Newsletter 20 – 13th February 2015

Dear Parents

Half term break Last day of term is today Friday 13th February, and we all return to school on Monday 23rd February.

Appointment to Stonehenge class Following a rigorous interview process, and selecting from a very strong field of candidates, I am delighted to announce that we have appointed Miss Lucy Nisbeck to continue to teach the children in Stonehenge classroom. Our congratulations go to her – she showed through the whole selection process that she is a teacher of the highest calibre, utterly child centred   and outstandingly aspirational for every child.  We are very fortunate to have been able to recruit such an excellent practitioner.

Message from Miss Nisbeck: “I am very proud and honoured to have been appointed to this post. I shall continue to do my very best for each child. If any parent would like to talk to me about anything, please do come in and see me.”

Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools All faith schools have to have this special “Faith School” inspection every few years. It is not Ofsted but there are some areas of overlap in the inspection process. The SIAMS inspectors judge the academic outcomes for children as part of the much wider brief to inspect spiritual, moral, cultural and social outcomes of children. We have been notified that we will have a SIAMS inspection on Thursday 26th February – the Thursday after we return to school. The inspector would like to talk to as many parents as possible to gather their views on the school and the outcomes we achieve for our children. We would like to invite you all to pop into the hall at 8.40am  on the 26th February to have a cup of tea and to meet the inspector and give her your views on our school.

Reading for Pleasure There is a lot of evidence to show that children who read for pleasure do well in all areas of their lives as they go through school and also as adults. Children should be reading for fun every day. This does not mean they have to read a book – they could be reading a magazine or comic, emails, blogs, instructions, a Kindle or Tablet or a game.

We encourage our parents to read to their children as often as possible, even the older children. Reading a Roald Dahl book together, or a Gerald Durrell book, or sharing a magazine article, is fun for the whole family and helps children to learn to enjoy reading. Reading out loud to children also helps to improve their writing – they learn the rhythm and flow of language and are able to use it more effectively.

PFA My heart-felt thanks once again to the PFA for all the work they do to ensure that our children’s experience of school is enriched and that funds are available for the luxuries of school life. The PFA logo competition and the Fairy Cake Friday are two recent very successful initiatives. The children have asked for a wooden hut/hide/tree house structure and, having joined all the ideas together, the PFA are looking at purchasing or contributing to something that will serve all these purposes to some extent.

iPad If you have an iPad at home, you might like to download the Tellagami app which allows children to create short video clips using an avatar, import images as backgrounds and present information in a fun way. It is easy to use and many of our older children will already know how to use it.

Breakfast club The canvassing, both online and through parents letting us know in the office, returned just 9 families who were interested in taking up the offer of the Breakfast Club provision. Most of these would not use the facility every day. The provider has told us that usually they expect about 40 positive responses to the canvassing from families, about two thirds of whom finally sign up.  Without a really significant increase in numbers, it is unlikely that we will be able to offer this club. Please let the office know over the next week or so if you did not respond but you do think you might make use of it.

Street Dance Club The club will run on Tuesdays from 24th February to 24th March 2015 from 3:15pm – 4:15pm. There is a £25 fee to be paid for the whole course of lessons. There are few places left if you are interested – please send your permission form and your money in on the first day back.

Clay Club We are glad to be able to offer Clay Club again, starting on Monday 23rd February – please send the fee of £35 into school on the first session if you haven’t already. Cheques should be made payable to Gary Wood.

Brownies It is World Thinking Day on Sunday 22nd February and we have agreed with our local Brown Owl’s request that the Brownies can wear their brownie uniform to school on Monday 23rd February to mark the occasion.

Music Services Our recorder lessons are heavily subsidised through the Local Authority Music Service. They have let us know that their funding has been cut very drastically for the 2015-16 school year and that their subsidies of these lessons will cease. We will be able to commission the lessons but on a private basis in the same way we commission the guitar, keyboard, brass and ukulele lessons. Mrs Jenkins has indicated that she would like to continue teaching the children if at all possible.

Water Aid Day We were able to raise £137.81 on Tuesday for Water aid – thank you to all who joined in with this great effort to make things better for people less fortunate than we are.

Online booking for parent/teacher meetings We are going to trial an online booking system for the parent/teacher meetings in the coming term. We are using the same system that Lavington school use and hope that it will facilitate parents choosing a time slot that meets their requirements precisely.

Milk Please visit www.coolmilk.com if you wish to register your child for school milk and create a parent account. Orders/payments have to be received by Coolmilk by Tuesday before 5pm for delivery the following week – if an order is placed after this deadline, the milk delivery will not commence until the following week. Should you have any payment related queries, please contact payments@coolmilk.com

Home School Agreements Please return the agreement signed by both parent and child to the school as soon as possible. The agreement is seen as a way of promoting good relationships both outside and inside school for the benefit of the pupils attending the school.

Best Wishes

Mercedes Henning

PFA News

WOW! What absolutely amazing entries we had for the logo competition. 80 children submitted a logo and it was so difficult to choose, Mrs Henning had to decide for us in the end!  Thank you for all your hard work and creativity.

Thank you for all the cake donations for Fairy Cake Friday! We really appreciate them, and hope you enjoyed eating the cakes too.

Don’t forget the next Textile recycling on Monday 2nd March.

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