Term 6 Newsletter
Term 6 Newsletter
Welcome back to what plans to be an action-packed term for your children. We were hoping that this term would gradually enable us to operate with a bit more freedom, but with the rise in Covid numbers again, this is looking unlikely before the end of term. Still you never know! As a result, all of the current measures will remain in place until we are directed otherwise, thus safeguarding our pupils, parents and staff as best we can. Even with the restrictions, things in school are feeling a lot more normal and this is probably a result of the nice weather and the opportunity to do a bit more outdoor learning! Can I take this opportunity to thank you and your children for supporting the school so well through these difficult times, helping us to ensure that safety is a priority for all.
Right on to something other than Covid for a change!!
Weather As we move into Term 6 the sun has finally joined us! It’s been a very slow start to the year with the weather but finally things might be on the up! With the sun, comes the need to protect our children. Please ensure you apply sun cream prior to school – children can also bring this in to top up as needed. Sun cream cannot be shared due to possible allergies, so if you want your child to apply during the day they must have their own in school. Also hats and water bottles are essentials for outdoor activities. All of this will enable our children to enjoy their outdoor learning and play in a safe way.
Mr Marston We are very pleased to announce that Mr Marston has been promoted within our Federation and will take over the day-to-day running of Monkton School as Head of School. The down side of this, is we lose him as an excellent teacher and leader at our school. We wish him all the best, and will work closely with him in the future to ensure our Federation goes from strength to strength. We have already recruited a replacement for Mr Marston and this person will take up a slightly different role as Deputy Head of Minster. The successful candidate is Mr Kenny, and we look forward to welcoming him to our team and utilising his skills and experience to further drive Minster forward.
Well-being v Learning Behaviours As you can imagine, with such a disrupted year and the effect on children’s well-being and mental health being so high profile, we have been monitoring and gathering evidence to ensure we can identify and support those children that need it. Each class has the use of ‘Well-being’ and ‘Involvement’ measures for each pupil to support this. The outcomes for well-being were very pleasing, with the vast majority coping very well with the return to school. In fact, lots of children were, ‘So pleased to be back!’ – Always nice to hear! Involvement was a little different. This focuses in on learning behaviours, attention to learning, focus/engagement. Children’s learning stamina has been more widely affected as has their ability to concentrate/not get distracted has decreased. Staff have skillfully employed brain breaks, adapted sessions, employed active learning and an altered timetable to ensure that this is addressed. Great progress has been made and a further term will hopefully get them back into the usual school routine. This is why the structure and set-up of school is so important and impossible to replicate at home – we are so pleased to have them all back in school for their learning!!
Theme Weeks/Days Themed learning will be a big driver for our curriculum this term. Planned activities have had to take a bit of a back burner during remote learning but are now back with a BANG! More details for all of these activities will follow but here is a flavour of what is in store for your children this term:
Music Day – A celebration of music and an active opportunity to get children involved in music production and writing as well as some appearances (virtually) from some local bands and iRock.
Healthy Bodies Week – Combined with an altered Sports Day for each year group children will engage in actives that help develop their mind body and soul. Euro 2021 (was 2020) – Classes have been in a draw and selected against the countries taking part. Each class will look at the culture and diversity of the country they have drawn. Other football fun is also on the cards!
Q. But what about Maths and English with all of this going on??
A. Maths and English will happen as normal, but the vehicle for learning will be the themed activities. This promotes brilliant engagement and puts their learning into a real-life context. We hope that the children really enjoy and engage in the planned activities. We will ensure to post on Facebook and the Website so you can see what they have been up to!
Online Safety This is a concerning matter that I want to bring to your attention; it will then be addressed by year group Teachers in more detail. Having been teaching for a long time and being the lead for safeguarding at the school, I am aware of any incidences that involve online safety. This is usually very low. Prior to this year, I could count easily on one hand the concerns raised in an academic year, with most years there being none. This has increased significantly since children have returned to school from lockdown. This week alone I have dealt with 5 separate incidences. This is mainly KS2 and always involves platforms (such as TikTok) that are not age appropriate for the children using them. I encourage all parents to take an active role in monitoring their children’s online / messaging activity closely to ensure their safety. Many thanks to those parents that have flagged things to us to follow up. The result of this has also been an increase in inappropriate language used by a number of children. When digging down, it comes from them viewing inappropriate media content. This is without doubt a product of lockdown, and a side effect that needs addressing quickly to safeguard the children of our school. More to follow from staff soon on this, as well as the further education we will be delivering to enable children to stay safe online / on their phones.
Leavers It won’t be long now until our Year 6 will be leaving us and moving onto their next phase of education. We have lots of fun activities planned for them and Mr Marston has already been in touch to detail some of these to you. Just like last year, we plan to ensure our Year 6 aren’t disadvantaged by Covid and that they get a good substitute of activities to see them off in style! If you have ordered and received your leavers hoodie, Year 6 you can start wearing this from next week!
Kent test Year 5 parents – just a reminder that if you would like your child/children to sit the Kent Test the application has opened. Follow this link to register if you have not already https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/schools/school-places/kent-test Closing date for applications is midnight on 1st July 2021
Staff Thanks, I’d just like to finish with a big thanks to the staff at the school. Covid restrictions have required staff members to go above and beyond, with increased workloads for many. Nobody has complained, and they are always focused on what is best for the children. I am very grateful to have such a great team.
Paul McCarthy Head of School