Newsletter June 2015
Dear parents and carers
There are so many wonderful things to celebrate at school this term…
Mrs Dale won a countywide competition for best Teaching Assistant of the Year, representing Thanet district. This was for her work in organising careers information workshops for Year 6 pupils as well as her commitment to sport, especially in swimming. She received her award at a ceremony evening at Leeds Castle.
The school is a county winner in two categories of the Kent Literacy Awards. One was in recognition of the amazing impact of our work on developing cross-curricular writing and the second awarded for the brilliant library used for Early Bird sessions, Accelerated Reader and encouraging family literacy. Six members of staff will attend a presentation ceremony later in June at Hempstead House Hotel.
Our Maths in Motion team will attend WORLD finals in Warwickshire on the 24th June. We will be competing with teams from all over the globe, including China and Australia!
Mrs Adams accompanied three Year 4 pupils who were finalists in the ‘Perfect Packed Lunch’ award held at the Turner Contemporary. Well done to Oliver Appleton, Hadia Sied and Alexis Garner for their winning entries. Schools from all over Kent were there and we were thrilled to find out that Oliver was one of the four main county winners. His work will be displayed at the Turner Gallery. Congratulations to them all.
Leo Jones has won a photography competition based on mathematics in the environment. He will collect his award in July in London.
We were very proud to learn that Lucy Smith in Year 5 has qualified for the England team in dance. She is a specialist in Street Dance and has competed in Poland and will be travelling to Italy later in the year. Congratulations also go to Amy Joseph who has passed her Grade 3 Piano exam with Distinction. The mark required for a pass is 100 out of 150. Amy gained a distinction with 136 marks - a very rare feat and testament to her talent and hard work and the great teaching from Mrs Deacon, one of our specialist music tutors.
A huge thank you to parents and staff who support our sports teams at weekends and after school. We have taken part in a record number of events including Kwik-Cricket, football, cross country, swimming and netball.
We have also been asked to share our excellent practice in several areas of the curriculum with other schools in Thanet and across the county, too, which is a reflection of the high-quality education your children are receiving.
I am pleased to report that academic progress continues to move forward at a great rate for all of our children and at a faster rate than national improvements. The Year 6 children were a credit to themselves, the school and parents in the mature way they undertook the recent SATs assessments. Other year groups from Y1 – 5 will be taking tests in the next two weeks.
There has been some press coverage about teaching British values in school. Our school values complement the new expectations and reflect what we were doing already, prior to the new guidance, as they are common sense values that support a happy, safe and inclusive school community. You can read more about this on the website…
Ms Whichcord has led a huge project this year to refine our values and the children have been active participants in this work. The photograph shows the ‘Ethos’ working wall in the hall with contributions from all year groups.
Classes for September
Year Group Leaders have made recommendations to the Senior Leadership on whether classes will remain together next year or where is it preferable to mix classes up. Class lists are being finalised and your child will spend some time with their new teacher on Thursday 2nd July.
You will have seen how quickly the new building has gone up and the dry weather has been a real bonus to the builders. The new building will be 8 classrooms, a second hall + kitchen (for lunches, assemblies and PE etc) and staff room. It will be used to accommodate Year R and Year 1 and we hope to have some classrooms ready in early October.
Staff changes for September
I am pleased to report that we have a new teacher, Mrs Holden, joining us in September. Careful financial management continues to enable us to further extend additional learning groups into Year R, 1 and 2 so that children are taught in smaller sets especially for English and mathematics.
Mrs McGeoch has returned from maternity leave and will be working in Year 5 with Miss Brown. Mrs Meades will be leaving us at the end of term and we wish her all the very best and thank her for her contribution to our success.
Mrs Watts and Mrs Brunger led a fantastic holiday club in the second week of half term and the plan for next year is to extend holiday provision, especially to support working families. If you are starting to plan childcare for 2015/16 the following weeks will be available:
October 2015 half term, February 2016 half term and, as this year, the second week of the May 2016 half term .
As I write this there is a severe weather warning for thunderstorms! However, as a sun-safe school we would encourage you to send in sun cream which is clearly named, especially if your child is attending a sports tournament when they could be on a field for several hours. Please teach them how to apply the right amount in the right places! Hats are a good idea, too, for lunchtimes & sports events when the sun finally appears again!
You will know that we teach e-safety as part of our PHSE and IT curriculum. We had a great week of activities in February as part of Safer Internet Day and the children learned a lot. Staff have regular training on aspects of e-safety, which is part of our commitment to safeguarding your children. Parental controls on mobile devices used at home are really important. With ipads, mobile phones, games consoles etc it is a difficult task to keep up with the children, let alone be ahead of them! Please visit our ‘Keeping Safe’ page under the Parents tab on our website and see Mr Clayson if concerns arise or if you would like any advice.
Thank you for all sponsorship money for the sponsored walk. With your support and the efforts of the children on the day we raised over £1800. Some of the money, along with that from the previous PTFA, will be used to fund a rolling programme of providing lockers for pupils in the hope of reducing the amount of lost property and keeping corridors tidy and safe.
Fundraising by staff
A staff team will be taking part in the CRY 7 Bridges walk in London in memory of Oliver Thompson. The route crosses 7 Thames bridges and includes great views of at least 12 of London’s famous landmarks, representing the 12 young sudden cardiac deaths that occur each week in the UK. If you feel you are able to support by making a donation the staff team, and the charity, would be extremely grateful.
This may seem a funny time of the school year to remind you of our expectations for school uniform. However, the ‘back to school’ ranges are already in the shops (!) so please make sure you are buying items that are part of our agreed uniform. Trainers are not part of school uniform. School shoes must be black or navy blue.
Thank you to everyone who has responded so positively to making the area by the school gate much more welcoming for children & families.
If it doesn’t sound right….it’s probably not true!! If you hear something that you think is a bit odd, please come and ask us if it’s true. As with all schools, no matter what their size, rumours are plentiful. I have heard some bizarre ones in past weeks, including what the new building was being used for, which I have clarified previously in this letter.
Thank you for your continued support. Successful schools always work in partnership with their families and the wider community. We couldn’t do it without you!