A warm welcome back to the second half of the autumn term. I hope you all had a good break, despite the eventful weather, and that you managed to enjoy some fireworks in recent days. Fortunately, Storm Ciaran didn’t cause too much damage at school. Repair work to some fence panels is taking place this weekend, while over half term, new guttering was installed on the rear extension and the previously-rather-grubby hall floor was polished up to look shiny and new again. Thank you to the operations team for their hard work as usual.
On Monday, all children in Reception and Year 1 enjoyed their vision screening with Julia from the West of England Eye Unit. They were eager to tell me about the fun eye test game they played on an iPad. I understand that Julia will be sending reports to us to share with you in due course.
Earlier in the week, we had a telephone call from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) informing us that we will be visited next Tuesday. This is to conduct a material change inspection, which is separate from the usual inspection cycle. The school requested this in order to allow us to increase the number of pupils on roll slightly from 72. Class sizes will remain at a maximum of 18, but numbers on roll in the Nursery are projected to increase in January and April 2024. A new DfE ruling states that, even with part-time attenders in the Nursery, we cannot exceed our number on roll until this inspection has taken place. The visit will be conducted by one inspector and I am sure he will be impressed by our wonderful children, amazing staff and beautiful facilities.
This week, we have introduced our new spotlight virtue of ‘challenge’, talking about the different emotions challenges can evoke, and how we can overcome challenges. Yesterday, Miss Rose visited from Exeter School to talk about the Hindu festival of Diwali, and today we held our annual remembrance assembly, including a minute’s silence. The children have also been visiting the office to buy poppies throughout the week – thank you for all the donations to the poppy appeal.
At Wednesday’s meeting of the governing body, the possibility of a change of government in the next year or two was discussed, and the likely impact of changing tax policies on the independent sector. We know that this is a question that some of you are concerned about. Please be reassured that our governors are working hard behind the scenes to mitigate for any taxation changes, as far as we can, and to continue to provide the very best value education possible for your children, whilst not compromising on quality. This remains a very high priority for us as a school.
Next week is anti-bullying week across most UK schools. We will be starting the week off with Odd Socks Day on Monday, which is all about raising awareness and celebrating our unique differences. If the children would like to wear a pair of odd socks to school on Monday, we would love to see them – the louder, the better! Friday is Children in Need Day and will be a non-uniform day to raise money for the charity. The suggested donation is £1-2 and I will be rattling my bucket on the gate!
Have a lovely weekend.