An end of the school year message from Binks Neate-Evans: Friday 17th July
Firstly, I would like to address your children.
You are coming to the end of a school year. What a strange year for us all. It might be the end of your time at your school too. The teachers and staff at school have worked hard to make an ending so that you could say goodbyes and think back on your time in your class or school. Of course, it has had to be very different so that it was safe. This had to be the priority.
You may not know yet but you have been part of HISTORY because this time will always be talked and written about in your future.
We have seen lots of you in school and we have been so proud of how you've adapted and behaved. Thank you. We have also loved seeing what you have been learning and doing at home.
We are very much looking forward to having you ALL back in September to make our schools feel whole. Some things will feel quite different BUT don't worry. The adults will explain things to you and we will work together to have safe habits.
If you are worried about learning, it is good thing that you think it is important and we are going to work with you all to make sure great learning happens.You will be able to talk over your worries with your teacher. In the meantime we want you all to have a happy, healthy and safe summer holiday. Read lots and share stories, play outside,build and design things and remember try and get more green time than screen time.
Most of all, be safe citizens so that you are taking care with your family.
We cannot thank you enough for the support and encouragement you have provided our teams. I think we all know there has never been a time like it. The task of safely running schools through a pandemic is new learning for us all. We know there will some things we can improve on and we have tried to be honest and responsive to you as a community. We have been so grateful of you patience and kindness. Thank you for the may lovely comments that have be sent in the last few days and via our parent governors.
We are though, looking forward to having all children back in school. It hasn't felt right or fair for those children not in school; however we had to work within constraints of strict guidance. Planning for September has been as challenging, but we have learned a lot from the past months. We have also really felt the benefit of being part of Evolution Academy Trust as we have had expert advice guidance and support.
You will receive a detailed document form the heads in each school so that you know what to expect in September. I do want to publicly applaud them and their teams. The information you receive has taken weeks of planning, discussion, risk assessing, adapting and creating. They really have been exceptional, with many of them also having to manage their own complex domestic situations. There is much more work involved than you can see in the document. There will still be work to be done but I really want the staff teams to be able to rest ready for the next year. It is a new way of working and requires huge levels of concentration, creativity and organisation
We will be keeping a close eye on any changes that the government issue. We will make sure any important changes are communicated to you via the website/email in the last week in August so please do check.
Both nursery settings at Bignold and Angel Road Infant have also been working tirelessly. We are trying to adapt our provision to better suit your needs and trying desperately hard to get confirmation from the Local Authority linked to funding. We apologise if this is causing uncertainty, particularly at Bignold but stick with us; we are confident our plan will better suit your needs. Both nurseries and Reception units have really benefited from working with international specialists. We think you will see a big difference so please pass the message on to other families.
SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
In the next academic year we will have the normal school improvement that you would expect a school to undertake. But we are going to use a different approach too to make sure that everyone works together on a particular focus which we build on, develop and revisit through the year. This is delivered alongside the main subject areas. Our keys areas of focus for improvement will be:
- High Expectations - behaviour, learning, attitude, respect, conduct, teaching, relationships, adult conduct (all of us!). This sets the scene for the year so everyone knows what to expect and we maximise learning time
- Happy, Healthy, Safe - well being, hygiene habits and safe practice
- Developing a reading culture - learning to read, listening to challenging text being read aloud by adults to develop fluency, vocabulary and comprehension, reading together, at school and at home.
- Assessment for learning - how we check children's understanding and the depth of their learning and use this move learning forward, how children can become independent and motivated learners
- Science and The Arts - ensuring that children are experts and know what the best in these fields looks
Thank you to our school governors who have helped and supported. Both Anna Caitlin (Angel Rd Chair of Governors) and Nicola Naismith (Bignold Chair of Governors) are finishing in their roles. Many thanks to them for fulfilling such an important voluntary role, particularly through this period. We are working with EAT and Norfolk Governors Network to recruit an Interim Chair to work across both schools from September. If you know anyone who has the experience, interest and will please do ask them to get in touch with me via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now all that is left for me to say, is again huge thanks to the community - the children, the staff and the families. Together we have pulled through a very difficult phase and I'd like to build on this cohesion to make sure our schools are the very best they can be. We want hopeful futures for your children.
Have a good summer, as far as is possible in your circumstances - go well and play safe.
Bignold Primary, Angel Road Junior School and Angel Road Infant and Nursery school