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
17th July 2021
As this is my last newsletter to you I would firstly like to say thank you to you and your children for making the 6 years of leadership at our school so enjoyable. I have been overwhelmed by the number of kind messages and I will miss everyone enormously.
Last week, ‘Active’ week’ began with workshops delivered by Ian Brealey, who doodled his way through lessons in art and maths. Ian’s feedback was extremely positive: ‘Great day@ Northaw Cof E Primary on Monday. The pupils impressed me with their completed pictures which were superb, their concentration & focus levels & their exemplary manners/behaviour. Fantastic resilience in every classroom+Positive/Enthusiastic staff. Awesome. Well Done Every1👌’
We hope that you enjoyed the pictures of Sports Day; a special thank you to Miss Barker for organising the event, a special thank you to Mrs Taylor for putting the pictures together (Please do not post on social media!) and a special thank you to the PTA representatives who completed the afternoon with lollies and fruit! Well done Narnia for winning- but it was very close!
School finishes tomorrow at 1.15pm for all children except Year 6. Tomorrow’s end of term service for Year 6 children and their families will take place at 1.45pm in St Thomas’ Church. School staff will walk the children up to church and meet with families there. Please adhere to Reverend Kilgour’s arrangements in church.
Finally, a massive thank you to you all for all your lovely gifts, cards and kind words.
12th July 2021
Following the rise in COVID-19 cases we are taking a precautionary approach regarding the start to school next term, and after discussion with our school governors, we have decided to continue our staggered entry and exit times in September. From a health and safety perspective this approach has worked really well in our school. In the autumn term, the new Head Teacher will assess the situation week by week so that you can be updated in a timely manner.
Your children’s reports will be sent out this Friday.
The school continues to monitor children’s attendance closely and records both authorised and unauthorised attendance. However, given the exceptional circumstances over the last academic year, we have been instructed that we do not have to provide quantitative attendance data in our children’s reports. Please contact email@example.com if you require any information regarding your child’s attendance.
We are looking forward to a fun-filled week of activities this week. We do hope that they come home and tell you about the skills that they have learnt. On Wednesday, as part of our Sports Day, Ginnie will be providing a picnic lunch for children who would normally have school dinners. We are sorry that no parents can attend on this occasion but we hope to provide you with lots of photos which can be accessed from your children’s Seesaw accounts. (Tapestry Accounts for Acorns Class)
5th July 2021
Letters have been given to children in Years 4 and 5 asking them to apply for positions of responsibility for next year. Please encourage them to apply by providing us with a written reply by Monday 12th July.
On Friday, this week, we have our own transition day, a day when the children all move up a year group. For children in Years R, 2 and 4 this means changing classes. They should come into school ready to enter their new classrooms using the ‘bubble’ arrangements as follows:
Apples and Pears Blue gate 8.50am
Willow Black gate 8.40am
Oak Blue gate 8.30am
They can be collected at the end of the day using the following arrangements:
Apples and Pears Blue gate 2.50pm
Willow Black gate 3.00pm
Oak Blue gate 3.10pm
Children in Year 6 will be taught by Mr Napoleon in the library so should enter via the black gate at 8.30am and exit via the black gate at 3.10pm.
During next week, ‘Active Week’, we have organised a full week of physical activities for the children to enjoy. We would therefore like your children to come to school in their PE kits every day. On Wednesday, we will be enjoying our own Sports Day. Some events will be run in class ‘bubbles’ and will run races in the afternoon to add a little competition!
Finally, I hope that you are all buying your raffle tickets for the end of term draw. All proceeds will inevitably help to provide resources for your children in school. There are lots of prizes to be won! Many thanks to our wonderful PTA for organising this; we are very grateful for their help.
P.S DONT FORGET MUFTI DAY THIS THURSDAY
28th June 2021
Many thanks go to our amazing parents who gave up some time last week to clear the vegetable patch with Ginnie. There were so many weeds including thistles that we needed to ask our grounds maintenance contractors to clear the massive pile that had accumulated by the end of the session. Thankfully, it was a sunny afternoon. Also, thank you to Ginnie who has put in summer bedding to make the pots at the front of the school look summery!
Thank you also to Gemma Birchell who organised the PTA quiz evening. We are grateful to all of you who helped to prepare for the event and all of you who attended.
21st June 2021
Thank you for your continued support regarding our parking requests. Most parents are managing to park away from the yellow lines and in doing so are keeping our children safe. Please allow yourselves enough time in the mornings and afternoons to find a sensible place to park so that it does not compromise the safety of our families.
We have noticed that an increasing number of you are not wearing face masks on school premises. We respectfully request that with the increase in the Delta variant, you continue to acknowledge our health and safety requirements by wearing a mask.
On Thursday 8th July we will be having a MUFTI day. Children may come to school dressed in clothes fit for a ‘Grand Day Out’. Please would you also send your child in with a donation suitable for a hamper for the PTA Summer Raffle. The rainbow colours that were so successful before have been allocated to each class: Acorns: green/white Apples and Pears: blue/purple Willow: yellow/orange Oak: red/pink
On Friday 9th July we will be having our ‘internal’ transition day. We will be inviting our new reception children into Acorns and our Year 6 will be taught in the library by Mr Napoleon. This will give some children the opportunity to meet their new teacher. Classrooms will then be cleaned over the weekend in order to continue learning the following week.
Following updated guidelines from Her Majesty’s Government regarding the maintaining of ‘lockdown’ rules until the end of July, we have updated our school risk assessment and as a result feel that Sports Day cannot go ahead as previously planned. Whilst this is very disappointing, we are proud of the fact that we have complied with guidelines that have enabled us to stay safe over the last eighteen months. There have been no class closures and we do not wish this situation to change. We do not wish to put our families at risk and we are mindful of the ‘vulnerable’ within our community.
School teachers have organised a fun and active week beginning Monday 12th June and I’m sure that we can run some races in our ‘bubbles’ to add a little competitive spirit!
14th June 2021
Thank you to those of you who commented on our RSHE Policy. This policy will now be ratified by governors at the end of this term.
We would like to wish Oak class a safe journey to PGL and hope that they enjoy a brilliant active week. The small group of Oak class who are remaining in school should arrive each day in their PE Kits or plain T-shirts and shorts/joggers/leggings; Mrs Lammas has a fun-filled week planned for you!
Just as a reminder PE for Willow class is on Friday this week.
A few of you still have some outstanding school dinner debts. If you receive a reminder please make payment immediately via the school gateway or, if this is not possible, please contact the school office.
Finally, as the latest Government news delays the lifting of restrictions associated with Covid19, thank you for your continued diligence in wearing a face covering when dropping off or collecting children from school and please remember to keep socially distanced.
7th June 2021
I hope that you enjoyed a sunny break from school routines and that you are now fully refreshed for the final half term of the year.
This week I would like to draw your attention to our updated Relationships, Health and Sex Education Policy, which can be found on our website www.northawschool.org.
It has been adapted using DfE statutory information which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education and guidance from the Church of England.
We would like you to take a look at the policy over the next week and send any comments to us by Monday 14th June. (firstname.lastname@example.org) It will then be passed to governors for ratification in July. Teachers will of course keep you updated with any ‘explicit’ teaching related to the policy over the forthcoming weeks.
Although COVID -19 case rates remain relatively low there are cases of the Delta variant, first identified in India, in Hertfordshire and both Watford and Three Rivers have higher numbers then we would hope to see.
We know that this variant is more easily transmitted to others, so it’s vital that we all remain vigilant at this time and that we are cautious about making any changes to our health and safety measures. Sticking to our current measures such as wearing masks, maintaining class entry and exit times, continuing to wash hands and sanitise regularly helps us to support you and your family and to manage any potential infections quickly and with the least disruption as possible. Please continue to support us.
24th May 2021
At this time of year, teachers are usually evaluating the year’s work and starting to plan for the new academic year. Mrs Cullingford’s new mantra for maths is ‘go slow to go fast’! This method helps the children to revisit and spend time consolidating areas which might have been missed during the last year. This summer we will be further embedding these foundations of learning ready to move on in the autumn term.
We have managed to book some exciting events during our Active Week-12th-16th July. We will still keep to our ‘bubble’ groups so that the children’s wellbeing isn’t compromised but we hope that it will be an uplifting end to the school year.
At the end of this week (Friday) is our Mufti Day (children should wear red and/or yellow) in aid of Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Service. We hope that you recognise the wonderful work accomplished by this charity and give generously.
And then it will be half term! Enjoy a sunny break, the weather forecast shows a big improvement!
17th May 2021
Did you know that ordinarily last week would have been SATs week? In truth, we didn’t miss them! To be honest, it has been really beneficial to concentrate on the subjects and areas of the curriculum that the children need to practise. Whilst we must continue to build on the basics, learning should be fun, stimulating and enriching.
Welcome to the families who have recently joined us at Northaw. It is always an anxious time for new children as they adapt to our routines, absorb our values and learn our behavioural expectations. The pandemic has affected all children and families in different ways and we must do our best as a Northaw family to make new families welcome and to help them to be included.
It seems that the dry weather which we experienced a couple of weeks ago has now changed to regular wet weather, especially at 3 o’clock! Please ensure that your child has a coat with them, just in case it drizzles at lunchtime - they need a breath of fresh air!
If you are a working parent, please ask your employer if they can donate a prize for our Grand Day Out summer raffle; we would like to raise some money in order to restock our reading scheme books.
10th May 2021
This week I wanted to inform you of the various supportive methods that the school is engaging with to care for the wellbeing of our children. The six week project based on children’s emotional wellbeing led by a member of The Hive Support Base for our children in years 1 and 2 is going well. Recently this has involved getting the children in creative art activities whilst exploring their thoughts and feelings.
A colleague from the Specific Learning Difficulties team came into school last week to give some advice for children who may be experiencing writing, spelling and processing difficulties; most of the methods suggested had already been tried and tested! However, a couple of new ideas will be explored over the next few weeks.
Children in Oak class enjoyed a FLIP workshop (see newsletter for more information).
Mrs Rush, our Special Educational Needs Coordinator is constantly getting in touch with different agencies, family support groups, school nurses and SEND specialist advisors. However, if there is anything that you are worried about please talk to your child’s class teacher in the first instance. Apart from you, they know your children best!
Baseline assessments for the spring/summer term have now been completed. We will report on your children’s progress and attainment at the end of the academic year as usual but please be mindful that whilst we are trying our hardest to bridge any gaps in learning, the disruptions over the last year will in many cases make a difference to the end of year assessment results.
Finally, I apologise for my error in last week’s newsletter. The Grand Day Out summer raffle is NOT the first and last fundraiser, but part of the year’s fund raising activities! I understand that some very busy PTA representatives have been working hard raising money through second hand uniform sales and cake sales. Thank you to everyone who has supported the PTA through this very difficult year.
3rd May 2021
We hope that you enjoyed your long weekend!
Following on from our worship last week focusing on ‘Giving with no strings attached,’ I am pleased to announce that we will be having a Mufti day on Friday 28th May in aid of Essex and Herts Air Ambulance. We would like all the children to wear something red and/or yellow and to donate £1.00 or more for the Air Ambulance Service.
On the 16th July, we will be drawing the winning number for our ‘Grand Day Out’ summer raffle. The PTA will be asking you to find donations for the raffle and to sell as many tickets as possible. As this is our first and last fund raiser of the year, we would like to make this really special.
We are currently looking into the future provision of after school clubs for the autumn term 2021. A questionnaire will be sent out to you this week. We would like you to indicate which activities your children would attend if they were available. As usual, there have to be enough children interested in order to make the club viable.
Finally, whilst we are very sad about the departure of Mr Napoleon at the end of the summer term, please be assured that school staff and governors will do their very best to find an ideal replacement.
26th April 2021
Following on from my newsletter last week, which focused on the Five Ways of Wellbeing, I thought I would continue with the wellbeing theme and tell you about the fantastic opportunities that the children get to improve their skills in sports and games.
We are very fortunate to enjoy the good company of Billy, from G C Sports, who joins us at 7.30am every morning to engage the children in games on the playground after breakfast. Billy comes back at lunchtime and takes each class in their ‘bubbles’ on the playground for ball skills, games and fitness activities either before or after lunch.
Thanks to Sports Premium Funding, we have been able to ask Billy to teach our PE lessons in the afternoons. Billy liaises with the teachers about the curriculum. Key Stage 2 children are taught in year groups, which mean no more than 15 children per group. At this time teachers are able to plan, prepare and assess learning whilst the Assistant Teacher teaches the other half of the class. It works well!
We hope to continue with this range of fitness provision next year. Why not try out the Breakfast club? Pay in advance via the School Gateway and drop your child off between 7.30 and 8.00am.
We are looking to raise some much needed funds for the children in our school by holding a ‘Grand Raffle’ at the end of term. If you know of any business that would kindly contribute a prize, we would be most grateful to receive any donations! We will also hold a separate children’s raffle- again donations would be gratefully received!
Finally, thank you to everyone who has supported the school by parking sensibly away from the school gates. The impact on safety has been incredible and I really appreciate your sustained efforts.
19th April 2021
I hope that you enjoyed a lovely weekend. Isn’t it lovely to see the sunshine! Bright skies do wonderful things for our wellbeing. Our wellbeing ambassadors have been busy looking for children showing one or all of the Five Ways of Wellbeing.
We have two members of staff who are our leaders for mental health and well-being. They plan and deliver ‘Wellness weeks’ and ‘Feeling Good Weeks’ during which children evidence strategies of how to develop good strategies for coping with emotions and enjoying good physical health. Our KS2 leader provides children with whole class mental health programmes with leading experts in child mental health. . She has taken part in an action research project called INSPIRE, which is led by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. This has been commissioned by the DfE to deliver and evaluate pioneering ways of supporting children’s mental health and well-being in schools.
Thank you to all of you who have managed to park away from our school gates. Your compliance is appreciated and your sensible actions could save a child’s life!
Please ensure that your children are dropped at their appropriate gate at the allocated time. If you are late, you will be asked to wait until the other classes have entered safely. This is to ensure that ‘bubbles’ are not broken and children’s health and wellbeing is not compromised.
We are looking forward to another sunny week.
12th April 2021
I hope that you enjoyed a restful Easter break. We are happy to return to teaching your children using the same arrangements as the end of the spring term. The same entry and exit times will apply so please make every effort to arrive at school on time.
We would also like to ask you to continue parking away from the school gates, which includes NOT parking opposite the zig-zag lines. The near miss a few weeks ago has frightened us all and we wish to avoid any serious accidents. Judges and The Two Brewers have kindly offered spaces in their car parks. I noticed that the vast majority of you parked sensibly this morning – thank you for your consideration.
PE lessons will also be on the same days and the children may wear their PE kits to school on those days. Children in Acorns and Apples and Pears may also wear their PE kits for Forest School.
We are looking forward to sunny days but as we have experienced recently, the weather can turn very chilly, very quickly so please make sure that your children have warm coats every day!
Thank you to everyone who took part in our fundraising for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance. It would be really great to try some ‘safe’ fundraising for our school. If you have any wonderful ideas please email Trudy or pass your ideas on to your PTA representatives.
Well done to all the children who earned certificates last term; we hope that you like the new postcard format, which focuses on our 6Rs and the accompanying Bible stories.
22nd March 2021
I should like to say thank you to all the families who park at the designated areas away from the school gates. You are responsible people who should be applauded for your care and sensible behaviour.
Sadly, there were two incidents last week that very nearly led to the serious injury of two of our children. We have therefore decided that to limit the possibilities of such danger, we will be putting measures in place to stop anyone parking opposite the school. You will be required to park elsewhere. We have already mentioned that the Two Brewers and Judges have offered their parking spaces and the alternative would be the village hall. We are really sorry that it has come to this but after last week’s near misses we have no alternative.
On a brighter note, we are looking forward to the Easter break. We hope that you find some time to enjoy the fresh air and perhaps some relaxation.
After the Easter break, the same routines, drop off and pick up times will be in place and PE will be on the same days. We hope to start reintroducing some after school clubs in bubble groups as soon as possible so please look out for information.
Finally, thank you to all of you who have supported us during these difficult times. We look forward to sunny days and some summer fun.
15th March 2021
It seems that the children have settled back into school very well although some of them looked a little tired towards the end of the week!
Only two weeks to go until the Easter break.
Don’t forget you could be sharing a Tower of Chocolate with your family over the holidays. All you have to do is make a donation towards Essex and Herts Air Ambulance via the School Gateway or to the office in a named envelope, complete our Easter quiz and send your entry into school by 22nd March to be in with a chance of winning.
Thank you for being patient in the mornings when you are waiting for the gates to open. To comply with Government guidance and the Local Authority and School Risk Assessments we must maintain staggered entry times whatever the weather. Please don’t ask staff to let your children in early.
8th March 2021
It is lovely to see the children back in school.
We hope that you enjoyed the World Book Day activities last week and that they have inspired you to read with your children. Reading is so important: it helps your child get to know sounds, words and language, and develop early literacy skills. ... it helps to develop your child's brain, ability to focus, concentration, social skills and communication skills. It even helps your child learn the difference between 'real' and 'make believe’.
This coming Sunday is Mothering Sunday which was first celebrated in the UK around the 17th century, and was closely linked to the Laetare Sunday festival in the Christian calendar. The tradition mainly involved visiting your 'mother' church in your childhood home and eating simnel cak