We are in full swing and the school continues to be a vibrant and lively place to be. I am absolutely delighted that our attendance remains well above the national average and is in fact higher at this stage of the year than last year. We are consistently recording around 98% attendance which is wonderful. It means the children are where they need to be.
I seem to be signing lots of bronze awards for our children which reflects the really good behaviour I see around the school each day, it also reflects how hard the children are working too. Indeed just this morning I had three Year 4 children visit me in my office to recite a poem by Tennyson – just wonderful!
The whole school took part in an observation of silence at 11:00 on the 11th November as part of Armistice day. I was immensely proud of how well this was done. There were lots of questions from the children about this and their comments and thoughts were quite moving. One child in Key Stage 1 I spoke to told me that he felt very proud of our school for ‘keeping quiet really well’.
I have had lots of staff and children over the last few weeks telling me how excited they are that we now have class sets of devices on line at the same time. Thanks to the support from our PTA who have funded this development, we now have a faster and far more reliable WiFi signal across the building. The impact has been immediate and has helped us to use technology to support our teaching and the children’s learning.
To further improve the security of the site we are nearing an agreement to have the main vehicular and pedestrian gates automated. This installation is another big step towards making our safeguarding provision even tighter. Another word of thanks to our PTA who have agreed to part fund these work too.
I’m working with a theatre company to finalise details of having them come in to school in December to deliver a ‘mini -Panto’ to each year group. As you would expect we will maintain social distancing and the integrity of class bubbles throughout. These short performances might not be the ‘normal’ but we are pleased that the children will be able to have a festive treat. Yet another sincere thanks to our PTA who have agreed to fully fund this event. More details on this nearer the time.
Those of you who have accessed our web site recently will have seen our virtual tour of the school. We invited a specialist company to come in after school hours to fly a drone around the building to record the tour and I am really pleased with the results.
Flu jabs have taken place and the school nursing service made lots of positive comments about how friendly and welcoming our school is and how well behaved (and brave!) the children were.
Subject leaders continue to work with an Ofsted inspector to make sure that we stay on track with curriculum developments. He will also be working with governors and staff together as part of the training day on Friday 8th January 2021.
Mr. Johnson (who has recently been awarded a Ph D) will be leading our work on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and other schools are very keen to learn from him too.
Our first remote parents evening took place just before the half term break and feedback from parents was overwhelmingly positive. Similarly, we continue to refine our home learning support for children who are unable to attend school. Mr Stockham has taken the lead on this and staff and children are becoming increasingly familiar with the use of Microsoft Teams as way of working remotely. If you have limited access to a device to enable home learning please contact the school, we might be able to help.
The second national lockdown has had an impact on everyone. Additional measures have been put in here at EBPS place to protect children and staff who are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’. We have been able to minimise the impact of the changes in staffing and I am really grateful to all of our fabulous staff for their flexibility and willingness to change things around often with very little notice.
We are using the governments ‘Catch up funding’ to provide additional support for small groups of children as per the guidance and recommendation from the Education Endowment Foundation. This work will continue for the rest of the academic year and it is great to see Mrs Wilson already working with a small group of children.
In closing I want to say a huge thank you to all of our parents for your on-going support, comments and feedback. It is a genuine pleasure seeing you at the main gates each day before and after school. The staggered starts and ends of the day are working well and the changes introduced after half term have been implemented smoothly.
Very best wishes,