As we delve into the second week of half term, we thought it would be a good time to pause for a moment and reflect on the start of the academic year with Nicola Nicoll, our new Headteacher. The journey we have undertaken as a school and all that we have accomplished this half term has been incredible and we want to thank all the parents, pupils and staff for their contributions and support.

Resilience

A colleague shared the following thought – “Resilience, it is said, can be divided into mental toughness and resourcefulness. The first of these is like the ability of a car to drive through a pothole without damage to the wheel; the second is the ability of the driver to go around the pothole without losing control of the car. In the last six months, our staff and pupils have shown both mental toughness and resourcefulness.”

The staff and pupils of Heatherton have demonstrated such incredible resilience and flexibility, and we truly believe that the Heatherton family is as close as ever, even if we are not able to be as physically close as usual. The children continue to skip into school with beaming smiles on their faces and enjoy the broad range of activities and curriculum on offer. The teachers and teaching assistants have diligently supervised the pupils staggered arrivals, departures, lunch and break times, alongside adapting to a new way of teaching under the pandemic conditions to keep everyone safe and happy.

Hybrid Learning

We pride ourselves as a school on our dedication to continuing each and every one of our pupils’ learning journeys. Therefore, we are committed to continue to provide top quality education even when pupils are having to self-isolate at home and cannot come into school. To ensure that no one will miss out, we have adapted our classrooms and lesson plans to allow for pupils who are well to attend the class via Microsoft Teams and access work on Class Notebook enabling them to participate in the usual activities. A few weeks ago, a pupil created and performed a ‘Hip Hop rap and dance’ with their partner for a music lesson – virtually!

We have kept our assemblies going as these are an important part of the Heatherton community but instead of being in the all together these are now held, on Microsoft Teams so each class in the school can celebrate other pupils’ successes, and they can continue our tradition of singing Happy Birthday to one another. These are important parts of our school day.

Behind the Scenes

We have an incredible cleaning team, who have been constantly cleaning the school in a continuous cycle throughout each day from 7am – 6pm, and every Saturday the school is sprayed internally with a mist of anti-viral solution, a process called ‘fogging’.

The catering team have spent their mornings cooking fresh and nutritious lunches for the pupils and prepare about 130 bento boxes for the staggered eating times ensuring our year groups remain in their bubbles but are able to have a social breaktime in the middle of the day. This is a carefully orchestrated process taking into consideration each individual’s special dietary requirements.

The office team have been working assiduously to make sure that the school processes run efficiently and safely to our new guidelines, and to answer any queries or concerns that may arise during any one day.

Our School Values

The values and character traits, so strongly associated with the School – of aiming high with integrity, being adventurous and serving others, have clearly resonated though the pupils’ positive, resilient and determined attitude to get the best out of their school experience. These values have helped guide them through a challenging and unusual half term, enabling them to continue to thrive and relish life at Heatherton.

As Mrs Nicoll’s first half term as Headteacher comes to an end, she remarked “I’m very proud to have joined a school with so much respect, love and admiration already in place, and I see it as my role to continue this aspirational trajectory for Heatherton to continue to be a school that genuinely puts it pupils at the heart of every decision.”

Following a restful break, we look forward to seeing everyone back on site on Monday 9th November with many more exciting activities planned for the second half of term!

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