Message From CEO – 14 June 2020
I would like to thank our school leaders, teachers, support staff and administrators for enabling such a positive and smooth transition for families and pupils, who have recently started to return to school in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 classes. Children have responded so well to the changes and expectations around health, safety, and hygiene, especially their social distancing skills. This is because of the routines and detailed risk assessments you have put into place along with the supportive and considered approach you have taken.
On 9th June, the Government announced that its aim for all primary pupils to spend four weeks in school before the summer break, was no longer considered feasible.
There are many differing ideas about how schools should proceed for the rest of this term. Headteachers have been working with the Central team to consider the next steps for our schools including: keeping everyone’s health and safety as the top priority; continuing to support those children who may be feeling anxious about the situation or their learning and progress at home; and continuing to support families who are returning to work and balancing home learning and work commitments. We are all committed to doing what we can to support all our pupils and families in these circumstances, whether they are learning from home or in school.
Our aims for this next stage, between now and the end of term, are as follows:
- To continue the full-time provision for children of key workers and those in vulnerable groups until the end of the summer term.
- To maintain each school’s current provision for pupils in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and, as far as possible, in Year 6 until the end of term.
- To provide additional support for those year groups that have not had the opportunity to attend school since the lockdown, particularly with transition arrangements. Pupils from Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be supported in a variety of other ways. Each school is developing an individual approach appropriate for their context, taking in to account the space available and the number of staff in each school. The range of ideas includes, spending a short time in school during the final weeks of term with their teacher or new teacher, or carrying out transition meetings online with children and parents.
The contact that schools will have with pupils in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 before the end of term will focus on:
- Enabling all pupils to understand the new routines in school to keep them healthy and safe, as this is likely to be a feature of school for some time.
- Discussing children’s learning and progress at home and any additional difficulties that the school needs to be aware of.
- Responding to parents’ and children’s requests or views about how the school can support them while they are not yet in school.
The national ongoing situation of uncertainty and change is difficult and tiring for everyone. Thank you for your resilience, creativity, and flexibility as we all work together to manage these challenges and the specific requests that are made of us. The support you continue to provide for children both in school and working at home is so important and valued.
As Wembdon Church School welcomed their first families back this week, they have been thinking about how to support their mental health and wellbeing. Many families felt anxious about returning to school, so the staff wanted to support them by making the transition as smooth as possible.
All staff have undertaken training from Jim McCall and Guy Clayton in how to support the children on their return to school.
Across the school, children have been learning to name and recognise their feelings. The youngest children have been reading ‘The Colour Monster’. This has helped them to understand that when their emotions become tangled, this can lead to unexpected behaviours. The children also created their own colour monsters and were encouraged to think of times where they might have experienced these emotions.
In Key Stage Two, the children used ‘Starving the Anxiety Gremlin’. This has helped them to learn to recognise their feelings, and to ‘name them and tame’ them. They are beginning to understand how anxiety can impact on their feelings.
At Bishops Lydeard Church School the children have been getting to know their ‘Anxiety Gremlin’. They first drew their ‘gremlin’ on paper and then created a 3D model of it using wool to make pom poms. The children showed fantastic patience and perseverance when creating their models and were very proud of how they turned out.
Families at Bishop Lydeard Church School have also been taking part in an environment project.
Trinity Church School has been delighted to welcome back more children this week and they have been just brilliant. They have all been very respectful of each other and have taken on board the changes so well. They have been working incredibly hard, aiming high and returning to their learning so quickly.
Penguins key worker Bubble have been using mirrors to study their features and mixed media to create their own self-portraits. Year 5 have been investigating Ancient Greek temples using their research skills to create their own designs.
The school recently entered the North Somerset Sports and PE Association (NSSPEA) sports badge competition. The children from KS1 and KS2 designed a badge for the school sports team, Alicia in Year 5 won the competition! Alicia’s ‘Trinity Tigers’ design was striking and bold. It will now be printed onto a set of sports shirts that will be worn at future sporting events.
As you can see from the photo, Jessica from St John the Evangelist Church School thoroughly enjoyed the Space Challenge during Space Week and Thomas and his brother created this wonderful rocket.
Bobby’s amazing spaceship and a unique solar system was great fun.
These Alien pictures are presented with wonderful smiles.
Our schools are exploring many ways to adapt to their new learning environments, so children can continue to safely engage together. St Saviour’s Church Schools held a very creative assembly recently.
St Michael’s Church School have been looking at the Black Lives Matter movement.
Zack from St Mark’s Church School sent Boris Johnson a card, picture and quote he made up and received a lovely card of thanks.
The children of key workers at St Mark’s Church school have written this wonderful thoughtful poem for all key workers.
Thank you Key Workers
Doctors and nurses are saving lives,
Bus and train workers are going on lots of drives.
Firefighters and Police are keeping us safe,
Teachers are helping us to keep the faith.
Scientists are hard at work carrying out their tests,
Engineers are always doing their best.
Supermarket workers keep food in our tummy,
We have lots of love for our daddy and mummy.
Cleaners work hard to keep everything clean,
Everyone is trying hard not to be mean.
Thank you key workers for all that you do,
We really would be lost without you
Many teachers across the Trust have been developing their skills in providing online and direct teaching for children working at home. The quality of your ideas and creativity are a great inspiration for pupils and families. Here is just one from St John and St Francis Church School.
A short lesson for pupils in Year 3 on Fronted Adverbials.
I would like to highlight this week the significant contribution of staff working in school offices. Not only have you continued with the normal school routines, ensuring that everything runs smoothly but you have led many significantly challenging tasks over this period, such as managing the budget setting process. You have supported Headteachers, staff, the central team, parents, and children in a time when we are all a little anxious, working extra hard and managing change. Thank you for all you are doing. Your work and the way that you quietly support everyone around you is so important in enabling each of your schools to be so successful. Thank you.
The many wonders you – teachers, TAs, school staff, parents and members of each school community perform by drawing on your skills, expertise, commitment, resilience and problem solving skills, are so important in ensuring that we support each other and overcome the challenges we face together.