Monday 22nd February 2021
A huge welcome back and it's great to see everyone (in person and virtually) after what felt like a very short half term break.
I hope you were all able to make the best of it despite the restrictions and some yucky weather. Most importantly, I hope you were all (children AND adults) able to rest those brains after our tough few weeks of this new way of learning.
I am hopeful for the near future though as the vaccine is being rolled out and it seems likely we will all be back on the 8th March ... subject to tonight's confirmation by Boris of course!
As excited as we all are to see all the children, we will still prioritise safety and work hard to minimise risk as much as we possibly can. For those of you worrying, please try not to although I suspect many of you will be glad to get the children back in and resume some normality.
Whatever happens we have some key events on the horizon to look forward to this half term which we will embrace in whatever way we can. I know Mrs House has some great ideas for a virtual celebration of World Book Day and between hers and my passion for books and reading, we fully intend to make the most of this day! There will also be an opportunity to enjoy some laughs whilst raising money as Red Nose Day also falls in March. We will of course inform you of plans for these days very soon.
I am absolutely delighted to be beginning a brand-new half term with you all and although there are a few unknowns right now, I know that as a school community we will continue to work together to make this school year a real success.
Have a great week, stay safe and happy learning!
Monday 8th February 2021
Another fantastic week last week as we celebrated Children's Mental Health Week. Never before have I known it to be so relevant as it is right now and what a wonderful job our children did in raising awareness, raising money and expressing themselves in their bright colours!
There were some incredible pieces of work completed where our children really celebrated being themselves and valuing every aspect of their identities. We know that issues surrounding mental health can impact significantly on children's wellbeing and development as well as being a barrier to learning so we aim to provide as much support to our children and families as possible. If you do feel you need support in this area, then do make contact with your child's teacher who will be only too happy to help.
I have to say, not only did our children do a great job of expressing themselves on Friday, so did our grown-ups! We definitely have some members of staff who weren't shy in showing their personalities through what they wore ... myself included (pink and sparkles obviously) so well done to our very expressive teachers and LSAs.
This week the children have just four days of learning as we have INSET day on Friday and then it will be half term. I can't quite believe how quickly these last few weeks have gone! Please do use half term to focus on non-screen activities and embrace the quality time to rest, recuperate and forget about the stresses of home learning.
I am so very proud of our children and their achievements both in school and at home and as we edge nearer (hopefully!) to a full return I am excited to see first-hand how much progress our children have made at a very challenging time ... I have a feeling the teachers will be very impressed! Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of you, as parents and carers to facilitate the learning whilst juggling all other aspects of day-to-day life. You all deserve a medal!
I will be keeping a very close eye on Boris and his announcements as we move forward, to ensure I can plan for and communicate with you as soon as possible regarding the return to school. It can be challenging to pre-empt and plan at this time as we have no idea what is coming until it is announced however, I have started to consider various scenarios and so will inform you when definite plans are in place.
Have a great rest of the week, happy half term and watch this space!
Monday 1st February 2021
As we find ourselves in another lockdown and discovering different ways to adapt and bring some 'normality' to life, I thought it would be good to use our website as a link between myself and our Anton community, hence the setting up of 'Mrs Bennett's Blog'.
I want to be able to provide you with updates, school news, thoughts and insights into life at Anton Junior School from my perspective as Headteacher, get to know me a little better and provide another layer of communication for you all which, particularly right now, is hugely important to me.
I am a Head that loves to be interacting with pupils, parents, visitors and staff as much as time allows so being pretty much confined to my office is a huge challenge. However what has made it more bearable is being able to be nosey, go into the online classrooms and see how hard everyone is working (including parents and carers!) and all the great efforts from everybody to keep learning moving forward.
Mrs McManus and I have been delivering achievement assemblies, which is the absolute best part of week right now as not only do I get to celebrate some fantastic achievements, but also get to see all those great smiles I miss so much!
This week is Children's Mental Health Week which I think is more relevant this year than ever. I know the teachers will be delivering some great wellbeing lessons and activities with a PSHE focus and of course, Friday is 'Express Yourself' day where everyone will be dressing to reflect who they are using either a colour or maybe something completely different ... I can't wait to see everyone expressing themselves ( I know there are a couple of teachers keen to fully embrace this day!) but if any pupils feel they would rather not join in then that's OK too.
I can't believe we have just two weeks left of this half term and what a few weeks it has been. So many changes, so many successes, so much hard work and witnessing the school community pulling together at this time has just been the best!
I'm excited to be continuing this journey with you all and will aim to update this blog weekly.