By a member of staff at St Michael’s Primary School, Stoke Gifford.
After a year-and-a-half of lockdowns and temporary suspensions, we are at last hopeful that things are on the way up, and we can look forward to a resumption of the full life of the school. At St Michael’s we are very proud of our cultural and sporting activities, which have been severely curtailed in recent times.
Arts and music
After a year of restrictions we are now planning an arts week for Term 6, where children will be able to celebrate great artists and great composers, and we hope that very soon singing will resume. We have already restarted music lessons in school, both individual and whole-class. We offer ukulele to all children in Year 4, and drumming to all children in Year 6. We have had to pause recorder (Y3) and Fife (Y5) for now, but hopefully these will resume in September.
Clubs and sport
Our outdoor clubs have resumed this term, and it’s wonderful to see so many children outside after school taking part in organised activities. We offer five football clubs for every year group from Y1 – Y6, two separate girls’ football clubs, netball club, two cricket clubs, tennis, multisports and running club. We also have a Reception activity club and a gardening club. Some of our indoor clubs will be restarting in Term 6, including our two musical theatre clubs, table tennis, art club, chess club and dance club. Our gym clubs will be restarting in September.
In normal times we have nearly 40 regular clubs and activities every week. Our aim is for all children from Y1 upwards to be able to take part in at least one additional activity; many do several. We also provide a wide variety of performance opportunities, with all year groups putting on a performance or display for parents during the year, with a summer musical performance being the highlight. Sadly these have not taken place during the lockdown periods, although various activities have been shared as videos.
At the end of July we say farewell to our headteacher, Mark Freeman.
Mr Freeman has been headteacher at St Michael’s for 18 years, and during that time there have been huge changes, both within the school and nationally.
Mr Freeman writes:
“It has been an honour and absolute pleasure to have been the headteacher at St Michael’s for the past 18 years. During that time the school environment has been transformed, and I am incredibly proud of our facilities, including new outside play areas and a MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area). Most of all I am proud of the children and staff who I have got to know over my time here. We have developed an outstanding arts and music-focused curriculum to inspire and nurture children to achieve the best they possibly can. I will be very sad to say goodbye to so many friends here, but I am also looking forward with excitement to a new future where I can have more time for my many hobbies and interests. I wish everyone connected with the school every success in the future.”
The process of appointing a new headteacher in under way, and we hope to have a successor in post by January at the latest. We are very much looking forward to September, by which time all restrictions will hopefully be lifted, and all of our traditional exciting activities can resume. We have 90 new Reception children due to start in September, and they will shortly be visiting the school to get a taste of school life before they start. If your child is due to start in September 2022 look out for details of visits on the school website after the summer holidays. Our website contains a wealth of information and videos about school life: please pay us a visit!
This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on pages 12 & 13). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.