HEADTEACHER’S BLOG

8th June 2021  

Welcome back,  

The sun is shining and it is lovely to see the school up and running in a more ‘normal’ way. We are still operating in bubbles throughout the day and following good hygiene procedures within the school. We rang the bell on the playground yesterday for the first time in 444 days. This meant that 46 out of our 125 primary age pupils had never started school in this way. We were all very impressed with how everyone lined up and came into school, especially our reception children.  

Although we are really pleased to be able to take this forward step, we are also very aware that we might need to revert to staggered times if cases in the Broadland area significantly increase.  

Simple summary – Broadland | Coronavirus in the UK (data.gov.uk)  

Adults on the playground:  

Please can adults remember to spread out and keep their distance from one and other on the playground as much as possible. If only one parent, carer or adult drops off/picks up this will reduce the excess people at the start and the end of the day. Once your child has gone to line up, please leave promptly unless you are waiting to drop off a child in the nursery. Thank you for your support with this.       

Wellbeing: 

I/We are very aware that many of the members of our school community are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing. The last 444 days will have effected people in different ways. Please remember we are here for you and want to work with and support you. All we ask for is kindness and compassion in return as the past 444 days has affected us all too.      

Mental Health, Wellbeing and Emotional Support (wellbeingnands.co.uk) 

Norfolk and Waveney Mind – Home 

Suncare

We are hoping that the summer lasts longer than a few days therefore please can you ensure your child/children has sun cream on before they come to school. I am aware from my own parental experience that applying sun cream to children in the morning can be a difficult task. I am more than happy for you to say Mr Neenan has said “you need to wear sun cream” if that helps the process. Please also bring a named hat to school for when they are outside and of course a bottle of water.  

PE

Lots of children have had their ears pierced over the half-term holidays. We understand that these cannot be taken out for a period of time due to them healing. For the safety of the pupils, we require the children to put tape over their piercings. This can be done at home on a PE day or we can provide the children with tape at school. Once they are healed, if they can be taken out on a PE day this makes it easier and safer. I have unfortunately seen the aftermath of an earring being pulled out and it is not pleasant, the tape is a much better option.  

Lunches

Please can you ensure you order lunches for the whole week on a Sunday night or Monday first thing. This makes it a lot easier to prepare and order the correct amount of food for each day. This can all be done using the Pupil Asset Parent Portal. If you are having any issues please speak to Fiona. 

Nut Free School, we have the need to become a nut free school. This will mean that any products which contain nuts must not be in lunch boxes or brought to school for a snack. This is going to need to be the rule for all children and adults alike.     

Collective Worship

This week we are thinking about looking after the world around us. Taking into consideration the book of Genesis 1 1:31.  

Genesis 1 ERV – The Beginning of the World – God – Bible Gateway 

The children are thinking about different ways they can have an impact on nature and the world around them.  

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25th May 2021

Good Afternoon Everybody,  

Driving to work this morning I looked across the fields and the world seemed a little greener and more hospitable despite the rain clouds. The feeling must be similar to an animal waking from hibernation after a hard winter. Hopefully, like that animal we are waking to a better, happier future with much more to look forward to.  

The future here at St Michael’s is bright as the school continues its journey to grow and develop. It has been so wonderful to hear positive feedback from the community about our new uniform and logo. The terms, distinctive and distinguished, have been used to describe our pupils, and our, new look.  

A massive thank you must go to Matt Chapple for the final logo and sign design. He took all the ideas and conversations and managed to produce the fantastic final design. Something this school can be, and will be, proud of for a very long time. Remember you can get jumpers from Kayes in town, buy badges from the office or wear plain green jumpers/cardigans.  

As and when your child grows out of their red jumpers/cardigans if you would like to donate these to the school we will send them to Little Faces School in Mombasa.  

(Please see my blog from the 15th of April for more information)   

About Little Faces Schools Kenya, Creating A Fun, Safe Place to Learn 

School attendance 

Just a reminder about school attendance. It is vitally important that children attend school every day if they are well enough to do so:  

•        98 percent attendance means 4 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 means 3 school days missed 

Nursery 

After Easter we will have a staffing change in nursery, Gayle Daniels will move further up the school and June Crook will move into nursery.  This will mean that Emily and June will make up the nursery teaching team, they will be supported on a Wednesday and Friday by our long-term student Eve.  

As our act-up Early Years Lead Mrs Hampson has full over view of the nursery setting and works closely with Emily and the whole Early Years Team. 

Yesterday I had a meeting about our new nursery build. The contractors are hoping to officially break ground at the start of the summer holidays when there can be the least amount of impact on children. The team at the Diocese of Norwich and Rev’d Julie have been working tirelessly to support us with this project.   

Teaching Staff for September 

Apple Tree – Reception: Mrs Hampson (4 days) & Miss Cooper (2 days)  

Beech Tree – Year 1: Mrs Perry (5 days) 

Chestnut Tree – Year 2 and Year 3*: Mrs Phillips (4 days) & Miss Chamberlain (1 day) 

Rowan Tree – Year 3 and Year 4: Mrs Stock (5 days) 

Maple Tree – Year 5 and Year 6: Mrs Bailey (3 days) & Miss Chamberlain (3 days) 

* Some of the Year 3 children will be split across two classes. We will speak to families about this in due course. As we are currently a 5 class Primary all classes will eventually cater for two-year groups. 

Miss Rachel Tichelly 

On Friday we say good bye to Rachel who has given so much of herself to the pupils here at St Michaels. Not many people can say they have impacted the lives of the next generation of citizens in the way she has. We know that she will be missed by children and staff alike.  

I asked some of the children what they will miss about Miss Tichelly: 

“She always smiles at me” 

“Her stories are really funny” 

“Her curly hair” 

“The way she says hello in the morning”

Thank you, Rachel.  

Collective Worship 

Over the last week we have been focussing in on friendship and kindness. The children have thought about accepting people no matter their background, race, skin colour etc. As a school we want everyone to feel welcome and respect each other. We have focussed in on what it means to be respectful in school and in society. We have thought about how Jesus welcomed everyone and turned no one away. This work has not only been done through Collective Worship but also our Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) sessions, Forest School & Personal, Social and Emotional Health (PSHE)sessions. 

Our year 5 pupils were welcomed to Aylsham Parish Church last week to explore different ways to pray and think about how Jesus welcomes everyone.

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14th May 2021

Happy Friday,  

In the coming weeks we are going to be seeing some changes across the country and the way Covid is managed as we start the return to “normal”.  

From Monday you will no longer be required to wear masks on the playground. Staff will only wear them when moving through the school during school hours. All staff will continue to carry out ‘Lateral Flow Tests’ twice a week and report these on the Gov.Uk website as well as on our school system.  

In school we will still operate in bubbles to minimise the cross over as much as possible. This will be the case until we receive alternative guidance.  

For the next two weeks, from Monday 17th May, we will still have flexible times for school age children at the beginning and end of the day. We will, however, narrow this slightly to aid with the change in routine for after the holiday:

Drop off – 8.45 to 8.55

Pick Up – 15.00 to 15.10 

Nursery times will revert to 9.00 to 3.00 from Monday 17th May.

After half term the flexible timings will end for all children. 

Monday 7th June onwards:  

School will start at 8.45 and end at 15.05. This will mean that children are late from 8.55.  

We will ring a bell on the playground at 8.45 and then children will line up in their classes. They will then be welcomed into the class by their teacher or teaching assistant.  

The extra 20 minutes a day equals over 63 extra hours of education per year. This is why we had wanted to implement these school timings from September 2020 but as we needed to be more flexible due to Covid we had to postpone this.   

Have a lovely weekend, 

John Neenan  

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5th May 2021

Hello everyone,

I hope you all had a really lovely long weekend. Wherever I went there certainly seemed to be a lot of people walking around and enjoying the sunshine.  

Toy Request

Apple class have a request for some items which will enhance their children’s time in school through learning and play.  If you have any pre-loved items from the list below, that are no longer needed, we would be very grateful of any donations:

  • Small play farmhouse buildings,
  • Fairy garden pieces,
  • Tea set,
  • Threading toys,
  • Board games.

Snacks in school 

Please remember that all children from reception to year 2 are provided with a healthy snack in school each morning.

Children in years 3 upwards need to bring in a healthy snack of fruit or veg. Many cereal bars have a lot more sugar than you would expect so are not necessarily healthy so please stick to fruit or veg as much as possible.

Top tip: Keep trying! If they are not used to veg as their snack, it may be picked out and ignored on the first few days but the more they see it and interact with it, the more the veg becomes “normal.”  This goes for lunchboxes too, follow this link for 60 second healthy lunchbox hacks

Social Media

During our RSHE lessons last week a lot of children were talking about their use of social media. A number of them said that had spoken to a stranger via Tik Tok, YouTube or whilst gaming on a console. There were a number of comments made by the older children which we have been working through in school. Please can I ask you to be aware of what your child is accessing at home and who they might be talking to. I have added some links to support your conversations.

UK Safer Internet Centre – Online Safety Tips, Advice and Resources | Safer Internet Centre

Online Safety for Children – Tips & Guides | NSPCC

Online Learning/Reading

It has been great to see so many children accessing Times Tables Rock Stars (Mostly children Year 2 and above) and taking Accelerated Reader Quizzes. (Mostly children Year 3 and above).

Children in Key Stage 2 are reading for at least 20 minutes a day in school. This is making the world of difference to their reading levels and comprehension of the texts they have read. The children in KS1 are reading on a regular basis to an adult and independently if they are able too. These children are working their way through the books band levels. All children are taking part in Guided Reading Sessions (Reading VIPERS)

As a school we have completely changed the way reading is supported and monitored since the previous Ofsted inspection. This has been a valuable process and considerable investment has gone toward developing our young people’s reading. This drive has been led by Mrs Phillips, our Deputy Headteacher.

Art Exhibition

Over the next few weeks, the children will be creating their very own artwork in class. This will then be framed and shown in an online exhibition. (Details to access this will follow at a later date). You will be able to view your child/children’s artwork and buy it if you would like to. Approximately 20% of the cost will come back to the school.

The online exhibition will run from the 21st of June to the 25th of June 2021.

Home Baking Competition

Mental Health Awareness Week 10th – 16th May 2021.

During this week the Co-op are supporting the Mind charity by fundraising and we, as a school are getting involved too.

To raise money for Mind put your lockdown baking skills to the test.

Pay £1 to enter at your school’s finance office. All donations must be in a sealed and labelled envelope.

Bake or decorate the best-looking cake ever at home!

Take a picture of your finished cake and send it to

deputyhead@st-michaelsaylsham.norfolk.sch.uk

The winner will receive a hamper filled with goodies donated by Aylsham Co-op.

(Organised by Olivia Stevens, Member Pioneer, Co-op Aylsham)

Collective Worship

In our collective worships this week we have been thinking about diversity and what makes us uniquely different and the same as one another. Within this we have be focussing on this passage from 1 Corinthians:

The Body of Christ

 A person’s body is one thing, but it has many parts. Yes, there are many parts to a body, but all those parts make only one body. Christ is like that too. Some of us are Jews, and some of us are Greeks. Some of us are slaves, and some of us are free. But we were all baptized into one body through one Spirit. And we were all made to share in the one Spirit.

And a person’s body has more than one part. It has many parts. The foot might say, “I am not a hand. So, I am not part of the body.” But saying this would not stop the foot from being a part of the body. The ear might say, “I am not an eye. So, I am not part of the body.” But saying this would not make the ear stop being a part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, the body would not be able to hear. If the whole body were an ear, the body would not be able to smell anything.  If each part of the body were the same part, there would be nobody. But truly God put the parts in the body as he wanted them. He made a place for each one of them. And so, there are many parts, but only one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the foot, “I don’t need you!”  No! Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are really very important. And the parts of the body that we think are not worth much are the parts that we give the most care to. And we give special care to the parts of the body that we want to hide. The more beautiful parts of our body need no special care. But God put the body together and gave more honour to the parts that need it.  God did this so that our body would not be divided. God wanted the different parts to care the same for each other.  If one part of the body suffers, then all the other parts suffer with it. Or if one part of our body is honoured, then all the other parts share its honour.

All of you together are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of that body

Have a wonderful week,

John Neenan

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16th April 2021

Good afternoon everybody,  

I hope you are all well after Easter and the return to the school routine hasn’t been too difficult. It’s once again lovely to see the school full of life and the fantastic learning which is taking place.  

HRH – The Duke of Edinburgh:  

As the nation mourns the death of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, Norwich Cathedral and many churches across the diocese are offering spaces for people of all faiths to pay their respects and reflect on the great contribution Prince Philip made to our country.  

 
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Funeral will take place on Saturday 17 April 2021 at 3pm in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. The Funeral Service will begin with a National Minute’s Silence at 3pm. The service will be preceded by a ceremonial procession inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. 

Aylsham Parish Church will be holding a service in memory of HRH Prince Phillip today, Friday the 16th of April, at 6 pm.   

Our unique differences:

We are very privileged to work in a school where everyone’s differences are celebrated and supported. We appreciate that all children learn at different speeds and access learning at differing levels. We also understand that children have different emotional needs and have to be supported in different ways. Please understand that we will always act in the best interest of our children to keep them safe and happy. On occasion this may include the need for physical intervention, this is used as a last resort and in line with our training and policies. We thank you for your understanding if you are asked to use a different entrance or exit to the school building. We also thank you for your kindness and consideration towards the parents whose children might need this extra assistance.   

PE Days: 

Please send your child to school in their PE kits on these days. 

Apple Tree Class: Monday  

Beech Tree Class: Wednesday and Thursday 

Chestnut Tree Class: Monday and Friday 

Rowan Tree Class: Tuesday and Friday 

Maple Tree Class: Tuesday and Friday  

‘Mile’ run on a Monday and Wednesday (Please bring in trainers on these days) 

Old School Jumpers and cardigans:   

I have been in contact with the International Team Leader of the Aylsham Rotary and we would like to be able to send our old red school uniform to support a school in Mombasa, Kenya.   

The Rotary have links with several schools in Kenya, one of which is a free school called Little Faces in Mombasa. At this school the pupils pay no fees, unlike the government schools which charge. Most of the pupils are street children and extremely poor. The school has about 300 pupils and started as an infant school and has expanded to now take older students, much like St Michael’s. The school has a red uniform of sweatshirts and polo shirts. The older pupils make white shorts and skirts from old hotel sheets! The pupils sew their own school badge over any existing logos on uniform donated by UK schools. The school was set up as a charity and is run by a Rotary Cub in the UK linked to a Rotary Club in Kenya. 

About Little Faces Schools Kenya, Creating A Fun, Safe Place to Learn 

If you are able to donate your child’s old jumper/cardigan, once you have finished with it, this would be truly appreciated. I will then make sure they are passed on for delivery to this wonderful school. Looking through their website is truly humbling.  

Have a lovely weekend,  

John Neenan  

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25th March 2021

Good afternoon everybody,

Reflection: 

As we come to the end of another term here at St Michaels, I am reflecting on what has been a difficult and challenging term for many. On the 8th of March we were so pleased to welcome the children back and have the school fully populated. We have been working hard to help children find their way and re-identify as a pupil and learner. Some children have found this journey harder than others but I assure you we will continue to do all we can to support our pupils and families as we continue to move forward. Please remember I am available to talk to and a problem shared is a problem halved. I will regularly check my emails over the Easter break so if you are in need, please email me and I will try to help: head@st-michaelsaylsham.norfolk.sch.uk

Looking ahead: 

As we look ahead to the new term there will be many things which change here. We were sad to say goodbye to Mr Kenny and today is Ms Lewis’ last day so we say au revoir to her too. We have also said farewell to Mrs Sage one of our MSA’s as she takes a break. There are many positive changes too, we welcome back Mrs Bailey and our new teachers, Mrs Stock and Miss Cooper, plus Miss Chamberlain will be staying with us longer than expected, exciting times!

We are thrilled that Mrs Joynes has had a beautiful baby boy!

We have also rolled out our new uniform and our signage as we further develop our identity as a Primary School. Look out for the new look website coming soon.  There is also hope that in the Summer term we will start to see our new Nursery building appear.

Behaviour:

We are aware at the moment that children are finding friendships and routines difficult, this is to be expected. Many children have not been as social as they are at school since before Christmas so some leeway has been allowed. That being said, I still have very high-expectations for behaviour in this school. Once the children are back after the holiday all classes will be back using an appropriate behaviour system alongside ‘Class Dojo’.

Help us by reminding your children of behavioural expectations in school. Please always let us know if anything has happened which might affect your child/children’s behaviour and we can work through it with them. Behaviour is always the external exhibition of the internal problem, the more we know the more we can help.

Attendance: 

Please remember that school attendance in compulsory and will be monitored considering any absence related to Covid, time off for Covid tests and lockdowns. If you are having difficulty getting your child/children to school, for any reason, we will work with you.

Best wishes,

John Neenan

22nd February 2021

Hello everyone 

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.    

Teacher appointments

 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!  

 Welcome

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.  

Best wishes,

Mr John Neenan

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2nd February 2021

Hello Everybody, 

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.  

Mental Health 

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: 

Action for Happiness 

Schools and Youth Groups – Children’s Mental Health Week 2021 

Mental Health and Wellbeing – Teaching Resources – BBC Teach 

Big Ideas – ClassDojo 

Just One Number and Parentline (justonenorfolk.nhs.uk) 

Mental health resources / The Church of England 

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 

Reading 

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.  

Home-schooling  

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

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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 

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.   

Collective Worship    

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. 

RSHE 

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,  

John Neenan   

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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: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

I have been asked questions about support Bubbles and Christmas Bubbles so I have added a link to the available guidance: 

Making a support bubble with another household – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)    

 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.

School attendance 

I know many of you have decided to pull you children out of school early for the Christmas holidaysWe 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.  

What Is Christingle? | The Children’s Society 

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 HomesS & M Brett, Fresh Approach, Co-op FuneralcareC T Baker Budgens of Aylsham & Holt, Tesco Aylsham, Tesco and the Aylsham Parish Church family 

 Mental Health 

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. 

Samaritans – for everyone
Call 116 123
Email jo@samaritans.org 

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men
Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Visit the webchat page 

Papyrus – for people under 35
Call 0800 068 41 41 – 9am to midnight every day
Text 07860 039967
Email pat@papyrus-uk.org 

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.

Christmas Cards  

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.  

School arrival 

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.  

Parking 

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.  

Remote learning 

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. 

RSHE  

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.

Snacks 

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

Good afternoon,

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.

Congratulations Kerry!

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: 

head@st-michaelsaylsham.norfolk.sch.uk  

16th October 2020

Good afternoon everybody,

Its Friday…again! I only have a few notices for you this week.

Home-time

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.

Parents Evening

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!

Admissions

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.

Harvest

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.

Kindest regards,

John Neenan

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. 

Harvest

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 thisIt 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.  

Parent Consultations

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. 

Collective Worship

We have continued to be able to hold Collective Worship on a daily basis. These might be led by myselfMrs 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.  

Communication

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 youseek 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,

John Neenan. 

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

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

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.

COVID-19

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:

 Isaiah 41:10

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.

Take care,

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:

Clothing:

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.

Communication:

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.

PE days:

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.

Harvest

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.

Covid advice:

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!

Take care,

Mr John Neenan

18th September 2020

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,

John Neenan

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:
https://www.stmichaelsaylsham.co.uk/back-to-school-sept-2020/
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