Headteacher’s Blog

This week, school has begun to feel a lot like Christmas…..

Year 6 held their Christingle service, on Thursday. Reverend Pat Jones led the service at Bowmansgreen and despite not being in the usual setting or having the presence of the whole school community, Year 6 sang and read beautifully and really did themselves proud. This Christingle service might have been very different to those in previous years but it was no less special or enjoyable. Thank you and well done, Year 6!

EYFS and Year 1 have also been busy practising and performing their Nativity plays. It has been lovely to hear the singing around school and pupils have all been busy learning their lines, stage directions and songs for their presentation of The Christmas story.

We hope to have filmed versions of the performances sent to the parents of pupils in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 6, by Friday.

Pupils across the school have enjoyed a pantomime experience from Panto Online. They have laughed and sung along to a performance of Jack and the Beanstalk which has also helped to get them into the festive spirit. A few classes have yet to watch the show and can look forward to the performance next week.

Please be aware that the government has updated their guidance on the self-isolation period for COVID-19 close contacts – it will be reduced from 14 days to 10 days. This takes effect from Monday 14th December and is applicable to anyone who is currently self-isolating.

You will be aware that in the news this week, the government issued guidance about end of term arrangements and stated that schools could take the last day of term as an INSET day. We feel that this is too short notice, and with little advantage for families or staff, to make such a change and we will therefore finish on Friday 18th December, as planned. Year 1, Year 5 and Year 6 will finish at 1.15pm and EYFS, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 will finish at 1.30pm.

Communication will be sent to families on Monday, confirming this and detailing arrangements for reporting positive cases of coronavirus during the Christmas holidays.

It is always a good time to discuss online safety with pupils. It is a regular cause of concern amongst parents and staff and a frequent theme of circle time conversations and PSHE lessons. With less for families to do outside of their homes due to National Restrictions, many children are currently spending more time online. Please take a look at the slides from last year’s on-line safety parent workshop so that you can help support your child navigate and stay safe in the online world.

Lots of organisations and websites also provide useful information and resources for parents about online safety, including Parent Zone, the NSPCC and the UK Safer Internet Centre.

We have introduced a new Behaviour Policy at Bowmansgreen. The policy has been shared with and explained to pupils during the last couple of weeks and we will be discussing and revisiting the key expectations throughout the course of the year.

The government introduced new guidelines for Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education, compulsory from September 2020. Although, due to the pandemic, schools now have until the start of the summer term 2021 to implement this policy, we are keen to get the Bowmansgreen policies and curriculum in place.

Families are key in their children’s sex education as they are the starting point for safeguarding, improving mental health and strengthening the parent/carer – child relationship. It is also incredibly awkward for many parents and carers, to broach or discuss the subject, even when the time seems right. It is therefore essential that school and home work closely together to support our children so that they receive accurate, age-appropriate information and the opportunities to raise questions and discuss issues relating to relationships, sex and health, in a safe and supportive environment.

Please read the initial version of our new Relationships and Health Education Policy – it includes our Sex Education Policy as an appendix. We would like to seek your views and opinions as part of a consultation process and would welcome any feedback. A survey will be sent out to parents next week, as part of the consultation.

The Department for Education (DfE) has published guides for parents, providing information about the changes to Relationships, Health and Sex Education and the consultation process. DfE FAQs: Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education.

Bowmansgreen uses the Jigsaw scheme of work as the main resource to teach our Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum across the school, including RSE. Please also read their guide for parents and carers.

Our Year 6 House Captains have been elected to represent our school houses of Morpurgo, Kenny, Whitlock and Wiggs. Congratulations goes to Alex, Amelie, Harry D, Heidi, Kaia, Lennon, Ruby E and Tyler who have already set to work effectively representing their houses with pride and as role models for all pupils across the school. I look forward to working closely with them this year, to support the school’s leadership team and school community.

It was great to see everyone wearing their Christmas jumpers yesterday – thank you for helping to raise money for Save the Children as well as bringing some extra festive cheer to our school community.

Enjoy your weekend.