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Headteacher update 12th November

Dear Parents/Carers,


I hope you have had a good week. School has continued to run smoothly and safely. 


1. Thinking ahead to Christmas ! 

Parties - these will take place at forest school but children will not be able to bring food/drink and school will provide food/drink. More news to follow soon. 


Father Christmas - each year Father Christmas visits Years R,1 and 2 as well as quick visit to other classes. Hopefully we will find a socially distanced way to make this happen in a safe manner (he might be online if he is working from home !!).


2. Small steps picture (attached)

The attached picture tells it's own story of what we should expect from our teaching and learning at the moment. 


3. Outdoor classroom (Year R and 1) development

The attached picture shows you the new enclosed outdoor classroom for Year R and 1 (they are using it separately at the moment) with new gale breakers to keep the wind out, new fencing to make it a defined space and new flooring arrives soon. This has been a long term ambition and was built into our budget for this year. 


4. Entrance and exit - excellent this week, well done everyone with parking (that I can see), awareness and 'flow and go.' 


5. Attendance

We don't make a big 'song and dance' about attendance as sometimes you can't help it if you are ill and you can't come to school. We also have a very sensible set of parents/carers who always try to ensure their children are here (persistent attendance issues are very rare).


Interestingly holiday requests are down on our normal amount ! If, when ........ we come out the other side of this please don't all book a holiday in term time as you aren't allowed (except in exceptional circumstance and the end of Covid won't count ! I'm afraid these are government rules not ours as we will all need a good holiday when it is over !


Attendance last week was again amazing - every class was over 96% (if families are isolating then they don't count as they can't leave their home !). The national average for primary schools was 92% last week. 


Year R = 99.5%/Year 1 = 99.62%/Year 2 = 100%/Year 3 = 98.9 %/Year 4 = 97.7%/Year 5 = 97%/Year 6 = 96.4% 


We only have a small number of children isolating. Well done everyone, fingers crossed it all continues ! 


6. Comet's Meadow news

We have been busy behind the scenes and have secured a grant for £4000 from a local company (with the excellent help of a very kind parent) who are willing to assist us in developing our community garden. Tescos have also donated a voucher for plants (another big thank you to a parent) and we have a long list of willing volunteers. Bear with us while we construct our shopping list, work schedule and plans. A really positive community project is beginning to flourish. If you have any skills, links or time please let the office know and we will add you to the list, it is highly likely this will begin to take shape after Christmas and could move quite quickly. 


7. Children In Need - hair or hats are the order of the day for tomorrow with a donation to charity please. Children going to forest school can join in as well. 


NSPCC forest school walk (for a charitable donation) is next week. 

Hamper donations are also tomorrow (not money but food/drink for the PTA Christmas draw hampers) - the PTA will ensure that they are Covid secure and left, sealed well before any draw takes place. 


8. Uniform, PE kit and jewellery

Jewellery - children are only allowed small, plain, stud earrings that must be covered or removed for PE (you must provide the micro tape). No other jewellery is allowed. Children are allowed one item for remembrance such as a band or slap band (these must be managed properly).


Nail varnish/make up - is not allowed. 


Uniform - we don't have many issues and people are pretty sensible. Uniform is about two simple things - belonging to a team and a sense of identity and protecting your own clothes.


PE kit - again it is simple - plain white t-shirt, hoodie or sweatshirt, plain shorts or leggings (not a combination of the two) and tracksuit bottoms. Recently we have some boys wearing skins under shorts but they must be the same colour and it is not a fashion show (we would prefer tracksuit bottoms or shorts), it should be either shorts or tracksuit bottoms (all without logos if possible or, if you cannot buy anything else, a very small discrete logo). If you are in any doubt please ask. 


Forest school clothes - 'function over fashion' = warm and dry so good layers, warm socks and no hoodies (or it stops hoods from working properly in the rain). 


Most of the above is being done properly by most people and if there is a slight error then we ask children to rectify it for the next time. If you aren't sure or there is a 'we are allowed to wear that' then please check with school first. 


9. '3 stars and a wish' reports and Seesaw codes will come home next week and will be followed by a phone call from the class teacher with a strict 10 minute limit (they won't just put the phone down !!). The teachers have a lot of calls to make so it will take a few weeks to get through everyone. Teachers will try people 3 times and leave messages before we expect parents/carers to contact us instead. 


10. Playtimes/lunchtimes - as the field is getting wet and muddy we have introduced a few new things to make it all work:


- Year 4 have been putting sand down on the mud (so it now resembles a 1970s football pitch) which is working well.

- We have developed some construction areas for each year group so they can build with sticks, pallets, wood etc.

- We are introducing some games into zones so they have a focus - we will expect them to look after the equipment carefully as it is an investment. 


11. Values

Values are an extremely important aspect of school life (and home hopefully) and are the bedrock of everything we do. This week was 'World Kindness Week' and some of the classes were challenged by their teachers to undertake some random acts of kindness (we also see these quite a lot in various situations at school). Our values (set by Year 6 as part of their responsibilities) for November are 'sustainability and understanding.' 


I hope you have a peaceful weekend. 


Kind regards

Mr Batstone