Park Lane Primary School

Park Lane Primary School

Lifelong Learning Together

Headteacher's Blog

Head Teacher’s Blog April 2022

Spring is my favourite time of year.  The weather has improved and we are seeing parks and gardens explode with rainbows of colour as flowers bloom and once empty branches are now laden with an abundance of new growth.

The Spring term also sees the blossoming of our pupils.  The younger children, who were new to the school in September, have established routines, developed meaningful friendships with their peers, and good behaviour for learning.  Our older pupils also make the most progress during the Spring term; staff have worked hard to motivate the children and have instilled a good work ethic which has, in turn, led to excellent levels of concentration and improvements in the standard of work that our pupils produce.

This term has also been a lot of fun.  During the first week of March, we celebrated English Week at Park Lane Primary School.   Throughout the week, children used their existing literacy skills and the new ones that they are developing to create wonderful pieces of writing, in all different types of genres. 

Thursday 3rd March was a non-uniform day in aid of the Book Trust.  Pupils and staff dressed as characters from their favourite book and raised over £226 for the Book Trust charity.  ‘Storm’ was the theme of English Week at our school, given the stormy weather conditions that plagued the UK during the half term break.  Pupils were given the opportunity to talk about their experiences, listen to stories and research different kinds of storms, write letters, recounts and newspaper reports, create non-chronological reports and explore storm vocabulary.

During the week, pupils in each class produced brightly coloured bookmarks and creative posters; prizes were awarded to those judged ‘best in each class’.

Friday 18th March was Red Nose Day and our pupils celebrated with a non-uniform day.  The day also included the performance of a concert entitled, ‘Park Lane’s Got Talent’.  As the name suggests, the talent show gave some of our pupils the opportunity to demonstrate their singing, dancing, acting, drawing and instrumental abilities in front of the entire school population.  Mrs Givans-Haynes and Mrs Ogbebor, along with myself, judged the programme and awarded a one year family pass to Partyman’s World of Play for the winners in each category.  During the judges’ deliberation, which I don’t mind telling you was very difficult, Mrs Qasrani entertained the crowd with her magic show.  The winning contestants were Haniya 1G, Maida 3Y and Neev from 5G.

In the week leading up to Red Nose Day, our SEND pupils sold cupcakes as part of our ‘extending the curriculum’ programme, to raise money for Comic Relief.  These funds, in addition to the money raised during the non-uniform day, totalled just under £500 for the charity, which supports aid programmes both in the UK and all over the world.

Our SEND pupils have been busy this term and along with the pupils in reception, participated in a Chinese New Year workshop.  During the workshop, pupils learnt some traditional Chinese dance moves and got to dress up as the symbol of Chinese New Year – the dragon.  Children also became familiar with the Chinese Zodiac and discovered which animal represents the year they were born in along with its relevant character traits.

Year 6 attended two workshops in as many weeks; the first, was delivered by the Wizard Theatre, entitled ‘Staying Safe.’  This workshop used dramatic scenes, role-play and various exercises during the session, with the aim of reducing the chances of young people becoming a victim of crime on the school journey and beyond.   The second workshop was delivered by the TFL, and dealt specifically with the subject of safe travel, in the lead up to our year 6 pupil’s transition to secondary school.

Pupils who attend our weekly Choir Club participated in the Voice in a Million (VIAM) concert at Wembley Arena on Wednesday 23rd March.  The aim of the concert is to raise awareness of the plight of children in care and the importance of adoption and fostering, both in the UK and worldwide.  Our pupils, who have been rehearsing for some months, performed alongside 6000 other children from schools all over the UK.  The children had a wonderful time and I hope that you will visit the gallery page on our school’s website to look at the photos we have taken during this event and other important events in the school calendar.

During my Head Teacher’s Coffee Morning held via Zoom on 8th March, we heard from the school nurse and the school dental nurse who spoke about the importance of healthy eating and maintaining good oral hygiene.  We also briefly discussed the forthcoming changes to the catering of school dinners, which commence on 1st April.  We have taken the decision to manage and deliver the catering of school dinners in-house.  This is a project that I am particularly excited about as I believe we will have more control over the variety of items on the menu along the quality of produce used.

Thirty-three of our lucky year 5 pupils, along with Miss Penrose, Miss Bevis-Smith and Miss Edusei, attended Gordon Brown Residential Centre from Wednesday 16 to Friday 18th March.  I am told that many of the children had the time of their life and enjoyed outdoor activities including archery, rock climbing, caring for animals and singing by the campfire.  I did not want to miss out on the fun so made an impromptu visit to Gordon Brown on Thursday 17th March when we celebrated Miss Edusei’s birthday.

Florence Nightingale is our newest resident at Park Lane Primary School.  Florence is a hamster and she needed a new home so her friends in Butterfly reception class are now caring for her.  She spent her first week at school with class 1Y who learnt all about how to care for hamsters; they have written instructions for our reception children to follow and I know that they are very excited about the prospect of having a new class pet.

During the Spring Term, I have been entertained by several outstanding class assemblies.  The skeletal and muscular systems were the subject of 3Y’s class assembly, which was full of interesting and informative facts.  Next, it was the turn of 3G who re-enacted the Ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur; year 3 have been learning about Ancient Greece and the myths associated with this great civilisation.   The pupils in 2Y performed their version of ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’ by celebrated children’s storybook author -Julia Donaldson, and 2G made Mothers’ Day the subject of their class assembly which included a play highlighting all that mothers do for us and a song in their honour.  At the end of their performance, which was possibly the most moving assembly of the year so far, the children gave out daffodils to all the staff members who are parents/carers in the audience.

The Junior Travel Ambassadors delivered an important assembly about road safety, to the entire school population.  They were joined by Alison Bennett, who is the Road Safety Office for Brent.  During their assembly, the JTAs encouraged our pupils to cross the road at traffic lights and to use the pedestrian crossings after ensuring that traffic on both side of the road has come to a complete stop.

Our wonderful year 4 pupils did not disappoint with their performance of the Easter production.  Many of their parents/carers joined us at school on Tuesday 29th March to watch the performance, the pupil population having already watched the production the day before.  The children’s singing and acting performances were spectacular and I was very pleased that all of their hard work had paid off.  I would also like to commend the staff for their management of the performance and for the wonderful props and hand painted backdrops.

The annual Easter egg hunt and Easter bonnet parade took place on Thursday 31st March in the school playground.  I am always overwhelmed by how much effort our pupils, often with their help of their parents and carers, go to in producing the wonderful bonnets – each year’s display is better than the last.

School will be running the Easter holiday club for the first week of the Easter holiday break, for up to 40 children who have been invited to attend.  These children will, I’m sure, have a wonderful time engaged in a range of fun activities including arts and crafts, dance, computing and taking advantage of the warmer weather with lots of physical activities outdoors.  I hope that however you spend the Easter holiday break, you will have time to rest and recharge your batteries before we return to school on Tuesday 19th April.  We have big plans for the remainder of the school  year!



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