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Friday 14th May - A message from Binks Neate-Evans

Dear parents & carers,

 

Thank you for the very good response to our survey about the lifting of restrictions. We had very good levels of engagement. Your responses and comments were thoughtful with so many that offered thanks and gratitude to the school staff. It was a lovely unexpected outcome that people chose to express both their views and also their feelings about the effort that has gone into working safely with you and your children. Thank you also for the feedback about the information we sent out to explain our thinking about changes towards the end of term. A number of parents have expressed that they find this approach very helpful in understanding our decision making. 

 

 Leading in schools is a complex process and I know you appreciate this at the best times; so the pandemic has provided some real additional challenges. We will strive to use strategies and communication that enables us to build on this sense of community.

 

You will receive information from each school about any changes to routines. Until you have received this information please continue to follow existing arrangements. We recognise and accept not everyone will like or agree with decisions but we at least aim for understanding. We have really taken into consideration your views.

 

Your responses largely demonstrated support of a measured and cautious approach. Since the survey was distributed and closed, we have seen indicators that SAGE, the government and  Public Health England are concerned about what is now referred to as 'VoC's' - this means variance of the virus that are causing renewed concerns (Variance of Concern). This further supports our cautious approach. 

 

It is also encouraging to see that the government has adopted a neutral label for this so as to discourage divisive labels such as 'Indian variant'. There have been appalling tales of abuse towards people of Chinese origin in the early stages of the pandemic. Children learn from the adults around them and if we want to reduce fear-mongering and racist abuse to create an inclusive and diverse community we should all use language that supports this.

 

Below is the current information for the easing of lockdown from May 17th. Notably, the Prime Minister is urging caution.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-easing-of-covid-restrictions-confirmed-for-17-may

 

Further easing of COVID restrictions confirmed for 17 May - GOV.UK

The Roadmap is on track and planned Step 3 easements will go ahead on 17 May, the Prime Minister has confirmed. The data shows that the government’s “four tests” for easing restrictions have ...

www.gov.uk

After school/Breakfast clubs

 

Each of our schools currently has breakfast and after school club provision. We are very keen to be able to maintain and develop this as it supports families with childcare. We recognise that working patterns have changed and this of course affects demand on places but we are encouraging families to consider using this provision. Like all areas of school life, we will ensure that we keep improving our offer so that it is attractive, engaging and welcoming to children. Angel Road families have already completed a survey and Bignold families please look out for this next week. 

 

School Evaluation and Governors 

 

At this time of year, alongside the many other things we do, it is a time for reflection and evaluation. Most schools nationally are in very challenging positions as funding policies that were put in place a couple of years ago are beginning to really impact with a significant reduction to budgets. Schools are incredibly creative and resourceful and will undoubtedly rise to this challenge, as they did during the pandemic. It is, however, really important that our stakeholder groups understand that we are working with increasingly limited financial resource. Schools incurred massive additional costs during the pandemic which have not to been funded like other organisations. It seems that primary schools are only likely to receive an additional £6000 next year to support recovery. This has not yet been confirmed. We are fortunate to be part of the Evolution  Academy Trust who works with all its schools to minimise the impact of these challenges on the quality of provision for children.  This preamble sets the scene and context for our evaluation of effectiveness.

 

School leaders are in the process of evaluating the impact of current practice and strategies. As part of this, they will be working with our dedicated team of school governors to create a survey so we can gather your views. This will help inform our priorities for next year and we hope you can help us on that journey. 

 

Further to this, if we have community members that are experienced bid writers or have access to funding streams to support school projects we would really like to hear from you.  We still have parent vacancies on both governing bodies so would urge anyone with this particular skillset to consider this role too. 

 

Lastly, I try and end on a developmental note and this week I am including a link to resources from an audible book I have just listened to. It is about how we develop great habits and getting rid of bad ones. I thought it might be of interest to some of you as we transition to a new normal. Embedded in the resources is also a link as to how we can help children develop great habits. I hope it may be of interest to a few of you .... we all love the feedback to a personality test 😉

 

https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits/resources

 

Atomic Habits Resources | James Clear

Below, you’ll find a list of useful downloads, templates, and bonuses that will help you make the most of the ideas covered in the book. Primary Resources The Habit Loop The Habits Cheat Sheet Media: Images and Figures Key Questions and Answers Personality Tests Endnotes Templates Habits Scorecard Template Implementation Intentions Template Habit Stacking Template Habit Tracker […]

jamesclear.com

 

Cautiously looking forward to a hopeful time ahead. Thank you again for your continued support, encouragement and kindness. It makes a world of difference to the staff!

 

Regards

 

Binks Neate-Evans                   

 

BJ Neate-Evans

Executive Principal 

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