Headteacher's Blog.

Active Travel - well done all of you!

We have finally been awarded with our Silver Modeshift Stars plaque!

Thank you to the 64 parents who completed the Active Travel Survey months ago, Mr Bedford does not stop mentioning how supportive you have all been. It really is appreciated. This has really helped gain Silver Award and is a massive part of us applying for Gold Award.

We are sure by now you have seen the big banner outside the school gates with some amazing drawings from some of our children.

We have also been given 2 stunt scooters for the children to use in school as a thank you for being one of the best Active Travel schools in the South Yorkshire area.

Mr Bedford has grand aspirations to be awarded the Platinum Award, skipping the Gold! No matter what the Award - I think Mr Bedford is doing a fantastic job for your children.

Coming soon:

  • Dr Bike on Tuesday 9th March: bring your bike to school leaving it at the bike shelter and Dr Bike will undertake basic servicing (notes will be left if larger jobs are required).

  • Bling your Bike Friday on 19th March (also Red Nose Day): ride your bike to school and have the opportunity to 'bling' it with ribbon and other festivities, encouraging healthy ways of travelling to school.

Again, well done to all participating parents and pupils!

Mr Barnett, Mr Bedford & #TeamThorogate

They think its all over

Please please please do not start behaving as if the pandemic is all over.

Just because children may be at school together does not mean households should start mixing at home. No matter how tempting.

As a school community, you have been amazing. You have responded to the current situation fantastically. Taken responsibility.

As a result, together we have been able to keep our children safe.

At school, we will be refreshing our message to the children, with hand hygiene being the most important factor. As the number of children in school increases, teachers start talking about the time it takes for hand washing, something we will continually need to be creative with. The constant wiping down of surfaces. Managing split playtime and dinner times.

Please do not allow mixing of households after school. Stand firm in our joint endeavours against this virus.

World Book Day 2021 - Thursday 4th March

Next Thursday, 4th March, marks World Book Day.

As this year will be slightly different to usual, we will be celebrating this day slightly differently too!

Instead of dressing as a book character this year we would like children who are learning at home to dress in their uniform and children who are in school to dress as though they are home. No costumes needed. As usual, bring into school your favourite book.

During the day, there will be a live session booked (apart from FS2) so that children at home and in school can be together. More details will be sent via your class teacher.

Book tokens will be given out too so that you can either buy a £1 WBD book or use the token towards buying another book.

Kind regards

Miss Shillito

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I'm fine - really?

The standard response to someone asking how you are seems to be "I'm fine". If this is the case, I must be the only weak one around. Because I'm not fine. I may be coping, at times only just, but I would not describe myself as being fine.

This time of year is difficult at the best of times, with long nights and short days usually compounded with weather that does not encourage the use of the outdoors. The thing that usually keeps me going is the thought of the things I will be doing as the weather gets better. Visiting places, visiting people. Making experiences. I am still trying to do this, but it is all shrouded in doubt at the moment. There is some great news coming through such as falling infection rates, falling number of deaths and the amazing vaccine rollout that appears to be so successful. I would add the prospect of school being open to all pupils soon on that list too! Yesterday the weather was much better - I was out on my mountain bike in the morning and then on my motorbike in the afternoon. I felt much better, even if exhausted.

I have recently been sent two documents aimed at school staff, but I will share them with you for those that like to read. I particularly liked the section Control Your Emotions in Teaching in 2021:

Acknowledge everything

  • What can you do to experience your feelings without getting stuck in them, or avoiding them?

  • Give Your Feelings A Label

  • Turn Your Thoughts Upside Down

  • Do Something to Boost Your Mood

Be present

‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, which is why it’s called the present.’

Here are some tips to help you to be present:

  1. Stand outside, if you can or open a window if you can’t go out and close your eyes.

  2. Take notice of what you can now hear. Birds, insects, cars, no cars.

  3. Breathe in. What can you smell? What can you feel with your fingertips? Now what are you feeling?

  4. Focus on what’s right in front of you, without distraction.

  5. Look around you and see things for the first time.

Be emotionally honest

Tell the emotional truth about yourself and people around you will know where you’re at. Here are some examples:

  • I love you

  • I’m very proud of the person you’ve become

  • Thank you for always being there for me

  • I always love spending time with you

  • I’m frustrated I can’t go dancing

  • I’m scared I’ll get ill

  • I’m sorry for shouting at you

  • I appreciate the work you are doing to keep this community safe

  • I feel overwhelmed trying to juggle so much, please can you listen to me

  • I don’t need to be fixed, just heard

Two articles well worth reading if you are interested in well-being, including your own.

February 1/2 term

I think that everyone is ready for this 1/2 term - pupils at home and in school, parents and staff. Everyone has been working soooo hard and dealing with their own context to the pandemic. I hope everyone is able to take some time to enjoy each other and their 'bubble' this week.

A massive thank you to all the parents who responded to my shout-out for comments about their child's teacher. The response was emotional. I know it provided a real boost to the staff at a time when they really did need it. It is too easy to focus on the media stories who think that teachers are sat around doing little - I do not need to assure you that the truth is very different!

Well done to all parents. Working at home with your children is a challenge and a pleasure. You are all amazing. There are still a few parents we need to 'nudge' about getting feedback to teachers. Please reach out to your child's teacher regularly. Tell them what is going well and what is not, including how they can support you. If the teachers do not hear from you, you may well get a phone call from me to chivvy you along.

The number of pupils attending school has increased to an average of 86 children a day this last week. Listening to the news, it is likely that school will be open to all pupils from Monday 8th March 2021. Please get in contact if between now and the wider opening of school if your circumstances change as key workers or if you find you or your child is struggling with home education. We are here to help and support.

There have been some wonderful highlights this week in school. Children meeting each other online, laughing and disagreeing on debates. The examples of pupil writing I have seen this week have been awe-inspiring, from every class in school. Whilst staff have muttered under their freezing breath children have shrieked in delight as they have charged around the playground playing games. But I have included two photographs from Y1: one showing the pupils learning how to use Chromebooks and the other showing them how to play the glockenspeil. Both show not only the talent of our pupils but also that of our staff!

I hope you all have a wonderful 1/2 term and look forward to seeing you soon.

Stay safe.

Mr Barnett & #TeamThorogate

Together we can get through this

If there is one thing we have all learned these last months, it is that 'lockdown', in whatever form, is hard. It is hard for the children. It is hard for the parents. It is hard for school staff.

We have had some lovely messages to the school staff for the extraordinary efforts that they are putting. Thank you.

One of the best messages I can give to parents is this lovely video by Jaz Ampaw-Farr . Follow the link and watch the clip. You are all awesome and you can do this.

Mr Barnett and #TeamThorogate