The House of Commons has often been compared to a bear pit. This week, as a result of ‘Partygate’, it resembled nothing so much as the Roman Colosseum. While erstwhile-Colossus Boris fought for his political life in PM’s Questions, one half-expected it all to end with those present signalling his future – or lack of it – with the dramatic thumbs-up or thumbs-down used by Emperors to decide the fate of the gladiator.

And so, it was hugely appropriate that, in the midst of an extremely difficult week here, Year 3 enjoyed a special history lesson on the Romans from Mr Newman; a lesson that was followed up with an eagerly awaited Roman wow day. The children looked fantastic in their Roman attire, and will doubtless remember this topic well after the names of Johnson and Starmer have been forgotten.

Indeed, these special days help to cement the children’s knowledge; they allow history to jump off the page and build a strong historical foundation.

While we continued to deal with the growing number of absentees because of the Omicron variant, the children in Year 1 concentrated their attention on investigating the differences between an e-book and a traditional one. They thought about how the animation can make the story more interesting and how the sound effects can help the story come to life.

To think of it: I remember making books out of paper and card! Forty years later – not a pencil or piece of paper in sight. Instead, using a program on Purple Mash, the children went on to create their own ebooks, drawing their own illustrations and adding text. They were even taught how to add extra pages to their books so that they could develop their stories further. The children loved this activity as it made reading, writing and computing skills come alive.

Although Omicron has hit our children and staff particularly hard in the past 10 days, I commend the staff body for their flexibility and togetherness. My Senior Leadership Team continues to ensure that absences are covered and that the children are continuing to get the best possible teaching and learning experience.

Just when we had started to think that it was safe to be confident – if not to let down the guard of our masks – we must now stick together like never before, and support our children to navigate their ways through these testing times.

We all have to adapt, of course. And I thank the parents and children of Years 4 and 5 for switching seamlessly to live Distance Learning on Wednesday and Thursday. The staff once again showed great flexibility and determination to support the children in their care.

This week the children have again represented the School – and most importantly themselves – with dignity and determination. I was very proud of the performances. The Year 4 boys, represented the School at football, worked hard and played with smiles on their faces. As did Year 6, who won the Cup at the Winterfold Football Competition on Wednesday. A great team effort. Well done all! As always, please read the match updates for a full round up of results.

Meanwhile our school leaders have been developing their latest Podcast – Into the Blue! Please watch out for, and listen to, this wonderful celebration of school life. The children have worked so hard alongside Mr Hill and Miss Stanford.

Tomorrow we welcome over 100 families to our COVID-restricted Open Day. Oxymoronic though the concept sounds (!) this is an opportunity to share our beautiful school and showcase the high standards we set. Despite the pandemic restrictions I am confident that this will be a valuable experience for all. Thank you to all of the children who volunteered to help but we have taken the decision to run the event with staff only, in light of the number of Covid-related absences this week.

Please stay safe,

Mr Neeson