Return to School
We are delighted to be planning for the full return of all Brookfield children on Monday 8th March. This coincides with National Science Week (see details below) so, while we prioritise the children’s health and well being as they settle back into school life, they will also be engaging with practical and collaborative Science activities.
We have an extra INSET day on Friday 5th March for staff training and preparation. School will be closed for our current children and there will be no live lessons or Google Classroom interaction from staff. This training includes comprehensive First Aid training so that we have more staff able to respond to needs within their classes and year groups.
We are mindful of children and families having mixed emotions about the return to the school routine. Teachers are thoughtfully planning learning, books and activities that will support the children with this transition.
The safety guidance for schools is in line with our full re-opening in the Autumn term so we will continue with staggered start and finish times, increased hygiene measures, children being kept in year group or class ‘bubbles’ and reducing staff movement across year groups where possible. In addition, our staff now complete twice weekly COVID-19 lateral flow tests at home and wear masks wherever social distancing is not possible between adults outside of their bubble.
My appeal to Brookfield parents and carers is to do your part by keeping children at home if they are unwell, arranging testing as needed and letting the school know the results. Please can parents make pick up and drop offs swift, wearing masks and keeping social distance. While we will be pleased to see each other after so long, we really need to avoid congregating and I ask for your help with this.
A note on Breakfast Club and After School Club: due to staff illness, we will not be able to offer the normal capacity at after school club. In light of this, we have decided to offer priority places to children of critical workers and vulnerable children. Details of the booking form will be sent next week. Breakfast Club remains open to all and children will be kept in year group tables.
Home Learning Survey – findings
Thank you to all the parents and carers who responded to the Home learning survey. We were really pleased to have good representation from all year groups. Across the school, the most helpful elements of Brookfield’s home learning provision were identified as the home learning packs, Google Classroom and the daily live registration and teaching sessions (in that order). Going forward, this will help inform our provision if we have to close classes or year groups due to a positive COVID-19 case.
It is unsurprising that the comments showed a wide range of views and opinions. A theme that ran throughout the school was families feeling a pressure to get through all of the work set and this causing additional stress. As you may be aware, unlike the previous lockdown, this time the government have set minimum hours of work which the school must set. The priority, however, must be about maintaining a manageable balance that prioritises the mental health and wellbeing of your family. If you are finding the work set unmanageable, prioritise the maths and English and try choosing just one or two foundation subjects that your child will particularly enjoy over the week. We hope that by setting a timetable for the week it gives you the flexibility to plan a week that works best for your family and trust you to judge what the right balance is for you and your children.
As a school that is always looking to improve, Brookfield have joined the Challenge Partners organisation. We now collaborate with schools nationwide to share good practice. This includes an annual review and next week we welcome Julie Bourdon-Pierre to lead a whole school review of communication and leadership. I look forward to sharing the outcomes of this with you in the coming weeks.
World Book Day
There’s still time for children to submit their World Book Day cover design for our competition.
It’s simple – your child designs a cover for their favourite book, then simply upload onto Google Classroom or drop off at school by Monday March 1st. We have book voucher prizes to be won as well as other prizes! We’ll have winners in Early Years, KS1 and KS2.
Louise (our Literacy Head) has lined up a fabulous array of performances and activities for the day. These include:
COSTUME PRIZES: there will be prizes for the best year group, and also best adult costumes (parents and teachers).
PERFORMANCE: Around 11am, for those in school, keep yours ears and eyes peeled out for a ‘Wind in the Willows’ strange and extraordinary event in your playground which will rotate around the playgrounds…
- An interview with children’s author Anna Branford in Australia
- Tissue Paper Witch – a simply unmissable Brookfield bespoke performance
- Time travelling interview with England’s most famous poet who may or may not have a cat filter on
- Storytelling with Danny Sheinmann (23 mins)
- Louise hunts for a writer – who will she find?
- When We Were Young: Guess the Brookfield adult with their favourite books!
World Book Day trail:
The Book Character Trail will take place from 3.30pm on World Book Day, which is 4th March. Hopefully you will start to see the poster (above) around the neighbourhood.
For the trail, you will need two things – the map and the checklist.
Please can you:
- Encourage the children to plan their costumes. And plan your own too! We want to see as many Book characters take to the local streets in celebration!
- Spread the word – everyone in the community is welcome to join in the trail, provided that they feel safe doing so. Grandparents, neighbours and friends with children at our local schools.
- Donate any small, unused gifts – stationery, books, balloons, toys – that you may have gathering dust at home for the children’s prize goody bags. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to organise collection/drop before the 2nd March.
See you out on the trail on the 4th March!
A lot of people have worked hard to put this together, and also local businesses. In no particular order:
- Absolute Print for their kindness and generosity in supporting the trail.
- Kleftiko-a-go-go for donating a meal prize
- Magic Cat Publishing for donating book prizes
- Owl Bookshop for prize vouchers
- The PTA committee and Amanda Davie
The week beginning 8th March marks Science week and the theme this year is: Innovation for the future.
To celebrate this, we are going to be asking all year groups to become innovators and help solve a global issue with an innovative design/idea/invention. This will then be pitched to their partner class for feedback, improvement and final edits with the week ending by submitting a poster design of their idea to the national science week competition.
To do this, we really need you to start stockpiling junk modelling materials (washed and cleaned, please!), including:
- plastic bottles
- bottle/milk tops
- card board boxes
- plastic containers
- masking tape
- magazines/brochures/newspaper (appropriate content)
- anything else you think would be easy for the children to cut and create their own models from.
These need to be ready in time for the start of back-to-school, so by 8-9th March would be great!
Charlotte in Ash class made this fantastic model of Mount Fuji – well done Charlotte.
Her Mount Fuji is a cake! And there’s jam inside it to represent lava. She also produced a very clear and beautifully presented information poster.
A useful video for you – Parenting in Times of Uncertainty. The talk by Dr Emma Silver, Highgate’s Director of Wellbeing contains her thoughts on what a balanced digital diet looks like, and explores how to support your child’s online learning and how we can help our children manage anxiety and uncertainty.