Monday 12th April - a message from Binks Neate-Evans
We are very much looking forward to welcoming children back to this important summer term. I hope that you managed to enjoy the Easter break whether you celebrate the traditional Christian festival or just a break from normal routines with a flourish of chocolate!
Teaching and learning
This term staff will be working hard to continue to deliver a curriculum that really supports children to be have the knowledge skills and attitudes that will make them successful in their learning this term and in readiness for their next phase. We are looking at how Seesaw can continue to support children and families outside of lesson time. We know so many families, despite the challenges of learning at home during schools' partial closures, really became engaged in the detail of their child's learning. We want to build on this success and continue to work in partnership to help all children exceed their potential.
There continues to be a strong emphasis on helping children to be good readers, through auditory discrimination (awareness of sounds/rhymes etc for very young children), being able to decode (break words down to read them), to read fluently (good pace and expression for age-appropriate text) and to have a love of reading.
Each school will be communicating with you about the various activities and approaches that we will adopt to support children's transition to the next part of their school life at the end of this term. We view transition as a process rather than a one-off event, so children can both celebrate the existing phase/class whilst also being prepared for the next phase of their educational journey. This of course will be planned with due consideration to COVID 19 and any current guidance at the time. You will know changes to guidance has often been with very short notice so whilst planning has begun this will not be published quite yet as it may be subject to sudden change.
I am sure many of you are hopeful as we move into the next phase of the government roadmap of lifting restrictions linked to COVID 19. Despite some very welcome changes I wanted to reassure you that we will still have in place stringent safety protocols to ensure that we do as much as possible to prevent any local outbreaks of COVID 19. Each school has its own set of procedures which in terms of movement in and about and through school have not changed. We would ask families to continue to respect these and staff will politely remind individuals who may be taking a more relaxed approach. We are taking this approach as we want to continue to protect children, staff and families from COVID 19 as we must remember it is still a very, very dangerous disease. We want to absolutely minimise the chance of having to isolate bubbles and disrupt education in school and your own routines and ability to go to work.
If you are at all unsure of any of the procedures, please ask a member of staff on the school gates.
We pride ourselves on having religious diversity in our community and aiming to be inclusive and respectful of those who different beliefs to our own, whatever they may be. Many of you will be aware that Ramadan begins for Muslims today. We will have staff, children and families that will be fasting during the hours of daylight as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Staff have had some simple guidance to support children who may be fasting. Across the schools, we believe it is a family's decision as to when children who follow the Islamic faith begin fasting. It is helpful if a child's class teacher is informed if they are trying to fast. The schools would like to make suitable adjustments for them. We would only raise concerns if we felt a child was not coping or if it appears to be detrimental to the health and well-being for an individual. This link has some useful ideas and resources about Ramadan, including how to safely observe Ramadan through this phase of restrictions.
3. #SafeRamadan At Home Top Tips. While restrictions are more relaxed for Ramadan 2021 with some activities allowed in the mosque and outdoors compared to 2020, for many of us we will still largely be observing Ramadan from home.
Short video for children and families:
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins tonight. Ramadan is a very important time in the Islamic calendar, and Muslims all over the world will be preparing to take part.
Ramadan Kareem to those of you who will be celebrating the period of Ramadan.
Communication is key
We know that good communication is key for organisations to be 'learning organisations'. We welcome constructive and respectful feedback so that we continually improve. Your feedback, contributions and ideas are invaluable to us so please do get in touch via your class teacher or the school office if there is anything you would like to discuss. At the beginning of a new term, I always like to remind our families that the school environment should always be welcoming and friendly to all and feel safe. We will not tolerate rude, bullying and abusive behaviour towards staff, children or other families. Please let a member of staff know if the behaviour of anyone is unacceptable so that it can be resolved in an appropriate way. We want coming onto to our school site to be a positive experience.
We are very hopeful that this will be a far more normal term for children, staff and families and we look forward to seeing you over the coming weeks.