22nd February 2021
Welcome back for the start of a new half-term here at St Michael’s. We very much hope that we will be in a position to start welcoming pupils back to school over this half term either as a phased return or on the 8th March. As usual we will all find out at the same time so hopefully, we will have more information tonight when the Prime Minister makes his announcement.
Super Hero Day
A number of schools across the County are coming together, in a virtual sense, to thank key workers and in particular NHS Staff. I think this is also a good opportunity to thank all of your children for being so resilient and working through this difficult time.
Therefore, on Thursday we are going to have a Super Hero Day – this doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive, an old towel for a cape, a paper mask & Superhero logo you have designed. It could be a fancy-dress costume you already have at home. Send us your pictures and we will create a collage. We will then send this to local Surgery’s & Care Homes etc.
We are pleased to announce that we have appointed a fantastic Key Stage 2 teacher for the summer term, who will work with Rowan Class. We have also appointed a wonderful Early Years teacher to work alongside Mrs Hampson whilst Mrs Joynes is on maternity leave. I hope to officially introduce them to you very soon. Both teachers will start with us after the Easter holidays. Mrs Bailey will also be returning to us after Easter in a part time capacity, we cannot wait to have her back!
It has also been a pleasure to welcome Revd Canon Julie Boyd to Aylsham. We very much look forward to working with her, Revd Tracy Jessop and Mrs Kelly De-Ville-Shaw.
Please remember to stay in touch if you need anything, we are all here for you.
Mr John Neenan
2nd February 2021
I hope this blog finds you well as we head into February. I know several of our families have been suffering with Covid-19 and I want to send our thoughts and prayers your way.
You may or may not be aware that it is Children’s Mental Health Week this week. We all know that the mental health of all our children is paramount and at the current time it is even more important to support our young people.
To support you all I have put together a list of online resources which might be of interest:
Please also see the link to my Collective Worship on Positive Thinking: Click here!
Please always remember “it’s okay, not to be okay,” support is always out there even if it does not feel like it at the time.
In the last week we have launched our new reading scheme for those children who no longer read the coloured book banded books. This programme is called Accelerated Reader and focuses in on not only reading but development of comprehension skills. This will be generally used for KS2 (year 3 and above) children. I have already emailed the families who will be using the programme straight away. We would like all these children to have completed their initial assessment by the end of the week. We will then contact you to collect “Level Appropriate” books for your child.
Next Week we will be having a Reading Week and the whole school will be focusing on the book Zeraffa Giraffa by Diane Hofmeyr. We are all extremely excited about this and hope the children at home will be able to join in. More information will follow from your child’s teacher.
A message for the children – Keep up the excellent work, we have been really pleased with the work which has been sent back to us either via email, in envelopes or uploaded to Purple Mash. If you have not yet sent work in please do so as we need to see what you have been doing and then we can provide you with support. If you are in school one to four days a week then you still need to be doing work at home on the other days. Not all the learning can be covered in one or two days, completing as much as possible will really help you on your return to school.
A message for parents – Thank you!
It is hard and you are doing a wonderful job. Only a few of you trained to be teachers or work in education and we know you did not sign up for this. The more you can do at home with your children the less of a gap there will be when they return. We really appreciate it.
Take care and stay safe,
Mr John Neenan
18th January 2021
Good afternoon everybody,
As I write this, I am hoping that you are all well, both physically and emotionally. These continue to be challenging times us all as cases continue to rise in and around our wonderful community. Please remember help is only a phone call away if you are feeling low or worried.
Home schooling can be a real challenge and we fully appreciate the effort it takes. I know that today Lindsay (Mrs Neenan) is having a really challenging time. Our home laptop has broken which was being used by my eldest son Archie, the iPad is losing charge despite being plugged in and the internet keeps dropping out meaning Travis keeps losing his work. To top it off Aurora wants to dress up and play ice-creams. This is the reality of home schooling; it is not an easy process and I am aware of the pressure it puts on Lindsay.
The way we have set-up our home schooling at St Michael’s means the lessons are there for you to access. The teachers have created videos to support your children’s learning, this means you don’t have to do the main teaching. All of these videos are on Purple Mash and can be accessed on computer, iPad, tablet and phones. The videos must be watched as just doing the ‘To-Dos’ on Purple Mash is not enough, this will not plug the gap whilst children are not receiving face to face teaching.
Whilst we have, and will, create paper packs for you (if absolutely necessary) this does not provide your child/ren with a teacher first experience. It would be much more beneficial if you allowed us to support you to access Purple Mash, it is the most valuable resource to ensure your child gets as much education as possible during these weeks.
We can see who is logging on, completing the tasks and watching the videos and I am required to report this to Norfolk County Council. Please, please let us know what difficulties you are having and what we can do to help if your child is not accessing the teacher’s videos. We do not know how long this lockdown will go on for and we are more than aware of the impact on education there has already been due to Covid-19.
Please join us for our whole school Collective Worship Monday to Thursday via zoom. It was lovely to see so many of you last week. If you have lost the link, I will resend it separately to this blog. Collective Worship gives us all a chance to come together and see familiar faces.
We have decided that we will not ask parents to carry out Relationship, Sex and Health Education Lessons during the lock down. We will ensure this takes place at school in the normal way once all children have returned.
Once again thank you for all of your lovely emails which you have sent to myself or our team. It really gives us all a boost to know our hard work is valued. If you have any feedback please email your child’s teacher or myself. We will be happy to provide extension activities if you child needs more of a challenge or if they need more support. The way we would normally assess children in lessons is not possible at this time so we need your support and feedback.
Stay safe and keep in touch,
11th December 2020
Happy Friday everyone,
This has been a really tricky week for us all for a number of reasons. Obviously the Positive Covid result at the start of the week prompted us to take swift action. As we stand, we have still only had one positive result returned. We do know that there is an increase in the Broadland and North Norfolk area so please follow the rules.
If you or your child are isolating then you must only leave the house if absolutely necessary following social distancing rules. An example of this is bringing a sibling of an isolating child to school. If the person isolating needs to do this, they must then remain 2 metres away from any other person. An isolating person should not be walking around town, visiting the local park etc.
Stay at home Guidance:
I have been asked questions about support Bubbles and Christmas Bubbles so I have added a link to the available guidance:
Christmas Jumper Day
It has been lovely to see everyone in their Christmas jumpers today. We are not fundraising today, just having fun. We have received lots of pictures from those of you at home. Keep sending them in. Videos of the children singing and wearing their Christmassy clothes will go on the website this weekend.
I know many of you have decided to pull you children out of school early for the Christmas holidays. We all want to be able to see loved ones at Christmas and ensure we are not going to put them at risk. I do however, have a duty to remind you about the importance of school attendance.
- 98 percent attendance means4 school days missed
- 95 percent attendance means 10 school days missed
- 90 percent attendance means 19 school days missed
- 80 percent attendance means 38 school days missed
- Five minutes late each day means3 school days missed
Aylsham Parish Church
The children have been busy making Christingles and learning about the importance and the symbolism that goes along with it.
Each element of a Christingle has a special meaning and helps to tell the Christian story:
- The orange represents the world
- The red ribbon (or tape) symbolises the love and blood of Christ
- The sweets and dried fruit represent all of God’s creations
- The lit candle represents Jesus’s light in the world, bringing hope to people living in darkness.
A massive thank to Aylsham Parish Church and all of these local businesses who kindly donated the resources Ivan Fisher Independent Funeral Homes, S & M Brett, Fresh Approach, Co-op Funeralcare, C T Baker Budgens of Aylsham & Holt, Tesco Aylsham, Tesco and the Aylsham Parish Church family.
I am aware of a lot of people in our community who are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing at the moment. Please remember you are not alone. There are people there to support you.
Phone a helpline
These free helplines are there to help when you’re feeling down or desperate.
Unless it says otherwise, they’re open 24 hours a day, every day.
Childline – for children and young people under 19
Call 0800 1111 – the number will not show up on your phone bill
20th November 2020
Good day and thank you for reading my blog, thank you for all your support and generous donations last Friday for Children in Need. We raised an amazing £178.00 and the children had lots of fun.
It’s that time of year where we want to share the joy of the season with each other. If your children want to send cards within their classes, we ask that these are handed into the office by Monday the 7th of December that way these can be appropriately quarantined before they are handed out. If you don’t want to do a card for individuals but would like to send in one card for everyone or a class please feel free to do that instead. If Christmas cards are not your thing then there is no pressure to send them, I just want to cover all bases.
As children arrive at school, we try to have someone on the door to great them. This is likely not to be the class teacher in the coming weeks. I want the class teacher to be able to start the day’s learning as soon as possible in the class to ensure that every minute counts. If there is a specific message for the class teacher this can be passed on via the office or another member of staff. We had aimed to increase the length of our school day for September 2020 but due to Covid we are losing learning time. Thank you for your understanding.
As the weather is turning colder and more of us are driving to school please be considerate of our neighbours when parking. Please do not block driveways or drop-down curbs as we don’t want to inhibit access for residents, disabled members of our community or pushchairs.
In the event of a partial or full school closure we will deliver work via the online system Purple Mash. All children should have a log on in their reading record book. Teachers will update work on here, on a regular basis, providing 2 to 3 hours of material for home education each day. We are also aware that some of you may have difficulties accessing computers and /or the internet. If this is the case please let us know as soon as possible and we will try and help. We can also make arrangements for paper copies to be delivered to you if need be. This will also be the case if your child needs to isolate due to contracting the virus or having been in contact with someone who has had a positive test.
We will be having our next Relationship, Sex and Health Education lesson next week. I will share the lessons with you so you continue to be aware of what we are covering with your children. This will allow you to understand the language which is being used and assist any discussion you may wish to have or need to have at home. You can read the RSHE Policy here.
For our Year 3, 4 and 5 pupils we ask that the pupils bring in a healthy snack for mid-morning break. Pupils who are eligible for free school meals will be provided with fruit for their morning snack the same as the younger children in the school.
Have a lovely weekend.
6th November 2020
Today I am going to start off my blog with some wonderful and heart-warming news. Mrs and Mr Joynes are really pleased to announce that Kerry is expecting her second child this coming March. Due to covid-19 restrictions and guidance Mrs Joynes will not be able to work face to face with children from Monday 4th of January. I have already taken steps to ensure consistency in Apple Tree Class, Mrs Louise Hampson will work four days a week from the start of the Spring Term and Mrs Karen Lines, in her role as Cover Supervisor, will cover one day for the Spring Term. We will look at appointing a 1 day a week maternity cover from April 21 to March 22.
Children in Need, on Friday 13th November we are going to be having a mufti day. The children can come to school in non-uniform, wearing spots or wearing pyjamas. We would like to use this as an opportunity to raise some money for Children in Need so if you are able to make a donation, of any amount, that would be fantastic.
School photos will now take place on Friday 29th January. These were meant to take place next week but due to the new lockdown restrictions we have postponed these.
Thank you for supporting us by ensuring distance from staff and each other at the start and the end of the day. We really do appreciate you helping to keep us and your children safe. This week we have been thinking about ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘Going the extra mile’ in our Collective Worships. This is something we can all understand at the moment as we sacrifice many things for the ‘Greater Good’.
Let us go above and beyond to support each other with a listening ear, kindness and generosity.
All the very best,
Mr John Neenan
21st October 2020
Happy half-term everybody!
Thank you to all of you for your support over the past 7 weeks. It has been fantastic to have the children back at school learning and making progress. It has also been a pleasure to welcome so many new children and families to St Michael’s.
When the children return after half-term they will still be in the same bubbles. The only change to the drop off and collection routine is Beech Class will be collected at the end of the day from the same door they are dropped off at.
After half term we are going to be introducing the word ‘Think’ to our behaviour policy.
This will encourage the children to manage their conversations and it will also support the school’s Golden Rules:
“We are respectful, friendly and kind to others.”
I hope you all have a lovely break with your children, please remember if you have any concerns over the holiday, I can still be contacted via email:
16th October 2020
Good afternoon everybody,
Its Friday…again! I only have a few notices for you this week.
Please remember that collection in the afternoon is between 2.55 pm and 3.20 pm. We will not open the gates before 2.50 pm so please do not congregate. This 25-minute window should be enough for everyone to collect their children without the need to form large groups. Once you have your children please leave the playground as quickly as possible, unless you are in discussion with a member of staff. Also please try not to be any later than 3.20 pm. We understand that sometime this cannot be avoided and will, of course, continue to care for your children until you arrive.
An online document will be shared with you next week so you can sign up for parents’ evening phone calls after the half-term holiday. This will be an opportunity for you to discuss your child’s/children’s progress. We will need to keep these calls to 10 minutes but a further conversation can be booked with your class teacher.
Breakfast and Afterschool club
Don’t forget we are running a breakfast and afterschool club. The children have been having a super time and we would love more children to join us. Mrs Sue Seaman runs the breakfast club and Ms Sharon McCann runs the afterschool club. There is nothing like the smell of fresh toast in the school in the morning!
Just a reminder about school admissions. Any children who joined St Michaels in September 2018 joined a Primary School and will not automatically get the option to transfer to Bure Valley in September 2021. Please feel free to contact the school if you wish to discuss this. Fiona or myself are more than willing to have a chat.
Thank you all so much for your Harvest donations. We are trying to link the children’s harvest productions to our website for you to see. We have all enjoyed watching these as part of our collective worship. This week we have been thinking about perseverance and breaking big jobs up into smaller more manageable parts. The story of Noah’s Ark has supported us with this.
Thinking of food, we all felt rather hungry this afternoon as Rowan class were cooking pizzas and their delicious smell wafted through the school. Enjoy eating them Rowan class!
I hope you all have a lovely weekend, remember there are only three school days next week.
9th of October 2020
Good day everybody,
Walk to School Week
Thank you to all of you who have taken part in our Walk to School Week this week. It’s been really successful and lovely to see all of your photographs. As this has been so successful, we’re going to keep the initiative going for another week and maybe even up to half term. So, if you haven’t been able to walk to school so far, or bike or scoot; have ago in the next couple of weeks. Don’t forget, if you live too far away you could always park and stride.
Children have been working hard to produce poems, sing songs and create videos as part of our harvest celebration. This has, however taken slightly longer than we expected and due to some technical issues, we’re going to need to extend this into next week. If you do have any donations for the Food Bank, please drop them off at Fiona’s office or pass them to myself on the playground.
Extra help for you
At this difficult time people’s personal circumstances continue to change. If you feel that your child may be entitled to free school meals, then please come and see Fiona and she can give you an application to apply for this. It may mean that your child would be entitled to a free hot dinner and the school would also get extra funding to be able to support them in class.
Names in clothing
Please ensure that all clothing is labelled as we have continued to gather a lovely collection of jumpers and welly boots that don’t seem to belong to anybody.
We will be holding some form of parent consultation meetings after half term. These are likely to be via telephone. We will send out more information after our staff meeting next week. This will also be an opportunity for the class teachers to discuss any extra interventions or support your child may be receiving in school.
We have continued to be able to hold Collective Worship on a daily basis. These might be led by myself, Mrs Phillips or by the class teacher in the classroom. This week our focus has been on Harvest and saying thank you for everything we have been lucky enough to receive. We have also been thinking about the story from the book of Mark (6:31-44) where Jesus feeds the 5000, highlighting the importance of giving back to others.
Please don’t forget the importance of open communication. The more you tell us about situations that may affect your children, the more we can support you all. We are here for you and we can support you, seek guidance on your behalf or signpost you to the correct help. One of the best parts of my job is not only working with your children, but also knowing that we can have a greater impact by helping you as well. So, don’t be a stranger if you are in need, give me a call or send me an email.
Matthew 19: 26. With God, all things are possible.
Kindest regards and best wishes,
2nd October 2020
Thank you for taking the time to read through this blog. Here you will find the latest information relating to St Michael’s. Please take a few minutes to read the information, there will be a quiz at the end! (Only joking)
Walk to School Week
Next week is our ‘Walk to School Week’. We are trying to encourage our children to walk to school with their adults. We understand that this may not be possible for all of you as, like me, you live further away from the school than a short walk or you need to head off to work after drop off. If this is the case maybe try to park and stride. (Park in a town car park further away than normal and walk the rest of the way.)
It is also great to cycle or scoot to school as part of this initiative. We want to not only reduce the impact on the environment but also on our neighbours living near St Michael’s, and of course, help the children to keep healthy and active.
Hot dinners will be on offer from the school kitchen from the 2nd of November, after half-term. This will still be a slightly reduced menu but it will offer a delicious range of food cook on site by Jenn and Trish.
Thank you for sending wellies in with your children. This has meant they have been able to use the grass area for a little longer and saved on wet feet.
Thank you to those of you who have donated books to our library we have been so very lucky with the books we have been given so far. This means that our children will have a much wider range of books to read and share. Also thank you to one of our mums who has been working to input all of the books, old and new, into our library system. This has meant that the support staff can focus on staying in class supporting the children.
As we hear of more cases of Covid-19 in and around Norfolk please remember to keep your distance from school staff as much as possible. Please remain at least 2 metres away from doorways and entrances. This is for your safety as well are our staff and children.
I know these are still difficult times and the world is changing constantly so I will leave you with this:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Mr John Neenan
25th September 2020
Good afternoon everybody on this rather soggy September day. Please take extra care when arriving at school for pick up today. We are aware of quite a few fallen branches on the paths and road ways.
Just a few reminders to go into the blog this week:
As the weather is changing please make sure your children have the appropriate clothing with them at school. Children will need a named coat with them every day, whatever the weather.
This week we have received several emails and calls saying that we haven’t shared information. We always endeavour to ensure that information is sent out in a timely manner, however on occasion something may get missed, please accept my apologies if this happens. However, in the majority of these cases, the information has been sent out either in an email or by letter. Please can I ask you to check and read all correspondence which is sent out to you. We, as a staff, take a lot of time to try and ensure the information is available, please support us by reading it. If you have further questions at this point then, as always, contact us and we will be more than happy to help you.
This is the third weekly blog I have written. I aim to write one every week so that I can keep you up to date with what is happening in our school. The blog will be emailed to you and put onto the school website so that you can look back at previous weeks’ blogs if needed.
Just a reminder of which days each class has PE
Apple Class: Thursday
Beech Class: Wednesday & Thursday
Chestnut Class: Monday & Wednesday
Rowan Class: Tuesday & Friday
Maple Class: Monday and Friday
Drop off and collection:
From our perspective drop off and collections seem to be working well. Please can I ask you to ensure you are at least 2 metres away from school staff at the entrances to the building. This way we won’t create so much of a bottle neck and those staff members and children who feel more vulnerable will have more space to feel safe.
The week starting Monday October the 5th we are going to be thinking about harvest in school. Each class be working on a recording which can be shared. (This will only include children who have permission to be on our website.) We will also collect food for the Cromer and District food bank this week. There will be boxes around the playground for you to put your donations in. We will then quarantine this for 72 hours before we pass in on. Please also remember I have to ability to issue food bank vouchers if you are in need. Please call if you need support.
Individuals will need a test if they have any of the following:
|· A high temperature: any new high temperature where the person feels hot to touch on their chest or back (you do not need to measure the temperature);|
|· A new continuous cough: coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours;|
|· A loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste: a noticeable loss of smell or taste or things smell and taste different to normal.|
Individuals do not need a test if they have a runny nose, are sneezing or feeling unwell but do not have a temperature, cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste because these are not normally symptoms of coronavirus.
In the event of a positive case we will contact Public Health England and the appropriate procedure will be followed using their guidance.
I hope you have a lovely weekend, whatever the weather!
Mr John Neenan
Good morning everybody,
We have had another rather exciting week here at St Michael’s as more and more children start school. Today is the first day all of the Reception children have been in together and it is lovely to see their happy faces as they explore the indoor and outdoor classrooms.
Across the school children have been delving into new knowledge. In Key Stage One, Beech Class have been learning about Robots and Chestnut Class have been learning about the history surrounding the Great Fire of London. In Key Stage Two Rowan Class have been learning about Ancient Egyptians and Maple Class have been thinking about habitats. All of the classrooms are looking vibrant as learning displays are built and classes are populated with children’s work.
It has been great to see children really enjoying PE lessons both in the Ark and outside. I’m not sure who has been having more fun the children or the staff.
Keeping fit and healthy is really important to all of us at St Michael’s so I must ask that you send your Key Stage Two children in with healthy snacks and water to drink for their mid-morning break. We have had a lot chocolate, cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks which they should not be having in school.
I know children are not getting changed at school for PE but we still really need clothing to be named. Most importantly jumpers, cardigans and foot wear. At the end of last week we had multiple cardigans and jumpers who belonged to no one.
Today we had a fire evacuation drill and all of the children were out of the building and registered in a fantastic time. Well done to all of the children and staff for their prompt response to the alarms sounding.
We have had lots of book donations for a library over the summer term and the holidays which has been a massive help. If you still have any books at home you would like to donate they will be gratefully received. Like all schools we are running on a very tight budget and your kindness goes a long way to help us provide little extra to our children within the school.
Just a reminder, if someone new is picking up your child please let Fiona in the office know via phone or email. Your child will then need to be collected from the office.
Finally, some news I have been hoping to avoid, unfortunately I have to cancel the Year Four/Five residential trip. The guidance is still that there should be no residential trips and I am aware that many of you may not feel comfortable sending your children. As we get further into the year we will see how the land lies and make a decision on booking a further trip.
Have a lovely weekend,
8th September 2020
Welcome to or welcome back to St Michael’s all our families old and new. It is fantastic to see our school full of happy faces again. Since St Michael’s became a Primary School in September 2018 this is the first year that every one of our pupils belongs to a Primary and not just an Infant School. All the pupils here will continue their educational journey with us until they go to high school, which is extremely exciting!
Over the summer, we have had our internal hall developed into a new classroom and library which gives us a sixth classroom and a library within the main building of the school. The new rooms have had new LED lighting installed which are incredibly bright and energy efficient.
We have also had in confirmed (7th September) that full permission has been granted for our new Nursery to be built. This has been a very long journey to get the project this far but shows how the Diocese of Norwich and Norfolk County Council are backing the growth of our wonderful school.
One area of concern, which was raised during the planning application process, is parking around the school during drop off and collection time. If you are able to walk, bike or scoot to school then please do so. If you are in a position where you need to drive please be mindful of our neighbours, do not block entrances or gates.
The Diocese are also looking to make amendments to the current nursery, which will become the reception classroom. To do this we will need to raise 10% of the funds.
For more information and to support us please follow this link:
John and Fiona’s virtual challenge Lands End to John O’Groats
We are obviously working and teaching in strange times and a lot of time and energy has gone in to ensure the school is as safe as possible. The children and adults are constantly washing hands, cleaning surfaces and avoiding contact with others. We are working hard to ensure bubbles do not cross during operational hours however, we are very aware that as children leave the site many will then interact with children from other bubbles, schools, towns etc. There is only so much we can control try as we might. The only thing we can truly control is the hygiene measures in place.
For more information and our Risk Assessment please follow this link:
Do not forget my door is always open so please always talk to me if you are concerned about anything, struggling at home or want to share good news, call or email the school office or myself to make an appointment. I can distribute Foodbank vouchers if you are in need or support in contacting other agencies.
I will endeavour to update this blog on a weekly basis to keep you up to date with our news and the information will stay here for reference.
Take care and stay safe,
Mr John Neenan