Welcome back – I cannot believe how eagerly we have waited for this day!
In view of the current worldwide situation I was delighted to see nearly 700 children return to our school. This was a clear indication you were happy as parents to entrust your children to us once again – thank you.
We have sent out communications throughout the summer and I thank you for familiarising yourselves with the protocols.
I believe we were the first school to open on the coast so other schools are also learning from us!!
Look at what I see every day – children walking past my window with a wave and a smile under their mask, I can see by their eyes!
You will have heard, I am sure, that we did have to isolate some of our younger pupils this week. This was very sad, especially after such a long period at home. However, we follow the guidelines from the Junta de Andalucia and prefer to err on the side of caution in the interests of your child’s health and safety.
If all these little ones are fit and healthy they will be joining us again on Monday 14 September. In the meantime they are receiving their teaching and learning online.
I am aware that Covid still raises many questions and concerns. To help to alleviate some of these, we have created the email address firstname.lastname@example.org where you can direct your questions or comments, and we will aim to answer the general questions in a Frequently Asked Questions style via a biweekly Covid Newsletter. This would aim to ensure all your questions are answered. Obviously very personal questions regarding your own child should go through the usual channels of communication. Our first Covid Newsletter will come out next week. This will not replace, however, Mr Escobar and Mrs Salmon’s Newsletters, which share with you events and information regarding your children’s teaching and learning. We cannot forget why we have all returned to school.
The statement I made frequently throughout the summer was “We are all in this together” as a whole school community.
Welcome back to the new academic year! The first thing I want to share is the fact that your children are amazing! Despite their masks I see happy children learning in every classroom I walk into. They have very quickly adapted to our ‘new’ routines and are very quick to remind each other to wash hands and keep a distance! To quote a child in Year 5 ‘this new normal’s OK’.
I hope that you enjoyed the teachers ‘Welcome’ videos last week and I apologise for any confusion caused by the delayed release of classlists. Your child’s class teacher will continue to post a video every Friday via Google Classroom to share reflections of the week in school, to celebrate children’s learning and to share any important class information.
Google Classroom – All pupils have now been set up onto Google Classroom which is our online learning platform. This will enable your children to access their homework from home. All new pupils have been issued with a username and password to access the platform. Existing pupils can use their username and password from last term. We can see some of you have already done this! You can find more information and instructions to access Google Classroom here and here. If you have any issues you should contact our Primary Digital Learning Coordinator Dan Mulligan at email@example.com who will be available during school hours.
This year I am very pleased to welcome new teaching staff to our outstanding team:
Miss Cecilia Lancaster in Year 4, Miss Katy Fitzgerald in Year 6 and Srta Patricia, Spanish.
Congratulations to Miss Kate our Head of Key Stage 1 last term on the birth of her beautiful little boy at the beginning of the school holidays.
Talk Homework: What did I enjoy most about my first week back at school.
Aloha Value – RESPECT
Personal Goal – Respectful
I would like to start my newsletter by welcoming you to a new academic year. I can only compliment your children on the tremendous amount of effort they have put in this week to ensure that all measures that the school has put into place are followed diligently. A special mention goes to all Year 7 students who have had to adapt quickly to routines in a new section of the College as well as trying to remember the names of their 9 teachers and form tutor!
There are many factors that play a part before good results are achieved. One could say that the week has gone well just through pure luck or simply because it was the way things were meant to be. However, I believe that there is one key element that has contributed to a successful week: your children have listened to instructions carefully! This leads me the question:
Is being a good listener a natural talent or something we can all develop further?
Active listening is about focusing on, and engaging with, what is being said without offering judgement or advice. There are so many instances when we are glancing at our phones whilst a friend is talking to us. It is also common to see two people talking whilst one of them is playing with his/her hair ( I am lucky not to have this temptation when somebody speaks to me!). This can lead to one feeling undervalued and unimportant.
There are times when people appear to be listening, but instead they are formulating their own replies, ready to interrupt when there is a pause. It is so important to become comfortable with this silence during conversations. It gives the speaker time and space in which they can be heard. You are giving the speaker a moment to think and reflect. We should consider this silence a moment of breathing space.
Experts recommend the following 5 tips to start developing good listening skills:
- Listen for non-verbal clues– pay attention to body language, tone of voice, facial expressions and gestures.
- Don’t interrupt -hold any questions or attempts to relate until they have finished talking.
- Give feedback– nod, make noises that encourage them to continue, and avoid fidgeting.
- Paraphrase and reflect– summarise what the other person has said to ensure you are understanding, and show that you are listening.
- Do not offer a solution or opinion- unless you are asked! If in doubt, ask if they want to vent or hear suggestions.
I am sure we are now ready to become good listeners.
I hope you have a nice weekend.