Lessons learned from Jamaica and exciting times for our teams!

February 25th, 2016

During our visit to St Joseph’s Infant School in Kingston, Jamaica, Mr Moore and I were asked to judge the team events for the week. The children were split into teams, just as we have teams for team points, and were given the chance to meet once a week to practise their team song and motto, recite a passage from the Bible and sing the national anthem. Each team was given marks out of ten for their performance and discipline and these marks were converted to points and added to those achieved during sports day.
What impressed us the most was the children’s pride in belonging to a team and the fact that all children were intent on working together to be the best they could be. Children supported each other and wanted to do their best at all times for their team. They knew that even if they were not good at sport and wouldn’t win their races during sports day, they had the chance of making a valid contribution to their team’s success throughout the year.
On our flight home, Mr Moore and I had lots of time to reflect upon the many things we had seen during our visit. We couldn’t help but make comparisons between St Joseph’s and Roseberry, thinking about what each school does well and how we may learn from one another. We thought about the limited opportunities for our children to work together in their teams and knew straight away that we could change this very easily upon our return and promote a greater sense of belonging.
This morning, we held a special assembly to launch our new team challenges! The children were informed that staff have been allocated to their teams and that every other Thursday, teams consisting of children from 4 to 11 years will have their own meeting. As well as carrying out team activities, they will have their very own song and motto, which they will perform for the school at the end of each half term and during special events, such as sports day. They will be judged on their performance and points scored will be added to the sports day points for their team. They will also learn to sing our national anthem, promoting a pride in living and learning in Britain.
In addition to this, we will be introducing very special Gold Awards, which selected children will receive through the post to their home address. These will be awarded for exceptional performance, attitude to learning, personal qualities and citizenship. These awards will be extremely special and will be limited. If you receive one of these throughout the year, children, you should feel very proud indeed! These awards will also have a team point value, which will be added to the team to which the child belongs.
During an Enquiry Walk this week, a visiting Principal stated that she could see how proud our children are to belong to the Roseberry family. I look forward to seeing the pride that children have in belonging to their team and to hearing them sing their songs with gusto!

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