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Kene Madueke Foundation

On Tuesday, Yvonne and Udoka Madueke visited Bowmansgreen to lead a special assembly for pupils in Y4 – Y6. They talked about their talented, courageous son Kene who was a former pupil at Bowmansgreen, and the foundation they have set up in his memory. The Kene Madueke Foundation, supports teenagers diagnosed with cancer and other terminal illnesses.

Tuesday was a non-uniform day, where staff and pupils wore yellow – the colour commonly associated with certain types of cancer, particularly childhood cancer or sarcoma. The assembly informed and supported pupils’ understanding of why and how some people can develop cancer and how we might be able to support them, ourselves and each other when someone we know becomes ill.

Pupils took this opportunity to share some of their own experiences and ask thoughtful, pertinent questions. The assembly also highlighted how many families within our school community have been affected by cancer – more than two thirds of pupils sharing that they have a family member or know someone close, who has or has had cancer.

It was unexpected and incredibly uplifting, just how many pupils seized this opportunity to learn and share their own experiences.

A huge thank you to Yvonne and Udoka for sharing their family’s experience and journey; for helping to raise awareness of a disease that affects so many families within our school community and beyond; and for empowering our pupils with knowledge.

Thank you Bowmansgreen families, for helping to raise £400 for the The Kene Madueke Foundation.

 

Headteacher’s Blog

The last two weeks of term have flown by – it has been a very busy fortnight!

The extent of the recent, heavy snow and icy conditions caused major disruption and a ‘snow day’ for many schools, locally and nationally, including Bowmansgreen. Thank you for your patience and support during a few very cold, precarious days. School resumed on Tuesday and thankfully, by Thursday, the roads were safe enough for Mr Regan and Mrs Elborough to accompany pupils for their final ‘Go Wild!’ session of the term. Pupils has great fun in the snow, in the picturesque surroundings of Hudnall Park.

Last week, our EYFS and Key Stage One classes took part in Nativity performances, to the rest of the school and their family members. Pupils were fantastic! It was a pleasure to see them on stage, performing their lines, singing and dancing: many of them, for the very first time. Well done children – you should be very proud of yourselves!

Last Friday, Year 6 led our Christingle service. Despite a last minute change of venue, due to the icy weather conditions, Year 6 successfully led the service at school, joined by family, friends and pupils in Key Stages One and Two. What a fantastic job they did, in adapting to a change of venue and alterations to their best laid plans! Well done Year 6, for sharing with us such a beautiful, fitting performance as your final Bowmansgreen Christingle service.

On Monday, pupils in Year 3 and Year 4 performed their carol concert, twice in one day – first, to the whole school and then to their family members. Mr Bronstein accompanied on piano, as pupils sang in year groups and altogether, as well as some numbers performed by the choir. It was such a lovely occasion and a really impressive display of the talent and school ethos, at Bowmansgreen.

Thank you to the staff involved throughout all stages of the planning and organisation of these events and to the family members who turned out to support their children and the performances. The biggest ‘thank you’ goes to our amazing pupils who entertained, impressed and made us all feel very proud, with their energy, bravery and talent. Well done!

Free mental health advice and guidance for children and young people (CYP) in Hertfordshire (aged 10-25yrs) via Kooth.com, The service provides a free, safe and anonymous place for people to connect with others and know they are not alone. Drop-in or booked sessions with professional counsellors, from 12pm-10pm weekdays and 6pm-10pm weekends.

Free Eating Disorder Support for CYP in Hertfordshire (aged 5-18yrs) via First Steps to Understanding Eating Disorders (First Steps ED), offering face to face and digital one-to-one support sessions, as well as weekly psychoeducation and group support programmes (Wellbeing Workshop, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) Support Group, Binge Eating Workshops etc). This service is also available to support parents, carers and older siblings (18 years +) with workshops and one-to-one parent support. Referrals (including self-referrals) are made via firststepsed.co.uk.

Here for you – Winter Campaign. Please be aware of this Hertfordshire campaign detailing some of the support that is on offer, locally and nationally, to help manage the rising cost-of-living and to stay safe and well this winter. www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/hereforyou.

Winter HAPpy camps are running during the Christmas holidays, from today (22nd Dec) until 4th Jan, 2023. Eligible children and young people (those in receipt of benefits-related Free School Meals) can enjoy a choice of free activity sessions, which include sports, physical activity, craft activities, food and nutrition advice and a free, nutritious meal.
Please visit the Herts Sports Partnerships website for more information.

On behalf of all the staff, who have been overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity, I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ for your support, kind words, Christmas cards and gifts in the last few days and weeks. It really is much appreciated and reinforces what an amazingly supportive, kind and caring school community we are!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday.

See you all in 2023!

Headteacher’s Blog

On Monday morning, pupils enjoyed a great start to their week with a performance of ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Anthony Glenn returned to Bowmansgreen to entertain and involve pupils in a super, interactive performance of this Charles Dickens novel. Well done to all of the pupils who volunteered and joined in the performance. Anthony will be back in the summer term, with one of his ‘Shaking Up Shakespeare’ performances.

School Christmas lunch took place on Wednesday. Pupils and staff across the school ate a festive lunch together, served by staff and House Captains. It was a lovely occasion and a very tasty Christmas lunch! A special thank you to our kitchen staff, MSAs and support staff for helping to organise this special lunchtime, ensuring that it was a lovely occasion for our pupils.

Please read our new school uniform policy. We welcome feedback, questions and suggestions from our school community, about any aspects of this policy.

Thank you to all those who joined us at yesterday’s curriculum evening. We hope you enjoyed sharing your child’s learning in PSHE and seeing work from across the school. Thank you to Ms Smith, our PSHE lead, for organising this event.

Earlier this week, you will have received a letter about Scarlet Fever and iGAS from Public Health England. Although we currently do not know of any confirmed cases of Scarlet Fever at Bowmansgreen, we have had lots of children off school in recent days with a range of illnesses. Please let the school office know if you suspect that your child has Scarlet Fever or if you have had it confirmed. It is important that we have this information to help protect the health of our school community.

The weather has been very cold this week and set to get even colder in the coming days. Please ensure that your child has a coat, hat and gloves at school every day so that they can stay warm at break and lunchtimes. This is especially important for next Friday, when we walk down to St Peter’s Church, for our Christingle service.

A special thank you to Lottie who helped me lead this morning’s celebration assembly. Lottie – you were a fantastic help and quite the professional!

Next week, an inter-house speed stacking competition takes place. Good luck everyone!

 

Headteacher’s Blog

The last couple of weeks have been very busy at Bowmansgreen!

On Monday 29th November, Year 6 pupils took part in the Abbey Carol Service. It was a fantastic occasion and very well attended by schools and families across St Albans. Thank you to the parents and carers who transported their children to and from the Abbey and supported pupils at this event. A huge ‘well done’ to Shakyra, Rosa and Amelia who had main parts in the service and whose performances were commented on as being fantastic and a credit to themselves and the school.

As parents and carers attend more face-to-face events at school, we appreciate and support families wanting to take photos and videos of memorable milestones and occasions in their child’s school life. Please can we remind families not to share these photos and videos on social medial as we have a number of pupils in each year group who do not have consent for their images to be shared or published.

Winter fair – WOW! What a fantastic event the winter fair turned out to be. It really was a lovely occasion for our school community and a hugely successful fundraiser.  Thank you to all of the families that joined with us to support this event and to the FOBS committee for their time and energy in organising and running the fair so successfully.

Today, our second curriculum evening of the year takes place. Come along between 3 – 4pm or 6 – 7pm to share in your child’s learning in PSHE. Everyone welcome!

 

Headteacher’s Blog

Breakfast club takes place every morning from 7.30am. Last drop-off for breakfast is 8.15am. It is a popular part of our school provision and a great start to your child’s day. Payment is made in advance through Schoolcomms and your child can attend as often or irregularly as you might need. Mrs Stanley and her team welcome pupils from all year groups and provide fun, games, a great breakfast and a positive start to your child’s day at school. For further information, please contact the school office.

Hertfordshire families can sign up to access Hertfordshire’s Family Centres for free, to:
*Access FREE, fun family activities to do with their child and receive support when needed
*Meet other local families with children the same age
*Give their children the best start in life with support from trained professionals, qualified in Early Years development
*Have their say and help to shape future services
*Receive their local district newsletter, packed with useful parenting advice and activities
Register online at hertsfamilycentres.org

‘Roast battles’ have recently become a cause of upset between some of our older pupils. What starts out as some friendly, agreed ‘banter’ between friends often turns into an unkind exchange of insults that is suddenly very unfunny, angering and upsetting for some or all of those involved. Staff are spending a lot of time trying to get to the bottom of situations, that have started off as ‘roast battles’ between pupils and we are therefore encouraging pupils not to take part in these battles at school. Please could parents and carers reinforce this message, discussing with your child why these ‘battles’ might turn into upsetting exchanges and how they could and why they should be avoided.

The new parking restrictions have made a significant difference to the traffic and parking during the school run, making it calmer and safer for our school and local community. There has, however, been a noticeable increase in the number of drivers ignoring the restrictions as well as several complaints from local residents about their driveways being blocked by cars on the school run. Please could we remind parents and carers not to park across our neighbours’ driveways and to respect the parking restrictions that have been introduced, to help make the roads around school safer for drivers, pedestrians and local residents.

Three more sleeps until our winter fair! Tomorrow, your child may wear non-uniform in exchange for chocolates or a bottle for the tombola.

Pupils in Key Stage 2 enjoyed a special treat during their music assembly this morning, with performances by some of our Year 5 and Year 6 musicians. Very well done to Betsy on trumpet; Aidan, Celine, Kian and Harry on piano; Poppy on recorder; and Hector on drums. Thank you to all of the talented musicians who performed with courage and confidence – you really did yourselves proud! Thank you also to Mr Bronstein, for organising this performance and for the parents and carers for joining us this morning, to support your children.

Headteacher’s Blog

Last week was national Anti-Bullying Week. Odd Socks Day kicked off the week, with pupils and staff wearing odd socks day to highlight and celebrate what makes us all unique. Assemblies, lessons and activities throughout the week provided opportunities for pupils to learn, discuss and share their knowledge and experiences. The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘reach out,’ focusing on empowering pupils to be aware and proactive in identifying and countering bullying and the harm and hurt that it causes. Although our focus is on anti-bullying all year round, Anti-Bullying Week reminds everyone (at home, school, in the community or online) to reach out and show each other support.

The Bowmansgreen Friendship Coaches are back! Our trained Year 6 peer mediators are available every break and lunchtime to help pupils across the school when they have fall-outs or need some advice and support with friendships struggles.  They are a valuable, successful and well used support. Thank you to the pupils who have taken on this responsibility. They will soon be passing on their skills and experience, helping to train pupils in year 5.

Strings Music Making Day, 22nd November 2022 at St Albans Music School – there are a few places left. All primary aged strings players are welcome to attend, from beginners upwards. This event takes place during the school day so if your child attends, please let the school office know so that we can authorise their absence. Venue: St Albans Music School, based at Townsend School, High Oaks, St Albans AL3 6DR. To join, please visit https://sams-strings-day-22.eventbrite.co.uk

Please ensure that your child’s school drinks bottle contains water only. This is the only drink that your child is allowed to drink throughout the school day. If another liquid is identified in the bottle, staff will ask your child to tip it away and re-fill it with water. At lunchtime, pupils can have squash, juice or a milk-based drink as part of their packed lunch but this must be drunk in the dining hall, with their lunch. Energy drinks or fizzy drinks are not permitted at any time, during the school day.

On Thursday, the Chancellor announced his Autumn Statement which included some positive news relating to school funding over the next two years. As I am sure you are aware, there is a school funding crisis and all schools, like many public sectors and services, continue to face significant, financial pressures and challenges. Whilst we wait to find out the details of this funding and likely impact, school leaders and governors at Bowmansgreen will continue to make careful decisions regarding current budget pressures, in the best interests of your child, to ensure that they receive the best possible support and education whilst they are at Bowmansgreen.

Please could we remind families not to let children play on the equipment at the beginning or end of the school day – staff are not available to supervise the play and use of the equipment at these times, as is required.

It is great to see so many pupils riding or scootering to and from school – good exercise and for the environment! Please ensure that your child walks their bike or scooter onto and off the school site and to the bike/scooter shelters. It is very busy on the playground at both the drop-off and pick-up and we ask that pupils do not ride around on the paths or playgrounds or block the gates at this time.

The last few weeks have been an exciting and very busy time for sports fans, with several world cups to follow and enjoy, including women’s rugby, men’s T20 cricket and wheelchair rugby league. The Fifa World Cup 2022 tournament kicks off tomorrow. Whilst we will follow and support the football and progress of the men’s team, we will not be allowing pupils to watch matches during the school day. We will also use this opportunity to promote the power of sport and nurture and reinforce the values of fair play, sportsmanship and mutual respect.

 

 

Headteacher’s Blog

Last Monday, Year 5 led our harvest assembly. They explained the importance of harvest, through songs, readings and poetry, performed brilliantly to the rest of the school and their own family members. Reverend Adrian Wood joined the assembly to express his gratitude for the generous harvest offerings from Bowmansgreen families, which have been donated to the Churches Together foodbank. Thank you to the Year 5 pupils, staff and families for getting last week off to such a positive start!

Last Tuesday and Thursday, the first family consultation meetings of the year took place. If you did not manage to book or keep your appointment, please contact the school office to arrange/rearrange a meeting, before half-term. Family consultation meetings also take place next term. These meetings will be face-to-face, with the opportunity to see some of your child’s learning in their books.

Friday evening was disco time at Bowmansgreen! There was a fantastic turn-out for our KS1 and KS2 discos and they were both a huge success. It was great to see pupils across the school socialising, having fun together and demonstrating their latest dance moves! Thank you to FOBS for organising our first school discos in over three years and for the parents, carers and staff who helped (and danced) on the evening.

Our current whole school attendance has just dipped below 95% for the first time this academic year. Our target attendance is 96%. Your child should attend school every day that school is open unless they are too ill to attend or they have permission for an absence, in a very small number of allowable circumstances. If you are ever unsure of whether or not to send your child into school, please call the school office to check.

Parents and carers have a legal duty to ensure their child attends school regularly. Good school attendance (especially after three difficult school years, including school closures) is essential for pupils to get the most out of their school experience and to support their wellbeing, academic achievement and wider life chances. If your child’s attendance has fallen below 90% this half-term, you are likely to receive a letter this week, explaining your child’s current situation, detailing the number of sessions missed and their current percentage attendance.

Home Learning Club is back! Open to KS1 and KS2 pupils, every Monday lunchtime.

On Friday, two special visitors made an appearance at Bowmansgreen. Two hedgehogs – who probably should be hibernating by now – were spotted in the school grounds. London Colney Hedgehog Rescue collected the two animals, to check for any illnesses or injuries and micro-chipped the larger female hedgehog before returning her to school today so that she could find her way back home.

Headteacher’s Blog

Thank you for attending the ‘Meet the Teacher’ sessions this week – we hope that you found them useful. The presentation slides will be available from Monday.

This morning was very busy at Bowmansgreen! Mrs Stanley hosted her annual coffee morning, raising a fantastic £344.84 for Macmillan Cancer Support. A huge thank you to everyone who stopped by for tea, coffee and piece of cake and made a donation to support this event and to Mrs Stanley as chief organiser!

Thank you also to everyone who contributed to the mountain of bags ready for the Bags2School collection. This was the first fundraising event of the school year organised by the new FOBS committee. Next week, it’s school disco time!

Next Tuesday and Thursday, our first family consultation meetings of the year take place. If you have not yet booked an appointment, please contact the school office.

Our school open morning takes place tomorrow, 9am – 11.30am. Current and prospective families are all welcome. We look forward to seeing you there!

Headteacher’s Blog

Mrs Stanley will be hosting our annual coffee morning as part of MacMillan Cancer Support’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning,’ on Friday 30th September. Tea, coffee and cakes will be available between 7.30 – 9.15am, outside the main entrance.  ‘Bake it or fake it’ donations are welcome – please send into school by Thursday 29th. No nuts please!

Please check the school calendar for up and coming events – it is going to be a very busy term!

Sadly, Film Club will not be running this term due to the limited number of pupils who had signed up. This is such a shame as it has been a very popular and successful club at Bowmansgreen for more than four years. If you would like further information about this club and are interested in your child attending either an after school or lunchtime film club, please contact Miss Mates in the school office or Gill via HERTSBEDSFILMCLUB@GMAIL.COM or 07341305131.

Healthwatch Hertfordshire is supporting the local NHS by hearing from parents and carers about their experiences of accessing their GP practice on behalf of their child or the young person they care for. They have launched an online survey: https://bit.ly/ParentsCarersGPAccess. The results of this survey will be fed back to the NHS to help improve GP services. The closing date is 3rd October.

Take a look at the Herts for Learning autumn term online safety newsletter, which includes guidance, news, links and updates about online safety, with particular reference to current and recent developments and concerns.

Please be reminded that we are closed on Monday for the State Funeral Bank Holiday.

Headteacher’s Blog

We are aware that the end of day pick-up on the Key Stage 1 playground is currently stressful – for staff and families! We have re-marked the playground with year group zones so that families know where they can meet their child each day. From tomorrow, we will also include a painted boundary line which we would like families to wait behind until their child is handed over to them. That way, there is a defined area that staff can wait with pupils, until their adults arrive.

Thank you for responding and adapting well to the new parking restrictions. The junction at the front of school is much clearer and calmer and has made a significant difference to the school drop-off and pick-up.  There are still a few cars, without blue badges, taking a chance and parking on the lines. We would encourage all drivers to respect and adhere to the restrictions that are intended to help keep our school community safe.