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Shephalbury ParkPrimary School

Imagine, Believe, Achieve

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Mr Conway's Blog 2020-2021

Thursday 22nd July 2021

In the words of our Year 6 leaver’s production…WOW what a year!

 

It really has been another year of uncertainty and adapting to the ever-changing rules and guidance that has governed our lives for so long. As we close out on this academic year, we have seen the removal of most of the restrictions in our lives which will hopefully lead to us all being able to enjoy a relaxing summer break.

 

However, as the last couple of weeks has proved to us, there are still risks posed by COVID and the best protection is through making sensible choices with our loved ones and ourselves.

 

I hope that you and your families are able to explore and enjoy some good quality time together over the summer. Remember to make the most of the good times that you spend together, and take heed from the quote below:

And now a couple of goodbyes…

 

…firstly to our Year 6 pupils. They really have been a real credit to our school, and a fantastic Year 6 class. They have adapted well and proven themselves to be brilliant ambassadors and representatives for Shephalbury Park.

 

Having watched your production and Leaver’s videos, I know that many of you will miss us as much as we will miss you! We wish you all the best of luck in your journey through secondary school and beyond, and want to hear about all of your achievements, as you get older.

 

If you would like to see the Year 6 production and Leaver’s videos please click the link below:

…next to our Nursery pupils who will not be joining us in Reception next year. We have loved being your first stepping stone on your educational journey. We wish you all the very best of luck as you start your new schools in September.

 

…and finally, to Miss Gaston, who will be leaving us after 3 years working as a member of our support staff team. I would like to thank her for her hard work and commitment to our pupils during this time, and wish her the best of luck as she returns to working in an early years setting in September.

 

We did not hand out certificates today for Bucket Fillers or Shephalbury LEARNERs, however I have handed out 2 Headteacher’s Awards this week for some amazing writing in Year 1. Leo and Lilly, both used our Talk 4 Writing strategies to create their own adventure stories whilst they were isolating last week. Both of them had really thought about the language that they used, and it is clear that they are ready for Year 2! Well done to you both!

You should have received a copy of a letter sent today from our chair of Governors, Cameron Smith, today. If you have not received it, you will be able to download it below. I would like to thank the Governors for their support for our staff and pupils throughout this year and look forward to working with them again next year.

When we return to school on September 2nd we will be following the same drop off and collection routines that are currently in place. Please remember to book your lunches online, and your child will NOT need to bring a water bottle from home…we will be providing them for all pupils.

 

I will write to you all prior to our return to provide any additional information that may become relevant over the holidays.

 

Finally, I would to end this year with a couple of thank you messages. To all of the staff that work in our school. Not matter what role you have in our team, you make a huge difference to our school and in turn the education and opportunities that we are able to offer our community. You really are a fantastic team to work with, and both our pupils and I appreciate the hard work and effort that everyone puts in every day!

 

Thank you to all of our pupils. Each and every day you make us smile (well mostly!!), your love and enjoyment of our school is something which makes our school truly unique. You all have the ability to be great Shephalbury LEARNERs and we look forward to seeing you again in September!

 

Thank you to our families and wider community. We all know and appreciate the challenges we have all faced throughout COVID, but your support for our school has not waivered. Every member of our community plays an integral role in our development and successes, so thank you all very much!

 

I hope that you all have a restful and enjoyable summer, and look forward to seeing you and your families back at Shephalbury Park on Thursday 2nd September.

 

Ben Conway

Friday 16th July 2021

What a difference a week makes! Our excitement and anticipation for the football this time last week has given way to a return to remote learning and isolation for half of our school, along with the unfortunate loss on penalties to Italy.

 

The initial aftermath of the football saddened me like many others, I have seen the galvanising effect that the national football team has had in and around our school over recent weeks. For quite a while, it has formed the basis of many conversations amongst both pupils and staff, yet those that have represented our country so admirably have had to suffer some horrific abuse.

 

As a school, we encourage each other to recognise and celebrate our individualities and differences, as this is what makes us all special. We at Shephalbury Park are wholly committed to ensuring that we continue educate our pupils and play our part in eradicating racism.

 

The achievements of the national team this summer go a long way to demonstrate the strength of working together. Taking players of all ages, races and experiences to come together harmoniously in this tournament has shown the value in creating a clear culture of togetherness in being successful. This is something that we as a school promote and will continue to in our efforts to educate our pupils.

School has been a lot quieter than usual this week, with Years 1, 2, 5 & 6 all at home isolating and engaging in remote learning. We have very much missed having you all around, and look forward to having you back next week!

 

Having kept regular contact with all of the staff that are at home isolating, I am pleased at how well everyone has slipped back into engaging in their learning from home again. I appreciate how tough it is to have to isolate at short notice, and arrange to facilitate learning at home. However, the dedication and engagement levels have been fantastic!

 

I hope that you have found your parent consultations useful this week, to discuss your child’s report. Thank you all for your understanding in our short notice change of arrangements of these. Over the next week children will be bringing home their books from this year, we would like to keep the books of a select group of children from each class. If your child’s book are requested to be kept, we will arrange for you to see them and return them to us.

Now onto the celebrations for the week. Our assembly this week incorporated both those on and off site. I took some time during the day to award those pupils who have been isolating recognising pupils in receipt of the Shephalbury LEARNER of the week, and also handing out some Headteacher’s Awards. During assembly I visited those in class to reward the children in school who had been nominated. Bucket Fillers this week received a Jaffa Cake Bar!

 

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, grow, risk, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Alfie- Think                         Reception: Isabella- Grow

Year 1: Leo- Create                           Year 2: Sofia- Create

Year 3: Ethan                                     Year 4: Alessia- Grow

Year 5: Jacob- Think                         Year 6: Lily- Solve

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers for being Bucket Fillers this week:

 

N: Melissa M

R: Henry F

Y3: Melisa

Y4: Skye

There has been 5 Headteacher’s Award handed out this week.

 

Firstly, for a fabulous Viking shield, was Ava (Y4). Not only did her design look fantastic, she described the creative process that she went through to develop and produce the final product. A fine shield, fit for any Viking! Great work Ava!

The next four awards are all for pupils who have been accessing their learning remotely over the last week.

Roma, Maia and Bella (Y2) have all been using the skills, language and sentence structures from their English lessons to create their own myths. Each of them has really impressed both Mrs Lewis and me with the quality of work. Super work girls…well done!

 

Next in Year 2 is Pippa, who has really grown this week in her ability to work with fractions, something she found difficult initially. Well done for persevering Pippa!

 

And Finally is Tia (YR) who has independently been writing some facts about tapirs (Mrs Cropley's favourite animal). Having researched them with the help of Mrs Lee, Tia learned the different facts and wrote them out beautifully on her own. Super work Tia...well done!

And just like that the end of term is in sight. We look forward to welcoming back pupils in Years 5 & 6 on Monday, and those in Years 1 & 2 on Tuesday next week.

 

I hope that you get to enjoy the sunshine over the weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 9th July 2021

Another great week here at Shephalbury Park, that has culminated in us recognising the achievements so far of our National football team, and hoping that they perform with courage and determination on Sunday evening. Everyone entered into the swing of things today, with children and adults kitted out in their football attire or white, red and blue. We also had some of our favourite football anthems chorusing over the speakers at drop off, collection and during break times.

My assembly at the start of this week was about Gareth Southgate, and how he has demonstrated some of the key attributes of a Shephalbury LEARNER. From that famous moment in 1996, when he missed a penalty against Germany, to going on to have a successful playing career and now managing one of the most successful England teams. He has reflected on his mistakes, taken many risks and grown to be the manager he is today. A fine example for us all and here is hoping that he can keep a smile on all of our faces for the beginning of next week!

On Thursday this week, we were able to hold our transition morning for all pupils. It was fantastic to see (and hear) everyone outside together at the same time at drop off! All of our children really enjoyed their mornings, getting to know their new teachers and familiarising themselves with their new surroundings. In addition to this, we have held some new parents talks for our incoming Nursery and Reception pupils. It has been great to welcome some new families to our community, and we look forward to seeing them all again in September.

 

We also welcomed another new member to our school community this week…some eagle-eyed children spotted a rather large moth resting on the wooden frame in the KS1 playground. After a bit of research we discovered that, it was a Privet Hawk Moth- the largest native moth found in the United Kingdom. So as to keep it safe from the hustle and bustle of playtime on the playground we safely relocated it on our school grounds. If you would like to take some time to find out a bit more about this type of moth with your child please follow the link below.

 

https://butterfly-conservation.org/moths/privet-hawk-moth

Tonight marks the start of some exciting activities for our class of 2021 (Year 6 leavers). They will be having a fun filled evening at school, with all sorts of fun and activities, fish and chips, a movie and a sleepover in the hall. They have been working hard to create an end of year movie production of their own which will soon be premiered on our school website. We hope that you all have a great evening at school!

 

As I am sure many of you will have seen in the news this week, there has been new guidance for schools issued by the government. This new guidance is applicable from when we, as a country, enter Step 4 of the lockdown easing measures. Which means for us, we will be maintaining the routines and expectations that have been in place all year.

 

This includes the wearing of masks whilst on site, and isolating for 10 days if your children are close contacts of anyone who tests positive. Our start and end of day procedures will be remaining the same, as will the maintenance of our bubble structures internally.

 

You will have received you child’s report today, and next week we will be hosting our socially distanced parent consultations. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your child’s report, but please ensure that you have read the guidance and expectations prior to attending the meeting.

 

Now onto the celebrations for the week. There was a buzz of excitement in this week’s assembly with so much excitement for the football. But as always it is important to take the time to recognise and reward pupils for being Shephalbury LEARNERS and Bucket Fillers. We also recognised those who have had a birthday this week, shared the attendance data from last week, and had a look at the house point totals. Bucket Fillers this week received a raspberry Mini Roll!

 

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, grow, risk, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Sophie- Grow                                 Reception: Ronnie- Grow

Year 1: Steffen- Grow                                   Year 2: Oscar- Grow

Year 3: Riley- Stretch                                    Year 4: Ella- Reflect

Year 5: Katie- Grow                                   Year 6: Noah- Grow

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers for being Bucket Fillers this week:

 

N: Tommy

R: Alys

Y1: Jessica

Y2: Richard

Y3: George B

Y4: Milly

Y5: Owen

Y6: Crystal

There has been two Headteacher’s Award handed out this week.

 

Firstly, for hard work by Bethany (Y3). She has been working incredibly hard on learning and developing her knowledge of phonics over the last 8 weeks. This has led to a fantastic improvement and brilliant progress…super work Bethany, well done!

 

Eleanor (R) also received a Headteacher’s Award this week for her innovative use of leaves to create a book. The learning about caterpillars and the life cycle of a butterfly has captivated our Reception class this week. Eleanor created her own book about this lifecycle using leaves. Brilliant work Eleanor…keep it up!

Now we can all get home and prepare for the excitement of Sunday evening. I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday morning, after what will hopefully have been a memorable match!

Have a great weekend,

Ben Conway

Friday 2nd July 2021

We have arrived in the final month of the academic year at Shephalbury Park, but we are still full steam ahead in and around school. After our fantastic Sports Week last week, we have returned to our regular lessons with enthusiasm and dedication, and many of our pupils showing the key attributes of the Shephalbury LEARNER.

Our Year 6 pupils are reaching the end of their learning journey with us, and it has been a real joy to see them so involved with creating their end of year performance. This will be a first of its kind for an end of year production for one of our Year 6 cohorts, their very own movie! I have seen and heard snippets around the school on my travels, and even had my office used as a studio, but other than that don’t know too much about it. I am really looking forward to the premiere in the next couple of weeks.

 

We have been working hard to create a transition program for our pupils despite the current restrictions that are in place. We will be holding new to Nursery and Reception meetings next week to welcome new members to school. Pupils will also have the chance to meet and get to know their new teachers and spend a morning with them. All parents should have been sent the staffing arrangements for the next academic year today via email, if you didn’t get it please contact the office.

 

At the end of next week you will receive your child’s annual report, followed by the opportunity to meet with their current class teacher in the following week. These meetings are for you to have a chat about your child’s report should you want to.

 

Following on from our Sports Week, Mr Klein has compiled a highlights reel for everyone to watch. If you want to have a watch and see what happened throughout the week please have a watch by following the link below. A huge thank you to Mr Klein for compiling it, and to the rest of the staff for capturing these moments!

A huge thank you to those of you who purchased an ice lolly today and made a donation to the Sepsis charity that we are supporting. In total we have raised a fabulous £248! Also thank you to my school councillors in Year 5 & 6 for helping with the logistics and letter writing.

 

Now onto the celebrations for the week. This week’s assembly saw much excitement with the announcement of our Sports Day winners, but we also took time to reward pupils for being Shephalbury LEARNERS and Bucket Fillers. We also recognised those who have had a birthday this week, shared the attendance data from last week, and had a look at the house point totals. Bucket Fillers this week received a Blackcurrant Jaffa Cake Bar!

 

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, grow, risk, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Isabelle- Stretch                             Reception: Poppy- Think

Year 1: Molly- Think                          Year 2: Sofia- Think

Year 3: Bethany- Grow                                  Year 4: Jessie-Mae- Grow

Year 5: George- Grow                                   Year 6: Sonny- Risk

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Alice

R: Louis

Y1: Kyla D

Y2: Freddie

Y3: Uzma

Y4: Kian T

Y5: Ellis

Y6: Lillia

There has been seven Headteacher’s Award handed out this week for hard work across the curriculum.

 

Firstly was Ethan (Y2) who has really impressed Mrs Lewis and me this week with his shape work. He has been working hard to challenge himself and deepen his understanding of shape with a variety of questions. His answers and explanations were very good indeed! Super work Ethan…keep it up!

 

Next was Sofia (Y4) who has really excelled this week with the sewing activities that Year 4 having been engaging with. She created her own rainbow pattern and was so confident with her sewing skills that she was also helping her friends. Excellent needlework Sofia…well done!

 

Back in Year 2 and I was blown away with some of the writing that I was fortunate enough to listen today. Lilly, Freddie, Richard and Amelia have been working hard on their sentence construction, varying them and utilising language for effect. They each read me the story opening that they had created and each of them had some fantastic authorial qualities. Well done to all 4 of you…I am looking forward to seeing your writing next week!

 

And finally this week is another award for writing, Lillyanna (Y1) has worked incredibly hard to independently create her own piece of writing. Her writing was clear and we read it back through together. Well done Lillyanna…we are really proud of you!

Now we can all get home and prepare for the excitement of the quarter final of the Euros this Sunday evening. Let us hope that the England team can show the same grit and determination that they have so far and bring a smile to our faces for when we return to school on Monday morning next week!

Have a great weekend,

 

Ben Conway

Friday 25th June 2021

It’s Friday already and the end of our Sports Week…and what a week it has been!

 

It all kicked off on Friday last week with our Rocktopus experience. Our 4 music videos are now available for you all to watch on the website. Pupils have been watching them all week in their classes, and I warn you now that they are quite catchy tunes! To have a look for yourselves please follow the link below:

On Monday this week we were joined by Commonwealth gold medal sprinter Ryan Scott, who challenged us to take part in a range of physical challenges. He also spoke to us about never giving up, believing in yourself  and being determined to reach your dreams. This was a fantastic experience for all of us, and Ryan inspired many of us to live out our Shephalbury LEARNER attributes.

Throughout the rest of the week we have had our Benchball championships taking place in the afternoons, and our week culminated yesterday with Sports Day. The format was adapted this year, and all children got to take part and earn points in a series of field events (jumping and throwing) followed by our traditional races. There was a wonderful sense of support and determination in all classes, and everyone really tried their best in everything that they did.

 

In our classes, we have all been learning about different countries that have hosted the Olympic Games. Children have been taking part in lots of engaging and informative cross-curricular work in art, D&T, English, geography and history. Each class has made a wonderful display to show off their learning.

A huge well done to everyone for competing so well and with good sportspersonship! A huge thank you to Mr Rust for organising the week and putting on such an enjoyable time for us all. We are currently working on creating a highlights video from across the week, which should be ready at some point next week for you all to enjoy.

 

To see the final outcome of Sports Day and find out who the winners were, take a look at the video below (thank you Mr Klein for the video!):

Sports Day Results

Still image for this video

We have seen throughout the week, pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, grow, risk, think, stretch, grow and risk through the activities that they have participated in. The quote below encapsulates much of the effort that we have seen throughout the week.

Now onto the celebrations for the week. This week’s assembly saw much excitement with the announcement of our Sports Day winners, but we also took time to reward pupils for being Shephalbury LEARNERS and Bucket Fillers. We also recognised those who have had a birthday this week, shared the attendance data from last week, and had a look at the house point totals. Bucket Fillers this week received a Penguin bar!

 

The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Ashton - Think                               Reception: Florence - Create

Year 1: Jessica – Grow                                               Year 2: Mina - Grow

Year 3: Caleb - Grow                                             Year 4: Emily - Risk

Year 5: Amelia Q - Create                                       Year 6: Konnor - Grow

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Jospeh

R: Olivia

Y1: Autumn

Y2: Roma

Y3: Bella

Y4: Hannah

Y5: Richie

Y6: Dennis

There has been just the one Headteacher’s Award handed out this week. Olivia (R) has been working really hard during her child initiated learning time to complete some independent writing. She had been looking at different types of interesting houses and writing about them, utilising her phonic knowledge. She produced some great work, something to be really proud of…well done Olivia!

And that is nearly it for this week…next Friday we will be sending out our staffing list for the next academic year. You will be able to see which adults will be working with the different classes. We will be following this up with our transition morning on Thursday 8th July, where children will be meeting their new teacher and spending the morning with them in their new classes.

 

Have a great weekend, and let’s hope for a bit more sunshine!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 18th June 2021

Well it is that time of the week again, and despite the rubbish weather we have had today, there has been much noise and excitement filling the corridors of our school today. We were visited by Rocktopus, a rock band that came to work with our children to create their own songs and music videos to help them stay fit and active. The rock band experience was really enjoyed by all, and you can see some photos below…and the music videos will be uploaded once edited.

We have continued this week instilling the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, grow, risk, think, stretch, grow and risk. It is clear around the school that pupils are really trying their hardest to demonstrate these. Once again, if you would like to spend some time learning about these at home with your children, please feel free to watch the assemblies that are uploaded on our website:

As we have now introduced each of them and, teachers will be looking for and awarding their weekly certificate, to pupils who demonstrate any of the different attributes. It is important to recognise that being a Shephalbury LEARNER is about embracing a growth mindset, challenging yourself, taking risks and moving out of your comfort zone to improve.

In school next week we will be holding our Sports Week. All pupils will have the chance to learn about the culture and geography of an Olympic nation, participate in sports day and benchball tournaments and meet a Commonwealth gold medallist. We are all really excited to take part, and we will be making a highlights reel to share with you all.

 

Next week also sees another national initiative, National Thank a Teacher Day on Wednesday 23rd June. This is a day that seeks to recognise the hard work and dedication that all school staff put into their jobs. As a school we will be thanking our staff in a different way every day next week. I know how much it would mean to our staff if your children would also like to join in with thanking the staff that work with them. If you would like some more ideas please follow the link below.

I am pleased to let you know that Kid Fit will be running their holiday play scheme at school throughout the summer holidays. The booking link is now live, and there is lots more information on the booking site. There is also an early bird discount of 10% for bookings made before 2nd July.

Now onto more celebrations for the week. Once again I donned my trainers and took the trip around school to reward pupils for being Shephalbury LEARNERS and Bucket Fillers. We also recognised those who have had a birthday this week, shared the attendance data from last week, and had a look at the house point totals. Bucket Fillers this week received a Jaffa Cake bar!

 

The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Felicity - Create                             Reception: Imogen - Stretch

Year 1: Zaki – Risk                                         Year 2: Hamish - Reflect

Year 3: Olivia - Risk                                      Year 4: Alex - Grow

Year 5: Finley - Grow                                    Year 6: Olivia - Solve

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Maisie

R: Eric

Y1: Alfie B

Y2: Ali-May

Y3: Seth

Y4: Dylan

Y5: Keeley

Y6: Elliot

There has been an abundance of Headteacher’s Awards this week for children of all ages across the school.

 

First up was Charlie (R) who has been working incredibly hard at improving his phonics recently. Not only has he been working hard when in a group with an adult, but he has been applying his knowledge independently during his child initiated learning. This is great work Charlie…you a developing all of the skills of a Shephalbury LEARNER!

 

Next are a couple of children from our Year 1 class. Leo has been keeping me regularly updated on his commitment to completing his Numbots practice. He has now been logging on and applying himself for 100 days straight! A brilliant achievement and fantastic drive to stretch yourself every single day. Keep it up!

 

McKenzie (Y1) has also been recognised this week for her maths work. Not only has she been working hard to complete her challenges independently, but she has been supporting her friends in understanding their work as well. Super work McKenzie!

 

Next up were 3 of our Year 5 pupils, Richie, Lewis and Henry have been working hard on developing their writing with Mrs Grizzell. Basing their work on a text called The Old Mill, they have been looking at how they can improve the text by adding additional detail. Each of them had produced some very thoughtful and well developed ideas that improved the original. Awesome work boys!

 

More children in Year 1 working hard this week were Steffen and Liam, who furthered their learning by researching information about the planets in our solar system. This began as a challenge set by Miss Martin, but Steffen and Liam continued their learning in their own time and found some great facts from the books that they were using. Keep up the hard work!

 

Finally this week were another 2 boys from Year 5, who have been really enjoying their RE recently. George and Finley wrote their own versions of the creation story, considering the impact of humans on the Earth. It made for thoughtful reading, and both boys had really considered the environmental impact many of the choices that humans make every day have had on the Earth. Excellent work boys!

Have a great weekend, and let’s hope that England are able to give us something to cheer about this evening!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 11th June 2021

Welcome back the final half term of this academic year! I hope that you all enjoyed the break, which was made especially nice by the recent upturn in the weather. With the lovely weather staying with us, I shared a few updates and reminders with parents through a letter earlier this week. If you are yet to read it, or did not receive it. You are able to download a copy just below:

Our return has seen us slip back into our same high expectations and consistent routines with our children, they are all back into the swing of daily school life. As a school we are working hard to develop the way that we teach and learn maths and the processes of writing.

 

Last half term we began our journey with maths, and pupils now have a greater independence with the challenges that they attempt. We are encouraging them to challenge themselves, and deepen their learning in all lessons. Our children are really rising to the challenge, which has been pleasing to see.

 

This half term we are beginning to introduce some of the principles of Talk 4 Writing, by providing increased opportunities for pupils to orally rehearse and internalise texts, and build their writing through some different processes. You may hear your child talk to you about story mapping and boxing up, which are some of the techniques we are using with them.

 

Some of the feedback from the parent focus group that met before half term suggested that some more information clips or videos would be good to help parents understand some of the more up to date techniques and methods used in school. This is something that we intend on doing once we have developed our in school practice in the next academic year.

 

We were visited this week by our Hertfordshire Improvement Partner, who works with us to assess our effectiveness and validate the work that we are doing. We looked across the school in classes and spoke to pupils and staff about the developments that we have made to both maths and Shephalbury LEARNER. She was impressed with the learning that was taking place. And commented positively on the way in which pupils articulated their enjoyment of the changes in maths, and how this helped them as learners.

 

This week, we are focusing on the final attribute of our Shephalbury LEARNER principles, risk. This is key to developing resilient and independent learners, as it ensures that we are encouraging our pupils to challenge themselves out of their comfort zone. Taking a risk in their learning provides them with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the concepts that they are learning. We are encouraging all pupils to accept that it is ok to get things wrong…provided we learn how to correct it and improve on it.

If you would like to see this week’s assembly to discuss it further with your child please follow the link below:

The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for their risk taking this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Teddy                                  Reception: Henry F

Year 1: Lilly                                        Year 2: Olly

Year 3: Kyrillos                                   Year 4: Hannah

Year 5: Finnley                                   Year 6: Dennis

From next week my assemblies will continue to focus on the range of attributes, and how children can continue to develop these in themselves and in their learning.

 

Now onto more celebrations for the week. Once again I donned my trainers and took the trip around school to reward pupils for being Bucket Fillers. We also recognised those who have had a birthday this week, shared the attendance data from last week, and had a look at the house point totals. Bucket Fillers this week received a Jaffa Cake bar!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Sebastian

R: George

Y1: Steffen

Y2: Ephraim

Y3: Yumna

Y4: Sofia

Y5: Jacob

Y6: Scarlett

Have a great weekend, and let’s hope that England are able to give us something to smile about in the football on Sunday!

 

Ben Conway

Thursday 27th May

Well we have made it to the end of our first full half term at school in 2021…and what a busy 7 weeks we have had!

 

I have had the chance to reflect on the progress that we have made as a school since returning. Pupils are focused and engaged in their learning across our entire school. The calm and purposeful atmosphere that is created by our staff ensures that we are able to be creative and support the needs of all of our learners. We have seen some great developments to the teaching and learning of maths across the school. Pupils are also really enthused with our Shephalbury LEARNER approach to learning behaviours.

 

This week we have welcomed 3 of our governors to school to look at the way that these have been implemented, and the impact that it is having on our pupils’ learning. Below you will see some of the feedback provided to them by pupils around the school:

 

*Pupils told us that they really liked the concept of the Shephalbury Learner and understood what each of the words meant for them and how the words can be applied to their learning in school

Pupil A “We like the Shephalbury Learner, it helps me know I have to step up my game!”

Pupil B “It helps us to think outside the box”

Pupil C “It’s like you’re growing your brain”

 

*The school council shared:

  • That the Shephalbury Learner helps people feel determined
  • The new Maths learning helps us feel stretched
  • They like the celebration assemblies and know if they do well in their learning they get rewarded

 

The responses from pupils is a clear result of the hard work that our staff are putting in to embed and expose their classes to these concepts. They are committed to providing all pupils with tailored opportunities to improve and develop in all aspects of their learning and personal skills.

 

A huge thank you to all of the staff for their continued support and hard work this half term!

 

The focus of this week’s Shephalbury LEARNER attribute has been stretch, and it is very true to say that I have seen many pupils working hard to stretch their learning this week by taking on increased challenges and improving their work. My assembly at the start of the week encouraged pupils to stretch their brains by challenging themselves, making mistakes and learning from them.

If you would like to see this week’s assembly to discuss it further with your child please follow the link below:

 

Shephalbury LEARNER Assemblies

The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for their thinking this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Joseph                                             Reception: Alys

Year 1: Liam                                                   Year 2: Charlie

Year 3: James                                                 Year 4: Milly

Year 5: Richie                                                 Year 6: Vinny

After half term we will be looking at our final attribute, risk. Please feel free to check out the assembly when it goes online!

 

Now onto more celebrations for the week. Once again I took the trip around school this morning to reward pupils for being Bucket Fillers and to recognise those who have been awarded Headteacher’s Awards. We also recognised those who have had a birthday this week, shared the attendance data from last week, and had a look at the house point totals. Bucket Fillers this week received a chocolate mini-roll!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Ayaaz

R: Ethan

Y1: Violet

Y2: Pippa

Y3: Noorisha

Y4: Ethan M

Y5: Alan

Y6: Walid

This week I have handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 4 children, each of them for fantastic work in different areas of the curriculum and outside of the curriculum.

 

First up this week were 2 members of our Year 1 class. There have been many children in this class that have been brought to my attention for such fantastic commitment and progress in their learning recently. They have loved their Explorers topic, and last week were tasked with sketching some rainforest animals. Both Jake and Freddie produced some incredibly detailed and well considered sketches of a tree frog and a parrot.

 

If this is the standard of their artwork in Year 1, I am very much looking forward to seeing their work as they progress through our school. Amazing artistic work boys…well done!

Another Year 1 pupil who has been going above and beyond recently is Olivia. Enthralled by the Explorers, she has been going home every night and independently created a book full of facts, pictures, maps and diagrams about the World. She is demonstrating many of the attributes that we expect of our Shephalbury LEARNERs, and she has produced something to be really proud of. Awesome work Olivia…keep it up!

And finally this week was Teddy (Y5), who has worked hard to improve the standard of his handwriting over the course of this year. He attributes his improvements to taking more time and practicing regulalrly in his own time at home. The results are clear, and we are very proud of this mature attitude to self development and improvement. Another example of a Shephalbury LEARNER. Great work Teddy!

 

One member of our school community who deserves a mention this week is Billy (Y6) who came to show me the trophy and medal that he had received for playing with his football team AFC Walkern at a tournament that was held on the pitch at Charlton Athletic FC. His team finished an incredible 2nd, finishing runners up to a team of academy footballers from Kent. This is a fantastic achievement...well done Billy!

A reminder if you are still looking for a holiday activity for your children…Kid Fit will be here at school from Tuesday to Thursday of half term 10am-4pm each day. They will be doing a wide range of activities indoors and out. If you are interested, have a look at their page on our website, where you will also find a link to book online:

 

Kid Fit Information and Booking Link

With the second half of the Summer term approaching I just wanted to provide a couple of updates for everyone. We will be holding Sports Week at school for all pupils from 21st – 25th June. This week will incorporate cross-curricular learning and a range of sporting activities and events. More information relating to this will be sent out to parents once we return.

 

Teachers will be sending out reports for pupils in July, and you will all be offered the chance to have a socially distanced meeting with your child’s teachers after this. Once again more information will be sent out at the appropriate time.

 

As we enter the half term break I hope that the weather stays as it has been today, so that we are all able to take a break and safely enjoy some of our newfound freedoms responsibly with friends.

 

I look forward to seeing everyone back in school at normal time on Monday 7th June!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 21st May

A windy end to the week, and hopefully we will see a nice weekend, although the forecast does not look positive at the moment!

 

As we approach the end of this half term there is much to be positive about. Our children have reintegrated back into our routines and expectations really well. They are engaging with and enjoying lessons across the full breadth of the curriculum. Pupils are buying into our Shephalbury LEARNER attributes and this is clearly evident in classrooms and in the conversations that I am having with them.

 

The disruption to learning that we have seen over the last year, has made us really consider our transition processes in school. We are working hard to ensure that we provide all of our pupils with a good quality transition, so that they are really well prepared for the next stage in the educational journey. Some of this work has already begun, in particularly with our oldest pupils in Year 6, and there will be more of this across the school next half term.

 

The focus of this week’s Shephalbury LEARNER attribute has been think. My assembly at the start of the week introduced the idea of critical thinking- identifying a problem, thinking about a range of possible solutions and reaching a solution by applying the skills and knowledge that we possess.

 

If you would like to see this week’s assembly to discuss it further with your child please follow the link below:

The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for their thinking this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Lewis                                               Reception: Eleanor

Year 1: Lillyanna                                                        Year 2: Lilly

Year 3: Anjolaoluwa                                                  Year 4: Dylan

Year 5: Jacob                                                  Year 6: Annabell

Next week we will be focusing on the attribute of stretch. Please feel free to check out the assembly when it goes online next week!

 

 

Now onto more celebrations for the week. Once again I took the trip around school this morning to reward pupils for being Bucket Fillers and to recognise those who have been awarded Headteacher’s Awards. We also recognised those who have had a birthday this week, shared the attendance data from last week, and had a look at the house point totals. Bucket Fillers this week received a Galaxy cake bar, very kindly donated by Mrs Lee, thank you!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Lillee

R: Olivia

Y1: Molly

Y2: Richard

Y3: Ben

Y4: Skye

Y5: Amelia Q

Y6: Angelika

This week I have handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 6 children, each of them for fantastic work in different areas of the curriculum and outside of the curriculum.

 

First up this week was Matthew (R) who has demonstrated many of our Shephalbury LEARNER attributes. He encountered a problem this week in the EYFS garden…a hoop stuck in the tree! He worked his way through a range of possible solutions to try and free it from the branch. He tried an assortment of equipment and methods, and never once gave up! This is a brilliant attitude to have Matthew, and we are proud of you for the way that you approached this problem.

Next up this week is someone else who regularly demonstrates that he is a true Shephalbury LEARNER…Lenny B (Y1). He has really impressed Mrs Dean and myself with his science work, drawing a brilliant picture and then independently labelling it. I am really pleased to have seen it and discussed it with Lenny, and he identified his favourite creature from the picture as the ladybird. Keep up the hard work Lenny!

 

Another member of Reception who has been working hard this week is Florence, who has really impressed with her quick recall of subtraction facts when subtracting 1. She has memorised them at home and was able to recall all of the facts. Great work Florence…keep it up!

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Two members of our Year 5 class have combined brilliantly this week during the D & T lessons, designing and making a working cog system. Both Hobie and Amelia persevered to create a fantastic model. I am reliably informed that they embodied our Shephalbury LEARNER attributes throughout their learning. Super work guys!

 

And finally this week was Dylan, who is no stranger to my blog recently! He identified an inaccuracy in the answers that have been provided to one of the activities that he had completed. Not only could he identify the issue, he could explain the error and provide the correct answer and reasoning for it. A brilliant display of the depth of his maths knowledge and understanding. Super work Dylan!

A reminder if you are looking for a holiday activity for your children…Kid Fit will be here at school from Tuesday to Thursday of half term 10am-4pm each day. They will be doing a wide range of activities indoors and out. If you are interested, have a look at their page on our website, where you will also find a link to book online:

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend and look forward to seeing everyone on next week!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 14th May

The end of what has felt like a very busy week for everyone around school!

 

I would like to start this week by sharing some good news, Mrs Hart is expecting her first child later on this year. We are really pleased for her and her husband Tom, and wish her well on her journey through what is a really exciting period of her life.

 

Once again this week, Mrs Cropley, Mrs Dean and myself have been visiting classes across the school to see how pupils are accessing their learning. As last week, there is so much positive learning happening in all classes, with pupils engaged and motivated by the work that has been set for them.

 

This week some of our community have celebrated Eid al-Fitr with their families. Eid, which is Arabic for 'feast' or 'festival', is celebrated by Muslims to mark significant events in the Islamic lunar calendar. In the 9th month, commonly known as Ramadan, Muslims far and wide observe fasting from dawn to dusk. Eid al-Fitr is the festival of the breaking of fast where family and friends come together to indulge in a spread.

 

Your child will be given some sweets today to bring home as a gift to celebrate Eid, donated by Ayaaz (Nursery) and his family. Many thanks to them for this kind gesture.

 

On behalf of our school I would like to wish those who have celebrated Eid Mubarak!

If you would like to find out more with your children at home, please follow the links below:

The focus of this week’s Shephalbury LEARNER attribute has been grow. There are two ways in which we are encouraging the pupils to grow in school at the moment. One way is by challenging themselves to grow their brain, skills and knowledge, the other is through growing in confidence.

 

Growing in confidence with our learning, and in the approach that we take with our learning is vitally important as we try to develop independence. In school we are working hard to encourage pupils to challenge themselves and persevere when things are tough. By doing this and developing a growth mindset, children, and adults, will grow in confidence when tackling problems and challenges in their learning enabling them to be more resilient and independent.

If you would like to see this week’s assembly to discuss it further with your child please follow the link below:

The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for their creative approach to learning this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Joshua                                                         Reception: Matthew

Year 1: Lenny S                                                          Year 2: Emilia

Year 3: George B                                                        Year 4: Ruby

Year 5: Isabel                                                             Year 6: Holly

Next week we will be focusing on developing our understanding of the next part of our LEARNER mnemonic, think.

 

Now onto more celebrations for the week. Once again I took the trip around school this morning to reward pupils for being Bucket Fillers and to recognise those who have been awarded Headteacher’s Awards. We also recognised those who have had a birthday this week, shared the attendance data from last week, and had a look at the house point totals. Bucket Fillers this week received a chocolate mini-roll!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Felicity

R: Florence

Y1: Ottilie

Y2: Hamish

Y3: Leanna

Y4: Jenson

Y5: Ellis

Y6: Maks

This week I have handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 5 children, each of them for fantastic work in different areas of the curriculum and outside of the curriculum.

 

First up this week was someone who has achieved something fantastic outside of school. Ethan P (Y4) who has been committed to practicing taekwondo for a considerable period of time, has this week been awarded his black tag. I am reliably informed (and after some internet research) that this grade is the second highest achievable within this martial art. To achieve this Ethan had to learn and perform 8 different patterns. This is something that Ethan should be very proud of…and we are too!

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Next this week were 3 of our youngest pupils in Nursery. Joseph impressed Miss Lucas and myself this week with his independent word creation using dice. He rolled them to create his own CVC words and record them…super work!

 

Also in Nursery, Ralph and William used their phonic knowledge to create CVC words that Miss Lucas had read to them. A brilliant start to their understanding of how to segment and blend words. Awesome job boys!

And finally this week was an award for Finley (R) for some more great work with phonics. He independently used his phonic knowledge to complete his instruction writing for making and egg and cress sandwich. Keep it up Finley!

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend and look forward to seeing everyone on Monday next week!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 7th May

As the end of another busy week approaches, and as always we have been all systems go at Shephalbury Park. Myself and the rest of the senior leadership team have been visiting classes throughout the week to see how pupils are engaging with the lessons that they are participating in. It has been an absolute delight to see children really engaged and motivated in the wonderful lessons and opportunities that our staff are providing for them.

 

My assembly at the beginning of this week introduced the school to our third Shephalbury LEARNER attribute create. The assembly touched upon the importance of being creative and recognising that we could all be creative in our learning. I shared the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds, where Vashti doubts her ability as an artist. By the end of the book she has realised that a creative mind and outlook will see the positives in the things that we do, and shares this message with others who lack confidence.

 

Our children who attend Tea Pot have also been inspired by this story and our attribute of being creative. So much so, that they created their own display in the hall.

 

One of the key principles that underpins our values of being a Shephalbury LEARNER is that we need to approach our learning with a growth mindset- believing that we can learn from our mistakes, and not being afraid to make them. This is sometimes difficult for all of us, especially as we all want to do the best we can. However, it is important that we recognise mistakes and challenges as learning opportunities that strengthen our brains and deepen our learning.

If you would like to find out more to discuss further with your child, I would encourage you to have a watch of the assembly in the video resource centre by following the link below.

The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for their creative approach to learning this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Melissa                                            Reception: Theo

Year 1: Ottilie                                                  Year 2: Sofia

Year 3: Noorisha                                            Year 4: Ruby

Year 5: Amelia J                                             Year 6: Crystal

Next week we will be focusing on developing our understanding of the next part of our LEARNER mnemonic, risk.

 

I would like to thank those people who have volunteered themselves to join our parent focus group. We will be meeting later in the half term, with a focus on current school developments.

 

The Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS) are running some really useful and interesting courses and workshops in the local area on phonics, sewing and computing skills to name a few. Please see the information below if you would like to sign up.

Now onto more celebrations for the week. Once again I took the trip around school this morning to reward pupils for being Bucket Fillers and to recognise those who have been awarded Headteacher’s Awards. We also recognised those who have had a birthday this week, shared the attendance data from last week, and had a look at the house point totals. Bucket Fillers this week received a chocolate mini-roll!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Albert

R: Matthew

Y1: Emily

Y2: Bella

Y3: Viktor

Y4: Ella

Y5: Tommy

Y6: Noah St

This week I have handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 4 children, each of them for fantastic work in different areas of the curriculum and outside of the curriculum.

 

First up this week was someone who I know has had a really busy week. Not only has he received a Headteacher’s Award from me, but it has also been his birthday! Charlie (R) has been working really hard with Mrs Hart and Mrs Lee on securing his understanding of numbers, and being able to order them. This week he has mastered it and was extremely proud to show me his newfound confidence with this skill. Great work Charlie!

Next, and also in Reception, is Flynn, who this week used his child initiated learning time to practice his writing. He used his phonics to encourage people to put their rubbish in the bin. Well done Flynn…keep it up!

Our final two recipients come from Year 4, who have this week been developing their knowledge of play scripts. During their lessons they have been learning about the key features and how to utilise the stage directions and punctuation to perform the scripts to an audience. Lewis and Max both excelled in their performances and both looked like budding actors! Superb performance boys, well done!

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I hope that the weather stays nice over the weekend, and look forward to seeing everyone back in school on Monday morning.

 

Ben Conway

Friday 30th April

Good afternoon and I hope that you are looking forward to the long weekend ahead. As always we have had a non-stop week around school, and we feel well and truly back into the swing of things!

 

You will see from the Headteacher Awards that have been handed out this week that many of our pupils are really embracing the opportunities that are being given to them in their learning. Children across the school are relishing the challenges that are being set for them and embracing our Shephalbury LEARNER principles.

 

Our LEARNER focus this week was ­solve, trying our best to overcome problems and come up with solutions in our work across the curriculum. Once again this concept was delivered through my Monday assembly, and pupils have been working hard in class to demonstrate it in their learning.

I have uploaded my assemblies relating to The Shephalbury LEARNER onto our video resource centre on the school website. I would encourage you to have a look at these to see how we are delivering the concepts to the children, and to support your child with embracing the concepts further.

Our attribute of solve this week has seen children nominated for their determination and drive to solve problems in their work in different areas of the curriculum. A huge well done to the following children:

 

Nursery: William                                Reception: Finley

Year 1: Lenny B                                  Year 2: Ethan

Year 3: Seth                                        Year 4: Kian T

Year 5: Teddy                                     Year 6: Natalia

Next week we will be focusing on developing our understanding of the next part of our LEARNER mnemonic, create.

 

I included information in my blog last relating to the holiday play scheme, run by Kid Fit, that will be in school during the May half term. I know that there have been quite a few bookings so far.

 

If you would be interested for your child to attend, you can find full information on our website by following the link below:

Before the Easter holidays I sent out a link requesting feedback of our provision during the most recent period of lockdown. Listening to all stakeholders is really important in any organisation, especially when planning for future development. It enables us to assess the effectiveness of the work that we have done and adapt as necessary when moving forward.

 

Below you can access a summary document of the feedback that was sent in to us. In total, we had responses for over 40% of the pupils that attend our school. A huge thank you to those people who took the time to share their thoughts and opinions with us, it is very much appreciated!

Now onto more celebrations for the week. Once again I took the trip around school this morning to reward pupils for being Bucket Fillers and to recognise those who have been awarded Headteacher’s Awards. We also recognised those who have had a birthday this week, shared the attendance data from last week, and had a look at the house point totals. Bucket Fillers this week received a chocolate mini-roll!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Isabelle

R: Skylar

Y1: Freddie

Y2: Mayson

Y3: George P

Y4: Skye

Y5: Ruby

Y6: Ronnie

This week I have handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 9 children, each of them for fantastic work in different areas of the curriculum and outside of the curriculum.

 

First up this week was someone who is developing some fantastic habits with her reading…Connie (R). She has diligently read to an adult at home on a daily basis throughout the year. This is a brilliant achievement and something to be proud of. Well done Connie…keep it up!

In Year 1 this week, their writing has been based on the story of The Snail and the Whale, by Julia Donaldson. A part of their work involved hot seating the characters, and Lilly has been given a Headteacher’s Award for her amazing acting skills when playing the part of the Snail in the hot seat. Well done Lilly, great work!

 

Our next recipient this week is in Year 2, William has been working incredibly hard this week, and demonstrated many of our Shephalbury LEARNER attributes. He has been recognised for his perseverance and determination with his maths. He has developed his understanding of partitioning for addition and is now utilising his knowledge independently. Super stuff William!

One member of Year 3 who has gone above and beyond this week is Nevaeh. She has really enjoyed the creative curriculum work that Year 3 have been doing on The Romans. She took out a book from our school library to do her own research, and produced a wonderful model of some Roman baths. This is another example of an excellent commitment to learning, and we are really proud of you Nevaeh!

Year 4 have also been learning about the Romans in their class, and have utilised the story of Romulus and Remus as the basis for their English work this week. Children have been challenged to rewrite the story in their own words, using high level vocabulary and description. Two children who really rose to the challenge and produced some great work were Summer and Dylan. It is clear how hard they worked on using the key features and remembering all of the basic structures that should accompany all of our work. Keep up the hard work guys!

Now into Year 5 where three members of the class have been acknowledged for their great work this week. Mrs Grizzell nominated Keeley and Katie for composing and performing their own piece in music (you can see the video below).

 

The final award went to Raynie who rose to the challenge of writing the perfect cinquain (a 5 line poem that describes a person, place or thing). You will see her poem below about a pine cone, something that she should be very proud of!

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I hope that the predicted rain stays away for the bank holiday weekend, and look forward to seeing everyone back to school on Tuesday morning next week.

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 23rd April

Good afternoon and happy St George’s Day! As always, it has been another busy week here at Shephalbury Park, with lots of great learning taking place across the school. Children have been challenging themselves in their maths work, learning about explorers throughout the ages and continuing developing their musical knowledge in up older year groups.

 

Having visited all of our classes regularly during the week, it is clear how engaged our children are in their learning. They are applying themselves well in their learning and beginning to apply the attributes of the Shephalbury LEARNER to their work.

 

In my assembly on Monday this week, I introduced the idea of being a reflective learner. Looking at the mistakes that we make, learning from them, and then moving on.

This has been something that pupils have been working on in class this week, and our first batch of Shephalbury LEARNER awards goes to those children who have been reflective learners this week. Well done to the following children:

 

Nursery: Ayaaz                                  Reception: Lexie

Year 1: Vinnie                                     Year 2: Jude

Year 3: Kian                                        Year 4: Rhyder

Year 5: Lewis                                      Year 6: Jack

Nest week we will be focusing on developing our understanding of the next part of our LEARNER mnemonic, solve.

 

You may remember, back in October of last year we hosted a holiday play scheme run by Kid Fit. Those that attended had a really great time participating in a wide range of activities. Since notifying you earlier in the week that Kid Fit will be returning to offer a holiday play scheme during May half term, there has already been a lot of interest.

 

They will be running from Tuesday 1st June – Friday 4th June 10am-4pm. There is an online booking system, and they are able to accept childcare vouchers as payment. The play scheme is open to pupils from Nursery to Year 6. If you would like to find out more information or make a booking, please follow the link below to the Kid Fit page on our website.

Throughout the year we work with many different groups and outside agencies to support the work that we do with pupils, and their families. Last week in my blog I mentioned the work that we carry out with our School Family Worker. This week I would like to draw your attention to a free remote workshop that is available within our local area. The free session is designed to support parents who have children with anxiety.

 

‘This training is designed to give parent/carers the opportunity to explore and discuss the issues around anxiety in children and young people.

The aim of the session is to help develop a better understanding of feelings and the ways in which we can support children and young people to develop confidence and resilience.’

 

If you feel like this would benefit you and your family, please look at the document below for full booking information.

Now onto more celebrations for the week. Once again I took the trip around school this morning to reward pupils for being Bucket Fillers and to recognise those who have been awarded Headteacher’s Awards. We also recognised those who have had a birthday this week, shared the attendance data from last week, and had a look at the house point totals. Bucket Fillers this week received a chocolate mini-roll!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Ethan

R: Alys

Y1: Tommy

Y2: Ephraim

Y3: Phoebe

Y4: Zafran

Y5: Teddy

Y6: Konnor

This week I have handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 3 children, each of them for fantastic work in different areas of the curriculum and outside of the curriculum.

 

First up was Alex (Y4), who has been no stranger to Headteacher Awards this year. He has worked hard this week in his maths, developing his understanding and knowledge of division, so that he is now able to independently able to solve short division problems. Well done Alex…keep it up!

 

Next this week was Kyla D (Y1), who has been working really hard at using her phonological knowledge in her writing. She has independently applied this and we are really proud of her for doing so! Great work Kyla!

 

Someone else working hard at using their phonic knowledge in their writing is Rae (R). Not only did she do a fantastic job when writing individual words, she has improved and maintained a good standard of handwriting whilst doing so…fantastic work Rae!

 

The last recipient this week was Ronnie (Y6) who has used our Shephalbury LEARNER principle of the week of reflection in relation to his handwriting. Having looked at his previous work Ronnie identified that his handwriting needed some improving, and he has applied himself incredibly well this week to improve it in his work. A brilliant attitude Ronnie, well done!

Finally this week, I would like to make one last request for anyone who like to be a part of my parent focus group. This is a really valuable way for myself, governors and the leadership team to share ideas and get feedback from the perspective of parents. If you would like to, or would like to discuss what it would entail further please contact me directly through the school office or by email head@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk

 

I hope that the sunshine stays around for another nice weekend!

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 16th April

Welcome back to the Summer term…and what a busy week we have had over the last 4 days! The buzz of learning is well and truly back in and around our classrooms, and children across the school are engaging in learning across the curriculum. From the music of Hans Zimmer in Year 6 to the story of Romulus and Remus in Year 4 and the fascination with our local fox in Year 2, there is lots of engaging and exciting learning happening in all year groups.

 

Our dedicated staff have been working hard in various circumstances over the course of the last year, none of which any of us could have imagined. They have all returned with a determination and drive to do the very best they can for all of our pupils, and this is clearly evident in every class. As a staff team we are excited to be back doing what we truly enjoy and fulfilling our roles as educators, the following quote sums this up perfectly for me:

The beginning of this week saw me introduce ‘The Shephalbury LEARNER’ to staff and pupils, through INSET and an assembly. The Shephalbury LEARNER is our personalised approach to growth mindset and positive learning attributes. Over time it is going to be threaded throughout the fabric of our school - our displays, classroom practices, approach to learning and much more. Below is an image that explains a bit more. We will be sending out further information regarding this in due course:

The Shephalbury LEARNER

Last term we set up an initiated The Store, our new community support initiative that is there to support families who may need a top up of food, and other items. The Store is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays before and after school, should you want/need to utilise this I would actively encourage you to do so. It is available on a help yourself basis, so please bring your own bag and top up with what you need.

 

Thank you to those people who have provided donations towards it so far. Your generosity is much appreciated at this time, and as we continue through this term we are hoping to also include good quality school clothes as well. If you would like more information please contact Mrs Dean through the school office or via email senco@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk

Opening Times - Tuesday and Thursday from 8.40am – 9.15am and 3.00pm to 3.45pm

Location – Outside the Studio doors (Next to Early Years entrance)

 

Over the course of this year, we have developed a strong working relationship with Stevenage Educational Trust and worked closely with our School Family Worker Charlotte Hegarty. As a School Family Worker, Charlotte supports children and families with issues that arise both at school and in the home. Charlotte regularly visits school to work with individuals and groups of pupils, particularly support social and emotional needs. She is able to use her skills and expertise to support pupils and families at home, and signpost people to the additional groups and support that is available locally. Below is a range of courses that are available to support families who may need them. Please take the time to see if you and your family may benefit from any of them, if you feel that you would I would encourage you to sign up.

Now onto the celebrations for the week…I reprised my role of roving assembly presenter and made it successfully around school this morning to reward pupils for being Bucket Fillers and to recognise those who have been awarded Headteacher’s Awards. Bucket Fillers this week received a chocolate mini-roll!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Oliver

R: Charlie

Y1: Eliannah

Y2: Billy-Joe

Y3: Olivia

Y4: Lewis

Y5: Amelia J

Y6: Natalia

 

This week I have handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 3 children, each of them for fantastic work in different areas of the curriculum and outside of the curriculum.

 

Firstly was a pupil who has made fantastic personal and academic progress this year, Alessia (Y4). Throughout the year she has grown in confidence with her work across the curriculum and is now demonstrating this clearly and independently in class. She has begun to verbally share her ideas and thinking around key concepts. Well done Alessia, we are really proud of you!

 

Next is one of our pupils in Reception…Charlie. Whilst walking around school during the week I saw that Charlie had drawn a dinosaur during his child initiated learning time. After I left the room, he turned his picture into a book and independently wrote about his stegosaurus. This was absolutely fantastic…keep it up Charlie!

 

And finally another Charlie, but this time in Year 1. Charlie has impressed both Miss Martin and myself with his commitment to maintain a daily diary during the holidays. He told me all about what he had done, and what he had enjoyed. What a fantastic way to keep practicing your writing whilst you were at home. Great work Charlie!

Before I sign off for the week I would just like to draw your attention to my request for parents and carers to join my parent focus group. This is a really valuable way for myself, governors and the leadership team to share ideas and get feedback from the perspective of parents. The commitment would initially be a meeting each half term, there will be a clear agenda and some discussion around pertinent school developments and priorities. Thank you to those that have volunteered already, but if you are interested I am looking for around another 5 people to join the group. If you are interested, or would like some more information, please contact me directly through the school office or by email head@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk

 

And we close out this week with the sun in the sky, and hopefully some nice weather for the weekend. Please stay safe within the easing restrictions and I look forward to seeing everyone next week once I will have finally had a haircut!

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 26th March

Once again we have made it to the end of another term where we have a range of new experiences. Remote learning for most pupils for the majority of the term, followed by 3 weeks of face to face learning back in the classroom. I feel like I have said it many times over the past 12 months, but it really has been an unprecedented period of time for everyone, and our adaptations and modes of working have taken much time and effort to devise and embed. Through it all we have relied on the support of our community and the hard work of our staff to do the best that we can for the Shephalbury Park family.

 

Since arriving at Shephalbury Park 19 months ago, I have been astounded by the hard work and commitment of each and every member of staff. They all do their best for our pupils and families, and during such a difficult period of time for everyone this is truly commendable. I have said it regularly, but they are a great team and we should all be grateful of the roles that they play. Likewise, the engagement and support from you, our community, through this time has been brilliant. My quote for the week is a very simple one, that applies to all members of our community…

Since returning to school 3 weeks ago we have packed a lot in. We had a successful and engaging science week, an art project, Red Nose Day, lots of hard work and lots of time to re-engage with our friends.

 

Our community donations for our rainbow dress up day were £301.50. Thank you to everyone who donated to this worthy cause.

 

You will hopefully have seen the results of our art project, if you have dropped off or collected over the last couple of days. All of pupils have produced a self portrait, in a different colour from the rainbow. Children across the school have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be creative and engage in a sequence of learning to produce the results. For those that may not have seen it please seen the images below.

Today we held our annual Easter Egg Raffle. This year all pupils were provided with a raffle ticket, and therefore an equal chance of winning! We had over 60 eggs, rabbits, bars and assorted goodies donated by staff at school. Thank you to each of them for contributing. I drew the winners in assembly and you can see the winners below:

Nursery

Katalea, Oliver, Sony, Georgie, Lewis, Ralph, Mason, Lillee

Reception

Theo, Alys, Elijah, Harvey, Darcey, Isabella, Elliot, George

Year 1

Zaki, Emily, Vinny, Molly, Alfie, Steffen, Jessica, Lilly

Year 2

Hamish, Mina, Richard, Roma, Ephraim, Freddie, Mia, Emilia

Year 3

Jamila, Shay, George B, Olivia, Rylan, Uzma, Yumna, Leanna, Viktor

Year 4

Dylan, Kian M, Ethan P, Zafran, Kian T, Emily, Ella, Rhyder

Year 5

Raynie, Isabel, Tyler, Ellis, Liam G, Miles, Amelia Q, Ruby

Year 6

Annabell, Ronnie, Ava, Kiera, Crystal, Lily, Noah St, Billy

Now onto the celebrations for the week.

 

We had an additional celebration this week, a Lockdown Learners Tea Party (for children selected for their commitment to their remote learning during lockdown). Each teacher could have chosen many children from their class, however I invited 3 pupils form every class for a socially distanced treat this morning. Each of them showed a great commitment to their learning whilst at home, put in maximum effort and produced some great work. Well done to the following children:

 

Nursery

Alfie, Mason, Isla

Reception

Imogen, Alys, Connie

Year 1

Leo, Freddie, Molly

Year 2

Spencer C, Roma, Ethan

Year 3

Nevaeh, Ethan, George P

Year 4

Ethan P, Ethan M, Alex

Year 5

Owen, Finley, Lewis

Year 6

Noah Sp, Holly, Erin

As always we awarded our Bucket Fillers for showing good citizenship and positive attributes throughout the week. They were each rewarded with a certificate and a chocolate mini-roll.

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Katalea

R: Lexie

Y1: Joy

Y2: Bella

Y3: Phoebe

Y4: Emily

Y5: Amelia Q

Y6: Noah Sp

This week I have handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 4 children, each of them for fantastic work in different areas of the curriculum and outside of the curriculum.

 

Firstly were two of our Year 2 pupils, William and Richard. Both of them had worked hard to produce some brilliant self portraits with a blue wash. They had used their drawing skills and knowledge of tints and shades to produce some work that they should be very proud of. Well done boys…great work!

 

Next is another developing artist…Jessie (Y4) has also worked heard to develop her drawing skills to produce a brilliant self portrait. Throughout the last couple of weeks she has refined her image and improved it to create a fantastic likeness. Well done Jessie!

 

And finally was Finley Bryce (Y5) who was sent to me with his writing. He had worked really hard to plan and write an opening to his legend which created atmosphere for the rest of the piece. He had used the techniques that they had been taught and produced something to be proud of. Awesome work Finley!

That brings us to the end of another week and the term. Before I sign off I would just like to put a couple of reminders out to you all for next term:

  • All children need a freshly cleaned water bottle with them each day at school
  • Pupils will be allowed to continue to wear trainers to school (these must be black if you are buying a new pair)
  • After Easter we will be allowing pupils to bring bikes and scooters on site. If on a bike pupils must be wearing a helmet. Under no circumstances should they be ridden once on the school site. Pupils not adhering to these expectations will not be allowed to bring their bike or scooter to school.
  • We return to school on Tuesday 13th April 8.40am

 

I hope that you and your families enjoy the break over the next couple of weeks, and safely begin to enjoy some of the restriction easing as and when it happens.

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

If you are interested, or to see if you are eligible, please visit: https://sportinherts.org.uk/hafhappy/

Friday 19th March

What a colourful end to the week we have had, with everyone joining in with our rainbow themed dress up day in aid of Comic Relief. As I am sure you are all aware, Comic Relief supports projects in the UK and abroad that help others to free themselves from poverty. Since its inception in the 1980’s the charity has raised over £1billion for some very worthy causes. Thank you to those of you who donated to our collection via Gateway, there is still time to do so if you haven’t yet done it!

Our children have continued to settle well, and they are accessing their work well in their classes. We have furthered our rainbow theme, and begun an art project that will continue through next week as well. You will see later in my blog some of the fantastic art work that is being produced by pupils from across the school.

 

We will be holding our annual Easter raffle next Friday, but this year we will be providing each child in school with their own ticket. There is no need for tickets to be bought by parents and everyone will have an equal chance of winning. An enormous thank you to the staff team who have donated eggs and chocolate bars for the raffle.

 

Also next Friday we will be having our house point winners from last term receiving their reward…a non-uniform day for Griffin. Pupils in Griffin can come to school next Friday in their own clothes, providing that they are appropriate and suitable to be worn for school (no exposed skin or high heels).

 

Once again I would like to thank those of you who have taken the time to complete our parent survey regarding remote learning. If you would still like to complete it, the link was in the email sent today. We will share our findings with you in due course.

 

Now onto the celebrations for the week. Luckily I had my trainers on this week for assembly as I made my way around the school to recognise those pupils who have been Bucket Fillers and who have been awarded Headteacher’s Awards. Bucket Fillers this week received a chocolate mini-roll!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: William

R: Eric

Y1: Lenny B

Y2: Lilly

Y3: Laura

Y4: Alessia

Y5: Noah

Y6: Keira

This week I have handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 10 children, each of them for fantastic work in different areas of the curriculum and outside of the curriculum.

 

To begin the week two of our youngest pupils, Mason and Isabelle (Nursery) were rewarded for their amazing independent writing. It is clear how hard they have worked during their time at home as their writing has improved very much, and is now brilliant. A huge well done to both of you!

 

Someone else who has made great strides recently is Eddie (Reception), who since lockdown has been really enthusiastic about coming to school every day. He has been one of the first in and settled into class with a smile on his face on a daily basis. Well done Eddie, we are proud of you!

 

I have commented quite a bit on our art project across school, and our next 3 recipients have been awarded for their exceptional work in art.

 

In Year 4 Sophia and Max have really excelled in developing their drawing skills. They have been working on creating self portraits, understanding how to accurately measure and reproduce their key features on paper. The results have been amazing, as you will see below...brilliant work guys!

 

Someone else excelling in art this week is Amelia J (Y5). She has continually improved her drawing skills through the use of tutorials and it is really showing in the self portraits that she is producing. Brilliant work Amelia…well done!

 

Next this week are some mathematicians from Year 4. Summer, Ava and Alex all applied themselves fantastically well to their work on fractions, challenging themselves and working independently. An amazing attitude…well done!

 

And finally this week is Violet (Y1) who has impressed Miss Martin and myself with her attitude to learning and for getting all of her spellings right this week. We are really proud of you Violet, keep it up!

That brings us to the end of another week, and as I’m writing we have nice blue skies overhead. Here’s hoping that it stays like that for the weekend!

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 12th March

We have made it through our first week back, and I’m sure that your children are as tired as our staff having got back into the swing of things. Children have returned happily across the school and it has been lovely to have the beating heart back in the building.

 

Over the course of the week children have had time to reacquaint themselves with their friends, revisit some of the content that they covered during lockdown, participate in lots of Science experiments and generally get back into expectations that we set in all of their work. We are really pleased with their settling so far, and are looking forward to more rainbow themed activities through the next couple of weeks.

Our direction as a school is to ensure that we re-establish our expectations as quickly as we can, and understand what we need to cover in the summer term to best prepare everyone for the next stage in their education journey.

We recognised International Women’s Day on Monday this week through my assembly, and read the book ‘Girls Can Do Anything’. It is vitally important that as a school we recognise that in some aspects of life there is a fight for equality for women around the world. It is also important that we develop and encourage the future women of the world that we teach, to believe that they are able to achieve their dreams in life regardless.

 

This also leads into Mother’s Day this weekend. Our sense of family, I’m sure for many, has been at the forefront of our thoughts throughout our experiences of the last year. I hope that all of the mums, grandmas, nans and whatever other names you may be known as are spoilt this weekend.

 

Earlier this week I sent a link to a parent survey in relation to our school provision during lockdown. A huge thank you to those of you who have already completed it (nearly a third of pupils), if you haven’t yet, I would really appreciate if you could. It should only take a few minutes and will give us a chance to properly review our actions and decisions. The link is in the email sent to all parents this afternoon. Many thanks in advance.

 

Last week I introduced our new school community facility ‘The Store’. It has been up and running this week and is a place where, if needed, you are able to supplement your store cupboards at home with additional items if you need them. There is a variety of tins, jars, dried goods and other non-perishable items available.

The Store

Opening Times - Tuesday and Thursday from 8.40am – 9.15am and 3.00pm to 3.45pm

Location – Outside the Studio doors (Next to Early Years entrance)

 

If you are in a position to support our initiative and would like to contribute, to help keep our store stocked, then please provide non-perishable items in the playground box marked The Store. Items could include Tins, Pasta, Pasta sauce, Rice, Tea, Coffee, Cereal and anything else with a long shelf life. We are also hoping to provide items such as toiletries, baby wipes and washing up liquid.

 

Now our celebrations from the first week back! I have resumed my ‘Challenge Anneka’ style Friday assembly, setting off around the school and visiting each class (at a safe distance!). We have re-established our focus on ‘Bucket Fillers’ around the school and which recognises pupils showing good citizenship and displaying positive learning behaviour. Our winners in each class was awarded a delicious Jaffa Cake Bar!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Felicity

R: Charlie

Y1: Emma

Y2: Jude

Y3: Melody

Y4: Reagan

Y5: Liam G

Y6: Angelika

This week I handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 5 children, each of them for fantastic work in different areas of the curriculum and outside of the curriculum.

 

First was for Freddie (Y1) who has worked incredibly hard throughout his period of remote learning and returned to school with a fantastic attitude to his work. He came to read me his non-chronological report about the dragon that he had created. He had used some brilliant language and rightly deserves his award. Great work Freddie!

 

Another member of Year 1 who is recognised for some of their remote learning is Liam. He spent a few days creating and recording his own science investigations during lockdown. It was fantastic to see his enthusiasm throughout his work…keep it up Liam!

 

The third recipient this week was Joe (Y4), who has developed a love and skill for the paper folding art of origami. Now this is not your average paper plane making! Joe has spent an incredible amount of time refining his skills and creating some amazing models. He has also featured in a video by one of his favourite Youtuber’s, Fearless Flourish, in an unboxing video. Seeing the detail and skill that goes into each of the models is a fascinating. If you would like to have a look at some of the models please see the video below. Super work Joe, well done!

I GOT SENT SO MANY AWESOME ORIGAMI MODELS!!! - Origami Unboxing #5

Finally are two of our oldest pupils Noah Steadman and Dennis (Y6), who have both returned to school with a fantastic attitude to learning. They have created a brilliant relationship as learning partners, and it is really showing in their application and quality of their work. Both boys were really proud of their achievement, and rightly so…keep it up!

And that brings me to the end of my blog for the first week back. Once again it has been great to see everyone returning to school. I hope that you safely enjoy the weekend and look forward to seeing you all next week.

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 5th March

I know that we have all made it through to this point with a lot of hard work, tears, tantrums, highs and lows, but the end is in sight for remote learning (hopefully for the foreseeable future!). I have said it many times throughout this term but I am in awe of everyone that has adapted their day to day to support their children, maintain their job and stay on top, as much as possible, of things in their homes.

 

Over the weeks I have spent much time reflecting on the many positives that we have seen during this period of lockdown. However today I feel that it is important to look forward, and consider the opportunities that our wider re-opening will offer our children and families. We are all really excited to be welcoming our pupils back to school and have spent much time planning for the next few weeks.

 

We will be spending time re-connecting with each other, re-establishing good quality social interactions, embedding our high expectations in the classroom, assessing the direction that our curriculum needs to take, having fun and above all engaging in exciting learning opportunities.

 

Our curriculum until the end of term will be based around rainbows and the book ‘We Made a Rainbow’ by Michelle Robinson. It is based upon recognising some of the restrictions that we have all lived with over recent times, but to remember that at the end of a storm there is a rainbow waiting for us and we all have each other. I read it to everyone in assembly today, and I feel that it is very apt for our current position. Our Science week, English and art project will be centred on this book, and will culminate in an outdoor art gallery and some independent writing.

You should have received a letter via email this week reminding you all of the expectations, routines and procedures in and around school for our return. I implore you to please make sensible and positive choices at times that your children are not at school. This will enable us to best protect our community at school, and minimise the risk to any further disruptions to pupils learning in school. If you didn’t receive the letter you can download a copy below.

You may also have seen government information that families with children of primary school age are eligible for twice weekly rapid testing, if you are symptom free. This is the case and should you wish to access these with your children you can find out more information by clicking the link below.

I have seen much of the art that pupils have produced this week as a part of the project set by Mrs Cropley. It has been brilliant to see how pupils of all ages have taken their time and focused on the individual details of the different stages of their drawings. Please ensure that these are sent into school next week so that we can display some around the school.

 

I would like to introduce to everyone our new school community facility ‘The Store’. This is a place where you are able to supplement your store cupboards at home with additional items if you need them. There is a variety of tins, jars, dried goods and other non-perishable items available.

If you would like to access this initiative, then please feel free to do so at the following times:

Opening Times - Tuesday and Thursday from 8.40am – 9.15am and 3.00pm to 3.45pm

Location – Outside the Studio doors (Next to Early Years entrance)

 

If you are able to contribute, to help keep our store stocked, then please provide non-perishable items in the playground box marked The Store. Items could include Tins, Pasta, Pasta sauce, Rice, Tea, Coffee, Cereal and anything else with a long shelf life. We are also hoping to provide items such as toiletries, baby wipes and washing up liquid.

 

We will be looking to expand The Store to provide other essential items over the coming weeks and months, such as clothing and books. Please keep an eye out for updates in future blogs and newsletters.

 

Now onto our final set of remote celebrations. Many pupils have worked incredibly hard over recent weeks and we are proud of all of them. I will be having a ‘Lockdown Learners’ picnic in the next couple of weeks for some pupils from every class who have consistently applied themselves as well as they could during their time at home.

 

In our assembly I announced the following Stars of the Week, chosen by their teachers for engaging consistently well, contributing to group sessions and producing some fantastic work:

 

N: Ashton

R: Ethan

Y1: Olivia

Y2: Roma

Y3: George P

Y4: Jayden

Y5: Isabel

Y6: Lily

Critical Worker Groups: Tommy (Y1)

 

This week I handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 5 different children, each of them for fantastic work in different areas of the curriculum.

 

First was for Joy (Y1) who has been working hard all the way through this term. She has been a part of our Critical Worker bubble at school, but has furthered her learning at home and created her own fantastic maths book. Well done Joy, we are proud of you!

 

The next recipient is someone who has worked incredibly hard every day and consistently gone above and beyond the expectations that his teachers have set him. Spencer C (Y2) has been an exemplary model for Mrs Lewis and Mrs Oustayiannis since January and he deserves his Headteacher’s Award very much. Well done Spencer!

 

Another member of Year 2 who has worked in credibly hard this week is Mayson. He has persevered with Numbots since being at home, and this is enabling him to move through the levels and be proud of his achievements. Great work Mayson I am really pleased with how determined you have been!

 

Max (Y1) has been awarded his award for his reading and phonics work over recent weeks. Miss Martin has been incredibly impressed, as am I, with Max’s phonics work in his group sessions and the fact that he has read all of the books allocated to him online. Great work Max!

 

And finally there is an award for Maisie in Nursery for her excellent work in phonics lessons with Miss Lucas. Great work Maisie!

The next time I write a blog we will have had a week back in school with everyone, safely, back together! We are all looking forward to the next few weeks, but also need to mindful that we take care and protect our community as much as we can by adhering to the expectations that we set out.

 

Thank you for your support of the school through what has undoubtedly been a tough time for everyone. I look forward to seeing you all on Monday morning.

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 26th February

The end of our first week back and there is some light on the horizon for our pupils, with a full return to school coming on March 8th. I hope that you have taken the time to read my letter from earlier in the week so that you understand the adaptations that we are making to our remote learning next week. This will enable our teachers enough time to fully prepare for the weeks ahead!

 

The art project, set by Mrs Cropley, is there for pupils in all year groups. We would like to see as many of these as possible when we return, so please encourage your children to take care and present them as best they can.

 

Even though we now know that pupils are returning in just over a week, it is vitally important that you support us in keeping them engaged in their remote learning next week. This will ensure that they return to school better prepared and enable us to get back into the swing of things as swiftly as possible.

As I said in my letter, we will be returning with the same routines and procedures that we had in the Autumn Term. Our curriculum will focus heavily on instilling our high expectations and non-negotiables in the core subjects of maths and English, whilst giving pupils plenty of opportunity to re-establish their good quality social interactions with their peers. We will be taking regular exercise and providing an enriching afternoon curriculum with Science Week and a whole school art project.

 

The story I read in my assembly today was Ruby's Worry, now we all appreciate that although we are excited about returning to school that there will be pupils who are nervous or anxious about returning. If you know that this is the case for your child, please encourage your child to talk about it and contact your child’s class teacher through their class email address should you need to.

 

Keep an eye out next week for a reminder of our daily routine and expectations.

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week, and once again I have surprised some children at home this week with Headteacher’s Awards.

 

In our assembly I announced the following Stars of the Week, chosen by their teachers for engaging well, produced some fantastic work and supported others when they have needed it:

 

N: Isabelle

R: Alys

Y1: Liam

Y2: Richard

Y3: Jamila

Y4: Ethan M

Y5: Ellis

Y6: Livvy

Critical Worker Groups: Alessia, Ephraim

This week I handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 8 different children, each of them for fantastic work in different areas of the curriculum.

 

First was Ethan (Y2) for the fable that he wrote before the half term Holidays. Both Mrs Oustayiannis and Mrs Lewis were really impressed with the effort and hard work that had gone into creating such a fantastic piece of writing. Super work Ethan well done!

 

The next recipient of a Headteacher's award was also in year 2, Ali-May received her award for persevering with her skipping and developing that skill over the last six weeks and for her use of similes this week in her English work. We are really proud of the hard work that you have put into this Ali-May well done keep it up!

 

Also, this week I handed out headteacher's awards to three members of the same family. Nevaeh, Molly and Sophie Griffiths all carried out some random acts of kindness this week for frontline workers in our community. They delivered notes and Flowers to a range of people who have supported our community throughout this pandemic as a show of gratitude which I feel is much needed and has put a smile on people’s faces. Thank you for being so kind and generous, you truly deserve a Headteacher's award each.

 

Emily (Y1) has been working really hard in her English work this week, creating and describing her own dragon. Her creation and writing were very imaginative and well thought out. Well done Emily!

 

Finally, this week are some Headteacher awards for 2 pupils in Year 4. Both Lewis and Ella have consistently impressed Mrs Cropley and I with their constant commitment to their learning since January. They have contributed to class discussions, and always put in maximum effort in all of their work. Well done…we are really proud of you!

Ali-May.mov

Still image for this video

As ever thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you all in just over a week!

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 12th February

We made it…we have reached the end of half term and what a way to celebrate with our pyjama party! A massive thank you to DJ Krust for putting on such a great time for us all.

 

I want to start by saying how amazing all of our community has been through the last 6 weeks. You have been juggling children, work, remote learning, dogs, cats and everything else that life can throw at you. I say this as a parent myself, it hasn’t been easy for anyone! I’m sure that your houses have been like mine with tears, laughs, tantrums, hugs and fun, but through it all we have done our best to make the most of this situation.

 

I want you to know how brilliantly you are all doing at home. I am lucky enough to be able to see across our entire remote learning platform, and what I see are children who are learning well, listening to their teachers and sending in some fantastic work. I see parents interacting brilliantly, whilst juggling their own pressures, and I am incredibly proud to be leading this community. I want to give a Headteacher’s Award to each and every parent who has done a fantastic job at managing all of these things over the last 6 weeks. Unfortunately I couldn’t get around to all of you to give you your sticker, but you can print your own from the image below should you want to!

 

As a school we need to demonstrate that we are meeting our statutory responsibility in delivering a high quality remote offer, with specified amounts of learning. I know that some have felt overwhelmed by this. I know from speaking to many of you that for most of our parents the learning has been spot on, but for some it may be too much or too little. Some children have needed more support, and others have worked independently quite happily. There is no one size fits all solution, and you can only do what you can do. If you can get through with children who are warm, cared for, have food in their bellies and feel loved then you have done a great job!

 

On days where someone calls or emails you because your child hasn’t got online or submitted some work, please don’t feel like you are being judged. We are doing so to check that you are all ok, and to see if there is any way in which we can help or support you and your children.

 

As it stands I still have no further indications as to when a ‘school return’ might take place, or in what context we will be returning. The government have previously stated an aim to target March 8th at the earliest to begin opening up to increased amounts of pupils. Whether this will still happen, is likely to be announced in the week following half term.

 

With this in mind our plan is to continue to provide our provision in the same manner that we have been for the last half term, for the first 2 weeks of next half term at least, until we have clarity on the wider situation. Depending on the implications of any further announcements our provision may have to be adapted and run in a different way, but please be assured that we will keep you updated as soon as any decisions are made.

Like I regularly do, I want to pay tribute to our incredible staff for their work over the last 6 weeks. Despite their roles and manner of working having to change at short notice, they have all done their utmost to make sure that they are providing the best that they can for the children of Shephalbury Park. Whether they are supporting children at school, or at home juggling family life and delivering full days of learning to their classes, their commitment to this community is highly commendable and much valued by many.

This week has seen everyone take part in Feeling Good Week activities at home. I have seen some fantastic examples of what has been going on, including art work, baking and different physical activities. I hope that these have put a smile on your faces and made everyone in your home feel good. If you haven’t already done so, please send in some pictures of what you have been doing to you teachers so that they can share what has been going on in your classes.

 

This week is the last week of our official skipping challenge, and I have to say how delighted I am for the impact that it has had for many of our children. Like me, I see many of them determined to improve, keeping active and learning a new skill. I really hope that you continue to encourage your children to keep on skipping as a form of exercise and to support their mental well being. We will be using these skills during sports week later in the year!

 

Below is the last video for the challenge…I am sure that if you look back through my blogs, you will see the progress that everyone has made! After half term we will be starting a new challenge, which you receive more information about once we return.

Skipping Week 5

Still image for this video

Eleanor Skipping

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Now onto our celebrations for the week, and once again I have managed to get around to hand out awards to those who have been nominated by their teachers this week surprised some children at home this week with Headteacher’s Awards.

 

In our assembly I announced the following Stars of the Week, chosen by their teachers for engaging well, produced some fantastic work and supported others when they have needed it:

 

N: Sophie

R: Daniel

Y1: Freddie

Y2: Maia

Y3: George P

Y4: Jenson

Y5: Owen

Y6: Erin

Critical Worker Groups:

Olivia, Summer, Georgi, Charlie

 

This week I handed out Headteacher’s Awards to a range of children across the school. First of all was McKenzie (Y1) for her amazing commitment to absolutely everything thast she has done over the last 6 weeks. Miss Martin and I have been so impressed by the quality and quantity of work that she has produced, as well as being delighted to see the progress she continues to make. Well done McKenzie!

 

Next is a couple of our youngest pupils, Ethan and Alfie (N). Now I know that these two are best friends, and this week it seems as though they have a telepathic connection as they have both been making great progress with their phonics. Miss Lucas sent me some photos and videos of what you have been doing and it is fantastic…well done boys!

 

Now in Year 4 this week there has been much fun and excitement with their English unit on performance poetry. And it would seem that we may have a couple of Michael Rosen or Benjamin Zephaniah’s in our midst! Both Joe and Alex have performed some incredible poems that you can see below. Amazing work boys, well done!

 

Also in Year 4 Hannah and Ethan P have been awarded Headteacher awards for their continual high levels of engagement and commitment to all of their work this half term. Great work guys!

 

And finally this half term it is 2 of our oldest pupils, Noah Spiller and Angelika (Y6) for some well written and highly informative biographies this week. They had both utilised the skills that they had learnt throughout their English unit and presented them really well. Some great work to be proud of!

Joe poem.mp4

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Performance Poetry

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Alfie Phonics.mp4

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And now to find our who are the winners in our Shephalbury Park 'TTRS Battle of the Classes!'

NumBots and TTRS 12.02.21.mp4

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A huge congratulations to Year 5 for winning our Battle of the Classes!

Our governors play an active role within our school and make regular contact and visits throughout the year. Please see below for a letter from our Chari of Governors, Cameron Smith:

As well as today being the end of this half term, it also marks the start of maternity leave for Mrs Oustayiannis. She is expecting a little girl in the next few weeks, and I’m sure that you will join me in wishing her every luck and happiness we look forward to hearing her good news in the coming weeks. For the remainder of this academic year 2 will be led full time by Mrs Lewis.

 

As ever thank you for your support, I hope that you all enjoy a break next week and I look forward to seeing many of you back online on Monday 22nd February!

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 5th February

As we come to the end of our first week of February I have had some time to reflect on the sad news of the passing of Captain Sir Tom Moore earlier this week. In what has been an incredibly difficult year for many of us, Captain Tom’s story, and life, have become an inspiration to people old and young across the country. He has been the epitome of positivity and optimism for many months, and his fundraising work has raised nearly £33 million in less than a year. He is someone who will be remembered as a beacon of light during tough times and I feel that it is only right that this week’s quote is one of his.

 

“We will get through it in the end but it might take time, at the end of the day we shall all be ok again…for all those finding it difficult: the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away” Captain Sir Tom Moore.