Friday, 21 December 2012

With the excitement for Christmas at fever point the end of term has finally arrived! It has been an extremely busy week in school and I am sure that the children (and you) are all very tired. The children do appear to have had a good time though and we are all very proud of how well they did in their shows and carol service. I know you can all also appreciate how hard the staff had to work in putting on these shows and parties and I am sure you would like to join me in thanking all my staff for their efforts at this busy time of year. I made a little error on Monday in the Carol Service when I thanked all the KS2 staff for their work in putting on the Carol service and I forgot to thank the KS1 staff who also helped out i.e. Mrs Costi, Mr Spring and Mrs Holden so I am doing that now. I have blamed that oversight on being overworked and my advancing years but I have not received much sympathy from the staff.

It has been nice seeing all the parents and relatives at these events and I would like to thank all of you for supporting your children and the school in such a positive way. You have been very generous in your donations for the ‘Shelter Emergency Christmas fund’ and we raised £298 to donate to this very worthy cause. I would also like to thank everyone who has sent me Christmas cards and gifts – they are very much appreciated

All that is left for me to do now is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I look forward to seeing you all again in 2013 when we return to school on Tuesday, 8th January.

Friday, 14 December 2012

The Christmas season is certainly in full swing and there is an excitable buzz in school as the great day draws ever closer. It is great being a child at this time of year when wonderful things happen around you but we adults know that wonderful things unfortunately do not happen by magic and I am sure, like the staff, a couple of you are feeling the pace at the moment. However it is a time of year that I enjoy and the cold and frosty weather we have experienced this week has definitely made it feel more like Christmas - the view from my office this week has been quite breath-taking at times even if I have had to wear extra socks to keep my feet warm.

Next week is a busy one in school and I am sure that I will see you all at least once during the festivities. On Monday we have the KS2 Carol service and the on Tuesday and Wednesday it is the turn of the Foundation Stage and KS1 to perform their shows for their parents. On Thursday we have the Christmas parties and on Friday we have a theatre company coming into school to put on a Christmas show for the children (parents do not attend that). Hopefully after all that the children will be exhausted and will rest quietly at home until Christmas Day.

As I said earlier I will probably see you all at least once next week because I know how you all enjoy seeing your children perform. However I would like to ask that you all turn up for the events at the requested times and do not arrive earlier. If people turn up at the church on Monday before 6.45pm it means that the children have to sit around for a long time before they start the service and they become rather unsettled and will not perform as well as they should. If people wait in the church it also means that the children are left unsupervised in the hall which is unsafe. On the Wednesday for the KS1 performance we often have people arrive before 1pm and then they ask if they can be let in earlier because they are cold. Unfortunately we cannot do this as the children are having their lunch in the hall and we cannot let people in before it is emptied and cleared for health and safety reasons. I do not want to sound like the ‘Christmas Grinch’ but if you could follow our timetable it would make a hectic week run much more efficiently.

Friday, 7 December 2012

There has been a lot of hustle and bustle in school this week with all the preparations for the Christmas Fayre. I know the PTA were absolutely delighted with the amount of contributions that they received last week and they were telling me that it was the most they had ever received. Everything is almost ready for the big day but the last thing that we need to make it a big success is your attendance. There is going to be lots to do and buy so please come along, spend some money and make all the hard work worthwhile. Remember all the money raised goes towards enhancing the learning of children at Little Heath.

Unfortunately I am going to have a little moan now because parents dropping off in front of the school is becoming a bit of a problem again. More and more people are pulling up on the zig- zag yellow lines to either drop off or pick up children. Then they try and manoeuvre a three point turn to get out and end up going onto the pavement that people are walking on. I mentioned a few weeks ago that there had been a car accident outside the school but this does not appear to have deterred people. I hope we do not have to wait for a child to be run over before people actually stop doing this. I have been talking to the Hertfordshire police and they have told me that they will be sending someone down to check on the parking.

Winter certainly arrived this week and I know that I was not the only person to be amazed when they opened their curtains on Wednesday morning to see the snow. Of course no matter how much inconvenience it causes on the road the children still love it and they love to be outside to play in it. Unfortunately it was not quite deep enough to build snowmen this time but the children still love being out in it so can you please ensure that on snow days you do send the children in with suitable footwear to go outside in – even if it means they bring their school shoes to change into . You may also want to send them in with a spare set of socks in case the ones they are wearing get wet.

I look forward to seeing lots of you at the fayre on Saturday – I will be working on the picture key ring stand with Mrs Zegallo. She will be the photographer and I am her glamorous assistant.

Friday, 30 November 2012

I think it is fair to say that the big topic of conversation in school this week has been our unexpected visitors – the donkeys. They arrived in School Road on Tuesday night and the first I knew of their arrival was through a telephone call from a parent telling me where he thought the donkeys that were in my playground were from. For a moment I thought it was a crank call until he told me who he was and that Mr Mills had helped to bring them into the school. I left the meeting I was in to go outside and ‘lo and behold’ there were two donkeys in the playground with a police officer trying to find out where they had come from. It became apparent then that it was not going to be an easy problem to solve so I was asked if necessary could they spend the night here. I agreed and as you all now know they did spend all night here and most of the next day as nobody came forward to claim them. In the afternoon somebody from a donkey sanctuary in Essex came to take them away so they could get the proper care and attention they need. I know a lot of the children would have loved us to keep them but I think you will all agree that the sanctuary is the best place for them. If I hear any more about them I will let you know.

The MSAs have raised a concern with me about parents passing items to their children through the infant fence during the lunch hour. The MSAs do not know who all the parents are and so for safety reasons we would ask that if you need to give something to your child during the school day that you come to the school office to do so.

I had reason for celebration this week as we have new curtains in the hall. Ever since I got here I have wanted to have new curtains put in there and thanks to the generosity of the PTA that wish has actually come true. Everybody who has seen them has commented on how much of an improvement they are. As well as the PTA I would also like to thank Mr Goldwater for his role in helping us purchase them.

I also received a card from the Royal British Legion letting us know how much we had raised in our poppy appeal. This year we raised £122.57 which is well up on last year so I would like to thank everyone for being so generous with their donations. I have always said that the population of Little Heath is always generous where charities are involved. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the shoeboxes that have been sent in for the Rotary Club appeal. We have received a large amount but if anyone still has one at home that they would like to fill and send in you can still do so as they are not being collected until early next week.

We cannot avoid the subject anymore because Christmas is approaching fast. Thanks are required once more for all the lovely donations that were brought in today in preparation for the Christmas Fayre which will be on Saturday 8th December. From Monday we will have the post box out so that if children want to post Christmas cards they can do. To make it easier for them to be delivered I would ask that both the class and the name of the child is written on the envelope. The post box will be situated at the entrance the children walk through in the morning and the cards will be delivered to the classes by the Year 6.

Friday, 23 November 2012

We have had a much quieter time in school this week after all the visitors we had in school last week. As you know we had a very exciting end to last week with a lot of children coming to school in their pyjamas for ‘Children in Need’. I am pleased to inform you that we raised £219.20 to donate to this cause so thank you to everyone who contributed.

We did have some visitors in school this week from Chancellors School and they included some former pupils. They had put together a performance of the pantomime ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and they presented it to our Year1 and Year 2 children who thoroughly enjoyed it –even if it was a little bit different to the original story.

Next week we are having a ‘Mufti Day’ on Friday for our Christmas Fayre. This time the children can come to school in non-uniform if you donate some chocolate or a bottle of wine to be used on one of the tombola stalls at the Christmas Fayre. The PTA will be collecting the donations at the school gate. They are also looking for donations of 2nd hand toys or books so this would be a good time to sort out your children’s toys so you can get rid of any old ones before Father Christmas delivers a whole batch of new ones.

You will also need to get your hamper donation sent into class by next week so that all the hampers for the raffle can be put together in time for the Fayre. I know we appear to be asking you for a lot but the PTA do put in a lot of hard work into making the event a success and all the profit from the fayre goes into buying resources in the school that benefit all the children. Only recently the PTA has purchased iPads which are being used in all the classrooms and extra books to help extend the selection in the reading scheme. We are also having new curtains delivered next week to be hung in the hall which the PTA has paid for as well.

Friday, 16 November 2012

We have certainly had an exciting week in school with lots of visitors. Our first visit was from Sian Stanton on Tuesday who came to take an assembly with the children to talk about the new ‘Walk to School’ initiative. As you know, because of the letter you received, this project has been developed to encourage the children to walk to school at least once a week and if they fulfil this they will be awarded a badge each month with a picture of a famous scene or landmark from around the world. Our launch day was yesterday and I would like to thank everyone for the brilliant response we had to it. The parent support was amazing and we have never had so many people here so early - walking at least part of the way obviously took less time than people thought. I hope that we can sustain this momentum and continue to be committed to the project in such a great way.

Martin Collins from Brookmans Park Rotary Club came into school on Thursday to take an assembly about the shoeboxes which are sent to children who live in orphanages in Eastern Europe. We have already had a good response to this campaign (as we always do) and after his visit all the children seem really eager to bring in their shoeboxes. They need to be in school by the 30th November to ensure they can be delivered on time to all the children. I made a slight mistake on the newsletter when I gave the date for them to be in because I said it was a Wednesday when in fact the 30th of November is on a Friday. Martin has said that he is going to try and e-mail me some sheets with a little bit of background information about the shoeboxes and also some extra suggestions of how to fill them. When I receive his e-mail I will forward these sheets to you.

Year 6 also had some visitors in on Thursday. These were some children’s nurse students studying for their degree at Hertfordshire University. As part of their course work they had to put together presentations about how to keep healthy and then present them to the Year 6 in the form of a health exhibition. The Year 6 had to visit all the stands which they found both informative and enjoyable and then write an evaluation about how the students performed. The general consensus seemed to be that all the students did very well. The students were also very complementary of the Year 6 finding them engaging, enthusiastic, motivated and well behaved.

We started today with the Year 4 assembly on Forces. It was a great start to the day and I could tell that a lot of effort has gone into putting this presentation together so I would like to thank Mrs Heinson, Mrs Onley and all the Year 4 pupils for their efforts –everyone who watched it was certainly impressed. Today is also ‘Children in Need ‘day or ‘Pudsey Day’ as one child referred to it and we have held a non-uniform day to help support this cause. Although we think that this charity does a lot of good we do not make a big thing of it in our school as we have already asked you to do a lot this term and we will be asking for your support again later this term for our own Christmas Fayre. However the children hear a lot about it on television and like to feel involved so I do thank all the parents who have supported this and made a contribution to the appeal. As ever the generosity of the Little Heath parents has impressed me – particularly in these difficult times.

Friday, 9 November 2012

I hope you all had a great half term and have now all settled back into the school routine. It never ceases to amaze me that when you return to work after a holiday how quickly that holiday can become a distant memory.

School life has settled back to normal very quickly and all the children seem very happy to be back. We certainly had a very good start to our sporting calendar with both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ football teams winning their matches against Pope Paul.

I was really pleased to see so many of you here on Saturday for the annual Rotary Club Firework Display. As you know this is an event which is jointly run by the school and Brookmans Park Rotary Club and it helps to raise a lot of money for both organisations. It is also a great social event for everyone as well and all those who were here appeared to have a really great time. I think everyone who attended agreed that it was one of the best firework displays that they had seen and no-one could complain that they did not get value for their money. I will let you know how much we made from the event as soon as we get the figures from the Rotary Club. I would also like to thank the PTA and all the volunteers from the school who helped make the event such a success.

Next week is certainly going to be an action packed week for us. As I informed you in my newsletter we are starting a new ‘Walk to School’ project in school. The launch of the project is next Thursday but the leader of the project will be visiting the school on Tuesday so she can tell the children all about it. We are also going to be getting a visit from Martin Collins of Brookmans Park Rotary Club who is going to explain to the children why we are sending the shoeboxes to Eastern Europe. In the past the families of Little Heath have always been very generous when filling the shoeboxes and I am sure that you will be again.

Friday, 26 October 2012

What a week it has been for me. I have had 3 evening events which were school related this week so I am certainly looking forward to half term. Lots of parents have been in school this week as it has been the parent consultations and I am delighted to say that everyone I have seen appears happy with the progress their child is making. It is nice to get pleasant comments fed back to us but I would like to remind all parents that if anybody does have any issues they do not have to wait until parent consultations to speak to us but can contact the school at any time to discuss it with the relevant person.

We had the Rotary club in this morning to make the presentation to the winner of the cover for the Fireworks Display programme. We always enjoy having the rotary club in as they support the school in many ways but their visit was marred this morning as somebody reversed into one of their cars. I understand that accidents happen but I have mentioned many times that I do not want parents driving up to the school to drop their children off in the morning because it is too congested and now an accident has occurred. I suppose we should be grateful that it was just a car that was hit and not a child. I am now going to ask again that if you have to use a car to drop your child off at school can you either park in the church car park or on Hawkshead Road and walk the child the rest of the distance. I know everyone is very busy but surely it is better to be safe than sorry.

When I arrived at work this morning I had a lovely surprise in the form of a book full of children’s writing. I do not know if you will remember but before the summer we invited the children to take part in a writing challenge online and this book contains some of the entries. A few local schools participated and there are some lovely contributions from Little Heath pupils. I am very proud of all their pieces and we will keep the copy of the book in our library.

When we return after half term we will be selling poppies in school. They will be sold every day during that week so if you would like to give your child some money to buy a poppy that would be great as I think that this is a very worthy cause to support.

I hope you all have a great half term. Hopefully I will see lots of you at the Rotary Firework Display on November 3rd but if not I will see you all on Monday 5th November when school re-opens.

Friday, 19 October 2012

I am sure some of you noticed that I did not have a blog last week but this was because I was at the Hertfordshire Head Teacher’s Conference. I am sometimes sceptical about attending events like this because you sometimes wonder it is worth the time you spend away from school but I can truly report back that this was an excellent conference with some truly great ideas that we can use back in the classroom. It was also reassuring to find out that a lot of ideas they were recommending are already in place at Little Heath.

I promised you a couple of weeks ago that I would let you know how much money we raised from the ‘Harvest Coffee Morning’ and I delighted to tell you that the amount raised was £359.75. As some of you may know this event coincided with ‘Jeans for Genes’ day, so we have decided to donate the money to one of the charities which is supported by this event. The charity we have chosen is the 1p36 UK and Ireland charity which supports families who have children born missing this gene. Children who are born without this gene will need a lot of support throughout their life but how it affects each child will be unique to them.

Unfortunately our parking problem seems to be recurring again with parents parking up on the zig-zag yellow lines which are meant to have no cars parked on them from 8.00am until 5.00pm. We have not done this to make it awkward for the parents but to ensure the safety of the children. I am amazed that some parents have such a cavalier attitude to the health and safety of the pupils of Little Heath. I am sure these people would not be happy if one of their children was hit by a car. There are no parking restrictions on ‘Hawkshead Road’ and it is only a short distance to walk to the school from there. We have informed the police and if you do receive a fine for parking illegally you cannot say that you have not been warned.

I am delighted to announce that we have a new teaching assistant in school. Her name is Ms Hazel Williams and she has replaced Mrs Lesley Prince who left us in the summer. At the moment she is working in Year 6. As some of you already know we also have a new reception teacher joining our staff. Her name is Miss Tanya Jaeger and she will be joining us after the half term.

I could not believe it when I looked at my diary and saw that it is half term next week. The term so far seems to have flown by so that must be a good sign that I am enjoying my work. It is parent consultations next week so I will probably see a lot of you then. This year we are doing something slightly different in that we are giving the Year 6 slightly longer slots and the pupils have to attend the consultation along with me so I will not be as available at some consultations as I will be at others. Remember though that if you have any concerns you may contact the school to arrange to see me at a mutually convenient time.

Friday, 5 October 2012

As I sit to write this I am just recovering from a very hectic morning. I am of course referring to our ‘Harvest Coffee Morning’ which has just finished. I always get very hot at this event because I am moving around a lot. I try to convince myself that all the energy I am burning off will make up for the cakes that I have eaten but I think that I am fooling myself. As usual it was a big success and I would like to thank you all for your generosity for both your donations of cakes and money – without such good support it would not be the success that it is. I would also like to thank the PTA for doing such a good job in running the event. As yet we have not calculated the amount but when we do we will let you know how much was collected and which charity it will be donated to.

An issue that keeps recurring in school is the playtime snack. Key Stage One are provided with a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable by the government to eat and we allow Key Stage Two children to bring in their own fruit to consume during the morning break but I frequently see children eating other snacks. I know that some children are taking these from their lunchboxes and not eating the fruit that you have provided so if you could just remind your children that they only eat fruit or vegetables at morning break and we will do the same here.

Next week I will be out for half the week. This is because I will be attending the ‘Hertfordshire Primary Head Teacher’s Conference’. This is when head teachers get together to attend a series of presentations and seminars which keep us up to date with all the developments and changes in education of which there are quite a lot at the moment. While I am not in school Mrs Zegallo will be in charge and if there are any issues you need to discuss you can make an appointment to see her or make an appointment to see me on my return.

Friday, 28 September 2012

When I walked around school this morning it felt like I was walking around Epcot because as I entered each classroom it was like entering a different country. As some of you may know this is because we are celebrating the European Day of Languages today to help children appreciate the traditions and cultures of our European neighbours. Each class is studying a different country and on Monday morning in assembly the different classes will be sharing with each other some of the learning that they have covered today.

Today is a particularly good day for Year 6 because this afternoon they have been invited to Lochinver School to meet the famous author Darren Shan. Some of his more well- known books include ‘Cirque du Freak’ and ‘The Vampire’s Assistant’. Experiences like this are good for the children because by meeting someone in person who has had success in writing it helps motivate them in their own writing and who knows – it may inspire one of them to dedicate their life to becoming a published author. It is always good to let the children see that anything is possible.

A lot is happening for parents in school next week. On Wednesday at 2.30pm there is the PTA AGM which is going to be held in the school hall. This is where the PTA share what has happened during the last year and inform you of how the money raised has been spent. It is also where the officers for the next year are nominated and voted in. If at least 25 parents do not attend the meeting is not considered quorate and technically we could have no school PTA. This would be disastrous for the school because the money raised makes a big difference to the lives of the pupils and in recent years they have purchased essential items for the school such as computers, lap tops and the KS2 library as well as many other items which help to enrich the learning of the children. By attending the meeting you are not committing yourself to being on the PTA committee. Refreshments will be served and after the meeting has ended (which will be in time for the end of the school day) parents whose children attend after school clubs will be welcome to stay until their child’s club has finished.

I am also looking forward to next week when I hope to see lots of you at our ‘Harvest Coffee Morning’ which will be held on Friday morning. Although this is a great social occasion it does have a more serious undertone in that all the money raised goes to charity. However it is only a great success thanks to all your generosity in both your donation of cakes and biscuits and your donations of money during the actual event. Remember that you can start to send in your cakes and biscuits from Wednesday onwards. If you are using Tupperware containers or tins to send in your goods please ensure they are labelled so they can be returned to you. I am sure that it will be a great success as always.

Friday, 21 September 2012

What a week it has been. I could have been quite a local celebrity if I had accepted all the opportunities that I had been offered to speak on the local radio. I am, of course, referring to the ‘Chickengate’ saga and the belief that the school were being forced to get rid of the chickens because of the health and safety department at the council. Since I sent out my newsletter you will now know that this is not the case. I understand that the people who created the petition site to keep the chickens thought they were acting in the best interests of the school but what I would ask is that in future, if anybody would like to support the school could they please contact me so that firstly, I know what is being said about the school in the media and secondly, they can check that they have all the facts correct. Not only have I had to deal with constant calls from the press I have had to apologise to Welwyn and Hatfield council who were falsely accused of making us get rid of the chickens which they did not do. They were very unhappy at the allegations that were made against them and we are very lucky that they are not taking further action. This has been a very time consuming activity when quite frankly my time could have been better spent doing other things in school - such as focusing on the education of the children. I would also like to say to the two parents who did contact environmental health about how we were keeping the chickens that if they had any concerns that they could have firstly come and spoke to me and then, if they were not happy with how I responded to their concerns that would possibly have been the best time to contact environmental health.

On a happier note we have decided to relocate the chickens to the wildlife area where they will have a fenced area in which to wander freely during the day. The children will be able to go and see them although they will have to be supervised at all times during these visits to ensure that they follow the correct hygiene rules when handling birds. If any parents are not happy for their children to have contact with the chickens I will be sending home a letter with a slip for them to complete so we have this information on record.

Hopefully next week will be a more normal week with the focus being on everyday school activities. Something that is slightly out of the ordinary is that we are having the individual pupil photographs taken on Monday morning so everyone will have to make sure they are extra clean and well presented. We do ask that if possible the KS2 children wear their winter uniform.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Our first full week in school is over and the holidays really are a dim and distant memory. The good weather has sort of lasted and there is a very exciting vibe in school as all the school clubs have started again.

We had the ‘Meet the Teacher’ meetings in school last night where the class teachers outlined their expectations for their class for the coming year. Everyone who attended seemed very happy with what they had heard which is pleasing to know. Some parents said that they could not come and wanted separate appointments but the things that are discussed in these sessions do not apply to individual children and if you need to know what is happening in your child’s class then there are the class blogs which the teachers update weekly with information as to what is happening in your child’s class. Some people also felt upset that we do not allow children to attend the ‘Meet the Teacher’ sessions but this was done at the request of some parents who feel more comfortable asking some questions without the children present. We will be having the teacher consultation sessions at the end of October where you will be updated on your child’s progress by the class teacher but if you have any issues about your child before then you can always arrange an appointment with the class teacher to discuss them in private. I was disappointed that some parents ignored the request not to bring children and left their children unsupervised in the building while they attended the meeting even though they knew they should not be doing this.

We have no major events happening in school next week but we do have some coming up soon. We are having our ‘European Day of Languages’ on September 28th and our ‘Harvest Festival Coffee Morning’ is on October 5th. There is also the PTA quiz night on October 6th and the Annual Rotary Club firework display on November 3rd so there is plenty to look forward to in our school calendar and I look forward to seeing many of you at these events.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Welcome back to everybody. I hope you all had a fabulous holiday and are all feeling well rested. I had a great holiday but it is amazing how quickly it can become a distant memory once you have been back at work for a couple of days. We have had a lovely start to the term and the sunny weather has helped to make it a pleasant return for everybody. We have a lot planned for this term and we start next week with our ‘Meet the Teacher’ meetings. You will already know about these from the newsletter that I sent out yesterday and for those of you who have never been to one they are for parents only so they can find out what is expected from their children for the coming year and it also gives parents an opportunity to ask the teachers any questions about the academic year ahead. Children are not invited as in the past parents have asked for this as they feel a little freer asking the teachers about certain matters without the children being present. In the past parents have ignored this complaining that they have no childcare but as the teachers are all busy on this night we do not have any childcare facilities either and it is not acceptable to have children wandering around the building unsupervised so please do not bring them into school on this occasion.

All the school clubs start again next week and that is when I truly feel that school life returns to normal. Hopefully you will have received a timetable of when all the school clubs are available –the clubs that are run by external providers are not on the list as parents make their own arrangements with these groups. Once the children attend a club their name will be put on a register so if your child is unable to attend or does not wish to continue could you please inform the school as we need to keep our registers up to date for safety reasons.

That is all for now. The good weather is supposed to last over the weekend so let us all make the most of it while it lasts as we tend to have a long winter in this country.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Dear All

I am just writing a quick blog this week as I am caught up with the end of year activities and all the work that involves. Like all of you probably I am looking forward to the summer holiday and hopefully some sunny weather that has been promised to us by the weather forecasters. As I mentioned last week it has been a very busy week for the Year 6 and I have noticed a few of them getting a little emotional today. They have had a fabulous year which was topped off by them achieving some very good results in their SATs. I hope they are taking some fond memories of their time in Little Heath and I know they will do the school proud when they go to their respective secondary schools.

All it is left for me to say now is that I hope everyone has a fabulous summer and I look forward to seeing everyone back feeling refreshed and ready to work on Tuesday 4th September.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Almost the end of term and I am sure that like me most of you are looking forward to a relaxing holiday where you can leave all your cares behind for a couple of weeks. In school it has been quite an exciting week. It started on Monday with the whole of Foundation stage and Key Stage One going to Frinton-on Sea for the day. Although it was not really sunny the weather was perfect for young children to spend the day at the beach and a fabulous time was had by all. The children were all really excited to tell me how they had been soaked by the sea and the great time they had playing in the sand. If you would like to see pictures of the trip you can see them in the school foyer on the TV screen.

On Wednesday the weather was not so kind to us but we did manage to hold the Foundation and Key Stage One sports morning. It was a very successful event and all the children had great fun competing for their house. Unfortunately the good weather did not last and we had to cancel the KS2 sports event as it would have been unsafe for the children to complete the events. Luckily the weather gods smiled on us today and we managed to hold the event this afternoon. Everyone had a great time and the eventual winners were Osborne House. I would like to thank all my staff for their efforts in making it happen – particularly Mr Mills who organises and co-ordinates the whole event. My thanks also go to the PTA who organised the refreshments for the parents.

During Thursday the majority of the Year 6 pupils were visiting their new secondary schools which allowed the pupils left behind in school to spend some time with their new class teacher. As you will now know we have made some changes to the staffing as Miss Martin and Miss Simoneau are leaving us. I can confirm that Mrs Richardson will be going into Year 5 (even though I missed that out in one part of the newsletter) and Miss Eleftheriou will now be taking Year 1. In the autumn term we will be appointing a new reception teacher.

Last night we had our Open Evening and it was great to see so many parents in the school. Everyone I spoke to said how pleased they were with their children’s work and that is always good to hear. We have had some very good results in school this year and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers for their hard work – they probably think that I do not say that enough.

Next week is the last week of term and that tends to be a very special one for our year 6 pupils. They have got their show to perform, their leavers’ party and on the last day they have their leavers’ assembly. Although it can be a sad time for them I hope they enjoy it all because we have been very happy to have them in the school and I know they will do us all proud when they continue their education in their various secondary schools. We wish them all good luck for the future.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Just two weeks to go until the summer holiday and I think everyone will be really pleased when it arrives but there is still lots going on in school. Yesterday was a particularly good day in school as we had the Potters Bar Rounders Tournament and our Music Evening. Yet again it was another sporting success for Little Heath with both the A and B team winning their sections. Once again I would like to congratulate both teams on their success and I would like to thank Mr Mills and Mrs Robinson for all their efforts in coaching the teams to success.

The Rounders tournament was followed by the Music evening which had a much more sedate pace. All the children were really and it was great to see all the budding stars of tomorrow perform in the school hall. I would like to thank Miss Martin and Mr Hill for organising the evening and the members of the PTA who provided the refreshments.

The majority of the reports also went out today. I am sorry that the Year 6 reports did not go out with them but as the SATs results are not published until Tuesday we thought it was best that they went out together. The report is a true reflection of how your child has performed in school this year but if you do feel the need to discuss the report with your child’s class teacher do not hesitate to make an appointment to see them.

Next week is Sports Day and our Open Evening. The children in particular enjoy Sports Day so let us hope for sunshine so that it can go ahead as normal. I know parents can also get very excited watching their children but as always I will ask that parents do not step on the running track during the races at the end so that we can ensure the safety of the children.

Open Evening gives people the opportunity to look at the work the children have completed this year. Pupils may accompany their parents to this so they can share their work with their parent. The PTA are also having a fashion show next week. It is on Wednesday evening and starts at 6.30pm. Some of the pupils are modelling the clothes and I believe places are still available if your child would like to do this as well. Please try to attend this event as all money raised goes towards the school.

Friday, 29 June 2012

As usual at this time of year the pace really picks up and everyone in school feels like they are ‘chasing their tails’. You may not have seen a lot of me in school this week as I have had a lot of courses and meetings to attend but I can assure you that I have been working. Even in my absence though, great things have been happening in school.

We took part in the ‘Potters Bar Schools District Sports’ and as has been the case with many sporting events recently we won! Other schools will be starting to dread our arrival at sporting events. I would like to congratulate all those who participated in helping us to this victory and to Mr Mills for organising the team. Particular mention should be given to Sabrina, Ben, Archie and Jack from Year 6 who all broke the record in their respective events – we may see them all yet taking part in future Olympic events. We were also representing our district in the rugby event at the Herts Schools Games and although we did not win we won two out of five of our matches and drew another so we certainly did not let ourselves down and all who took part should be very proud of their performance.

Next week looks like being a more sedate week in school although I am looking forward to our music evening on Thursday when all our musicians can share their talents with us. I look forward to seeing some of you there.

Friday, 22 June 2012

As I sit here writing my blog I can see members of the PTA flying around setting up for the Summer Fayre this evening. As I have mentioned before I cannot thank the PTA enough for all their efforts in supporting the school and even when the weather works against them as it is today with the wind and the rain they never give up. I only wish that on occasions such as this they had more support so they did not have to work so hard. Thanks to our great British weather it looks like once again we will have to hold our Summer Fayre indoors but I am sure that with such excellent organisation it will still be a great success.

Another great success that we have had this week is our writing workshop that we held on Thursday evening. The workshop was organised by Brigid deRivaz who is a literacy consultant and Ofsted inspector. It would have been better if a few more parents could have attended but all who did come found it most enjoyable and informative and left feeling enthused with ideas to try with their children at home. Her key message for parents was to keep the activities you do with your children fun and interesting so that they look forward to writing as opposed to dreading every time they have to pick up a pen.

Let us hope that next week the weather is kind to us as there are a few sporting competitions due to take place and the Year 5 have to walk to Mount Grace for an activity afternoon. The summer has to arrive sometime – doesn’t it?

Friday, 15 June 2012

It has been an extremely busy week for me as I have had many meetings to attend and I have not been in school very much. However the highlight of the week has been going to see the Queen. Luckily Thursday was a sunny day so although we had to wait a long time (2 hours) before she arrived it was not an unpleasant wait. We had been given a very good pitch so we were able to see her well but it would have been better if all the dignitaries had not stood around her while she was planting the tree – you could tell the organisers have not had much experience of working with children. All the pupils who attended seemed to have a great time as did the children who were not chosen to go as they had a very creative day back in school.

It has been brought to my attention that some parents are not happy that we are going to be keeping chickens in school as they think they will spread disease to the children. I would like to reassure those parents that we did assess all the risks before we got the chickens and there are no risks to the children. We also chose bantam chickens as they are very tame. However I would like to assure everyone that the chickens will not be wandering freely around the school and that no child will have any contact with the chickens if their parents do not want them to.

Next week promises to be another busy week in school. On Monday the Year 5 are having their ‘Apprentice’ event. The children have worked very hard to prepare their events and products but the rest of the school will decide who is the winner by the amount the stall raises. All the year groups are asked to bring in a small amount of money so that they can partake in the events. All money raised will go to charity.

On Thursday we are holding a ’Writing Workshop’. The event starts at 6.30pm and is being led by a lady called Brigid de Rivaz. As you will know from our action plan Brigid is a highly qualified literacy consultant and Ofsted inspector. The evening is to inform parents how children learn to write and how parents can support their children with their writing skills. The event should last about an hour.

Last but not least we have our ‘Summer Fayre’ on Friday. The children can come in normal clothes on Friday in lieu of an entry fee. The fayre starts at 3.30pm and finishes at 6.30pm. It promises to be a great event with lots of stalls and events going on. We hope that the sun shines but if the rain does come there is a wet weather plan and the event will still go ahead. Remember that all the money raised goes towards getting resources to support the children’s learning.

I look forward to seeing you all at the literacy evening and Summer Fayre.

Friday, 1 June 2012

It has been quite a quiet week in school this week as the Year 6 have been in Kingswood. Miss Martin has been keeping me informed of their welfare and everyone has been having a great time. I bet they all sleep well tonight though - especially the teachers!

Everyone seems to be getting very excited about the Jubilee celebrations. As you know we had our party last week and a great time appeared to be had by all which I discussed in my blog last week. However, what I failed to do was to thank all the parents who helped clear away after the party. The clearing up took very little time thanks to their efforts and it helped to keep the event a really enjoyable experience for everyone.

Our sporting success continued this week with Little Heath winning the Primary Schools North Mymms cricket tournament. This was an especially good victory because most of the teams that took part consisted of Year 6 children but as our Year 6 children were in Kingswood our cricket team consisted of Year 4 and 5 pupils and we still won. This is a good omen for the future because if the children are this good when they are in Year 4 and 5 what are they going to be like in Year 6! Watch this space in the future to hear of their further successes.

I hope you all have a great half term. Let us hope that the weather remains good (or at least it does not rain) so that we can enjoy the long bank holiday and I look forward to seeing you all again on Monday 11th June.

Friday, 25 May 2012

It has been quite a sporty week in school this week. It started on Monday with the Le Gros Netball Tournament. All the girls played really well and our ‘A’ team won the tournament! This is becoming quite a habit for our girls. Our ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams also won their leagues so it was a clean sweep for Little Heath. I would like to congratulate all the girls who took part and who contributed to the success of the teams. I would also like to thank Georgina Parkinson and Jo Munn for coaching the girls so well.

On Wednesday we had teams taking part in football and tennis tournaments. All the pupils who took part represented the school well. The football ‘A’ team finished 2nd in their group and the ‘B’ team finished 3rd in their section. The tennis team finished second so well done to all who took part.

Today was the Oakmere Mini marathon in which all of Key Stage 2 took part. The event got off to a shaky start for Little Heath as the coach driver forgot that he had to make 3 trips to collect the pupils and it looked likely that the Year 6 were going to miss the event. Luckily the PTA were here as they were preparing for the Jubilee Party so with their support we managed to get all of Year 6 there on time. I certainly would not want to do that every year. In the actual event we had some success with James in Year 3 finishing 1st in the Year 3/4 marathon and Ben from Year 4 finished 4th. In the Year 5/6 marathon Ben from Year 6 finished 2nd and Thomas from Year 5 finished 5th.

We could not have asked for better weather for our Jubilee Party. It was a great event and all the parents who attended enjoyed the occasion. It would not have been such a good event if it had not been for all the hard work of the PTA preparing the food and the teachers for organising the presentations with their classes. I would like to thank them all for their efforts.

Friday, 18 May 2012

As I mentioned last week we have been doing our ‘SATs’ this week so it has been a very quiet week in school and there has not been much else going on. However I must mention that the Year 4 winning streak continues because four children from the class took part in a tennis tournament and won! Congratulations go to Thomas, Emily, Max and Anna who go through to the next round of the competition which will take place on Wednesday. I would also like to pass my thanks onto Ashlin who went along as a coach for the team as he was not allowed to participate since he is a tennis club member.

Although this week was quiet, next week is going to be action packed. On Monday the ‘Le Gros’ netball tournament is taking place at Mount Grace School. On Tuesday afternoon the Potters Bar Schools Football tournament is taking place at Oakmere and on Wednesday it is the next stage of the tennis competition which I mentioned earlier. The’ Oakmere Mini Marathon’ takes place on Friday morning with the whole of Key Stage 2 taking part and on Friday afternoon we are having our Jubilee Party. We are having ours a little earlier than most people because we want the year 6 to take part as they go to Kingswood the following week. All parents are invited to attend that if they want to come but if it rains we will hold the event indoors and no parents will be able to come as we are not able to accommodate everyone in the hall. Anyhow let us pray for sunshine so the event can be held outside and we can all enjoy a really good party. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Friday, 11 May 2012

I am starting my blog with a little bit of a moan but over the last couple of weeks we are having more people parking on our yellow zig-zag lines when this is meant to be a traffic free zone form 8.00am to 5.00pm.This area was put here to ensure the safety of our children and people who ignore the guidelines are putting our children at risk. We have informed the police and as some of you will have noticed a traffic warden has been up to our school this week so people who park illegally run the risk of getting a parking fine.

On a happier note the reception class put on a lovely assembly this morning. It was about ’The Hungry Caterpillar’ and was enjoyed by all who watched it. I would like to thank all the reception staff for all their hard work in preparing the children for their assembly performance.

We are having a lot of success in competitions at the moment. As you know some Year 4 pupils won the ‘Build a Tree’ competition last week and this week yet more success for our Year 4 pupils who won the Potters Bar ‘Primary Schools Technology Challenge’. For this they had to build rockets from prepared plans and then modify them to improve their flying power. One of the rockets from Little Heath flew the furthest by a long distance and it is still on the roof of Oakmere School. The pupils were Ella, Johnny, Sophie and Alex and I would like to offer them my congratulations on their brilliant efforts.

Thank goodness the weather seems to be getting a little better. Unfortunately the bad weather has meant that the May Day event at Brookmans Park and the ‘Le Gros’ netball tournament had to be cancelled but hopefully these events will be able to be rescheduled in the future.

Over the next couple of weeks the children in Year 2 and in KS2 will be doing some formal tests which means there will be lots of quiet periods in school. We try to keep the children as relaxed as possible about these exams but no matter what we do some children still become anxious at the thought of taking an examination. You can help your children prepare for their tests by making sure they get to bed at a reasonable time, giving them a good breakfast before they come to school and ensuring that they have time to relax when they come home. Remember that they are just young and it is important that they are not put off taking exams in future years when their results will have more of an impact on their future career.

Friday, 4 May 2012

The horrible weather that started last week has continued into this week . It has not dampened our spirits in school but unfortunately it has meant that the May Day event at Brookmans Park that was due to be held this Saturday has had to be cancelled. Pupils from our school were due to take part in the ‘Tug of War’ competition and also perform some Maypole dancing, but this is not happening now as the Rotary Club thought that the green was already very wet and with further rain forecast they thought it was too unsafe for the activities that they had planned. They may organise a similar event later in the year.

On a brighter note we have received some very pleasing news. During our ‘Science week’ many of the pupils took part in a ‘Create a Tree’ competition where they had to create a tree using 4 sheets of A4 paper. This was actually a competition organised by ‘SETPOINT which is an organisation that organises science and technology events for Hertfordshire. 1700 children from 19 schools entered and we are very pleased that pupils from our school actually won the competition. Ella, Jasmin and Rachel from Year 4 won it for their ‘most tree like willow’. The judges said: 'We chose this because it is realistic, imaginative and well-engineered' We are delighted in school, especially as the prize is £80 worth of garden vouchers which will come in very useful for our school gardening club.

Another highlight of the week was the birth of our school chicks. Your children have probably already told you this news as everyone in school is very excited about it. We have four little chicks which at the moment are living in a box in the school foyer. When they are old enough they will be transferred to a chicken coup in the nursery garden so the children will be able to watch them grow into adult bantams. We also have a baby quail which was a little unexpected. Mr. Berridge’s grandson was given a quail’s egg to cook and as he did not want to do this he put it in the incubator with the chicken eggs. We never expected anything to happen but to our surprise it was the first egg to hatch! Mr. Berridge will be taking all the birds home at the weekend but he will bring them back on Tuesday when we return after the Bank Holiday weekend.

Friday, 27 April 2012

We have had quite an action packed time in school this week. On Tuesday night we had the parents meeting with governors and teachers about our progress against the action plan. All the feedback I have received so far seems to indicate that everyone who attended enjoyed it and found it very useful and informative. We will be reviewing some of the suggestions in the next few weeks at a governors meeting and after that I will be sending a letter out to parents with information about any decisions that have been made.

On Wednesday all the Year5 went off to Lincolnsfields for two nights. Although the weather was far from perfect I do not think that it dampened their spirits and they all appeared to have had a great time. I am sure that all children (and staff) will sleep well tonight.

On Thursday we had some more parents in school for our road safety session for the foundation stage. This is the first of a number of sessions that we are running throughout the school to give our children the necessary skills to be help them be safe when they are near or crossing the road. There will be a different session next week for our Year 2 children on pedestrian skills. This session will be taken by someone from Herts County Council Road Safety team and some parents who have already received their training.

Looking forward to next week we are having the class photographs taken on Tuesday morning. We have found in the past that children look best in their winter uniform so if you could put your child in their winter uniform on that day we would appreciate it.

Friday, 20 April 2012

I hope everyone had a good Easter break. It is hard to believe that it is the summer term with all the rain that has been falling but at least the farmers will be happy. The children are not because they enjoy playing on the field in the summer term so we are all hoping for a change in the weather.

We have had some Australian head teachers visiting us this week. They were guests of Cambridge University and have been visiting schools in the London and Hertfordshire area to take ideas back to Australia. Although they have visited many schools they seemed particularly impressed with Little Heath and took lots of pictures to share our practice with teachers in their own schools. They felt very at home when they walked into Year 3 and saw they were doing some aboriginal drawings (totally unplanned) and the children learnt something from their visit because the heads were able to explain some of the stories which were the origins for the drawings.

I am looking forward to seeing some of you next week at our meeting to keep you informed about our progress with the Ofsted action plan. This is not going to be a meeting where you have to sit and listen to teachers and governors talk to you but one where you will be actively involved in discussions about the key objectives of the plan and where you will be able to share your ideas with us about moving the school forward. The meeting is on Tuesday night at 7.30pm.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Normally when I write my blog I like to share positive experiences that have occurred during the week but this week two things have happened that have made me very unhappy.

The first is that some people who were picking up a child from school parked on the yellow zig-zag lines. When Mr Berridge asked them to move the driver of the car was very abusive towards Mr Berridge and this was witnessed by a number of parents .This is unacceptable behaviour and I will not tolerate my staff been spoken to like this. The police are now dealing with this matter and they have told us that if it happens again we are to contact them immediately which is exactly what we will do if it ever happens again.

The second item that has made me unhappy is that apparently some parents have set up a facebook account to help keep parents informed of what is happening in the school. I do not see the need for this as we have our own website with class blogs to keep parents informed and we can always be contacted by telephone if people are unsure of something. Even though I can see that the account was set up with good intentions I have been informed that some parents have been discussing incidents that have occurred between children at school and then other parents have been responding to those comments. This is simply not an acceptable forum for this kind of issue – especially since only one side of the incident is being put forward. If a parent has an issue about something that has occurred in school they should discuss it with the class teacher or myself. If parents are still not happy with the response after that we have a proper complaints procedure for parents to follow.

On a happier note we have had a very exciting time in school this week. We have all been treated to a wonderful performance of ‘ Wind in the Willows’ from the pupils in Years 3, 4 and 5. I am sure that all the parents who saw it agree that it was a great show. I would like to thank all the staff involved for their efforts in making it such a success. We also had some great entries in our Easter Egg Competition and although we did select a winner from each class I think all the children deserve credit for the work they put into their designs.

I hope you all have a great Easter holiday and I look forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday, 17th April.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Huey, our little duckling, who arrived last week, continues to thrive. He has grown a lot and is a great favourite with all the children. Unfortunately, none of the other eggs managed to hatch out so poor Huey has no siblings to keep him company but at the end of next week Mr Berridge will be taking him to his pond where he will have other ducks for companions.

Science week has been a huge success in school. All the children appeared to love Professor Brainstorm’s sessions and I have seen some great science experiments that the children have completed for home learning. Each class chose one winner and when we judged who should be the overall winner, although it was hard, we decided on George from Year 3 for his experiment on ‘Does an Orange Smartie really taste of Orange’. Congratulations to him.

As you know today is Sports Relief. Thank you to everyone who contributed towards the cause and I hope that those who attended the mile walk did not find it too strenuous. There was a great atmosphere and everyone appeared to be having a good time so I just hope that appearances are not deceptive.

Next week is the last week of term and we are having our annual Easter egg decorating competition. Letters have gone out to explain the rules so I hope the children will have fun creating them at home. There will be an Easter egg prize for the winner of each class. We also have ‘Wind in the Willows’ to look forward to. All the staff and pupils in Years 3, 4 and 5 have been working very hard on their production and I am sure that you will all agree that their efforts have been worthwhile when you see it next week. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Friday, 16 March 2012

There was great excitement as I came into school this morning because one of our ducklings had hatched. I am sure your children have been telling you about the batch of duck eggs that Mr Berridge has been ‘nurturing’ and yesterday, by the crack in one of the shells, we knew something was happening. This morning, when Mr Berridge came in, he was greeted by a little tweeting from the incubator. All the children have been to visit the duckling and although lots of names have been suggested the name Huey seems to be the name that is sticking.

The duckling has chosen a good time to arrive because next week in Little Heath is a very exciting one. Firstly it is science week and there will be lots of different activities going on including a visit from ‘Professor Brainstorm Science Shows, on Wednesday. If your child is also taking part in the science experiment competition they will need to get their entry into school by Thursday, 22nd March.

On Friday it is ‘Sports Relief’ and there will be various sports activities going on with the classes throughout the day. At 2.30pm the whole school will be walking a mile for Sports Relief and we hope that as many of you as possible will be able to join us for this. I am also allowing the children to wear sports clothes in school on Friday and they will only have to pay a voluntary contribution of £1.50 if they have not already purchased a Sports Relief wrist band which they must wear on the day.

I will be out of school on Monday and Tuesday of next week so Mrs Zegallo will be in charge in my absence. If you do need to see me for any reason please make an appointment at the office for when I return.

Friday, 9 March 2012

I had a very good start to my week because when I came into school on Monday I was greeted with a mass of certificates, medals and trophies that our badminton team had won on Sunday. They had taken part in a tournament and the boys team had finished second, the girls team won and we won the overall competition. Congratulations to all of them and thank you to Mr Mills for coaching them.

I have sent home a letter today regarding our home learning policy. It was very interesting reading all your responses to the questionnaire and in light of your comments we have made some modifications to our home learning policy which are outlined in the letter. Some people will feel that we have not made enough changes but whenever we do anything we have to think what is best for the children’s learning. It was interesting that as we have been looking at our homework policy the government have been looking at theirs and they have now scrapped their guidelines for extra study outside of the classroom. The decision now of how much is set is down to the head teacher of the school. This has come about because of the large amounts of complaints the government have received about homework limiting family time and opportunities for play and sport. At Little Heath we believe recreation time is as important for children’s development as school work. This concept was paramount in our minds when setting our policy because we believe our approach to home learning encourages quality family time as well as helping with the learning.

The PTA held their Zumba Night on Wednesday. I was unable to attend myself but 48 people took part. Everyone who attended said how good it was and over £200 was raised. I would like to thank everyone who helped to make the evening such a success.

As you probably know Friday, March 23rd is Sports Relief. We will be doing a lot of activities in school including getting everyone to walk a mile which we will invite parents to join in with. A more detailed letter of what will be happening will be sent home next week but from Monday we will be selling the official Sports Relief wristbands in school for £1.50 and the children will be allowed to wear them in school on the actual day. This is a very good cause so I hope as many people as possible will support it.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

I am publishing my blog a day earlier this week as I am out of school on Friday. There has been a lot of ‘coming and going’ in school this week due to the parent consultations and the ‘Book Fair’. I have received a lot of positive comments from the teachers regarding the parent consultations and all the parents I spoke to seem very happy with the progress their children are making. I would like to also thank everyone who purchased an item from our ‘Book Fair’. I do not at this point know exactly how much we have raised for the school but I do know that we will be purchasing a lot of new books for our library thanks to the generosity of our parents.

There have been an increasing number of children using scooters to come to school which is a good thing but I have received a couple of complaints about people being hit by scooters while they drop off and pick up their children. Therefore I would like to ask parents that they make sure their children treat their scooters like bikes and dismount from them before they enter the school.

On Wednesday 7th March the PTA are holding a ‘Zumba Night’ in the school hall at 7.00pm. If you fancy having some fun as well as getting fit there are still places available. Booking forms are available from the school office.

Friday, 24 February 2012

The half term seems a dim and distant memory as I have had a very busy week. I have had to attend an awful lot of meetings and that is why I have not been at the school gate any morning this week but hopefully I will be able to get out next week so that I can see everybody.

It was good to talk to some of you at our ‘Governors Breakfast’ this week. This was organised so that parents had an opportunity to see who our governors are and discuss with them their role in the school. All who attended found it an informative event and the governors found their discussions with the parents very enjoyable and motivating and they have provided them with much food for thought. The next meeting where it will be possible to meet the governors will hopefully be before the end of term where we will be inviting parents to discuss the progress of the ‘Ofsted Action Plan’.

I would also like to thank all the parents who completed our homework questionnaire. I collated the responses over half term and the link governor and I have analysed the results. When we have presented our findings to the Governing Body on March 14th I will be sending a letter out to parents giving details of the findings.

We are having a ‘Book Fair’ in school next week and I hope to see lots of you there. This is a brilliant opportunity for the school because we are allowed to spend 60% of the takings on new books so remember the more you spend the more books we will be able to buy. ‘World Book Day’ is also next Thursday and as you will know we are allowing the children to come into school dressed as their favourite book character so that should be a really fun day for the children. It will also help us highlight the importance to the children of reading books because people become great writers only by reading great literature.

Hopefully I will see a lot of you in school next week for parent consultations. I will be in school for these sessions so if you would like to see me as well you can make an appointment in advance or you can see if I am available while you are in the school. If I am not in my office I will be in another part of the school so do come and find me if you would like to see me.

Friday, 10 February 2012

I am quite relieved that the weather has allowed us to get through this week. Even though it snowed again last night we all managed to get home safely from the disco and get back again this morning for the last day before half term. All the staff were determined to get in as it is Mrs Cotton’s last day and we were all wanted to share it with her. She has been a real asset to the school but as well as that she has been a lovely person to work with and we will all miss her terribly. I am sure though that she will visit us in the future so we will be able to see how she is doing.

As I mentioned earlier it was the PTA Valentine’s discos last night and all who attended seemed to have a good time. I would like to thank all the PTA members and staff who worked so hard to help make the night such a success and I would like to apologise again to the poor parent who nearly had her eye taken out by me during musical bumps. Even though I nearly accidently maimed her for life it still was not enough to win a prize as the Year 6 were judging the event and they were sticklers for judging the event fairly and took no injuries into account!

Hopefully the weather will not be too bad during half term so we can all have a nice break because when we come back we have quite a lot happening in school. On February 23rd we will be having the ‘Governor’s Breakfast ‘and if you would like to attend and have not returned your slip to inform us please do so straight after half – term. The week after that are the parent consultations and during that week we will also have a Book Fair in school. You will be able to purchase books from this at the end of the school day. During that week is also ‘World Book Day’ and we will be sending letters home after half term of what we will be doing in school on that day.

I hope you all enjoy the holiday and I look forward to seeing you all back on Monday, February 20th.

Friday, 3 February 2012

It is hard to believe that January has gone and we already into February. It is a pity that the weather has also turned colder and apparently there is a possibility of snow. Although this is very exciting for children it is every head teacher’s nightmare as there is the possibility we may have to close the school due to adverse conditions. Hopefully we will not have to do this but if it does become necessary we will text all parents as soon as possible to give everyone a chance to make alternative arrangements for their children. Up to date information will also be able to be found on Three Counties Radio and

I have had another week which has been full of meetings and visits. On Tuesday afternoon I went with the Year 5 to St. Martha’s School in Hadley Wood. Year 5 were taking part in a cookery master class where they had to make a pizza and while they were busy I was given a tour of the school. It is a beautiful building with many of its original features still in existence but the best thing for me was meeting some former pupils of Little Heath. Although they left the school a couple of years ago they still look back on their time at Little Heath with great affection. It is great to know that we had such a positive impact on their education.

This Wednesday was also supposed to be the closing date for our homework questionnaire but we have extended it by a week as we only had a few responses returned to us. If you have not done so please send your questionnaire back to school so that if we do alter the homework policy we know that it is representative of all our parents’ opinions. If you cannot open your e-mail with the attachment on please come to the school office where we have hard copies available.

We are all going to be rather sad in Little Heath next week even though we will have the half term holiday to look forward to as Mrs Cotton will be leaving us after 12 years of working in our nursery. We will miss her as she has been a great asset to the school but we all hope she does have a happy and enjoyable retirement. She will be replaced by a Miss Natalie Sofjan. Natalie has already been working in our nursery for 2 afternoons so many of the children are already familiar with her. She also attended the school as a pupil.

Next week is ‘Feeling Good’ week in school. The focus of the week will be the importance of feeling good in ourselves and how to achieve it because people who can feel good about themselves are the most successful in life and generally have more fulfilled personal lives. Activities will include relaxation and meditation, a laughter workshop, a special music day organised by Mr Hill and some art therapy sessions.

Friday, 27 January 2012

As I informed you last week I have been out of school quite a bit this week so I am looking forward to next week when I will be more school based. One of my meetings took me to a school in Tower Hamlet and although it was a lovely school as I sat in the head’s office looking out at cars and flats it made me appreciate the lovely grounds that our school is set in. I will now really appreciate the fact that my window looks out over greenery.

I just realised this week that I had not informed the parents which charity we had donated the money raised at the Harvest Festival to. The school council meeting to decide this was cancelled as the KS2 children were on a theatre trip but when the School Council did meet they decided to donate the £400 raised to Cancer Research as a lot of families have been affected by someone suffering from the disease.

Next week we have a real treat for all the children in KS1 and KS2. On Friday there will a ‘Junk Music Project’ attending the school and they will be holding workshops throughout the day for many of the classes. Unfortunately the organisers do not think that they are suitable for children in the foundation stage so they will not be able to take part. You may find that the rest of the school becomes so inspired by the workshops that they will be raiding your cupboards and bins next weekend to make musical instruments. I just hope that your neighbours will not mind the noise!

Friday, 20 January 2012

As I sit here typing I realise that I have not been out at the gate in the morning to greet people very much this week as I have had a lot of meetings and unfortunately, I will not be around much next week as I have a lot of meetings again. I know that Mr Berridge can manage the gates very well without me but I will be in school every day so if you need to see me do contact the office and they will arrange a meeting for a convenient time.

I know everyone who saw it thought that the Year3 assembly was really good. It was all about myths and legends and I was particularly impressed by how well the children presented it – their voices could be heard really clearly by those at the back. I always enjoy watching the children perform and present their learning in different ways. Enjoyable learning makes for memorable learning.

I hope all of you received the home learning document that we sent home this week. Attached to it is a sheet where you can express your views about the home learning. We would really appreciate it if everyone could send the sheet back with their views so that the survey reflects the opinions of all our parents. This will help us to make an informed decision if we choose to make any changes to our present system. The responses have to be back to us by Tuesday, 31st January.

Friday, 13 January 2012

It has felt like a more normal week back in school this week with the majority of the clubs starting up again. We had a new French club start this week run by a Ms. Pavlou. All the children enjoyed it and she was very impressed at how well the children participated in the session and with their behaviour. It is always good when somebody from outside of the school community comes in and praises our pupils.

As we informed you in our action plan we have started a new handwriting scheme this term. We have had a lot of positive feedback from the children about the programme and, more importantly, it is helping to improve the presentation of the children’s work. Next week, Brigid de Rivaz, an OFSTED inspector and literacy consultant will be joining us for a day in school. She is coming in to help us update our practise on the teaching of writing in light of the new framework and the introduction of a new style of SATs writing test. We are all very much looking forward to her visit.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Welcome back everyone. I hope you all had a super holiday. All the children have come back in a very positive frame of mind so let’s hope it lasts and lots of good learning goes on this term. We have many exciting activities planned for them so it should be an enjoyable one. I‘ve not much to discuss at this point in the term but I have been asked to remind all parents that the start of the school day is 8.50am. We open the school gates at 8.40am to ensure that the children have plenty of time to get ready for the start of the school day so please make sure you arrive at school on time. Pupils that are persistently late can be dealt with by county in the same way as pupils that miss a lot of school.