Mountains are calling and I must go

Headteacher Newsletter - Monday 18th January 2021

A snowflake is one of God's most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together

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Contents

1. And since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

2. Donations

3. Fruit & Veg Scheme

4. TTRockstars/Numbots Reminder

5. Chromebook Loan

6. GVTSSP

7. School Improvement

8. Safeguarding

1. And since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Good morning everyone,


It's a snowy report, this one! That is, for some reason, I feel compelled to use the snow as a metaphor and vehicle for this week's sharing...I wonder why?!


In my last newsletter, I spoke of the joint efforts to co-educate our pupils; may I firstly say well done to you all - it's certainly no mean feat. I, too, am a parent so I fully understand the stresses and strains remote learning can present. I am so incredibly impressed with the efforts on home learning and with the understanding, from you, that we, as a school, are working tirelessly to provide a provision, which engages, motivates, and challenges your child/ren. We are still tinkering with our Google Classroom platform and the provision we are offering (and will continue to do so), therefore, please do afford us the time and patience to get better and better...'There's no use in grumbling when the snowflakes come tumbling.'


An important message to share (for all parents/carers and children) is the working hours of staff. Please do understand that staff are currently juggling a timetable of teaching in school, remote planning, assessing, giving feedback, answering emails, etc, etc - this is without them managing their own families and home lives. Therefore, I have instructed them to ensure, when they get home, they rest and try to re-energise in the evening before it all starts again. Responding to pupil work/emails/messages, etc. will, therefore, be between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm. 'Advice is like snow - the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind'


We still have a bank of school Chromebooks! These will enable your child/ren immediate access to the resources that the teachers are providing - a school Chromebook works quite differently to a home laptop - they are managed on the school's domain and are Google intuitive, therefore, all of the Google suite apps are at your fingertips. Please do contact the school if you wish to collect a school device. When snow falls, nature listens.


I recently shared a 'Remote Learning - Top tips' for parents/carers'. I've included this again, below. Please do have a look at these as there are some suggestions, which may hopefully support the challenges you face at home. I've certainly pinched a few this week as I spent a day at home remote learning whilst juggling two schools and setting both my children up for primary and secondary school learning - they are 8 and 11 years old so I get it when, at home, you find this all a colossal challenge! Row one is all about the notion of 'Be Kind to Yourselves' e.g:


  • It is okay not to be okay. Emotions can run high and children may be fearful, worried, or feel anxious;
  • Children take cues from adult behaviour and attitudes so try to stay calm, confident & have optimism;
  • Spend time together, discover new interests, and invest energy in activities that often get pushed aside.


So, remember to 'Be kind to yourselves' - 'Kindness is like snow - it beautifies everything.'


May I wish you and your families a safe weekend?


'The mountains are calling and I must go.'


Mr. Francksen

Executive Headteacher

Teachers will be available to provide pupil feedback, responses to emails and messages from 9 am to 3 pm, everyday.

2. Donations

We raised £52.50 for Diabetes UK during the National Diabetes Day

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We raised £34.80 for the Rainforest Action network as part of our Wild Day activities last term

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Stowmarket Food Bank

These three legends have donated to the Stowmarket food bank as part of our ‘Random acts of kindness’ project. This small act will make a huge difference to someone or a family. Our governor ‘Pip’ will be collecting our donation today. Very proud of you three boys. Well done
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3. Fruit & Veg Scheme

Dear all, sadly, the Fruit & Veg scheme is currently not running at the moment, therefore, can you send your child/ren in with a snack?


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4. TTRockstars/Numbots Reminder

Dear all, please remember to ask your child to complete 10 minutes every day on their TTRockstars/Numbots account.


Children can play on this autonomously - giving you some time for that glass of wine.


If you don't know your child/ren's username and password, please contact the class teacher.


TTRockstars is a fantastic programme, which helps support children with their mathematical fluency. Based upon a variety of game modes, children can practice their number bonds/ timetables in a fun and interactive way. Earn coins to change your skin and develop your avatar!


Each child's account has been set to automatic mode (ATM) - this means it will use algorithms in the programme to adjust the times tables appropriate to your child's level of learning.


What the different game modes offer:


  • Garage - practise your tables in your home garage - if you want to...ask your teacher to set you a specific times table to focus on - in this game mode you can earn 10 coins per correct answer;
  • Studio - earn your TTRockstar status - for those keen to climb the ladder to 'Rock Hero' status, this is the mode for you. Complete 10 studio games to earn your first Rock Star Status;
  • Soundcheck - take the 25 question challenge and earn 5 coins per correct answer;
  • Festival - take part in Glastonbury, Woodstock or other famous festivals by competing, safely, against other remote learners around the world;
  • Arena - take on your classmates by racing to the top of the mountain or first across the line - this mode requires your teacher to set this;
  • Rock Slam - my personal favourite - challenge someone...even your teacher! Set them a score to beat and check-in to see if they have been victorious...or if you still rule the roost.


So, who fancies a challenge?!!!


You? Good - that's why I've set up the first house challenge of the year. You have one week to score as many points as possible. The winning house? The house that scores the most points. The prize? Now, that would be telling!


If you want to take me on, my avatar name is Godzilla Valli - quite appropriate I felt. GAME ON!

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TTRockstars/Numbots House Competition

Monday, Jan. 18th, 9-9am

This is an online event.

5. Chromebook Loan

Please contact the school if you wish to loan a Chromebook - they will 100% enable children to access learning!
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6. Gipping Valley Thurston School Sport Partnership (GVTSSP)

GVTSSP has launched a weekly lockdown challenge. Click on the link below to see this week's challenge.

7. School Improvement

5b. Pupils (incl. pupil leaders) are involved in a range of broad sporting/outdoor learning opportunities

6b. Pupils enjoy a stimulating outdoor and play learning (OPAL) environment

8. Safeguarding

Please use the links below to learn more about important topics including online/social media, safeguarding and wellbeing resources, updates.