One of the most important issues in education

This week we have had the pleasure of welcoming our local primary headteachers for a visit to Honywood. This was no regular meeting of headteachers; they were each here to meet their own former learners – our current C7’s. Upon arrival they were reunited with their children who took them on a tour of the school whilst talking about what it was like moving on to secondary school. After the tour everyone regrouped for lunch. Over lunch there was an opportunity for the learners to show their former headteachers their work. It was great to see how engaged everyone was as they explained the progress they had made and the achievements they were proud of.

After the learners left I had a chance to speak with the headteachers. We all agreed that one of the most important issues in education at the moment is the transition from primary school to secondary school. We all recognised this. I think all schools know this. However, it is one aspect of the education system that is often overlooked. In a system of dwindling funding we all agreed that we needed to embrace any opportunities to work together and collaborate. We may all work in different schools but we are all educating the same group of children.
Please don’t forget that it is a non learner day tomorrow (Friday 15th Nov).
Have a great weekend
James Saunders

UN Sustainable development goals
Today we have the pleasure of hosting a visit by an organisation from Finland – Lyfta. They will be in school today training our C8 learning group leaders. They will be providing resources to support them in teaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This will be part of our LS5 learning group time curriculum and our wider aim of developing cultural capital in our learners.
Lyfta is a digital learning platform where teachers and learners can access stunning storyworlds and curriculum-based lessons. Lyfta invites learners to memorable, immersive experiences with real human stories from around the world. The learning experiences are ideal for fostering skills and values such as empathy and critical thinking. I am looking forward to seeing the impact of this work.

School transport update
We are highly aware of the current difficulties facing a number of families who use Hedingham bus services, and want to do our best to support families who are experiencing these issues and have been in communication with Hedingham Bus servcie. Please see below the response we have received from Hedingham;
“We do not have a formal contract in place for home to school travel where the parent pays us for the ticket. We offer seats on the buses where there is space once we have fulfilled our contract with Essex County Council, whose requirement is to ensure that journeys are not normally more than 75 minutes. From time to time we have to alter the timetable to match changing requirements with passenger numbers, and we are now making adjustments in the light of reduced numbers travelling since September. Whilst we seek to honour collection from all pick up points we are not able to guarantee a specific timetable. We are under no obligation to provide the service to those paying us for tickets.
Hedingham Buses”

I am due to meet with the General Manager of the bus service next week to discuss these issues further. I will of course update families who are affected in due course. As a school we do not have any direct control over buses as their contract is held with the County Council, but we will do our best to help with communication between families and the bus companies.
Should you have any issues, please contact myself at [email protected] and also forward on any complaints to [email protected] If your child qualifies for a free bus service then you can contact [email protected] as transport is managed by the local education authority. I would also recommend that you contact your local MP should you be affected by these changes.
Thank you for your support
Dan Smith (Associate Assistant Headteacher)

Parking around school
Please can I ask families to be mindful when parking around school at drop-off and pick-up times. Recently we have had a few incidents that could be described as ‘close-calls’. These have happened as a result of cars being parked where they should not be or being mounted on curbs. I know that parking is difficult around the school and can lead to frustration but I ask for cooperation in ensuring the safety of our learners as they leave school.

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