Welcome to the final Newsletter of the Spring Term and a new format, as we explore some of the functionality of our new school website. We will continue to refine this as we get used to it so please forgive any glitches and gremlins! School finishes next Wednesday at the normal times and we look forward to welcoming the children back for the start of the Summer Term on Tuesday 20th April.
We have been working to review our options for the school extra curricular offer. There are currently many limiting factors that we have had to take into account. Firstly, our class bubble system, which is designed to minimise the disruption to learning and families should a positive case be reported, means that year group and cross year group clubs are not possible. Secondly, with our staggered starts and ends to the day, club timings and collection and dismissal would be a challenge. Thirdly, we currently have access to less space as The Orchard playground is out of action between 8:25 - 9:15 and 14:45 - 15:35 and all three school halls need to be used by After School Club to allow them to adequately social distance and segregate phases of children. Given all of these limitations, we have made the decision to continue our pause on clubs. This decision will be kept under constant review and as soon as conditions and guidance allow, we will work to build an extra curricular offer for the children. In the meantime, we know that several clubs are able to continue online and outside of school activities will be starting to open up again after Easter so the children can have access to sport and events outside of the school environment.
Respect for our local environment
A plea for some support with a couple of issues that have recently arisen. I understand how boring and dull our current queue arrangements are, particularly for younger siblings who have to wait around at the end of school. However, we are starting to see some damage to the grass verge along the Christchurch Road fence where children are digging in the dirt now that the grass has gone. Not only is this unsightly but creates a trip hazard for our school and the local community who often have to walk along the verge as we are all blocking the pavement. If you can support your children to find a more appropriate activity, this will be much appreciated.
We have this week had reports from some concerned local members of our community about damage being caused to the cricket square and nets on Sheen Common. Children in Sheen Mount uniforms have been seen playing in this area after school and although we do not know if we are responsible for the damage, it obviously reflects badly on the school that we are using this area for play. We are lucky to be surrounded by so much green space for play and exercise so please can you support your children to use spaces with respect and thought for others.
Even though the local virus rates continue to be low, there are several local schools who have bubbles closed and positive cases within the community. Please continue to be highly vigilant and follow all the local and national guidance. If you have a positive case in your family during the Easter break, please make sure that you share this with the school so that we can update our records - please use the school firstname.lastname@example.org for this reporting.
You may have noticed the mini digger in the playground this afternoon, not part of our new play equipment, much to the children's disgust but preparations for the repairs to the climbing equipment in this playground. The bark chippings are being dug out and replaced with a grass safety-surface. This will be more attractive to look at and maintenance free! When this is complete, we hope to be able to bring back into use all of our outdoor play equipment for the children to use after the Easter break.
As part of the selection process for our new Headteacher, the Governing Board would like to ask parents to contribute to a short survey to gather thoughts and opinions about what attributes you would like to see in the new leader of Sheen Mount. The children have shared their thoughts and now it is your turn - thank you for taking the time to do this.
We discussed the headteachers report from Ian, covering all aspects of school life from reception applications for this September - where we are oversubscribed – through to the tracking data on the academic progress made by each of the different year groups.
As the end of March is the financial year end for the school, we received an update on the budget for the current year. Given that the school has lost income during Covid, a breakeven position is a significant success! Thanks to the team for all their hard work in achieving this. Whilst we touched on the budget for the next financial year, there will continue to be movement on this as the timings of key information lands, this is generally the case in education.
We welcomed Telmo Valido to his first meeting. And sadly, also said goodbye to Nikki Christmas, who has been a parent governor for three years and whose expertise has been invaluable in seeing the construction of the swimming pool build through to completion. Our enormous thanks go out to Nikki. A parent governor election will take place in the early part of next term, so do let Ian know if you would like to be considered.
Of course, the major item on the agenda was the appointment process for Sheen Mount’s new headteacher. We discussed the recruitment process in detail and will be holding another meeting shortly to gather further input from governors and ensure the panel of five governors who will run the process supported by the Borough are fully equipped.
To that end input was gathered this week from staff through the phase leaders, the children gave their input last week and we would now love to gather parent input too. You can see the link for the form for you to complete in the main Newsletter above.
Over three hundred people have viewed the headteacher advert and I have done a number of tours of the school for potential candidates this week. The children were so chatty and it was lovely to see them showing Sheen Mount off in all its glory! Although I fear that many of them now think I might be considering the role…which I can safely say I won’t!
The process is due to complete by the 1st May, so we will update you after then.
We are looking for an inspirational leader, ambitious for the continued development of the school, staff and children whilst also embodying our sense of community, values and ethos. We look forward to finding the right person to fill those rather large boots!
Have a lovely weekend and a great Easter with all the relaxation of restrictions it brings for us all.
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