Welcome Everyone to Hawthorns and my first blog of the year.
It has been great to see all the children return back into school – the place just hasn’t been the same with so many being away for so long. A huge ‘Hello’ to all our new children and families too – we hope you feel welcome as part of the Hawthorns family.
Despite the sleepless nights I have had in the lead up to re-opening – ‘will the children turn up, ‘will all the new COVID protocols we have had to put in place work’, ‘will the Government change the guidance last minute yet again’, and so on – the start of the new school year has been much smoother than I had anticipated. The children are really glad to be back to see their friends and the adults who work in school. The new children have been fantastic and have settled in well. Parents have been incredibly patient and supportive while we implement the new systems to keep everyone as safe as possible. The staff have all put in a huge effort to make sure everything has been ready for the children, despite the rush to have four new classrooms ready and to put all the new systems in place.
Now we are a full school again, I am reminded why I love working at Hawthorns so much. Hard-working, committed staff, super-brilliant children, families who work with us to make Hawthorns the special place it is. Despite the challenges of the moment, and the restrictions we are all working under, the life each and every one of you breathes into the school gives us all such a huge lift. Thanks to you all – children, staff, families – for helping us to reopen and to make such a positive start to the school year.
There are a couple of things I need to highlight now we are up and running again. Firstly, we should not under-estimate the rise in the COVID infection rate in our area, so please continue to follow the guidelines on regular hand-washing and keeping socially distant when outside of your homes.
Secondly, I have been asked by Tameside Council to remind our parents that there will be a meeting later this month to discuss their plans for Hawthorns in the future. We have increased our pupil numbers from 85 to 137 in the last couple of years, and yet again this September we have had to turn a number of children away who really should be here but can’t due to the lack of space. The new classrooms were filled before they were built, and there has been no let-up in the demand for places. The pressure on space affects everyone in the school and the provision we can practically offer, so I would urge all parents to engage with the Council and share their views with them. Whatever the plan is, it has to work for both the children currently in our school and for families who are desperate to secure a place for their child at Hawthorns. When a date for the meeting is finalised, I will pass this information on.
Thirdly, we have a parent governor vacancy coming up, and we welcome interest from parents who may have some time and some skills to spare to share with our Governing Body. Hawthorns is about to enter a period of change, and Governors play a vital role in shaping the future direction of the school while also representing the voices of its community. A request for expressions of interest will be sent out to parents next week.
Thanks again for all your support and patience during the first days of this term – have yourselves a great weekend.