“IN terms of priorities both in School and in Nursery, food is never far from the top of our list and it has certainly helped to define the final few days of this half term! As we conclude and reflect on this half term, it has definitely not been the five weeks that we had planned for in December. And as in the first lockdown, despite the unique challenges of remote learning in Pre-Prep, learning has continued with energy and creativity and there have been many great shared memories over Zoom within each year group that have helped to re-create, in part, the rhythms of our school week. We have sought to connect children both at home and in class, as well as provide a learning environment in school which is as rich in experiences as the children are used to. Thank you to parents, staff and children for your superb contribution to making this half term such a positive experience within these strange times.

“As part of our round-up of the half term, I would like to update you on staff news. In the Nursery, we say a fond goodbye with our enormous thanks to Mrs Monika Maciejkowicz-Zdziarska who will be returning to Poland to be with her family. I am pleased to introduce Miss Katie Wilson to our Nursery 2 team. She is a qualified Early Years teacher with much Nursery experience to draw on. As is often the case in education and certainly encouraged here to enrich experience and skills, staff move around year groups and so I am pleased to announce that Mrs Georgia Smith, again with a degree in Early Years Teaching and currently our Teaching Assistant in RSS, is moving across the playground to complete our Nursery 2 Team. We are therefore currently advertising for a Teaching Assistant to work in Pre-Prep and I will update on this appointment in due course.

“To conclude on staff news, we say adieu but not goodbye to Mrs Katy Loveday, who leaves to begin her maternity leave at half term and in her place, we welcome Ms Abigail Davis to cover her role.

“Those of us in School and Nursery yesterday celebrated Paczki Day (also known as ‘doughnut day’), a traditional Polish Christian feast marking the last Thursday before Lent, a day associated with the celebration of Carnival. As Lent is a time of fasting, the days leading up to Ash Wednesday provide the last opportunity for feasting until Easter. Our thanks to Mia in Year 1 for this cultural (and very tasty) delight!

“And finally, today we celebrated Chinese New Year with a delicious lunchtime banquet prepared by our wonderful catering team. The display of food was a feast for the senses and the children took great delight in challenging themselves to try something new. Happy faces and clean plates made us all proud of ourselves. As ever, the lunch was accompanied by the unwrapping of fortune cookies and we all had a jolly time sharing our ‘fortunes’ for the Year of the Ox!

“As a team we look forward with optimism towards the next half term and it is our strongest wish that following anticipated announcements around 22nd February, we may conclude the Lent Term in the warmer, longer days of spring, together, once more.

“With warm wishes for a happy and restful holiday.”

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