Newsletter 6 – 13th October 2017

Dear Parents

Last day of term is Wednesday 18th October. We all return to school on Monday 30th October for our exciting Christmas term!

Netball There is no Netball Club next week as Mrs Goddard is at Braeside with the Residential Trip.

We are so proud of our netball team who won a very challenging interschool tournament on Wednesday! Well done, all of you, and thank you to Mrs Goddard who runs netball club. A great achievement!

Braeside If your child is going on the residential trip for children in Year 3 and Year 4, please ensure that all medication is handed in on Friday at the office. Remember to drop your child off at 9.30am at Braeside, but please do not park on the Braeside property as there is no space there. Please pick them up promptly at 3.30pm the following day.

Gardening Club People regularly comment on how beautiful our school grounds are, with flowers in tubs, and our kitchen garden and raised beds filled with vegetables and flowers. Do go and have a look at the wonderful Green House project – around the back of the Art Centre – where the Gardening Club grow seedlings and more tender crops. As well as growing the produce, the children in Gardening Club prepare, cook and eat their harvest and can make a contribution to school cooking and school dinners. This is such a great club and we are all very grateful to Liz Read and her outstanding band of volunteers who support the children so effectively to become skilful young gardeners and to experience the joy of growing plants. We are particularly grateful for Liz’s creative and artistic flair which has brightened up some dark and unwelcoming corners of the school with beautiful planting. Thanks also to Liz and her volunteers who kept coming in over the summer holidays to keep our vulnerable plants watered and nurtured. Stewardship of our world starts by caring for the living things closest to us – our young gardeners are learning this lesson in an exciting and engaging way.

The Tallest Sunflower Competition was arranged by our Gardening club and it was great fun to see this reach completion – and what an astonishing outcome! Some real record breaking sunflowers amongst the finalists. Well done to all of you who took such good care of your sunflowers and made sure that they thrived. And well done to our winners!

School Council We are always very impressed with the seriousness with which our children take their duties as representatives of their peers at the school council meetings. They have been elected by their peers to help us canvass the student voice and their views are always interesting and always taken into account when decisions are being made. In addition, all children are encouraged to tell us about their views or thoughts about school and any improvements they would like to see, at any time and in any format – sometimes we get little notes, sometimes children pop into my office, sometimes views are expressed to their teachers or TAs. We always listen because this school is their school and needs to be as good as possible for them.

Library and Museum Trip What a lovely time Stonehenge class had at Devizes Library and Museum! So many interesting things to see and do, and the experience of being off site is wonderful for children. My thanks to Miss Nisbeck and her team who organised this trip, to the volunteers who supported so generously and to Mrs Edwards and Mrs Yates who administer everything so efficiently. It is a great responsibility to take such young children on field trips and we are very grateful to our staff who are prepared to do this for our children.

After School Play Dates Please make sure that you have written a note or an email into school on the morning of the play date to give us permission to release your child to someone else. We are spending a lot of time running around the school with messages that are coming in verbally and often quite late in the day. We do not mind helping out in an emergency, of course, but if all non- emergency messages can be given to us early in the morning and preferably in writing, then we can manage our time more efficiently rather than responding to lots of separate phone calls late in the day.

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. This week, we will discuss briefly the behaviour and anti-bullying policy. Behaviour in our school is usually exceptionally good. We use a very direct positive behaviour strategy – we constantly comment to the children on how beautifully they behave and how proud we are of them. This helps them to understand what the expected behaviour looks like. If we do need to sanction anyone, we might meet their eye (often this is enough to stop any unwanted behaviour), or have a word with them. If this does not work, they may have a few minutes being separated from the rest of the class. If the breach is serious or ongoing, they may have to meet the Headteacher and/or have playtime detention. We have never, in the 13 years of my headship, needed to exclude any child. The ethos of the school encourages good behaviour and children want to do the right thing to make sure the community works effectively for all.

We have zero tolerance of bullying in this school. Any allegation of bullying will be investigated as a matter of urgency and, if upheld, will be dealt with in line with our anti-bullying policy. Bullying is defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour, repeated over a period of time. This could be physical or emotional bullying, cyber bullying or discrimination. Sometimes children will accuse each other of bullying when in fact they mean that they have fallen out with a friend. In these cases, they are given support to cope with social situations. If there is evidence of bullying, a file of bullying will be opened. All parents involved will be informed, the victim will be given support, and the perpetrator will be given sanctions and will also have a behaviour plan put in place if necessary.  If a child or group of children continue to bully another child, we would consider a fixed term or permanent exclusion for this offence. We are fortunate that we have very few bullying incidents in this school and children tell us that they feel safe in school. Children understand that they have to report to an adult if they know of any bullying taking place in our school community.

Parent/Teacher Meetings Please note that the online booking system for parents to book an appointment for their progress meeting with their child’s teacher is open. Each appointment is ten minutes long – we are very strict about the timings so that other parents do not have to wait too long for their turn. If you do require longer, you can book a second meeting with your child’s teacher at another time. Please log in on

Upcoming Events (Calendar of events is available on the website at www.
Monday 16th October – Tuesday 17th October Braeside residential trip for Year 4 children 9.30am drop off on 16th Oct

3.30pm pick up on 17th Oct

Tuesday 17th October – Wednesday 18th October Braeside residential trip for Year 3 children 9.30am drop off on 17th Oct

3.30pm pick up on 18th Oct

Wednesday 18th October Last day of term
Monday 30th October Children back to school
Wednesday 8th November Parent/Teacher meetings – appointments to be booked online nearer the time. 3.10pm  – 6.00pm
Thursday 9th November Parent/Teacher meetings – appointments to be booked online nearer the time. 5.30pm – 8.00pm
Friday 17th November Eisteddfod choir competition in Devizes Morning – Packed lunches please
Wednesday 6th December Handbells and community carol singing – school hall 5.00pm
Monday 11th December Christmas Plays KS1 – 5.00pm – 5.45 pm

KS2 –  6.15pm – 7.15pm

Tuesday 12th December Christmas Plays KS1 – 10.00am – 10.45am

KS2 – 1.30 – 2.30pm

Wednesday 13th December Christmas Plays KS1 – 5.00pm – 5.45 pm

KS2 –  6.15pm – 7.15pm

Tuesday 19th December Christmas Church Service, St Peter’s 9.30am
Wednesday 20th December Last day of term
Monday 8th January Children back in school

Pavilion Club Great Cheverell presents a Halloween film for “children” of all ages – “The Addams Family”! This will take place on Saturday 28th October at 2.00pm. Admission is free. Refreshments available. Children under 12 must have an adult with them. Dress up if you want to! Book at Cheverell Stores by 27th October.

Come and help to decorate St Peter’s church, Great Cheverell, for harvest festival at 10am on Saturday 21st October. Children are especially welcome.

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.

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