September 16, 2022

Weekly News Friday 16th September

Message from the Head

Dear Parents,

What a week! Thank you all for your support, especially with the Press. I apologise for all the emails but as I said – please do call the police if you wish. I was talking to a resident this morning and they are not aware of anyone talking to reporters about parking and I wanted to let parents know this. Yes, they do get fed up if parents park over their driveways (understandably) but they have not informed newspapers. It is a mystery. As I said in my press statement -all schools face challenges with parking and I know that you have experienced problems in other schools so I am not sure why this is actually news.

We are facing some challenges with our homework platform Satchel:One. I apologise and hope to get this up and running as soon as possible. In the interim, I shall ask staff to send homework home by old-fashioned means – pen and paper.

Extra-curricular clubs started this week and it’s good to see the school busy with such a variety of offerings. More will come your way on this as more clubs gain momentum. Don’t forget senior Homework club is on until 5.00pm (4.30pm on Fridays) but we can look after your children until 6.00pm and they are able to order a sandwich bag. Pick up from this club is at Senior Reception until 5.00pm (4.30pm on Fridays) and from the main Junior School building, accessed via Villa Road, thereafter.

I mentioned in one email that we are looking for ways to improve our communication and I hope to have more news about this soon. We feel that a parent app with all comms on is the way forward but just need to look at new systems and how they may or may not integrate with existing systems. We are steadily moving forwards with this though.

We’re really looking forward to Open Morning tomorrow and I know some of you have prior commitments; thank you for letting me know. Last year, when I had just started, I was surprised when not ALL students were invited in so we opened the doors as we are so proud of ALL of our students and that is the reason why I ask them ALL – we are an inclusive school. We had an impressive number of students volunteers to be tour guides – they should arrive at 8.45am in school uniform at the Junior School garden). All other students should know where they need to report to when they arrive. Year 7 and Year 9 students who have not volunteered as tour guides may wear PE kit as they do have some games in the day.

I have sent the information about Prize Giving but just to add, it is a normal day in school and we will walk the students down to rehearse in the morning. It is school uniform in the evening (a bit shiny please) and it starts at 6.30pm at the Albert Hall with music from 6.45pm as we sit and the actual event at 7.00pm. Our Chair of Trustees, Dr. Debra Costley, will give a speech and we are also delighted to welcome Alex Peace-Gadsby OBE, DL. We hope to finish at about 8.15pm if you are collecting. I hope many of you are able to come (Year 3 upwards)

So lovely to see so many new parents on Wednesday this week and the feedback was so positive. We feel we are unique and we really do care – it was great to hear you validating this.

Have a great weekend and we are getting ready to welcome over 40 potential new families tomorrow.

A reminder that school will be closed on Monday for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Best wishes

Helen Barsham


Message from the Head of Juniors

Good afternoon, 

The juniors have settled into their new classes and are working hard, enjoying new topics and opportunities. Our extra-curricular programme has commenced and it is great to see so many children taking part. If you have any board games which you no longer need and wish to donate, I am sure my Board Games Club would enjoy playing them. At the end of clubs, teachers will dismiss children from the back gate to Junior School (Villa Road). Children can, of course, move straight to After School Club.

I hope the welcome meetings with Form Teachers this week have been useful. If you were unable to attend, Form Teachers are happy to meet you at another time. In addition to this, we have Parents’ Evenings coming up on 4th and 5th October and you should have received letters detailing these.

Well done to all the Year Six children who took part in the Head Girl / Boy elections.  We were all so impressed with their speeches and how confidently they spoke.  It was a hard decision but all children and staff have voted and I will be announcing the outcome later in assembly.  I won’t share this until then but I am sure the children will let you know later.  Huge congratulations to our new Head pupils!

Tomorrow is Open Day.  Please could children be dropped off at 8.45am and collected at 12pm  Nursery, Reception and Years 1 -4 should be dropped off at the Elm Avenue gate and Year 5 and 6 taken straight to their building.  We really appreciate the children coming to school on a Saturday and hope they enjoy being part of it.

On Wednesday, it is our annual Prize Giving celebration and I am very much looking forward to this. All children in Years 3 to 6 should be in attendance in the evening.  During the day, we will be walking to the Albert Hall for a rehearsal, and then back to school for lunch and afternoon lessons.  In the evening, children should arrive no later than 6.30pm.  The event is due to finish at 8.15pm. Parents of children in Nursery to Year 2 (and children in these year groups) are very welcome to attend if they wish to.

We do have some bugs circulating.  Staff in school are reminding the children about hand washing and general hygiene.  Please could I remind you that should your child have a sickness bug, they need to stay off school for 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhoea. If children have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to do normal activities, they should stay at home until they feel better.

Have a nice weekend,

Victoria Wright
Head of Juniors


Key Dates for the Week Ahead


Monday 19th September School closed for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II
Wednesday 21st September Prize Giving, 6.30-8.15pm at the Albert Hall
Saturday 24th September Southwell Ploughing Match – please do stop by the Hollygirt stand and say hello if you’re visiting