We've made it! The Autumn Term is always the longest of the three terms (we have already completed 15 of the 39 school weeks in the academic year) and with everything else that has been happening since September, it has seemed particularly long! However, what a wonderfully productive time it has been and a term where I have really felt the school community pulling together to overcome all obstacles.
So this newsletter starts with a huge thank you from me to you all for your unwavering support, for following my guidance re: Covid, for your very kind words about my brief headship, for your amazing endeavours to support the school through the PSA (and raising so much money for us), for your smiles and cheery 'Good Mornings' on the queue and for the time so many of you give up, voluntarily, to support Sheen Mount in so many ways. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
It has been a tricky few weeks and I am very sad to let you know that we do have 5 members of staff currently with Covid, some of whom will still be isolating over the Christmas weekend. I know that many of you are in a similar situation and I am so very sorry for you all. Let's look towards a more healthy and positive New Year. Mr Holmes and I will keep you informed of any changes over the Christmas Holidays.
Design Technology Opportunity
Miss Costa wants to share this website with you which has some optional D&T challenges for children to try out over the Christmas break. The challenges are on The Dyson Foundation's website. We shared them last year during a half-term and lots of children carried them out and shared photos and videos. Hopefully this will be something that will help keep them busy during the Christmas holiday.
We have thoroughly enjoyed all our singing events this week and last. A huge thank you has to go to everyone involved in rehearsing the children outside in all weathers! Thank you, especially, to Mrs Boa who has done more rehearsals than all the rest of us put together, but I think the results speak for themselves. A thank you also to Sally, who has braved wind and rain to accompany the children on the keyboard. The singing events have been a lovely way to start the festive season.
School Business Manager - I am very pleased to let you know that we have finally appointed a new School Business Manager to replace Marianne Paemen who left in July. Louise Dear will be joining us part-time from January 4th 2022 - working two days a week as she works out her notice and then full time from the week after the February half-term. We are thoroughly looking forward to welcoming Louise to our Senior Leadership Team and the whole Sheen Mount community. She has written something about herself to share with you all:
I have worked in education for 24 years, the last 13 years as a School Business Manager. I am hoping my experience will help me make positive contributions to Sheen Mount Primary.
I have 4 grown up children and 5 grandchildren, and they all keep me busy and on my toes, although I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I have many hobbies, reading, crochet, art, baking, although to be honest I am not sure how I fit all these in, but I do like to be kept busy and I enjoy every one of my hobbies.
I am looking forward to joining the staff team, and to working closely with the admin team who I will be part of. Alongside the admin team I hope that I can also support you with any queries/problems that may arise and I look forward to meeting you all.
Congratulations - to Mrs Kate Jeffery and her husband who are expecting a baby next year. I know the Doves children are very excited and I am also delighted that Mrs Kennedy, who also teaches Doves, has agreed to cover Mrs Jeffery full time until the end of the academic year.
Departing Staff - it's always sad when staff move on but we know they do so having had a wonderful time at Sheen Mount. Today we say goodbye to Miss O'Mahony and Ms Morris both of whom have been fantastic colleagues. We wish them well as they move on.
Congratulations to Susan Boughton who has been elected as our new parent governor. I know that parents of Robins and Squirrels will know Susan but here is a little profile written by her.
My sons are James in Robins Y2 and Gilbert in Squirrels in Reception. I currently work for BBC Weather in a tight-knit team. My role is focused on communication, education and engaging people in the subject. Hours are anti-social - but allow good gaps for volunteering.
I have just completed two years as a nursery treasurer. It was complicated and very involved as the pandemic unfolded. I learned so much, it wasn’t easy, but I am proud to have been part of ensuring its future.
I am passionate about mental wellbeing, inclusivity and opportunity for everyone. It will be a privilege to support Sheen Mount in continuing to help not just children, but families thrive.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Governing Board, Susan.
On Friday 10th December, there was a Year 5 Girls' Football Tournament. Here is Artemis to tell us a bit more about it:
We had a great time at the football tournament on Friday. We tried our best and came second out of eight teams. No goals were scored against us; we won 5 out of the 6 games and drew in the other one. Before we left, Mr March enjoyed having school lunch with the team and on the way there we taught him how to play some fun games!
The Board met just over a week ago now for the final time this year. Our focus was very much on school improvement and the considerable work that’s been done this term to assess our progress in a range of key areas including, delivery of the maths curriculum, our support of SEND children, art curriculum and the introduction of the new phonics reading system across the whole school.
As you’re probably aware as a school that has not been inspected since 2007, we are fully expecting an Ofsted visit in the near term. Sheen Mount continually reviews the effectiveness of what and how we deliver for the children, and we have been paying particular attention to the new Ofsted assessment framework, which has changed significantly since the last inspection. As you may have seen in the press Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector for schools, has been quoted as targeting to halve the number of outstanding schools and the framework and inspections have been designed to achieve this.
Our thanks to all the staff for the time they have invested in really understanding what the new framework means for us and I am confident that when our time comes, we will put our best foot forward. As always, our priority and focus are the children and how we enable each and every one of them to achieve their full potential.
Extraordinary times, call for an extraordinary team and we are lucky to have just that in the Sheen Mount community.
I want to thank Mrs O’Brien for taking on the role of headteacher with such dedication and enthusiasm this term. Her partner in crime was Mrs Jeffery and the wider leadership team stepped up in a myriad of ways, as did the rest of the school. The admin team also deserve a special mention given they not only performed their own roles but covered for the School Business Manager and went through a Borough financial audit.
The PSA have gone from strength to strength this term both in driving activity that are connecting people again and secondly in raising money for the school – almost £50,000 - thank you for all your support of the school and our community.
The Board is another way to represent our community. Thanks to the two candidates who put themselves forward for a role on the Board and for those who voted. I’m pleased to share that Susan Boughton will be joining us from January. Welcome Susan.
On behalf of the whole Governing Board, may I wish you and your families a safe and happy festive season. We look forward to welcoming Mr Holmes from January.
Chair of Governors
Merry Christmas and a great break to you all!
As we close out the Autumn term, the PSA Board once again offers its deep thanks to all who have given generously to the PSA’s various efforts this term, whether through your time, effort or financial support. Every contribution is appreciated by us and, most importantly, the whole school community.
It has been great to be able to once again hold in-person events and to help rebuild the great sense of community for which the school is known, while also raising much needed funds for the school. It has been wonderful to see the kids enjoying the Christmas Fair and Show over the past two weekends. We look forward to more in the Spring and Summer terms.
Finally, the PSA Board, on behalf of all the parents, also wants to express our thanks to Mrs. O’Brien and Mrs. Jeffery for all their efforts this term. We know it hasn’t been easy, both in taking on additional responsibilities and dealing with the moving target that is the pandemic. We appreciate all that you do for our children. Thank you!!!!
We wish all of you a lovely break over the holiday season. See you in 2022!
So, have a happy and healthy Christmas everyone, and I'll see you all in 2022 in my new role as Deputy Headteacher! I am thoroughly looking forward to working with Mr Holmes, Tom, and being part of a full leadership team with Mrs Jeffery and Mrs Dear. Make sure you all get the chance to relax and spend time with your lovely children. Merry Christmas.
We have had a fantastic week in Reception. The children really enjoyed their Christmas dinner on Wednesday and their Christmas pantomime 'The Greediest Elf' on Thursday. This week we have also been making Christmas biscuits and icing them. All of the children have settled well and...
We have had a lovely final week of term in Year 1. We enjoyed writing our instructions for how to make a Christmas potion using bossy verbs and adjectives. We also tried to include some time words in our writing to make it more exciting.
In maths, we practised writing our numbers in words t...
To complete our geography work on natural disasters, Year 5 have been constructing 3D models to show their understanding of the main parts of a volcano. We used our creative skills to produce cross-sections that show the location of the main vent, secondary vent, magma chamber and crater...
Year 6 have been developing their gymnastics skills throughout a unit focused on rolls and balances. They have worked individually to master a range of one, two and three point balances and then in teams they worked on their partner/group balances. We learnt that counter tension is when gymnasts per...