Message From CEO – 12 July 2020
As we enter the final week of this extremely unusual year, I am: uplifted by the dedication shown by individual teachers, support staff and headteachers; inspired by the creativity and imagination you have shown to support learning at home and in school; full of pride for what each of you has contributed to the work of our Trust and the national effort, and ambitious to learn from this period so the offer to all our pupils in September is full of new joy and new opportunity.
Many parents also, have been through a very challenging period, managing their own worries and trying to keep children engaged and occupied whilst working from home or returning to work. I would like to thank all parents and carers for the support you have given both to your children and your child’s school. It has been a steep learning curve for us all, working out how best to support children’s learning, families, and communities through this experience. Together schools and parents have worked tirelessly to find creative and practical solutions to the challenges we have all faced. Thank you.
For our children this has been an extremely unsettling time. Whether working in school or at home each of them is valued equally. Some have been supported by school through this period and some have worked from home with the support of parents and carers. Children have shown continued enthusiasm, resilience, and enjoyment of learning through this period. On occasions this has been challenging for children and their families as contact with their teacher, friends and the school community contributes so much to the joy and success of learning. Thank you children. Welcoming you all back to school again in September will be a joy for everyone.
I am immensely proud of the whole Bath and Wells community, parents, headteachers, teachers, support staff, governors, the central support team and all our pupils. In partnership you have all risen to the challenges we have faced, and our Christian values of kindness, perseverance, forgiveness, respect and love have been so strongly evident
On Monday, 15 newly qualified teachers come together to celebrate successfully completing their first year of teaching. What an unusual year, when the vocation of teaching has never been more needed and where we have all had an opportunity to think differently about how we support children’s learning, use technology, and involve parents. Congratulations to you all. Thank you to Jan Thompson one of our talented Headteachers and all who have supported the NQT programme this year.
This week at Churchfield Church School children created amazing balloon dinosaurs and made their own Dinosaur biscuit.
They also described an imaginary dinosaur using a range of adjectives, and presented news reports to inform people of the ferocious dinosaurs that have been sighted in the South West.
Their sunflowers are getting taller too!
Pupils at St Georges Church School entered a 500-word writing competition run by The Stable in Weston-Super-Mare. On Tuesday they found out that Corbin in Year 4 is the overall winner of the competition. His story will be published in the Weston Writers Anthology, and will also be made into a comic strip by Sentinel Comic Imaginarium.
On Thursday, the school said farewell to their Year 6 children. The two Year 6 bubbles came together, still socially distanced of course, for a very special time which included laughing at staff graduation photos, a video blessing from Rev Angie, the traditional video of photos from Reception to Year 6, children sharing their own memories, thanks and prayers, and a video of goodbye messages for staff. It was a special moment, and although very different to the usual farewell event, still emotional and memorable.
Following a wonderful picnic lunch, the leavers’ hoodies arrived to great excitement all round.
During lockdown Zack from St Mark’s Church School decided to undertake a mini project. He was inspired by a video clip of Mrs Bath sending cards of thanks and encouragement to various places and decided he would like to do the same.
He created this drawing and came up with the words “Even though we are apart, we can still stay in contact”. He sent them to all his family, neighbours, his teachers, a local care home, Boris Johnson, Prince Charles, The Queen and Prince George.
After a few weeks he received some wonderful replies. Most surprisingly he received a card from Boris Johnson, a letter on behalf of Prince Charles with a photograph and a letter from the Queen’s lady in waiting. Zack was thrilled to receive these and to know he had brought joy to many people at a difficult time.
St Mark’s Church school have been awarded the Online Safety Mark for the fourth time. The assessor noted that ‘pupils are well informed’ about online safety and actively involved in events such as family meetings. The ‘ongoing progress’ of the school was also recognised, emphasising their commitment to continual improvement in their practice. This initiative has been kindly led by Rob Shephard and Rachel Rooke.
In Apple class at Batheaston Church School they have been learning about the anatomy of a fish.
Congratulations to Lynn one of the HLTAs at St Michael’s Church School on completing an NVQ 2 qualification in ‘Children with Behaviour that Challenges’. She completed this whilst still leading a key worker and vulnerable group every day.
There has been some beautiful artwork on display throughout the school. Staff have also been organising extra supplies ready to support their families over the summer period.
Opal Bubble at Kingshill Church School have been using the overhead projector to create some shadow art. Miss Ham drew around the outline of the children’s faces and shoulders, then they filled it with all their favourite things, ready to show their Year 2 teachers.
At St Andrew’s Church School in Bath, Year 6 began their final term with an online exploration of the Roman Baths using a fantastic 3D virtual tour. Their proudest achievement whilst at school this term was their production. The class focused on Julius Caesar, who he was and why he was so important in the history of Ancient Rome. Their use of expression, intonation and the way in which they portrayed the character of Mark Anthony is extremely impressive.
I would like to thank Karen Sykes, Headteacher at Bathford Church School. Karen has been at Bathford for many years and is greatly loved and valued by the school community. I wish you well in your retirement and thank you for your wonderful contribution to both Bathford Church School, the Bath Hub, and our Trust.
As the Summer break approaches, remember how important your contribution this year has been and refresh yourself so that we can all make the return to school joyful, successful, and uplifting for our colleagues, pupils’, families and the communities we serve.
Finally, this is a prayer I wrote for Year 6 pupils as they begin the next chapter of their school career.
We reflect, remember and celebrate,
And say thank you for the memories and achievements
Of each of our wonderful Year 6 pupils.
They prepare to meet new challenges
With courage, resilience and determination.
Guide these special young people, O Lord,
With their unique skills, interests and talents.
Know that we hold precious memories of every one of you,
Of the unique contributions to the life of our school you have made.
Thank you for the joy, the excitement, the many incredible things that have happened
In classrooms, in the playground, in corridors, throughout our school,
In worship, in learning, at play.
Every day you have been part of our community.
Let our shared Christian values: kindness, perseverance, forgiveness, respect and love
Be roots that hold you steady and give you strength as you start your new school,
Make new friends, meet new teachers and begin exciting new learning challenges.
As you go forward, take with you your love of learning,
Work, individually and with others, to question, explore and create.
As you grow and develop as caring, confident, thoughtful students
Embrace opportunities to plant and water new interests, ideas and skills.
You leave as remarkable young people
Who have open minds and open hearts
With futures full of possibilities.
Bless each of you,
May you be held safe in God’s love.