Newsletter 15 – 8th January 2016

Dear Parents

Welcome back to all our children and families! We are looking forward to a busy and exciting term with several field trips planned to engage the children even more in their learning. The themes for this term are:

Stonehenge        –             Space

White Horse       –              The Great Fire of London

Sarum                  –             How to Train Your Dragon

Avebury               –             The Iron Woman and the Water Cycle

Silbury                  –             Titanic and the Arctic Circle

Reading to your children Research has shown that children who are read to by an adult have better skills not just in reading but also in writing. Listening to the flow and rhythm of language and the composition of well-constructed sentences helps children formulate their own sentences more effectively and gives them a good sense of genre. Please do read to your children, even when they are in Year 6 (and beyond). Roald Dahl, Gerald Durrell, CS Lewis, JK Rowling (and many others) all write books that are fun to read out loud and engage older children. Reading out articles from newspapers or magazines, reading from a blog or even a letter will help children to understand the different kinds of writing. Chatting about things you have read helps children to hone their skills in textual analysis.

Homework We would like to find out a bit more about what parents think about homework. Are you broadly satisfied with how our school sets and assesses homework? Would you want more/less? Would you want to be more/less involved in supporting your child to do their homework? Which aspects of homework are better for you and your child, which are worse?

As a reminder, there is an expectation that every child will be doing about 20 – 30 minutes of homework each day. This comprises:

  • Reading
  • Learning spellings (or key words for the younger children)
  • Learning times tables and number bonds
  • For children in Year 2 (sometimes Year 1) and upwards, a piece of written homework once a week

We believe that homework has a threefold function.

The first aspect is to allow parents to gain an insight into what their child is learning, how they are learning it and to chat to their children about their learning.

The second aspect is to give children the opportunity to rehearse and practice new skills – children are at school for 15% of their lives. Whilst this gives us just about enough time to teach new skills and knowledge, it is nowhere near enough for us to rehearse the new learning in every area until the children are proficient and we rely on the extra 20 minutes a day of practice at home to ensure that the skills and knowledge become automatic and rapidly retrievable.

The third aspect is to encourage children to achieve the self-discipline they need in secondary school, and beyond, to settle down to complete a task without a teacher at hand. Children in Year 7 regularly tell us that the demands of homework in secondary school are a major difficulty for them.

Please let us know more about your views on the tear off slip on the bottom of this newsletter.

Charities The children have chosen three charities to which they would like to donate money from the proceeds of their Christmas plays. The three that they have chosen are the RSPCA, WWF and Save the Children. £100 will be sent to each of these charities on behalf of the children.

Primary School Applications for 2016-17 academic year must be submitted to the Local Authority by 15th January 2016! If your child will turn 5 during the course of the next academic year, it is important that you apply for a place by this deadline.

Upcoming Events(Calendar of events is available on the website at www. 
Monday 11th January Silbury class to go to Southampton for a “Titanic” experience – longer than usual school day. Leaving at 8.30am and returning at 5.00pm
Friday 12th February Last day of this half term
Monday 22nd February Back to school
Wednesday 9th March Parent/teacher meetings 3.15pm -6.00pm
Thursday 10th March Parent/teacher meetings 5.30pm-8.00pm
Thursday 24th March Last day of the term
Tuesday 29th March – Friday 1st April Holiday club
Monday 11th April Back to school
Tuesday 24th May Music Concert 5.00pm


Best wishes

Mercedes Henning

A plea from the Gazette & Herald….Can you help please?

Every week, we print the weekend weather forecast in the Gazette & Herald, together with a picture supplied by local children. This can be found on page 2 in the bottom left hand corner. We are running very low on these pictures and we would be very grateful for new pictures.

Basically, what we need is a painting or drawing (in nice bright colours) on A4 portrait, depicting the current season’s weather, eg sunshine, showers and rainbows, autumn leaves, etc. We will also need the other seasons as well to go in the paper at the relevant time of year.


Response to Homework Survey

Name: (Optional)……………………………………………………….

We are broadly satisfied with homework set for our child.                             Yes/No (Delete as appropriate)

We would like to make the following comments: (Please feel free to send comments in on another sheet of paper, or email them if you prefer.)


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