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
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 would be most grateful as we would like the children to share this information with their friends in school.
Finally, today is ‘blue Monday’; let’s change that and raise a smile!
13th January 2020Happy New Year!
16th December 2019
I understand that you were all treated to an amazing performance last week. Well done to all the children and thank you to you and all the adults who supported them. Please spare a moment to pop into school and write your comments in our ‘feedback’ book.
Thank you for your generous donations for our charity, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance; so far we have raised £91 from the Acorns’ nativity; £41.14 from the Festival of Carols; and £313.80 from last week’s KS1/2 performance. This is very impressive-thank you!
Thank you to the PTA for organising a wonderful Christmas event last Friday. The details of monies raised will be emailed to you as soon as we have the final figures.
This Wednesday, we are looking forward to our Christmas lunch especially as last year’s lunch was interrupted by an Ofsted inspector! Thank you to Ginnie, Chris and Katie who always put on a fantastic meal for everyone.
On Thursday we visit the theatre for a morning performance of Sleeping Beauty. We will be travelling to and from the venue by coach. School drop off and pick up times are the same as usual, but there is no Nursery provision that day.
On Friday we have our end of term assembly in church at 8.45am – all children should be dropped at church in the morning (incl. Nursery). Parents are invited to stay for this special service. School ends at 1.15pm after lunch.
Finally, I would like to wish you all a happy Christmas and a healthy and joyous New Year. We look forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday 7th January 2020.
9th December 2019
Thank you to all the families who turned up to enjoy the fabulous Early Years' Nativity last week. It was wonderful to see so many of you. I am always amazed by these little children who perform so well in front of unfamiliar faces! Thank you also for your generous donations to Essex and Herts Air Ambulance; this is such a worthy local cause. If you didn’t manage to find a donation on the day, Trudy has a collection pot in the office.
I am really sorry, I am unable to be with you and the children this week. I will miss their lively performance of the Nativity. I am extremely disappointed but my absence is unavoidable. I have had to travel to Devon on urgent family business. Last week, my ninety-nine year old father was taken into hospital after a couple of nasty falls. Thankfully, although he is still very fragile, he is now back in his flat and as a result, I am having to organise several visits by orthopaedic nurses, doctors and the social care team. As some of you may appreciate, this care, frustratingly, all takes time. Hopefully, I should be back before the end of term to share the rest of this festive season with you.
I know that the children and the school are in very good hands.
2nd December 2019
Last Tuesday, mums and dads from Acorns class joined us for lunch. It was a very pleasant affair! Tomorrow is the turn of mums and dads from Apples and Pears class; we hope that you enjoy your lunch too!
It seems that Christmas is fast approaching. This week we are looking forward to the Early Years’ Nativity and all the marvellous singing and acting from our youngest children.
Today, we begin talking about Advent and unpack the Advent wreath and candles. School governor, Dan Ruge-Cope, shared his wisdom about the candles with me a few years ago:
Patriarchs: The definition of a patriarch is the father and male ruler, or a man regarded as the founder. A founder is someone who starts something. An example of apatriarchis Abraham, Issac, Jacob or one of Jacob's twelve sons in the Bible.
Prophets: A prophet was someone who revealed God’s messages to others. Some, like Moses, heard directly from God and passed on the words through writing or speech. Some, like Joseph and Daniel, interpreted the dreams and/or visions of others. The messages could be prophecies of the future, messages for the listener, or warnings for others.
John the Baptist: John was born to Zechariah and Elizabeth. Blessed Virgin Mary.
Look out for these candles when you are next in church or in school.
25th November 2019
We enjoyed a very exciting ‘Tuesday’ last week, when in the frost, Archdeacon Janet officially opened our spiritual garden. Whilst the main structure has been completed, we will be asking the children to make prayer spaces and reflection areas.
Dan from Essex and Herts Air Ambulance also visited; he talked to the children about the work of this very expensive but important service. As our chosen charity for the year, we will be asking for your generous donations over the coming 8 months.
Before half term, we reminded the children about the appropriate footwear for school uniform. Please would you remind the children that if they need to wear earrings, small studs are advisable and please would the children wear small hair bows in the school colours and save the beautiful pink and yellow ones for weekend parties!
Finally, a little reminder. When you drop your children off to church on a Monday morning, please wait for a member of school staff to arrive before leaving. This is purely for safety and safeguarding reasons. We will endeavour to meet you at church by 8.35 a.m. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
18th November 2019
We have some really exciting news! Mrs Stratton-Stubbs has had a little baby girl called Beatrice. Baby Beatrice was born at 4.32pm on 14th November, weighing 7lb 9oz. Mummy and baby are doing well.
We would like to remind you that Archdeacon Janet will be opening our spiritual garden tomorrow following a short act of worship at 9.00 a.m. You are welcome to join us! Following the ceremony, our children will be having their individual and sibling photographs taken.
With the busyness of Christmas upon us please keep an eye on the ‘Important Dates’ list overleaf for any additions or updates to the school calendar.
Parents and carers of Acorns class, please make sure that you book your Tasty Tuesday lunch by tomorrow.
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.