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