Newsletter 15 – 11th January 2013

Dear Parents

Welcome back to all our families – it is lovely to have the school full of busy children again.

Theme for this term We have a whole school theme this term on “Space”. We will use Holst’s music “The Planets”, and much of the literacy, maths and art for the term will be incorporated within this Science topic.  Mrs Abbott (our Science leader) has arranged for the Science Dome to come to school next Tuesday. This is a large domed tent which, inside, is a planetarium.  Each class will have its own viewing of the show inside the Dome and will find out a lot about our solar system and beyond. This will be a great start to what promises to be a great topic – children are already very interested and excited about it.

AGM A reminder that our governors are inviting all parents to come along to the AGM on Monday 14th January at 7.00pm in the hall to listen to the Governor’s report on the school (at the end of the first full year of being an academy) and to offer any questions or ideas they may have for the continued improvement of our school. 

Values of our school We are re-visiting the values that make our school so special and would like to hear your thoughts on this. Children have suggested many values that, for them, are central to their experience of school.  Silbury class felt that aspiration, reflectiveness and confidence were the most important(they presented these in an equilateral triangle, with the idea that our values, once decided,  could be present on the school triangle logo and put on signage outside and within the school). Avebury class highlighted relationships, honesty and caring. For Sarum class, honesty, caring and courage were the most significant (they commented that honesty was the most important by a long way). In White Horse class, they felt that forgiveness, love & relationships, and cooperation were most important and for Stonehenge, kindness, respect and forgiveness were at the top of their list. We would be delighted to have your views on what makes our school distinctive. Please do write in, phone in, email us, or catch one of us to tell us your views, and we shall record them and present them to governors who will be spending time focusing on this in the coming months. We really want to get the views of all members of our school community so please do take the time to reflect on this and let us know your thoughts.

Lunches Please make sure that the lunch you send in your child’s lunch box, or that you select from the hot dinner menu, is something your child will eat. We do not force children to eat food that they do not like in this school, so it is important that they can enjoy their lunch. We expect that there will be a sandwich, or a bowl of pasta, or a wrap or something similar for the main part of their meal. If you wish to include a piece of fruit, a salad, a yoghurt, cheese, or something similar, that adds interest to the lunch. Whilst we do not ban chocolate bars and biscuits, we would expect that there will only be one “treat” at most in the lunch box and that, if there is such an item in the lunch box, this will be eaten at the end of the meal. We aim to send home everything that has not been eaten in their lunch box so that you can talk to your child about their eating preferences.

May we remind you that orders for lunches from Lataca need to be in school on the Friday morning of the week before your child has their lunch; it is too late to send the order form in on the Friday afternoon or the Monday morning.

Cold Weather This school will almost certainly stay open whatever the weather. If you think there may be snow, please send your child in with wellies otherwise they will not be allowed to go out and play in the snow. Warm clothes are essential at this time of year – do mark everything with your child’s name. Should we close the school, you will be notified by text message, a message will be on the website and we will alert the local radio stations. However, do expect the school to be open.

Winter Sports Club for the older children will resume on Tuesday 22nd January, run by Mr Amor, Mr Gyllenspetz and Mrs Garraway. Handbells, Art and Chess clubs will also commence in this week during lunch times. The other extra mural clubs that are run by outside providers have started and their organisers will have sent out dates to the participants. These include Judo, Ukulele, Drama, Street Surfing and Multisports.

Free School Meals  If you are in receipt of certain benefits, you may be eligible for Free School Meals. Forms are available from the office to complete and send off and you will be informed by the authorities whether you are eligible or not. The information is treated in the strictest confidence.   You do not have to claim school meals unless you wish to, but do register if you are eligible since the extra money (£600 this year and £900 next year per child) will benefit everyone in the school as we use it to fund extra TA hours, extra resources and to help pay for trips and other enrichment activities. 

Swimming  Swimming lessons for Avebury class have started this week. My heartfelt thanks go to all those families who have donated towards this and other events. If the school has to fund the whole cost of swimming lessons out of the school budget, it will obviously impact on other things that we are able to offer in school, such as new equipment, interesting visitors and resources, and extra hours of adult support. Our budget is getting smaller, relatively, each year and we have to manage our finances very carefully so the support we get from our families is really crucial and very welcome if we are to continue to offer the high quality education our children have at present and deserve to have in the future.


Slippery Paths The paths up onto the field are very slippery and treacherous. Please walk up on the grass rather than the path and take great care in the wet weather. We are working towards having the path replaced and steps put in to lead onto the field but the process of organising and finding funding for this is long and complex.


“Slapped Cheek” Disease There are a few cases of this condition in school – it is a very mild viral illness, infectious for 4 – 20 days before the rash appears on the cheeks. Once the rash appears, it is no longer infectious and children can continue to come to school. Most adults already have immunity, but if you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system, you might like to talk to your doctor about this.

Guitars Please ensure that your child brings their guitar home on Wednesday afternoons after their guitar lesson – we do not have space in school to store 7 or 8 extra guitars and the children ought to have them at home to practice.

Serving plates and cake tins Many of these are still in school after parents kindly sent in donations for the Christmas party. Do come in and pick up your tins and trays.

Children’s Movie Night… Come and enjoy food, film and fun with friends, Friday 18th January 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.

Lice and Worms Unfortunately, it is easy for children to pick up parasites such as lice and intestinal worms. If you suspect that your child might have either of these parasites, please contact your pharmacy and ask for advice. The following link gives some more information about lice :  and this link about worms.


100 Club   Please note that the 100 Club has been temporarily suspended and all cheques and cash will be returned to you by Louise Lazarus, our “100 Club” organiser.  Thank you to Louise who has run the club for several years and done a great job.  At present, there are not enough parent members to make this fund-raiser viable and the PFA hopes to resume it in the next school calendar year (Sept 2013). 

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

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