From Mr. Rooney

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

 Spring Term 2020-2021

Change to registration and lesson time – email sent 29.01.2021

Please note that afternoon registration and lessons will commence at 1.25pm rather than 1.15pm each Tuesday afternoon from next week.

Prep Panto treat on Friday – email sent 27.01.2021

Our children have worked extremely hard since September without the usual school trips and visits to the theatre which usually put an occasional welcome break in the normal routine of the school day. We therefore intend to reward our pupils for their hard work with a pantomime afternoon on Friday 29th January which will be available via your child’s Google Classroom. The Dick Whittington pantomime is performed by the National Theatre in London and has been donated to our school and its immediate community to view by the theatre. I do please ask that this link is not passed to the wider community. The pantomime is 2 hours long so the usual Friday assembly will be available during the morning to allow a full viewing of the show after registration in the afternoon.  Classes will have an interval at a designated time to discuss the show with their teacher. Children are permitted to eat a snack and to wear their own clothes (please see below) during the performance.

Mr Altdorf is preparing an assembly for Monday in which the topic of ‘Express Yourself’ will be discussed as part of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. We are therefore challenging the children to express themselves with their clothes during the show. The children can wear anything which best describes who they are. This initiative will spark a discussion during the interval when everyone can share what they are wearing if they wish. This will also benefit class discussions in PSHE lessons which will follow Mr Altdorf’s assembly.

If anyone would like to donate to the charity Place2Be who have supported our assembly and subsequent lessons please follow this link:

I hope that all your family enjoy the pantomime and that the temptation of popcorn is not too great for you! Thank you for your continued support.

Email from Mr. Rooney for Prep I to VI – email sent 22.1.2021

Dear Parents

After two weeks of remote learning the children have developed a good working routine. We continue to have very high attendance for our live lessons and work is being handed in to teachers as requested. The feedback that I have received from parents has been very positive.  Please feel free to contact me at any time.

The live lessons promote and enable the children to work independently as much as possible.  Please find below some suggestions for you and your child to make the most of all the opportunities for you via Google Classroom and other platforms which will help to ensure the smooth running of the day.

  • It is important that pupils register in their live lesson each morning between 8:40-8:50am allowing everyone to say good morning and to understand the structure of the day.
  • Registration closes at 8.50am.  After this time, the office will contact parents of children who have not attended registration as is our normal daily practice.  Therefore, please report an absence to the school office if your child is poorly or unable to work.
  • All pupils should wear school uniform or PE kit each day helping the children to follow their normal routine and supporting class unity.
  • Please remember that your child should have more than one classroom on their Google dashboard.
  • During registration, class teachers will remind children if they have Music, PE, Computing or other subjects or other groups during that day.
  • It is important that children attend as many live lessons as possible.
  • Please ensure that your child is not being distracted by other screens or toys when they should be answering questions or contributing to class discussions.
  • If your child seems unsure how to improve their work, please feel free to contact the class teacher or indeed me.  Class teachers may contact you to ask for your assistance if pieces of work are not completed or are not up to their usual standard.
  • Of course there may technical or other issues that may prevent work from being completed and our open communication with you will ensure the strong partnership between home and school as we work together.

A special surprise has been arranged for the children next week. We have been invited to attend a virtual pantomime at the National Theatre in London so please watch for the information that I will send out next week. This will be a lovely opportunity for the children as they missed out on their visits to the theatre last term.

May I thank you once again for all your continued support, understanding and patience.


KS2 Message – email sent 13.1.2021

Dear Key Stage 2 Parents,

We are now approaching the end of our first week of remote teaching since the current lockdown was announced. Apart from one or two electronic teething problems our Google Classroom teaching has been a success this week with attendance at lessons at near full capacity levels. It is a pleasure to visit different virtual classrooms and hear the children interacting with their teachers and their peers. This interaction is a very important part of their well-being in these times of isolation.

I would like to thank all parents and families for their support in ensuring that their children are looking smart and attending lessons diligently. A consistent routine will support all round progress and I would like to draw your attention to some of my observations:

  • Independent learning is a very important skill and characteristic for a Junior child to grasp as they progress though their primary education.
  • Could I please ask that children are encouraged to speak for themselves during lessons and ask for help when required, rather than parents speaking on their behalf?
  • It is important that children use their voice to try and replicate a “normal” classroom environment.
  • Please can parents stay off camera as much as possible as the presence of adults on a screen when pupils are answering a question can be distracting?
  • If a parent does have a question, please email the class teacher or telephone school.
  • Please remember that microphones are very sensitive and can pick up any background noise within a household. Please remind your child to mute their device whenever they can and remind other household members that a class of children can hear what is being said in the background.

I would like to acknowledge the strong partnership between home and school which has enabled the Department to make such a positive start to remote learning. Flexibility and good communication are vital at this time from home and by staff.

There will be regular updates sent out informing you of any necessary adjustments as we look to support all children both collectively and individually.

Kind regards

Mr M J Rooney

Head of Prep Department and Deputy Head


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