This week at Bentley...
Over the last few weeks I have managed to squeeze in attendance at some local and national meetings with other headteachers. At each meeting we have, unsurprisingly, discussed the ongoing issues with Covid and the well-being of our pupils and staff teams. At Bentley, like all good schools, we are very mindful to support children make much needed catch up progress in their learning, but this is a careful balance, keeping well-being in mind. What we have noticed across the nation in the last month is;
- more children are struggling with resilience since Christmas
- staff have noticed more tears, often very unusually for no apparent reason
- but children seem more worn out; physically and emotionally
We can see that whilst we may be ‘getting back to normal’ the impact of unplanned times out of school routines, due to lockdown and Covid in particular, is still affecting us all. What adults are struggling with is also what children are struggling with; learning to deal with the tricky skills to forge relationships; coping with loneliness; worrying about world affairs or what might happen next.
This also resonates with reading I have been doing around mental health and how we can best help our children;
“Over the past year, the pandemic has continued to impact the lives of children and young people as they have adjusted to living with ongoing uncertainty and changes in restrictions when required.” State of the Nation 2021: children and young people’s wellbeing report
This week at school we have worked hard to empower children to support their own mental health. Each class has taken part in a daily RSHE session and we plan to follow this up for the rest of half term with a short act of daily ‘Fun’ to help us all blossom.
Year R loved looking for pictures in the clouds
Year 1 made ‘Beautiful Balloons’ to celebrate those who care for us and love us as the unique and special people we are
Year 2 darkened the room to take part in a whole class meditation, laying down and focussing on the breath.
Year 3 Enjoyed mindful colouring in positive, uplifting quotes as they listened to calming music
Year 4 completed kindness jar sheets with lovely messages for one another
Year 5 made Kindness friendship stars with positive messages
Year 6 have been looking at how emotions are expressed in modern art
I hope the children may enjoy following up on some of these at home this weekend and that you may enjoy some mindful relaxation at some point too! There is some really useful information about resilience on the website, and Mrs Patey, our ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant), has put together some activities you could do at home with to help support resilience. You can find out all about it here.
I would encourage all parents (plus interested friends and family members!) to get booking NOW for the fantastic PTFA Quiz on Friday 4th March. It is always a big hit and tickets sell out fast, so don’t leave it too late! Also, please have a good read below and see if your family might be able to support the next step plans for the ECO council. This is not a ban but an aim to reduce our plastic waste and something which the children feel passionately about.
Mrs Katy Pinchess, Headteacher
Thank you …
… to the Barker family for the great books for the library
…to Year 6 for their super volunteering whilst Mr Lucas was out! Also to Mrs Drew for the joy (!) of toilet flood mopping, to Mrs Tessendorf for toilet roll hunting, Mr Goddard for extra window opening and plumbing/fixing duties too, plus Mrs Miffling, Mr Goddard and Mrs Drew for additional unlocking and morning building checks. It was all MUCH appreciated and we are all delighted to welcome Mr Lucas back to school again!
Clubs next week
Due to Parent’s Evening calls, there are no teacher-led clubs running from 14th to 18th February. Boppin, Judo, Gymnastics, CMSports and YoChi will run as usual.
You should by now have received your child’s Spring Term ‘Short Report’ which has been sent home today in your child’s book bag – you’ll need to have this to hand ready for parent's evening telephone calls next week.
Please ensure you have returned the Parent Feedback form ready for your phone call, if you wish to. These are useful for teachers to use your short time wisely so we can be ready to answer any questions or to celebrate successes you have noticed too – you can complete one electronically by clicking here. Teachers will have a tight turnaround for their phone calls and completing the feedback form will help us to answer your questions.
Please note your call may be a few minutes late and may come from a withheld number.
Eco-Council – Plastic Free Schools Award
To complete our Plastic Free Schools Award, we now need to eliminate at least 3 single-use plastic items from our school. Following a whole school vote, we are starting with cling film. Currently at Bentley School about 30 children use cling film in their lunchboxes. This number is very small. However, when this number is multiplied by the number of days we are at school, this number is more dramatic – 5700 pieces of single-use plastic which we would love to reduce!
Ideally, we would really love to completely get rid of cling film but we understand that this may not be possible for all families. Cling film is cheap and very useful! To help, we have made a list of alternatives to cling film in lunchboxes: · Beeswax Wrap (shop bought or home-made - click here for instructions
- Aluminium Foil (this can be reused and recycled)
- Go naked and put sandwiches straight inside a fabric bag or box – you could even reuse a margarine tub or similar
- Greaseproof paper (this can be reused and composted)
- Paper bag (can be composted or recycled)
Thank you for your help.
Eva, Nic and Luke – Year 6 Eco-Council Leaders
Children’s Mental Health and Internet Safety Week
With these two important issues in mind, we mentioned in Collective Worship this morning the importance of being kind to each other when using technology to communicate.
We should always imagine that we are talking face to face when using technology such as messaging, e-mail and on-line platforms – whatever we type, we should be happy to say directly to the other person.
As well as all the other rules we follow when we are on-line, let’s remember to be kind to each other…
You can find lots of other top tips on our website by clicking here.
We will be celebrating our love of reading on 8th March for World Book Day, and our love of dressing up! Children may come into school dressed as a character from their favourite book. We encourage you to use your imagination and use items you already own to create your outfit – no need to spend lots of money on a shop bought one! All the staff will be getting involved, and we can’t wait to see everyone dressed up! Don’t forget to bring your favourite book into school (named, of course!) to share.
I am Emily and have been a governor since 2021. I am Mum to Edie in Year 1 and Dotty who I hope will soon be joining Year R.
My background is in Recruitment and HR having worked in Financial and Professional Services. I sit on the personnel committee as a governor so this prior experience is very helpful. I am currently trying to change careers and have recently started studying to become a midwife.
Being a Governor has given me a great insight into what it takes to run a school. It has been really interesting to see everything that goes on behind the scenes to make Bentley the fantastic school that it is. So far I have been involved in recruiting new staff, liaising with the Parish Council, promoting inclusivity within school and safeguarding; so a broad range of things which has been very interesting.
No matter what your background there will always be something you can offer to the school, so I very much recommend getting involved.
Quiz Night returns!
Quiz Night has always been a favourite event – and a great fundraiser for the PTFA. This year, all the money raised will go towards new laptops for the children to use in class.
Amongst the quiz rounds, there will be delicious fish and chips served, a game of heads and tails, as well as the fun and competitive quiz hosted by Mr Goddard and, of course, a well stocked bar, offering sparkling wine, beer, wine and soft drinks!
There will also be a pudding auction - each quiz team is asked to bring along a pudding which will be sold off to the highest bidder after supper.
Tickets are £12.50 per person and each team may have a maximum of eight participants.
The amazing Bentley Staff have put together the quiz fun and will be running the bar.
All you need to do is put together a team, book your places, and turn up with your pudding for the auction and your brain in gear!