Friday, 6 December 2019

As you know we had to cancel the PTA Christmas Hunt because of the forecast of bad weather. It has been rescheduled for next Thursday when we can guarantee that it will take place as it will be held indoors if it is raining outside.  I hope we will still be able to see many of you then as I know the children love events like this. Those of you who are attending the Foundation stage and Key Stage One Christmas performances will be able to buy tickets for the Christmas hampers in advance of the Christmas Café (where the draw will be held) as tickets will be on sale at these performances.

You may not have seen me around much this week as I have had a lot of meetings to attend – I think they have all been held this week so that they do not interfere with the Christmas shows. I am just telling you this in case you have been wondering where I have been and so I can assure you that I have been working – I have not been giving myself time off to go Christmas shopping.

However, now that I have mentioned the ‘C’ word I can let you know that we are in full swing with our preparations for Christmas. Next week, as I mentioned above, our younger children are performing their Christmas shows for their families and friends and I am very excited about seeing them. These shows are one of the highlights of my year and I know parents really look forward to seeing them as well.

On Wednesday afternoon we have our ‘Open afternoon’ where parents who have children in classes Year 1 – Year 6 can look at the learning their children have produced over the last half term. It runs from 3.00pm – 4.30pm. We start it during the school day as the children really enjoy sharing their learning with their parents. If your child is in Year 1 or 2 you can look at their books after the show and take your children home early rather than wait around for the end of the school day. You can also take any older children home early as well.

We have our Christmas lunch next week on Thursday. The children look forward to this because it is the only time in the year when the teachers serve them their meal. The teachers also sing some carols to them but I do not think that they look forward to that as much.

On Friday it is Christmas Jumper Day. This is a national fundraising event which supports many people in need. The charity asks that everyone brings in £2 for being allowed to wear a Christmas jumper at school or work but if that is too much at this time of year please just donate £1. We are hoping to put together a little video of all the children in their Christmas jumpers so if you would rather your children did not take part in this video please let the school office know.

That is all for now. As you can see it is a really busy week next week in school so please try and let the children get some rest over the weekend. We have had a few children going down with viruses which is common at this time of year but we would like them all to be in for the last two weeks of term as there are lots of fun activities taking part for them to enjoy.

Friday, 29 November 2019

I have had quite an exciting day today because I have spent the majority of the day at the Royal Veterinary College planting some trees with a few children. This is part of a campaign run by the Woodland’s Trust called ‘The Big Climate Fightback’. The official day for this campaign is tomorrow but they chose to do the tree planting today to enable more people from the local community to attend. It was a thoroughly enjoyable event and all the children I took really enjoyed the experience.

I do not think that we can deny that Christmas is on the way. We have started some preparations in school in readiness for the festive season but we do tend to ‘keep a lid’ on Christmas until December as the children can become overexcited which can make them tired and irritable. However, next week we are putting up our Christmas trees and decorations and we will also be starting our daily Christmas card delivery service. For this to happen, we put a post box at the entrance where the children walk into the school (not the main office area). During the lunchtime, the Year 6 children empty this and then deliver the cards to the correct classroom. To make this possible, we do ask parents to ensure that when their children are writing their Christmas cards they put the full name and the year group of the child they are sending it to.

Another Christmas event that is being held next week is our PTA’s ‘Christmas Café. This is taking place in our Foundation unit and outdoor classroom on Friday, 6th December from 3.15pm onwards. It is going to be similar to the Easter event in that the children will be able to take part in a treasure hunt where they have to hunt for clues so that they can claim their treasure at the end. Refreshments will be served in the Foundation block and you will be able to toast marshmallows in the fire pit in the outdoor classroom. There will also be a raffle draw with the possibility of winning a Christmas hamper full of goodies to treat your loved ones over the holidays. The outdoor area is going to be decorated with Christmas lights so it should look like a Winter Wonderland and be a great experience for the children to take part in –I hope to see many of you there.

I am sure that all your weekends will now be busy in preparation for Christmas but I do hope that you find some time to relax. I look forward to seeing you all again on Monday morning.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Another Friday another non-uniform day. Today the children were allowed to wear their own clothes as long as they brought in an item for a Christmas hamper. We now have a lovely pile of Christmas treats in school. With such temptation in front of me I just hope they last until December 6th when we have our Christmas treasure hunt.  More details about that event will follow shortly.

This week in school has been called ‘Just Talk’ and it has been about highlighting the importance of taking good care of your mental health. It is called ‘Just Talk’ because it has been proven that people who can talk about their concerns have less mental health issues than people who keep their concerns to themselves. As I have discussed in the past, the amount of children suffering with mental health issues has increased dramatically in recent times and so I think it is very important to teach children strategies to use when they feel overwhelmed by the world. A very popular strategy that we have introduced this week was the ‘Daily Mile’. We did not actually run a mile this week (and we are not doing it daily) but we got all the children to move continually for 5 minutes. In the coming weeks we are going to up this to 10 minutes and then eventually 15 minutes to ensure all children can complete a mile.

We ended the week with a real treat as it was the Year 4 assembly. They were presenting to us a selection of work that they have covered this term and it was both enjoyable and informative - I particularly liked their adaptation of the ‘Friends’ song where they had changed the lyrics to explain what they have been learning in class. I would like to thank the children for putting on such a good performance and I would like to thank Miss Bradford, Mrs Farrell and Miss Russon for helping them put it together.

Next week is a relatively calm week in school. I am glad for the calm though because the following week we are in December and that always brings lots of excitement into school - not least because the children are really hyped up at the thought of Father Christmas coming.

Have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing you all again on Monday.

Friday, 15 November 2019

There have been lots of strange sights in school today. This is because the theme for ‘Children in Need’ is do your thing and we allowed the children to ‘do their thing’ with their hair and they certainly did that. It is all for a good cause though and with the donations brought in today we managed to raise £174.35. Thank you to everyone who kindly donated.

As I predicted last week it has certainly been a busy week in school. On Tuesday it was ‘Odd Socks Day’ which is all part of anti-bullying week. The theme this year has been ‘Change starts with us’ meaning that for bullying to end, changes have to be implemented by individuals and not by waiting for somebody else to put something in place. The classes have each written a verse for a whole school poem about why bullying is bad and when we have put it together we will put copies on our website for parents to read. I have also emphasised to the children that they must carry the principals of non-bullying beyond the school gate. I receive too many comments about children making unkind comments about other school children outside of school, especially online and it needs to stop. Parents should also be checking what their children are posting online to make sure that the children know they will not get away with this form of unacceptable behaviour.

We have had some success in school this week which is always good to write about. Some pupils from Years 3 and 4 took part in an indoor athletics tournament this week and won!! They were really happy and excited about it as were the rest of the school when we did the presentation in assembly. As always we had a lot of supportive parents who went to watch their children take part and I have to say that when they were telling me about the event, I think they may have enjoyed it more than the children. I would like to congratulate all of the children on their wonderful performance and I would like to thank Mr Mills for preparing them so well for the event.

It is a themed week in school next week and we think it is a very important one. It is called ‘Just Talk’ and it is all about how children should cope with their mental health, especially anxiety, whether or not they are experiencing it themselves or they know somebody who is. We will be discussing how people feel when they are suffering with anxiety and depression and we will be discussing strategies of how to cope with it. The week is called ‘Just Talk’ because it has been proven that if people could just share and discuss their worries then the amount of people suffering from mental health problems would be greatly reduced. As the amount of children suffering from anxiety and mental health problems has greatly increased in recent times I am sure that you will agree with us that this is a very worthwhile topic for us to cover in school.

As well as covering ‘Just Talk’ during the week we have a Mufti Day next Friday for the PTA Christmas Café event on December 6th. For being allowed to wear their own clothes for the day, we want the children to bring in an item that could be put in a Christmas hamper such as mince pies, chocolates, bottles of wine, biscuits etc. I know that you have all been very generous in the past so I am sure that you all will be again. We also have the Year 4 Assembly to look forward to next Friday so it is certainly going to be an action -packed day.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. The weather is not going to be the best but I am sure you will still be able to enjoy yourselves. I am going to the O2 to watch the tennis so the weather is certainly not going to affect me.


Friday, 8 November 2019

Welcome back after the half term break. I hope you all had a good time and have come back feeling refreshed and re-energised. You can certainly tell that winter is on the way because there has been a drop in temperature but at least we have had lots of sunshine which does help everyone to feel better. I do find the dark evenings hard to get used to though.

We had an early start to the week because we were all in school on Sunday for our annual fireworks display. It was the first year of us doing them ourselves and it was a brilliant event – everyone was talking about how good the fireworks were. I would like to than the PTA members for all their hard work in organising such a successful event and to all the people who helped them run the event on the day. When the final total has been calculated I will let you know how much money we raised.

This week we had someone in from the Herts and Essex Air Ambulance Service in to talk to the children about what they do. This is a very important service that has helped save the lives of thousands of people who have been involved in serious road accidents. The surprising thing is that it is funded totally by charity donations which I think is quite shocking considering the vital job that it does. The children were very interested in what the presenter had to tell them although I did point out that they should hope that they do not need to have the helicopter come and rescue them. As it provides such an important service we have decided as a school that all the donations that we receive at our Christmas shows and Carol Concert will be sent to the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance service.

There is a lot going on in school next week which you will already know about from our newsletter. On Monday we will be holding a minute’s silence for Armistice Day at 11 o’clock. A lot of the children have already purchased a poppy product from the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal but if they have not done so already they will have another opportunity to purchase one on Monday.

On Tuesday we are allowing the children to wear ‘Odd Socks’ as part of Anti Bullying week. Although we do highlight how unacceptable bullying is throughout the year I think it is good to have a special day to help bring attention to the fact that bullying is unacceptable. The children can wear any odd socks that they like but must wear normal school uniform with them.

‘Children in Need’ is on Friday and the theme this year is ‘Do Your Thing’ so we are allowing the children to style their hair any way that they want as long as they bring in at least a £1 to donate to ‘Children in Need’. The children also do not have to wear their school uniform on that day.

With so much going on next week I do hope that everyone has a relaxing weekend so they have plenty of energy for next week. I look forward to seeing you all again on Monday.


Friday, 25 October 2019

The half term is upon us and I think everyone is glad. We have just completed the longest half-term of the year and we do have some very tired children in school. I do smile when I see some suggestions from people who obviously do not work in schools that we have longer terms because they just have to come into a school to see how the children are before a holiday and they would realise what a bad idea that is.

I have seen a lot of you in school this week as it has been Parent Consultation Week. I have heard lots of positive comments back from my teachers regarding the meetings. For the autumn consultations I always sit in on the Year 6 who have to present their learning and targets to their parents and I always really enjoy taking part in them. Even though the Year 6 pupils always get nervous before these presentations (and some more than others) they always do a good job and appear to enjoy the whole process. I would like to remind you that if you do have any concerns about your child you do not have to wait for a parent consultation to discuss it and you can make an appointment at any time with the class teacher throughout the year.

It has been brought to my attention that some children are wearing trainers to school and not school shoes. It does state quite clearly in our uniform list that children should wear ‘formal, non-casual, waterproof black shoes (not sneakers or canvas shoes)’ and a lot of children are wearing canvas trainers which is not uniform. If you have any problem ensuring that your child does have the correct footwear please do not hesitate to contact me. May I also remind you that all KS2 children should be in winter uniform after the half term break which includes a tie. I have seen a couple of children in school in winter uniform not wearing a tie.

I hope you all have a great half term but before I sign off may I remind you all about our firework display on Sunday, November 3rd. The gates open at 4.30pm and the fireworks are being set off at 6.00pm. The PTA are still looking for some volunteers so if you have not signed up to help and would like to the list is at the school office. I hope to see many of you there as I know it is going to be a fabulous event and it is finishing early enough so that the children can go to bed at a good time to ensure that they are ready to return to school on November 4th.

Friday, 18 October 2019

I would like to start my blog this week with the good news that we raised £490.65 at last week’s Harvest Festival. This is an impressive sum and I know that the Water Aid charity that we are sending it to will be really pleased to receive this donation. I would like to thank everyone again for their kind donations of cakes and money which helped to make this possible.

We had a lovely end to the week with the Year 5 assembly. It was all about work that they have covered this half term and was very informative – some parents were amazed at the amount of work that they have covered already. I would like to thank all the pupils for giving us such a good assembly and I would like to thank Mrs Zegallo, Mrs Hayden, Mrs Alimadadi and Mrs Onley for their work in helping the children put the assembly together.

I was also told that the children who had their Sharing assembly on Monday did a very good job and there were lots of parents there to see them present their learning. I would like to remind everyone that whilst we love to see younger siblings attend any of our assemblies and shows, that if the youngsters do start to get a little noisy we ask that you take them outside of the hall. A lot of hard work goes into putting on our shows and assemblies and it is a real pity if people cannot enjoy them because they cannot hear what the children are saying. Some children also get very nervous about performing in front of others and their anxiety can be heightened if there is disturbance in the audience.

A highlight for me this week was going to see the choir perform in a ‘Sing Out’ event at Lochinver School with choirs from other local primary schools. It was a really enjoyable event and our choir really did the school proud, especially when they had to perform their individual song which was ‘A Little Bit Naughty’ from the musical ‘Matilda’. I would like to thank all the members of the choir for putting on such a good performance and I would like to thank Mrs Lawrence, Mrs Robinson and Miss Bradford for all the time they have given in preparing the choir for the concert.

The main events for next week are the parent consultation sessions. They run from Monday – Thursday and if you have not made an appointment yet you will need to go on the School Gateway to do so. The first parent consultations of the year are a chance for you to see how your child has settled into the new school year and how they are progressing with their learning. We all love to have parents in school because we do understand how important parent support is to children doing well in school but may I ask that you do stick to your allocated time slot when speaking to the teacher. If there is something that you would like to discuss in depth with the teacher, then please make an appointment to see them at a later date. If only a couple of appointments run over, then it has a knock on affect for all other parents waiting to speak to the teachers.

I hope you all have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing many of you in school next week when you are attending the parent consultations.