Friday, 29 November 2019

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

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

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

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

Friday, 22 November 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 15 November 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, 8 November 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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