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…..