November Nature Walk

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A week of wild weather gave us a fresh and sunny day for our November Nature Walk!

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We set of down the Flitch Way towards Hatfield Forest and made our way back past the airport balance pools. The Flitch Way runs along an old railway line.

What did we learn! We saw the winter crops in the fields and spotted Old Man’s Beard. We also compared the smoothness of Ash bark to that of Oak. Oak trees line the old railway line. For those new to the walk we looked at the Stane Street Halt.

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We talked in detail about sewage, saw the processing plants and wondered at the clarity of the water in the old faithful Pincey Brook.

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Friday Afternoons

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Each Friday afternoon the Juniors usually find themselves outdoors enjoying the gardens and looking at nature.

20160909_143941It’s a real pleasure to grow and harvest our own food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also look after some chickens. One of the jobs we have to do each year is to clip the chickens’ wings.

We only do one wing so that they are not able to fly away.20161118_140600

 

 

 

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One of the things we also do is each week we record the weather. So, since last Friday we have had a maximum temperature of 15 degrees and a minimum of 3. It was 6 degrees to day with a light South Westerly wind.

 

Takeley Festival for the Queen’s Birthday Weekend

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Junior Pupil’s Banners

The junior pupils’ banners graced the back of Holy Trinity Church, Takeley as we joined with the rest of Takeley village in presenting a festival of flowers and colour to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday.

The pupils were commended for their originality and everyone seemed delighted with the fun the banners conveyed.

Celebrating the Queen’s 90th Birthday

What a day!
We celebrated hearing about the Queen’s personal faith expressed through her Christmas messages and prayed for her. We had great fun singing two of her favourite hymns and the National Anthem. Everyone was involved. And then we had tea and cakes!

Assembly on responsibility and the school discipline system

It’s important that we keep our vision of what we are as a school before us. It’s Resurrection Sunday this coming weekend and we pause to reflect on injustice, within the context of how the school works when things go wrong.

The scripture used is Luke 6:31-34 from the Message version.

E-Safety for Parents

Introduction:

The internet is a fantastic resource for education, communication and entertainment. Our children have grown up with the internet/electronic devices and can seem much more adept at using it than we are – which sometimes leaves parents feeling out of their depth. Children are, however, much more likely to be harmed via the internet than in the real world; therefore it is important that parents take responsibility to keep their children safe on-line. For this reason we invited our local youth police officer to speak to parents about internet safety.

E- Safety for Parents

One Monday evening we were given lots of food for thought by PC Nessling   – a youth officer with Essex Police for the last 10 years. Her case load is now 70% related to the internet in some way!

We began with an exercise to familiarise us with text language – most of which we parents were bemused by! (E.g. FTS? PIR, KPC, A/S/L?  – answers at the bottom if – like me – you have no idea!) Here is the key information that she gave us:

  • A child’s on-line persona can be very different from how they are in real life; they may use abbreviations in texts that are rude as it is seen as normal. They may behave on a very different way because they are ‘behind a screen’ and not interacting directly with the other person.
  • Children feel invincible on –line; they think they know the risks and have an ‘It’ll never happen to me’ attitude.
  • One of the real dangers is accepting ‘friend requests’ from people they don’t know in real life. This is partly due to the ‘competition’ around how many ‘friends/followers’ they have.
  • The minimum age for a social network account is 13 – however many children have accounts from a much younger age than this.
  • Children often have more than one Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat account – this means that when you ask to see their account they may only be showing you one of many!
  • Paedophiles can easily pretend to be anything by creating a fake profile of a nice, good-looking, young person. They can also research on social media a child’s interests, location, school etc. and pose as a friend – gaining their trust.
  • Photos taken on smart phones etc. have a digital footprint which means the location where they are taken can be identified by anyone on the internet.
  • 40% of 11-18 year olds admit to sending indecent photos – this is an offence and could lead to a criminal record. 1/3 of those were sent ot people they didn’t know!! 9/10 of photos shared privately end up on paedophile websites.
  • Even innocuous pictures can be ‘stolen’ by others and turned into indecent photos by having captions added etc.
  • Children have grown up with the internet – they do not understand the clear difference that we have between their ‘real world’ and their ‘virtual world’ – the boundaries are blurred because they are so dependant in the internet.
  • Remember that anything on the internet is PUBLIC – even if it is only up there for a few seconds it can be saved, screenshotted and sent on to any number of websites/people.
  • Remember even games for young people e.g. Club Penguin, Candy Crush Saga etc. can be used by people pretending to be children; therefore
  • Children are far more likely to come to harm on line than in ‘real’ life; sometimes from their peers who may use the internet for bullying or for using indecent images to blackmail others– the emotional and psychological effects are huge.

Advice:

  • Keep social media setting as private as possible.
  • Monitor what your child is doing.
  • Set a good example to your children of what you post online – words and pictures.
  • Switch off Location Services on smart phones.
  • Children should never move from within a game situation to communicate with other players via messages/e-mail.
  • Don’t have a profile picture/share information on line that is likely to attract the wrong kind of attention.
  • Above all…communication with your children is absolutely vital – get talking about what your child is doing on line; be involved.
  • Websites for further information: thinkuknow.co.uk www.ceop.police.uk

 

 

(Answers: FTS? Free to Speak? PIR – parent in room, KPC – Keeping parents clueless,  A/S/L – Age/Sex/Location)

Development Plan and Governance

A draft of the development plan is now available. It will become our development plan once it is agreed by the Governing Body and Trustees. Please take a close look at it and let me know if you think there are errors or we have missed something. (http://tcst.org.uk/development-planning/)
This will form the foundation for our envisioning day where we will get a mid term view of how well we are doing and further developments we may consider.
Just to say thank you to the parents for contributing to the new sign we discussed in the last Envisioning Day.
I would also like to inform you that Ian and Richard have been voted back by the members of the trust to be trustees for a further year and Marcelle has been voted as a new Trustee joining, Ian Chapman, Richard Simons, Sam Gibbs and Carina Bowman.
As you can see we will need to replace two trustees at the end of this academic year so now is a good time to consider if you want to join the trust as a member so that you can be considered as a trustee. You might want to start your journey by becoming a Governor. We are hoping to appoint two parent Governors through a vote and after normal Safeguarding Checks. Some of you whose children are leaving the school may consider becoming Community Governors.
There will be two meetings in January lead by the SLT and Governors to explain to all parents what the momentous changes in education since September 2015 have been. We are working in a changed environment and without direct parental input and oversight our school is very vulnerable.
The vision of the school is to be a community sharing the education of our children with others through teachers whose shared faith is that Jesus is Lord. It might help you to understand better our vision in reading our Ethos and Values statements and our  Curriculum Foundations document on the web. These are our starting point and inclusive documents. If your understanding falls outside these documents come and speak with me and I will help you to understand where I am coming from and the meaning or Word behind the words and any of you can hold us to account for the claims made. Governors are critical friends.
Emlyn