LIFE is good for Jane Richardson.
As the new headteacher of Crosland Moor Junior School she feels she is at the start of a journey which will prove an adventure for staff and children alike.
She is thrilled to be at the helm of a “wonderful, vibrant place where the children are confident, positive and delightful.”
An overhaul of the curriculum and raising standards are at the forefront of her mind as well as creating a secure and happy environment where children are keen to learn.
“All the staff are ready to fly,’’ she said. “I have the great privilege of being at the helm when we’re ready for take-off and change.”
Enthusing children with a more integrated and creative curriculum and an overhaul of ICT in school – including laptops in every classroom – are among the planned changes.
Mrs Richardson is also keen that the student voice will be well heard within the planning with children providing their ideas and knowledge about topics they could learn.
This is a large school with 396 pupils but an inclusive school where each and every child has his or her part to play. With more than 20 languages in addition to English being spoken, this is no mean task.
Staff are keen to ensure that children become responsible citizens of the future and develop their personal and social skills during their career at the school.
The popular Jobz 4 Kids scheme encourages children to play their part at lunchtime by serving and clearing in the dining room. Children have to fill out an application form and are interviewed for the tasks. They are rewarded with points tickets which can be collected for treats or saved for larger items.
This idea gives the children a sense of economic responsibility and they can also buy items for brothers and sisters to promote a sharing ethos. A special party table can also be ‘bought’ with saved tokens on a Friday with treats for the buyer to share with friends.
The school’s popular breakfast club provides a good start to the day for early risers and a special Try It Out Tuesday gives them the chance to try breakfast foods from a variety of countries all around the world.
The school is always thinking of other communities and organising a variety of fundraising events to raise cash for charity. A winter fair with a 1940s theme is being organised by Year Six children and the whole school is being encouraged to ‘Be Bright and Sparkly’ for Pudsey and raise cash for Children In Need.
Music also plays an important part in the school with children in Year Four learning to play recorder.
There is also a school choir, fife playing plus family singing and whole school singing sessions.
A gardening group also enthusiastically takes on its work at well-tended raised beds packed full of vegetables which provide a welcome sight for visitors.
Teachers and non teaching staff strive to do their best for each and every child at the school and are always aware of their broader needs including their emotional and communication needs.
Mrs Richardson added: “I am aware there is an expectation for me to make a difference at Crosland Moor Junior school but I am mindful of keeping my vision for the school at the forefront of my mind and not allowing the day to day things get in the way of my wider vision.”