Headteacher’s message – 12.4.21

Dear Families

I hope this finds you safe and well, having had a good Easter break. It still seems strange that we had a break so soon after everyone returned to school; the staff certainly needed it even if you would have liked your children to stay in school! It is really exciting to return to school today for what, we hope and trust, will be a full term for all our children. The Summer Term always brings a huge range of opportunities, especially as the weather improves and as we near the end of the school year. We are not exactly sure what the advice will be as to how we keep everyone as safe as possible as this term moves along. We hope that, as vaccines continue, rates reduce and key dates in the roadmap pass, we can start to relax, just a bit, and reintroduce things we are missing from school life. We’ve missed trips, singing together, welcoming parents in to school, spending time with children of different ages… all things we hope to do as this term goes along. Over the next few weeks, we hope it will become clearer which events we can hold and how we can celebrate the end of the school year together.

We are delighted to welcome Kerry Catchpole as the new teacher of 2Y! Kerry is an experienced teacher and we are very fortunate she was able to join us for this new term. Welcome, Kerry!

For the next few weeks, we will continue as we were before the holiday. The only changes are that Shining Stars reopened today. Please remember, all sessions must be booked on the School Money website or the app; there have been some limits on bookings but we have increased capacity now. Shining Stars runs from 7.30am (children must arrive by 8.15am) and until 6pm; their phone number (for use when the school office is closed) is 07596201451. Drop off and collection is through the library gates. We have made some changes to their menu to ensure our serving is Covid secure.

After school clubs will restart next week; a booking form will be emailed out to you.

As in September, we have a few members of staff who will be working in more than one Year Group. We need to do this so that teachers can meet and plan together. Mr Roberts and Mrs Lee are working across Years 5 and 6. Mrs Chambers and Mr Watts are working across Years 3 and 4.

Despite the restrictions, we have some new projects that are starting this week. Mr Roberts is leading us on a project to reduce car usage and get us walking/scooting/cycling to school as much as possible. We know this is harder for some families than others but, if we all play our part, it could have a really good impact on the number of cars near our school as well as on activity levels. James’ video to launch this is in the ‘assemblies’ section of our website.

Miss Youngman is working from home and is taking on two projects for us. The first is to ask you about your experience of lockdown learning. We know this was really difficult for some families and want to understand why that was. We hope it will never happen again but, if it did, it would be great to know what we got right and what could have been better at. It will also help us consider what ‘homework’ might look like in the future. There will be a survey to complete and she will be contacting some of you individually. Thank you with your help on this.

Her other project is going to be about ‘time’. We really want to make this term as effective as possible, focusing on key aspects of learning. One subject it is always difficult to teach in school is telling the time. This is because children have hugely different experiences of telling the time, some grasping it easily and others really struggling. It really needs to be ‘drip fed’, constant and often, which is difficult for us to do. We are asking for your help in supporting your child to tell the time. Jade will post a range of resources and videos on our website to help with this. More of this will follow!

On Friday, families will be told if their children have places for Reception in September. We are delighted that people put their trust in us to be the first school for their children, especially in such uncertain times. We will do everything we can to support them as September gets closer; if you know anyone who has a child joining us, please talk to them about the school as much as you can as they have not all had the chance to visit or to meet us this year.

Lastly, we have some very happy news to share! Mrs Mason is expecting a baby in the summer holidays! A huge congratulations to Hannah! Her class have been told today although, on seeing her this morning, some had already guessed! This does mean she will start her maternity leave before the end of term and we will confirm the arrangements for 5M once dates have been set.

We are really looking forward to a settled, happy and hardworking term. Most importantly, we want a term where everyone is safe and well and, during which, our whole community can reconnect with each other. We will continue to take things slowly but have real hope that this will be possible.

Take care everyone and keep looking after each other. Thank you for your continued support for St William’s.

Sarah Shirras #proudheadteacher