And so we head into 2022.
Despite numerous positive Covid-19 cases during the Autumn Term, the current Government guidelines mean that classes can continue in school, with only the affected pupil remaining at home in isolation until they get the “all-clear” with a negative PCR test. All parents of children in classes where there had been a confirmed case have been notified and some parents have opted to take their children for a PCR test to confirm that they have not contracted the virus. Children isolating at home continue to receive home learning through Google Classroom.
Morning sports, arts and games clubs resumed in Autumn 1 with each year group enjoying a week of activities from 8am each day. In Autumn 2, children in Years 1-6 were able to come at 8am each day every day, with Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4, Years 5 and 6 all socially distanced from each other.
Afternoon clubs are slowly returning with our school choir rehearsing hard for the Young Voices concert in the New Year. Dance, theatre, table tennis, basketball and netball clubs are all taking place as well. Sadly, with the omicron variant of Covid-19 causing concern nationally, and with the safety and health of all those involved remaining the primary concern, the Young Voices organisers have decided to postpone the January concerts. It is hoped to rearrange these amazing events for later in the school year. The choir did get to perform a beautiful song during our Remembrance commemorations on Armistice day on 11 November.
While classes continue to remain in separate bubbles, within the classrooms children are no longer seated in rows. Grouped tables allows for more collaborative activities and group work during lessons. At the time of writing, we are planning to be able to allow our Year 6 classes to all share the same start and finish times to enable focused teaching to take place in preparation for the end of key stage tests.
We held our first fundraising event of the year – linked to the London Marathon. All classes took part in a Mini-Marathon on 29th September. Lots of children achieved the target of running 2.6 miles around the school course, which contributed to their class running the equivalent of approximately three real marathons together. Donations were collected to support CLIC Sargent and Molly Olly’s Wishes – supporting the projects and people they work with both nationally and within our own St Matthew’s community.
We have had a couple of year groups going out for educational visits, with Year 4 visiting the wonderful Whipsnade Wild Animal Park at the beginning of December, and Year 2 visiting our friends at High Town Baptist Church as part of their learning all about the Christmas story.
In the wider community, we were pleased to contribute to the success of the High Town Christmas Market on Sunday 12th December. Many children had the chance to meet Santa in the grotto built by members of our school staff. We also contributed one of the window displays (although ours is on the school gates) in the second High Town Window Advent Calendar.
In the final week of term, we enjoyed our traditional Christmas singalongs. Fortunately, the weather remained dry, and not too cold, so outdoor performances were able to take place. We donned our Christmas jumpers and other festive apparel on Wednesday and Thursday and enjoyed a delicious traditional Christmas roast dinner of turkey, roast potatoes, chipolatas, parsnips, carrots, peas and sprouts with stuffing and gravy. Judging by comments heard after the meals, it was the parsnips that were the highlight for many people. One teacher was heard to say “I could have eaten a bucketful of those parsnips!”
The Christmas holiday is now over and New Year celebrations have taken place and we’re all back in school ready to start the Spring Term.
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