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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!

Headteacher’s Blog

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

Pupils enjoyed a special live event with Baroness Floella Benjamin, celebrating the 25th anniversary of her childhood memoir, ‘Coming to England.’ It was an inspirational talk about her family’s journey from Trinidad to England; her life and achievements; and included powerful messages about always having hope that things will get better, especially when life feels really challenging. For family members old enough to remember Play School, Humpty also made a special appearance! Each class has copies of Baroness Benjamin’s books so that pupils can read and continue to learn all about her interesting and inspiring life.

Last week, Y6 pupils attended a live, on-line workshop delivered by UK Parliament. It was an opportunity for pupils to learn about the work and role of the UK Parliament and Government; the work of MPs and members of the House of Lords; how laws are made; and how they can get their own voices heard. Pupils were also lucky enough to have a live Q&A session with Daisy Cooper, MP (Member of Parliament for St Albans).

This week was Walk to School Week  in London Colney. Pupils were encouraged to walk, scoot or cycle to school, to help reduce carbon emissions and encourage healthy habits and lifestyle choices. It is great to see an increasing number of pupils walking, cycling or scooting to school. Please remind your child to wear a helmet and ride safely and considerately, at all times.

Sustfest began on May 23rd 2021. This year’s district Sustainability Festival takes place until June 6th, with over 100 events for local families to get involved in. Assemblies this week focused on the importance of looking after our school and local communities and how we can all play our part to encourage sustainable living and protect the environment.

Sustainable St Albans: Food and Climate Change
Sustainable St Albans: Learning from Lockdown – transport
Sustainable St Albans: Learning from Lockdown – food waste

This half-term, our Eco-Committee has been busy bringing about positive change within our school community, helping us to be more mindful about the amount and types of waste we create and increase our recycling and composting. There are several, future eco-activities and events to look forward to, including the outcome of our super sunflower competition, the delivery and planting of tree saplings and our District in Bloom entries. Thank you to Mrs Gritz for all of her hard work, setting up, organising and supporting our Eco-Committee.

After half-term, we will be trialling Meat Free Mondays at Bowmansgreen. All KS1 and KS2 classes watched a presentation about Meat Free Mondays then took part in a survey to seek their opinions about this proposed change in menu. Every class returned a majority of votes in support of this trial which will begin on June 7th. Hertfordshire Catering Ltd (HCL) has adapted their menu to make Meat Free Mondays happen at Bowmansgreen. Pupil choice meal options through LiveKitchen also now reflect the Meat Free Monday menus.

We would like to recommend that pupils who eat a packed lunch on Mondays, also support this trial. Although we will encourage, we will not be enforcing meat free lunches as the expectation for pupils bringing packed lunches from home.

Our school council has also been busy this half term, meeting together with Miss Allen, discussing issues around healthy eating and wet play at Bowmansgreen. We are currently noticing an increasing number of unhealthy foods and snacks being eaten by pupils at lunch and breaktimes. Next half-term, we will be reminding pupils of our expectations and monitoring snacks and packed-lunches more rigourously. Please ensure that all snacks and packed lunches are nut-free and that items which are high in refined sugar, fat and salt, are avoided.

After-school football training, with Watford FC CSE Trust, successfully returned to Bowmansgreen this half-term. It is great to see pupils taking part in extra-curricular activities again. We are hoping to offer more after-school clubs next half term and will be sending out a survey to find out which activities families would be most interested in.

EYFS and Y6 families – please read this letter about height and weight checks.

Last week, our whole school attendance slipped just below 96% for the first time this term. Please ensure that your child is at school every day unless they are unwell or self-isolating – they have already missed so much school during the last two academic years due to the pandemic. Let’s try and finish the year on a high and achieve our target of 96%.

There is lots to look forward to next half-term, including: sports days; welcoming our new Reception 2021 families; the launch of our new Reading Newsletter; our Y6 residential trip and end of year performances; a celebration of reading for pleasure, with our first Bowmansgreen Reading Festival; and – hopefully – the further lifting of National Restrictions ahead of the summer holiday.

Enjoy your half-term.

Headteacher’s Blog

A new member of our school community announced their arrival this week! The recently hatched duckling made a special guest appearance at breakfast club on Wednesday morning and was made to feel very welcome.

Our current expectation regarding mobile phones is that independent travellers in Y5 or Y6 can bring their phones to school, present them to the school office each morning and they are locked away safely until the end of the day. This expectation had been reviewed and adjusted during the Lockdown period so that pupils now give in and collect their phones directly to and from the class teachers. Pupils are not allowed their phones in school and they are not expected to switch them on whilst they are anywhere on the school site. We will be reminding pupils in Y5 and Y6 of these expectations, next week. We hope that families understand and appreciate the need to be very firm about mobile phones at school and hope that you will support and reinforce these rules and expectations with your children.

Please could you send your child to school with a re-fillable water bottle each day. Shared water fountains at school cannot currently be used due to COVID-19 measures therefore we ask that pupils have their own re-fillable bottles so that they can access frequent drinks throughout the day.

Hertfordshire County Council would like parents and carers to complete a survey about mental health information, support & services for children. Closing date – May 17th.

3G are setting a very high standard with their class attendance. For the seventh week running, they have the highest attendance of all classes in KS2. This week – 99% attendance. Fantastic!

Enjoy your bank holiday weekend!

 

Headteacher’s Blog

Pupils returned to school last week, after the Easter break, ready for their final term of the school year. Hopefully, as more Lockdown measures are lifted, pupils will be able to enjoy a full, settled summer term, taking part in many of the activities that they would normally experience towards the end of an academic year. Two weeks down….. 12 more to go!

Since all pupils returned to school on March 8th, whole school attendance has been consistently above 96% which is really positive. It would be great if we could maintain this standard for the rest of the school year, ensuring that all pupils are attending school every day, unless they are ill or self-isolating. Excellent attendance and punctuality is essential to help your child recover and catch-up after the loss of so many hours of face-to-face teaching and learning, this year and last. Congratulations to RecEK and 3G – the classes with the best attendance last week.

Yesterday was Earth Day. This annual, global event celebrates and raises awareness of environmental protection. This week, pupils have been learning about Earth Day and the importance of looking after and protecting our planet.

Mrs Gritz is working with our newly-formed eco-committee, to increase our school community’s awareness of and participation in environmental action and to encourage pupils across the school to help care for our planet. There are lots of activities and events planned throughout the summer, including developing a wildlife garden and entering District in Bloom. If your child is in Key Stage 2, please could you send your child into school next week with a yoghurt pot or small drinks carton (labelled with their name or initials) as they will be planting sunflower seeds.

Please could we remind parents and carers to ensure that pupils wear full school uniform every day, including footwear which should be plain black. Hoodies and tracksuit tops are not part of school uniform and should not be worn instead of Bowmansgreen jumpers, cardigans or fleeces. Next week, staff will be speaking with all pupils who are not in correct uniform, reminding them of our expectations. Please also remember to name all of your child’s uniform so that it can be returned to them if it is lost around school.

On Wednesday, the Children’s Commissioner for England launched The Big Ask – the largest ever consultation with children aged 4 to 17 in England. It aims to find out children’s concerns and aspirations about the future, as part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Please encourage your child to take part in the survey which takes around 5-10 minutes. Parents and carers are also invited to complete the adult survey to share your views about the future for children and young people today. The results from this survey will help identify the barriers preventing children from reaching their potential, put forward solutions and set goals for the future.

Enjoy your weekend.

Headteacher’s Blog

Congratulations to Mr Broadwell and Mr Major, our newly elected parent governors. I look forward to welcoming and working with them, as part of the school’s governing body.

We hope that you have found this week’s Meet the Teacher appointment a helpful opportunity to discuss your child’s return to school and the impact of the partial school closure upon their learning and progress. A summary of the meeting discussion will be sent home for you to refer to and discuss with your child. If your child has a pupil passport, this will also be sent home for you to sign and return to school.

‘Catch-up’ opportunities and interventions have already begun across the school and will continue for the foreseeable future, as part of our provision until there is no longer the need. Additional small group and individual teaching interventions and after school booster sessions are two of the ways in which pupils will be supported to close the gaps in their learning, that have formed as a result of the absence or lack of teaching at school.

Different children will be targeted for different interventions, some of which, pupils themselves will not be aware of because they will be incorporated into their weekly class timetable. Their teachers are the experts in knowing what your child needs, and how best they should be supported, to help them to make up for the lost learning time. Please do not panic if your child is not targeted for a particular intervention – trust their teachers to know what is best for each pupil. Please also remember that this will be a long lasting programme of support and will involve a range of activities, approaches and opportunities.

We will be able to offer some additional teaching sessions to some pupils, during the first week of the Easter holiday. If this intervention is aimed at your child, they will bring a letter home with them, next week. Again, please do not worry if your child is not selected for this intervention – there will be plenty more opportunities to help your child catch-up, throughout next term.

We have an inclusive, whole school model and approach to teaching, promoting and managing behaviour and conduct that are based on shared expectations and common values which
reflect and best support our diverse school community. At Bowmansgreen, we strive to create a culture of certainty and consistency, where all pupils feel secure, safe and confident of the rules, values, boundaries and expectations. Staff use scripts to help achieve consistency in their language and approach and to support them to know what to say in the heat of the moment or when faced with a challenging situation. Scripts help staff to remain calm, in control and avoid conflict. Families might also find these scripts useful, to help resolve disagreements and to manage challenging behaviours at home. We are currently focusing on using the following scripts, which can be adapted to suit a range of situations:

Proximal praise (and positive reinforcement)

  • Look at (name) sitting sensibly
  • (Names) are showing us how to line up
  • (Name) thank you for listening
  • (Name) thank you, you are sitting quietly – you may go

Give limited choices

  • (Name) you can choose, work sensibly now or at playtime
  • (Name) sit quietly or go to time out
  • (Name) choose this seat or this seat/ this sticker or this sticker
  • (Name) you choose: work with the group or by yourself
  • (Name) either work at this table or that one
  • (Name) choose a partner or I will choose for you
  • (Name) you choose: put the toy in your pocket or in your tray

Acknowledge feelings

  • (Name) I can see you are cross
  • (Name) I think you look a bit worried
  • (Name) I know you are having fun with your friends but …
  • (Name) I can see you are finding this difficult
  • (Name) it looks like you are bored/tired/cross/fed up with this but …

Assemblies this week have focused on our half-termly school values of courage and determination. See if your child can tell you which group of incredible people we share these school values with. Staff have spotted lots of pupils demonstrating these values, this week in their learning and play, as role models for their House and wider school peers. Well done, everyone!

Congratulations to 1OW and 3G as the classes with the best attendance at school this week, in each key stage. Attendance since fully re-opening, is currently at 96%. Keep up the fantastic effort to be at school, every day!

There is lots to look forward to next week at Bowmansgreen, including another crazy hair day….

Enjoy your weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog

It has been really lovely seeing all pupils back together at school, this week. It has clearly been a bit of a shock to the system for some – back to early mornings and a full-school timetable. I have no doubt that some children will have slept very well last night!

We know that many parents are worried about the impact of the partial school closures on their child, particularly regarding their progress and attainment. Lots of parents have asked if their child is now ‘behind’ where they should be. The loss of daily, class teaching at school has had an impact on all pupils and for most, the sad and frustrating reality is that it has interrupted the progress that they had been making. It is a consequence that we have been expecting and are prepared for but there are no quick fixes or magic wands to make it disappear. Teachers have already begun assessing the impact of lost teaching time and school hours on your child and planning opportunities and interventions to identify and address gaps. We hope that next week’s Meet the Teacher appointments are a timely opportunity for you to discuss your child’s return to school, including a focus on their learning and what home and school can do together, to support your child to have a successful rest of the school year.

Remote learning continues to be published on our school website for families who have to self-isolate or shield. This content has moved to a new dedicated Remote Learning page and will continue to be updated weekly.

There have been a few arguments, frustrations and tears in school this week, that have stemmed from pupils falling out whilst playing on-line games with each other. It often takes lots of adult intervention and time to resolve such conflicts and upset, often involving a number of pupils. Please continue to talk to your child about what on-line games or conversations they are engaging in so that you are aware and can help them resolve any issues they might be experiencing. At a time when we are trying to maximise the teaching and learning time for pupils, now that they are all back in the classroom, I am sure you will agree that we do not want to compromise this valuable time, dealing with issues involving fallouts between pupils that have occurred online and outside of school.  Please also check that the online content, including language, that your children are exposed to and engage in, is age-appropriate and what you expect. It is all of our responsibilities to ensure that your children are safe online.
PEGI games ratings – Parent Zone
Online safety – NSPCC.
Online safety – Thinkuknow

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

If you are concerned about your child’s emotional health and well-being, we encourage you to talk to us as there are lots of ways that we can help. Parents and carers can also contact the school nursing team via https://www.hct.nhs.uk/our-services/school-nursing/ or the duty School Nurse line on 03001237572 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm). Families can also access up to date information on www.healthforkids.co.uk.

Please could I remind parents and carers not to park in front of the school gates, including for the breakfast club drop-off. With all families having now returned to school, traffic and parking pressures on local roads have also returned, causing renewed frustration for our neighbours and increased risks and danger for pedestrians. Cars should not be pulling up in front of the school gates, blocking cars or pedestrians entering or leaving the school site.

The closing date for voting in the parent governor ballot is Monday 15th March 2021 at 9am. Read the supporting statements from each candidate  and vote via the link sent to you by email, last week. Please let us know if you did not receive an email and we will send out a voting link, by text or email. Alternatively, if you wish to vote by paper, please collect a form from the office or click here to download.