In line with the Government’s latest advice we have reopened for all year groups and look forward to welcoming back our children after the half term break.
Half term is upon us and I hope that you find some time to rest and enjoy time with your children. We have certainly all appreciated having them back at Barrow Hills this term. It has been wonderful to see all the exciting things that they have been getting up to at school over the past six weeks, both in and out of the classroom. The children have enthusiastically participated in the usual array of lessons, assemblies, activities, clubs and more recently trips to local farms, as well as Year 1’s trip to the beach yesterday. The whole school community has coped with the unprecedented circumstances and there have been many credits earned for displaying the characteristics of our pupil profile: curiosity, scholarly, bravery, generosity, compassion, joyfulness, truthfulness and responsibility. Not only have these contributed to the House competitions, but these characteristics have helped the children support one another and assisted staff in the smooth running of the school.
Compassion and generosity have come to the fore in the amazing way that everyone has supported our harvest appeal. The Godalming Community Store has been overwhelmed by the volume of items donated by Barrow Hills and there is more still arriving everyday – thank you.
The news continues to be full of ideas about what the future might bring in terms of local lockdowns or national circuit breaks and I wanted to reassure you that we have been busy preparing for many eventualities. I will be sending communication over half term regarding one or two alterations to day-to-day procedures for next half term. Inevitably, we are having to remain flexible in order to adhere to government guidance as to how we will hold the many traditional events in the run up to Christmas.
Now that I have mentioned Christmas, thanks must go, once again, to Mel Harris for coordinating the children’s Christmas cards. I had a sneaky peak at all the entries and selected one to be my official Head’s card. There really was an amazing variety and creativity on show from Father Christmas buried head first in the snow, to cheeky reindeer spying carrots and Covid masked themes. However, in the end the technical skill and beauty of Heidi’s (6G) entry won the day!
One of the more surprising elements of the term so far has been the number of prospective parent visits from those interested in sending their children to our fabulous school. We will have welcomed an extra fourteen new children between September and the start of next term! In providing for the larger numbers in Kindy and Nursery we will have two new faces in the Pre-Prep staff team. Mrs Julie Triska, parent of Ellie and Charlie, who currently helps Mr Dean with Adventure Club, will start after half term. She has worked in other local nurseries as a practitioner and has Forest School and swimming qualifications so will be helping out in these areas, too. Miss Esme Wright will also be joining us as a dedicated Pre-Prep Gap Student. Esme has just finished York University and is taking a year out of studying before taking her Masters. She is contemplating a career in education and her experience with us will be invaluable. I am sure that you will extend to them the usual warm Barrow Hills welcome.
I am mindful that many of us have had our holiday plans affected over the past few months and we have had to adjust dates and take into account quarantine rules. It is clear that quarantining measures will be with us for the foreseeable future and, whilst some countries may come and go from the UK Government’s list, we ask that you notify the school if you return from overseas travel that requires your children to quarantine during term time.
Finally, I would like to thank the staff for going above and beyond in ensuring that we make school as normal as possible for the children. They have all been outstanding! I would also like to thank you for all your support over the course of this half term; community spirit at Barrow Hills has always thrived, this seems more important now than ever.