5th March 2021
by Justin Chippendale
Most Friday evenings are anticipated with their sense of temporary reprieve in the air. Today, however, I’m sure there is an even greater sense of relief because for teacher-parents across the country their parole day has finally come and houses can return to being homes rather than schools!
You will have read a few times of my gratitude and appreciation of the challenges faced but here is another sincere ‘Well done and thank you’ for your remote learning support – let’s hope it is the last needed for a good long time. Whilst there are still three weeks of term left, the collective interim report for the time since January 6th certainly has plenty of 1s for effort across it!
We have had all bar a tiny handful of Year 7 and 8 children come for their first lateral flow test in the last 36 hours and all has gone smoothly. The testing team of Siobhan Keeling and Lyn Burgess (our medical sister and our boarding matron) are a welcoming and highly organised unit who have been on point every day since 5 January giving everyone a huge amount of confidence.
Teaching and support staff have all been tending to the relevant areas and so we are as ready here as we can be for the return on Monday. We’re really looking forward to the energy and enthusiasm generated by having us all together here on site. Enjoy your weekend, sort out those last preparations for the school run and, for those who then head back home, you can start imagining the relative peace and quiet!
This Week in Pre-Prep...
by Claire Luckhurst
I am hoping that by the time you read this newsletter you will have joyfully switched off the ‘remote learning’ screen and are now wallowing in the blissful knowledge you do not have to switch it on again on Monday.Please click here to read the rest of this week's Pelican News
Here are some of this week's brainteasers for you to try at home ...
“What do Polar Bears never eat?”
- Seals, Walruses, Penguins or Narwhals?
“Where did the Wombles live?”
- Hambledon Common, Wimbledon Common, Epsom Downs or The New Forest?
“In French, what is the word for a shirt? ”
“Last Saturday, Wales played England in rugby. What country did the referee come from?”
- Australia, Romania, Scotland or France
“Who is the patron saint of Wales?”
- St Andrew, St David, St Joan or St George
“In the nursery rhyme, why did Old Mother Hubbard go to the cupboard? ”
Forget the usual scramble to locate items for fancy dress on World Book Day this year! Or the dash to the craft store to gather masses of materials to recreate book characters out of potatoes or wooden spoons. Instead, our very creative librarian Mrs Lowery decided to utilise technology – given we are all working remotely – and asked for staff to volunteer to be mystery readers. Staff were given the brief of filming themselves reading an extract from a favourite children's book, using a choice of all manner of weird and wonderful filters and online tools to 'mask' their identities.
We hope you all enjoy guessing who is who!
MY SCHOOL PORTAL (MSP)
One dashboard for instant and easy access to lots of information ...
When you next log in you will see a Parent Directory link within the School Information section. If you have previously completed a Social Contact Details form your details should appear in the relevant list. If you click on edit details you will be able to either edit which of your details appear in the directory (just phone numbers and email addresses please) or opt out. Only those parents who ‘opt in’ will be able to see the Directory. If both parents would like their contact details included they will both need to ‘opt in’.
A reminder that amongst other things, you will also be able to access the school diary (future term dates, latest events & sports fixtures), handbooks, Prep children’s timetables, a list of all school emails sent to you, hobbies lists and teachers’ email addresses; you will also be able to make requests to the Headmaster for any term-time absences (although these are not encouraged, of course!), report any absences and make bookings for all school events (trips, plays, concerts etc). Interim and end of term reports will also be available via the portal.
Each parent has their own portal page and if you go to My Account (top right of the portal homepage) and click on the Sharing tab (within the Personal Details section) you can request to see any ‘bookings’ another member of your family has made; each of you will then receive an email alerting you to this and you can then either accept or reject the request. This will enable both parents to see all pupil bookings (trips, hobbies etc).
Our school shop will re-open on Monday 8th March
Our school shop is situated next to our Astro pitch and is signposted from the main car park. The shop is open every Monday and Wednesday (2.30pm - 5.00pm) during term time. Existing parents do not need to make appointments during these opening times; however, parents of new pupils should make an appointment before attending the shop.
We ask that visitors to the shop wear face coverings and sign in using the NHS track and trace app.
This term in computing ...
Barefoot Computing challenges have included ...
I cannot wait to get back into the ICT room where to end the term Year 3 will be looking at Animation, Year 4 will be doing some photo editing, Year 5 will be video editing, Year 6 will be looking at spreadsheets, 8S will be using prezzi to showcase their projects and 8K & 8H will be looking at some online revision websites.
See you next week!
A Few Words from...Kate Barker
This term's Deputy Head Girl
I hope you are all well and safe.
Last weekend was full of sunshine and I was able to get out of the house and go for a lovely walk with my family. I also hope that all of you got to enjoy the sunshine. I did some gardening with my mum and went on the trampoline with my brother. The sunshine felt like a break from the cold of Winter. Now that it is Spring, I hope the weather will get warmer and we will able to go outside more and enjoy the sun. I am looking forward to seeing new-born lambs and flowers.
Well done to all the pupils in Year 8 who took part in the scholarships last week. I was one of those people and it was a challenging process that I will remember. I really encourage others to apply for the scholarships in Year 6 and 8 because it is an enjoyable experience.
I am looking forward to going back to school after all the online learning we have done. I am excited to see my friends and be in the same room with my classmates.
I hope you have a good weekend and see you on the 8th of March.
You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think…
Mrs Tracy Durrant
This has always been one of my favourite quotes from Winnie The Pooh, and has come in very handy at some very important times of my family’s life, encouraging us when things seemed a little tricky.
I’m sure Pooh’s wise words have a message for us all!
Who do you think teaches from a desk like this?
Said in the voice of Loyd Grossman for those of us old enough to remember him or Leigh Francis - aka Keith Lemon - for the younger readers!
Our Creative Curriculum includes Art, DT, Music and Drama. Each week fun activities are posted which enable children to be away from their screens!
In Art ...
This week Years 5 and 6 have been doing symmetrical drawing.
by Snoops the Dog
So here we go, my last diary entry from lockdown and let’s hope it’s the last one ever from a lockdown.
It’s Friday and this is certainly a weekend to celebrate as I will be welcoming back the boarders on Sunday and seeing the rest of you on Monday.
I’ve been told that humans sometimes suffer from achy cheeks when they smile too much, well in much the same way, I suffer from an achy tail when it wags too much, and I know that’s going to be the case on Monday.
In preparation for your return I’m going to have a bubbly bath, a thorough groom and a teeth brush. (Yes, you heard right, a teeth brush) I want to be looking my best and I don’t like it when I give you my warmest hugs, cuddles and licks and you call me dog breath!
You all know how much I love a good old run around on the front field, and in particular, a fun game of football. In preparation for our return to outdoor fun I’ve been doing my warm up exercises. Just take a look at my photo, I’ll think you’ll agree that I’m in fine shape.
See you all soon, I’m on countdown.
What a busy week it has been!
It is crucial that we keep spirits high over this difficult period. Physical and mental health are so important, so look out for tweets which will give you all some ideas. Keep exercising, keep eating well and look after each other.
Our Sports Camps are Back!
We're delighted to see the return of our popular sports camps over the Easter holidays.
Booking can be made using the online form via the button below.
All bookings will be done on a first-come, first-served basis.
Session capacity will vary, so book early to avoid disappointment.Book here
Youth Environment Summit Somerset (YESS)
Thanks to the rising profile of young conservation and environmental role models in popular media over the last couple years, the number of young people across the country that are increasingly concerned about the state of our natural environment and the world that they will inherit is growing.
Thanks to funding from the #iWill Fund, and in collaboration with the Youth Parliament Somerset and a Focus on Nature, Somerset Wildlife Trust are excited to be able to introduce a new conference - Youth Environment Summit Somerset (YESS) - that looks to explore exactly those issues and more, bringing young people (aged 11-18) from across the county to discuss how they feel and how they can best be supported and inspired to develop their own ideas for actions.
The conference will comprise a number of engaging talks from guest speakers from the conservation and environmental sectors in the morning and then, after a break for lunch and networking, there will be a choice of interactive workshop sessions to select from, followed by a round up and Q&A session to discuss next steps.
The conference is open to all young people aged 11-18 and is free to attend.Click here for more information and to book
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