Headteacher’s Blog 2nd October 2020

Friday again! They seem to be coming around quickly. We are in October already and everyone has been so busy it has whizzed by.

The nicest feeling for me is that we have been back to school for a month and I have seen lots of smiling faces in both settings. I had some lovely smiles from younger siblings as well this morning, I think Mrs John will have a very busy class for the next few years.

The children and staff missed each other so much while the schools were closed. They are now really appreciating their time together and showing fantastic Growth Mind-set skills taking on any challenge that the teachers give them. I am seeing examples of the Four Purposes everywhere as I watch pupil learning experiences. The teachers are embracing the challenge of the new curriculum. It is so good to see so many tasks being delivered in the outdoors.

Foundation Phase staff are making the most of all the areas and the children and I see beaming faces saying ‘Hello Mrs Meaden’, proudly showing their work.

I have been really smiling at the lifesize paintings of the Nursery pupils. They are fantastic – the children are so proud of their work. Mrs Whitehead and Miss Douggie have done a brilliant job of supporting the children. I have been so impressed at how quickly they have helped the children settle into school routines. I think that is helped by Mrs Whitehead being a familiar, loved face from playgroup. I can remember when I first joined the school someone describing Mrs Whitehead as the Pied Piper with the children and I see this constantly.

Foundation Phase have been focusing on their sense of smell. They have been completing a wealth of activities including the use of ‘wow’ words to describe the funny smells! Some photos have been shared on Seesaw. Please download this app if you haven’t already. Pupils have also been thinking about the season that we are in, I love the hibernating hedgehog. The ‘Have you filled your bucket?’ Wellbeing display is finished and looks lovely. It will serve as a constant reminder of all the things that make the class happy.

Years 3 and 4 made the most of the outdoor environment - they had a wonderful lesson investigating if Jesus came to school where he would choose to make a speech. The pupils could tell me where they had chosen and why and were reflecting on the schools’ values. I am sure our Bishop’s Visitor Mrs Cath Yeardley would be pleased to hear that this was the highlight of Callum’s week...alongside the skeleton! He was definitely the most exciting visitor! We can only have essential visitors in school and he is definitely essential. Thank you Hannah for allowing us to use him this week! I was also really impressed to hear Isobelle chose Instructional writing, well done.

Years 5 and 6 really enjoyed their Science task earlier in the week. I loved the neurons they had created from sweets. That was a really exciting lesson and they really enjoyed explaining their labelled diagrams to their parents at the end of the day. October means we’re well and truly into the Autumn- which means we start to think about Harvest. So Years 5 and 6 researched the festival of harvest and wrote prayers to coincide with their findings. Friday of course means Forest Schools, Mrs Pierce quickly adapted her timetable to complete the activity in the morning as they were planning to light a fire. She wanted to take advantage of the better weather. Years 5 and 6 discussed how you should light a fire properly, with lots of health and safety reminders. They completed their stars from last week and decorated them. Mrs Pierce then lit the fire during the break and the fun began. They toasted marshmallows on the end of sticks and squashed them between biscuits to create – a smore! Accompanied of course by hot chocolate.

It has been great to see more pupils in After School Club; we love receiving an email saying someone has been held up in work can they please book the children into After School Club. We have such a lovely, dedicated team working in After School Club who show pupils lots of care and patience at the end of the day.  We are hoping we can make this facility break even. Please do try and support if you are able as this is an important facility for all at school.

I know we are in local lockdown and that will certainly change my plans for the weekend. We are very lucky that as a Federation we haven’t had to deal with any major concerns. Long may this continue! I hope everyone has a good weekend despite the weather and local lockdown.