Head Teacher’s Message: Start of the Spring term

Dear Parent/Carer,

On behalf of staff and Governors, I would like to wish families a Happy New Year and we very much hope everyone has had an enjoyable and safe Christmas.  It has been great to see children back in school, albeit with some looking a little tired having enjoyed their holiday so much!  This term is a significant one as we build upon all the work from the autumn with the aim of supporting children to progress across a range of areas and, therefore, I thought I would provide some information in relation to our work over the next few weeks.

Supporting Progress Across the Curriculum

Over the coming weeks, teachers will continue to plan across all subjects to provide learning experiences that will engage and enthuse as well as progressively build knowledge.  This will be supported with a range of interventions from teachers and Teaching assistants for children who require further input.  All children will have a full curriculum of subjects and any interventions will be done in short, focused sessions to reduce the impact on their access to the range of subjects they need to study.

In addition to the academic support, we understand that many children require additional guidance in their personal development which we provide at a range of levels to meet the specific needs identified by school in conjunction with parents/carers.  If any parent/carer has worries about the emotional well-being of their child, we would encourage them to speak with the class teacher, in the first instance.

Attendance and Absence Rates

As families will be aware, absence rates in schools have increased over the last few weeks due to the high number of viruses across the country.  It is understandable that the ability for children to progress is hampered by the amount of absence that occurs.

We monitor absence on a weekly basis where we do take into account that children may come down with a virus which leads to them not being able to attend school.  Being absent for a few days will have a minimal impact on their learning.  However, we are also identifying where absence rates are much higher in individuals leading to them having significant continued absence.  This, inevitably, is impacting on their ability to learn and, ultimately, their longer-term chances to succeed.  We will always endeavour to work with families in the first instance but, where absence continues, we will refer to the Legal Intervention Team which may result in parents/carers being given a fixed-penalty notice.  It is a fundamental right that every child is educated in order to provide the greatest life-chances possible.

Even with the current problems with viruses circulating, we had a high number of children who achieved certificates for positive attendance before the holidays.  For the autumn term, 122 children achieved an attendance of over 96% and 74 children attended every day, achieving certificates for 100% attendance.  This is an impressive number of children and, hopefully, we will have even more children achieving certificates by the end of the spring term.

Wider Curriculum

We will continue to further enhance our curriculum with wider opportunities as we understand how important this is to engage children and to provide them with the positive experiences that they will remember for a long time.

We will again be implementing our comprehensive extra-curricular clubs schedule from next week with different Year Groups being provided with various opportunities for parents/carers to sign their children up to.

To enhance work in class, a range of visits and visitors will be organised so that ‘experts’ in their areas can provide additional opportunities which could not be achieved to the same level through normal classroom work.  With a clear understanding of cost pressures on families, we will do all we can to cover the greatest amount of cost for this provision.

Family Support

As I have communicated previously, the Governors of Harlow Green understand that times are difficult for many families.  In respect of what we have been implementing since September we will continue to:

  • Have a range of nearly new uniform which is offered free to families via contacting the school office (donations welcomed)
  • Not require uniform to be branded with badges so it can be purchased cheaply at supermarkets
  • Subsidising school meal prices
  • Offer the laptop loan to families who don’t have devices, in order to access homework activities
  • Offer some dry food parcels and refer families to food banks
  • Reduce or remove costs of some additional activity (e.g. clubs, visits)
  • Work with other agencies to support families who require some short-term additional guidance and support

If parents/carers feel that current challenges are leading them to require some additional support, we would encourage them to contact either the me or Rebecca Taylor (School Business Manager) via the school office so that we can look to see what we can do as quickly as possible.


Although there will be further challenges over the coming months, it is essential that parents/carers know that Harlow Green Primary School is here to work collaboratively with families in order we can grow happy, healthy and successful, together.

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