We might even have biscuits!

This week, our classes have transitioned from the focus of re-establishing routines and getting used to being back at school to a more traditional timetable and have done so brilliantly. I continue to be impressed with the positive approach the pupils have been taking since returning as have the teachers; the school feels lovely at the moment!

Our two Year 3 classes enjoyed a day in the sun at Wymondley Woods on Monday, engaging in various forest school and team building activities. The teachers were very complimentary upon their return and were also delighted that this visit could still go ahead. I wish I could say the same about all visits this year, however I am not sure that this is going to be the case. We will of course pay close attention to the guidance whilst at the same time thinking about what works for us and the safety and wellbeing of our school community.

A day in the woods

My ‘Millsy Monday’ assembly this week was with our Year 4 classes. We spoke about the start of the term and whether or not they found it useful in setting themselves up for the week. We also explored some questions about the changes to the school day and why the pupils have to rotate ‘zones’ each lunchtime. Great questioning! Next week will be the turn of the Year 5s.

It’s been quite a busy week, although when is it not? Our new school meal system, School Grid was launched. This system allows parents and pupils to choose their lunches from the comfort of their own home and ensures Mrs Stokes cooks exactly the right amount of food. It also means we do not waste time each week trying to choose lunches in class, only for the pupils to forget what they ordered. The first couple of days have worked well but from Monday, it will be completely down to you to make sure your child has a meal selected. At the time of writing, there were still many families who have not registered. Mrs Lanni has sent reminders out to those of you who we believe are yet to pick meals but just in case, here is the link to the system. Should a meal not have been chosen in advance, we will of course still feed your children but there will be no choice and it will likely be a jacket potato. Should you have any issues, please contact the school on Monday morning and Mrs Lanni will try and resolve them.

Don’t forget to select your dinners!

On Thursday, some of our Year 6s presented their speeches to the rest of the school, as they put themselves forward for Head Boy and Head Girl. In addition, some pupils had written to me and my team to express an interest in some of the other positions of responsibility. I was so impressed with the hard work all of these pupils put into this, particularly as they needed to present their speeches both to a live audience and through Google Meet to the rest of the school.

A tough choice!

I was joined by my Chair of Governors to have a chat with each of the candidates but it was very much down to the vote as to who got each position. After school, the teaching team met (in a socially distanced way) for a very long time to talk through the other positions of responsibility. Our Year 6s are a wonderful cohort and the staff really struggled to allocate each badge. There will be changes to the roles and responsibilities as some of the jobs which used to be carried out by pupils can’t be at the moment. A first task for our Ambassadors this year who have become a Junior Management Team will be to plan and produce a video of the school in action, which will go on the website as an alternative to the parent tours we usually run. This team will also meet regularly with me, Mrs Beresford and Mrs McConnell Smith (The Senior Leadership Team) to talk through school related issues and affect change, if appropriate. Who knows, we might even have biscuits!

The positions of responsibility for this year are as follows:

Head Boy: Jamie
Head Girl: Helena
Deputy Head Boy: Fred
Deputy Head Girl: Lyla

School Ambassadors (Junior Management Team): Molly, Quique, Alice, Fiona, Isobel, Harry, Ethan, Lola, James

House Captains: Lydia, Sam, Marcelina, Finley, Karolina, Theo, Deya, Monty
Sports Captains: Bea, Freddy, Lena, Stanley, Megan, Mozies, Lauren, Rupert

 Again, well done to all of our Year 6s and thank you for making the decision so hard!

Our new Head Girl

It has been lovely this week to see some of our extra-curricular activities starting up again. We are needing to adapt and run these in single year groups and at the moment there are a limited number. I am grateful to my staff team for their proactive approach in making this happen.

After the hectic week we have had, it is quite nice that the diary for next week looks slightly quieter. We have moved over to a two-weekly timetable this year. Whilst this doesn’t look very different in the mornings, with English and maths being taught in most classes, the flexibility of an ‘A’ week and a ‘B’ week means more time can be given over to each of the foundation subjects. Even though they might be taught on a fortnightly basis now, each lesson will be that much longer allowing teachers and pupils to really immerse themselves in the learning.

Although they are still a few weeks away, I will be writing to you shortly about this term’s parent consultation evenings. We are working out how these can happen safely and my current thinking is that they will be offered to you ‘virtually’. Those of you who have had a look at the school calendar will see that three evenings have been given over to the meetings which will allow for time between each appointment and to ensure the process works. As soon as I know the final details I will send the information home.

Finally, at this time of the year, I usually send home a school calendar in paper format. This year, I will not be doing so as the date list is very dynamic and subject to many changes. Please refer to the school calendar and term dates on the school website which I will keep updated. I will also make sure that key events are also referenced in this blog each week.

Have a great weekend.

Best wishes,

Steve Mills

Exploring the woods

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