Principal’s Seesaw Messages2022-01-14T13:29:32+00:00

Principal’s Seesaw Messages

Please find below the messages that I have shared with our families via our Seesaw communication app.

Mrs Crowther, Principal

24/06/22 – Principal’s Message2022-06-24T13:06:29+00:00

Principal’s Message:

 

Three weeks down, and only 4 weeks to go!

This afternoon is our Year 6 parents’ showcase and boy are they in for a treat!

On Wednesday, we took our Reception children to Swithens Farm to extend their learning. It was a beautiful, sunny day and our children behaved impeccably (the manager told me they were the best children he had ever shown round). We got to feed the animals, ride on a tractor and play on the park- the perfect day and I know the children haven’t stopped talking about it!

The results are in- our Year 1 children recently took their phonics screening check and I am so proud to reports that 92% of them passed which is inline with our pre covid figures. The children have been working so hard on their reading and it certainly paid off. A special thanks to the parents who supported the children with practising at home. This firm foundation in early reading skills will help to ensure that every Greetland child is a reader.

Last week, three external moderators from the local authority came to look at our Year 6 writing and were blown away with the quality of work in the books. It is always lovely to have our own judgment externally verified and the moderators even took away some ideas for their own schools based on what they saw on our books!

This afternoon we will be holding the grand opening of our new, KS1 play are which was funded by local business Sheard Packaging.  I shared pictures on Facebook recently of the amazing transformation. The new area will enhance play, provide opportunities to be curious about the natural world in our bug hotel,  enable our children to grow vegetables and also has it’s own outdoor library to promote that love of reading!

On Monday, I will send out our proposed staffing line-up for next year. Our transition morning will be on 4th July when most of our Y6 children will be visiting their new high school. This will give your child the chance to meet their new teacher in the classroom where they will be based. For Year 2 children, we will keep them up at the KS2 site all day with their current teachers joining them for the afternoon.

A polite reminder about our uniform policy. We have seen most children coming into school int eh correct uniform this week but we do still have some children not wearing the correct PE kit. Our uniform policy can be found here: https://greetlandacademy.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Uniform-Leaflet-June-2021.pdf

Wishing you all a lovely weekend- next week is our Diversity Week with Friday being a non-uniform day where children can dress to express themselves.

 

Mrs Crowther

27/05/22 – Principal’s Message2022-05-27T07:05:06+00:00

Principal’s Message:

And that’s the end of another half term- only one left!

 

Firstly, a huge well done to all our Year 6 children who took their recent SATs tests in their stride and are still working so hard on their writing. They are an AMAZING bunch of children who have made us all very proud. Our Year 2 children have also been taking their SATs tests and Mrs Emmerson and Mrs Bakes have been thrilled with how hard they have all tried. Next half term, our Year 4 children will do their national multiplication tables test and Year 1 will take their phonics tests and I know that they will all do us proud also.

This week has been ‘Health Week’ across the school. Our Phunky Food Ambassadors delivered assemblies at both sites, children made healthy recipes, we had whole class workout sessions, parent and child fitness sessions and even a visit from The Halifax Panthers.

The lovely Mrs Garland (Year One TA) leaves us today to return to her original career in marketing. She will be greatly missed but I know she will keep in touch and is always welcome to visit.

This half term our KS2 children have become real life singer/songwriters and recording artists. Thanks to the wonderful Mrs Smelt, we have produced our own jubilee song for the queen- we will share it on Seesaw shortly.

This afternoon we hold our Jubilee Jamboree on the KS1 field and are bringing together the whole school for the first time in what seems like forever. You are all welcome to join us after school on the field for our summer fair. A huge thank you to FOGS for all their hard work in making it possible. We are all very excited to celebrate together as one big family. One polite reminder though, please walk to KS1 wherever possible and be mindful of the local residents. I believe the police will also be coming long to monitor the roads around school.

As you will already be aware, The Greetland Residents’ Organisation have their own jubilee celebrations at Clay House next Friday (1-5pm). Our KS2 children have created sculptures and bunting to be displayed at the event. Their work is amazing so pop along if you can to see it- it sounds like it’s going to be a fabulous event.

Wishing you all a relaxing (hopefully sunny) half term break. Remember that we come back to school on Tuesday the 7th of June as the Monday is our day in lieu of the jubilee Bank Holiday.

Mrs Crowther

06/05/22 – Principal’s Message2022-05-08T17:02:30+00:00

Principal’s Message

I cannot believe we have already been back two weeks and what a busy two weeks it has been.

You will have seen from Facebook and Seesaw that our local police officers came into school to teach the children about road safety. Our School Council even went out with the speed gun and caught 6 speeding drivers (one of whom also was not wearing a seatbelt)! Unfortunately, there were also a number of parents who received tickets for parking on the yellow lines outside school. Could I politely remind you all that we have made arrangements for you to park at the community centre where there are plenty of spaces.

Our Year 5 class have started their outdoor and adventurous sports PE unit at The Boiler House run by CIA Adventures. I hear even Mrs Roper and Mr O’Shea even had a go on the zipline! I was thrilled to receive a message from The Boiler House about how well-behaved our children were- well done Year 5: what great ambassadors for our school.

Our sporting achievements have continued where we left off before Easter. On Sunday, Miss Wild, Mrs Walsh and myself took our gymnasts to the British National Gymnastics Competition in Stoke. We were the only school there representing West Yorkshire, which is quite an achievement in itself, but even better than that, our team entry came third in Britain! I saw so many positive messages of support and congratulations on our Facebook which is very much appreciated.

Our Year 4 parents were treated to a fantastic showcase afternoon in school last week where they watched an assembly about the children’s learning, looked in their children’s books and even took part in a design technology lesson! The next showcase will be for Year 5 parents on the 10th June and information about how to book a place on this will come out in due course- I know you’ll be in for a treat!

Next week is the week that Year 6 children across the country take their national SATS tests. This is the first time these tests have been taken in three years and despite the disruptions of the past two years, all of our children have worked incredibly hard and we are ever so proud of them all.  What these tests don’t show is how special each of our children are. They do not show our children’s talents, what amazing friends they can be or how kind, thoughtful and mature they are. The scores from these tests will tell us something, but they will not tell us everything about our children. There are many ways of being smart and there is no way to test all the amazing and awesome things that make our children unique. I want to wish the children all the best for next week, but they have nothing to worry about. This weekend, their homework is to ride a bike, play with the friends, eat sweets and relax. If they want to do some revision, that is up to them, but it does not need to be for long. I will be up at Key Stage Two all week to help with administering the tests so I won’t be on the gate at Key Stage One.

The weather forecast suggests that we are soon to have some better weather (fingers crossed it remains nice for our Jubilee Celebrations on the 27th).

Have a lovely weekend

Mrs Crowther

 

08/04/22 – Principal’s Message2022-04-08T08:39:34+00:00

Principal’s message:

Well that’s the end of our second full term and hasn’t it flown by (they do say time flies when you’re having fun)!

Over this last term we have seen things return to ‘normal’ in lots of ways but are still reminded daily that Covid has not gone as we have seen increased infections across the school. I would like to thank you all for your support not only over the past few weeks when you have continued to get your children tested, but over the entire two years of this pandemic. One of the many positives that the OFSTED inspectors picked up is how parents, carers and school all work together for the good of the children particularly throughout the pandemic. For us as a school community, the experiences of the last two years have only served to make us stronger.

It seems like ages ago now but for Comic Relief our staff bravely ‘volunteered’ (or maybe I volunteered them) to be soaked in the name of charity. I know you’ll all agree that they were brilliant sports and that the children, and it appeared some parents too, really enjoyed the experience. I am pleased to say that we raised and whopping £485! Thank you for your kind donations.

Last week, our Year 4 children performed their own talent show for their loved ones and what talent they all have! They did two performances to a packed out crowd and blew me away with their confidence and skill. Thank you to the Year 4 team for all their hard work in getting the children performance ready.

This week was the second chance this year to meet with your child’s class teacher to discuss their progress but this time we actually managed to do it in person! It was great to see so many parents back in school again and thank you for all your positive comments on their report cards.

I’m sure you will have seen from Facebook that we have had a very successful term with regard to sport. From football to dance to gymnastics to cross country, we have been able to compete at a very high level and give as many children the chance to represent the school as is possible. Whilst we do celebrate winning, what has been even more impressive is what great sportsmen and women our children are: cheering on the other teams, showing respect to judges and referees and behaving impeccably at the venues. I do, however, need to invest in a larger trophy cabinet after all the success that we have been having and I’m sure this will continue next term also.

Now that restrictions have been lifted, we were able to bring back one of our old traditions- the KS1 Easter Bonnet Parade. What a creative bunch you are! I know you will all enjoy coming down to watch the outdoor catwalk this afternoon. Just before the catwalk, a special visitor will have arrived at KS1- the Easter Bunny! If it’s anything like previous years, the children and staff will hardly be able to contain themselves – pictures will be posted to Seesaw shortly.

A date for your diary- we will be holding a Jubilee Jamboree on the last day of next half term (27th May) weather permitting. We are busy working on plans but we intend to bring the whole school together on the field at KS1 for the afternoon and then run our summer fair straight after with the help of FOGS. I will communicate the full plans after the holidays but hopefully it’s going to be a great event and a chance for us all to be together again.

Today we say good bye to Mrs Ewing who has worked at Key Stage One for over 2 years now. She is leaving to start a job at Huddersfield College after the Easter break and I know you will all join me in wishing her all the best for the future. She has promised to still come in from time to time to see us which I will be holding her to. I am pleased to announce that we have recruited Miss Townsend to replace Mrs Ewing and she will be starting work in 1A shortly.

I do need to give a polite reminder to you all about Seesaw. Please could parents and carers not message our staff outside of working hours. We have had a number of staff receiving messages on an evening or weekend. I know you’ll all agree that we have amazing staff who want you all to be involved in your child’s education, but they deserve their time away from work just like anyone else. If you need to make contact with a class teacher or other member of staff, please email the school office and they will respond within the working day.

So that just leaves me to wish you all a lovely Easter break – hopefully in the sunshine! We will see you all again on Monday 25th April. A polite reminder that KS1 learning starts at 8:45 and KS2 at 9 so please make sure your child is there on time.

 

Happy Easter- have an eggcellent time 🙂

Mrs Crowther

 

 

11/03/22 – Principal’s Message2022-03-11T08:11:09+00:00

Principal’s Message

Another busy couple of weeks have gone by.

Whilst restrictions have now been lifted, we are not yet seeing a settling down of positive cases at school. Since returning from the half term break we have had an outbreak in Year 5 and several members of staff testing positive. I will continue to inform families when there is a positive case in the same class as their child to enable everyone to be extra vigilant to symptoms and to also protect vulnerable family members. As always, if you need to inform us of a positive case, please use our special email: covid@greetlandacademy.org.uk

 

The lifting of restrictions has meant that we have been able to invite parents in to our school building for the first time in what has felt like an age. Last week our Year 3 parents came to spend the afternoon in class with their children and joining in with the learning. The children, staff and parents all thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity.

We will be holding face to face parents’ evenings on the 5th and 6th of April after school. A letter has been sent out with the link to book an appointment.

Our Year 4 children had a wonderful time on their residential to Nell Bank last Thursday. Despite the damp and dreary weather, their spirits were not dampened. It was so wonderful to see so many happy, smiling children.

On Saturday, Miss Wild, Mrs Walsh and myself attended the Yorkshire School Acrobatics Championships in Barnsley with our gymnastics team, It was such a prestigious event and our children were simply amazing. We have several children who have now qualified for the national championships later in the year.

Our sporting success continued this week with us taking 27 children to the West Yorkshire Cross Country Finals. I was so proud of every child who took part and I’m pleased to share that our Y5 girls came third in West Yorkshire as a team and our Year 4 boys came first (giving us another trophy to add to our collection)! Congratulations also to Finlay Parker (Y4) who came third out of 100 boys in his category and to Poppy Jowett (Y6), who has qualified for the Nationals later this year.

This week we have had a film crew in school! Teach First is an organisation who provided teacher training to graduates. In recognition of our English Hub status and recent Ofsted result, we were asked to provide videoed content of ‘excellent phonics teaching’ to be used on their training programme for new teachers.

On Monday 21st March, we are taking our Year 6 dance team to the regional finals of the Great Primary Dance Off at the Victoria Theatre- good luck to all involved.

Next Friday, Comic relief day, will be the opportunity for your child to soak their teacher after school for a small contribution to the charity. All the teachers were thrilled when I suggested raising money this way as you can imagine 😊

 

Have a lovely weekend

Mrs Crowther

 

18/02/22 – Principal’s Message2022-02-18T15:16:28+00:00

Principal’s Message:

And that’s the end of another action-packed half term.

As covid restrictions have reduced, we have been able to carry out more educational visits and enter more sporting competitions which has been wonderful to see. This term our Year 5 children visited an art gallery to look at the art work of Kate Lycett, Year 2 visited the local church, Year 1 developed their map skills on a walk around the locality and Year 6 visited Chester Zoo. Next half term, our year 4 children will be visiting Nell Bank for their residential trip which I know they are already really excited about. It has been great to be able to enrich our children’s experiences further to support their learning.

We’re finally back to more competitive sport. Our KS2 football teams are now competing in a local school’s league and our Year 2 gymnastics team have qualified for the Key Steps finals next half term. Miss Wild and Mrs Walsh are busy training up our KS2 gymnasts to take part in several competitions over the next term and Miss Whiteley has been busy with our Y6 dancers preparing their entry for the Great Big Primary Dance Off.

Ever since our OFSTED inspection, we have had lots of requests for people to come and look at our amazing school. Every single person who has visited has been blown away by our children and I recently presented to the Calderdale Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Board about our recent inspection. Last week, we were visited by Principals from the other schools in our trust. They were very impressed with what they saw across both sites and commented on our children’s exemplary behaviour. They were also very impressed with the standard of work in the books across all areas of the curriculum.

You will all be aware of the devastating fire at Ash Green Community Primary School. FOGS arranged for the money raised in our valentine’s ‘guess the name’ competition to be donated to the school. I am thrilled to say that, thanks to your generosity and kindness, we have raised £218. Mr Shepherd , the head, sends his deepest thanks and has been blown away with the support they have received from schools across Calderdale.

At the Greetland Academy, we love reading and any opportunity to celebrate this! This year, we will be celebrating World Book Day on Wednesday 2nd March (this is so the whole school can join in as Year 4 are at Nell Bank on Thursday). We are inviting children to bring in their favourite book and dress up as a book character for the day (staff will of course be joining in also). We would love to see homemade costumes and do not expect parents to go to the expense of buying new costumes. The teachers have been busy planning lots of reading themed activities for the children to complete throughout the day. This year, World Book Day is celebrating 25 years therefore we have been inspired to set the children the challenge of reading 25 books throughout March. We will be launching this on Wednesday 2nd March and children will bring home their challenge sheet.

The next Learning Launch Pad will have been uploaded to your child’s Seesaw and to our website. This contains the key information about what your child will be learning over the next half term as well as key dates.

I would like to wish you all a happy half term break and we will see the children again on Monday 28th Feb. A polite reminder that learning starts at 8:45 at KS1 and 9 at KS2.

See you all on the 28th

Mrs Crowther

 

28/01/22 – Principal’s Message2022-01-28T12:05:05+00:00

I’m sure you will all be aware that the covid situation in school at the moment is still providing challenges for us all as a community. We currently have positive cases in nearly all classes and two year groups have ongoing outbreaks and are operating as separate bubbles from the rest of the school (although I am hopeful that we can put an end to this on Monday). What has been amazing, is how supportive you have all been as parents particularly when we have had to ask for daily lateral flow testing. Interestingly, the most common symptoms we are seeing in our children are tummy aches, upset tummies and runny noses. If you are in any doubt at all, I would recommend getting a PCR test as we have had children who have not shown up as positive on a lateral flow and have subsequently tested positive with a PCR- this was also the case when I had covid.

Reading stories is our favourite time of the day at The Greetland Academy. Next week is National Storytelling Week and we will be marking this by sharing videos of the staff across our Trust schools reading popular stories. Watch out for some of these on Seesaw which would make a lovely option for a bedtime story. By the end of next week you will also receive information about our World Book Day celebrations this year which will be taking a slightly different format (the usual dressing up day will still take place but on Wednesday 2nd of March).

Our EMHP has started her work in school this week. Here is a little introduction that she wrote for the children:

I’m Steph and I am a Trainee Educational Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) in the Calderdale Mental Health Support Team (MHST). My team is part of the Open Minds Partnership and helps children and young people to improve their mental and emotional health.

I’m trained in a special type of intervention based on evidence of what works best for children and their parents and carers called Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

I might work with you, or your family, for a short period of time if you have been feeling very sad or worried for a while. I can also help by working with adults at your school to think about other types of support that might help you. Another part of my job is looking at ways that The Greetland Academy can help everyone at your school with their mental health.

If you feel that the Mental Health Support team could help you or your family, please speak to Miss Simpson.

I’m really looking forward to working with your lovely school and getting to know you more!

We have several school trips this term as we move ever closer to normality. In a couple of weeks’ time, I will be visiting Chester Zoo with our Year 6 children and I cannot wait! Our Year 5 children are visiting Bankfield Museum to look at the art work of Kate Lycett, who they have been studying in their art lessons and  I’ve heard a rumour that Mrs Boddis has her email address and so we may even try and write to her to ask her to pay us a visit! Year 4 have their residential to Nell Bank shortly and I know the children (and staff) are already really excited about this trip. We are also taking a large team of children to Leeds who have qualified for the West Yorkshire Cross Country finals.

Thank you to all the parents who completed Miss Whiteley’s clubs survey. We have loved reading your ideas and getting feedback on what we already provide. Miss Whiteley will have a think  about what we can do moving forward but I did want to mention one point that came up that we fully appreciate and want to address. It was raised that when the letters come out, some parents don’t get to see them until later on in the day or evening due to commitments and then by that point, the club is already booked up. From now on, when we send out a club letter, we will not open the booking straight away and will include a time when the booking will open on the letter. Hopefully, this will make the system as fair as possible although we do have limits on the capacity of clubs and will have to operate a first come first served process still.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend

Mrs Crowther

17/12/21 – Principal’s Message2022-01-28T12:03:37+00:00

I cannot believe we have already done a whole term in school and what a term it has been! I know there are lots of different stories in the media about schools, potential lockdowns, changes to restrictions etc. As it stands, we return to school as normal on Wednesday 5th January. I am ever hopeful that nothing will change over the Christmas holidays, but rest assured, should things change we will put plans in place and communicate these with you as soon as we can. Please continue to make us aware if your child is going for a PCR test or has a positive test result on our special email: covid@greetlandacademy.org.uk

Today we say goodbye to Mr Pascall who has taken the decision to leave teaching. He has worked at our school for many years, covering release time, helping to plan residential trips and supporting with ICT. He will continue to support with ICT through a part time role within our Trust and so you may still see him around from time to time. I’m sure you will all join me in wishing him all the best for the future.

We have had a very festive few weeks in school and were so pleased to be able to have our parents and carers attending our Christmas performances. Both Reception and Year 1 put on amazing shows for their loved ones- they are such a talented bunch.

Whilst we couldn’t hold our Christmas fair, those little elves at FOGS HQ did not let this stop their fundraising efforts. The Christmas shop and raffle were both extremely popular this year and the hard work of all our FOGS members is very much appreciated.

I would also like to thank those families who have sent us in the gift of reading by choosing a book from our Amazon wish list. We opened all the presents this morning in assembly and the children cannot wait to read the books in class.

We had our annual visit from Mrs Bradley’s ukulele band on Monday, which really got us in the Christmas spirit. It has been two long years since we last were able to invite them into school. The children, and staff, all loved watching their live performance and singing along.

Off the back of our ‘outstanding’ ofsted report, we were visited by the Director of Children’s and Young People’s Services (Julie Jenkins) on Monday. I took her on a tour of the school and she was extremely impressed with what she saw.

On Tuesday, we took over 200 children to watch the pantomime at Dean Clough- and what a performance it was! The children behaved impeccably ( and I would expect nothing less) and everyone had such an amazing time.

Today was our first ‘Star of the Term’ assembly and these are my favourite assemblies to host as the recipients are voted for by the rest of the class. Our children always make such intelligent and thoughtful decisions about who should be given the award. A huge well done to all the Stars of the Term- we are very proud of you.

Today was also the day when a special visitor came to visit the children at KS1. His sleigh was packed high with gifts for the children, and they were all very excited to catch a glimpse of him as he walked around the building.

The community of Greetland is so supportive and I was blown away last weekend when I saw on social media that some very kind people have arranged for Greetland to have its own Christmas tree as a way of fundraising for our school. If you are looking for something to do tonight, please do pop to GOLDs on Rochdale Road at 6:30pm where there will be singing and festive refreshments. Children are asked to bring a bauble to put on the tree and everyone is encouraged to wear festive gear- what a lovely way to spend an evening.

As I bring my message to a close, I would like to wish all of our community a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. Your support, as always, is very much appreciated.

See you in 2022!

Mrs Crowther

26/11/21 – Principal’s Message2021-12-02T16:45:03+00:00

A lot has happened since I last sent a message, which was only a few weeks ago! I was delighted to be able to share with you the outcome of our recent OFSTED inspection. The bar has risen considerably since the last time we were inspected (14 years ago) and so far, we are the only school in Calderdale to be judged as Outstanding under this new inspection framework which came into force in 2019. I am so proud to be the principal of our school and what stood out to the inspectors was how much of community we all are who work together to give our children the absolute best. Watch out for an article in the Courier next week as we proudly share our news with the rest of Halifax. Thank you for your patience when we had to postpone school photographs due to the inspection- luckily, we were able to rearrange for this week.

A few weeks ago, we held our first parents’ curriculum showcase for our Year 1 families, which was a great success. This week we held our Year 2 showcase where parents and carers got to join in with their child’s learning and watch an assembly all about what their child has been learning. It really is so lovely to finally be able to have parents back in school once more. I have also spent this week showing round perspective parents for our reception class next year. They were all very impressed with what they saw when they visited our children in class. I would also like to thank our new members of FOGS who came along to our evening session to provide refreshments and answer any questions about their experience of our school.

Last week we marked Anti-bullying week and combined this with our Children in Need fundraising. We promoted Anti-Bullying Week with the theme, ‘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’ was chosen as the theme of Anti-Bullying Week. Throughout the week, the children took part in activities celebrating who we are and why we are all unique;  discussions of what bullying is and how we can send ripples of kindness; designing anti-bullying heroes and promoting our anti-bullying ethos here in school. All our work was shared on Seesaw for you to see. Look out for our Anti-Bullying celebration videos on Facebook too!

We have also returned to sporting events over the last two weeks and boy did we make an impression! We took 40 KS2 children to compete in the Elland Cluster cross country competition and came away with 6/8 first places and 35 children qualified for the next round of the competition! What an amazing achievement and every child was a fantastic ambassador for our school- making sure they encouraged others throughout the competition. We also took a team to an orienteering competition this week and again, our children behaved impeccably.

I do need to mention that we are seeing an increase in Covid cases across the school again and have had an outbreak in one Year 6 class. This class is now operating as a bubble for the next couple of weeks until the outbreak is under control and all members of the class have been advised by Public Health to get a PCR test. I know this time of year sees the return of many bugs but if your child does display any symptoms at all (a temperature, cough or loss of taste and smell), please do keep them at home and get a PCR test NOT a lateral flow test.  Your support with this is much appreciated.

As of Wednesday next week- it’s Chriiiiiiiiiiissssssssssstttttttmaaaaaaaaas (said in the style of Noddy Holder)! We have lots of thing planned to make this special time of year even better. The trees will arrive next week, and every child will make a decoration to hang on them, Year 1 will perform their nativity at the church, Reception will perform Christmas songs to their loved ones, our KS2 children will attend a church service, FOGS are busy arranging our first Christmas Fair in two years and of course we expect to have a visit from someone special who resides in the North Pole. In the past, we have had whole school Christmas projects such as the naughty elf visit and the Christmas tree building competition. This year we will be learning about Christmas across the world and how different cultures celebrate this magical time of year. Watch out for the outcomes of this work on Seesaw.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend. I will be digging out my collection of Christmas jumpers to start wearing from Wednesday 😊

Mrs Crowther

22/10/21 – Principal’s Message2021-10-22T15:05:45+00:00

Well – this has been a week like no other! As you will be aware, we had our first OFTSED inspection for nearly 14 years on Tuesday and Wednesday. I would like to say how proud I am of all of our children and thank you for the support we received during the inspection. I am not able to share the outcome of the inspection just yet but am hoping the report will be ready within a month and I will share this with you as soon as it arrives!

It was great to hear that so many of you managed to discuss your child’s progress with their teacher at our virtual parents’ evening. If you didn’t manage to speak with anyone or you ever want to discuss your child’s progress, please do contact the office and I know our staff will make arrangements to meet with you.

It seems like ages ago now but our ‘hello yellow’ day was a roaring success. As you know, we feel it is extremely important to teach about mental health as well as physical health and being healthy in both body and mind is one of our core school values.  I would like to thank you all for your kind donations for such a worthy charity.

I’m writing this message through some rather tired eyes after spending the night at Nell Bank with our Year 5 children, but I can honestly say I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I am so glad that we were finally able to take the children as they should have gone last year when we went into the lockdown. It was such a wonderful trip and the children were all great ambassadors for our school. In fact, the instructors told us that we are their favourite school and gave all the children a free water bottle to take home with them! We will be visiting Nell Bank again with our Year 4 children later in the year where I know we will continue to make an impression on the instructors.

Tonight, we see the return of our favourite event of the year- the Halloween disco. A huge thanks needs to go to FOGS and our staff for making this event possible: we know that all the children are going to have such an amazing time.

That leaves me to wish you all a lovely half term break. Watch out for our amazing artwork and sculptures that will be placed along the ‘Greetland Ghostly Ginnel Trail’ on Saturday 30th October. Please do post pictures to Seesaw when you spot our work.

Mrs Crowther

01/10/21 – Principal’s Message2021-10-01T07:48:24+00:00

I would like to start this message by thanking our entire school community for their support with the rise in Covid cases within the school. As it stands, we have only had one ‘outbreak’ and with the extra measures that we put in place, this remained contained to the one class. The children of that class have been simply amazing and shown such a mature attitude. They have coped so well with all the changes – eating in class, not mixing and only having one part of the playground to play in. They have not complained once! I am pleased to say that they will be returning to ‘normal’ as of Monday as the outbreak has been contained. It was always inevitable with the removal of restrictions and subsequent increase of contacts that we would see an increase in positive cases in school and we continue with handwashing and regular cleaning to mitigate this. We have also kept our staggered lunch and break times to minimise contacts. For the time being, we will also not return to whole school assemblies in the hall.

I am pleased to say that Joanna is back in our Key Stage One office from today- we have really missed her. Many thanks for your patience whilst we operated on a limited staffing.

Watch out over the next few weeks for information about booking an appointment for our online parents’ evening on the 11th and 12th October. This will be a chance to discuss how your child has settled into school after the summer. We have decided to keep this one online given the increase in positive cases within the community. We intend on our Easter parents’ evening being in person if cases permit.

We are also busy planning the Halloween disco with FOGS. We run three separate discos (KS1 including Reception, Y3/4 and Y5/6) and have sought Public Health advice about how to make the event as covid secure as possible. This is scheduled for the last day of the half term- Friday 22nd October which is the day that Y5 return from their residential. More information will follow in due course. Should we see a huge increase in community transmission, or have another outbreak in school, it may be necessary to cancel the event. If this were to happen, we would invite the children to come into school on Wednesday 20th in their costumes and would hold in-class discos so that they don’t miss out. There is a meeting at 7pm in the Rose and Crown on Monday for anyone who would like to get involved in planning this event- it would be great to see lots of new faces there.

Last week our new School Council were democratically elected by their peers. Once 5A have also held their elections, I will hold our first School Council meeting to find out what areas they would like to focus on this year. Well done to all who stood up and gave a speech to their class- I’m certain you all made it a very difficult decision for your class. We believe in giving our children a voice and whilst the School Council is one way of doing this, we are always looking for other opportunities. You will notice on the fence around KS1 that our Year 1 children have produced some fabulous posters to remind the people of Greetland not to drop litter- well done Year 1.

We have registered to be part of Morrisons Good to Grow scheme. From September, for every £10 spent in store or online, you’ll get one Grow Token that we can then redeem for a wide range of gardening and growing equipment. Please download the MyMorrisons app to take part.

Finally, I would like to thank you all for the well-wishes I have received. I will be joining our assembly on Zoom this afternoon and the leadership team have kept me up to date with all that is going on in school. I can’t wait to get back on Wednesday.

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Crowther

10/09/21 – Principal’s Message2021-09-11T11:31:20+00:00

What a fabulous first week back! The children have been simply amazing, and it is so wonderful to see their smiling faces and sheer delight to be back at school with all their friends. We are really focusing on behaviour across the school and considering our school values of being: ambitious, brave, curious, healthy, united and respectful. I have already seen lots of class tokens being awarded and individual prizes and today we will hold our first celebration assembly of the year. Despite not having moved around the school freely for well over a year, all the children have adapted straight away to our new routines and have made myself and the rest of the staff so proud.

Some lovely news- there were two weddings over the summer for Greetland staff. A huge congratulations from all at The Greetland Academy to Mrs Rothery (Miss Austwick) and Mrs Khan (Miss Khan) who both got married over the summer. We were all so glad that they finally got their special days.

I’m sure you will all join me in welcoming our new Reception children and their families to our Greetland family. It has been lovely getting to know them all and it was equally lovely to finally be able to have parents in school and show the Reception families our classrooms. Watch out for information from our Friends of Greetland School (FOGS) soon as we would love some of our new (and not so new) parents to join the FOGS team. They do amazing things for the benefit of our children.

You should receive a letter through Seesaw about our new ‘parents’ showcase afternoons’ that we will be holding this year with the date for your child’s year group. We want to see parents back in our school once more and give the children the opportunity to share their learning and we hope you agree that this will be a great way of doing so. I have also included a few other key dates on there and we are busy updating the calendar on our website to reflect all our planned events across the year. Please do note that all events are subject to national and Public Health guidance at the time and we may have to postpone or find a virtual alternative at short notice.

The Learning Launch Pads for this half term will be shared today to inform you of what your child will be learning and of key dates. These will be on Seesaw but also can be found on our school website.

We are also busy putting together an after-school clubs offer for both sites and will send out communication shortly about this.

On Monday, our Year 6 children go to Edale for their residential. I will be joining them and so I won’t be on the gate at KS1 on Tuesday and Wednesday but will see you all again on Thursday. I’m looking forward to some adventurous activities including abseiling and raft building! Mrs Ashton (Vice Principal) and Mrs Rothery (Assistant Principal) will look after everyone at KS1 and Miss Bailes (Assistant Principal) will be doing the same at KS2.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I will be spending it sleeping as something tells me I might not get a lot of sleep once we are at Edale 🙂

Mrs Crowther

23/07/21 – Principal’s Message2021-07-23T08:59:20+00:00

We have reached the end of what has been another strange year and I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to every one of our Greetland family—staff, children, parents, governors, FOGS – for everything you have done this year and the tremendous support you have shown towards the school. Despite being a difficult time, we have continued to thrive and grow even stronger, and we are looking forward to a return to ‘normality’ in September. I sent out a letter a few weeks ago with the arrangements for September which can be found here:
https://greetlandacademy.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Arrangements-for-Sept-2021.pdf
It has not been the end to the term that any of us wanted and I appreciate the impact that bubble closures have on our families as well as our children and staff. What has really helped during this particularly difficult week is how many parents took the time to send in messages of support- this really did make such a difference.

Farewell to Year 6:
I feel so much for our Year 6 children who all missed their last week in school with us. We have still managed to see them off in style with a virtual show last week and a virtual leavers’ assembly this morning. The trip we all went on last week really was a wonderful way to end our time with the children as we had such an amazing time, and the children were fantastically behaved: hopefully this will leave them with one last memory to add to all the others that they will have of their time with us. I would like to wish our Year 6 children all the best for their start at secondary school. We will miss them very much but know that they are all destined for great things. We hope to still see them from time to time.

Here’s a little something to brighten your day – we made this video for our Year 6 leavers and wanted to share it with all our families: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i85mfW1WZ_0

New Appointments:
We have appointed Miss Gravenor as a Teaching Assistant in Year 6 as of September and Mrs Ewing will be our new Year 1 Teaching Assistant. We have a number of new Learning Support Assistants starting with us also: Mrs Edwards in Year 2, Miss Filiz in Year 4 and Miss Hollingsworth in Reception. A familiar face is also returning to school- Mrs Watson, who used to be a Teaching Assistant, will be returning as our new Learning Mentor. She will be working in the afternoons under the direction of Miss Simpson. I know you will all make them feel extremely welcome when they start with us in September.
This Year’s Seesaw Work:
Great news – you should all be able to download the content of your child’s Seesaw before they move up to their next class. Instructions on how to do this can be found at the following link. If you struggle, do not worry as we will always have a copy of your child’s complete journey throughout their time at our school:
https://help.seesaw.me/hc/en-us/articles/208754866-How-do-families-and-students-download-an-archive-of-student-work-

All that is left to say is that I hope you all have a lovely summer, and we cannot wait to see you all again on Tuesday 7th September. Here is hoping next year is the best year yet! We look forward to inviting our parents back into school.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mrs Crowther

18/06/21 – Principal’s Message2021-06-18T10:56:45+00:00

Hasn’t it been lovely to finally have some nice weather! We have certainly been making the most of it at school with the children managing to get out onto out fields for outdoor play.

I know many people may be disappointed by the government announcement that the final stage of the road map is delayed until 19th July. As it stands, all our protective measures remain in place at school and as the 19th July is the start of the final week of term for us, I don’t envisage these arrangements changing before we break up in order to minimise contact across the school before the summer holidays.  We do hope to return to ‘normality’ as of September. Public Health Calderdale are very concerned about the increasing rate in our area at the moment and we have started to see a rise in more positive cases within our community. We are proud as a school of how well we have done in keeping everyone safe (with your support) and just need to make this last final push to get us through to the summer holidays.

There will be lots of communication coming out in the next couple of weeks about arrangements for next year including reviewed Breakfast Club charges, arrangements for pick up and drop off in September, transition for Y2 and the new staffing line up. We will post all these letters on Seesaw but also email them out and put them on the website so please do keep an eye out for these.

We need your help: under current arrangements, the children attend school in their PE kits on the day they have PE. Since doing this, we have found that we have far less lost property and most importantly the children are getting longer PE sessions. If we were to keep this arrangement in September, the children would have 2 PE sessions a week and would therefore come in their school PE kit for 2 days out of the 5. We have set up a very short google form to gauge how parents would feel about this arrangement. Please could I ask you to click on this link to let us know your feelings: we will then make a decision based on the feedback. Please note that the children will need to be in proper school PE kit and not football kits, coloured trainers etc. We have spoken to our uniform provider and are pleased to say that we would be able to offer a Greetland hoodie as part of our PE uniform from next year.

Link: https://forms.gle/9p39GnbXyCpUFRYB8

Some of you may have heard that we had a new arrival in Y5- 10 little chicks! The children have loved watching them hatch and caring for them and thanks to the wonders of modern technology our ‘chick-cam’ has meant that all the children across the school have had the chance to see them- they even attended celebration assembly last week!

I would like to say a huge well done to our Y4 children who all took part in the National Multiplication Tables Check this week. Whilst these results will not be published this year due to the lockdown after Christmas, we knew how hard our children had worked on this area of maths and so wanted to give them the chance to show off! They did not disappoint, and all did so well.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will have a particular PSHE focus both in assembly time and afternoon lessons covering a number of upcoming celebrations day:  RSE Day; One Britain, One Nation Day and Picture News Day. We want all our pupils to have the knowledge, skills, and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, to manage their lives, now and in the future – our PSHE curriculum does just that! Look out for photos of activities shared with you via Seesaw.

Have a lovely weekend – fingers crossed that the rain stays away!

Mrs Crowther

14/05/21 – Principal’s Message2021-05-14T15:22:49+00:00

This week we had our half termly assembly lead by St Thomas’ Church. The children always love these sessions and we are so lucky to have such strong links with our local church.

Our Key Stage Two children have been having yoga sessions to support both their physical and mental health. These have proven to be very popular, and we are pleased to say that our children down the hill at Key Stage One will also get the chance to have a go shortly.

I cannot believe that we only have a few months left with our Year 6 children! We are busy putting plans in place for them to do an end of year show and for their leavers’ gift but we also recognise that the transition to high school can increase anxiety. The children in both Y5 and 6 have had an anxiety workshop to support them with managing these feelings and of course, Mrs Simpson is always on hand to offer support and advice.

Our parental survey was overwhelmingly positive but some of you did ask us to look at lunchtimes further. This week all our support staff, including midday supervisors have received behaviour management training from our Teaching School.

Now for some really lovely news- Mr O’Shea and his girlfriend became parents for the first time on Saturday. I am sure you will all join me in offering congratulations on the birth of the beautiful Ella Esme O’Shea. Mr O’Shea has started his paternity leave and will return to school on 24th May.

Some of you may already be aware that two of our children – Jonas and Bella- have both donated their hair in the name of charity. These wonderful acts of kindness, along with Scarlett’s during the first lockdown, have led us to start a new school award. ‘The Greetland Academy Community Spirit Award’ will be given to our children when we hear that they are going above and beyond to make a difference. Jonas, Bella and Scarlett will all have their names engraved on the trophy in school as the first recipients of this award.

Next week I will be spending some time in each of the classes and I am very much looking forward to talking to the children and seeing their fantastic learning.

Finally, I would like to wish Eid Mubarak to any members of the school community who are celebrating Eid today or yesterday.

Have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Crowther

30/04/21 – Principal’s Message2021-04-30T15:15:56+00:00

Well, the weather has certainly taken a turn for the worst but at school all the children are still working as hard as ever. They have returned from the Easter break looking smart and ready to learn. I am sure they all enjoyed the fact that they could meet up with others outdoors over the Easter break as we edge ever closer to some level of normality.

We have been able to start up some after school clubs over the past two weeks for year group bubbles at both sites. Whilst this is a long way from our usual breadth of offer, we are pleased that we are able to offer something to the children and have great plans for when things return to normal.

This term, our Y6 children have the opportunity to work with our Poet in Residence and our Musician in Residence (like Y4 and 5 have done previously). This has been funded by the Elland Cluster of Schools and is such a valuable experience for our children- I cannot wait to read their finished writing.

Our Y5 children are busy recording their first ever podcast! These will be available to listen to on the school website so watch out for more news on this shortly.

On Wednesday, we had a visit from the Trust School Improvement Team. They spent time with myself and the leadership team and in our Reception, Y5 and Y6 classes. They were blown away with what they saw (including the robin’s nest in our Reception entrance). Some of our children even spoke to them to tell them all about Greetland Academy and were a credit to the school.

A quick reminder to parents at KS1 that we have a polling day on Thursday and a letter has gone out and is on the website with regard to the pick-up and drop off arrangements for that day.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend and we will see you all on Tuesday.

Mrs Crowther

01/04/21 – Principal’s Message2021-04-30T15:18:58+00:00

And that’s the end of another term and we find ourselves two-thirds of the way through the school year! It has been so wonderful to be all together again as a school community and the birthday party certainly was the perfect way to celebrate this. It has also been wonderful to see the return of some lovely weather- the children were so excited to be able to get out on the field.

Our Trust walking challenge is complete and together we have managed to climb the world’s 100 highest mountains 10 times over which is 5037km in total- go Team Greetland! A special mention needs to go to Charlie Greenwood who managed to cover a whopping 366km!

I know I had to share a bit of sad news yesterday about the vandalism at our KS1 site. Whilst this was very disappointing for us all, what was amazing to see was how our wonderful community all rallied round to offer support. Thank you so much to those parents who contacted us to offer their help. Luckily, there was no major damage and we have informed the police.

Many thanks to those of you who completed the parental survey- there was an overwhelming amount of positive responses and it meant so much to all the staff to read all the comments that were made. As always, there are things that we can work on still and we have really valued getting your perspective in helping us to identify next steps. Our website now reflects the feedback we received and after Easter, Mrs Simpson will also be reaching out to parents to ask for their perspective on how we can support our children with friendships as this is something that has become of particular concern since the last lockdown. Children have been away from their peers for a number of months and have missed out on that vital socialising time and some may be finding it difficult to be back together in bigger groups. You will have already noticed on Seesaw that all the children have been doing PSHCE work around friendships. We were thrilled to read how many of you thought that communication between home and school was a real strength. Seesaw has certainly helped with this but please also note that whilst we share all letters on Seesaw, there will also be a copy on the school website which you can find here: https://greetlandacademy.org.uk/diary-news/letters/. I do also add a copy of my Principal’s message to the website also.

We had a fantastic turn out for our parents’ evenings last week. If you did not manage to make an appointment, please do contact the office as the teachers would be more than happy to arrange to speak to you over the phone. The partnership between parents and school is so important in supporting our children’s progress. As always, the Learning Launch Pad for next half term, which tells you what your child will be learning, is on Seesaw and can also be found on our website here: https://greetlandacademy.org.uk/academic-excellence/learning-launchpads/

Hopefully, the children will all get an uninterrupted final term before the summer where we can really focus on addressing any gaps and continuing to teach the full curriculum. A detailed end of year report will be sent out in July but, as always, if you want to discuss your child’s progress at any point, please do contact the office to arrange a phone call with the class teacher.

This morning we had our second ‘Star of the Term’ assembly of the year. These are my favourite certificate assemblies because the winners are decided by the children- and what a great decision they all made. Congratulations to all the winners!

We are pleased to say that we are starting some after school clubs again after Easter. With the current restrictions we are limited as to what we can offer and whilst it is far from our usual provision, it is a step in the right direction towards some level of normality. Letters have been sent out to those year groups where we can offer a club.

Today we will be having a covid-secure visit from our good friend ‘The Easter Bunny’. He is coming to drop off his sweet treats for all the children at KS1 and we know he is thrilled that he will manage to see the children this time as last year we only managed to capture him on video in the KS1 woodland due to the first lockdown. There is also an extra treat for all our children courtesy of FOGS who generously gifted every child and staff member with an Easter egg- a huge thank you to them.

COVID SYMPTOMS AND RESULTS REMINDER:
If your child should begin to display symptoms over the weekend, please book them a test and keep me updated using the email: covid@greetlandacademy.org.uk. I will be on call over the Easter weekend in case we do have a positive case and need to notify families of the need to isolate. As it stands, I am not awaiting any test results and am hoping this will remain the case. After the weekend, please do continue to notify us of any positive cases/ isolation periods.

On behalf of all the staff, I would like to wish you all a lovely Easter break and we will see you all on 19th April.

Happy Easter
Mrs Crowther

19/03/21 – Principal’s Message2021-03-23T09:43:33+00:00

Birthday Event Special Message:

What a wonderful day we have had! It’s a year today since we closed our doors to most children as a result of the first lockdown and I know that at that time we could never have imagined what this year would bring. One thing we have learnt is how strong we all are as a school community. All of us will have now had a birthday under some form of restrictions and we are so pleased that we have been able to celebrate those missed birthdays in true Greetland style.

It has been a truly remarkable day. From the playground discos in the morning with bubble machines, the visit to KS1 from Twinkle the Bear, the live sing-along Disney session for KS1 and the magician’s performance all on Zoom, the Tik Tok Dance parties at KS2 and the party games enjoyed with our friends at West Vale Academy- the day has been action packed and full of fun and joy.
There are so many people to thank who made this day possible.

Firstly, our wonderful kitchen staff lead by Mrs Thompson. They made the most amazing party lunch and catered for 400 children today. There was also the added bonus of a birthday cake (with sparkler) for every class to enjoy.

To our amazing staff who planned such a fantastic day for our community and who stayed late and arrived extra early to decorate the building – thank you so much. A special mention to Mr Pascall who has been making sure the local media cover this day along with being our resident DJ for the KS2 disco and to Mrs Figura who managed to get us the magician, sing-a-long and Tik Tok parties all for free.
Thank you to our wonderful ‘Friends of Greetland School’ who funded the birthday gift that every child received. We even visited the homes of those children who were isolating to make sure that they still got their birthday gift and cake- we could not have anyone missing out!

Our friends at Baby Ballet were so generous in arranging for our KS1 children to have a surprise visit from Twinkle the Bear- the children loved it! We also received generous donations from Morrisons in Elland and Arc Recruitment and are feeling very lucky, but I must give a special mention to Magic Dan who performed a magic show over Zoom to our KS1 children this afternoon topping off what was already a magical day.

And finally, a huge thank you to the parents. Your generosity and support have really helped to make this day special. We received so many kind donations and we really do appreciate it as we know that this is a difficult time for many. We were also impressed by your dance moves in the playground this morning for our socially distanced, drop-off disco.

We have taken so many images of the fun throughout the day and we will put them all together as a video for each site- these will be shared on Facebook and Seesaw shortly.

Watch out for us on Look North tonight as they asked us to film our celebrations for their Comic Relief coverage and we also featured in the Halifax Evening Courier last night! We have managed to raise £255 through our Just Giving page for Comic Relief which is fantastic.

We really hope your little ones (and not so little ones) have had the most amazing and memorable day today. Happy birthday to all of the Greetland family – let’s hope that in the not-too-distant future, you can all join us also for a big, ‘end of the pandemic’ celebration.

Mrs Crowther

05/03/21 – Principal’s Message2021-03-05T08:42:11+00:00

We got through it! I cannot tell you how excited we all are to be opening to all children from Monday. I sent out a letter via email on Wednesday with a reminder of our procedures and start and finish times. This is also on our website (along with an updated version of our risk assessment) so please make sure that you have read it.

Our priority, particularly over the first few days, is to allow the children the space and time to catch up with their friends and teachers, to play games, socialise, celebrate lockdown achievements, and enjoy getting back to a routine. Teachers are busy planning sessions to allow this to happen. We are also planning to hold consultation sessions for parents with their child’s teacher before the Easter break (22nd and 24th March for all classes other than 4G parents who will have their sessions on 29th and 30th March) so that families can share their child’s experience of learning remotely alongside teachers sharing how their child has settled back into school life. More details around this will follow on Monday.

I know that many parents may be concerned about this current lockdown and the impact that being taught remotely will have had on your children, but our staff are amazing and highly trained and will tailor learning expertly to support all children to progress from their starting points so please do not worry.

This week we marked World Book day in true Greetland fashion. It was wonderful to link up with the children at home to see their costumes, read them a story and see their window decoration competition entries. Congratulations to Amber Rodd, Alice Walker, 2A and 3G who were the worthy winners and well done to everyone who entered. We also hope you enjoyed our ‘Where’s Wally Hunt’ around the village.

Another piece of exciting news- we recognise that we are now pretty much a year into this pandemic and its restrictions and therefore all of us will have had a birthday either under full lockdown or under some form of limitations. For Comic Relief this year (19th March), we will be holding ‘The Great Greetland Birthday Party’ and will spend the whole day celebrating the birthday that we have missed out on this year with our class bubble. Children and staff will be able to come to school dressed for their ideal party (a sleepover, superheroes, a disco, a football party- it’s up to them). Our staff are busy putting final plans together and a letter will come out shortly with more information including how you can donate to Comic Relief. FOGS have kindly also arranged for each child to receive a ‘birthday gift’ so I would like to say a huge thank you to them. If any of you have any contacts who could help provide decorations for this day (particularly helium balloons) then please get in touch with the school office. Budgets are limited at the moment but we do want to make this day memorable for our children.

I am pleased to announce that Mrs Bakes and Mrs Moran have both had their babies. Mrs Morgan gave birth to little Arlo about a month ago and Mrs Bakes had (not so little) Albie last week. They are all doing well and hope to be able to come into school to visit once restrictions are lifted. They would both like to thank you for the cards and gifts that they received before they left.

Thank you as always for your support over this lockdown period and the kind words of thanks recognising how hard the staff have been working: juggling the demands of teaching both in class whilst also providing remote education is no mean feat and they have all risen to the challenge fantastically. They really are an amazing bunch of people.

Finally, well done to you all- you got through this! Back in January I sent you all this message:

‘What I want to say to you all (parents of children in school and at home) is WELL DONE. Whatever your personal circumstances, we have been blown away with the fantastic job you are all doing. If your child has stayed up late, played too much on their console or not done all their school work……..THAT’S OKAY. We know how much our children are loved and cared for and how they are all kept safe and that is the most important thing at the moment’.

I meant every word of it at the time and still do to this day. We have been blown away with the efforts at home.

Have a lovely weekend and I will see you all on Monday morning. 😊

Mrs Crowther

12/02/21 – Principal’s Message2021-02-12T11:18:00+00:00

Well, we’ve made it to the end of the half term. Well done to everyone: the staff, children in school, children at home and parents and carers at home who have done such a fantastic job with supporting remote education. As a nation, we are expecting the Prime Minister to announce his plans for coming out of lockdown on Monday 22nd February. We are all hoping for a return to normal schooling on the 8th March but if for some reason this does not happen, please do not panic. We will continue to provide all the support we can to those families at home. If we are returning to school on the 8th, as we all hope, then I will communicate the plans with you as soon as possible after the announcement. As you all know by now, we find out what is happening at the same time as you do and so we will need a little time to make sure we have all the measures in place.

What a few weeks we have had since my last message. At school and home, we celebrated Children’s Mental Health Week. As a school we have always valued the importance of looking after our mental health as well as our physical health and so last week we marked Children’s Mental Health week with lots of fun activities both in school and at home and then ending in Year group zoom assemblies where we could all express ourselves through our choice of outfits.  It was wonderful to see all the children on our Zoom assemblies joining in with this theme as well as the children and staff in school and there were some amazing outfits.

This week saw the return of our popular ‘Well-being Wednesday’. I think everyone has appreciated the time to do activities that don’t involve screen time and ease the pressure of remote education- I have loved seeing what the children got up to on Seesaw.

Our fantastic Learning Mentor, Mrs Simpson, has been busy supporting our families at home and in school. Please do contact her if you feel she could help your child in any way. She has also posted a stone painting project on Seesaw for the children so please do watch out for that. If you could get a stone(s) and paint/colour some positive messages on them, then bring them to school, there will be a box in the office entrance to leave them. (The box will be there Monday 22nd February to Wednesday 24th February). Mrs Simpson will then line them up outside the school wall so that anyone passing can take a positive message who needs one. It would be nice to brighten someone’s day and know you have played a part of it. You can also take one, and then maybe add another when you see one that means something to you. Anyone can do it, so get the whole family involved!

It was so wonderful to join some of our KS1 children who are at home for a virtual cook-along on Wednesday. My son particularly enjoyed eating the banana cheesecake that we made. I will also be attending the KS2 one this afternoon where we are making spring rolls, which The Crowther family will then be having for tea. If you couldn’t make either of the sessions, the recipes are on the Phunky Foods website.

Mr Pascall has been working hard on our remote learning section of the website so that all information is in one place. On there you will find links to emotional and well-being support, links to access our remote learning platforms, advice for parents on supporting home learning and our policy.  https://greetlandacademy.org.uk/parents/remote-education/

You will have all seen the letter that Mrs Ashton put on Seesaw about World Book Day. We could not let lockdown ruin our chances of celebrating this day. The children and staff in school can come in dressed as their favourite book character and those children at home are also encouraged to dress up and will be given the chance to show their costumes on a Zoom assembly. We really are looking forward to the window decorating competition and ‘Where’s Walley Hunt’ around Greetland and don’t forget that the children at home can also opt to join a story session with any one of our teachers in the afternoon.

So it just goes to say that I hope you all have a lovely half term break before we start again on the 22nd. I am proud every day to lead such a fantastic school with such amazing children and staff and supportive parents. Make sure you all try and take some time for yourselves as I know how challenging the last 6 weeks have been for you all. We have big plans for when we do finally get all the children back in school which I will share with you in due course.

We will get through this together.

Keep safe

Mrs Crowther

29/01/21 – Principal’s Message2021-01-29T09:54:24+00:00

4 weeks down!

Firstly, thank you for all the messages I received after the message I sent out on Sunday. It is so important to all of us here that you know what an amazing job you are all doing and how we understand the pressures you are under. I know the news that school will not be back until at least the 8th March will have added to parents’ worries, but as I said in my message on Sunday, we will get through this together.

This week we held our first trust-wide ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ where we all went screen free for the day. It was lovely to see all the creative things that the children got up to both at home and in school. The staff were also treated to a sweet treat from Roasty Coffee on Monday in recognition of how hard they are all working. Whilst we all still hope for a return to school soon, we now know that we will not be back straight after the holidays with Boris announcing that there will not be a return before the 8th March.  We will hold another wellbeing Wednesday on 10th February and we will continue to find ways to make everyone still feel connected to our school. We already have contingency plans in place for World Book Day (4th March) and will send out a letter detailing our plans before we break up.

We have now held daily Zoom meets for the past two weeks and I have managed to join every Key Stage One class for a story. It has been so wonderful to see the children smiling away, clearly so happy to be able to see and speak to us. I have also attended a Zoom assembly for each year group and have had the pleasure of playing such games as – guess the person from the baby photo, a scavenger hunt and an emoji quiz. These sessions are so important to maintain our sense of community whilst we cannot all be together.

We are pleased to announce that as an additional means of keeping everyone safe, our staff will be offered twice-weekly lateral flow tests for COVID-19 starting this Sunday. This is a voluntary scheme that aims to pick up those who are asymptomatic so that they can isolate. We will be taking these tests on a Sunday and Wednesday evening. Please note that where we have a positive test result, as with any positive result, all contacts of that person will be expected to isolate for 10 days. We will notify parents through our text messaging service and then follow this up with a letter via email. Remote learning will be provided for those expected to isolate. There may be some disruption to the remote education offer if a member of staff should subsequently become ill.

Finally, I would like to thank you all for the wonderful emails of support and thanks that we have received over the past 4 weeks. I cannot tell you how much these mean to us all and how they keep us going. We even received 4 hampers for the staffroom from Jovan’s family, which was a very generous gift for all our staff.

Stay safe

Mrs Crowther

22/01/21 – Principal’s Message2021-01-29T09:52:00+00:00

As we have come to the end of week 3 of the lockdown and I reflect on my own experience as a parent of two children who are home-schooling at the moment, I wanted to send you all a little message of support. Times are tough at the moment whilst we try to juggle our own jobs, children’s school work and the other pressures that this pandemic brings. There are also lots of rumours in the media about when schools may reopen, which at times are not very helpful. There is enormous pressure on our own mental health and the dark, and rainy/snowy weather hasn’t helped with this. Now, more than ever, we need to support each other to get through this together.

What I want to say to you all (parents of children in school and at home) is WELL DONE. Whatever your personal circumstances, we have been blown away with the fantastic job you are all doing. If your child has stayed up late, played too much on their console or not done all their school work……..THAT’S OKAY. We know how much our children are loved and cared for and how they are all kept safe and that is the most important thing at the moment. We know that we have high expectations here and we have set a lot of work to be done at home. We have to provide this as the government have made it the law this time round. All we ask is that you as a family do your best. If you are only able to do 30 minutes of reading and maths work here and there, that is okay- just let us know. If you want to do all the work we set, that is okay. Please do not let school work put any extra pressure on you when you are also trying to hold down jobs, earn a living and keep your children safe. Everyone’s circumstances are very different and we appreciate that. It is also fine to let your child get the answers wrong. This will help us to give feedback and support where needed and even adapt the work for the next day. If your child does find something hard, they can send a message to their teacher and they will respond as soon as they can to offer some help.

On Wednesday, we will be having a special ‘screen-free day’ both in school and for those children at home and more information about this will come out tomorrow. This day will offer everyone the opportunity to take a well-deserved break from the demands of home-schooling.

Finally, whilst we may not be open to all pupils at the moment, we are still here to offer emotional support to all of our families. If you need support, a chat, a virtual cuppa or even a cry- we are here. Take care, stay safe and remember that we think you are all doing amazing. Keep adding those kilometres to our Trust mountain challenge also as it really does help to get out in the fresh air.

🙂

Mrs Crowther

08/01/21 – Principal’s Message2021-01-29T09:52:28+00:00

Well – none of us expected that we would find ourselves in this position once again, but one thing we learnt from the first lockdown is how strong we are as a school community and so we know that we will get through this new lockdown together.
I want to reflect on the last week and what we have all manged to achieve.

With no time at all, we have all had to stop, respond, and adapt to a new way of life; an expectation that at times has felt so far out of reach.

Overnight, we have had to close the school to all pupils other than those who are eligible; prepare and provide a remote home learning package for all and organise new routines for in school and at home. What an achievement!

When I have walked round the school this week, I have been filled with pride as I saw our incredible teachers and support staff successfully adapting to new styles of teaching in and out of the classroom and using technology to its advantage for our home learners. Our fantastic office team have supported our families with any queries and our catering team have not only served hot meals across school and to the other schools we provide food for, but also packed up our own Free School Meal bags for those families most in need. Our wonderful, inspirational children have taken all of this change, yet again, in their stride – our young people, learning at home and at school, are truly a credit to you.

With that said, I can only imagine how overwhelming and stressful this situation is for our parents/carers at home! Having to suddenly alter home routines and juggle own work patterns, whilst trying to support learning for your children, with many households doing this for more than one child, is an enormous ask! My sincere respect goes out to you all: it is no easy feat I’m sure.

Know that you’re doing a fantastic job and that now the first week is over, as we make any final tweaks, things will become second nature soon enough and part of our daily life.

As ever, please do let us know if we can help you in anyway and continue to contact the school for support. Our new Senior Learning Mentor (Mrs Simpson) starts next week and will be able to offer further pastoral support to the children whilst they are at home.

A huge round of applause to you all!
Keep safe,
Mrs Crowther

17/12/20 – Principal’s Festive Message2020-12-19T09:00:37+00:00

I cannot believe that we have already completed an entire term! Time certainly does fly when you are having fun.

Firstly, I just want to take a few minutes to reflect on what we have achieved since September:

  • We opened the school with robust COVID restrictions.
  • We have continued to respond to Health and Safety information and adhered to more and more restrictions to keep ourselves and our community safe.
  • We have found ways of using technology to ensure that the children don’t miss out on valuable learning.
  • We have delivered exciting learning opportunities for all the children and also supported them emotionally to settle and get back to learning.
  • We have found new ways of doing things so that the children don’t miss out and so we can come together as one school community- Zoom assembly, Children in Need, Halloween and Mrs Nash’s special assembly to name but a few.
  • We have become published poets (although Covid ruined the chances of this happening in time for Christmas)!
  • We managed to deliver a COVID CHRISTMAS that the children and staff thoroughly enjoyed.
  • We have carried out online parents’ evenings to ensure that parents’ worries about the effects of the lockdown were eased.
  • We have managed a successful bubble system including some hot dinners and breakfast club provision.
  • We have welcomed new members of staff ( Mrs Bennett, Mrs Bridgestock, Miss Khan and Miss Cottam) who are all an asset to the team.
  • Staff in every role have gone above and beyond and carried out activities that wouldn’t normally fall under their job description- all without complaining – what a team!
  • And we have all (children included) been turning up every day with a smile on our faces 🙂

It certainly has been a festive few weeks here at school. Last week we had our annual Christmas Jumper day where the children and staff also got to eat a delicious Christmas dinner- it really was yummy!

That naughty elf also made an appearance again, if only by video. He had ruined Santa’s Christmas Tree in the North Pole and Santa knew that there was only one school who would be able to help him- The Greetland Academy. He sent our children the challenge of using their maths, science and design skills to build him a new tree for his home in Lapland. I am sure you all saw the photographs of the finished trees on Facebook and hope that you managed to vote for your favourite. I can reveal that the winning trees were made by  Reception and Class 4A.

This week our children completed the Reindeer Run for Overgate Hospice dressed in their new reindeer antlers! We cannot thank you enough for your generous donations to such a worthy cause- I know it will make a huge difference to Overgate.

Last week we had a virtual visit from our MAT Executive Team and they were so impressed to hear about everything that has been going on in school since we returned in September.

Today was our first ‘Star of the Term’ assembly of the school year. Unlike other Friday assemblies where the teachers select a deserved child for a certificate, this award is given by the whole class who democratically vote for their star.  Well done to all our winners for this term- I wonder who it will be next term! It was wonderful to hear some of the reasons why the children had been chosen- we really do have such fantastic children here.

A letter has been sent out separately to introduce you all to our new Senior Learning Mentor /Pastoral manager Mrs Simpson. I am sure you will all get to know her in the new year.

I cannot end this message without mentioning the special visitor who came to KS1 this afternoon -Santa himself! Luckily, all headteachers have a personal hotline to the big guy and so I was able to provide him with our full Covid risk assessment to ensure he could still visit us in a safe way. He even got his elves to drop off the children’s gifts three days earlier so that they could be quarantined before we gave them out!

It just goes to say that I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. As you know, tomorrow is a training day for staff and the children will be at home; we will all be returning to school on Monday 4th January. I can’t wait to hear all about the children’s Christmas celebrations on our return.

Keep safe

Mrs Crowther

27/11/20 – Principal’s Message2020-12-02T21:44:27+00:00

Another two busy weeks and we can now finally start the build up to the most magical time of year- Christmas!

Firstly, I would like to share some happy news with you all. Last week, Mrs Read gave birth to a little boy named Albert (Bertie) who will be a much-loved brother for her other two children, Florence and Stanley. I am sure you will all join me in wishing her and her family well and we hope that when things do eventually settle down, she will be able to bring him in for lots of cuddles.

We cannot thank you enough for your support on our Children in Need Day- the children certainly found some very creative ways of breaking the rules. I am pleased to say that they all returned to their normal rule abiding ways on the Monday. Through your generosity we managed to raise £595 ,which is amazing!

Our eagerly anticipated poetry book is now on sale and features the work of all our Greetland community including our parents. A letter has been shared on Seesaw with a link where orders can be placed. The book really is something that we as a school are very proud of and will make a fantastic Christmas gift or keepsake of what has been a very difficult year.

Our nativity has been cast and the Year 1 children are busy with their rehearsals and I, for one, cannot wait of the live screening of their performance. The Christmas tree also arrives in school on Monday evening and every child will have the opportunity to make a decoration to hang. We have decided to place the KS1 tree in the conservatory this year so that parents can see it when they pick up of an evening. We are also planning on doing the Reindeer Run for Overgate again this year and further information about this will follow shortly.

I know some of you may be worried about our annual visit from our special friend who lives the North this year, but worry not! We have managed to speak to Santa and his team of elves and he is fully aware of our risk assessment processes and will still be able to visit Key Stage One albeit socially distanced and he has arranged for the presents to arrive by reindeer three days before so that they can be quarantined before being given to the children.

You will have seen on Seesaw that the children have carried out work based on the NSPCC ‘Speak Out Stay Safe’ learning materials. This package aims to help children understand abuse in all its forms and how to recognise signs of abuse; that abuse is never a child’s fault and that they have the right to be safe and where to get help; and the sources of help available to them, including the Childline service. Supporting our children with safeguarding is a key element of our curriculum and the resources provided by the NSPCC helped to deliver such important messages in an age-appropriate manner- even featuring Ant and Dec at one point -or as some children referred to them, ‘those two guys who are in that castle’!

Finally, the wonderful Mrs Nash leaves us today after over 20 years of service to the school. During her time with us she has made such a difference to so many children’s lives and she will be greatly missed. We held a special assembly for her this morning and she has asked me to send out a thank you to you all for your support over the years and for the lovely gifts and messages that she has received.

Have a lovely weekend

🙂 Mrs Crowther

10/11/20 – Principal’s Message2020-12-02T22:02:28+00:00

Since we returned to school we have been determined to resume to as much normality as possible whilst keeping everyone safe. These last few weeks have shown how, with a little thought and the use of technology, we can continue to offer a broad and balanced curriculum and encourage parental involvement in school life. This week our Year 5 children took part in a poetry and music workshop lead by our Poet in Residence (Winston) and our new Musician in Residence (Paul Harding). The work they are carrying out in our school is funded by the Elland Cluster and aims to support creative writing through immersion in the arts. I know the children ,and staff, really enjoyed their sessions which were fully risk assessed to allow for them to come into school and perform in front of the children. Whilst I am growing tired of looking at my own face on Zoom, the app has proved invaluable to us as a school. When children are required to isolate, they are able to join our Friday assembly securely and this week one of our amazing teachers , who was required to isolate, taught her class remotely ensuring that their learning wasn’t disrupted. I previously shared that we had started to run two sports clubs for the Year 4 and 5 bubbles- sadly the government have asked for this provision to stop during the current lockdown but this has not stopped us! Mr Bade is going to deliver a club using Zoom- Joe Wicks eat your heart out! We are hoping in the new year to offer online keep fit sessions for all our children. The response to our ‘Mystery Reader’ project has been amazing and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing children excited to hear a story. Thank you so much to those who have already sent in a video for the children to watch. Today is Children In Need day and I’ve been amazed at the ways the children have found to break our uniform rules! It was a tough decision but the prize for the best rule break goes to Peter in 4G, Rocco in 4A and Isaac in 1A. In the interest of democracy, we opened up a vote for the children as to what the staff should do for Children in Need and the winning option was a great choice- watch out for pictures of us all in our finest sleepwear on Facebook! And finally- please do check out our new and improved website. We hope that you find it to be user friendly but if you have any feedback, please do drop me an email. I would like to thank you all for your support with our request for parents to wear face masks at pick up and drop off unless you are exempt. I am so proud of our school community and how we have continued to pull together despite the difficult situation we all find ourselves in.

Have a lovely weekend

🙂 Mrs Crowther

16/10/20 – Principal’s Message2020-12-02T21:45:01+00:00

Another great few weeks here: I can’t believe we only have one week left until the half term holiday! Our teachers loved being able to chat to you all about how your child has settled back into school over our new online system. It’s been so great to find new ways of being able to keep the channels of communication open. We have contacted the company about having the ability for more than one parent to log into the chat and I believe they are working on this before the new year. We are thrilled that we have managed to find a way that our Year One children can still perform a nativity that their families can watch (albeit virtually). We could not have had our children (or parents) missing out on this rite of passage. More information as to how we will do this will be communicated with parents in due course. We are keen for parents to be as involved in school life as they possibly can, so watch out for a letter next week about our new, secret ‘mystery reader’ project. The children at our school never cease to amaze me and last week I was faced with yet another example of this. Two girls in Year 5 sent me letters on behalf of the whole school expressing how, whilst they understood that we couldn’t hold one, they were so disappointed that they would miss out on our now infamous Halloween disco. They went on to quote an idea that they had read about in their class text and requested that I allow the children to come to school in their costumes on the last day. I think this is a great idea and we may even been be able to have a little boogie within each classroom. Knowing our staff, I’m sure they will all make an effort with their costumes too. I did say to the girls that I would agree to their request on the understanding that they wrote the letter that went out to parents and I know that you have all recently received their note! We are very proud of them both for showing such ingenuity and I know the rest of the children are so thankful to them for making this possible.

Have a lovely weekend,

🙂 Mrs Crowther

02/10/20 – Principal’s Message2020-12-02T21:48:00+00:00

I can’t believe we have already been back a whole month- time certainly does fly when you’re having fun! The children have shown amazing resilience since coming back and have settled in to the new routines extremely well. Our aim is to make school as ‘normal’ as possible for all our children whilst also keeping everyone safe. Whilst we cannot hold assemblies together in the hall, we are using Zoom to hold whole school assemblies both on a Friday to celebrate success and through our monthly church assemblies. The children loved seeing our friends from St Thomas’ on the big screen yesterday. We are also about to start our first couple of after school sports clubs for two year group bubbles with a view to running more (at both sites)over the coming months. We feel it is extremely important to still offer our children a full, broad and balanced curriculum despite the restrictions we have. The poetry that the children have produced over the past few weeks has been outstanding (I’m sure you’ve seen some examples on Seesaw and on our Facebook page) and we will be announcing over the coming month how you can purchase a copy of our published book! On Monday, the leadership team will be joined by several parents for a poetry writing session and the finished poems from this will also be in our final anthology. We will share the video for the parent session on Seesaw next week for anyone else who wants to create a poem and we can still fit parents in if they want to join us over Zoom on Monday (just contact the office). You will have received a letter about an additional (virtual) parents’ evening that we are holding before half term. We felt it was important to have this additional communication with our families given that we are limited to the amount of contact we can have with you all. We also recognise that the last 6 months have not been easy for any of us and that you may still have worries about your children and so this virtual meeting should go some way to help ease any worries you may have and help continue the strong partnership that we have with our parents and carers. You should be able to book your appointment from Monday morning using our usual booking system. Finally, I would like to thank you all for the amazing support you have shown for us as a school- it means a lot to all the staff. I appreciate that with all these changes and new procedures it can be a little confusing but we have found that for our Greetland family, this has not been an issue and we have all pulled together.

Have a lovely weekend (despite the weather!)

🙂 Mrs Crowther

25/09/20 – Principal’s Message2020-12-02T21:57:44+00:00

What a fantastic few weeks we have had! We have all loved seeing the children back in school, happy and ready to learn. We really did miss them so much. They are all coping so well with the changes to normal school life. Thank you all for your support with our staggered start and pick up times: it has made it so much easier for us all. Please do continue to arrive at your allocated time and not before as it really helps with us getting the children in safely. Please also do continue to socially distance when you are walking up the drive or waiting on the roadside. Our Catering Manager has been busy working on a way that we can provide hot dinners whilst still operating within the current guidelines. We are pleased to announce that after half term we will be able to offer a hot menu, albeit it reduced in choices. Watch out for a letter in the next few weeks with further information. Our children have all been busy writing poems in school about their experiences during lockdown: there will be a letter to parents next week which will explain how you too can get involved in this project and I really hope that lots of you will- there might be a sweet treat in it for you ! Our Reception children have settled in so well to school and have been impressing their teachers- it really is like they have been with us for months!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and enjoy this sunshine whilst it lasts.

🙂 Mrs Crowther

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