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
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Head Teacher's Blog
18th January 2021
Earlier this week we asked all of our families to review their need for in-school learning. It is a difficult time for all of us and we appreciate just how tricky home educating can be, particularly when trying to work from home. We also appreciate that for some of our critical worker families, it is simply not an option to home educate.
To those of you who have been able to make adjustments to your working week in order to facilitate part-time schooling, we would like to say thank you. By agreeing to keep your child(ren) out of the classroom for even one day a week, you are enabling us to support more of our families whilst minimising the risks to everyone in our school community.
It is going to be tricky for a number of weeks yet and we would appeal to you all to continue to be as flexible as you can be during these difficult times.
I was very fortunate to be able to do playground duty on Monday last week. I noticed how your children enjoyed the chasing and teams games that Billy put into place. Some of the little ones are really fast runners! We hope that for those of you at home, you still manage a little physical activity between the learning and the showers!
A physically active child is a healthy child.
Physical activity strengthens a child’s muscles and bones, prevents excessive weight gain, and reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer, and other conditions. However, physical activity is also beneficial to the mental health of a child.
Experts say physical activity allows children to have a better outlook on life by building confidence, managing anxiety and depression, and increasing self-esteem and cognitive skills.
Mrs Taylor sent out a couple of emails this week about Internet Safety. Please take a moment to read through these as they contain some important messages, especially as children are using devices more. Please make yourself aware of the suitability of online games, that they are age-appropriate and are regularly monitored by the adults in your family.
11th January 2021
A happy new year to you all!
During the last week we have had to deal with the last-minute changes of guidance, the u-turns, the lack of empathy and veiled threats from the DfE and the uncertainty of a virus that threatens to affect us all. It is now, more than ever, that we ask for your support to trust what we are doing.
We are aware that online learning is not ideal and certainly as teachers, this is not what we signed up for when we joined this profession. Teachers are working flat out to try to keep up with home learning as well as being in class, often having to respond to over 100 pieces of learning each day.
Unfortunately, in our school we are unable to do ‘Zoom’ lessons. This is because we have two year groups in one class and many differentiated lessons within those groups. What I am saying is that at school your children access a ‘bespoke’ type of lesson that focuses on their own ability. This cannot be achieved through ‘Zoom’. A report from the Education Endowment Foundation concludes: ‘the quality of remote teaching is more important than how lessons are delivered’. If you would like to have a look at this report it can be found here.
We understand too that yet again you are trying to motivate, organise and maintain a good mindset at home whilst trying to encourage your child to learn. This is not easy but we appreciate every step that you take to help us.
17th December 2020
Oh my goodness, we’ve made it!!!! What a fabulous week, celebrating Christmas with the opening of Dan’s Den and a visit from the Bishop of Hertford on Tuesday and a fabulous Christmas lunch yesterday!
On behalf of all the staff, thank you for your generous gifts and cards. Whilst we are aware that this has been a challenging term, we are grateful for the positive partnerships that we have with you.
Yesterday we sent you a very important ‘Covid-19 reporting’ letter, please take the time to read the instructions carefully. As Hertsmere is now in Tier 3, we will also be sending you an update from the Local Authority.
Our Christmas performances have been a little different this year. Parents of Acorns children have already been sent the link to their performance…didn’t everyone travel a long way! Parents of children in Apples and Pears, Willow and Oak classes will be sent the link to our ‘NaTVty’ today. Thank you to everyone who provided the glorious costumes for the children to wear; thank you to all the staff who directed and organised the groups of children through the scenes; thank you to Miss Barker who wrote the screenplay and finally thank you to Mrs Taylor who used her IT wizardry to put everything together. We really hope that you enjoy it!
A very big thank you to Reverend Chris and the local Parish Church who have provided the children with a special ‘Christingle’ gift and an invitation to a Christingle service. Also, thank you to our PTA who have provided the children with a delicious selection box. This is in place of their Santa’s grotto gift because Santa is self-isolating!
Please remember to collect the plastic bottles (2litre washed and with the label removed) for Mrs Cullingford and plastic bottle tops for Miss Barker; we have some wonderful eco-council work starting in 2021.
Finally, well done to all of this term’s certificate winners.
Warmest wishes for a happy Christmas and a healthy New Year!
14th December 2020
Well done everyone, we have almost made it to the end of term!
Thank you to our hard-working PTA members who packed and stacked boxes safely ready for distribution last week. I do hope that you enjoyed all their festive fun activities. On behalf of all our staff, I should like to say a huge thank you for all the lovely gifts that the PTA left for staff with Trudy last week. Your generosity and kindness are much appreciated.
Tomorrow we will be welcoming some very special visitors to our school; the Bishop of Hertford and Dan and Chris Ruge-Cope. We will all be celebrating the opening of Dan’s Den, a new gazebo that has been erected owing to the generous and thoughtful donation made by Dan and Chris. The children will get so much use out of Dan’s Den- to shelter from the rain in winter and to hide from the heat in the summer. We also have a new path that connects the gazebo to the spiritual garden. This not only makes the spiritual garden more accessible but also provides a different route to the playground for Oak and Apples and Pears classes.
We are very grateful to Ginnie and her girls, who will provide the children with their special Christmas lunch albeit in class bubbles.
School finishes just after lunch on Thursday! Please see left for the staggered times you should collect your children. School starts again on Tuesday 5th January.
Please look out for a very important email at the end of the week. It will give you details of what to do if you or a member of your child’s class tests positive for COVID-19 during the Christmas break.
Finally, please enjoy a restful and joyous Christmas and New Year break. We all wish for a healthy and happy 2021!
7th December 2020
Last week Oak class enjoyed a visit from Sir Charles Walker, MP for Broxbourne. He answered the children’s questions based upon Covid-19 and the lockdowns, climate change and even the odd personal question about why he wanted to be a MP! He was really impressed with the children’s thoughtful letters and asked to keep them for reference.
The children looked absolutely fabulous today in their beautiful Christmas jumpers. Thank you to everyone who sent in donations for the hampers.
Thank you also to everyone who sent in a donation for the Christmas shop; every little helps! All the proceeds from the PTA Christmas events apart from the quiz will go towards the school. PTA funds provide your children with the little extras that make school fun. The proceeds from the sale of the quiz go to the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Service.
Well done to Nyah, who won the Hertford and Ware Schools Sports Partnership Key Stage 1 award for the most number of skips! Thank you to Billy, who helped the children to practise at lunch times!
We are looking forward to a Christmas workshop tomorrow run by staff from St Alban’s Cathedral. Look out for feedback on this in next week’s newsletter.
It seems that there have been many coronavirus outbreaks in Hertsmere so please play your part in keeping our children and families safe.
30th November 2020
Isn’t it exciting? You have a new Head Teacher from September 2021! Mrs Foster and I will work closely together (2m apart!) over the remaining two and a half terms to ensure a smooth transition. Northaw Church of England Primary School looks forward to a bright new future, refreshing ideas and firm friendships. When the time comes, I hope that you will embrace the changes without losing the fond memories of the past 6 years!
Last week the children had their individual and sibling photographs taken. We enjoyed 3 hours of fun trying to get the photos perfect…let’s hope that you get the results that you wanted! If you are not able to order online you must return your sealed envelopes with the correct payment to the school office by Wednesday this week.
Please note that the Governors are sending out a letter this week to our local residents regarding parking across driveways and parking opposite the zig-zag lines. We have tried to ask you to park further up the road or use the car parks provided at the local restaurants but so many people are ignoring our requests. We have instructed residents to call Welwyn and Hatfield Council if they feel aggrieved by the inconsiderate parking across driveways as this is a form of anti-social behaviour. We are sorry that it has come to this because it is only a few people who spoil it for the rest.
On a lighter note, we will be offering you the chance for your family to win a 2.432g box of Celebrations! This is a huge box! All you have to do is enter our cryptic quiz. All proceeds will go to the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.
Entries will be judged on Monday 11th January so you have the whole of December and the beginning of January get those festive brains working with your families. Quiz sheets will be available from tomorrow at a cost of only £2.00 per copy. Please send your money in a named envelope into class and your child will receive one of our very cryptic quiz sheets. Don’t forget to write your names on your entries - happy quizzing!
23rd November 2020
We are very grateful for an amazing donation of £7,000.00 from Dan Ruge-Cope, which will pay for the refurbishment of the gazebo. The work will take place early in December 2020. At the same time a footpath will be made to join the spiritual garden with the gazebo. This will make the spiritual garden more accessible and also give Oak class and Apples and Pears a mud-free route to the playground without going through the school. We intend to have a grand, socially distanced, opening with the children before Christmas. Dan, who is a longstanding member of the Governing Body said that he “was very proud to be part of our school.” THANK YOU DAN! Last Friday the children enjoyed a very active day. The children tried out some new sports like curling, boccia and archery. Everyone had a fun time learning new skills and getting fit! Last Friday you will have received a request for costumes for our Christmas production. We will be trying to put a show together albeit remotely and demonstrating that all is not lost for Christmas this year! Sadly, I need to remind parents and carers not to park or turn opposite the school or in the school entrances! This is very dangerous and risks the lives of children getting to school. Please park in Judges car park (mornings only) or The Two Brewers car park, get fit and walk. Finally, on a more pleasant note, keep a look out for PTA notices; there is more excitement to be had in the run up to Christmas!
16th November 2020
This week is Just Talk Week: this special week is all about positive mental health - an upbeat campaign, designed in collaboration with young people and with over 30 partner agencies from across Hertfordshire. The focus is on sharing ideas and information on self-help and coping strategies, as well as making sure every young person knows where they can access more information or support should they need it. In light of Covid-19 this is more important than ever. We will be delivering some special ‘Just Talk’ lessons in school.
To celebrate all of the wonderful work around the children's wellbeing that is happening in school, we are introducing 'Wellbeing Ambassadors.' There will be one ambassador per class (these will change half termly) and they will be on the lookout for examples of when their peers demonstrate one of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. The five Ways to Wellbeing are: Connect, Give, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Be Active. They will award a member of their class with a colour coded sticker each week during their class Celebration Assembly with the aim of reminding the class about the different ways to promote their own wellbeing and to celebrate what is already being done.
On Friday this week we are having members of the Hertford and Ware Schools Sports Partnership visiting to deliver some exciting new sporting activities for the children to try. Across the school they will be trying Curling, Boccia and Archery. All children will need to come to school in their PE kit on this day.
Finally everyone…I really love dogs but I really love your children more! There seem to be more and more dogs being brought onto the school premises, some big, some small and a few with some quite fearsome growls and barks! For the benefit of everyone, please do not bring your dogs to school, dogs are not allowed on the school premises.
9th November 2020
Thank you to everyone who has marked Remembrance Day by buying the poppies and other merchandise. With everything that has been going on, it is important that we do not forget those who fought for us.
I hope that Willow class parents and carers enjoyed sharing their children’s gratefulness jars; these were filled by the children during their ‘spare’ moments in class last half term. Perhaps it would be good to continue these at home as a way of respecting what we do have rather than what we don’t have.
Well done Willow Class on your good behaviour at Celtic Harmony last week. We were grateful that this venue was still open, albeit in a COVID managed way. I hope that the children enjoyed their learning.
Unfortunately, we will not be running after school clubs this half term but school staff are looking into some exciting and active experiences, which the children can do at school in their bubbles. This week, Billy, who coordinates our lunchtime activities, will be running a Pudsey skipping competition. Miss Barker will submit the scores to Hertford and Ware School Sports Partnership to be compared with other schools. The winners will be awarded with wristbands and certificates.
2nd November 2020
We hope that you enjoyed a restful half term break. Whilst we will not be performing as normal this half term, we will endeavour to enable the children to enjoy their learning and their friendships. All around us the news is sad so we should do our best to raise the spirits and look forward to good times ahead.
As sent in a message previously, we are pleased to be able to support the British Legion Poppy Appeal. This is an important time in the school’s calendar and we will do our best to mark it with reverence and respect.
Our trusted friends in the PTA will be looking to raise some much needed funds for the school. Please look out for their letters.
We have two new members of staff starting today: Mrs Jo Rush who is our new SENCo. If you have a child with Special Educational Needs and/or Difficulties, Jo will be touching base with you over the next few weeks. Mrs Thais Fernandez joins us as a Midday Supervisor. Thais used to be a cleaner at our school and she understands the need for strict health and hygiene procedures.
Finally, with mixed feelings, I am writing to inform you that Rachel Page will be leaving our school at the end of this week. I am sad because Rachel is a talented and dedicated member of our staff and we will miss her but I am happy for Rachel as she starts a new chapter of her life down in Seaford.
Whilst, school continues to be open as normal during lockdown, and we continue to enjoy catching up on news and views please stay 2m apart whilst waiting to drop off and pick up the children.
22nd October 2020
Looking after ourselves and others is always important; but perhaps now more than ever. We would like to share some websites and resources that may be helpful for you and your families in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of you and your children. Click here for links to the resources.
19th October 2020
Almost at half term! Well done everyone! We’ve introduced strange new systems and processes which everyone has embraced and usually with a smile.
This week we are again experiencing a new way of working with our parent/teacher consultation evenings. I reiterate the importance of your punctuality for these meetings so that everyone has a fair share of the teachers’ time.
Whilst putting in protective measures for the pandemic, we have realised that the classrooms are now much colder. With winter fast approaching this situation is not going to improve. It is therefore important that you send your children into school with layers of clothing (please remember that plain hoodies are also acceptable at this time). In line with our uniform policy regarding school shoes, we are allowing children to come to school in ankle boots. These should be black with no heels, furry trims or fancy laces.
Whilst we are still unable to supply Tasty Tuck, your child may bring a small snack into school from home. This can be eaten during morning break. This should either be a piece of fruit or a low sugar cereal bar, not crisps or chocolate!
Ginnie continues to provide healthy and nutritional hot lunches, which are hearty and absolutely delicious. Please let Trudy know this week if you wish your child to change from home packed lunches to school dinners.
Another reminder…please DO NOT park opposite the yellow lines outside school. Our staggered entry and exit times means there should be plenty of parking spaces away from the school entrances if everyone arrives at the correct time and departs promptly. When waiting at the gates with your children; keep them close to you and do not allow them to run around in the car park. Some staff and visitors who use the car parks need to access the spaces safely.
Finally, enjoy a safe and restful half term holiday. We are looking forward to new ways of celebrating Christmas this year.
12th October 2020
I apologise that we were unable to get the Parents’ Evening lists out to you last week. I am hoping that they will be emailed to you over the next couple of days.
I am really pleased with the attendance levels and your punctual arrival at school; this has enabled classes to start their ‘early work’ on time. Thank you!
Please be reminded of our virtual PTA AGM, which is due to happen at 9.15am tomorrow morning via Microsoft Teams. Please check the PTA Whatsapp Noticeboard for login details or email Mrs Kilgour: email@example.com if you would like to be added to the group.
Thank you to the people who have volunteered to hold positions of responsibility; I look forward to working with you over the next year, albeit in a remote way! If you can join us at the meeting and give us your voice and/or suggest some fundraising ideas we will welcome your attendance.
School staff are working hard to help the children catch up with their learning. They are busy preparing remote learning should the children in school or