Who we are & Head Teacher’s blog
Mrs S Whales
Please scroll down for our Head Teacher’s blog to see what has been happening in school.
Class Teacher - Mrs L Burton
Assistant Teacher - Mrs S Howell
Assistant Teacher - Mrs V Stratton-Stubbs
Governors - please visit our Governors page.
Head Teacher's Blog
18th May 2020
It’s Monday again and I am looking forward to another week of sunshine. It’s much nicer to see the colours out of the window than the dreariness of rain.
Thank you to those of you who responded to Mrs Taylor’s request for help; we still need about 5 more parents and carers to help us gain the National Online Safety award…so near and yet so far! If you can help, please contact Mrs Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are currently working with governors to work out a safe return to school for all of our children and members of staff. For some children this may mean a September start but whatever the case, we promise to keep you informed.
Thank you to parents and carers who have sent messages into school; hearing from you gives us a sense of normality. Some parents have asked if Zoom can be used to contact teachers. I am sorry but the local authority is not recommending this method of contact. Please continue to use the Seesaw learning platform to comment on your children’s learning. If you have any personal requests, messages via email@example.com will be passed on by Trudy.
Thank you for your continued support.
11th May 2020
I hope that you have all been enjoying the sunny weather.
As some of you may already know, Mrs Taylor is Northaw’s own CEOP ambassador, which means that she knows an awful lot about online safety. This year we are hoping to gain a National Online Safety Award but in order to achieve this we need just 10 willing and committed Northaw parents/carers to help us. The vast majority of staff and governors are getting involved so now it is down to you, PLEASE! If you would like to know more please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and Mrs Taylor will send you the details.
The Schools Team at the Diocese are excited to begin planning a ‘special edition’ newsletter for the Summer Term, which will showcase the incredible work that you/we have been doing both for children at home, as well as children still coming into school over the past weeks. We would love it if you could send us any good-news stories from your families, of what children have been doing at home during this lock-down period. We hope that the Diocese newsletter will be an encouraging read, as well as a way of helping us to feel connected as a church school family.
This week, I actually attach the Feeling Good Weeks newsletter! Didn’t we enjoy some good times at the beginning of the school year?!
How many of you managed to raise a glass on Friday in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day? People in our street enjoyed the hooting of horns and exciting cheers from passers-by as we celebrated 2 metres apart!
Winston Churchill’s VE Day speech:
‘I say that in the long years to come not only will the people of this island but of the world, wherever the bird of freedom chirps in human hearts, look back to what we’ve done and they will say “do not despair, do not yield to violence and tyranny, march straightforward and die if need be - unconquered.” Now we have emerged from one deadly struggle - a terrible foe has been cast on the ground and awaits our judgment and our mercy.’
We are at last beginning to emerge from our struggles and we are planning a careful return to school life, not that it will be easy and we will all be required to make some very difficult decisions. Please continue to trust us to do the right thing for our families and our community.
4th May 2020
Now where has all the sunshine gone?! This now means wet, welly walks and grass and weeds that grow like a jungle! Nevertheless, the spring temperatures have still enabled us to get out, keep our minds and bodies fit and spend time with our families.
Back at school Hayley has been working on the numbers for our end of year accounts and setting the budget for the coming financial year. There will be a separate letter coming out to you in the next couple of days with more details and requests relating to this budget.
I have also been putting together feedback for our very short burst of activities at the beginning of the year related to Hertfordshire’s Year of Culture. It’s such a shame that this was curtailed as we had so many initiatives planned. If you have been enjoying any cultural activities at home, perhaps you could email us some details to include in our newsletters!
There has been a plethora of information speculating what the return to school will look like. We will let you know as soon as we have definite directions and until then keep up with your home-learning. Mrs Taylor has set up new family links for Seesaw, which should make it easier for individual comments. Our thanks to Mrs Taylor and the teachers for continuing to keep you all busy! Please let us know by email if you require any assistance or information and we will do our best to help.
In the meantime, stay safe and well. We are missing you all.
27th April 2020
I have started to write this newsletter on St. George’s Day!
It might not be a bank holiday, but St George's Day will be celebrated across England today. England's patron saint is said to have slain a dragon and rescued a princess before being executed for refusing to renounce his Christian beliefs. He died on 23 April 303 AD, during the time of the Roman Empire. He is now the patron saint of England, Ethiopia, Portugal, Georgia, Catalonia - and many more countries, cities and provinces.
Why is St George England's patron saint?
St George never actually set foot in England, and spent most of his life in Palestine. He was chosen as England's patron Saint in 1350, by King Edward III. St George was admired for his bravery in the face of terrible suffering, and he was popular among European Knights and military men. Some have even suggested that not being English actually made George the perfect patron saint for England - it meant that he wasn't associated with any particular region of the country. There would be no regional rivalry, and so everyone in England could unite behind St George. There are lots of people today who, in the face of terrible suffering, have been very brave. Please spare a thought for the members of our community who face these daily challenges.
I understand that you are keeping the teachers busy by uploading your children’s work onto Seesaw. Thank you for all that you are doing.
Currently, we have not been advised when school will re-start. In the meantime, we are asking you to stay safe and well by continuing to enjoy the sunny days with your families.
Please click here for some Government information about supporting children’s mental health and well-being. It may be useful to you.
20th April 2020
I hope that you all enjoyed a sunny Easter with your families. I thought that it would be good to update you with regards to the current lockdown situation. Thanks to our dedicated team, School continues to remain open for our children of key workers and thanks to Trudy and Hayley School business continues as usual behind the scenes.
We are hoping that the children are continuing to learn by logging on to their Seesaw accounts and reading every day. If you have lost your ‘log in’ for Seesaw please contact email@example.com. Please do not expect an immediate reply but we will try to help as soon as we can. Please try to do a little bit of work with your children every day so that gaps in learning do not get too wide and that children are not disadvantaged on their return to school.
We miss the children very much and can’t wait to get back to normality. Our Giving Back for Lent initiative seems like a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of giving and caring that is currently required. How grateful we are to the workers in the front line!
30th March 2020
Whilst we are forging through difficult times, we hope that you are enjoying some precious moments with your children. I receive daily updates from Her Majesty’s Government and pass on the relevant information to you. Teachers are working hard behind the scenes to update home learning resources and provide essential care for our children of key workers. It seems that isolation may be with us for the foreseeable future so please endeavour to listen to your children read every day and complete the tasks shared by your teachers. If your children want to know what’s going on…click here for a short book that explains the current situation in child-friendly terms.
Last week, Miss Barker encouraged her friends and family to send videos of them dancing as part of her Friday Dance Day routine. The shiny results of the dance routines will be found by logging on to your child’s ‘Seesaw’ account on Friday 3rd April. If you wish to share a video of your family dancing, upload it onto your Seesaw page. Miss Barker and Mrs Taylor can then prepare a video for sharing. You must remember that by uploading a video you are agreeing to share the pictures with the school! Finally, you may be persuaded to venture out to find some holiday play schemes. My advice is please DON’T; please keep safe and well by staying isolated!
Please click here for a recent document from Her Majesty’s Government providing advice for parents and carers on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We hope that you are all safe and well!
I wish you all safe isolation and healthy lives!
16th March 2020
It seems that we are living in difficult times so I would like to say thank you for your patience and understanding over the current situation.
We are trying to keep school running as normal as possible and please be assured that we will keep you updated with any developments and/or postponements.
We are looking forward to our SIAMs inspection on Thursday, when we will be able to show our inspector the wonderful loving and learning being accomplished by your children.
I know that Lent is not yet over but it would be really lovely if we could have some brilliant examples of how you are ‘Giving back for Lent’ (Green sheets). Some of our children are making bookmarks and friendship bracelets to sell in aid of Essex and Herts Air Ambulance so thank you to these children for giving back their time and effort.
9th March 2020
Well done to all the families who completed their family trees. The children received a small reward for their efforts last Friday.
I should like to remind you of our ‘Giving Back for Lent’ activity; it would be lovely to hear how you have been giving back. Please send in the green sheets with your information or send Trudy an email; some photographs would be appreciated.
Next week (Wednesday 18th March 7.00-8.00 pm) we have our Staying Safe parent and carer event. Please come along to hear about how you can keep your child safe online (these are updates on last year’s information), how to look after your child’s mental health and well-being and advice about gangs and drugs and what to look out for when your child transfers to secondary school. We hope that you take time to support this event.
Finally, let’s get baking for our Mother’s Day tea (Thursday 19th March). We hope that you are able to celebrate this special day with us.
2nd March 2020
Thank you to everyone who has completed the ‘my heritage’ family trees; there have been some fascinating discoveries. We are so lucky to live in such a richly diverse community.
I was lucky enough to spend a great deal of time in the dining hall last week. Ginnie’s cooking is amazing, so different from the school dinners that I received when I went to school! Generally speaking, the children are well mannered and they seem to enjoy their lunch time experiences. Two things however, came to my notice. Firstly, it would be really great if you would teach your children to use a knife and fork as I seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time cutting up their food. Secondly, for children who have a packed lunch, please check the sugar content of the food that you are providing: fruit winders and fruit shoot drinks are full of sugar; a yogurt or a piece of fruit is far healthier and please send water as it is much healthier and cheaper!
World Book Day is fast approaching…Thursday 5th March. Governors discussed the format of this special day at their last Full Governing Body meeting and decided to steer away from the full costume drama this year. Hence, the focus on bedtime stories and a pyjama day! If the weather is cold please feel free to dress your children in shorts, leggings and T-shirts and put the pyjamas over the top.
Finally, thank you to all who are ‘giving back for Lent’.
"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them". (Hebrews 6:10 NIV)
24th February 2020
Welcome back! We hope that you enjoyed a restful half term although from what the children have been telling me, some of you had a rather busy half term.
Thank you to the families who have already completed their family trees. One family has found a relative who was born in 1869! This is very impressive research! Remember you have until Monday 2nd March to be in with a chance of winning a prize!
This morning in church Revd. Chris mentioned the church season of Lent. For some, Lent is a 40 day period of giving up chocolate, caffeine, sugar or something else after Pancake Day. Traditionally, it’s seen as a time in which to reflect upon the life and death of Jesus. However much we already know about Lent, the story of Lent is one which reminds us of why it is marked by so many people around the world.
Here at Northaw, rather than giving something up for Lent, we try to give back for Lent. This means that we try to do good deeds. Just like last year, please let us know the good deeds that your children have accomplished. (Correspond either by email or drop a note into the office, photos of the good deeds are welcome!)
10th February 2020
The children and I have discussed our February ‘culture’ project, ‘My Heritage’, and I am looking forward to receiving some good family trees and information about your family culture. Some children have already made an impressive start; I really enjoy hearing about their distant relatives!
I can now inform you that our Staying Safe event has been re-scheduled for Wednesday 18th March, 7.00-8.00pm. We have a visitor from Welwyn and Hatfield Council speaking about the challenges that our Year 5 and 6 children might find as they move on to secondary school. They will offer advice on the dangers of gangs, drugs and alcohol and the signs to look out for. Mrs Burton and Mrs Lammas will be giving you an update on children’s mental health and wellbeing. Mrs Taylor will be giving you the latest news about how to keep your child safe online. Please sign up at the school office to secure your place at the event.
On the matter of staying safe, we have noticed a number of unsafe drivers recently. Please allow yourself enough time so that you can park and walk. Many parents are choosing to drive on the pavement opposite the school, reversing in the driveways opposite and even reversing in the school gateways. We would like to keep our neighbours happy and our children safe. Please help us to do this in a respectful way.
We have managed to organise Tasty Tuesdays for Willow and Oak classes next half term. Willow Class parents and carers will get the opportunity to taste one of Ginnie’s delicious meals on Tuesday 17th March and Oak Class parents and carers can enjoy lunch on Tuesday 24th March. Please sign up and bring your lunch money (£3.50) into school by Monday 9th March.
Finally look out for news of PTA events and sales -Valentine biscuits, Mothers’ Day cakes and so much more. If you can make and bake, please pop into the office and we can pass your details on to the organisers!
Have a restful half term.
3rd February 2020
Thank you to our PTA reps who organised a fabulous, Hertfordshire Year of Culture event last Friday. Thank you to everyone who contributed and attended; the variety of food was amazing- jerk chicken, dried fruits, hummus, Eton mess and fish and chips. Thank you also to Michelle and Ginnie from Herts Catering who also joined in the fun- the chicken pie was well received!
We are looking forward to organising some more cultural activities over the year. If you have any brilliant ideas, please let us know.
Our Staying Safe event, planned for 26th February, has had to be postponed due to the dance festival in Hertford. We are trying to organise an alternative date, so watch this space!
Finally as part of Hertfordshire’s Year of Culture, we would like your children to produce a family tree related to their heritage. For the younger children, this may look like two or three generations but it would be nice if Key Stage 2 children would look back as far as they can. It would also be fabulous if the children could produce some information about their cultural background. We would like the children to bring in their contributions by Monday 2nd March. There will be an ‘effort’ prize for one child in each Year group!
Thank you for supporting this February project.
27th January 2020
Last week, I enjoyed an interesting selection of learning opportunities from Anglo Saxon history on Monday with Willow class to futuristic IT learning with Mrs Taylor at the Bett Exhibition. We’ve come a long way since those Anglo Saxon times!
When looking around the exhibition, I realised that Northaw School is actually incredibly up to date with new teaching ideas and technologies; this is thanks to our IT specialist and CEOP Ambassador, Mrs Taylor. She will be keeping you up to date with online gaming and social media news during our Staying Safe evening on 26th February. Make sure that you come along to hear about a new initiative that we will be starting this year.
This week, we are looking forward to our Hertfordshire Year of Culture PTA event. Please come along to support and try something new!
I sent an email last week asking for your support in reviewing our Equality Scheme. It would really be most helpful if you would return the questionnaire as soon as possible. If you need any help completing it, I will be only too happy to oblige. The completion of the forms means that we have a clear view of our diverse community and can provide services appropriately.
Finally, I just wanted to say thank you! I noticed in worship last week, how smart our children are looking.
20th January 2020
This year is Hertfordshire’s Year of Culture. We will be starting the year with an exciting PTA event on Friday 31st January, ‘Try Something New’. Please come along and support this marvellous food tasting evening!
We will be trying to engage you and the children in cultural events across the year. One of the aspects we would like the children to investigate is their ‘heritage’. If you could help them to start collecting information about their cultural backgrounds, we