Headteacher's Blog

Celebrating and sharing success

I have enjoyed the last two weeks very much! When there is a little knock at my door I always wonder what news will be coming my way. I am very happy to say that I have had LOTS of children coming to find me to share their fabulous work! In Year 5 children are using facts they already know to help them work out adding and subtracting decimals. They made some fabulous posters for their learning wall. Year 4 children have been writing poems and Zarah and Emma helped me with a PowerPoint presentation too! Poems have started to be handed in for the SAERI 2nd anniversary poetry competition, well done!  Year 1 children shared their fabulous maths with me - thank you!


Christmas Card Competition

Rachael Crowie has kindly organised the Christmas card competition this year and local artist Sonia Felton had the enviable task of judging the winners.  Well done to our winners whose entries are on the website front page – take a look!

Education Presentation Evening for Parents

The School Councils from both IJS&CE and FICS joined together last Tuesday for their first joint meeting, amongst other items they discussed fund raising ideas and planning for the presentation evening for parents. By all accounts our joint Parents Presentation Evening was very successful; the feedback absolutely confirms this. The evening started with presentations by MLA Elsby the Children’s Champion, Director of Education Annie Tempest, myself, as Head of IJS&CE and Mr Winward Head of FICS. Our School Council secretary, Huw made us all very proud, he was completely unfazed as he gave his speech to the group of around 100 adults; a confident young man! Equally our older students projected a very inspiring profile of the Community School. The speeches were rounded off magically by a trick from Mr Harrington, he managed to turn 3 different lengths of rope into one long one, while relating it all to the nature of continual learning! Everyone had the opportunity then to review our display boards. The boards looked wonderful, they were informative and illustrative of the great work that goes on in schools and gave a very positive picture of education in the Falkland Islands. The interaction between staff and parents in the second half of the evening created a real enthusiastic buzz!

Well that is the end of Week 5 of this term already!  Time flies when you are having fun!

All of IJS&CE are excited to see Steve Backshall zipping round the ‘Strictly’ ballroom – we were all enthralled in an assembly by visitors Steve and his ‘Deadly 60’ team while they were on their southern ocean adventures – good luck Steve, everyone in IJS&CE is cheering you on.

We have our own TV stars on FITV this week with Mrs Furniss (Y5), Mr Harrington (Y6), Mr Harris (Y3), and Mrs Walsh (Y4) being interviewed and featuring on the local channel.  Watch out for our new Camp Education teachers featuring soon.  Mr Moyles also joins us this week from Ireland, he will be our Year 1 teacher which will enable the school to finally implement non-contact time for teachers for planning, preparation and assessment.  This is very apt news to announce on International Teacher Day.

Monday is a public holiday in the Falkland Islands – ‘Peat Cutting Monday’.  Personally, I view it as a reason to keep as far away from peat as possible, However, it is with a certain nostalgia that I remember discovering (at age 8) that swimming goggles are the perfect way to allow peat rickling in the Falklands wind to be an acceptable task.  Watch this video to see peat cutting in action:


It is a tradition that is quickly dying out in the Falklands so we make sure that our children learn about it in school:

Our School Council has some exciting projects lined up including some super incentives for children to ensure that they do their best to avoid losing 'Golden Time'.  I shall ask our Chairperson Amy to write a piece about the idea.



Our first blog of the new school year, courtesy of Mrs Robinson, IJS&CE’s dynamite deputy head!

I hope you’ve all had a good week.  My week got off to a fabulous start as I collected our new travelling teacher Leonie from the airbridge on Monday afternoon.  I was very impressed at how refreshed she looked after an 18 hour flight!  She was equally impressive the next morning as she undertook her only day in town before flying out to Spring Point for her first beat on the West.  The morning got off to a funny start as the first member of staff I introduced her to thought she was my daughter.  Oh dear, I am not sure who was most offended!  However, the day picked up dramatically and we managed to crack on with lots of items on the induction agenda.  Leonie will spend time with all of her families before ‘Orientation Week’.  It’s great that we now have our full team together.

It has been another busy week in school this week.  Our main event this week was our open evening for parents on Wednesday.  Mrs Steen gave a presentation in the hall for around 30 minutes about the school and giving the parents all the information they will need – it was aimed at new parents and we were delighted to see a selection of both new and existing parents.  All staff attended and at the end of the presentation each teacher took the parents back to their classes for a class presentation specific to their year group.  There was a fabulous positive buzz in the main foyer as parents gathered to chat near the end of the evening, many gave us feedback on the comments board that we put up to seek their views on various aspects of school.  We will post a copy of the feedback once it has been collated – we were delighted with the positive comments our school received!

This week saw the two West settlement schools join the two East Falkland schools in being linked up to the school’s intranet.  Not only will teachers and children be able to access the server, we will be able to link people up via video link without the signal needing to go off-island therefore we can expect excellent quality at an affordable rate.  Yesterday Mr Smith sent some documents from North Arm directly to the printer in the ICT suite Stanley, Mrs Betts was able to put them in an envelope and get them in the post for George on Pebble, all within 5 minutes!  The capabilities of this link are very exciting!  There are a lot of people to thank, notably Sure the local telecoms provider and Synergy, particularly Dima, thank you!

I hope everyone has a great weekend – the sun is shining in the South Atlantic and it’s just lovely!

Mrs R wink

This is going to be a long blog – it will make up for not blogging while I was away.  It has seemed very strange to be away from school in the middle of term time.  I have missed everyone and missed some pretty amazing events!

In the assembly before I left school, I told the children why I was going away.  Mr Winward and I went to London to interview teachers for the next academic year.  It was a very busy time, and we spoke with many enthusiastic teachers, passionate about their profession.  The children gave me a person specification before I left, so I had to make sure we found teachers who:

  • are fun
  • have neat handwriting
  • know how to play football
  • (and most importantly know) how to teach us the things we need to know

It was a tough assignment!

One applicant asked me a very good question, he had read our last inspection report and asked how inspectors might describe our school, three and a half years on.  Afterwards I had more time to reflect about how school has moved forwards since that time.  A lot has happened!  Education has been firmly placed at the top of priorities for the Islands, following the move to have a Director exclusively for Education; full time Members of Legislative Assembly support us politically;numbers on roll have grown - by about 40; we have a new purpose built Foundation Stage setting; the creation of a Nursery & Early Years Development Coordinator has resulted in many improvements in provision across the Islands for children 0-3; we have restructured the leadership team and now have a band of highly effective middle leaders; our SEN department has benefitted from the creation of a role for Specific Learning Difficulties.  Every school strives to improve standards and that is no different in the Falkland Islands.  We have recently worked with the Secondary school to revise our observation and monitoring protocol so we can work across the phases with a consistent approach; we have a wonderfully supportive, hardworking and fun staff whom are among the most dedicated people I know; and last – because you always save the best to last - our children are fabulous.  Just as fabulous as they were 3 and a half years ago, they get involved in projects which places the schools in the centre of the community (you just have to read the Penguin News every week to realise that!).  I’m glad I had a prompt to stand back and reflect on our journey so far, remembering all the highlights along the way.  We continue to work to improve our school, but it is important not to forget our successes.

Deadly 60 visits IJS&CE

Everyone at IJS&CE was thrilled to have Steve, Ruth, Kiri and Scott from the Deadly 60 Pole to Pole expedition visit our school!

We asked lots of difficult questions and found out that Steve's favourite animal is a wolf, that Ruth's favourite location was Namibia, Kiri enjoys throwing tomatoes at her friends with the help of a tornado jet engine and Scott enjoyed the curious Straited Caracaras on our very own Saunders Island!

The team are on an exciting adventure and we wish them well on the next part of it.  We are very grateful that they made time to come and visit with us.

Thank you Deadly 60!


Week ending 31st January 2014

Another new year and another new school term.  We have had a great beginning to the new school term; everyone has come back recharged, enthusiastic and eager to learn.  There’s lots coming up: we have a logo competition that Miss Garner is going to tell you all about on Monday; the newly formed Assembly Committee is helping everyone to contributing to a review of our assemblies; the School Council are arranging a fun day; and on Monday, we will send out a letter telling you all the out of school clubs that are on offer this term.

We are ever so excited in Stanley at the moment – wait for it... Steve Backshall from Deadly 60 Pole to Pole is in the Falkland Islands!  We do hope we bump into him while he is here... in the meantime, I can recommend ‘Deadly Dash 3’ a game on the CBBC website.


It reminded me how great the CBBC website is; and that coming up on Tuesday 11th February is ‘Safer Internet Day’.  Children seem intuitively 3 steps ahead of everyone else when it comes to computers – so this year aims to get us all involved.  The theme ‘Let’s create a better internet together’, offering the opportunity to focus on both the creative things that children and young people are doing online, as well as the role that we all play in helping to create a better internet.





I absolutely loved my trip out to Camp last week - I will not get out to Camp as much as before, Mrs Robinson is very ably taking over a lot of that job.  In fact she has an early run out to the North Camp tomorrow!  Mrs Tempest our new Director of Education joined Mrs Robinson and myself as we visited every settlement school and travelling teacher location on the West.  An awful lot of driving (and cake eating) and I'm thankful FIGAS do not weigh us on the way back too.  It was great to see George's amazing book of poems.  He has been blowing everyone away with the quality of his work - well done George!

I am looking forward to my official visit to FS1 next week to look over their learning journals.  The school was taken over by Pudseys, pyjama wearing people and superheros on Friday as we dressed up for Children in Need.  We raised an astonishing amount of money!  The generosity of our community and our children never fails to amaze me.  Thank you to Mrs Hartley for pulling this together.

We are gearing up for Christmas (seems a little early...) and looking forward to the Christmas performance.  The actors and actresses are learning their lines and songs.  Soon we open up the doors for Parents' Evening, we look forward to sharing everyone's good work.



It was my birthday this week and no one let me forget it!  Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes, thank you Mr Hill who despite being in Orkney still managed to make sure the entire Falkland Islands knew it was my birthday and that I am now officially OLD by putting a call out on the radio!  Thank you to all the children and teachers in IJS&CE for making my day extra special, especially Miss Chapman in Year 5 who did an awful lot of organising.

Congratulations to Miss Ambrose at Hill Cove / Fox Bay.  Miss Ambrose has recently finished a course that she has been working really hard on for some time.  It looks like she is going to get an A!  There is never an end to learning! WELL DONE!

We celebrated Pink Day and raised awareness and plenty of cash for Cancer Research on Friday, culminating in a fabulous Pink Parade, photos to follow.

We raised over £650!  A special well done to Amy in Year 3 who collected sponsorship for wearing pink all week and raised nearly £150 all by herself!  A very special pink young lady.

It is half term next week; it is time for a rest and to enjoy the beginnings of summer.  The sun is shining down on the Falklands and I'm going to the West for a few days and will check out our new accommodation at Fox Bay, very exciting news!  Looking forward to seeing everyone on Monday 4th November.

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