Denise Finnie, Deputy Head 1990-2015

St. Kenelm's C.E. Primary School, Romsley
Centenary Celebrations
1915 - 2015

Memories of Mrs Denise Finnie - Deputy Head – 1990 to 2015

 

School memories over the past 25 years of being Deputy Headteacher

Do you remember ...
The Village with 3 Corners, Roger Red Hat & Billy Blue Hat? It was a reading scheme. Now we are reading 'real' books by authors such as Ted Hughes, Julia Donaldson, Anne Fine, Terry Pratchett and Michael Morpurgo; not only to encourage children's enthusiasm for books but also to inspire children's writing.

Do you remember ...
Reading to the teacher a couple of pages from your reading book whenever she called you up to her desk? Now we have Guided reading sessions, from Reception up to Year 6, where a group of children at a similar ability read fiction and non-fiction books and are asked comprehension questions by the teacher based on: scanning & retrieving information from the text; authors' style of writing & use of punctuation; using the powers of inference and deduction to understand character's feeling & actions. We also have reading buddies where older children hear younger to read.

Do you remember ...
Teaching children to read by sounding out each letter? Now we teach the 44 phonemes through a multi-sensory, synthetic phonics approach

Do you remember.....
Completing a Heinemann maths booklet when you simply just put the answer in a box? Now there is more emphasis on mental calculation, using the mantra RAPACODO, NUMBO – Round & adjust, partitioning, counting on, doubling and knowing your number bonds. There are counting sticks, number lines & multiplication grids, to name a few resources to help.

Do you remember ...
When some children were just plain naughty! Now children's reasons for misbehaviour are identified and maybe a diagnosis of ADHD (attention Deficit, Hyperactive Disorder), PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance), or Autism is diagnosed by an educational Psychologist & a medical team. A programme for social interaction & communication or a Behavioural support plan is carried out.

Do you remember ...
When some children were just labelled "slow"? Now children's 'barriers to learning' are identified as early as possible and their difficulties may be referred to as dyslexia, dyspraxia or dyscalculia. There is an entitlement for these children to receive provision which is additional to/different from the rest of their year group.

Do you remember...
When parents were used as voluntary help in the classrooms – mixing paints, watering the plants, accompanying school trips etc? Now we have fully trained, paid, Learning Support Assistants, many with a BEd degree qualification, who have undergone a Police check - re-our safeguarding policy, They support the learning in and outside of the classroom. Most carry out intervention programmes to support our children with Special Educational Needs

Do you remember ...
When visitors could just walk into school? Now there is such heightened security, locked doors, Signing in and out documentation; staff/visitor yanyards to be worn on school premises. Visitors to be escorted at all times during the school day.

Do you remember ...
The school trip down to Weston-Super-Mud? Parents, staff & villagers all went on a Saturday during the Summer. Now we have a fully trained designated Educational Visits Co-ordinator/visit Leader responsible for completing risk assessments and a business manager who decides whether or not it is financially viable. Together they decide if a trip should go ahead on the grounds of cost & safety. We also arrange for Residential trips for our Years 4 and 6 children every year. Strangely enough I have always accompanied the Malvern/Blackwell Outdoor adventure residential trip. I must need very little sleep!

Do you remember ...
The afternoons spent down Bluebell woods in the Spring? Oh how well all loved it –no planning, teaching or marking-just a leisurely walk. Now we have "Forest Schools" - and I quote, "an inspirational outdoor programme that provides regular opportunities for children to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through "hands-on" learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees". So now you know!

Do you remember...
Having to recite your times tables in class, having learned these by heart? Now this is currently back on the Mathematics agenda , having fallen off the wayside for many years, children are again expected to know all times tables up to 12.

Do you remember...
The three term entry to the Reception Class. Children started school at the beginning of the term that they were five years old. The Reception Class reached about 18-20 children by the start of the Summer term. Now the new intake all start in the September of the year they are five. This means there could be children, with an August Birthday, who are just 4yrs old, starting school. The school can take 30 pupils per year group.

Do you remember...
When there were only 3 full-time teachers, including the Headteacher & Deputy Headteacher, 3 lunchtime supervisors, 2 cleaners, a secretary with a typewriter, a bottle of tippex and a spirit duplicator? Now there are a Headteacher, 7 full-time teachers (including a Deputy Headteacher), 4 part-time teachers, 10 Learning Support Assistants, 4 lunchtime supervisors, a play leader, an Administrative Manager, a Finance & Business Manager, and assistant!

And don't ask me to explain how technology has changed through the years in teaching, learning and administration. Just ask a five year old! I am even old enough to remember smoking in the staffroom and going up/or down to the pub on a Friday for lunch! How times have changed! Have all the changes been good ones?

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