Newsletter 7 – 19th October 2012

Dear Parents

Last day of this half term is Wednesday 24th October. We return to school on Monday 5th November. This is the last newsletter of this half term.

Theatre We had a travelling theatre company come into school on Wednesday to present the show “Oliver Twist” to our children. It was a great production and the children enjoyed it.

Cargo Ships Our Chair of Governors, Ms Diane Gilpin, gave a lovely presentation on modern, environmentally friendly, sailing ships on Wednesday – the children were fascinated by the one tenth scale model of such a ship that she brought into school to show them.  The model had been used by the University of Southampton to test the design.

Mrs Garraway We are hoping that Mrs Garraway will be well enough to come back to school next week after a serious illness. My thanks to Mrs Twentyman who stepped in to teach the full week in her absence – one of the advantages of a job share situation is that these difficult times can be managed more effectively.

Works in School  We bid successfully for funding to put in new double glazed windows and to repair our roof. These works will be carried out over the holidays and we will not be running holiday club through this half term.  We hope that the work will reduce our fuel bill and help to reduce our carbon footprint.

Sports Coaching We are always very grateful to Dauntsey’s school who send a sports coaching team to our school each Friday to help some of  the KS2 children with their skills.

Maths Challenge We are also grateful for the Maths Challenge programme that is run through Lavington Secondary school for our most able Year 5 mathematicians. 

Parent/teacher Evenings We will send out the precise appointment times on Tuesday 23rd October. Please check your child’s bag for this slip. We do try to coordinate families with more than one child so that you do not have to wait too long between meetings. Please note that these meetings are only 10 minutes long. If you require a longer meeting please arrange this separately with your child’s teacher.

PFA  On Friday 9th November just after drop off time, all parents are invited to the home of Mrs Jacqui Hart who lives over the road from the school in Witchcombe Close for a “Meet a Friend” coffee morning. Everyone will go over together in a group, so no one needs to feel uncomfortable. This promises to be a really lovely way to meet new friends and have some time to catch up with those you already know. Please do come along to this event. My thanks go to the new PFA for this initiative.

Data Protection There is a lot of strictly confidential paperwork in the classrooms which is protected by the Data Protection act.  We ask that our parents respect this, and only come into the classrooms when a teacher or TA is present so that we can ensure the confidentiality of all this information.

Sibling Photos will be taken on Monday 22nd October at 12 o’clock. You are welcome to bring younger children in to school at this time. If you wish a photo to be retaken, please let us know and Mr G will take another on Tuesday.

Brownies The local Brownies are collecting used stamps to help raise funds for “Help for Heroes”. Please drop any you may be able to gather to the office & we will pass them on

Policies

I like to present a very short summary of some of our policies in this newsletter each year – please note that the full policies can be read on our website, or if they have not yet been published online, then you can request copies at the school office. This week we will look at the Attendance policy:

We are very grateful to our families for supporting our school so effectively – we have outstanding attendance in this school and are in the top few per cent of the country for attendance figures. It is a legal requirement for parents to ensure their children attend school regularly and are punctual. Any child whose attendance falls below 85% is at serious risk of underachieving.  The school day starts at 8.40am and registration periods are from 8.45 – 8.50 a.m. and 1.00 – 1.05 p.m Parents are asked to inform the school, in writing, where an absence is planned e.g. hospital appointments, ballet exams etc . Where a child is absent due to illness, parents are asked to inform school by telephone in the first instance and by letter on the child’s return.  If a child is absent and there is no notification from the parents, the school will contact the parents to ensure that the child is safe and to find out the reason for the absence. Should the child be absent without a reason for 3 days, the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) will be informed. Persistent lateness will also be reported to the EWO. Parents do not have a legal right to take children out of school on holiday. The school will only permit holidays to be taken in term time if these comply with the special circumstances as outlined in the Wiltshire guidance. These may include the following:

  • a family needing to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis;
  • for service personnel and other employees who are prevented from taking holidays outside term time if the holiday will have minimal disruption to the pupil’s education.

Holidays will not be authorised for the following:

  • better availability of cheap holidays;
  • better availability of the desired accommodation;
  • poor weather experienced in school holiday periods; and
  • overlap with the beginning or end of term.

Unauthorised absence of more than 10 sessions (5 days) in any 6 month period will be reported to the EWO and a penalty notice will be served. Failure to improve attendance may result in the Education Welfare Service (EWS) prosecuting the parent.

Photographs Pre-school have organised a photographic session with Tempest on Saturday 29th October from 10-12.45am. There are a few slots remaining – if you would like to book one, please ring 812121.

Children’s Movie Night… Come and enjoy food, film and fun with friends tonight, Friday 19th October from 6-8pm in Erlestoke Church. All are welcome but children under five must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. A light supper and pudding will be provided; donations of £1 for food are gratefully accepted.

Movember Ball  The Great Cheverell Soapbox Derby have organised a Movember Ball in aid of Prostate Cancer to be held at Dauntsey’s Memorial Hall on Saturday 3rd November from 7.30pm. Dress code is Black Tie. There will be live entertainment from comedian Jed Stone, Garry J Foley (aka The King) and Soul Sensation. Tickets are priced at £30. Please contact Jane Andrew on 01380 812439 or Stephanie on 07764 930026 by 22nd October.

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

PFA 

The PFA are trying a new way of helping us all get to know each other a bit better, so dust off your wellies!  We are trying a Wednesday welly walk.  Meet outside the school gate after drop off on Wednesday 7th Nov, with or without your dog, and we will head off somewhere non-exhaustive.  We shall be walking unless there is a typhoon!! 

Hope to see you there, it’s free, fit making and hopefully fun……..

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