Getting the post-holiday clichés out of the way, it already seems a lifetime since we celebrated together for Christmas and enjoyed the wonderful end of term events and, despite the wet weather, I have already appreciated the lighter mornings and evenings in 2023! The children have returned with a spring in their step and settled back into the routines of school life brilliantly. There is a purposeful buzz around the school and we are up to speed already across all year groups. I am always impressed with how well children return to school after a break as it can feel rather overwhelming, but the teachers have welcomed and managed this with typical care and kindness to ease the start back. Well done particularly to our new children and families starting with us this year, it is wonderful to have you here and welcome to the BPS community. We also welcomed two new members of staff into our Nursery team with Vanessa Vickers and Lucy Richens joining our amazing team.

There is much to look forward to including trips, visits, sports fixtures and school productions in addition to the exciting journey each subject will take our children on. We will continue to explore ways to make our curriculum accessible, relevant and exciting. The staff begin each term by reflecting on the progress made so far in all year groups to help shape our future delivery. We are delighted that our children continue to develop significantly above national expectations, once again providing confidence that our broad curriculum enhances their learning experience. Our celebration assembly this morning was a fantastic showcase of the progress and effort our children are making and this first week back has been astonishing. …a brief summary of our celebrated achievements:

Writers of the month, stars of the week, music instrument grades, reading word millionaires, Blue Peter badge winner, cycling certificate and to cap it all congratulating stars of stage and screen! Amazing.

Before the break I mentioned that we had plans to develop some of our outdoor areas this calendar year and the first project is to bring to life the ideas and designs the children submitted for the garden area. Mrs Clark and a group of children have moved this to the next stage where we are ready to put spade to dirt! I therefore invite any budding gardeners or enthusiastic families to join our “garden force” on Saturday 4 February and Saturday 11 March to help transform this space. Any help would be gratefully received and refreshments will be provided. If any families have any railway sleepers, compost or topsoil or any perennial plants or shrubs they would like to donate then please let us know.