I hope you are well and looking forward to the half term break. It is at times like this that it is good to reflect on what we have achieved since our full return to school. When I say we, I mean the school as a community. None of this would have been possible without the hard work of all our stakeholders. Children, parents, all school staff and governors have all played a part in our extremely successful return. It is easy to bandy around words but the data and evidence is there to back up these assertions;
Attendance this half term: 96.6%. This is outstanding. Yesterday I received the data regarding other Richmond schools and the overall average is 91%. It is a testament to the measures that we have put in place and the trust you put in us that our attendance has not been affected by the Coronavirus crisis. Our Risk assessment will continue to be a dynamic document and we will ensure that the school is as safe an environment that it possibly can be.
Teaching: All teaching staff have adapted to….(Stop press. I have just hosted two Year 1 children who were brought to me to celebrate their writing. One of them had published a book with perfectly presented writing. What impressed me most was the time and effort she had put into her work.) the different learning environment and have established excellent relationships allowing your children to feel safe, happy and ready to learn. I was escorting a local authority advisor around the school this week and she remarked on the high quality of teaching on show and the excellent learning behaviours of your children. I have not let her off and she has agreed to write a testimonial for the school website.
Staffing: I have just finished my duty in the lunch hall and it has been wonderful to see all staff pitch in and support whatever the task. Lunch now takes two hours and that is because we are committed to offering the choice of a hot meal. This teamwork is indicative of the nature of this staff team. They have really all been superstars and really deserve their upcoming break.
Site: We continue to develop our site. The outside toilets in the Key Stage 1 playground are near to completion and after half term we should have the wooden fencing completed outside Year 1. You may have noticed that the sheds have been removed from the Key Stage 2 playground and we will be adding two raised beds and creating a calm and peaceful area in the playground. One sad note, Al Kenny, our superb site manager, will be leaving at the end of term to return to his spiritual home up north. He has been an absolute rock for the school and for me during my time here and he will be missed. We will be advertising the role shortly and if you know of anybody suitable please let them know.
PSA: We now have a fully functioning PSA and as of yesterday now have a parent rep for each class. There are a number of exciting events planned. Please support where you can. In terms of parents, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those who have shown their appreciation of our work and spoken or e-mailed us. This means so much and I have been very lucky that I have approached many days this term with even more positivity due to an appreciative e-mail. Please continue to contact us about anything. We are committed to working in partnership[p as we continue to drive this school forward.
Technology: All of our Google Chromebooks are being formatted over the half term and should be ready for classroom use shortly. We are installing a filter that is suitable for home use and in the event of a partial closure all Key Stage 2 children will be able to take their Chromebook home to assist with remote learning.
Nurture Team: The nurture team have quickly become an integral part of the school community. I met with some lovely parents this week who, in a wide ranging conversation said that they were unsure what the role of the nurture team was. Once again this shows the benefits of good communication. Well actually not good communication initially but you see what I mean. The Nurture team consisting of the lead Natalie Pepper and Rosie Thwaites are in place to promote the emotional well being of children across the school. They will on occasion work with individuals to help remove any barriers to learning and will increasingly be working in regular small groups to give children the tools to thrive within school. There is absolutely no stigma attached to working with the nurture team and any child at any time may need extra emotional support for a myriad of reasons.
Office Staff: I think you will agree that they are the most welcoming and supportive team in London and probably Europe. In all seriousness their initiative and support allows the school to run efficiently and they will never be allowed to leave.
I hope this has given you a glimpse of why I feel so positive about this school as we end the half term. All that is left is to wish you a happy and peaceful half term. We look forward to seeing you after the break.
Parent Governor Vacancy
The Governing body currently has a vacancy for a parent governor. We are looking to recruit an individual who has a background in finance. This is an exciting opportunity to join the governing body at Darell Primary and Nursery School. Please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to be considered for this role. Expressions of interest need to be submitted by 3pm on the 2nd November 2020. An election process will take place after this date.
Thank you all for your generous contributions for our Harvest. The items have been packed up and are ready for delivery to Spear.
Year 6 Secondary Transfer
please can we remind you to complete your secondary transfer applications.
If you do not live in the borough, you need to apply through your own council and you can include Richmond schools in your application.
The closing date for applying for a year 7 place is Saturday, 31st October 2020.
Please top up your child's meal account on Arbor so their account always remains in credit. School meals cost £2.25 per day.
Due to a system error we have lost our historic meal choices. Please could you send an email to email@example.com with your child's requirements if you haven't done so already.
Arbor Emergency Contacts and Consents
Please could all parents log into their Arbor account and check we hold the correct emergency contact details and that the consents for your child are correct. If you can not access your Arbor Account, please let us know in the office and we will re send your details.
We just wanted to remind everyone that here at Darell Primary and Nursery school we feel that wellbeing, including your physical and mental Health are extremely important. We want to support the whole family during this time.
It is important that our parents and carers feel supported and well in themselves so the tips and links you will find within this section are to support adults and children.
Welcome to our weekly section of the newsletter all about reading. Every week, we will share a question (or two) with you about the book your child is reading in school. Please use these questions to help you find out a little more about what your child has been reading in school and continue to develop their love of reading.
Packham - Who is Inky the Mouse?
Peake - Who was sitting watching from his tree? What animals did he see in the forest? Can you describe the changes in the forest during the different seasons?
Weir - Do you think Marco and the crew will reach the island? What do you think might happen on their journey?
Mozart - What tricky situation did Isaac get into? How was he helped?
Newton - Complete this sentence, As the morning sun rises on the African savannah...
Thunberg - How did Wangari Maathai make a difference?
Darwin - Which antagonist would be the hardest to defeat and which the easiest?
A monster, an evil queen or a witch?
Attenborough - What is special about Castle Mila?
What are the similarities between The Castle of Tangled Magic and The Girl of Ink and Stars?
Parks - How has your opinion of Esther Jenkins changed throughout the text? Why/how?
We have very good news for this week.
Our charity, The Darell School Parent Staff Association has signed up to Amazon Smile now!
Please remember to start each shopping session at the URL smile.amazon.co.uk, and 0.5% of your next purchase will be donated to our School Charity and will be used to advance the education of our pupils.
We already announced through Classlist and Twitter about our Easyfundraising registration. Please have a look at the link below and get registered before you start with your next shopping. Only by shopping, you can raise donation!
The children have been creating their Christmas card artwork in class this week! These will be sent directly to the printers and available to see online via a password by early November. We will send the children home with flyers when the artwork is accessible.
Today, the teachers will also be sending the children home with an additional blank form, in case your child would like to create an additional artwork at home over half term (Christmasy or otherwise)! Please take a look at the website link to see the product range you could select to have your child’s artwork printed on!