Friday 6th September 2019
A very sincere ‘welcome back’ to you all. How were the holidays? If I am honest, I could do with another one about now – these early starts are a real struggle. For the last six weeks, I have not risen until well after ‘Homes under the Hammer’ has finished.
The way the children have come back has been superb. You can tell they have had a really good rest by the way they have been absolutely ‘on it’ and knuckling down from the off. It is always a bit strange when they move up to a new class: learning new routines, how this teacher prefers X and Y. It can be quite a lot for a little person to take in. However, as I pop into the classrooms, all I see is children working hard and enjoying themselves. Perfect.
Although everyone has done well, the new Reception children deserve a special mention. They have come in like a dream and taken to this new adventure like ducks to water. Granted, there were a few nervous faces and the odd wobbly chin on that very first morning but that was mainly from the parents! The children, on the other hand, mostly skipped in through the door and made a beeline for the various exciting bits of equipment that had been put out for them. The only sight fly in the ointment was when one of the boys was overheard saying, ‘You mean I have to come back tomorrow?’ Afraid so mate, afraid so.
As I mentioned to the children in assembly, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be here with all of you and them. We are going to have an amazing year and I cannot wait to see just what the children can achieve by the end of it.
Before I sign off, a quick plea: read with children as often as you can, five nights a week or more would be ideal. It is one of the most important ways you can help them with their education as it not only helps their decoding skills, but also gives them knowledge, increases their vocabulary, improves their writing (they play with the language, sentence structures and ideas they come across in books within their own work) and, most importantly, is a wonderful source of enjoyment.
Have a lovely weekend. Play safely and take care. If anyone wants me, I shall be trying to catch the last session of the cricket as England are fighting back/I’ll be in my office, working, as we have already lost the fourth test to the Australians. Please delete as appropriate.
Wednesday 9th January 2019
I cannot tell you how pleased I am to finally be here with all of you and your children. Everyone has been so welcoming, in both schools - I really do feel very lucky. Whichever school I am in, I will endeavour to be on the school gate, trying to desperately learn names (if I am honest - not my forte) and getting to know everyone a little bit better. Although, I have to admit, I did make a small, tactical error on my first morning: my lanyard was trapped inside my coat so I was merrily saying “Good morning”, but no one knew who I was! A few parents were more than a little disconcerted, and more than a touch wary, of this strange man!
We are in the incredibly fortunate position where both schools in The Strawberry Line Federation are already high achieving and places where children flourish. Moving them forward and in new directions is going to be so exciting and a challenge I cannot wait to embrace.
Just to put some ‘flesh on the bones’, I am a family man with two gorgeous (?) children, a little boy who is in Reception and a slightly bigger girl who is in Year 4. Originally from Weston-super-Mare, I have spent much of my career teaching in Reading and then moved back to the South West five years ago to take up my first headship at Wraxall CE Primary School. In my spare time, I love to watch sport, absolutely any sport will do, but I have a particular passion for Bath Rugby, Tottenham Hotspur Football Team and Somerset Cricket (my viewing of sport does not drive my wife mad at all!).
If I have not had the opportunity to chat with you yet, please do find me in the playground; I would love to make your acquaintance.
Mr Ben Tucker
We read this article recently which is very powerful reading. It really helps to explain the importance of children reading everyday. Check it out:
For your information, our Designated Safeguarding Lead across the Federation is Mrs Victoria Sheppard with Miss Angie Stevens deputising in her absence. If you have any safeguarding or child protection concerns, please do not hesitate to contact either of them.