Newsletter 19 – 31st January 2020

Dear Parents

African Activity Day We had a wonderful day on Tuesday, with an inspirational and charismatic performer, Kwame Bakoji-Hume, from Ghana, presenting workshops on drumming and African Art as we explore further the waves of immigration that have impacted so positively on our society. We all enjoyed the vibrant music and art of this tradition, and were drawn into the story of the life of an immigrant in the UK. Our thanks, as ever, to Mrs Jones who is leading on our Diversity project this year and has organised this and many other amazing experiences for our children.

Our Parliamentary System On Wednesday next week, we shall be welcoming a person from the Education Service of Parliament to talk to our children about how our democracy works.

Stonehenge class trip to Pizza Express All the children in Stonehenge class will be taking a coach trip into Devizes to Pizza Express where they will make their own pizzas as part of their “Food, Glorious Food” topic on Thursday 6th February (next week).

Grandparents Day Also in Stonehenge class, on Tuesday 11th February, we will have grandparents’ afternoon. One grandparent (or someone to represent them) for each child will be invited to join us in the afternoon, to have some of the delicious treats the children will have baked, and to read a story with them.  You have already received a note about this event.

Dance Festival A dance squad from our school will be taking part in a dance festival to be hosted by Dauntsey’s secondary school on Thursday 13th February. We are grateful to Mrs Goddard who has led and coordinated this event. If your child is in the squad, you will have received notification of the rehearsals and of the event itself.

Grounds development During half term, we will be having the little playground for the youngest children resurfaced – we are very excited by this as it promises to be a great improvement.

Homework A reminder that all children should be spending about twenty minutes each afternoon on homework. Children should be reading aloud to a grown up or older sibling, and answering comprehension questions on the text (a laminated card with these types of questions was sent home just before Christmas), working on their spelling words for the week, and practising their times tables or number bonds. Please support your child as much as you can to do this daily.

It is really important that you read out loud to your child as well, even to your older children. It is very notable that older children who tell us that their parents regularly read to them are the best writers, having a flowing, controlled style and excellent vocabulary. As your children get older, read from chapter books – The Narnia books, Harry Potter books, Roald Dahl books, classics such as “The Borrowers”, “Tom’s Midnight Garden”, “Little Women”, “Watership Down” “The Silver Sword”, “Charlotte’s Web” and new books such as “Shadowsea” and “Tiger Heart”. Other ideas can be found on .

Emmanuel Collaboration  As you know, we are part of a formal collaboration with four local primary schools, Urchfont, St Barnabas, St Thomas a Becket and Five Lanes. Having a successful collaboration like this means that we can access economies of scale for many resources including training. On Monday 10th February after school, all staff from all collaboration schools will meet at Five Lanes for update training on Autistic Spectrum Condition (often called ASD) led by specialists. Several other sessions of training for all staff have been arranged for the coming year, and training and moderation of Maths has already been facilitated by our own teachers for others in the collaboration.

Collective Worship Our theme for this term is “Journeys” and we have been focusing on the journeys of some Old Testament leaders, this week thinking especially about Ruth’s story. The emphasis has been on friendship, loyalty and commitment, as well as challenging prejudice whenever we encounter it.

Last day of this half term Please remember that Friday 14th February is the last day of this half term and we all return to school a week later on Monday 24th February.

Recycling Please don’t forget the collection on Thursday 6th February. Rags2Riches will pay us 50p a kg for good quality clothes, so please donate generously! They do not accept school uniform.

Parking Please be careful and courteous when you park outside the school, and avoid parking front of driveways.

Parent/teacher meetings You will be invited to make an appointment to discuss your child’s progress and attainment with their class teacher when we return from the half term break. The meetings will take place on Monday 9th March, 5.30pm – 8.00pm and on Wednesday 11th March, 3.10pm – 6.00pm. 

 Upcoming Events (Calendar of events is available on the website at www. )
Thursday 6th February Stonehenge class to Pizza Express to make pizzas
Tuesday 11th February Grandparent’s tea party – invitation for one grandparent to attend in the afternoon
Friday 14th February Last day of the half term
Monday 24th February Everyone back to school
Monday 24th February Silbury class to go to SeaCity museum in Southampton – Titanic exhibition – packed lunches please 8.30
Monday 9th March and Wednesday 11th March Parent/teacher meetings Mon: 5.30pm – 8.00pm

Wed: 3.10pm – 6.00pm

Friday 3rd April Last day of term
Monday 6th April – Thursday 9th April Holiday club runs in school – Superstars booking 8.45am – 3.30pm
Monday 20th April Everyone back to school
Tuesday 19th May Music concert, performances by children taking lessons in school. 4.30pm – 5.30pm Piano, recorders and choir

6.00pm – 7.00pm Brass, handbells, guitar and ukulele

Wednesday 20th May – Friday 22nd May Forest of Dean residential trip
Friday 22nd May Last day of term
Wednesday 3rd June Everyone back to school
Monday 29th June TD day

Best wishes, Mercedes Henning

We welcome and value your opinion. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact the Head teacher or Chair of Governors

PFA News

PFA Finances and Meeting Date

A full reconciliation is still being produced but a brief summary shows:

              Last term’s Christmas Fair, personalised tea towels, raffle, plus Christmas play and concert refreshments produced a profit of c. £1,200


The PFA’s recently donated funds have been spent on:

–       Christmas party £333

–       Rain forest trip contribution £200

–       New shed £559

–       Annual insurance £110

The balance of accounts is now c. £4,700 and the school has asked if we would be able to donate £3,750 for a 3m x 1.2m wooden boat as part of the new playground for Stonehenge, which will include resurfacing and palm trees. A proposal is to donate £3,500 (thus keeping £1k in reserves), with a cake sale and non-uniform day to be held pre half-term to raise the balance. A discussion and vote will be held about this on Tuesday 4th February at 2.30pm in the school hall. Please join us for this if you can.

Diary Date

A reminder that the PFA will be hosting a Ladies’ Night on Friday 27th March- please keep the date free- more details to follow shortly.

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