Head's Update February 2021
This month’s article is different from the norm, in many ways it reflects the times we are living in. I have divided this piece into two sections. The first is talking about what is happening in Earls Barton Primary School and the second section talks about EBPS and the wider community.
Following the announcement of a third lock down EBPS quickly activated our remote learning provision. As you know we have worked hard and invested heavily in improving our IT provision across the school. A brief reminder here of where we were. From just over a year ago we had an archaic system with two servers that were outdated and unreliable, irregular Wi Fi and broadband system with a glacial connection speed. This meant that teachers were planning each lesson twice, once using the IT and a second version for when, or if, the IT failed mid lesson. Well, that was then! Our remote learning provision is based around Micro Soft Teams and the approach we have taken picks out the best from the options available. Having live ‘Classroom Meetings’ three times a week keeps the children in touch with their class teachers and their friends and it has been lovely to drop in on these to see the children!
Despite the disruption to school life we continue to move forwards in our work with an Ofsted inspector and it was really positive that governors and staff came together to attend a training session lead by Mr. Lakatos last month to progress our work. EBPS plays a central role in the ‘School To School’ (S2S) network and examples of our practice are shared with other schools across the county. We also benefit from the sharing of ideas, strategies and resources from other schools too. This is a really helpful network to be part of.
Many staff recently attended a webinar based on Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction lead by Tom Sherrington who is a national leader in this field. Staff who attended thought the session was really helpful and will inform teaching.
We have started working with the Local Authority around development of the school site. We are looking at how we can improve the classrooms for the children and although we are at a very early stage it is exciting to think about how we can develop our buildings. Tied in to this are the school gates which are to be automated to improve site security. Hopefully we can sort this part of the development soon.
In our newsletter sent last Friday we sent out some really useful tips and guidance for parents in supervising the children when they are working on line. Whilst the internet provides a wealth of resources that support learning there are sites that are not appropriate for young children. Similarly, ‘apps’ such as Whatsapp, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and many more are not to be accessed by primary age school children.
We are told that the government are looking to open schools to more children from the 8th March. We are already planning for this but as you can appreciate we are limited in terms of what we can do until we know more. What is clear is that some of the children and parents will be nervous about returning to school. Our ‘Recovery Curriculum’ is well established and will be shared with you again very soon. This addresses some of the concerns some will inevitably have and helps to prepare the children too. Once we know more about the reopening we will of course be in touch.
As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to write about EBPS and the wider community. Our relationship with All Saints Church is well established and it has been a delight to share emails and communications with Rev. Jenny Ingram. Both the school and the church are united in our wish to support the local community and our ‘Hearts Campaign’ links neatly with the churches theme of ‘Light Hope Love’. From feedback we know that many of you support our ‘Hearts Campaign’ – if you have not seen this could I encourage you to take a walk passed the front of school to see the display. It is both touching and warming and featured in the newspaper too. In addition to this we are looking to be part of the ‘Golden Years’ charity which supports elderly members of our community. Watch this space for more on this front.
Each half term we focus in on one of our core values and for this term it has been self-belief. We are always keen to encourage the children (and parents) to believe that what they are doing is just fine, and given the pandemic, what they are doing is great! our children, and indeed all children, are being amazing. They are coping brilliantly with a once in a generation situation with aplomb. We know some have needed additional support and guidance and that is what we are here for.
Teaching, pastoral and administrative staff have gone way above and beyond in supporting children and families in myriad of ways and I am immensely proud to be part of such a committed staff. Above all, it is our children who have been the superstars and they are an inspiration to us all. I want to say to them, through this article, that we are really proud of them all and the message is that they are all doing a wonderful job! It has been really moving to see so many examples where the children have been trying their best, where they have been helpful and kind. It is at times like these where the community spirit across the school and the local area really shines and I know that by working and pulling together we will all continue to help each other out.
Very best wishes.
Recent Head's Posts
- Head's Update February 2021
- Head's Update December 2020
- Head's Update November 2020
- Head's Update October 2020
- Head's Update September 2020
- Head's Update June 2020
- Head's Update March 2020
- Head's Update - February 2020
- Head's Update - January 2020
- Head's Update - December 2019
- Head's Update - November 2019
- Head's Update - October 2019
- Head's Update - September 2019
- Head's Update - July 2019
- Head's Update - June 2019
- Head's Update - May 2019
- Head's Update - April 2019
- Head's Update - March 2019
- Head's Update - February 2019
- Head's Update - December 2018
- Head's Update - November 2018
- Head's Update - October 2018
- Head's Update - September 2018
- Head's Update - July 2018
- Head's Update - June 2018
- Head's Update - April 2018
- Head's Update February 2018
- Head's Update - January 2018
- Head's Update - December 2017
- Head's Update November 10th 2017
- Head's Blog October 2017
- A new academic year!
- Sunshine, Gazebos and Shelters!