From Mr. Rooney

Please see the latest notes and letters sent from Mr. Rooney.

 Summer Term 2019-2020

Upcoming Dates – email sent 19.6.2020

From the 2nd June, the Prep Department began to welcome back children from Kindergarten, Reception, Prep I and Prep VI. On 17th June, Year 10 and Year 12 started to return to school in small groups. This was in addition to the ongoing support to the families of children of Key Workers that has been provided since the lockdown. These Year groups were reintroduced to the school under very careful guidelines provided by the government and local authority which has required careful planning and detailed risk assessments. We would like to thank staff, parents and children for their understanding, support and patience received over these unusual times.

After consulting government guidance and carefully reviewing our risk assessments we have decided to continue teaching Preps II, III, IV & V remotely for the final 13 school days. Our instinct is to interact with our pupils within a normal classroom environment but unfortunately present constraints, guidelines and circumstances make this impractical. We will continue to teach Key Worker children, EYFS, Prep I and Prep VI in their school ‘bubbles’ or at home through remote teaching.

Despite the frustration that we all feel with the pandemic I would like to highlight events that our school community can look forward to before the end of term:

Friday July 3rd – Virtual Head Girl and Boy Election – Mr Rooney will be speaking remotely to Prep V next week regarding this.
Monday July 6th – Virtual Sports day for Prep I up to Prep VI.
Tuesday July 7th – EYFS Virtual Sports Day.
Wednesday July 8th – Prep VI virtual ‘Moving On’ Assembly. This will be available on Google Classroom and the Prep Blog for all to see on the day.
Date to be confirmed:
New Teacher Take Over Morning – Each class will have a remote morning with their new class teacher for September.
You will receive an end of year summary report.

Please keep an eye on the Prep Blog and Google Classroom for more information about all these events and activities.

Kind Regards
Mr M Rooney

Email to parents – email sent 5th June 2020

Dear Parents,

This week has seen the return of some of our younger pupils to the Prep Department with new versions of our organisation and rules. Despite the changes, the children and staff have been in good humour and have adapted quickly. Parents have been superbly supportive and co-operative and I thank you for your support. We now look forward to the return of some Prep VI children on Monday.

The education and safety of all our pupils will remain our priority throughout the remainder of the term whether they are working at home or at school. We can also reassure you that all pupils will experience remote versions of assemblies and end of term activities to ensure that all pupils enjoy them safely online.

With the current climate of uncertainty it is impossible to make concrete plans for September regarding what returning to school will look like and any educational trips and fixtures.

We will continue to follow government guidance and update you, our school community, as soon as we have further information.

Yours sincerely,

Mr M Rooney

VE Day 8th May 2020 – email sent 27.4.2020

Dear Parents

You may recall that Bridgewater Prep had plans to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this extremely important day in our country’s history.  Unfortunately since we made these plans our country has entered an equally historic period which has of course led to postponements of events for VE Day across the world.

Our plan was to talk to the children in lessons and assemblies about VE Day in terms of its importance and significance. Our lessons would have coincided with local, national and international events. It is particularly disappointing for the WWII veterans as they are unable to enjoy this anniversary for possibly the last time and of course will be unable to publicly mourn their fallen comrades.

One particular WWII veteran who has of course been jettisoned into international news is Captain Tom Moore. Captain Tom is an inspiration to us all and of course is a reminder of the determination, bravery, kindness, selflessness and good humour that typified the people of our country 75 years ago. Tom is also a welcome example of a familiar veteran for our children to recognise and to understand the meaning of veteran.

I am aware that the Prep teaching staff are providing a full programme of work for all our children so I am going to suggest that an art lesson will be set for all classes in which Union Jack bunting can be made to be displayed at the front of your house or in a window. We can then show these on the blog on VE Day. Any pictures of families dressing in 1940’s costume and of family VE Day parties will of course be welcome! It may also be possible for a few children to speak to elderly relatives electronically about their experiences of VE Day. We would love to hear of any such conversations.

Please find attached relevant links to help your child’s understanding of VE Day and suggestions on how to create bunting:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/48201749

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEavcsrMoMw

Kind Regards

Mr Rooney

 

Update from EYFS and the Prep Department – email sent 20.4.2020

Dear Parents,

The positivity and unity from our school community in these troubling times has been superb. The strong relationships between staff, children and parents will support us to withstand these passing storms. The school has risen to the challenge of such trying circumstances and has adjusted well because of the strong bond in our community which has been built from Early Years throughout the department. The Prep staff have worked tirelessly to teach our children via the internet and work packs, as well as teaching the children of Key Workers in school. I cannot thank them enough for their flexibility, determination and hard work. The success of our remote teaching programme would not be possible without the work of our children who have shown independence, hard work and most importantly an amazing positivity with everything they have done. The success of this learning would not be possible without the support of our parents. The support we receive from Prep parents is outstanding in ‘normal’ times and the feedback from you forms an important part of our work moving forward. The messages we have received from many parents have been a huge boost to us all. Thank you; it is very much appreciated. Please continue to use all lines of communication either to class teachers or directly to me or indeed both.

EYFS Update

As we move into the new term still in lockdown, we hope you are all safe and well and managing to keep your children engaged and active.  It is our intention to continue with all teaching and learning activities as before, and we ask parents to stay in contact/engaged with school to ensure a smooth transition for the children on their return to school, whenever that may be.

Staff in Early Years are working hard to continually source appropriate activities for your children and commit to daily updates on our Prep Blog which you can access through our school website. I know that this can be difficult for parents who are still working but please try to engage with these activities whenever possible and when your routines allow.

It is wonderful to see how many parents are using TAPESTRY. This is a great way to stay in touch with your teachers for advice and also for assessment of your child’s work. By now I would expect many Reception Class children to be acquiring their Early Learning Goals and, thanks to your uploads, staff can monitor each child’s individual progress and award the Goal where appropriate. Many of our children have been soaring in all areas over these weeks!

Miss Armstrong and I can review the work that you photograph and upload. This does not necessarily need to be work from the packs we sent home.  ‘Work’ can be things you enjoy at home such as baking, painting, messy play, arts and crafts, walking, playing football, gardening and outdoor play activities in the lovely weather. In fact almost everything you do with your child has a learning and skill value which we can assess. Through Tapestry, we have been giving individual children pointers on how they can improve their work. This is a great way to ensure that ‘distance learning’ works.

Sometimes parents have been unable to access this excellent tool for learning.  If you are having trouble logging on or are not sure how to upload photos etc, please contact Miss Armstrong by email as she manages the TAPESTRY account and will assist you.  It really is very easy and quick to operate.

Lots of children are using iPads and computers to stay occupied at the moment. In addition to, or even instead of Minecraft or Super Mario, try some fun and educational sites such as Phonicsbloom, URBrainy, or Topmarks. There are many other alternatives out there and we are here to help and support through Tapestry or via email.

We have noticed that many children are enjoying lots of arts and craft activities which are as equally important as literacy and numeracy, just as playing in the garden is too. It gives children a good holistic approach, ensuring a good balance and variety of everything. As we say in Early Years “A little bit of everything makes your brain grow!”

We hope you know that Miss Armstrong and I are always available via our email addresses:-

pritchardp@bwslive.co.uk

armstrongd@bwslive.co.uk

We look forward to engaging with you over the next few weeks until normality returns.  In the meantime, stay safe, well and positive.

Sending our love to you all.

Patrice Pritchard

Early Years Team Leader

Remote Learning Prep Department

Our pupils and teachers have become more confident with Google classroom over the 9 days of school that have been missed due to the enforced closure of our school buildings. Prep class teachers will resume setting daily work for our pupils using a variety of media including Google Meet which may be a live or recorded session. Please continue to monitor that children are completing tasks on time and are working with as much independence as possible. Fun activities and challenges will continue to be posted on the Prep Blog https://bridgewaterprep.org/ and on the weekly newsletters.

I have access to all the Prep Google classrooms so that I can monitor the work of all our pupils. It has been incredible to see thousands of interactions between pupils and staff and between pupils and their peers. We may be told that we are in isolation and lockdown but conversations and relationships within Prep classes are thriving.

No one is sure what the future few weeks and months hold for us all but Bridgewater Prep Department will continue to educate and challenge our pupils so that our much awaited return to school will be as seamless as possible with us all stronger for the experiences we have had.

Kind regards

Mr M Rooney

Head of Prep Department and Deputy Head

 

 

 

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