Friday, 28 November 2014

 I certainly did not get the start to the week that I was expecting – having to come into a flooded boiler room and a freezing cold school is not the best Monday morning. I know that having to make provision for your children at the last minute was not ideal but I would like to thank everyone for their co-operation in making this a very easy process for us – unfortunately we were not allowed to have the children on the premises because there was a chance that because of wet electrics, the boiler may blow up.

I do know that after we closed the school some parents felt that they were not been kept informed of developments so they could make plans for the next day but may I assure you that there was nothing we could really tell you during the day. We had men working on the pipes but the man we needed to come was the electrician and he did not arrive until after 6pm because there were other jobs he had to deal with first. We did not know that we could definitely open the school on Tuesday until 7.55pm on Monday evening. I know some parents would have liked to know earlier but this was impossible. I also have a duty to get the school open and if that meant that the men would have to work until midnight then that is what would have happened. Hopefully, we will not have to close the school again this year but could I ask you that if anything does happen in the future that you have a plan in place for the school not opening and then trust us to let you know as soon as possible what will be happening with the school – remembering at all times that the priority is to get the school open. 

As I explained in my newsletter this week we have had more work done in the boiler house and on our drainage system to stop this happening again but as the men working on the boiler told us, there was exceptional rain at the weekend which left us dealing with exceptional circumstances which are very hard to plan for although we do try.

Hopefully next week will be more straightforward and certainly more exciting for the children because they have their Christmas Fayre to look forward to on December 6th. Preparations are now nearly complete and we are all looking forward to a wonderful event. I have the pleasant task of judging the bake-off competition with the mayor so I will probably come in on Monday weighing a few pounds more but looking very happy. The standard was excellent last year and I am sure it will be the same this year.

Before the Christmas Fayre there is an opportunity for parents to come into school on Wednesday, 3rd December at 9.00am. This event will be in the school hall after drop off and it will give you an opportunity to have refreshments and chat with members of the parent council, the chair of governors and me. The parent council would like some suggestions of how they can best support the parents and the school and this will give you the opportunity to share your ideas with them in an informal and friendly setting. I hope to see as many of you there as possible.

I should imagine that most peoples’ weekends will be very busy with the preparations that are required for Christmas but I hope you all still have a pleasant weekend. Let us hope that there are no hitches with the weather so that we can have a normal Monday.

Friday, 21 November 2014

As ever, once the term gets underway, the weeks seem to fly by – I could not believe when somebody told me that there were four weeks until the end of term – where does the time go? It has been a very interesting week in school this week because it has been anti-bullying week. This is a topic that we take very seriously because we want all our children to feel happy and safe in school. We also think it is important to teach them what to do if they do think they are being bullied because it has been proven that if all incidents involving bullying behaviour were reported in the first ten minutes of them happening then bullying behaviour would drop by over 70%. The theme for this year is’ Let’s Stop Bullying for All’. This theme has been chosen as it is a sad fact that a child with a disability or learning difficulty is still more likely to get bullied than a child who does not. I think that is quite a shocking statistic in this day and age.

On a more pleasant note we have our Christmas Fayre coming up soon. Preparations are now well underway for the event which is on Saturday, 6th December from 12 noon until 3.00pm. As I have also said in past blogs if you can spare an hour or two to help out at the fayre on the Saturday or even on the Friday evening on the 5th December to help set up then your help will be appreciated. Just contact the school office with your availability and they will contact the PTA. Remember the more money we raise the more we can purchase for the school which benefits your child. At the moment our main goal is to raise money to buy an outside classroom for the school.

You will also have received this week an invitation from the Parents Council to attend a coffee morning. This is not a formal meeting but just an opportunity for as many parents as possible to come and share some ideas and suggestions on how they would like the Parents Council to proceed and also present ideas that could help to make the school a better place for everyone. Even though we cannot guarantee to be able to implement all suggestions we certainly want to hear them. We hope to see as many of you there as possible on Wednesday, 3rd December at 9.00am.

I would like to thank everyone who has sent in a Rotary box to send to Eastern Europe. The pile is building up in my room and I know they will be gratefully received by those who get them. If you are intending to fill and send in a box then you still have plenty of time to do so as the last day to bring them into school is Friday, 28th November.  The more boxes we receive the more difference we can make to those who really need it.

Have a good weekend and I will see you all again on Monday.

Friday, 14 November 2014

I have had a lot of meetings this week and I have been away from the school so it is nice for me to be sitting in my office working - it feels very warm and comforting being in a familiar environment. It certainly was not warm on Saturday night when we had out firework display. My prayers for no rain were not answered and the rain did come down - very heavily at times! Luckily when the fireworks were actually lit the weather was not too bad and it certainly was an impressive display. I was amazed at how many people did come in the rain and I would like to thank all those who did come for their support. I would also like to thank again the PTA, Brookmans Park Rotary Club and all the people who helped them run the event and clear up afterwards. Without that support the event would not be possible and I think this year we had more support than ever which is brilliant. Let us hope that we have as many volunteers next year so that the event runs as smoothly.

Another thing that I would like to thank everyone for is the small coin collection that we had for ‘Children in Need’ today. As I explained in my newsletter we do not make a big thing about this event in school because we have already asked you for so much this term and we have just sent out the Christmas boxes for you to fill so I am aware that we should not keep asking for things and exploiting your good nature.

The next big event in school is our Christmas Fayre which is on Saturday, 6th December. I know that the PTA would like support for this so if you are able to help please leave your name at reception and they will pass it onto the ladies who are running the event. Our present chair, Anna Holden, is stepping down and there is no-one to take her place so I would like to thank Mrs Latimir and Mrs Hopkins for volunteering to run the fayre for us. I would also like to thank Anna Holden for all her hard work over the past year and helping the school raise so much money – her support has been much appreciated.

That is all for now - have a great weekend and I will see you all again on Monday.  

Friday, 7 November 2014

I think we can safely say that after a warm October autumn has certainly arrived in November – I had to scrape the ice off my car this week and it was hard for me to remember the last time I did that  - all I can remember of last winter is rain. The weather may be cold outside but it is certainly warm and cheery inside at school. All the children seem to have come back refreshed from their half term break and they all appear pleased to be here. They do have good reason to feel that way though because we do provide them with plenty of exciting experiences in school and as you know they have one to look forward to this weekend with our annual fireworks display. This is always a brilliant event and if you have not already purchased your tickets they are available from Darkes Lane tomorrow afternoon or on the gate. The event starts at 6.00pm, the bonfire is lit at 6.45pm and the fireworks display starts at 7.30pm. I will be there all night serving on the barbeque and I hope to see  many of you there. Remember the more money we raise the more the school will benefit. The next fundraising event after this will be our Christmas Fayre which is on Saturday, December 6th from 12noon – 3pm.

Martin Tuck, our school advisor from county, was in the school all day on Thursday to give an external opinion on how the school is performing and also to monitor our progress against our Ofsted targets. He was very pleased with what he saw and does think the school has made progress since the last inspection which is really good news for the school and all its stakeholders. I know all my staff work really hard to do the best they can for the pupils and it is both reassuring and pleasing to have this recognised by an outside agency.

On a sadder note Mr James left us today. Although he has only been with the school a relatively short time he has certainly made a big impact on everybody here and he will certainly be missed. On his behalf I would like to thank everyone who donated to his leaving gift which was some vouchers for IKEA which is what he wanted. His replacement Mr Spena has been here for a week and I would also like to thank everyone for making him feel so welcome.

That is all for now. I hope that I see many of you tomorrow night at the fireworks and I doubly hope that the weather is kind to us.