Our end of term newsletter from our Chair of Governors Zanna Patchett
Usually at this time of year we write to you with details of our Key Stage 2 SATS results which in normal times would have been received this week. Obviously this year our children did not sit their SATS assessments and so we do not have any formal attainment data to share with you. However, we didn’t want to let the end of the academic year pass without communicating with you in order to share other news and seek your feedback on the period in which children have been away from school.
Return to school in September
As you know we welcomed children back to school from Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 together with children of key workers for this last half term. This has no doubt been a different experience for both children and staff alike and we would like to say thank you to all parents and children for supporting and adapting to the new measures and ways of working that we have had to put in place. We would also like to say thank you to parents and children who have not yet been able to return to school for their support and understanding with the remote learning that has been provided during the period that the children have been away from their formal learning environment.
We would also like to say a big thank you to all of the staff at school who have worked incredibly hard to adapt and do the best that they can to provide all children with remote learning opportunities and also to digest and implement the guidance that was required to be followed to reopen the school in the safest way possible. To put this into context, from the day that the school return was announced by the government until the date that school reopened 3 weeks later, the guidance changed 41 times and there were additional union requirements that had to be fully reviewed and tailored to our own school. Our staff really rose to the challenge as this was by no means a minor exercise, with the teachers also continuing to plan and provide the ongoing remote learning during and since this time. Please also be mindful that staff have also had to face the same challenges personally that many of us have had in terms of the lockdown, together with their own families and children who have not necessarily been in school.
Unless any announcements are made to the contrary, we are now very much looking forward to all children returning to school full time at the beginning of September. We will of course continue to follow any and all guidance that is issued to school before the start of term in terms of practical measures that will need to be addressed and will communicate all relevant information to you.
We are hopeful that we are now through this unsettling period and that we won’t be in a position again whereby the school needs to close in full or in part. Having said this, we recognise that the last few months has been an experience for children, parents and teachers alike that has never been seen before and it has been evolving all of the time. We would like to take this opportunity to ask you for your feedback on the remote learning and pupil engagement that has been offered by the school so that we can learn lessons from how this has operated and make improvements in the event that this has to come into play again at any point in the future. Here is a link to a questionnaire that we would ask you to complete in relation to the COVID 19 period. You will also have received a link to a more general questionnaire relating to school in more normal times and your feedback on both will be much appreciated.
Indeed now that we have been using technology more widely due to the current situation, we will also be considering how it could play a better part in enriching our children’s education more generally and so your responses with this in mind would also be very useful.
Promoting the school
Over the past year we have been looking at ways in which we can continue to promote the school better to attract more families. We held another very busy open day at the beginning of the school year (and plan to do this every year) and we were able to launch a much improved website with greater presence on social media. We would like to thank Taz Dearnley and Mark Goossens (governors) and Neil Brown for all of the time that they volunteered to help create this.
We are delighted that we have a full intake of children joining the Reception class in September but as a small school whose funding is reliant on the number of pupils we have, we need to continue to promote the excellence of our school wherever possible. We welcome parents’ ideas on how best to achieve this – if you would like to help with any marketing activities then please do let us know.
We are sorry to be saying goodbye to Miss Brind (Class 3 teacher) who leaves us at the end of term to take up a new job abroad and wish her well in her new school. We have a number of staff who will be joining us in September and we look forward to welcoming them to the team – Miss Hancock joins as our new Class 3 teacher, Miss Redmile as a KS2 teaching assistant, Ms Sweeney as a part-time teaching assistant in Reception and Mrs Newey as a midday lunch supervisor. Mrs Field will be moving to the Reception class.
School playing field
We continue to await a decision from the local planners on the change of use application for an area of field behind the school playground that I wrote to you about a few weeks ago and as soon as we have further information on this we will let you know.
During this academic year we were delighted to welcome Dave Davies as a parent governor and Mark Goossens as a partnership governor.
Unfortunately Jez Pinfold and Kate Butler are now leaving the governing body. They have both provided invaluable contributions as governors and will be greatly missed by the governors and the school leadership team and we thank them for all of their hard work.
We will therefore be looking to appoint a parent governor during September and will launch the process for nominations on our return to school at the start of term. Please do consider over the summer whether this is something that you would be interested in and if you would like to have a chat with one of us about what it entails please e mail me at Patchett.email@example.com and one of the governors will get in touch for a chat.
We also have a vacancy for a partnership governor (these governors may not be parents with children at the school) which again we will be looking to appoint in September. Again if you know of anyone in the local community who may be interested then please ask them to contact us.
This leaves me only to say that I hope you all manage to enjoy the summer break in whatever way you are planning. We are sorry not to have been able to say a face to face goodbye to our Year 6 children in the usual leavers’ assembly but we wish you all every success in your move to senior school, and we look forward to seeing all of our other children and welcoming our new Reception intake in September.
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