Head Teacher's Blog July 2023
Our wonderful year 6 children graduated from Park Lane Primary School on Wednesday 19th July. Family and friends, along with special guests and members of staff, joined the children in celebration of their achievements during their time at our school. There were wonderful musical performances from several of the graduating pupils and an inspirational speech from our guest speaker, Safiyya Voraje, founding member of The Azaylia Foundation. This year, Mrs. Elmi, who has 5 children who have graduated from our school, spoke on behalf of parents/carers in a touching speech when she thanked all staff for their dedication and care of all children.
Year 6 delivered an entertaining performance of The Wizard of Oz for their end of year production. The children and staff spent hours learning their lines, rehearsing and creating colourful costumes and sets. Two performances were delivered on Monday 17th July, the first for the student population and later that evening, for delighted family members and friends.
The children in year 6 have worked hard this year, which is reflected in their SATs results. Although I am sad to see them go, I am confident that they are now ready and prepared to take the next big step, to create wonderful new memories and friends at secondary school. Like most children who graduate from Park Lane Primary School, I look forward to learning all about their future achievements and their many and varied accomplishments when they return to visit the school over the coming years.
We have really made the most of the wonderful summer weather over the last few weeks of the school term with fun trips to Cassiobury Park, Odds Farm, the London ZSL Zoo, Bahram Park, Hanwell Zoo and Kew Gardens. The children in year 3 also enjoyed a visit to the British Museum to consolidate what they have been learning during history lessons on Egyptology. Our KS2 pupils and staff had a wonderful time when they attended the West End performance of The Lion King on Wednesday 7th June. This type of enrichment activity ensures our pupils experience something they may not otherwise have access to outside of school.
Many of our year 6 pupils attended a residential stay at PGL Marchants Hill in the scenic Surrey countryside, from 3rd to 7th July. After the initial settling in was complete, it was off to the playing field where our fantastic PGL guide Ben, took the children through some ice breaking challenges to get them in the mood for the week ahead.
Over the next few days the pupils got to experience a range of different activities from rock climbing to obstacle courses, as well as archery and rifle shooting. The evenings were spent either around the camp fire singing songs, showing off their sports skills on the playing field or dancing the night away at the disco. The staff at PGL were very impressed with the enthusiasm each child showed and their overall behaviour.
Those year 6 pupils who did not visit PGL, were instead treated to a fun day out at Shadwell Activity Centre on 3rd July. Whilst there, the children had the opportunity to try climbing, high ropes and canoeing.
This year, our year 6 pupils also had the amazing experience of visiting BT Tower a major communications hub and home of BT TV. 6Y visited on the 16th and 6G on the 23rd of June. The children received a tour of the network operations centre and then visited the restaurant, which has a 360 view of London’s skyline, at the top of BT Tower!
Year 6 have been busy! On Wednesday 14th June, they participated in a Gangs’ Awareness workshop run by our Met Police Youth Engagement Officer. The purpose of the workshop is to raise insight into how gang members groom young people and the dangers of being involved with a gang. The officer talked through various scenarios with the children and asked them to reflect on appropriate actions to take should they find themselves in difficult situations. The children were well engaged and interactive; the workshop provided an invaluable insight into grooming and awareness of personal safety.
In addition to the Gangs’ Awareness workshop, year 6 took part in a workshop about knife crime on Wednesday 28th June. In this workshop, led by the Metropolitan Police, the children learnt about the dangers of carrying knives and how to protect themselves in dangerous situations.
Our Year 5 pupils also had the opportunity to work the MET Police in helping to reduce speeding around Park Lane Primary School. The police visited the school on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th June to work with each Year 5 class. Initially they held an assembly to speak with the children about what they do to reduce speeding in the local community and how our pupils will take part in the Junior Road Watch. This was followed by groups of children using speed guns to take speed readings of traffic along Park Lane, and finally (while supported by the police) speaking to some members of the public about the consequences of speeding on the road.
A bumper week of sport took place from 19th to 23rd June at Park Lane Primary School during Sports Week. Our annual Sports Days were held on 21st June for KS2, and on 22nd June for EYFS and KS1; both days saw some fantastic performances in front of enthusiastic crowds in King Edward VII Park. All competitors gave it their best effort and had a very enjoyable time. Sports Week was completed with the inter-class touchdown competition, this having been the focus of PE in the weeks leading up to Sports Week - it was great to see the KS2 pupils showing off the skills they’ve developed over the term. It was especially pleasing to see the great leadership that the student coaches and referees displayed over the course of the week. Some of our pupils even had the opportunity to attend an event organised by the Jacksonville Jaguars American Football Team in association with the NFL, at Stonebridge Recreation Ground. The children from years 4, 5 and 6 participated in drills and games with the aim of building on existing skills.
The highlight for many of the pupils and staff at Park Lane Primary School is the annual International Evening which took place, this year, on Friday 30th June. The afternoon was a truly spectacular event, with performances from pupils of all ages, representing the many and varied cultural backgrounds that make up our school population. Hosted by Serine and Ismail from year 6, who introduced talented singers, dancers and performers, followed by the audience’ favourite – the fashion show. After the concert, the audience had the opportunity to sample food from around the world, when the party moved downstairs to the dining room.
The School Fair was held on Wednesday 5th July. Children and staff set their stalls up in the playground, along with a Frozen themed bouncy castle. Children posed for photos with the Met Police, had their nails and face painted, henna tattoos and yummy snacks were also on offer.
Parents of children who attend the weekly Ballet club were treated to a special open class held on the same day as the School Fair. The children enjoyed showing off their ballet skills and Miss Rachel, their ballet teacher, instructed the children as to their warm up and weekly exercise routines.
I congratulated our year 6 pupils earlier for their SATs results but I should also mention our year 4 pupils who performed very well during their Multiplication Times Table Check and the pupils in year 1 who performed their Phonics Screening Check during this half term.
Over the last six week, we have seen the performance of some entertaining class assemblies. Ladybird performed Goldilocks and the Three Bears, while Butterfly class, who have been learning about mini-beasts, gave their interpretation of the story of The Very Busy Spider. 1Y delivered a delightful class assembly on their year value of determination, and 1G pulled at the heart stings with their rendition of ‘Not All Heroes Wear Capes’ in honour of Father’s Day. On Friday 7th July, Nursery chose the theme of the summer holidays when they performed for the school population and then again, for their families and friends.
Meet the Teacher day fell on Wednesday 12th July. This day gave the children the opportunity to meet their new class teacher for the 2023/24 school year. The children were very excited when they sat in the school hall as each class was read out in turn and the name of the relevant class teacher announced. The children then returned to their new classroom and engaged in an activity organised by their new class teacher, who then set the expectations for the year ahead.
We have encouraged our pupils to sign up to the local libraries’ summer reading challenge. This is a great way for children to become enthusiastic about reading and develop their imagination. I hope that you will take the time to visit your local library and enjoy some time, perhaps reading together as a family.
Wishing all of our pupils, their families and staff a safe and happy holiday. For those pupils going onto secondary school, I wish you the best of luck, and for those pupils returning to Park Lane Primary School of the 2023/24 school year, I look forward to hearing about what you get up to during the summer break on our first day back – Tuesday 5th September 2023.