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Our next Meet the Teacher evenings will take place on March 16th and March 18th. Appointments will again take place via video call and the booking system is now open. Some of the January meetings were affected by a power outage suffered by the the company hosting the calls – we do not anticipate the same issues re-occurring. With all pupils returning to school from March 8th, we feel that it is important to meet with all of our families quickly, to focus on how best to support your child after such a lengthy, unsettled period.

We expect and will be prepared for many pupils to find the transition back to school quite a challenge – whether they have been learning remotely since the beginning of January or they have been in school throughout, as part of a very small class. It will be a different experience for each child, affecting them in different ways. If September is anything to go by, our pupils will amaze us with how positively they will manage and embrace this transition. We will not, however, underestimate the impact that this second Lockdown and another partial school closure will have had upon our pupils and we will work hard to identify and meet their needs, acknowledging that this next period of recovery will be long lasting.

Next week, we will provide details about our recovery curriculum and how we plan to support pupils holistically, as they all return to school, addressing their social, emotional and learning needs as a result of this pandemic.

Next Thursday, March 4th, is World Book Day. Miss Ottley has been busy organising some exciting activities to support this event, detailed in her letter, sent out earlier this week.  We look forward to celebrating this day with you, in your pyjamas or fancy dress!

Enjoy Mr Bronstein’s music assembly with a focus and activities for World Book Day.

There have been three applications for our two parent governor vacancies. We are currently setting up an online voting system for the election, which will take place next week.

This half-term’s home learning grids are now available.

British Science Week starts next week (March 5th – 14th) with the theme of ‘Innovating for the future.’  Pupils learning at school and remotely can get involved in some exciting and inspiring activities and experiments.

Enjoy your weekend.

Headteacher’s Blog

As anticipated, the Prime Minister has just announced that all schools in England will fully re-open from March 8th. We expect updated guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) to follow shortly so that we can effectively plan to welcome all pupils back – again! – according to government guidance and recommendations. We will keep families informed about the expectations and measures that we will take, to fully re-open Bowmansgreen, promptly and safely.

Although the Prime Minister has now announced a ‘roadmap’ to lift national restrictions, please be reminded that a national Lockdown currently remains in place. Government guidance and the law sets out specific expectations for leaving home and meeting others. Children are often very keen to share their news with school staff and an increasing number of pupils are reporting that they have visited and stayed over at their friends’ houses in recent days and weeks. This is very awkward and uncomfortable for staff as well as contravening Lockdown measures. With only a few weeks to go until national restrictions begin to be lifted, I would like to urge all members of our school community to continue to do their bit to help keep each other as safe and protected as possible, especially as all pupils are set to return.

Congratulations to Amelia, Hollie, Maddison and Issa, the winners of our recent House competition in support of Children’s Mental Health Week. Their super, winning entries are all so different and perfectly demonstrate what makes the pupils of Bowmansgreen so incredible. What a creative, diverse and talented school community we are! Well done to everyone who took part in the competition and thank you to our Year 6 House Captains for helping to decide on the final winners. The winning entries will be published on our Health and Wellbeing page, tomorrow.

Something very curious happened at Bowmansgreen during half-term….
You might have noticed that this half-term has started with a frog-themed ‘incident,’ that has really excited and inspired pupils. All year groups are focusing on the book ‘Tuesday’ by David Wiesner, as the stimulus for their new unit of English. If you have not yet had a chance to enjoy this picture book, please do take a look as it will help to explain the ‘crime scene’ that faced your child today – as well as the lily pads!

To accompany the unit of work on ‘Tuesday,’ Mrs Street has prepared two lessons that focus on the music and instruments used in the animated video of the book.
Introduction to ‘Tuesday’ by David Wiesner
Tuesday – Music narration 

A Times Tables Rock Stars tournament took place before half-term between 5W, 6C and 6A – 5W were crowned winners. Who will they challenge next?….

Headteacher’s Blog

It was great to see everyone wearing blue on Wednesday, to help us feel connected as a school community and in support of Children’s Mental Health Week. Pupils have been taking part in a range of activities to discuss and support their own mental health and wellbeing. Children learning at home and school are telling us that they miss being together but that often, they have developed some good coping and self-care strategies and have found ways to keep in touch with friends. The morning meetings and focus groups are also helping to keep pupils learning remotely, connected to school and their peers.

We will continue to provide pupils with information and activities to help them take good care of themselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Take a look at our Health and Wellbeing page for more advice and strategies for families, including the Five Ways to Wellbeing which is our focus for ‘Feeling Good Week,’ next week.

Pupils are taking part in a House Competition this week, to create a piece of art work to reflect the fortnight’s focus on mental health and wellbeing. They will have discussed the focus with their teachers – either ‘Express Yourself’ of ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing.’ Work will be shared with their teachers – pupils learning remotely can email work (scanned, pdf or photo) via the class email address or handed into the school office, if preferred. Entries to be submitted by Wednesday.

We have two parent governor vacancies at Bowmansgreen. If you are interested in becoming a school governor, find out how to put yourself forward for a nomination.

Our approach to remote learning acknowledges that the quality of the learning that pupils engage in – whether at home or school – is key. A short activity of sharing a story, discovering something new, or giving quality one-to-one time so that your child feels listened to, is much more effective and beneficial than sticking rigidly to a number of hours learning when the environment is busy, noisy and full of distractions and interruptions, which is what many households are like when most family members are at home together!

Primary aged children require adult support with their learning, as they develop their knowledge, skills and independence across the curriculum. At school, they rely on adult modelling, explanation and scaffolding in most areas of learning. That is why most primary classrooms have additional adults working in them. We appreciate that this is an additional pressure for families when supporting your children to learn at home – your young children are not likely to be able to learn for long on their own. This is perfectly normal and why teachers are trained to plan and deliver activities that develop skills, knowledge, understanding and independence – they are experts at teaching your children. Again, there is no expectation that families can replicate this model at home.

We want families to feel supported to help their children learn and not feel pressurised to deliver ‘schooling’ – which, from your feedback is working well for some families but proving very difficult and stressful for others. We ask that you do your best to spend quality time supporting your child but appreciate that it is not always easy, within the context of busy family households already under the strain of Lockdown.

With most children currently learning at home, there is more opportunity for them to spend time online. Read the latest parent online safety newsletter, from Herts for Learning which includes a Tik Tok checklist (and reminder that the official app rating is 13yrs) and information about a new digital safety and wellbeing kit for families.

There is tension in the air! A change of leadership on the Times Tables Rock Stars leaderboard has thrown pupils (and staff!) at Bowmansgreen into a frenzy. Log-in to find out who has toppled Mr Gowler from his lofty throne. Let’s just say that the girls of 6A are getting comfy in that throne. How long they stay there, is up to you…..

Headteacher’s Blog

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be supporting two important campaigns.

Children’s Mental Health Week: Feb 1st – 7th

We have lots of activities planned to bring our school community together and help support and look after the mental health and wellbeing of all pupils, at this particularly difficult and isolating time.

To help us to feel connected as a whole school community, we would like everyone to wear something blue on Wednesday. Whether families are attending school face-to-face or learning remotely, it would be great if you could wear an individual item or a whole outfit of blue, to remind us that we are all part of the same Bowmansgreen community, even if we cannot currently all be together at school.

There is a live assembly to launch the week – Monday morning at 9am. There will therefore be no morning meetings with class teachers on Monday so that all families can enjoy this assembly to launch the week and find out more about this year’s theme of ‘Express Yourself.’

Feeling Good Week: Feb 8th – 12th

To celebrate Feeling Good Week we will be focusing on the Five Ways to Wellbeing, which are:

  • Connect
  • Be active
  • Take notice
  • Learn
  • Give

We are developing the Health and Wellbeing page of our school website, with information and resources that we hope you will find useful.

Thank you to Mrs Turner for recommending How to Stay Calm in a Pandemic by Dr Emma Hepburn which many families will find helpful and supportive at this current time.

Please could we remind all adults to wear face coverings on-site. Many members of our school community have underlying health conditions or other vulnerabilities which place them at greater risk of becoming very ill if they contract coronavirus.

The DfE has confirmed that schools will be closed to all pupils this February half-term. We ask that you email school (covidreporting@bowmansgreen.herts.sch.uk) if a family member tests positive during this week so that we can notify close contacts from school.

Enjoy your weekend.

Headteacher’s Blog

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced that schools will remain closed to most pupils until at least March 8th, 2021. Whilst this news might not have come as much of a surprise to some, it has undoubtedly caused many families much disappointment and concern. We appreciate that this continued period of national Lockdown and partial school closure is a very frustrating and stressful time for individuals and families – we are all feeling the strain. We look forward to being able to fully open and welcome back all pupils when it is deemed safe to do so and we will continue to provide remote and face-to-face teaching for all of our pupils, in the meantime. We wish that we could ease some of the pressures that many of you are clearly feeling right now and we appreciate how particularly difficult it is for the families who are juggling work, busy households and teaching their children at home.

Thank you to the key worker families who are only sending their children into school when they really need the places – it helps to minimise the risk of virus transmission and keep our school community safe.

Fitter Future – all pupils have now received their log-ins. Mr Sanders is checking up on who is taking part in the activities as part of their regular exercise at home. Certificates will be awarded to pupils who impress with the number of workouts that they take part in. Come on everyone!

Enjoy this week’s music assembly, led by Mr Bronstein

Log-in to Oxford Owl for School with your child’s new class log-in details, to access a wide range of books in the eLibrary. This log-in is part of the school’s subscription to Oxford Owl and provides families and with a wider range of eBooks than with the free subscription. Your child may be set activities based on books from this eLibrary as part of their remote or face-to-face learning.

Childhood winter illnesses – knowing what to do  – this leaflet has been published by the NHS to help families spot common winter illnesses and how they can treat their children at home.

Step Up to Social Work – an opportunity to train as a social worker
Find out more information about this programme on the Hertfordshire County Council website. Online applications will open in February and will close on Wednesday 31st March 2021.
If you meet all of the eligibility criteria, register to attend one of these virtual sessions:
Tuesday 2nd February
Wednesday 10th February
Wednesday 17th February

 

Remote Learning – update

This week, additional resources are available to support your family with remote learning. Please see below for how to access the resources on our school website.

From next Monday, all classes will again have daily maths and English video lessons. This week is a transition back to that format although some year groups have already provided those resources.

Your child’s new Home learning grid is now available. Grids will be updated every fortnight during the partial school closure.

We have updated the content on our phonics page which has resources for pupils of all ages. Phonics Play is one of the resources that we use to support the teaching of phonics at Bowmansgreen. It is currently free for families to use during Lockdown.      Log-in details.    Username: jan21    Password: home

We will be using Oxford Owl to support families teaching and learning reading at home. Families must register with Oxford Owl to access the free eBook library which provides access to a range of books, some of which can also be enjoyed as audio books.  We will shortly provide details of how families can log-in to the wider eBook library, which has more titles to choose from. More details can be found on our English page.

Take a look at our maths page to find games and activities to support your children learning maths. Here, you will also find links to the log-in pages for Numbots and Times Tables Rock Stars to support pupils practise mental calculations.

We are continuing to build curriculum content on our school website so that families can be supported with remote learning. We will update families when new resources are available.

We look forward to seeing you all this week, via the remote catch-up meetings. Please book an appointment if you have not already done so. Bookings close at 4pm today.

Daily morning meetings for your children will begin tomorrow. Later today, you will be sent the link for how your child will access these meetings.

 

Headteacher’s Blog

Read about our new remote learning expectations here.

EYFS families, please read this additional document which provides details and information specific to your children’s remote learning.

Next week, all families are invited to a ‘catch-up’ meeting with class teachers, as an opportunity to see how you all are, to discuss remote and face-to-face learning and any other support needed, during this difficult time. You will have received a text earlier today, with a link to the booking system which will be live until Monday afternoon. Please let the school office know if you have difficulty booking an appointment. During this meeting we will also ask whether families need resources and equipment to support remote learning, such as exercise books, pencils, pens etc.

On Tuesday, our morning meetings will start for all pupils learning remotely. Families will receive an invite and link to the meetings which will take place via Microsoft Teams. These daily meetings will take place as follows: KS2  8.45am    KS1  9am

From Monday 18th January, weekly feedback and discussion meetings will take place for all pupils. Again, families will receive invites and links to these meetings which will take place via Microsoft Teams. Pupils will meet with class staff in small groups so that peer discussion and interaction can also take place.

Although there will be planned opportunities for reading during the weekly English lessons, we are looking into how we can provide more opportunities to support pupils’ reading whilst at home. We no longer have access to the programme that we previously used and we are currently looking at alternatives. Please read and share stories and other reading material with your children as often as you can as it is a great way of broadening vocabulary and developing other language and communication skills. We are also looking at how we can offer families a regular, safe opportunity to change and borrow books when needed.

We are continuing to build curriculum content on our school website so that families have a bank of resources that they can refer to and re-visit when needed.

A questionnaire will be sent to families next week about access to technology, to gain information about when and how pupils are accessing remote learning, to see if we can support any families where this is a barrier to successful remote learning.

Follow this link for information about increasing data allowances on mobile devices. Please let us know if you think you are eligible and we will apply on your behalf.

Enjoy your weekend.

 

 

Headteacher’s Blog

Thank you for all of your recent comments and queries regarding our remote learning. As mentioned in Tuesday’s communication, we have been reviewing our remote learning policy and provision.

Since September, we have provided daily, remote learning for all pupils who were not able to attend school, including due to self-isolation. In the autumn term, anywhere between 5 – 20 families were self-isolating per day and our school attendance averaged 95% for the term. We amended the model and resources that we published for remote learning, reducing the number of videos and changing our planning format.

The situation has clearly changed! The new national Lockdown means that currently, around 80% of pupils at Bowmansgreen are learning at home. We reviewed our provision, anticipating a possible change in DfE policy and to better meet the needs of the majority of pupils who would again be learning remotely. We also sent home workbooks for pupils in Y2-Y6 so that additional resources were immediately accessible for pupils, in the event of further restrictions.

There have been lots of questions about and requests for live lessons – this will not be part of our provision, at this time.  Although there are many obvious benefits of live lessons, they do come with some restraints and added pressures for families who have, for example, several children needing to access live lessons at the same time; limited devices; and working parents and carers, some with hectic or anti-social shift patterns. We hope that recorded lessons provide a level of flexibility and will create a bank of resources that families can access via our website, when it fits in with family life. There will however be daily opportunities for remote face to face interaction with teachers, which will be explained in our policy.

Our updated Remote Learning Policy will be sent out to families tomorrow and published on our school website, detailing our provision from next week.

 

Headteacher’s Blog

Thank you for bearing with us over the last few days and putting up with frequent late night emails and texts. I will try and make this the last one for a while!

There have been lots of calls and emails asking about remote learning and school lunches. We will endeavour to respond to all individual requests that are not addressed below.

Bowmansgreen’s remote learning is published weekly on the school website, although additional resources may be added throughout the week to supplement some units of work or activities. It currently includes lesson and unit plans and weekly videos delivered by class teachers. Pupils also have individual log-ins for Times Tables Rockstars and Numbots (please let the office know if your child has forgotten their log-in) and workbooks to support reading comprehension and spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) for KS2. Half-termly Home Learning grids are also published on the school website – new grids will be available this week.

Hard copies of some remote learning resources are available – please contact the school office for more information.  We are currently reviewing our remote learning provision, in light of the new national Lockdown and we will update parents with any changes.

We are awaiting updated information and guidance from the Department of Education about the provision of free school meals for eligible children who are learning remotely. Hertfordshire Catering Ltd will provide food parcels for eligible families in the interim, and hot meals for pupils attending school.

If you are a critical key worker, please let us know if you are intending to send your child into school. It is essential that we have this information before your child returns, to help us effectively prepare and organise resources.

Please be reminded that all parents, carers and visitors are asked to wear a face covering whilst on site. We appreciate your support in helping to protect our school community.

We really appreciate the very kind messages that families have been sending in, expressing their support and appreciation during this very difficult and unsettling time. Thank you.

 

Headteacher’s Blog

Earlier tonight, the Prime Minister announced that England will enter into a new national Lockdown from midnight tonight, with measures coming into law on Wednesday.

In light of this announcement, all classes will now move to remote learning for most pupils, from tomorrow.  Pupils in all classes, will now only be able to attend if they are part of a key worker family or vulnerable group.

A letter will follow shortly, providing more detail about arrangements and how they affect your child.