As we draw close to the end of a really busy and exhausting half term for everyone, I have been reflecting on these six, unusual weeks.
It is with pride, that I often receive feedback about the excellent work that happens in our Three Hares schools. Most recently, we were described as the most positively cohesive group of schools within our Trust. As we continue on our journey, working together, benefitting from each other’s strengths, the impact on your children’s development and enrichment will continue to grow.
I would like to pay tribute to our teachers and support staff who have truly gone above and beyond to deliver the improved Remote Learning offer that we promised, following the first lockdown, last year. Within the Three Hares, I am really proud that we managed to deliver on that promise with the launch of Google Classroom across our schools, almost overnight. It has not been an easy journey, but due to the hard work and diligence of our staff and everyone going ‘the extra mile’, we have been able to ensure that our Three Hares curriculum has continued in spite of lockdown.
Of course, this would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of parents at home, many of whom are trying to work from home as well and/or challenged with supporting more than one child. Thank you for your compassion and understanding. We look forward to hearing government advice about the plans for the return of our children as from 8th March.
Thank you for the feedback many of you were able to provide through our recent surveys. We have been interested to process and follow-up your thoughts on well-being as well as provision of teaching and learning. Alongside really positive feedback about the curriculum, the highly valued new aspect of remote learning has been the provision of live interactions with teachers and support staff, either through registration, lessons, small group or 1:1. We have worked hard to develop this in all of our schools and it has evolved in a variety of ways, all of which aim to enable children to engage with their learning and maintain a feeling of belonging within the school community. Of course, there is no ‘requirement’ for live teaching, but I am delighted that we have been able to enable most children to engage in this way.
Provision of additional devices to support families at home has been essential and with the arrival of further Chromebooks from the DfE last week, we have been able to go further to ensure our children have access to their learning. Thank you to those of you who have also donated devices to be ‘wiped’ and made available to other families. It is heart-warming to feel the support for each other is shared across our schools.
Vision, Values and Ethos
It has been an exciting few weeks since Christmas, working collaboratively with Dan Morrow and leaders right across our Trust, to develop a common understanding of our Vision, Values and Ethos. Together, we have explored the International Cooperative Values and the principles that underpin them.
We are keen to explore with you as parents and our wider communities, how our Three Hares Values of: Hope, Respect, Courage, Kindness, Honesty and Curiosity relate to the cooperatives. Once children return to some semblance of normality in school again, we would hope to see these values being lived and breathed in everyday life in and beyond school, with children being able to identify them in themselves and each other, their community, famous people, paintings and so on.
We would love to share your thinking, ideas, and contributions within a meeting for each school. Our recent ethos forums were sadly not well-attended, perhaps due to the current time-constraints imposed by home-learning and work commitments. However, we would really welcome your support and input and drive towards establishing our ‘Three Hares Vision Statement’. We are working with the wording ‘Together, we will live, love and learn with abundance’, which we hope will reflect our aim to deliver a primary experience which goes above and beyond.
We have been delighted to welcome Mr Steve Kiff to our team, as our Three Hares Premises Officer. Steve has thankfully been able to take up the mantle of managing the range of ongoing projects across our schools. With Trust support we have a number of plans which we are keen to progress, as described during our meetings with parents last term. I hope to be able to update you on our progress over the coming weeks as we continue to drive improvements to pre-school and early years environments at North and South Tawton and outdoor environment at Chagford.
So, I would like to round off with a resounding ‘thank you’ to you all: children, parents, and staff, for everything that you have done and continue to do, to support the work of our Three Hares schools to provide the best opportunities for our children.
I hope you enjoy a relaxing break over the half term week.
With my very best wishes,
Elizabeth Underwood, Executive Headteacher, The Three Hares Primary Schools.