A number of times each week, I receive a communication from Katie Fitzsimmons who is the Director of Education for the Diocese of Truro. The Diocese are highly involved and instrumental in the work that we do at school and I take great comfort from the words that Katie often shares in amongst the messages that we need to hear as leaders.
Today she reminded us that 365 days ago she wrote to us to say, 'know that you are not alone and you are loved'. Those words helped me then and they helped me even more today as we stopped with the children to pause and think about all that has happened in the last year. Katie went on to remind us that although we are changed and challenged by all that we have faced, we are not alone and we are certainly loved.
As a school and as a community of parents facing the challenge of remote, home learning and two closures of the school that we never thought we would see in our lifetimes, we mustn't collectively forget all that we have achieved despite the loss and changes of lifestyle that we have faced in the last year. The children have been amazing! It hasn't all been plain sailing coming back to school, even for those who were able to attend Looe Primary, but I am so proud how the fun, laughter, learning and prayer have once gain filled the school and made it whole again.
I do not often reflect in such a deep manner in my blogs, but with the support of Katie's words and the minute of silence that we shared at midday today, I do feel that it is right to appreciate all that we have come to be and that we have achieved despite the pandemic. We are moving towards Easter, with Passiontide and Holy Week and this is such a special time in school. I was sent to buy hot cross buns today, children have been making chocolate bars as part of their 'big question', 'do chocolate bars grow on trees?', and we are beginning to reflect on the true meaning of this special time of the Christian calendar.
As well as the national prayer for today that I share with you in the image above, I will also share Katie's special prayer too.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end: They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Every day is busy day at school packed full of things in which we can rejoice. In amongst all of this, there is sustenance, calm and rest in prayer… We send our love to you all on this National Day of Reflection.
We so pleased with the way that the children have settled back into school and their learning. It is a shame that we are still not back to normal, but we are so used to working in our bubbles, it feels a little like we have always been doing it and we still get to see each other every day.
We are looking forward to celebrating all that is good about Comic Relief and it gives us a perfect opportunity to have some fun on a Friday!
As well as dressing up as a superhero, or non-uniform, we might also attempt to climb either Ben Nevis or Mount Everest! I hope that you will get to see some of them here.
My favourite part? I get to hear lots of jokes and I might even be able to tell a few of my own. We are all looking forward to the competition winners.
We have also been spending time this week and next learning about the National Census which takes place on Sunday 21st March. Parents and carers will have received an email with a letter and activities attached if you would like to have some fun at home.
I will leave you with a joke provided by Mr Arnold who was the best (or the worst) at telling jokes. When he left Looe Primary, Mr Arnold gave us with a joke book of his own. This is my favourite: What's the best cheese to use to hide a horse? ... Mascarpone!
Although a very small number of children had been into school last week with Miss Pittas and Mrs Cunliffe, it was a very special day to be able to open the school properly again yesterday to all children. Last week I sat in Mrs David's class for a short time reflecting on all that had happened since we were told that schools would be closed again. I was so excited to know that the classroom would soon be back to life, but in that moment it was also sad to know that we had all missed out on so much. Getting my positivity back, I then reflected that the children will have had many wonderful experiences at the same time, from helping with lambing at home to horse riding, to simply being given permission to spend more time at home. When they walked through the door yesterday, it was like they had never been away. There was cooked breakfast for Cardinham class and Kilminorth class started their new 'big question' to find out if chocolate bars grow on tress. Of course that meant chocolate galore and a good helping of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - a childhood favourite of my own. Thank you so much to parents for helping your children to return to school with enthusiasm and excitement; it meant a great deal that they were keen to return and to see each other in 'real life'.
While the school was closed we were very lucky to receive two fantastic gifts from generous donations. Mr Armand Toms, who is a governor as well as a very special person in our community, used his time to make a special bench for the school. It now proudly sits in the main playground and the children have been making good use of it already. With it's motto of 'one friend can change your whole life' we know that it is going to help to continue the tradition of friendship and support that we value so much at school.
The other photos that you can see are 12 brand new iPads in very strong cases to share throughout the school. We were contacted by Morval Parish Council and a former pupil of the school, James Southwell, to say that they would like to help the school to make better technology available to help the children with their learning at this difficult time. The Parish Council provided 10 new devices and Mr Southwell and his family a further 2 more. Mr Southwell's mother, Nicola also used to work at the school and served for a long time as a governor. Although James now lives in Essex, he knew that he wanted to help Trenode as soon as he heard that schools were struggling for equipment during the lockdown and school closures. We didn't quite know what to say - thank you did not seem quite enough. Now that the children are back in school they are available for the use of all. Our current stock of tablets are really on their last legs, so these have couldn't have come at a better time and we will make very good use of them as we now work hard to make sure that all of the children are at least where they should be with their learning by the end of the summer term. We are blessed and thankful.
World Book day is always one of the biggest and one of our most favourite days of the school calendar; who doesn't like dressing up to read? We will celebrate it differently on the day this year, but it will be such a shame that we cannot all be together to enjoy the wonderful world of books. It is so frustrating too that 4th March is so close to all children returning to the classroom. We will not let that stop us though!
We have invested in new reading books at Trenode Primary while most of the children have been away and as well as the amazing reading that children have been doing at home, we are very much looking forward to a key focus on reading as the children return to school. It is such an important skill and it opens an amazing word for readers to explore, that it cannot be ignored. As the world and our capacity to explore it in real life has reduced over the last year, the world that we can see through books has been more important than ever, including fiction and non-fiction, fact and imaginative writing. We know that some children will return to school as much better readers than when they left for remote learning at home, but this will not be the case for all children for so many reasons.
Today, I had the pleasurable task of reading a story to the 5 children in Miss Pittas' classroom. We read about 'Norbert' the penguin. The book took us not only to Antarctica (and they knew where it was), but it also took us to New York! Who knew a penguin could be an amazing actor but never forget his family at the other end of the world at the same time? Without that book, we would never have discussed why we don't fall off the bottom when we are at the bottom of the Earth! This is why we will not forget World Book Day this year, despite the fact that we cannot all be together. We are looking forward to sharing all that we do in our pyjamas for those at school either at Trenode, or at Looe Primary and we hope that you will share all that you get up to at home too.
Look out for all of the wonderful online opportunities that will be available nationally throughout the day and don't forget to download your World Book day vouchers. Happy reading everyone!
We never thought that we would end up at home yet again and
for so long when we came back to school in September. Even for those
children attending Looe Primary currently, it has been very different with no
more than 10 children in each bubble. In this last week, we have been
talking about our feelings and how we manage them, especially when we cannot
easily get to meet our friends, other than online. It doesn't matter
whether you are at home, or at school. Children's Mental Health Week and
the Safer Internet Day run one week after the next this year and we felt that
the two subjects complimented each other very well this year. So we are
celebrating both, and hope that all parents and children at home will join in
Remote learning is great - if you get it right. Teachers, Teaching Assistants and staff at school have been talking about how normally we ask you to keep your online life to small amounts and certainly not all day. Then all of a sudden we are asking you to do exactly that! Parents have also been telling us that it is hard at home too, to keep going, and home is certainly not school!
So, to extend Children's Mental Health Week into Safer Internet Week (well it's a day normally, but we keep it going for the week), we are going to ask you to do something different. We would like you all to come online on Wednesday 10th February as normal, or as directed by your teacher and then after a short assembly, we are asking you to turn your technology device off to go and enjoy a day offline - yes a whole day! We will provide some ideas in case you need any, but all we ask is that you send some pictures and perhaps a few words to show us what you got up to. Outdoors will be a great place to be if the weather is kind. What a better thing could you do to take a break from all that time online to have fun and take a mental break from your normal routine. We will then collect all that we receive together to create a display in school, so that you can find out what everyone did when everyone returns to school.
Mrs David and Miss Pittas will still be available throughout the day, but it's over to you. Have fun everyone and remember to stay safe when you are online. We can't wait to see what you all get up to! Remember too, my favourite word - kindness. Being kind to someone can be really help your positive mental health and it is just as good for the person receiving your kindness. Kindness is important online too and we will think about this during the week.
"Love you neighbour as yourself" Mark 12: 29-31. Courageous advocacy is hard to help the children to understand but we have been helping the children to recognise that life is full of ups and downs and this part has not been difficult given our current circumstances as we travel our way through a global pandemic. However it is harder for some than for others and we have been talking about how people will face challenges that they will need help and support to overcome. As Trenode Primary aims to be Deeply Christian and Serve the Common Good, we help the children to develop a love of serving their community. One of the ways that we can do this is through our charitable work. It is not just about giving money and having some fun as a thank you; it is about understanding the impact of the donations for others. With £51.50 raised for Children in Need and a similar amount for Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Save the Children, we continue to be proud of all of the work that the children are involved in to develop their understanding of courageous advocacy. Hopefully, they will go on to Serve the Common Good in ways of their own and with full understanding of the love, care and community spirit that this brings. Well done everyone!
We recently said goodbye to Miss Ann Chudleigh and it was a very sad day to see her go. Many of those parents who attended Trenode Primary will remember her themselves because Miss Chudleigh has worked in one role or another at the school for 28 years.
She began her career at the School as a cleaner and then became a very valued governor before eventually taking on the role of lunchtime supervisor. Her commitment to the School cannot be questioned and it will be a very different pace without Miss Chudleigh here every day.
We held a celebration worship to wish Miss Chudleigh good luck for the future and she told us some very interesting stories and some things about the history of the School and its life as a church prior to that. The children were fascinated and we were able to sing songs and pray with her.
Miss Chudleigh also presented the school with two beautiful wooden plaques, one for each classroom; they will go up soon and we hope to be able to invite you in to the classroom at some point soon to view them in place. In our worship, we also began our celebration of good work, learning and kindness by presenting our first Headteacher's awards. These are given each week to a child from each class and the first 2 certificates were given to Roman and Lexi for their great attitude to work. All is well at Trenode Primary; the children are working hard and we are enjoying being back together. It was goodbye to Miss Chudleigh but hopefully we see her again.
It was such a pleasure this morning to welcome all pupils and parents back to school; the first time since lockdown began in March. The pupils have settled back in remarkably well and are slowly getting used to the new routines and slight changes to their school days. As I hinted, we found a surprise in school when we returned; there is a 'sneaky peak' of the new arrival in the photo. We have obviously had some very talented visitors to our school while it has been closed! More will be revealed as the week goes on, but parents, you may wish to ask all about it when your children come home.
Throughout this week in particular, our emphasis will be on getting used to being back together, on learning how to look after each other in our 'bubbles' and having lots of fun while we get used to writing and settling down to good learning. If your child comes home with concerns and worries, please do contact us, as what may be a big worry for them, may be very easily solved in school by us.
Despite the fact that we are missing Miss Pittas dreadfully with her broken ankle, we are delighted to welcome Mrs Askew and Mrs Cunliffe; we hope that Kilminorth parents will have met them both by the end of the week.
Here's to a great new start to the term everyone and thank you for your amazing support.
Dear Parents and Carers,
We are sure that, like us, you have lots of questions following the Prime Minister's announcement last night.
At the moment, for us in school, there is no change to the guidance, so we will be continuing to operate as we have over the last few weeks. We will continue to provide essential child care for key worker families as well as vulnerable children.
The message remains that it is safer to stay at home.
We appreciate this is a confusing time. Once we have received further information and reviewed the guidance on how to manage a safe, phased return we will of course keep you informed.
Please stay safe and take care.
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