New Beginnings and Warmer Weather (Please!)
Well, another term has passed us by in a flash with so much happening in such a short period of time. Our children have been working very hard and I have to say that I admire the resilience that they have shown towards their learning in what are still very challenging times for our young people.
As always, I and the children of Four Swannes owe a debt of gratitude to the continuous hard work of our teachers to ensure that they meet their individual needs. It has been wonderful to see some of the eclectic lesson types that have been delivered ensuring a broad and balanced curriculum. Thank you to Mrs Alcock for the continued focus on keeping our children active and healthy. A big thank you to Mrs Horvath for managing the transition to the new management system and supporting our parents. A massive thank you to Miss O’Connor for cinema evenings and Easter raffles. Well done to Mr Watson and Mrs Mitchell for the Macmillan coffee mornings and to all other staff that have organised trips and events that are outside of the normal curriculum as I appreciate all the extra organisation that this requires.
Unfortunately, we do have to say goodbye to a very valuable member of the team, who has been with us for 12 years supporting so many children through their time at Four Swannes. Mrs Walker has decided to move on from Four Swannes to seek new and different challenges and spend more quality time with her family. She will always be welcome to visit, and I thank her personally and on behalf of all our community for her hard work and dedication over the years.
I look forward to welcoming all the community back after a well-deserved rest over the Easter break where I am hopeful that we will have warmer weather and even more exciting things for our children to do to continue their learning experiences. We are already planning more events to invite the wider community to and I look forward to sharing these experiences with you all. There will be opportunities for parents to start rebuilding a parent body to support Four Swannes in fund raising and help staff in organising a whole range of events. Thank you to all the parents and guardians, staff and governors and most importantly children for helping me to move Four Swannes in a different direction towards a more open and community-based school. Exciting times are ahead!
Please take care and stay safe over this Easter and I would remind you that children do not return until Wednesday 20th April.
Crossing the Finishing Line!
And we have made it! As the autumn term comes to a close, it is time for us to reflect on the challenges of the last 15 weeks and how the Four Swannes community have managed to work together in the best interests of the children. I would like to thank all of our families, parents and guardians for all that you have done to help make this term the successful term that it has been, despite the impact that Covid 19 has had on the school and wider community.
The teaching staff have delivered wonderfully broad learning opportunities including the Back on Track units as devised by Herts for Learning. There have been a whole host of visits to the school linked to many areas of our curriculum which have ensured rich learning experiences for all the children, many of which have been organised by Mrs Alcock. Our approach to reading has been strengthened greatly and the funds raised have already been invested in new reading material covering both fiction and non-fiction. The school’s curriculum is being redesigned and work is well and truly underway by all subject leaders to ensure that the learning opportunities are properly embedded in our foundation subjects.
There are many other aspects that are changing in Four Swannes that are not directly linked to the learning of your children but are part of the infrastructure that supports all elements of the school. For example, the touch screens in classes are now an integral part of our day-to-day delivery and our move to a new school IT management system will ensure that we are more efficient from an administrative perspective. More exciting additions to how the school operates will be coming over the next year, all intended to support the progression and development of the children of Four Swannes.
On behalf of myself, the governing body and all the staff at Four Swannes, I wish you a healthy, peaceful and enjoyable time with your families and friends over the Christmas period. I look forward to the beginning of a New Year and more opportunities to spend time on ensuring that the Four Swannes community goes from strength to strength. See you all in 2022!!
Success! First fulfilling week complete.
It has been a wonderful beginning to our new school year, especially after the challenges that the last 18 months have brought to our community which will have affected all of us to varying degrees. Seeing the young people of the school return with such enthusiasm and hunger to learn has been very rewarding for all the teaching staff at the school.
Our assembly this week was on resilience and how important it is for our children to understand the importance of never giving up. We discussed some wonderful examples of how both inside and outside of school, our children are already experiencing situations where they show the desire to keep going until they are successful in achieving their goal. It is vitally important that now, more than ever, we support them in understanding that there is a need for lots of hard work, focus and to be resilient, to help close the gap in learning created by the pandemic.
Over the next year there will be many initiatives that the children will be supporting and lots of events that children and families can engage with through the school. Our first of these will be the charity event of ‘Jeans for Genes Day’, a charity event which is taking place next Friday 17th September. More details will follow via the school office.
Thank you all for making the start to the school year such a positive one and I look forward to sharing more moments with you throughout the coming year.
Take care, be safe and enjoy the coming weekend. Autumn is on the way!
Welcome Back to Four Swannes 2021/22
With what I hope has been a restful and enjoyable summer break coming to an end, and the first autumn leaves beginning to fall, I am truly excited about the year ahead. I am really looking forward to welcoming all the children and families of Four Swannes back to school on Thursday 2nd September (further detail below).
Teaching staff will be in school on Wednesday 1st September to start to organise classrooms ready to welcome their children back into the learning environment. The first two days have been designed to give the children time to settle back into the school routine where all children will be able to arrive and depart at the same time whilst also moving freely around the school. From Monday 6th September, all year groups will begin to use the HfL Back on Track planning to deliver lessons to the children in order for us to focus on closing the attainment gap that has been caused by the pandemic.
Over the coming weeks you will see that our primary focus for the year is reading. We want to create an atmosphere for a love of reading in the school and all staff will work to ensure that there is a 100% level of engagement from the children in their classes. This with a renewed push on the development of Maths fluency will ensure that our children have the best opportunities possible to build their knowledge which will lead to healthy progression.
Please remember, school starts for all children at 8:45am each day with registration closing promptly at 9am. Children are to be dropped at the internal small gate (open from approx. 8:40am) as parents/carers will not be able to enter past this point in the morning. A member of the school leadership team will be on duty in the playground area. Children will then be lined up by the class teacher and taken into class.
All classes will finish at 3:15pm and parents/carers will be able to collect their children from the playground area of the school, standing back from the external class doors so that teaching staff can see you and release your children. STAFF WILL ONLY RELEASE CHILDREN ON SEEING THE APPROPRIATE ADULT. No children will be released to any other adult unless a direct request has been made to the school office.
As we return to a new ‘normal’, there will be many aspects of school life that we all need to get used to again. This will need for all of us in the Four Swannes community to be patient and supportive towards each other, something that I know will happen naturally. My wish is that this year has no interruptions and will be a fun, exciting, enthralling and engaging year for us all. Once again, I want to welcome you all back to Four Swannes and cannot wait to make this a year to remember.
Headteachers End of Term Letter
We have finally come to the end of a very challenging year here at Four Swannes. I would immediately like to thank all our community for your support and understanding throughout this year in our quest to progress the learning of your children as best as we could in the difficult circumstances that we were faced with. I would mostly like to thank your children for their resilience, perseverance, enthusiasm and support during a time in which it would be understandable for none of these traits to be present. From all the team here, thank you.
I would particularly like to mention Mrs Jones who, as we all know, is still recovering from such a great loss and all the emotions that such a loss brings. I am hopeful that she will be back in her headship position when we return in September and I am sure that you will all join me in wishing her all the best in her continued drive towards a happy and healthy return.
All the children have now been introduced to their new teachers for next year during our transition day last week. I am pleased to say that all teaching staff and their teaching assistants will be remaining in their current year groups. This was decided based on the need for consolidation and the knowledge that they have of the Back on Track material for their current year group. I feel that this will give the children the best possible learning opportunities for the new school year. Details of staff are on the school website for your reference.
Now to the detail of our return. It fills me with such joy to be able to confirm that when we return in September, under the current Step 4 circumstances, start and finish times in school will revert to one time for all classes. That is an 8:45am – 3:15pm school day (11:45am collection for Nursery). The site will be open for parents to take children to the small gate leading into the field/playground area (parents will not be allowed past this point in the morning). Staff will be on duty to monitor the children before they are asked to line up and be taken in for registration. All children need to be in school by 8:45am and registration will close promptly at 9am. Reception and nursery parents can take children to the separate gate near the main school office. On collection, the gate will be opened at approximately 3:10pm to allow you to collect your children from their classrooms. As before, we will be operating an ‘open door’ policy where brief conversations are welcome between parents and teachers. However, as previously recognised, anything more than a quick conversation will have to be booked via appointment through the school office.
Seating in classrooms will no longer have to be in rows (teacher choice) and seating can be grouped again. Lunchtime and breaktime will be a whole school event again where children are able to freely mix and there will be free movement for all children and staff around the school premises where required. Parents will be able to enter the school without masks and you will also be able to enter the building and speak to the office face-to-face for any enquiries. As the new academic year gets underway, there will be clubs, interventions and catch-up sessions before and after school to support your children in their learning progression which has been so adversely affected by the pandemic. Please be prepared to ensure that your children attend any and all of the sessions that will be offered.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind all parents/guardians about the requirements for Four Swannes school uniform. It is very specific, and the detail can be found on the school website. There are some very important changes to the expectations for September. Some of these are, but not limited to, the following:
Please do read the updated information on uniform that I have placed on the school website. This information will give parents/guardians ample time to ensure that the correct uniform is purchased/acquired prior to our return in September. I will be taking responsibility for ensuring that all children have the correct uniform and contact parents/guardians in accordance with expectations.
All that is left for me to say is that I wish you all a healthy, happy and sunny summer holiday. Please all take care and stay safe. All the staff at Four Swannes are already looking forward to the new school year where normality can be resumed. Any change to the DfE guidance on reopening will be communicated to you as soon as possible, should there be a need. To confirm, the first day of the 2021/2022 school year is Thursday 2nd September at 8:45am. I look forward to welcoming you all back then.
Christmas School Closure Update
Tuesday 15th December 2020
Where to begin? What a year 2020 has been. Certainly like no other! Let’s hope 2021 brings better things and school can start to resemble something more “normal”.
Just to clarify that at the moment we are finishing on Friday 18th December at the bubble times already given out. This would only change if the Government, Hertfordshire County Council or Public Health directed us otherwise. In which case I would inform you immediately.
On behalf of Governors and staff of Four Swannes Primary I want to thank you for your support in what has been a most unusual time.
I wish you all a safe, healthy and enjoyable Festive Season.
Very best wishes.
Mrs J. Jones
Friday 25th September
Message from the Head teacher
First of all I would like to thank all Parents/carers for their understanding and support since the children have returned to school just a little over three weeks ago. It has been lovely to see the children smiling at the school gate eager to reengage with their learning. From the questionnaires we have undertaken we can see that they have felt confident in returning to school, especially positive are the areas around seeing friends, mixing (albeit in bubbles!) with others and seeing their teacher. The atmosphere around school has been one of a calm settled nature and both teachers and pupils are working hard to deliver the education that they so richly deserve.
Unfortunately, we are still in the midst of this pandemic and all that entails. Rest assured I will do everything in my power to keep the school open. However, there may be times when certain class bubbles may need to close due to staffing or most frustratingly, awaiting test results. We will endeavour to keep parents as fully informed as soon as possible. That is why we have initiated a school App as our main form of communication (Mr Moore will post details of that). This will replace all paper letters and provide a safe, quick means of contact.
Please feel free to comments or make suggestions. I shall be reviewing the current school risk assessment and procedures next week and would welcome any thoughts you might have.
I wish you all a safe, enjoyable weekend.
Mrs J. Jones
Welcome back letter from Mrs Jones
Monday 31st August 2020
First of all, I hope that you and your family are all well. This has certainly been an unusual year to say the least. You will be aware of the government’s directive that schools must open to all pupils this September. As such Four Swannes will open to all pupils from Thursday 3rd September. The exact details of this are to be found on this website as well as a copy of our risk assessment. Nursery and Reception pupils will have a slightly phased return as normal. Early years staff will contact those parents directly.
For those new parents/ carers to our school we welcome you into our community. School will not be as it normally is in its structure but it will be its usual happy and welcoming environment.
It has not been easy for anyone living in such a period of uncertain and constant changing advice and regulations. Even now the government is still issuing directives to schools. However, we have endeavoured to create as safe an environment as possible. I appreciate some parents may still be cautious of their child’s return to school and I fully understand those concerns. We will listen to those concerns and work with you to enable your child to have the best educational experiences in as safe a setting as we can provide. Please take the time to look at our risk assessment. I know it’s a long document but it may allay some of your worries.
All the team at Four Swannes are looking forward to seeing the children. It has been far too long and we’ve missed them.
Mrs J. Jones
Class Teachers for 2020/21 Academic Year
May I start by thanking you all for your support and patience through the tough times that we have been experiencing recently. It has been difficult trying to adjust to the pressures caused by the pandemic but feel that the school, staff and families have been excellent in working together to get us through this.
However, time moves forward at its usual pace and we have reached the time of the year where I have the pleasure of informing you of the teachers and support staff that will be working with your children for next year. Many aspects impacted on this years decisions but through valuable discussions with all staff, we have identified the best possible placing to support your children with the need to fill the knowledge gaps created by the pandemic and the need to accelerate their learning.
Nursery: Mrs J Daley Mrs A Cunningham
Reception: Mrs A Attridge Mrs S Spears Mrs M Warth
Year 1: Miss A Patel Mrs P Southam
Year 2: Ms S Holton Mrs B Beech
Year 3: Mrs V Emsley Mrs S Ward
Year 4: Mr A Moore Mrs T Walker
Year 5: Mrs C Kalli Miss C Parcell
Year 6: Mrs I Ogunyemi Mrs J Contla
As you will see, there are a few changes to our staff team for the next school year. I would like to welcome both Ms Holton and Mrs Daley who are both fantastic additions to the Four Swannes team. Unfortunately, with additions there are those that are leaving us.
Firstly, I would like, from all the community, friends and work colleagues, to wish Mrs Walker all the best in her maternity leave for the soon to be birth of her second child. We really do wish you all the best. Secondly, we are saying goodbye to Mrs Kanatli who is pursuing fresh and new challenges. Again, from all here at Four Swannes, thank you for all the wonderful work that you have done for the children and wider community and we wish you all the best for the future.
We have yet to finalise the detail for the start of school in September and, which has been the case throughout the pandemic, are closely following any advice coming through from the Department for Education (DfE). We may well be restricted through social distancing measures or we may have normal opening with full classes. One thing that I would like to assure you of is that your well-being and that of your children is my first concern. As and when we have any further detail, we will use the school website to inform you or where necessary contact you directly.
Just as a gentle reminder to those families whose children are attending school, the summer term ends on Friday 17th July and the school closes for the summer term at 1:30pm. Four Swannes will be closed for the duration of the summer holidays to all children. However, in line with the DfE recommendations, free school meal vouchers will still be issued to those families that qualify.
The autumn term and return to school (all being well) starts on Thursday 3rd September 2020 at 8:45am.
All that is left for me to say is that I wish the whole of the Four Swannes community a healthy and safe summer and truly look forward to our (hopefully) settled return in September. Have a wonderful summer and take care.
Mrs G E Jones
Four Swannes Primary School
Friday 5th June
Dear Parent/ Carer,
RE: School reopening to more pupils
As you will be aware from my earlier letters the government is encouraging schools to open to more pupils. They attest that their five criteria have been met. Therefore, from Monday 8th June we will be partially reopening to some pupils in Nursery, Reception, Y1 and Y6. The parents of these children have been contacted directly so that they can make informed choices and are fully aware of the new school procedures.
The staff have worked hard this week to put in place all the safety measures outlined in our risk assessment. A copy of which can be found on our website.
Unfortunately I am still in the shielding category so I will not be there to welcome the children on Monday but I know the staff will do their very best to reassure their pupils and have a good day.
As you know things are always subject to change and often this is at short notice. Please keep checking in on the website or email or phone the office if you have any concerns or queries.
I wish you all the very best.
Mrs J. Jones
Possibility of School Re-opening - Latest Statement from Mrs Jones
Dear Parent/ Carer,
Re: Possibility of school reopening to more pupils.
As you will be aware the government is encouraging schools to open to more pupils other than the current key worker and vulnerable pupils it still caters for. They propose a staggered approach in certain year groups. These being YN, YR,Y1 and Y6 then all year groups by the end of the summer term. Since this announcement there has been very little guidance and advice from government and it has been left to individual schools to make their own decisions based on a risk assessment being carried out.
Some councils across England have refused to implement the government suggestions as they think it’s too soon. However, Hertfordshire are keen that their schools try and meet this requirement. In order to help schools they have issued a generic risk assessment which has proved a useful starting point. I intend posting this on the website when it is fully approved.
As indicated in my last message to you, school is going to be very different. The only way we can adhere to the best possible safety measures is to alter classrooms so that desks are as far away as possible. There will be staggered start and finish times. Separate play and lunchtimes. One way systems and a modifying of resources. Staff may wear PPE and your child’s teacher and classroom area may be different to that in March. When all these measures are in place we will inform you.
Governors met yesterday (virtually) and after much deliberation have decided that they want more time to review the risk assessments being taken. They would like all school staff to review and be confident in the procedures so that when we welcome some of your children back we can do some with full confidence that we have done everything we can to produce as safe as environment as possible. I would like to stress that we cannot guarantee 100% that your children will maintain the 2 meter social distancing requirement.
So that is the schools position at the moment. As you know things can suddenly change! We are aiming to accommodate some children in YN, YR, Y1 and Y6. Most likely from 8th June. We have already made contact with those parents and we will do so again as soon as possible so that they can be clear about the exact arrangements for their child.
At this stage governors feel it is highly unlikely the whole school will be open to all pupils this term.
I appreciate that this as all very strange and possibly at times confusing for you. We feel the same and are working to provide as safe an environment as possible. Rest assured when your child does come back we will make it as stress free and enjoyable as possible.
All the very best to you and your families.
Mrs J. Jones
Dear Parent/ Carer,
Re: Covid 19 update
Following on from my last update on the possibility of the school opening up to more pupils from certain year groups, on or after 1st June 2020. As I write it still seems the government ‘s intention that schools will be asked to open to YN, YR, Y1 and Y6 pupils albeit at a reduced number I.e. no more than 15. You will be aware that this has garnered a lot of media attention and lots of debate. You will no doubt have your own opinion on children returning to school.
I want be completely honest with you as to what this might mean for Four Swannes. IF and it’s a big if more children return to school it will be school but not as you or your children have previously known it. There will have to be strict routines in place. Separation of classes and pupils within classes. Staggered arrival and collection of pupils. No assemblies, whole school activities or playtime. Each class will have a time tabled play and lunch so that they don’t meet with other pupils. There will be signage on doors and floors to reduce contact and movement of pupils. Children will not be allowed to sit next to each other or move in classrooms. This is just a taster of the sorts of things we have been addressing as we seek to adapt to the measures the government is asking us to take. We will, of course, do all that we can to limit the risk of catching the Coronavirus in our school. Despite this the one thing I cannot 100% guarantee to you as parents/ careers is that all pupils will be able to socially distance at all times. Young children are used to having free access to their teacher, staff and friends. They will forget no matter how much we tell them. There will be a limit to what toys and resources that can be used in the Early years. They will not be allowed to sit on the carpet, indeed there will be no mats for them to sit down as they will have to be removed alongside any soft furnishings.
I have tried to lay out the position as clearly as I can to you. Like all my colleagues in the education sector I desperately want to see all pupils back at school, happy, healthy and safe.I am not a scientist, economist or politician. I am an educationalist with 30 years experience in education and this whole new way of teaching will need some adjusting to if the government does insist on this pathway.
I wish you and your families all the very best. Please feel free to share your opinions via the school email system. Governors are meeting virtually this week and would value your thoughts.
Other information can be accessed on www.gov.uk
Mrs J Jones
I was hoping to write to you today with some clarity as to your children returning to school. Alas, that is not possible. Despite the Prime Minister’s latest speech, schools do not have any directive to open for any pupils other than those of critical workers or those classed as vulnerable.
I, like you, want the children back at school but only when it is safe to do so. If we are directed to partially open, then that could mean your child is taught by a different teacher in a different classroom. It could be at staggered times or days as we would seek to keep to the social distancing guidelines. We need to wait and see what further detail the government will give to schools in the coming days.
I have been reflecting over the weekend during the VE Day celebrations when the nation came together in a time of great loss and uncertainty. We are now in a period of history where a great many people have suffered, face financial difficulties and are fearful for the future. Then, as now, things will get better. We will get through this.
Wishing you and your families all the very best. If there is anyway the school can help you, we will endeavour to do our best. Please personally email me at firstname.lastname@example.org marking your letter FS parent so I don’t miss it amongst the hundreds I get every day (I’m not joking!).
Mrs J Jones
Head Teachers Message Spring 2020
Dear Parent / Carer
Happy New Year (if a little belated!). I hope you all had a lovely festive season.
The children have already settled well to school life and are working hard.
We have welcomed a number of new pupils this term into our school family.
As you will know last year was a very successful one and we managed to gain a 'Good' in our OFSTED inspection in the Summer Term. We are continuing to build on this as we develop our curriculum and focus on the love and learning of reading.
We would encourage parents to get involved in your child's learning. There will be many events and workshops that parents can attend throughout the year.
If you have any suggestions or thoughts about what you would like included then please let us know.
You can contact via the office, letter or email. As always it is a pleasure and a priviledge to work with your children.
I wish every family all the very best for 2020.
Head Teachers Message - Autumn 2019
I can hardly believe it is nearly half term!
Such a lot of exciting things have happened in school. Last Friday we had a visit from the mayor of Broxbourne. He met all the children in an assembly, visited each class and spoke to the newly elected School Council. He was well impressed with the school and the questions the pupils asked. The children enjoyed meeting him and it was a lovely end to our democracy week.
Dear Parent / Carer
Well what a year its' been!
Not only have we achieved a "GOOD" OFSTED grade but today I was informed that we received a Gold award for school games.
I am immensely proud of all the Four Swannes staff. Together we work as a team to provide all the children with positive learning experience. It was most gratifying that the OFSTED inspectors acknowledged staff are proud to work at the school. Also that pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain. That the quality of relationships between staff and pupils is strong. Pupils are polite, well mannered and welcoming. This coupled with their academic achievements should help them in their life choices.
There have been many highlights over the academic year. Firstly in September we welcomed a new deputy Mr Alan Moore. He has been a great addition to the school and I know he has enjoyed his year.
The children have had a wide range of exciting activities throughout the year (you will find many examples on the pages of this website!). This will continue and I look forward to the opportunities 2019-2020 will bring.
Thank you to all staff, parents / carers and pupils for making this one (if not the) most successful year in Four Swannes history.
Have a fantastic summer everyone.
Mrs J Jones
PS: Parents / carers we would love to see more of you at our workshops. Please suggest anything you think would be usefulat the school office.
Head Teacher Message
As you will be aware we have had an OFSTED Inspection this week. The report should reach the school in a few weeks time and all parents/carers will receive a copy.
Whatever the judgements I am very pleased with the way the children conducted themselves during the process and thank the parents/carers that had an opportunity to talk to the inspectors.
I would also like to thank all staff for their hard work during this time. They performed to their usual high standard.
Mrs Pat's bacon and sausage sandwiches went down well too!
A Word From The Head Teacher - May 21st
This term seems to be going so fast!
Well done to all those pupils that took SATS tests last week. The children worked really hard to achieve their personal best. I am confident that they will all have done very well.
This week is a busy one. Today (Tuesday) is RE Day where the children are being encouraged to be tolerant of other faiths and increase their knowledge of other belief systems.
The children are also producing goods to sell at our annual World Market Day.
I look forward to seeing you there on Thursday 23rd May at 2PM.
A Word From The Head Teacher
I hope parents will agree with me that it has been a lovely Spring Term. The children have produced some excellent work. They are really enjoying their learning which can be witnessed in their books and class assemblies.
I wish all parents/carers a wonderful Easter holiday and look forward to welcoming the children back on Tuesday 23rd April to start the Summer Term, wherein many exciting days and activities are planned.
Word from the Head Teacher
It has been lovely to see many parents at consultation evenings this week.
We are currently reviewing our homework policy and would welcome any suggestions.
Parents / carers may be aware that we recently held a ' Take One Book' week. The children had a lovely week and produced some excellent work. I had great fun putting up the giraffe.
Pupils butterfly decorations go on display.
Following our school Art Day here are some pictures of the Head Teacher creating the display of the childrens decorated butterflies in the school hall.