Headteacher Newsletter Issue 10
FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER ISSUE 10: 12.2.21
I hope you are all well. We are now half a term into the Spring term and things are looking positive nationally with the vaccination roll out and the transmission rates. I am sure we will all be reunited soon. I will keep you informed of any updates when I receive them.
Children’s Mental Health Week
The children and staff had a great week, last week, exploring Children’s Mental Health Week. Please see a note below from Miss Morton –
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to the children and families of Clavering Primary school for all their hard work last week during Children’s Mental Health Week. To finish the week off, children (and staff) dressed to express how they were feeling or their personality. Attached are some of the pictures we were sent of children dressed for their online learning.
Supporting Parents Helpfinder (Young Minds)
It is a challenging time for everyone at the moment. Parents find themselves pulled in many different directions and children may be struggling being in the house for so much longer than usual.
A mixture of concern about covid, work from home and children at home, along with a possible financial impact make for a stressful household.
Young Minds have created a useful ‘Supporting Parents Helpfinder’. By answering six questions, parents can find out how to support their child’s mental health during the pandemic (and beyond).
Find the help finder here: https://youngminds.org.uk/supporting-parents-helpfinder/
Safer Internet Day
This year, Safer Internet Day was on 9th February and was be celebrated in the UK with the theme, ‘An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world’. Pupils carried out relevant activities in school using materials produced by ‘UK Safer Internet Centre’.
This organisation have also created a range of free resources for parents/carers. The pack includes activities, conversation starters and information to help parents/carers talk to their child about how to navigate the issue of reliability of information online in a safe, responsible and engaging way. Please click on the link below for further information:
The Great Big Art Exhibition
Artist Sir Antony Gormley has announced the UK’s Biggest Art Exhibition and you can all take part. “At a time when the theatres and galleries are shut it is wonderful to somehow tap into the extraordinary reservoirs of creativity in the country and celebrate the diversity or range and thought and feelings that exist” Along with other prominent artists he is asking people to make an artwork at home and put it on display in windows and gardens. He has suggested animals as the theme for the first two weeks—”We want to let the inner animal out…. It could be a whale or a dinosaur” Details on how to take part can be found at https://firstsite.uk/the-great-big-art-exhibition-gallery/
We’d love to see any contributions, so please do email them in to and we’ll share some of our favourites in the next newsletter and online. You don’t have to be limited to pictures, you can create models, collages…
Remote Education: Some parents/carers have requested some guidance on how to create consistent routines for their child to support with behaviour and wellbeing. Please find attached a checklist created by the Education Endowment Foundation, specifically for parents/carers to use during lockdown. You could share this checklist with your child in order to plan a routine that works for your family.
In order for us to try and create a learning environment that is as ‘normal’ as possible for the children and to make the lesson time effective, please can we make sure –
- that the children are not eating during the lesson or playing with toys or other items that they would not be accessing during lesson time in school.
- that parents keep ALL communication and interaction with staff to outside of the lesson so that it does not distract from the learning process. Staff can be contacted, via Teams, during working hours in term time.
- background noise, especially adult conversations – including nearby phone calls, are away from the live lessons.
- everyone is suitably dressed eg no pyjamas.
- your child is ready before the lesson starts – stationery and required resources.
- that there is an adult near by to help the child with any straightforward technical issues
- that children do not use the chat function during the lesson
- if you experience any problems accessing an on-line lesson, please contact the school office in the first instance. This will enable the teacher to concentrate on their teaching. If you are able, in the meantime, to access the work via Teams, we will endeavour to resolve any problems before the next lesson but your child may have to miss the live part of the lesson on that occasion. Teachers will invite all pupils before the lesson starts to help alleviate some of the problems experienced. I am sure this will get easier once we get more used to the process.
Updates – DFE and Local Authority support –
Parent information regarding support children with remote education has been updated with resources and a new section – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supporting-your-childrens-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=93574ea8-d560-4b8f-8b16-67f5d71ef7ff&utm_content=immediately
Message from Essex County Council – Financial Support
If you’ve tested positive or been asked to self-isolate it is really important that you stay home to stop the spread of Covid 19. Essex County Council has secured an extra £3m from Government covid funds to provide financial support to residents who need to self-isolate. The funds have been given to borough, city and district councils to provide one off £500 support payments to people unable to work and who do not qualify for the Government’s Test and Trace support payments. To apply for either the Government or discretionary grant see https://www.essex.gov.uk/test-and-trace-support-payment
Covid Winter Grant Fund
The Council for Voluntary Service Uttlesford (CVSU) are able to provide financial assistance to families with children who are struggling with food, energy and water bills. Food vouchers are available, or they can make direct payment to utility companies on your behalf. They also have a smaller fund available to help with essential living costs. This could be for example warm clothes, blankets, boiler service/repair, sanitary items, soap and detergents, fridges, freezers, ovens. This specific funding is available to families resident in Uttlesford with children aged under 19 years at 31st March 2021, through the provision of food vouchers or direct settlement of utility accounts. Service Contact Details Phone: 03333 408218 Email: Website: cvsu.org.uk
Bad Weather – staff and children on site
In the event of bad weather we will do our utmost to keep the onsite provision open but if this is not possible we will contact the relevant families.
A big thank you to Ron Docking and Stuart Sullivan this week for clearing the drive and paths during the most recent snow storm.
Learning across the school
We began our February learning by thinking about wellbeing and in particular ‘kindness’. We thought about acts of kindness we could do and how being kind has a positive effect on others. Then we explored the book The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson. In the story, George is a very kind giant who solves the animal’s problems by giving up his own new clothes to help them. In return, the animals thank him with a card and a crown. We discussed how being kind to others makes them happy. To say thank you to George, we have designed him a brand-new tie. They are fabulous!
We have really enjoyed learning about the different coins in our currency in Maths. We have been adding coin totals and pretended to go shopping. We discovered that there are many different ways to pay the same amount!
We enjoyed discussing the snow this week and wrote a class poem about our experiences of the snow.
This week we have been learning about China and the traditions surrounding Chinese New Year. We enjoyed looking at maps and globes and Buddy has been amazing helping us learn the geography of the country. We have read the story of the Great Race and have been greeting each other and learning numbers in mandarin! We learned ordinal number for the animals in the Great Race – a big well done to Isobel who used the word ‘infinity’ correctly to describe how the positions and numbers could keep going!
Class 1 have been very busy working hard writing stories inspired by the traditional story ‘This is the House that Jack Built’ by Simms Taback. We have also been exploring letter content and layout and writing our own letters to ‘Rob and Kev’ all about our personal bottle moments.
In Maths we have been exploring numbers 1 to 50 and applying strategies such as partitioning so that we can identify how many tens and how many ones a number has.
In Science class 1 have been exploring properties of materials. Over the last 2 weeks they have conducted 2 experiments, one to test the best waterproof material and another to test which materials are opaque and transparent.
Class 1 also threw themselves into our Children’s Mental Health week activities and enjoyed expressing themselves in all manner of ways including artwork and drama.
Class two have had another very busy couple of weeks online learning. We have completed a mini project comparing Ghana to the UK. I was blown away by how hard the children have worked. We had projects handed in as posters, books and PowerPoints. Here are a few examples:
We have been learning about Chinese New Year. We learnt about the preparations for the New Year and how the Chinese people celebrate. In Maths we have been learning to write the numbers 1-10 and Darcey taught us how to say the numbers 1-10 in Chinese. In English we wrote acrostic poems based around Chinese New Year. Here are a couple of the finished poems:
Class 3 have bee n very busy working on our money skills and statistic skills over the last two weeks.
In English, we have been looking at adverts and we had a great time watching adverts from the past, looking at colour and text choices to entice a buyer. The children have created very persuasive shoe adverts that they used alliteration to help gain the audience’s attention. We have used our poetry writing talents during Safer Internet Day.
Class 3 have also looked at Chinese New Year and have completed mindfulness colouring and made paper lamps. Rowan and his brother created amazing lions for the lion dance for Chinese New Year.
The class have enjoyed time in the snow and Toby even put his science skills into action and studied snowflakes under a microscope and got some fantastic pictures.
Well done Class 3 for all your hard work over the last half term – you are my home school heroes! Miss Morton
Class 4 have been working hard and have produced some great work to finish off the term!
In English we have written descriptive narratives detailing Lucy’s journey into Narnia. We then began working on persuasive letters based on the book The Great Kapok Tree, urging the main character to stop cutting down the tree and save the rainforest. In maths we have done some great work on division and learnt how to create the area of different shapes.
Through our topic work on Rainforests, we have explored different animals that live in them, and looked at the Amazon Rainforest comparing it to Sherwood Forest. In art we have continued our rainforest theme and created a sketch of an iguana trying to use a variety of shading and texturing, while in science we conducted experiments into soundproofing, investigating which material would be best to soundproof a room.
Class 4 have worked so hard this term and taken on the challenge of remote learning brilliantly! They should be extremely proud of themselves and all of the fantastic work that have produced under these new and different circumstances.
In English, we have been learning about the sinking of the Titanic, responding artistically and writing poetry in response to Hardy’s Convergence of the Twain. The children have produced their own factsheets or presented Powerpoints about the topic – test them, they’re experts now!
Our topic work has focused on Baghdad during the Golden Age of Islam; we have learnt about the sharing of ideas in this thriving and progressive circular city of the 900s AD and have produced 3-d models (in a range of media – some most creative!) to represent the city and posters to promote the House of Wisdom. And we can now play French hangman, having learnt to say our alphabet in French!
We have looked at the life of Sir Captain Tom Moore and how he expressed himself through his optimism and positive attitude. We produced posters to reflect this.
Class 6 have been learning about an inspiring French woman called Jacqueline Auriol in English. We have researched facts about her life and her achievements including breaking the jet plane speed record five times between 1951 and 1961 and being the first European woman to break the sound barrier in 1953. We have written a biography of her life and descriptions of her record-breaking flight in 1953.
In Science we have learnt about how to keep our heart healthy and how smoking is bad for your health and the health of other people too. We have created information posters about the dangers of smoking.
This half term Class 6 have worked really hard and I am very impressed with the work they have done and their positive attitude towards remote learning. I hope everyone has a good and relaxing half term break. Well done Class 6! Mrs Hall.
STAR OF THE WEEK
Spring Term – Lockdown – two ‘stars’ a fortnight
Week ending February 12th
Alfie – asking great questions and for making a super tie for George the Giant.
Fraser – outstanding efforts with his home learning
Hugo – reading out loud and writing ordinal numbers
Archie – for coming up the word ‘croak’ for the digraph oa and then spelling the word himself!
Benjamin – for continuing to be enthusiastic about his learning and completing his learning tasks to a very high standard.
Phoebe – for continuing to compose well structured and content rich writing. In particular, her story ‘This is the House that Phoebe Built’.
Ruby – for always putting fantastic effort into her learning.
Tommie – for fantastic effort with his work and super piano playing.
Luke – for working hard and showing resilience, particularly in maths.
Rose – for always putting 100% effort into all areas of learning and writing a great rhyming poem.
Hadley – for a great explanation of short division and super effort in her writing.
Aaron – for fantastic hard work and great understanding of area in maths.
James – for demonstrating great focus and an excellent work ethic.
Conor – for working extremely hard, particularly on his maths and poetry this week.
Charlie W – Resileroo Award – for managing the stress and pace of learning at home.
Jamie – for his diary of Jacqueline Auriol, describing her achievement of breaking the sound barrier – great writing style!
Lani – for her positive attitude towards her learning and always trying to do her best.
Key Worker Group
Alfie – for being an enthusiastic learner and an excellent role model
Hollie – for always working super hard and for being an excellent role model
Thank you for all the support you are giving the staff and your children. We are very grateful for all that you are doing. We wish you all a safe and happy half term next week and we look forward to seeing you all when we return.