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Friday 23rd April - a message from Binks Neate-Evans

Good afternoon,


This is an update to flag up a survey we will be sending out to families next week. I wanted to give you advance notice so that you have time to think prior to completing it.


We are considering what adjustments we will make to our existing controls IF national restrictions are lifted on June 21st.  We want to make the end of this year as successful as possible. There are a number of aspects we will consider when and if we alter current restrictions.   We recognise that there will be very different views about the full lifting of restrictions, ranging from desperation to excitement to very high levels of worry! This is, of course, the same for school staff too. We pride ourselves on open and honest communication so I think it is important that I explain some of our thinking to you.


The proposed date for the national lifting of restrictions is June 21st. This is approximately only one month before the end of this academic year.


Successful schools establish clear routines and boundaries as one key way to help children feel safe and secure. Generally, this happens at the very beginning of the year and then we regularly revisit and remind throughout the year, to ensure that they are well maintained. Our routines and habits this year have very much been driven by the pandemic.  Your children have managed and maintained them superbly!


Establishing any routines and habits is a process, not a single event. It happens over time. Making significant changes to these routines at the very tail end of a school year is not ideal for children at all. It could even be considered as 'disruptive' to them and unintentionally cause behaviour to deteriorate. Our focus will remain resolutely child-centred to ensure that we can maintain high-quality provision in school and support your children to have a really positive end to term after such a turbulent period. 


We also want to minimise the risk of disruption to individuals and groups at this important stage and really want to avoid having to direct groups to self-isolate. This is because we do not want children to miss being in school at the end of term or disrupt the beginning of the school holidays for you. 


We are considering what events could take place and how they may be managed. It is highly unlikely that we will be having whole school events with unrestricted parental access.


We do think your views are important so we will be asking you to consider some of the controls and what could or should be relaxed, for example, mask-wearing on the playground.


Naturally, we are never going to please everyone, despite our respectful efforts. So this communication is to help manage your expectations about the way we organise any end of year events/routines, to ask for constructive support and ideas and for your ongoing understanding and support. It may be that some of you will disagree with some decisions when we come to make them but we hope this will not prevent you from being understanding.  


Please do look out for the survey next week and we will inform you of any planned changes much nearer the time. 


Happy work


On a lighter note, I know many of you have enjoyed dipping into TED talks and so thought you might like this fast and furious talk about happiness. ALERT: a small part of the content and humour is a bit 'adult' so please consider this before viewing with children or anyone who may not appreciate it. It does, however, have important messages about how we manage our thinking so thought it was worth sharing.

The happy secret to better work

We believe we should work hard in order to be happy, but could we be thinking about things backwards? In this fast-moving and very funny talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive.




Binks Neate-Evans                   


BJ Neate-Evans

Executive Principal