Friday 19th March 2021
Mr Eardley, the Head Teacher, writes...
Dear Parents and Carers
The spring term is always the shortest term of the year and it can feel as though it passes in the blink of an eye after the epic autumn term. I’m sure for a lot of you, it must feel that we are about to finish this term in a matter of moments after your children came back to school – which is true.
As we suspected, we haven’t noticed any long-term, worrying changes in the children who have missed some time in school. On the whole, everyone is as chipper and happy as they were before and this makes me feel positive about the rest of the school year. Thankfully, these weeks before Easter have given all children the chance to reconnect with friends and staff and to get back into a school routine. As you can imagine, some of them have been quite giddy with excitement. Now that this reintroduction is over, we need to turn our attention to getting the best out of them next term and to instilling focus and determination. Following the PRIDE Code and the expectations of the school is a key part of this.
As a parent, you can play your part as well by making sure that you remind your child of what is expected of them. These can be little reminders that long hair should be tied up every day, that we only allow studs in pierced ears, that they cannot wear nail polish and that, although we have relaxed our school uniform code a little so you can avoid buying too much new clothing, we do still expect the children to wear appropriate clothing. By making sure that your child arrives at school, on time, dressed appropriately and with the things that they need, you make our jobs easier and you save your child from having to be spoken to by a member of staff.
I always keep one eye on what we are doing at the moment and the other looking at the weeks, months and terms ahead. I want the summer term to be purposeful and productive for everyone so that the children can look back on the year as a whole and know that they did their best under challenging circumstances. You only need to look around school or at the tweets from classes to see what high quality, exciting and engaging work the children are producing. I look at the tweets and think ‘I would have loved to do have done that when I was at school’.
In the last week alone, I have seen tweets about tree studies, running with a parachute on your back to test air resistance, interval training in PE, using Crumble kits in IT, making pizzas in a mug, learning about Anne Frank, creating scarab beetles using clay, using tinker time to learn how a BeeBot works and taking part in the ‘Let’s Count’ census study. In school, it was lovely to see the FS children having a fantastic time in their PE lesson and I know that Mr Marks was bowled over by their joined-up handwriting. The list of amazing things goes on and on and in comparison, my experience of primary school in the 1970s feels black and white when what the children get now is in glorious technicolour.
I was interviewed yesterday for an article for Peterborough Matters about our experiences over the last year. As tomorrow marks the anniversary of the announcement that schools were closing (for the first time!), I was asked what I remember about this time last year and what I had learnt from the last twelve months. My first recollection was that I was blissfully naive about what was in store for us and I remember telling a colleague that I thought we would close for two weeks before Easter and then be back for the summer term. I suspect that if we had all been told last March what the next year held in store for us, we would have said we couldn’t do it. It says a lot about our perseverance and resilience that we have managed to get over each hurdle.
In the article, I also reflected on the huge support that we have enjoyed from the parents at the school. You have been so calm, so understanding, and so appreciative of everything that we have done. I do, genuinely, hope that the summer term gives us the opportunity to relax restrictions a little but do not know whether we will be able to have parents in the school. Taking a long-term view, we are about to start a review of what has worked well this year so that we can start to plan what September will look like. As you would expect, we will keep you informed of any plans that we have well in advance.