Reflections on the week at school...
Today was all about our annual 'Decorations Day' which took place across the school this morning and continued in classes for varying periods of the day. This gave parents, carers and family members the opportunity to see the classroom that their child spends so much of their time in, alongside other parents. They were able to spend an hour joining in with a festive art, or design and technology based activity with their child and had an opportunity to enjoy a mince pie on the way home as well!
But days like these are about so much more than that. A school of our size survives and flourishes on its sense of community and its sense of kindness...
- Today was also about the adults that came in having that chance to connect with each other, or to reconnect for some. To be able to connect and know that you are connected to others has always been important, but it is even more important this winter. As the weather becomes colder, we will all spend more time indoors and those in-person social experiences will naturally become fewer. We will connect over WhatsApp and other forms of social media but the drop off and pick up may be the only time in the day that some of us will see people (who aren't on a screen). It stands to reason that the more people you know, the more interactions that you will have as you come on to the school grounds and this can only be a positive. It hopefully also means that you will be part of one or more parent social media networks. For some, these two things could make a huge difference this winter - both of these are also very helpful when school emails start dropping into spam email folders for no given reason! (This has been the case recently, although we are assured by both Google and RM Education that this has been or is being resolved, depending on your email account host)
- Days like today also help to give you the chance to get to know your child's class teacher and class teaching team a little better. Parents, carers and familiy members were able to see our staff in action, rather than just through parents evenings or saying hello or goodbye at the gate or door to the classroom each morning and afternoon. This provided the opportunity to see first hand the positive environment that exists in each classroom and, for some with more than one child who visited multiple classrooms this morning, across the whole school.
- It gave everyone who attended the chance to spend an hour with children taking part in something fun and enjoyable together. With the hectic lives that we all lead these days, times like these are precious and disappear before you know it - just talk to some of our parents in Year 6 who today attended their last Decorations Day here...
The biggest negative impact to this school over the pandemic years was the enforced closure of our doors and keeping our parents, carers and family members at a distance. This went completely against what our school is all about.
To be able to welcome you all in today was another step forward in the development of our school community. This will be closely followed by welcoming Puffins and Toucans parents in to watch one, or both, of the Christmas performances next Thursday. For the first time in three years, we are returning to performances without tickets. There are no specific limitations - grandparents, younger and older siblings, aunties and uncles (and other family members of course) are all welcome. In the same way that days like today help to build our school community, I am sure that next Thursday will show just how strong that community is. I am sure that you will all be reasonable in the number of people that you bring along to watch the performances and that you will try to spread those people out between the two performances (if possible), so that your child is able to spot someone special watching them each time they take to the stage. I am sure that if you have a very small person with you, you will ensure that you will sit near a door so that you can leave if they suddenly become quite loud (it happens quite regularly with small folk!). I am also sure, that by leaving space for standing at the back of the hall, all of those in attendance will be mindful of others and if the hall becomes very full and you are able to, you will give up your seat for someone who needs it because these are the kind acts that make a community a community and this is what we now have back at our school.
Decoration's Day today was great to see and be a part of and I would like to thank our wonderful staff who put in many hours of preparation to make sure that the day went well and that there were interesting and creative activities for all to enjoy - thank you all very much!
The kindness that I have seen from children, staff, parents, carers and family members today is not an isolated incident. It was also in full view when the children from Eagles went to the theatre in the West End to watch The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on Wednesday evening, both on the coach and in the theatre leading to everyone having a really good time. It was there in our assembly when the school celebrated the Pro-Kick achievements and Eagles swimming achievements of each child in assembly. If I am being honest, it is there throughout each and every day and whenever a child strays from that path, there is a child or a group of children to help to guide them back. This is worth highlighting though, as kindness should never be assumed and it is the heart of any strong community.