2 March 2018
Dear Parents, Colleagues, Governors and Pupils of the school,
The New ELF Unit
I am excited to announce the opening of our new Early Learning Foundation Unit. This commenced teaching in its new configuration last Monday, with the idea that we wanted to enhance the provision we have in place for pre-school and reception classes at the younger end of the school.
The main aim of this augmented provision is to allow our youngest pupils to have complete access to a range of activities they might not normally experience, which currently include PE and ICT lessons. These subjects were felt vital for pupils to get a grounding in as soon as they are able to begin their learning journey, as keeping fit and healthy, as well as understanding information technology will be primary drivers for tomorrow’s society.
In September, a foreign language (most likely French) and swimming are expected to be added to the curriculum for this age group. Mrs Watson has the following to say:
“The Read School Pre Prep are delighted to announce that their new ELF unit is now open. Our Early Years Foundation unit is a fantastic learning environment for our little learners, now referred to as Elves! The younger children being the Little Elves and the older children the Big Elves. The large colourful learning space is split into two areas, the Woodland, where most of our ‘messy, noisy’ activities take place and the Meadow, which is a ‘quieter’ area where our more focused teaching activities take place. The children have really taken ownership of their new ELF unit and love having so much space and a wider choice of learning opportunities. Come over to the Pre Prep department (even if you have no little elves to bring with you) and take a look, our little elves would love to show you around.”
Most of the rest of the week has been dominated of course by the weather. At this point it becomes almost impossible to avoid hilarious tabloid puns in the vein of “It Snow Joke”, but I shall do my level best. Talking of journalists, people in the media have taken to using delightful personification techniques to describe the sheer frozen enormity of the cold snap we’ve faced; “The Beast from the East” has largely been devoured by the Ice Queen “Storm Emma”, which now runs rampant in the south of the country after we bore the brunt of it on Wednesday and Thursday. Of course, it’s always interesting to see how panic-stricken the whole country becomes and how ill-prepared we seem to be as a society when compared to the Scandinavians and the Canadians, who just chortle at us and shake their heads knowingly, as they catch their skidoo-bus to work.
Nevertheless, as I said to some of my colleagues on campus, it takes far more energy and effort to close a school than it does to keep it open. So for many reasons it was a difficult decision to take on Thursday even though I knew for safety reasons, it was the right one.Even today – as I write this – it appears there are a vestige of schools which have opted for the “stay-at-home approach”. Indeed, one of our Year 10 pupils asked this morning, “couldn’t you have just made it a four-day weekend sir?”
Thank you for your patience during this trying time; we have endeavoured to communicate as effectively and quickly as possible every morning where there has been disruption, to ensure that you could make alternative plans, if necessary. To this end, you should have been receiving the following: texts to phones; Facebook updates; Parentmail updates and a notice on the school website. If for any reason you are reading this and do not get Parentmail or texts, please ring or email Julie Walker at reception for an account, as being in this digital loop is incredibly important to stay abreast of school matters.
Speaking of school matters, there are obvious knock-on effects from the disruption with regard to the school week. These are as follows:
Wednesday’s and Thursday’s GCSE and A level mock exams have been rescheduled for next week
- The ‘Science Live’ trip has been postponed to Friday 16 March
- Year 9 parents’ evening has been postponed to Thursday 8 March
- The Year 7 and 8 STEM activity morning is being rearranged to a new date (TBC)
That about wraps things up for this week. I hope that your weekend will be a peaceful one, and that you don’t have to travel too far, whatever you are doing. Just remember though, however much fun you’ve had in the snow, there’s always someone to top what you’ve done. Copy and paste the link below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OSHlroVpow