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As I write, the sun is shining and we are basking in abnormally warm temperatures for this time of year. Children are starting to wear their summer uniform, knees are on display and coats remain hanging on pegs at playtime! Of course, we have to be prepared for it all to change back again, and even not be surprised if we still see snow, but we are all certainly enjoying this early spring weather while we can.

A key event in school since the last edition was our Year 4 production of ‘Eddie the Penguin Saves the World’. Children and staff rehearsed tirelessly in the build-up and produced some wonderful props with the resulting polished performances being a credit to them. Our audiences, made up of classes of children and family, certainly left knowing a whole range of things we could all do to help reduce emissions, save power, and ultimately reduce global warming.

You may be aware that in the news recently the government have announced plans for Sex and Relationships education to be statutory from 2020, with the focus being on Relationships for Primary, along with online safety. As a school, we are always amazed at how these changes are portrayed as being new initiatives when, in fact, this is already an integral part of our curriculum. So much of what we do is about teaching children social and emotional skills, to respect one another irrespective of our differences, and understand that there are a whole range of family makeups possible, each one valued for the love and support they provide for each family member.

Online safety has also been mentioned as part of the new government initiative. In our computer curriculum, each unit already contains important reminders about how to stay safe online and we try very hard to engage and update our parents in this during our annual online safety week, not to mention the links and information we supply on our school website.

Through our ongoing Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum we also teach children, in an age appropriate way, about what is appropriate touch and what to do if a situation makes them feel unsafe, either physically or emotionally. As part of this programme we were very pleased to welcome volunteers from the NSPCC to our school recently. They delivered assemblies to all the children to remind them of how to keep safe and to speak out if they ever feel unsafe. Planned workshops specifically tailored to year 5 and 6 children are to follow.

Likewise, we participated in the Northamptonshire Mental Health Awareness Day on 15 February. The aim of this was to encourage children to 'Talk out Loud' if they are worried and to recognise that good mental health is as important as good physical health. The whole of EYFS & KS1 took part in a Bubblethon where they blew bubbles into the air to symbolise that nobody is alone. Children in years 3 and 4 made Mindfulness glitter bottles whilst those in years 5 and 6 created chatterboxes. It was a very thought provoking, engaging and exciting day.

As a school we have a duty to impart a whole host of safety messages to our children. To help us with this a group called ‘Solve It’ are visiting our Year 5 and 6 children soon to deliver drug prevention education, including Solvent Abuse. The session includes thinking about decision-making, what risks and risk taking are. They talk about the risks and consequences of Solvent Abuse -legal products that are all around us, that if abused can cause serious damage including death [the abuse of aerosols, gases and glues]. They also discuss how children might feel in risky situations and how they can manage those situations confidently, and importantly they identify support networks so children know who they can turn to, to get advice and support. Parents too can get involved, as they have been sent an online link where they can find further information.

On a lighter note, I am very pleased to say that the Northamptonshire Music team have offered to send a group of their Bass musicians into school to perform a recital for all of our classes. That should help EYFS and year 1 children forget about their dental survey that is taking place just beforehand on the same day!

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