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
Governors - please visit our Governors page.
Head Teacher's Blog
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 class need to self-isolate. These lessons will be sent via Seesaw if the need arises. In the meantime, please listen to your child read every day as reading is such an important skill across the curriculum.
5th October 2020
Well…you will have received a letter from Catherine Williams, our Chair of Governors, about my retirement next July. I wanted to reassure you that it has nothing to do with COVID-19 although I did not envisage that my last year in teaching would end in this way. However, I will do my best to try to make this year as positive as possible.
Thank you to everyone who has kindly donated food for the local food bank and money for the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal. Some generous people came in with carrier bags full of goodies- thank you! We have managed to £46.40 which we will send off to the Diocese of St Albans at the end of this week, so if you have forgotten, there is still time to donate. Thank you also to Mrs Flowerdew who made a beautiful Harvest wheatsheaf out of bread. What a talented lady!
After half term, we will be having a “one day only” clothes collection in aid of Age UK. Sort out your winter wardrobe, gather up your unwanted clothes, put them in black sacks, tie the tops of the sacks so the rain doesn’t get in and put them beside my red car in the car park on Wednesday 4th November. Please do not deliver any clothes before this date as we are unable to store the sacks indoors. If you can put a donation in an envelope and put it in the post box as well, that would also help out our local Age UK groups.
This year our October parents’ evenings will be delivered remotely via ZOOM. Dates and times will be allocated by the teachers and these will be sent out to you later this week. We are sorry, we will be unable to move your allocated times as teachers do not have the spare time to re-organise appointments. Parents who live in separate households can log on at the same time. Please leave promptly the end of your allocated time slot so that teachers can finish on time. If you do not have access to the internet or the necessary hardware, please let us know.
Now that the weather is getting cooler, please send your children to school in layers of clothes and with a warm coat.
Finally, I have to end this newsletter on a very sad and disappointing note. We have again received complaints from our neighbours about the inconsiderate parking and reversing into driveways opposite our school. Both of these actions are unsafe and unacceptable. Please park away from the school and walk, rather than cause chaos and danger outside our school. Also please ensure children do not run around in the car parks at drop off or pick up times.
28th September 2020
Thank you to the children in Year 5 and 6 who applied for roles of responsibility. I’m sure that they will take their roles seriously and carry the tasks in line with our school vision and 6Rs.
I have also reintroduced the uniform certificate, which is awarded to the smartest child in school! Well done, Liana for being our first winner this year!
Thank you to the children who have started to bring in their cans and pound coins for the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal. Please could the children put their cans in the box provided in their classrooms and put the pound coin in an envelope, which you can put in our post box! If you would like to find out more information, please visit the Diocese of St Albans web page: https://www.stalbans.anglican.org/faith/bishop-s-annual-harvest-appeal/
Thank you to the parents who donated the ‘staying safe’ packs. The packs contain some very useful resources. Thank you also to Mr Watt, who brought in hundreds of batteries! Our box will be collected shortly so please continue to keep recycling.
Just to remind you that if you need to speak with a teacher, please would you email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01707 652869 and ask Trudy to ask the teacher to contact you. This will avoid any difficulty disseminating confidential information on the playground.
21st September 2020
Last week we enjoyed some beautiful sunny days and even saw some of Northaw’s wildlife on the field!
Now that we have some idea of the routines, lunchtimes are working more effectively. However, it would be really helpful if you would teach your children how to use a knife and fork as I have noticed some children, including some children in Willow class, struggling with their cutlery. If children are able to cope with these simple tasks, it helps our staff enormously.
We hope that you all found the Meet the Teacher events helpful. PowerPoints of these and Looking at Learning should be available on the website by the end of this week.
Next week we will be celebrating Harvest. This year the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal is: Creating a buzz in Nepal. We will also be supporting the local foodbank based in Broxbourne. We would like your children to support the Harvest Appeal by bringing in a can of tinned food and £1. The children will put these in a box in the classroom. Please make sure that the cans are in date and are not damaged. Thank you for your participation.
14th September 2020
Thank you to you all for being so reasonable and accommodating in these unusual circumstances. I am so proud of you and your commitment to making our community a safe place to be. However, there have been a few latecomers, which makes life and organisation difficult for us. It also makes the children more anxious when they have to wait until all the other groups have entered. Please continue to help us to be safe and leave home a little earlier whilst the roadworks make the journey to school more difficult.
This year we will continue to support the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, our local lifesaving charity. Look out for special events that will help us to raise money for this very valuable service.
I am also attaching a poster about the contact details for the Educational Psychologist service. Whilst it is your decision as to whether you contact this service, I would hope that if you had any concerns about your child’s personal development, learning or wellbeing, you would speak with us first.
7th September 2020
Well, it’s been an interesting start to term! The children are now settling in to their new routines and we are all having to adjust to different ways of working.
It would be really helpful if children in Willow and Oak classes could bring in their own boxes of tissues and small bottles of hand sanitiser as we seem to be running out very quickly.
The staggered entry arrangements will only work if parents and carers could get here for the allocated time. Due to social distancing measures, this cannot be a flexible procedure. The gates will be open for only 5 minutes. If you are late, you will need to wait until all the other children are through the gate. I noticed last week that there were several members of one family at drop off and pick up times. Whilst in normal times I would think that is lovely, we now have to work as a school community to minimise any risks. Please would you therefore limit the drop off and pick up responsibility to one parent or carer in order to keep everyone safe. (Secondary school siblings should remain in the car please.)
Breakfast Club has started well. Mrs Glover ensures the children enjoy a healthy breakfast and then the children are encouraged to go outside and join in the games with Billy, our sports coach. If you wish your child to attend Breakfast Club and you haven’t already signed up, please complete the Breakfast Club form and allow 24 hours for us to organise the appropriate ‘bubbles’. When your children come in to Breakfast Club through the blue gate, please remind them to sanitise their hands.
Thank you to all the children in Year 5 and 6 who have already applied for a position of responsibility. The closing date for applications is Monday 21st September.
We also asked you to have a go at designing our Newsletter header; we have only received a few so far so get your creative juices going and send us an entry by next Monday, 14th September.
Finally, we understand that there may be a lot of disruption this week due to the roadworks on Judges Hill and Northaw Road West. Please allow more time than usual for your journey to school.
24th August 2020
I hope that you and your family enjoyed a restful summer break. Last week we sent to you an update regarding the start to school next week. I can now confirm that PE will be on the following days:
Tuesday PE - Apples and Pears
Thursday PE – Oak & Acorns
Friday PE- Willow / Forest School - Apples and Pears