Dear Marlborough Families,
I hope that this newsletter finds you and your family safe and well. I understand how disappointing it is that schools are closed to most pupils once again and I share your frustration. However, given the very high levels of Coronavirus transmission there really is no option. The one thing I love above all else at Marlborough, is our wonderful sense of community, belonging and togetherness. Yet again, this is a time for us all to really pull together and look after everyone within this lovely community. Let us continue to show compassion, love, understanding and support for one another. We are all trying to do our best.
I look forward to the day when we welcome all of the children back to school once again. In the meantime, please remember that my team and I are here to support the pupils and you our families.
Building Positive and Resilient Families Programme
What is it?
We are incredibly excited to be able to offer our families a unique opportunity to participate in a 6-week programme led by Sally Evans (Organisational Psychologist) focused solely on you and your family and will complement the work that we do in school on positive education.
Monday 6:30 –7:30 p.m. via Zoom starting on Monday 1st February
Why are we offering this programme to our families?
- To support the wider Marlborough Community to live more fulfilled and positive lives by offering learning on enhanced emotional health.
- To help parents understand the importance of the positive culture that we continue to develop at Marlborough and how explore how you can contribute and support this.
The evidence for strong mental and emotional health on the attainment and potential of our young people is strong. If they are confident, resilient and know how to master the challenges of life, they will live more satisfying lives and will achieve their full potential – they will be curious and will grow into the adults we all wish them to be. This means we must be proactive in offering them life skills that we may all have taken for granted in the past.
Marlborough has been embracing Positive Education for the past two years and we want to further embed it in our culture. Positive Education is an approach to education that blends academic learning with character & well-being. Preparing children with life skills such as: grit, optimism, resilience, growth mindset, engagement, and mindfulness amongst others. Positive education is based on the science of well-being and happiness. We need parents and teachers alike though to role model these amazing qualities for it to be learned by the children.
What is in it for me?
- An opportunity to learn some new tools and life skills.
- An opportunity to find out more about the topic so you are better informed to help your children flourish.
- An opportunity to create a Resilient Family – one that flourishes together as it navigates life’s challenges, rather than treads water.
Who is Sally Evans?
Sally Evans is an Organisational Psychologist, and she works in schools to help teachers and school leaders to strengthen their own mental health, so they are in the best possible position to lead and support the pupils.
As a school, we have been fortunate enough to work with Sally on leadership development and positive psychology with Sally Evans since 2016. The impact her training has had on us all professionally and more surprisingly personally has been incredible. It has allowed us to thrive and flourish both as individuals and as part of the Marlborough Team despite the unexpected challenges that the last year has brought. We continue to actively practise positive psychology and are continuing with our staff training program this year .
Sally works in the corporate arena focusing on Senior Board support and Leadership Development programmes. She also undertakes leadership work in Education consortia and has worked in Central South, EAS and ERW regions supporting schools and leaders with wellbeing and resilience programmes. Discussions with headteachers and of course, media reporting, drew her to the need to share this same knowledge and skills with young people. Headteachers in both primary and secondary have confirmed that the skills she offers are much needed as a preventative measure for young people to increase mental and emotional health, in much the same way PE, increases physical health.
Sally practises ‘positive’ psychology – a focus on the strengthening of skills and attributes rather than a focus on what is missing. She has been inspired to create www.lifebuddy.co.uk (Facebook / Instagram: lifebuddyuk) – a resource site providing free guidance and tips on how to change habits, reduce anxiety and create a more fulfilling life for you and your family.]
What is involved?
It is a 45-minute webinar followed by the opportunity to ask questions. You just click the Zoom link we send you and need to have access to an iPad, phone or laptop and Sally will share her thoughts and ideas. Though Sally does enjoy asking questions of participants, you do not need to respond verbally or at all – it is just an opportunity to listen, learn and enjoy. So why not grab a coffee and settle down to an hour of interesting new information that should really help all our families flourish as we embark on 2021 – the year of happiness!
- February 1st: Flourishing families: Building a resilient and flourishing family
- February 8th: Frantic Families: Three big questions every family should ask
- February 15th: Resilient family: Understanding personal resilience and the importance of being resilient together
- February 22nd: IQ, EQ, DQ? How to grow social and emotional intelligence and consider the impact of digital intelligence
- March 1st: Super powers: The power and impact of positive conversations
- March 8th: Super powers: The power and impact of using our strengths building
Still not convinced. Here is some research …
The World Government Summit discussed this very same topic and provided the global measures and case studies for evidence for benefit in schools in this document here:
How do I book?
Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To register your place, please complete and submit a Form (click on the link below).
First of all, I would like to acknowledge just how hard this is for all of you trying to juggle your own work, family commitments and now yet again, a prolonged period of trying to support your children with their learning at home. I know that this causes so much worry, concern and stress for many of you. As a family, please do what is manageable and works around your commitments and be kind to yourselves, you are doing your best in challenging circumstances.
I know many of you are also concerned about your children falling behind with their learning. Please remember that all children nationally are in the same boat. It is the job of my team and I to ensure that all children catch up and we have robust measures in place to support pupils who are at risk of falling behind.
Our Blended Learning plan and support material can be found in the Parents section of our website. My team and I are currently planning additional regular live sessions for all children and we will communicate this plan with you next week.
Provision for children of Critical Care workers and Vulnerable Children
We currently have 60 children registered for our Hub provision. Due to high levels of demand we have had to prioritise places for NHS, Blue Light workers, social care, school based staff and vulnerable learners. My staff are all timetabled on a rota to cover provision in school, whilst simultaneously managing home learning. We are keeping children in small groups in different classrooms (I.E. N-R, Year 1-2, Year 3-4, Year 5-6 and SRB) to try and limit the potential for onward transmission of the virus. I am sorry that we cannot currently meet the demand for places from parents who fall into the broader critical care worker category; we will continue to review our numbers and capacity on a week-by-week basis.
Pupils eligible for Free School Meals
All pupils eligible for Free School Meals will receive a weekly supermarket voucher during this period of school closure. If any family is experiencing hardship, please let us know. We may be able to put you in touch with local organisations who are able to help.
We welcomed 2021 with a ‘Soothe’ week based upon the Health and Well Being Area of Learning Experience, Statement of What matters 2.
How we process and respond to our experiences affects our mental health and emotional well-being.
This Area can help learners explore the connections between their experiences, mental health and emotional well-being. By being provided with opportunities to explore the complexities of these connections, learners can be enabled to recognise that feelings and emotions are neither fixed nor consistent.
Having an awareness of our own feelings and emotions is the foundation upon which empathy can be developed. This can enable us to act in a way which supports the mental health and emotional well-being of others. Supporting learners to develop strategies which help them to regulate their emotions can contribute towards good mental health and emotional well-being.
By learning how to communicate their feelings, learners will be better placed to create a culture where talking about mental health and emotional well-being is normalised.
This was a week of mindfulness activities to reflect on 2020 and to think about our hopes and goals for 2021. This start to the year was about facing a new set of challenges, appreciating the need for self-reflection, while developing our gratitude, self-care and resilience. There were a wide range of activities undertaken from yoga, meditation, gratitude journals and writing about our hopes and dreams for the future.
Our next project is, “Science starts with the WHY!” The children will be investigating Statements of What Matters 2 and 3 from the Sci and Tech Area of Learning Experience.
2.Matter and the way it behaves defines our universe and shapes our lives.
3.Forces and energy provide a foundation for understanding our universe.
There will be practical investigations, problems to solve and concepts to explain as part of your child’s blended learning over the next few weeks. It promises to be a very engaging and exciting topic
Congratulations to Mrs Hannah Cashin and her husband Joe on the birth of Millie Rae. Millie was born on 6th January and her arrival has brought much needed joy to the school community.
The childrens’ Christmas gifts and messages to the residents of Thomas Court certainly brought much needed festive cheer. Below is just a few of the thank you messages that we have received in the post.