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Friday 19th November 2021

 

It was wonderful to see you all face to face for our parent consultation evenings this week and thank you so much for your understanding with the tweaks we made to ensure that these appointments could go ahead. We really were desperate for these appointments to be in person. The hall was quiet - and with minimal footfall - so it was really pleasing that everything worked out. Who knew that 10 minute appointments could go so fast when you are on timer? You must have felt like you were on an edition of 'Mastermind'!

 

Today, we have been celebrating 'BBC Children in Need' which is always a popular event with the children. This worthy charity raises millions of pounds for children across Yorkshire, the UK and the world. Our School Council decided to hold a 'wear something spotty or yellow' non-uniform day and a name the bear competition. Thank for so much for supporting this event and for your kind donations. 

 

 

Whilst we are all aware of this important national charitable event, that will likely involve a number of celebrities, it is also important to remember that there are so many people across the country doing amazing things every week to support children and young people. At lunchtime today, I went out to meet a man called Mick Cullen who may be better known to a small number of you as 'Speedo Mick'. Speedo Mick is huge Everton fan like myself and he has once again been walking the length and breadth of the country to raise money in order to provide support for young people through education, relieving poverty and supporting both mental and physical health. His main aim is to support the most vulnerable in our communities by showing compassion and understanding and by being inclusive to all. 

 

I have been following Speedo Mick on social media for a number of years and I regularly see him in the stands at Goodison Park or at different away grounds around the country. This afternoon, he was halfway through his Leeds-Harrogate leg and he was heading towards Harewood House on the A61. He is currently over 2000 miles in to his 2500 mile walk with just a few weeks remaining before he gets back to Liverpool. You may have questions about his name, but you'd probably guess right...yes, he completes all his charitable walks in his Everton Speedos and an Everton swimming cap - no matter the weather! I honestly don't know how he does it as he has never cancelled a day's walking due to extreme weather. He just keeps going! 

 

It's for this reason that I wanted to draw attention to him. 'He just keeps going!' This is such an important message and I have today spoken to the children about Speedo Mick in Collective Worship: he's had some extremely challenging moments in his life and ended up homeless; he's come out the other side; and now he is doing these amazing things to help so many other people.  He is a shining example of resilience, courage, service and compassion and in how to turn huge negatives in life in to huge positives. It is stories like Mick's that I feel are really important to draw attention to with the children as they can often go under the radar. It just goes to show that anyone can make a huge difference to society as a whole - regardless of where they have come from.

 

As it was lunchtime, I took Speedo Mick a packed lunch as well as a special Collingham 'resilience' certificate and - of course - a gold headteacher sticker on behalf of everyone at Collingham School. He was absolutely delighted to have this small token of support and he said it was a huge boost to his morale and motivation. Speedo Mick sent a huge thank you to the children and he passed on words of encouragement for them to never, ever give up.

 

If anyone wanted to find out more about the Speedo Mick Foundation or wanted to donate to his charity to help even more 'children in need' then please click on the following links.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate Assemblies

 

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been continuing with our weekly certificate assemblies with further awards for Togetherness and then back to the start of the RESPECT Code cycle with Resilience.

 

At Collingham, Togetherness means to act with friendship, generosity and trust towards each other and to work together as valued members of our school community. Resilience is about showing courage to try new things and persevere when things are difficult. Keep at it and learn from your mistakes!

 

Two certificates were again awarded in each class: one for demonstrating the RESPECT Code values through behaviour choices and one in attitudes towards learning. A huge well done to all of the following children who have received a certificate recently.

 

 

Togetherness (Week 7)

 

Reception - Anya  (Behaviour - being incredibly thoughtful and caring towards everyone in our class and, in fact, everyone in our world) & Siena (Learning - making people feel good about themselves by letting them join in her games).

 

Year 1 - Eddie (Behaviour - working really well as part of a group and always encouraging others to join in

& Tom C (Learning - being such a brilliant learning partner who works well with anyone in the class and offering words of support and encouragement when they are needed).

 

Year 2 - Alexa (Behaviour - trying hard to help others and always looking after anyone that is upset. She is a great friend to everyone)

& Tom (Learning - putting maximum effort into all of his learning and working well in partners as well as in a group).

 

Year 3 - Harry M  (Behaviour - can always be relied upon to support others when they need it)

& Jacob (Learning - working with his peers as a group during lessons with infectious enthusiasm).

 

Year 4 - Isla (Behaviour - can always be relied upon to support others when they need it and to lend a helping hand if someone asks for it) & Lucy T and Noah (Learning - working fantastically together as learning partners last half term).

 

Year 5 - All of Year 5 (Behaviour - collaborating fantastically to put on a brilliant performance for their parent event).

 

Year 6 - Max (Behaviour - For being so kind and patient with the younger children during his lunchtime leader role)

& Pria and Isabelle (Learning - working brilliantly in a really effective partnership during science lessons).

 

 

Resilience (Week 8)

 

Reception - Henry (Behaviour – showing how grown up and independent he can be when coming in to school in the morning

& Theo H (Learning – trying super hard and showing so much perseverance when learning his sounds and writing his letters).

 

Year 1 - Ella (Behaviour – showing such dedication to learning the words for our Christmas songs

& Dylan (Learning – showing real resilience in our PE lessons by practising some tricky ball skills).

 

Year 2 - Seb (Behaviour – working hard to concentrate and to really push himself which has been great to see

& Florence F (Learning – trying hard with her writing and persevering in maths).

 

Year 3  Jacob R (Behaviour – having such a positive outlook and being an absolute pleasure to teach) & Ella B (Learning – having courage to try new things and persevering in maths when challenges are tricky).

 

Year 4 Heidi (Behaviour – ALWAYS approaching every task with a positive attitude and determination to succeed

& Will H (Learning – working incredibly hard in maths and persevering when finding new learning tricky).

 

Year 5 Charlie M (Behaviour – committing himself to working hard in lessons and making the most of opportunities to learn

& James B (Learning – persevering with work that he has found a bit tricky – particularly writing).

 

Year 6 Mckenzie (Behaviour – coming back to school with a positive attitude and approach to learning

& Betsy (Learning – showing such courage in her learning and always persevering with the BIGGEST smile on her face).

 

 

Anti-bullying Week 2021

 

 

This week, we have been celebrating Anti-bullying Week 2021 with the theme for this year being 'One Kind Word'. Kindness is more important today than it has ever been. The isolation of the last year has underlined how little acts of consideration can break down barriers and brighten the lives of the people around us. This is one of the reasons, that ‘One Kind Word’ has been chosen as the theme of Anti-Bullying Week 

 

The children have been learning about various topics around what bullying is; how to be a good friend; discussing the different types of bullying; exploring ways in which we can stand united against bullying within our school community; embedding the idea of collective responsibility being an effective approach to tackling bullying and thinking about 'One Kind Word' can change the course of a conversation and break the cycle of bullying.

 

Today we had a special Certificate Assembly where - instead if our normal RESPECT Code certificates - we awarded 'One Kind Word' certificates for two children demonstrating kindness around school. throughout the week. Well done to the following children!

 

 

'One Kind Word' (Week 9)

 

Reception Elizabeth (For showing kindness this week by being caring and friendly towards everyone in Reception)

& Lucas (For showing kindness this week by always working well with a partner and playing nicely with others).

 

Year 1Olivia G (For showing kindness this week by comforting one of her friends who was a bit upset coming in to school)

& Jamie (For showing kindness this week by noticing that a child in reception had left their cardigan in the hall. Jamie picked it up and asked if he could take it back to them in their classroom).

 

Year 2Amelie (For showing kindness this week by always looking after her classmates and making sure everyone has someone to play with outside) & Isaac (for showing kindness this week by caring for his friends when they had hurt themselves outside and checking that they had all the help they needed).

 

Year 3Scarlett (For showing kindness this week by offering her unconditional support to her friends) & Emily W (For showing kindness this week by being such a kind, supportive member of Year 3).

 

Year 5Ben (For showing kindness this week by helping Henry clean up when his water bottle leaked on the floor)

& Skye (For showing kindness this week by helping her classmates with the trickier parts of their sewing lesson).

 

Year 6Georgie (For showing kindness this week by offering to help her friends during lunchtime leaders when she noticed that someone needed support) & Constance (For showing kindness this week by making her friend a flower and giving it to her when she realised it was her birthday).

 

 

Below you can read about what each of the classes have been learning about anti-bullying.

 

Reception

 

As part of our learning about anti-bullying, we read two stories: 'The Rainbow Club' and 'Something Else'. We talked about how we are all special and that everyone should be treated with kindness and respect. We designed our own pair of odd socks and talked about ways in which we could show kindness towards others. We also looked at our child friendly anti-bullying policy and discussed what bullying is and what we can do if we feel like we are being bullied.

 

 

 

Year 1

 

On Monday, Year 1 discussed how we can be a kind friend and what to do if someone is not being kind. The Year 1 team were blown away by the responses of the class and how maturely they could talk about the subject. We also looked in detail at our school's ‘Anti-bullying Policy’ and particularly paid attention to who could we speak to if we did not feel happy at school. The class then had to say how they were going to show an act of kindness this week and how it would make others - as well as themselves - feel.

 

Later in the week, Mrs Hesketh read the book ‘Making Friends’ by Deborah Chancellor. This book is also linked to one of our British Values: ‘tolerance’. Once again, the class were able to have a mature discussion and understood the meaning of the story.

 

 

 

Year 2

 

We watched ‘Andy and the Odd Socks’ again and discussed why it’s ok to be individual. We talked about how a kind word can make someone feel great. We collected lots of kind words then designed a pair of odd socks each and incorporated our favourite kind word into our designs to make them unique.

 

Year 3

 

This week, Year 3 worked together in groups to write speeches. Each speech explained what bullying is, what it can look like and how to deal with bullying. Year 3 worked hard to use their knowledge and the tips from our anti-bullying policy. It blew the staff away when the children mentioned our diversity driver in their speeches and explained that we value individuality and embrace equality. Year 3 thoroughly enjoyed performing their speeches to each other at the end of the day. A huge well done to our Year 3 superstars!

 

 

 

Year 4

 

During Anti-Bullying week, the children in Year 4 have shared ways in which we can spread kindness around our school and our community and how important one act of kindness can be. Linking in with this year's theme, 'One Kind Word' the children had to write a word for each member of the class which best describes them. The children came up with some amazing words to describe each of their peers such as kind-hearted, caring, compassionate, creative and thoughtful to name just a few. The children then had a list of 29 kind words describing them. The children then used the words and turned them into 'wordles'. The children loved reading all the kind words and appreciated that with just one kind word it can make all the difference.

 

 

 

Year 5

 

This week, Year 5 have really embraced the key Anti-bullying Week message of: “One Kind Word.” They have each been issued with a sheet of kindness challenges to carry out each day over the course of the week and we’ve already been hearing great things about all of the kind things they’ve been doing - some of them have even claimed to be helping out more at home! As well as this, each child chose to write and decorate a shape poem, pyramid poem or acrostic poem and we have chosen some of these (at random) to create a display in our classroom so that the messages from Anti-bullying Week stay with us! 

 

 

Year 6

 

In Year 6, we began by sharing four different bullying scenarios and the children worked in pairs and went around the classroom, discussing what they thought could be done to stop the bullying and to spread the kindness. The children were able to confidently talk about what they would so such as: speak to a trusted adult; talk to the child who sent the messages; ask someone how they felt and offering to help. The children then explained different times their friends had shown kindness and described how it made them feel.  The children chose their favourite feeling and designed an 'odd sock' with the word on. We have put the socks on display in our classroom to remind everyone to show kindness and to make us feel happy.

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 22nd October 2021

 

What a fantastic week it has been in school! It was simply wonderful to see so many of you on Wednesday for our Harvest Celebration in the hall. There was a lovely atmosphere and the children performed with such confidence. They clearly enjoyed themselves and I know they were desperately looking forward to performing in front of you all. For some of the children, this will have been their first experience of live performance, but we were all so proud of their energy and enthusiasm. They did a brilliant job! Well done everyone!

 

The celebration did come with a health warning: not COVID-19 related, but in fact, due to how catchy some of the songs were! I have no doubts that at least one of these stuck in your head for the remainder of the day. For me, it was the line ‘I hope you like it spicy!’ from Year 1’s ‘singing vegetables’; however, a couple of parents have already come to me since to tell me that they had heard Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’ on the radio. That song has now changed forever for all those in attendance this week!

 

 

Thank you for coming in to school to support all of the children even if your child was one of the first to perform and you then stayed until the end. This was hugely appreciated by all of the children and staff. It made for a really special morning after all of the challenges of the previous 18 months. I think it put a spring in everyone’s step!

 

There were so many donations for the Wetherby Food Bank and I am pleased to say that all of these items were collected yesterday. They were very gratefully received. On top of this, £309.71 was raised in cash donations on the day for our new school charity – Zarach. This was a staggering amount so thank you again for your incredible kindness and generosity.

 

Following the celebration, we received feedback from some parents who wished to donate to the charity but did not have any cash on them at the time.  We have therefore set up a voluntary payment request for £1.00 from School Money for those of you who would like to make a donation.  If you wish to change the donation amount, you will be able to change this in the payment box.

 

Zarach are an amazing charity in inner-city Leeds to help families in crisis. The need for support across the entire region has increased dramatically as a result of the pandemic and they have worked tirelessly to support an ever-growing number of children. I registered our school as a ‘Zarach supporter’ back at the start of 2021 and the School Council felt that this was a worthy local charity to champion throughout this year. More information about Zarach - and the work they undertake - can be found by clicking the image below.

 

 

 

Today is the final day of a really busy half-term so I hope that you can all enjoy a week together at home. The children have blown us away with the way that they have returned and they continue to be an absolute credit to you all. If their smiles are anything to go by then it would appear that they have really enjoyed being back in school with everything having looked a little more normal.

 

Have a fantastic half-term! See you again on Monday 1st November!

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Certificate Assembly

 

This week, we have been continuing with our weekly certificate assemblies with further awards for Choices

 

At Collingham, Choices means that we want the children to develop courage, compassion and truthfulness in making positive choices about behaviour and learning. We want them to strive to be the best that they can be.

 

Two certificates were again awarded in each class: one for demonstrating the RESPECT Code values through behaviour choices and one in attitudes towards learning. A huge well done to all of the following children who have received a certificate today.

 

 

Choices (Week 6)

 

Reception - Hollie  (Behaviour - always choosing to behave brilliantly and for following the whole of our RESPECT Code to perfection& Theo R (Learning - choosing to try his very best with his learning, even when it’s tricky, such as writing some of our super hard new sounds).

 

Year 1 - Reuben (Behaviour - sitting so smartly on the carpet and showing us his amazing listening skills

& Olivia M (Learning -  blown us away with her focused attitude to learning)

 

Year 2 - Olivia T (Behaviour - always coming into school happy and ready to learn)

& James (Learning - thinking very carefully about his handwriting and the presentation of his work at all times)

 

Year 3 - Jack B  (Behaviour - making excellent choices in regards to his behaviour and attitude)

& Ellie (Learning - showing compassion and willingness to help her peers during maths lessons)

 

Year 4 - All of Year 4  (Behaviour & Learning - making FANTASTIC choices in your behaviour and learning on our school trip to Murton Park)

 

Year 5 - Millie  (Behaviour - being a fantastic role model to all of the children in school by making excellent, positive choices about her behaviour& Dottie (Learning - always keen to do additional work at home to consolidate her learning and constantly striving to be the best that she can be)

 

Year 6 - Chloe H (Behaviour - consistently making the right choice and being an excellent role model to her peers and the younger children in school) & Constance (Learning - being incredibly kind and hard working and approaching everything with her wonderful smile and fantastic attitude).

 

 

'Vision, Values & Curriculum' Parents Meeting - Monday 1st November

 

A couple of weeks a go, all parents were invited to a meeting about our RESPECT Code and our Curriculum Drivers on Monday 1st November at 6.00pm in the school hall. This is in fact the first day back after the half-term break and - as things stand - we will be proceeding with this, but with the use of facemasks in place for inside the school building.

 

During this meeting, we will be talking about our vision statement, Christian values and the words that make up our RESPECT Code. We will be explaining how these link to our whole school collective worship and our weekly learning and behaviour certificates. 

 

We will also be talking about our newly created Curriculum Drivers as these are now an integral part of our curriculum. They underpin the work we undertake in all areas of school life and to ensure that our curriculum offer is enriched and personalised to our children and families. We hope to give you an overview of both the RESPECT Code and Curriculum Drivers to enable you to support your children at home.

 

We would love to see as many parents as possible so - if you have not already done so - we would be grateful if you could please complete the Google form below to confirm your intention to attend the meeting so that we have an indication of numbers.

 

https://forms.office.com/r/pfF05Xefzp

 

Thank you!

 

 

Parent Consultation Evenings

 

Tuesday 16th November 2021 (4.30-7.30pm) & Wednesday 17th November 2021 (3.30-6.30pm)

 

The hope has been to hold these in school as normal, but unfortunately this was always going to be dependent on the number of COVID-19 cases in the community at the time. A considered decision will be taken after half-term as to whether these meetings will be held in person or remotely on Microsoft Teams as an alternative arrangement.

 

Appointment slots were made available to parents at 4.00pm yesterday so please continue to book these as normal as these will not change regardless of which format we proceed with. 

 

 

 

Friday 15th October 2021

 

This week, we have been enjoying the first of four focused curriculum driver weeks. The focus this time has been 'diversity' and the children have immersed in learning that 'values individuality and embraces equality'.

 

Our 'Diversity Week' has coincided with Black History Month and - as a part of our work in school - we felt it was extremely important to give the children an opportunity to share, celebrate and understand the impact of black heritage and culture. Greater attention has been paid to the importance of the Windrush generation and the Black Lives Matter movement in the past year and especially since the death of George Floyd in May 2020. We want our children to be able recognise the contribution and achievements of those with African or Caribbean heritage, but to also provide an opportunity for the children to learn more about the effects of racism and how to challenge negative stereotypes.

 

Whilst a lot of the work this week has centered on celebrating black history, it is important for the children to also know that diversity is not just about skin colour or race and so - through our curriculum driver - the children will be continually learning about how we are all diverse, how we are all different and how we all have something to offer. Gender, age, disability, religion and sexual orientation are all protected characteristics under the Equality Act (2010) and at Collingham we proudly and robustly challenge stereotyping and discrimination. We want to empower the children to act and influence the world around them by helping them recognise the unique identities, perspectives and talents of every individual. We have an Anti-bullying Policy (and a child friendly version) in place that demonstrates our commitment to tackling all prejudice-based language and we also continue to be a Stonewall Champion School through our desire to challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language in particular.  

 

The children have demonstrated incredible levels of emotional maturity, compassion and empathy throughout the week and, this afternoon, each class shared some of their learning with the whole school in a special collective worship in the hall. It was a pleasure to hear the children talking so confidently about what diversity means to them and about some of the important figures they have been studying. You will find a brief synopsis of this learning a bit further down in today's blog.

 

Our focus on diversity does not end with this sole themed week in school. All of our curriculum subjects are planned with the four curriculum drivers in mind and so diversity will continue to be promoted wherever possible throughout the school year. This could be in English; art; or music. The subject really does not matter; every possible learning opportunity will be taken.

 

 

Harvest Celebration (Wednesday 20th October)

 

 

Next Wednesday, we look forward to welcoming you all in to school for our first proper event since Christmas 2019. Our Harvest Celebration is always popular and the children are very much looking forward to performing a selection of songs and poems that focus on another of our curriculum drivers - 'environment'.

 

In order to avoid overcrowding in the hall - and to comply with fire regulations - we will once again be holding two separate assemblies. It is important to remind that all seven classes will be performing at each assembly so - regardless of which one you attend - you will be seeing all of the children perform.

 

The first assembly will be at 9.15am for Reception & Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2) parents and the second assembly will be at 10.45am for Key Stage 2 (Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6) parents

 

If you have children in both Rec/KS1 and in KS2 (e.g. a child in Y1 and in Y5) then please could you attend at 9.15am. We have checked the school database and we have 28 families in this situation. This helps satisfy the necessary fire regulations and ensures that we can accommodate everyone safely in the hall.

 

We politely request that parents attending either celebration arrive promptly and also stay until the end so as to support all of the children who have worked hard in preparing for this special event. In previous years, there have been some disappointing moments for the staff and children in seeing parents dash out of the doors as soon as one of the younger classes has finished performing. Thank you in advance for sitting tight!

 

Thank you as well to those who have brought in harvest donations so far for Wetherby Foodbank. To those who have not had an opportunity yet, we would very much welcome non-perishable food items - as well as toiletries - that can be sent to this worthy cause. Please feel free to drop off any items in the main entrance early next week. 

 

Certificate Assemblies

 

Over the past fortnight, we have been continuing with our weekly certificate assemblies with further awards for Positivity and Empathy.

 

At Collingham, Positivity means that we want the children to enjoy learning and to approach everything with enthusiasm. 

 

Empathy is about being compassionate and considering the feelings of others. We want the children to also understand the power of forgiveness.

 

Two certificates were again awarded in each class: one for demonstrating the RESPECT Code values through behaviour choices and one in attitudes towards learning. A huge well done to all of the following children who have received a certificate in the past couple of weeks.

 

 

Positivity (Week 4)

 

Reception - Samantha (Behaviour - inspiring others to be positive and making everyone around her smile)

& Simbai (Learning - always having a smile on his face and trying his best with learning)

 

Year 1 - Florence H (Behaviour - bouncing into school every day with a huge smile on her face) 

& Evie (Learning -  approaching all activities and tasks with a huge smile on her face and never giving anything other than 100%)

 

Year 2 - All of Year 2 (Behaviour - behaving impeccably on a school trip to the National Railway Museum)

& Alexandra (Learning - completing a brilliant recount of her trip to the National Railway Museum)

 

Year 3 - Ben K (Behaviour - approaching every task with enthusiasm and with an infectiously positive attitude)

& Amelia P (Learning - approaching all tasks with an enthusiastic and positive attitude. She is always determined to give things a go and to try her best)

 

Year 4 - Seren (Behaviour - showing positivity and enthusiasm towards EVERYTHING she undertakes)

& Teddy (Learning - passionate about his learning and shows great determination to succeed in everything that he does)

 

Year 5 - Abigail (Behaviour - approaching each day with an infinite supply of enthusiasm and with a 'can do' attitude)

& Finn (Learning - approaching every lesson with the same laudable levels of enthusiasm and positivity)

 

Year 6 - Chloe B (Behaviour - approaching EVERYTHING with positivity and joy, be it her friendships, her learning or being a role model around school) & Jake (Learning - listening to advice as he really wants to improve; he has a fantastic growth mindset. He always strives to be his best self)

 

 

Empathy (Week 5)

 

Reception - Maya (Behaviour - showing kindness towards everyone in Reception and always behaving perfectly)

& Monty (Learning - thinking carefully during learning about diversity, understanding how important it is to treat everyone the same and making everybody feel happy)

 

Year 1 - Imogen (Behavior - having a great sensitivity to how others are feeling and always being one of the first to offer support to anyone who is hurt or upset) & Ellis (Learning - displaying his compassion and understanding of how others might be feeling during a lesson on Rosa Parks)  

 

Year 2 - Jesse (Behaviour - being thoughtful and working hard to decorate a friendship band with things that his friend would like)

& Grace (Learning - understanding how she can support her friends in class and contributing well during PSHE lessons)

 

Year 3 - Heidi (Behaviour - having a kind and caring nature that makes her a fabulous learning partner and a great friend to many)

& Amelia L (Learning - impressing all of the staff in Year 3 as they always hear her offering support to her friends and considering how others might feel)

 

Year 4 - Seb (Behaviour - putting others first because he is aware of other children’s feelings by showing compassion and tolerance)

& Georgia (Learning - always being found supporting and helping the children on her table with their learning. She never looks for any recognition but her acts of kindness do not go unnoticed)

 

Year 5 - Sophie F (Behaviour - displaying exemplary compassion to all around her in everything that she does)

& William T (Learning -  having an incredibly empathetic understanding of the plight and treatment of many immigrants during the Windrush era)  

 

Year 6 - Jack (Behaviour - being a fantastic role model by always ensuring that everyone feels listened to and included in games)

& Daisy (Learning - always considering the feelings of her friends and for showing amazing compassion towards the people we have been learning about this week and the prejudices that they faced)

 

 

Curriculum Drivers - Diversity Week

 

Find out below, what each class has been learning about during 'Diversity Week'.

 

 

Reception

 

As part of diversity week, Reception have been learning about superheroes from other countries. We learnt about Nelson Mandela and looked at where South Africa was on a globe, we also learnt about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King and looked at where America was on a globe. We used books to help us learn about and identify what made them superheroes. We talked about how they all wanted everybody to be treated the same and they all had the courage to stand up for what they believed in.

 

We discussed the words equality, justice and service from our RESPECT code and how these superheroes displayed such values. We talked about what our dreams for the world were and what we would do to make the world a better place and drew pictures of our ideas and thoughts. As part of our art curriculum, we looked at African masks, we talked about different African tribes and looked at different styles of masks. We talked about the features of these masks and learnt the word symmetrical. We made our own masks and tried really hard to make them symmetrical.

 

 

Year 1

 

We learnt about Rosa Parks and the impact she had. We then discussed as a class the words ‘racism’, ‘segregation’ and ‘discrimination’. The class had a good understanding of this and we discussed right or wrong. The class then spoke with a partner and tried to think of a question to ask Rosa Parks. They came up with some excellent ideas. We then chose some of the questions and thought how Rosa might have answered them.

 

Later on, we revisited the same topic and I asked the class what they could remember. We then concentrated on the story by Floella Benjamin called ‘Coming to England’. We discussed how the characters felt at different times of the story. We then thought of questions we would like to ask and in partners thought about how they would be answered.

 

Examples of questions to Rosa Parks:

 

What was it like not being treated the same as white people? (Olivia G)

Why did people not share and treat each other nicely? (William)

Why were some white people not being compassionate? (Lilly)

Why were people not following the RESPECT code? (Ellis)

 

Examples of questions to Floella Benjamin:

 

What did it feel like to move to a new country? (Imogen)

How did it feel being treated unfairly? (Arthur Ke.)

What was it like on the boat? (Florence)

What was it like in school when people were being mean to you? (Tom C)

 

 

Year 2

 

Year 2 listened to Floella Benjamin’s story called 'Coming to England'. We discussed what happened and how she and her family might have been feeling. We collected lots of feelings and filled a person with feeling words. The children were amazed at how many different feelings might be buzzing around in a person all at the same time. The children also participated in some African drumming with Mrs Meek.

 

 

 

Year 3

 

This week, Year 3 have thoroughly enjoyed learning about diversity and diverse communities. We have discussed what it means to live in and belong to a community. We looked at diversity in our school and talked about how many different people are part of our school community and how we celebrate everyone’s individuality and embrace equality.  

 

To represent the different types of diverse communities that we are part of, Year 3 created three Russian dolls. The smallest doll showed a smaller community with less people such as our family community. The second medium-sized doll represented a bigger community that we are part of such as a team or club. The final - and largest - doll represented the biggest community such as our school community. We decorated the back of our Russian dolls by explaining with words, phrases, and pictures what diversity looks like in each community. A huge well done Year 3! You have worked incredibly hard this week and your Russian dolls look fantastic!  

 

 

 

Year 4

 

This week in Year 4, as part of diversity week, we have looked at what we think diversity is. We started by watching a video with children describing their experiences of diversity. They talk about their friends coming from many different backgrounds and religions, and their families living around the world.

 

After watching the video, in groups, we then had to create a poster showing what we thought diversity was. We all had lots of different ideas and enjoyed being creative in showing our learning. These are just a few examples of our posters.

 

 

Year 5

 

This week, Year 5 have been learning about the Windrush generation and their immigration to the UK.  We started by learning about where the Caribbean is and the countries that make up the Caribbean. We used atlases, the internet and digital map on the iPads to identify the countries, their capital cities, flags and populations.  

 

After this, we looked at who came to Britain on the HMT Empire Windrush. We discovered that most of them were young men, who had made the decision to leave their homelands in search of work and a better future for them and their families. The most common occupation listed among the passengers was Domestic Worker, meaning that they would come here to be cleaners, servants or do other similar jobs.  

 

Next, we studied the reception that immigrants from the Caribbean received when they arrived in Britain following the journey of the Empire Windrush in 1948, including the infamous “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs” posters that were sometimes displayed at the time. These people, who had come to England hoping for a better life, faced terrible discrimination as they went about their daily lives. However, they still thrived and created vibrant, welcoming communities in many parts of the UK.  

 

Finally, we learned about some of the most influential members of the Windrush generation who arrived in our country, such as Baroness Floella Benjamin, Baroness Patricia Scotland, Lord David Pitt and Baroness Doreen Lawrence, all of whom have been recognised with honours from the Queen for their service to the country.  

 

 

Year 6

 

Year 6 started the week by linking Diversity to our PSHE topic on Human Rights where we have been looking at migrants and refugees. We spent a session learning all about Floella Benjamin and learning about the prejudices she faced when she came to England as a migrant in 1960. On post it notes, we all wrote the different prejudices that Floella faced when she came to England and stuck these on a person. Then, we thought about all the aspects of our RESPECT code Floella demonstrated to be able to become the person that she is today and we displayed these around the outside of our person. The children were all really shocked about the way Floella and her family were treated. 

 

Later in the week, we learnt all about Harriet Tubman and linked this to both our History topic and our PSHE work. The children talked about what Freedom meant and played a game where certain people were given different privileges to others. This really helped them to deepen their understanding of slavery and being stripped of your Human Rights. 

 

 

Today, Year 6 learnt about Olaudah Equiano and why he was so important in the history of the slave trade and the abolition of slavery in Britain.  Year 6 also learned a call and response song from Ghana in West Africa called, 'Kye, Kye, Kule' which is sung in the Twi language. They learnt that call and response songs originate from African slaves who sung on plantations in the deep south of America as the singing reminded them of their traditions during public gatherings such as weddings, funerals and religious festivals. The steady rhythm of the song helped them to work harder too.   They will perform this during the celebration assembly.

 

 

 

Year 3 Stone Age Day

 

On Tuesday, Year 3 travelled back in time to the Stone Age. They started the morning by discussing various assets and threats that hunter-gatherers would have faced in the Stone Age. Then they played ‘I am a hunter-gatherer get me out of here.’ Year 3 searched the school grounds for assets that would have helped them to survive the savage Stone Age. After that, the children had a lot of fun carving their own spearheads which looked amazing! In the afternoon, they talked about cave paintings and discussed what the artists would have used to create their cave paintings. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed creating their own cave painting and they looked beautiful. Well done Year 3! What a fabulous day!

 

 

 

‘It’s Good to Grow’ from Morrisons

 

 

With a week to go before tokens can no longer be collected, we are currently sitting on a total of 771 tokens. We are hopeful of a final push in this last week to reach a total of over 1000.

 

Please continue to spread the word amongst family and friends. Parents/carers, grandparents, other family members and friends of the school can all help by collecting tokens for every £10 spent in Morrisons stores - the nearest one being in Wetherby. These tokens are available to collect until 24th October 2021

 

A reminder of how tokens can be collected can be found below:

 

1) Morrisons customers download the 'MyMorrisons' app.

2) Sign in or register to 'My Morrisions' and select the school that you wish to collect for (Collingham Lady Elizabeth Hastings' Church of England Primary School, Linton Road, Collingham, LS22 5BS).

3) Scan the app at checkout or use online when shopping.

4) For every £10 spent, you will receive a Grow Token to donate to the school.

5) School can exchange Grow Tokens for free gardening equipment after the collection period.

 

Thank you for your incredible support so far!

 

 

DYSLEXIA & SPECIFIC LEARNING DIFFICULTY INFORMATION SESSION

 

Parents have today been emailed about a coffee pot information in school. This is an open invitation to all parents to learn more about some of the provision we offer in school for our children. There is no expectation to attend, but if you feel it would be helpful - or that it gives you a better insight in to our specific interventions - then we would be delighted to see you.

 

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Friday 1st October 2021

 

This week has seen our first one of the new school year with a full building as we welcomed our new Reception children to Collingham for their official start on Monday. These children have been simply amazing and they have looked fabulous in their new uniforms. They have been so happy and independent already and all of the children in school have been so excited to meet them all. It is always one of our favourite weeks in the school year and the personal highlight for me is always seeing the new children collecting their lunch in the hall and then carrying it to the tables themselves - they look so grown up! I have had the pleasure of reading 'Billy and the Big New School' to Reception this morning and - fortunately - I left the classroom in confidence that I had learnt all 30 names! No testing me though! Well done Reception on a brilliant first week in school! We are all so proud of you!

 

 

Last Friday, Mr Elliot, Mrs Shaw and myself returned to school following a wonderful three days away with our Year 6 children on their residential to Robinwood near Wrexham, North Wales. In my 16 years as a teacher, I have never been on a trip where the children behaved so perfectly and demonstrated such positive, determined and encouraging attitudes as this group of children. The school staff and centre leaders were absolutely blown away - so much so that Laura and Ari (Crag and Mountain Leaders) were in tears as we left! Our children really made an impression and they were a real credit to themselves the whole time. Great job Year 6!

 

The children took part in so many activities and they were really taken out of their comfort zone: raft building; canoeing; the giant swing; rock climbing; high ropes course; zip line; as well as many others. The less said about the water activities the better really as Mr Elliot had a torrid time on his raft and ended up in the pond on three separate occasions and I was brutally soaked in canoeing by a child who shall remain nameless [Jack!!!]. It took me three days to dry out, but I have now forgiven said unnamed child [JACK!!!]! In truth, I actually blame Mrs Shaw for not protecting Mr Elliot and I! 

 

A huge thank you to Mr Elliot for all of his hard work in organising the trip and to both he and Mrs Shaw for giving up their own time to ensure that the children had this fantastic opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime. In the next Headteacher Blog, I look forward to sharing some of the photos from this fabulous experience away.

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Certificate Assemblies

 

Following on from our first RESPECT Code themed Certificate Assembly, starting with R for Resilience on Friday 17th September, we have since had further awards for Equality and Service.

 

At Collingham, Equality means that we encourage everyone to take part in all of the learning and playing that takes place at our school. We celebrate and we are thankful for our similarities and differences. We also treat everyone justly.

 

Service is about using your position within our school selflessly and to do things for the benefit of everybody in our school community. This is done without seeking praise or reward - it is just because it is the right thing to do.

 

Two certificates were again awarded in each class: one for demonstrating the RESPECT Code values through behaviour choices and one in attitudes towards learning. A huge well done to all of the following children who have received a certificate in the past couple of weeks.

 

Equality (Week 3)

 

Year 1 - Alice (Behaviour - treating everyone fairly)

& Max (Learning - a great talk partner who listens and shares ideas)

 

Year 2 - Natsai (Behaviour - showing kindness and fairness)

& Amelie (Learning - showing fairness and including everyone in class)

 

Year 3 - Marina (Behaviour - playing with everyone)

& Toby (Learning - being a superb learning partner)

 

Year 4 - Lucy (Behaviour - voted by her peers for celebrating differences)

& Ben (Learning - voted by his peers for being fair and compassionate)

 

Year 5 - Nell (Behaviour - voted by her peers for displaying an inclusive attitude)

& Ella (Learning - being a fantastic learning partner)

 

Year 6 - were at Robinwood exemplifying ALL of our RESPECT Code values.

 

 

Service (Week 4)

 

Year 1 - Evangeline (Behaviour - going above and beyond to be helpful around the classroom)

& Arthur K (Learning - gave up his time to help a friend with a tricky maths problem)

 

Year 2 - Matilda (Behaviour - helped handing resources out and tidied the classroom)

& Seb (Learning - helped a friend pick up all their dropped pencils so they could both get back to learning quickly)

 

Year 3 - Hugh (Behaviour - always demonstrating a selfless attitude)

& Danielle (Learning - being a superb learning partner and helping peers with tricky maths problems)

 

Year 4 - Amelia (Behaviour - having a kind heart and showing generosity to everyone in the classroom)

& Annabelle (Learning - always the first to volunteer to help others out if required)

 

Year 5 - Ben R (Behaviour - exemplary service as a lunchtime leader this week and in helping the new Reception children)

& William (Learning - patiently and calmly supporting his peers across the curriculum)

 

Year 6 - Daisy, Martha M, Chloe H, Georgie, Eve, Isabelle, Poppy, Chloe B, Pria, Gwen, Sophie & Betsy (Behaviour - for running a 26 mile charity bike ride event and for raising lots of money for FoCS PTA, Martin House and the NHS)

 

 

House Points

 

This week, our winning houses were both MOORS AND DALES with 465 house points. This is the first time ever that we have had joint winners! Elizabeth the Bear is going to be very cosy wearing two scarves all next week! Amazing!

 

The winning class was Year 3 AGAIN (!) with 402.

 

Well done everyone!

 

 

26 Mile Charity Bike Ride

 

As you will have just seen from our Service certificates this week, a team of Year 6 children from our school (plus Amelia, Heidi and Rose R from Year 3 and two fabulous ex-pupils Tom and Lucy) recently delivered a charity event that had been months in the planning. The idea for the event was the children’s own and they gave up their own time to complete all of the preparations themselves.  

 

Some of the children participated in a sponsored 26 mile marathon bike ride while others set up stalls selling drinks, cakes, sweets, crafts and books at the finish line in readiness for the return of the cyclists.  

 

The event was advertised across the local community and a huge number of people came out to support the children in their efforts to raise as much money as possible for their chosen charities of Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) PTA; Martin House Children’s Hospice; and the NHS. In total, an incredible sum of £2000 was raised and this will soon be distributed between these three important causes. 

 

Everyone within our school community is immensely proud of these children for running such a successful event in their spare time. They have raised a significant sum of money that is going to make such a huge difference to so many young people. In school, the children have learnt about the value of ‘service’ which encourages everyone to take social action without the expectation for praise or reward. The children really have taken this to new levels through their selfless attitudes. They have worked brilliantly as a team and they have set a fabulous example of what can be achieved together in order to help others.

 

Well done to everyone involved and thank you for having such kind hearts!  

 

Should anyone wish to make a donation then this can be done on the following link:

 

**Please click**

 

 

 

 

Flu Vaccinations

 

A quick reminder that nasal flu vaccinations will be administered in school next Wednesday 6th October for all children who were signed up using the NHS/Intrahealth link that was emailed to all parents on 13th September. 

 

This is an external process and our school does not have anything to do with the organisation of this vaccination session other than providing a room for the children to receive their vaccine. 

 

 

Harvest Celebration

 

On Wednesday 20th October 2021, we will be holding our first Harvest celebration for two years in the school hall and we would like to invite you to join us. There was an incredible attendance from parents back in 2019 and the children were absolutely delighted to see the support from all our parents as they performed an array of songs and poems. The Harvest Celebration has always been a popular event and so this year we will once again hold two separate assemblies in order to avoid overcrowding in the hall and to comply with fire regulations.

 

The first assembly will be at 9.15am for Reception and Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2) parents and the second assembly will be at 10.45am for Key Stage 2 (Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6) parents. All seven classes will be performing at each of the time slots for approximately 40 minutes. We politely request that parents attending either celebration arrive promptly and also stay until the end so as to support all of the children who have worked hard in preparing for this special event. In previous years, there have been some disappointing moments for the staff and children in seeing parents dash out of the doors as soon as one of the younger classes has finished performing. Thank you in advance for sitting tight!

 

If you have children in both Rec/KS1 and in KS2 (e.g. a child in Y1 and in Y5) then please could you attend at 9.15am. We have checked the school database and we have 28 families in this situation. This helps satisfy the necessary fire regulations and ensures that we can accommodate everyone safely in the hall.

 

Our charity this year will be Wetherby Food Bank who are extremely grateful for all donations received. They would very much welcome non-perishable food items as well as toiletries.

 

If you are able to support by making a donation to this worthy cause then please could you send these items in to school with the children and they will be collected in their classrooms for the time being. These can be brought in from Monday 11th October.

 

As always, your kindness is greatly appreciated.

 

 

‘It’s Good to Grow’ from Morrisons

 

 

It has come to our attention that Morrisons are running an initiative to help support the generation growing because the more children know about how food is grown and made then the better they will eat - both now and in the future.

 

Through our Curriculum Driver of 'Environment', we would be really keen to get involved over the remaining weeks in order to try and obtain as much free gardening equipment as we can through the support of our wider school community. Equipment up for grabs includes greenhouses, wheelbarrows, plant pots, watering cans, trowels/spades and seeds.

 

Parents/carers, grandparents, other family members and friends of the school can all help by collecting tokens for every £10 spent in Morrisons stores - the nearest one being in Wetherby. These tokens are available to collect until 24th October 2021. 

 

The tokens are in fact digital tokens and these have replaced paper tokens that you may have been familiar with through similar initiatives with other supermarkets in the past.

 

We would be really grateful for your support and for you to share that Collingham School are actively participating in the initiative. You can find instructions below for how the scheme works.

 

How it works?

 

1) Morrisons customers download the 'MyMorrisons' app.

2) Sign in or register to 'My Morrisions' and select the school that you wish to collect for (Collingham Lady Elizabeth Hastings' Church of England Primary School, Linton Road, Collingham, LS22 5BS).

3) Scan the app at checkout or use online when shopping.

4) For every £10 spent, you will receive a Grow Token to donate to the school.

5) School can exchange Grow Tokens for free gardening equipment after the collection period.

 

 

Parent Events 2021/22

 

Email sent to parents on Thursday 30th September.

 

 

 

 

Friday 17th September 2021

 

Well done everyone! It has been a brilliant first full week back in school. Following the the relaunch of the vision statement and RESPECT Code last week (further information below), the children have spent this week learning about our new Curriculum Drivers which are the four things that we believe are the four most important areas to help underpin the delivery of our curriculum so as to tailor it perfectly for our school.

 

These Curriculum Drivers are something that we have worked exceptionally hard on developing even throughout the pandemic. Alongside the National Curriculum, these four drivers will be the starting point for topic planning in all curriculum subjects and - over the coming months and years - everyone connected to Collingham School will become really familiar with them. I look forward to sharing more information regarding these with you next week and to also show you what the children have been learning about them in school.

 

I am delighted to reveal the four Curriculum Drivers with you today as well as the objectives for each one that the children will be focusing on throughout their learning journey at Collingham. This is a really exciting development! The drivers will help to ensure that our curriculum is more exciting than it has ever been before and that the curriculum meets the needs of our own school community rather than anyone else's.

 

 

 

Certificate Assembly

 

Today was our first Certificate Assembly back together in the school hall. This is our weekly celebration linked to a specific theme from our RESPECT Code. On Monday, it was revealed that our focus for the week would be R for Resilience. At Collingham, resilience is about showing courage to try new things and to persevere when things are difficult. We want the children to keep at it and to learn from their mistakes.

 

Two certificates were awarded in each class: one for resilience in behaviour choices and one for resilience in attitudes towards learning. Congratulations to all of the following children for showing resilience in action at school throughout the week. Please keep an eye out for the certificates in the children's reading bags.

 

Year 1 - Lilly (Behaviour - trying new things) 

& Olivia G (Learning - challenging herself in lessons)

 

Year 2 - Myles (Behaviour - encouraging other children)

& Austen (Learning - working really hard in all lessons)

 

Year 3 - Arthur (Behaviour - an incredible growth mindset)

& Leo (Learning - showing courage in all lessons)

 

Year 4 - Charlie A (Behaviour - showing courage and confidence)

& Layla (Learning - working so hard with a fractured wrist)

 

Year 5 - Chloe S (Behaviour - making fantastic choices) 

& Skye (Learning - not giving up on tricky maths problems)

 

Year 6 - Joe (Behaviour - reacting positively to feedback)

& Gwen (Learning - courage to try a new way of painting)

 

House Points

 

Every week, the children earn house points for working hard; following the RESPECT Code; showing good manners; and trying as hard as they possibly can every day. For really special moments, they are awarded special Power House Points from either Mrs Myers or myself which are worth 10 house points each. All house points are collected in jars in the classrooms and these are then counted up by our Year 6 house captains every Thursday. The totals are then revealed in our Certificate Assembly on a Friday where the winning house and the winning class are announced.

 

This week, our winning house was RIVERS with 935 house points and our winning class was Year 3 with 1046. Well done everyone!

 

The winning class gets to take Elizabeth the Bear back to the classroom for the next week. You will notice that she is dressed smartly in her knitted blue scarf to represent RIVERS.

 

 

The house points continue to be totaled each week and the children in the house with the highest number of points before Christmas will receive an afternoon treat with the house captains. The current standings are:

 

 

 

Vision Statement & RESPECT Code Relaunch

 

Last week, we relaunched our whole school vision statement and RESPECT Code across school and the children spent their first three days completing activities to try and learn why these are important to Collingham School. In the Headteacher Blog on Friday 10th September (scroll down below), parents/carers were given an explanation about how we use these two documents together in school. This can now also be found on our 'Vision & Values' section on the school website.

 

https://www.collinghamschool.com/vision-values/

 

I wanted to take the opportunity today to show you some of the work that the children were involved with and what they were learning in class about the school vision and the RESPECT Code.

 

Year 1

 

 

Last week, the children took part in lots of short activities linked to each of the Christian values or words in the RESPECT Code.

 

  • The children talked about the meaning of the Christian value words and they had to hunt around the classroom for the picture/symbol that they thought matched the word. 
  • They talked about how the children could show these values in our school. Some children then drew their own pictures in their own provision time showing what they had talked about.
  • They read a story to understand more about resilience and perseverance. This was called 'If at first you don't succeed' and was about a spider that never gives up. The children acted out the story using puppets. 
  • The children also came and told me about examples of when they had shown some of the values. I thought this was brilliant as this was completely un-prompted.

 

"I did compassion because I gave ****** the dinosaur when he was sad."

 

"I was generous because I gave ***** a bracelet."

 

 

 

 

Year 2

 

Year 2 really enjoyed learning about our RESPECT Code last week. As part of their discussions on the school vision statement, they looked at what it means to be an individual and how they could welcome everyone with respect. The class thought about what makes them different and recorded this in pictures. They also read the book: ‘All Are Welcome.’  

 

The children also looked at the Christian Values through the story of ‘The Selfish Crocodile.’ The children chose a picture from the book that linked with the Christian values and discussed where the values were hidden in the story. They were very good at spotting more than one value in each picture!

 

As part of their learning on the RESPECT Code, the children focused on choices and togetherness. They thought about different pictures and how they could help the children in the pictures make a better choice. One afternoon, the children looked at togetherness using the parachute. The children had to work as part of a team to ensure that each parachute activity was successful. The class worked so well together and both Mrs Hughes and Miss Ghassempour were amazed by how much they helped and supported one another throughout these activities. What a fantastic start to Year 2!  

 

 

 

Year 3

 

Year 3 had a brilliant week and thoroughly enjoyed learning about our RESPECT Code. They kicked off the week by learning about our vision statement: they drew pictures to represent each section and discussed how the pictures represent our Collingham vision. 

 

On Thursday, they talked about our Christian values that underpin the RESPECT Code. The children picked one Christian value and described on a leaf about a time they had shown that value in their learning and behaviour. They absolutely loved hearing eachother's stories as they were all very different and the children were thrilled to hear that these will be displayed in the classroom so they can read them throughout this year. 

 

On Friday, we looked at the final part of our RESPECT Code. The children discussed the tricky words and familarised themselves with what each one meant. In groups, they matched each part of the word RESPECT with the correct definition. It was great to see the children working together and using their fabulous teamwork skills.

 

Finally, they really got stuck into a drama session where the children were set a task to use freeze framing to create a scene which demonstrated one part of the word RESPECT. The other groups did a great job at guessing which word the children were creating. The children particularly loved one group's version of equality. The children could see how powerful each freeze frame was and it did not take long to figure out which one the children were showing. Well done everyone! 

 

 

 

Year 4

 

On Wednesday, the children learnt how our new vision statement was based on the long-standing school motto of “We are family; All are welcome; You are loved”. The children spent time looking at each section of the vision statement and then completed an activity to go with each. During the activities, the children created wonderful art work depicting our vision statement. Have a look at some of the examples below: 

 

On Thursday, the children learnt about the 12 Christian values on our RESPECT Code and how they are the standards that a follower of Jesus Christ holds as important. The children spent time discussing the different values and how each one might look in school and in our community. The children came up with some amazing examples and understood that the values which make up our Collective Worship are represent the fruit that grows as the teaching is lived out in everyday life. 

 

Finally, on Friday, after a wonderful Collective Worship with Mr Cook, the children matched the Christian Values with each part of our RESPECT Code. We then looked at each letter of our RESPECT Code and the children discussed how we could show them in our behaviour and in our attitudes towards learning. The children then worked in pairs to complete a maths puzzle.

 

After completing the puzzle, we discussed if during the activity they had demonstrated any part of our RESPECT code. The children were quick to say that they had to show resilience when they found some learning tricky; positivity as they enjoyed trying to solve the mystery; and empathy as they needed to be aware of each other’s feelings. In their pairs, they had to make positive choices and they had to act with trust and friendship when working together. 

 

 

 

Year 5

 

Year 5 had an amazing week learning about the RESPECT Code in school. On Wednesday, the children started the week by looking at the school vision statement. They decorated dolls to highlight their individuality and they then filled dream jars to show all that we dream of.

 

On Thursday, they played a matching game to match our Christian Values with the symbols and developed some real life scenarios where they could demonstrate these values.

 

Finally, they ended the week by looking at the seven words that make up our RESPECT code. They matched up our Christian Values with the words in the RESPECT code and discovered that there were multiple links that are different to the ones that were put into the final version. To round off their learning, the children created freeze frames to demonstrate all of the different aspects of the RESPECT code. All of this work now forms part of our new RESPECT Code display in the classroom so that they can refer back to it at any point during the school year.  

 

 

 

Year 6

 

Last Wednesday, Year 6 studied the new school vision statement which is based on, “We are family; All are welcome; You are loved”. The children talked about what the key words meant and how they matched with the biblical references.  We created paper dolls of what makes us all individuals and linked them with string and hearts.

 

On Thursday, the children learnt about the 12 Christian values on our RESPECT Code and how they are a good set of values to live by as a world citizen.  They discussed many examples of the RESPECT Code in action and how it might look if they didn't use our RESPECT Code, for example, how we show courage in school and give examples of when we don't persevere.  We matched the symbols and then played a memory game called 'Kim's Game' to help us remember them.

 

The children finished this fabulous week with really embedding the RESPECT Code and what it means to us.  They created a display about moments when they were really proud of themselves and created photo stills of what the RESPECT Code might look like in action. What a great week!

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 10th September 2021

 

What a fantastic first week back in school it has been! It has been lovely to see you all and to see our school running in the way it should. Long may it continue!

 

To kick start the new academic year, we have re-launched our school vision statement and our RESPECT Code. These were both rewritten before the pandemic and were set to be launched with the children at the start of March 2020 before we then had to stop all of our whole school collective worship with COVID-19 cases rapidly on the increase. Since 5th March 2020, we have not had another chance to all be together in one place and so this week seemed like the perfect opportunity for the children to learn exactly what the vision for the school is and to also understand how it provides the all-encompassing structure for our RESPECT Code.

 

Back in 2019, the whole school staff, school governors, children and a parent panel worked on developing a brand new Christian vision statement for our school. This took a huge amount of time and work to write something that we felt really reflected what we wanted to achieve at Collingham. As a Church of England school, the vision statement sets the direction of the school and articulates our promotion of strong Christian values. It is aspirational and it aims to motivate and inspire all members of the school community.

 

On Wednesday, the children learnt how our new vision statement is based on the long-standing school motto of “We are family; All are welcome; You are loved”. It was this powerful motto that really struck a chord with me when I first visited Collingham and it made me realise instantly that I wanted to be the headteacher of this amazing school. The motto is displayed all over school and the children continue to say it every day at the end of the school prayer; however, over time, it seems to have lost its meaning and become simply just words. 

 

The vision statement is 50 words long; it is split in to three sections to represent each element of the school motto; and it also has clear biblical literature embedded in to it. It has been structured to lead with God's love; then what we create; what we offer; and then what we do for each child. Finally, we ended with the 'result'.

 

 

The vision statement underpins everything we do at Collingham: through the RESPECT code; our curriculum; and all of our policies. It helps to create an environment that prepares our children to be independent, confident, global citizens and it promotes the well-being of the whole child and ensures intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual growth. I hope that you feel it already reflects our school community as we try to recover from the pandemic and to build even further - in the coming years - on what we already have.

 

 

 

On Thursday, the children learnt about the 12 Christian values on our RESPECT Code and how they are the standards that a follower of Jesus Christ holds as important. These values are consistent from generation to generation, since their foundation is from God's Word in the Bible, but it was also important for the children to be aware of how these values are consistent with other faiths too. These values are the language we use in school to positively manage behaviour and attitudes to learning. We promote them every day to help each and every child become the best version of themselves that they can be. 

 

 

 

Finally, this morning, our last collective worship of the week demonstrated to the children how the school vision statement and the twelve Christian values are the 'recipe' for the creation of our RESPECT Code - including what each letter of the word RESPECT stands for. The twelve values were represented by twelve different cooking ingredients and - by following a very precise recipe of our own - our capable team of cooks - Harry, Ella, Noah and Skye (and including Mr 'Cook' of course) - were able to visually represent the formation of our RESPECT Code to the rest of the school. Once all the ingredients (Christian values) had been mixed together and baked in the oven; a delicious looking cake (RESPECT Code) was the end result.

 

In simple terms, the children have been learning how the Christian vision statement is the umbrella over our school that is then delivered through the 12 Christian values that teach them to show RESPECT.

 

 

 

 

 

From next week onwards, we will focus on each letter of the RESPECT Code in turn - starting with R for Resilience which will also involve exploring the Christian values of courage and perseverance. The children will learn about resilience at the start of the week and they will be taught how they can demonstrate this through their behaviour and their attitudes towards learning over the course of the week. They will then be challenged to go out and put this in to action for themselves. 

 

On Friday, we will then have our celebratory, whole school Certificate Assembly where two children will be awarded certificates (see examples below) for showing resilience - one for behaviour and one for attitudes towards learning. These certificates will be sent home each week so please keep and eye out so that you can really praise your children for their awards.

 

 

This structure for weekly collective worship will then be followed for E, S, P, E, C and T (it's impossible to read this without breaking in to the rhythm of a particular song!) before then returning to the start again. This cycle will then continue throughout the academic year.

 

To sign off today's blog, I felt obliged to share an incredible piece of artwork that was created by Seren (Year 4) earlier in the week. Seren was sent by Mrs Questa to show me her work and I was absolutely blown away by the quality and precision of it. She explained to me how she had drawn hands making a love heart symbol which represented the 'you are loved' part of our school motto and vision. Inside this heart, she then wrote as many words as she could think of that exemplified this phrase in action at Collingham. I am sure you will agree that the end result is absolutely outstanding and it has since given us the idea to create more images such as this that we could potentially put up on display in the school hall. Well done Seren!

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Tuesday 7th September 2021

 

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

I hope you have had a fantastic summer break and that the children have had a chance to 'recharge the batteries'. We are all looking forward to warmly welcoming you back to school tomorrow for the first day of the new academic year. What better way to return than in 28 degree sunshine so please remember to have applied sunscreen to your children before they leave the house in the morning. I certainly did not expect to have to deliver that message in the second week of September, but I guess that nothing should surprise us with the good old British weather these days!

 

All the staff in school have high hopes and an extremely positive outlook for the year ahead. We cannot wait to get started. There is no way of knowing what challenges might lie ahead, but - to be honest it doesn't matter - we will tackle them head on as we always do! There has been a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to get ready for tomorrow, but we are particularly excited about the improvements we have made to the curriculum for this year. All will be revealed in the coming weeks. The children are going to have a memorable learning experience and - after all of the disruption of the past 18 months - it was important to take this opportunity to really freshen things up.

 

For new Reception parents, we cannot wait to see you and the children tomorrow afternoon for the drop in sessions should you be able to make these. For some of you, this will be your first opportunity to set foot in school following all of the restrictions that we have faced throughout the pandemic so thank you for your understanding and patience. I sincerely wish this could have been different. Your home visits by the class teachers will start from Monday 13th September before your children then start their morning sessions in school from Monday 20th September on the days that you were provided with before the summer holidays. You will be sure to receive a proper Collingham welcome from all members of our school community. It is going to be fantastic to meet you all properly!

 

I appreciate that you were all provided with a huge amount of information last week in readiness for our return tomorrow so I just wanted to take the opportunity to politely remind you about a few of the key things.

 

Displaying symptoms of COVID-19

 

Children, parents and staff should not enter school premises if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).

 

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

 

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

 

If anyone in school develops COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, we will continue to send them home and they should then follow public health advice. Children will be taken to the school’s isolation room and parents will contacted to arrange immediate collection.

 

We appreciate that some parents will be working so please consider contingency arrangements that you could access/employ in this situation.

 

 

Government guidance

 

Government guidance now informs schools:

 

  • Contingency plans (sometimes called Outbreak Management Plans) should be in place that outline what would happen if children, pupils, students or staff test positive for COVID-19, or how to operate if you were advised to take extra measures to help break chains of transmission.
  • It is no longer recommend that it is necessary to keep children in consistent groups (‘bubbles’). This means that bubbles will not need to be used from the autumn term. Contingency plans (sometimes called Outbreak Management Plans) should cover the possibility that in some local areas it may become necessary to reintroduce ‘bubbles’ for a temporary period, to reduce mixing between groups. Any decision to recommend the reintroduction of ‘bubbles’ would not be taken lightly and would need to take account of the detrimental impact they can have on the delivery of education.
  • Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.
  • Frequent and thorough hand cleaning should now be regular practice. Schools should continue to ensure that pupils clean their hands regularly. This can be done with soap and water.
  • Appropriate cleaning schedules should be put in place and maintained. This should include regular cleaning of areas and equipment (for example, twice per day), with a particular focus on frequently touched surfaces.

 

Schools can seek public health advice when five children or staff ‘who are likely to have mixed closely’ (or 10% of a smaller group) – test positive for COVID-19 in a 10 day period. This is the recommended point at which schools might be expected to implement their Outbreak Management Plans.

 

 

Start of school day

 

 

8.50am (Gates open at 8.40am)

 

Late arrivals

 

 

Children arriving at 8.55am will be deemed late and they will need to be brought in to school through the main office as the classroom doors will be closed.

 

 

Drop off arrangements

Reception, Year 1 & Year 2

 

The school gates will be open from 8.40am and parents/carers are welcome to start arriving at any point from then on. Parents/carers in these year groups are expected to bring their children on to the playground and to then wait with them until the bell is rung on the playground at 8.50am and the classroom doors are opened by the teachers. The children will need to line up outside of their classroom doors before being allowed in to school.

Years 3, 4, 5 & 6

 

Parents/carers must allow their children to walk independently up the path past the school bungalow to the back of school. Children can be dropped off on the front playground or at the gate at the top of the steps from 8.40am. Staff will be outside to help support with this for the first few days and there will always be members of staff supervising on the back playground until the classroom doors are opened at 8.50am.

 

For the first week back (Wed, Thur & Fri), Year 3 parents only can take their children down the path to their classroom door as we appreciate that these children will never have done this on their own before. The Year 3 children will then do this independently from the start of the second week.

 

 

 

End of school day

 

 

3.15pm (Gates open at 3.00pm)

 

Collection arrangements

 

 

Reception, Year 1 & Year 2

The school gates will be open from 3.00pm and parents/carers are welcome to start arriving at any point from then on. When the classroom doors open at 3.15pm, teachers will be looking for parents/carers to send each child to. Teachers will only release the children once they have seen the responsible adult.

 

If you have a change of collection arrangements and your child will be going home with someone else, please can you email the school office to provide written notice at the earliest opportunity. We are unable to let the children leave without this.

 

Years 3, 4, 5 & 6

If they wish, parents are allowed to walk up the side of school past the school bungalow and wait just outside the Year 3/4 classrooms for the children.

 

The children will be released from their classrooms at 3.15pm and they will be allowed to walk out to meet their parents outside Year 3/4; to walk around to the front playground to meet parents/grandparents/childminders collecting younger siblings; or to walk home on their own if in Year 5/6 and parental permission has been given in writing to school.

 

It is important to reinforce the message with the children that should they be expecting an adult to collect them - and they are not there – then they should go straight to the school office to tell a member of staff. The children will be able to wait at the office until the adult arrives.

 


 

Toilet refurbishments

 

Over the summer holidays, we have had a complete refurbishment of the toilet blocks in Reception, Year 1/2, Year 3/4 and Year 5/6. This project has been a couple of years in the planning and we were delighted to secure significant funding earlier in the year from the Leeds Diocese; Lady Elizabeth Hastings' Charitable Trust; and Friends of Collingham School PTA to be able to finally proceed with the work. We owe a huge thank you to all of these organisations for putting the money up and also to Mrs Azimikorf for all of her hard work in putting the project out to tender and for liaising with the architects and builders throughout. 

 

It was really important for us to complete this project to give the children toilets that they feel safe and secure in. In pupil surveys, they have very often commented on not liking the toilets so it was imperative to listen to their views and to make the required changes. This is a school for them after all!

 

The toilets now look bright, fresh and clean and they are certainly in keeping with all the other improvements we have made to the building in recent years so that we all have a school environment to be proud of. 

 

 

Good luck with all those last minute jobs tonight in preparation for tomorrow (Reception - you have a couple more weeks). See you bright and early for an 8.50am start! It is going to be a special moment to see everyone altogether once more. This is what Collingham School is all about!

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 23rd July 2021

 

Here we are. The end of a turbulent school year that has posed any number of challenges and disruptions. I have never faced a year like this in my career and – somehow – it has even surpassed the difficulties we faced in 2019/20.

 

Whilst it is an important milestone to have managed to crawl to the finish line, it is disappointing that we are unable to celebrate altogether with the children and staff in the Year 1 & 2 bubbles still in self-isolation and a significant number of children being absent for other reasons this week. We did not want - or expect - the school year to end so abruptly, but, unfortunately, COVID-19 has continued to dictate proceedings despite our best efforts to keep it at bay.

 

The country would appear to be facing a summer of unknowns and media headlines continue to worry, but I sincerely hope that once we come back on Wednesday 8th September, cases will be on the decrease and the vaccines will be taking control of the situation once and for all. There is plenty to do still over the summer and our Senior Leadership Team will be working to ensure that all plans are in place for the September reopening as well as having the new risk assessment ready. I anticipate releasing this information to parents on Wednesday 1st September which will be one full week before we return; however, I am pleased to let you know now that we will be reverting to a full school day in all year groups – 8.50am until 3.15pm.

 

Today, we say goodbye to our wonderful Year 6 children who now embark on new journeys at their high schools from September. A recent COVID-19 outbreak amongst them right at the very end of the year nearly spoilt everything, but with the typical resolve that they have shown all year – they simply could not be beaten! We are always incredibly proud of our Year 6 children, but this year - and more than any other – they really have been tested and I said to them yesterday that they will live long in the memory as the year group who led us through the pandemic and set the example of resilience, positivity and enthusiasm to one and all. Despite all the disappointments of having the residential cancelled; no SATs (that is a disappointment right?); no theme park; no parents in school at the Leavers’ Assembly; and – most significantly - no sitting on the benches in daily Collective Worship – they have continued to smile and bounce in to school each day. We could not have hoped for a better class of children and we are so pleased that they have enjoyed a beach-themed party day; fish and chips; ice-creams; pizzas; and inflatable slides and table football! This was the least they deserved!

 

Thank you Year 6 for brightening up our school in some of the darkest times that Collingham has ever faced. We are going to miss each and every one of you next year and we all wish you the very best of luck at your new schools. You will always be part of the Collingham School family and I have no doubt that you will take all aspects of the RESPECT Code with you in order to continue growing as amazing young people. Please always feel free to drop by and say 'hello'. You will be most welcome!

 

To our parents and carers, I wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your support and understanding throughout the school year and for allowing us to work with your fantastic children. You have always been at the forefront of our decision making to try and ease the impact that COVID-19 has had on you all. At times, it has been impossible to achieve this for everyone and it will have caused disruption and frustration – be that through day to day safety procedures; places at key worker provision; remote learning; collapsed bubbles; technology issues; or the cancellation of whole school events. All of these have been unavoidable and I have taken no pleasure in being the bearer of bad news on a consistent basis. It is not why I came in to this profession.

 

Despite all of this, you have continued to support me and all of the staff with your kind words and messages, your positivity at the school gates and - most importantly – through your unwavering commitment to adhere to all of the measures put in place to try and get through the year. I am humbled by the whole school response to the pandemic and we are all so excited to welcome you back to school from September. Our school thrives on togetherness and the strength of home-school relationships and we look forward to you being properly involved in each child’s learning journey once again next year.

 

Also, a huge thank you to our incredible staff team at Collingham. Leading this school is easy when you have such a brilliant team with you and every single member of staff has played their part in getting through to today. I am proud of their collective efforts to put the children first at every step of the way despite the risks to their own health that working in a school environment has posed. They have been completely selfless and have demonstrated a determination to help the children succeed like I have never witnessed before. There have been some very difficult moments in self-isolation and in contracting the virus, but not once have I heard a complaint about the impact on them personally. The only discussions are about how they can keep the children safe and how they can keep them engaged with school. With so many staff absences, their flexibility and commitment to cover colleagues at short notice has been nothing short of inspiring as it has often been to their own detriment by significantly increasing their workload. Well done everyone!

 

And last, but not least, to all the boys and girls at Collingham School. Thank you for being simply the best! You are our heartbeat and our energy. You make this school special. You are all a credit to your families and we are all so very, very proud of everything you have achieved. I am so sorry that you have not been able to play altogether; that you have not been able to go on any school trips; or that you have not been able to enjoy all of our whole school activities. However, I promise that we will make next year a year to remember and that you will have the full experience of being at our school. It has been an absolute pleasure to see you coming to school with beaming smiles and to see you enjoying being with your friends and teachers. Long may this continue! We cannot wait to see you all back together again in September!

 

Have a fantastic summer. I hope that you enjoy the time you spend with family and friends and I wish you all continued good health. As already promised, I will be in touch on 1st September with all the information you will require for our return to school on Wednesday 8th September 2021.

 

Take care and very best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Ofsted Parent View survey

 

With us expecting an Ofsted inspection next year, we would be very grateful to receive any feedback you may have through the online Ofsted Parent View survey. 

 

This is a short survey that can be accessed by clicking on the icon below. There is a quick registration process before you can then access a series of multiple choice questions about our school.

 

We really value feedback and we would appreciate you taking the time to complete this survey if at all possible.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

 

 

New House Captains

 

Congratulations to our newly appointed Year 6 House Captains for next year. I am looking forward to working with you to restore our house points system back to former glories. I look forward to meeting with you and to hear all of your amazing ideas! Well done everyone. Fantastic choices!

 

Our House Captains for 2021/22 will be:

 

Dales: Martha & Betsy

Rivers: Beth & Jack 

Moors: Lawrence & Daisy

Lakes: Joe & Chloe B

 

 

Training Days 2021/22

 

Monday 6th September 2021

Tuesday 7th September 2021

Monday 28th February 2022

Monday 25th July 2022

Tuesday 26th July 2022

 

 

Fundraising - Thank you Dottie!

 

A huge thank you and well done to Dottie (Year 4) for raising an incredible amount of £50.00 to help our school.

 

Dottie has been really busy in her spare time making and selling crafts; undertaking a sponsored read and sleep (I like this sound of this one!); and even joining the Wetherby Wombles to collect litter from across the local community. Dottie reliably informs we that she collected 'sooooooo much litter!'.

 

Dottie - this is simply amazing and it perfectly demonstrates 'service' from our RESPECT Code where we encourage children to do things to help others without seeking any reward or praise. Just simply doing it because you feel it is the right thing to do! I was blown away at receiving such a lot of money because of your hard work and kindness. This will really help to make our school even better next year. What a superstar!

 

 

 

Get Caught in the Breeze

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 2nd July 2021

 

Incredibly, we have now entered July and face the final few weeks of tempestuous school year. Two lockdowns, five bubble collapses and nearly 100 children being required to self-isolate have caused no end of worry and disruption throughout.

 

As we approach the summer holidays, we are ensuring that we do not get complacent at this late stage and we remain on heightened alert for potential bubble collapses. We have had a few close calls in recent weeks and I am aware that many local schools currently have whole classes in self-isolation due to an increase in positive cases of COVID-19. Here at Collingham, we are starting to see a greater increase of children becoming unwell and subsequently taking tests. I am starting to feel as though the summer holidays cannot come soon enough as I am anxious that we might yet be impacted again ourselves.

 

I continue to read in the media that the government plans to drop the requirement for ‘bubbles’ in schools and that children and staff will not be required to self-isolate if there is a positive case. As of yet, there is no official confirmation so – as things stand – it would still be an expectation to collapse bubbles if someone tests positive in school.

 

As a polite reminder, if your child displays one of the three main symptoms of a persistent cough, a temperature or a loss of sense of smell/taste, then they must be taken for a booked PCR test at a testing centre. A lateral flow test conducted at home will not suffice.

 

Also in terms of issuing remote learning, this will be done if a child is self-isolating as a result of COVID-19 or in the event of a bubble collapse. The Remote Learning Policy (extract below) explains when parents can expect remote learning to be uploaded to Google classroom in both of these situations.

 

 

I was disappointed to read some of the newspaper headlines this morning that criticised schools – and headteachers in particular – for ‘over-interpreting’ guidance and that ‘schools should be more cautious about sending healthy children home’.  I have to be honest that I nearly spat out my cornflakes at reading this and felt saddened that blame was being laid at the door of schools at this late stage in the pandemic when they have worked tirelessly to keep everything going as normally as possible.  It has been a continuing frustration of mine that schools have had no early communication about government decisions and - I have to be honest - the support from Public England has been virtually non-existent when reporting positive cases. Call-handlers have seemingly been under instructions to avoid offering specific advice and they have left all the decisions down to individual schools.

 

There have been so many difficult decisions for us to make with every one having a negative impact on our school community in some way, shape or form. It has been an unenviable position to be in. I can only assure you that every decision has been taken with safety at the heart of it and in the best possible interests of the children given the circumstances. I have always been concerned that these decisions could have a potentially detrimental impact on the home-school relationships that are so important to us. We have always tried to communicate clearly; to be proactive in our decision making; and to be sensitive to the needs of all our families.

 

As a school, we will have undoubtedly made mistakes and we will have made decisions that some have not agreed with – this was inevitable. However, despite this, I am so grateful for the unwavering support that you have given us throughout and for the compassion you have shown towards our predicament. The past 18 months has been a challenge of a generation, but I continue to be incredibly proud of everyone connected with Collingham and of the resilience that has been exuded by all.

 

With ‘Freedom Day’ being delayed until Mon 19th July, we now await communication from the Department for Education as to what this means for our school. With so few weeks left, I cannot think that this is going to change things too much up until the summer, but I have everything crossed for September and that normality is finally restored. I will of course keep you updated.

 

 

End of Year Reports 2020/21

 

Our annual end of year reports will be sent home with the children on Friday 16th July.

 

These will look slightly differently to previous years with a new cover - complete with the school vision statement - and some amendments to the second page regarding pupil assessment.

 

Due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, we have decided to use confidence bands to indicate attainment in reading, writing and maths. This is demonstrated by the use of double-ended arrows that show where each child is being assessed at the moment compared to where they could have been had there been no interruptions to learning and with full curriculum coverage. There will also be three targets for the next academic year.

 

In the example below, the child is solidly mastering (meeting) national expectations in their year group for reading; they are mastering (meeting) national expectations in writing, but they are demonstrating some greater depth elements in their work; and in maths, they are having a little more difficulty where they have been primarily meeting objectives from a lower year group, but they are now starting to close the gap and meet objectives from their own year group.

 

 

 

As a school, we have now removed the Personal Development Goals (PDGs), where children were assessed as bronze, silver or gold. We felt that the children and parents had no real concept of these and that it was unfair to assess the children so crudely against these personal development statements. They were only ever seen at the end of a school year.

 

We have therefore replaced the PDGs with our RESPECT Code and the teachers will now make a short comment about each child in relation to each letter of the word 'RESPECT'. This is much more pertinent to our children and much more positive.

 

 

 

 

Out of School Club

 

Thank you again to all of the parents who replied to our request for feedback regarding an earlier opening for Out of School Club each morning.

 

I am pleased to confirm that we will be proceeding with these plans and that from Monday 12th July (week after next), Out of School Club will be opening at 7.45am every day. This will continue into 2021/22.

 

All children currently booked in to Out of School Club each morning may take advantage of this earlier opening as and when required.

 

For anyone new wishing to apply for a place at Out of School Club then please contact the school office on office@collinghamschool.org and request the link to the online application form.

 

 

Walk To School Week 2021

 

Thank you to all the children and parents who have taken part in Walk to School week at the end of May. The children really enjoyed completing their ‘Walking Challenge Booklet’ on their walk to school and earning their Walk to School week stickers and badges.

 

In school, the teachers recorded how many kilometres their class completed each day towards our whole school walking challenge to cover the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Our target was 1,407km and our children walked an astonishing 1,575km. We were unbelievably proud of all the children who showed a fantastic positive attitude and exceptional perseverance!

 

Well done everybody - it was so lovely to see you walking to school even in the rain!

 

 

What the children thought about Walk to School week:

 

"I liked doing my laps every day." Alba (Y1)

"I liked doing our booklets." Matilda (Y1)

"I really liked getting our badges!" Amelie (Y1)

“I enjoyed running around the field because I could chat to my friends whilst I was running.” Ben (Y3)

“I liked walk to school week because I kept challenging myself to walk further each day.” Amelia (Y3)

“I liked walked to school week because it made me feel really healthy!” Georgia (Y3)

“I liked walk to school week because I got to talk to my friends and we didn’t pollute the world as much.” Finn (Y4)

“I really enjoyed when running around the field with my friends I helped keep me fit and super smiley throughout the day!” Abigail (Y4)

“I loved it because it motivated me to do exercise and have fun talking to my friends.” Delilah (Y4)

“It was nice to walk to school and it has encouraged me to walk to school more often. Also, It was so much fun to complete the walking challenge in school with my friends as we were smiling and laughing all the way round!” Sophie (Y4)

 

 

"It's Coming Home"

 

This morning in Certificate Assembly, we were treated to a rousing rendition of "Three Lions" by Mr Duffy and the Year 5 children. I could hearing lots of children all joining in across school and there were certainly lots of smiles.

 

Due to my own personal footballing allegiances, I am not all that familiar with success, so to see England doing so well at Euro 2020 is really exciting at the end of such a difficult time for the country. 

 

It is win-win for me this weekend as if England prove victorious - and proceed to the semi-finals - then I will be delighted. However, a win for Ukraine happens to keep me alive in the school sweepstake for another few days!

 

I know lots of the children are looking forward to the game so I hope you all enjoy it together!

 

I have no doubts that anyone of an alternative national persuasion will be just as pleased as the English to see a Home Nation progress!

 

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Friday 7th May 2021

 

Parent Consultation Evenings

 

Just a polite reminder that our delayed parent consultation evenings will take place on Tuesday 22nd June (4.30-7.30pm) and Wednesday 23rd June (3.30-6.30pm)

 

Appointments will be released in the the week before half-term on Eduspot and with all meetings taking place on Microsoft Teams in June. 

 

 

Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) PTA - Treasurer needed!

 

At the end of this academic year, Jane Chappell will be standing down as treasurer of the school PTA. Jane has done a fantastic job of managing the accounts and in helping to allocate funding towards a variety of projects in school. She has been incredibly approachable and I just know that she is going to miss my emails and phone calls which always start with: "Hi Jane. Please can we have some money?"

 

I would like to offer a huge thank you to Jane on behalf of everyone in school for all of her hard work and for being the first point of contact to pitch ideas to so that they can be taken to the PTA committee for discussion. The level of support to make things happen quickly has been absolutely incredible. 

 

As Jane looks to pass on the baton, I am appealing to our parent base to see if there might be anybody who would be interested in taking this on or to at least have a conversation about what exactly this role entails. To raise your expression of interest, please contact the school office or any of the PTA committee members. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

‘Top Dogs!’

 

Last week, Year 4 put their Maths skills to the test, securing 1st place in the Leeds Sumdog contest! Children from all over Leeds took part and Abigail, Dottie, Teddy, Harrison, Millie, Sophie and Ella even finished in the top 10 out of over 400 children. Myself, Mr Elliot, Mrs Wood, Mrs Questa and all the staff at Collingham School are incredibly proud of all of the children's perseverance, determination and enthusiasm throughout the competition.  

 

Well done and congratulations!

 


 

 

 

The FA Trophy in school

 

On Wednesday, we were really fortunate to have a special visitor for the day in the form of the FA Trophy that was won by Harrogate Town at Wembley only two days earlier.

 

The FA Trophy is a famous tournament in lower league football that was first established in 1969. It has been won by other Yorkshire sides that include Scarborough, Halifax Town, York City - and now - Harrogate Town.

 

The children were really excited to see such an impressive looking trophy and they were mesmerised by the sheer size of it. It certainly over-shadowed our own selection of trophies in the window at the front of school! Everyone likes something big and shiny!

 

The trophy spent some time in each of the classrooms with many of the children wanting their photo taken with it. The Harrogate Town fans within school were absolutely delighted at seeing this silverware which is something Leeds United fans can only dream of right now!

 

A huge thank you to Harrogate Town for trusting us to look after the trophy for the day. It was a lovely opportunity for the children. Congratulations on a brilliant win!

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Friday 30th April 2021

 

It has been unnervingly quiet since we have returned from the Easter break so the less said about that the better because I would not like to tempt fate right now!

 

As always, the children continue to amaze us with their enthusiasm, positivity and resilience. Each week that passes is hopefully another step closer towards normality with the ultimate ambition of our school being back to how it used to be pre-COVID. By then, it would have been 18 months since the start of the pandemic and - for the children in both Reception and Year 1 - our current way operating is all that they really know. I think there is certainly a shared feeling of sadness about this within the staff team. 

 

I cannot wait until parents from all year groups can network on the school playground again; until the children can all play together at breaktimes and lunchtimes; until we can go on school trips once; and until we can hold all of our usual events in the school hall. We know that the children have missed so much, but nothing more so than the social aspect of Collingham School where we pride ourselves on the strength of relationships between everybody. I am incredibly excited about the prospect of getting back to this and with no restrictions in place.

 

Over the next couple of months, we will be planning carefully for a 'full return'. This is going to take some serious consideration with so much time having passed since March 2020 and with everyone familiar with the current norm; however, this is most definitely the one job that I have been looking forward to more than any other.

 

With September being a brand new start, I am keen that we celebrate this and re-establish everything that makes this such a special school. Whilst it is not an important part of school strategy going forwards, one thing I am looking at doing is to change the school logo. 

 

Since I arrived at Collingham back in 2017, I have never been particularly keen on our logo and I have never felt that it properly represents our school. In addition, the name of the school on the current logo is actually structured in a way that is different to the way that we are really titled. I feel that after everything we have been through, this is the perfect opportunity to freshen things up and to really align everything with our school vision. Over the coming weeks, I will be seeking the views of children, parents staff and governors to identify what is important about both our school and our local community in readiness for a design brief meeting with a graphics company. I am keen that all stakeholders are a part of this process and that a new logo is - collectively - our logo. 

 

At this point, I wish to reassure that I am already giving consideration to the possible implications that this may have on our school uniform and on other branded items that the children may bring in to school each day. Any transition between logos will be done over an extended period of time so that there are no unnecessary financial implications imposed on our families. In the meantime, items of uniform with the existing logo can continue to be purchased in the normal way and they will remain part of our school uniform policy for the coming months.

 

 

Collingham Bear Hunt & Sea Creature Hunt

 

Following the success of ‘Collingham Kids’ Rocks’ during the first lockdown last year, I was excited to hear about another community activity that popped up in 2021 to provide the children at our school with something to enjoy amongst the challenges of the most recent lockdown.

 

One of our parents – Mrs Forrester – created two fabulous trails around the village for the children to explore. The Collingham Bear Hunt and Sea Creature Hunt brought lots of fun to family walks during the winter months with beautifully knitted toys hidden in all manner of different places for the children to explore and find.

 

Mrs Forrester has spent a huge amount of time hand-knitting all of the toys and in setting up both of these hunts. Not only that, but she has also raised £154 for the school PTA from donations given by families taking part in the hunts.

 

I wanted to say a huge thank you to Mrs Forrester for these lovely gestures in encouraging the children to get out and about and in supporting our school. The money raised will really help after such a difficult 14 months.

 

For anyone who has not yet enjoyed the trails, further information can be found on the Facebook link below.

 

https://m.facebook.com/groups/3395442083893584/?tsid=0.12313198277663917&source=result

 

 

 

Thank you to ‘A. Nana’

 

Just before Easter, I received a lovely card in the post from an anonymous grandparent with a small gift inside to help to plant a tree, shrub or flower bed around the school grounds to ‘remember this year of love, loss and fortitude’. I was incredibly touched by the kind sentiments and generosity.

 

The sender signed off simply as ‘A. Nana’ and whilst I respect their wishes to do things quietly, I feel compelled to at least say a huge public thank you - on behalf of everyone at Collingham School - to whoever ‘A. Nana’ is and in the hope that she reads this message.

 

After such a challenging year, the school grounds definitely needed brightening up so we have ensured that some new hanging baskets are placed around the front of school and that a number of the flower beds are brought back to colourful life.

 

I am always so proud to be the headteacher of this school and this is yet another example of the warmth, kindness and solidarity that the Collingham school community never fails to show.

 

 

I hope you all enjoy the extended bank holiday weekend. See you on Tuesday!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Thursday 1st April 2021

 

 

On behalf of everyone here at Collingham School, I would like to wish you all a very Happy Easter! I hope that you enjoy the break together as families following one of the most difficult terms that we have ever had to face. It has posed challenges right until the very end with the collapse of the Reception bubble this morning. Whilst our resolve has been continually tested; it will not be broken!

 

Please stay safe and we will look forward to seeing you all again on Monday 19th April.

 

 

Training Days 2021/22

 

There is no let up and we are already well ahead with our planning for the next academic year - starting in September 2021.

 

The draft version of the school calendar for Leeds has been released so we are now in a position to confirm our training days for 2021/22. I always like you to have these at the earliest opportunity.

 

The five dates will be as follows:

 

Monday 6th September 2021

Tuesday 7th September 2021

Monday 28th February 2022

Friday 27th May 2022

Wednesday 27th July 2022

 

This means that the first day of term for 2021/22 will be Wednesday 8th September 2021.

 

 

Comic Relief 2021

 

 

Thank you for all of your kind donations in support of Comic Relief on Friday 19th March. A grand total of £238.35 was raised for this important charity. Amazing!

 

 

Year 6 Bikeability

 

Last week, Year 6 completed their ‘Bikeability’ with Cycle North. They each spent one session learning and practising how to ride their bike in the playground, and then two sessions on the roads of Collingham putting this into practice. The children had great fun, riding safely around the village, in groups with the three instructors. Mr Cook and Mrs Meek were extremely proud of the behaviour and seriousness with which the children took on this challenge. It was noticeable that not all cars stick to the speed limits through our village! Well done Year 6!

 

 

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 26th March 2021

 

As we approach the end of spring term, things always seem to get even busier rather than starting to wind down. Today's blog is given over to a number of important messages that need to be shared with you. This seemed the best place to do so rather than bombard your inboxes with admin over the next week.

 

Easter Holidays

 

School breaks up for the Easter Holidays next Thursday 1st April with the Friday being a bank holiday for Good Friday. 

 

School will reopen on Monday 19th April.

 

 

CALSA Car Park

 

We have today received a message from Stephen at CALSA for the attention of all parents:

 

"Apologies for the late notice, but we have just been told that the work building the new cricket nets starts on Monday 29th March.

 

As a result, construction traffic will be using the CALSA car park from early Monday morning for the next two weeks. Whilst care will be taken, parents should take extra caution when using the car park and use the alternative car park next to the football pitch if possible. Thank you!"

 

 

Payment reminder

 

We politely request that parents make all outstanding payments for dinner money and guitar lessons with immediate effect. Dinner money payment requests for next week will be sent out next Thursday 1st April and we would appreciate payment to be made on the day in order to support with our financial year end accounts. Thank you in advance.

 

 

Easter Bingo 2021

 

 

Since I arrived at Collingham, I have become well-aware of the high-esteem in which this traditional PTA event is held by children, parents and staff. Unfortunately, circumstances dictated that we had to cancel this in 2020, but I am pleased to reveal that this will be returning next week - albeit remotely.

 

I will be dusting off my sparkly jacket and revising all my bingo terms over the weekend to ensure that each key stage is able to participate in school at the end of next week. This will be done over Zoom - into all of the classrooms - so the children will be able to enjoy this with all of their friends as they normally would. I am just sorry that we will be unable to invite parents to join in the fun.

 

Thank you to Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) for the loan of the all-important bingo machine, but also for the kind donation of Easter eggs that can be used as prizes next week. You have supported so fantastically as always!

 

The children have missed out on so much over the past 12 months that we wanted to ensure that they could still participate in some of the things that they always look forward to in school.

​​​​​

 

Parent Consultation Evenings

 

I am delighted to confirm that we have finalised our plans for the second set of parent consultation evenings of this academic year. These were originally scheduled for mid-March, but due to the children only being back a week following the COVID-19 school closures, we felt it was best to postpone these until later in the school year when we could provide you with more useful information regarding individual progress.

 

Unfortunately, with still being unable to welcome parents in to school at this time, we will once again hold these meetings remotely using Microsoft Teams.

 

The dates will be Tuesday 22nd June (4.30-7.30pm) and Wednesday 23rd June (3.30-6.30pm).

 

A letter will be sent out to parents in due course, but I wanted you to have these dates at the earliest opportunity.

 

 

End of Year Reports

 

Our annual end of year reports will be sent home with the children on Friday 16th July.

 

 

Sports Day 2021

 

With not knowing what national/school restrictions will remain in place over the coming months, we have decided not to set a date for this year's Sports Day just yet.

 

This is such a popular event and it is much more enjoyable if we can share it with parents and grandparents. We are going to wait until everything is a bit clearer in order to give it the best possible chance for you all to join us. We would normally give you the date with plenty of notice so that you are able to book time off work, but I am afraid that - on this occasion - it is going to have to be a late call. We are hopeful that this will be sometime at the beginning of July.

 

 

Be an Easter Bunny to a Senior

 

In December, we got involved in an inititative called 'Be a Santa to a Senior' where each class made lots of creative items to be used as gifts for elderly residents within our local community to put a smile on their faces. The items were a small gesture to make a difference to anyone who might be experiencing loneliness which has undoubtedly been compounded by the challenges of the pandemic. 

 

The items from Collingham were incredibly well-received and Heather Welsh from ‘Home Instead – Wetherby & North East’ contacted school to tell us how she was blown away by the quality of what the children had spent time making.

 

 

Due to the positive difference the will have been made to so many people, we have offered to take part once again, but this time for the ‘Be an Easter Bunny to a Senior’ initiative. This week, the children have once again been busy making an array of gifts that will be donated. I am sure you will agree that the children have done another fabulous job!

 

 

 

Walk to School Week 2021

 

 

Between Monday 17th May and Friday 21st May, we will be participating in Walk to School Week 2021.

 

Each child will be challenged to travel sustainably (walk, school, cycle or Park and Stride) to school every day for one week. They will each be given a fun, interactive wallchart with stickers to log their journeys.

 

Each class will work collectively to make as many active journeys to school as possible across the week and they will record the number of active journeys made on a classroom wallchart. 

 

Walking has so many benefits from physical to mental well-being; aiding concentration and creativity; and creating safer, less polluted and more welcoming streets. All this makes for a happy, healthy child who is set up for success in and out of the classroom.

 

We felt it was really important to participate and to get active again following such a difficult year.

 

Further details will be revealed shortly.

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Friday 12th March 2021

 

Well, where did that go? The first week back has absolutely flown by! The children have continued to be amazing and they really have helped to bring our school back to life once and for all. You cannot have a school without the children and their positivity, energy and sense of fun has given all of us a huge lift. We have said it many times already, but we really are so proud of their courage and perseverance in the face of adversity.

 

I thoroughly enjoy writing my blog to parents, but for today, I have decided to hand it over to the boys and girls of Collingham School in order to give them the voice to share their thoughts and feelings about the return to school. This week is to celebrate them!

 

We have asked the children three simple questions so I hope you enjoy reading some of their responses. There are certainly some common themes, but I think these clearly highlight what is most important to them. It just goes to show that some of the small things cannot be taken for granted!

 

 

What have you enjoyed the most about being back at school?

 

”Lunchtime!” – William (Rec)    [I had to start with this one William! Fantastic!]

 

“I have liked seeing my teachers and my friends” – Evangeline (Rec)

 

”Doing hard work!” – Ellis (Rec)

 

”Playing with all the toys” – Max (Rec)

 

"I've loved playing with my friends" – Grace (Y1)

 

“Learning about rainforest habitats and making rainforests” – Ben (Y2)

 

“Being with my friends and racing them!” – Arthur (Y2)   [Oh to be 7 years old again, Arthur! Love this!]

 

“I have enjoyed being back together!” – Georgia (Y3)

 

“Getting to see all my friends and the teachers” – Annie (Y4)

 

“The thing I have enjoyed the most about being back at school is seeing all my friends and teachers.” – Tom C (Y4)

 

“I have enjoyed being back in class with my friends and teachers” - Abigail (Y4)

 

“Being able to do work without looking at a screen all day. Having a teacher to help you if you're stuck.” – Poppy (Y5)

 

“I like to be back at school because if you get stuck on something you can ask questions and the teachers can help you. Also I have enjoyed seeing the people that I don't have any contact with.” – Pria (Y5)

 

“Seeing friends - not over screens - but seeing them in real life. Sometimes it's a bit boring stuck at home, but we’re here now and that's all that matters” – Gwen (Y5)

 

“Not being on screens all the time. I focus a lot more at school.” - Scarlett (Y6)

 

“Talking with people and having physical human contact” - Lucy (Y6) 

 

 

 

How do you feel about being back at school?

 

“I feel happy because I get to see all of my friends” – Sienna (Rec)

 

"I am bursting happy" – Myles (Y1)    [Me too! This made me smile, Myles]

 

"I like being back at school, it makes me happy" – Poppy (Y1)

 

“Very, very, very... happy” – Erin (Y2)   [Brilliant!]

 

“I felt a little bit nervous before coming back to school but now I feel great!” – Rose O (Y3)

 

“When I first came to school I felt a little bit nervous, but now I feel better about being around more people.” – Isla (Y3)

 

“I was a little bit nervous to return to school, but now I am getting more used to being back in the classroom and I feel fine!” – Charlie A (Y3)

 

“I am overjoyed about being back at school” - Sophie B (Y4)

 

“I felt nervous at first but after being back in the classroom I am so excited to be back” – Sophie T (Y4)    [Completely understandable to feel like this Sophie. I think lots of children and adults were in the same position. Well done for being so positive!]

 

“Home learning was really fun, but I am so happy to be back in school with all my friends and teachers” – Finn (Y4)

 

“It feels amazing to be back at school because you get to see all your friends and all your teachers!” – Chloe B (Y5)

 

“Mixed feelings because I feel really happy because I get to see my friends in the flesh and and not being home-schooled, but a little sad because I will miss playing Skyjo on an evening and having tea with my family.” – Georgie (Y5)   [I know your mum, Georgie, and I think she will still let you have your tea! :o) ]

 

“I feel great being back at school because it is better seeing people face to face instead of going on Facetime.” – Max T (Y5)

 

“I feel really happy to be back at school because I get to be taught by Mr Duffy in the flesh. I also feel really excited to see how things are going to go” – Lucy (Y5)

 

“Happy because I get to see my friends again, but sad that I can’t stay in bed!” - James M (Y6)   [Oh dear! Sorry for dragging you out of bed James! You can have a deserved lie in tomorrow! How does that sound?]

 

“I feel good about it because I was more isolated at home and I can now interact with people at school” – Ciara (Y6)

 

 

What have you really missed?

 

“Everything!” – Alex (Rec)    [The perfect answer, Alex!!!]

 

"I have missed my friends" – Tom T (Y1)

 

“My friends and the teachers” – Ella P (Y2)

 

“I have missed everyone and every lesson that we do” – Charlie M (Y3)

 

“I have really missed our maths and English lessons because they are interesting.” – Ruby (Y3)

 

“I've missed seeing my friends every day and Mr Elliot” – Ella (Y4)

 

“I have really missed seeing my friends and playing with them at break times” – William D (Y4)

 

“Seeing my friends and just seeing them in general. It was sad because the only way I could see them was through the internet“ – Joe (Y5)

 

“Seeing real people and getting back to some sort of normality” – Sophie (Y5)

 

“Seeing friends and enjoying good times with them” – Jake (Y5)


“I have missed everyone's happy faces and also playing with them!” – Betsy (Y5)

 

“Playing in the playground” - Thomas B (Y6)

 

“I miss the sports clubs like Mr Elliot’s football” - Sam (Y6)

 

“I missed seeing my friends” - Harry & David (Y6)

 

 

 

 

Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) PTA Fundraising - Amazon Smile

 

 

If your house is anything like mine then I am sure that you might spend a small fortune using Amazon over the course of a year.

 

I wanted to re-raise that Amazon will give a donation of 0.5% to FoCS for all eligible purchases that you make through the website.

 

To support FoCS in this way you need to log into https://smile.amazon.co.uk/and choose Collingham School PTA (Charity Number 1096137) as your charity. You then need to log into your amazon account/app and activate Amazon Smile in 'Settings'.

 

Detailed instructions can be found below. Many thanks in advance for your support.

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

Friday 26th February 2021

 

This week brought the news that we have all been waiting for....schools are reopening to ALL children from Monday 8th March We cannot wait to welcome you all back. The Government briefing on Monday evening seems to have changed everyone's sense of perspective and it has reinvigorated us all with hope for the future.

 

It has been said many times already about how challenging the start to 2021 has been, but from this point forward there will be no dwelling. The sole focus will be on making the return to school a resounding success by committing all of our energy and resources in to supporting the well-being of the children and in closing any gaps in learning. This will be done with unwavering positivity, enthusiasm and determination.

 

As it has been three months since everyone was on the school premises, I would like to to once again reinforce some of the ways that our parents can continue playing their part in supporting the school with all of the safety measures in place. These will be required for the foreseeable future until all national restrictions are finally lifted.

 

The following are vitally important to ensure the procedures we have in place are as effective as possible and to ensure the smooth day-to-day running of school. We politely remind: 

 

  • Parents/carers must be punctual and arrive at the allocated staggered times to ease congestion around school.

 

 

  • It is important that queues only start to form once a previous year group has completed their drop off.  

 

  • Only one adult should enter the playground when accompanying their child/children to/from school. 

 

  • Children must stand with their parents in the queue to avoid mixing between class bubbles and to minimise contact. Please can children refrain from climbing on the walls or running up and down the paths. 

 

  • Parents/carers must not congregate on the playground or outside of the school gates. Everyone should observe social distancing as much as possible. Areas outside drop off/collection points have been marked with 2m distance lines to help. 

 

  • Parents/carers are requested to wear facemasks on school premises if not exempt from doing so.

 

  • Parents/carers must not come into the school building unless by prior arrangement. If items have been forgotten – such as water bottles, PE kits or musical instruments – please telephone the school office to inform of this before dropping them off.  We would be grateful for the extra effort in ensuring that the children are fully prepared for each school day.  

 

  • Should you be required to email the school office for any reason, please could you ensure that you clearly state the name of your child and their class within the subject line. 

 

  • Children need to bring a single bookbag/rucksack in to school every day. This is the only bag that they will need to bring with them. A few unnecessary items have been creeping in over recent weeks and it is essential that we minimise the numbers entering school from different homes.

 

Thank you in advance for your support.

 

Finally, I am pleased to inform parents that Out of School Club will also be reopening both before and after school. Please be reassured that all previous arrangements remain in place and all bookings are as before.

 

We currently have spaces available in Out of School Club so if you have not used this provision before - and you were thinking of doing so - then please contact either the school office or Mrs Questa directly to request a place.

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

BBC Newsround

 

 

Yesterday, our Year 5/6 children took part in a Zoom call with BBC Newsround. The children were given the opportunity to meet with Martin Dougan (one of the main presenters and journalists) and Georgina Bowman (Deputy Editor) to discuss current news stories; seek opinions about the show; and to allow an opportunity for asking any questions about Martin's career and about how Newsround is put together each day.

 

This was a fantastic opportunity for the children and it was really inspiring to hear all about journalism from someone who is familiar from the television. Both Martin and Georgina were really impressed by the children and the incredibly thoughtful questions that had been prepared. It was discussed that Newsround would like to come out to Collingham a little later on in the year to film for the show once all the current restrictions have been lifted. 

 

A huge thank you to both Martin and Georgina for taking the time to speak with us.

 

 

 

Eco-Schools Green Flag Award

 

 

In September 2018, we began our journey towards earning an Eco-schools “Green Flag” and to being recognised as a school community whose members are conscious of the need for action to protect the environment. Having been awarded the Bronze and Silver awards in 2019, the School Eco-Committee set about taking the final steps to earning the Green Flag - the highest accolade possible within the Eco-schools programme.

 

Plans were made to make improvements to the school, focusing on our three chosen topics: Energy; Water; and Biodiversity. Although the recent lockdowns have caused the postponement of many of the fantastic initiatives the children had planned, the Eco-Schools assessor was still suitably impressed with all of the actions the children have taken so far, such as: raising awareness of Water Aid in school assemblies and electing them as one of our chosen school charities; developing an Eco-RESPECT code to supplement our existing school RESPECT code; reducing the energy consumption in school by making sure that devices weren’t left switched on when not in use; planting a range of bulbs and flowers to attract pollinating insects; making plans to develop the school garden to become home to a more diverse range of flora and fauna; creating bird feeders and bird boxes to attract more birds to the school grounds. These are just the tip of the iceberg for the plans that the Eco-Committee has going forwards and, based on the actions already undertaken and the ambitious plans that the children have for our next steps, the assessor agreed that we are worthy of being deemed a Green Flag school - an achievement that fewer than 1500 schools nationwide have achieved.

 

This is a testament to the determination of all the children across school to build a better, fairer, greener world where every living thing has the chance to thrive and prosper. The Eco-Committee can’t wait to get started on all of the plans that they have for the future and look forward to keeping you updated on all of our achievements in the future.

 

A huge thank you must go to Mr Duffy for his vision to make this happen and to all of the children who have worked so hard as valued members of the School Eco-Committee. Well done everyone! 

 

 

World Book Day 2021

 

 
On Thursday 4th March, we will be marking World Book Day 2021.  We will be celebrating everything to do with books of all kinds and encouraging children with their love of reading. 
 
This year, we are encouraging everyone to wear their pyjamas, onesies or just their 'comfies' on World Book Day; this includes children at home, children in school, teaching staff - even parents!  Everyone loves being comfortable, especially when children are learning remotely, and this is the best way to really hunker down and get inside a book.  Whilst we are restricted in our day-to-day lives, we can escape to other worlds and meet new friends through stories.   Equally, we can learn about the world through topical magazines and newspapers and increase our knowledge of the world through non-fiction texts.
 
Your teachers have been busy thinking about exciting activities for you to have a go at during this fantastic day!  We hope you will join us in spreading our powerful and positive messages about reading during World Book Day.
 
Happy reading!

 

 

Screen-Free Day

 

Next Friday 5th March will be a 'Screen Free Day' where the activities set by the teachers will all be planned to spend time away from the screen. The learning will be made available on Google Classroom at the usual time and will be mainly practical activities to promote positive mental health. We have all become so accustomed to staring at a device for excessive amounts of time that it is important to promote spending time away from them.

 

 

Comic Relief 2021

 

 

Comic Relief is on Friday 19th March with this year's theme being 'Superheroes'. To celebrate this event, we are inviting  the children to come in to school dressed as a superhero/princess or simply to 'dress to express' themselves and their own superpowers. On this occasion, we kindly ask for a £1 donations - if at all possible - to go towards supporting this worthy cause. Thank you in advance.

 

 

A message from Dr Chris and Dr Xand from 'Operation Ouch'

 

 

Dr Chris and Dr Xand Message.mp4

Still image for this video

 

Friday 12th February 2021

 

I wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your continued support - in what has been an exceptionally challenging half-term - but also for all of your efforts in supporting with remote learning over recent weeks. I am under no illusions whatsoever as to the impact this will have had on you. Educating children and balancing the day job most certainly do not go hand in hand! You have done an amazing job!

 

The disruption to learning has been incredibly frustrating and I hope that, following half-term, we finally have some good news about the Government’s plans for reopening school to all children. There appears to be an announcement of sorts planned for 22nd February regarding the roadmap out of national restrictions and the 8th March has been ear-marked as a hopeful date of return. What this return will look like still remains an unknown, so I await these plans with anticipation. Please be assured that as soon as we are given the green light to reopen then we will ensure that this happens – in line with the expectations placed upon us - without a moment’s hesitation.

 

I would also like to say another massive thank you to the fantastic team of staff we have here at Collingham. This has been an emotionally-draining half-term yet everyone has pulled together to ensure that the children have continued to be supported in the best way possible. The staff have worked tirelessly to juggle the vulnerable/key worker provision in school alongside the remote learning offer for all and they have sacrificed their own well-being by going above and beyond every single day. They have such unwavering passion for their roles – with the children at the heart of everything - and they will not settle for second best in what they are able to provide. I am in complete admiration of everything that they have achieved in the face of such adversity.

 

Every day that now passes is another day closer to opening everything up and towards bringing everyone back together. Our school is not complete until we get your amazing children back in our classrooms. With it being the half-term break next week, school will be closed and remote learning will be on hold, but we will all be re-energised and ready to go again from Monday 22nd February.

 

The final word has to go to the children who have worked so hard; maintained a positive outlook throughout; and shown so much resilience. We are all so proud of each and every one of them! Below, you will find a couple of messages from some familiar faces who have heard all about the fantastic efforts of the children. These special guests wanted to send their own motivational messages to all of the boys and girls at Collingham as they know what a difficult time this has been.

 

To finish the half-term, I wanted to celebrate the children and to showcase some of the things that they have been involved with in recent weeks. I hope the photos below bring a smile to your face as much as they have done so for me. Seeing the children happy makes everything worthwhile!

 

Have a fantastic half-term!

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some motivational messages to all the boys and girls at Collingham School

Still image for this video

 

Monday 1st February 2021

 

As we have completed the first month of 2021, it feels like a perfect opportunity to reflect. Before Christmas it certainly felt that there was some light at the end of the tunnel when the vaccines were approved, but since the start of January it feels as though that tunnel has become slightly longer and we await that chink of light to reappear once again! 

 

The first week was a complete whirlwind where we had to reinvent our school overnight and ensure that we were ready to open to vulnerable/key worker children as well as delivering a fair and balanced learning offer for all of the children from the get go. We then set about establishing routines and managing an excessive workload in order to meet the challenges that the ensuing weeks were going to present for all of us. Then the external challenges hit us again: two days of heavy snow and our first positive COVID-19 test results of 2021 that collapsed the Year 3/4 key worker bubble a week ago. We currently have some staff who are really not very well and I am sure you will join me in wishing them all a speedy recovery.  The risks for all of us have felt very real once again.  

 

Right now, everyone is being tested to their absolute limit. Headteachers are finding things hard; teachers are finding things hard; school staff are finding things hard; children are finding things hard; and parents are finding things hard. The past few weeks have felt very different to last year and it is having an enormous impact on our mental health and wellbeing. At least back in March 2020, we had the sunshine to give us some additional motivation. The current cold and dark weather does absolutely nothing to put a spring in the step of anybody. It’s been said many times before, but the only way we will get through this period is by remaining together and supporting eachother.  

 

As time goes on, frustrations are going to further increase amongst all of us and the return to school just cannot come soon enough. We all recognise that there is absolutely no substitute for school. I assure all of our parents that - as soon as the Government gives the official green light for schools to reopen – we will be ready to do so from the very first day just as we did last June for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 and again in September. Everything will be in place to achieve this without a single second lost. We will all now be fixated on Monday 8th March as a possible date for return following the Prime Minister’s statement in the House of Commons last week and only time will tell whether this happens or not. I am afraid that I really could not really say either way. 

 

Over the past few weeks, I have received a number of emails and phone calls from parents regarding remote learning and one question in particular has been: why are we not delivering live learning at Collingham when some other schools are? 

 

I am happy to try and give some insight in to what was a conscious decision to turn to recorded delivery of lesson activities rather than a completely live offer as some are requesting. I am keen to stress that these were decisions we made based upon our children; our families; and our resources. This will be very different across all schools. We always put the children first, but as many of us in school are parents ourselves, we also give huge consideration to our families and recognise the enormous difficulties you face with supporting learning from home. The very nature of closing a school is that it will cause significant disruption to everyday life and I do not feel that there is anything that we could do to fully negate the impact – as much as we would like to.  

 

Some Government ministers publicly advocated live lessons and saw them as a solution in terms of replicating classroom learning and maintaining relationships; however, this is not a view necessarily shared by all education professionals. There have been several ‘myth busting’ articles released over the past few weeks and these highlight strengths and weaknesses of both live and recorded learning. It is a decision for individual schools to determine which approach is best for their community as a whole. In our professional judgment, we felt a primarily recorded delivery - with some live interaction - would be the best way forward for the following reasons:  

 

  • We pride ourselves on the inclusion of all here at Collingham and we are aware that this pandemic has caused hardship on so many different levels throughout our school community. Our offer needed to be sympathetic of this so that all children could access remote learning regardless of the personal challenges their families may be facing.  

 

  • Some families – and particularly those with more than one child in school - are restricted by the number of devices within a household and are needing to share them for work and school purposes; some have broadband connectivity issues; some are needing to prioritise job and financial security over home-schooling; some even have their own health concerns. Even if there were live lessons, it would be impossible for some children to join these at particular times when so many other things will be going on within their household. We are aware of families who can only access remote learning when it is convenient for them to do so rather than at times dictated by school.  
     
  • Differentiation of work is a key aspect of high quality teaching. All children naturally have different needs and it would be incredibly challenging to meet all of these in live whole class interactions. Some children will require much more support than others and this would lead to unengaging and disjointed sessions of learning. For many children, they would simply be occupied at a screen rather than actively participating and making progress. 

 

  • Recorded activities allow children to work at their own pace. They are in control and they have the ability to pause, rewind or rewatch videos in order to consolidate learning. Some children will face huge levels of anxiety and stress during live activities if they feel like they have to keep up or that they are falling behind. 

 

  • Our school network and broadband capacity was not installed to support the large scale delivery of remote learning. Despite investing heavily over the past 12 months to improve this infrastructure, we are still restricted by what this has the capability of supporting.  Even over the course of this academic year, our parent welcome meetings and parent consultation evenings were significantly disrupted for some parents with connections dropping out. It has to be said that some of these meetings worked brilliantly, but others were nothing short of disastrous despite our best efforts. Over relying on unreliable technology could mean that we end up delivering poor quality learning or – on occasion – no learning at all, as a result of the interference. This is not acceptable for our children. The offer needs to be consistent every single day. 

 

On Monday 4th January, you will have experienced an enormous shock when the country was plunged into another lockdown and the school closures were hastily announced. I have no doubts that you will have felt completely lost and disheartened at once again having to support your children at home whilst juggling your everyday workload. I hope that since then you have been able to establish a routine that works for your family circumstances and that – with the Key Stage 2 children in particular – you are seeing their independence grow as they become more familiar with this new and unusual way of working. Unfortunately, with primary aged children, we know that many of the children are never going to be able to work without adult support – either in the classroom or at home.  

 

We think you are doing an amazing job. If you have not yet taken the opportunity to tell yourself ‘well done’ then you must do so immediately. If your house is anything like mine then yes, the children will have had one too many late nights; yes, they have probably played too much Xbox instead of doing more school work each evening; and yes, there will have been battles to get the reading books out instead of watching more Premier League highlights. We are surviving a pandemic and it is only natural that we are feeling the strain. 

 

I have come to realise that, as parents, we are doing the absolute best that we can right now. We set high expectations for ourselves and because of our love for our children we do not want them to miss out on anything in terms of their education and schooling. There is a lot of remote learning being set and it may not be realistic to expect that you can complete everything that is on Google Classroom. If the amount you can complete differs from day to day then so be it. One day you might complete all of the work and the next day it might be nothing at all. That’s ok! The children are safe, loved and cared for and that is the most important thing. Please do not let school work put any extra pressure on you. Everyone’s circumstances are different and we appreciate that. 

 

I recognise that motivating the children to work at home will become increasingly challenging over the coming weeks. The weekly live check ins with teachers - and Collective Worship with myself - are opportunities for us to try and encourage the children directly. However, unfortunately, without having the children in the classroom, it is near on impossible for us to solve this from a distance. That being said, we want to do everything we can and we have been discussing how we can increase engagement as enthusiasm from some of the children naturally begins to wane. This will start with the reintroduction of our weekly celebration assembly on a Friday where the children receive certificates from their class teachers for meeting different aspects of the school’s RESPECT Code. Further details about this week can be found below, but hopefully this is something you can use as a proverbial ‘carrot’ to dangle in front of the children! 

 

 

Children’s Mental Health Week & Screen Free Day

 

 

From 1st to 7th February 2021 schools, youth groups, organisations and individuals across the UK will take part in Children’s Mental Health Week. This year’s theme is Express Yourself.

 

Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make you feel good.

 

It’s important to remember that being able to express yourself is not about being the best at something or putting on a performance for others. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself.

 

For Children's Mental Health Week 2021, we will be encouraging children (and adults) to explore the different ways we can express ourselves, and the creative ways that we can share our feelings, our thoughts and our ideas.

 

On Thursday, we would like all of the children to dress up for the day and to ‘express themselves’ regardless of whether they are at home or in school at this time. This could be a full on costume; a crazy hairstyle or wig; or some spectacular face painting. It could be all three! If you would like to send a photo of your child/children dressed up to the school office then these can be included in a presentation during Friday’s celebration assembly.

 

Then on Friday, we will be having a ‘Screen Free Day’ where the activities set by the teachers will all be planned to spend time away from the screen. The learning will be made available on Google Classroom at the usual time and we will be having a short Collective Worship at 9.30am on Zoom (there’s no way of avoiding these sorry!). However, from 10.00am, the work will be mainly practical activities to promote positive mental health at a time when we are all becoming so accustomed to staring at a device for excessive amounts of time.

 

 

School Dinners

 

Going forwards, we kindly request that all school dinner payments are now made on a weekly basis.  Our procedures for dinner payments changed last November, when we moved to a system which is easier for parents and school admin staff to track payments against the meals taken, on a weekly basis.  The School Money App makes it quick and easy for payments to be made and avoids debits being accrued and chased up at the end of each half term.  We appreciate your support with this and please don't hesitate to contact the school office if you have any issues. 

 

For anyone struggling for meal inspiration at the moment, the image below is a link to the Change 4 Life website with lots of simple and cost-effective ideas. With the children at home during this period, it can significantly add to the shopping bills so hopefully you find some ways to keep expenses down - and lunchtimes fresh - until the children return to school.

 

 

 

Wetherby Music Centre

 

 

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Monday 14th December 2020

 

After a challenging week personally, I am excited to be able to return to school tomorrow to enjoy the end of term festivities and the final build up to Christmas. It has felt like a long time away, but I am chomping at the bit to return and to see everyone. I would like to pass on a huge thank to Mrs Myers for stepping in so brilliantly during my absence and to whole staff team for the amazing job that they continue to do.

 

End of term – Friday 18th December

 

Last week, the Department for Education (DfE) announced that they were giving permission for schools to close on Thursday 17th December instead of the previously scheduled date of Friday 18th December. In order to achieve this, schools were being encouraged to bring forward a training day to make Friday 18th December a non-teaching day with schools closed to all pupils and staff. I am sure you will agree that making such an announcement just a week and a half before the end of term was not helpful and ultimately put schools in a very difficult position. 

 

The main reason for this proposal is because school staff responsible for contact tracing are being asked by Public Health England to make themselves available for six days following the closure of schools. As things stand, this means that these staff members will need to be available to work up to - and including - Christmas Eve. From a well-being perspective, by closing a day earlier on Thursday 17th December, these staff would not then have to maintain their availability beyond Wednesday 23rd December.

 

At Collingham, we are remaining open on Friday 18th December and we will see out the autumn term in the same way we have always intended.

 

Throughout 2020, we have made a commitment to our children and families to remain open at every opportunity. It is imperative that the children are in school to learn and spend time with their friends whilst ensuring that parents are free to be able to work and run households. There has been enough disruption through school closures, self-isolation and collapsed bubbles as it is so it is just not right to take another day away.

 

 

Christmas Performance DVDs

 

Following the recording of our Christmas performance a couple of weeks ago, I am delighted to inform you that the  DVDs of this have now been delivered to school and they will be ready to send home with the children on Wednesday afternoon.

 

This has been an unusual year and - whilst we were disappointed that we could not hold our normal Christmas performances with all of our parents in attendance – we were really pleased to find a way of sharing something different with you all.

 

Thank you so much for supporting the children with your £5 purchases of the DVD as this has raised a grand total of £577.20 for a charity chosen by our School Council. As always, we are incredibly grateful for your kindness and generosity. We hope that you enjoy the performance and I am sure the children will love seeing themselves on screen!

 

 

Christmas Jumper Day

 

Tomorrow (Tuesday 15th December) will be our annual Christmas Jumper Day to raise money for ‘Save the Children’. All the children and staff are encouraged to attend school wearing their festive-attire. We kindly request a £1 donation to participate if this is at all possible. 

 

 

Be a Santa to a Senior

 

Over the past couple of weeks, the children have been making lots of creative items to donate to ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’. These are to be used as gifts for elderly residents within our local community to put a smile on their faces.

 

The items were a small gesture to make a difference to anyone who might be experiencing loneliness at Christmas time. This will have undoubtedly been compounded even more this year with the lockdown situations and the continuing challenges of the pandemic.

 

On Friday, the items were collected from school by Heather Welsh of ‘Home Instead Wetherby & North East’. She was absolutely blown away by the quality of what the children had spent time making and said to the staff in school that they were the best she had ever received. Later in the afternoon, Heather took the time to email me. She said:

 

I have just been to your school to collect the items for ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’. Wow! What an amazing collection. I am totally overwhelmed by the amount of such lovely baubles, cards and calendars that are included in your generous gifts for the elderly within our community. We will be sorting these out on Monday and delivering them straight away. I hope everyone at Collingham has a very Merry Christmas!"

 

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

Friday 27th November 2020

 

November has certainly been a testing month, but I hope that we can look forward to December with renewed optimism once our Year 3 class return to school on Monday. The timing could not be better with us having our Christmas performances recorded and then the start of our Christmas preparations can well and truly begin.

 

Thank you for responding so quickly to the permission request for the filming of the performances on Monday. From your responses, we have been able to submit an order for the DVDs and – including a small contribution to a chosen school charity – these will be sold at £5.00 each. This is a much lower amount than I had originally anticipated. Next week, parents will be sent a link through School Money with a total amount for the number of copies requested. The children have worked really hard to learn lines for songs and poems in such a short amount of time and – whilst this is not the full on theatrical performance of previous years – I know that you are going to really enjoy seeing all of your children perform from the comfort of your own home.

 

The class teachers have reported that they were really pleased with how the parent consultation evenings went this week. The technology in school was really kind to us on Tuesday before then starting to play a little bit of mischief on Wednesday. We have battled through a lot worse this year so there was absolutely no way we were going to let a few gremlins in the system disrupt these important meetings. It has been so disappointing that we have not been able to welcome you in to school so far this year, but I am delighted that we have been able to maintain communication throughout. The parent consultation evenings are such a crucial opportunity to keep you informed and they were a high priority to be retained in whatever format we could manage. I hope that you found them useful and thank you for your patience should you have faced any connection issues.

 

Have a fantastic weekend.

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Friday 20th November 2020

 

I have been reliably informed that today is officially five weeks until Christmas Day so that means we have four full weeks left at school. We were delighted to welcome our Year 1 children and staff back to school today following their collapsed bubble and period of self-isolation. We have really missed them, but the children have worked incredibly hard with their remote learning and they can be proud what they have achieved. Thank you to Miss Thackray, Mrs Hesketh & Mrs Naylor for providing such detailed work for the children and for maintaining their enthusiasm for learning.

 

I was sorry that Year 3’s schooling was again disrupted so soon following the previous bubble collapse. Back in September, from reviewing government guidance, I had pre-empted situations such as this where certain bubbles may close on multiple occasions and I was anxious about the wider impact that this would have on our children and our families. The bubble collapse model was put in place by the government to try and ensure that schools remained open to the majority of its pupils for as long as possible. With COVID-19 still prevalent in society as a whole, the prospect of having to follow through with these procedures was sadly always going to be high. It was the primary reason for me communicating the procedures so early with you on 15th September so that all parents could begin to make contingency plans.

 

It has been an unenviable position when collapsing the bubbles I have needed to so far across school, but it is my duty to follow government and public health guidance when there is a confirmed positive case. I sincerely wish things were different and that everyone remained in good health for the duration of the school year; however, it is a sorry fact that more of us are likely to contract this virus over the winter months. We have to hope that the illness remains mild for those who do contract it and we have to continue to be resolute in the belief that we will come through this period despite the worries and frustrations that we might be experiencing at the moment.

 

I would love to be in a position to say that we will have no more bubble collapses, but I have to be honest with you in saying that they remain a distinct possibility for however long we are navigating a way through this awful pandemic. I look forward to a day next year when coronavirus is well and truly behind us and we can start to be more positive about our futures - both in school and in our day to day lives. I have been incredibly grateful for all of the support you have offered to school since March. Thank you for your patience with all of the actions that we have already taken and also with those that we might be expected to take throughout the remainder of this academic year.

 

We look forward to welcoming back Miss Richardson, Mrs Crabtree and all of the Year 3 children on Monday 30th November. We are all right behind you!

 

 

Ofsted Interim Visit – Thursday 12th November 2020

 

I wanted to give you a brief update regarding the Ofsted Interim Visit last Thursday.

 

It was an intense day (6 hours) with the remote format, but I was really pleased with how everything went. It was well supported by the inspectors and they got a real sense of our 'can do' mantra here at Collingham. This was not an inspection as such and was more of a fact-finding mission for Ofsted in relation to COVID-19 and to see how schools are coping during the pandemic.

 

Topics of conversation were: context; attendance and behaviour; safeguarding; and curriculum. Questioning was challenging as you would expect, but we had a huge amount to share as a result of all of the hard work the school has put in to the past 7/8 months. For me personally, this was my first proper experience of Ofsted as a school leader so I enjoyed the scrutiny in readiness for a full inspection in the future.

 

The final meeting of the day was 'curriculum' and in this meeting I asked for all of the SLT to be in attendance. In a full Ofsted inspection, middle/senior leaders would lead the curriculum discussions rather than the HT/DHT and so I wanted this to be a shared experience for them. The meeting was supposed to be 1hr 10 mins, but it turned in to a two-hour meeting as the inspectors were getting so much valuable information from our team. There is no way they could have been anything but blown away.

 

In these interim visits, there are no judgements or evaluations made. In our feedback session on Thursday, the inspectors made no personal comment or reference about anything we had said during the day. They simply explained the process of reporting back to stakeholders in the form of a letter. This was a little disappointing as it would have been nice to hear some sort of personal comment, but I suspect that any comments could be deemed as 'evaluating' or 'passing judgement' which Ofsted have reassured schools they would not be doing at this time.

 

There will be a letter published before Christmas, but this will not really give much of a reflection of our school. I have read 20-30 reports from other schools - who have been through this process already - and they seem to be extremely generic. After reading 7/8, you can start to predict what the bullet points might say.

 

As soon as I have received a version of the letter that can be shared, I will ensure that you all receive a copy.

 

 

Collingham Christmas 2020

 

I just wanted to confirm that Tuesday 15th December will be our main celebration day for Christmas this year.

 

This day will be our 'Save the Children' Christmas Jumper Day with suggested £1 donations if at all possible.

 

We will also have our usual Christmas dinner on this day albeit held slightly differently to normal years. A letter will be going out shortly from the school office inviting children - who do not normally have a school lunch - to receive one on this day. 

 

Finally, with no trips, visitors or class parties this year, as a result of the national situation, we felt it was important that we tried to make sure that this Christmas remained special and memorable for all of the children. Therefore, in the afternoon, we have arranged for our school to be part of a Virtual Christmas Pantomime which will be 'Sleeping Beauty'. This will be personalised to our school and it will be shown simultaneously in all of the classrooms at 1.30pm. I hope that this will soften the blow of not being able to dance around the school hall, participate in games or eat copious amounts of party food!

 

As an addition, on Monday 14th December, we have also arranged a Zoom event in the classrooms for the Reception & Year 1 children (both classes separate) called 'The Littlest Elf Returns'. This is a Christmas-themed puppet show specifically aimed at the younger children with lots of fun and interaction throughout. 

 

 

Anti-bullying Week 2020 – ‘United Against Bullying’

 

As always, our school marked the importance of Anti-bullying Week with all of the children and staff wearing odd socks on Monday to celebrate individuality and difference. This year's theme was 'United Against Bullying' and many of the classes completed some activities to learn about and promote this important message.

 

Below you can find out about what some of the classes have been doing:

 

Reception started the day with a special assembly with Mrs Myers who told us about what bullying is and why it is so important that it never happens to anyone. It is really important that we unite together to stop it happening. Next, they had lots of fun dancing to a song by ‘Andy and The Oddsocks’ about how we are all special and should respect each other’s differences. Then they watched a short film and talked more about bullying and how we must never do it and, instead, how we must always be kind and caring towards each other.

 

All of the children designed a superhero bracelet. We encouraged the children to choose someone that they don’t know quite so well so that they could make a new friend. They told each other how to write their names and they had to ask each other what their favourite colours were. They all worked together really well and it was lovely to listen to the children getting to know each other a little better.

 

 

Year 1 had a remotely-held Microsoft Teams Meeting with Miss Thackray and Mrs Naylor to discuss how they can be a kind friend and what to do if someone is not being kind. The Year 1 team were blown away by the responses of the class and - in each meeting - the groups of children were coming up with the same answers. Year 1 then had an activity to do at home which looked at celebrating differences. They certainly looked like they had fun completing the tasks.

 

 

Year 2 talked about what 'anti' means. They discussed what bullying is and how we can spot it and - most importantly - STOP IT! We talked again about being ‘unique’ and that we celebrate differences. We designed some odd socks to show it’s ok to be different!

 

 

BBC Children in Need 2020

 

Last Friday, our school raised an incredible £345 for this year's BBC Children in Need Appeal. Thank you so much for your generosity in raising such a brilliant amount. With this being an important fundraising event in the school calendar, some of the classes were learning about the reasons behind why we take part and made links through the PSHE curriculum. 

 

Reception children found out about Children in Need and Pudsey Bear through a PowerPoint, a story and  some songs. They talked about how the money we have raised will help children around the United Kingdom. The children loved making their very own Pudsey Bear ears!

 

 

In Year 1, they looked at the ‘taking notice’ strand of the 'Five to Thrive' activities which are all based around improving children's well-being. The taking notice strand was all about having time to stop and reflect on our thoughts and feelings. The class had some quiet time so they could reflect and be mindful. Some of the activities Year 1 chose to complete were mindfulness colouring sheets, creating a calming den, completing some calming yoga and creating a feelings picture. Year 1 really enjoyed this task to end a busy week of remote learning!

 

 

Year 2 talked about why we were in non-uniform and that the money raised was going to Children in Need. They watched the video of Sam and Alex and how amazing they were. In the video, money was going towards supporting 'Rainbows' – a centre for children with special needs. They then watched a Powerpoint about Amrit - a little girl who didn't think she was very good at anything. Amrit realised that she was amazing at baking and her friends helped her to understand that we all have 'gifts'. Year 2 discussed how everybody is special and has special gifts. Year 2 retold the story of Amrit and how she had her own bake sale to raise money for Children in Need.

 

Year 3 were busy last week celebrating Children in Need. They discussed certain aspects of life that we can sometimes take for granted. They reflected on the things that we should be grateful for as some children are not as fortunate as us. After a whole class discussion, they designed a Pudsey Bear by writing all of the things that they were grateful for. In addition, the class engaged in several activities aiming to promote positive mental health such as chocolate meditation, 'Just Dance' and writing positive notes for their learning partners to read.

 

 

Dress-down Fridays for staff

 

The pandemic has been a huge challenge for all members of society, but in addition to considering the well-being of children and parents, it is vitally important that the staff are well-considered also. It has been a testing few months in school and we are looking at ways that we can maintain and improve both morale and motivation throughout this period. As one small gesture, from next Friday, staff will be encouraged to 'dress down' on this day each week. I wanted to let you know just in case you wondered why we were all turning up in jeans and trainers!

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 6th November 2020

 

It has been a busy first week back at school and I am utterly bewildered as to how it can be Friday once again. We have not had a full compliment of children this week, with Year 3 remaining in isolation until the end of today, but we looking forward to welcoming back Miss Richardson, Mrs Crabtree and all of the Year 3 children from Monday. They have been missed by all of us in school. 

 

On Tuesday evening, I happened to see my first Christmas advert on the television. Every year, these seem to appear earlier and earlier and - at risk of sounding like a bit of a Scrooge - I have to say I am one of the first to complain about this. However, on this occasion, I felt completely differently. The advert instilled a sense of hope and positivity that I think could easily be overlooked when the news is so full of unwelcome and worrying headlines. With this in mind, today's blog is going to a 'positive zone' only! Despite the challenges we face, there is still a lot to be thankful for and there is a lot to look forward to.

 

It is also important to remember that we can all still make a significant difference to others and, in the lead up to Christmas, this is something that I am keen for us to hold at the forefront of our minds.

 

 

School Lunches

 

On Tuesday, we changed our school lunch provision to the new 'hot box' menus. This now means that we are able to provide much more substantial meals than has been possible so far this academic year.

 

The ‘hot box’ meals include many that the children enjoy including spaghetti bolognese; chilli con carne; pasta bakes; chicken curry and rice; sausage and mashed potato; and roast dinners. There are two hot choices every day – one meat and one vegetarian – as well as an additional sandwich/wrap option for those who would prefer this instead.  Meals have been served in takeaway boxes which will retain the heat better than the paper bags that have been used so far.

 

I took the opportunity to have school lunch myself today and I have to say that I was really impressed. The food was hot and the meal was definitely filling. Thank you to Mrs Proctor and her team in the kitchen for facilitating these changes as I feel it is going to be much more beneficial for the children as we start to approach winter. 

 

If you would like to take advantage of the new school lunch offer then please email the school office to request a change from packed lunches.

 

 

Well done Emma and Sally!

 

A huge congratulations to both Emma Anderson and Sally Weaver (Year 1 & 3 parents) for completing their marathon around Collingham and Wetherby on Sunday 25th October. What a brilliant achievement and thank you so much for completing this on behalf of our school. I hear the weather was favourable and that you even had a welcome party waiting for you as you crossed the finish line. That must have been so rewarding to see everyone there cheering you on. I think you have probably set the bar now for future fundraising activities. Could the 'Collingham Marathon' actually become a thing???

 

A couple of weeks ago, our PTA - Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) – created a GoFundMe account (*please click on the link below) to invite donations from parents, family and friends in support of Emma and Sally’s amazing gesture and to help top up the PTA’s funds at a time when they are unable to hold normal fundraising events. As of today, the grand total raised is a staggering £2,961!!! This has absolutely blown us away! Wow!

 

Thank you so much to everyone who has made a donation. The amount raised is beyond anything we could have hoped for and it will make a huge difference towards helping us continue to provide the best for the children at Collingham School at a time when the increased costs associated with COVID-19 create so many additional pressures. We are incredibly grateful!

 

 

 

 

Anti-bullying Week 2020 & Odd Socks Day

 

Monday 16th November marks the start of Anti-bullying Week 2020 and the theme for this year is: 'United against Bullying'.

 

The children will be learning about various topics around what bullying is; how to be a good friend; discussing the different types of bullying; exploring ways in which we can stand united against bullying within our school community; and embedding the idea of collective responsibility being an effective approach to tackling bullying.

 

As part of this learning and to raise awareness, we would like all of the children to come to school in odd socks on Monday 16th November. Odd Socks Day is designed to be fun. It is an opportunity for children to express themselves and to appreciate individuality and uniqueness.

 

 

 

Be A Santa For A Senior

 

We have been approached with an initiative this week called 'Be A Santa For A Senior' that helps support elderly residents in the Wetherby area who might be experiencing loneliness at Christmas time. This year, loneliness will be compounded even more with the lockdown situation and the continuing challenges of the national situation.

 

I think this is an absolutely fantastic idea and it is something that I have already committed us towards supporting.

 

During the week beginning 30th November, each class in school will dedicate 1/1.5 hours for a creative/craft activity so that the children can make an array of times that can be sent to elderly residents within our local community to put a smile on their faces. All the items we make will be quarantined before we send them to the project by their 11th December deadline.

 

It is incredibly important that - as a school - we lead by example to support community projects such as this and that we encourage the children to think of others in a different way to how we might normally.

 

The items made would be a small gesture, but I know that they will make a huge difference to someone's day. That is incredibly special!

 

 

 

Christmas Performances 2020

 

Before half-term, I eluded to us ensuring that we were going to try and make this Christmas a memorable one for the children at Collingham School. With no trips or visitors being possible at the moment, we wanted to be able to still celebrate Christmas properly and make sure that the children still had some exciting activities to look forward to.

 

Over the next few weeks, we will release different aspects of our plan, but today, I am pleased to confirm that we will continue to hold our annual Christmas performances - albeit in a different way to previous years.

 

During the week beginning 30th November, we have arranged for a film crew to join us in school to record the performances in both Rec/Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. From these recordings, a final edit will be created that we will then be turned into a DVD. This will be made available for parents to purchase from school. The DVDs will be made available at cost plus a small donation included to help support a nominated school charity. Every Christmas, your generous donations on the door have raised a significant amount of money for good causes and we wanted to still be able to do this at such a challenging time.

 

In a few weeks, we will contact you again with further details as to how you will be able to purchase these DVDs and we hope that you will enjoy the Collingham Christmas Performance 2020 in the comfort of your home for this year only!

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 23rd October 2020

 

After a rather lengthy blog last week, you'll be pleased to hear that I intend to keep today's significantly shorter!

 

I wanted to offer my huge thanks to everyone in our school community for pulling together with unwavering positivity and for seeing us through this first half-term. There has never been a half term that has presented such an enormous level of challenge, but every child, every parent, every grandparent, every member of staff and every governor has played such an important part in getting us to today. I make no apologies for repeating myself as I am so proud to be a part of this school and to work with you all.

 

Throughout the past seven weeks, we have been tracking all cases of self-isolation amongst the children and staff. This week, I was interested to establish exactly how COVID-19 had impacted on us in terms of numbers and this information can be found in the table below. Over a quarter of the children have experienced a self-isolation period of varying length with virtually all of those tested returning a negative result. So far since March, we have only had one positive case directly connected to school. This is testament to the efforts we are all making to comply with government guidance and it is the reason why we remain so keen to keep all of our systems working as efficiently as possible - in particular with avoiding the mixing between bubbles. 

 

A quarter of our staff have also been required to self-isolate and the impact of this has been huge at various points. This is in addition to the normal day-to-day absences. However, we never let this impact the day to day running of our school with the focus always being on providing the best for the children on each and every day. I am a firm believer in there being a solution to every single problem faced...sometimes you just have to spend a bit longer thinking of the solution! So far, this has rung true and we have been able to find cover for all situations presented to us. It has to be said that our parents have played an important role in this. A massive thank you to Mrs Harkins, Mrs Loughran, Mrs Richmond for all of their help with volunteering at lunchtimes as well as Mrs Stubbs and Mrs Bolton who are now familiar faces in school through working in different classrooms. This sense of community spirit and support for the school cannot be understated at this difficult time. It really is humbling.

 

In terms of attendance, if COVID-19 is removed from the equation, our overall attendance figure is actually higher at this point of the year than it ever has been before. Whilst I am aware this may sound like a little bit of political spin, it is important to recognise this as the majority of children seem to now be in school unless being required to self-isolate. When it has been necessary to keep children off school, we are incredibly grateful for your support in terms of following the guidance and in helping to keep all members of our school community safe. 

 

I have to say that the Year 5 children have led by example this week by working incredibly hard with their remote learning on Google Classroom whilst experiencing the frustrations of self-isolation. They have demonstrated so many of the qualities we expect of a child at Collingham through immersing themselves in learning, having courage to push past doubts and fears and showing the determination to keep going even in the most challenging of circumstances. Google Classroom seems to have worked really well in mirroring the curriculum offer that would have been provided in school as well as offering the perfect forum to promote and maintain high levels of interaction between children and teachers. If any of the Year 5 parents have any feedback regarding our remote learning offer then we would be really grateful to hear from you by email. We aim to release a short survey on the return to school in November for you to complete also.

 

Last week, I informed you that we were in the process of writing a remote learning policy and I was hoping to be able to send a copy of this to you this week. The policy has been a more significant piece of work than I had originally envisaged and - whilst I am pleased that this has now been completed - it will need to go to both our school staff and our governing board for approval first. Once this has happened then I will be in a position to ensure you all receive a copy. This will now be at the start of the first week back after half-term.

 

Finally, on our return, the countdown to Christmas will well and truly begin. This is always a really special time in school, but unfortunately we will not be able to hold all of our traditional events such as the PTA Christmas Fayre or the Christmas performances.

 

However, I am delighted to inform you that CHRISTMAS IS NOT CANCELLED! We are making some grand plans for a special Christmas that will be memorable for all of the children. It is the least they deserve. There is a lot to arrange, but all will be revealed soon!

 

 

Have a fantastic half-term! See you all on Tuesday 3rd November!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

Thursday 15th October 2020

 

Well, what a difference a phone call can make…

 

Yesterday, I spent the entire morning writing this blog; I uploaded it to the school website at lunchtime; and I was ready to notify parents in the evening that the latest update was ready to view.

 

Let’s just say that I had to remove it rather swiftly!

 

This morning, I have started afresh as the notification of a confirmed positive case in school at 1.30pm yesterday afternoon meant that we collapsed our first bubble at Collingham School and brought the full impact of this national health emergency to our own doors for the first time. How quickly things can change in these strange times…

 

Firstly, I am sure you will join me in wishing the Year 5 child concerned a speedy recovery. The impact of collapsing bubbles will be felt widely across our school community, but there is nothing more important than the health and well-being of the children at this time. This must be our first thought in these situations.

 

In addition, Mr Duffy and Mrs Grange will be now be required to self-isolate - for the same period as the children - simply for the job which they undertake on a daily basis. In addition to the children, I have always been concerned about the significant impact of collapsed bubbles on teaching staff and their families. Staff might need to self-isolate on more than one occasion this year and that will potentially present a whole host of different consequences for them going forwards. Every individual has their own set of family circumstances that will cause them to worry at this time. I would like to extend our best wishes to both Mr Duffy and Mrs Grange as they now strive to deliver remote learning for the Year 5 children up until half-term.

 

There have been a huge number of confirmed cases at schools both locally and nationally over the past six weeks and, unfortunately, this is now the new normal within education settings. Even in my role as a school leader, it has been noticeable that positive tests have been creeping up on our community over the course of a few weeks: first with local schools; then amongst our parents; then children with high school siblings; and finally a confirmed case in our school. Whilst we would have obviously preferred to not collapse a bubble, there was sadly a feeling of inevitability that this scenario would impact us at some point.

 

All of our internal procedures have been in place to deal with a collapsed bubble since the start of the school year and there was a definite sense of calmness in implementing them yesterday afternoon. I have had plans in place for three different collapsing scenarios: out of school hours; during the morning session; and during the afternoon. For each of these, text message, email and letter templates have been created to send to parents should they be required. There are different instructions with each of these. When we received the information about the positive test, we simply needed to work through the plans that had already been made so it felt as though we were well-prepared.

 

From 1.30pm onwards, we spoke with the parent of the child concerned; telephoned Public Health England and the DfE to identify contacts within the class; notified staff who would be impacted; contacted Year 5 parents about collecting their child; sent a formal letter to the directly impacted class and another to the wider school community; completed the necessary paperwork to report the case to the local authority; and finally I spoke with the Year 5 children to try and reassure them about what would happen in going home and over the next couple of weeks. The children went home at 3.20pm.

 

For me, speaking with the children was the most important part of the process. The children had a lot of questions for Mr Duffy and myself before they left. We answered these openly and honestly, but I expect that there will have been a few more questions for their parents when they got home. The children were incredibly mature and everyone in school was extremely proud of their reaction as there would have been some undoubted anxieties. 

 

I also want to thank the Year 5 parents for their speedy, calm and positive reaction to the news of this bubble collapse. Together, we were able to ensure that the children all got home safely once the school grounds were clear. The support from our parents was – as always - hugely appreciated.

 

Having now gone through this process for the first time, I have learnt through first-hand experience exactly how all of this works with PHE/DfE and I have been able to make some tweaks to our procedures going forwards. Whilst I would love to not be required to go through this again - because it means that everyone in school is well – we have to be realistic in the sense that the local/national picture does seem to be deteriorating and it is likely that - despite our best efforts in school - this might happen on more occasions yet. However, we are ready!

 

I felt it was important to respond to the events of yesterday with the entire school community, but it has led to today’s blog suddenly becoming significantly longer than it was before. Please bear with me!

 

I am extremely aware of the high volume of admin that is pushed out to parents from school at the moment. Whilst I am afraid this is unavoidable given the circumstances, my main objective for today's blog was going to be as more of an information sharing exercise in order to deliver some important messages all in one go!

 

So let’s try again!

 

 

Training Day

 

Just a reminder that school closes for half term next Friday 23rd October.

 

Monday 2nd November will be our second training day of the year so school will reopen for all children on Tuesday 3rd November.

 

 

Remote Learning

 

The Government have set a deadline of 22nd October for schools to have a full remote learning plan in place to support children who might be required to self-isolate or in the event of collapsed bubbles as a result of confirmed positive cases in school.

 

Since the very beginning of term, we have been working extremely hard on trying to create the best offer we can by utilising our technological resources; our staff capacity and expertise; and our modest school budget.

 

Approximately 10 children have been required to self-isolate through displaying COVID-19 symptoms themselves or as a result of someone in their household doing so. All of these children have received negative results before returning to school. In addition, we have now obviously been required to collapse our first bubble in Year 5 with nearly 30 children now off school.

 

For all of these affected children, we have already put remote learning in place well in advance of the Government’s date next week. Work is being set from the second full school day of self-isolation using Google Classroom. This means that if we have discovered that a child has entered self-isolation on the Monday then work has been provided at 9.00am on the Wednesday morning. This allows class teachers time to make the necessary arrangements to add work to Google Classroom, but also time for any possible COVID-19 test results to return with a – hopefully – negative result.

 

Following a reminder to parents last week, we now have 85% of the children in school linked to their classes on Google Classroom. In the event of a collapsed bubble, such as yesterday, the class teachers will release a video at 9.00am every single day that checks in with the children and sets the work and expectations for the day. The teachers will then monitor Google Classroom throughout the day to release work; interact with the children; and to provide feedback on work submitted to them. A letter with full details regarding this offer and a new Remote Learning Policy will be sent to parents next week.

 

The ‘Home Learning Hub’ that was used previously will be rebranded as the ‘Remote Learning Hub’ for this academic year. This will have links to the class webpages and it will useful links to external websites that can be accessed for interactive games and resources to support learning. This includes PhonicsPlay, Purple Mash and SumDog.

 

SumDog in particular proved really popular with a number of parents and children during the school closure period. It was extremely useful for teachers as it allowed them to monitor engagement and track work being completed by the children. I appreciate this was not for everyone, but with such a limited choice of purposeful online resources to choose from, SumDog was certainly one of the best and at that time it was free – always my favourite!

 

In readiness for any for any required remote learning, we have purchased a full licence for the maths aspect of SumDog for 2020/21. This was at a cost of £730, but we are extremely grateful to the Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) PTA for covering this expense for us at a time when our finances are continuously being stretched to survive the day to day pressures of coronavirus. This resource definitely helps to add an extra dimension to what we can offer the children if they are away from school and I am confident that they will enjoy using it.

 

 

Parent Consultation Evenings

 

I am delighted to confirm that we have finalised our plans for the first parent consolation evenings of this academic year despite being unable to welcome parents in to school at this time.

 

The dates for these will be Tuesday 24th November (4.30-7.30pm) and Wednesday 25th November (3.30-6.30pm).

 

We will once again be offering appointments via the Eduspot online system as this was so successful last year when we introduced it for the very first time.  Appointments will be made live to parents next Thursday 22nd October and you will receive a link to your mobile phone email address which will take you to our online booking system to select a time convenient for you.

 

A letter will be sent out to parents with full details on Friday, but I wanted you to have these dates at the earliest opportunity.

 

 

New Computer Suite and iPads

 

A HUGE thank you to the school PTA – Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) – who have donated a mind-blowing £21,000 to help fund the purchase of 32 new desktop computers and a class set of 32 brand new iPads complete with protective cases. We are delighted to have been able to finally revamp the technology we have available for the children to use in school as this simply would not have been possible without the incredible financial support from the PTA as well as all of our parents who support the events that are run.

 

The previous machines in school were over 10 years old and had started to pose a security risk as their operating systems were no longer supported for update with Microsoft. It would have taken years to stagger the introduction of new computers and iPads with school budgets across the country completely stretched. We are so fortunate to have been in a position to complete this project in one go because of your support and generosity. It really is incredibly humbling.

 

The computers and iPads were all delivered in the summer and over the past few weeks Mr Duffy and Schools ICT have been installing them in readiness for full use with the children after half-term.

 

To ensure the computer suite really looks the part, we have also invested in new blue computer chairs - that actually spin! This is a significant upgrade on the drab-looking classroom chairs that were there previously. Along with the overhaul of the school library earlier in the year, I am sure you will agree that this important area of school is now looking fantastic!

 

In addition to the amazing help from the PTA, I would also like to thank Mr Duffy and Mrs Azimikorf for their hard work in researching, resourcing and ordering all of the equipment that was needed. It was certainly no mean feat whilst in midst of everything else that has been going on.

 

 

 

School fundraising –a marathon effort!

 

As already mentioned, we are always blown away with the support of our parents. I have had several conversations already this year about how school can be supported financially at a time when we cannot hold popular fundraising events such as Movie Night, the Christmas Fayre, the Quiz Night and - the world-renowned – Easter Bingo. These events raise thousands of pounds every year to help support projects that enhance learning for the children.

 

The rainbow themed non-uniform day this Friday 16th October is an example of a new way of trying to bring in money and I know that consideration is being given towards other events that could be held as alternatives.  

That being said, I have today learnt about two parents who are really raising the stakes with their fundraising ideas and who have decided to take on the challenge of running a full marathon in support of our school. This certainly takes creativity to a whole new level!

 

Sally Weaver and Emma Anderson (Year 1 & Year 3 mums) have decided to run a marathon around Collingham, Wetherby and other surrounding villages on Sunday 25th October in aid of the PTA and the school. They should have been competing in the Amsterdam Marathon this coming weekend, but with this now cancelled, they have decided to take on the challenge locally instead. 

 

A GoFundMe account (*click image below) has been created and both the school and the PTA would be incredibly grateful for any donation you can offer that can help us at Collingham, but that equally celebrates the amazingly kind gesture of Sally and Emma.

 

Good luck to both of you from all of us at Collingham School and thank you in advance for anyone who may be able to donate.

 

 

 

School Photographs

 

Sadly, our annual autumn term school photographs have now been postponed until next year. We were unable to ensure the safety of staff and children as large groups would be required to congregate in the school hall. We will be looking to arrange a new date at the earliest opportunity and once the national picture has settled down a little bit more. I am sorry for any disappointment that this may cause, but thank you for your understanding.

 

 

Water bottle holders

 

With school investing heavily in new reading books over the past six months, we have unfortunately had a number of books spoiled by leaking water bottles being carried inside reading bags. As a solution to this problem, Kool Kidz in Wetherby have sourced some red water bottle holders that can be attached to school reading bags. These are now available in the shop for £2.50 each.

 

 

 

Coronavirus Information – School Webpage

 

Due to the sheer volume of information that has been required to be sent to parents since the start of the pandemic, I have decided to create a dedicated page on the school website to archive a lot of the documents that have been sent out. By having these all in one place, this should make it easier for parents to find the important documents they might need.

 

This includes some NHS tools to help recognise the symptoms of coronavirus; our school flow diagram to explain the required procedures in the event of children needing to self-isolate; and past letters and documents that might be useful.

 

I have also added a copy of our whole school risk assessment that will continue to be reviewed at regular points of the academic year.

 

https://www.collinghamschool.com/coronavirus/

 

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Friday 2nd October 2020

 

After a rather busy start to the new school year, I am delighted to be able to sit down and finally write my first blog of 2020/21.

 

It has certainly been a start with a difference and the most unusual way to kick things off that I have ever experienced in my career. There was a huge amount of discussion and planning involved in ensuring that we could reopen to all year groups on 8th September and I am delighted that everything seems to have gone smoothly. I was always prepared for the need to tweak a few things once we incorporated 200 children and 200 parents in to the mix, but your patience and support has been gratefully received. The longer these measures remain in place, it will be natural that we all become a little bit comfortable with them. It might just be necessary to refresh everything at various points to ensure that everything is working as effectively as possible. 

 

Today marks the end to the first full month back. Every day feels like a new challenge and it is difficult to look too far in to the future. Whilst we have so far managed to keep all bubbles open, we have faced both staff and pupil absences as a result of them having to self-isolate. As of today, we have not had any positive cases directly connected to school since the start of this crisis back in March. The end of each week feels like a small success in terms of everyone staying fit and healthy. In time, this may unfortunately change, but we will never allow for complacency to set in and we will ensure that we maintain the same high standards we set ourselves in implementing all of our safety procedures for as long as is necessary.

 

As a small school, the impact of losing just a couple of staff members is felt massively. However, I am always humbled by the attitude of everyone here at Collingham to help out and pick up additional responsibilities to ensure that school can function in the most efficient way possible for the benefit of the children. This doesn't matter if it's a lunch duty; opening gates; covering a class; or cleaning the toilets. Everyone puts themselves forward for any job that will help to minimise the impact of any absence. The staff in school are under huge pressure to ensure that the children catch up following the lockdown/school closure period, yet they also do everything within their powers to maintain the integrity of the class bubbles and to keep the school functioning normally. I could not be prouder of the team we have at this school.

 

There have been some moments already where the responsibility on both myself and the staff - in relation to COVID-19 - has felt immense. We are constantly being expected to reflect and adapt in accordance with the ever-changing national picture whilst maintaining our determined focus on learning. However, for every one of these moments, I have realised the importance of taking a step back and spending time observing the children: playing with their friends on the school field; smiling as they bounce in to school each morning; and the bustling classrooms in every corner of the building. Yes - these are challenging times - but for much of the day, the children are non-the-wiser about what's going on in the wider world and they are enjoying their time back in school with their friends and teachers. This - quite simply - makes everything worthwhile. The children are really happy and long may it continue.

 

Today, we were able to hold our first whole school celebration assembly on Zoom. As always, this was connected to celebrating our RESPECT code and was an opportunity to recognise the achievements of the children in relation to this over the past week. In previous years, we have called this our weekly 'leaf assembly'. Leaves were written by teachers and I would read them out to all of the children in the school hall. Children with leaves would receive a gold sticker and their leaves would be displayed on painted trees on the wall.

 

However, earlier in the year, we realised that many parents never got to see these leaves and that often the children could not remember why they had been awarded one. By the time parents visited school, the leaves on the wall had become a little bit tatty or had fallen off altogether. We have therefore decided to replace the leaf assembly with a new certificate assembly. This means that we can still celebrate the children's efforts in relation to the RESPECT Code, but now they can physically take home a certificate that they can share with you. Today's assembly celebrated 'positivity' and children were given awards because of their enjoyment of learning and for approaching everything they do with enthusiasm. Keep an eye out each week to see if your child has received a certificate in school.

 

 

 

RESPECT Code

 

When writing our Christian Vision Statement at the end of 2019, we collectively felt that the school RESPECT Code was in need of freshening up in order to reflect how the school had moved on over time.

 

The RESPECT Code is used to promote and maintain consistently high standards of behaviour and attitudes in all areas of school life; to develop respectful, considerate citizens beyond the school; and to provide a whole school articulation and shared language for discussing and promoting positive behaviour principles for learning and for life.

 

We felt strongly that there should be greater emphasis on resilience, equality/fairness and selflessness. There have been some tweaks to the twelve Christian values included on the RESPECT Code: 'creativity' and 'joy' have been replaced by 'justice' and 'service'.

 

In terms of the word RESPECT: 'Relationships', 'Standards', 'Positive and Enthusiastic' and 'Together' have been replaced by 'Resilience', 'Service', 'Positivity', 'Empathy' and 'Togetherness'.

 

We feel these changes strengthen the promotion of social, moral, cultural and spiritual development within a framework of inclusive and distinctly Christian values to develop our children as good British citizens with a clear understanding of right and wrong.

 

The new RESPECT Code is now on one single page and sits in unison with our Christian Vision Statement. You can see the differences between the old and new versions below:

 

Old RESPECT Code

 

 

 

New RESPECT Code

 

 

 

School Hall

 

Over the past 9 months, the school hall has been completely refurbished with a brand new parquet floor; new doors; and a lick of paint, using funds granted by the Diocese. This was completed in the summer holidays. The painted trees on the walls have finally gone and a disused hose reel that has been an eyesore in the corner of the room for the best part of 30 years has now been banished forever! 

 

It is disappointing that we are unable to invite parents in to school at the moment, but I thought you might like to see the end result as we are really pleased with the work that has been done. The school hall is the focal point of the school building so it's really satisfying to now have it looking back to its best. We look forward to welcoming you all back soon!

 

 

 

Nasal Flu Immunisations

 

Nasal flu immunisations are being administered in school on Monday for those who have signed up online.  If you signed up and you have since changed your mind, you must contact Intrahealth directly on 0333 3583 397 option 7 then option 2 to withdraw permission.

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 30th June 2020

 

As the summer holidays fast approaches, we enter one of the busiest periods of the school year in order to get ready for September. Today’s blog is a bit of a mixture of celebration and administration, but I think this is a useful forum to pass on some key messages at this time.

 

End of Year Reports

 

On Friday 10th July, we will be sending home an end of year report for all of the children as has been traditional. This will be in a much shorter format compared to previous years, but we felt it was extremely important that the teachers had an opportunity to write to all of the children in order to celebrate their achievements throughout the year.

 

Unfortunately, in line with government expectations, there will be no individual subject assessments for 2019/20. This is mainly down to gaps in curriculum coverage and an inability to complete end of year assessment tasks with the children - both as a direct result of the school closure.

 

For Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, all reports will be sent home with the children on the day. They will also be given a report for any sibling that is currently not back at school. Any remaining reports will be posted out to parents.

 

 

PTA Donation - New Computer Suite

 

Last week, we received the incredible news that we are set to receive a £20,000 donation from the Friends of Collingham School (FoCS). This huge sum is to subsidise the refurbishment of our computer suite where the current machines are now over 10 years old and running a now-defunct operating system.

 

The money will allow us to buy 32 brand new computers, keyboards and mice and to also replace the current classroom-type chairs for proper computer chairs. All being well, these will be ready to use at the start of the new school year.

 

Fortunately, there will be a large portion of the funds leftover and this is going to allow us to also buy a brand new class set of iPads. Again, this is to replace some very old devices that we have in school.

 

It is incredibly exciting that we are able to update our technology offer, but this would simply have not been possible without the incredible support of our parents. In the past year, we have had the Collingham Real Ale Festival, the circus event, a Movie Night, the annual Christmas Fayre, the brilliant disco with - the one and only – Mr Shuffles, and a highly entertaining Quiz Night! All of these events have made a vital contribution towards the huge figure that has been raised overall.

 

Thank you to each and every one of you who have helped to make all the events such a huge success, but particularly to those parents who have given up their time to get involved in the running of them. We are really grateful for everything you have been doing to help benefit the children at our school.

 

 

School Library and whole school reading offer

 

Before the school closure, we were working hard to promote a culture for reading in school where all children read for pleasure. As a part of this, we invested £10,000 to revamp our entire reading offer for the children, including: new books to meet the phonetic needs of the children in Early Years and KS1; brand new reading scheme books such as Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat; and a complete overhaul of the fiction and non-fiction books in the school library.

 

We had found that so many of our books were old, tatty and discoloured. They were certainly not books to engage and enthuse young readers. We therefore felt it was the least the children deserved for us to buy completely new books throughout school.

 

We now have a brand new shelving unit full of new books that have been separated into sets based upon different phonic sounds to help support early reading.

 

 

Our school library has also had a makeover with – sadly - scores of books being only fit for the bin and brand new books bought to replace them. A huge thank you to Mrs Myers, Mrs Questa, Mrs Grange and Mrs Wood who worked really hard during the school closure period to bring the library to life. Sadly, because of the pandemic, the children have not had an opportunity to explore all of the exciting fiction and non-fiction texts now in there, but as soon as we return properly then I am sure that the children will be blown away by the books that they will discover.

 

 

 

Class email addresses

 

To maintain contact between teachers, children and parents throughout the school closure period, we created some new class email addresses. The teachers have really enjoyed reading about everything the children have been doing at home and looking at all of the fantastic photos that have been sent in. Many of these have been used in the blog over the past few months. I hope that you feel the email addresses have been helpful during this difficult time.

 

We will continue to keep these email addresses open for the remainder of this academic year; however, these will be deactivated at the start of September when we hopefully have all year groups coming back at school. This is in the interests of staff well-being. We politely request that parents revert to emailing the school office should they wish to discuss or raise anything with the class teachers. Thank you.

 

 

Training Day

 

Monday 7th September will be our first training of the 2020/21 academic year. Therefore, all being well, the first full day back at school for all year groups will be Tuesday 8th September.

 

 

Dinner money

 

On Monday, we sent out some dinner money payment reminders for our Year 6 children and also for some of our Year 3/4/5 children who still owe for meals taken before the school closed back in March. We politely request that all payments are made before Friday 17th July.

 

Some refunds are due for children in Key Stage 2 and these can either be carried over to September or refunded by Leeds City Council should you wish. All refunds for Year 6 children will be made after Friday 17th July. 

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Monday 8th June 2020

 

Last week, we successfully reopened our doors and welcomed back the children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. I have to be honest - this was a bittersweet moment - as it was fantastic to see these children returning with such beaming smiles on their faces; however, we were sadly still missing all of those from Years 2/3/4/5 who are unable to rejoin us at this moment. This has been a small step towards normality in the longer term and - for all of us at Collingham School - the return of each and every child cannot come soon enough. Only then will our school have truly emerged from the other side of this crisis. 

 

I would like to thank all of our parents for their unwavering support and patience. Those in Rec/Y1/Y6 for following all of our new timings and social distancing guidelines to ensure we can get the children in and out of school safely and to those in Y2/3/4/5 for continuing to approach home-learning with such positivity after ten long weeks when keeping the children motivated can be such a huge challenge.

 

In today's blog, I wanted to celebrate some of the activities that the children in Y2/3/4/5 have been enjoying over the past few weeks. I hope that you are able to share these photos with all of them to try and raise their spirits a little. I appreciate what a difficult time this is and I know from seeing older siblings dropping off younger brothers or sisters each morning that the children are desperate to return.

 

At the end of this week, we will be ensuring that we try and maintain contact with all of these children in new ways for as long as school closure remains in place for them. This will include telephone calls from class teachers and video messages through the class pages so that the children can hear a voice and see a face. It is imperative for us that these children are not forgotten and that they still feel very much included at our school. They may be out of sight, but they are most definitely not out of mind!

 

Please don't forget that if you would like to share anything that the children have been doing at home then photos can be emailed directly to the teachers using the class email addresses. I plan to continue sharing these right up until the end of the academic year. The photos always bring a smile to our faces!

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 22nd May 2020

 

It has been an extremely busy couple of weeks making preparations for a potential reopening of school on Monday 1st June for the children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. I am pleased to confirm that everything is now in place should we be given the green light to open our doors and full details regarding our arrangements were emailed to parents in these year groups yesterday evening. There was a 90% uptake of places, which was really pleasing, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming these children back to school.

 

For children in Years 2/3/4/5, the immediate future unfortunately remains unclear. The government ambition is for these year groups to return for four weeks in the lead up to the summer holidays. I have to be honest that I am concerned at this time about how we will be able to facilitate this. A lot will depend on what the government guidance instructs. In the arrangements to bring back Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, we are using every single classroom in school and every single member of staff available to us. Should the remaining year groups be asked to return then we simply would not have the space to accommodate everyone and especially if the maximum class size continues to be set at 15 children. The only way forward that I could see in these circumstances is that year groups were brought in on some sort of rota rather than being in school every day. I am hopeful that we will have more information on this to share with you soon.

 

As soon as Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 return, this will bring the home learning provision for these year groups to an end. Parents who have chosen not to send their children back will be able to access work and resources through BBC Bitesize and The Oak National Academy. I am afraid that due to the commitments of staff working full time in school, it will not be possible to maintain previous levels of home learning on the school website.

 

In Years 2/3/4/5, the home learning offer will continue, but the class pages will now only be updated once a week rather than twice. Again, these teachers will be working full time in school, although release time is being provided to ensure that they have the capacity to provide work for these children. Home learning sections of the website will be updated by 9.00am every Friday with activities to be used during the following week.  

 

As with previous school holidays, there will be a short break from home learning for half-term. We will inform you shortly when the class pages are next updated. We hope that you have an enjoyable week and that you are able to make the most of the glorious sunshine that is forecast.

 

Stay at Home 'Virtual' Sports Day 2020

 

In my previous Headteacher Blog, I regretfully informed you of the need to cancel our traditional Sports Day that was scheduled for Wednesday 3rd June.

 

Whilst this was hugely disappointing, I am delighted that I can now reveal the full details about our first ever Stay at Home 'Virtual' Sports Day to replace our usual event.

 

Mr Elliot and James H (School Sports Ambassador – Year 6) have been working on plans to keep all of the children active and to maintain some level of competition between our houses – even if from a distance!

 

The Virtual Sports Day will run throughout half-term (Monday 25th May to Friday 29th May) and - with your assistance – the children can record all of their scores on the sheet provided and once completed these can then be emailed to Mr Elliot at year3@collinghamschool.org

 

If you have any photographs of the children participating then please feel free to send these in alongside your completed record sheet.

 

Full details can be found below. Good luck everyone!

 

Have a fantastic half-term!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

Stay at Home Sports Day 2020

 

Thursday 7th May 2020

 

This is the end of our fifth school week since we closed to the majority of the children, but it has definitely felt like a lot longer. 

 

In my house, the honeymoon period is well and truly over and it is proving ever more challenging to motivate my boys to complete their home-learning. For them, the novelty of lockdown has worn off and the warm sunshine outside is a constant lure to play in the garden rather than to get out the maths books. Being a headteacher/teacher with your own children makes absolutely no difference when you are a parent first and foremost. Also, trying to keep up with the day job in terms of the day to day running of the school whilst ensuring my boys don't 'kill' eachother has been a particular challenge. Today, I have put my terrible artistic skills to some sort of use by supporting my eldest son to create a collage of Andy Warhol's 'Vesuvius' and with my youngest son I have battled to remove him from FIFA 2020 on the X-Box in order to write a factfile about Saltwater Crocodiles. As much as I love them and have tried my hardest today, I am currently counting down the hours until their bedtime! 

 

Does this sound familiar?

 

Throughout all of this, we keep going back to the word 'unprecedented' and I don't think that word has ever been used so widely as it has for the past two months. It is certainly the most fitting to describe the current situation. Once we were notified of a school closure, our mission was to put out a balance of work for you to use at home to support with learning rather than to deliver an entire curriculum to your children. All families will be different and their individual circumstances will dictate how much or how little work they will be able to complete with their children. All you can do is what you can actually manage to fit in during these challenging times. There is certainly no judgement from us on what you are able to complete. I hope you have found the class pages useful as well as - for those who want more - BBC Bitesize and the Oak National Academy. You will likely be facing the same challenges to encourage, motivate and enthuse your children as the length of the national restrictions continues to increase. Try to stay positive and remember that you are doing both your best and what is best for your family right now.

 

All children in the United Kingdom are in the same position as our own and will undoubtedly have been impacted by these school closures in some way, shape or form. The education landscape is going to look very different in the immediate future as we try to address what is the challenge of a generation. I want to reassure you that whenever the children return to school, we will have a meticulous plan in place to support each and every one of them and to address their needs - educationally, socially and emotionally - following these 'unprecedented times'.

 

On Sunday afternoon, I am anticipating an announcement from the Prime Minister that will include his plans for the phased reopening of schools. This might possibly be from Monday 1st June. Once received, we will immediately 'kick into action' to find the best way forward for Collingham School and with consideration to all of our children, parents and staff. I hope to be able to bring you some news as soon as I possibly can.

 

Thank you for your continued support and patience.

 

 

VE Day

 

This year, the traditional May Day Bank Holiday was moved to this Friday in order for everyone to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. On 8th May 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced on the radio at 3.00pm that the war in Europe had come to an end following Germany’s surrender the day before. This was an emotional day and one that so many people across the world had been hoping and praying would arrive. Huge crowds came out in celebration and street parties were held across the country.

 

Back in March, we were already discussing about how we could mark the occasion in school, but our plans were sadly undone with the unfolding events of the past seven weeks. I know that the teachers have been sharing activities on the class pages and I am sure that some of you will be planning on celebrating at home whilst taking advantage of the fantastic weather that is forecast.

 

It’s an incredible twist of fate that we should be celebrating such a significant event from the past as we continue to work through such a significant event in the present. It is a great opportunity to remember the huge sacrifices that were made by those people living in 1945 to bring peace and freedom to the world; however, we may also feel we are currently making many sacrifices ourselves, but this time, for the benefit of our own health and those around us.

 

With school still providing childcare throughout this crisis for some children of key worker parents, Miss Hicks and Mrs Shaw have worked throughout the week with Lydia and Emily to create Collingham School’s own contribution towards marking the occasion tomorrow. A huge banner has been unveiled at the front of school and I am sure you will agree that it looks fantastic. If you haven’t seen it already, I have included the photos below.

 

I hope you have an enjoyable day should you be celebrating.

 

 

 

 

Collingham Kids' Rocks

 

Now, we have always known that Collingham kids rock, but now we actually have Collingham Kids' Rocks.

 

Ben (Year 2) and Alex (Reception) - under the watchful eye of their mum - have been incredibly busy over the past few weeks decorating rocks to hide around the village. The colourful stones have been placed in secret locations and they encourage the finder to post a photo on a new Facebook group before rehiding the rock. So far, over 100 people have got involved and have joined the group. Ben and Alex would love for even more to join in and create their own masterpieces to hide.

 

It's such a great idea and certainly boosts the motivation to get out on that daily walk and spot one of the hidden treasures. It's also a really lovely way for everyone to keep in touch and to give a break from a 'virtual' world that can be dominated by screens.

 

Ben and Alex are so excited every time someone uploads a photo of one of the rocks. If you would like to join in then more information can be found on the link below:

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/229538561658216/

 

Well done Ben and Alex! Your amazing creativity has brought a smile to so many faces in Collingham! You can have 5 powerhouse points each (and I'll save one for your mum too!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Day - Monday 1st June 2020

 

Monday 1st June 2020 has been designated as our fourth training day for this academic year. Should the Prime Minister announce that schools can open to an increased number of children from this date then I have taken the decision to cancel this training day and to open school for any children who might be allowed to attend.

 

Sports Day 2020

 

I am sure it will not come as a huge surprise to learn that our annual Sports Day will, unfortunately, be cancelled for this academic year. This was originally scheduled for Wednesday 3rd June 2020 and it is always such a popular event in the school calendar for everyone in our school community.

 

However, I am excited to inform you that - despite this cancellation - Mr Elliot is currently putting together plans for our first ever 'virtual' Sports Day with full details being announced next week.

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Wednesday 29th April 2020

 

Firstly, I hope this finds you all well and that you are all managing to cope with the demands and challenges that you face during this school closure period.

 

At the moment, I am sorry to say that the education landscape is no clearer, but I am hopeful that - in the next couple of weeks - the government will start to release some information around its future plans to begin reopening schools to more pupils. As soon as I have any information, I will of course be in touch.

 

Last Monday, I emailed all parents with details about the expanded ‘BBC Bitesize’ website that was now offering a range of new online lessons and videos to support with home learning across the curriculum. There was no expectation for parents to take advantage of these, but I felt that they will have been useful if this was something that you felt would help to support you.

 

In addition to this, the government have also recently launched the Oak National Academy which aims to deliver 180 sequenced video lessons each week across a range of subjects for every year group (Reception to Year 6). There is also a plan of video lessons and resources to support three hours of learning a day for primary pupils. As with BBC Bitesize, this is not compulsory, but if you feel such lessons would be beneficial for your child/children then please access this free resource on the below link.

 

 

The teachers continue to report how much they are enjoying receipt of all the emails from parents and children to share some of the learning and fun that has been happening away from school. If you haven’t had an opportunity to contact your class teacher yet then I would strongly encourage you to do so as they are really looking forward to hearing from you. They can be contacted on the following emails:

 

receptionclass@collinghamschool.org

year1@collinghamschool.org

year2@collinghamschool.org

year3@collinghamschool.org

year4@collinghamschool.org

year5@collinghamschool.org

year6@collinghamschool.org

 

A couple of weeks ago, I put together a gallery of photos that had been sent to the teachers in order to spread some positivity and to put a smile on everyone's faces. I enjoyed looking at these so much that I have collected some more photos to share with you today. I absolutely love how - even though we are all facing unprecedented challenges - the happiness of the children can still shine through. Take a look at what the children have been doing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well done to all of those who feature above and also to all of you who are working so hard at home!

We are really proud of you!

 

Thank you for everything you are doing to support at home and please continue sending us your photos. They really are fantastic!

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Monday 6th April 2020

 

Firstly……I won’t mention it if you don’t!

 

It was another busy week of ‘home-learning’ and the teachers have been inundated with photographs of the children enjoying both structured learning and other fun activities with their families.

 

I wanted to use this week’s blog as an opportunity to celebrate some of the things that the children have been doing at home. The photos that you have been sending in have really brought a smile to our faces and I hope that they do the same for you too. Please continue to send these photos into us as hopefully there will be opportunities to share more of them with you over the coming weeks.

 

Let’s see what has been happening in your homes…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well done to all of those who feature above and also to all of you who are working so hard at home!

We are really proud of you!

 

Unbelievably, today is officially the first day of our Easter Holidays. Following the learning that was added to the class pages last Friday, these will now not be updated again until Tuesday 21st April at 9.00am so as to ensure that the teachers can enjoy a break themselves. Any emails that you send over this period will be responded to on this date also.

 

I know that it is unusual circumstances, but on behalf of everyone at Collingham School, I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a Happy Easter.

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Monday 30th March 2020

 

It is incredible to think that just over a week ago we were preparing to close the school doors for the ‘foreseeable future’. This created huge uncertainty for all members of our school community, but we have been steadfast in our belief that whilst this period would undoubtedly be a challenge – we will come through it.

 

Each day, I have been overwhelmed by stories celebrating the strength of ‘human spirit’ during this time of crisis. Over half a million people signing up to join the NHS’s ‘volunteer army’; children drawing pictures and making gifts for elderly residents in self-isolation; and entire streets singing happy birthday to youngsters unable to go outside and celebrate properly. Such tales restore your faith in humanity.

 

I remain hopeful that despite how awful these events are across the world right now – some good will come out of them.

 

Having been in school every day last week, it was a strange feeling to be walking around a near-empty building. The sooner we can get back to working at full capacity - with over 200 smiling faces – the better for everyone. The most important part of our school is missing right now and we look forward to welcoming the children back soon. Collingham School just isn’t the same without them!

 

I am sure it has been an unusual week for the children who have been taking part in ‘home-learning’ for the very first time. The hub went live last Monday morning with the class pages ready for 9.00am the following day. As of today, the school website has had nearly 2500 hits in the past week so I can only assume that you’ve all been incredibly busy! The teachers have been working hard to keep the class pages maintained and to provide you with activities that you can use. These will be updated once again tomorrow and Friday before a two-week hiatus for the Easter holidays.

 

The teachers are reporting that the email system we set up between home and school seems to be working well. It has given you a direct link to ask any pressing questions and it has also provided an opportunity to share some of the learning that the children have been doing. In my next Headteacher Blog, I hope to be able to celebrate some of this fantastic work with you all.

 

We have tried hard to put the right things in place for you to support with the children’s learning at home; however, as important as this is, I also hope that you get to spend some quality time together as families.

 

Home-schooling will bring pressures of its own and even more so when some of you are trying to work from home. With two boys myself, I can testify to this! I can assure you that being a headteacher makes absolutely no difference at all when trying to encourage your own children to avoid the lure of the X-Box or iPad and to get out the reading books, maths worksheets and spelling lists.

 

Skills in English, maths and science are essential, but so too are life skills. Learning is much more than just a school curriculum so remember to enjoy the ‘simple’ activities together like baking a cake, going for a walk, writing a letter to someone, building a den, planting some vegetables, completing a puzzle, playing a board game or even washing the car.

 

The most important thing right now is to continue showing love to your children and to continue supporting them through what will be one of the most challenging periods of their entire lives.

 

You must look after yourselves too. Minimising stress is absolutely vital at a time like this for your own mental health and well-being.

 

However, if your legs are aching as much as mine from the ‘help’ of Joe Wicks then maybe there are alternatives to support with this as well!

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Friday 20th March 2020

 

Throughout the week, we have been inundated with kind messages of support and thanks at this challenging time. I apologise that it has not been possible to reply to all of these individually, but they have been hugely appreciated by everyone in school. Many of them have been shared with staff and they have certainly given an extra boost to morale. It has been a fast-moving chain of events over the past week so thank you for both your patience and understanding. It hasn't been easy for us in school, and I certainly know it hasn't been easy for you too.

 

It is incredibly surreal to think that school has now closed for the 'foreseeable future', but I hope that our new 'Home Learning' hub on the website will help to support you over the coming weeks and months.

 

https://www.collinghamschool.com/home-learning/

 

As a team, we have been absolutely blown away by the resilience and courage of the amazing children at Collingham School. We are so proud of each and every one of them. They have continued to immerse themselves in their learning and ensured they have had smiles on their faces despite the turmoil on the outside world. We are certainly going to miss them and we hope that we will see them all again in school very soon. In the meantime, we will look forward to seeing what they have been doing at home as you share some of their work through the new class email addresses.

 

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to the amazing team of staff. I am humbled to work with such incredible people who continue to astound me on a daily basis with their unwavering positivity and their mindset of 'going the extra mile', They continually put others first and are always on hand to step in to support in times of need - even if it is to the detriment of themselves. Their own resolve has been tested over the past few weeks and I believe that we will be an even stronger team for having stood up to all of these recent challenges. Well done everyone and thank you for all of your hard work!

 

 

Wetherby Food Bank Donations

 

Today, we had a non-uniform day to mark the final day of school. Instead of the normal monetary donations for an event like this, we accepted donations for the Wetherby Food Bank. At this uncertain time, it was important that we thought about those in need and to boost the supplies of the food bank who will likely be extremely busy over the next few weeks. We ended up with an amazing collection of items that will be really gratefully received in order to support vulnerable families in our local community. Thank you for your support and generosity.

 

 

 

The 'Home Learning' hub will be completed over the weekend and will go live at 9.00am on Monday 23rd March.

 

The class pages will then be updated with work for you to access at 9.00am on Tuesday 24th March. Please continue to check these pages for activities that you can complete with your children every Tuesday and Friday onwards (except for school holidays).

 

Please take care of yourselves. On behalf of everyone at Collingham School, I wish you all the very best of health and good luck with all of the learning that you support with at home. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to contact me.

 

Remember: "It's not goodbye, it's au revoir!"

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 13th March 2020

 

This will be the third ‘Headteacher’s Blog’ of our trial period and – bar a slight technical hiccup with the hyperlink last week – it seems to be going well so far from school’s perspective.

 

On Friday 14th February, the website statistics show that the page had 131 individual views. Last week, Friday 6th March, there were 226 individual views. I am really pleased with these numbers and I am hopeful that this might be the right way forwards.

 

I will look to send out a short survey before Easter in order to gauge parental opinions. Thank you for taking the time to read the information that has been sent out so far.

 

 

Christian Vision Statement

Over the past few months, the whole school staff, school governors and a pupil panel have worked on developing a brand new Christian Vision Statement for our school. This has taken a huge amount of time and work to write something that we feel really reflects what we want to achieve at Collingham.

 

As a Church of England school, the vision statement sets the direction of the school and articulates our promotion of strong Christian values. It is aspirational and it aims to motivate and inspire all members of the school community.

 

Our new vision statement is based on the long-standing school motto of “We are family; All are welcome; You are loved”. The children say this every day at the end of the school prayer, but over time it seems to have lost its meaning and become simply just words. When I arrived at Collingham, this powerful motto really struck a chord with me and it made me realise instantly that I wanted to be the headteacher of this amazing school.

 

The vision statement is 50 words; it is split in to three sections to represent each element of the school motto; and it also has clear biblical literature embedded in to it. It has been structured to lead with God's love; then what we create; what we offer; and then what we do for each child. Finally, we ended with the 'result'.

 

This week, the children have been learning the meaning behind our vision and some of them have been trying to learn it off by heart. It has been really positively received and I am delighted to be able to share the final version with you today.

 

The vision statement will underpin everything we do at Collingham: through the RESPECT code; our curriculum; and all of our policies. I hope that you feel it already reflects our school community as we try to build even further on what we already have. As a result of writing the vision statement, it has led us to making some tweaks to our RESPECT code. I look forwarding to sharing this with you - and all of the children - next week.

 

 

Through God's love, we create a happy and nurturing learning community.

Colossians 3:14

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

 

Valuing individuality and embracing equality, we welcome all with respect and compassion into a safe environment where everyone can flourish.

John 13:34 

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another”

 

With love and trust, we empower each child with the confidence to be everything they dreamed of – and more.

Philippians 4:13

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”

 

 

In the press!

We made it in to a couple of the local newspapers for the exciting events around reading last week.

https://www.wetherbynews.co.uk/education/book-boost-school-library-2001029

https://www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk/education/visitors-play-part-world-book-day-2446542

 

 

Friends of Collingham School - Easter Bingo

Our annual Easter Bingo event (organised by the PTA) will be taking place on Monday 30th March. This will be split in to two separate sessions – one for Rec/KS1 children and one for KS2 children. Further details will be released shortly regarding timings and ticket sales.

 

On Friday 27th March, we will holding a non-uniform day in school. Rather than a monetary donation to participate, we kindly request that children donate a chocolate Easter egg that can be used as a prize at the Easter Bingo. Our aim is for every child to be able to leave the event with a chocolate treat. Thank you in advance for your generosity and support.

 

 

Sports Day

We have set a date of Wednesday 3rd June (am) for our annual Sports Day. As always, we will be keeping everything crossed for good weather, but as we all know, this isn’t always guaranteed. A reserve date will be set very shortly also. 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Friday 6th March 2020

 

 

Yesterday, we had a fantastic World Book Day in school and it felt like an incredibly busy day with lots happening from start to finish. The children and staff looked amazing in their costumes and this created a really exciting atmosphere in school to celebrate our passion for books.

 

We had a special assembly to start the day where we were all able to share our outfits and attempt to guess which book characters we were dressed as. We talked about our favourite books and I even had the opportunity to share one of mine: “Jack and The Flum-Flum Tree” by Julia Donaldson.

 

As last year, the children  brought in books that were wrapped up in paper and that had just the blurb written on the outside. The activity created a lot of discussion amongst the children and they really enjoyed having the opportunity to select books that they might not necessarily have chosen off the shelf. This helped to reinforced the important message of 'never judge a book by its cover' and hopefully it allowed the children to discover a brand new author.

 

Following the book sale we held a few weeks back, the school council went to Waterstones in Leeds with Mrs Myers and Mr Elliot to spend the money that had been raised. This had also been generously topped up by some very kind grandparents connected to our school who gave the children an extra £100 to take with them. The idea was that - from the sale of all the old books - we wanted the school council to be responsible for selecting all the new ones. I understand they did a brilliant job and most importantly – they stuck to their budget! If only the same could be said for Mrs Myers and Mr Elliot!

 

In the afternoon, we were joined by Tom and Iain from Harrogate Town Football Club who have been running the Premier League Primary Stars reading programme with a small group of Year 3/4 children over the past four weeks. They shared what is involved in the programme to the whole school and brought some special visitors with them – including the club mascot Harry Gator - to talk to the children about reading.

 

Simon Weaver (Manager & Collingham parent); Josh Falkingham (Captain & Midfielder); and George Thomson (Midfielder) joined us in the hall to answer some questions from the children about their favourite books. There were some brilliant questions with the best surely being: “If you had to pick a football team of story characters, who would you pick as your goalkeeper or striker?” George took the floor for this one and had clearly given it some serious thought: “The BFG as a striker to get on the end of all the crosses in to the box!”

 

 

Afterwards, Simon, Josh and George went to three of the classes to spend some time with the children; to read them a story; and to even sign some autographs. It was a fantastic experience for the children and they really enjoyed having members of a professional football club reading to them. It was certainly a powerful image to encourage any reluctant readers. The players will continue to visit over the next two Thursdays so that all of the classes in school will have had the same experience.

 

In addition to Harrogate Town visiting, we were also joined by Alec Shelbrooke (Member of Parliament for Elmet and Rothwell) and Councillors Robinson, Stephenson and Firth (Harewood Ward). They came along to enjoy what the children had been doing for World Book Day and to also see how we have been spending money – including a donation from the ward councillors - on improving our book offering for the children. They were really impressed with the progress being made in the library and on the huge quantity of books that are ready to go on the classroom shelves before Easter. In wholly undemocratic fashion, Councillor Firth received the nomination from his colleagues to fill one of our last reading volunteer spaces and took time to read a story to the Reception children.

 

 

Finally, to end the day, we were joined by yet even more visitors as we welcomed some of our parent volunteers to come and read to the children. We were incredibly grateful to Mr Anderson, Mrs Audsley and Mrs Pickersgill for giving up their time to share stories in the classrooms. It was particularly special for the children to listen to stories from different adults as opposed to just from their class teachers.

 

I would like to thank Harrogate Town Football Club, the local Harewood ward councillors, Alec Shelbrooke, Mrs Myers, all of our staff and all of our parents for their support in helping to make it such a memorable day for everyone at Collingham. We hope that it’s another step towards encouraging all of the children to read for pleasure more often.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Friday 14th February 2020

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

In recent weeks, I have been thinking about the role and purpose of our fortnightly newsletter. It's a brilliant way for us to pass on some key messages from school and to keep you updated about all of the exciting things that are happening in your children's classes. However, I am conscious that with so many teachers keen to share this information then it can become particularly lengthy to read from a parent's perspective.

 

I am therefore looking to trial a new approach by writing a fortnightly blog on the school website to ensure that you still receive some of the important updates and messages. In the short term, an email will be sent to all parents on each of these Fridays to notify that the blog has been updated.

 

In terms of all the updates from the classrooms and celebrations of learning, we will ensure that all of this is included on the class pages. https://www.collinghamschool.com/year-pages/  We would then send home a half-termly newsletter that is much shorter than the current format.

 

The aim is to continue to provide the current level of information, but in a way that cuts down on the amount of admin both in school and at home.

 

I accept that the school website has not been used to its full capacity in recent years and I feel that it could be used in a much better manner in order to communicate with our parents. There is still a necessity and role for emails about the most important information, but in terms of the school newsletter, it will be interesting to see if this proves more effective. Before Easter, I would be keen to seek your opinions about this and to consider whether this is the best way forward. If you have any feedback, over the next half term then I would be grateful to hear it.

 

The fortnightly newsletter has been sent out today as normal, but I look forward to trialing this new approach on Friday 6th March.

 

Have a fantastic half-term.

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

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