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Headteacher’s Blog

Welcome back after the half-term break.

On 31st October 2020, the Prime Minister announced New National Restrictions, which came into force on Thursday. In light of these restrictions and updated Department for Education guidance, we have made changes to our drop-off and pick-up arrangements. Please read this letter for details. 

Independent travellers from Y4 – Y6 often walk to and from school with their friends, some meeting in the local park before or after school. In line with the New National Restrictions, pupils cannot currently meet as a group outside of the school gates and we will be reminding them of this, so that they do not break the law. Please reinforce these expectations with your children.

Word of the Week is back! Each class has a weekly focus word that links to a text, lesson, topic or discussion. Pupils investigate the word, to give them a deeper understanding of its meaning, use, spelling, sound and origin. Word of the Week is published on the website where you can see all current and past words, from across the school.

School attendance has been mandatory from the beginning of the autumn term with the usual rules on school attendance applying. Families are doing a fantastic job of keeping their children safe and healthy and getting them to school everyday. I’m not drawing any links between the joyful experience of home schooling and our current, near normal levels of attendance but…. we appreciate the fantastic effort that families are making at this difficult and stressful time. October attendance average:  Hertfordshire – 92%   Bowmansgreen – 95%.

Thank you to all of the families who contributed to our Harvest collection, organised by Year 5. Your generosity helped collect 390 items for the Churches Together Foodbank, to support local families at this particularly pressurised time. Reverend Wood, from the London Colney Baptist Church, has sent a letter of thanks to the school which I will share with families on Monday, highlighting what a kind and generous school community we are. Thank you.

Staff are busy planning and preparing lessons, topics and activities for the next six weeks. Although we will have to do lots differently, we intend to ensure that pupils enjoy a busy, fun half-term, as in previous years. There is lots to look forward to in the run up to the end of term, including a non-uniform day to support Children in Need, Odd Socks Day, Nativity plays, Christmas lunch, Christingle and carols. We will keep families updated with news of how and when these events will take place within current restrictions and guidelines.

Enjoy your weekend.

Headteacher’s Blog

Find out about our new remote learning provision and expectations, in accordance with updated government guidance.

Hertfordshire County Council is running a consultation on the proposed admissions arrangements for the school year 2022/23 and is seeking responses from parents, carers, schools and community groups. The consultation period runs until 6 December 2020. Please visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions2022 for more information and to respond online.

The Families First Portal provides information, advice and resources for Hertfordshire families, including signposts to local services and agencies.

Pupils enjoyed their special spooky lunch on the last day of the half-term. Have fun and stay safe this Halloween!

Headteacher’s Blog

It has been an incredibly busy, often uncertain, seven and a bit weeks but overall it has been a positive start to the school year. Pupils are motivated to learn, working hard and enjoying being back in the school environment. Somehow, we have made it to the end of the half-term with all year groups in attendance. So far this year, we have been fortunate not to have had any confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst staff or pupils which is quite an achievement, considering the local and national picture. This is a really positive situation for our school community and suggests that our system of controls and protective measures to reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus are having some success. With national statistics showing the number of positive cases, hospital admissions and deaths rising significantly in the last month, we must all continue to be careful, adhere to guidance and legislation and be proactive about keeping ourselves and loved ones safe and well.

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term – updated guidance.

Take a look at the coronavirus map for schools site to see the latest Covid-19 infection rate in our local area.

Despite not being able to offer pupils the usual range of enrichment and extra-curricular activities, we have still been able to sneak in a few fun and fundraising events. Mrs Stanley managed not to blow away or get too soggy during her take-away coffee and cake event, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Nicola and the FOBS committee organised the bags2school collection and the Crazy Hair Day, both of which were well supported by our school community and raised much welcomed funds for school. Today, pupils were treated to a spooky surprise at lunchtime, with a Halloween themed lunch organised by the kitchen staff from Herts Catering Ltd. Thank you to everyone who has helped to organise and support these events and bring some much needed laughter during this last half-term.

Today, we should have been holding our first curriculum evening of the year. Unfortunately, due to government guidance around social distancing and to comply with our risk assessment, we cannot currently invite families into school to enjoy such events. Pupils have been working hard during their history lessons this half-term and we would still like to share their learning with you. We will be making the work available to families and publishing examples from across the school on the website for you to enjoy. Parents will be notified and links provided, when the work is published.

Year 5 have been learning about Harvest and would like to invite the school community to share in their celebration and help collect items that can be donated to the local Food Bank. If you are able to contribute to their collection, please ensure that non-perishable food items are sent into school by Friday 6th November, 2020.

Please can I remind everyone to stay informed about travel advice and quarantine rules, if they are planning to travel during half term. The list of travel corridors (places you can go to where you may not have to self-isolate) is continuously changing. Check the latest travel exemption list on gov.uk. Any families who travel to a location outside of the approved travel corridor will need to self-isolate at home for 14 days on their arrival back into the UK.

Remember that school is closed tomorrow, as it is an INSET day.

Take care of yourselves during half-term.

Headteacher’s Blog

We are looking forward to fully re-opening and welcoming back all pupils next month.

Wednesday September 2nd – INSET day (School closed to pupils)

All pupils return to school on Thursday 3rd September, 2020

Please ensure that you are aware of the timings of your child’s school day, for the autumn term.

EYFS and Y2Y1Y3 and Y4Y5 and Y6
Start time8.35am8.15am8.35am8.15am
Finish time3pm2.40pm3.05pm2.40pm

Around 180 pupils safely returned to school before the end of last term. We put in place a range of effective protective measures, for pupils and staff, to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus and to ensure that the pupils who returned were able to experience as normal and full a school experience as was safe, practical and permitted according to government guidelines.

In September, we will be maintaining many of the control measures and procedures that were put in place last term.

These include staggered start and finish times – please see new times above.

In September, only pupils will be able to use the back gate to access the school site. A member of staff will greet pupils on the path to ensure that they enter the school site safely. Pupils must say goodbye to other family members before they reach the member of staff on the path and then walk themselves into school. We will ensure that, where necessary, pupils are directed or accompanied to their classrooms until they are familiar with the routine. This measure is to reduce congestion on site and around the school gates and to ensure a one way system at the back gate. These arrangements worked really well last term and are necessary to help minimise the number of contacts that pupils and staff have.

If you would prefer to walk your child onto the playground, then you must use the front gate to enter and exit the site, where a one way system is also in place, to minimise face-to-face contact.

Details and information about arrangements for the autumn term.

Information for parents and carers about COVID-19 and schools in the autumn term.

Headteacher’s Blog

Miss Chilton has some important information for our Bowmansgreen Maths Rockstars. Find out who are the true legends, taking their places on the Rock Stars leaderboard. Game on, Mr Gowler!

Unfortunately, some of our families have now been directly affected by coronavirus and are coping with loved ones being ill or have lost family members during this pandemic.  Staff and governors at Bowmansgreen wish you all the very best and have you in our thoughts during this difficult time. If any parents are worried about the wellbeing or welfare of their children whilst they are not attending school, due to the impact of living through this pandemic, please let me know via the school office –  there may be additional support that we can provide or signpost to parents. Please read this letter for parents relating to how school is continuing to follow government guidance particularly relating to confirmed cases within our school community. There are lots of published resources that help children to understand the significance and impact of coronavirus, pitched at an age-appropriate level as well as guidance for parents to support their own and their family’s wellbeing during this pandemic, including the following:        Children’s Commissioner’s Guide to Coronavirus
Public Health England – guidance on mental health and wellbeing

I am sure you are aware that a government announcement is planned for Sunday evening about the easing of lockdown measures. There is lots of speculation that it will refer to the ‘re-opening’ of schools – when and how this will happen. Schools have not received any additional information about this announcement or an indication of any changes to the temporary school ‘closures.’ Once we know what the DfE expectations are and have a timeline of key dates, we will work closely with the local authority to ensure that we are prepared and ready to fulfil those expectations. We are likely to find out this information at the same time as the rest of the school community which may or may not be on Sunday. Fingers crossed!

The Duchess of Cambridge has launched a photography project with the National Portrait Gallery with the aim of building a collection of pictures reflecting how the country is coping under COVID-19. The Hold Still project is free for participants to submit photographic portraits and open to all ages and abilities. Find out more.

Mr Sanders and Miss Bliss have been busy preparing PE activities and resources that families might find particularly useful during the lockdown. Look out for these resources on the PE page of our school website from next week. (Learning – Our curriculum – PE and Sport).

Today is Victory in Europe (VE) day. The Easter Bank Holiday was moved to today, to allow for a range of celebrations to take place around the country to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Many planned celebrations have unfortunately had to be cancelled but a series of  VE day events will still go ahead for families to experience, from home. There are also plenty of resources for children, including from BBC Teach so that children can learn about this significant date in European history.

New distance teaching and learning resources will be available on the school website, from Monday.

Take care of yourselves.

Headteacher’s Blog

I hope that everyone is finding the distance learning resources easy to access and helpful for your children. New lessons will be available from Monday. The previous week’s lessons will remain on the website for you to access.

Please encourage your children to complete work in the school exercise books that they brought home – the writing book for any English work, the home learning book for maths. If you need any more books, please let the school office know.

Today, Captain Tom Moore celebrates his 100th birthday. Discuss this remarkable man and his amazing life with your children, through these home learning resources (poster, information resource and questions/challenges) from Picture News.

Captain Tom has now raised over £30 million for the NHS. As we all celebrate Captain Tom’s birthday and his incredible fundraising, I am sure that tonight, at 8pm he will be taking time out of his own celebrations to say thank you to our NHS heroes.

Don’t forget to join in by clapping, banging your pots and pans and cheering or if you have super musical talents…. play your drums for the NHS!

 

 

Headteacher’s Blog

From Monday, daily lessons are available for your child, accessible via the school website. Please read today’s letter that provides updated information about these resources.

Thank you to all those who have completed our Distance Learning survey. Please take part, if you haven’t already, as it provides important information to help us deliver our distance learning effectively. The survey closes on Monday morning.

The number of children attending Urgent Care and Emergency Departments across the country has dropped. Local authorities recognise that families are understandably concerned about taking their children to health settings at this time but this has resulted in some children presenting late and as a consequence, being very poorly. The East & North Herts and West Herts Trust have produced guidance for parents and carers  for when a child is unwell or injured, during this pandemic.

Teachers have already been very impressed with the quality of work that pupils have been producing at home. Miss Ottley would like to say a huge ‘well done’ to all of the children who have been busy practising their reading this week. Bowmansgreen pupils have read over 125,198 words in Reading Pro Library and spent 43 hours doing so! That was only is the first 3 days so ‘great work’  everyone who has been reading! Miss Chilton is really pleased to see so many pupils have been practising their number facts and times tables. I think she might even have set some pupils a challenge…. against her! Children, keep up the super effort with your reading and maths –  the more practice you do, the more confident you will become!

There have been a few issues logging into some of the resources. Please refer back to the initial information and instruction letters and the details for logging in – the usernames and passwords must be entered accurately, not using spaces unless specified. Let the school office know if you continue to have problems accessing any of the resources.

Miss Kay would like to shout out a special mention to our fantastic children in Reception who have been putting a big smile on her face with their amazing home learning. Miss Kay has been blown away with the quality and variety, including mini beast hunts, sound races, drumming and ‘posh’ robot phonics! Keep it up Reception – we are all very proud of you!

Miss Connolly is our star baker this week with her recipe for Banana Oat Cookies.

Have you got what it takes to do the football cupid shuffle? Miss Hancock has!

Headteacher’s Blog

Please read the most recent letter sent to parents and carers regarding distance learning.

To help keep your children busy and learning this week, we have activities and resources available on your child’s year group page, on the school website. Please check these pages regularly for new content. We will notify parents when new lessons are added.

Clink on the links below to go straight to your child’s year group page for newly published content, including planning to support phonics (EYFS and Y1) and reading (Y2 – Y6).

EYFS/Reception

Year One

Year Two

Year Three

Year Four

Year Five

Year Six

To help support your child’s learning in maths, our maths calculation policy sets out the progression in written calculations for each year group. This is also available on the maths page of our website.

Whilst we will be publishing new lesson content weekly and providing accompanying resources, we will not be marking or following up on individual lessons with individual parents. The teaching and learning resources are to help support you and your child during this period of school closure and are there for you to use as much as is helpful and practical. There is certainly no expectation for lessons and activities to be completed on set days or within set time frames.

Headteacher’s Blog

I hope everyone is safe and well.

Today was officially the last day of the spring term. It certainly hasn’t felt that way to staff and I’m sure it hasn’t to parents and carers at home!

The school closure has meant that many trips, events and activities planned for this half of the spring and next summer term, have had to be cancelled or postponed. This includes our family consultation meetings – which would have taken place last week – and our latest curriculum evening, which would have been yesterday. Teachers have prepared short summary reports, giving key information about your child’s achievement, progress and next steps. You will receive these in the post, next week.

I have received a request for families from the school community to be part of a photographic project, creating an Arc of Hope which will be included in this year’s Young Artists’ Summer Show at the Royal Academy of Arts.  If you are interested in taking part, the deadline is 10th April.

Challenge yourself and the family to a game of Countdown – the letters round or Countdown – the numbers round.

The BBC Sounds website has a wide range of audio content suitable for children of all ages and interests, available to listen for free.

Learn how to make Easter nests.

Don’t forget to take a look at the English and Maths pages on our school website for more resources to keep your child busy during the Easter holiday and school closure. Listen to Mr Wilson read My Father is a Polar Bear; read our shared stories from World Book Day; and learn how to do short division!

If your child enjoys Harry Potter, learning through a Harry Potter inspired curriculum will motivate and interest them.

Online educational publisher Twinkl is providing free access to some resources during the school closures. The site is regularly updated and includes age and year-group specific curriculum activities, book readings, interactive games and live lessons.

White Rose Maths is also helping parents to support their children’s learning at home by publishing weekly maths lessons and providing access to online textbooks.

Oxford Owl has published a free eBook collection.

The Book Trust has also launched a website to help keep children busy and engaged with books during school closures. BookTrust Home Time contains free books, videos, games, recipes, competitions, activity sheets and live drawalongs, created by children’s authors and illustrators.