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The more that you read the more things you will know

4th October 2021

I don't know about you, but I felt we had returned in September with a renewed energy and purpose in our schools. I felt like the educational shackles of the pandemic had been released and my foot was firmly on the school improvement accelerator pedal.

A few weeks into term and I've had to navigate some harsh bends whether it be covid related complications, staffing issues, pupils or parents and dare I say it, around every bend there seems to be an Ofsted warning light flashing along with a petrol crisis! However, I have taken comfort that our trust has not been derailed and our school and trust teams have demonstrated a commitment to keeping on the right track despite the harsh bends.

The message coming through loud and clear to us in our schools whatever your role, is to do what is right for the children in your school, in your context. It is imperative that we all know our schools, understand the context and we drive the curriculum together. A truly great school never loses sight of its core purpose.

Our school improvement over the coming year is focusing on our core purpose of learning and teaching. We are exploring what quality first teaching means within the individual contexts of our schools. As the curriculum is at the heart of that core purpose, we are seeking to improve the subject knowledge and leadership of curriculum areas to ensure that every young person can access quality first teaching across every subject area, in every lesson, every day.

Our schools have reading as a key area of focus, reading being the key to accessing learning.

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” - Dr. Seuss.

It is great to see this priority visible and demonstrable in our schools. I note that some schools even have staff sign emails off with their current read- I avoid emailing them as they make me feel literately inadequate! Jokes aside, it is inspiring to visit our schools to see our very youngest learners start out on their reading journey learning to decode phonetically plausible words right through to our older learners who are navigating Shakespearean English.

In schools we learn to navigate the bends of the academic year, sometimes upping a gear and sometimes dropping down a gear but we keep the finish line on our horizon and we never take our eye off our core purpose. Hopefully, you all have your foot on the accelerator, it won't be too long before the first pit stop where you can refuel (that might be a literal refuel!)


Kathryn Krynicki, Director of Primary Education,  Athena-GEP


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