23rd October 2023
As we come to the end of the half term I want to celebrate all the things we have managed to achieve since the start of the year.
We have had several exciting cross-country events where some of our children qualified for the whole of Norfolk event in November. Well done to everyone who took part regardless of you finishing place.
The Year four and five residential at Hilltop was fantastic with lots of teamwork and extending ourselves past our comfort zone.
We have had Bikeability, where children have learnt to ride their bikes on the road safely.
Our Harvest Celebration at Aylsham Parish Church was successful and provided much needed resources to the Food Bank. Thank you for all your donations.
The staff sponsored walk raised £1200 to help subsidise the cost of trips.
On top of this we have had dress up days, loads of cooking, bulb planting at Blickling…the list goes on.
All of this goes towards supporting the children’s personal development.
We follow the requirements of the National Curriculum and cover all subjects. Please check on our website including the class pages;
All the information you need to understand what your children are learning can be found on the school website. We are also holding an OPEN EVENING on Wednesday 22nd November when you are welcome to look around the whole school and find out more about the curriculum. Please also ensure you read your emails as we send out a lot of information in these. Quite often people come to us and say they were not aware of events etc. When we have checked back through our system, we can see that the information was sent, delivered but not opened. However, we will also endeavour to send communication out in good time for all events. I am aware that some information was sent out quite close to event dates this half term.
We are extremely excited to announce that Mrs Ailsa Stock and her husband Russel are expecting their first child around Easter next year. Further information will follow with regards to maternity cover.
We are also overjoyed to announce the safe arrival of Harry George Watkins. Mrs Lucy Watkins has been in to visit with Harry and tells us that she and her husband Chris are settling in well to parenthood.
Breakfast club reminder:
Breakfast club runs from 7.30 until 8.45 in the mornings, this must be booked in advance via ScoPay (the same as after-school club). Breakfast is served between 7.30 and 8.00; if your child arrives after 8.00 or chooses not to eat before then, it will be too late for them to have the food as the children go outside to play at this point.
Always consider the safety of all children and adults around the school when parking in the morning and at the end of school. During the rain last week there were a lot of examples of dangerous parking and we were lucky that no one was hurt. The pavement at the end of Schoolhouse Lane is not for cars to stop on and there should be no cars parking near the junctions on Rawlinson’s Lane and Heydon Road. If you have to drive to school please consider parking in one of Aylsham’s car parks and walking school, whatever the weather. Thank you to all those who continue to follow the Highway Code in their parking.
Over half term holiday:
With the money raised by our sponsored run in May, the donation from Aylsham Runners and the hard work by the school’s PTA (Parent Teachers Association), we will be have new play equipment being added to the trim trail this week. The PTA’s successful disco also raised enough to purchase new sensory equipment for the school.
I have been working with the Diocese of Norwich on ways to make the school more eco-friendly and reduce our carbon footprint. On Monday 23rd October we are having Hydromx added into our heating system which will support the transmission of heat as well as reduce the amount of energy it takes to heat the liquid in the heating system. For those of you who may be interested further I have added a link below.
Carbon Neutral and Initiatives
Hydromx is one of a line of initiatives to make the school as carbon neutral as possible. Previously we have had LED lighting installed, an eco-friendly Nursery with solar panels built, we now have hydromx being installed and soon we hope to have our single glazed windows being replaced with double glazing.
I have also been working with the Diocese of Norwich to replace our perimeter fencing so watch this space…
All these project’s account to over £1 million worth of investment since 2020.
The UEA (University of East Anglia) will be using our school on Tuesday the 24th October to use our Early Years provision and show student teachers, who are undertaking their initial teacher training, what a good setting looks like, and how to use this to support children’s learning. There will be a particular focus on the development of speech and language.
- Odd Sock Day for anti-bullying week What is Odd Socks Day? (anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk)
- Acorn Nursery Christmas Family Learning 2-3 pm
- Christmas Family Learning Day – parents invited
- 3.30-6.00pm OPEN EVENING – for new and existing parents, come and see first hand the work the children have been doing in school and the curriculum plans for the year ahead.
- Acorn Nursery Christmas Family Learning 9-10 am
- Aylsham Christmas Light Switch on
- 24th to 26th Christmas Tree Festival in Aylsham Parish Church
- Flu immunisations
- 9.30 am – KS1 (Year 1 & 2) Nativity in Aylsham Parish Church – parents invited
- 2.00 pm – EYFS (Nursery & Reception) Nativity in Aylsham Parish Church – parents invited
- Year 6 National Child Measurement Programme
- School Christmas Lunch and Christmas Jumper Day
- 7.00 pm Rotary Carol Concert at Aylsham Parish Church, School Choir to perform.
- Community Panto at BVS – children only
- 2.00 pm Whole School Christingle and Carol Service in Aylsham Parish Church – parents invited
- Last day of the autumn term
- First day of the spring term
Also look out for the Christmas Fair and Christmas Film night being organised by our fantastic PTA.
May you all stay warm and safe as we head towards the winter months, and, as we look to All Saints Day on Wednesday, I hope you can all feel Christ’s guiding light.
“In the same way, let your light shine so others can see it. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will bring glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
12th September 2023
Welcome to the start of another school year, we already have so much planned for this year including trips, events, residentials etc. The children are settling into new routines well and are ready to learn, play and eat!
Although we have only been back a week, we have had a Greek dress up day, the Bikeability course has started, we have violin lessons starting this week for a small group, piano lessons for individuals and Ukulele lessons for all Year 4 pupils.
Welcome also to our new pupils and staff. We have 11 children who are completely new to St Michael’s as well as our lovely new Reception Class. We also welcome several new members of staff to our St Michael’s family.
Collective worship this week has focussed on the Beatitudes recorded in the book of Matthew:
What are the Beatitudes you may ask: They are statements of characteristics and blessing which are part of the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus spoke and is recorded in Matthew. Each Beatitude looks at different circumstances of life and how all Christians are blessed through their faith. Through these 8 Beatitudes, Jesus teaches of virtues and values in life that will result in blessings and rewards. These Beatitudes are not singled out for specific people – they are blessings applicable to all Christians.
Please can we ask that all children have the correct and appropriate equipment for lessons. Children should have a white t-shirt, black shorts, trainers, black or green hoodie and jogging bottoms. Please be aware hotpants and multi coloured clothing are not part of the school’s uniform.
Children cannot wear earrings for PE, and we are not able to tape them up, they must be removed either by parents or by the child. This is the guidance of Norfolk PE Association and the National Association for Physical Education.
Dates for the diary:
2nd October – Whole School Harvest Celebration at Aylsham Parish Church, 2.15pm.
(If you would like to donate to the food bank, these can be dropped off at the School Office from Monday 25th September.)
7th October – St Michael’s staff sponsored walk – Some members of staff will be walking from Aylsham to Cromer along Marriotts Way (16.5 Miles) to raise funds to go towards coaches for school trips.
As we look forward to the year ahead:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
28th July 2023
Happy Summer Everyone!
What a year this has been, we have managed to squeeze so much into the timetable. Loads of trips, visits, competitions, performances etc. I am so proud of all our children here at St Michael’s and what they have achieved. No matter what assessment scores say we know that our Year 6 children have all done their best through their SATS assessments. This is the same for children who have taken the Phonics Screening Check, Multiplication Check and Year 2 SATS. There is so much more to our young people than a test will never judge or know.
Over the last few days of term, I asked some of our children to give me words they think of when we talk about St Michaels, this is what they said:
We already have a lot of things booked in for the coming academic year. Make sure you check back through the blogs for dates. I am still having parents coming to me saying they are not aware of school events. Make sure you are reading all the correspondence coming from the school please.
At the end of this academic year, we are saying goodbye to Mrs Hannah Babbage. We want to thank her for teaching Chestnut Class whilst Mrs Elliott has been on maternity leave. We wish her well for the future! Good Luck as well too Mrs Watkins who starts her maternity leave in September.
We say goodbye to our Year 6 pupils, and to a few of our other pupils going to new schools. We are sad to see you go, but wish you all the absolute best.
We have 5 new members of staff joining us, some old and some new.
We will also welcome 25 children into Reception for their first year of school and we have new pupils joining us in Year 6, Year 5, and Year 3.
The end of the school year is a bittersweet time, and we say goodbye to our second year of year 6 pupils. They enjoyed the celebrations towards the end of term, including pizza making at Pizza Express, a sleepover in school with escape room and giant hide and seek, the end of year service in Aylsham Parish Church and the leavers tunnel on the last day of school. Well done to all our year 6s, we will miss you and wish you all the best on the next steps of your educational journey, may you all flourish as you Dream, Believe and Achieve!
Thank you to Willow M for your wonderful piano playing at the start of the end of year service.
Thank you to Graham Hampton for producing and directing the drama club play – Pandora’s Box. It was a great success, and we are grateful for all the time you gave up encouraging our pupils to put on such a good performance.
Thank you to our governors, who have offer challenge and support throughout the year to keep us all on track to provide the best educational experience for our young people.
Thank you to everyone on our school staff team, those who look after the premises, our MSAs, TAs, Early Years Practitioners, teachers, and the front office team; you all make this school such a remarkable place and I am grateful to you all.
And finally, thank you to all our school families for the support you give your children at home, to help them to be as ready as possible to come to school eager to learn and play, and follow the golden rules:
We are ready,
We are respectful,
We are safe.
And of course, to all your children for making our school such a vibrant, inclusive place to be.
I wish you all a happy and safe summer and look forward to seeing you back at school on Wednesday 6th September.
“Now all glory to God, who is able, by his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more that we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20
5th July 2023
The summer term is always a joyful time, with trips and treats to celebrate all the hard work your children have put in throughout the year. I have been impressed by the perseverance and tenacity of our pupils during their assessments.
I am also thrilled to announce that Sharon has been recognised by the Bishop of Norwich for all her nurturing and supportive work with the children, building up their emotional resilience and confidence so that they can flourish in their time with us and beyond. Sharon was invited to lunch with some other school champions and the Bishop to receive her certificate; however, her commitment to school came first as she was training to become a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, joining Fiona and myself in this essential role.
Sunday 9th July Last day to order class photos for school delivery
Thursday 13th July Acorn Sporty Stay and Play – parent invited
Friday 14th July Transition morning
Year 6 sleepover
Monday 17th July Sports Day for main school at Aylsham High School – parents invited
Tuesday 18th July Year 6 trip to Pizza Express
Years 3-5 trip to Norwich Cathedral and Mosque
Wednesday 19th July 2.00 pm End of Year Service in Aylsham Parish Church Parents are invited, especially our Year 6 Leavers parents
Thursday 20th July Drama Club Performance 2pm and 6.30pm – parents invited
Friday 21st July Leavers Celebration Assembly
Last Day of the School Year – school finishes normal time 3.15pm
Wednesday 6th Sept Back to school
W/C 11th Sept Bikeability for year 5s
2nd October 2.15pm Harvest Festival in Aylsham Parish Church – parents invited
5th October Norfolk Children’s Book Centre in school
9th to 11th Oct Year 4, 5 residential to Hilltop Adventure
23rd to 27th October Half Term Holiday
12th December 9.30 am KS1 (year 1 & 2) Nativity in Aylsham Parish Church – parents invited
2.00 pm EYFS (nursery & reception) Nativity in Aylsham Parish Church – parents invited
19th December 2.00 pm Whole school Christingle and Carol Service in Aylsham Parish Church – parents invited
20th December Last day of the autumn term.
The children have been practicing hard for our sports day on Monday 17th July. This is for pupils from reception to year 6 and will take place at Aylsham High School.
Parents are invited to attend and can arrive at the High School from 9am for a 9.15 start. We ask that you drop your child at school in the morning as normal and make your own way to AHS. When you arrive come in via the gate to the left of the main reception. The gate will not be continuously monitored after 9.30am, so if you are late arriving you may not be able to enter.
Acorn nursery are having a Sporty Stay and Play session on Thursday 13th July from 1.30 to 2.30pm. If your child does not normally attend on that afternoon you are welcome to bring them along for an hour of sporty fun.
I need to say a huge thank you to our PTA who arranged such a successful Summer Fair last Saturday. It was wonderful to see so many families and staff members come along and support the event. Mr Rush and myself were thoroughly soaked on the Soak the Teacher stall.
We don’t have the exact amount raised yet, but it is well over £1000!
We should be able to order some additions to the trim trail very soon.
Thank you also to all the local businesses who donated prizes, The Fox, The Black Boys, Aylsham Sports Hub, Stompers, M’s and many, many more.
Another thank you to all those who gave up their time for our Ambitions Day, it was a great success, and we hope to do it again with more careers and more time!
Photos from the Summer Fair and Ambitions Day are on the school website and photos from the school trips last week will be on there soon.
Not just the children
It has not just been the children who have had end of year assessments this year. The school had a full financial audit by Norfolk County Council who have reported that ” overall, controls are in place to ensure the resources of the school are managed effectively.” We also invited a visit from a Local Authority Challenge Partner to support us with our continuous journey to make the educational experience for your children the best it can be. They were impressed with the curriculum we have on offer, the personal development of children and the overall behaviour of children within the school.
As we draw to the end of another school year let us remember our aims to Achieve;
- Our goals through dealing wisely with difficulty; creatively with challenge and with resilience through adversity.
- A school built on Christian Values, excellence in education and joyful encounter.
- Community which reflects the love of God through service, diversity, inclusivity, and respect.
- The growth of peacemakers, justice fighters, joy bringers, light bearers, and hope givers for our world.
“The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever” Psalm 121:8
26th May 2023
Good Afternoon Everybody,
We are really pleased to announce that Ms Anna Rushmer has joined us as Admin Assistant and will be working in the office every morning.
Welcome to Ms Nikita Redding who has recently joined us as a Midday Supervisory Assistant.
And following a successful interview, Mrs Louise Hampson will be joining us as the Year 3 teacher covering Mrs Watkins’ maternity leave from September. Mrs Hampson is extremely excited to be returning to St Michael’s.
Saying goodbye to Mrs Seaman
Today we said goodbye to Mrs Sue Seaman as she retires having worked at St Michael’s School for 22 years! We are all going to miss her happy, caring nature and are pleased she’s has already said she’d like to come back as a volunteer. The children made her a beautiful card with lots of special messages inside.
Summer Fair 1st July
I am delighted that our PTA (Parent Teachers Association) St Michael’s Friends are organising a Summer Fair on Saturday 1 July. I look forward to seeing lots of our families joining in the fun.
We need volunteers to help on the day, please speak to myself or Fiona and we will get you in touch with the PTA.
Donations of tombola prizes will be greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at the school office.
On Tuesday 27th June we have our Family Learning Day which will be based around ambitions. We have invited a variety of people from different careers to come into school and show case their chosen occupation. I hope this will inspire the children to dream about what they can achieve in their lives. Parents are invited to come in and join their children from 1pm.
Well done to everyone who took part in our Sponsored run, so far, we have raised a staggering £1960!
The event was in conjunction with the Aylsham Runner’s Aylsham 10k Race which took place on Sunday the 7th May. The event was a huge success and I personally enjoyed running in the event with Mrs Neenan. If your keen to take up running or enter the event keep an eye on the Aylsham Runners Website: Welcome to Aylsham Runners – Aylsham Runners Our PTA ran the PTA Pantry on the day and raised around £350, this follows on from the £207 they raised with the Easter Egg Hunt.
Aylsham Runners have also generously donated £200 to our school fund!
I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has raised money for the school. The money will be going toward more outdoor sports equipment, an extension of the trim train, new goals, lunch time play and hopefully more. Whether you have raised £1 or £100 + everything goes to the benefit of our children, thank you.
- 10% of the sponsorship money raised will be donated on to TACT (The Aylsham Community Trust) Families – Home – Aylsham Community Trust
Further Sporting Success
So far this Term we have taken part in a number of different sporting activities including a 5 a side girls football tournament where we came 4th, beating BVS and other schools along the way. Our Key Stage 1 children have taken part in a cross-country event at Mundesley Infant and Junior School they were 3rd out of 5 schools.
- Sports Day – This will be on the 17th of July at Aylsham High School. We are aiming for a 9.30 am start. This will give us time to walk the children from St Michaels. This was a great event last year and we are looking forward to it again this year.
Charity –Non-Uniform Day
On Friday the 16th of June we will have a non-uniform day to raise money for the Contact Charity. Vinnie in our Year One class has asked us to support him and this worthy charity.
Please see the links below from further information.
Children can come to school in normal clothes or dressed as a Dinosaur, a suggested donation is £1 but anything is appreciated.
Our Year 6 pupils had a morning out this week learning all about how to stay safe and save lives. This was part of the Norfolk Crucial Crew event held by Norfolk Fire Service at the Space in Norwich. The children took part in workshops led by the NHS, Police, East Anglian Air Ambulance, Fire Service, RNLI and Road Safety Experts. We hope that this will now become an annual event for our Year 6 pupils. I was a very proud Headteacher as our children were praised for their knowledge on how to stay safe and their fantastic behaviour at the event and on the bus.
Our Key Stage 1 children had a wonderful day at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth today.
Photos from the trips will be on the website in the next few days.
It has come to our attention that several of our KS2 pupils have been watching YouTube videos at home regarding Andrew Tate. If you are not sure who this is, then please see the link below.
As always, we strongly encourage you to monitor and know what your children are accessing.
Return to School
When we return to school on the 5th of June the weather will hopefully be getting better for the summer months. Please ensure you send your children to school with suncream applied, a water bottle and a raincoat for those summer storms.
Starting on the second week of next half term the children will be having lunches outside (weather permitting) on Tuesdays. Look out for the Tuesday menus coming in the first week of school.
A huge congratulations to our School Council who organised such a successful Cake Sale at the end of school today. They raised over £120 to go into the School Council Pot.
Thank you to everyone who donated cakes, scones and other tasty treats.
The Lord gives me strength. He is like a shield that keeps me safe.
My heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart jumps for joy.
With my song I praise him.
I wish you all a safe, happy and blessed half term break.
28th April 2023
Good Afternoon Everybody,
I hope you have all had a good couple of weeks since our return to school. I imagine there are lots of lovely plans for the bank holiday weekends coming up.
Next week we have several activities taking place:
We are celebrating the Coronation on Thursday 4th May. I know lots of you have pre-ordered the special picnic lunch. If you have not pre-ordered the lunch, please ensure your child brings a packed lunch in to school that day.
Children are invited to dress up in Red White and Blue clothes for the day, if they are doing PE that day, they can still dress up but ensure they are clothes they can move freely in.
We are looking forward to the whole school singing a special Coronation song, which will be recorded and put onto the school website.
Friday 5th May is the day of our sponsored run so all children will need to come to school in their PE kits. It is always fantastic to see the enthusiasm when they set off on the run, and the determination many of your children show in doing as many laps as they can. Thank you for helping your child getting their sponsors.
On the 7th of May we have the Aylsham 10k Run organised and managed by Aylsham Runners which start and finishes here at St Michael’s. Please do come along and support those people running, including many members of the school community. There will be hot food on sale as well as cakes, hot drinks, and cold drinks. Please bring money with you as we are only able to take cash at this time.
The refreshments have been superbly organised by the new school PTA (Parent Teachers Association) and supported by several local businesses.
- If there is anyone who feels that they would like to make a cake for us to sell that would be really appreciated. (Nut free please). If anyone can make a vegan and gluten free cake that would also be amazing.
The race is 99% full so get in quick if you want the last few places.
A massive thank you to all of those who have donated their time, money, and food for the event:
White’s Butchers, Norse Catering, Coxfords Butchers, Aylsham Co-op, Aylsham Tesco, Aylsham Market Meat Stall, St Michael’s PTA, Aylsham Runners, and all those who have already donated cakes or will donate cakes. At the run we will also have several Sports Therapy Students offering Sports massages to those who are in need either before or after the run. This has been kindly facilitated by Lorraine Kirk who is a sports lecturer at the Jackie Hamilton School of Therapies.
After the run and the Sunday Church Service there will be activities and refreshments available at Aylsham Parish Church.
On Friday 14th July we will be having our move up morning where all children spend the morning with their new teacher for September. The class structure for September is as follows:
Apple – Reception with Mrs Goodson
Beech – Year 1 with Mrs Perry
Chestnut – Year 2 with Mrs Phillips and Mrs Elliott
Maple – Year 3 teacher to be confirmed as Mrs Watkins will be on maternity leave!
Birch – Year 4 with Mrs Stock
Oak – Year 5/6 with Mr Rush
Mrs Stock and Miss Thornton are walking a half marathon distance along the Norfolk Coast Line to raise money for the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation. If you would like to donate to their walk and this cause, then please see the link below.
Aylsham High School (AHS) are having an Auction of Promises to raise money for their Leavers’ Prom and Water Aid. Follow this link to find out more aylshamhigh.com/ahslatestnews
We have a lot of diary dates for you. There will be more trips coming up this term and details will be sent out soon.
4th May Coronation Lunch
5th May Sponsored Fun Run
15th May Beech and Chestnut Cross County Tournament at Mundesley Junior School
23rd May Year 6 trip to The Space for Crucial Crew event
26th May Beech and Chestnut Trip to Great Yarmouth Tide and Time Museum
10th June Saturday Cluster Family Learning Day at AHS
27th June Family Learning Futures Day
28th to 30th June Year 6 transition days to Aylsham High School
14th July Transition morning
Week beginning 17th July School reports out
17th July Sports day at Aylsham High School – 9.30 am to 11.30 am
18th July Pizza Express Trip – Year 6
21st July Last day of term
6th September Back to school
Bike Ability Course – Current Year 4 Children – Monday September 11th – Friday September 14th (Consent forms to be returned by 26th May)
9th to 11th October Year 4-5 residential Hill Top
8th to 12th July 2024 Year 6 residential Bawdsey Manor
15th March 2023
Good afternoon, Everyone,
I hope this email finds you well on this sunny day.
In my blog today I have some dates for your diary and I also want to address a couple of unhelpful playground rumours about the school.
I would like to address the rumour that a lot of our Year Two pupils are moving to BVS. This is not the case; we have been given exact numbers by Norfolk County Council and there are six pupils moving schools at the end of Year Two. We know the reasoning behind the movement of these pupils and support these families. St Michael’s is a Primary School and pupils are expected to be here from Reception through to the end of Year Six. As such our curriculum progression is mapped from Early Years to Year Six to allow the very best educational experience for our children, ensuring no gaps in learning and continuous monitoring of all children’s attainment so adjustments can be made as and when needed. We understand that there is some movement both in and out of the school, as there is in every school. However, we are not a feeder school to BVS. This September we will have a class of 25 pupils in Year Three. Our teacher structure has yet to be confirmed as we discuss this with our school governors in the summer term. Please can I ask you to speak directly with the school if you have any queries or concerns as we have the correct information for you.
Also, we have been in discussion with the Town Council as they had unfoundedly declared at one or more of their meetings that St Michael’s was closing. Again, this is not true and we have asked the Town Council to make this abundantly clear within their meetings. I have since received a written apology form Mr Bennett, Chair of the Town Council, and he also came to see me personally to apologise as the Town Council had shared incorrect information. There have been plans submitted for a new school in the town, however, this is unlikely to be built due to the current schools in the town, and surrounding villages, having capacity. We also need to recognise that if there ever was a new school it would provisionally be a new St Michael’s School, if Norfolk County Council decided the pupil numbers warranted it; or if not it would be run by an external Multi Academy Trust. If this were the case it would have nothing to do with St Michael’s or the Aylsham Learning Federation. It would be a standalone school not run by the Norfolk County Council and both St Michael’s and ALF would continue to work alongside each other.
Dates for the diary:
17th March – Chestnut Class visit to Fire Station
21st March – Family Learning Day
22nd March – Maple and Birch Visit to Blickling
31st March – After-School Easter Egg Hunt run by the new PTA
5th May – Children’s in-school Sponsored Run raising funds for the school PTA
7th May – Aylsham Runners 10k – with refreshments by the new PTA
May 2023 – Key Stage 1 tests will be administered
Tuesday 9th to Friday 12th May – KS2 (Key Stage 2) Assessment Week
Monday 5th to 16th June – Year Four Multiplication Checks
Monday 12th to 16th June – Year One Phonics Screening Check
Summer term– Ukulele Lessons for Year Four
Ongoing Piano Lessons and recorder club
PE lessons at AHS for KS2
Afterschool drama club coming soon…
Congratulations to Mrs Ailsa Stock who has been working extremely hard this year, not only in school, but also in completing the ‘National Award for Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordination’. Now Mrs Stock has completed the course she will be taking on the full role of SENDCo here at St Michael’s from after the Easter holidays.
As part of her new role, she has organised learning activities for children in the school this week in celebration of Neurodiversity.
RSHE (Relationships, Sex and Health Education) – Thank you to those parents who attend and supported me in the at the information for parent’s sessions. There was unfortunately a low turnout but feedback was positive from those who did attend. Our whole RSHE curriculum is on our website including the policy. Please look at these resources to support your discussions with your children. If you ever have any questions, please speak with me as the RSHE Coordinator within the school.
Please see the link below for our curriculum offer.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. – Romans 15:13
7th February 2023
Welcome to Children’s Mental Health Week
We are all aware that over the past few years the mental health of everybody, especially children, has taken a real blow. Children are having to be more aware of the world around them, learning and knowing things which didn’t even exist when many of us parents were their age. We did not need to understand internet safety and the pit falls of social media and mobile phones. There was not the access to adult material like there is today. With new research saying that 50% of children had seen adult material by the age of 13 – BBC News Report
Please check what your children have access to at home and have conversations with them about it. Support can be found here: Teaching Your Child about Internet & Online Safety | NSPCC
In school we are spending a lot of time with the children teaching about what resilience means and how to improve it. We are working with them to recognise their different feelings and emotions, then giving them the skills to be able to manage them. These skills are essential for life and in many of our young people they are lacking. We are encouraging the children to be solution focussed and to solve problems independently, there is always support on hand to help discussions, mediate and guide but there will come a day when they need to manage these situations alone.
These skills will help them to manage stress, anxiety, unkindness, bereavement etc. The children from reception upwards have all watched this video in school, please watch it too, either by yourself or with your child/children, it will grow your understanding of what resilience means and how essential it is for our young people. – Wellbeing For Children: Resilience – YouTube
World Book Day – Thursday 2nd March 2023
We are looking forward to World Book Day and celebrating our love of all things books. Children can come to school dressed as a character from a book. We would also like them to bring their favourite book to school to share with their friends. If they do not wish to dress up then they can come to school in normal clothes or school uniform, but please still bring a book to share.
Thank you to the parents who joined Acorn nursery this afternoon to find out about the early years Bedtime Reading Challenge, there are more opportunities to drop in later this week. Apple’s introductory session to the Bedtime Reading Challenge is on Friday at 2.30pm.
RSHE (Relationships, Sex and Health Education) – Tuesday 7th March 2023
RSHE parents information meetings will be held by me at 9 am and then again at 5 pm to give you all a greater understanding of the subjects we cover during ‘Relationship, Sex & Health Education lessons. We will also look at the legal framework behind the lessons and the requirements.
Information regarding or RSHE curriculum can be found here, at the very bottom of the page:
Easter Themed Family Learning Day – Thursday 21st of March
- Times to be confirmed
I’ll leave you with a beautiful piece of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:7-9):
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Thank you for your continued support.
23rd January 2023
Happy Chinese New Year!
We are well into our spring term already and the children have been enjoying lots of new clubs, getting to grips with interesting topics and starting fantastic design and technology projects. I was heartened to hear a child in Birch class saying that “maths is fun.” With the right attitude to learning, great progress and achievement can be made. I am grateful that so many parents encourage this positive attitude so their children are excited to come to school and show how they can shine.
Friends of St Michael’s
We had our first PTA (Parent Teacher Association) meeting this morning. Although it was a small gathering there are already some great fundraising ideas; starting at Easter with an Easter Bonnet competition. Look out for more information coming soon.
If you are interested in helping, please let me or Mrs Tibbitt know.
I am sure you have been aware that one of the unions has called for teachers to strike, starting in February. While sympathetic to the cause, we are not expecting any of our teachers to strike, so we will be open as usual.
NSPCC Number Day
On Friday 3rd February we are joining in the NSPCC Number Day. All are invited to come to school dressed up in something to do with numbers or maths, whether it is numbers written on a t-shirt or dressed as a triangle, I am looking forward to seeing the different creations and seeing who will win the fancy dress competition. There will be a lot of fun maths activities throughout the day and we will be collecting donations for the NSPCC.
We are sorry for the delay in getting the Christmas Performances onto the website, there have been some technical hiccups. Peter Pan should be on soon; however, I am not sure the quality of the nativities recordings is going to be good enough. Rest assured if we are not able to show the upload the nativities there will be plenty more opportunities to see your children perform throughout their time at St Michael’s.
Early Years Bedtime Reading Challenge
Apple class and Acorn nursery will be launching their Bedtime Reading Challenge the week commencing 6th February. Look out for details to come.
Parents’ evenings are on Tuesday 28th March 3.30 to 6.30pm and Wednesday 29th March 3.30pm-5pm. You will be able to book your appointment via ScoPay the first week back after half term.
- NSPCC number day Friday 3rd February.
- First Steps and Make and Take at Aylsham Parish Church are starting back on Thursday 2nd February.
- Half term holiday is from 13th to 17th February.
- Individual and sibling school photos are being taken on Wednesday 1st March.
- Easter Family Learning Day Tuesday 21st March.
- Last day of term Friday 31st March.
As we look towards this new year spreading out before us, let us do so with hope and encouragement as these words from Psalm 33 reflect:
“We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.”
Mr John Neenan
17th December 2022
Hello everybody and season’s greetings!
I think we can all agree that this term has been beyond busy and we are all in need of a well-deserved Christmas break.
As a staff we have been recapping all the wonderful things we have achieved since September and the list is endless.
Children have been Swimming, learnt to ride their bikes, enjoyed clubs such as the choir, running, football, multi-sports, basketball, recorder, puzzle & eco. We had a wonderful family learning day where more families than ever attended to make Advent wreaths and stained-glass windows. Thank you for the support from The Aylsham Cluster Trust who have also provided a Christmas Activities booklet you can see here.
We have been out and about and had a number of visitors to the school. Including visits to the Cathedral, Mosque, Synagogue, Cross Country and Football at Beeston Hall School Multi-Sports at Colby. We also had a fantastic 2 night residential with our Year 5 and 6 pupils at Hilltop.
Janet Marshall took the children on a Journey through World Faiths. We focused on Good Mental Health strategies while all dressing in yellow on World Mental Health day.
We have had the Fire Engine at the school and East Anglian Air Ambulance taught CPR to Year 4, 5 & 6. The community Panto which the KS2 and Reception children attended was amazing and the Peter Pan Panto for the whole school meant that everyone experienced the joy of watching a performance this year.
Our children have all work really hard on their various Christmas productions, the school has been full of song and laughter over the last few weeks and parents have been able to attend which hasn’t been the case for a number of years.
We are so proud of all our children and their achievements no matter how small; every success is valid and important.
For some of us, there have been bumps in the road but by working together we overcome our difficulties and try to learn from our mistakes. We are all human after all. As we say at St Michael’s “by making mistakes, we learn more”.
As we going into the holiday at the end of the week, we understand that the season of joy is not a great one for everyone in our community. We recognise that it’s a time of anxiety and stress for many people. We know that heating our homes this year may be impossible and putting food on the table may be just as hard. If you are worried and /or struggling there are ways we can help you. See this link for NCC’s information on Help with Living Costs. Do not feel like you need to struggle alone. Please get in touch with me via email: email@example.com or Fiona at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a school we welcome everybody and we want to be able to support you but if we don’t know about worries or concerns there is little we can do. Please always talk to us, we may not have the answer straight away but we, as a team, will always try our best.
The New Year – 2023
In the New year we will have even more going on to support the personal development of our pupils beyond the National Curriculum Objective.
Our Year 5 children will be going swimming on Wednesdays starting either the 4th or 11th of January, to be confirmed with AHS.
We have singing and piano tuition starting for which people have already signed up.
We will have a football club for the KS1 and KS2 Children run be NCFC or Mr Rush as well as Acrobatics and Pickleball clubs
3rd February – NSPCC Number Day – Number Day 2023 | NSPCC
7th February – Safer Internet Day – Homepage – UK Safer Internet Centre
1st March – Individual and Sibling Photos
4th November 2022
Welcome back to our second half term, we have a lot going on over the next few weeks, with our Remembrance Collective Worship with Revd Julie today, year 4 to 6 being trained in CPR, Bike-ability, Interfaith week, Christmas productions to name but a few!
I hope you are looking forward to Guy Fawkes night this weekend, please remind your child how to keep safe while enjoying the firework displays.
We had our first visit from Caspar and Gilly this week. Caspar is a fully trained and vetted Pets as Therapy dog. He is a lovely Cava-Poo, and has spent time listening to children quietly read to him. Caspar will be visiting us twice a week, if your child is chosen to spend time with Caspar you will be notified by email asking for your permission.
Interfaith Week 14th to 18th November
At St Michael’s we encourage all our children to show respect for all people regardless of their faith. Within our RE curriculum all pupils learn about the main world religions, to aid this we are having an Interfaith Week.
- Tuesday year 3 and 4 will be visiting a Synagogue in Norwich,
- and reception, year 1 and year 2 will be visiting Aylsham Parish Church.
- Wednesday year 5 and 6 will be visiting the synagogue
- Wednesday and Thursday will have a special visitor spending time with each class delivering a Journey Around the World’s Faiths session.
- Thursday year 1 and 2 are visiting Norwich to go to the Cathedral and a Mosque.
- Friday key stage 2 will be visiting Aylsham Parish Church.
We will be subsidising the trips but would appreciate a £6 donation towards the coaches and cost of visits from parents of children in year 1 to year 6. Please go onto the ScoPay app to pay and confirm your consent for the trip.
Children in Need – SPOTACULAR GAMES
Friday 18th November it is children in need. All children are invited to come to school in non-uniform and with spots! (Please note, spots are not essential, please don’t buy anything specially, any non-uniform is fine)
The children will be taking part in Spotacular games throughout the day! There will be a collection bucket on the playground before and afterschool for Children in Need.
Tuesday 22nd November: Acorn Christmas Family Learning session 10-11am
Wednesday 23rd November: Main School Christmas Family Learning Day – see timings below;
Thursday 24th November: Acorn Christmas Family Learning session 2-3pm
Friday 25th November: Christmas Light Switch on in the Market Place and Christmas Tree Festival in Aylsham Parish Church, event starts at 5pm.
Wednesday 7th December: Apple and Acorn Nativity – WRIGGLY NATIVITY, 2pm in Aylsham Parish Church – families welcome.
Monday 12th December: Aylsham School’s Panto – the children will be going up to Bure Valley School in the morning to watch the panto put on by Aylsham parents – with some teacher cameos included.
Beech and Chestnut Nativity – BORN IN A BARN, 2pm in Aylsham Parish Church – families welcome.
Tuesday 13th December: Maple, Birch and Oak Christmas production, PETER PAN in the Ark.
Afternoon performance 2pm
Evening performance 6.30pm
Thursday 15th December: Christmas lunch
: Rotary Christmas Carol Concert 6-8pm – with St Michael’s School Choir performing.
Friday 16th December: Whole school carol service 9.30am in Aylsham Parish Church – All welcome.
Last day of term, school ends at the normal time of 3.15pm.
It was lovely to see lots of our families come along to the parents evening this week. We also enjoyed meeting lots of prospective new families to the school. A huge congratulations to Amelia Dixon and Henri Martin, our Head Pupils, for representing the school so well throughout the evening.
We will be thinking about Remembrance Day next week in classes. Revd Julie joined us today for a special remembrance service which the children enjoyed. As we head into this busy month let’s remember some of the words from Psalm 23, often used around Remembrance Day:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters
he restores my soul.”
I hope you all feel some of that peace in the weeks ahead and have a wonderful weekend.
Mr John Neenan
5th October 2022
Good Afternoon Everybody,
I hope you are all well, we are now well into the swing of things here at St Michael’s. Below you will see lots of dates to be aware of.
Diary Dates – Please can we ask that you take note of these.
Friday 7th October Harvest Festival 2pm in Aylsham Parish Church – parents are welcome to come along.
Monday 10th Oct #HelloYellow for World Mental Health Day. Children are invited to come to school wearing something yellow, whether jumper, scarf, badge or homemade hat to raise funds and awareness for Young Minds.
KS 2 Cross Country tournament at Beeston Hall School
17th to 21st Oct Safety Week
19th and 20th Oct Parents evening for the main school
24th to 28th Oct Half term holidays
3rd Nov CPR Training – Years 4,5 & 6 – Delivered by East Anglian Air Ambulance
3rd Nov Open Evening 4-6.30pm for parents of children starting school or nursery 2023. Existing parents are invited to come along too if you would like to look around all of the school and the new nursery building.
7th Nov – 10th Nov Bikeability Training – Year 5 and 6
14th to 18th Nov Interfaith week – including KS2 visiting a Synagogue and KS1 the Cathedral and a Mosque.
18th Nov Spotacular Games for Children in Need
23rd Nov Family Learning Day
25th Nov Christmas Lights Switch on
28th to 30th Nov Oak class residential trip to Hill Top Adventure Centre
12th Dec Pantomime at Bure Valley School
15th Dec Christmas lunch and Rotary Carol Concert (PM)
16th Dec Last day of term
In our collective worship, this half term we have been thinking about the value of kindness and how what we say and do can affect others, even if it’s not meant to. We now have ‘Lunch Time Leaders’ who are outside on the playground to support other children. Their aim is to share kindness and support those who are feeling upset or left out.
We have been talking about not judging others and accepting everyone for who they are. The children have been very responsive and thoughtful.
As adults and parents, we need to lead by example, please remember to be kind to others on the playground. You never truly know another person’s story.
Reading is especially important to us here at St Michael’s, reading unlocks the world! Mrs Phillips is available to speak to on a Thursday at the start and end of the day if you have any questions regarding reading.
Remember to look on the school website to see what your children are learning in their classes or throughout the year.
Dream, Believe, Achieve
We are a school, rooted and inspired by Christian values, which nurtures children to achieve infinitely more than we might ask or they may dream; empowering them so they can flourish as confident citizens now and in the future.
· Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
9th September 2022
Welcome back to all our families for this new academic year. I am also delighted to welcome so many new children to our school. I hope you were able to make the most of the sunny weather over the summer holidays and your children have come back refreshed and ready to learn. It certainly seems that way, as there has been a wonderful, purposeful, atmosphere in school this week as the children have quickly settled into their new classes.
Our new reception classroom is proving to be a fantastic learning environment, we are so pleased to enable them to have free flow into the early years outdoor area. At lunchtime, the reception children are on the main playground with the older children but can choose to go to their ‘safe haven,’ where no ‘big’ children are allowed if they so wish.
Having listened to the pupil voice last year we have also introduced a ‘chill-out zone’ on the bottom playground. This is a work in progress and will develop with the input of our pupil leaders in Oak Class, however it has already proven popular as a place to relax, chat and draw at lunchtimes.
Due to the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we have started planning lessons and support to help the children understand how important her role has been over the last 70 years, and support them as they are exposed to images of grief and sadness through all forms of media over the coming weeks. We know each child will be affected differently and will continue to provide support when it is needed.
Parents with children in year 1 to year 6 will have received an email inviting them to sign up to Multi-Sports and/or Choir this half term. We will be having a wider range of clubs over the year. If there is a particular club you know your child would like to attend, please let us know and we will see if this can be arranged. Reception children will be invited to join clubs later in the year when they have had more time to settle in.
Parents evenings will take place in person again this term. Appointments will be available on Wednesday 19th October 3.30-7pm and Thursday 20th October 3.30-5pm. Appointment slots will be available to book from the start of October.
Our open evening for parents looking for school or nursery places for 2023 is on Thursday 3rd November and will operate on a drop-in basis from 4 to 6.30pm. Nearer the time we will be looking for pupil champions to join us on the evening to tell new parents what they think of our school. We would love to have a demonstration of Maypole Dancing from the children who attended the Maypole dancing club in the summer term during the open evening and hopefully a performance by our new school choir!
NURSERY OFFICIAL OPENING
Due to the period of mourning the country has entered following the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, we feel it is not appropriate to go ahead with the opening of the nursery as planned on 23rd September 2022. Instead, we are offering you the chance to look around the nursery during our open evening on 3rd November.
READING AND PHONICS
Mrs Phillips held 2 reading meetings this week, one for reception parents and one for year 1 and year 2 parents. We are aware that some families were not able to attend, however details of the meetings are on our curriculum section of the school website here click on English then onto useful links.
PARENT SUPPORT DROP-IN
Starting on Wednesday 14th September, Sharon will be available to meet with parents any time between 2 and 3.10pm. This will be to offer guidance and signposting for concerns you may have with supporting your child’s social, emotional, and mental health. She can also offer advice on where to get help for yourself if you are struggling. You can just turn up at the school office or book a time in advance via Fiona.
HERE TO HELP
Please remember if you have any questions or concerns we are always happy to help. You can speak to your child’s class teacher before or after school, it may be best to email first and book a time. Fiona will do her best to help with any queries or problems and I aim to be as available as possible to help our families too.
As we look towards the new academic year I wanted to share this quote from Philippians 4:13, a great reminder that we can all Dream, Believe and Achieve.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
22nd July 2022
End of term and looking forward
As we come to the end of another year, we are thankful for all the successes and celebrations we have had this year. We are thankful for our children, families, staff, and the wider community.
This is the year we became a full Primary having Year 6 pupils for the first time. The year group started as a group of 6 pupils in 2018 and has grown over the years to 16 pupils. What a fantastic group of young people, all amazing in their own right and hopefully well prepared for their next step along the academic road.
We will miss their spark, wit, and leadership. Thankfully, they have trained our current Year 5 pupils well! We wish anyone leaving the school today all the best in their future endeavours. May they be blessed along whichever path their journey will take them.
As we move into the new school year, we have appointed Head and Deputy Head Pupils within the school.
All of these future Year 6 pupils wrote a wonderful letter of application for the position. We are pleased to announce the following:
Head Pupils: Henri and Amelia
Deputy Head Pupils: Grace, Paetyn & Harley
Changes to school times
The school day; following our consultation we received no objections. The school day will start at 8.45 am and the school day will finish at 3.15 pm from September 2022. This is in line with the proposed changed in the Governments Education White paper.
Thank you to Aylsham Runners for their kind donation of £300 following the successful running of the first Aylsham 10k. Look out for this event again next year!
Thanks to Jayne and the team from the Aylsham Heritage Centre for lending Key Stage 1 1940’s kitchen implements to enhance our learning in History last half term.
Thank you to Mr David Upton (Norfolk Sports Partnership) for organising all the sporting events we have been to this year. Including, cross country, football, swimming, tri-golf, multi-sports etc.
This year we won the football tournament and the swimming gala, GO St MICHAEL’S!
Thank you to Aylsham High School for allowing us to use their facilities for our sports day this year, and to the 130 parents who came to watch their children compete! We hope to be able to do this in many years ahead.
You can see more photos of the event on the school website here
We are also working on a collaboration where our children will be able to use the facilities at the high school to take part in competitions. This will be alongside the work we do with the Norfolk Sport Partnership.
Dates for the diary
Nursery Official Opening – Opening by Bishop Jane – 23rd September at 2 pm
School Choir – Starting Friday 16th September, being led by Claire Devitt. (Children will need to sign up in the first week back after the summer).
Sports Club – Starting Thursday 15th September, being led by Mr Rush. (Children will need to sign up in the first week back after the summer).
Harvest Celebration – Parents/Carers welcome – 7th October 2022 at 2 pm.
Safety Week – 17th to 21st of October 2022
Flu Immunisation – NHS – 18th October 2022
Bike Ability – Cycling Proficiency Year 5 and 6 – 7th November 2022
Interfaith Week – 14th to the 18th November 2022
- A journey around the world’s faiths, delivered by Janet Marshall (All classes)
- KS1 (Key Stage 1) visit to the Cathedral and Mosque in Norwich (15th)
- KS2 (Key Stage 2) visit to the Synagogue Norwich (15th or 16th)
- Visit to Aylsham Parish Church (All classes)
Family Learning Day – 23rd November 2022 – Theme TBC
Oak Class Residential – 28th to 30th November 2022 – Hilltop
Community Panto – 12th December 2022 – Whole School
Opportunities for the year ahead
Further opportunities to play musical instruments
Year 6 swimming – Autumn Term 2022
Year 5/6 swimming – Summer Term 2023
East Anglian Air Ambulance CPR Training – Year Groups TBC
First Aid Training for Children – Year Groups TBC
Further work with the Aylsham Climate Emergency Group
Mad Science Club – Collective Worship on 9th of September 2022 – Club will start after this date if there is good uptake
Other sports clubs – Hopefully, Cricket, Tennis, Gymnastics and Netball
Massive congratulation to Mr Daniel Rush and Miss Katie Light on their graduations. We wish Miss Light every success as she begins her teaching career at Astley Primary and of course Mr Rush is joining our team officially from September.
Wedding of the year
The lovely Miss Chamberlain will be getting married on the 5th of August to her long-term partner Mr Watkins. She has said that anyone who would like to attend the church service from the school community is very welcome. We wish the future Mr and Mrs Watkins all the best on their wedding day. Service starts at 12 pm in Aylsham Parish Church.
Over the summer our Multicultural Arts display will be hosted at the St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich. This is the church opposite the Forum and next to the market. There is work there from several Church of England schools within the North East of Norfolk.
Best wishes for a wonderful, relaxing and fun filled summer. Stay safe and remember the sun-cream!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
11th June 2022
I hope you are all enjoying the beautifully sunny weekend. Have you made it along to the Cluster Family Learning Day at Aylsham High School? Look out for our St Michael’s activity table.
We find ourselves in the final half term of this school year. It has been wonderful to have an uninterrupted academic year for the first time in 3 years! The children have coped amazingly well.
We have, however, seen an increase in anxiety and difficulties in maintaining behaviours for learning. This is only to be expected considering the lack of school routine the children have had for a number of years. For the older years we are having to ask more of them in terms of learning as they try to ‘catch up’ from the time in lockdown, this is a huge ask considering the adjustments they are going through and we fully appreciate this. We have increased our nurture time and have a whole school focus on Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health to help all our pupils adjust into this new normality.
Many of our pupils have bounced back, some are still struggling, but even for those who are having difficulties we are impressed by their resilience and fortitude throughout this year.
Please can I also ask you to think about how you speak to and speak about members of staff. We have had a number of abusive comments in recent weeks and this is just not okay. We are always here to talk and listen. We will always try our best for all our children and families but there are often times where our hands are tied, we are following guidance from external agencies, or we are using our professional experience; which we are very lucky to have a lot of across the school staff and governing body. We are people too, and being treated this way has a significant impact on our mental health and well-being. Thank you for your support with this.
This final half term feels full of positivity with multiple sports trips as well as trips to How Hill for Reception and Key Stage 1 children. Our year 4s and 5s are looking forward to their residential in November and our year 6s are looking forward (with some trepidation) to starting a new adventure into High School.
The Friendly Faces Roadshow from Aylsham High School visited us yesterday to introduce themselves. The year 6s said it was “lots of fun taking part in the activities” and they found “it really informative and helpful.” They will be spending 3 transition days at Aylsham High from the 28th to 30th June. There is a LEAVERS’ DISCO on Thursday 14th July from 5-7pm and a YEAR 6 CELEBRATION on Wednesday 20th July, 2pm which parents are invited to.
Look out for ordering details for Leavers’ Hoodies coming out to you soon.
Our nursery children who are joining reception in September will be having play visits with Apple class so they can get to know Mrs Goodson and Mrs Lines and smooth the transition to big school. We will be inviting several children who are starting with us who haven’t attended our nursery to play visits as well.
Our whole school Transition Morning is on Friday 15th July; the children will go into their normal classes for registration and will then be taken to their new classes for September. Any nursery children who do not normally attend on a Friday morning should wait on the school playground to be greeted at 9am for the morning.
The class structure for 2022 – 23 will be:
Acorn Class (Nursery) led by Emily and supported by June and Jenny Reed
Apple Class (Reception) led by Mrs Goodson and supported by Mrs Lines
Beech Class (Year 1) led by Mrs Perry and supported by Miss Parker and Mrs Daniels
Chestnut Class (Year 2) led by Mrs Phillips and Mrs Elliot (1 day a week) supported by Miss Keymer
Maple Class (Year 3) led by Mrs Watkins (Miss Chamberlain is getting married) and supported by Mrs Sanderson
Birch Class (Year 4) led by Mr Rush and supported by Miss Thornton
Oak Class (Year 5/6) led by Mrs Stock and Mrs Elliot (1 day a week) supported by Mrs Dawson
QUEEN ELILZABETH’S 70TH JUBILEE
I hope you all enjoyed the half term break and celebrating the Queens Jubilee. A huge well done to the children who read poems so well in the Celebration Concert in Aylsham Parish Church on Saturday evening. They performed alongside students from Aylsham High School. Congratulations to Lizzie from year 3 who’s poem was also read out.
Aylsham Town Council invited our children, as well as other Aylsham schools, to contribute to the “Our Aylsham” jubilee exhibition in the Town Hall last Saturday. “The coloured-in pictures of the Cittaslow snail provided an amazingly colourful backdrop to the other displays and attracted quite a bit of attention.”
FAMILY LEARNING DAY
All are invited to join your child for our Family Learning Day, creating a calming and reflective outdoor prayer space for school, on Tuesday 28th June. The timings are below:
Oak Class 9-10
Rowan Class 10-11
Chestnut Class 11-12
Beech Class 1-2
Apple Class 2-3
We are really enjoying the new nursery setting, the children are engaging so well with the new space, both inside and out.
In order to keep the children safe please can I ask that parents do not come into the main part of the nursery building at drop off time and instead say goodbye to their child in the entrance hall or outside. This is so that nursery staff know when the external door is open or shut and are able to have eyes on all the children in their care.
If you have questions for Emily or June or need to pass on a message to them, please do this before the nursery opens at 9.00 by ringing the doorbell, via Tapestry or by contacting Fiona in the office. This again is so that from 9 onwards they can focus on the children in their care.
Thank you so much to Acorn parents for raising money for a lunch box trolley. This should be in use early next week. There was more than enough raised so we will be buying some new fun resources for the nursery children as well.
OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY FOR THE NEW NURSERY
Acorn nursery will be officially opened on Tuesday 19th July at 2pm by the Right Revd Bishop Jane Steen, Bishop of Lynn.
All our families are invited along for the event which will include Maypole Dancing by some of our Year 2 and Year 3 pupils. Refreshments will also be available.
TUESDAY FEAST DAYS
Look out for the new Tuesday menu starting soon for the summer term. As long as the weather is good all the children will eat outside on Tuesday lunchtimes. They thoroughly enjoyed the outside lunch just before the half term break so it is great that Norse can offer this over the warmer weeks.
We expect to be sending home your child’s school reports the week starting Monday 11th July.
Please make sure your child has a sun hat in school every day and put on sun cream when the weather report shows hot weather. And as we live in Britain, please send in raincoats every day too!
Details of our new look sports day will be coming out to you very soon…watch this space!
THANKFULNESS and SIAMS – STATUTORY INSPECTION OF ANGLICAN AND METHODIST SCHOOLS
Thank you to all our families and children for their perseverance over the last few years. As I said above it has been a difficult time for everyone, for all our families, children and adults alike. I am grateful for the support we do receive from the vast majority of our families in making this school the positive, warm and caring place that it is, where our pupils are encouraged to DREAM, BELIEVE and ACHIEVE. This has been recognised in our recent SIAMS inspection report which can be read here.
Let us remember that “endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
Romans 5: 4-5
Best wishes, John Neenan
16th May 2022
With only two weeks to go until the half-term break, we are thinking about what is left this academic year. We have loads of fun ahead, see below for just a few exciting activities.
The New Nursery is finished and we are hoping to hold a grand opening event on Tuesday the 19th July 2022. Bishop Jane will be coming along to bless and officially open the new Acorn Class Nursery.
Mr Southgate and Master Southgate are working hard to prepare the old nursery for our reception children. Building work will take place during the half-term holiday to make this space even better by replacing the double doors and window with one whole window and door combination. This will allow much more light into the classroom.
Your Child’s Learning
Please remember to check out the school website to find out what your children are learning.
Check Out Our Learning by clicking on your child’s class page.
Sponsored Run and Aylsham 10K
A massive thank you to all of you who sponsored your child/children to run a mile around the playground. Photos are on the school website. This was a fantastic day at school and the 10k event which took place the following Sunday was just amazing. It was great to see so many people here for a community event.
So far, we have raised £1028.50!
We look forward to this becoming an annual event with Aylsham Runners, thank you to Myles and his team.
Well done to all our year 6 pupils who made history last week by becoming our first year 6 pupils to take their SATS last week. We are all incredibly proud of you and the way you managed. We are waiting for confirmation of the transition days to Aylsham High School, however we are expecting them to be from Wednesday 29th June to Friday 1st July.
Good luck to all our year 2 pupils who will take their SATS over the next few weeks. Remember if you do your best then no-one can ever ask any more of you. We are all good at different things, one test does not define you.
Queens Platinum Jubilee
St Michael’s has been invited to participate in a Platinum Jubilee Celebration at Aylsham Parish Church on Saturday 4th June, 6pm. We plan to take along a group of children to perform their own poems, as a group or individually. If your child would like to take part please speak to me or email Fiona via email@example.com
We will also be having a celebration picnic lunch on the last day of this half term! The menu will be released soon.
School Trips and Clubs
On Tuesday the 24th May, Oak Class will be visiting Great Cressingham for a Victorian Day and Rowan Class will be going on Thursday the 26th of May. I will have the pleasure of joining Rowan Class to experience life as a Victorian Pupil.
Further school trips will be announced in the coming weeks.
After the half term break, Mr Rush and Miss Light, our student teachers from the UEA, will be running a Multi-Sports club after school for 20 Key Stage 2 children. Any children who are not given a place this time round will be prioritised for the next round.
Mad Science will be running a club for 5 weeks from 9th June for Key Stage 1 pupils (years 1 and 2) booking forms are coming shortly. Mad Science will also be running a holiday club in the Ark for the first week in the summer holidays. Details will follow nearer the time.
Mrs Phillips and Mrs Goodson will be leading a Maypole Dancing club after half-term. We are hoping these pupils will be able to dance at the opening of the new Nursery.
As we grow from a 5 class primary to a 6 class primary school this September, we are very pleased to announce that Mr Daniel Rush will be joining our team on a permanent basis. He has impressed us all with his passion, knowledge and enthusiasm whilst being here as a PGCE student. We can’t wait to have him as an Early Careers Teacher!
Staffing Arrangements to be announced later in the summer term. School reports will be coming out to you in early July.
We use Class Dojo to create a positive culture of behaviours for learning within our classrooms and around the school.
The principle of Class Dojo is to award good behaviour so that all children strive to follow our Golden Rules. At the start of the year the children are given a virtual egg, as they receive Dojo points the egg hatches into the child’s own Class Dojo monster. The monster has their name and will gain Dojos throughout each day.
The children help the teacher to choose what they should receive Class Dojo’s for; sitting and listening well, good team work, helping a friend, tidying up, kindness, working hard, the list goes on. When the teacher sees a child demonstrating one of these behaviours well they will click on that child’s Dojo monster and award them the Dojo points for the positive action or value they are showing. The interactive whiteboard pings and everyone knows someone has a new Dojo.
We have found this positive reinforcement works exceptionally well in encouraging the children to make the right choices. The excitement of the Dojo Cup is tangible before Friday’s Celebration Assembly – which class will win it this week?
Last week was Mental Health Week so we spent time looking at how we are all different and should embrace diversity. These two images have been used to help demonstrate the need to love and respect everyone equally and how this does not always look the same.
“Love is patient and kind,
never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude.
Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered.
It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.
Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.
Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
Love never fails!”
Corinthians 13:4-8a ECV
I hope you all have a good week in this beautiful sunshine,
26th April 2022
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break and enjoyed the beautiful Norfolk sunshine.
The New Nursery is very nearly finished!
The NCL Contractors, led by Billy, have been working extremely hard to get everything in place for us. They have been hindered by Covid, the fuel crisis, a lack of metal, but we are finally looking at moving across in the next couple of weeks. The children have been getting extremely excited having seen some of the new play equipment and we have agreed to give tours to the older year groups.
The completion of the nursery will also free up a lot more space within the school and funds have been set aside to purchase new equipment for the older years too.
Your Child’s Learning
To find out more about what your child will be learning this half-term please use the drop-down box labelled ‘Our Class Pages’ where you can see the Topic Web for the half term. Photos will be added periodically to these pages of the children at work and enjoying their activities.
Just a reminder about social media and the impact it can have on our young people. We are aware of several children using social media platforms and we are also aware that several of them have had contact with people they do not know. We continue to work with all our pupils on internet safety and online bullying.
Please can we ask you to support us by monitoring your child’s internet use and how/when they are contacting others.
Running Event and Sponsorship
Before Easter, your child brought home a sponsorship form for a 1 mile run on Friday 6th May. We have been assured by the builders that we will have the whole playground back in the middle of next week ready for the run.
Year 5 are raising funds to spend in the Norfolk Children’s Book Centre later this summer. Their chosen book will be placed in the library dedicated by them ready to read in year 6.
The rest of the school are raising funds for outdoor equipment to use at break and lunchtimes.
On Sunday 8th May Aylsham Runners are hosting the Aylsham 10k starting and ending at our school. Any parents are welcome to sign up by going to Total Race Timing. If you would like to help on the day by serving refreshments, or baking cakes and biscuits to sell, please let me know, any funds raised will go towards the outdoor play equipment.
Thank you to all of you who answered the parents’ questionnaire in February. The responses were overwhelmingly positive. You can see these on our school website here along with the replies to your suggestions about what could be changed.
We are delighted to be back together again for Collective Worship. From reception to year 6 we all meet together for our worship time at the end of the day. For children in year 1 and reception this is the first opportunity they have had to do this due to Covid. They have adapted well and their behaviour has been exemplary!
It is such a joy to hear all the children, in response to “Peace be with you” reply in unison “and also with you.”
We had an uplifting trip to the church on Friday afternoon for our Easter Service led by Revd Julie Boyd. Hopefully we will be in a position to invite parents along to our next one.
Have a wonderful week,
13th March 2022
I hope you are all well and have been enjoying the sunshine this week. I would like to share with you the courageous advocacy of two of our pupils. In understanding the difficulties the people of Ukraine are going through, they have asked if we can fundraise for them. The idea below is entirely theirs which we, as a school, want to fully support.
Fundraising for the Ukraine
We would like to raise some money for the people of the Ukraine. Being children ourselves we have been upset by the images of young people who have been affected by this horrible war.
In the Ukraine at Easter time, they decorate eggs in a tradition called Pysanky. We would like you to decorate an egg at home and bring it in with £1 minimum donation for a chance to win an Easter egg. Each class has an Easter egg to win, with two runner-up prizes – these have kindly been donated by the Co-op, Aylsham. You may enter as many eggs as you like, we just ask for a minimum donation of £1.00 per egg. We would like to raise as much money as possible to let the people of the Ukraine know we are thinking of them during this horrific time.
We are really looking forward to seeing your designs. The winners will be judged by Revd Julie, Revd Tracy, Kelly and Toby from Aylsham Parish Church. Please send in your eggs by Wednesday 30th March 2022. Good luck!
Kasota and Esmē
This week we have been thinking about International Women’s Day and the influence of women on our lives and history. We have looked at the story ‘I Am Enough’ encouraging our young people to accept themselves just the way they are. Please see a link to the story below.
Acorn Nursery Progression
Our new nursery is almost finished! We will all be glad to have the full playground back, and as there will be new early years play area, the current reception playground will be opened up as chill out space for our older children.
A few of our staff members were able to visit the new building on Friday; Emily, June, Abbie and Mrs Goodson are so excited to be so close o getting in and making it a warm and welcoming place for all our nursery children.
All being well the nursery will be finished by the end of the Easter holidays.
Parents evening will be held on the last week of this term, the week beginning 28th March. Further details will come out later this week.
Acorn class are having Stay and Play visits instead from Tuesday 22nd March to Thursday 24th March, 9.00-10.00.
We have had incidence of threadworms reported in school. Please can you remind your children on the importance of handwashing, particularly after going to the toilet and after Forest School. We will continue to remind them in school as well. For more information on threadworms please follow this link.
On the Friday after Easter, we are planning to have a whole school Easter Service in Aylsham Parish Church at 2pm. Covid allowing parents are invited to attend as well.
What does your child do in school?
If your children are anything like mine, when you ask what they have done at school they will often reply either “nothing” or “stuff.” Hopefully, they will sometimes talk about the fun activities they get up to as well. To enable you to know and support what your children are doing at school please be aware that this information is all on the curriculum section of our school website. This is updated each half term.
I hope you’ve had an enjoyable weekend.
10th February 2022
2nd February 2022
I hope you are all doing well, I cannot quite believe that we are in February already. Time really does fly when you are having fun.
Next week we will have our online safety day. I want to bring your attention to the following links. lying and Cyber Bullying. We are aware of children playing games and using apps which allow them to go online. We are also aware of children having difficulty with their peers both from this school and in the wider online community. Please support us by having an open conversation with your child/children about how they behave and stay safe online. This may be on a games console, a computer or via their phone.
Phones we are in an age where a number of our pupils bring phones to school. We ask for them to be kept away in the teacher’s desk for the duration of the day. We will not look at or go on to a child’s phone without explicit permission of the parent or carer. However, on occasion we are asked to check something or do something for the parents/carers of that child.
Events, Emails and Messaging
I have had conversations with several different people about the messages and emails from the school. We endeavour to send out as much information to you with as much notice as possible. Sometimes this is not a lot of notice but there is often a reason behind this.
I have been informed that there has been some frustration caused by the NSPCC Number Day. Whilst I can understand frustration at late messages, I am a parent too, I do not like having to rush around to find or make a costume at late notice. However, we did send out the initial email about Number Day on the 19th January 2022 and it was opened by 71 families. The reminder was then sent on the 1st of February as we did not want people to miss out. This was sent out by Mrs Stock as she is the Maths Coordinator for the school.
Please can we ask you to check all correspondence from the school, thank you.
Please also Check our calendar for dates, we try to keep this updated.
We have also said KS1 and KS2 children can dress up for Safer Internet Day next week, if they do not want to be a character from a game, they can just wear comfortable clothes for the day. Acorn and Apple class are welcome to join in with this too. Again, this has been organised by Mrs Stock in her other role as Computing Coordinator.
Both days are for the whole school to enjoy.
We are aware that sometimes our text messages can be delayed but unfortunately this is the Pupil Asset System and often beyond our control. We will, however, always try to do our best.
This week we have been thinking about Candlemas. Our School Friend, Janet Marshall, made this Collective Worship for us to use:
Art Exhibition at Aylsham Parish Church
We are delighted to be presenting a collection of your children’s art work in Aylsham Parish Church as part of the Diocesan Diversity Project. Although there will not be space for everybody’s art, we are hoping to do a larger display in Norwich in the coming months.
Any child’s artwork that is not displayed in the church will hopefully be displayed there. Thank you to Mrs Perry for organising this.
Each class chose a different continent to explore and researched the work of a particular artist from that continent. Inspired by the artist they focussed on; the children have produced their own pieces of art. Ranging from Claude Monet in Acorn class (our nursery) to Beatriz Milhazes in Oak class, you can see the children have been energised to create some amazing works of art. We hope you enjoy them; they will be in the church from after school today until the end of February.
Every child in the main school will be bringing home a book donated by DGP infrastructure, the company who is re-laying the Bure Valley Railway footpath. It is a wonderfully diverse book showing all the many different job roles there are in construction, and how they are open to anyone.
I hope you enjoy exploring this book with your child/ren.
7th January 2022
Good Afternoon Everybody,
I hope you are all doing okay and the first week back at school has gone smoothly for you. I know what it’s been like in my home; children up at 6 am all holiday but can’t possibly wake up at 7 am on a school day. 😊
It has been great to see the children back in school this week, there has been lots of enthusiasm for new themes and learning opportunities.
- Please continue to, or start to, promote reading at home. This is really essential, especially for the KS2 children reading books on Accelerated Reader.
- Ideally, the children should be reading a book or more a week, for those children with larger books it might take slightly longer. Sharing books is also a great way for children to learn new language and develop a love of the written word.
For younger children it is hugely important that, as well as practicing reading together, they are read a bed time story every day. If you don’t have books at home, then you can join the local library and spend time choosing story books with your child to enjoy. They have a fantastic selection and it is totally free. The many charity shops in town also sell children books very cheaply.
It is best to start reading bed time stories and singing nursery rhymes etc. to children even before they start nursery as this helps their language development as well as being enjoyable family time together. Any activity which can help encourage a love of reading for your child/ren is a blessing.
New Reception Teacher
We have appointed a fantastic new teacher, Mrs Hannah Goodson, to lead Early Years and teach in the reception Apple Class from February half term. She has a wealth of experience across a number of settings and we feel lucky to have such a wonderful person joining our team. She will be working closely with Mrs Hampson and Miss Cooper in the run up to half-term to ensure there is a smooth transition.
Just a quick covid update for you. We currently have two confirmed cases in school, one in Apple Tree Class and one in Chestnut Tree Class. Due to the nature of learning and children sharing carpet spaces and tables all children can be considered close contacts. Here is the advice from the County Council and DFE:
Daily testing for close contacts of COVID-19
People who are fully vaccinated, or children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months, identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, should take an LFD test every day for seven days (or for 10 days if they live in the same household as a positive case from the start of their isolation period) and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time.
Children under 5 are not being advised to take part in daily testing of close contacts. If a child under 5 is a contact of a confirmed case, they are not required to self-isolate and should not start daily testing. If they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 they should limit their contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19, and arrange to take a PCR test as soon as possible. They can continue to attend an education or childcare setting while waiting for the PCR result. If the test is positive, they should follow the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
The DfE have also produced a 15 minute video on the topic of daily contact testing, this video confirms that those who have previously tested positive in 90 days will still be requested to daily test if identified as a close contact of a positive case by NHS Test & Trace.
Anyone aged over 18 years and 6 months and not fully vaccinated, will not follow the guidance above and are legally required to self-isolate as per government guidance.
In line with Government guidance, we are making sure the school has good ventilation. We are trying to manage good ventilation and the temperature of classrooms. Please can we ask you to ensure your child/children are wearing extra layers during these winter months. As you can appreciate this is a real balancing act for us.
As we have returned to school at the start of the year our initial Collective Worships have been on new beginnings and also accepting ourselves. We shared this short video together to understand that we are all different but all good enough the way we are.
We are thankful for good times, for those times in our lives when everything seems to be going right. But we know that those times don’t always last. At the beginning of this new year may we realise that we are an important part of our own happiness. Help us to be content with the things that go on around us. May we choose to make this year a happy new year.
Have a lovely weekend.
Mr John Neenan
4th January 2022
Happy New Year!
I hope you have all had a happy and healthy Christmas break.
We are looking forward to welcoming you back to school on Wednesday. Please remember that the school day starts at 8.45 am so your child should be on the playground and ready to line up when the bell rings at this time. After this time, they will be considered as late.
Extended Afterschool Club
Following our survey, we are going to trial extending the hours of the afterschool club for 3 days a week. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays you can book your child in for an extra later session from 4.30 to 6pm. This will cost an extra £6.00 per later session, so from 3.05 to 6.00 the full charge is £12.00.
To book into breakfast, after school club and/or later after school club please email Fiona as normal at firstname.lastname@example.org and pay via the Pupil Asset Parent Portal. We will be moving to a fully online booking system shortly.
There is a change to the lunch menu for the first 3 days back at school, see the menu here from Norse. Please note there will be no jacket potatoes for these first 3 days.
Please order all the meals for the week by 9am on a Monday morning if at all possible.
Here is the latest information from the Department of Education:
Since Wednesday 22 December, the10-day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.
Individuals may now take LFD (Lateral Flow Device) tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education or childcare setting from day 7.
As a school, we will continue to operate as we did before the Christmas break. Staff will wear masks in communal areas and when moving around the building. Whilst there is no requirement for parents to wear masks on the playground, please feel free to do so. As the playground is currently smaller than usual can we ask that only one parent/carer per family brings a child or children to line up. This way we can support distancing for those individuals who might be at higher risk.
School attendance remains compulsory and all children should attend school if they are well enough to do so. If there are issues with attendance and you need further support please do come and speak to me or your child’s class teacher. I will be contacting families in the coming weeks to discuss attendance if your child’s attendance is below 90% (Not including absence for Covid.)
Term time holidays cannot be authorised and more than 9 sessions of unauthorised absence in a 6-week period could result in a fine. We want to avoid taking this action so please inform us of any planned holidays and we can work with you.
As we head into this new term in 2022, as a school family we are reminded of our school vision DREAM, BELIEVE, ACHIEVE; we are a school rooted and inspired by Christian values, which nurtures children to achieve infinitely more than we might ask or they may dream; empowering them so they can flourish as confident citizens now and in the future.
This is based on the passage in Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.“
Christmas Blog 2021
Merry Christmas to you all,
Despite everything going on in the world around us we have had a wonderful final week of term here at St Michael’s. The children have had the chance to perform nativities, sing songs, watch a pantomime, and learn about the Christmas story from the Christian perspective. I have been so incredibly proud of our children this term. The resilience, perseverance, kindness and love they have shown is phenomenal.
I want to take a moment to recognise the wonderful team we have in this school. I have never worked with such a dedicated, supportive and passionate team. Everyone steps up when needed to ensure each child gets the support and education they need. Teachers work tirelessly to deliver a curriculum which deepens the children’s knowledge and understanding in all areas.
When we consider we started this year with the question, was it safe open our schools? From that point on, the year has been somewhat of a roller coaster, closures and online learning, the return to school, Covid Catch up, PCR/LFT tests and constant changing rules.
As Christmas approaches, we cannot help but wonder what the next few months might bring. We can only hope that the Christmas break allows us to return to school in January to start a fresh.
Whatever might be, I wish you all hope, peace, joy and love.
Return to School:
Children return to School on Wednesday 5th of January.
26th November 2021
Good Afternoon Everybody,
As we come to the end of another week we start to look ahead to the period of Advent and Christmas. We have lots of exciting things planned within school, today Beech Class have been to the Church to learn about Advent and preparing for Christmas, and also to see the Christmas Trees and KS2 (Key Stage 2) children will be vising the church next Friday to learn about Christingle.
In conversations with the school governors, including Revd Julie we have come to the difficult decision that we will not be inviting parents into the church for the Nativity performances. We will however either film these and/or live stream them for parents and families to watch. More information will follow next week. We will also be inviting you to see your children singing the songs they have learnt on the playground at 2.40 pm on the following dates:
Apple Tree Class: 15th December
Beech & Chestnut: 16th December
Rowan & Oak: 17th December
We all feel it is important for the children to be able to take part in these productions and hopefully doing it this way it will allow more of you to be able to see your children perform rather than us having to say just one parent/carer per child.
I understand there will be some of you who are frustrated by this decision. As a parent myself, my children’s schools have had to make the same difficult decision, as have many other schools across the locality, county and country. As I have said before I want you to all have a Christmas with your loved ones. This is one of the things we can control to try and ensure a family Christmas for all. Unfortunately, cases of Covid are on the increase again we currently have two cases in Chestnut Class and we are aware of several cases linked to the school and our families.
This week we have been focussing in on problem solving and how God and Jesus can help us to overcome our difficulties and worries. We have looked at how perseverance and resilience can help us to succeed and achieve in the hardest of circumstances. We have related this back to the story of David and Goliath.
Children in Need
Thank you again for your generosity in raising funds for others less fortunate than ourselves. An Amazin £123.59 was raised and the children enjoyed their spotty and stripey day.
Little Faces Mombasa
Once again, a massive thank you for all the old red uniform which was donated back to the school. This has been sent off to Kenya and will benefit many of the children of Little Faces. We are hoping to make further links with Little Faces through Aylsham Rotary so we can continue to support them and learn from them in the future.
Earlier this week you received the Christmas lunch menu as well as a change of menu for the final week of term. Please ensure you order the Christmas lunch by next Friday, 3rd December. Unfortunately, if it is not ordered by then you will need to send your child to school with a packed lunch on Thursday 16th December, the day of the Christmas lunch.
On Thursday 16th December children are also invited to come to school in Christmas Jumpers and they will be watching an online pantomime in the afternoon. Due to COVID restrictions it will just be key stage 2 that go to Bure Valley School to watch the Aylsham Cluster pantomime they will be the only school in attendance for this performance and the hall will have been cleaned beforehand.
Christmas Light Switch On
I’m sure lots of you will be heading to the Christmas Light Switch on for Aylsham today. Please do pop into The Conservatory, on Penfold Street, where Laura and Rachael will be running the fantastic tombola. There are loads of amazing prizes to be won and all funds raised go towards extra resources for the children in school.
Make sure you look at the stars in Postle’s window and Christmas houses in Watsons’ window to see our children’s art work, as well as the St Michael’s Christmas tree in Aylsham Parish Church.
I hope you have a really enjoyable evening.
Kindest regards and best wishes,
9th November 2021
I hope you have enjoyed the weekend and any fireworks you may have seen. Last week in Collective Worship we thought about celebrations and what we are thankful for. We learnt about the celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, as well as the story behind Guy Fawkes. This coming week we will be thinking about Remembrance and saying thank you.
On Thursday we will observe two minutes’ silence to remember those who have died in conflict. The children will gather in their bubbles on the playground or in the Ark, depending on the weather, to mark this. This will be led by Mrs Phillips as I will be away on the Oak Tree Class Residential.
We were delighted to welcome Bishop Jane, the new Bishop of Lynn, to St Michael’s last week. She attended our school with Rev’d Julie of Aylsham Parish Church and the Rural Dean, Rev’d Keith. They enjoyed a tour of the school and then a question-and-answer session. The children thought of some fantastic questions to ask. One of which Bishop Jane had to go away and do her homework to answer. Bishop Jane’s reply can be read on our website.
Unfortunately, at the moment Covid is impacting much of what we do in schools across the county. Whilst we are trying to carry on regardless, this is not always possible. Having attended a Countywide meeting last week, we are having to consider how we carry out large group events. The recommendation is we reduce the amount of people gathered together at any one time. In the next few weeks, we will meet as a staff to consider how we manage the Christmas events etc. We know that the Rotary Carol Concert has been cancelled for the 16th December and we have had to cancel our Christmas Family Learning Day. We are very conscious of what happened to the country last Christmas and want people to be able to see their loved ones in person and not through a camera. We promise, as always, to keep you informed.
Current cases in school
There is one child in Rowan, one child in Chestnut and one in Oak with Covid. Mrs Stock has also had a positive lateral flow test and we are waiting on her PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) results. There are also several parents who we know have had positive PCR tests. We hope that anyone who has the virus has a speedy recovery.
Children in Need
As hard as it is to believe Children in Need has come around again and is on Friday 19th November, next week. We are having a SPOTS AND STRIPES DAY! All children are invited to come to school in non-uniform and bring in a donation to Children in Need. The more spots and stripes the better – but please don’t buy anything new for the day – we’ll be doing plenty of spotty, stripy things in class if your child doesn’t own any clothes with spots etc. We’ll also be thinking about all the children who are helped by funds raised by Children in Need and how important it is to look outside of our own needs.
Please can remind you to park in a safe manner and not near or on a junction. This is a real concern and has been raised by several parents. This is a particular concern of cars parking at the top of Rawlinson’s Lane which is extremely dangerous for pedestrians trying to get their children to school.
If you have not heard of Squid Games, it is a programme on Netflix rated 15 +. It is extremely violent and takes the idea of children’s games and turns them into games where people lose their lives. This is clearly not suitable for any primary aged child to watch. We have heard that there are games on Roblox that are imitating these games and not the child-friendly version. Please be aware if your child is playing this game, that squid game content is being incorporated.
Parent Consultation Evenings
We are sorry that these were not able to happen in person again this year. As I said previously, we had desperately hoped that we could do things in a more ‘normal’ way but alas this could not happen. The teachers have expressed their thanks for the good conversations about the children’s learning. If you have not had a meeting or missed that they were going on, please email Fiona and we will pass on your request to the relevant teacher.
Thank you again for all your support during this pandemic and helping us try to ensure your children get the very best educational experience possible in these difficult times. With that in mind I am hoping to get a good night’s rest ahead of joining Oak Class on their residential trip tomorrow!
15th October 2021
Good afternoon everyone,
I hope you have all had a good week and those of you who have been poorly are on the mend. Just to keep you up to date with cases of Covid this week. We have had 1 further case in Rowan Class and 2 further cases in Chestnut Class. There have been no new cases amongst the staff. We are hoping most of the children currently isolating will be able to return to school early next week. There is yet again a significant increase this week in the local community.
This week we have been learning about the value of peace and time to ourselves. We have been thinking about the story of Jonah and the Whale. According to the story Jonah spent three days and nights inside the whale praying and thinking. The children and been thinking about and reflecting on the following questions:
Why is it a good idea to take time for ourselves?
How did this time help Jonah?
How can we take time out if everyone is busy?
The following is from the Department for Education:
“The new Secretary of State for Education has made clear, young people regularly attending school is a national priority and is important for their education, wellbeing, and long-term development. This is particularly true for children who were persistently absent before the pandemic or who are at risk of becoming persistently absent. Attendance continues to be mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England recently wrote a letter to parents of children identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), to inform them that they were no longer considered to be clinically vulnerable and would not be advised to shield in future. This decision was based on the results of recent clinical studies which found that in general, children and young people are at very low risk of becoming seriously unwell from the virus. The recommendation was agreed by the Chief Medical Officers of the UK.
Schools should consider all applications for leave of absence on an individual basis taking into account the specific facts and circumstances, and relevant background context behind the request. Schools should only grant leaves of absence in exceptional circumstances. If a leave of absence is agreed, it should only be for a specific period of time.”
As we are a local authority school, we must follow this guidance and all children who are well enough to be in school must be in school. All individual cases will be closely considered.
Guide Dogs non-uniform day
On the last day of this half term, Thursday 21st October, we are having a non-uniform day to raise money for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Children are invited to come to school in their normal home clothes, or dressed as a dog and bring in a soft dog toy to visit their classroom for the day. We are asking for a donation towards Guide Dogs for the Blind. They can either bring the donation into class or look out for the giant dog (mascot) who will be on the playground at the end of the school day. We are also being visited by a real guide dog and his owner.
It is fantastic that so many of our children cycle school. so it was great to be able to accept the offer of bike safety checks by Norfolk Cycles organised by AtoBetter. Lance worked non-stop all day long to ensure 17 bicycles were road-safe for the journey home.
We will have 2 types of parents evening this term, one evening will be in person appointments and the other evening via zoom. For the in-person appointments parents will need to wait outside the school building until it is their appointment time and their child’s teacher comes to collect them. We ask that parents wear masks until they are seated when they will be able to remove the mask if they wish.
Appointments will be 10 minutes long, if you and your child’s teacher find a longer time is needed then this will be booked for another time.
The dates are Tuesday 2nd November for zoom appointments and Wednesday 3rd November for in person appointments. You will receive an invitation to book via the Pupil Asset Portal next week.
We have had lots of consent forms returned for the flu vaccination (nasal spray) which will take place on Wednesday 17th November (please note the new date). If you have not received a consent form, please let Fiona know in the school office so she can arrange for a new one for you.
We have started putting Christmas dates into the diary. We are hoping to be able to invite parents along to nativity plays and Christmas services at Aylsham Parish Church, however this will need to stay under review being dependant on the Covid situation at the time. In the hope that I can invite you along please see the dates below for the different Key stage events.
Wednesday 15th December 9.30 Acorn and Apple Nativity in Aylsham Parish Church
2.00 Beech and Chestnut Nativity in Aylsham Parish Church
Friday 17th December 2.00 Rowan and Oak Christmas Service in Aylsham Parish Church
Friday 26th November Christmas light switch on in town
Monday 6th December Switch on of St Michael’s Advent Porch – details coming soon
Thursday 16th December Christmas Jumper Day and the children will enjoy a special Christmas lunch
They will also enjoy an online Christmas panto in the afternoon
Friday 17th December Last day of term
Half of Rowan class had a fantastic Forest School session today; learning about fire safety, how to make a camp fire and they cooked marshmallows over the fire. The rest of the class will enjoy this next week and Oak class will have the chance soon too.
22nd September 2021
Firstly, I would like to thank you all for being so accommodating on Monday in providing packed lunches for your children. I realise that it was short notice but as soon as we became aware that there was a likelihood that Norse could not provide meals for all the pupils, we wanted to let you all know. This was beyond our control and due to illness and staff shortages within their organisation.
AFGHAN REFUGEE AWARENESS SESSIONS
Yesterday we were delighted to welcome Janet Marshall into our school to lead sessions for children from year 1 to year 6 about what life is like for refugees. The children discovered the story of Aliya and Abdul-Sami, a brother and sister, who had to leave their home in Kabul city to get to safety. Janet led the sessions sensitively and age-appropriately and brought this situation to life enabling our children to understand a vital part of our global community.
James “I really enjoyed learning about other people and thinking about others”.
Hazel “It’s really horrible what’s happening to the children, if we see them, we can make them feel welcome”.
This Sunday you and your pets are invited to Aylsham Parish Church for their annual pet service. Some of our children will be leading the prayers. We hear there will be lots of fun, noise and celebration of the animals, birds and reptiles that share our lives.
HARVEST FESTIVAL AND FOODBANK COLLECTION
On Monday 27th September we are going up to the church for a special Harvest Collective Worship led by Revd Julie Boyd and some of our children. Please send in donations for the North Norfolk Foodbank to be gifted that day.
Please do remember if you are ever in need of a food parcel from the Foodbank myself or Fiona can arrange this for you.
Due to risk from severe allergies, we are a nut free school. Please ensure that any snacks or packed lunches do not have any products containing nuts in them.
Absence from school:
If your child is unwell with sickness or diarrhoea they need to stay at home for 48 hours from after the last incidence of sickness or diarrhoea.
If your child has symptoms of COVID they will need to have a PCR test and remain off school until this has come back negative or they have isolated for 10 days.
The symptoms are; a high temperature, a new and consistent cough or loss or change of sense of smell or taste,
If possible, please avoid parking in the church yard. There are several car parks in Aylsham so if you are not able to walk to school it would be best to use these. If you do park in the church yard the Town Council have asked us to request that parents drive very carefully and respectfully to keep others safe and stop damage to the pathway.
Next Wednesday is St Michael’s Day when we will be thinking about people who are like angels in our community and across the world. Those that live their lives to Christian values, to love and care for our world and those around them.
On the 5th October we are being visited by M & M Theatre to entertain the children. This is being funded by our old Parent, Teacher Association. We are looking to start a new St Michael’s PTA very soon. Look out for more details soon…
10th September 2021
I am so impressed at how well the children have settled back into school this week. They have been ready and keen to learn and for the most part making good behaviour choices. Apple class, our reception children, have surprised us by how quickly they are adapting to being at school and they are already building up their confidence and independence.
Today I had the privilege of joining six children to eat at the Golden Table in the lunch hall. They were chosen by the lunchtime staff for following our Golden Rules particularly well at lunchtimes during the week. I had a lovely chat with the six young people in the photo below while we enjoyed our tasty lunches. Each week a child from every class will be chosen to seat at the Golden Table during Friday lunchtime and eat with a teacher.
OCTOBER HALF TERM HOLIDAY CHANGE
We will be breaking up for the half term break on Thursday 21st October this term so school will be closed on Friday 22nd October. This is due to the extra bank holiday which is taking place next year for the Queen’s Jubilee, as this falls in a school holiday the government asked schools to take an extra day during term time. We have discussed the date with the other Aylsham schools and agreed we would all close on the 22nd October. I think the children will be grateful for an extra day rest if they keep working as well as they have been this week!
Thank you for your continued patience with the building work. We know that the amount of playground being taken up currently is not ideal but it hopefully won’t be for too long. The works seems to be coming along at a good pace. Some of the children have been fascinated by the machinery moving around.
There are a couple of places marked out on Rawlinson’s Lane in yellow which say bus stop. We have dedicated this area for disabled parking only. Please only park on this area if you have a valid disabled badge. We have several parents who need to be able to use this space and we are aware that others have been blocking it. I realise that parking can be tricky but we really need to keep these 2 spaces for those with a valid badge.
This week in Collective Worship we have been thinking about the Parable of The Farmer and the Seeds from the book of Matthew.
Matthew 13:1 – 23
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 A large crowd gathered around him. So he got into a boat and sat down. All the people stayed on the shore. 3 Then Jesus used stories to teach them many things. He told them this story:
“A farmer went out to sow seed. 4 While he was scattering the seed, some of it fell by the road. The birds came and ate all that seed. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where there was not enough dirt. It grew very fast there, because the soil was not deep. 6 But when the sun rose, it burned the plants. The plants died because they did not have deep roots. 7 Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. The weeds grew and stopped the good plants from growing. 8 But some of the seed fell on good ground. There it grew and made grain. Some plants made 100 times more grain, some 60 times more, and some 30 times more. 9 You people who hear me, listen!”
We have also learnt about the Jewish Festival of Rosh Hashanah and how it is celebrated.
Have a wonderful weekend!
3rd September 2021
WELCOME TO THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR
I hope you have had a good summer even without a lot of actual sun! We are looking forward to welcoming you all back on Monday and welcoming new children to our school too. Teachers and support staff have been busy getting ready for an inspiring year ahead empowering our children to flourish in their work and relationships with each other and our community.
This is an extra exciting year for us as we are now a full primary with our first year 6 pupils. We are proud of the way they have developed through this challenging time of Covid, building resilience through adversity, and we hope to send them off next year as peacemakers, justice fighters, joy bringers, light bearers, and hope givers for our world.
NEW NURSERY BUILD – HEALTH AND SAFETY
We have been thrilled to see the start of work on our new nursery building. There will be some disruption for a couple of terms, however the benefits to the whole school will be so worthwhile. The building work alone will provide an excellent learning opportunity. Teachers will be encouraging children to think about the different tools, machines, skills and occupations which go into providing this new space.
The ramp opposite the main office is temporarily out of use so for disabled or buggy access please use the double gates at the bottom of the playground. The steps will still be open for use with safety fencing keeping us all safe from potential dangers. If you arrive at school during the day when the double gates are locked and need disabled access, please phone the school for assistance.
WALKING HOME ALONE
We are aware that as the older children are developing independence some of them will be able to walk to and from school without an adult. If you believe your child is ready for this step, please read our Walking Home Alone Policy which can be found on our website here https://www.stmichaelsaylsham.co.uk/policies-and-statements/ we will need you to sign a consent form to allow us to let them leave at the end of the day without an adult to meet them. If you wish your child to have a mobile phone with them for their journey to and from school, they must pass their phone to their class teacher as they come into school. It will be kept in a secure location and returned to them at the end of the day. Mobile phones must not be kept in bags or in the child’s drawer.
MILK and SNACKS
If your child is starting in Apple or Acorn class, please ensure you have signed up to Cool Milk, via www.coolmilk.co.uk so they can enjoy a carton of milk each morning. This is free for under 5-year-olds.
Morning fruit is provided for all children up to the end of year 2. For those in years 3 to 6 please send your child in with a healthy snack, preferably fruit of vegetables.
As always, make sure your child has a named bottle of fresh water in school every day.
The lunch menu does not change until after the October half term when we switch to the Autumn/Winter menu. The menu can be found on the school website; www.stmichaelsaylsham.co.uk
PE (Physical Education) and FOREST SCHOOL
After our gradual transition to the new school uniform, it is expected that all children wear the correct PE kit from now on. If you have any difficulties with providing this, please speak to myself or Fiona in the office. The school uniform is detailed here:
The timetable for PE and Forest School is as follows:
APPLE CLASS: PE on Monday, Forest School on Tuesday
BEECH CLASS: PE on Wednesday and Thursday, Forest School on Thursday
CHESTNUT CLASS: PE on Monday and Thursday, Forest School on Wednesday
ROWAN CLASS: PE on Tuesday and Friday, Forest School on Friday
OAK CLASS: PE on Tuesday and Friday, Forest School on Monday
HOME SCHOOL AGREEMENT
Every year our school governors review the Home School Agreement that every family sign when their children join our school. This year there have been some changes to the document so every child will bring home a new agreement next week. Please have a read through and keep one page for yourself and sign and return the second page to school. By us all working to the same principles it will ensure that by honouring relationships, community and diversity we will enable all people to flourish together.
As we look forward to the year ahead, I would like to remind you all of our vision which flows through and is embedded in everything we do within our school for you and your children.
DREAM, BELIEVE, ACHIEVE
We are a school, rooted and inspired by Christian values, which nurtures children to achieve infinitely more than we may ask or they may dream; empowering them so they can flourish as confident citizens now and in the future.
This is inspired and based upon the following passage in Ephesians;
Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
To see all our aims which grow from this statement this please follow this link.
21st July 2021
Happy summer everybody,
The sun was shining of St Michael’s early this morning as I arrived at school bringing another year to an end.
This has been one of, if not, the most challenging years for our school and the community. We all thought 2019/20 was a challenge but 2020/21 really stepped up its game. Everyone has been affected by Covid and the corresponding lockdowns. I just want to extend my sincere thanks to all of you for working with us. We all hope next year will be a return to ‘normal’ where we can have Collective Worship together, our Year 6 children can play with our Reception children and many more exciting adventures. We are grateful for all the lovely thing we have been able to do this year, the difficulties have made us appreciate the simple things in life. Photos from the Sports Days will be going on to the website in the next week. There will be a notice on Facebook when they are live.
Speaking to lots parents they have told me about their children learning to ride bikes and roller skate, do more cooking at home and enjoy more books. More people are walking, running and keeping fit. I have personally learnt to take time to appreciate the smaller things in life and not take things for granted.
James 1.17 Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from him. These good gifts come down from the Father who made all the lights in the sky. But God never changes like the shadows from those lights. He is always the same.
Please remember that support is available over the holidays, if you are struggling for food, we can organise food bank support.
Aylsham Parish Church
Don’t forget to visit the church after school today! I have heard there might be ice-cream on offer! Thank you to Revd Julie, Revd Tracy and Mrs De-Ville-Shaw for all the Collective Worships and support this year.
A massive thank you to all our school governors who are so involved in the school. They work for free behind the scenes to provide support and challenge to ensure the school moves forward year on year. This school is a better place because of their dedication and goodwill.
Little Faces Mombasa
We have now sent the first shipment of red jumpers and cardigans off to Kenya. We are stock piling more to send off at a later date. If you have any jumpers/cardigans please bring them in after the summer and we will happily send them on for you.
8th July 2021
Good afternoon everybody,
It was really great to see Apple Tree Class visit the church last week and for Maple Tree Class to visit the Nest for some outdoor adventure activities. We hope this is just the start and we will be able to offer more trips in the Autumn Term and further into next year. As we start to turn one eye towards September, we have been thinking about our school will look like.
Department For Education Guidance for September
Below is a link to the guidance I received on 6th July 21, which gives an initial idea of what the processes in school will look like from September. We will expect to receive further and potentially changing guidance by the 12th August. I will, as always, keep you up to date as things change or evolve.
The year 4 and 5’s had a vote today to decide if their class should have a new name for September 2021. It was decided that as a lot of children start St Michael’s School in Acorn class, it would be fitting to end their growing and learning journey with us as wise old oak trees. So, September’s year 5 and year 6 class will be known as Oak Class.
Teaching Staff for September
Acorn Class (Nursery): Emily and June
Apple Class (Reception): Mrs Hampson, Miss Cooper and Mrs Lines
Beech Class (Year 1): Mrs Perry and Mrs Sanderson
Chestnut Class (Year 2 & 3): Mrs Phillips, Miss Chamberlain and Miss Keymer
Rowan Class (Year 3 & 4): Mrs Stock and Miss Thornton
Oak Class (Year 5 & 6): Mrs Bailey, Miss Chamberlain, Teaching Assistant to be appointed.
Oak Class and Forest School: Miss Parker
Pastoral/Nurture and SEN Support: Sharon, Mrs Daniels and a Classroom Assistant to be appointed.
Senior Leadership Team
Headteacher, SENDco, Designated Safeguarding Lead: Mr John Neenan
Deputy Headteacher, Deputy Safeguarding Lead: Mrs Julie Phillips
Business Manager, Deputy Safeguarding Lead, Pastoral Support: Mrs Fiona Tibbitt
Senior Teacher, Trainee SENDco: Mrs Sara Bailey
Uniform for September
While we have been transitioning to the new uniform we have been relaxed about what children wear to school, especially on PE days. Please note that from September your child /children will need to have the correct uniform and PE kit.
Acorn children do not need to wear uniform, but are welcome to if they wish to.
Main school children
Forest green jumper or cardigan
White Shirt or White/Forest Green polo shirt – Please note the change of colour option.
Grey or black trousers, skirt or pinafore dress
Green and white gingham dress in the summer
Grey or black shorts in the summer
Black, white or grey socks or tights
Black flat enclosed toe shoes
Book-bag for reception and Year One
Backpack for older years
Waterproof trousers and raincoat – any colour
Tracksuit bottoms – black or green
Full tracksuit top for KS2 – black or green
School jumpers and cardigans can be purchased from Kayes on Red Lion Street, Aylsham or we have badges which can be purchased from the school office and sewn on.
Children should not wear any of the following to school: jeans, shoes or boots with high heels, open-toed sandals, trainers, ear-rings (other than plain studs), other jewellery, nail varnish, tattoos. Children may wear an analogue watch to help them learn to tell the time
Throughout the school, from nursery to year 6 we want children to be able to play and learn outside every day, so please keep an eye on the weather and make sure your child has sensible footwear, wellies, warm coats, waterproof coats, hats, gloves, sun hats, and so on in school.
New Nursery Build
We are very excited to announce that our new St Michael’s Nursery will start being built on the 26th July 2021 with the aim of it being completed by next Easter. This is a project being led by the Diocese of Norwich in conjunction with Norfolk County Council. It once again shows fantastic support and investment in the education of pupils here at St Michaels. The Governors of the school have been working on this project for a number of years and are delighted that it is finally coming to fruition.
Good Afternoon everybody,
I hope you are all okay and that all our male role models had a fantastic Father’s Day weekend. I unfortunately lost my father in 2009 but have been very blessed to have some very influential males support and guide me through difficult times. Thank you to all the people who fulfil the ‘father’ role in our young people’s lives.
Teachers have been really busy writing school reports for your children. They have sent them to me and once I have read them and added a comment, they will wing their way to you. We hope this will be the week commencing 12th of July.
We have been very cautious when levelling children this year due to the gaps caused by covid lockdowns. As a school are aware of our children’s gaps and we are working extremely hard to get our young people back to where they should be. We have seen massive improvements in phonics and reading across the school. Our big focus now, and in the year ahead, is reasoning skills within mathematics and across the curriculum. Our assessment data shows this is the area most effected by the lockdowns.
As you will be aware the Government changed the road map for reducing Covid restrictions. We have put our transition day on Monday 19th July in the hope that we will be able to spend some time in our new classes before the summer holidays. We have a high number of children joining us in September and it would be lovely for them to meet their new friends before we break up. For those children who are moving on from St Michael’s this year I am aware that most schools have postponed visits and transition days so you will need to contact the new school to find out their arrangements.
We will be holding a sports day in bubbles this year for the children between the 12th of July and the 16th of July. We want the children to experience friendly competition where they work as part of a house team to earn the ‘Sport’s Day Shield’. We were unable to do this last year so it will be fantastic to hold some form of sports event.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to have spectators this year but we will make sure we take lots of photographs and put them on our website for you. Here’s hoping next year we can do sports day the way it should be done.
I understand this is disappointing for you, I feel the same as a parent. Having received advice and guidance from Norfolk County Council and the Department for Education I cannot guarantee we can run a sports day the way we have in previous years and keep it within the given parameters to ensure it is ‘Covid Safe’.
This week and last week we have been thinking about ‘Hope’ and ‘Friendship’. This has been linked to our school vision and moto of; Dream, Believe, Achieve.
Yesterday we thought about not judging a book by its cover or jumping to conclusions. We used this short film to guide us with our thinking:
I think we can all learn a vital lesson from this animation. We talked about knowing all the facts before judging a friend or making uninformed comments, treating each other with kindness and respect.
This is linked to John 7:24:
24 Stop judging by the way things look! Be fair, and judge by what is really right.”
As we gradually and cautiously move out of Covid restrictions I am aware that some families are still experiencing financial difficulties. If you need a food parcel from the Foodbank please ask myself or Fiona and we can arrange a voucher for you to take along.
The Foodbank always welcome donations of non-perishable foods, baby necessities and sanitary products so if you are able, please drop them into the church or the collection point in Tesco.
Online Art Exhibition
I hope you have had a chance to look at the children’s amazing art work via the online portal here https://imagescollator.co.uk/gallery/16539/109112/
The pictures will be displayed and available to purchase online, professionally mounted and framed, until the end of Friday this week (25th June).
Purchased pictures will be available for collection from Monday 5th July onwards. A portion of the profits will go towards exciting new school resources.
Summer Reading Challenge
Make sure you take your child along to Aylsham library on or soon after 10th July so they can sign up for the WILD WORLD HEROES reading challenge.
They can read books to earn stickers and a medal and there will be lots exciting wildlife online events to go along with it here:
I look forward to seeing all the medals in September when we return to school.
8th June 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week we are thinking about looking after the world around us. Taking into consideration the book of Genesis 1 1:31.
The children are thinking about different ways they can have an impact on nature and the world around them.
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)
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
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.
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.
14th May 2021
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,
5th May 2021
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.
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
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.
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.
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
The winner will receive a hamper filled with goodies donated by Aylsham Co-op.
(Organised by Olivia Stevens, Member Pioneer, Co-op Aylsham)
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,
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.
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.
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,
25th March 2021
Good afternoon everybody,
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: email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
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