We are delighted to have been able to complete a full half term in the ‘new normal’. Just seven weeks ago, we opened the campus up again to all Primary staff, children and families. And what an amazing seven weeks it has been, full of energy and enthusiasm towards every aspect of learning. Thank you for the continued support in ‘getting the show on the road’ this half term. It’s no easy task to return an entire Primary school back to on campus learning and I am extremely privileged to work with such a wonderfully talented and dedicated team of professionals who all share a passion for teaching and learning. I hope that this comes across strongly in your interactions with staff.
We have released some key dates for upcoming sports days next half term. Please ensure you check the messages in Seesaw for all the information you need. We are really pleased with how Seesaw as a platform enabled simple, efficient and effective communication during virtual learning. We continue to use Seesaw as the vehicle for communication with parents. All information will be posted into Seesaw (either within the Learning Journal or within Messages) to ensure each family has an individually curated stream of relevant information. We have replaced the more formal letters with messages and attached media within Seesaw. I hope that you continue to find this convenient.
Due to the fact that we will only have one full term with students together on campus, we will be maintaining largely the same class groups during the transition to the next academic year. Where there are small changes, conversations will take place with families. However, in the main all classes will stay as they are to enable longer for children to work together and establish meaningful relationships. We will review this again towards the end of the next academic year. Over the next week or so, you will see a new class group added to Seesaw that we will use for the transition process. Once these Seesaw classes have been made, you will then start to see video messages and welcome information from your child’s new class teacher. This will of course include new staff joining us in August 2022.
Don’t forget to check out the What’s On section of the Primary Newsfeed for all the latest dates and events. Holiday Club also starts up again this year with full details posted to the Primary Newsfeed. A reminder also of the ongoing Biodiversity Photo Competition. The half term break is a great time to get out and about and create some wonderful images. ECAs also start first week back.
To round off the half term, I would like to publish an open letter written by a member of the Primary Leadership Team to the Reception Staff. I think that this very strongly encapsulates the ethos we have as a learning school and serves to remind us all of the outstanding practice taking place in all areas of our school.
Mr Michael Everett | Head of Primary
Dear Reception Team,
I just wanted to say thanks again for allowing me to come into your classrooms and learning spaces today. I learned SO much about both Reception as a stage of learning but also great teaching and learning in general.
The moment I got into your classrooms I immediately felt calm, warm (not literally!), at home and relaxed. It was amazing to hear when talking to you all, that this was the exact intention of your careful design and resourcing. I can't believe how much time and effort you have all gone to in this and not to mention evidence-based research that has helped guide it.
It was incredible the amount of literacy learning going on. The way you all managed to spend quality 1:1 time with your students to accurately assess and develop their phonics according to their stages in learning, letter formation, spelling and reading. While doing this, being able to have the rest of the class independently learning and developing through their play. There was so much oral interaction and communication between all the children the whole time - I don't think I spotted any children who weren't talking and communicating with friends at any point!
Each adult in each classroom absolutely was working to further learning. All LAs knew exactly what they were doing and were independently leading and facilitating learning. How lucky are you to have such talented, confident and professional LAs in Reception!
It was really eye-opening for me to see how you taught the concept of subitising; seeing the use of singing to stop the students counting individual counters when moving them to 10 frames was something I had never seen or heard of or thought there would have been a reason for before!
Watching you bring our blocks of ice, food colouring and salt and facilitating and guiding discussions around what would happen to the ice and how the salt changed the ice really allowed me to understand just how important your continuous provision is. Carefully planning out these opportunities to unconsciously learn and generate curiosity whilst playing. This is really something I had hoped to learn more about today and I really have - thank you!
How much time and effort you have gone to, to spend carefully thinking about, planning, creating and putting together resources for your children to use both in school and at home was amazing!
All students were so happy to be in school and so happy to be learning. I had more hugs than I could count and have also been told 'I love you' by multiple children and have two very skilled pieces of artwork given to me to take home with me today.
Finally - your team are exactly that - a team! Your genuine love and dedication for what you do was so obvious; every single member of Reception was working together and contributing towards the children's learning from start to finish.
Thanks again - you are OUTSTANDING!