Newsletter 23 – 15th March 2013

Dear Parents

Last day of term This term ends on Friday 22nd March and the summer term starts on Monday 8th April.

Maths/SATS Evening On Monday 18th March at 5.00pm we will be offering parents the chance to come into school and find out how we teach maths. SATS test papers will also be available for you to look at if you are interested.

Edington Priory Pilgrimage Day The whole school will be taking the coach to Edington Priory church on Tuesday 19th March for a morning of activities based on Easter themes, ending with a picnic on Ralph’s Seat (or in the church if the weather is terrible). Please make sure that your child had a packed lunch with them for this day – there are no hot dinners since we will not be in school.

Sharing Assembly Friday 22nd March On the last day of this term, Sharing Assembly will involve a lot of wonderful music performances. We shall have the Silbury Class orchestra playing us excerpts from ‘Jupiter’ by Holst, the Year 3 choir will perform some of the songs they have prepared this term, and our Ukulele club will also perform some of their pieces. Do come along and enjoy a musical fiesta!

Academic achievement at our school Once again, the academic achievement of our children in the external government tests (SATS) has been outstanding according to the Government’s recently published statistical analyses. Our value added (how much extra progress children make compared to what was expected) is 102.2 which puts us in the top 3% of the country.

Attainment  is statistically shown to be “Significantly Higher” than national levels in all subjects and in both KS1 and KS2. Our children did extremely well in the phonics test as well with 86% of our children passing compared with just 58% nationally.

We are delighted with these results and our thanks go to our teachers and support staff, our families and of course our children. But we are always aware that education at this school is about much more than these data indicate – and we are very proud of how our children leave the school as responsible, caring, confident people of great integrity – as well as having outstanding academic outcomes.

Easter Lunch Lataca are producing a special Easter Lunch on Wednesday 20t March and alternatives such as the jacket potato or picnic lunch option will not be available. Please contact Lataca if you have selected one of these options.

Gardening Club Are you keen to learn how things grow? Do you love sowing, growing, harvesting and cooking your own food? Do you enjoy the flowers and plants around the school and want to be part of caring for them? Then come to Gardening Club from 3.00pm – 4.00pm on Mondays, from Monday 15th April until the Autumn half term. KS2 children who have come to this club before are welcome back, and new and old members from KS1 are invited. Foundation Stage children must be accompanied by an adult. The club can only accept a certain number of applicants and places will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Please pick up a form from the office to register your interest. My heartfelt thanks to Lucy Bates and her team who work so hard to ensure that our grounds are beautiful and that the children learn about the value of gardening and growing.

School Finances It was mentioned at the recent AGM that parents might be interested to know how our funding from the government is allocated.  Our total funding from the government amounts to about £550 000. About 85% of our funding is spent on staff salaries – which is much the same as all schools similar to ours where the teaching is outstanding and outcomes for children are outstanding – benchmarking exercises carried out each year show that our expenditure on staff salaries is, in fact, at the lower end of average for similar schools. Once we have paid for all our insurances, licenses, fuel, maintenance of ICT, grounds, buildings and equipment, the cleaning and catering contracts, statutory testing of equipment, supply staff, communications and other essential expenditure, there is very little left as ‘disposable’ income – of the order of £10 000 which has to be spent on all school stationery, ICT equipment, art and design resources, furniture, PE equipment, school contribution to trips, visitors and special events in school and any other development of any area of the curriculum identified in the school development plan. This is why we are always so grateful for contributions by parents and the PFA. We manage our budget very efficiently, but there is no room for extravagance and each year our budget is lower in real terms since we get no increases in funding but inflationary effects impact on spending – though salaries have not been increased to compensate for inflation for some years now which is difficult for staff but helps us balance our books! 

Comic Relief – Come as a Country Thanks to the PFA for organising this event, to Mrs Wilding for judging it and to all the families who joined in so enthusiastically. It was fun to see how varied the interpretation of the theme was. 

Lost Property Please check your child’s uniform and PE kit to make sure that you have not inadvertently become the owners of someone else’s uniform. There is also a huge heap of lost property in the library which will be recycled during the Easter holiday – please go through the box if you have lost something.

Holiday Club If you wish to take advantage of our holiday club, SuperStars which will run here in school during the first week of the Easter holidays Monday 25th – Thursday 28th March, please sign up on line at www.super-stars.org.uk . The children who come this to always have a great time and the costs are very reasonable.

Children’s Movie Night… Come and enjoy food, film and fun with friends, Friday 15th March 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.

Children’s Easter Workshop… Come and have fun making Palm Crosses, Easter gardens and other items on Saturday 23rd March from 10-12 noon in Erlestoke Church. Items will be put on display ready for the Palm Sunday service on Sunday 24th @ 4pm. All are welcome but children under five must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

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