At Holly Grove, we believe it is really important for the children to feel like part of the Holly Grove Family at all times. This year has been very tough for everyone with the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to ensure that whether children were home learning or in school they still felt part of our community and could join in with activities with their peers.
As everyone knows zoom has been an amazing tool to connect people during this pandemic. Senior leadership and Teachers have worked very hard to help families learning from home access live Zoom lessons so those learning from home can still connect with their class, staff and peers in school.
Staff have also been working very hard to follow COVID-19 safety guidance when visiting children at home for 1:1 sessions to ensure everyone is kept safe whilst having access to an education and being part of our Holly Grove community.
Through the use of the education app, Seesaw, children were encouraged to send those working from home kind messages, drawings, voice notes and videos and this was a lovely way to keep everyone in the loop about what was happening both at home and in school.
Everyone was invited to our Zoom ‘Hero of the Week’ Assemblies where everyone was celebrated, each class had a home learning hero and a class-based hero to ensure all children could be celebrated for their achievements!
Physical literacy and wellbeing is an integral part of living a happy and healthy life. At Holly Grove we invest a lot into the development of PE and physical activity. We have a growing PE team that is committed to providing opportunities for all pupils to develop their skills and health through fun and engaging experiences.
Physical activity has been found to improve self-esteem and resilience. As a school, we aim to promote physical activity through the curriculum. We do this through the following…
- MOVE programme
- Sensory Processing
- Wake and Shake
- Playground activities
Through this unsettling time navigating through the pandemic. Going into lockdown and returning to school on loop, the focus when coming back to school was always physical activity and mental health. The Eco council met through zoom and came up with the idea to have a 20 day Healthy schools challenge, as part of this all classes were encouraged to take part in lots of physical activities. A 20-day challenge calendar was sent out to all classes with different activities to take part in and a friendly competition was created to see which class could run the most laps around the school track.
Everyone really enjoyed taking part in this challenge! Below are photographs of our amazing children taking part in lots of physical activities, working hard and keeping healthy!
At Holly Grove we are committed to the safe and responsible use of the internet. We have spent a lot of time encouraging safe internet use. During the pandemic which caused children to learn from home the use of the internet to access learning became an important part of the curriculum. Prior to this the school council created our school’s online safety rules.
- Do not use the internet without an adults’ permission.
- Do not download a file or a picture without checking with an adult first, it could be a virus.
- Always be safe online.
- If a stranger talks to you online, be safe and tell an adult.
- Do not give out your personal details online, like full name, date of birth, address or password.
- Be kind online and respect other people.
- Do not agree to meet anyone you have been talking to online.
- Always tell an adult you trust if you see anything that makes you feel scared, uncomfortable or confused.
Children and parents were encouraged to use an education app called Seesaw to access learning from home and were reminded of the importance of online safety.
Children took part in online safety activities to celebrate online safety week and KS2 pupils created some fantastic posters reminding everyone about our school rules and the importance of staying safe online.
Family training has also been provided through the Family Forum on May 10th 2021 to ensure parents are equipped to keep themselves and their children safe online.
If you would like any more information on how to keep your child safe on the internet, please speak to your child’s class teacher or you can visit the following websites:
To download our computing policy click here
Partnerships with Families and Local Communities
Community Cohesion is part of our school culture and ethos. Without the amazing support from different organisations and people within our local community our children would not have the fantastic facilities and opportunities. We believe it is important to give back and strive to be an active member of the community. Throughout the school year, we aim to provide a chance for the community to be involved with our school events such as ‘The Great Get Together’ and our coffee mornings. Although this has been difficult this year due to the pandemic we have continued to keep strong communication pathways with our parents and offer support wherever we can.
Our school council have also developed their own ideas on how to give back to the community such as cleaning the Barden Track, raising awareness for the Spacious Place Food Bank and collecting for the food bank over the Lent period in our backwards Lent programme where classes were encouraged to give away and donate 40 items 1 per day during Lent.
It is part of the general ethos of Holly Grove that parents are partners in education. We maintain an ‘open door’ approach so that parents are able to communicate with staff on a regular basis, both formally and informally. We are very keen to seek parents’ views and regularly send home a parents’ comments form and act upon these comments. ‘Nibble and Natter’ sessions are held once every half term and provide the opportunity for families to meet informally and have a chat and light refreshments. A member of senior management is available to chat if anyone has any questions.
Holly Grove hosts the Parent Carer Forum which meets on a regular basis and is open to all parents, friends and families. Nick Barrett, our Family Support Manager supports parents and carers where he can and also holds regular workshops and drop in sessions on issues such as sleep, diet and behavior. In order to meet the diverse needs of our families, we are able to provide bilingual support in a range of different languages.
‘The Georgia Fourie Butterfly Fund was set up in 2009, in conjunction with her parents, in memory of a very special pupil who sadly passed away after many years of bad health. This fund is used to raise money to improve and enhance the lives of our wonderful pupils and has grown from strength to strength over the past few years! As a result of the fund we have purchased new equipment for the school, contributed towards our school minibus, taken the pupils on a fantastic residential to Blackpool and set up a helping hand grant to support our families and carers. We received full charity status in December 2015 and have many new exciting ventures in the pipeline to benefit our pupils and their families.
This year we are really trying to encourage our parents to engage with reading at home to promote progress in English and Phonics. A huge competition – ‘Book Factor’ has been created and is running between the 26th April 2021 and where parents are asked to read with their children and take photographs reading in different places to collect points in the hope of winning an iPad! Some parents are also being given the opportunity to access a programme ‘Talk Boost’ at home with their children and are being supported by staff in school who are providing Zoom workshop sessions and are always on hand to answer any questions.
Parent phonics training has also been provided in Spring 1 2021 via zoom and was a great success. Parent feedback was very positive and they found it very helpful.
Throughout ‘lockdown’ staff were creating some fantastic Facebook videos including phonics, PE, story reading sessions and many more which engaged a lot of our children and parents and were always on hand to support our parents and children through such a hard time.
Curriculum and Planning and Implementation
PSHE at Holly Grove has changed a lot this year. Through government guidance and new statutory requirements, the PSHE curriculum has had a complete Scheme of Work written for our children at school. PSHE is a massive focus and runs through almost everything we do to promote our children to be the best they can be.
The new scheme of work was implemented in September 2020 and parents were informed of these changes on our Facebook page, through email and via synergy.
Children through school are enjoying the new scheme of work and teachers are very excited to be teaching PSHE. Observations of progressions are made through a evident recording app and shows engagement and learning of all pupils taking part in PSHE at Holly Grove.
Through this projects a new section has been added to the school website named ‘PSHE at Holly Grove’ on this page up to date information such a policy documents, the scheme of work and information on how it is taught here at Holly Grove can be accessed.
We have an open door policy and encourage parents to engage in conversations and ask any questions they may have surround this subject. Parents can always contact the subject leader via email and there is a member of the Senior Leadership Team on hand to answer any questions or queries.
Please find below some photographs of our amazing children learning and engaging in PSHE here and some quotes of what the children think of the new scheme of work.
Emotional Health and Wellbeing
At Holly Grove, we aim to promote positive mental health for every member of our community staff and children. We pursue this aim using both universal, whole-school approaches and specialised, targeted approaches aimed at vulnerable children.
- Highlight sources of information and support about common mental health issues on our school website
- Ensure that all parents are aware of who to talk to, and how to go about this, if they have concerns about their own child or a friend of their child
- Make our mental health policy easily accessible to parents
- Share ideas about how parents can support positive mental health in their children
- Keep parents informed about the mental health topics their children are learning about in PSHE and share ideas for extending and exploring this learning at home (where appropriate taking into consideration their level of learning difficulties).
As a school, we celebrated Mental Health Week on 1st-7th February 2021. Although we were not altogether due to lockdown we encouraged all children to take part in wellbeing activities throughout the week. Karen and Eve also gave all children and staff a lovely treat and asked all classes to do activities on Friday that were good for our mental health and well-being and not take part in any structured learning activities to promote positivity and give the children a well-deserved break.
In March 2021 the whole school took part in a 20-day healthy schools challenge which included physical activities but also had a focus of doing at least one thing each day to help positive mental health and wellbeing. The children loved taking part in activities such a doodling, mindfulness colouring, yoga, breathing activities and much more. We began collecting mindfulness minutes to go towards the Eco Councils mindfulness minutes’ initiative and we will be adding up all those minutes and submitting them to the Eco Council page.
Here are some photographs of our children taking part in some fantastic mindfulness activities.