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Head’s Update

07.06.2024

At the end of last week, we had some very exciting news. Prior to the half term break, I had submitted a bid for some funding to enable us to create two new spaces at Trinity, a sensory room and a space we can use for the various therapies we offer to the children who need them. Last Friday I had confirmation that our bid had been successful! The spaces will be created by repurposing existing rooms at Trinity, both of which are dull, tired spaces that we use because we have to but which are not at all inviting. The rooms adjoin our new quad room, and together they will form a therapeutic hub at the centre of our school.

I am really proud of the different ways in which we are able to support the wellbeing of the children at Trinity, and I am also often in awe of the skill and dedication of the staff who work so hard to meet the needs of the children. We offer our Nurture provision every afternoon; we have two trained ELSAs (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants) who between them are able to meet with children on an individual basis or in small groups, again on a daily basis; we have a member of staff who offers Drawing and talking therapy and we are also able to offer play therapy through the Frome Learning Partnership. The majority of our children don’t need to access these services, but for those who do, having a purposefully created space to use will be a real benefit, and hopefully help to make the impact of the therapy even better. I also hope it will be a real boost to both the staff and children involved because I hope it will reinforce for both the value we place on that therapeutic work.

I am also hoping that we will be able to carry out a small amount of structural work, which will enable us to reinstate our cooking and therefore enable us to involve the children in a wider variety of cooking activities. Preparing food and eating together is a key component of good nurture provision and our nurture staff are very creative with the limited resources available to us, but it would be brilliant to be able to extend the skills the children are practising, and also to enable children across the school to engage in cooking as well. As with lots of things in education nowadays, that will depend on the money stretching far enough, but we will certainly do our best to ensure that it does.

23.05.2024

This week has been ‘book ended’ with two fantastic running events. On Sunday, we had the brilliant Colour Run, which was organised for us by FOTFS, and we are ending the week by joining in with Rachel Clark’s Mile a Day challenge for WHY.

It was fantastic to see so many families supporting the Colour Run on Sunday afternoon. The weather was perfect, and the whole event was great fun. The FOTFS committee were on site from 8:30am setting everything up – making sure the course was clearly marked out and setting up the start and finish points, as well as several obstacles to make the run even more fun. They had also organised the refreshments and the sound system, both of which were central to the event. Altogether, the ticket sales and refreshment sales raised £1,000 for FOTFS, which is amazing. As a school we are really grateful to the committee for their dedication, not just to fundraising, but also to making sure that there are fun, social events to bring our community together at different times throughout the year. We are also really grateful to everyone else who volunteered on the day, and to  Phoenix Electrical for sponsoring the event.

Rachel Clark has committed to running a mile a day, every day, in 2024 to raise money for We Hear You. This is the second time Rachel has undertaken this challenge and we were delighted to join in last time as well. That was a few years ago now, but as staff we still remember how much fun the children had running with Rachel – so many of them ran far further than a mile! When I saw that Rachel was repeating the challenge, I got in touch to see if we could run with her again, and I was so pleased when she said yes! We will be the first school Rachel will run with this time, and it is extra-special as we have Rachel’s niece at Trinity too. Rachel describes herself as not a runner (hence the challenge!) and as well as being great fun, it is also a brilliant example to the children of committing to doing something that doesn’t come easily or naturally. For more information about Rachel’s challenge click on the link:

https://www.wehearyou.org.uk/fundraising/365-for-why-the-sequel/

We Hear You (WHY) is a fabulous, local charity that supports children and families coming to terms with the implications of a cancer or any other life-threatening illness. If you are able to, please make a donation as we support Rachel’s challenge this week. You can do that via ParentPay as we have set up a payment item, which will hopefully make it straightforward.

Next week is half term so I wish all of our families a wonderful week. I hope you will have time to spend together and the opportunity to do things you enjoy….even if that is just not having to do the school run in the morning! We will be welcoming everyone back on Monday 3rd June, ready for a busy second half to the summer term.

17.05.2024

As part of our Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) curriculum, each week we discuss a ‘Big Question’ with the children. Although this is an activity that the children do in their classes, the questions are the same across the school, so the children in Reception share their thoughts on the same question as the children in year 4 – and all the year groups in between. This is a great way to capture a range of thoughts and views across the school.

The discussions are structured to encourage the children to think deeply and to listen to and value everyone’s answers. The questions are designed to have lots of different potential answers. In some cases the question might prompt very clear, but different, viewpoints being shared by each child, and in others each child’s own answer might be more ambiguous in itself as it can depend on the circumstances. Sometimes the responses are very everyday, and other times the questions prompt a much deeper response. One of our recent questions was ‘Is it always good to succeed?’ In response, the children cited a real variety of reasons, but nearly all of the answers were that it is not always good to succeed. The reasons ranged from it being more important to take part (in a sporting activity for instance) to what could happen in a war if the wrong country won.

This week’s question is ‘Is waiting always difficult?’ There have been some lovely responses showing the children understand the need to wait sometimes and that we need to be patient if we are waiting, but they also recognise that sometimes we get bored and grumpy when we are waiting! It is also very clear that some things are really hard to wait for – something we are really looking forward to like going on holiday for instance. The children in Reception were able to share that there can often be a reward for waiting, with two examples given being waiting in line at the fish and chip shop, and waiting to go on rides at Legoland.

Although not necessarily academic learning, these discussions are an invaluable part of our week. They support the children’s speaking and listening development, encouraging them to share their thoughts and to listen to others and take turns. In addition, the children’s responses can give their teachers a real insight into an individual child’s way of thinking or their approach to life. This is all part of really knowing the children, which is one of the absolute joys of the job.

10.05.24

As if the sunshine and the long weekend were not enough alone to lift spirits, May is Share a Story month – what more could we want! At Trinity, we love to celebrate great children’s books and stories and so although we hardly need an excuse to do that, it is fantastic to feel that there is a compelling reason to seek out and share brilliant stories as much as we can.

Over the last couple of weeks in my Key Stage 1 assemblies, I have taken the opportunity to read some of my favourite stories to the children. The first one is a brilliant book called ‘That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown’, by Cressida Cowell. Emily Brown is a little girl with an enormous imagination, who goes on all sorts of fantastic adventures with her much-loved rabbit, Stanley. Unfortunately, the adventures keep getting interrupted by people attempting to persuade Emily Brown to part with Stanley until Stanley gets stolen and Emily has to get him back. The second story I’ve shared is ‘What-a-Mess’ by Frank Muir. This is a much older book that tells the story of the adventures and more often misadventures of a puppy trying to work out what he is. As with any great children’s book, these two are not only fun and engaging stories, they also have the most wonderful illustrations that are a joy to share with children. What-a-Mess landing in the compost heap, crashing into the tea table and getting stuck at the bottom of the pond were particular favourites that had the children giggling yesterday.

Earlier in the week, I popped across to Oakfield to take part in their celebrations of Share a Story month. Every day, the children in years 5 and 6 are invited to go into the library, where an adult will share a story with them. It was a lovely opportunity for me to see some familiar faces! I chose to share Roald Dahl’s ‘Revolting Rhymes’ as I wanted something that was self-contained, but also fun. I’m not sure the rhymes, which are Dahl’s retelling of some familiar fairy tales, are quite right for the younger children, but they were just about right for my audience on Tuesday. The children enjoyed the slightly naughty twists at the end, and didn’t mind the slightly more gruesome details. It was a real pleasure to be able to go and see some of our old pupils – and to read to them!

03.05.2024

We have been delighted to see so many parents (and grandparents!) at the Share my Work sessions over the last couple of weeks. The children do so much in school, and we know that even the chattiest of children probably only share a fraction of the news from the school day once they get home. Although the Share my Work sessions are relatively short, it seems that we have been able to find something that is not too difficult for busy families, but also works within our hectic school day. It is fantastic to hear the children talking about their learning, and really good for them to see what they remember and what they are able to explain about what they have learned, which is often a good test of how well something has been learned!

In our Stars assemblies on Fridays we are also making opportunities for the children to share and talk about their work. This morning it was the turn of Holly class and the Reception children. The children in Holly class treated us to a fantastic rainforest weather report, presented with great style by Bonnie and Jack. We also heard all about a workshop they enjoyed this week on the Ancient Egyptians. The Reception children treated us to a performance of two poems they have learned recently, one about a tadpole becoming a frog and the other about a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. They also showed us some beautiful artwork of frogs, snails and butterflies.

This week also saw a group of children from Sunshine class visiting Critchill Court, where they took part in activities with some of the residents. This is now going to be a regular fixture in the Reception week, with different groups of children visiting each time. The children thoroughly enjoyed their visit and we are really grateful for the support from Critchill Court which is enabling this to happen. There are so many benefits of inter-generational engagement and we are so excited to have been able to set up regular contact between us.

26.04.2024

We have had two really exciting visitors in school this week, both of them linked to stories and storytelling.

Local author Claire Vowell, author of Nurdle (www.nurdlenerd.co.uk), came to talk to the children in Jasmine and Poppy on Monday afternoon. The children have done lots of work based on Claire’s book, including their beautiful artwork for the Winter Wanderland last month. Claire saw the windows and happily got in touch with Mrs Williams to see if the children would be interested in a visit. The children were so excited and thoroughly enjoyed their afternoon with Claire. Claire told them lots more about nurdles, and also talked to them about the process of writing her book. During our Stars assembly this morning, children from Jasmine and Poppy were able to tell year 1 and reception all about the visit, and to explain to us what nurdles are. So many hands went up when I asked if anyone was inspired to write their own book following Claire’s visit!

Our second visitor came about following an email I received a few months ago. I get quite a lot of emails every day, and of those several trying to persuade me to subscribe to something or buy something. These are emails I can quickly delete as we really don’t have the money in our budget! However, an email from Tom at Terrestrial (www.terrestrial.org.uk)  caught my eye. Tom was emailing to see if we would be interested in taking part in a storytelling project, one which (crucially!) he was seeking funding for from elsewhere. With positive responses from Trinity and a couple of other local schools, Tom set about securing the funding. Happily he was able to do so, and the first sessions took place this week. I met with Tom before the Easter break, and I came away from the meeting feeling both excited and nervous about the project. Tom’s enthusiasm was amazing, which made me feel pretty confident that the children would have a fantastic time in the sessions, but it can also be a bit of a risk handing over classes to visitors at times! I absolutely need not have worried. Tom is working with Pine and Gorse classes and he had the children completely engaged and totally enthused from the start to the end of the first session. I popped in to see a little bit of his time with Gorse class and it was just such a delight. Tom was in the middle of telling the children a story, and the children may have physically been in the room, but in their minds they were right in the middle of the story, living the central character’s experience as Tom told his story. Tom will be working with the children every other week for most of this term and as the sessions evolve, the children will be making their own stories. I cannot wait to see what happens next!

19.04.2024

Welcome to the summer term. It is fair to say it did not feel at all like summer might be on the way on Monday morning as the heavens opened at 8:30, but hopefully things are improving! This term is always a busy one, and we seem to have started as we mean to go on.

On Tuesday morning, the children in Holly and Bramble took part in an Ultimate Frisbee festival, organised by IG Sports. Before the Easter break the children had had some coaching sessions from IG staff and then were able to put their newly acquired skills to the test alongside children from other First schools at the festival. They have loved their frisbee sessions and thoroughly enjoyed the festival.

Also on Tuesday, Pine and Gorse went out on a trip. They were lucky enough to visit The Newt, spending time at the Roman villa and visitor centre, as well as managing a picnic lunch in the beautiful grounds. In Year 4 the children learn about the Romans and The Newt is an amazing place for the children to see so many aspects of their classroom learning brought to life. The villa at The Newt is a modern-day replica that has been built to an incredibly high standard. There was a Roman settlement on the site, and the visitor centre enables visitors to see some of the original floorplan of that site, as well as many artefacts and other fascinating aspects of Roman life in Britain. The children had a fabulous time!

This morning, Pine and Gorse class are out again, this time at a dance festival at the Merlin theatre. Again, this has been organised for us by IG Sports and is another chance for the children to come together with children from other schools, which is always great fun for the children. They have also had the opportunity to perform on the stage.

The children in Poppy and Jasmine are taking part in workshops on Florence Nightingale this morning. These are part of a service we subscribe to through the Somerset museums service, and provide an excellent, and cost-effective way, of us increasing the opportunities the children have to engage with experts in the field without needing to take the children out on an expensive trip. The workshops involve the children in different activities and also give them the chance to handle authentic artefacts to further enhance their knowledge and understanding of different aspects of history. When I popped in to see what was happening, the children were exploring artefacts including a portable medical kit (although the wooden box was pretty sturdy and quite heavy!), a lamp and replicas of a typical nurse’s uniform from the time. The children were showing plenty of curiosity!

21.03.2024

This week the Frome Kindness Festival is taking place and we were lucky enough to begin our week with a visit from two volunteers from the festival who led assemblies for us. The assemblies explored the theme “kindness bridges the differences between us”. They included a Buddhist story about a monkey king who makes himself into a bridge to save his tribe and teaches humans a lesson about kindness. The human king, who had wanted to take control of a mango tree and rid it of the monkeys so that he and his people could enjoy the delicious fruit themselves, was shown an example of a leader leading with kindness. For me, kindness in leadership is so important, but the importance of it can often be overlooked or misunderstood. Sometimes, this happens because kindness can be mistaken as weakness, and sometimes it can be hard to act in a way that is perceived as kindness by all parties; sometimes things are just too hectic to enable kindness to be given or received. I think kindness is often something we can think of as old-fashioned or appropriate only for young children, but this is underestimating the power of being kind. When we were reviewing our core values, we spent a lot of time considering kindness, debating whether there was something better or more up-to-date that we should aim for instead. We concluded there wasn’t.

As part of the festival, I also attended a workshop on ‘Kindness in the Classroom’. This was specifically aimed at the Early Years and some parents may have been able to attend the workshop led by the same speaker on toddler tantrums, where I believe some of the same research and conclusions were being shared. I hope you did, and if so, I hope you found it as interesting as I found the classroom workshop! For me, coming after the assembly, it enabled me to think about what it means to lead children with kindness, as parents at home and as teachers in school. Mikkel, the Danish speaker and leader of the Kind Heart Project, has worked extensively with kindergartens in Denmark to research what kindness in the classroom looks and feels like, and what it needs to ensure it becomes a natural part of life within the classroom. He used a phrase which is simple in concept, but really powerful in action. He said his research has shown that children thrive in circumstances where the adults around them ‘set clear boundaries with great care’. This is not making rules for the sake of it, but making sure children have the guidelines they need to feel safe and secure, knowing what they can do and also what they can’t do. It is about using our wisdom as parents and educators to think deeply about what is in the best interests of our children, which may not always be what they want to happen, and making sure our decisions are taken from a place of love and care.

Returning to our assemblies, there was also an opportunity for the children to reflect on times they have received kindness, and the people that they might find it hard to be kind to, as well as the importance of being kind to ourselves sometimes too. As one of our core values at Trinity, kindness is something we talk about often and regularly see excellent examples of in the children. So, it was no surprise to hear them make many fantastic suggestions during the assembly of ways to be kind to others. It was lovely, though, to hear them share examples of when someone else has been kind to them. Kindness is something that comes naturally to children if they are in the right environment, it is our role as adults to encourage and promote that environment.

14.03.24

It has been a bit more of an ordinary week this week, with no trips to the book shop or pyjamas. However, there have still been plenty of great things to celebrate.

To enhance our curriculum offer, we subscribe to the Somerset museums service, which enables us to access artefacts for use in lessons and also to bring visitors into school to lead workshops. Each year we make sure that every class has at least one workshop linked to a history topic they study. This week it was the turn of Year 2, who had a great morning taking part in activities to support their learning about the Great Fire of London. The children were able to explore typical clothing of the time, with a dressing up opportunity included. My favourite activity is when they have a real hands-on experience to help them understand why it might have taken so long for the fire to have been put out. The activity involves a small group of children who need to move water from one end of their line to the other. To do this, they have no hoses or taps. Instead they need to use buckets to scoop water out of a large pot, which they then pass down the line to the end. It is a really practical way to help the children understand the time it would have taken, and also how much water could have been spilled and therefore wasted.

Since September, Mrs Williams has been teaching a small group of children how to play the recorder in an after school club. These children were able to take part in a concert at the Cheese and Grain yesterday evening, with children from a few other local schools and professional musicians. As we would expect, the children represented Trinity brilliantly, with exemplary behaviour and real enthusiasm for the event. Mr Reid accompanied them to the concert and was so impressed. We have an amazing music offer at Trinity, driven by Mrs Williams’ expert knowledge and endless enthusiasm and so it is fantastic to be able to provide the children with opportunities to perform, especially at events like yesterday when the children performed in a real music venue, alongside professional musicians.

On Saturday afternoon it is the Easter Fair. The FOTFS committee members have been hard at work planning and preparing lots of great activities for the children to take part in so do please come along and support the event if you can. There will be an Easter trail, some planting and several craft activities so plenty to occupy the children. Refreshments will be on sale and the children from Mrs Williams’ Songbirds club will also be performing so there are plenty of reasons to come along!

08.03.2024

Today we are celebrating World Book Day with lots of stories and storytelling…as well as being in our pyjamas! We started the day with a whole school assembly, something which doesn’t happen all that often but which is always lovely. There are many benefits to having smaller assemblies but I always love seeing all the children together and having the chance to all focus on the same thing. It also meant we could admire each other’s pyjamas, onesies, oodies and dressing gowns. We are looking very cosy at school today!

Today’s assembly gave me the chance to share one of my favourite books, A Cultivated Wolf. This is the story of a wolf who decides to go to school so that he can learn to read. He makes this decision after he comes across a cow, a pig and a duck all enjoying their reading in the farmyard – and refusing to run away when he tries to attack them. The book works its way through the journey of reading, from those early days of learning sounds right up to being a fluent, expressive reader – or reading with style as the pig encourages the wolf to do. It is a lovely way to explore the journey of becoming a great reader with children, who can not only recognise where on that journey they are, but also see the benefit and value of persevering.

The children have all loved paying a visit to Hunting Raven over the last week, where they have been able to exchange their World Book Day token for one of the special World Book Day books. As ever, Tina has been wonderful, making sure there were plenty of books for everyone and inspiring and enthusing the children about the books they could choose from. We really are so lucky to have such a wonderful book shop right here in Frome.

Finally, thank you so much for all the wonderful photos of the children reading outside of school. We have loved seeing them, and Mr Reid is in the process of using some of them to make a beautiful display in the library. We love seeing the children become enthusiastic readers and really hope that we are helping to grow a lifelong love of reading in all our Trinity children.

01.03.2024

Thank you to everyone who has been into school this week to meet with their child’s class teacher. These meetings between parents and teachers are a very important part of school and enable us to make sure that parents know the key information about how their children are doing in school.  Having even a relatively short amount of time dedicated to a sit-down conversation about your child’s progress (academic and personal/social) is a critical aspect of the partnership between home and school.

From the parents I have spoken to this week, I know that you value the chance to come into school as much as we want to welcome you in. However, I also know that the logistics of life can sometimes get in the way and parents cannot always come in during the times we are able to offer. If this has been the case for you, please do get in touch with your child’s class teacher, who will be happy to arrange a meeting at another time, or even a phone call if that is a more practical solution. Teachers are always available to have a quick chat at the beginning of the school day, and can have a longer chat after school, in addition to exchanging messages on Class Dojo so I hope that all parents feel that there is open communication between them and their child’s teacher.

I was so pleased to be able to welcome parents to our first Parent cafe this week. This is something that I would like to make a regular, monthly event, with a different focus each month. In order to try and make it as accessible as possible, we will be offering different days and will look to have a different focus each month as well. This month we were joined by Melody Hunter Evans and Liz Smith from Frome Town Council, which meant the focus was on the Find directory on the FTC website and the wealth of information that holds. There are so many groups and organisations in and around Frome with something to offer children, young people and families and Melody works hard to keep the directory as up to date as possible. It really is a great place to go to find out what is on offer in Frome – from social groups and clubs to financial support. If you haven’t already, I recommend having a look at the directory.

FIND

 

23.02.2024

How lovely to see the children back in school this week, all looking refreshed and ready to learn! Due to staff absence, I have done some phonics teaching on several days this week, which was a real pleasure. I was very impressed with how well the children understand their phonics, and how they enjoy learning new words and getting their new books.  The children knew the routines of the lessons incredibly well and they were very kind to me – it is a long time since I taught phonics regularly!

Earlier in the week, our application to convert to academy status and join the Midsomer Norton Partnership Trust (MNSP) was approved by the Region’s Office. Early in the summer term, all parents will be invited to a meeting with me, some of our governors and Alun Williams, the CEO of the trust. At that meeting, you will be able to hear why we have chosen to convert and to join MNSP, and you will also have the chance to ask Alun any questions you may have with regard to the trust itself. It is an exciting development for Trinity and one which I believe will enable us to continue to grow and thrive.

Next Wednesday we are holding our first Parent Cafe. This will be held in our new quad room, right in the heart of the school. Melody Hunter Evans from Frome Town Council will be joining me, and hopefully lots of you as well! The cafe will be a chance to have a chat (with me and Melody and with each other as parents) and to find out more about the different organisations and places where you can find help, support and information in and around Frome. I really hope you will come along, and I hope it will be an enjoyable and informative event. Please don’t feel you can only come if there is something you feel you need help with. I am looking forward to having more time and a much warmer and drier space than the gate to catch up with parents and find out how things are going so please do drop in if you can!

09.02.2024

Earlier this week, I spent a morning visiting every class. I was able to see how well the children at Trinity learn and how focused and ready for learning they all are. I saw a mixture of maths and English lessons, and throughout the school I saw children having fun in their learning.

In Reception, the children were doing maths and I witnessed some amazing talk amongst the children about numbers and some great reasoning when they were explaining their answers. In Year 1, the children were learning all about similes and were saying and writing fantastic sentences describing polar bears, penguins, mountains and the ocean. Their choices of things to show the comparisons were ingenious!

In Year 2, the children were learning all about multiplication through arrays so there was lots of talk about columns and rows. They are also at the stage of discovering the magic of multiplication and working out that if they know one multiplication fact, they automatically know two!

It was back to English in Year 3, where the children were finding out about rats in preparation for their new story. I learned a number of facts about rats during my visits to Holly and Bramble. The children did too, and they were also organising the facts into related groups as they are exploring what makes a good paragraph.

English was a subject in Year 4 as well, where the children were tackling direct speech and the related punctuation….there are so many things to remember with that! I was really impressed with their proof-reading as it takes careful attention to check and be sure that everything that should be there is, and also that nothing extra has snuck in!

It was a truly lovely morning!

02.02.2024

We have had some lovely connections with the wider community over the last two or three weeks, most of which have stemmed from our collaboration with Frome Town Council. Some of our Year 4 children worked with Katie from FTC to identify appropriate routes for families to travel to and from school safely on foot or by bike/scooter. Following the activity, I had the following from Katie:

‘Just a quick note to say what a pleasure it was to work with your Year 4s last week. We covered a lot of ground mapping different routes to school, looking for signs of Spring and talking about the benefits of active travel and how to keep safe whilst walking and wheeling. we spoke about air pollution  and other environmental impacts of cars in the areas around school, and everyone was so engaged and knowledgeable.’

I am looking forward to seeing the Walking Wheel Map Katie is putting together as a result of this work with the children soon.

Our youngest children have been involved in litter picking in and around our school, again with Katie, which they engaged in most enthusiastically! It is frightening how much litter they were able to collect from green spaces in less than an hour – especially when we bear in mind how tricky the grabbers can be to operate when you are only little! The children loved being able to do something to make a positive difference to the area and were so keen to do more that Katie has promised to investigate whether she can source some grabbers and hoops that we can keep permanently at Trinity.

On Monday morning, 8 of our Year 4 children took part in a swimming gala, along with children from across all First schools in Frome. Our children did brilliantly well, with strong individual performances and finishing second overall as a team. They thoroughly enjoyed the morning, were very keen to swim as much as possible, and behaved impeccably. Well done!

Finally, probably the most exciting event of the week has been the BMX display the whole school was treated to yesterday morning. Again, this was organised and funded for us by Frome Town Council, and the children LOVED it! There was so much excitement this morning as the children told me about the tricks our visitor performed. Matti Hemmings is a current British BMX champion and also the holder of three Guinness World Records, so a real treat and spectacle for the school.

26.01.2024

Over the last couple of weeks it has been fantastic to see so many parents coming into school for the Share my Work sessions. Each morning, the hall has been full, and the atmosphere so busy as the children have had the chance to show mums, dads and grandparents the work they have done so far this year. We value these sessions as a super opportunity for the children to talk about their learning, and they probably serve as a reminder sometimes too! From the fabulous attendance of adults, it is clear that it is also something that parents value, which is great. Hopefully all the children are able to find lots of things to show off how much they have learned in a variety of subjects and come away from the sessions feeling really proud of how hard they have been working.

In a much wider sense, working together with parents is a very important part of our role, and we know that there are many pressures facing families at the moment. We are always keen to do what we can to support, even if that is just signposting to services that are much better equipped to help than we are. Unfortunately, we also know that it is not just families facing pressures at the moment, many of our support services are also extremely stretched and it can be hard to access the help or advice that is needed. Something that we have already started as a way to help this is our parenting group, which runs every Tuesday afternoon from 2pm to 3pm. The group follows a loose structure, based on training Mr Reid attended on parenting support, but is very much enriched by the varied contributions of everybody attending. There is plenty of opportunity for open discussion, with parents attending contributing as much or as little as they feel comfortable doing, but everyone attending feels huge benefit from the chance to share concerns and know that they are not alone. If you feel this is something that would help you, please do get in touch with Mr Reid, me or the school office if you would like to find out more. It is a very welcoming group!

We are also aware that managing children’s anxieties is an increasing worry for parents and in order to support with this, Mrs Crawley is in the process of putting together a plan for an information-sharing session, which we will hold later this term. This will be a chance for parents to come along and get some advice and tips, as well as an opportunity to share experiences with other parents who are feeling the same way. As with anything we do, it is intended to be a supportive conversation. We cannot promise to have all the answers but we are seeking expert advice and information to make sure that we are as well informed as we can be and so as well-placed as possible to support those parents in need.

Finally, we know that reading with children at home can sometimes be a cause of stress, especially when lives are busy or when, in spite of our best efforts, your child is really not keen on reading. We also know that not every parent will feel confident reading with or to their child. We really want to help and support with reading at home, and while we already have some ideas, it would be great to hear from parents what the particular difficulties are so that we can aim to make the support we offer as useful and effective as possible. Please do get in touch with me and let me know what aspect of reading at home you would like some help with. It really doesn’t matter what the issue is, please don’t worry that it is silly – it isn’t if it is affecting your child’s reading. So please don’t be afraid or embarrassed about coming forwards, we can only help if we know what to help with!

19.01.2024

In our weekly Stars assemblies on Friday mornings, I always ask one or two children from each class for the highlight of the week in their learning. I love hearing the responses, and enjoy the variety each week. There are often responses that are perhaps unexpected, but I think it is really important that we celebrate lots of different learning and take pride in the fact that the older children often cite as a highlight something that they have had to really think about.

This week, across our ten classes, six different areas of learning were highlighted by the children. PE, which is a regular favourite, was the best bit of the week in three classes. The children in Sunshine class had enjoyed doing gymnastics with Mr Sing; in Jasmine class the children had great fun learning skills for basketball, bouncing and dribbling the ball, and in Maple class the children loved doing street dance with Mrs Manaia. I happened to see the end of that lesson, when the children were taking it in turns to show skills they had been working on during the lesson and it was clear to see what fun they were having, alongside challenging themselves to perform in front of others.

Forest School is another regular favourite, and this week it was the children in Poppy class who identified it. The hot chocolate they had to drink while they were there was perhaps the most memorable aspect of the visit, but the focus of their visit was to explore the different textures they could find. In Rainbow class, the children have been learning about toys from the past as part of their learning in Understanding the World, and having hands-on experience of lots of old toys was their identified highlight. In Oak class, the children have been using the story ‘Emma Jane’s Aeroplane’ to inspire their learning in literacy and the children felt that the writing they have done this week, creating their own ‘second chapter’ to the story was their highlight.

Holly and Bramble classes both felt that their learning in art was the highlight of the week for them. The children were creating and using patterns to make a background for self-portraits they will be doing in a week or two. Pine class chose reading as the highlight of their week, which was based upon their exploration of the reading material available to them in the classroom, and subsequent reorganisation of the book shelves to make it easier to find the kind of texts they are looking for. Finally, in Gorse class the children have been using TT Rock Stars in class as they prepare for the multiplication tables check that they need to do during the summer term. The children were very proud to report on their increasing speed and accuracy with their multiplication facts.

12.01.2024

As you will see further in this newsletter, Trinity First School’s application to convert to an academy and join the Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership is proceeding so I thought this is a good time to share a little more detail around the application. Academy trusts have been in existence for some years now, but the staff and governors at Trinity have always been confident in our status as a Local Authority maintained school. As you know, we are a successful school and we make sure we are always looking outwards to find the support and challenge needed to ensure consistent and continued success. Over recent years, this has become increasingly important as the resources within the LA have dwindled, along with many other public services. This, together with the potential for change across Frome, encouraged the governors to explore the options available to us in terms of joining a MAT (multi-academy trust). The governors looked at a number of different MATs, visiting schools, meeting with the leaders of each MAT and seeking written responses to a set of questions. As I am sure you can imagine, this process took some time, but it was important to be thorough.

The Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership is a strong, local trust that we feel is well-placed to provide us with the resources to enable Trinity to continue to thrive. Trinity joining the same trust as Oakfield and Frome College will also strengthen and enhance the education pathway many of our Trinity children take. We have always worked together as schools in Frome, but we believe that being part of the same trust will provide greater stability and coherence to our children as they make their way through our various schools, allowing the children to continue building on the firm foundations we give them here at Trinity.  Critchill School has been part of MNSP for several years and having the three schools that share this site as part of the same trust also brings exciting potential for development.

We are slightly later in the process than Oakfield and Frome College, whose applications to join the trust have already been approved. Ours is on the verge of being submitted and we hope will gain official approval next month. Once this has happened, it will take time before all the various legal processes have taken place, so it could be many months before the process is completed. In a practical, day-to-day sense, very little is likely to change, but what changes we see, we expect to be ones which will have a positive impact on the children’s experiences and outcomes.

In addition to the formal offer to meet with governors and trust leaders, I am more than happy to have a chat with parents at any point to talk through any questions or concerns you may have.

 

05.01.2024

Happy New Year everyone! I hope all our families had the chance to enjoy time together over the Christmas break. It has been lovely to welcome the children back, refreshed and ready to learn.

Although it has been a very short week for the children, the teaching staff have been back at work a little bit longer, with two training days to start off the year. Over the two days, we have covered different aspects of school life as part of our continuous development programme for the school.  On Tuesday, our focus was subject leadership and reading and on Wednesday we were concentrating on spelling. Although we have subject specialists who deliver some of the teaching (Mrs Robertson for Spanish, Charlotte who teaches the Year 4 children the violin, and Mr Sing, everybody’s favourite PE teacher) most of the time at this stage in education, children are taught everything by their class teacher. To support a strong curriculum, we have a leader for each subject and make sure that these leaders (our class teachers) have time to explore their subject in depth and to develop expertise which their colleagues can call upon. For the last few years, we have also made sure that our subject leaders have membership of the relevant subject association, which in turn allows them to have access to expertise as they seek to continue to develop teaching and learning in their subject here at Trinity. I am delighted that our subject leaders are really dedicated to the subject that they lead and work hard to ensure that it is planned and taught in the best way possible as this can only enhance the experience that the children have.

Tuesday afternoon was time for reading. As you know, we are thoroughly committed to doing everything we can to teach reading to as high a standard as possible, alongside encouraging a love of reading for pleasure in the children. To support this, I tasked the teaching staff with some research into current high quality texts which they can share with their classes as we know that the quality of the text can make a huge difference to the children’s experience of it, but keeping abreast of all the top quality books coming onto the market is extremely time-consuming. Hopefully now, we have lots of ideas as a staff for books to inspire the children with! Mr Reid and I have also been carrying out research into the teaching of reading, so we will be looking at ways to adapt out processes to incorporate new ideas to help us be even more successful.

Spelling is one of those areas of learning that can often instil fear and dread into people so it was great to be able to welcome an excellent consultant to Trinity to work with the teaching staff on Wednesday to promote the joys of spelling with us! We know that English is a ridiculously complicated language and that this makes learning to spell so tricky for so many people. However, on Wednesday we focused on celebrating the quirks of our language and the importance of  taking time to explore words, and their meanings and origins, to really support the children in developing the skills they need to become good spellers. We know that there are far more words in the English language than we are capable of learning to spell as separate units, so our attention was very much on how we can create in the children the mindset and skills needed to enable them to make increasingly accurate attempts at spelling the unfamiliar and complex words that we would like them to be comfortable and confident using in their writing. It was a really interesting training session, and we also had a lot of fun, which is possibly not what most people might have anticipated!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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