Head's Blog

Global Theme Weeks- Water

Global Themed Weeks

Over the course of the next 2 years, we are planning to run several Global themed weeks in which we will develop the children’s wider understanding of the world and ensure that the content of our Global Curriculum is delivered in a cohesive and meaningful way. The themes for each week will be taken from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (https://sdgs.un.org/goals) which aim to aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for everyone by 2030. As a staff team, we have agreed that these provide an appropriate focus for our Global Weeks.

Water Week

The theme of our first Global Week, which will take place at the end of this term, will be clean water and sanitation. We have many exciting activities planned around the central question “Why is water important?”. These will include Science around the water cycle and waterproofing, Art on theme of Water and a speaker from the charity Water Aid.

A key aspect of our week will be teaching the children about how far children in poorer countries have to walk for water…an astonishing 6 kilometres! The charity World Vision are, this year, organising a ‘Walk 6K for Water Event’ which we will take part in. To launch the event, myself and a couple of members of staff from each school will run the 6 km between each school! On Monday morning I will hold an assembly at 9am Yardley to explain the week’s activities and their significance. I will then run to Denton hold the same assembly there and then run back to Yardley. The children from both schools will be able to track our progress as we run.

During the week, the children will all take part in walking 6 km. Our younger children will do this collectively, as a class, whilst the older children will walk the full amount. We will take lots of pictures to share with you!

Welcome back to school!

I really hope that you have all had a lovely summer. We are very pleased to see all of the children and welcome our new Reception children into school.

As I wrote in July, we no longer need to organise our school into bubbles or continue with staggered starts. However, I would like to reassure you that we still have many COVID measures in place and will do everything we can to ensure the continued safety of all children and staff. We have revised our full Risk Assessment which is on our Statutory Information page. We also have a written Contingency Plan should we have 5 or more cases in a group of staff or children who may have mixed closely or if there is a new variant of concern. All staff have taken lateral flow tests prior to returning to school.

As we learn more about COVID, it is clear that good ventilation is an effective measure to reduce the risk of transmission. As we have done previously, we will be ensuring adequate ventilation at all times. The government have announced that they will be sending carbon dioxide monitors to all schools in the Autumn Term to allow us to check air quality. As soon as I know more details of this, I will let you know. In the meantime, especially as the weather is cooler at the moment, please send your child in with an extra layer.

Our plans are all drafted with regard to the following government guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/schools-coronavirus-covid-19-operational-guidance

Please could I also remind you that attendance in school is now mandatory for all children and we will continue to monitor this closely. All holidays and excursions will be unauthorised and should be discouraged. Full details of our attendance policy and any sanctions are detailed in the attendance policy which is published on our website.

Here’s to a happy new school year!

Our Global Curriculum

The children have all settled back in to school brilliantly and it really does feel like our community is beginning to return to normal. Our routines and structures are certainly not what they were during pre-COVID times but we are getting there! We are very much looking forward to future ‘wider’ events such as trips, residentials and hopefully even a school fete! We are also hoping to begin some ‘bubble specific’ clubs and to reopen the library to a class a week.

Our catch up plans are now well under way and we are very grateful for your support with this. You will now have been contacted if your child needs any aspects of catch up. Please rest assured that we are keeping an eye on the academic and emotional progress of all children. We will contact you if your child needs any additional support or interventions over the next few weeks. You will all have had opportunities to discuss any concerns at recent Parents’ Evenings but if anything does arise, please let us know.Please could I also remind you about the start times for our different classes. These are as follows:
  • Sycamore and Rowan : 8.30am
  • Beech: 8.40am
  • Willow and Oak: 8.50am
  • Maple: 9.00am
There are a number of children arriving a little late, particularly for our earlier 8.30 and 8.40 starts. I do know that most of these times are earlier than previously and the recent road works have not helped. However, for all children, our learning starts straight away. Registration occurs as the children complete their first task of the day; just 5 minutes missed can make a difference! This also applies to catch up sessions happening at the beginning of the day.The start to our term has seen a re-launch of our Global Curriculum and the children are very enthusiastic about it. You may recall at the very beginning of our curriculum journey, we talked about widening children’s perspectives and equipping them with skills for lifelong learning and occupations in an interconnected world. In many of my recent assemblies, we have looked at the meaning of the word ‘global’ and how this may look in school. The children have been amazing in their responses about equality, taking responsibility for their actions, looking after our environment etc. Many aspects of this are linked to the children’s current topic learning but we would also like to encourage the children to adopt positive global attitudes in wider school life.We have been thinking long and hard about what makes a good global citizen and, more importantly, what this looks like from a child’s point of view. To complement our existing SMART values (self-confident, aspirational, motivated, resilient, team player) we have, as a school, agreed the values we would like to instil in our children in a global context. These are to:
  • Take responsibility for their actions
  • Respect and value diversity
  • Recognise that they can make a contribution to the wider community at a range of levels.
  • Be aware of the wider world and how it works
  • Understand equality and fairness.
We have designed a badge to recognise any child’s contribution to these. I have shared this with the children in my assembly this week. We will look to award these at termly special assemblies but are also encouraging the children to write to myself (in an age appropriate way) to persuade me that they deserve a global badge and why! I have already had two letters from a Year 2 and a Year 6 child today!It has been so lovely to write to you all about issues other than COVID! As usual, please come back to me if you have any questions or concerns.

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