Headteacher's Welcome

September 2021

Welcome back to school, it is great to welcome everyone back after the Summer holidays and we are all excited about beginning a new academic year. It has been so uplifting to see all the children return to school together, and a special welcome to all our new families both in early years and across the school. A big welcome also to our new members of staff.

Staff and children have been delighted that we have returned to a new normal with no bubbles, children mixing more at playtime and lunchtime and opportunities for collective worship together. Hearing hymn practice this week for the first time for what seems to be ever was quite emotional for the staff involved!

However, we do realise that although guidelines have changed significantly we do still need to make parents aware of the need to follow procedures should a child develop one of the recognised symptoms. We are still continuing with our handwashing procedures and increased cleaning during the school day. Please refer to our updated Covid risk assessment on our Covid page.

We are excited about our new topics for learning and class pages on the website will be updated with the new topic maps, knowledge organisers and information for parents generally to support learning. Class dojo will be used to inform parents of the week ahead and for any messages or information.

As we are now able to resume trips and participate more in external activities the children will begin to experience learning again beyond the classroom. Music teachers are also back in school and this year we are offering flute, piano and guitar, please get in touch with the office should your child want to participate in any of these.

We are hoping to attend Mass for the first time as a school on October 1st at St Joseph’s, this is the feast day of St Therese of Lisieux so we will be planning the Mass around this theme.

We acknowledge that our children need a child-centred holistic approach to learning rooted in faith. Our reworded mission statement which now includes the word gifts reminds us all that our children are gifts from God, and how important our job as educators is to ensure that we provide an education for our children which enables them to be the best they can be. We have adopted 10 school virtues based on learning habits and our Gospel values: - faith, love, kindness, respect, confidence, resilience, love of learning, forgiveness, courage and patience. We will be focused on one virtue weekly to embed them with our children and school community, celebrating virtue of the week in each year group as part of celebration assembly. We will also be asking parents to send us in evidence of their children showing their virtues at home, look out for examples in our weekly newsletter!

During their time at English Martyrs we want all our children to grow their virtues making them ready for their next steps beyond year 6.

We will continue to populate our new mental health page on the website under the parents section so please take a look and use some of the resources. A key feature will be our 5 Ways to Well-being approach inspired by the NHS initiative and New Economics Foundation, which focuses on; CONNECTING, BEING ACTIVE, TAKING NOTICE, KEEPING LEARNING AND GIVING.

Alison Chambers