Headteacher's blog

Communication from the Headteacher,

Ms Sarah White

End of term letter – December 2014

Written the 19 December 2014

Dear Parents,

As the festive season approaches the excitement at BJAB escalates. The children participate in each event with their typical enthusiasm, reinforcing our core aim, ‘loving life and learning.’  Smiling faces greeted St Nicolas, who visited us at the beginning of the month with slippers full of goodies, at the Early Years production of   ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ and today at the class parties. Perhaps more importantly, BJAB pupils have an understanding of those less fortunate than themselves. The children in Years 3 and 6 made biscuits and sandwiches for our chosen charity, Adeste Thermos, and the School Council was inspired to raise more money to help in the Christmas appeal.

I have come to appreciate that children’s attitude and behaviour are a direct result of their adult role models. Throughout this term, parents have shown enthusiasm for a number of events led by our energetic PTA. The highlights were the Pizza and Pyjama Party, with the adults enjoying the Beetle Drive and last night’s cocktail reception. The teaching and administration staff continues to give so much to the community outside the academic curriculum. Yesterday’s marvellous Christmas entertainment brought together teachers and parents in a show epitomising BJAB’s spirit; my heartfelt thanks go to colleagues and parents who worked together to maintain our unique sense of community. (I would like to name individuals but I would simply be reproducing the staff list!)

As well as the fun we have at school, pupils and staff have worked hard and achieved well. I have the privilege of observing pupil progression in all areas and I am pleased to report continued high standards. I have seen some impressive pieces of work from Kindergarten to Year 6 and have shared my good opinions with you throughout the term.

The staff has looked carefully at a range of policies and the school has invested heavily in staff training to safeguard pupils and the specialist LAMDA programme. As a reward for good behaviour, I arranged for them to take a break at a nearby hair salon. (Thank you, Toni and Guy!). I attended the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) conference in September and recently updated my previous schools’ Inspector knowledge.

On Thursday 8th January at 7.30pm, Leisa Randall, Chartered Psychologist, will be giving a presentation called Positive Parenting. This is an important topic and one which I am sure parents will find valuable. It will include information about successful communication with children and positive behaviour management. The event takes places in the Sunshine Gym and starts with drinks at 7pm.

This term has seen the BJAB spirit extending into the wider community. I am pleased to note that pupils have been involved in musical, artistic and sporting events throughout the city. Congratulations to them and we wish them further success.

Day-to-day, the school continues to function well but I would like to remind parents of two points which help us all. First, please arrive punctually. School starts at 8.25 (9am for KG) and I like to greet children from 8.10. If you arrive by car please do not double park or block the parking bays as this causes inconvenience to others. Second, a reminder that school term dates are published well in advance. Pupils are expected to complete all the required school days of term and it is not acceptable to withdraw children during the term for holidays or any other reason. Special permission may be given in exceptional circumstances, but parents must contact me in writing well in advance. Thank you for co-operating with the staff and me on these matters.

With this long and highly productive term coming to an end I would like to wish you all a happy and restful holiday. I am very grateful for the plentiful and thoughtful gifts that I have received in the last few days. I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah White