Autumn Term 2017

As you know we are passionate about every learning minute counting and the start of this academic year has been no exception. The children are working their socks off and being the best learners they can be. What a great start to 2017-2018!

We have welcomed lots of new children this term, all of whom have settled well and are following the ‘Talavera Way’.  We would like to say a huge welcome and thank you to all the new parents/ carers.  Nearly all classes are full and we have set our high expectation for the beginning of the year.  Please take a look at the latest news section to see just how busy we have been already!

As you know the School Improvement Plan (SIP) focuses our school for the year with key priorities and areas that we want to develop.  At the beginning of this year when we were shaping the SIP we were in a strong position to really further develop our practice across the whole school curriculum.  We have already raised standards consistently across two years.  So we have of course focused upon maintaining high standards and excellent progress alongside further developing our whole curriculum. Each foundation (not reading, writing or maths) subject leader is further developing their subject through skill development, teaching and learning and rich activities.  We have lots of professional development from specialists to develop our practice such as the Visual Learning Foundation from London who are training all our staff through process art units. We want all the children to have the best teaching and learning across the whole curriculum.

Of course, we are also going to maintain and develop our commitment to our community through sharing teaching and learning and involving our community of children, parents, carers and stakeholders into daily school life. We are officially running the Research Maths Hub, Literacy Tree learning school and sharing within our cluster.

When you look at the SIP you will see that we are building on really strong foundations and we are focusing on small changes and gains to improve. During the INSET day, on the first day of term, we likened our improvement plan to ‘Marginal Gains’.  Did you know that the British cycling team used marginal gains for great success?

Here is the journey in short:

No British cyclist had ever won the Tour de France, but as the new General Manager and Performance Director for Team Sky (Great Britain’s professional cycling team), Brailsford was asked to change that.

His approach was simple.

Brailsford believed in a concept that he referred to as the “aggregation of marginal gains.” He explained it as “the 1 percent margin for improvement in everything you do.” His belief was that if you improved every area related to cycling by just 1 percent, then those small gains would add up to remarkable improvement.

They started by optimizing the things you might expect: the nutrition of riders, their weekly training program, the ergonomics of the bike seat, and the weight of the tires.


But Brailsford and his team didn’t stop there. They searched for 1 percent improvements in tiny areas that were overlooked by almost everyone else: discovering the pillow that offered the best sleep and taking it with them to hotels, testing for the most effective type of massage gel, and teaching riders the best way to wash their hands to avoid infection. They searched for 1 percent improvements everywhere.

Brailsford believed that if they could successfully execute this strategy, then Team Sky would be in a position to win the Tour de France in five years’ time.

He was wrong. They won it in three years.

In 2012, Team Sky rider Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France. That same year, Brailsford coached the British cycling team at the 2012 Olympic Games and dominated the competition by winning 70 percent of the gold medals available.

In 2013, Team Sky repeated their feat by winning the Tour de France again, this time with rider Chris Froome. Many have referred to the British cycling feats in the Olympics and the Tour de France over the past 10 years as the most successful run in modern cycling history.


Please take a look at our SIP for parents below, which focuses on our margin gains. If you would like a copy of the full SIP please ask at the office.