As I write this, school has been fully open since the start of this academic year which, after lockdown followed by the summer holidays is great- a long time coming!
Understandably, prior to the new school year starting, there was a lot of concern about the impact of the lockdown on children- progress in their learning and in relation to their mental health. I can honestly say, the children have been fantastic! They have adjusted well to the new arrangements in school around handwashing, where they can play/ where they can’t, staggered lunchtimes etc etc and in many ways, although classroom organisation of tables, pens, pencils etc is a little different, there is much more that is the same as it’s always been. Afterall, they are the same children and learning is learning.
I have to say a huge thank you to our parents who have generally taken a very reasonable and understanding stance as we try to make things work- such as which children will use which gates, where to meet your child at the end of the day so that people are socially distanced. It hasn’t been easy to ‘get things right’ but parents’ understanding has made it less stressful than it might have been.
We welcome 4 new members of staff this year. Ms Clough has joined us as our specialist music teacher which is such a joy. For some time now we have been working to improve our music provision and so having Ms Clough as a permanent member of the team will make such a difference; I know that she and Ms Taylor, who teaches piano, singing and woodwind to individuals, will no doubt be planning some type of musical celebration for later in the year! Ms Newman joins us as a class teacher in lower key stage 2 and she’s fitted in so well, that already her other team members feel as though she’s been here longer than she actually has. The same can be said of Ms Blythe who has joined as a reception class teacher; what is so lovely is that Ms Blythe, an experienced early years teacher, had heard through the Local Authority, about Ms Hopkins’ exceptional practice as an early years leader and the outstanding reception provision here at Millfield and she really wanted to work here and be part of that. Ms Sampson has joined us as our new Family Support Adviser; she has considerable experience of working with families and also around developing mental resilience in children, so we are fortunate to have her.
Usually I am able to share with you some of the lovely experiences that the children have had on school trips and from having people in to visit. However currently we are not able to do this. As always, staff in school work tirelessly to provide rich and exciting learning opportunities for our children and hopefully the photos will indicate that this hasn’t changed!