Newsletter 9 – 16th November 2012

Dear Parents

Viking Day All parents of the children in Sarum class are invited to come to school on Friday 23rd November at 1.15pm to experience some of the work their children have done over the past half term on the Viking theme. There will be “Viking food” to try and lots of interesting work to see.  Children in Sarum can come into school dressed as Vikings on that day if they wish. Please do not spend a lot of time or money on these costumes – they are meant to be representational rather than accurate!

Oxenwood There is a meeting in school on Thursday 22nd November at 5.00pm for all parents of children in Year 3 and Year 4 about the residential trip to Oxenwood which will take place in May. The meeting will give parents the opportunity to hear about some of the activities and routines that take place at Oxenwood and to ask any questions they may have.

Skipping Rope Workshops On Thursday 22nd November, we will be holding skipping workshops for all children in the school. We hope this will generate some new playground games for playtimes and give everyone another way of staying healthy and fit. The providers of the workshop will have skipping ropes for sale at £4 each – if you wish your child to purchase one, please send the exact money in an envelope clearly marked “Skipping Rope”.

Extreme Weather As the cold weather sets in, I would like to remind parents that we almost never close the school. As far as possible we stay open. Should we have to close the school for a day, you will be alerted by text message on your phone, there will be a notice on the school website and the local radio stations will carry a bulletin. However, please expect to be at school every day. Should it snow, please make sure you send wellies in with your child, otherwise they will not be allowed to play outside. We always have extra- long playtimes when it snows since this is such a great event for our children. They can bring in sleds, and will be expected to share their sleds with those children who have not got one. This activity is very carefully supervised, with extra adults on duty – we aim to let the children have fun and take risks in a safe way, and try not to be too risk averse. This activity does, of course, carry some risk. Permission to sled will have been signed by most parents – if we do not have a permission slip for your child, obviously they will not be allowed to sled but will have lots of fun with snow model building and all the other excitement.

Eisteddfod Choir  Ms Sharman and Mrs Edwards have worked hard with our talented young choir this term and they will enter the Devizes Eisteddfod on Saturday 17th November.  If your child is involved, please ensure that they are at St Andrew’s church in Devizes by 8.45am for the carol entry (Year 4, 5 and 6 choristers only) and by 9.30am for the song entry (the whole Eisteddfod choir).  We should know by 10.30am what the result of the competition is. All choristers should be in full school uniform and need to have done a little gentle singing before they arrive at the venue to warm up their voices. We are delighted that we are taking part in this event this year – my very sincere thanks to Ms Sharman and Mrs Edwards for all their work on this.

Recorder Lessons All children in Sarum class are now having a half hour whole class recorder lesson each week as a result of an initiative by the government. Even if your child does already have recorder lessons, they will learn a great deal from playing in a large, multiskilled ensemble such as this, they will have the chance to practice their instrument and, if they are proficient, they will have the chance to lead music where appropriate. We are very grateful to Mrs Jenkins for supporting music making in our school.

PFA  My thanks to the PFA whose work in school is so much appreciated – it is great to have such a large and creative team working together for our children. Please do sign up if you wish to help with any of the activities. Extra support is always very welcome and this is a great way to get to know people in your school community.

Bus Passengers Some of our children are entitled to take the bus to and from school. We are always very careful to make sure that the children are safe and if there is any confusion about whether a child ought to catch the bus or not, we always keep them in school. This does sometimes mean that parents have to come to school to pick them up, but we cannot take the risk of having a child get off the bus and have no one to meet them there.  If there is a change in the usual pattern of your child catching the bus, it is always better to send a note into school to ensure that we are clear about what we should be doing.

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 Admissions policy.

The admissions policy of Holy Trinity Church of England Primary Academy is that, while there are adequate places, we will offer a place to all applicants irrespective of gender, religion, ethnicity or country of origin, disability or academic ability. We can accept 150 children into our school (at present we have 148). Class sizes are limited to 30 in the FS and KS1 classes, and our governors have set a limit of 32 in KS2 classes (there is no official limit to class size in KS2 and we could be forced to take more by an appeal panel).

 If there are more applications for places than places available, the criteria on the admissions policy apply. This means that looked after children and other vulnerable children are given the first places. After that, children who live in our designated area who have a sibling in the school are offered places, then all others who live in our designated area. After this, places are offered to those with siblings in our school but who live outside the designated area, those outside the designated area who would like a Christian faith education for their children (and this has to be upheld by their vicar or pastor) and then all others  who have applied from outside the designated area. In each category, in the event of a “tie break”, distance from the school is used to separate out which child shall be offered a place. Our designated area includes Great and Little Cheverell, Erlestoke and Coulston. Fewer than half of the children in our school come from the designated area, and, without the children from further afield, we would be struggling to stay open since 70 children is the minimum expected for a primary school in Wiltshire. If a child is not offered a place in our school, the parents have the right to appeal that decision in front of an independent panel.

Children’s Movie Night… Come and enjoy food, film and fun with friends, on Friday 23rd November 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.

Christmas Lunch Lataca (our catering company) are taking orders for a Christmas lunch which will take place on Friday 21st December. If you haven’t ordered a lunch for your child and would like to do so, please ask for a form from the office. Roast turkey or vegetarian quorn is served with roast potatoes, stuffing, gravy and vegetables, followed by Christmas pudding and custard or ice cream. Children have a drink, cracker and the staff are waiters and waitresses!

Stamps Please collect any stamps that you receive on your post and bring them into school and we will pass them on to the Brownies who are collecting them as a charity initiative.

Shoeboxes  if you are preparing a decorated shoebox for the Operation Christmas Child appeal, please bring it into school on the morning of Monday 19th November.

Devizes Musical Theatre – DMT Footlights, which features a number of children from our school – will be presenting their first show on Saturday 24th November at 7.30pm in Devizes Town Hall. The show will feature songs and movement from popular young people’s shows such as Bugsy Malone, The Wizard of Oz, LIttle Shop of Horrors and Glee, to name a few, and will be accompanied by a live band.  Please contact Liz Sharman on 01380 831332 or   esharman@longwaterbooks.co.uk  if you would like tickets for this show. Tickets cost £6 for adults and £3 for under 18s.

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

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