Principal's Message to Parents - 28th November 2021
Its hard to believe that this will be my last Parentmail before December! In today's letter we will be outlining our December plans in school.
This week students and staff took part in No Pens Day Wednesday on 24th November. This is the 11th NPDW since its launch. It is an I CAN initiative which is a national celebration focussing on verbal communication and interactions without using pens. All areas of school signed a pledge not to use pens on that day. They joined in activities from painting and recording their voices to describe ‘wanted’ posters in KS2, to debating if “All adults should be given free money” in English in KS3, then speed talking activities in Sixth Form where students spoke about their interests and hobbies. Experiments took place in Science about lung function using balloons and plastic bottles and in Sixth Form about what happens if water containers are not changed or washed out for our small animals using a talking, cutting and sticking activity.
Staff on the routine learning walks adapted their practice by using a school map and stickers to make a note of the lessons. It was difficult to do without pens!
Later Mark Jennison from BBC Radio Nottingham phoned in for an interview with me. To listen to my interview, fast forward to 23.20;
We have also celebrated Shakespeare’s schools in school this week. Students from KS4 and 5 produced a short film at the end of the Summer as part of this yearly event. Andy Metcalfe wrote and directed the film and the actors were just amazing. This is available to watch on the Shakespeare’s schools website and will be available on our website very soon. The actors were ‘interviewed’ by a visitor to school last week and gave some great insights about what they had gained from the experience. One proud DHS moment!
As you know, today has been a Theme Day in school. I apologise for the short notice given to children and parents about this. This has been due to significant staff absence which continues to be Covid related and the usual time of year illness. The ‘Winter theme day’ has included lots of activities celebrating this time of year.
In 6th form staff and students are transforming the building into a Cinderella film set! So much great learning has happened here, planning and ideas sharing together, working together as a team, fine and gross motor skills activities, decision making, measuring, sequencing, following instructions…the list is endless! Room 1 sets the scene and the corridor shows the magical journey to the ball which is set in the conservatory. The final wedding and party room emerges in what we usually call room 2! Fun, disguised learning at its best!
One of our KS3 groups started the day watching Newsround, they watched clips about young penguins and how they survive in the arctic weather, they did a nature walk looking at the different colours of trees/leaves. Once the rain started they did some wintry word searches and had a quiz. We mustn’t forget the hot chocolate after break!
All school Senior Leaders have received a letter from the Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State. There was a big focus on our responsibility to ensure that children attend school every day that they are expected to. I will share an excerpt from the letter;
‘I know that the pandemic has exacerbated traditional drivers of nonattendance as well, such as lack of routine and mental health challenges, and as we now move forward I hope that we can continue to work together in a collaborative way to tackle these. As such, I want to work with you to really focus in on resetting our approach to attendance and make maximising school attendance a top priority. This is not only crucial for ensuring that all children and young people, including the most vulnerable, are taking advantage of the education recovery programme, but also for their own physical and mental wellbeing. Schools of course play an extremely crucial role on attendance, and I am keen to build on the excellent work that is already ongoing. You (school leaders) are in a unique position to spot various issues that contribute to absence, and the relationships you (senior leaders) hold with pupils and families are vital to reaching resolutions. It remains important that we are taking a robust and joined up approach across the sector…’
He talks about working together and how important our relationships with our families is, which we at Dawn House School firmly believe.
Last Saturday 20th November we were so pleased that we could host an annual Parents' Day again for the first time for two years. Last year we held virtual consultations via zoom with form tutors so it was even more special that this year parents were able to meet face to face with form tutors, subject teachers, speech and language therapists and our occupational therapists to receive feedback regarding your children. During the day a great number of parents attended and we very much appreciated you supporting the Friends of Dawn House by purchasing cakes and decorations from our stalls and joining in with the fun of the silent auction. The money we raise certainly makes a difference to the experience of pupils in school.
We would very much like to hear your comments regarding the day so would be grateful if you would click on the following link to give yours, this helps evaluate and plan for next year’s event, thank you.
December dates for your information
Christmas is fast approaching....where does the time go!
Here is a list of forthcoming events until the end of term for you to watch out for.
Friday 3rd December - Christmas Jumper (non-school uniform) day
Friday 10th December - Dawn House school Christmas Market stall for pupils. All pupils will have the opportunity to do their Christmas shopping for family, their pets and friends by attending the Market stall supported by staff in school. Gifts will range from £1 to £5. (Any donations for the stall appreciated)
Wednesday 15th December - Christmas lunch for pupils and staff
Thursday 16th December - Winter Wonderland event. This will take place at 2.15, we are hoping to invite parents along (weather permitting), refreshments will be available. More information nearer the time.
Friday 17th December - Last day of term School closes for pupils at 1pm
Don't forget your raffle tickets - please support us by selling them to family and friends. Tickets are £1 each and we have some lovely prizes - including perfume, a candle hamper, toolkit and many more. If you would like tickets please send in money with name and contact details of the person/people purchasing the tickets and they well be sent to you.
Don’t forget our Amazon wish list if you fancy doing a bit of shopping!
Now it's time for the weekend!
We look forward to seeing your children next week,