Mr Foster’s big adventure

Our fab site supervisor, Mr Foster, is an ex-firefighter. In a previous career, Steve was part of the fire service, managed stations and was responsible for implementing some really important initiatives in the service. As a proud ex-firefighter he helps to organise fundraising events. Each year he and a group of ex-fire service colleagues cycle for a VERY long way-raising money for the Firefighter’s charity. Here, he explains the adventure he is about to embark upon…….

“During the first week in September I’ll be joining 14 of my ex-fire service colleagues and cycling over 500 miles along the Western Front from the Swiss/French border at Pfetterhouse to the Belgian coast at Nieuwpoort. The ride will be completed over 7 days averaging over 70 miles per day in aid of the Firefighters Charity. Our first and last day of cycling will be Sunday 4th September and Saturday 10thSeptember.

The Firefighters Charity has struggled over the last few pandemic years due to the lack of events, open days, etcwhere it normally raises vital funds to support Firefighters injured in the line of duty. The Firefighters Charity alsogreatly assisted me after I had an accident a few years back.

This will be the fourth time that I have completed this event and will possibly be my last (as I’m not getting any younger) and I know from experience that it is not going to be easy.

The trip is solely funded by those taking part and therefore any monies raised will go direct to the charity and will not be used to fund any part of the event.

There is a Facebook Group dedicated to the event which contains lots of information about the cyclists, the route, the history, and the ride destinations, and will run as a live blog type reel during the event. It will be opened up to the friends, relatives and interested parties to join and view approximately 2 weeks before the ride commences. Due to the new Facebook privacy rules, people will have to request to join and be approved by admin before they can observe content as it is not presently a public group. The Facebook Group address is

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1232482143618066

Finally, the Teams Just Giving site is now open to anyone that would like to donate to the cause. It is a team page, and if you do choose to donate, I would be grateful if you can mention my name in the comments section, so that I can appreciate your individual support. The page address is

Finally, the Teams Just Giving site is now open to anyone that would like to donate to the cause. It is a team page, and if you do choose to donate, I would be grateful if you can mention my name in the comments section, so that I can appreciate your individual support. The page address is

https://www.justgiving.com/team/BFRSWesternFront2022?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=team&utm_content=BFRSWesternFront2022&utm_campaign=pfp-share&utm_term=a78935a69fb448f7b0a408be939eacb0&fbclid=IwAR0C6vG4w87TwWurTznMlYVXSWfnLxa-nwZZBFM7KVazso3gVmyis0G-mx4

Finally, I’ll be sending constant updates to Mr Currell so that he can circulate and keep everybody updated on my progress (or lack of it).

Kindest Regards, Steve Foster, Site Supervisor, Roade Primary School”

What a legend! Please get in touch if you’d like to hear more about Mr Foster’s adventure and I’m sure he’d love to chat through his cycling tour…!

Uniform and Appearance

We are very proud of our smart appearance throughout the school. We have a really smart uniform-easy to purchase locally and flexible for everyone.

Recently, we have noticed that some uniform is not as we would like it to be-it is coming to the end of the year, our children have grown and so here is a letter as reminder for all parents so that as you are purchasing new uniform or thinking about PE kits etc you have the gospel so that you can share this with your pupils.

Our school uniform

High standards of uniform and personal appearance are an important aspect of Roade Primary School. We expect our students to wear full school uniform at all times in school and on the way to and home from school. We welcome your co-operation on this matter and expect students to take pride in their appearance.  

One of the pieces of feedback from parents is that a school uniform keeps the cost for a family down. Please keep to/use the items on our guidance and lists and do not buy expensive fashion items that we ask will not be worn from September.

A reminder also that students should not bring valuables to school as there is no secure place for them to store such items. 

Our uniform has not changed. There is a new page on the website that explains everything and shows images of what our uniform looks like. We pride ourselves on our smart uniform and it is purposely easily accessible for all families.

There have been some trainers and large boots slipping into everyday wear-if buying shoes for your children for septmeber-please pick from our guidnace lists. Thank you!

Smart school uniform can be purchased from all major supermarkets and need not cost a fortune. We ask that the blue sweatshirt/cardigan carries the school logo-but other items can be generic school uniform-including footwear.

PE kits

This is where the biggest recent changes have been seen.

Our uniform is really simple-as you can see above a simple blue cotton t-shirt (no football, rugby, or team shirts) blue shorts or track-suit bottoms and sensible tracksuit tops/school sweatshirt for outdoors.

The PE kits that some of our children are wearing are becoming too much of a fashion parade and some of the kit that children are coming to school in are not appropriate, far too expensive and not in our school uniform guidance. The coaches have picked up on kit not being appropriate and some parents have got in touch with me regarding the pressure that families are under to have awkward conversations at home-with children pressuring for more and elaborate kit. This simply is not needed. From September we will be much tighter on all uniform and this includes our PE kits on those days that your children do PE.

I hope that by the school showing families that we are after a simple uniform-both for PE and for general school uniform that you can have these conversations with your children at home. It is not you being nasty about the kit that they wear-it is the school insisting on smart, simple, breathable kit. 

So, when buying kit for your children for next year please stick to simple, breathable and inexpensive kit-please, not loud leggings, lively tops, expensive trainers, expensive-latest sports team’s kits.

The Friends, FORPS will be hosing some opportunities for families to look through some pre-loved items and maybe restock the uniform for September at just a tiny donation to the school. You may have some unwanted/outgrown items at home? I am sure that this will provide an opportunity for families to find a few items for the new academic year.

Thanks for your help with this. It may seem boring, but these principals are in place to make sure that children are in the right kit for the activities and that it is affordable for all-avoiding competition to be expensive or loudest. Of course, outside of school-children can wear what they want and can express their individuality however they wish and show their affiliation to whatever team they are following-in school we are our own team and our team strip is simply our smart uniform. We are proud and wear our badge with pride. 

Thanks again

Proud


12th May 2022Dear Parents and year 6 students.

Today was the last of the SATs assessments. Over the last four days we have sat a grammar, punctuation and spelling paper, a reading paper, two maths reasoning papers and one maths arithmetic paper.

Each day, we’ve had breakfast together and had a quick chat before each paper and then we’ve gone for it!

My blog is to say how proud we are of all our year 6 students.

There were some tough questions. It was not easy. Some completed more than others. Some found it harder than others. BUT the one thing that every child in our year 6 class did was do their very best. They fronted up to the task and they did not back down. They worked as hard as they could and did what they were capable of. Each child took on this week with determination and resilience and smiled-though it was not easy! It takes character and something special to do what they did this week.

This was the year that SATs came back after two years of disrupted learning. No, they were not easier-there was no concessions given this year for those children-it was challenging and draining, but they rode through it and shone-in each test and on each day.

Your children did this. They faced up to challenges and tasks and were not daunted. If they can take one thing from this experience-let it be that they should not fear anything. If they face any of life’s tests with the same determination and resilience and take on tasks with the passion they did this week-my goodness they are going to become wonderful individuals and adults we can all be proud of in the future. They have their moral compass set right. They know when and how to work hard and my word they performed this week.

So, thank you year 6, thank you all the staff, especially Mr Watson, Miss Tibbles and Mrs Ramskill. Thank you to the staff who cooked breakfast, supported and invigilated this week and thank you year 6 parents-you have some exceptional children and I hope you are as proud as we are.

Year 6, SATs are not the most important thing. They do not test the skills you possess, or your kindness. They don’t test talents such as dance, arts, sports, drama, or musicianship. They don’t test how you develop relationships, how you make others feel. They are soon to be forgotten about and moved on from, but take this incredible, positive attitude, the drive and determination with you and use it forever.

The papers are all now on their way to be marked and whatever the results, you could have done no more-you smashed it and we are so proud of you. Well done year 6. You deserve your day tomorrow and so much more. Thank you.

See you at the gate

Mark Currell

Head teacher

TRUST Staff Training Day

This was the second of our Roade Primary School teacher training days at Courteenhall. There are many reasons why the strong relationship between The Courteenhall Estate and our school are so important. Through the inspiration of the Estate and the surrounding countryside we have created our programme to meet the needs of all our pupils and be fully inclusive and fully trauma informed.
We have been collaborating with Alex Preston of ALP tuition who has designed a programme that supports children and young people in overcoming anxiety and leads the way in breaking down barriers to greater learning and progress in school.

The benefits of working in nature, the outdoors and fresh air are now more than ever at the forefront of our practise with our children. We know that our young people need to be outside and take their learning further into the great outdoors. Where better than the fantastic grounds of the Courteenhall Estate? Our children will have the opportunity to experience the estate for its artistic beauty, scientific diversity and powerful history. Children get to visit, ask questions about the Estate, to see the aspects of everyday life, meet the animals and the Estate team who are always keen to talk to the children about what they are doing! All aspects of the curriculum can be brought to life with some creative flair-and that’s exciting for both teacher and children.

The other reason for being outdoors at Courteenhal is in response to the pandemic and the rise in anxiety and childhood trauma. The last two years have been incredibly hard for many students and families. There is a noticeable rise in anxiety and mental health concerns in children and families and this can lead to some barriers in school engagement. With increasingly high demands placed upon the health services in Northants, we have looked to provide a nature-based experience for children, families and school based staff. With Alex leading the way, the TRUST programme was born.

The young people are encouraged to use their (TRUST) Trying, Resilience, Understanding and empathy, Self-regulation and Teamwork to achieve in a number of different activities-perhaps pushing themselves to do thing they never though they could do.  

By putting the elements of the TRUST program at the centre of our curriculum, by becoming a trauma informed school, by using the great outdoors and the Courteenhall Estate we hope our children will experience exciting learning, have improved mental health and wellbeing, have improved relationships, have higher aspirations and become more independent.

Huge thanks to the Courteenhall estate team for allowing us to use the grounds and to Alex Preston for her inspiration. We have had two wonderful and very thought provoking training days at Courteenhall this year and we cannot wait to put it all into practice throughout the new term.

Letter to Parents, January 2022


Friday 14th January 2022
Dear Parents and Carers, Happy New Year!

Welcome back! We are really excited to be back with you-hope you have all had a fabulous Christmas with your family and friends.

We have been waiting for the next piece of government guidance to come to us before contacting you all to wish you a happy new year and to try to keep you all up to speed with the latest covid-19 guidance. Yesterday the guidance changed again, so please forgive the delay in this letter coming to you.

Covid-19 guidance

At all stages please inform the school office the reason for your child’s absence including confirming the positive tests for covid-19. The guidance for schools was last updated on the 9th December 2022. Guidance for schools: coronavirus (COVID-19) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) the news from yesterday was as following:

Covid isolation rules explained: How long you have to self-isolate after period cut to 5 days

You should self-isolate immediately if you have any symptoms of Covid-19, and order a PCR test through the Government website. The minimum self-isolation period for Covid-19 is being cut to five full days. It comes after the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found “around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five”.

When do I need to self-isolate?

You should self-isolate immediately if you have any symptoms of Covid-19, and order a PCR test through the Government website. 

The NHS says the main symptoms of Covid are:

• A high temperature

• A new, continuous cough

• A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

However, people are reporting other symptoms from the Omicron variant.

These include:

• Runny nose

• Sneezing

• Headaches

• Scratchy throat

• Fatigue

• Body aches

• Night sweats

• Back pain

If you have symptoms you should take a lateral flow test (LFD) and order a confirmatory PCR. You should isolate immediately if you test positive, either on a lateral flow or PCR, even if you do not have symptoms.

However, if you do not have symptoms and test positive on a lateral flow, you should no longer order a PCR.

If you have been in contact with someone with Covid-19 you should isolate if you are not fully vaccinated. If you have received your second dose of the vaccine at least 14 days ago you do not need to isolate.

However, you should take a lateral flow test daily for seven days, or until 10 days since your last contact with the person who tested positive.

When you are self-isolating you should not leave your home unless there is an emergency. Emergency reasons are listed on the NHS website here.

How long do I need to isolate for?

If you are fully vaccinated:

The minimum self-isolation period for people who test positive for Covid-19 has been cut from seven full days to five for fully-vaccinated people, starting from Monday 17 January. 

This change is currently only taking effect in England, leaving it up to the devolved administrations to decide whether they follow suit.

The day your symptoms start, or the day you test positive if you do not have symptoms, counts as day zero.

You may leave self-isolation on day six if you test negative on a lateral flow on day five and day six, at least 24 hours apart, as long as you do not have a high temperature.

If one of these tests returns positive, you must wait until receiving two consecutive days of negative tests to leave isolation, or wait the full 10 days.

Previously, those who did not have symptoms but tested positive on a lateral flow had to order a PCR. They then had to restart their isolation period from they day they took the PCR if the result returned positive.However, this requirement has been scrapped. Asymptomatic people should no longer order a PCR, and instead isolate for 5-10 days from the day of the positive lateral flow result.

If you are not fully vaccinated:

Those who have not had two doses of the vaccine will still have to isolate for 10 days if they test positive, or if they are a close contact with someone who has the virus.

If you test positive, your self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day you had the test, if you did not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days.

If someone you live with tests positive, you should self-isolate for 10 days from the day of the test or the day they start experiencing symptoms, whichever is first.

NHS Test and Trace may contact you telling you to isolate as a close contact, in which case it will tell you how long you need to isolate for.

What if I’m still testing positive after 10 days?

You may leave self-isolation after your 10th full day of self-isolation even if you are still testing positive. The only exception to this is if you still have a high temperature, or are still feeling unwell. If you only have a cough or your sense of smell or taste remains affected, you can leave isolation.

The Government guidance states: “You do not need to take any more LFD (lateral flow device) tests after the 10th day of your self-isolation period and you may stop self-isolating after this day.

“This is because you are unlikely to be infectious after the 10th day of your self-isolation period.

“Even if you have a positive LFD test result on the 10th day of your self-isolation period you do not need to take any more LFD tests after this day and you do not need a follow-up PCR test.

“If you are concerned you may choose to limit close contact with other people, especially those who are at higher risk of severe illness until 14 days after the start of your self-isolation period.”

The Risk Assessment for the school has been updated in line with the current Covid-19 school’s guidance from the government. Although there are steps forward to returning to a more “normal” school approach, we have learnt a lot from working within the Covid-19 restrictions-some aspects are worth keeping and some are restrictions that will lesson over time. We feel that although there are positive steps forward with the increased numbers of those vaccinated, there is still a risk to be managed and the return to school must be done so with care for all. This stretched to keeping face coverings and masks when moving around the school and for the time being keeping our assemblies on line.

It is expected that all children will attend school all of the time. Those children who are clinically vulnerable will need special arrangements to not attend. Guidance must be sought from the medical professionals involved with the child and written evidence provided by the family to school as to what needs to be in place to keep the individual child safe.

If your child has a positive PCR test they will need to isolate for the full prescribed time away from school. The year groups and classes where the case was identified will not close, but continue as normal-unless directed to do so by Public Health England (in the case of a larger outbreak).

If your child is showing signs and symptoms of Covid-19, you will be asked to collect them from school immediately and ensure that a PCR test in arranged. If the PCR is negative (evidence provided to the school) the child will return to school. If the PCR is positive, the child will have to isolate until the isolation time period is complete.

Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

• they are fully vaccinated

• they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months

• they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial

• they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

All measures can be stepped up and down as directed by PHE 

Staff, parents and visitors to the site

Staff, Parents and Adults using the school site do so-managing their own risk to themselves and others. This will mean that they manage their contact with others, their closeness and that from a school perspective, wearing a face covering is still advised, but not mandatory/enforceable under the new guidance. Staff may wear them when moving around the school.

Staff will continue to test twice a week.

Control measures

In school we will ensure that there are four clear focuses in line with the government guidance:

• Ensure good hygiene for everyone.

• Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes.

• Keep occupied spaces well ventilated.

• Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Handwashing will still be a feature of our children’s days. We will be teaching the “catch it, bin it, kill it” mantra!

The increased cleaning throughout the school will remain in place

The classrooms will be well ventilated with open doors and windows for fresh air.

For the time being, teachers will ensure that the tables in their classrooms are facing the front-although this will be reviewed as the year progresses.

We will ensure that we have an outbreak management plan that will be used if the need to “step up” arises. It will be developed and will be based upon the previous Roade Primary School Covid-19 arrangements.

 Uniform

We are very proud of our smart school uniform and we do try hard to ensure our children are adhering to our uniform guide. It is smart, convenient, not too expensive and for many parents it provides a clear set of rules for their children.

School uniform is practical, but we have noticed that there are some choices that are not in line with our guidance and some choices that are not practical for the children in school.

High standards of uniform and personal appearance are an important aspect of Roade Primary School. We expect our students to wear full school uniform at all times in school and on the way to and home from school. We welcome your co-operation on this matter and expect students to take pride in their appearance.  

There are some bigger boots being worn by some children-these are impractical for the whole school day. Some of our children are coming to school with large lace up boots and yet they cannot tie their own shoe laces yet! Please parents be sure that your child’s footwear is smart, practical and appropriate for your child!

Our children will have an outdoor and indoor element on their PE day. They will need the standard blue indoor top and they will need outdoor tracksuit top and bottoms (or similar) and some sturdy trainer shoes for outside activities-especially as the weather is cooler. The sports coaches are planning to use outdoors as much as we can throughout the year.

We have had a number of fashion items worn that are not practical. These include strappy tops and non-breathable replica football shirts. Please ensure that your child has the appropriate PE kit for indoors and outdoors on their PE day, thank you!

If your child has their ears pierced please make sure that they can remove their stud earrings themselves or remove them for their PE days. We strongly advise that any parent considering getting their ears pierced wait until the start of the summer holiday to encourage the ears to heal enough. Children’s ears take six weeks to be fully ready for the earrings to be removed.

Staff will contact individual families if the uniform choices are not in line with our guidance. Our uniform guidance is on line on our website here: ROADE PRIMARY SCHOOL – Uniform and Appearance

All uniform can be ordered through Jules At Home in the village:

https://julesathome.co.uk/  

Smart school uniform can be purchased from all major supermarkets and need not cost a fortune. We ask that the blue sweatshirt/cardigan carries the school logo-but other items can be generic school uniform-including footwear. 

Start and end of the school day

The one way system around the school is working well. This will be maintained, with the staggered starts as we had last year. We are trying to keep the lines of people arriving moving and these busy parts of the day-as slick as possible.

The start and end time of school will vary for each Key stages:

Key stage 2 (years 3-6): 8:50am-3.10pm

EYFS/Reception and KS1 (years R-2): 9.00am-3.20pm 

There are lots of staff around to direct, meet and greet. Please try to be neither too early nor too late as this can cause a longer line of children and we will try to be a slick as we can!

This year, the children will go straight into school, wash their hands and start their day-unlike previous years we will not be lining up on the playground.

At the end of the day-when collecting the children, we will invite the collecting parents into the playground to wait-socially distanced on the playground and their children will be directed from a member of staff to meet them. We respectfully ask all adults to manage this time for their own safety. Once you have received your child please follow the one way system to leave the site and that way we all have one way in and one way out!

If your child wishes to ride a bike or scooter to school please remind them about dismounting and walking it across the playground when they arrive at the school gates 

We have a very busy staff. I try to be out on the playground every morning, however in a small school we are all constantly busy. If you want to speak to a member of staff we will operate an appointment system for you. Please visit the school office and request an appointment with the member of staff and we will arrange a telephone appointment with you at a convenient time.

Parking

Please ensure that you are parking your car safely and responsibly-perhaps with a short distance to walk to school. Please park with consideration and do not park across resident’s drives. Please park to allow your child to get out on the path side of the car. We are on good terms with our residents and we would like to maintain our positive relationship-please always be kind! Please do not park in our busy staff car park

Attendance

The school is very proud of our attendance-especially in light of the two years! The attendance is around 97%. This shows that parents and carers have worked very closely with us to ensure that their child attends school regularly. We know as a school that high attendance has a direct impact on the performance of students and their ability to be successful in all aspects of their school life. Please continue to support the school and ensure that your child attends school every day and arrives on time.

Can I take this opportunity to remind you of the school attendance and punctuality policy (full policy is available on the school website) which parents should be aware of. Fixed Penalty Notices can be issued by the local authority for:

•​Unauthorised parentally condoned absence

•​Unauthorised leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances

•​Unwarranted delayed return from leave of absence (without school agreement)

•​Persistent late arrival after the register has closed

•​Truancy, including attendance and exclusion sweeps (formerly truancy sweeps)

Please remember that the government will not allow schools to authorise any holidays and therefore all holiday requests will not be authorised. Parents can apply for leave of absence for exceptional circumstances but a range of documentary evidence will be required to support any application and the decision will always be at the discretion of the Headteacher.   

Lunches

Please don’t forget to order your children’s school dinners through Dolce. I know that the office team have been in touch with reminders where needed.

Curriculum newsletters

Curriculum newsletters are ready for you to read on the website. This will help you support your children at home and be involved with their learning. Please listen to your children read, ensure that they do their homework and learn their times tables (the times tables rock stars is a live competition here in school!) The more involved you as parents are at home, the more they will grow and develop-every adult around your child is a role model.

So, Happy New Year! The staff are busy planning some brilliant and exciting learning and we know that your children are in for a great (and challenging) time! Thank you for your ongoing support of the school and your children! 

See you at the gate

Mark Currell

Head teacher

TRUST, an incredible programme supporting young people in Northants 

 The last 18 months have been incredibly hard for many students and families. There is a noticeable rise in anxiety and mental health concerns in children and families and this has lead to some barriers in engagement. With increasingly high demands placed upon the health services in Northants, we have looked to provide a nature-based experience for children, families and school based staff.

 Together, with ALP tuition and the Courteenhall Estate, we have written a programme that offers an effective, affordable, nature-based provision-proved to help and support children and families with anxiety and trauma. The TRUST Programme puts the child at the centre, truly supports parents and carers, and ensures that schools use trauma-informed strategies to engage all children in their learning. 

 For schools, this means potential for:

· improved engagement and attendance,

· fewer fixed term exclusions,

· improved behaviour and attitude to learning,

· and ultimately, accelerated progress

For families, this means:

· reduced anxiety,

· improved relationships,

· greater understanding,

· clear boundaries with

· nurture and fun

The TRUST programme really is unique in the way that it triangulates the support and work between the pupil, the home/family and provides the school with strategies and CPD to use within the setting.

 The Trust approach….

Is a holistic view, child, parent/carer and teacher

Addresses anxiety and trauma, rather than SEN or other vulnerability

Has been shown to impact on attendance, fixed term exclusions, behaviour, progress and wellbeing of the child

Provides strategies that show impact on the wellbeing of staff and families

Is actively based in nature: plants and animals

Embeds the “field to fork” principles-showing links to the world around us

Promotes physical fitness and wellbeing-embedded throughout the programme

 

The 5 key elements of the TRUST Programme?

Trying

Resilience

Understanding and empathy

Self-regulation

Teamwork
Research shows that children who can demonstrate skill in the 5 identified areas of the TRUST Programme:

learn better

have improved mental health and wellbeing

have improved relationships

have higher aspirations

are more independent

 Children are offered opportunities to develop 5 key skills whilst participating in engaging, nature-based activities. These activities can be selected from an extensive menu and include amongst many activities: exploring the grounds and investigating the history of the Courteenhall estate, growing and gardening, art, crafts, den-building, pond-dipping, and yoga. Every session includes learning self-regulation techniques and walking and talking through feelings and emotions-leading to self-understanding and greater openness. All under the guidance and support of trained and experienced practitioners-leading each session.

 At pre and post meetings, parents have opportunities to discuss their concerns and will have the opportunity to look at techniques relating to the 5 key areas of the TRUST Programme. This includes support with behaviour management, nurture, and self-regulation to improve connectedness.

Staff will be introduced to trauma-informed practise by investigating the 5 key areas of the TRUST Programme. They will identify strategies to use in the school and classroom to improve engagement and be given information to support the development of similar approaches in your settings if required.

 Courteenhall Estate sits in the heart of Northamptonshire and strives, not only for sustainable solutions to farming and land management, but also invests in local people, to make a positive difference. Managing Partner, Johnny Wake is determined that Courteenhall promotes a positive impact on the life chances of local children and their families, and we are incredibly fortunate to be able to make use of this safe, natural, remote, inspirational and special place.

 Selected groups of children (a group between 5 and 8 students from Key stage 2) from your schools are offered opportunities (5 days, over 5 weeks), to develop the 5 key skills whilst participating in engaging, nature-based activities. These activities can be selected from an extensive menu and are agreed and arranged with the school staff/leadership prior to starting the programme.

Every session includes learning self-regulation techniques and Yoga/meditation with an accredited trainer. Whilst learning about themselves, children will learn about the sustainable farming principles that are promoted at Courteenhall Estate, as well as learning from the people who work there. They will be immersed in nature, whilst learning nurture skills, as they help to look after the plants and animals around them.

The programme is in its infancy at the moment. We know of the high need for this kind of intervention in educational settings across the county. Whilst there are other provisions available-this is the only one that takes a holistic approach -triangulating the participation and input between the child, parent/career and school staff. Not only does this support the child, but also the parent/carer and provides the school with quality CPD for staff. We have started working with a few schools-gaining further data and positive feedback-we are now looking forward to meeting further settings and establishing the TRUST programme within the county. The cost for the next year is heavily subsidised by Roade Primary School and The Courteenhall Estate.

 Costs 2021/2022 are agreed at the time of booking 

5 day programme at the Courteenhall Estate for 5-8 pupils

Lead specialist

5 days CPD for 1 staff member across 5 weeks

Pre-course meetings with key leaders

Before and after meetings with parent/carers

Analysis and progress measured feedback provided

As a school you will receive before and after data to demonstrate progress and impact and the accompanying adult will receive 5 days of incredible CPD to help impact back in school. All risk assessments are in place and all health and safety measures have been addressed though our partners at Plumsun.

Further information is available at the TRUST website and social media:

The TRUST Programme ALP Tuition

Twitter: @AlpTuitionAlex

Facebook: ALP Tuition – Home | Facebook

We have piloted the programme here at Roade Primary School over the last year and it has proved to be phenomenally successful, it is now time to roll the programme out to other settings and engage with more children in more schools. We are currently showcasing the programme to key leaders within Northamptonshire, who are really enthusiastic about the project. If you are interested in discussing the programme further, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We have a limited number of places for school bookings in our first year at the reduced rate.

Your time is very precious, thank you for reading this, we hope it is of interest to you and your school team.

Roade Primary School contacts:

Phone number: 01604 862309

Email: admin@roade-pri.northants.sch.uk

I hope you and your schools continue to thrive and have an incredible year, we look forward to hearing from interested school leaders to be able to provide more information

Mark

 

 

 

 
 

And, we’re off….term 4!

Dear Parents and carers

A quick reminder that the remote learning will commence again after the weekend-Monday 22nd February. There is a government announcement booked for the Monday-where we may learn a bit more about the potential pathway back to school’s opening up a little more, but you know when we know. We have been assured that this time there will be a little time for us to plan and implement the staff structure and learning opportunities for the children before the next date of change. The 8th March appears to be the next date when things might change a bit more-but we don’t at this stage know to which year groups and children.

 Provision in school will continue to be for key worker and vulnerable children only. We will continue with our set up as it is with sessions booked in advance as we support shift patterns etc. for key workers. At this stage it has been strongly advised, currently-the safest place for children to be is at home.

 Live sessions will start again on Monday 22nd and we will be back on the original timetable. In response to the majority feedback we had at our last survey, we will continue with not having the live sessions on the Wednesday-but everything else continues with work being set on every day including Wednesday by the staff here at school.

Physical packs of work are now available for you to collect from Monday 22nd February-from 9.00am onwards. They will be outside the school ready for you to collect. Please return any work that is ready for marking and assessment at this time-as a swap! Please make sure that your children’s work is collated together clearly with their name, class, and teacher. Please make sure it is secure-so that it cannot blow away-we can then make sure that the work gets back to the right members of staff. This is so that the teachers can see what the children have been up to and can make assessments as to how they have been getting on. There can then be some more personalised feedback given over the next few weeks. What we must all make sure of is that what the children are doing is of a high standard. The work being uploaded by families has been lovely to see-thank you!

All staff coming on site are now tested twice a week and results reported back to the government departments. We are increasing our staffing on site gradually so that preparations can be made for a full reopening as soon as we can. Staff will work hard to respond to blogs as they come in-this is the best way to get in touch with your teacher-sometimes they will be planning and working away from their online commitments. Please be patient and we will respond as we can.

The half term 100 challenge can be evidenced and sent to the class teachers-they have the certificates to send out to you when they know that the challenge has been met! We hope that there has been a bit of fun in trying to achieve this challenge!

These arrangements are there when everyone is fit and healthy. Obviously if we have staff illness-this will have an impact upon our provision and maybe our communication. Please understand that we make these arrangements to be as permenent as possible, but on our online journey together- there may be bumps in the road. Again, please be patient!

 There are lots of additional resources and websites for you and your child to explore:

Our new, revamped website has a number of ideas on it….

https://roadeprimary.co.uk/

https://roadeprimary.co.uk/curriculum/school-closure-home-learning 

To have access to PURPLE MASH-just click here. PURPLE MASH LOG IN

KEY STAGE 1 pupils (Reception to year 2) can find a number of activities and resources on the BBC BITESIZE page. This is available here: BBC BITESIZE KS1

KEY STAGE 2 pupils (Years 3-6) will find resources and activities here: BBC BITESIZE KS2

Oxford Owl is a fantastic website. You can find it here: Oxford Owl This site offers Reading, Phonics, Spelling, maths games and activities. Just click on the free resources to support learning at home.

Times Tables Rock Stars is great for testing yourself on your times tables-most of our children have been accessing this all year and have had fun trying to out-do each other! TIMES TABLES ROCK STARS

 To help you learn your times tables timestables.co.uk is excellent. The link is here: TIMESTABLES.CO.UK

Your child can obviously read, read and read as much as they can and whatever they like! We will providing some books to read-there are even more on Purple Mash. Our children will really benefit from reading in their heads and aloud or being read to! We are providing some Collins online books for your children to access-please check your child’s pack for log-in details

Communication with school can happen in a number of ways. We will carry on using parentmail to send emails and the school blog, through the website. We will use our social media to relay information to you-our FaceBook page and Twitter. Parents can use the admin email or the head@roade-pri.northants-ecl.gov.uk 

The older your child the more independent they will be. They may well need your support and may well need you to help organise them. Routines are essential to keep expectations high and engagement strong. Start with strong routines. Intersperse school time with some outdoor exercise-maybe go for a walk? (Joe Wicks is starting again I hear!) reading-everything and anything, music, arts and creativity. Make things as exciting as possible!  

 We know that there is a continued pressure on you as parents and carers. We realise that you will be pulled to work – either remotely or physically, please know that every effort you make with your children will greatly improve their experience and be incredibly valuable. Above all, try to have fun, remain, kind, calm and patient, as this will sometimes be difficult for all of us. We will know on the 22nd more!

We are still in this very much together and we can all try to help each other.

Thank you for your continued support of your child and our school.

See you at the gate (as soon as we can)

Mark Currell

Head Teacher

 

February half term…..

We find ourselves in Lockdown 3-by far the most challenging for our partners, carers, families and staff. As the term has rolled on our children have found it increasingly more difficult -it seemed that the half term arrived as a crashing wave rather than a slow sail into the harbour.

We all needed a break-we all needed a recharge, the trouble is that half term will look very different this time around. “A year ago families across the UK were packing suitcases, organising play dates and planning day trips – all in preparation for the February half-term break. But this year’s school holidays are set to look very different, with travel and social mixing restricted to stem the spread of Covid-19.” From the BBC website….

I decided to look for things to do for our families and post them here on our blog.  As I see it, there are two challenges. What can we do to relax and recharge and what can we do with our families that are different to the normal weeks remote learning….. It’s also important that parents and carers have things up their sleeve that will not completely exhaust them-it has to be a break for everyone.

Keep moving….get some exercise….

The BBC site says…..

“Children are going to have to be quite resourceful to keep active during this half-term,” says former England footballer Rachel Yankey.

She has been coaching children remotely as part of the Youth Sport Trust’s After School Sport Club, which takes place most weekday evenings.

“If kids don’t have an outdoor space, parents might need to make an exception and allow them to dribble a football inside in a controlled way.

“Even half an hour of physical activity makes a big difference to a child’s day.”

Jason Sugrue, a former British table-tennis champion who works with London-based charity Greenhouse Sports, says children should be “left to their own devices” as much as possible.

“Kids are bored of adults telling them what to do by now – so we’ve been doing a lot of peer-to-peer fitness classes online.

“Kids will work with their friends to find an object in their house [in a treasure hunt, for example] – it’s simple, free and fun.”

Greenhouse Sports organised more than 1,500 virtual coaching sessions for children in east London during the first nationwide lockdown.

Under lockdown rules, families can still get out of the house for exercise once a day, provided they remain within their local area.

“It’s really important young people make the most of that time outside,” says Sugrue. “Nothing beats fresh air.”

“Whether it’s a cycle ride, drills or just walking, families must try and find a designated time each day to do an activity together during half-term.”

Sport England have a great site full of ideas-Join the movement. Lots of tips advice and guidance to keep you and your family moving. 

https://www.sportengland.org/jointhemovement?section=join_the_movement&gclid=CMOsxeSf7u4CFUUgGwods4oMGA

Our little dog Sky is getting a lot of long walks-he’s only got little legs! 

This article on family fitness has some common sense idea so-but at the end of the day the old adage, “move more” is the one that we should be trying to do!

Family Fitness Activities For Lockdown

Escape in a book……

We are mad passionate about reading at Roade Primary School. Reading is everything-and it opens every other area of the curriculum. It’s a life skill and our children need it. Being read to, reading independently, sharing a book, secret reading, quiet reading, loud reading, talking books, listening to stories….anything! The more that our children experience-the better their vocabulary will be-the more rich their conversation and more expressive their writing! 

From the BBC site…….”It’s always said about books that they take you to another place,” says children’s author Michael Rosen. “It may be to the inside of a mind that’s not theirs or a physical place, but that feels especially important for kids during lockdown.”

Rosen says parents must try to make reading “feel relevant” to children’s interests.

“My trick was always to try and connect books up to theatre, live readings and movies,” he explains.

“Obviously, we can’t do that now but parents must be open to using digital tools to trigger more interest.”

The National Literacy Trust and Oak National Academy are offering online activities and making hundreds of e-books available to children through the virtual school library project.

But Rosen recommends parents let children’s reading habits over the holidays “emerge organically instead of foisting their anxiety about the need to read on [them]”.

Whatever reading you and your family doesn’t-it will be brilliant! 

Read for Good have some top ideas….

Reading for fun can help us through these challenging times

“If you can only do one thing with your child during lockdown, choose reading for fun. Reading together, or on their own, is proven to help children keep up with education, it’s away from a screen, it relaxes them (and you) and it helps them process what’s happening in the world.”

“None of us are superhuman; do your child – and yourself – a favour, and curl up with a good book. It’s really important that you do.”

Our children have their own individual log ins that have been sent to them… Staff have allocated age appropriate books and they can access them here

https://ops.collinsopenpage.com/  

Screen time is fine……

Just like a good book, a good film or series is a delight to share…. There needs to be a balance struck. Our children (and us adults) are now on screens more than ever. There is evidence that too much can be a bad thing and with children on line/screens  with their learning, on screens with some games and hobbies involving screens-it is up to parents and carers to manage what is too much for our youngsters. 

The BBC site says…..”If ever there’s a time to relax the rules on screen time, it’s this February half-term,” says child psychologist Laverne Antrobus. “Especially as it will be the main way for them to stay connected with their friends.”

Oxford University research on more than 17,000 teenagers in the US, UK and Ireland showed higher levels of screen time had little discernible effect on their mental health, but many parents are still cautious.

“Screen time doesn’t have to be isolating,” adds Antrobus. “Choosing a film or a TV show for the family to watch in the evening is something that brings everyone together.”

Virtual events are also accessible to families over half-term: the Royal Observatory Greenwich is putting on stargazing workshops and the Shakespeare’s Globe festival is offering family tickets for storytelling masterclasses.

Antrobus warns it may be “easier” for parents to get younger children engaged than teenagers.

“With teenagers, it’s a case of checking in on them and showing interest in the video game they’re playing – they love to teach us dinosaurs about tech,” she explains.

Get creative…

“Arts and crafts is all about making the most of everyday objects – in the house or in nature,” says illustrator Rob Biddulph, whose online drawing tutorials have become increasingly popular during the pandemic. We’ve used draw with Rob a few times as it provides a well structured drawing session. Not to be over relied upon as lessons every day-it does have some good skills to share! 

“We’ve been going out on walks as a family and we’ll pick up beautiful leaves, pebbles and sticks.

“And when we get home we’ll paint eyes on them and turn them into characters – all that takes is two splodges of white paint.”

The Tate Museum and the Southbank Centre also have virtual art events available to children over half-term.

Biddulph says his 11-year-old daughter is less “receptive” to drawing and painting than she used to be “but can still be tempted away from the screen when she sees the rest of the family having fun together”.

 Whatever you as families can do together, have fun and make it light for this half term. Be kind to yourselves-it’s been tough on everyone. 

Mark

 

 
 

 

Parents and Carers are incredible community heroes 

Lockdown 3 has proved to be the most challenging so far for everyone.In January, with less than a day’s notice all schools moved completely online to enable remote learning to happen. At Roade, we provided live sessions twice a day and online tasks and activities for all children of all ages, set up blogs and communication with teachers and pupils and sent out more physical paper based packs to support the online sessions. Like school leaders all over the country, I could not be prouder of the school staff who overnight changed how they work, plan and live each day and provide high quality learning remotely for each child in their own homes. The staff have been exceptional. Everyone has had to change their role, adapt and in most cases do something completely alien to them-pushing everyone out of their comfort zones.

The pupils changed from being in school every day, seeing their friends and having a teacher and TA in their room to support them-to learning from home. Their day moved from being at school, one with a rigid timetable, to one that relied far more on them being independent and self-sufficient at home. Children at a primary age are significantly less self-sufficient than their secondary peers! They rely upon the parents and carers in our community to help-not always easy to do throughout the day. A huge down side of remote learning is that pupils are missing key contact with other people-not just the formal learning times but the informal playtimes. School is not just about the lesson times-it’s also about the development of these crucial social skills. The school provides 3-4 hours of directed work per day for the pupils-but that could need support from an already working parent/carer and we know that children are spending many, many hours per day staring at screens-as this is our current way of working. This is a worry for our whole community.

During this lockdown we have seen more roles and jobs being considered as essential key work. There is a huge pressure for parents and carers to work-either at home or physically go to work. The government guidance does say that if you are at home you should keep your children at home-but it is hard to do when you have younger children to supervise and keep on task. Parents and carers are also missing out on the social side of catching up with friends in the playground-or on the walk to and from school. The days all blend into one. The dark days and cold weather don’t help. Even weekends that used to feel special and were ring-fenced for family time no longer seem special-they are just another day.

Due to our worries for the length of time our children are spending on screens and in response to overwhelming feedback from families the school has recently instigated a Wednesday with less screen time. A mixed response. There were some parents and carers who actually needed more school led time to keep their children focused so that they can do their work from home- but there were many parents who liked the concept of less screen time and did some amazing and creative things with their children-this did however mean more time from their parents-which not everyone had to give.

 There is a forgotten group. Most of our staff at school are parents and carers too. They too battle with the juggling, the pressure, the jobs they have to do for their work, the support that their children need to be online to support the learning in homes across the community. Sometimes it is forgotten that school staff have families too. We understand how hard this all is for everyone-because we are living it every day with each of our families.

The real heroes in all communities are the parents and carers who have continued to support their children’s learning and balanced life and jobs “in the real world”. Whatever your role-if you have a family to support, nurture and motivate-be a role model for and you are continuing to do your job role at the same time-you are a hero. You may not feel it at the moment. You may feel, like we do-like all school staff do, that you are exhausted and overwhelmed-but rest assured that if you are balancing all these spinning plates-you are a hero.

I recently wrote to our families, saying that they had been amazing throughout these tough times for everyone. Families are doing all they can to balance everything and keep everything going for work and family. We realised that it is the community that needs the focus-not just the education of the children. There needs to be so much thought and consideration to how the community is functioning and how much pressure we can add or take away . It is the responsibility of the school leadership to read the audience- especially as lockdown 3 continues.

To raise a few smiles, to engage with our families and to keep the community together-even though apart we’ve sung to the children and families again-(sorry)-with a frightening rendition of an Elvis classic-I can’t help falling in love with you-perfect for Valentine’s Day! We designed a huge bookworm hunt around the village so that families had something to look for on thier daily walk. Our bookworm hunt seems to have gone down well-with 42 different bookworms to find hidden across our wonderful village-we hope thfamilies enjoyed finding them all whilst you have been out and about-and it gave some all important off screen time for our young learners. on your daily walks-Most recently we have started our family quiz. Answer the questions, hand deliver (or send if you are from further afield) back to the school and we will draw one correct answer sheet for the magnificent trophy prize-a trophy of such magnitude-it would make the greatest of trophy winners green with envy…… (honest). We made sure that it was advertised to the whole community community-you don’t have to be a school family to enter it-it’s been on a few Facebook pages-the more the merrier-it’s for the whole community and its light and engaging. We will continue to work hard for our families and will continue to try to bring a few smiles-our community is special and deserves it. The next idea is being hatched as we speak……

 We know that one day we will get back together and we will be an open and brilliant school once again. We will be buzzing with laughter and music and children running and playing. We will have full classrooms and special assemblies. We will have trips and visits and visitors to school that bring learning alive. We will have brighter, happier days-as Captain Sir Tom said “Tomorrow will be a better day”. We have got these dark days to get through together. We will best do that by understanding that it is tough for everyone- we are all in the same boat, but in very different storms but we will get through it by being kind to one another and supporting one another.

 Here’s to parents and carers-you have made this happen.

 Mark Currell

Head teacher, Roade Primary School

 

 

 

 
 

 

Comparing your teacher self with social media


I have been a school leader/head teacher for a lot of years now. At the very start of my leadership career I was allocated a mentor to support me in my new headship-it was really useful to have someone to sound off against and to ask advice. In later years I have been an advocate for using social media to perform a similar role. At the start it was good to help me handle the imposter syndrome that seems to come with the headship role……But things feel like they have changed and social media feels like an unhealthy place to be sometimes.

There never used to be this level of competition between schools and settings. There never used to be this level of traffic on social media saying how great you could be if you used “X” or that you’re not a great teacher unless you’ve displayed in this way or that way or marked using this method or that method. In many ways twitter and other social media sites have become a method by which schools and professionals advertise how wonderful life is in their world and this attracts both professionals and parents! But this can add pressure!

There is even a 5am club for teachers! I suppose you could argue that it gives support for those teachers already awake at 5am and already working-but what are those teachers doing working at 5am???!! Be asleep, be eating breakfast with your family, but why are you even thinking about work at 5am? That is not healthy. It may well be a result of a pressured career that we are awake and worried but we should not be advertising it as an acceptable lifestyle choice!

All this worries me…. #education talk on twitter can be really useful for advice, support or a sounding board-BUT sometimes it does more harm than good -as social media can do by giving a completely false sense of normal!

In many cases there may be absolutely nothing wrong with the way in which your school operates-what’s right for you might not be for others-remember individuality and how schools could be different? You do not need to be using yet another assessment proforma-created by someone else if the one your school is using is doing the job. You do not need to be using the latest gadget pen for your marking-just make sure your feedback is good and that it has impact upon the students. You do not need to be using another new method of developing “X” learning if the “X” learning in your class is coming on well (all of this of course is subject to your school’s leadership-there may be whole school initiatives that need to be developed and then yes, it is important to all sing together-but don’t let social media pressure be the driver).

The point I am making (and this is from personal experience) is that comparing yourself with other teachers in other settings (who potentially have a social media persona that could be not quite sold as seen) can be a really bad thing to do. School leaders-comparing your school with others can be a really negative thing to do-you rarely get the full picture.

I am not a social media expert. I am no #edutwitter expert. I know what works in my school and with my staff and most importantly for our children). I love teaching and enjoy the days that I spend actually teaching our children. I know that I have felt worse by comparing my school or myself with others in different settings and different contexts. I have felt the competition as I see that there seems to be better teachers, better leaders and better schools all over social media. As I wrote this I began wonder who my target audience was-I began to realise that I wasn’t just aiming this at school leaders-heads and leaders everywhere are constantly hearing that other schools do it better somewhere-it wasn’t just for NQTs entering a career with wide eyes-it wasn’t just for exhausted teachers at all stages of their careers (who all want what’s best for their pupils.) It wasn’t just aimed at MAT leaders who feel the competition with other MATs to keep staff and pupil numbers-It was aimed at everyone who works in our schools-regardless of their academy status, regardless of their key stage or their phase…. 

So I guess my advice could be…..

👍🏻Don’t compare yourself with others-regardless of your position or where you are in your career. It’s not going to make you happy and may make you feel that the grass is greener-leading to a forced move, or even worse-leading you to think that you are not good enough. Imagine making a career move based upon a heightened feeling of missing out?! You can change your setting by being the change you want to see-you don’t need to move sometimes. You are not missing out. Take your time. Breathe and know that you are good enough-if it aint broke, don’t try to fix it-if it needs adjustment-school leaders, please make them gentle adjustments and maintain a consistency.

👍🏻Don’t feel that after reading a twitter post-you’re not good enough-you are! You don’t have to compare you with anyone else-remember that things are not quite what they seem.

👍🏻Don’t be in competition-just be real, your staff and your children will appreciate that a whole lot more.

👍🏻Getting up early and tweeting and blogging as well as teaching is exhausting-is it going to make you a better teacher? (More importantly-is it going to take away time when you should be present and with your family-if it is, stop!)

👍🏻Don‘t think about school when you should be present with your family and friends

👍🏻Don’t over think or worry-I know what you’re like! 😜

👍🏻Do what your students need-not what others think your students need-you are the expert in your class (if your a school leader-you are the expert in your school) -you are the barometer by which the pace and challenge in your room/school is set. Be present and do what they need you to do.

👍🏻Enjoy your job-it is a job-the creative, fun bits are ace!

👍🏻Put down #edutwitter and enjoy being in the best career in the world

👍🏻If you carry on comparing yourself with the mythical magicians on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram etc-you will never be satisfied and rarely be happy-there will always be something that you have seen that you wish you were better at or something that you think you could be doing or something you could be trying or thinking about-its ok to stop!

👍🏻Please remember that the most important thing in your school is the relationships that are created between the staff, each other and the pupils. It’s the moments and the memories. To do that-you need to be present in the now.

👍🏻Why are you still reading this? I understand the irony of this being an online blog post!

👍🏻Go put the kettle on! 

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