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Headteacher update 19th October

Hello all,

It is nearly half term and the Reception children have almost completed their first half term at school. Bizarrely it has gone quite quickly although 'everyday has been an adventure !' The children have settled back into school well, they have been given a wide curriculum experience and we have enjoyed using our forest school site most days. 


The next half term will have the same challenges as this one and we all need to work together to keep everyone safe. Thank you to everyone for their communication, common sense and awareness this half term, it really is appreciated. 


1. Food donations - everyday we are leaving bags on the fence at the front of school (near the Class R/1 entrance and the main gate) for on-going food donations. Each week we will choose a different local charity to donate to. Normally we would have a harvest festival at this time of the year and combine it with food donations for charity (St.Michael's Hospice has been a recipient for the past few years). We will also have our own school food bank as some families may require it. 


2. Mrs Delahoy - some of your children have worked with Mrs Delahoy who is our art practitioner in school. She has worked with us for the last few years and is an amazing influence on the adults and children. After lockdown we were the only school that she returned to working with as her own work and studio had really taken off. Mrs Delahoy is leaving us at the end of this week to continue her own work and studio workshops. We will really miss her, her expertise, ideas and her positivity, she has had a huge influence on art in our school. We wish Mrs Delahoy all the best for the future and we are hoping to persuade her to continue to work with us remotely and run some workshops for teachers. 


3. Community garden project - Thank you to all those who have offered help, resources and ideas for the project. Please keep them coming. The project is something to look forward to and something to bring our school and wider community together. The next step is to co-ordinate the offers of help, wait for the water to be installed and then start work ! 


4. Seesaw - this is a really important platform for sharing work and responding in the event of children learning at home. We have looked very carefully at platforms to use and we will always make sure that any platform we use is as safe as possible. This week teachers are receiving training on using Seesaw from Mark Sanderson from Herefordshire Council who is a great advocate of Seesaw. 


We have sent work home for some pupils in the last few weeks and it has been a challenge alongside normal class planning and children being in school. Seesaw will help to make the processes easier and for teachers to respond to work posted in the event of self isolation or lockdown. We will publish strict guidelines, expectations and processes later this week. 


Why we don't share teachers e-mails - some schools do but we don't. As I am sure you can understand that direct contact would result in e-mails about every subject going or a lost coat etc. Some people would use it carefully whilst others may tell us things everyday and teachers do not have time to respond during the school day or even afterwards as they mark, plan or prepare for the next day. We always expect parents to use the e-mail account and e-mails will be passed on or responded to. 


5. Plant pots please

If you have any small or medium sized plastic plant pots could we have them please. Year 4 and then the rest of the school are planting acorns and watching what happens. Year 4 are currently undertaking their 'Young Foresters Award' run by the Royal Forestry Society and they spent an afternoon collecting acorns and sweet chestnuts at our forest school site for the Duchy foresters. They also visited part of the wider site to see the nursery of new trees.


Please leave any donated pots near the front entrance of school and we will move them to the polytunnel. 


Have a good week


Mr Batstone