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.