A Week Two Update from Mr Schumm

Dear Parents/ Carers

What a glorious week! The sun has shone and it’s been full steam ahead at St Stephen’s. Your children are amazing and the way they have worked, adapted and kept smiling over the last couple of weeks has been an absolute joy. Our new routines and procedures are firmly in place and I want to thank you all for being/ continuing to be proactive and ensuring we can keep those gates open!

I am loving zooming assemblies to the whole school – nothing like a captive audience. On Thursday I retold the story of Jonah and the Whale with some very willing participants from Year 4. Note to self not to choose Iris D again, as there was some slight upstaging going on but Adonai’s fantastic whale soon put pay to that.

I am delighted to announce that Su Wijeratna, a former parent with close links to the area, has taken over as our Chair of Governors. Su has been our Vice Chair and Safeguarding lead for a number of years and is the first woman Lower Master at Eton College. I personally want to say a massive thank you to Danny Prior, who has stepped down as our Chair but has assumed the Vice Chair role, for all he has done for our school and community. Danny has played an instrumental part in the development of our school and his dedication and commitment has been above and beyond. A governor’s role is to be a ‘critical friend and be supportive of the school’ and Danny has been that – in abundance. We are truly blessed to have him and so fortunate that he is staying on as Vice Chair during the current climate. It’s not your birthday but, as we sing in assembly, ‘we’re glad God made you!’

A massive thank you to all those parents who turned up for our FOSS AGM last night – great turn out. I am thrilled to announce that Sylvia, mother of James in Year 4, has taken over as our new Chair of FOSS ably assisted by her fantastic team (look out for a parentmail with details of the meeting). Many of you will already know Sylvia and we can rest assured FOSS is in safe, determined and ‘climb every mountain’ hands but always with a brilliant smile! We have a strange year ahead of us regarding fundraising but I know we can do this and ensure all the children continue to enjoy a varied, challenging and enriching time at St Stephen’s. We also must say a massive thank you to Charlotte Crookall, mother of Benjy in Year 5 and Rufus in Year 1, who has headed up FOSS for the last two years and has done a magnificent job. Her ability to remain positive, continuously fly the FOSS flag, work on the bar for events, climb Snowdon and discuss the pricing of a hot dog sausage at great length has been phenomenal. Thank you Charlotte from all of us – and you still get to come to the events!

Last night, at the FOSS AGM, we discussed the ’60 Challenge’ as a fundraiser in November. Alastair, Mr Gane and myself thought we would cycle to Brighton to raise funds for the school. The cycle ride is 60 miles and we thought what if everyone did a 60 Challenge. It could be 60 sit ups, eat 60 doughnuts, walk 60 miles, say 60 prayers or give £60 – the skies the limit. We can then collect sponsorship for our challenges and put them in the FOSS pot. So, please put your thinking caps on and ponder what will your 60 challenge be? Mine will be to actually reach Brighton in time to get the train back!

Ok so we do have one little tweak this week – on Wednesdays we have a lot of clubs and pick up has become quite busy. From next Wednesday, we would like parents to come into the main playground to collect their children. Just enter via the Uxbridge Rd and come into the main playground for collection.

We had a really thought provoking meeting this week with parents regarding Diversity. We discussed what we were doing as a school to ensure that all families felt fully represented in our school family. Denis will be leading all the staff in unconscious bias training in the coming weeks. Denis has led numerous meetings for the leaders of the Church of England, so we are in expert hands. The aim is to make St Stephen’s as inclusive as possible and ensure that everyone feels valued and represented. Please do read the Parentmail with the minutes from the meeting to learn more about our plans.

Thank you to all those parents who have joined us for zoom meetings this week – and a warm welcome to all our new parents across the school – especially in Reception and Nursery. It’s been quite a full on week of zooming for me and my advice would be, if you have a slightly dodgy internet connection, are zooming a meeting with the school governors and the internet cuts out- always make sure you have muted yourself before chastising the internet in very strong terms!

Please remember to check out the website for class blogs and information www.ststephens.ce.lbhf.sch.uk and you can follow us on Twitter (we like a like and a follower!) @StStephensLBHF

Have a lovely weekend – now where did I leave that bike?

Mr Schumm