This week is Children’s Mental Health Week (7-13 February 2022). This year’s theme is Growing Together.
Growing Together is about growing emotionally and finding ways to help each other grow. Challenges and setbacks can help us to grow and adapt and trying new things can help us to move beyond our comfort zone into a new realm of possibility and potential. However, emotional growth is often a gradual process that happens over time, and sometimes we might feel a bit ‘stuck’. We are encouraging children (and adults) to consider how they have grown and how they can help others to grow.
Some of our wonderful children and staff who have been raising awareness of Children’s Mental Health week today. Our children have been doing various activities throughout the week linked to this very important topic.
Our Reception and Year 1 children enjoyed a lovely visit to Easington Library this morning with Mrs Wray and Mr Appleby. The children listened to stories and all chose a book to take back to school. All children from school will be visiting this term as part of encouraging our children to Read for Pleasure. Our children behaved exemplary and represented our school beautifully as always.
We are looking forward to seeing our school community come together on Friday to enjoy a Bacon Butty on the school yard. Due to the guidance over the past couple of months, we have been unable to have parents in school, which whilst frustrating and disappointing, was a necessary step to try and ensure the safety of children, staff and parents.
I am fully aware that from tomorrow, the national guidance is changing and a more relaxed approach is being taken across the country. However, as you can appreciate, this cannot happen overnight and I feel a more gradual approach needs to be followed for our children and staff. Despite following risk assessments meticulously, we have still had a number of children and staff test positive for COVID-19 in the past two months, so you can understand why a more graduated, cautious approach needs to be taken. It would not sit comfortable with me if, as a school, we went from having no parents in school, to all parents coming into school so soon after the guidance has changed and whilst we still have positive cases in our school and community.
Currently, we are having Collective Worships via Zoom, so our first priority will be having all of the children together again in the hall, which I have planned to begin from next week. Then going forward, the plan is to begin integrating the classes and reintroducing activities such as House Team afternoons, school trips etc. and getting back to normal school life in a smooth and safe manner.
Following that, our next step will be inviting families back into school after the half term break. This will begin with Family Friday on the 4th March, followed by parents being invited in to Celebration Worship on Friday 1st April. There will also be lots of other wonderful events planned for next half term, which will be shared via our weekly newsletter and School Facebook page in the coming weeks.
We are truly excited to welcome families back into school again. It is a huge part of our ethos and one of the many reasons why our school is so special. As Head Teacher, I am extremely proud of the relationship school has with our families and the wider community.
We are hoping 2022 will be a year to remember for different reasons, and we look forward to celebrating our wonderful children and school by creating more happy memories together.
Thank you for being part of our Easington C of E family and your continued support.
My very best wishes as always.
The wonderful homework projects that some of our very talented children have produced over last half term. Absolutely fantastic work and well done for raising the profile of a very important issue.
We have truly amazing children!
Dear parents and carers
I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable Christmas break. As a staff, we are excited to be back and are looking forward to another rewarding, fun and hardworking term with our fantastic children.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that following correspondence sent out on 8th October 2021 and the consultation period that followed, the changes to the structure of the school day come into effect from today (please see below).
Please note the slight change in finishing times for children in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2.
As a school, we really hope to see you in school throughout this term and we will be keeping everything crossed that the guidance allows us to do this.
PESSPA update: Autumn Term 2021
Below is the PESSPA (Physical Education School Sport Physical Activity) update for the Autumn Term. The first point to note is that all classes in school access two hours of P.E on a weekly basis thus ensuring we are meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum. During this term, Year 6 have been accessing swimming and water safety provision every Monday afternoon. We have prioritised Year 6 this term as the statutory, legal requirement of the National Curriculum is that the children are able to:
Swimming and water safety
In particular, pupils should be taught to:
- swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
- use a range of strokes effectively [for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke]
- perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations
The assessment of these skills is reported to the Government at the end of each academic year as the proportion of Year 6 children who have met the minimum requirements stipulated above.
Also during this Autumn Term, Year 5 have, and will continue to do so throughout the academic year, accessed a forest schools provision. This has taken place on our school site and entailed a range of outdoor pursuits, predominantly involving bushcraft. Over the course of the coming terms, the children will also access beach schools and climbing provision. This is an enhancement to our provision that we will prioritise to continue over the coming academic years.
As part of our RESPECT Curriculum in school, each class will access the Commando Joe’s program. This entails each class completing missions based on various elements of the RESPECT curriculum, such as teamwork and empathy etc. Each class will be working on these missions throughout the course of the academic year.
To aid with transition (and to enhance the P.E provision) from Key Stage Two to Key Stage Three, Year 6 have been accessing additional P.E sessions at Easington Academy which have been run by the PE staff from the Academy with Mrs. Appleby. These additional sessions have, and will continue to take place, on a Thursday morning. During this term, the children have completed sessions focusing on badminton and basketball. There is a basketball competition being held on Thursday 2nd December, at Easington Academy, in which our Year 6 children will participate.
Mr. Appleby has also been running the school football during the course of the Autumn Term. Children from Year 5 and 6 have been completing in our local league competition and various cup competitions. The matches have been held on a Thursday after school. The league is currently on a winter break and this will resume after Christmas. Thank you to all the parents, grandparents and carers who have attended the matches to support out team-they have a great start to the season so we are hopeful this will continue when the league restarts.
As you may also be aware, our school is also a member of the Easington School Sports Partnership (ESSP). Being a member of this partnership allows school access to various sporting competitions and events. During the course of this Autumn Term, we have competed/participated in the following events:
- A multi-skills festival which was specifically for our EYFS children
- Tag-rugby – Year 5/6
- Netball – Year 5/6 PTO
- Girls football – Year 5/6
- A Year 4 Football competition is due to take place before Christmas – COVID allowing.
There is a plethora of other events which have been orgainsed to take place across the course of the academic year, which will involve all year groups. It is worth noting whilst there are numerous events that are due to take place, each child in school will not be able to participate in all events. As a small school, we endeavour to ensure that all of our children will have some element of school sport during their time in each year group in school. This, added to the requirements of each event, e.g. for the girls football competition we were only able to send one team with a maximum of 9 players, means that not all children will compete in all events.
I have also contacted the County Advisor for P.E. to request more opportunities for Key Stage 1 and EYFS children to access a wider and increased range of activities and sporting festivals throughout the academic year. After a positive response, we will hopefully see more opportunities for our younger children moving forward although this may not happen until the academic year 2022-2023.
I have also organised for the school to participate in a county wide initiative called the ‘Go-Well Heart project’. This is specifically for Key Stage Two children. Each child will receive a bag of various sporting items to keep and use at home, which are free of charge. The children will also receive a booklet with ideas and activities for how they could use the equipment at home. A large part of this project is the need for parental support in order to complete these fun and engaging activities so hopefully you will all get involved when the opportunity arises!
School’s after school provision has also been utilised to provide children with a range of sporting experiences. So far this Autumn Term, we have offered the following sporting opportunities:
- Table Tennis
- Foundation of Light – multi-skills club
These sporting clubs are also in addition to the other clubs currently being run, such as choir and cinema club etc.
I have also recently pledged to the Active Mark for the school. This is where school endeavours to provide children will additional time to be active throughout the course of the school day, in addition to the Chief Medical Officers’ recommendation. Another opportunity arose through Mr. Adey of the ESSP, to pledge to increase the participation of girls in football. This has been developed by the Youth Sport Trust and has a Disney Theme this year. I am booked onto the first module of training in early January so look for the program to start in the New Year!
It is also worth noting that as a school we are tasked ensure that the curriculum is broad and balanced to ensure children are given the most well-rounded and productive education possible, for the maximum benefit of our amazing children. This is the primary focus when considering how the curriculum is organised and delivered to our children.
Apologies for the length of this letter. I will produce another update at the end of the Spring Term to again detail school’s level of participation in PESSPA. Should you have any questions or queries, please feel free to contact me through the school office.