Our focus again this week has been to continue with our familiarisation work as the pupils settle back into school at the start of this new school year. As I mentioned last week, it is important we get the start of the year right and I have no doubt, as I visit the classes, that our approach has been really positive.
We spent time on our INSET day looking at how we would support pupils as they returned to school full time and we benefited from some support from the Educational Psychologist team. We looked closely at ‘zones of regulation’ which is a way of supporting pupils to take ownership of their feelings and their approach to learning. It was lovely to see some of the follow-up work the pupils have been doing this week and I was particularly impressed with booklets produced by pupils in Kahlo Class. The class received a Headteacher’s Award, as did a few individuals, including Charlie, Alice and Marcelina. All of our teaching rooms now have an interactive display geared towards zones of regulation. It might be something you want to chat with your child about to see if they can explain the four zones to you.
Across the week, usually after school, I became Mr Waluk’s apprentice as we put together some storage for Cookie Club. I am not sure he would want me helping out too often but I was quite pleased with my efforts this week. I think the whole project led to one visit to A&E, several plasters and a few choice words! That being said, it is perfect for Cookie Club and was handed over on Wednesday night.
It’s been wonderful this week to get to know the Year 3s a little better. At the start of the week we held the first ‘Millsy Monday’. This is a new style assembly for a single year group (our current bubbles) which I will be running every Monday afternoon whilst we work under the current guidance. The first attendees were our Year 3s and I really enjoyed our 15 minutes together. We talked about the work they had been doing and the skills they had been using, particularly around teamwork and cooperation. Next week it is the turn of the Year 4s.
Noah (Aztec Class) received a Headteacher’s award this week for showing such skills in class when supporting his partner during an art lesson. Well done, Noah; I am sure it will be the first of many. I also presented several Headteacher’s Awards to pupils in Mayan Class for some of their artwork over the course of the first week. I popped into class to present the awards before they went out for their first Activity Afternoon on Thursday. Both Mr Lord and Mr Wells have both told me how pleased they have been with their classes and especially how they have settled.
I’ve been quite busy handing out Headteacher’s Awards this week. Robyn and Olivia (Year 5s) were sent to me by Miss McGurk for setting such a good example to their peers at the start of the year. They were accompanied by their Apollo classmates, Maisie and Frank who had written some excellent poems. If the rest of the year continues in a similar way, I am going to have to order many more awards but it will certainly be worth it. I have also seen a few pupils from Orville Class for some really neat and precise creative work.
Our twitter feed has become busier and our future lacrosse players were featured in a few posts on Thursday. Lacrosse is a great game and it is particularly pleasing to see Mr Miley teaching the skills to our pupils given that I taught the game to him when he was a pupil of mine; he’s a very talented player!
The Year 5s were my ‘live’ audience in today’s Achievers’ Assembly with the other six classes joining via Google Meet. We had live music from Ellie (Year 5) playing the piano which was broadcast around the school; always a great way to start our celebrations. I am delighted that Ellie has agreed to be my ‘resident pianist’ in the absence of any other musicians signing up on any given week. Air won the House Cup this week much to Mrs Beresford and Mr Denney’s delight and it was double whammy for Mr Denney as Orville Class were awarded the Class of the Week trophy.
We pick up the pace again next week as we move into the first full week of the regular timetables. We also have some of our peripatetic music teachers starting their lessons again. Mr Brunton, our amazing woodwind teacher, was in school this week planning and preparing for a new way of teaching Year 5 flute and clarinet, to ensure it fulfils the DfE guidelines. We have purchased some more instruments and mouthpieces to make sure we remain safe.
The biggest event next week, as far as the Year 6s are concerned, is the awarding of the badges for our many positions of responsibility. Mrs Burniston has been working with the Year 6 pupils who are standing for Head Boy and Head Girl this week as they get ready for their presentations to the whole school. These will be delivered on Thursday next week in a similar way as our Achievers’ Assembly are. The whole school will then be voting throughout the day and once these positions are known, we have a staff meeting after school, to decide the other positions – House and Sports Captains, Ambassadors. The pupils will find out on Friday morning in a special Assembly. Year 6 are a fabulous cohort and I know whoever gets the various positions will do an amazing job. It’s going to be really tough to decide between them.
On Monday, our Year 3s are venturing out to Wymondley Woods for a series of team building and forest school activities. Both teachers are really pleased that this was an activity which can go ahead.
In the school calendar, it still references the fact that Orville Class start swimming lessons as part of Activity Afternoon. At this stage, I can confirm that these are not happening due to government restrictions. As soon as we can get back to the pool we will do. For now, we have alternative activities for the pupils to do as part of the carousel of sport.
That’s it for another week. As I mentioned in my last ‘update’, do make sure you are signed up to follow our school twitter feed for photos and information. Also, feel free to use the comment section at the bottom of this blog to tell us how much your child is enjoying being back at school, or things they have particularly enjoyed. All comments are read and moderated and we will post the really nice ones (hint hint) on the website.
Finally, I suppose it is time to introduce our new readers of this blog to my dad, who quite often gets a mention! Mr Mills Senior (Senior) as he is known by some will very quickly get in touch with me if he feels the blogs are getting too long… I get a feeling he will be phoning me soon!
Thank you again for all your support and kind words. I have enjoyed chatting with parents on the playground before and after school and meeting some of our new families.
Have a great weekend.