Class Stars 🙂
Our Early Years… Oscar Craddock
Class 2… Diane Alamary
Class 3… Hassan Alamary
Class 4… Esme Marrison
…and a link to our Celebration Assembly too!
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We spoke about the importance of reading in one of our staff meetings this week. There’s an amazing fact out there somewhere, where a child who reads, or is read to, for just 10 minutes a day, gets access to a million more words than those who don’t. It’s common sense really; more reading improves a child’s vocabulary. The research shows that with less reading, the inevitable ‘word gap’ lowers children’s ability to progress and achieve their potential.
There’s a lot of messages about the importance of reading and there’s a lot of guidance in this short pdf. Please have a click through… A Guide For Reading At Home
The latest Covid-19 school guidance says that volunteers can start back at school. If you’ve an (almost) regular available slot in your weekly diary that you’d be able to offer your child’s class teacher, please do mention it to them, or Jo, and we’ll start the process off for a DBS (a very quick, checking process). As the paragraph above says, it’s really important to hear readers, but as the school day is so jam packed with everything else, it’s really appreciated if someone can help with this aspect. We also occasionally ask for volunteers for art projects, DT making afternoons and school trips too, so do keep an eye out for requests for those too.
It was raining all day on Sunday last weekend, so I used the time to create the YouTube video of our year 6’s London residential – please click through and share with family and friends!
This week our EYFS class had a delivery of baby caterpillars! We talked about the different changes that they will be going through over the next few days.
We also did some fab snail art work in the style of Henri Matisse.
In Class 2…
We have started writing tiger fact sheets and the children now know quite a lot about the largest of the big cats, including that it is an apex predator and even its Latin name, Panthera Tigris.
They’ve also been trying to learn methods for addition and also with subtraction.
One of our subtraction methods has been to find the difference on a number line.
Here’s how they do it…
32 – 14 = 18
Class 2’s also wanted to share their artwork. They’ve really enjoyed making these stunning pictures based on Monet’s waterlilies.
This week we’ve been presented with some more excellent spotlights. Spotlights are where a child will stand and present on a subject that they’d like to share with the whole class of children! It can be daunting, ambitious even, but with the class encouraging them on it’s a lovely opportunity to share and see more about our children. Class 3 are now experts on surfing, snowboarding, skiing and cats as a result of their Spotlights!
They have also been writing our stories based on Evie in the Wild Wood and have produced some great descriptive writing. Yesterday we had a visit from our own resident artist Mrs R, who helped us with an afternoon of making parrots. Hopefully our class 3 rainforest will soon be populated with snakes and parrots – so watch out if you are visiting later in the term (which we hope will happen)!
This week our Year 6 experts have been writing guides for tourists visiting London and have been helping year 5 to plan their trip for next year. Class 4 have also finished writing their fantasy stories, which were so good that the whole class received a ‘Wow Work’ reward! What super authors we have! Don’t forget we have our excellent video on what we got up to! YouTube video of our year 6’s London residential
We’ve noticed that many of you have written your names on jumpers over the last couple of weeks, but we still have several left on the field at play and lunchtime that are hard to hand over, as they are still missing names. Please use the half term week to sort through uniform and write in your names.
School’s guidance, and Sports’ Days…
The guidance for schools is very confusing whether a “Sports’ Day” can actually take place in schools this year. What we’ve found over the year is that there’s a lot of contradiction and things that don’t quite make sense. Unless the guidance changes on June 21st, we’ll be planning on doing an “Extended PE afternoon” instead, where children will do the activities we usually do on their Sports Day. The guidance does state that we can’t have gatherings of people, and so we’ll make sure we take lots of photos and blog these.
This is therefore the same for the annual Bike Ride, where we organise four groups of cyclists (Bideford, Fremington, Barnstaple and the School’s playground). I can’t see anywhere in the guidance that would allow us to hold such an event, but we’ll keep an eye out for any changes.
Thank you for taking note of the past newsletters where we’ve asked parents to ensure they carry on with social distancing at drop-off and collection times. Some families still want to wear masks, and we’ve asked staff to do the same on the playground. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation. I’m in communication with schools around the country and I was surprised to hear that 40% of primary schools and 80% of secondary schools in Bolton have bubble closures!
Attendance is looking great this year so far – if you remove all the enforced closures of course! The DfE and Devon County Council would like schools to have above 96.5%, and our current data has us slightly above this.
Here’s how the individual classes look like…
Class 4: 96.3% (a slight increase 🙂
Class 3: 97.9%
Class 2: 97.7% (ever such a slight decrease)
Class 1: 92.4% (a slight decrease)
School: 97.2% …this is much better than the National Average and also better than the target of 96.5% that we’ve set ourselves.
The most recent guidance we have… for those who missed it…
The DfE issued an update to the guidance on Monday 10th May but little has changed in terms of schools. Here’s a brief summary of the large document, and some explanation of how it impacts us and our community. link
- Masks. As from Monday, we aren’t going to ask our parents to wear masks on the school playground. The NHS do still suggest that masks should be worn when adults are in crowded spaces, so some adults may like to continue to do so. However, our staff will still be asked to wear masks on the playground considering the range and amount of adults that we could be in close contact and conversation with.
- No large gatherings such as assemblies and collective worship. We don’t use the hall like we used to and we’re continuing with our two, infant and junior, bubbles. Regarding our Sports’ Day, we plan to have something of an extended PE lesson but even that has some limiting guidance about it. Sadly, we can’t have parents on site just yet but we are monitoring guidance changes and will keep you updated!
- Consider staggered starts. This really helps our parents with social distancing, but it also helps reduce lateness and improve punctuality. Aim for 8.45 and there’s an excellent possibility of arriving ‘on time’ for the 9am register!
- [Adults] not to gather at the gates. We are asked to remind parents about social distancing, and not to gather in large groups – yes, despite the changes on Monday that you can have groups of 6 inside and 30 outside.
- A temperature… The person with symptoms should book a PCR test and isolate with the household. Children should not attend school with a temperature; please don’t cover a temperature with Calpol.
- Term time holidays. Parents should not take children out of school during term time. Requests should be made prior to an absence, if one is needed. Please do ask Jo for a ‘request for absence’ form.
- Volunteers. We’re quite excited that these can start again! They are an excellent addition to the team and really support the children’s learning! Again, adults should be socially distanced, or wearing a mask if this is difficult. Please get in touch with Jo, or your child’s teacher, if you have a slot of time during the week that you can offer – we’d be really grateful.
There’s also guidance regarding staff that I thought you’d like to know…
- Minimise use of staff rooms. We now have two staff rooms in school, and we limit how many can sit in there due to Social Distancing.
- Staff socially distanced from each other. Our staff are also trying hard to maintain social distancing of 2m. We also wear masks, mostly when we’re not in our usual working area.
- Twice-weekly asymptomatic LFD tests. It’s still a requirement that staff do these twice a week.
Hope you have a lovely and safe half-term break!
We are Adventurous
“Encourage one another, and build each other up,”
Dates in the diary… bottom of the front page…
Our school’s Designated Safeguarding Officer is Julian Thomas
We have three Deputy Safeguarding Officers; Jo Benfield, Emma Hill and Lucy Rinvolucri.
If you have any concerns that you’d like to discuss, please call through to Jo and ask for an appointment with one of us. You may also find some useful or helpful information on our Safeguarding webpage… https://www.georgeham-primary.devon.sch.uk/staying-safe/