Head Teacher's Blog
Time to Celebrate: September 2020
As our first two weeks back at school draw to a close, I feel it is time to celebrate the achievements of our school and the community. The pupils and parents have returned to school with confidence and positivity, and it has been a delight to welcome them back. We recognise that we have a challenging term ahead but we need to celebrate each step we take.
We have invested in a range of new resources and play areas for the outdoors.
Our new shelter, Gwâl, is purpose built for our school. It is an open ended shelter which can be utilised as an outdoor classroom, den, reading area, stage and whatever the children's imagination decides.
Our Nursery and Reception pupils now have access to outdoors continually and we have purchased individual wetsuits for each child to facilitate play in all weathers. This gives us reason to celebrate.
Our School Building
Over the past two weeks we have welcomed pupils back to school on a staggered basis. It has allowed us to introduce the new Covid-19 protocols and review our arrangements to ensure the safety of pupils, staff and parents. Videos and messages were shared with parents prior to their return and we're pleased with how it has gone so far. We are fortunate to have four gate entry points and the staggered start times have meant less traffic congestion in the area.
Our classes have also had a make over. We've had to think creatively about ways to provide safe spaces for children and adults, minimising furniture and decluttering.
During the summer holidays we also completed works on our toilets and hand washing facilities. We now have an additional sink area in the junior corridor and our girls' toilets have been refurbished and look fantastic.
The staggered start has also enabled us to assess pupils' wellbeing and identify children who would benefit from our wellbeing programmes. This year we have employed an additional teacher to facilitate wellbeing in the school. Miss. Jones will work alongside our teaching assistants to support pupils through Thrive, Elsa, Roots to Empathy and wellbeing sessions, both indoors and outdoors.
We have completed work on the Elsa room which is now a welcoming environment for pupils. As the term progresses, parents will receive further information on how we can work with individual children to develop their confidence and help them to understand their emotions.
Catch Up Groups
In addition to our wellbeing focus we are aware that many of our children have not attended school since March. Early assessments indicate that some pupils may benefit from extra support 'catching-up'. Our motto is 'Unlocking Excellence' and we believe no child should be left behind.
In addition to our normal catch up programmes in school time, we have dedicated our after school provision to catch up groups this term. Children will work in small groups with their responsible adult, playing games and facilitating learning opportunities. We hope that parents who are contacted will take up this opportunity to support their child.
We Can Do It! project
We also wanted to celebrate the launch of our great new project, 'We Can Do It!'. The project focuses on children developing life skills through a series of STEM challenges at home and in school. Children will earn badges for each life skill they acquire. Parents will receive a half termly overview next week outlining the essential skills for pupils to develop over the forthcoming weeks. We hope families get inspired and join in as much as possible at home.
Our launch day tomorrow will be spent outdoors; children will receive their first challenge inspired by the 'Gwâl'. Keep an eye on ClassDojo or Twitter to see photographs and find out more.
Meet the Teacher
Our class teachers have been busy preparing 'Meet the Teacher' videos in lieu of our normal September meetings. The videos will be posted on ClassDojo next week and on our website. They will share our year group expectations and ways you can help at home as well as normal routines and timetables. We hope you find them beneficial.
Finally, can I extend my thanks to all at Team Waunfawr for ensuring the two weeks have run smoothly. It has been a pleasure to hear the pupils laugh, whoop and cheer for joy out on the school yard.
This term will be challenging; we will need to adapt and change on a weekly basis but it is important to us that each child does not miss out on the gift of education and we are proud to deliver it.
WELCOME BACK #TEAMWAUNFAWR
6th September 2019
A warm welcome to pupils, parents and staff joining our team this September - it's great to have you on board. For former pupils and families, welcome back, we've missed your smiles and news over the summer holidays.
Our new website is being developed and we are keen to engage parents and pupils in using the website as a means to support learning at home. Over the term our pupils will work alongside teachers to create links to the best learning tools that they can access at home online e.g. websites or apps that help with their learning.The new calendar feature enables you to download the school calendar to your phone so that no important date is missed! Don't forget ClassDojo is used by all classes to keep you up to date with class news.
We've had a great start to the term, during our Inset days the staff and governors began redesigning our mission and vision statement as part of our journey toward curriculum reform.
As our curriculum changes, our vision for the future of Waunfawr school also needs to change. In Spring term all parents, staff and governors were invited to respond to a survey about our school and what values and principles they felt were most important.
We used the responses to shape our new vision statement, ensuring that we were building on what everyone wants our school to achieve.
Our revised vision statement for Waunfawr 2019
- We shine in our school as happy and confident individuals.
- We lay the foundations for our community to succeed locally and globally.
- We challenge ourselves and learn from one another's experiences as we journey towards and shape our futures.
- We strive as a team to motivate the future dream makers of Waunfawr.
Over the next few weeks we will be working with the pupils to create our school aims to achieve our vision. I look forward to sharing their ideas with you soon.