Newsletter 7 – 18th October 2013

Dear Parents

Mediaeval Building We had a wonderful day on Thursday when Will Barter and his team came to school and showed the children mediaeval building methods. Children were shown how to do thatching and hurdle making, using many of the old tools and old methods. It was wonderful to see how engaged the children were with this. My very sincere thanks to Will, Bill and Lucy who gave their time and expertise so generously to enrich our children’s learning so effectively.

Parents Meetings Please note that the slips have been sent out for booking an approximate slot for your meeting with your child’s teacher – these slips must be back in school by Tuesday 22nd October. Teachers will then organise your precise appointment time and this will be returned to you by Thursday 24th October. Please check your child’s bag for this slip. We aim to have meetings arranged reasonably close together for parents with more than one child in the school.

Cold weather Remind your children to bring their coats into school as the weather is turning much colder. It is bitterly cold up on the field sometimes and we get the children out to play if at all possible – they need to be wrapped up warmly. Please make sure that their coats, as well as their scarves, gloves and all other clothing items, have their names marked somewhere – even just in biro on the label.

Meetings coming up

  • The E-safety meeting requested by parents to support with installing security features on computers and various other e-safety matters will take place on Thursday 7th November 5.30pm.
  • Handbell club will be holding a Handbell and Carol service on Thursday 5th December at 6.00pm in the school hall – do come along, enjoy the handbells and sing some carols with us.
  • Parent- Teacher meetings will take place on Wednesday 13th November and Thursday 14th November – your precise appointment times will be sent out next week once you have returned your slip.

Sibling  photos Mr Gyllenspetz will be taking photos of siblings on Monday 21st October and Tuesday 22nd October (next week). If you wish a younger sibling not yet at school to be part of a photo group, please be in school on Monday by 12.10pm with the younger sibling. You may have to queue for this photo, depending on the numbers who arrive.

Lice We have had another report of lice in our school. Please do make sure that you check your child’s head for nits and lice every week. If every parent checks and treats, this problem will go away.

Erlestoke Church Movie Night has been cancelled tonight but you are welcome to join them for the November showing!

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. Copies of the full policies are available on our website. This week we will look at the Attendance policy:

We are very grateful to our families for supporting our school so effectively – we have outstanding attendance in this school and are in the top few per cent of the country for attendance figures. It is a legal requirement for parents to ensure their children attend school regularly and are punctual. Any child whose attendance falls below 85% is at serious risk of underachieving.  The school day starts at 8.40am and registration periods are from 8.45 – 8.50 a.m. and 1.00 – 1.05 p.m Parents are asked to inform the school, in writing, where an absence is planned e.g. hospital appointments, ballet exams etc . Where a child is absent due to illness, parents are asked to inform school by telephone in the first instance and by letter on the child’s return.  If a child is absent and there is no notification from the parents, the school will contact the parents to ensure that the child is safe and to find out the reason for the absence. Should the child be absent without a reason for 3 days, the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) will be informed. Persistent lateness will also be reported to the EWO. Parents do not have a legal right to take children out of school on holiday. The school will only permit holidays to be taken in term time if these comply with the special circumstances as outlined in the Wiltshire guidance. These may include the following:

  • a family needing to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis;
  • for service personnel and other employees who are prevented from taking holidays outside term time if the holiday will have minimal disruption to the pupil’s education.

Holidays will not be authorised for the following:

  • better availability of cheap holidays;
  • better availability of the desired accommodation;
  • poor weather experienced in school holiday periods; and
  • overlap with the beginning or end of term.

Unauthorised absence of 10 sessions (5 days) or more in any 6 month period will be reported to the EWO and a penalty notice will be served. Failure to improve attendance may result in the Education Welfare Service (EWS) prosecuting the parent.Devizes Musical Theatre presents “Bugsy Malone” at Devizes School starring some of our children. There are performances from 31st October – 2nd November 7pm and a matinee on 2nd November at 1pm. Tickets are £9 adults & £7 concessions. For more info go to

Edington Pumpkin Day  Saturday 26th October from 12-2pm at the Parish Hall. Lots of children’s activities – conker competition. Light lunches of soup and sweet, all with a pumpkin connection. Competition entries to be delivered to the hall by 11am for judging. Largest home grown pumpkin, Smallest home-grown pumpkin, Best carved pumpkin, Best decorated pumpkin, Best cookery using pumpkin ingredients, Best sweet dish, Best savoury dish, Most unusual dish, Pumpkin preserve.


Boden Code – If you have friends or family (or yourself) that orders from the on-line company Boden can you please pass on our current offer code Z807 to use when ordering.  This will give us further sales commission from our recent Boden event and still includes the 20% discount.  Thanks!

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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