Headteacher's Blog - May 2019
This has been a short half term but a productive one nonetheless. After months of working hard, year 6 pupils can finally breathe a sigh of relief as they have completed their SATs. The hard work continues for year 6 however, as rehearsals for their end of year production commence. I am looking forward to the production which will take place during July later this year.
During this final week before the half term break, year 2 children have also completed SATs testing; years 3, 4 and 5 undertook optional testing.
This week was national Walk to School Week. We always try to encourage our children to walk to school as it is the healthy alternative to being driven to school. The health benefits of exercise are, of course, widely known but a walk to school can help to invigorate the mind and ‘wake up your brain’ so you arrive at school, ready to learn. On Thursday 23rd May, we celebrated Happy Shoes Day at Park Lane Primary School, when the children and staff attended school in their favourite shoes or shoes that make them happy!
During the month of May, some of our lucky year 5 pupils attended a residential stay at the Gordon Brown Centre. Over 3 days, they participated in various activities including archery, a river walk, climbing wall and an obstacle course; the annual bon fire was delightful and the children and staff were fortunate to experience favourable weather conditions during their stay.
There have been several school trips in line with the curriculum. They include Year 1’s visit to the Natural History Museum, Year 2’s visit to the Science Museum and Year 3’s trip to Wembley Stadium. Several children have been attending Brent Field Learning Hub on a weekly basis to help build confidence and self-esteem, along with concentration. On Thursday 23rd May, some of our SEN children attended Northala Fields as part of our objective to extend the curriculum beyond the class room.
Casting agents from CBeebies’ conducted a workshop with our Year 1 students as they are looking for children to join them for filming of the new series of Yolanda’s Band Jam. We will hear back from them later in the year to learn if any of our pupils have been cast.
Class 6Y enjoyed an afternoon of gardening when we planted black currants, tomatoes, cabbage and beans in the butterfly park. New additions have also taken up residence in the butterfly park as our 10 chicks and 1 cockerel have been moved from their incubator in 2G to a spacious chicken coop. Patience is the value assigned to year 2 and class 2G have exercised their patience during this experience of watching chicks hatch from eggs, and now waiting for the chickens to grow old enough to produce their own eggs.
Class assemblies have been enlightening, we heard from 1Y who spoke about the importance of Ramadan for Muslims, and 5G put on a play based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist!
Finally, pupil Tharun Kannan who graduated from our school last year returned briefly when he produced a colourful mural highlighting our school values. The mural is on the wall at the entrance to the school hall; I do hope you will take the time to enjoy it when next attending an assembly at Park Lane Primary School.
Headteacher's Blog - April 2019
From the window in my office I have a view of King Edward VII Park and I can see the lovely pink blossoms of spring. This time of year is synonymous with new growth, renewal and, in the school environment, I can see our year 6 students blooming into independent and responsible children ready to make the big move to secondary school. The SATs testing period is fast approaching and I am proud of the hard work that the children have put into their studies, particularly attending booster classes on Saturday and during their half term break.
Easter is also a time for regeneration- a time to recharge the batteries in preparation for the summer term. In the week before the Easter holidays, we saw an amazing production from year 4; the children in all year levels enjoyed the Annual Easter Bonnet Parade and on Wednesday 10th April, the children in Mahatma Gandhi house enjoyed a party for accumulating the most house points. During this half term, we have also seen some outstanding class assemblies from 1G, 3Y, 2G and 2Y, covering subjects ranging from the seasons, the Hindu festival of Holi and the traditional fairy tale – Cinderella.
During March, we celebrated English week at Park Lane Primary School. Children wrote and illustrated their own short stories, we had a visit from the book fair and a non-uniform day when the children and staff were encouraged to dress up as their favourite character from a book.
On Friday 1st March, International Triple Jump Athlete, Daniel Lewis, spent the day at our school when he promoted the benefits of exercise, eating healthily and working hard to achieve your dreams. The children participated in a sponsored fitness circuit and raised over £1800, some of which will go towards the purchase of new sports equipment for the school.
Air Network delivered a workshop to year 5 on Tuesday 26th February about gangs and how to avoid getting involved with gangs. P.C. Rose led workshops with years 4, 5 and 6 on staying safe.
The VIAM event at the SSE Wembley Arena was a huge undertaking for our school choir. On 20th March, the Green sleeves choir participated in the Voice in a Million concert along with thousands of other children from primary and secondary schools all over England. The choir also competed in the Brent KS2 Music Festival at Oakington Manor Primary School where they achieved 2 silver, 4 gold and 2 platinum commendations.
Earlier this term, we took ownership of the new school mini bus which was purchased with PSA funds. It has already been used to shuttle the children to and from year 4 swimming lessons, and to take the staff and children to Belmont Farm in Mill Hill, as part of an ‘extending the curriculum’ beyond the classroom initiative.
Park Lane Primary School had the great pleasure of hosting this year’s Brent Interschool Spelling Bee Competition. Three children from years 3, 4, 5 and 6 from each of the eight schools that participated competed for the coveted prize. Park Lane Primary School came in joint second place with St. Mary’s Primary School.
I also had the great honour of being shortlisted in the category of ‘Champion Head Teacher’ for the Wellbeing in Schools Awards run by mental health charity – Place2Be. The awards recognise the passion, determination and hard work that goes into the delivery of mental health and wellbeing support in the charity’s partner schools across the country. The work that we do as staff at Park Lane Primary School to support our pupils’ emotional wellbeing has played a vital role in supporting their high levels of achievement and attainment.
Finally, I would like to wish pupils, parents/carers and staff a safe and enjoyable holiday break. I look forward to the summer term and all the activities that we have planned for the children before we end the 2018/19 school year.
Headteacher's Blog - February 2019
Upon our return to school following the Christmas break, the children in year 6 have commenced their SATs booster classes. The children have been diligently attending each Saturday morning, and will also attend booster classes during the half term break.
On Friday 8th February, year 6 visited the London Eye and enjoyed a River Boat Cruise along the River Thames, to see other iconic landmarks including the Tower of London, the Oxo building and The Globe Theatre. As part of their Geography topic next term, year 6 will be looking at their local area in detail, and at famous landmarks within London. This trip will enable the children to have a better understanding of the history of their surroundings, specifically London.
As part of their PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) studies, the children in year 3 have been learning about Judaism, and on Wednesday 13th February, they attended Wembley United Synagogue to reinforce their understanding of the Jewish religion.
Year 3 have also been learning about Myths and Legends and on Friday 15th February, 3G entertained us with their play about Perseus and Medusa during their class assembly. Last week 5Y enlightened us all about the Solar System during their class assembly; and earlier this term, we were enthralled by performances from 6G, 6Y and 5G whose assemblies on ‘welcoming in the new year,’ ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ and ‘The Highwayman’ respectively, were outstanding.
We had an exciting visit from representatives of the Tate Museum who took photos of the children in year 3, to include in a display which will feature at the museum later this November. The project involves schools all over the UK and the children really enjoyed participating in the photo shoot.
Park Lane Primary School celebrated Maths’ Week from 28th January to 1st February with a week of maths themed activities, which included a visit from the Maths’ Magician and a ‘dress of digits’ non-uniform day at the end of the week!
Our school welcomed parents/carers of children who attend our Nursery and Reception classes, when they had the opportunity to stay and play on January 15th and 18th. Staff were on hand to answer any questions, but it was the children who introduced their family members to their class room routines. Despite the cold, parents found the outdoor class room as exciting as the children do.
Parents/carers were also invited to attend workshops on ‘Raising Resilient Children,’ and ‘Developing Good Bedtime Routines,’ and on January 24th, all parents/cares were given the opportunity to meet with their child’s class teacher to discuss their school reports. We are expecting the children to make excellent progress during the spring term.
This term, we said goodbye to Miss Fitzgerald who leaves us to return to University studies, and good luck to Mrs. Nargis Bibi who commenced maternity leave. We welcomed new members of staff – Mrs. Yasmin Hassan who joins us as SMSA, Miss Rabia Ahmed who is an extended day worker and Mrs. Vanita Aluru who joins us as a teaching assistant.
Headteacher's Blog - December 2018
The children and staff are always excited this time of year. The school building has been festively decorated and we are all looking forward to the Christmas break following all the hard work that has gone into the autumn term.
Earlier this autumn, the Rt Hon Nick Gibbs visited Park Lane Primary School to present music teacher, Ms. Kovacs, with a Yamaha Clavinova piano following her winning entry to the Classical 100 competition. Musicians from the ABRSM, who ran the competition, joined 360 of our pupils who participated in the challenge, set to Car Orff’s ‘O Fortuna,’ on Wednesday 31st October. Mr Gibb said, “I want to congratulate the children and staff at Park Lane Primary School, whose inspired musical creativity has been rightly rewarded with this generous Classical 100 award.” Following the special assembly, Nick Gibb MP enjoyed a learning walk through the school, and then joined some of the children and staff for morning tea.
I am proud of the children in year 5 who represented Park Lane Primary School at the launch of National Anti-bullying week at the Brent Civic Centre. The children read their own poetry compositions based on this year’s theme ‘Choose Respect.’ I am also proud of the achievements made by our school choir; they meet regularly to rehearse and will be participating in Brent’s ‘Voice in a Million’ during the New Year. This December, the choir performed at Beachwood Court Retirement Home and at St. John the Evangelist Church in Wembley, during their annual Carol’s event.
The children have attended a range of school trips to enhance what they have been learning as part of the curriculum. These trips include year 2’s visit to Santa’s Grotto in Watford and Reception’s attendance at the Nativity at the London Zoo. My favourite trip this autumn however, was KS2’s visit to the Lyceum theatre to see The Lion King. For many children, this has been the highlight of the year so far, for others it was the school disco on Friday 14th December.
Staff and children enjoyed a festive meal on Wednesday 12th December, with all the trimmings and Christmas crackers, and the children in year 6 exchanged gifts during their Secret Santa event.
Art week was celebrated earlier this term and each class took part in a weaving project which produced various patterns, and now combined, has formed the new display in the foyer outside of the school hall. The display represents our newly adopted school values of –
- EYFS : Friendship
- Year 1 : Determination
- Year 2 : Patience
- Year 3 : Resilience
- Year 4 : Perseverance
- Year 5 : Independence
- Year 6 : Responsibility
Park Lane Primary School also celebrated Diwali with a range of activities that were designed to introduce the children to the beliefs and traditions associated with this major religious event in the Hindu calendar.
Class 2G carried the Diwali theme over into their assembly, when they told the story of Rama and Sita. Beowulf was the theme of 5G’s class assembly, while 2Y reminded us why we think of Guy Fawkes during Bon Fire night. 4G used their experience of The Lion King theatre visit to influence their class assembly, and ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!’ was the subject of 3G’s class assembly. A big ‘well done’ to the children in EYFS and KS1 for all their hard work in preparing for, and the performance of, their Nativity productions.
I am pleased with the overall participation and attendance of parents/carers who have joined us at school for the Triple P Parenting course. Likewise, we had a great turn out at Nursery and Reception Stay and Play sessions, the E-Safety workshop and the Phonics training session. During the Head Teacher’s Coffee Morning, we discussed punctuality, attendance and lost property as well as ‘young carers’. This was also the topic of a special assembly attended by years 4, 5 and 6. They learned how to identify a young carer and who to turn to in order to access support.
Finally, I would like to wish 3G class teacher, Mr. van Amstel, and LSA – Miss Elkins, every success as they move on from their time here at Park Lane Primary School.
To pupils, staff and parents/carers, I would like to wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.
Headteacher's Blog - October 2018
We ended this first half term of the 2018/19 school year, celebrating Black History Month. The African Drummers made their annual return to Park Lane Primary School, and years 3 to 6 participated in African Dance Workshops. The day was also a non-uniform day and children were asked to dress in traditional costume, reflective of their cultural background or heritage. The children in Early Years and KS1 were treated to a visit from Spud and Yam earlier during the month.
On 8th October the Worshipful Mayor of Brent, Cllr Arshad Mahmood, attended a special assembly to announce the school councillors for the 2018/19 school year. The Red Hats and Play Leaders were also formally introduced. We held our first Head Teacher’s Coffee Morning for the school year in October, when we discussed the importance of reading with your children, phonics and supporting your children with their homework. Staff from Place2Be spoke to parents/carers about safeguarding and ensuring our children are happy and safe in an environment conducive for learning.
Also this month, year 4 were delighted by performers when they attended the Primary Proms at Royal Albert Hall. For many of our children, this was truly a unique experience and the highlight of the year so far. The children in year 6 visited the library at the Brent Civic Centre where they were given a brief history lesson on the suffragettes, from British children’s illustrator, David Roberts. Year 5 also attended the library later in the month.
During September, the staff held a charity coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, children in year 6 sold cakes to raise money and, along with the proceeds of the non-uniform day, we raised a phenomenal £753.35. Also in September, we held a Parents’ Information Evening when class teachers set expectations for the year ahead and highlighted school requirements regarding uniform, homework and attendance.
The children in Nursery and Reception classes that are new to our school, have settled in nicely to their week day routines and have started to form valuable friendships with their peers. Most children are now enthusiastic about school and have excellent behaviour for learning. Parents who attend the Triple P Parenting Workshops, which commenced three weeks ago, have provided positive feedback. We plan to run more courses for parents/carers at the school and will advise parents/carers via email as details become available.
A warm welcome to 1G class teacher, Miss Belle Hunter, who joins our family here at Park Lane Primary School. Miss Gabaldon, who you may recall returned to Spain earlier this year, has recently given birth to a healthy baby boy, Enrique.
Parents/carers, staff and children have also seen some amazing performances from children in years 6, 5 and 4 during the class assemblies. Both year 6 classes spoke about ‘responsibilities’ which is one of our key values. Class 5Y’s assembly was all about the dangers of lying, and 4Y recited their own poetry compositions! I look forward to some more outstanding performances when we return from half term on 29th October.