Newsletter 16 – 21st January 2013

Dear Parents

Snow Closure We had to close the school on Friday, because the roads were too treacherous and lives were at risk. My thanks to those staff who bravely made it in to school to help with the closure.  Please look out for notifications on the school website, your phone and the local radio for any news during the rest of the week – once again, we will do our very best to stay open if at all possible.

Science Dome We had a lovely day on Tuesday with the Science Dome in school – the children enjoyed seeing and learning about the stars and planets as they circled around the “night sky” of the dome, and they listened to the stories and myths around the constellations. My thanks to Mrs Abbott for organising this in her role as science coordinator.

Winter Sports Club for the older children is cancelled on Tuesday 22nd January, because of the poor weather. Handbells, Art and Chess clubs will commence in this week during lunch times.

PE Kits Please make sure that your child brings in both T shirt and shorts for indoor PE as well as track suit type clothing for outdoor PE – depending on the weather, we may have PE indoors or outdoors and the children need to be equipped for both.

Sharing expertise We are often asked whether other teachers and headteachers can come to our school to observe and get advice on good practice, for teaching, leadership, academy status and many other aspects of school life. We are always glad to share our expertise and these visits to our school give us the chance to reflect on our own practice. We also like to network with other teachers in other schools to support the ongoing improvement and development in our own school that we consider crucial to our success.

Parking and traffic Our governors have asked me to remind parents that it is essential for every car to be parked safely and sensibly outside our school and for younger children to be closely accompanied by an adult as they approach the roadside. The issues with parking and traffic continue to be a cause for anxiety to us (and to many parents). The way that some cars are parked and some children are not carefully supervised across the road could lead to a terrible accident – none of us wishes this to happen so we do ask you to be as careful as possible. Please do not double park against the layby as it reduces visibility. Do not reduce the main road nor the side road into Witchcombe Close to single lane traffic by parking irresponsibly. Please do not turn in the road nor block the junction. Consider parking further down in the village and walking up to the school, or form a lift club with people from your village.  If you have any ideas that might help parents with this, please let me know.

School website  Please consult the website for latest news, the calendar of dates, photos, information, policies, the statutory documents relating to our Academy and the parent portal log-in.

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. 

Norovirus If your child has vomiting or diarrhoea, please keep them off school until they are well again so that we do not spread the virus around the school community. 

Half term break starts on Monday 11th February and we return to school on Monday 18th February.

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.


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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