I have come back to school this term feeling oddly buoyant and positive despite the unending negative messaging from the media in the last week. Perhaps I have become immune to the constant predictions of impending doom or perhaps it is because these are the times when having the skills to be resilient is essential.
This week I attended a conference where I was fortunate to hear from a lady called Natasha Devon. Natasha is a writer & activist who tours schools and colleges throughout the UK, delivering talks as well as conducting research on mental health, body image, gender and social equality. The reason behind my specific interest is the Foundation's focus on developing pupils’ mental fitness rather than focussing on mental health; an approach that doesn't wait for the horse to bolt before closing the stable door. The key skills to resilience that she discussed centred on being known and a true sense of belonging. I am under no illusion that the resilience skills I may have acquired were certainly accidental and it highlights the power of an approach where skills for resilience are an integral, regular and planned part of education.
Our first step in supporting our pupils to develop the ability to be resilient is get to know them and get to know them well. Tea with the Gs this week for all new pupils and parents is certainly a positive step in welcoming our new starters, and I thank the buddies and the buddy families for their important contribution to establishing those new to our community. Mrs Matthews will be sending out information about the consultation evenings for this term in due course. However, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s form teacher or any member of the SLT at any point if you have any questions or want to share anything you feel that we should know that will help us to know your child better. This year please note that in response to parental feedback we will be holding a parent consultation evening for parents of pupils in Year 6.
Pupils in the Pre-Prep started the new term with the launch day for their new theme ‘Into the Unknown’. This is always a delight for teaching staff as they interact with every child in Reception, Year One and Two and get to know them all better. The pupils also get the chance to build relationships with children in other year groups and the day is just as valuable for this as it is for inspiring pupils’ learning. Activities ranged from raft building and reflecting on what people in the past thought would happen as sailors sailed off out of sight, to solving problems when getting through a maze and encountering obstacles in the form of mathematical questions via a QR code! Our pupils always offer fabulous ideas and questions they want to find answers for and this half term holds a store of exciting skills, knowledge and understanding to be discovered.
Last term Mr Hewlett wrote to you requesting that parents attend the important Digital Parenting event in Cambridge on Tuesday 22 January. I appreciate that the logistics of family life makes this type of event challenging but I would add my plea that for this occasion you make arrangements to be able to attend. The digital world is one of great possibility for the positive development of our children, but therein also lies the opportunity for hurt if we do not educate our children and ourselves to an extent where we can support critical consumption.
The calendar for the term is quickly filling up with events and opportunities, please do keep an eye on them and of course on sports fixtures through MiSocs.
Year 5 pupils from across the Foundation will come together for a day of collaborative learning, based on their study of Tudor life and drawing on their thinking skills.
Y3 - 6 E-safety awareness student workshops
09:00 – 15:30
Digital Awareness will be spending some time in school, talking frankly and honestly about current issues. Common themes that emerge from these workshops will be discussed by Digital Awareness during the Digital Parenting Event on the evening of Tuesday 22 January (please see the SchoolPost for details). The information that the company will deliver will be relevant to our Foundation - not just a talk on national trends! Your children’s teachers will also be spending time with Digital Awareness. By informing our learners, our staff and our parents we can make sure that our children are able to use the internet, devices and apps in the best ways.
Digital parenting event
18:00 – 20:00
Taking place at the Senior School, this event is for all parents in the Foundation who have children in years K - 7.
The Foundation takes its role of ensuring our learners are suitably equipped to manage their online world very seriously, and we appreciate the need to work with our parent body to make sure that we all feel informed and empowered. E-safety is an ever-changing entity and we can never guess what is going to rear its ugly head and cause issues; however, we can make sure that we are informed with the latest knowledge, online trends and safety advice.
Refreshments in the Senior School dining room from 18.00.
Bradbury House Charity Day
08:30 – 15:30
The House will be hosting a variety of activities and challenges during the day to raise money for their chosen charity, Riding For The Disabled.
Reception collaboration for Pre-Prep and Dame Bradbury's - Chinese New Year
09:00 – 14:00
Y6 Holocaust Memorial Day
13:30 – 15:30
Year 6 will be attending the annual HMD service at St Mary's Church. The guest speaker will be George Szirtes, a Jewish refugee who escaped to England from the Russian invasion of Hungary and whose mother had been in the concentration camps in the war.
Y3 and Y4 Indoor Athletics Competitions
13:45 – 16:00
Y5 and Y6 Indoor Athletics Competitions
13:45 – 16:00
SATIPS General Knowledge Challenge for Y6 (optional)
08:40 – 09:40
Dame Bee's Tumbletots
09:00 – 10:00
Dame Bee’s Tumbletots provides a fun and safe play space for your child to explore and discover, whilst developing their strength, coordination and balance skills. It offers the chance to play, learn, run free and explore in a fun, safe and stimulating environment. Tumbletots is set up to stimulate and inspire young minds, helping to develop concentration skills and the ability to focus on targets.
Y5 Globe Theatre trip
Year 5 will embark on a trip to The Globe Theatre for a workshop, tour of the theatre and visit to the exhibition centre. This visit will enhance their English work on Macbeth and and their humanities work on the Tudors.