Having reflected on a wonderful last year in school in which the children were amazing!  (They achieved so much and made great progress in their learning despite the challenging context for us all and showed just how resilient they are as learners – we had lots of fun along the way!!)  I am very excited about the new academic year and welcoming everyone to school.

The start of the year is always very special as we welcome our new reception children to school – they always settle so quickly and they know they are a precious part of the school.  Last year we were staggered at just how quickly our reception children settled, in view of the fact that our transition arrangements had to be so different during the pandemic.  They had the most awesome year as a year group.  At the end of the summer term, we are blessed to have been able to have a couple of fantastic transition visits for our new reception pupils – which will make their start this September even easier.

All the children will be excited about their new classes and classrooms.  The school looks different as we enter a new phase of the pandemic without ‘bubbles’.  There are new larger & higher resolution interactive screens in all the classrooms – this will make the presentation of teaching materials better and clearer.  We are also continuing the development of the key stage 1 outdoor learning area which will have lots of new features including a ‘stage’ for the children to perform on & a balance & co-ordination trail to be installed during the autumn term.

I look forward to operating more as a cohesive school community without ‘class bubbles’ – the children very much missed mixing with each other at lunch & break times, for partner learning and school assemblies & other whole school events.  (It was strange leading assemblies for the school from my office linking in to the classes via the internet – I much preferred it when the weather enabled us to meet together outside with the classes separated).  The older children do love to support, nurture and welcome our younger children.

Over the summer many of the children will have taken part in the summer reading challenge – we will develop new reading posters from the photos of children reading during their summer break in all sorts of varied locations and celebrate their achievements in the Wild World Heroes 2021 Challenge – books & reading can bring such enjoyment.

We will also start the new school year having enjoyed the Olympics whose values of Excellence, Respect & Friendship resonate with ours as a school.  Perhaps inspired by the many wonderful performances & stories such as the perseverance of Tom Daly in finally achieving a gold medal after three Olympic Games having set himself that goal as an eleven year old in 2005!  We will be celebrating the Paralympics in school with lots of special sports & activities and we will reflect on the Paralympic values of determination, inspiration, courage & equality – which we share as a school.  It will be a wonderful way to launch our learning journey for 2021-22. So exciting…we will soon be back together. 

In the meantime, I will be praying that our school community enjoy the summer break and that our pupils that finished year 6 here in the summer and start secondary school also make a wonderful start to the next chapter of their learning journey.