It has been an absolute joy to be able to welcome all our pupils back and once again be united as a school community. Indeed, it has been so lovely to see the children’s happy smiling faces as they come through the gate in the morning and hear their voices and laughter fill the classrooms, corridors and playground once more.
Over the summer we worked really hard, putting in place all the necessary measures to ensure that everyone will be able to stay safe over the coming months. The children as you are aware have been grouped into class ‘bubbles’ for all their lessons; we have staggered drop-off and pick-ups, breaks and lunch-times and we are limiting the number of external visitors to the school. It is early days yet, but so far everything is running smoothly and I would like to THANK YOU enormously for your continued support and patience while we adapt to our new normal.
Last week the staff from both Goudhurst and Benenden, spent 4 very enjoyable and productive INSET days, virtually of course! We have carefully planned the curriculum for the ‘first 60 days’ ensuring there is a strong focus on well-being, safety and learning behaviours. The aim will be for learning to be reactivated as soon as possible, with a strong focus on recovery of core subject curricula knowledge and skills whilst maintaining breadth in the curriculum to ensure children remain engaged in their learning. We have been really impressed with how eager and happy the children are about being back at school.
In addition, for the first seven weeks, we are following the "Worry & Wellbeing" Intervention Programme (written by Benenden Independent Girls School), to help our pupils manage their emotions and to ease them back into school. The skills-based emotion regulation programme focuses on anxiety, as well as anger (often a manifestation of anxiety in children and adolescents), and self-esteem building activities.
Finally, we are delighted that the green roof has now been successfully completed. The builders have worked tirelessly over the summer and we would like to thank Kier for all their hard work and commitment to the ongoing project. We would like to extend our gratitude to everyone in the village for their continued support and patience throughout the whole building project and I hope you will agree that it was all worthwhile! The long awaited new school building is, without doubt, an amazing piece of architecture, which I know will be enjoyed by many children and families over the coming years.
We are certainly ready to go!
Let’s celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day this Friday in Benenden & Iden Green by putting out the bunting, ringing the bells, toasting the heroes of WWII from our front gardens and singing along with Vera Lynn.
The village timetable
- Flags will be raised on the village green flagpole and on the church for the day and flowers will be left on the Commonwealth War Graves in the churchyard and at the war memorial.
- 11am: Two-minute silence
- 11:15am: VE Day livestream: listen to stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during the Second World War, as well as recognising the difficulties people are experiencing today.
- 2.45-3.45pm: BBC One Special Programme including the nation’s toast at 3pm. Break out the bubbles and join in a village-wide toast from your front door
- 7pm: St George’s Church bells rung by Rod & Karen Lebon, so join in from home in any way you can. The church will be floodlit until midnight.
- 8.00pm-9.10pm: BBC One Special Programme includes the ‘Cry for Peace’ and ‘Tribute’ and Singalong with Vera Lynn. Why not join with neighbours and sing from your front gardens.
- Plan your VE Day party with original recipes
- Toolkit to make your own bunting and posters
- Dan Snow’s VE Day Challenge
- Royal British Legion website with lots of information and learning packs
- We’ll meet again lyrics
We hope that you and your families are well. We are mindful of the challenges that you are all facing at this time and the impact it is having on your children.
Since the announcement by national government to close schools we have been working really hard to provide engaging learning materials and to stay in contact with you. We’ve also been listening to your feedback on your experiences so far. In parallel we have also been looking at ways that we can better use technology to support the learning process and to enable communication between teachers, pupils and classmates.
Therefore from Monday 27th April we have decided to introduce Google Classroom as we believe that this will bring lots of practical and positive benefits. The key benefit is that it will make accessing learning tasks easier and more manageable for you and your children.
We feel that the move onto Google Classroom is a very positive one, making access to learning easier, as well as giving a greater sense of class community. We are looking forward as a staff to the opportunities Google Classroom will bring and hope you will share our optimism at what is a challenging time. There are many schools around the country moving to platforms like these and once we are back to normal, we very much hope that we will continue using Google Classroom in other ways too. If, however, you have any questions or concerns whatsoever, please do not hesitate in contacting Mr Goodman email@example.com
It was lovely to see so many of you in Church today for our very special Christingle Society. The children thoroughly enjoyed making their own Christingle-thank you to Reverend David Commander and his team for preparing everything. The children read and sang beautifully.
Every year we collect donations for the Children's Society , a charity devoted towards changing the wellbeing and lives of young people all over the country. This year it is their 50th Anniversary. Thank you all for your donations - we will let you know how much we raised next week. If you would still like to donate money, please bring it in to school and hand it in to the school office or class teaching team.
Following the girl's football tournament held this week at Colliers Green I am delighted to say that I received this message from one of the teachers from another school who also attended the event:
"Benenden were amazing, as they fielded a younger side who showed great spirit and resilience, with two of their players won player of the night for these attributes."
Well done to everyone and particular thanks go to Miss Harris who accompanied the children.
Please do look at our sports blogs to read about all our sporting experiences.
Would you like the opportunity to chat about emotional support, behaviour guidance, boundaries and establishing routines at home?
Pop in for a coffee with Mrs Brook and volunteers from the support group, Parents Supporting Parents
Date: Monday 10th February 2020
Time: 8.45am (after drop off)
Tea, Coffee and biscuits will be provided!
Yesterday 22 children and 3 adults left Benenden to journey to London to take part in the Young Voices Concert at the 02. We picked up the choir and staff from Goudhurst on the way which added to the excitement of our adventure. The concert as always was amazing; the energy in the stadium was quite electric and the children were an absolute joy. Indeed, all the children were impeccably behaved; what a wonderful community we are and what an adventure we all had. A huge thank you must go to Mrs Brook, Miss Harris and Mrs Deshmukh-Hayes for accompanying the children on the day and a special thank you to Mrs Brook and Miss Harris for leading and preparing the choir. Please see below an email that I received from a parent:
I trust you had a good nights sleep and have recovered a little from the monumental effort of taking the children to Young Voices. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to you both for giving the children such a fantastic life affirming experience. I know it’s lots of extra work and I wanted you to know how much our daughter enjoyed it and how much we appreciate it. When we got into the O2, the atmosphere was electric and excitement palpable - the whole experience was joyous.
Once again thank you."
Date: Wednesday 29th January
Location: Colliers Green School
Children Who attended:
Year 3- Hannah, Pippa, Dolly and Lillie-Lou
Year 4- Josie, Grace and Summer
Year 5- Abi, Skye and India
Year 6- Kelcey and Eden
Fantastic effort from all the girls. Some of them hadn't played football before and got stuck in and showed amazing sportmanship.
Players of the Tournament: Kelcey and Skye
Well done- hopefully we will do some more girls football matches and training at school!