Newsletter 8 – 23rd October 2019

Dear Parents

Last day of this half term is today 23rd October. We all come back to school on Monday 4th November. We wish you all a lovely Autumn break.

Hooke Court Children in Years 3 and 4 had a wonderful trip to Hooke Court this week, spending a night in the residential centre and taking part in amazing adventure activities. Our thanks go especially to Mrs Goddard and Mrs Jones whose inexhaustible energy brings this trip to life, and to those staff and volunteers who accompanied the trip – Mrs Hayward, Miss Berrington and Mr Goddard. We are very fortunate to have staff and volunteers who are prepared to take children on these residential trips – it is a great responsibility and a big commitment for them.

E-Safety Karl Hopwood, who is an online safety expert, gave a very informative and interesting presentation on Monday. His emphasis is on “Apply your good parenting skills in the online world as you would in the real world.” If you would not drop your child off in a city on their own, then don’t drop them into the online world on their own. There are wonderful things in cities, but also dangers. Similarly for the online world.

We strongly recommend that all parents have a look at which gives advice and, very importantly, step by step instructions for setting up parental controls on your devices. You can find easy instructions for your particular phone/tablet/laptop and your own service provider. With these, you can limit the amount of time your child spends online (it will switch off when the time limit is reached), you can list the websites or games you are going to allow your child to play (and only those will be made available to your child) and you can check what is going on in your child’s online life. As your child gets older, you can gradually reduce the restrictions, in discussion with them, and give them more freedoms.

Other good websites include:  which will give you advice on the apps and games that are available – whether they are suitable for a child of a certain age, and what the problems might be; and  which is good for parents and their children to look at together – it will stimulate discussion about how to stay safe online.

Once you have taken all reasonable precautions yourself, the key to keeping your child safe is to make sure that they know the dangers and to keep the channels of communication open so that they will tell you if something is disturbing or worrying them in their online life.  This is their world. It is better to guide them to use it safely than to simply block them from it entirely.

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 Attendance policy. We are very grateful to our families for supporting our school so effectively – we have outstanding attendance in this school and this contributes to the outstanding outcomes for children. It is a legal requirement for parents to ensure that 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 the overwhelming majority of our children are punctual. 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. If there is unauthorised absence of 10 sessions (5 days) or more in any 6 month period, the Education Welfare Service will be notified and the Local Authority may issue a penalty notice to each parent for each child.

Collective Worship This week, we reflected on Jesus the Challenger, and how we have a responsibility to challenge prejudice and stereotyping wherever we see it. Our children understand this and we are always very impressed with how bravely they will tackle injustice and prejudice when they see it.

Photos of our activities Do look on our Facebook page and the school website for photos of recent events.

Primary School places Children who will turn five years old between 1st September 2020 and 31st August 2021 will start school in September 2020. You need to apply for a place by 15th January 2020. Please find the applications forms at

Erlestoke Medieval Fireworks on 2nd November starting at 5.00pm in the Walled Garden. Adults £6, children £3 and family £15. Medieval knight re-enactment, mead, food, glow stuff and, of course, amazing fireworks and a Bonfire! This event is being run by the Erlestoke and Coulston Cricket Club. Do come and support them.

Recycle Clothing We are having a clothes recycling collection on Tuesday 19th November so please look out clean, good quality, dry reusable clothing over the half term. The company accepts clothing for adults, babies and children – also paired shoes and footwear, jewellery & accessories, belts & handbags. They do not accept dirty, ripped or soiled clothes or pillows, duvets, curtains, and no school uniform. Bags will be sent home after half term.

 Upcoming Events (Calendar of events will be available on the website at www. in the coming week)
Monday 4th November Children back to school
Monday 11th November Parent/Teacher meetings – appointments to be booked online nearer the time. 5.30pm – 8.00pm
Wednesday 13th November Parent/Teacher meetings – appointments to be booked online nearer the time. 3.10pm  – 6.00pm


Wednesday 11th December Handbell and choir Christmas concert in school hall 5.00pm – all welcome
Monday 16th December Christmas Performances – tickets will be sent out closer to the time KS1 – 10.00am

KS2 – 1.30pm

Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th December Christmas Performances – tickets will be sent out closer to the time KS1 – 5.00pm

KS2 – 6.15pm

Thursday 19th December Christmas Service at the church and Christmas Party at school 9.30am for service

12.00pm start of party

Friday 20th December Last day of term & Christmas dinner by Lataca

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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