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Working together, Learning together

Mr Mayer's News

21st July 2021

Dear Parents & Carers

Well here we are at the end of another eventful year. Some of those events we could have done without but there has been a lot of great stuff going on at HPS in spite of lockdowns, bubbles, isolation, remote learning and staggered starts. It was particularly pleasing to be able to get the Year 6 children to put on a fabulous summer performance and to take them away on their residential visit to Devon last week.

Each class has had their own highlights and the teachers and TAs have done an amazing job to ensure that your children have had the best possible experience with them this year. Viking visits, time travelling back to the Stone age, whole school drone photo, Roman escapades, developing environmental awareness, a brilliant art week (with whole school art project) and a fabulous STEM week are just some of the highlights. However the teaching staff have worked very hard to make everyday fun and engaging for your children as well as keeping you up to date with what is going on with your child and their class.

There are also our unsung heroes who keep the school operational and without whom the teachers and TAs could not do the job they do. My wonderful office team Alice, Rosie and Lisa have had to deal with so much this year and they approached each challenge with a smile (well nearly every challenge!). It would be impossible to list everything they do for me, the school and your children. We simply could not function without them. I am sure you will join me in saying a big ‘Thank you’ to all of them.

Then there is Daniel, our IT technician. Without him there simply would not have been the ability to offer such successful remote learning. He personally configured all 64 machines that came to us because of the pandemic and spent much of the spring term ensuring that our infra-structure was able to work effectively, so teachers could provide high quality learning (and in-person teaching). Thanks Daniel…without you it would have been packs of worksheets going home each week.

My cleaning staff also deserve a mention as their role became even more important during the last 16 months. I would particularly like to say thank you to Ronnie who took on the role of cleaning all the touchpoints in school throughout the day. She would start at one end of the school and work her way through the building and when she got to the end she would start again with maybe a short stop for a cup of tea). One of the main reasons that the school has had so few cases is, I believe, down to their diligence.

Finally thank you to all of you who have supported the school and your child’s class teacher with home learning. We know that this wasn’t what you expected to be doing but I need to tell you that your efforts have really helped. Your children will only get the most from their time at school if you work with the teachers as partners in your child’s education. We cannot get your children to learn as well as they should do without your help. So for every card, email or verbal message of support that you have passed on to the teachers and TAs, please know that we are very grateful. We really do appreciate you taking the time and it does make a difference. Teaching is difficult at the best of times, so this year has been a real challenge and kind words of encouragement really help.

So, on to September

Starting times will revert back to normal. Gates open at 8.40am. Registers will be taken at 8.50am. Please continue to use the entrances that we have used this year as this avoids congestion at the front gate.

Foundation and year 1 children should use the main gate.

Year 2 should use the bottom gate in the car park. Please leave the children at this one - a teacher is there to take them in.

Mrs Findlay’s Year 3 class should also use the gate at the bottom of the car park.

Mrs Hughes’ Year 3 class should use the main entrance and enter the classroom through the side door.

Year 4 children should enter the school through any of the gates at the front of school (preferably the one nearest the classroom). They should enter the building through the door on the left of the building.

Year 5 children should enter the school through any of the gates at the front of school (preferably the one nearest the classroom.) They should enter the building through the door on the right of the building.

Year 6 children should use the gates at the top of the car park.

No-one knows what the summer months will bring in relation to the Covid guidance so please check your emails/ pings during the last week of the holiday for any updates and/ or changes.

So it just remains for me to wish you all the very best for a fantastic summer break. Have fun, stay safe and we will see you all back here on Friday September 3rd at 8.40am.

Best wishes

David Mayer

Headteacher

Hungerford PS 01
Hungerford PS 08 (1)

Reading

This will be our biggest focus this year and will continue to be for the next few years. At Hungerford Primary School the children will “Learn to read and then read to learn”.  Whatever else they learn, reading will be our focus with the aim that every child leaves us as, at the very least, a functional reader, ready for their secondary school education.

We genuinely cannot do this without your support. I have said this before, but I say a big thank you to those of you who do listen to your children read, read stories to them and talk to them. Your children will do better than those who do not have these things.... by a significant margin.

To those of you who want to support your children but are struggling for one reason or another, then please come and speak to us. It could make all the difference to your child’s future. We won’t judge you but we can help you. If you struggle with reading yourself or don’t know what you should be doing or saying when you sit with your child, then you should talk to your child’s teacher or anyone else in school that you feel comfortable talking to. They will be only too happy to help you.

For those of you who don’t see this as important or don’t see it as your responsibility please think again. Imagine your child as an adult and what their life might be like if they can’t read or write or communicate effectively. Teachers in all their schools will do their best but without backup from home it is as effective as building a house on sand.

Technology Lending Library

One of the things that the Coronavirus lock down has shown us is just how many of our families don’t have access to suitable technology at home for children to use to help them with their learning. We loaned out 28 of our own laptops to families who didn’t have one or something similar at home. We are now hoping to develop a “Technology lending library” to help families and we are very grateful to West Berkshire Council who have generously provided us with 3 brand new laptops to loan out to families who would benefit from having one.

Mr Dominic Boeck visited the school to personally hand over the first of the laptops to two of our children, Stanley and Finley.

Safeguarding

safeguarding(1)

I was asked last term by a parent what they should do if they have concerns about a child’s welfare outside school. The answer is simple. If you believe that there is imminent danger to the child, then you should phone the police straight away. If you have any other concerns around neglect or emotional abuse or a child’s attendance or anything else then you should Children’s Services. Their number is 01635 503109. This can be done anonymously.

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