Monthly Archives - May 2021

painsley mac

School’s Brand New Outdoor Facilities to Enhance Children’s Learning Through Play

 St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School and Nursery, located on Marston Road in Stafford is delighted to announce the opening of a brand new outdoor area for its younger children.

 The new £35,000 facilities have doubled the amount of outdoor space the children have and are specifically designed to meet the needs of the children in nursery and reception class, enabling them to learn through play in a safe and stimulating environment.  Facilities include climbing stacks, a water wheel, reading areas and a cycle track.

 “The past twelve months have really highlighted just how much benefit children gain from exploring outdoors.  Learning outside the classroom supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles by offering children opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, and promoting a sense of well-being.  We were keen to ensure that we offered our younger children the very best outdoor environment possible and the new play area is a triumph of design and functionality. We wanted to provide a calm environment which is important in a busy town setting, with a focus on natural colours and nature, making it an extension of indoors to out. The children have watched the progress daily with great excitement!” commented Mr Mark Brandon, Principal at St Patrick’s.

 Work was carried out by Pentagon Play, an award-winning designer of outdoor learning environments trusted by schools and nurseries across the country.  A small opening ceremony marked the occasion on 11th May as the new facilities were officially opened by Mr Steve Bell, CEO of The Painsley Catholic Academy and Mrs Gemma Brookes, Chair of the Board of Governors at St Patrick’s and Father Robert Devaney, who also performed a short blessing.

Of the new facilities the children said,

'The climbing frame is good because it helps to make my muscles strong.' - Zoe Kaczmarek, aged 5

'I like the bikes, I've been practicing pedalling' - Sofia Burns, aged 5

'I have so much fun with the water wall because I can pour water down the pipes.'  - Isaac Forrester-Williams age 4

Painsley Digital Hub

New £1 Million Purpose-Built Digital Hub Completed at Painsley

Painsley Catholic College, in Cheadle is celebrating the opening of its brand new purpose-built ‘Digital Hub’ building. The digital hub has been built exclusively to accommodate those students who are studying the new T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development, a qualification that combines academic work with technical skills and is equivalent to three A-levels. Painsley was picked as one of the first schools in England to offer this new flagship vocational qualification back in September 2020. The new building represents an investment of over £1 million.  Work on construction began in 2019 and has now been completed with the first students able to use the facilities. Kitted out with the very latest equipment the Digital Hub is located near Painsley’s main sixth form centre. Mr Steve Bell, Chief Executive Officer of the multi-academy company that oversees Painsley, said: “The facilities are not like traditional classrooms. They are more like the kind of place a top employer would send their staff for training and they have the very latest technology and software.” The two teaching rooms inside the new block are set to be used for both theoretical and practical activities that include mastering current programming techniques to develop software in a range of languages. There is also a ‘collaborative task room’ as well as an office and meeting space. One of the first students to use the facility, Ethan Steele, 18 commented, “I believe that the T-Level course has given me a much more in depth view of the computer science world. It has been interesting to see how each aspect of the course links back to each other in some way or another, and this course is good for being able to talk one-on-one with the teachers without being too constrained for time. This allows us to go into more detail about each topic and really get to know what the course is about.” Mrs Rachel Waugh, Principal at Painsley Catholic College said, “This has been such an exciting development.  We were able to work closely with the architect and designers to ensure the facilities met the needs of the new qualification in a very precise way and provide our students with a learning environment that better prepares them for work in industry.” The first students on the T Level course will complete their qualification in July 2022.
live learning

Live Learning Gives Other Teachers Access to High Quality Professional Development

Live streaming for pupils using Google Classroom, brought in by some local schools as a solution to learning from home during lockdown, has come into its own as a new way to train and develop teachers. Maths specialists, Ryders Hayes Primary in Walsall, are opening up their classrooms virtually next week, from 4th - 6th May, for around 100 teachers in the region to be able to watch live Maths lessons and classroom practice taking place from Reception to Year 6, and  to be able to talk afterwards to the teacher delivering the lesson. Working with North Mids Maths Hub based at Painsley Catholic College, a specialist centre for the teaching of Maths. The Maths Hub hopes to inspire and support teachers to develop their understanding and expertise in the teaching for mastery in mathematics. The mastery approach is endorsed and funded by the Government, through the Department for Education, and with the support of the National Centre of Excellence for the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) Gillian White, Lead at North Mids Maths Hub explained, ‘Mastering maths is about pupils acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid and deep understanding of what has been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material. We are delighted that through live streaming, we are able to share this classroom practice first hand. The mastery methods observed in the lessons can make such a difference to children’s outcomes in Maths’. Head Teacher, and Maths specialist herself, Jaz Paul, commented: ‘As a Teaching School, we always try to share educational research and good practice with our colleagues in the profession. Since embracing live streaming in school, we have opened up so many new opportunities and smart ways to collaborate, not just for children learning remotely, but also for parents and colleagues.’ It is anticipated that further such training opportunities for teachers and school staff will develop as a result of this initiative, giving them a bird’s eye view of classroom practice.