Download: No 15 December 18th

Dear Parents and Carers

What a term… What a Year?! With school returning to as near to normal as we can get at the moment I reflect on what we have learnt over the last 9 months. Our skills at IT have certainly increased as has our capacity to provide on line learning, our awareness of the importance of communication and of the wellbeing of all of us has grown beyond belief. We have developed vocabulary with words and phrases that were far away from our every day life that now just roll off the tongue: ‘lockdown’, ‘bubble’, ‘you’re on mute!’

Competition Winners
Congratulations to Rosie Buckridge and Rowan Ingram for their Christmas Tree drawing that we entered into a competition run by Empowering Learning, a teacher recruitment agency that has supported some of the work within RLT. Their principal consultant Kevin popped in on Monday to award the girls their prizes.

Covid-19 Contact Tracing
Just a reminder that if your child comes down with symptoms over the weekend and subsequently tests positive for coronavirus that you will need to let me know via email. If symptoms develop after Sunday then you do not need to let me know.

Spring Term 2021
We welcome a new member of staff to the school after Christmas. Anna Dunkley is a past pupil of ours and will be working with our Nursery team. The new term begins on Tuesday 5th January.

Community Governor
Richard Tilley, who is a parent at the school, but also one of our community governors will be stepping down this term. Richard has supported our PR and is the link governor overseeing the curriculum. We thank him for his contribution to the governing body and wish him well for the future.

Thank you to members of the PTA who met with Santa recently and asked him to make a visit to school to present the children with a Christmas gift. Santa did his socially distanced rounds today and each child received a quarantined gift. Thank you Santa!

Message from the Governors
The governors would like to thank all children, staff, parents, carers and volunteers for their continued efforts and support this term. We know times are challenging and thank you for everything you do.

We are sad to be saying goodbye to Katherine this week. She has given so much to the school over so many years for which we are truly grateful. Her unique mix of leadership with compassion and humour will be sorely missed. Thank you.

In January, we look forward to welcoming Marianne Ray as our new headteacher. We appreciate times of change can be both exciting and unsettling. I want to reassure you that Katherine and Marianne have worked hard on a thorough handover, and we are very positive about this next chapter.

On behalf of all the governors, I wish you all a safe, peaceful and enjoyable Christmas break.

Edward Kay, Chair of Governors

And Finally….

It was just under a year ago that I finally made the decision that my time at Madley Brook had to come to an end. And what a year that has turned out to be. Who would have known then what the next twelve months would hold? I have been at Madley Brook for almost thirteen years and my time here has been full of happiness, challenges, friendship and pride. But the last nine months has probably been the epitome of what Madley Brook stands for. My colleagues have given their absolute best to make our school a safe place where learning continues to a high standard, where children learn and play in an environment of care and compassion and where the importance of friendship, respect and camaraderie has confronted even the greatest of challenges.

I have worked with the most amazing staff who give nothing but their all for the children of this school, and each other. It has been my privilege to lead them and to work with committed governors and members of the PTA who give so freely of their time to support the work of the school and to give our children the best opportunities; parents and carers who have worked with us endlessly to give children the best start in life and who have given us the most incredible children to work with. They are the true inspiration of this journey we have all taken together and they will continue to grow and flourish within this environment. I cannot thank my colleagues enough for the care and the attention they give to everything they do to make this school the great place it is today.

It struck me as I came to work on Monday morning that this is the last week when I will be able to call myself a teacher, or a headteacher. That saddens me as I have cherished this role all my working life. There is no place quite like a school. Every day is different, and working with children is most definitely the best job in the world.

I have been astounded this week by the gifts, the cards, the messages and the good wishes you have sent me. I was speechless, yes even me, when I opened the gift card presented to me from staff, governors and parents on Wednesday. Your generosity is overwhelming and I thank you so much.

I send you my very best wishes for the future success of this school and thank you, one and all, for your support and encouragement every step of the way.

I leave with a great sense of pride, with a head and a heart full of so many happy memories. I know that part of me will still be at the heart of Madley Brook (for now) but I will definitely be taking a large part of Madley Brook with me.

So…. in the words of that well known Eagles song:
“You can check out any time you like, But you can never leave.”

With every good wish.

Katherine Spencer