked hard to make it a very special experience for them.