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Meet the School Council
The aim of the School Council is to give children an opportunity to share their thoughts, feelings and views. This links with the Convention on the Rights of the Child articles 12 and 13 – respect for children’s views and the right to share thoughts freely. In the School Council, children meet to make changes that will improve the school, the local area and beyond. Two children from each class are elected to be on the School Council – one has an additional role to be an Anti-Bullying Ambassador and the other to be a Rights Respecting Champion. Sometimes they meet as a whole Council and at other times they meet to work on their separate roles. This year, the Rights Respecting Champions will help the school achieve the Gold Award. The Anti- Bullying Ambassadors will help to plan Anti-Bullying Week and to spread the message that we should all be Upstanders in order to stop bullying from happening. The School Council is supported by Miss Michael.
Harvest Festival Assembly – Wednesday 20th October
Holly Park will be celebrating Harvest on Wednesday 20th October. To mark this event, we will be collecting tinned foods, cereals, porridge, rice. Noodles, tea bags, coffee, sugar, jams, oil, dried fruit, biscuits, crackers, washing up liquid, laundry tablets, bubble bath, shower gel, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and baby formula for Foodbank Aid North London. It would be fantastic if everyone could donate something to support this very worthwhile cause. Please bring in all your donations on Wednesday 20th and bring them directly to the hall where we will be ready to receive them to make an instant display for our assembly.
Picture News Impact Award
I am delighted to tell you that we applied for a national Picture News Impact Award and have successfully been awarded one. The awards are open to all schools who have made a positive impact in the world in 2021 following learning about a story from the news. During the school lockdown of Spring 2021 when most of the children were learning at home, we continued with our assemblies including Picture News assemblies so that the children were thinking about the world beyond themselves. We also wanted to ensure that there were weekly PHSE whole school activities so that we were continually thinking about personal, health and social activities for the children in what was quite a difficult time for many. As a school we are very keen to develop the whole child – not just the academic. We are also a Rights Respecting School and want our children to have an impact on others and the world around them beyond our own school community. The children were inspired by the Picture News Christmas project about Hearts for Homes, but in December 2020 it was too late for us to undertake the project.
In lockdown 2021 with Valentine’s Day approaching and with our weekly online PHSE activities, it seemed like an excellent time in January/February 2021 to do the Hearts for Homes project at our school. We held an online assembly to talk about the project and about how the elderly in care homes could not see their relatives during lockdown.
We wanted to help share some joy during what was a very difficult year for many. The children could relate to older people in care homes as many of them had not been able to see their grandparents for a very long time. We researched where the care homes were in our local area. The children then had a heart template to write or draw a joyful message or poem for a care home resident. Once completed, we sent the hearts by post to eight different care homes. We hoped to spread some cheer to elderly people in local care homes who may be lonely and couldn’t see their families.
We sent the hearts to them to arrive for Valentine’s Day. The children responded very enthusiastically to this project and we had hundreds of hearts to post. We were really thrilled to receive a reply from one of the local care homes who we had sent some of our hearts to. We were able to share this message of thanks with the children in an assembly. The children really felt like they had made a difference to older people in local care homes. The children learned that even in a small way we can all make a difference to somebody else. They understood that a little act of kindness goes a long way. The project linked to Article 13 of the UN convention on the Rights of the Child. ‘Every child has the right to share their thoughts freely.’ The children shared their thoughts, love and care with the local care home residents. They made an impact on others. We will receive a Picture News 2021 Impact Award and below is our new logo.
How Do We Respect The Right To Learn?
The Learning Council have been thinking about the question ‘How to we respect the right to learn?’ This is linked to article 28 – every child has the right to an education. The council members went away and spoke to the other children in their class and to their parents. As a council we discussed what we felt was important to respect this right. The children then illustrated one thing that was important. The illustrations were put on the learning council board for everybody to see and the learning council talked about the right to an education and a right to learn in assembly.
Thank you to all of our parents and families who have responded so positively to the letter that I sent out asking for parent contributions. The response has been extremely positive. If you still would like to make a contribution there is still time. School budgets are very tight indeed and with the knock-on of COVID and lockdown and falling pupil numbers in Barnet, this has seriously affected our budget even further. We have cut back as much as we can and we now have to be ruthless on spending – using what we have left for emergencies only to get to the end of the financial year. Parent contributions last year were an enormous help and meant that we were still able to buy resources for art, DT etc so that curriculum provision in the classrooms was not affected. We were extremely grateful for financial donations from parents to help us again with this so that we could continue to buy resources such as consumable equipment. We want to be able to continue to offer as broad and balanced a curriculum as we possibly can this year. We want to be able to replace and restock resources to support across the curriculum – which inevitably get broken or worn out with such a lot of use. Many schools ask for contributions from parents annually towards such resources. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Take 10 to Improve Wellbeing
Last Friday we took part in the National Literacy project called ‘Take 10.’ Every class in the school stopped what they were doing to either read or be read to for ten minutes. This was deliberately done on 8th October ahead of World Mental Health Day 2021 – the perfect time to reflect on how we are all feeling and what we can do to improve our wellbeing and that of the children and people around us. National Literacy Trust research shows that reading can be an effective way of helping people take care of their mental health and wellbeing – and it only takes 10 minutes a day to see the benefits!
Reading every day can help everyone – children, young people and adults – to:
- Relax, unwind and boost their mood
- Escape from the pressures of life and reduce their stress levels
- Improve your memory and concentration
As part of the Take 10 day, the children were lucky enough to watch a live-streamed author event with Tom Percival. Many of the children are familiar with his books (Ruby’s Worry, Ravi’s Roar, etc) The live streamed video with Tom Percival was an introduction to Take 10. This was particularly well timed for Year 2 because she is their Author of the Term. Linked with wellbeing, Tom showed the children how to draw and represent different facial emotions. The children enjoyed trying to do some facial drawings of different emotions.
Missing School Forks
Recently, we bought over a hundred forks for lunchtimes. However, the number we now have has been seriously depleted. We think that some children are using them for salads or rice or pasta that they are bringing in from home for packed lunch and then taking them home by accident. If you provide a lunchtime meal that needs to be eaten with a utensil, you do need to provide your own fork or spoon from home please. If you know that you have some HPS forks at home, please do send them back. We would be very grateful. Many thanks.
Rainbows for Wellbeing
On Friday 22nd October, the Wellbeing Champions would like everybody to come to school wearing bright rainbow colours and donate £1 via school money to support our new Wellbeing garden. The Wellbeing Champions hope that by wearing bright colours that it will improve everybody’s awareness of the people around us and make us all feel happier inside and out. The money donated will go towards buying resources for the new wellbeing garden which the Wellbeing Champions are designing. Thank you for your support.
The Wellbeing Champions
Attendance for the last week was 97% Well done to Y1 Pine Class and Y4 Larch Class with the best attendance at 100%
- Tuesday 19th October PTA Junior Quiz
- Wednesday 20th October Harvest Festival
- Friday 22nd October House Challenge
- HALF TERM
- Monday 1st November Individual School Photograph Day
This week’s newsletter: Newsletter 15.10.21
Archive of last term’s newsletters: