Newsletter 12 – 4th December 2015

Dear Parents

Pantomime Our thanks to all our amazing staff who supported this event so strongly – in particular I must mention Mrs Edwards and Mrs Yates who have worked so hard to ensure that everything ran smoothly and everyone was safe. Also, a huge thanks to our PFA who donated the money for the tickets for every child, and to the governors who agreed to cover half the cost of the coach fare out of the school budget, so that this event was reasonably priced for parents. It is magical to watch a live show, especially when there is a lot of audience participation, and we are so pleased to have been able to offer our children this opportunity.

No Sharing Assembly  Please note that there will be no sharing assembly on Friday 11th December (because the PFA need the hall for their Christmas Fair) and no sharing assembly on Friday 18th December (that is the last day of term and we have a children’s entertainer in for the afternoon).

Christmas Play tickets Once we have allocated the first tranche of tickets, we will sort out the remainder and allocate them to people asking for extras – we will allow two extra to every applicant in the first instance, and then allocate more if they are available. If you have not yet sent in your ticket request, please be aware that today is the last date for requests – if you have not applied by the end of today we cannot guarantee your first allocation of tickets will be available.  Please note: KS2 plays start at 1.30pm on the 14th December and at 6.30pm on the 15th and 16th December. Apologies for the errors in the previous communication.

Crèche during the Christmas Plays We have not yet had anyone offer to run the crèche so it seems likely that parents will have to pick up KS1 children and drop off KS2 children, or arrange a lift club, if they have children in both phases. Please note that unless you have tickets for your children to watch their sibling perform, they cannot come into the hall and they cannot wait unsupervised in the school. Arrangements will have to be made to pick them up at the end of their performances.

Dates for Christmas activities Please check on the table below for the dates of our Christmas activities – do consider coming along to some or all of these. This is a very special time of year.

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. Copies of the full policies are available on our website. 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 this contributes to the outstanding outcomes for children. 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. 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 under very exceptional circumstances. These may include the following:

  • a family needing to spend time together to support each other during or after a serious crisis;
  • for service personnel and others who cannot take a holiday in any of the allocated school breaks 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;
  • overlap with the beginning or end of term.

Unauthorised absence of 10 sessions (5 days) or more in any 6 month period will be reported to the EWO and a penalty notice (with a fine) will be served. Failure to improve attendance may result in the Education Welfare Service (EWS) prosecuting the parent – though we have never had this happen in our school.

Hockey Tournament Our hockey team is taking part in a hockey tournament at Dauntsey’s school against other local primary schools on Saturday – we wish them well. My thanks to Mr Amor who will give up his Saturday morning to supervise this event.

Handbells Carol Concert and Community Singing On Tuesday 8th December at 5.00pm, our talented Hand Bell Choir will be entertaining us to a concert of carols and Christmas music and inviting the audience to join in with community carol singing. My very sincere thanks to Mrs Heath who gives up so much of her own time to run Handbell Club and to arrange concerts like these. Thanks also to our wonderful PFA who are providing refreshments at the end of the concert, and to Mrs Wilding who will be accompanying the carol singing. Do come along and enjoy a real Christmas experience.

Year 3 Choir, Recorder Concert and Carol Service On Tuesday 15th December, the Year 3 choir will be performing a short concert at about 2.45pm. On Wednesday 16th December at 10.45am, the Recorder concert will take place and on Thursday 17th December at 9.30am we will be at St Peter’s church in Great Cheverell, celebrating Christmas with a carol service, candles and singing. You are all most welcome to attend any or all of these events. They are all fun and entertaining and moving.

School Security Please make sure that you always enter the school through the reception, rather than slipping in through other doors that might be open to let children in and out. We need to know exactly who is in school at every moment.


Upcoming Events(Calendar of events is available on the website at www.


Tuesday 8th December Carol Concert – handbells, community singing 5.00pm
Friday 11th December Christmas Fayre
Monday 14th December Christmas plays KS1 10.00am      KS2 1.30pm
Tues 15th & Wed 16th December Christmas plays KS1  5.00pm       KS2 6.30pm
Tuesday 15th December Year 3 choir concert 2.45pm
Wednesday 16th December Recorder Concert 10.45am
Thursday 17th December Carol Service at St Peter’s Church, Great Cheverell 9.30am
Friday 18th December Last day of term – usual time for end of school
Tuesday 5th January Children return to school


Best wishes

Mercedes Henning

PFA News

Christmas Fayre Remember to come along to the Christmas Fayre on Friday 11th December at 3.00pm. It is going to be fun with lots to do and buy!  We can’t do this without you and your donations so please have a root through your cupboards for items for the cuddly toy/teddy tombola, chocolate tombola and any other miscellaneous tombola items you may have and more jam jars filled with lovely things for our new exciting stall! We are also asking for cakes on the day. Thanks to all in advance.

The last textile recycling of the year will be on Monday 8th December, please leave bags outside the Art Centre.

If anyone would like to help decorate the school, help at the Fayre or at the children’s Christmas party please let us know.

PFA Christmas drinks on the 11th December from 8pm at The Bell in Great Cheverell. All welcome.

Christmas hamper raffle tickets go on sale on the 1st December. The hampers are awesome this year so don’t miss out on winning some great goodies!

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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