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Shephalbury ParkPrimary School

Imagine, Believe, Achieve

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Mr Conway's Blog

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

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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.

It was great to see so many superheroes and princesses at this week’s assembly. If you attended our assembly this week, you will have heard me announce the theme (and special treat) that we have lined up for next week. To round off ‘Feeling Good Week’ we will be holding a virtual pyjama party at 2pm before our assembly. So make sure you are wearing your favourite PJ’s or onesie and be prepared to sing along and dance to the sounds of DJ Krust in your living rooms!

As mentioned above, next week is our Feeling Good Week across the school. This is a chance for us all to take part in some activities together to make us be happy, healthy and feel good about ourselves and our families. Our staff have put together a timetable of activities and ideas that you can try at home during the afternoons next week. Below you will also find lots of ideas, activities and links to a whole raft of different things.

 

Some classes might have activities that your teachers would like you to try, these will be shared in the normal way on Teams. For others feel free to dip in and out of our different suggestions every day. Remember that the activities should be fun, enjoyable and be shared with your families.

 

Please take the time to read the timetable and information below to share with your children and find activities that you can all do together. Please send pictures, videos and anything else that you do next week to your class teachers so that we can showcase it all for everyone on my blog after half term.

Last weekend I know that many of you took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. I have seen pictures of people creating bird tables and feeders, and then patiently waiting for their garden visitors. You will see in the photos below that we had a nice variety of birds, including a sparrowhawk! Well done to everyone who took part, I hope that you enjoyed looking out for the birds as I did at my house.

As we approach the final week of our skipping challenge it has been great to hera from many of you how enthusiastic you have been to get out, stay fit and try some new tricks. Mia has been checking my blog and continues to be super impressed with the progress that you are making…well done!

 

This week’s video sees some of the tricks that Mia showed us last week, keep trying them throughout the next week and we will have our last skipping video on next week’s blog.

Skipping Week 4 WEB.mp4

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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: Joshua

R: Darcey

Y1: Daniel

Y2: Sereny

Y3: Ezme

Y4: Ezme

Y5: Finley Bryce

Y6: Andile

Critical Worker Groups:

Noorisha, Rae, Ruby

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 of all was Molly (Y1) for the fantastic improvements that she has made with her writing recently. I have seen some of the work that she has produced at home, and she has been working really hard. Super work Molly…well done!

 

Next is another member of the Griffiths household…Nevaeh has been working incredibly hard in supporting the Year 3 effort in their TTRS battle this week with Year 5. She was a top contributor in her class and her award is rightly deserved. Great work!

 

Also scoring highly and contributing to their class total was Teddy (Y5). He played over 200 games in the last week. Amazing effort!

 

Someone who has been working extremely hard on their writing this week was Seth (Y3) who has re-written his own version of Rapunzel set in space. My particular favourite part was the halloumi moon cheese which featured in the story! Well done Seth!

 

And finally 2 awards for some of our oldest pupils. Bethany (Y6) has developed a really positive attitude to her remote learning over the last couple of weeks and is now producing some fantastic work at home. This week Walid (Y6) has also been determined to produce some good writing. He has made lots of effort and has really impressed both Mrs Cargill and myself. Brilliant work both of you!

 

(also pictured below are Charlie and Leo (Y1) with their Headteacher Awards from previous weeks)

Numbots & TTRS

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As ever thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing many of you at our virtual pyjama party next Friday!

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 29th January

Once again we reach the end of the week with the prospect of some colder weather over the weekend. I know that the snow last weekend provided some respite and excitement for many of us. I am sure that many of you enjoyed snowball fights, built snowmen and went sledging.

 

Throughout the week Mrs Cropley, Mrs Dean and I have once again visited many of you to deliver some fresh exercise books for our pupils. It has been lovely to see you all and catch up on how you are getting on. If you haven’t yet got your new books they will be with you at the beginning of next week.

 

Hopefully you will have received and read my letter this week regarding the developments in our remote learning offer from next week. Please ensure that you check if your child has been invited to a support or stretch session with their teacher. These are going to be a great way for us to facilitate some small group work with teachers. The groupings are fluid and may change from week to week as the focus of the sessions changes, you will be notified by Friday of each week if your child is invited for the following week.

 

We have also added a live Q & A session into each day for Years 1-6, between 11.30-12pm. This is a chance for pupils to clarify work, check their understanding, or for them to gain some extra motivation from their teacher. Please encourage your child to use this time should they need to.

 

With the shift to remote learning, and our children spending an increased amount of time at home, there is no doubt a vast increase in the amount of time that our children are spending online. It is vital that we are aware of any potential issues that may arise, and stay up to speed on best practice whilst online to keep our children safe. There is information available on the online safety page of the website. Below is the Spring eSafety newsletter from Herts for Learning, where you will find some important information about Tik Tok and other useful information:

We also appreciate that with us spending more time in closer contact to our close family, tensions and frustrations for our children, and ourselves, may manifest themselves in different ways. This is perfectly normal at a time like this, however there is support available if things are becoming more difficult. Below is a document which details some online parent workshops on a variety of topic areas (positive behaviour, anxiety, anger, challenging behaviour) which you may wish to access.

This weekend marks the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, and I have already been sent some photos of the visitors in some people’s gardens. I would encourage you to take some time (an hour) to sit and have a look out of your window/door to see the birds that visit your garden or local area. I have uploaded a copy of the bird identifier below. If you are able to get some good snaps of any of the birds I would love to see them, and will make a presentation to put onto blog next week of your bird watching experiences!

We will all now have heard the news regarding the earliest possible potential opening for schools, as announced by Boris Johnson this week. This will have filled us with mixed thoughts and feelings regarding the coming weeks, and the quote that I have chosen this week summarises my thoughts in relation to this.

Thank you to everyone for joining me in our hat assembly this afternoon, it was great to see you all looking resplendent in your homes! Our theme assembly will continue next week with a Super Hero and Princess assembly…so dust off your capes and tiaras and get dressed up next week.

 

Next week marks Children’s Mental Health Week, you can access some ideas and activities by following the link to the website. Your class teachers may include some activities next week, however we will be having our own ‘Felling Good Week’ in the final week of this half term (8th Feb – 12th Feb) which will be filled with ideas and activities to support everyone’s mental and physical wellbeing.

 

Once again your skipping progress this week has been brilliant…please keep it up! We were also treated in assembly to a special message from Mia, who inspired our skipping journey in the first place.

Mia Message.mp4

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Over the next couple of weeks let’s all see if we can master the tricks that Mia has shown us and get those videos sent in for us all to see. See the video below for this week’s skipping highlights!

Skipping Week 3 WEB.mp4

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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: Tommy

R: Louis

Y1: Lilly

Y2: Oscar

Y3: Amelia

Y4: Lewis

Y5: Lewis

Y6: Annabell

Critical Worker Groups:

Jake, Noah Stone, Bethany

 

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 of all was Emily (Y1) for her collaborative poster (with her sister) to encourage people to recycle their waste. Super work…well done!

Another member of Year 1 to receive a Headteacher's Award this week is Leo, for his brilliant writing this week on a wanted poster for Sunny. Well done Leo, your sticker will be with you next week!

William (N) has really impressed Miss Lucas, and me, this week with his number work. He has used his Number Blocks to demonstrate some number bonds and addition…amazing William!

William Numberblocks 1.mp4

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Another pupil demonstrating fantastic maths skills this week is Ethan (Y2), who beat Mrs Lewis in the Year 2 maths challenge earlier this week…great work!

Ethan C.mp4

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This week has seen the start of our TTRS battle league in Key Stage 2, and Skye (Y4) has been working tremendously hard to earn points for her class. Not only that she has improved her speed and accuracy of answers from the start to the end of the week, and is now attaining four times as many correct answers! Simply incredible Skye…we are proud of you!

Finally, this week is an award for what has been one of my favourite remote learning activities so far…catapult making! Ryder’s creation, as you will see below was a fantastic effort and very worthy of an award. Well done!

Rhyder.mov

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As ever thank you for your support and if there is any additional support that you need, please don’t hesitate to contact us at school.

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 22nd January

The end of our 3rd week of remote learning and I am really proud at how we have all approached it so far. We are now half way through this half term, and on the whole people have found routines and methods of working that fit into their lives.

 

I am in regular contact with many families, and completely understand the differing circumstances that we are all living with. Like all of you I have the same struggles with finding the balance of work, home schooling, quality family time and a bit of time to yourself! Our children will have tears and tantrums, highs and lows, but please remember that you are not alone.

 

As I have maintained throughout the periods in which we have been at home in the past, it is ok to take a break from the learning as you see fit, play a game, watch some TV, get some fresh air and skip!

 

Maintaining positive relationships in the home is more important now than ever with the amount of time that we are spending with each other. We all miss the ‘normalities’ of what life used to hold, and in time these will return, however for now we need to remember to celebrate small wins and value normal things; a bedtime story, a movie together or a shared meal.

 

Don’t feel pressured by what others are doing, or how they are coping with their own situation. Remember that working out what is right for you and your family is the most important thing right now, and will continue to be so over the coming weeks.

Throughout the week I have dropped into morning meetings, story time and afternoon meet ups. As always our pupils are engaged, eager to learn and keen to socialise. The work that I have the pleasure of seeing is of a good quality, a testament to the support that they are being provided from school and home.

 

Each week so far we have had over 150 different accounts accessing our Friday Celebration Assembly. This is undoubtedly my favourite part of the week, seeing so many happy faces and recognising pupils’ achievements. I am glad to be able to share it with all of you. From next week I thought that I would add a bit more fun into the mix…I would like everyone who is attending the assembly to wear a hat!

 

Throughout the week I have received skipping updates from many of you (over 75 photos and videos). I am so pleased that so many of you are putting the effort into learning or developing your skipping skills and also keeping active and healthy. I am out skipping everyday with my children and we are having so much fun learning and improving. Keep it up next week and don’t forget to send me your updates head@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk!

Skipping Week 2

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Now onto our celebrations for the week, I miss not being able to hand all of these out in person, however I was able to deliver my Headteacher’s Awards for the week.

 

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: Mason

R: Connie

Y1: McKenzie

Y2: Tyler

Y3: Nevaeh

Y4: Ethan M

Y5: Isabel

Y6: Holly

Critical Worker Groups:

Elijah, Lexie, Emily

 

This week I handed out Headteacher’s Awards to 5 different children, each of them for exceptional work in different areas of the curriculum. Olivia (Y1) was awarded hers for some incredible independent instructional writing of making butterfly cakes. Well done!

 

Spencer C (Y2) has been committed to all aspects of his learning over the last few weeks, but has really impressed with his maths work on multiplication this week. Keep it up!

 

Another two Year 2 recipients this week were Roma and Bella for their brilliantly written stories. They both used lots of the features that they had learnt, and used some wonderful detail. Great work!

 

Freddie (Y1) has also been working hard on his writing this week. He applied his phonic knowledge in a range of work. Fantastic!

 

Finally, this week is Sophia (Y4) who has been indulging her passion for art whilst at home. Every day she creates something new, and her designs have really brightened up my day. Well done Sophia!

Numbots and TTRS

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A reminder to those people who would like to take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch next weekend. I have already seen some families getting well prepared, creating bird feeders and setting up cameras to see what is arriving. For more information please follow this link: https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/ 

 

As ever thank you for your support and if there is any additional support that you need, please don’t hesitate to contact us at school.

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 15th January

We have arrived at the end of our second week of remote learning, and I have to say how impressed your teachers and I have been so far. The effort and commitment that many of you are showing each and every day is fantastic! We all know how tough it can be to concentrate at home and manage the learning with everything else that is happening around us, however it is really important that we stick to it and do our best.

 

As always, if you are finding something tricky, or need a bit more support our teachers are available online everyday between 8.45am and 3.30pm. Contact them via the normal channels and they will be able to guide children and adults in making sure everyone is accessing their learning appropriately.

 

As a staff team we are reviewing our online provision on a weekly basis, and will be adapting and improving it as we go. We too are learning the best way to adapt our way of facilitating the curriculum and tailoring it to the needs of pupils online. I am proud of what is happening so far, but as with everything we will adapt and improve as we go. I have appreciated the feedback that we have had so far, and will send out a link to a survey in the coming weeks to gain some more insights into our provision from both pupil and parent points of view.

 

If you are still having technical problems, or are suffering from a lack of access at home, please do contact me so that we are able to discuss ways of supporting you.

 

Over the course of this week I have visited nearly every single family to drop off your skipping ropes, so that no-one has any excuses not to participate in our skipping challenge. It was great to see so many of you and have a quick chat, as well as keeping my step count up for the week (over 30,000 steps on Monday alone!).

 

Now as I outlined in my assembly last week, we are all at very different stages of our skipping journey. This week has been a good chance to find out where you are starting from. Please make some time every day to let your child/ren practice skipping or, once they have mastered a basic skip, learn some tricks. It is a fantastic exercise and will also develop children’s motor skills and co-ordination!

 

Thank you to everyone who has sent in a photo or short clip of themselves skipping this week, you are all included in the video below. Please send me your clips every week so that we can see your improvements (head@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk) Enjoy the video:

Skipping Challenge Week 1

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I know for many of us at home, children especially, one of the key parts of not coming to school is missing out on seeing their friends. I know that some of our classes have been trialling lunch time socials through Teams on video and chat, and this is giving them some much needed social contact. I know that many of you may have already been creative in putting in some other virtual social opportunities, but here are some suggestions that might work for you:

 

  1. Virtual story time with friends or family, read your favourite story to your friends or family
  2. Quiz, each child writes a few questions to ask their friends
  3. Virtual dinner party, all have the same meal and chat via video call whilst eating
  4. Virtual cook-a-long, arrange to cook or make something together at the same time as video calling

 

Next week, Monday 18th, marks Winnie the Pooh day (celebrated on the birthday of A A Milne), and I feel that the image and quote below sums up many of our feelings in regards to our friends currently.

Now onto our celebrations for the week…once again our assembly this afternoon was really well attended, thanks for coming!

 

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

 

N: Alfie

R: Imogen

Y1: Molly

Y2: Spencer C

Y3: Rylan

Y4: Ella

Y5: Tommy

Y6: Michael

Critical Worker Groups:

Kian, Konnor

 

There was also a Headteacher’s Award announced in assembly for Amelia (Y3) for really developing her independence with her home learning and daily routines at home. As well as for helping out mum when she got into a sticky situation in the mud during the week. Well done Amelia, I am really proud of you!

 

Also working hard this week with their Numbots and Times Table Rock Stars are the children featured in the videos below:

Numbots

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TTRS

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Those that joined assembly will have also heard me promote participation in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch over the weekend of 29th – 31st January. It is a great way to connect with the wildlife around us and take some time to appreciate our local birds. If you would like to join in at home, or for more information please follow this link: https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/ 

 

I look forward to seeing your skipping updates, and will be dropping into some of the daily sessions with teachers next week.

 

As ever thank you for your support and if there is any additional support that you need, please don’t hesitate to contact us at school.

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 8th January

Well what a start to 2021 we have had! First of all I would like to pay enormous credit to all of our staff for working incredibly hard in establishing remote learning and our on-site provision. This has really been an immense task, working with new technology and increased stresses.

 

We had planned extensively for remote learning, but as with everything until you have a chance to put it into practice you are never quite sure how it will work. With this in mind I would like to praise the perseverance and resilience of those of you at home in getting set up and your children engaged with their classes and their learning. Over the course of this week we have seen almost our entire pupil body online at registration sessions, story time, and in completing their tasks.

 

Pupils have embraced the new technology and methods of accessing their learning well. Now we all appreciate that our personal and home circumstances are very different currently, but the feedback coming from staff is that they are impressed with what they are getting back from all pupils.

 

It is important to remember that despite our desire for our children to be focussed and model pupils, we all need to recognise that learning at home is inevitably going to be different from being at school. We all know that the way that children respond to their parents and home environment is very different to the way the respond to a teacher (I know this only too well from personal experience!). Please do not feel stressed or worried if your child isn’t always as focused in their learning as you want them to be. Tailor your day and expectations to what suits you and your child best.

 

As we saw once all pupils returned in September, we will work hard to fill any gaps in learning and ensure that pupils continue to get the high quality, fully rounded education that we are able to provide them at school. If they don’t get everything done every day it doesn’t matter, if they need to take a break or play for a while please let them do this. We all have enough stressors in our lives at the moment, and we want to keep pupils engaged fully in their learning. Our teachers have worked hard to produce lessons that are accessible and appropriate for home and want all pupils to be successful. They too have felt the stresses of working from home with their children whilst also supporting yours.

 

We know that the next six weeks are going to be challenging for us all, but our priority is to ensure that pupils are engaging on a daily basis, safe, happy and trying their best with the work that is set. We will of course, as always, be here every step of the way to support, motivate and encourage you and your children to achieve this!

 

I have been very taken recently with the book by Charlie Macksey, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, and included an image in one of my previous correspondences. I feel that the image below is quite apt for the current situation.

Our last school closure saw me enter the world of vlogging for the first time, but his time around I have taken the decision to invite our entire community to a celebration assembly every Friday at 2.30pm. Thank you to everyone who joined us today!

 

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

 

N: Isla

R: Henry F

Y1: Leo

Y2: Mayson

Y3: Caleb

Y4: Joe

Y5: Ruby

Y6: Elliot

Critical Worker Groups:

Violet, Bella, Natalia

 

Those that joined will have also heard about the new challenge that I have set for everyone over the next 6 weeks…to learn to skip and learn some tricks if you can. I have been inspired recently by some videos online and feel that this is a really good way for us all to be able to keep fit, learn something new and develop our perseverance at home.

 

Each child will receive a skipping rope over the next week, if you already have one then you will be getting a slight head start!

 

I will be doing a weekly update of my own progress, along with that of pupils and staff. If you would like to be included in this please send your clips or photos to head@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk before Thursday lunchtime each week.

 

Thank you for your support this week, it is very much appreciated!

 

Stay safe

 

Ben Conway

Friday 18th December

Well, what a year it has been? I know that for many of us, quite possibly the most difficult of our lifetime, however as a community we should be proud of how we have collectively approached the challenges in our way head on. Our pupils remain in school, engaged in learning, happy and polite. Our wider community has supported us when we have needed them to, and also when we have had to make difficult decisions that have adapted the way that we run our school.

 

"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." – Coretta Scott King

 

Our school has continued to grow in strength throughout this year, despite the bumps in the road. We have developed our curriculum, invested heavily in learning resources (books and laptops) and successfully reintegrated all pupils into the new daily norms around school. This is a testament to the committed and skilled staff team that we have, something that we should all be grateful for.

 

This week has been full of Christmas activities around school. At the time of writing this our Christmas production has been viewed nearly 500 times, the buzz around school on Tuesday afternoon during the premiere was fantastic. This truly is something that we should all be proud of. Christmas lunch was delicious and enjoyed by everybody, our discos saw some fab dance moves and we have all thoroughly enjoyed getting involved with the Christmas pantomime in our classes this morning!

You will find lots of additional information about other happenings around the school in our December newsletter that has been sent via email, and can also been downloaded just below. There is some important information in the newsletter regarding the reporting of any positive COVID cases over the holidays. Please take the time to read it carefully.

And now for the final time in 2020 our weekly awards…there are a few more this week. On top of our weekly Bucket Filler award and Headteacher’s awards, we also awarded our termly Presentation Prince and Princess awards, for children who consistently present their work to the very highest standard.

 

This week’s tour of the school was assisted by a lucky helper from year 6 and all of the winners were rewarded with their certificate and a cake bar, which this week were Christmas themed cake bars:

 

N- Ralph     R- Darcey    Y1- Emma     Y2- Richard    Y3- Viktor     Y4- Ethan P    Y5- Teddy    Y6- Olivia

Presentation Princes and Princes this term are:

N- Melissa     R- Lexie    Y1- Olivia     Y2- Spencer C   Y3- Riley     Y4- Ava    Y5- Finley    Y6- Holly

 

Now for this week’s Headteacher’s Awards…First was Liam R (Y5) who during his time in isolation at home had been working hard on improving his handwriting. Since returning to school his has used his improved handwriting style in his work, something that he should be very proud of. Well done Liam…keep it up!

Also given a Headteacher’s Award this week was Olivia (Y1). She has been recorded reading one of my children’s favourite stories, Stickman. The award is particularly given for the clarity and expression that she has in her reading throughout the video. Well done Oliva…super reading!

Stickman.mp4

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Holly (Y6) has taken her enjoyment of both maths and logic home and made her own infinity cube. The concentration and determination required to make this is something to be highly commended. Great work Holly!

Finally this week were 2 members of Year 2. Firstly Bella brought me the book that she had written at home retelling the story of the birth of Jesus. Her writing was exceptionally good, and to do this in her own time at home shows that she is really embracing her love of learning. Well done Bella!

 

Lastly was Frederico, who produced some incredible rubbings in his sketch book this week. He found some natural materials (leaves) and using crayons completed some rubbings, trying to make them look like fish swimming. He did an incredible job…keep up the hard work Frederico!

And there you have it, my final blog of the year. I have thoroughly enjoyed my weekly communications both blogging, and vlogging during lockdown 1. I appreciate the positive feedback that has been given by many of you as to the value of celebrating the successes of our community through these forums. I look forward to picking back up where we left off in January.

 

I hope that you all have a safe, peaceful and enjoyable break, however you and your family celebrate during this period.

 

Mr Ben Conway

Friday 11th December

Just one week to go until the end of term, and it truly feels like the last few weeks have flown by at a considerable rate of knots! There is a definite festive feel around the school with the decorations and lights around, topped off by our church visits today for each bubble.

 

Reverend Kate led 4 services aimed at the different ages of our bubbles. Everyone really enjoyed the opportunity to visit church, listen to and sign some songs and learn a bit more about the Christmas story. My particular highlight was the Chocolate Nativity Story shared with our older pupils, a huge thank you Reverend Kate for hosting us!

EYFS

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Years 1 & 2

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Years 3 & 4

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We have also been recording our first whole school Shephalbury Christmas Production. Much hard work and effort has gone into the creation of this, especially from Mr Klein, and we are all excited to be able to share it with our entire community next week. It will premiere on YouTube to everyone on Tuesday 15th December at 2pm. As we are still in the production stage the link will be ready to share with you on Monday, so please look out for the email when it arrives!

 

Today was the last day for bringing in cards and gifts to be handed to pupils and members of staff. This process has worked well so far, and has ensured that we have maintained a good level of safety for everyone. All items will now quarantine at school before being handed out at the latter end of next week

 

As always, one of my favourite times of the week…rewarding our Bucket Fillers and Headteacher’s Award winners!

 

This week’s tour of the school was assisted by a lucky helper from year 6 and all of the winners were rewarded with their certificate and a cake bar, which this week were Jaffa Cake bars:

 

N- Georgi     R- Lexie    Y1- Zaki     Y2- Bella    Y3- Riley     Y4- Lewis    Y5- Jacob    Y6- Billy

Now for this week’s Headteacher’s Awards…First this week were 2 pupils from our Year 1 class, Kyla M and Lilly. Kyla designed and created a brilliant string puppet based on their work learning about toys from the past. Super work!

 

Lilly was given her award for her consistently good work in maths, and for really challenging herself recently. This determination and drive to improve her work is a fantastic attitude to have when tackling new content…well done Lilly!

Also given a Headteacher’s Award for maths this week was Tyler (Y2). He had spent time learning about repeating patterns this week, and completed his work independently, and most importantly explained the reasoning behind his work. Well done Tyler, keep up the hard work!

Someone else working incredibly hard this week is Florence (R) for her independent writing. She took a picture of Rudolph and wrote to tell him that she likes his nose! Lovely work Florence...keep it up!

Finally, this week were 2 members of our Year 4 class. Skye has worked extremely hard all week to learn her spellings and scored 10 out of 10 in her test. This is a fantastic achievement as spelling hasn’t always come naturally to Skye but her determination this week is truly something to be proud of…well done!

 

The second member of Year 4 to receive an award is Alex. He has created an exceptional Christmas card for a resident at a local care home. Not only were his design and D&T skills fantastic, but hi message was incredibly kind and considerate for its recipient. Well done Alex we are really proud of you!

That is it for this week, I hope that you all have a safe and relaxing weekend.

 

Mr Ben Conway

Friday 4th December

And just like that we have made it to December and there is definitely the buzz of excitement around the school already. Staff and pupils have been eagerly preparing and recording their parts for the Shephalbury Christmas production which will premiere to everyone on Tuesday 15th December at 2pm. A link to this premiere will be sent out next week, and don’t worry if you miss it as you will be able to watch afterwards at a time convenient to you!

 

It has been great to return to work this week and see so many happy faces in and around school. Thank you for the warm welcome back! The last couple of weeks have highlighted to me the importance of prompt action should anyone in your household display symptoms. We are seeing lots of schools across the town experiencing positive cases and closing classes and bubbles. Please be vigilant and if you or close family members do display even minor symptoms, be safe, isolate and get a test.

 

Those pupils who are isolating are accessing their learning through Microsoft Teams, and having the chance to engage in activities with their classes like catch up time and story time. Please ensure that you have taken the chance to access your child’s Teams account using the details that were sent home earlier this term. This will ensure that you are able to access their learning should you have to isolate. For more information, please visit the remote learning page on the website

We have finalised our Christmas schedule this week, and will be visiting St Peter’s Church next Friday in our bubbles for a short service led by Reverend Kate and her team. Unfortunately, we will be unable to invite the rest of our community this year, however we are hoping that we will be able to reinstate this popular school tradition next year.

 

I would like to set up a parent focus group in the new year to be able to provide us with some feedback and important input with regards to school developments. It would involve being available for a meeting (remote initially) once a term. I am looking for people that may be prepared to review, and offer an opinion on, some school policies and give honest parental feedback in relation to school initiatives. If you would like to be considered for this please send me an email and let me know head@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk

 

Now onto some of the highlights of my job…rewarding our Bucket Fillers and Headteacher’s Award winners!

 

Now I am back I was able to resume speedy tour of the school this afternoon handing out certificates and cake bars, which this week were Roses Orange Crème!

 

N- Sophie      R- Charlie    Y1- Leo     Y2- Joshua    Y3- Bethany     Y4- Cade    Y5- Richie    Y6- Michael

Now for this week’s Headteacher’s Awards, and there are quite a few that were awarded last week in my absence.

 

Firstly is Charlie (Y1) who continued his RE learning of the Christmas story at home, creating his own independently written and illustrated book. This was a fantastic effort, with some great writing…well done Charlie!

Next is Tommy (Y5) who received his award for his determination and perseverance with something which he found tricky. Year 5 had been learning about Roman numerals and this isn’t something which came naturally to Tommy at first. However, after reflecting on his learning he had another go at identifying them the following day and nailed! We are really proud of you Tommy, well done!

 

Lewis (Y4) is no stranger to receiving Headteacher’s awards and this is because of his fantastic work ethic and the quality of work that he produces. His award was given for incorporating his D & T work on pop-up techniques, with his research and knowledge of volcanoes. As you will see below it was brilliant…great work Lewis!

 

Some more Year 4 pupils this week who should feel really proud are Alessia, Summer and Ava. All three of them have visited me with their writing this week. All of them were absolutely fantastic and included lots of the features of writing that Year 4 have been working on. They had all used excellent descriptive techniques and dialogue, and the progress in their books from September was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and listening to them all…great work girls!

There has been lots of hard work going on in Year 6 recently, and both Crystal and Sonny have been given awards for continuing their learning at home independently. Crystal has been researching Queen Victoria and produced a fact poster, while Sonny continued his symmetrical Rangoli patter from RE. Well done both of you!

 

More Year 6 Pupils working hard recently are Chloe and Zack, who have been really determined and focused on improving their reading fluency with Mrs Grizzell. Great work guys…keep it up!

Our next 3 awards are for pupils in EYFS, firstly Tia (R) has been working hard on utilising her phonic knowledge in her writing. This has paid of greatly with her independent writing, super work! Also working hard on using their phonics knowledge in their writing is Olivia (R) who recorded the names of things from around the farm whilst playing ‘I Spy Farm’. Great stuff!

 

And finally is Teddy (N) who built a cinema out of Lego. He described each of the parts, and what they were watching (Toy Story 4). I particularly liked the air conditioning unit and milkshakes that were a part of his model. Amazing work Teddy, keep it up!

This week I was sent some information relating to Healthy Start Vouchers. These vouchers are available to support some families who are pregnant or have children under the age of 4 to get vouchers every week to spend on milk, fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables, fresh, dried, and tinned pulses, and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins. For more information, and to find out if you are eligible, please follow the link below:

 

https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/

 

That is it for this week, I hope that you all have a safe and relaxing weekend.

 

Mr Ben Conway

Friday 20th November

The end of another week, and once again it has been a very strange week for me! As a family we have now been in isolation since Monday evening, and we are experiencing the challenges that many have faced this year when working and schooling from home. Thankfully, despite my wife contracting the virus, her symptoms remain mild, and the rest of us are well at the moment.

 

Working full time from home has been an interesting experience so far. Despite enabling me plenty of time to complete paperwork, I miss the day to day contact with our pupils and wider community. Throughout the week I have been in daily contact with Mrs Cropley, Mrs Dean and the rest of the team at school. As ever, they are doing a fantastic job at maintaining the high standards and expectations that we set for staff and pupils around school. Thank you!

 

You should have received a letter yesterday via email outlining our Christmas arrangements for the last couple of weeks of term. We really want to try and end, what has been a tough year for all, with fun and enjoyment at school. If you missed the email, there is a copy of the letter below.

We have, this week, bought into an online e-book library for school reading books. This will enable your child to access a wider range of levelled reading books from home every week. It Is also there to ensure that should your child be at home isolating you will have continuous access to reading books. The books are all a part of the same Big Cat reading scheme that we already use in school. Each child will be allocated books to their online bookshelf and teachers will be able to see which books pupils are reading and how often they are reading them. You will receive a paper letter with your child’s log-in details on Monday next week.

 

The wonders of technology will never cease to amaze me and, with the assistance of Mrs Dean, I was still able to lead celebration assembly from home this afternoon. It was great to see all of the children, and as always how excited they are to find out who will be the week’s Bucket Filler!

 

This week’s Bucket Fillers were rewarded for their hard work with a certificate and a Chocolate Mini Roll…delicious!

 

As you will know our Bucket Fillers are positive role models in and around our school all of the time. They fill the buckets of others through their kind words and actions, and it is only right that we recognise the contributions that they make in keeping our school the happy place that it is! Well done this week to:

 

N- Isla      R- Imogen    Y1- Olivia     Y2- Bella    Y3- Phoebe     Y4- Joe    Y5- Katie    Y6- Ava

Now for this week’s Headteacher’s Awards. I was only able to award one of these this week, however Mrs Cropley was delighted to award some in my absence.

Emilia (Y2) came to see me on Monday to show me her fantastic RE work about Christmas. She had used the question prompts that Mrs Lewis had given her to produce some fantastic answers that were really well presented. Well done Emilia!

 

In Year 1 this week, Vinnie and Autumn were both awarded Headteacher’s Awards by Mrs Cropley for applying their phonics knowledge to their independent writing. This is a fantastic achievement for them both, and it shows how much progress that they are both making in both their phonics and writing. Super work!

And the final award this week went to Anjolaoluwa for his brilliant design and technology work, designing and making a brilliant pop-up Christmas card. His reindeer design and pop-up mechanism are great. Amazing work Anjolaoluwa…well done!

And that is it for this week, I would like to end by just reminding everyone of the importance of adhering to the expectations that we are setting with regards to the wearing of face coverings and only individuals dropping of and collecting. These measures are in place to protect our community as best we can, so that we are able to continue to minimise the risk to all and keep our school running as normal. I urge you to mindful and follow these expectations.

 

I hope that you all have a safe and relaxing weekend.

 

Mr Ben Conway

Friday 13th November

Well what a busy and slightly crazy week we have had!

 

Our Maths dress up day was hugely successful, and all credit to pupils, parents and staff for their creativity in producing some absolutely incredible outfits. Everyone looked fantastic and I know that lots of pupils drive for completing more activities on TTRS or Numbots has been increased over the last couple of weeks. Thank you to everyone for entering in to the spirit of the day, and to Mrs Lewis for planning and organising everything.

In addition to this we had our, now annual, Children in Need Ramble today. Pupils from all year groups took time out from learning to have a leisurely stroll around the park (or around the school grounds for EYFS). A huge well done to everyone for taking part, and thank you to those people who donated to a very worthy cause.

Added on top of this we have had individual photos and lots of fantastic learning.

 

I had the pleasure, during this afternoon’s assembly, of awarding this year’s school councillors their badges. The manner in which we conduct our regular meetings will have to change for the foreseeable future, but our School Council play an important role in feeding back to me about the thoughts and opinions of pupils, as well as giving pupils a real ownership over the developments that we make in school. A prime example of this is the leading role that last year’s councillors played in the design and development of our library.

 

Congratulations to the following pupils who have been elected to represent their classes:

Year 1- Alfie B & Olivia

Year 2- Lilly & Joshua

Year 3- Phoebe & Olivia

Year 4- Ella & Joe

Year 5- Teddy & Logan

Year 6- Ava & Andile

 

And now for the bit I am sure you have all been waiting for…this week’s Bucket Fillers!

 

This week’s Bucket Fillers were rewarded for their hard work with a certificate and a Raspberry Mini Roll…delicious!

As you will know our Bucket Fillers are positive role models in and around our school all of the time. They fill the buckets of others through their kind words and actions, and it is only right that we recognise the contributions that they make in keeping our school the happy place that it is! Well done this week to:

 

N- Ashton      R- Alys     Y1- Jake     Y2- Sofia    Y3- Jamila     Y4- Kian T    Y5- Miles    Y6- Noah Sp

 

Now for this week’s Headteacher’s Awards. As always I thoroughly enjoy being able to share and celebrate pupils’ work with them.

 

This week has been a quiet week on the Headteacher Award front…Charlie in Year 2 came to see me with his maths work earlier in the week. Mrs Lewis and Mrs Oustayiannis wanted to recognise the progress and increase in mathematical confidence that Charlie has been making recently. The work in his book, and the way that he spoke to me about his maths work clearly demonstrated both of these facts. Well done Charlie, we are really proud of you!

Kian T (Y4) has been following up his work in class with additional learning at home. He went home this week, having learnt about poppies in class, and continued to find out more about Flanders Fields and Moina Michael to bring in and share with his class. Great work Kian!

I don't normally like to use this forum to communicate moans or negative messages. However, over the last couple of weeks there have been a few times where members of our community have shared concerns regarding the inconsiderate parking and manner of driving by others during drop off and collection. I urge you please, in the interest of safety for our families and neighbours, that you drive carefully and park in a safe space (not blocking residents' garages and driveways) if you need to do so. Thank you.

 

I hope that you all have a safe weekend at home with your families, and look forward to seeing everyone back in school for another great week on Monday.

 

Mr Ben Conway

Friday 6th November

As we come to the end of our first week back there has definitely been a chill in the air in and around school. I hope that you were all able to enjoy your week last week. As we enter into a new lockdown period I would like to draw your attention to the letter that was emailed out earlier today. If you missed the email you are able to download the letter below:

Children across the school have settled back in well and are applying themselves well to their new learning this half term. I have had the pleasure of joining a few classes this week on a ‘Teams’ meeting, to get them a bit more familiar with our online learning platform. A letter regarding this, and their log in details were sent home yesterday. Please ensure that you keep these details safe, and have a go at logging in at home so that you are familiar with the process. Mr Klein has produced some fantastic video tutorials to walk you through it:

Staff and children have also been getting used our new School Grid dinner system. This is a great way for parents and carers to have some positive conversations about the food choices that children are making at lunch times. Please use this system as an opportunity to involve your child in their food choices and discuss what they will have. Thank you to Mrs Chandler and Mrs Walker for her hard work in getting us all up and running.

 

Prior to half term I sent out a notification to all parents and carers that there was a vacancy for a parent governor. We had only one parent nominated for the role, Claire Smith, and following the protocols that are in place she will be approved onto the board unopposed. I would like to welcome her to the governing body and thank her for committing to the role for the next 4 years.

 

During the half term break I let you know of some different local business that were offering to support families with food while schools were closed. You may have accessed some of these offers yourselves. I would like to thank El Bar de Tapas for providing some of our families with a cooked meal every day last week, along with Miss Gaston for delivering the meals.

 

And now for the bit I am sure you have all been waiting for…this week’s Bucket Fillers!

 

This week’s Bucket Fillers were rewarded for their hard work with a certificate and a Jaffa Cake Mini Roll…scrummy!

 

As ever these awards are given out to those pupils who consistently demonstrate the positive attributes that we would expect from role models in and around our school. They are kind and considerate towards others, and doing so because that is the kind of person that they are! It always makes me very proud to see and hear about those pupils who are selfless in their actions, and they all deserve to be recognised. Well done this week to:

 

N- Lewis      R- Skylar      Y1- Daniel     Y2- Ephraim    Y3- Caleb     Y4- Summer    Y5- Amelia J    Y6- Bethany

Now for this week’s Headteacher’s Awards. As always I thoroughly enjoy being able to share and celebrate pupils’ work with them.

 

Only a few Headteacher’s Awards handed out this week, however those that have been handed out have been well deserved!

 

Ephraim (Y2) and Eliannah (Y1) wowed not just myself this week, but also the other staff that had the pleasure of seeing their work. They continued their Black History learning at home during half term and created their own projects researching some famous people, as well as writing about members of their own family. This is an incredible piece of work, especially as it charts some of their family heritage and achievements. They should both be incredibly proud of their work, as I definitely am!

Also this week I have been visited by Raynie who has been learning about poetry in Year 5. She used some of the techniques she had learnt in class to create her own poem about her hopes and dreams for the future. Great work Raynie…well done!

I hope that you all have a good weekend, if you are having some fireworks at home this weekend I would urge you to make sure that you do so safely. The link below provides lots of information on how to keep your family safe.

 

Firework Safety

 

Mr Ben Conway

Friday 22nd October

And in the blink of an eye we have made it through to half term! It has been an interesting and challenging half term for us all, however as a whole school community we have embraced the adaptations and settled back in fantastically well. I would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support, it has made a real difference to the way that we have been able to get children back into the routines and expectations of school.

 

This week we have celebrated Black History across the school, with pupils learning about different key figures and themes relating to Black History in the UK. Our week culminated in our celebration assembly this afternoon, with each class sharing their learning via Zoom. It was a great way to link our classes together and share the learning from throughout the school, even though we are currently unable to all get together.

 

Mrs Spiller and Mrs Cropley delivered your donations to Foodshed this week. They were very thankful for the items received as it will make a great difference to those who are struggling with the current situation. Being able to support others less fortunate than us in our local community is a really generous thing to do, and we are planning on building more community and charity links throughout the year.

This week’s Bucket Fillers were rewarded for their hard work with a certificate and a Jaffa Cake bar…delicious!

 

As always, our Bucket Fillers are model pupils who have been positive role models in and around our school all week, consistently demonstrating the positive attributes that we expect of all of our pupils. Well done and thank you to the following children for their positive attitudes and commitment to making the right choices this week around our school:

 

N- Sonny      R- Tia      Y1- Lenny S     Y2- Spencer C    Y3- Melody     Y4- Paddy    Y5- Noah    Y6- Jack

Now my favourite time of the week…Headteacher’s Awards. As always I thoroughly enjoy being able to share and celebrate pupils’ work with them.

 

Only a few Headteacher’s Awards handed out this week, however those that have been handed out have been well deserved!

 

Tia (Reception) independently created her own word book, where she has used her phonic knowledge to sound out and blend words in her book. This is fantastic Tia, we are really proud of you!

Year 4 have spent this week learning about the artwork of Chris Ofili, and 3 members of their class have persevered through the week with developing their art skills. Jayden, Lewis and Rhyder brought their fantastic self-portraits to me, of which they should be really proud. They also gave me lots of information relating to Chris Ofili’s artwork, including the use of elephant dung! Well done boys, awesome artwork!

Liam R (Y5) shared with me some additional home learning that he had completed in relation to the space topic that year 5 have been learning about this half term. He created a comprehensive book with information relating to the different planets in our solar system. Superb science Liam!

I hope that you all have a safe and enjoyable week off, and look forward to seeing you all back on Monday 2nd November.

 

Mr Ben Conway

Friday 16th October

The end of our penultimate week of this half term and what a great week it has been! Our school looks fantastic, thanks to the hard work of our staff, pupils are engaged and learning, and despite all that is going on in the world there is a distinct sense of calmness around the school.

 

We had a visit from our Hertfordshire Improvement Partner this week to see our school, speak to children and to speak to staff. She was highly impressed with the environment that we work hard to create and maintain and our pupils represented the school brilliantly well. She recognised that we have implemented good systems in and around school in relation to minimising the risk of COVID-19, and that our curriculum, teaching and learning is in a strong position since returning to school. This is something for our school community to be proud of and I would like to thank all of our staff for the hard work and effort that they go to every day.

 

You will have received a couple of important emails this week from school. The first one is relating to school meals and registering with Schools Grid. If your child has school dinners you will need to ensure that you have clicked the link on the registration email to be able to order meals after the half term break. For more information please speak to the school office.

 

The second email notified parents about the nomination and elections for any potential parent governors. I have put the letter and form below if you missed it. If you would like to put yourself forward for this role please ensure that your nomination form is returned to the office by 3pm on Thursday 22nd October. For more information please contact me through the school office.

We are still collecting donations for Foodshed next week until Wednesday. Thank you to those who have already donated, if you would like to donate the crates will be out in the one-way drop off system in the mornings next week.

 

Once again I have been delighted to receive some more items from our Amazon wishlist. The support offered to us by community members in this way is having a positive impact on the children’s day to day lives at school, thank you! This week we have received more books, providing us with a diverse selection for our library and classrooms, games and some electronics kits.

This week’s Bucket Fillers were rewarded for their hard work with a certificate and a Galaxy cake bar, very kindly donated by Mrs Lee, thank you!

 

As always, our Bucket Fillers are model pupils who have been positive role models in and around our school all week, consistently demonstrating the positive attributes that we expect of all of our pupils. Well done and thank you to the following children for their positive attitudes and commitment to making the right choices this week around our school:

 

N- Teddy      R- Louis   Y1- Lilly  Y2- Lilly    Y3- Anjolaoluwa     Y4- Ruby    Y5- Lewis    Y6- Erin

Now for some of my highlights of the week…Headteacher’s Awards. It fills me with joy each week when I am able to reward pupils for going above and beyond with their learning. Those who receive these awards should be very proud of their achievement!

 

Firstly this week Jamie, Ruby and Teddy (Y5), all of whom have extended their learning at home in science, and for Teddy in other subjects across the curriculum. Well done guys…keep it up!

We have been invited to contribute towards a community project at The Lister Hospital for Remembrance Day, and the next two awards were given out for producing some fantastic artwork for this. Joe and Alex (Y4) both used the collage skills to create poppies utilising different materials and textures. They look great boys, well done!

The next award also went to a member of Year 4, Sophia has been extending her learning at home as well. She has used her English and computer processing skills to create and type up a story, and a sequel. She read them both to me and they were delightful to listen to. Just as pleasing was the fact that she has already self identified how she will improve her writing in the future. Well done Sophia, you are becoming a fantastic reflective learner!

In Year 1 this week Steffen and Zaki have both been working extra hard. Steffen has been writing using a wide range of vocabulary to order his sentences. Zaki has also been improving his writing in both his English and creative curriculum work. Well done both of you!

Lilly (Y2) has clearly had a highly productive week having already being nominated as her class Bucket Filler. She is also receiving a Headteacher’s Award for her fantastic work in RE. Well done Lilly we are really proud of you!

Pupils in Year 3 have been learning about mountains and volcanoes in their lessons recently. This has inspired many of them to further their learning at home, and the following three people have produced some wonderful self-led home learning. Bella, Olivia and Nevaeh have all had fun and learned so much more about their topic. Great work girls!

 

Also in Year 3 this week Damon is being recognised for his incredible improvements in maths. Since coming back in September Mr Klein has seen an enormous improvement in Damon’s work and presentation…amazing work Damon!

In Year 6 this week Anjelika has been awarded a Headteacher’s Award for her brilliant coding in computing. She created a repeating code for a robot dance sequence. I think that she could probably teach most of us a thing or two about coding! Well done Anjelika, fantastic work!

 

Finally this week are two members of our Reception class. Firstly Rae has learnt how to independently write her surname this week, great work! And lastly this week is Olivia (YR) who has used her phonic knowledge to independently write a sequence of rhyming words. Super phonics Olivia, well done!

 

I hope that all enjoy a restful weekend!

 

Mr Ben Conway

Friday 9th October

As we approach the end of another damp week, I have been struck on my travels in and around school by how well our pupils have settled back into life at school. There may be a few differences to the routines of everyday life, but the underlying behaviours and attitudes to work are well and truly evident in classes. Children are focused and learning, making up for the lost time during lockdown.

 

Hopefully you will have received the letter this week requesting food donations for the Foodshed. This local charity provides a much needed lifeline for local families who are finding finances tight. I would ask that if you are able to donate you do so by bringing some non-perishable food items (tins of soup, dried pasta, rice, tinned fruit or vegetables) and depositing them in the collection box in the one-way drop off system from Monday of next week. If you would like more information about the charity please follow the link below:

 

 

Once again I have been delighted to receive some more items from our Amazon wishlist. The support offered to us by community members in this way is having a positive impact on the children’s day to day lives at school, thank you!

 

If you would like to donate an item from our wishlist please follow the link below:

 

This week’s Bucket Fillers were rewarded for their hard work with a certificate and a raspberry jam mini roll!

 

It goes without saying that the children listed below have been positive role models in and around our school all week, consistently demonstrating the positive attributes that we expect of all of our pupils. Well done and thank you to the following children for their positive attitudes and commitment to making the right choices this week around our school:

 

N- Mason     R- Daniel   Y1- Tommy     Y2- Jude    Y3- Ben     Y4- Raegan    Y5- Owen    Y6- Chloe

And now for this week’s Headteacher’s Awards…Noah (Y5) has been inspired to followed up his learning from science by producing a fantastic poster about the moon. He has used his knowledge to demonstrate the different phases of the moon, and detailed some additional facts . Well done Noah!

Another person who has followed up their learning at home has been Jamie (Y5) who has created a computer generated visual representation of the solar system. Fantastic work Jamie!

Roma (Y2), this week, was awarded a Headteacher’s Award for her maths work on different representations of part whole models. She worked well a range of skills using our mastery approach to maths. Great work Roma!

 

The final 2 awards this week go to two children in Year 1, firstly Freddie for some fantastic improvements in his writing…well done Freddie, keep it up! And the final award was for Joy, she has been demonstrating some strong learning behaviours and has gone back to edit her writing. Well done Joy!

Last week I handed out badges to those children in Year 6 who had been voted as House Captains and Vice-Captains for the year. Well done to the following children:

 

 

Captain

Vice Captain

Dragons

Ronnie

Holly

Griffin

Olivia

Natalia

Phoenix

Jack

Billy

Unicorns

Elliot

Sonny

With half term fast approaching, I wanted to let you know about a holiday club that will be running at school between Monday 26th – Thursday 29th October. The club is run and managed by Kidfit, and will offer a range of activities on a daily basis. If you would like further information, please check out the document below. If you have any further questions or queries please contact Kidfit on 07305616991 or infokidfit@gmail.com . A link to be able to book will be sent out in the next week.

I hope that all enjoy a restful weekend!

 

Mr Ben Conway

Friday 2nd October

The end of another week and we have entered October with some distinctly autumnal weather. I had the pleasure of accompanying our Nursery pupils on their weekly welly walk this morning through the woods and into our nature area, a fun and soggy time was had by everyone!

There has been some important communications sent out recently so I hope that you have had a chance to read the newsletter and the information regarding remote learning. If you haven’t yet seen or read them a copy of them is below.

 

The information relating to remote learning is purely there to make everyone aware of our approach and expectations should something happen, and so that we can all be prepared should something happen. Each child will today bring home the resources, relevant to their year group, that they will need should the school close or if classes had to isolate for a period. Please ensure that this is kept safe and only used in this instance as we will not be issuing any more resources.

I mentioned in my newsletter that we are looking to recruit a new parent governor. Full official information will be circulated shortly, but if you would like more information relating to the role and level of commitment required please come and speak to me.

 

Another request from the newsletter was for any parents that would be willing to say a couple of lines on camera to contribute to our video for prospective Nursery and Reception children and parents. If you are happy and willing to do this, please let the school office know.

 

Now onto our weekly celebration of the positive actions and work that has gone on around school this week. Another dash around school this week led to me handing out this week’s Bucket Filler treat, which was a Jaffa Cake bar.

 

As always the following children have been positive role models for their peers all week, and I am sure beyond, demonstrating the positive attributes that we expect of all of our pupils. Well done and thank you to the following children for their positive attitudes and commitment to making the right choices this week around our school:

 

N- Melissa    R- Elliott   Y1- Lillyanna    Y2- Ali-May    Y3- James     Y4- Ava    Y5- Amelia Q    Y6- Sonny

I have awarded a fair amount of Headteacher’s awards this week to children, in recognition of their hard work in different areas. Lilly (Y2) brought her creative curriculum work on marionette puppets to share with me. She had produced some fantastic work with a labelled and an explanation of how it works. Well done!

There has been some extremely hard work going on in Year 1 this week, with 4 children receiving Headteacher’s awards…Alfie B, Steffen, Leo and Olivia were all recognised for their brilliant writing, creating their own ending to the Colour Monster story. Also in Year 1 this week, Lenny S has been making and sharing some fantastic predictions with the whole class, well done!

 

Next was Konnor (Y6), like many of us Konnor has sometimes found it hard to concentrate and present his work neatly. However, Mrs Grizzell sent him for an award for his effort this week in English and for producing some very well presented writing about the Victorians. Keep it up Konnor!

 

In Year 3 this week, Seth has been recognised for the improvement in his reading. He has been working hard and gone up 3 levels in a short space of time. He has even begun reading chapter books! We are proud of you Seth, well done.

 

The final award this week was another member of our Year 6 class, Chloe. She is an extremely diligent pupil, and her award this week is for something that she has been working hard at for a long time. In maths she has worked hard over the summer, and since returning, on column addition and subtraction. She is now able to use these methods and explain her working with confidence. A brilliant achievement Chloe, well done!

 

Finally, I just wanted to say thank you to those of you who have already donated books, games and STEM activities through our Amazon wishlist. Donations like these will make a massive difference to all of us at school! If you would like to gift please follow the link below.

I hope that all enjoy a restful weekend!