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
11th November 2019
Following on from last week’s newsletter, I should like to thank all of you who have considered healthy lunches for your children. With this in mind I should like to invite you all to lunch - not all at once! We are calling it Tasty Tuesday!
On Tuesday 26th November, we would like to invite all of our Nursery and Reception parents (not grandparents, aunts and uncles... just parents!) Please book with Trudy in the office by Tuesday 19th November to secure your place and choose your meal. Adult meals costs £3.50, Nursery meals cost £2.30.
On Tuesday 3rd December, we would like to invite all of our Apples and Pears parents. Please book with Trudy by Tuesday 26th November to secure your place and choose your meal.
Parents of children in Willow and Oak will be invited to Tasty Tuesday after Christmas and we also hope to open it up to other family members during the school year.
Another date for your diary: at 9.00a.m on Tuesday 19th November, Archdeacon Janet will be opening our Spiritual Garden. She will begin with a short act of worship in school followed by the official opening. You are welcome to join us! Finally, thank you to everyone who responded to our parent questionnaire during our parents’ consultation evenings in October. The feedback was extremely positive; thank you for continuing to work with us. These positive relationships really benefit our children. If you would like to follow up on any of your comments, please do make an appointment to see me or your class teachers. Alternatively, catch me on the gate!
4th November 2019
This half term we will be looking at the Christian value of compassion. Compassion means we care about others, treat them with kindness, and feel a strong desire to help people in need. Compassion is empathy in action. For a six- year-old,compassionmight look like giving a hug, making a card, or saying something kind to help a friend or family member who is feeling sad or upset. We will be trying to help children to understand why we need to be compassionate.
Thank you everyone who responded to our Ofsted questionnaire on our parents' evenings. The results are being collated and will be with you next week.
This half term we will be looking into healthy lunches. The new school dinner menu has been distributed. Please consider this as a healthy option for your children's lunches. If your children prefer a home packed lunch, please consider healthy choices. For example a piece of fruit rather than a fruit 'winder', a sandwich with a healthy filling, a yogurt or a cereal bar rather than chocolate. Have a cursory look at the sugar content, it’s amazing what you can discover. Also water is preferable to fruit juices please.
As ever, we are looking forward to a very busy term. Please be patient with us as we enjoy Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith.
21st October 2019
We have a real superstar in our midst! Miss Barker, teacher of Apples and Pears class, not only will be competing in the National Dance Championships but has also been selected to represent England at the World Formation Dance Championships. We are so very proud of her achievement; we hope that you find time to congratulate her!
We also have three children, Lilian, Emily and Olivia who have won scholarships to join a local netball club. Well done girls!
Governor, Adam Wilson and I have been updating our website. Please look at the contributions for each class and look out for news and updates. All the information for parents and carers is available under the ‘Information for parents’ tab. This includes:
Attendance & absences
School Gateway online payments Administering medication
We have experienced a few enquiries about school uniform recently. We are very proud of our smart children and award a certificate each week to a child who is dressed in the correct uniform and who looks ‘Northaw Smart’. Please be aware that trainers are not school shoes and that long hair should be tied back. We also discourage children from wearing earrings as these will need to be removed before any physical activity. Please help us to ensure that your children are always well presented.
14th October 2019
It’s been a bit of an unpredictable week; thank you for your patience and understanding. We hope that the children are better and fit to return to school. Please remember that if your child experiences sickness and/or diarrhoea, he/she should not return to school within 48 hours.
On a pleasant note, despite all eventualities, Oak class had a really enjoyable school journey to PGL in Lincolnshire. There were some real athletic superstars who celebrated personal successes during the week.
Willow class enjoyed a visit to the Hindu Mandir. Mrs Cullingford said that the children were very respectful. On their return, the children put together an ABC of Hinduism. I was amazed at the extent of their knowledge!
On Wednesday this week, the children will be dressing their teachers in yellow accessories to celebrate mellow-yellow mental health and wellbeing week. I look forward to seeing the photographs!
We are looking forward to meeting with you all on our parents’ evenings next week. You are welcome to bring the children but please make sure that they stay with you, whilst you are in school.
7th October 2019
This week we welcomed Ellie from Age UK. She talked to the children about how their donations were used to support the older people in Hertfordshire. She left us a beautiful banner in recognition of our intergenerational work with Age UK. Thank you to everyone who donated.
We did manage to organise the fun run last Wednesday thanks to some beautiful sunshine. Thank you to everyone who supported the Macmillan coffee morning and to those of you who bought cakes at the end of the day. Well done to all the children who ran and walked and skipped and trotted around the field and especially those who went the extra mile- we’ll have you signed up for the local cross country run! A little message to parents and carers who took photos; please be mindful of our acceptable use policy and do not post photographs on social media. The PTA would like BRUNFAST sponsorship money in as soon as possible please.
Please make sure that your children get to school on time. There have been a few persistant latecomers recently. Early work in class starts as soon as your children get into class. If you struggle with the traffic- leave 10 minutes earlier.
Finally, well done to Danny in Oak class who was a regional winner in the Plastic Investigators Competition run by Asda. His prize was £100 of Asda vouchers.
30th September 2019
Thank you for your generosity. By contributing to the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal, you have helped so many families at home and abroad. Thank you to those of you who joined us in church today. It would be fabulous if more of you could join us every Monday morning. If you are unable to stay, please wait until a member of staff is present in church before you leave so that we know that your children are safe.
On Tuesday, we would like your children to bring a pair of slippers to wear in school in aid of Age UK. Year 6 children have received letters from their new Age UK friends and replies will be speeding back very soon. A donation of 50p per child would be most welcomed.
We were sorry that the run part of the Brunfast had to be postponed but we are hoping for a nice day on Wednesday this week. The PTA organisers will be serving tea and cake from 9.00am in the school hall in aid of Macmillan. The fun run will take place after that with a planned warm up at 9.45am. Please bake or buy a cake for the event.
We enjoyed a very successful PTA AGM with some brilliant offers of support. There are many events planned for this academic year; thank you to the lovely parents who have already volunteered to host, organise and support the events. If you didn’t stay but would like to help, please call into the school office and we can direct you to the right people.
23rd September 2019
Thank you to you all for making our Uganda day such a success; the children looked amazing in their colours of the Ugandan flag. We welcomed a visit from Thalea and handed over our final cheque to Save the Children for £246.83 bring our grand total to £1173.61.
Our next fundraiser is for our school. The BRUNFAST is tomorrow! I hope that you have managed to get a huge number of sponsors and that you are looking forward to your Big Breakfast! Please send the children to school in their PE kits and ensure that they have sweatshirt ready to put on afterwards. It can get a bit chilly after racing. When you have finished breakfast the children may play on the playground until the classrooms open. The children will then go into class until about 9.45am. You are welcome to stay for our PTA AGM, a cup of coffee and a chat.
After the AGM at approximately 9.45am, please join us on the path while the children warm-up. The races will then begin. We respectfully request that parents who are not running, watch from the Astroturf area or the playground. The children will gather in their class groups to watch the races. We are looking forward to a fair day. If the weather lets us down we will still go ahead with breakfast and the AGM as planned but will postpone the running to another day.
On Tuesday 1st October we would like the children to come to school with a pair of slippers to change in to. (They will need their school shoes to play out in!) This day is designated Slip into Slippers day; this fundraiser is in aid of Age UK, with whom we have been working over the last two terms. The children have written letters to people who are in care homes and they are expecting replies any day now. Ellie from Age UK will bring a special banner to celebrate our work and present this to the children in assembly. We would be grateful to receive a donation to Age UK- every little helps!
Please note the dates of our parents’ evenings this term: Monday 21st October and Tuesday 22nd October.
Finally, we would like to invite you to our Harvest festival in St. Thomas’ church on Monday 30th September, starting at 8.50am. Please bring a donation of non-perishable food items (with long use by dates) or toiletries to the church for the Broxbourne Food Bank. A financial donation towards the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal would also be welcomed.
It seems that this letter is full of requests for your hard earned money; many of the requests are for small donations towards very worthy causes. I hope that you don’t mind.
16th September 2019
We hope that you are all getting those sponsors signed up for our family mile next week. We are hoping to raise lots of money at the beginning of the year.
This Wednesday is our Uganda day so don’t forget to send your children dressed in red, yellow and black. We are looking forward to a colourful day full of exciting activities.
This week also sees the beginning of new active clubs, gymnastics and dodgeball. We have an energetic start to the day also, with sports activities for all ages. Breakfast club begins at 7.30am so why not try an early start to the day.
The weather at the moment is rather unpredictable so please would you make sure that children come to school with a waterproof just in case it rains.
9th September 2019
Thank you to everyone who wrote Postcard Prayers; these are currently being displayed in the hall.
We are looking forward to meeting with you at our Meet the Teacher events this week. You will be given a copy of our Looking at Learning leaflets, which explain the curriculum for the term.
Our PTA members are working hard behind the scenes to organise our exciting BRUNFAST event for Tuesday 24th September. Tickets for breakfast will be available very soon. We invite you to stay for the PTA AGM and elect your new representatives for the new academic year. Please come along to share your ideas and help us with new ways to socialise and make money!
Our Harvest service in church this year will be on Monday 30th September. Please come along to share this special service with the children. Please start collecting tins and packets of food for our local foodbank (in date items please). A small donation to the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal- Light up Tanzania- will also be greatly received.
We are looking forward to welcoming representatives from two charities this half term: a representative from Save the Children Fund, who will talk to the children about life in Uganda, which is where our link school is based and a representative from Age UK, who will visit us on Slip into slippers day (Tuesday 1st October) as part of our intergenerational work with the elderly from local care homes.
Our school was awarded the School Games Silver Award at the end of the summer term. The year begins with our continued involvement with the Hertford and Ware School Sports Partnership. Apples and Pears class are already signed up to do some ‘agility’ lessons!
Our school vision Living for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith encapsulates all that we do for children and adults enabling them all to flourish in the context of a caring Christian community. Please be assured that all the staff in school are working hard to ensure that your children enjoy happy educational experiences. If you have any concerns, please do pop in to talk with us.
19th July 2019
What a fantastic week of fun, marking the end of term and for our Year 6 children the end to their primary school education. We have particularly enjoyed the performances of so many talented young people, from actors and actresses on Tuesday night to musicians and singers on Wednesday and Thursday.
We would like to thank you for your contributions to our school family festival, which raised over £2000 on a relaxed sunny afternoon last weekend. Thank you so much to Katie White and her friends who ensured that the event went off smoothly. We will be looking for more helpers in the coming year! BRUNFAST is booked for Tuesday 24th September. This is a breakfast with your children flowed by the PTA AGM, finishing up with a fun run on the school field. Sponsor forms have been emailed out to you so please start collecting your sponsors over the summer break.
We would also like to thank you for your contributions to Save the Children. Following generous donations on Tuesday evening at the end of the Oak performance, we can safely say that we have raised £1,170 for this very worthwhile charity. Following an assembly about four contending charities (Herts and Essex Air Ambulance, Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK and Salvation Army), the children have democratically chosen Herts and Essex Air Ambulance for our school charity for next year.
Thank you all for your very generous gifts and cards, our school staff really appreciate your kindness.
Finally, summer break homework- you children have already been given a BINGO READING CHALLENGE but there is one more thing... I would really like the children to write postcard prayers. They need to write their own prayer on a postcard (either from a holiday place or their own design) and either send it to me at Northaw CE Primary or bring it in during the first weeks of next term.
Wishing you happy holidays.
12th July 2019
Thank you to all the families who came along to our Open Evening. It was wonderful to see all the marvellous work that the children have created over the year and the recent art work related to our 6Rs. It was lovely to celebrate by focusing on our vision: Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith.
Moving on day was a great success; it was lovely to welcome our new Acorns! Year 6 children enjoyed their visit to Tolmers; lots of fun was had by all.
Today you will have received your child’s end of year report. This shows the progress that your child has made over the year and comments reflect the effort and appreciation of hard work. Statutory assessments have also been included for some year groups; we hope that you are pleased with the outcomes.
We are looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow for a fun filled musical afternoon on the field. Please bring your friends and families and lots of money to spend on stalls and games. The afternoon begins at 3.00pm and as a special treat this year, a hog is being roasted to feed us all. Vegetarian options will be available!
We have several ‘shows’ for our invited parents and carers next week.
On Monday afternoon at 2.30pm parents of Year 6 children are invited to our Mini Police demonstration. This has been a hard hitting series of lessons delivered by our PCSOs.
On Tuesday, Drama Club will be showing their Ghostbusters performance to Key Stage 2 children. On Tuesday evening, Oak class will be performing Aladdin to parents and carers in the Village Hall. Children will need to arrive at 6.35pm and families will be invited in at 6.45pm for a 7pm start. The performance is expected to last just over an hour. There will be a collection for Save the Children, which will hopefully take our annual collection to over £1,000.
On Wednesday, we have our Piano Assembly. Invited guests will be asked to arrive at 2.15pm for a prompt 2.30pm start.
On Thursday, we will be singing our way towards the end of term. All children will enjoy a Gospel Workshop and this will culminate in a whole school sing-a-long at 3.00pm on the top playground. Do come and listen!
Finally, our end of term Leavers’ Service concludes the week’s performances and the end of the school year. Please join us for worship in the church at 8.50am.
5th July 2019
This week we have some really exciting news to share with you;
Mrs Stratton is expecting a baby girl! She is due to arrive mid November.
Thank you to all the families who brought in bottles and candy bags for the PTA. The Northaw Festival is only just over a week away; we are hoping for lots of sunshine and lots of fun. If you are able to offer any help, please call into the office or speak to your class representatives.
Open evening is next Wednesday, 10th July. Please arrive at the front entrance and sign in on your children’s class form. Governors and children will start the evening at 6.00pm with a short presentation and each class will present their art work based on the 6Rs. You will then be free to look at your children’s work. Trudy and I will be selling books, bits and bobs to raise money for Save the Children; we are hoping this will help us reach our £1000 target. Because of the family festival on Saturday there won’t be any refreshments at Open Evening this time.
From September we will be running Breakfast Club with new and exciting activities every day. We ask you to book in advance and to secure your children’s places by paying on the Gateway. Information about Breakfast Club prices will be emailed to you shortly.
We will also be engaging our children in lunchtime sports provision and working towards the School Sports Bronze Award. You will not be charged for the lunchtime provision. This will be available to all.
28th June 2019
What a fantastic Sports Day! It was a fitting finale to our fantastic Active Week. The children enjoyed lots of new and exciting sports and games funded through our Sports Premium Funding.
Thank you to the PTA representatives who supplied and served us with the Fruity Friday refreshments. We are now looking forward to the Family Festival on 13th July. Let’s hope that the weather is just as beautiful.
This Wednesday is a non-uniform day; please be reminded that parents and carers are asked to fill up the candy bags with toys and sweets and also bring in a bottle for the tombola.
On Wednesday afternoon at 3.00pm, I will be offering parents and carers the chance of seeing the video of my jump! It is only a few minutes long and if you haven’t already donated and would like to, please send via my ‘Justgiving’ page or bring a donation in on Wednesday. The page will remain open during the summer, just in case you have friends and family who would like to contribute to this very worthy cause.
21st June 2019
Over the past couple of months we have been communicating our difficulties with maintaining a healthy budget for the forthcoming years. With this in mind I am pleased to inform you that one of our governors, Mr Dan Ruge-Cope and his wife Chris, have donated £10,000. This overwhelming act of generosity should not go unnoticed. Please take time to express your gratitude with a simple message of thanks as Dan greets you and your children in church on Monday. The school will use the money to update the school server and associated IT equipment, which will benefit all of your children now and in years to come. During Clean Air Day yesterday Mr Napoleon delivered an assembly based on the effects of pollution on our world and how we can help to save the planet by continuing to walk to school.
We harvested our potatoes on Thursday and winners were announced in worship today.
Next week is ACTIVE WEEK. This year we will introduce the children to yet more skills and activities such as snowboarding, archery and circus skills. The week will end with Sports day on Friday. The black gate will be opened from 1.05pm and the activities and races will start from 1.30pm. I do hope that you can come along to cheer your children and I do hope that the weather is kind to us. Following Active Week, I take my leap for Cancer Research UK; please pray for good weather. If you haven’t yet donated and would like to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Shirley-Whales.
14th June 2019
What a wonderful Father’s Day celebration! Thank you to all the dads and grandads who signed up for and enjoyed a delicious dinner. We hope that you all enjoy another special day on Sunday.
Our Year 6 children enjoyed their Crucial Crew training this week. A governor who went on the visit reported, ‘Crucial Crew is targeted at Year 6 children, helping them keep safe, learning about personal and general safety in an engaging, interactive and thought-provoking way.’ Our children behaved well and learned loads!
26th April 2019
Welcome back! We hope that you enjoyed a sunny Easter break. It has been lovely to hear about the exciting things that the children have enjoyed doing during their holidays.
Well done to Lucie for winning the competition set by Great Thameslink Railways. She was rewarded with an armful of chocolate eggs! The winning entry can be seen displayed at Hertford Station.
In another competition run by Great Northern Railway, which we entered during World Book Day, the school won £150. We plan to spend this money on books for our library.
Our children in Apples and Pears enjoyed a fabulous school visit to Paradise Wildlife Park to start their topic on dinosaurs-always a favourite! Miss Barker commented on how well the children had behaved and how proud she was of all their knowledge and attention. Well done Apples and Pears.
Whilst we have been enjoying some lovely summer weather, please continue to send your children into school with a coat. The top playground is very exposed and the cold air whips up from the valley below!
Finally, this week, a plea! If you are sending children to school with a home packed lunch, please ensure that it is packed full of healthy goodies, not chocolate or sweets and of course no nut or sesame products. If your child needs a snack at playtime, we always have fruit and vegetables for the younger children and ‘tasty tuck’ available in school. If you would like to provide your own snacks, would you please ensure that they are healthy such as fruit or vegetables not crisps or chocolate. Thank you.
5th April 2019
Well done to our beautiful Northaw choir who made us so very proud on Wednesday evening. Thank you to Trudy, Mrs Stratton-Stubbs and our lovely governors for helping out at rehearsals. Thank to Mrs Cullingford who helped out on the evening and thank you to Mrs Page who taught the music.
This week we said a fond farewell to Miss Gibson, Miss Calder and Mrs Brennan. We expressed our gratitude with cards, flowers and gifts and we wish them much happiness in their new roles.
Thank you to Ginnie who served up a fantastic Easter lunch. It was yummy!
Thank you to the PTA, who supplied us with enough Creme eggs and Jelly Chicks so that every child could join in our Easter Egg Hunt.
Please enjoy a restful and hopefully sunny Easter break. We look forward to seeing you all again in school on Tuesday 23rd April.
29th March 2019
This has been a week of good news and bad news!
Firstly, I have the bad news. I am sorry to have to inform you that three members of staff will be leaving at the end of this term: Mrs Brennan, Miss Gibson and Mrs Caulder. This is incredibly disappointing for us as all three members of staff have been valuable members of our team. The reason for this ‘trimming’ of our team is purely financial; the school can no longer afford the number of staff that we would like. Whilst these ladies are as disappointed as we are, they have understood our constraints and have been very supportive of our decisions.
And our good news: I am delighted to tell you that we submitted a nomination for Ginnie to be considered for Cook Manager of the Year (Primary School)-Region B and as a result Ginnie has been shortlisted! Ginnie and I will attend a Gala Awards Evening in May, where the overall winners will be announced. Thank you to everyone who supported our nomination.
Sadly, we have only received four messages of ‘giving back’. Well done to the children who have supported our Lenten challenge.
We look forward to seeing you at our parents’ evenings next week. If you have a later appointment, please would you make every effort to look at your children’s books before you see the class teacher. This will avoid me locking you in at the end of the evening!
22nd March 2019
You may have heard about the fantastic drama session experienced by children in Acorns and Apples and Pears on Thursday! The children seemed to be buzzing all day. If you haven’t heard ask them about it!
On Tuesday, we enjoyed an interesting assembly delivered by Ellie, a representative from Age UK. The theme focussed on what we can ‘give back’ to our elderly friends and neighbours. It was lovely to be able to read out Jaya’s and Indie’s giving back experience! We are waiting for many more responses over the next couple of weeks. Please make every effort to encourage your child to ‘give back’ and let us know their achievement either by email or snail mail!
Well done to our footballers. Whilst they didn’t win, most of the team played well and behaved well. Our netball team is due to play a match next Thursday; you are welcome to come along to support them.
We are looking forward to a good Mother’s Day celebration next Friday, so we hope that you support this special occasion by baking lots of cakes. Please ensure that your fabulous bakes do not contain nuts or sesame.
We are hoping to raise some more money for Save the Children during our parents’ evenings at the end of term. We will have a special Easter quiz for you to buy for £1. Entries can be handed in to us by Monday 29th April. Details will be available on the evenings. We will also be selling some more books on both evenings so remember to bring along some spare change.
15th March 2019
Well done to our Junior Travel Ambassadors who continue to support safe walking to school. We have been given the go ahead to train an adult for ‘lollipop’ duties, which would make crossing the road from the village hall safer. This is a voluntary position; please let us know if you would like to volunteer!
A couple of early requests - On Friday 29th March the PTA will be hosting a Mother’s Day Tea in the hall after school. Donations of cakes will be most welcome – please remember cakes must not contain nuts or sesame seeds.
On Friday 26th April the PTA will be holding a Quiz Night for which they require Raffle Prizes. If you have anything to donate please bring it to the school office.
Finally, thank you to everyone who has contributed to this year’s Comic Relief charity by purchasing red noses.
8th March 2019
It seems that World Book Day at Northaw School was great fun. Unfortunately, I was unable to join in due to training commitments, but I am told the children’s costumes were amazing. All the staff came to school in their pajamas armed with their favourite childrens bedtime story to share with the children. Working in their house groups, the children rotated through various book based creative activities. The money raised on this mufti day will go to "Save the Children", our chosen charity this year. If you forgot to send in the £1 donation, it’s not too late – just drop it into the office where there is a collection box.
We have a representative coming from Save the Children next week to deliver an assembly. She will be talking about global injustice and telling us how our fund raising is helping children everywhere.
We will also be selling Red Noses in school next week so please send your child in with £1.25 if they wish to purchase one during break time.
1st March 2019
Happy St David’s Day!
This week we launched our focus on the Christian value of ‘justice’. We have encouraged the children to reflect on what is important to them; to learn about the courage of people who have stood up against injustice; to think about how even small actions can make a difference. Thank you specifically to our ‘tidy team’-Will and Chloe, who have picked up all the litter around our school-well done!
Next week we look forward to Pancake Day!
‘The arrival of Lent is heralded by pancakes. Shrove Tuesday is traditionally a day of preparation before the season of Lent begins. The 40 days of Lent represent the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness at the start of his ministry, after being baptised by John (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus fasted during his time in the wilderness, and so some Christians identify with his suffering by abstaining from particular foods during this time, including meat, fish, milk and egg products. The recipe for pancakes is great for using up milk and eggs before giving up these things.’
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, a day of penitence or cleansing of the soul. Many Christians will attend Lent services, and be marked with a cross of ashes on their forehead. Traditionally, the ashes come from burning the previous year’s palm crosses. The ash cross is a sign of mortality, based upon the idea from the book of Genesis that humankind came into the world from dust and will return to it. It is a time to express sorrow over sin, and a reminder that Jesus brings freedom from sin.
And World Book Day...
Details of this have been sent to you before half term. We are looking forward to a fun- filled day and a festive lunch. Please send your children dressed in their fancy dress outfits.
This week, we said farewell to Mrs Gillard, who has retired after 19 years as a midday- supervisor here at Northaw. She has many new and exciting adventures planned for her retirement and we wish her lots of happiness for the future.