Newsletter 6 – 10th October 2014

Dear Parents

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Weekly Cooking lessons in the Art Centre – Here, a lovely fruit smoothie was one of the dishes made by Sarum class this week.

 

Photographs Individual portraits of your children will be taken next week. Stonehenge children will be photographed on Monday, White Horse class on Tuesday, Sarum on Wednesday, Avebury on Thursday and Silbury on Friday. Family photos will be taken at lunch time on Monday 20th October if you wish to bring in younger siblings. You will be given the chance to check the photo before deciding whether you would like to buy it or not. My thanks to Mr Gyllenspetz who offers this service to our parents at such a reasonable cost – and his photos are lovely!

Birds of Prey Experience On Wednesday we had a lovely display of birds of prey in school – children enjoyed learning about them and some had a chance to hold them on their arms.

Fire Drill We practice evacuating the school regularly to ensure that we can always keep our children safe in the case of emergency. Our fire drill recently showed that we can entirely empty the school in one minute and twenty seconds. A minute later, roll call was completed as well. The children are always calm, quiet and sensible as they leave the school and are very used to the procedures.

Policies Each year at this time I like to summarise in the newsletter some of our most relevant policies and procedures, so that parents are familiar with them. This week, we will discuss briefly the SEN (Special Educational Needs) Policy. SEN arrangements are changing in line with Government policy.

For children who have a significant learning difficulty or disability, we will provide education that is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of this age. We work closely with parents and with outside agencies such as Educational Psychologists, Behavioural Support Therapists and Speech and Language therapists to ensure best outcomes for children with SEN. There are clear indicator documents to guide the school in the decision about whether a child ought to be receiving this extra provision. The Government has put in place new and different policies and procedures for managing SEN from the start of this year. This means that, instead of the categories of SEN that you might be used to, each school will be providing a “Local Offer”. You can access this in full on our website, under “The School” – “Creative Curriculum” tabs, or by following this link: http://holy-trinity.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Local-Offer.pdf. In short, what will happen is that any child about whom the teacher has concerns will be raised at an SEN meeting with the SENCO and monitored closely. If the child is not making progress, they will be assessed and given whatever SEN support is deemed necessary. If the child still does not make progress, they will be assessed further and might be given an Education, Health and Care Plan (previously known as a Statement) which might draw down some extra funding. Parents can help to decide what this extra funding ought to be used for.  

Overall in our school, our children with SEN make very good progress even if their attainment is low. Mrs Garraway and Mrs Abbott are our Special Educational Need Co-ordinators (SENCOs) and both have the SENCO accreditation as well as other specialisations. They will publish more detail on SEN in due course.

It is worth remarking that children who are struggling but do not meet the thresholds for SEN Support are also given lots of extra support in this school if they require it. We open what we call a “Concern Sheet”, which is shared with parents and extra provision is put in place for the child to ensure their best outcomes. Many children have a concern sheet at some point in their school lives – often just for a half term or so until they have overcome the problem that caused the concern.

Meetings coming up

  • There will be a meeting on Tuesday 14th Oct at 5.00pm for parents of all children in Years 5 and 6 about the Forest of Dean Residential Trip (which will take place 20th – 22nd May 2015). Please do come along to this and find out more about the trip.
  • There will be a meeting on Wednesday 15th Oct at 5.00pm for parents of all children in Years 3 and 4 about the Oxenwood Residential Trip (which will take place on 21st and 22nd May 2015 for Year 3 and 4 children). Please come to this if your child is in Year 3 or Year 4 as you will be given information about the trip and have a chance to ask any questions you may have.
  • A reminder that Parent/teacher meetings will take place on Wednesday 12th November (3.00pm – 6.00pm) and Thursday 13th November (6.00pm – 8.00pm).  You will soon receive a letter about this asking you to tell us which session would suit you best and then we will give you a precise time for your appointments.

iPads We will be purchasing iPads for the children to use in school soon. Governors have suggested that we might occasionally recommend apps that we have tried and found useful so that parents may, if they wish, encourage their children to use these.  There is a great app for supporting children to learn times tables and number bonds on rapid recall. The app is free and is called MathRacing. It can be used for all ages – simply choose the numbers that your child is working with and the mathematical operation you wish them to practice. If children have their tables and number bonds on very rapid recall, it makes all of their maths so much easier – which is why we place such emphasis on this skill. 

Primary School places We have application forms in school for children who will be four years old before September 2015. The deadline for these applications is 15th January 2015.

Halloween Party at Great Cheverell Pavilion on Friday 31st October from 7pm until late. There will be a BBQ, music, games, a bar and of course fancy dress! Family tickets are £5, contact Stephanie on 816110 or Avril on 816258 to book your tickets.

PFA

Following our AGM last week we need to extend a massive vote of thanks to our outgoing chair Annabel Mackintosh and welcome to Perdy Barrett as our new chair, thank you to Jacqui and Andy Hart for all their hard work as Treasurers for the PFA and welcome Mike Green as our new Treasurer. Thanks also to Lisa McKeigue for her support as Secretary and welcome to Gemma Ackerman as the new Secretary.  We want to extend our thanks as well to Alexander Mackintosh for all of his hard work in building our new PFA shed over the summer.

We now have a PFA Facebook page – Holy Trinity (Great Cheverell) PFA, this is a great new forum enabling us to share up and coming events and PFA news, so please join us.

Our next PFA event is Movie night on Friday 17th October at 5.30pm. The children will vote for a film to watch and this is a wonderful evening for the all children so please bring them along.

Our next PFA meeting is on Monday 13th October straight after drop off time in the staff room. New members are always welcome.

Recycling Thank you to everyone who donated to textile recycling – the next collection is Monday after half term (3rd November).

Best wishes

Mercedes Henning

We welcome and value your opinion. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact the Head teacher or Chair of Governors.

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