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This week, many of our Year 5 pupils learnt to ride their bikes safely on the road, through Bikeability cycle training. Pupils learnt new skills, gained a better understanding of road safety and (despite the cold weather) enjoyed learning how to ride their bikes, with greater confidence. Well done Y5!

All pupils attended online safety workshops, on Wednesday. Sessions were tailored to the knowledge and understanding of each year group and covered issues such as sharing personal content, online bullying and gaming. Online workshops for parents and carers will be offered later this half term, to reflect the content of the pupil sessions and support families to keep their children safer online.

There have been several situations already this term, involving pupils being unkind to each other over social media and messaging apps, outside of school.  These conflicts can then be brought into school, causing continued upset and bad feeling but we are not alerted to them until days, sometimes weeks after. Some of the content can be really unkind and inappropriate, making others feel upset and uncomfortable. Pupils are also often reluctant to block, leave or report unhealthy online conversations and, very worryingly, see the language as normal and acceptable ‘banter.’

We will continue to reinforce this message to pupils – it was discussed during the workshops on Wednesday – and we would encourage you to have those conversations with your child. Please monitor what your child says and sees online – they are often too young to be accessing some of the content that they come into school and discuss and we know that often, adults are unaware of the language and images that they are accessing. Some of the language they use towards and between each other is shocking.

If pupils are witnessed using homophobic, racist, misogynistic or threatening language online, they can face the same consequences as if they had said it at school. Content will be shared with parents and carers and can also be reported to the police. We will not tolerate abusive language or behaviours from or between pupils.

We have a CEOP red button on the home page of our school website and most apps and sites that your child might use, also include buttons to block, remove or report. Pupils must learn to take responsibility for their own online behaviours and we will continue to discuss and remind pupils of this.

Click CEOP Button

This term’s Herts for Learning online safety newsletter provides information, resources and reviews, coving a range of topics, including: ‘Squid Game – What parents need to know,’ online grooming and keeping under 5s safe online.

We continue to build and publish curriculum content on our school website, to support your child’s education at Bowmansgreen. The maths and English pages include curriculum overviews, showing progression in knowledge, skills and understanding for each year group. The pages also contain links to resources that support learning and progress in specific curriculum areas, such as phonics, maths fluency and reading. Oxford Owl, Numbots, Times Tables Rock Stars and MyMaths can be used to practise key skills, especially as part of your child’s remote learning, if they have to self-isolate.

Daisy Cooper, MP for St Albans visited Bowmansgreen, yesterday. She met with our school council, to talk about her role and responsibilities as an MP and answer a range of really thoughtful questions.  A report from our school councillors will follow. It was a fantastic opportunity and experience for pupils to meet their local MP and we would like to say a huge thank you to Daisy Cooper, for taking the time out of her very busy schedule, to visit Bowmansgreen. Thank you also to Ms Smith for organising the visit.

Dates for the diary…

Crazy Hair Day – this Friday, Jan 21st

Time to Talk Day – Feb 3rd

Safer Internet Day – Feb 8th

Enjoy your weekend.

 

Headteacher’s Blog

Pupils returned to school yesterday, happy to see their friends and eager to learn. It is lovely to have them back after the Christmas break, ready for the term ahead.

We have welcomed several new families to our Bowmansgreen school community this week – five classes have been busy helping their new friends to settle in, get to know their classmates and new learning environment.

Next week, classes will begin their spring term timetables which might mean a change of PE day for some classes. Please ensure that your child has their PE kit at school every day so that they can take part in all physical games and activities.

The Eco-Committee and 3RG were very busy last half-term, planting spring bulbs and thirty saplings ready to transfer into the school grounds this term. They also made bird feeders, for the winter. The litter and composting team have been doing a brilliant job too! Mrs Gritz would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken part and to the families who have donated items.

During this morning’s assembly, we celebrated the hard-working members of the Eco-Committee. Mrs Gritz presented members with their new badges and talked about the important work that they have been doing, to help make our school environment less wasteful and more sustainable.  Thank you, Eco-Committee.

At the end of last term, I met with school councillors Cassi, Zachary and Rhema, to discuss ideas and suggestions about how to make improvements to our school curriculum and provision.  I was very impressed by how thoughtful and articulate all three pupils were and by their passion and enthusiasm for representing the voice of pupils across the school.

Daisy Cooper, MP for St Albans, will be visiting Bowmansgreen on Friday January 14th, to meet with our school council. This will be a great experience for our school councillors and an opportunity to gain insight into the role and responsibilities of a serving Member of Parliament.

We therefore thought it best for pupils and staff to have ‘un-crazy’ hair on the day of Daisy Cooper’s visit…. so Crazy Hair Day will now take place on Friday January 21st, instead!

Enjoy your weekend.

Headteacher’s Blog

Happy New Year! I hope that you have managed to stay healthy and safe during the festive period and spend quality time with friends and family. Thank you for the cards and gifts for staff which are always very much appreciated.

The end of last term proved to be a tricky, constantly changing situation for families, schools, work places and services due to the ongoing impact of coronavirus. The number of families and members of staff who could not attend school during the last few weeks of term, due to COVID symptoms, positive results and self-isolation increased daily and we only managed to safely staff the school during the last few days due to the significantly reduced number of pupils on site. Thank you for your continued support and patience.

During the holiday period, there has been a constant stream of news headlines and updated NHS and DfE guidance as part of the government’s COVID-19 Response, including the Prime Minister’s press conference earlier this evening. The next few weeks will undoubtedly prove challenging for our school and wider communities. At Bowmansgreen, we will continue to follow guidance, maintain control measures and communicate changes when necessary, to help maintain the quality of and minimise the disruption to your child’s education.

Remote learning continues to be published weekly on our school website, if your child is required to self-isolate, as well as the half-termly home learning grids and other curriculum resources to support your child’s education.

Take a look at some of your child’s learning from last half-term, through our maths curriculum evening presentations.

Our local DSPL7 offers courses for parents and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). Mostly free and currently online, courses include: Understanding Teens with ADHD and Autism; Families Feeling Safe; Talking Dads and Bringing Up Confident Children.

Our spring term begins this Thursday, January 6th (tomorrow is an INSET day) and there is lots to look forward to…

This half-term’s school value is friendship. We have several new families joining our school community this month. Bowmansgreen pupils are fantastic at making new children feel welcome, keen to make friends and support pupils to settle in.

Our popular book swap and uniform sale events will resume this term, although in slightly altered formats – dates and further information to follow.

Next week, pupils will attend workshops focusing on online safety, to help them keep themselves and each other safe online. Feedback has always been positive, with pupils finding these sessions interesting and helpful in supporting them to safely navigate the online world.

Next Friday (January 14th) is Crazy Hair Day at Bowmansgreen! Thank you to the remaining members of the FOBS committee for organising this popular event to raise money for our school.

Please ensure that your child wears full school uniform every day (including completely black footwear) and that all clothing and belongings are clearly labelled.

We look forward to seeing pupils on Thursday.

Headteacher’s Blog

Musicians from Bowmansgreen performed to a huge audience at the London Colney Light Switch-On event, on Sunday 29th November.  Kian, Reef, Harry, Alfie, Davud, Eliza, Poppy, Louisa, Lacey, Amin and Zara all played and sang beautifully, and finished their set with a rousing chorus of We Wish You a Merry Christmas. It was completed with a perfectly timed flurry of snow! Well done to all of the musicians for their hard work this term and for representing Bowmansgreen so well. A big thank you to Mrs Street, for accompanying the musicians to this event.

On Monday, Mr Regan led an assembly for KS1 and KS2 focusing on medical emergencies. He asked pupils to consider the types of medical emergencies that might occur at school and what they should do, where they should go and who they should tell, if they witness what they suspect to be such an emergency. Please discuss this important topic with your child and see if they can tell you what they have learnt.

This month, all pupils across the school will take part in a Forest School session. Mrs Stanley has been leading these hands-on, outdoor activities in the school grounds, supporting and encouraging pupils’ curiosity, confidence and independence. Some sessions have been muddier and colder than others…. but all sessions have been thoroughly enjoyed! Three classes will take part in their sessions on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

Please be aware of the DfE guidance: ‘What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges’ – updated today.

During the last couple of weeks, a small number of pupils and staff at Bowmansgreen have had to self-isolate or have tested positive for COVID-19. Although we have had relatively low numbers, the number of positive cases within our school community has risen, in recent weeks. We are so close to the end of term and hope to make it to December 21st without having to bring in further restrictions and measures at school which is a more likely prospect if more members of staff test positive or have to self-isolate.

Please continue to test regularly and do not send your child in to school if they have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste

If your child is unwell and you are unsure whether or when to send them into school, take a look at this useful guide, to support families with their decision making.

We also ask that during these next seven school days, you do not send your child to breakfast club unless you require the wraparound care to support work or educational commitments.

HAPpy Holiday Activities are now available to book for the Christmas period. Parents and carers of children entitled to free school meals can book places for their children to attend local activities during the Christmas holidays. If you think that you are eligible, please contact the school office for your child’s code. For more information and to book, please visit: www.sportinherts.org.uk/happy/booking

Thank you Mrs Gentleman, for adding a seasonal sprinkling of snow-flakes and decorations throughout the school. Bowmansgreen is starting to feel a lot like Christmas…

Today was Christmas Jumper day. It was great to see so many pupils wearing their jumpers during this morning’s assembly and around school, supporting this event to raise money for Save the Children.

Next week, there will be no new home learning sent out. Once your child hands in their home learning on Tuesday, their books will not be returned until the beginning of next term.

Our Fundraising for Fiona raised a grand total of £1300! Thank you so much for showing your generosity and support for Fiona and her family. I know that the money raised will enable the family to create some very special, cherished memories.

Enjoy your weekend.

Headteacher’s Blog

Our reception classes joined the rest of the school for their first celebration assembly, last Friday. They sat, listened and behaved beautifully and the rest of the school were very impressed with their assembly manners. We look forward to seeing them again in tomorrow’s celebration assembly.

Place2Be: Parenting Smart – a free, online resource for parents and carers of primary age children, to support wellbeing and behaviour. This resource focuses on a range of topics and issues, including friendship difficulties, anxiety, eating habits and boundaries, with tips and advice delivered through articles and videos.

Hertfordshire County Council is holding its first Eco-Fair this Saturday 27th November, at County Hall, Hertford. The event is family-friendly and an opportunity to learn more about what the county council is doing to fight climate change in Hertfordshire. Follow the link for more information and to book free tickets.

Please remember to provide healthy foods for your child’s packed lunch or break-time snack – no sweets or foods with a high refined sugar content.

During the last couple of weeks, Bowmansgreen has been visited by two baby hedgehogs. The hedgehogs seemed to enjoy their stay, before being collected by Esther from London Colney Hedgehog Rescue.

 

Congratulations to our new newly elected House Captains! Find out who has been elected to represent and lead our Bowmansgreen Houses.

Tomorrow, we will be holding a non-uniform day to Fundraise for Fiona. This event is to support the fundraising efforts of a local family as mum, Fiona, bravely battles an incurable cancer. Please send any donations into school tomorrow, with your child.

Headteacher’s Blog

This half-term’s value is respect. Assemblies have focused on explaining and promoting this value, including through stories about respecting the planet and understanding and respecting differences in each other. Staff will be on the look-out for examples of pupils demonstrating outstanding acts of respectfulness.

Next week is national Anti-Bullying Week. Pupils have been taking part in anti-bullying workshops, to remind them about the seriousness of bullying and to learn strategies to help prevent and stop bullying. Workshops will continue for the remaining classes, next week. Classes continue to have ongoing, weekly discussions about online safety and how to keep themselves and each other safe, including when faced with situations involving cyberbullying.

Monday is Odd Socks Day, getting the week off to a fun start and launching this year’s Anti-Bullying campaign and message: One Kind Word.

Hertfordshire County Council also launches its Just Talk Week 2021 campaign, next week. This annual, week-long campaign focuses on the importance of talking about how we feel. This year, all events are online and include pre-recorded webinars and a range of live events. Topics covered include: coping with stress and anxiety; mental health and neurodiversity; and managing conflict.

COVID measures and restrictions have regrettably meant that we have not been able to invite family members into school for whole school events, including our popular curriculum evenings. Until we can safely involve the wider school community in these events on-site again, we will do our best to share our curriculum and learning via our school website. Take a look at what your child has been learning in PSHE this term, by visiting your child’s year group page.

Please be reminded that we continue to publish remote learning plans and resources weekly, on the Remote Learning page of our school website.

To help mark Remembrance Day on Thursday, all pupils painted a poppy on a pebble that they then placed in our garden.

Many Bowmansgreen pupils will be taking part in tomorrow’s Remembrance Sunday parade, which sets off from the Caledon Community Centre at 10:40am.

Headteacher’s Blog

October is Black History Month in the UK. This year, the theme is Proud to be. During the last few weeks, classes across the school have been learning about and celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of black people, past and present, to British and Global History.

On Thursday, Mr Regan led a whole school assembly to help children understand their right to be safe, including what they could do if they feel worried or scared in a range of situations. Watch the NSPCC ‘Speak out Stay safe’ virtual assembly with your child to see what and how important information was delivered and to discuss and reinforce key messages. The NSPCC provides information, advice and resources to support families in a range of situations, covering some of the issues discussed in the assembly, including family separation, mental health, challenging behaviours and how to talk about difficult topics.

A second follow up report to the Mental Health of Children and Young People in England survey was published at the end of last month. It explores changes since the survey was first carried out in 2017 and the impact of the pandemic. It makes an interesting read and some of the main findings highlight the significant impact of the pandemic upon the lives and experiences of children and young people and factors that we must take into consideration, as we support our children to recover and repair.

It is likely that your child will spend some of this week on a digital device; viewing, gaming, browsing or contacting friends. It is an area of 21st century life that often causes parents and carers worry and frustration. There is always much discussion, information and research relating to children’s on-line behaviours, focusing on trends, safety and habits. thinkuknow is a good place to start, for families looking for advice and information to help keep their children safe online. Childline also offers resources and support as well as advice about how to report online bullying and abuse. Next half-term, all pupils will take part in workshops focusing on online safety, delivered by an external provider.

Currently, Squid Game is in the headlines, prompting concerns from some families, schools and local authorities, as some children act out scenes and games from the show.  We have had several incidences at Bowmansgreen, of pupils playing games inspired by the show and have reminded pupils involved about the nature of the games they play and that their behaviour should reflect our school rules and values at all times. Squid Game is rated 15 by Netflix and the British Board of Film Classification and we would recommend that parents and carers are aware of the themes and content of the show so that they can have informed discussions with their children about it’s suitability. Articles on the following sites may be useful sources of information as well as providing tips and guidance as to the show’s appropriateness for primary age pupils: Safer Schools, HertsLive and BBC News.

Stay healthy and safe this week.

Happy half-term!

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.