This week at Bentley...
Every Friday we review how things are going in school with all the complex new arrangements, in order to plan ahead for the following week. We have been doing this since lockdown began and every single week we have been open. It has been ‘just’ 44 school days today since lockdown began, but it feels like a whole year and several September style grand openings in my mind. This week we have made a few improvements to our provision to enhance safety, as there has been an overcrowding at 3.15pm on the playground. I am also sorry to those parents hoping for more places as our capacity in pupil places has been filled. I have written separately to the individual parents who this affects and I will be communicating with all Year 6 parents and children next week, once some special plans for you are more concrete. You have been aware we have had much higher numbers of critical key workers logged at our school since before lockdown. The three bubble groups made of key workers means we have not been able to open for additional Year 6 pupils. We are following Government directive on this.
In more positive news, it is great to have many more children back in school and we have continued to stay open for each group with no requirement to have any bubble self-isolate. Should this be required we have Public Health England’s number on ‘speed dial’ and feel very comfortable with the procedures required. Staff have asked me to say thanks for the kind messages and partnership between home and school enabling them to feel safe in school at this time too.
This week we have been reflecting on the constraints on the children learning in school and the wariness of children (and parents) learning at home. We are listening to your feedback about engagement and I would urge you to try ‘flipping’ the priorities when things get a little repetitive. We are seeing less engagement with the wider curriculum and yet the government have invested much funding with the Bitesize and Oakmoor resources. Follow the links suggested by teachers first for the wider curriculum work if that is more motivating for your children. Continue to enjoy your time together on shared interests and amazing new activities (we’d love to see these on Seesaw and Tapestry too please!). We have also added a couple of additional fun sessions for the home schoolers to try to enhance social links and play for the children. We are also reflecting on end of term arrangements and transition and have a plan forming based on staff and parent suggestions.
The priority for Senior Leaders and Governors in our school must now shift to preparations for our school in September. We are recruiting for four staff positions currently. We have further work for our Year R and Year 6 transitions. We have no government details on what education in September is going to look like, but have much work to do in the next five weeks to plan and prepare as this work has to be done before we break up for a much needed holiday.
Bubble 1 (a.k.a. The Tiger Bubble) have been building amazing bridges in their science work linked to the Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Bubble 2 (a.k.a.The Lego Jaguars) have been doing a great job of retelling their own stories of the three Billy Goats Gruff.
Bubble 3 (a.k.a. G.O.A.T. Greatest of all Time) have been doing fantastic writing, ‘weaving dreams in a jar’
Bubble 4 (a.k.a. Bubble Wrap) have all worked hard and have discovered LOTS of new number patterns.
Bubble 5 (a.k.a. Best Bubble) have really enjoyed the history work this week around British Values. They particularly liked designing their own stamps with the Queen’s head on them.
Bubble 6 (a.k.a. Bubble Gum) have settled well into the new routines and expectations of being back at school – well done to all the Year 1 children who came back this week with such a great attitude.
Year 2 Virtual School - Miss Hand says “it has been really pleasing to see so many Year 2 children embracing learning on Seesaw and telling me about their day to day activities. Year 2 has impressed me with the amount of writing they have produced in our reading and writing units of work! Thank you for making me smile.”
Year 3 Virtual School - Miss Hand says “Year 3 impressed me with their response to last week's photography art challenge. I saw lots of photographs uploaded, that documented and commented on animals and their behaviours in their natural habitat. We have lots of talented zoologists and photographers!”
Year 4 Virtual School - Mrs Scott-Bromley set an English task to practice and perform a piece and got a whole range of Oscar worthy performances!
Year 5 Virtual School - Mrs Scott-Bromley says she has learnt an awful lot from your animal adaptions work this week.
Year 6 Virtual School – Mrs Miffling and Mrs Rushin think the Year 6 photos for the Art challenge have been excellent. Lots of quirky and creative ideas to capture ‘Nature’ which they have really enjoyed viewing (Mrs Scott-Bromley and Mrs Drew are planning a virtual gallery as we speak).
Mrs Siers and Gillie say they think all the fabulous parents they have been ringing are doing an amazing job. Keep it up everyone and get those countdown calendars at the ready as you are now on the home stretch to the summer holidays!
Mrs Pinchess, Headteacher
THANK YOU TO…
…those who have kindly donated towards soap, paper towels and resources for the children in school. We are using A LOT! If you would like to make a contribution, please do so through the Summer Term Voluntary Donation item on www.scopay.com
…those who have donated to school via the PTFA charity links with AmazonSmile and Easyfundraising. We love getting ‘feel-good’ messages from the online orders we place and we would love it if you would sign up too. It only takes a few moments to sign up, our PTFA gets a donation every time you buy something and it doesn’t cost you a penny! Sign up here
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
None of us would leave brushing our teeth until we got a cavity as it is a pre-emptive action, but many people assume that mental health support is only for when we feel at our lowest. Throughout this difficult time many of us have had to draw deeply on our reserves and most of us have struggled, felt angry or lashed out with blame at times. We would like to propose that every parent has a look at these resources – just in case they might be helpful today OR in the future. Think of it as brushing your teeth!
School Nurse – please also see the Family Well Being Pack which you can download at the foot of this page which contains a wealth of information and links to other helpful pages.
Elkolet - Parenting Support Podcast Channel - aimed at parents and carers of children aged 4 to 16.
HAMPSHIRE OUTDOOR TRAILBLAZER NEWSLETTERS
The team at Hampshire Outdoor have put together some newsletters, which include some super ideas for outdoor activities and learning. You can find them by clicking here, along with lots of other additional resources for home learning.
‘HOLD STILL’ – A LANDMARK COMMUNITY PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT LAUNCHED BY THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE AND THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
The Duchess of Cambridge has launched 'Hold Still', an ambitious community photography project, in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, to capture the spirit, the mood, the hopes, the fears and the feelings of the nation as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak.
Whilst many people’s lives are on hold to help protect our helpers and heroes, there are some who are working harder than ever, and others who are enduring the upheaval of hardship and loss.
Spearheaded by The Duchess, Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, Hold Still will create a unique photographic portrait of the people of our nation as we hold still for the good of others, and celebrate those who have continued so we can stay safe.
The Duchess and the National Portrait Gallery are inviting people from across the UK to submit a photographic portrait which they have taken during these extraordinary times. Participants are also encouraged to provide a short written submission to outline the experiences and emotions of those depicted in their photograph. The project will focus on three core themes:
• Helpers and Heroes
• Your New Normal
• Acts of Kindness
Completely free and open to all ages and abilities, Hold Still will serve to allow the nation to capture a snapshot of the UK at this time, creating a collective portrait of lockdown which will reflect resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness, and human tragedy and hope. It will also act as a reminder of the significance of human connection in times of adversity, and that although we were physically apart, as a community and nation, we all faced and rose to the challenge together.
On the launch of Hold Still, The Duchess said: “We’ve all been struck by some of the incredible images we’ve seen which have given us an insight into the experiences and stories of people across the country. Some desperately sad images showing the human tragedy of this pandemic and other uplifting pictures showing people coming together to support those more vulnerable. Hold Still aims to capture a portrait of the nation, the spirit of the nation, what everyone is going through at this time. Photographs reflecting resilience, bravery, kindness – all those things that people are experiencing.”
What to do:
One hundred shortlisted portraits will then feature in a gallery without walls – a one of a kind digital exhibition open to all. A selection of images will also be shown across the UK later in the year. The images can be captured on phones or cameras and each image will be assessed on the emotion and experience it conveys rather than its photographic quality or technical expertise.
For 164 years, the National Portrait Gallery has existed to tell the stories of the people of Great Britain through the medium of portraits. In these unprecedented times, it is now more important than ever that we find ways to document and share our individual and collective stories of an experience which has impacted everybody’s lives in a multitude of ways.
All entries sent will be displayed on a special Hold Still (Hampshire) – Art Moodle site. (Please also copy your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward your entry to the Hampshire art exhibition)
Speaking about Hold Still, Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery London, said,
“Even if we are alone, we can all create something together. We are honoured to partner with The Duchess of Cambridge on the Hold Still project, which will provide an inclusive perspective on, and an important historical record of, these unprecedented times, expressed through the faces of the nation. The National Portrait Gallery reflects the history of Britain through the personal stories of the people who have helped to shape it. We are now inviting each and every person, across every city, town, village and home in the UK, to share their portraits with us in this unique collective endeavour.”
The Duchess has a longstanding interest in photography and its power to capture emotions and stories. In January 2020, Her Royal Highness took photographs of two Holocaust survivors with their grandchildren as part of the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.
Her Royal Highness has been Patron of the National Portrait Gallery since 2012.