Messages and News from John & the Team: Friday 30th September
Personal Development! And Fish!
HI there everyone, how are you all?
It’s been a very busy week here? ????
One thing I really wanted to do each week is to tell you about our priorities this year and talk about them regularly. There are three main things, and then a general one, which is attendance, and I’ll do that first. Attendance is hard for many of our students at certain times, of course, and many of you live far away from the school. We just want to a bit tighter and get as good attendance as we possibly can – it’s just common sense really, and sometimes it’s just a question of communication
In terms of our three priorities this year, we are concentrating on Reading, Personal Development, and linking all our teaching together – what we call sequencing. The sequencing thing is quite teachery, and we can talk about that any time, but we can certainly give interesting updates on Reading and Personal Development, and we will
Outdoor Learning – Garden stuff!
Herons thought that the fence outside of their window looked rather bare and so decided to do something about it! A friendly husband Tony pitched in and made us brackets which we can hang planters from, and his friend then very kindly donated the plants to fill them. We are over the moon and very grateful. Watch this space and see how ‘The Hanging Baskets of 6CHe’ continue to grow. Be nice to update the picture every week
One of our real priorities this year!
Thanks to all the responses that we’ve had so far to last weeks’ letters about reading at home. It’s really important to our teams that we work together on this and so we welcome your preferences about what works for you and your child at home. If you haven’t yet done so please send your reply slips in next week or complete online here: https://forms.gle/oeyCpvLja7yR2ZfPA
We’ve got an exciting week planned for next week, celebrating both Libraries Week and National Poetry Day. As part of Libraries Week we’re running our first Book Swap event, where students (and staff) can bring in a book from home, collect a token, and the following day exchange it for a new book! A great way to discover something new – swapping a book you don’t read, for a book which could become your new favourite! You should have received a letter about our Book Swap this week, and it would be great to have as many of you involved as possible
National Poetry Day is on Thursday 6th October, so we’ll also be focusing on sharing poetry next week too. If you have any favourite poems in your house feel free to share them with your class team!
This is also one of our priorities this year, and we’ll talk about it in the blog. It includes several topics like Personal, Social, Health Education, Careers, Wellbeing and several other things. We’ll look at them each week. It’s very important to us. Jo is leading on this
PHS School Values
It is important for our school to have a clearly defined vision of the values which will ultimately encompass our beliefs and determine what we hope to achieve. Once agreed and in place, we can then work on our school rules which will naturally align with our values. We are in the process of revisiting and redefining this, so watch this space….
PSHE Responsive Curriculum
We have now come to the end of our 2-week curriculum in response to the death of Queen Elizabeth II and have returned to our planned topic of “Self-Awareness”. If you feel like your child requires further support with this, then please let a member of the staff team know
Wellbeing Update from Louise B
This coming year the Wellbeing Team will continue to be developing resilience and wellbeing in school through Zones of Regulation and the Resilience Framework. The team is keen to develop the following things this year
- To raise the profile of resilience across the school and to celebrate it on an individual and ‘community’ basis
- To give the pupils the tools and experiences to learn how to manage their own feelings and emotions
- To provide targeted wellbeing support to those pupils who are identified as having a greater need
We will continue to have days off timetable each half term and the first of these will take place on Monday 10 October on World Mental Health Day
Each of the days will have a set focus and the purpose of these is for students to better understand the elements of the Resilience Framework (RF) and to think practically about what this means for them as individuals in daily life. These also directly support the first two objectives above and all classes have the framework on the wall which is used as a reference point periodically when staff feel they see actions and/or discussions which fit with being resilient. We are keen to get resilience “out there” in our school community and so there will be work dedicated to this during the academic year. We know through research that children whose resilience is fostered during childhood have better educational outcomes and cope better with the challenges that life brings. It is 40 years of research that has led to the development of the Resilience Framework and the work being undertaken in Brighton and Blackpool and why we are building on this. I’m always keen to have any feedback about the work and our special days so please do send feedback in your child’s home/school diary or by email
If you are interested in finding out more about supporting mental health more generally, the following link may be of interest
Lesson of the Week – Science with Doves
Here is a photo of Doves materials board they made as part of their science lesson this week. They each were given a material, then had to find items made from that material in a basket of given items. Once they had found them, they got to stick them onto the board!
Maria’s e-safety Blog!
Please do take some time to click on over to Maria’s e-safety blog – I know there are some of you who are big fans already, and there are few things more important for all of us in this day and age
October is International Cybersecurity month! KS4 and Post 16 students have taken part in an assembly this week on cybersecurity. Identifying the risks and also how they can protect themselves. They have looked at some of the threats that cause security breaches and how to stop them. Below are some useful guides to support you ………
STARS!!! of the Week!!!!!
This week the ELTBA department would like to give the Star of the Week to the wonderful Camilla in Magpies. Camilla has shown a great deal of resilience since coming back to school and is being amazing in her new class. Her whole team were super proud of her this week when she read part of the class book, Just an ordinary School Day, to the whole class. This is a great achievement for Camilla and she showed great confidence in being able to do so. Total STAR!!!
The Engagement Star this week is the fabulous Vivi from Pufflings. Vivi started school this year and has been a superSTAR, accessing all sessions with a smile on her face and making significant progress with socialising with her new class. Pufflings had the best time celebrating Vivi’s birthday earlier this week! Birthday STAR!!! Vivi!!! Great to have you in the school!
Wow, what a time they have in Pufflings!
Makaton Signs of the Week
Some weather signs this week for the changing season! Hope you give them a go!
Translations: Autumn (pull open hand down slightly and close fingers), Sun/Sunny, Wind/Windy, Cloud/Cloudy, Rain.
There are so many great Makaton resources online. These are YouTube channels
- Makaton with Lucinda (mum and daughter signing)
- Mr Tumble and Friends
Hydro Pool Update
I’m afraid the hydro pool is closed for the remainder of this week as we have no pool plant operators currently onsite, and therefore the required maintenance cannot be undertaken. We will review the situation on Monday morning. Apologies for disappointment and inconvenience. We’ll get it open when we can
Fish! Everyone’s into fish now!
Still with Herons: Our Personal Transition Award’ (OPT Award) and for part of the Volunteering section we are learning how to look after an aquarium for everyone to enjoy. We have set-up a fish tank in the school reception area and today we have added the first fish. Students went to Maidenhead Aquatics in Dobbie’s Garden Centre and chose 7 Neon Tetra fish. Next week we will add some Guppies and the following week some Mollies. Steven, the owner has very generously donated all of the fish that we will require for the aquarium
Finally: Ofsted Visit!
We had a surprise visit from Ofsted this week too! Sometimes these things are planned, and sometimes not, but thank you so much to all of you who spoke to them, or filled out the form, or even chatted at Eileen’s Coffee Morning – it was all really really helpful. It takes a while for these reports to come out of course, but I was delighted with the staff, they really were amazing, and the school had a great couple of days, talking to inspectors about all aspects of what we do. I quite enjoyed it generally to be honest. There were no problems or issues, and they liked all the things that they saw. It wasn’t a graded inspection, and all remains as is. As ever, thank you for your support. The school is a partnership between the young people, families, teams around the pupils, staff and local authorities, and needs to be to succeed. I think it is
All the very best to all of you, from all of us here
John & the Team
We’re all really looking forward to seeing you all here at our Coffee & Catch-up sessions, Consultation Afternoons, and other times too, this term. We’ll see you all soon in school hopefully for various things. Take care!