Newsletter 8 – 7th November 2014

Dear Parents

Welcome Back!  Please make sure your child has a coat in school every day – they always go out to play unless it is actually pouring with rain, and it can be bitterly cold up on our field. Please ensure that all clothing is marked with your child’s name (including scarves, hats and gloves). If there is a chance of snow, please send in wellies because they will not be allowed out to play in the snow unless they have appropriate footwear. We aim to keep our school open in all weather. In the very unlikely event that we close the school, you will receive a text message, there will be message on the front page of our website under “News” and there will also be a message on the local radio stations.

Mrs Abbott Over half term, Mrs Abbott was offered a position starting on 1st January 2015  at a different setting in the Local Authority – joining a team that will be working with and advising schools on all the new military children who will be coming in over the next months and years. She is very excited about it and I know she will be a great success in this new and valuable role.  I am sure you will all join me in congratulating Mrs Abbott on her new appointment – she is an excellent teacher and has done so much for the school, both in her role as class teacher and in her SENCO role. She will certainly be sorely missed by us, but we know she will be a great asset to her new team. We are currently making plans both for her replacement (likely to be in post by the start of the summer term) and also for ensuring that, in the interim period, Stonehenge children have the high standards of care and education that they have received to date. We will keep you fully updated on our progress.

PFA My thanks go, as ever, to our wonderful PFA for all the work they do for our school. Towards the end of last term, they arranged the very popular Film Evening – what fun the children had at this event! In the coming term they will be working hard on all the preparations for Christmas as well as arranging various other events such as the coffee morning. I know that they are always glad of extra volunteers – please do consider offering your services if can.

Parent/teacher Evenings Please check your child’s book bag for the little slip giving your precise appointment time.  Each family will be given a 10 minute slot to discuss their child’s progress and attainment. If you think you need a longer appointment, please arrange this with the teacher separately. We work hard to make sure the meetings are only 10 minutes long at these events so that waiting times are kept to the minimum.

Parental Canvassing We are always interested in our parents’ views of the school and take into account any suggestions and comments you make when we carrying out our strategic planning. You are welcome to contact us at any time, by phone, email, letter or simply by catching us at the door.  At this time of year, we like to carry out a formal parental canvassing as well, using a form similar to that used by Ofsted inspectors. We will give these forms out at the Parents’ Evening meetings and encourage to you complete them and submit them on that same evening so that we get as high a percentage poll as possible. If you would like to see the canvassing form and consider your responses at leisure over the coming weekend, the form can be found on our website on the front page where the newsletters are published – you will see it labelled Parental Canvassing, on this link:

Packed Lunches We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the quality of the packed lunches that are sent into school – they are always of a very high standard, always with nourishing food and very few sugary snacks.

Lataca have reintroduced the £10 a week meal deal for KS2 children – If 5 meals are ordered for the week, just £10 is payable. Juice may also be ordered for a further £2. Unfortunately the price of the Christmas lunch on Friday 19th December was omitted on Lataca’s order sheet – it is £3.50. Lataca are also holding a cook school day at Rowde Primary Academy on Saturday 6th December, from 1.30pm-4.30pm. The session costs £20 per child, and they will decorate Christmas Yule logs, make mince pies and gingerbread Rudolph and learn to make some Christmas sweets which will make super gifts.

Hindu Day On Monday, Krishna, a person of the Hindu faith, came to school to run workshops with each class on Hinduism. The children enjoyed hearing about her faith and her stories, and they enjoyed dressing up in Indian costumes and examining the instruments and religious artefacts she brought along. They learnt more about what Hindus believe and how this impacts on aspects of their lives and culture. We are always very clear that, in line with our Christian ethos, children must have an understanding and a tolerant acceptance of other faiths, cultures, nationalities and races.

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 our anti-bullying policy.

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. 

New SEN Code explained Please find, with this newsletter, a short guide for parents produced by Mrs Garraway and Mrs Abbott (our SENCOs). Do come and chat to them if you have any questions.

Photos Please make sure all money and orders are in by Thursday 20th November. We will not be sending any orders off after this date even though the order form indicates that for an extra cost we might do so. Sending off late orders is too time-consuming for our staff.

Morrisons Vouchers  We need to send our vouchers off soon, so if you have any more loitering in your purse please bring into school by Friday 21st November. We are able to receive really useful items for the children so please do pass the vouchers on. Thank you.

Gardening club  Thank you very much to the Three Daggers for their donation of bedding plants which look beautiful in the school grounds – we are very grateful for this support . Gardening club will restart in the spring term.

PFA News

Monday 10th November PFA COFFEE MORNING – Come and join us for a cuppa and a natter in the hall straight after drop off. Be lovely to see you there!

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