No 186

26 June 2020

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

Firstly, my weekly message to the children,

Wow! It’s been so hot and yet so many of you have joined in with our Virtual Sports Week! I’m so impressed by your competitive spirit and by your determination. Well done for every point scored! I’m looking forward to hearing about the final results and I’m really glad to see how many of you have enjoyed taking part and working together even though you’re at home. It’s such a great attitude, and lovely to see teamwork and inter-house competition even in these tricky times. If you haven’t joined in yet, take a look at the website and do keep sending in your scores to Laura Sutton who’s masterminded the whole event so well!

With today being Fluffy Friday, I hope that you’ve come up with some good ideas for how to spend the day, especially if you were at home on your own. It’s been fun in school, although usually some of the best parts of Fluffy are getting to mix everyone up across the year groups and also going off site, and then telling each other all about it at the end of the day – we weren’t able to do any of that today, so it’s made me even more determined to get back to proper Fluffy Fridays as soon as possible. I promise that as soon as we can have one, we’ll make sure that it’s timetabled in!

There are so many different things to look forward to happening again one day. We’re all having to be really patient as we wait. I’m looking forward to hearing about the government’s plans for September, but until then, we’re working out ways for you to pop into school and collect your end of year report and your books. I’ll send your parents and carers details next week. Look out for the instructions because I know you’ll want to call in and say hello, even if it’s not quite what we’d hoped for, but just a short visit will be lovely.

And now to our parents and carers:

While we were all so pleased to see lockdown restrictions being lifted, it still doesn’t help us with welcoming more children back into school. Until we can go above 15 in a group, we just can’t do it. As I’ve said to the children, however, I’ll let you know about how we’ve arranged to invite you in briefly to pick up PE kits and books. We’ll also arrange for you to collect your child’s report at the same time. We’ll send details by parentmail next week.

I heard this week the sad news that Barry Williams, a previous Holy Trinity headteacher, has died. Barry served as head here long before my time so I spoke to Richard Rowe, my predecessor, who knew him very well. Richard wrote the following words in tribute to him and I thought you’d like to read about his contribution to the school’s history:

My predecessor as headteacher of Holy Trinity School, Barry Williams died on Monday 8th of June. He was 88 years old. It was my privilege to know him for forty years, firstly as colleague at many music festivals and sporting occasions in Guildford when I taught at Northmead and for almost all of his retirement meeting up with him at church on our annual holiday to the Isle of Wight.

Barry was head of HT from 1970 to 1989. He saw the school through very major changes; moving to its present site from South Hill as well as changing from an all-through primary to a middle school. Barry’s first headship was on the Isle of Wight at Carisbrooke. He was proud to be a ‘teaching head.’ He had an almost fulltime teaching commitment as well as heading up

music, drama and RE in the school. Music and Drama were his passion and he produced many outstanding plays and musicals.

Above all Barry was a great man with a great faith. He was always enthusiastic and fun, completely committed to the children and their well-being. He loved practical jokes – on one occasion getting the entire school to line up on South hill to welcome the ‘Queen’ only for he – himself to come cycling down the hill bedecked in Union Jacks!

He was an outdoorsman, a keen scout, cyclist, swimmer and canoeist. He had over thirty years of retirement, all spent helping others, organising amateur dramatics and being a stalwart member of Christ Church, Totland Bay, where he was a musician and ran the Sunday school well into his eighties. He also toured the old people’s homes leading sing-songs!

The Christ Church website said that Barry had been ‘promoted to Glory.’ We thank God for a life well lived and send our prayers to Maureen his wife, his children and grandchildren.

I wish I had met him and feel sure that he would have been proud to hear how well HTPD is thriving, even in these most challenging of times. Thank you for your ongoing support and kindness to the whole staff team as we work together to continue his legacy.

Do remember that we are closed on Monday for our midsummer holiday. I hope you have a great family day together.

With love,

Thought of the week: “Bee strong,” When have you had to be strong inside? “Blessed are those who are persecuted, for great is your reward in heaven,” Matthew 5, v11.

Friday Fun - is now available on this week's JTLYK page.

A parent has shared a post from another school in which families donated a book that increased the school’s stock of titles addressing racism and diversity. We would love to make our stock more representative of our community and more dedicated to educating the children in anti- racism. If this is something you would like to be a part of please mail Geraldine and she can supply a list of titles.

No 185

19 June 2020

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

Firstly, my weekly message to the children,

Our theme this week comes from Jesus’ challenge to us to work for peace. I think it’s more than just being peaceful, although that’s quite a useful skill to practise too. In school, plenty of the children were able to describe how they find peace for themselves. It was really encouraging – knowing how to unwind and relax and to be still must surely help in these challenging times. But I can’t help but think that Jesus wanted more for us than just to be calm.

He wants us to be peacemakers – that is, to bring peace to others. To make the world a better place for all of us. I think it’s got something to do with being determined to change situations and make them better, to build strong and loving relationships between one another, to show one another respect and to be determined to understand one another. Elsewhere in the Bible, is one of my favourite verses, “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” I think that’s really hard to do, but it’s worth working at!

Perhaps you can think of situations where you can bring peace – perhaps in your Bubble at school as you learn to get along with new friends, perhaps at home in the way that you speak to your parents, perhaps in the way that you look after your brother’s toys, or the way that you solve disagreements with your sister. Perhaps in the ways that you try to be kind.

One of my favourite picture books that I’ve found wisdom in during lockdown is “The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse.” I noticed this week that one of the pages has the mole saying, “I’m so small.” And then the boy answers, “Yes, but you can make a huge difference.” I think that can be true for all of us. Let’s make a huge difference as we work together for peace.

And now to our parents and carers:

I hope that you’ve had a good week, despite the rain! We’ve still made the most of the outdoors in school as I’m sure you have at home too. Next week with temperatures set to rise again, make sure you remember to apply suncream and children should bring in hats and water bottles.

With no news yet from the government about their plans for opening schools fully in September, we’re working hard to ensure that we’ll be ready to put things in place for Plan A, B, C or D! If you’re someone who is looking for child care over the summer break, I’m able to signpost you to some holiday play-schemes. Camp Beaumont is running summer schools at the RGS, and SCL are planning similar provision at Bushy Hill. We’re not able to open as we have building work at both sites.

I hope that you spotted on our website the inspiring film that Geraldine, our school librarian has put together in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s titled Empathy – something that we are always keen to teach one another, as we work to encourage the children to show respect for all. Do take a look; it might provide you with some good ideas of book titles that would help encourage your child to celebrate diversity and say no to inequality. It’s also just really uplifting and worth watching!

Remember that on Monday 29th June, school will be closed for the Midsummer Holiday. In school on Friday 26th, we’ll be having a “Bubble Fluffy” – the children will be choosing from some different activities all taking place within their bubble, and they can wear mufti (home clothes) on that day. There’ll be lots of ideas on our home-learning pages too. Why not ask your child what Fluffy choices they’d like to make? Den-building, scrap-book journaling, nature photography, junk modelling….the choice is theirs (and yours!).

There will also be lots of sporty ideas too with our Virtual Sports Week – I wonder which class will accumulate the most points. Good luck everyone!

With love,


Thought of the week: “Bee peacemakers.” How can you bring peace today? “Blessed are those who work for peace, for they will be called God’s children,” Matthew 5, v9.

Date for your diary

Midsummer holiday Monday 29th June. School will be closed for all year groups including key worker bubbles to allow teachers time to write their annual reports.

Friday Fun - is now available on this week's JTLYK page.

Virtual Sports Week
We are excited about Virtual Sports Week that starts on Monday and runs every day until Friday. Please see the Sports Portal for information.

Results can be submitted online everyday to Laura. This is an individual effort and class effort as there will be an overall 'Sportiest Class' winner.

We look forward to seeing and hearing all about how you get on - please send in photos and videos that we can tweet.

Free Piano
A free piano is on offer. It’s old, but in good working order. Pick up and delivery would need to be arranged. Please text Charlotte Houghton on 07796 956331 if interested.

No 184

12 June 2020

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

Firstly, my weekly message to the children,

It was so very sad earlier this week to hear the news announcing that schools wouldn’t open up properly until September at the earliest. For those of you still at home, I’m sure lots of you were disappointed. I was.

We just don’t have enough classroom space or teachers to run any more bubbles as we’re only allowed fifteen children in each room.

Whilst it’s lovely to have some children in school, our whole community isn’t back together. Instead many of you are busy at home, connecting with your teachers online, and independently motivating yourselves to work hard across the curriculum. We’re so proud of you for being so determined – I’d like to encourage you all to keep going, not to give up and to look forward with hope to a time when you’ll be able to proudly show us face to face the results of your learning. You’ll have made amazing progress, I’m sure! Do remember to keep reading and give yourself chance to be creative. Try to limit how much time you spend on screens. And challenge yourself to improve small steps at a time – what new skill can you master in the next week?

Earlier in the week, you might have seen on Twitter a film of me suspending a waterbottle from a toothpick over the edge of a table. It was such a fun way to spend my Sunday afternoon. I forgot about all my worries, and loved seeing my science experiment work! It made me “see heaven in the moment” and gave me so much delight. With our assembly theme this week being about finding God in all sorts of situations, it made me so happy. Why not try it yourself? And think about where and how you find God’s peace. He promises to never leave us.

We have come up with another way to keep those of you at home feeling connected to HTPD. Laura Sutton, our sports coordinator has put together a “virtual sports week” which will hopefully help to replace this year’s cancelled sports day. Instead of being in school, it’ll take place in your homes during the week beginning 22nd June; by joining in you can gain points for you as an individual and for your class. I wonder who will win this year’s competition? See below for more information!

Have a good weekend everyone!

And now to our parents and carers:

I hope that my explanation to the children about the current situation has helped them all to understand. Please do reiterate to them that, while the government limits the number of children in the bubbles to fifteen, opening for more children isn’t possible. Thank you so much for all that you are doing to keep them positive and still connected with school life. The weekly Zoom calls are such a highlight for so many, teachers as well as pupils!

I await further information from the government about our next steps and will let you know as plans unfold. I am hopeful that with Covid infection rates falling, we will gradually be more able to be together again.

Please do note in your diaries that the Midsummer holiday on Monday 29th June is still happening. The school will be closed for all year groups including key worker children on that day so that teachers can write their annual reports to parents. These will of course be a little unusual this year with such a long period away from the classroom, but we are keen that children still have a formal

record of the year that’s passed. The reports won’t contain any formal assessment statements, but they will hopefully still provide an encouragement to you of the milestones that your child has reached and the progress they have made across the year.

We are starting to make plans for September and I am excited to let you know that we have appointed two fabulous new teachers, Danni Weston and Beccy Lee. Both have trained with us at HTPD and we know that they will be such an asset to the school. They are very experienced, having worked in schools for several years.

If government guidelines permit us to have the usual class sizes, we will have the following year teams in place:

Year R Claire Cruddas Catherine Finniear  
Year 1 Georgie Furlonger Hayley Esselen  
Year 2 Sarah McKenzie Lilja Helgadottir/ Beccy Lee  
Year 3 Alison Tester Clare Giles Sheena Preston
Year 4 Nick Walker Abigail Allen  Emily Russell/ Laura Hanley
Year 5 JJ Blackstock  Toby Strutt Sue Miller
Year 6 Tom Everard Sarah Jackson Danni Weston

We will also continue to have a number of part time staff working across the school. Please allow us to consider the best fit for each child, taking into account the huge number of important factors in ensuring a smooth transition in September. If you do have serious concerns, any comments should be directed to me rather than to your child’s current teacher. Thank you for your understanding in this. Interestingly, we have noted that the children coming back to school in the last fortnight, some in bubbles with none of their friends, have quickly made new friends and are so adaptable and happy to be with children again. We’re seeing them live out our school value of “embracing the future with hope and confidence”! I’m sure the same will be true for September as well.

For those for whom the new support bubble guidelines apply, I hope that you enjoy some much needed company and probably a big hug! Have a great weekend.

With love and prayers,


Thought of the week: “Bee pure.” When do you see God? “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God,” Matthew 5, v8.

Whole school notices:

Date for your diary:

Midsummer holiday Monday 29th June. School will be closed for all year groups including key worker bubbles to allow teachers time to write their annual reports.

Friday Fun - is now available on this week's JTLYK page.

Virtual Sports Week

We are excited about Virtual Sports Week that starts on Monday 22nd June and runs every day until Friday 24th June.

Children currently learning at home will be set 2 challenges a day, which can be completed in your garden, house or at the park using equipment that can be easily adapted from everyday household items.

With a warm-up and cool-down for each challenge, as well as coaching tips to improve, you can test yourselves to see who can jump the highest, who has the most accurate throw and who has the best crab-crawling technique!

5 points will be awarded every time a challenge is completed and you will get an extra 10 points if you are in the top ten in your year group, plus an extra 10 bonus points if you complete all 10 challenges.

Results can be submitted online everyday to Laura. This is an individual effort and class effort as there will be an overall 'Sportiest Class' winner.

We look forward to seeing and hearing all about how you get on - please send in photos and videos that we can tweet.

No 183

05 June 2020

Dear Children, Parents and Carers,

How lovely to be writing to you all again. With some children back in school, but many others still working at home, I’ll carry on writing a message to the children as well as the adults each week.

Firstly, my weekly message to the children,

This week’s assembly theme asks, “what does kind look like?” Isn’t that an interesting question? Kindness can be really varied – a smile, a thoughtful gesture, a gift, spending quality time with someone who needs it, respecting everyone we meet even if they are different to us, standing up for what’s right...the list is endless. I’m sure you’ll come up with some other ideas too. All of those ideas help us to live out our school values.

In school, the children in Year 6 have been pondering the positives that have come out of the pandemic. I’ve certainly noticed that people are being really kind to each other, thinking about the words and actions they use with others. People seem to be learning more about using empathy – “imagining the journey in another’s footsteps” more than ever before. I hope that continues even when things do return to normal.

The children and teachers were all a bit anxious about coming back to school, wondering what it would be like working in bubbles, some without their best friends or having to adjust to a new way of doing school, but it looks like their first few days in school have been a success. The younger children in Reception and Year 1 impressed us from day one with their positive spirit! They’ve been an amazing example of “embracing the future with hope and confidence”.

I’m sure that those of you working at home can think of examples too. I’d love to hear from you – how are you living out our school values when you’re not in school? I’m sure that these weeks at home have provided you all with lots of opportunity to work this out independently.

Next week, I’m planning to do a Zoom assembly – I hope you can join in, wherever you are! I’ll send the link by Parentmail.

And now to our parents and carers:

Thank you so much for your ongoing support. It’s been one of the most challenging times of my life; last weekend I certainly found the media hype about opening schools very unsettling. I think we’ve made a very positive start back and have the balance right, making sure that we stay safe, but also ensuring that it still feels like HTPD. We spent half term getting ready to open up, but I also found myself wondering about how best to continue providing ideas for those of you at home. I hope that you’ve found the new format JTKYG pages helpful.

I’m so pleased that the staff have been ready for the challenge – some working hard on the online curriculum, others in the classrooms. They are all just great!

Next week in school, we’d like to get back to some sport. The children can wear trainers instead of school shoes, or bring a pair in with them to put under their chairs.

Thank you so much that you’ve helped us follow the new guidelines. It’s great that you’re able to drop off and pick up at exactly the right time and place. And thank you for reminding the children about our new routines. We are so impressed by their adaptability! Please do your very best to follow the current guidance on your way to and from school so that all our careful measures in

school are worth the effort. We don’t have any information about the next steps for opening more widely – but I will of course let you know as soon as I do.

With love and prayers,

Thought of the week: “Bee kind.” What does kind look like? “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy,” Matthew 5, v7.

Friday Fun - is now available on this week's JTLYK page.

The catering team has been working very hard preparing delicious meals for staff and children on site - hopefully you have seen some of the lovely photos on Twitter today. One of our biggest struggles in the Office at the moment is getting the lunch numbers to the catering team on time which is why we have sent a parentmail asking you to select your child's choices for the week ahead. Many thanks to all of you who have already responded as it's very helpful. Please could you respond if you haven't done so yet, even if your child would prefer to bring a home packed meal in. This will help us to check that everyone is getting what they have ordered.

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