Thursday 17th July
It has been a challenging year for all of us. It is always with mixed emotion that I write the end of term letter, but this year more than ever it has been emotional. It is always nice to reach the end of the academic year and feel the sense achievement and pride that I have for all the children in our school. However, it is also sad to say goodbye to those who are leaving us.
This year, many children have not attended a day of school since March and we have deeply missed them. I want to take the opportunity to single out the Year fours who are moving on to middle school and have been part of the school for years. I am unable to put into words how proud I am of how each child and family in our school community have handled the last few months, but for those who are not returning in September I feel a particular sense of pride. I know that you will do incredible things and impress your teachers at your new schools. Although this is a time for sad goodbyes, it is also a time for new greetings. We are looking forward to welcoming a new member of staff to the team. Mrs Simms will be joining us in Year One where she will be working alongside Miss Chicken. We are very excited about having a new person join our school community.
Although this is a time to look back on the year, it is also a time to look forward and prepare for the next. I would like to take this opportunity to assure parents that we will be taking every available precaution that we can whilst also maximising the children’s’ learning.
We will be following government guidelines, whilst also tailoring things to the specifics of being a small school in Hertfordshire. Each year group will be their own social bubble and through this, we will be able to have all children return to school at the start of the new academic year. Children will be having staggered lunchtimes in the hall, but they will be distanced during these times and we will be postponing assemblies and other large gatherings until we are confident things are safe. School will be starting at 8:45 and we will be putting staggered drop-off procedures which we will send information out about. Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 will enter through the main playground and all other classes will enter through the carpark. School will end at 3:15. The first day of school for children will be Thursday 3rd of September. We are currently looking at plans for how to provide wrap-around care (breakfast and afterschool club).
If your child will require wrap-around care in the new academic year, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know that this is the case.
Our autumn topic will be ‘understanding our world’. Over the summer, I would like you to produce a poster or some other display that shows some of your experiences in the past six months. Think about how your world has changed and how you have had to change. Headings could be things such as ‘family’, ‘friendships’, ‘learning from home’ and you could think about new skills and favourite moments from the quarantine period. For example, many of the staff have been practicing their art skills over lockdown, so we would include photographs of some of our paintings or drawings. If you have been spending more time with family, you might want to produce a family tree with photographs. Feel free to include your family in making the display; this is not a piece of work you need to produce independently.
All the best and enjoy your summer,
Sunday 28th June
I hope you have had a good weekend in between the showers. Last week saw us make real progress with the sensory garden. Staff and pupils worked tirelessly to tame the weeds, build log walls and move the wood chip. The staff and some children have been painting landscapes onto marine ply. These will be placed around the garden to encourage that feeling of well-being that we all need at this time. We hope to have finished this project by the end of term ready for all pupils in September. It has been great seeing more children back in school and seeing them with their friends again. I will upload photos of the garden tomorrow.
All the best
Friday 19th June
Another busy week has flown by for us in school. As I am sure you can imagine, it has been a challenging time for all of us as guidance and expectations change on a regular basis. Our staff who are able to come into school continue to be well as they take on the challenge of not only teaching but supporting online learning, cleaning on daily basis and communicating with those of you at home - to name a few. We are delighted by the number of children who have taken up the opportunity to Zoom with their teachers and friends this week. It has been lovely to hear about how you have been keeping throughout this period. In school we are maximising on our outdoor environment as we adapt for the different needs of the returning children. It has been fantastic to see how quickly children have settled back into the routine and dedicated themselves to learning once more.
This week has seen a growing number of Key Worker and Vulnerable children return to school. Throughout this period these children have been the Government's priority groups and with the most current guidance in mind, we are disappointed that at present we are not able to welcome any further year groups into school. It is our hope that in September we will be able to open our doors to all of the children we work with however we still await Government guidance on this matter. As soon as we know what is in store we will communicate this with you.
I am aware that many of you, like most parent/carers throughout the country, have concerns about time lost in education and the effects that this will have on your children. Let me reassure you that are not alone in this concern and our team are working closely together to ensure gaps in learning will be quickly identified and addressed upon our return to school.
As ever please do not hesitate to contact myself or your class teacher should you have any concerns.
Friday 12th June
At this time we are keeping school open to Reception, Year 1 and keyworker children only. Further guidance will be announced by the government next week regarding other year groups returning. We will know what the new guidance is when it is announced on the news, we do not receive any prior information regarding this.
In the next 5 weeks we are planning to give every year group a week of education. Therefore, Years 2,3,4 and 5 will be contacted by telephone to canvas parents interest. However, these plans may change depending on Government guidance.
In the coming weeks each teacher will be organising small group Zoom chats with their classes.
Tuesday 9th June
We have enjoyed our first week back at school, opening the doors to Reception and Year One children. Following the government's most recent announcement we are currently discussing as a team how the school will be moving forward. Let us assure you that the health and well being of our pupils and staff are very much at the forefront of our decision making process. We will be communicating with parents and governors over the course of this week to decide upon next steps. Thank you for your patience and understanding in these unprecedented times. As ever, do not hesitate to contact us should you need anything.
For those of you with concerns about the mental health of children in your care, or with anxieties about the mental health of children returning to school after a prolonged absence, please see the document - Leading Mental Health in Hertfordshire school - Summer
Bank holiday day this year celebrates 75th anniversary of VE day. Mark the occasion with the activity below!
With thanks to ARK Designs
Henry's local weather report May 14th - Loves his golf and is pleased with the lifting of restrictions.
Read by Mr Hall
Land of the Dinosaurs and some appalling jokes.
There's An Awful Lot Of Weirdos In Our Neighbourhood by Colin Mc Naughton
Brought to you by Mr Hall
We are proud of all the pupils who come to Walkern Primary School who are doing their bit and staying at home. Here is a lovely message from the Year One pupils.
Enjoy listening to Mr Absalom read to you!
Staff Art Gallery
For those Key Worker and Vulnerable children we are still open and keeping our moto 'bringing learning alive' at the forefront of our minds. This has given Mr Hall ample time to entertain a captive audience, mainly himself. Watch the children explore the river as they have fun considering the difference between fact and fiction and make some exciting discoveries!
In addition to our regular PE lessons, the children have been enjoying yoga classes with Happy Little Yogi. We are pleased to say that they are now streaming online sessions on YouTube every Monday - Friday at 2.30pm which you are able to access by clicking the following link: Happy Little Yogi
Learning links -
Please click here for a list of useful learning links available to support pupils and parents during this period of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.
Twinkl is a great resource which we at school use daily. To gain free access simply go to www.twinkl.co.uk/offer and use the code UKTWINKLHELPS.
Thinkuknow is an education programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command. They have created a page to support parents during Covid-19 and the closure of schools. Each fortnight they will be releasing new home activity packs with simple 15 minute activities you can do with your child to support their online safety at a time when they will be spending more time online at home.
Welcome to Walkern School
We are a happy, nurturing school where the children are at the heart of everything we do. Based in the picturesque village of Walkern, Hertfordshire, our rural surroundings allow us to enjoy extensive outdoor areas for learning and fun activities.
We have a caring, creative and hard-working team of staff who do their utmost to work in partnership with parents/carers and a range of professionals to achieve the best outcomes for all our pupils. Walkern School provides a challenging and stimulating curriculum, which encourages an enthusiasm and love for learning and develops intellectual curiosity, creativity and personal growth.
The first years of your child's education are precious and should be filled with a joy of learning. Our entire team is committed to securing the best possible outcome for each individual. We pride ourselves on knowing and understanding every child so that we can help them to achieve their own potential and strong sense of self-worth.
We welcome new and prospective parents/carers. Please feel free to contact the school office if you have any questions or would like to arrange a visit.
The school was inspected by Ofsted in February 2020 and we are pleased to say we have been rated as Good. Full report can be found here: Ofsted Walkern Primary 2020
'Everyone is my friend here' - Recep. pupil 'Everyone made me feel really welcome when I joined in Year 4' - Year 6 pupil 'I love playing on the field and in the fort' - Year 2 pupil
"Pupils are safe and very well looked after at school". Parents fully agree. - Ofsted 2020
If you need to contact the school with any SEND issues then you can contact our SENCO
Mr Absalom - email@example.com
If you need to contact the school with any child protection issues then you need to contact our
DSP - Mr Hall - Headteacher - firstname.lastname@example.org - 01438 861285 x 5
Deputy DSP - Mrs Oke - Senior Management Team - email@example.com. 01438 861285 x 5
Outside school hours you can contact Social Services on 0300 123 4043
Some useful tools and resources for managing anxiety, sleep deprivation, stress and sad feelings.