Head Teacher’s Blog December 2022
The festive season has finally arrived and it has brought with it snow and cold weather. The children have been very excited about the prospect of a white Christmas; at the end of the school day, many of our pupils have enjoyed snowball fights in the park and our younger pupils have told their classmates about how they have made snowmen, decorated with old scarfs and hats.
This December, we were pleased to be able to organise the annual Christmas Disco at Park Lane Primary School. The PSA took the lead in decorating the hall and in providing a tuck shop selling refreshments to raise money in support of the PSA. Our resident DJ, Miss South, was in charge of music and our pupils (and staff) had the opportunity to express their music preferences to her in the lead up to the event.
On Wednesday 14th December, we enjoyed Christmas lunch – Roast Turkey or Veggie Wellington and seasonal vegetables with all the trimmings, fresh fruit and ice cream for pudding. The dinner hall was aptly decorated and each child was given a Christmas cracker, which contained the obligatory joke and paper crown. On the day, children and staff also wore their Christmas jumpers in place of their red school logo sweatshirt.
Our wonderfully talented KS1 and EYFS pupils have been busy rehearsing their Nativity plays over the past month and gave delightful performances to parents/carers and school governors on the 6th and 13th December, respectively. I think that everyone in attendance agreed that our Christmas angels are the best in Bethlehem.
As a special treat for all children and staff, the Wizard Theatre attended Park Lane Primary School on Friday 9th December to deliver their pantomime performance of Robin Hood. The performance was hugely entertaining, the children seated in the school hall erupting in fits of laughter on several occasions!
Since returning from the half term break on October 31st, we have taken on two new members of staff; Mr Bernardo Simoes joins us as Music Teacher, and Mrs. Magdalena Hotea is a Learning Support Assistant in class 1Y.
Our year 6 pupils attended the Junior Citizens Event at the Bridge Park Leisure Centre on Monday 7th November. Every year, agencies come together to introduce Year 6 children to key life skills at an important stage in their development, when they are becoming more independent. The Junior Citizens Event allows the children to take part in fun sessions and activities, teaching them how to act safely, respectfully and carefully when travelling in and around London. Additionally, the workshop encourages them to live a safe and healthy lifestyle, and to make them aware of how to react in sometimes difficult situations which they may come across, such as first aid emergency or fire.
The Junior Citizenship Scheme is a partnership activity involving the Metropolitan Police Roads Transport Policing Command, Transport for London Safety & Citizenship Team, Brent Council Road Safety Team, Brent Police Safer Schools Team and WDP Brent drug and addiction advisory agency.
Our year 6 pupils were also fortune to visit the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre during November, when they had the opportunity to groom and ride a pony. This is in line with the year 6 class value of responsibility, and our list of 50 things to do before leaving Park Lane Primary School.
There were other school trips of note this half term. Our year 1 pupils had the opportunity to visit the Florence Nightingale Museum; Florence Nightingale is, of course, the founder of modern nursing and is known for her work during the Crimean War. During the workshop that year 1 attended, they learnt about how Florence Nightingale campaigned for better health care for ordinary people and how her rigid cleaning practices improved hospital hygiene.
To consolidate what our year 4 pupils have been learning about, they visited the Verulamium Museum in St. Albans. Built on the site of one of the largest Roman cities in Britain, the museum contains ancient mosaics, treasures and artefacts from the bygone era. Whilst there, the children attended a workshop where they had the opportunity of dressing up in Roman attire and learning about their daily life, customs and religious practices.
Year 4 have also been learning about Ancient Greek Mythology, and eight of our year 4 pupils visited the British Museum of London accompanied by Ms. Panayi and Miss Admani, to view the Greek artefacts on display there. The children have been tasked with creating their own mythological creatures and used their visit to help find inspiration.
Our year 4 to 6 school councillors participated in the planting of saplings on December 1st, in a dedicated space in King Edward Vll Park; the space will be used to create an urban forest. The children were joined by Brent Officials, including the Mayor, School Governors and members of the press. The ground breaking innovation for the project came from a Japanese Botanist called Akira Miyawaki, who uses densely planted trees and shrubs to create a thriving forest in just a few years, rather than taking decades!
During the week commencing 14th November, Park Lane Primary School celebrated Anti-Bullying Week; each class held their own workshop to explore the subject, specifically this year’s theme Reach Out. Mrs. Ogbebor launched Anti-Bullying Week during Head Teacher’s assembly, and pupils and staff were encouraged to wear odd socks on the day, signifying the fact that we are all unique. On Friday 18th November, we held a Spotacular non-uniform day to raise funds for Children in Need.
Our talented pupils entertained and enlightened us during their class assemblies; subjects ranged from the Romans (class 4Y) and Anglo Saxons (Class 5Y) to religious and cultural diversity (class 6G) and Remembrance Day (Class 4G). Class 5G gave a fantastic performance during their re-enactment of the myth of Beowulf.
At 11am on the 11th of November, the pupils and staff observed 2 minutes of silence in recognition of all the men and women who lost their lives in all conflicts across the world, during Remembrance Day. Miss Sparrow led a special assembly to explain the significance of Remembrance Day and why some people wear a poppy to show their support for the Royal British Legion.
Educational Psychologist, Kat Gicheva, delivered a workshop to our parents and carers, on the importance of creating routines for children and setting behavioural boundaries.
Parents/carers had a wonderful time attending the Nursery Stay and Play session, which was held on Thursday 17th November and the Reception Stay and Play session which was held on Thursday 10th November. Our EYFS pupils have settled quickly into their new learning environment and have really enjoyed their time here, since commencing nursery/reception in September. They were overjoyed at being able to demonstrate all that they have learnt and what they get up to during the day, when their parents/carers came to visit. Parents/carers also had the opportunity to ask questions about what their children are learning and also observed the teaching of a phonics lesson with our new reading scheme – Little Wandle Letters and Sounds.
Our nursery and reception children also enjoyed a very special visit from the Wembley Fire Brigade on the 10th November. The children have been learning about people who help us to understand the world and now recognise the vital role that firefighters play in keeping us safe.
Year 5, who have been learning about the Anglo Saxons, participated in a workshop delivered by Historic Workshops on the 8th of December. The children spent the day off-timetable, learning all about the Anglo Saxons: their day to day life, what they ate, who they worshiped and specifically, the Battle of Hastings. There was an opportunity for the children to design their own Anglo Saxon shields and to dress up in Anglo style clothing.
The Spring Term commences on Wednesday 4th January, this is usually the term when we see the most progress in the children’s attainment. Before that however, I hope that our staff, pupils and their families will have a safe and joyful holiday during the festive season and I wish you all a Merry Christmas!