Today we held our Armistice Day assembly. This is one of the most important assemblies that takes place every year and I would like to say thank you to all the parents who support this act of remembrance by supporting the Royal British Legion Poppy appeal. It is often difficult to put into context the sacrifice that people made when children are so young and thankfully so far removed from war. It is, however, important that we continually thank those who fought for us and teach our children to do the same. Below is the text from part of the assembly. The full PowerPoint used in the assembly will be put up on the website and hopefully we will be able to post a link to the video as well. Thank you again for your support.
History is full of caricatures of people who really existed but we find out about through stories and significant events. We think of Henry VIII as an overweight, over-bearing king who destroyed much of England’s history during his reign. What we often forget is that in his early reign he was forthright, strong and decisive. We think of Charles I only in terms of his dethroning and eventual execution not of the man who stood up for what he believed to be right and would not yield in the face of overwhelming opposition. We remember Winston Churchill as the gregarious cigar smoking, enigmatic leader who drove British troops forward with articulate and inspirational oratory not as the man who made poor decisions about troop deployment in the First World War and sent many to their deaths. It is so easy to look at historical events and just pick out the largest characters; the people who were in charge or who made important strategic decisions that changed the course of history to give us the world we live in today. On days like today, however, it is important not to focus on these people but to recognise the role that ordinary people played in extra-ordinary events.
In 1944 the British launched the infamous D-Day landings, as part of operation Overlord, on the beaches of Normandy. It was an important event in the context of the war and had far-reaching consequences but away from the importance of the victory was the human cost; 20 000 men, boys, women and girls lost their lives over just 50 miles of sand and 15 days. Whilst decisive in the end the operation did not go as planned. It was not supposed to take 15 days. The gunnery outpost should have been taken quickly but the allied troops were pushed back and had to build bunkers and foxholes in an attempt to provide some protection from the constant shelling of the beach. The youngest confirmed soldier on the beaches was just 14 years old, he was killed. In World War 1 the youngest British soldier was 13. Can you imagine in two years’ time our year 6 children shipping out to fight in a war knowing that they are likely to be killed within days? You are fortunate to live in a country free from tyranny, where the destruction of war is far from your doorstep and is a caricature from history or a story that flicks by on the news. In 2016 you would hope that this would be the experience of all children. Whilst there is no chance of children as young as 13 being enlisted to fight in the British forces now, we have seen the devastation wrought in places like Syria and Iraq, where wars still rage. Since 2014, warring sides have recruited younger children, it is estimated, some fighters are as young as seven. More than half of children recruited in cases UNICEF verified in 2015 were under 15.
‘The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war’.
Today is one of the most important days in the school and in society. It is the day when we forget the cartoon characters and remember the real people who gave their lives to ensure that we can live free from war and tyranny. They are the people who must be remembered so that as you grow up and change the world you do so ensuring that the world is a better, fairer place that does not allow war to be the solution to problems – the cost is too great.
‘I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word’.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
We have vacancies for two playleaders at lunchtimes. These roles have been created to support children’s interactions on the playground at lunchtimes, provide additional structured play opportunities for children and to develop good habits and life skills linked to teamwork, regular exercise and enjoyment of physical activity.
The contract would be for two hours from 11:30am—1:30pm Mon-Fri.
If you are interested in this role please speak to the office for more information and details of the application process.
We have some very exciting news, especially for the Year 5 and 6’s. Recently, the PFA very kindly have given us £1500 for the school. They decided that this money was to go towards some new books for our library. They will be challenging, higher level books for the avid readers, mainly in Upper KS2. We are now pleased to announce that they have arrived! They are books of all different genres, including: adventure, classic and fantasy. We hope the Year 5 and 6’s in particular will enjoy reading our new additions to the library. I myself am extremely excited.
Many parents will have downloaded the Schoolgateway App to receive text messages and emails regarding attendance and payments. When upgrading your phone or changing you provider please ensure that you sign out of the account on your old device and reinstall the App on the new one. If your child is absent from school we send a text message to inform you that they have not been registered. For some of our older children they will have walked to school on their own. If you are logged into your account on an old device, or have not logged in on the new toy will not be receiving these messages and clearly this may cause issues with regard to attendance and potentially safety of children. The school will be unaware that you are not receiving the messages and has no way to access your account. If you have had a new device in the last eighteen months please check that you have downloaded the app and logged in to your account to ensure that you are receiving the correct messages.
Just a quick reminder that if children are late arriving or collected early they need to be signed in or out using the new InVentry system in Reception. This is for all children including Nursery.
The system helps the school to fulfil its statutory requirements for tracking attendance and punctuality across the school and supports the safeguarding policies and procedures. The system will ask you for a reason for lateness, again this is a requirement so that the school can adequately safeguard all children.
Whilst you are signing your child in they can be telling Miss Martins or Miss Clarke their lunch choices, if you can have agreed this in advance the process will be significantly quicker. Thank you.
We recognise as a school that parents sometimes have genuine concerns about their child’s well-being or their education and we encourage you to come and discuss these with the class teacher initially and if necessary with myself or another senior member of staff, Miss Wild, Mrs. Steer or Mrs. Frost. Most of the time we can alleviate these concerns rapidly but there are times when a more detailed discussion and investigation is needed which may take time. In most cases, working with the class teacher, these issues are resolved.
Unfortunately more and more of teachers’ time is being taken up by issues which parents have not questioned their children about in the first place. This often leads to incidents which have been dealt with effectively being blown out of proportion and significant education time being lost. Similarly some parents believe that their child’s perception of events is always accurate when clearly this will not be the case. Please talk to your child and deal with incidents or concerns first and if it persists or there is a genuine concern come and speak to the teacher or a senior member of staff. In this way we can ensure that education comes first and we have time to deal with genuinely significant concerns.
Finally, please think carefully about the model that is being set for children. The staff at the school are not here to suffer abuse from parents, however irritated or upset they are by something the school has said or done. Whilst incidents remain rare, they are becoming more common with some parents believing they have the right to speak to anyone in any manner they choose. You do not. This is a school and we set the rules. If parents can not support this with action or manner then we will have to consider parents access to the school grounds.