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Headteacher’s Blog

Last Friday, Year 5 led our whole school harvest assembly. They read poems they had written, sang and explained what harvest is and why it is celebrated. Thank you to the Year 5 pupils and staff for all of their hard work, helping our school to celebrate harvest together.

Thank you also to everyone who generously donated items for our harvest celebration. This year, Year 6 pupils and staff took the donated items to the Churches Together Foodbank, where they will be put to very good use, supporting local families.

A message from Reverend Wood:
“An immense 403 items were given and it felt a little overwhelming to see such generosity. This total is also more than last year’s offering by the school, which is incredible.
Please could you pass on my gratitude to the whole school community and let everyone know that their kindness really does make a difference to people’s lives here in London Colney.”

Please note that we have an additional bank holiday to look forward to this summer, to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. As the official extra bank holiday (June 3rd, 2021) falls within the half term holiday, schools have been allowed to close on an alternative day, to mark this occasion. Our school community will therefore be off on June 24th, 2021.

Nicola McLachlan and Minesh Pamar held their final meeting as Chair and Treasurer of the FOBS (Friends of Bowmansgreen School) committee this week. I am sure that you will join me in thanking them for the hard work, time and energy that they have put into organising events and activities to help raise money for our school. In the last 4 years, FOBS have raised over £44,000 for the school, funding equipment, resources and experiences for your children. Regrettably, as nobody has yet come forward to take over these positions, for the first time in many years, FOBS will be without a Chair and Treasurer to lead the committee.  It would be a great shame if we no longer have this support, to help raise much needed and appreciated funds for Bowmansgreen pupils. If you are interested in supporting the school in either of these roles, or would like more information, please contact the school office.

School was much quieter than usual this week, as most of our Year 6 pupils enjoyed a week of fun on their residential trip in Norfolk. They had a great time taking part in activities including sailing, caving, rock climbing and fencing. They really did themselves proud, with staff commenting on what a fantastic, well-behaved group of children they were, to take away. I had the pleasure of visiting them during their week away and I was really impressed by their enthusiasm, behaviour and how supportive they were of each other. I also never realised that learning to fence could be so much fun! Thank you to Miss Allen, Miss Hancock, Miss Bliss and Mrs Enus-Rahman for supporting pupils during their week, enabling them to have such a fantastic time.

Please be reminded that next Friday, school is closed as it is an INSET day.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Headteacher’s Blog

This week, pupils in EYFS, Y1 and Y2 took part in drama workshops, taking them on a journey through outer space. Pupils had fun dancing, singing and improvising, undertaking some astronaut ‘training’ and learning about some of the planets in the solar system.

Assemblies this week have focused on two national eco-events: the Great Big Green Week  and Recycle Week. Pupils across the school learnt about and discussed what our school community can do better, to help look after our environment as well as what we can all do at home, to create less waste and recycle more.

Our extra-curricular provision is slowly growing, with several more after-school activities re-starting this week, including pet club and film club. Our new art club also started this week, which sounds like it is going to be great fun… and sometimes very messy!

Two Home Learning clubs will run from next week (Monday and Friday lunchtimes) to support your child to complete some of their home learning tasks.

As previously mentioned, we are currently taking the decision to keep the back gate restricted to a pupil only entrance/exit for independent travellers. We appreciate that it is not ideal for some families, especially those who live in the roads behind school and who would use the gate with younger children, as well as putting increasing pressure on traffic and parking at the front of the school. We have been closely monitoring the situation, taking into account the numbers and views of Y4-Y6 independent travellers; the volume of traffic and parking issues; as well as the views and opinions of staff, some local residents and members of the wider school community. Any decisions about the re-opening and use of the back gate will be made in the interests of the health and safety of the school and local community and taking into account the impact of our new neighbouring medical centre. We will update families with any changes and decisions.

Please be reminded to name all of your child’s school uniform. This week, 5 black bags full of unnamed, unclaimed clothing, including coats and shoes, have been collected from lost property. Please encourage your child to look for any lost items.

Our whole school attendance is currently 95% – just! It would be great if we could improve on this, to at least 96% before half-term and ensure that more pupils are attending school every day and maximising their learning opportunities.

Mrs Stanley’s coffee morning got Bowmansgreen off to a great start today. Tea, coffee, biscuits and cake were on sale to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support as part of their ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.’ Thank you to everyone who baked or bought to support the sale which raised a fantastic £205.36p! Thank you Mrs Stanley, for organising and hosting the event.

The live Meet the Teacher presentations took place yesterday and today – we hope that you found them useful. Recordings will be available to all parents next week.

Next Tuesday and Thursday,  family consultation meetings take place – please contact the school office if you have not yet booked an appointment. We look forward to seeing you all.

Enjoy your weekend.

Headteacher’s Blog

Pupils have now completed two full weeks back at school. They have settled well into their new classes, year groups and an almost normal school routine. Daily, whole school assemblies have resumed – the first time that all pupils have been together, in the hall, for a very long time. School has felt like school during the last couple of weeks and it has been a pleasure.

I am sure that you will all join me in welcoming our new Reception pupils to Bowmansgreen. They have enjoyed a busy first two weeks, getting to know each other and their class staff, slowly building up their timetables and exploring their new learning environment. Staff have been impressed with how well they have taken to school life and they are already showing what keen learners they are.

Welcome also to some new members of staff who have joined our Bowmansgreen staff team, this term.

  • Miss Choudhry – Class teacher, 2CH
  • Miss McShane – sports coach and learning mentor
  • Mr Regan – SENCO
  • Miss Snell – teaching assistant, Year 6
  • Mrs Thorneycroft – teaching assistant, inclusion team

Please ensure that your child has a PE kit at school everyday and that all uniform and shoes are clearly named.

We have seen a small number of Bowmansgreen pupils test positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of term. Although children are no longer required to self-isolate, if identified as a close contact, it is important that families are aware that the virus remains a risk to the health of members of our school community and that we will continue to take measures and action to reduce the risk of transmission.

Traffic and parking are currently significant issues facing Bowmansgreen families during the school run. Despite slightly longer drop-off and pick-up times, I know that the situation at the front gate has been particularly difficult for drivers and pedestrians. Local residents are understanding and patient about the volume of school traffic and parking. Please could drivers therefore ensure that they do not block driveways or stationary cars and that they park safely and with consideration. Pupils can arrive at school from 8.35 – 8.50am to allow drivers time to find parking and arrive at school before the registers close.

I appreciate that the situation has been further complicated by the current decision to keep the back gate an entrance and exit for pupils who are independent travellers only.  A letter will be sent to families next week, further explaining this decision and the factors affecting any future decisions.

Meet the Teacher and Family Consultation Meetings take place during the next two weeks – all meetings will be online. Details to follow.

This morning’s celebration assembly saw pupils recognised for their learning and sporting successes, amongst other achievements. David (Y2) wowed us with his super knowledge and understanding of astronomy. Thank you for teaching us about constellations, David! Congratulations to Harvey (Y1) for winning the summer sunflower competition, helping his sunflower grow to a fantastic 101cm! We hope that he has fun decorating his new birdbox.

Enjoy your weekend.

Headteacher’s Blog

We are looking forward to welcoming your child back to school this Thursday, for the start of the new academic year. We hope that you have had a happy, restful summer.

As you might be aware, updated government guidance for schools has been issued during the last couple of weeks, referring to the actions that schools should continue to take, to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 within the community.

The key changes/updates include:

  • children do not have to isolate if identified as a close contact. Instead, they will be advised to get a PCR test
  • ‘bubbles’ are no longer recommended as necessary
  • face coverings are no longer advised for pupils and staff in classrooms and communal areas
  • control measures are to remain in place (good hygiene, appropriate cleaning routines, well ventilated spaces, follow public health advice)
  • children with COVID-19 symptoms should not attend school
  • staff should continue to test with LFDs twice a week
  • pupils and staff with positive LFD test results should inform school, stay home and take a PCR test
  • remote education expectations remain
  • introduction of thresholds for COVID-19 cases that, if reached, can trigger extra actions for a school
  • shielding is currently paused

In light of the updated guidance, we can now thankfully lift many of the measures that have affected and restricted our day to day operations as well as our curriculum for nearly two school years. It is an exciting prospect to look ahead to a school day and learning environment that starts to bring our pupils together again. We will, however, proceed with caution and respond to the needs and behaviours of our pupils. For some of our younger pupils, who have lived the majority of their school lives so far, as part of a group of 60, 30 or less, it might well be a daunting, overwhelming prospect to suddenly become one of a group of 350 or more! Some pupils will need slightly longer to adjust to the change back to a fully integrated, whole school community.

A few measures, however, will remain in place for at least the start of the school year and gently eased once the whole school community has returned but these are mostly operational matters, not affecting the curriculum.

Whilst it is now very unlikely that classes or whole year groups will have to isolate as close contacts, classes can only attend school for face-to-face teaching if sufficient numbers of class staff are available to teach them. Protecting staff from the risk of contracting coronavirus at school therefore remains a priority, to help keep them safe and well and also to ensure that your child is provided with the best quality teaching by the staff who know them best. We will therefore continue to restrict the numbers of visitors on site, for at least the first few weeks.

As confirmed before the end of term, we will now revert to pre-Lockdown school start and finish times:
8.35am – 3.00pm  EYFS & KS1 (Reception, Y1, Y2)
8.35 – 3.05pm  KS2 (Y3 – Y6)

As we have not experienced an unstaggered, whole school start and end of day for a while, we are slightly adjusting the drop-off and pick-up times and procedures, to allow for increased traffic, parking and congestion and as a continued protective measure.

Another factor affecting our drop-off and pick-up procedures, is the back gate. The new Summerfield Health Centre, situated next to the Caledon Community Centre, is now open to our local community. At the back gate, a new path provides a choice of direction when leaving the school site, around the health centre. As we do not yet know what impact a fully operational health centre and fully mobilised Bowmansgreen school community will have on each other, in terms of traffic, parking and footfall, we have decided to continue to restrict the use of this gate, to pupils in Y4, Y5 and Y6 who are independent travellers only. This will provide a chance to monitor the impact of school re-opening alongside the medical centre, the use of the new pathway, traffic and parking. If your child was an independent traveller last term, we will assume that they have continued consent. Our new Year 4 pupils will be provided with permission letters, on Thursday.

We will initially continue to maintain the one way system on the Key Stage 1 playground at the start and end of the school day, limiting access to the wider school site for parents and carers.

Gates will be open from 8.35 – 8.50am for all (adjusted from 8.45am). Doors will close at 8.50am and registers taken at 8.55am. Pupils arriving late, after 8.50am, must enter via the school office.
The front, main gate will be open from 2.55pm for KS1 pupils to be collected from the KS1 playground at 3pm.
The front gate will remain open and KS2 pupils can be collected until 3.10pm from the KS1 playground (unless they are independent travellers and leave via the back gate). Pupils collected late, after 3.10pm, must be collected from the school office.

All measures and procedures will be reviewed and amended as necessary and appropriate.

Please read this letter from Jim McManus, Director of Public Health.

Thank you for bearing with us whilst we despatched your child’s end of year report. It is not our preferred method of distributing reports and this year was particularly difficult, as it coincided with the updating of our school network to a cloud based environment which affected software, printing and photocopying. Hopefully, we will be fully up and running by Thursday….

Headteacher’s Blog

A little reminder…

Throughout the last eighteen months, there have been many changes that have affected school life. These changes have included: partial school closures; changes in government guidance; the cancellation of statutory assessments; rules about self-isolation; one way systems; and staggered school timings… to name but a few! In many ways, school has been different. The one thing that has remained consistent, however, is just how fantastic our pupils are.

Whilst all of these changes have been taking place, your children have continued to impress and amaze us with their efforts and achievements and there has been lots to celebrate. Pupils across the school have been working hard; excelling in their learning; being amazing friends; trying new things; overcoming barriers; taking risks; and establishing new skills and talents. Much of the time, this has happened quietly as we have not been able to recognise and loudly celebrate their achievements together, as we normally would, as a whole school.

So, I would like to provide a little reminder about, and take the opportunity to celebrate, our wonderful pupils and mention just a few of our Bowmansgreen superstars.

On the last day of term, we held a remote Leavers’ Assembly, to thank and congratulate our fantastic Year 6s for having led the way so brilliantly during this very challenging of school years. As is tradition, awards were ‘handed out’ – virtually, of course – to a number of pupils who had been voted for or nominated by their peers or staff members.

This year, the winners are:

Year 6 Award Winners 2021
Sporting AchievementAmelie
Max
Outstanding AchievementRuby E
Harry P
Bowmansgreen ValuesFariha
Mikail Ak
Pupils’ PupilIzabela
Ms Scoot’s Award for Outstanding EffortMicah
Star of KindnessSean
Deputy Headteacher’s AwardSarah
Headteacher’s AwardJed

Congratulations to our worthy winners!

It has not been an easy year to be a House Captain! Thank you House Captains, for being responsible, sensible role-models and a great support to the school’s leadership team and wider community. I hope that you all go on to lead the way in your secondary schools.

Year 6 House Captains

AlexAmelieHarry DHeidi
KaiaLennonRuby ETyler

 

Harry took part in a 24 hour sponsored silence to raise money for Peace Hospice Care. Not only did he complete the silence, he raised an amazing £285 by doing so!

 

Oscar was so inspired by Harry’s fundraising efforts that he designed, made and sold bracelets, raising over £60 for Peace Hospice Care.

 

Isla has also been busy raising money for charity. She completed a 20k bike ride and raised a spectacular £800 for Save the Children!

Well done to our fundraising heroes!

 

Poppy, Anna, Sophia, Louisa, Amin and Valentino all took and passed their first music exams. More details about their musical achievements, to follow.

Ruby E-G and Ruby N both took grade 2 recorder; Lacey took grade 2 singing and Eliza took grade 1 piano.

Congratulations to all of our talented musicians!

 

During the last few days of term, we held an art exhibition to display and view all of the fantastic art work that pupils across the school had been busy creating last half-term. Enjoy!

Headteacher’s Blog

A new ‘Noma Creates’ programme starts via Zoom on Monday 26th July 2021. The Young People’s Healthy Hub has a new FREE course available for young people (aged 11-16) and their families over the summer holidays. The course is hosted by former BBC MasterChef Quarter Finalist, 2016, Noma Creates (Nomalanga Nyamayaro). Through this course, young people and families will learn how to prepare healthy meals, while mastering key life skills. The course will be held via Zoom on Mondays and Wednesdays during the summer holidays, with the first session on Monday 26th July, 11am – 1pm. Sign up for this event via Eventbrite.

School Nursing Team presentation – take a look at how the school nursing team could support your child.

The Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service provides lessons and resources on their StayWise website that promote safety to children and their families, especially useful during the summer holidays.

New and prospective reception families: are your children school ready? The Early Years service, in partnership with Early Years providers, schools and Herts for Learning have developed a school readiness guide to support families and children.

What a year it has been! We end the school year with some uncertainty about what happens next; lots of unfinished business;  many questions about what school will look and feel like in September; and a very strong sense of ‘what just happened?’ It really has been an extraordinary year and a half.

The pandemic has affected all of us to varying degrees and in different ways and the legacy of COVID-19 is likely to affect our children’s generation for years to come. It had an immediate effect upon school life and it is likely to have a sustained impact upon our curriculum and the operational organisation of school. Some families within our school community have thrived under the restrictions, with families enjoying living, learning and supporting each other differently. For some families, however, we know that the last eighteen months have been incredibly difficult, with Lockdown negatively impacting upon housing, employment, relationships and finances.

The school’s capacity to deal with anything other than very urgent business has been greatly reduced this year, in part due to the increased level of support that many pupils and families have required as a result of the pandemic. There has been lots of coverage in the media about helping pupils to ‘catch-up’ academically yet many schools, including our own, are also having to support pupils with their emotional and wellbeing needs which have been significantly affected by the pandemic.  Our curriculum next term, will continue to reflect and respond to these needs.

There have been some huge positives and successes to take from this year and we therefore also end the year with a great sense of achievement and satisfaction. We made it! Our school community has pulled together even stronger during the last eighteen months and supported each other through the awfulness and uncertainty. This school community is amazing! Families have gone out of their way to send their support and positivity to the school, as well as each other, and I have been humbled and immensely proud many times this year by the supportive comments, acts of kindness and the resilience, resolve and happiness of our pupils. Thank you.

We don’t always get decisions right and we cannot please everyone but we will always try out hardest for your children. We care deeply about their wellbeing, the quality of their education and future prospects and we will continue to work in partnership with you, to ensure that they achieve their potential.

Thank you to my wonderful staff team. I am not quite sure how they have held me, their pupils and themselves together this year – it has been a journey! The staff at Bowmansgreen have done an incredible job at providing your children (and me!) with the support, nurturing and certainty that they have needed to help them cope this year. Thank you everyone – I couldn’t have done this year without you all; your trust, patience and understanding… even when through gritted teeth and deep breaths!

Have a lovely summer!

Headteacher’s Blog

This morning, we held a virtual Leavers’ Assembly for our fantastic Year 6. Although they have not physically been in the building for their last few days, they have very much been in our thoughts and it was great to be able to see them today, reminisce and remind them just how fantastic they are. They should all be very proud of how they have managed and succeeded in their final year at primary school. On behalf of all Bowmansgreen staff, we wish them all much happiness and good luck for the future.

The new Bowmansgreen bunnies have names! Earlier this week, Betsy B and Lexi S chose Marshmallow and Fudge as the winning names from the hundreds (and hundreds!) that had been suggested by pupils across the school. Thank you, girls – great choices!

This afternoon, you will have received two letters about maths (Y1 – Y5) and English (EYFS – Y5) Home Learning during the holidays. We hope that you find the resources helpful and supportive during the summer, and a great way to keep your children thinking, learning and connected to the curriculum, ready for their new year groups, in September.

You will receive your child’s end of year school report via post, next week. Included in the envelope, will be a letter explaining our assessment processes and expectations, and how our curriculum will support your child, from September. Y5 pupils will also receive a letter with their MyMaths account details.

GUIDANCE FOR PARENTS AND CARERS (SCHOOLS) – UPDATED DOCUMENT: What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19.  Information for parents and carers about attending schools, nurseries and colleges in 2021.

In September, we can confirm that – unless we are advised to maintain staggered timings for the school day due to further National Restrictions – we will return to pre-COVID school opening and closing times:
EYFS, Y1 and Y2: 8.35 – 3pm
Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6: 8.35 – 3.05pm

School has felt really different this year. There have been lots of necessary adaptations and adjustments put in place during the last eighteen months, as protective measures for our school community. As we review and re-adjust and hopefully reverse some of these measures, we will update families, so that you know what to expect in September.

There will be one further blog post from me tomorrow, then I will leave you all alone (for a while), to enjoy your summer!

Headteacher’s Blog

We are now in our final week of term, before the summer holiday…. and it is not going according to plan! Regrettably, our Year 6 pupils are not able to see out this week as hoped, as they are self-isolating due to a confirmed, positive case of COVID-19. It is such a shame, being so close to the end of the year but a reflection and sad reality of how widespread this virus is again, in our local and wider communities. Thankfully, the Year 6 residential trip in Norfolk and the end of year production both successfully took place this term and alternative arrangements are currently being finalised, to say goodbye and good luck to our fantastic pupils.

As is often the case at the end of a school year, there are members of staff, as well as pupils, who will be leaving Bowmansgreen this summer. Miss Chuter, Miss Hood and Mrs Kennedy – who have been working as part of our support staff team – and Mr Bailey, Mr Gowler, Mr Harnden and Mrs Manly – part of our teaching team – are all saying their goodbyes and setting off on new adventures. There are a lot of staff members to say goodbye to at once and school will feel very different in September, in their absence. It is always sad to say ‘farewell’ to members of our school community but it is exciting to see friends and colleagues start new chapters and reach new goals. I would like to thank them all for their hard work and commitment to our pupils and the school community, especially during these difficult, last two school years. I know that you will all join me in wishing them good luck and much happiness for the future.

There has been lots of information announced and published by the government, during the last few days, about ‘Step 4 of the roadmap’ and what it means for school aged children. We will ensure that you receive the key headlines over the next couple of days and try and confirm – as far as is possible – arrangements for September, in terms of start and finish times, after school clubs etc. As has often been the case with best laid plans over the last eighteen months, we will be guided by government and Hertfordshire advice, therefore, they are subject to change – sometimes at very short notice. However, it would be great if we could all look ahead to a fresh start in September, whether at Bowmansgreen, new secondary schools or pastures new and see exciting opportunities, new challenges and something different to the disruption, restrictions and uncertainty, of the last two school years.

Encourage your child to take part in the Summer reading challenge presented by The Reading Agency and in partnership with Hertfordshire libraries. The ‘Wild World Heroes’ challenge is free for Hertfordshire children and it is now open!

Hertfordshire’s Holiday Activity Programme, offers a range of summer holiday activities for children aged 5-16 years old. See if your child is eligible to attend.

Congratulations to Mrs Neville, Mrs Pitcher and Ms Robbins! They have all been recognised by Hertfordshire for their length of service with the county council. Mrs Neville and Mrs Pitcher have reached 20 years of service, and Ms Robbins, 30 years of service.

Work began today on our new sensory garden. Watch this space to see how it develops…..

 

Headteacher’s Blog

Just in case it’s coming home….

If you have not already cleaned the BBQ, bought the snacks, hung up the flags, learnt the song, tried out your flag face painting skills, and got various liquids on ice… you are likely to be doing at least some of those things in the next few hours. As I am sure you are aware, there is a rather important football match taking place tonight at 8pm, that has caused even the non-footballer lovers across the nation, to get quite excited.

England v Italy, 8pm, Euro 2020 final

Due to the unprecedented challenges and impact caused by the pandemic, the prospect of communities coming together, to celebrate this game, seems even more significant. A game that might not otherwise have caught some people’s attention, has united the nation in anticipation. There is the thrilling prospect of a trophy for England, in a major football championship, for the first time in 55 years.

Just to recap recent history:
Euro 1996 (Germany, penalties, heartbreak)
Euro 2000 (Romania, penalty, heartbreak)
Euro 2004 (Portugal, penalties, heartbreak)
Euro 2008 (didn’t qualify)
Euro 2012 (Italy, penalties, heartbreak)
Euro 2016 (Iecland, defeat, heartbreak)

And so here we are…

We want and encourage families to enjoy this moment together (or more accurately, 90mins + 30mins + time for penalties…) and fully expect you to enjoy it with your children. It is a collective, cultural experience and national sporting achievement and something our children will remember, for years to come. It is also one of the few positive occasions that we have all been able to share in and get excited about, during the last eighteen or so months.

We fully expect and are prepared for your children to be: shattered; delirious; to have lost their voices through screaming; be extra excitable; and (please let’s hope not, but just in case…) even heartbroken. We know that it might be difficult to get some children out of bed tomorrow morning at the usual time, after an emotional late night. You know your children best and what they can and can’t cope well with.

The best start to the school day, for your child, their class, their teacher (and the school office!), is for everyone to be in at the usual time, starting their learning together but we appreciate that tomorrow morning is a bit of an unknown and unprecedented situation. We know that you will do what you feel is best for your child and your family and that might mean that the school routine is not as slick tomorrow morning!

We do ask that your children come into school tomorrow unless they are unwell (or the Prime Minister grants us all an immediate, official bank holiday!) and that they are dressed in full school uniform, with no face paints or dyed hair.

We will delay our usual phone calls home, to follow up absence, so that if families are running a little later than usual, they will not get called until after 9.30am. We must, however, still make these calls home to be able to monitor absence, from a safeguarding perspective. Therefore, if you do receive a call, we would appreciate your honesty if your child’s lateness is ‘Euro-related.’

So let’s hope it’s coming home. 55 years is a very long time.

There is, however, the small matter of a pretty good team from Italy to get past first…

Good luck to Southgate and the England team.

Enjoy!

Headteacher’s Blog

Plastic pollution has been the focus of assemblies this week. Pupils followed the journey of a plastic bag, that ended up as rubbish in the ocean and learned about the dangers of single-use plastics, to the environment and wildlife. The Bowmansgreen Eco-committee is helping staff and pupils to reduce the use of non-recyclable materials at school and increase the amount of waste that is recycled. Please talk to your child about what they have learnt and how your family is supporting this climate action.

Bowmansgreen is taking part in the Eat Them to Defeat Them schools’ programme which is part of a campaign to encourage children to eat more vegetables. Each week there is a focus vegetable which pupils are encouraged to try – this week it was the turn of the tomato! If pupils eat a portion of the focus vegetable, they will receive a sticker from staff working in the dining hall. Lots of pupils tried tomato juice for the first time yesterday and were surprised at how good it tasted! Thank you to our dining room MSAs and HCL catering staff who have been encouraging and tempting pupils to take part in the programme and try something new!

Eat Them to Defeat Them!

Pupils were excited to see Miss Golding visit their classrooms this week, as she returned to Bowmansgreen from maternity leave. She has already set to work checking in with classes across the school, seeing how hard pupils have been working throughout this very challenging year and planning with teachers to maximise teaching and learning opportunities during this busy half-term. Welcome back, Miss Golding!

Please could I remind families that the earlier school start and finish times, reflecting government COVID-19 guidance and measures, apply to Year 1, Year 5 and Year 6 only. Unless you have arranged with the school office and class staff to drop siblings off at the same, agreed time, into the care of school staff, pupils in all other year groups should arrive at school at the usual time, between 8.35 and 8.45am. Pupils are unsupervised before this time and should not be on the school site. Unfortunately, we will have to start asking families to wait off-site with their children, if pupils continue to arrive too early.

We have provisionally planned a range of activities to take place this half term, involving parents and carers, in the hope that further national restrictions will be lifted on June 21st, for example sports days, Year 6 performances and Reception 2021 transition activities. We will continue to monitor the guidance and keep families informed – further government announcements are expected next week. Unless further restrictions are introduced, we intend for all of the events to take place, with or without other family members present, as they are an important part of your child’s curriculum and provision.

We can, however, confirm that we will be maintaining staggered start and finish times and the current gate arrangements, until the end of term. Even if government guidance allows for a change in these measures from June 21st, with just over four weeks left of the school year at that point, we have decided that it would be simpler and safer to maintain these measures for the rest of the term. We will then review the situation and any updated guidance, for the start of the new school year, in September.

Please could we remind all adult family members to continue to carry out social distancing and wear face masks whilst on the school site. We have been very lucky with the low number of coronavirus cases that have affected our school community and have worked hard to ensure that appropriate, effective, protective measures have been put in place. As the number of COVID cases has begun to rise again nationally, including in St Albans, we would like staff, pupils and families to continue to keep each other as safe as possible, during these last few weeks of term.

I am very sad to announce that former Bowmansgreen staff member, Debbie Cooper, died during half-term, after a short illness. Debbie had worked at Bowmansgreen for more than a decade, in various roles, including breakfast club assistant and as a teaching assistant in the Primary Support Base, before leaving in 2017, to take up a position at another local primary school. Debbie was well liked and respected within our school community and she will be sadly missed by the staff, pupils and families who knew her.

Bowmansgreen has had the pleasure of ‘duck-sitting’ a brood of very cute ducklings, for the last few weeks. Pupils have enjoyed looking after them, watching (and hearing!) them grow and change. A special ‘thank you’ to the Webb family who took great care of the ducklings during the half-term break. Next week, the ducklings will leave Bowmansgreen for their new, permanent home in Norfolk.

Next week, our first Bowmansgreen Reading (books, not music!) Festival takes place. All pupils will take part in a range of activities to encourage interest and enjoyment in reading for pleasure. Activities include live streamed author events; an introduction to new authors and illustrators; and discussion and recommendations through book reviews. It promises to be a really enjoyable week and a great opportunity to inspire and motivate pupils to discover and read books that capture and challenge their imaginations.

Enjoy your weekend, the sunshine… and the Euros!