As I am sure you are aware, one of our three school priorities this year is to enhance and develop our school community. At Gateway we really pride ourselves in being community minded as a school. Schools that are community minded have a sense of belonging, have opportunities to network and to participate in new experiences. By integrating events into our school calendar this year, we have been able to become much more community minded as a school. We have already welcomed many of you to our parent workshops this term on Early Years ailments and how to manage them, How to support reading at home and Online safety. More recently we have also been able to forge links with Anisa Lewis, who provides online parenting clinics, covering subjects such as Anxiety, Confidence, Emotions and Tweens and Teens. Parents who have attended these and our in-house workshops have found them engaging and informative.
The staff really enjoyed meeting parents at our recent parent consultations and the Share my Work mornings, and we were delighted to receive so many positive responses during our Parent Forum meetings earlier this term. From the information collated and discussed, we were able to reflect on the positive aspects at Gateway School as well as focus on areas that will enhance the children’s experiences.
Community minded children learn skills to become innovative, organised and compassionate individuals, and in a world where technology is always changing the way we interact and manage our time, being community minded is fundamental in contributing to our development. By being involved in community activities, young people develop a sense of the importance of giving back and how they can contribute to the community positively. Over the past term, members of the Charity Committee have discussed possible fundraising ideas and how they would like to organise and run them. Following a successful cake sale, our second fundraiser of the term was held on Wednesday to raise money for UNICEF. Gateway Sport Relief, organised by the Charity Committee, included a selection of six child-led sporting challenges to test accuracy and speed as well as raising money for charity.
We are firm believers that children should be included in decision making and have a voice. Our Parliament and Committees have been busy this term working towards the priorities they set at the beginning of the year. Last Monday, Gateway School Parliament led a whole school assembly about British Values and the Rule of Law. The MPs asked the children in the assembly to close their eyes and imagine a world without rules. As you can imagine, there were some very interesting responses! This led to a discussion about why we need rules and guidelines within our school and the importance of a safe and secure environment. Members of the Community Committee introduced strands of our Positive Behaviour Policy and explained that over the next week that they will be reviewing aspects of this policy with myself and Mrs Woods.
The Food Committee met earlier in the term to discuss healthier pudding options. As a result, the pudding selection is in the process of being changed and desserts such as yogurt, fruit and granola have been added to the menu, as requested by the children. This week the children had a meeting with Mr Taylor, our Chef Manager, to discuss menu ideas for the summer term, and how the committee plans and ideas can be put into action. Since September, the Eco Committee has been working towards an Eco-Schools Green Flag accreditation. The children have completed a 10 part environmental assessment of our school which has now been submitted to the Eco Schools website. Earlier this week, the children in the Eco Committee decided on three areas to work on for their action plan. They voted and decided to improve the litter policy by having recycling bins outside as well as inside, to encourage all classes to know how to care for plants by having an indoor plant in each room and to sign up as a school to help with recycling single use batteries.
As a school, we continue to build relationships in the wider community in and around Great Missenden to enhance our experiences. Mrs Knight recently visited Woodlands Care Home with 5TH to deliver Easter cards to the residents, which were well received. Last Wednesday, the Senior Choir took part in the Bellevue Southern Region Music Festival at the Wyllyotts Theatre in Potters Bar. There were four Bellevue schools taking part and it was a wonderful opportunity for the children to share their love of singing and music making. I loved witnessing the camaraderie between the performers during the concert itself, as they supported and congratulated each other, and the massed choir item ‘Believe’ was the perfect ending to a wonderful concert, full of energy and joy.
As one of our parents commented: ‘All the schools were brilliant in their own way and it was lovely to see the wider Bellevue family’.
We are so fortunate to have so much community involvement to celebrate at Gateway School. Our school community is already built on a caring and respectful basis, and we are keen to ensure that we continue to recognise and celebrate these qualities.