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Today, I had the privilege of taking 6 budding hockey players to a cluster tournament at Wollaston Secondary School. Mr Higginson came too, as he had been coaching them in the weeks leading up to the event.

The children were nervous and apprehensive, as they had only been playing hockey for a few weeks, and had never competed against another school before.

However, this did not show on the pitch. From start to finish, all 6 children gave every ounce of strength and energy they had. They sprinted up and down tirelessly, they went in for crunching tackles, they communicated well, they scored sublime goals and they defended with great courage. Consequently, they won all of their pool games and finished at the top of their group. Following this, they breezed through their semi-final, and were finally given 2 minutes to pause for a drinks break!

The children knew that the upcoming final would be their toughest contest yet, as they lined up against an ‘all boys’ Denton team. It was a real challenge and despite heroic defending, and the children quite literally putting their bodies on the line for their team, we narrowly lost 2-1, meaning that we finished 2nd out of 8 teams. Even though the children didn’t quite win the whole tournament, Mr Higginson and I were so very proud of them all. Their attitude and passion for the sport was second to none, and they represented their school in an honourable and enthusiastic manner. A special thank you goes to all of the supporters who turned out to encourage and cheer the children on. They could not have done this without you!

Well done to Katie and Hazel-Mae who defended with great bravery throughout, stopping goal scoring opportunities on many occasions.

Well done to Hannah for her brilliant movement and superb spatial awareness which helped the team to keep good shape throughout.

A big pat on the back goes to Ronnie and Fenn, who broke through the defence, time and time again, scoring some brilliant goals.

…And finally, a big congratulations goes to Kye who captained the team and won Irchester’s player of the tournament award for his tireless effort, last ditch tackles and exceptional skill in all 5 of our games.

We can’t wait to do it all again next week!

Miss Fitch (PE co-ordinator and year 4 teacher)

This was the outcome of our recent Ofsted short inspection visit on 6th February 2018. The report states that the school continues to provide a good standard of education because “The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection” and that “All leaders have a shared commitment to raising aspirations and improving pupils’ outcomes”.

The quality of our engaging and aspirational curriculum is praised, especially attainment in reading and purposeful opportunities for pupils to develop a wide range of skills through rich science based topics, at home and at school. Parents also value the wide number of opportunities that the school offers them to support their children’s academic learning and personal development.

The report acknowledges the good work undertaken by school leaders since the previous inspection to maintain, and enhance, the good standard of teaching. It commented how leaders use ‘”high quality training”, share expertise with other schools and the “highly effective teaching within the school” used to support the development of others.

The strong ethos of the school is recognised as “Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes remain strong. Pupils are well behaved and respectful of each other and adults across the school day”. Ofsted acknowledged that pupils have many leadership opportunities and that they “expressed pride in their school and relish taking on responsibilities”.

Parents hold the school in high regard and particularly appreciative that staff go ’the extra mile’ to support their children’s individual needs.

The inspector recognised that the excellent support given to vulnerable pupils and families is a strength of the school; this includes the effective work undertaken in the safeguarding of all pupils. She also praised leaders’ tireless promotion of the importance of attendance, ‘which has kept school attendance consistently above the national average.’

The report states that areas for school development have been clearly identified and noted actions undertaken towards addressing them. This includes the effective work undertaken by the EYFS staff to improve writing skills in the Early Years.

WELL DONE to the whole team who work tirelessly together to make Irchester Community School a great school – and that’s official !

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