Newsletter 8 – 9th November 2012

Dear Parents

Parent-teacher meetings Thank you very much to all of you who came to these meetings to discuss your child’s progress and attainment. We are very fortunate that almost all our families respond positively to this invitation, and building these relationships with our families helps to ensure that learning is as effective as possible. Please be aware that if you would like to arrange meetings with your child’s teacher at other times in the year, you are most welcome to do so. Simply ask the teacher at pick-up time or phone them to make an appointment.

Parental Canvassing My thanks also to all of you who have completed the parental canvassing form that was distributed during the parent-teacher meetings. If you have not yet had a form to complete please do ask for one at the office or ask for an electronic copy to be sent to you. Your views are very important to us. Our forward planning is informed by knowing what you think is good in the school and knowing what you would like to see improved. I shall be reporting on the results of the canvassing before the end of term.

Art Topic Our whole school topic this term will be centred around Salvador Dali’s painting “The Madonna of Port Lligat”. We were very fortunate to have Mr Chapman, an art expert, come into school to discuss the painting and the painter with our children on Monday. His presentation has really inspired us.

Christmas Plays  Rehearsals for our Christmas plays start this week. Please do not go out and spend a lot of money on costumes if your child has been cast as a character. Simply using old clothes, tea towels, dressing gowns or sheets give the impression of the character, which is all we want. The youngest children will have their costumes provided by the school.

The KS2 play has been written again this year by Mr Amor and Mr Gyllenspetz – my thanks to them for all the hard work on this. The rehearsals for this play will take place on Wednesdays after school. The main characters in this play are cast from the Year 6 children. The children in Year 3, 4 and 5 will be supporting with the songs and choral work and are not expected to come to the after school rehearsals. Mrs Edwards will be their accompanist – we are very grateful to her for all the work involved in this.

The KS1 play, “Census Sums” has once again been provided by Mrs Wilding who will also accompany the play. Our thanks to her for her tremendous efforts towards this project each year and to Mrs Mehaffy and Mrs Abbott, as well as the teaching assistants, who will run the rehearsals for this play during school time.

Dates for the school plays are slightly different this year. In response to requests from parents, we have decided to have two evening performances and one matinee rather than the other way around. In order to make sure the little ones are not too tired, the performances will start a little earlier. Tickets will be issued in due course. The times and dates are as follows:

Monday 17th December: 

KS1 Play:  10.30am – 11.00am                     KS2 Play:  1.30pm – 2.30pm

Tuesday 18th December and Wednesday 19th December:

KS1 Play:  5.00pm – 5.30pm                         KS2 Play: 6.30pm – 7.30pm

Children’s Movie Night… Come and enjoy food, film and fun with friends, on Friday 23rd November from 6-8pm in Erlestoke Church. All are welcome but children under five must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. A light supper and pudding will be provided; donations of £1 for food are gratefully accepted.

PFA  On Friday 9th November just after drop off time, all parents are invited to the home of Mrs Jacqui Hart who lives over the road from the school in Witchcombe Close for a “Meet a Friend” coffee morning. Everyone will go over together in a group, so no one needs to feel uncomfortable. This promises to be a really lovely way to meet new friends and have some time to catch up with those you already know. Please do come along to this event. My thanks go to the new PFA for this initiative.

Eisteddfod Choir  Ms Sharman and Mrs Edwards have worked hard with our talented young choir this term and they will enter the Devizes Eisteddfod on Saturday 17th November.


I like to present a very short summary of some of our policies in this newsletter each year – please note that the full policies can be read on our website, or if they have not yet been published online, then you can request copies at the school office. This week we will look at the Child Protection procedures.

 I am the child protection officer (now called the designated senior person) in school and have level 3 training. Mrs Mehaffy is the deputy child protection officer, also with Level 3 training and all the teachers and TAs as well as the MDSAs have training at least to level 1. If anyone has concerns, they need to report these to one of us. Our child protection governors are MrsRuth Edwardswho has Level 3 training and Mr Jeremy Shatford. All staff have induction training on these matters when they accept an appointment to our school, and this is repeated every year thereafter. The procedures for what to do if we are worried that a child is being abused are outlined in a flow chart that is on display in the staffroom, and there is also a flow chart for procedures if an allegation is made against a member of staff. These procedures include notifying social services and even the police if deemed necessary. All staff know the procedures and understand how to keep the children safe and how to protect themselves from malicious allegations. All adults who have regular involvement with our children are CRB checked. They are also given induction which includes a child protection unit. Doors into the school are kept locked from the outside (though of course, children are always able to unlock doors from inside using the snib locks, in case we need to evacuate the building).  Children know that they can talk to any adult in school about any concerns that they may have. It is worth pointing out that very few children are abused or hurt in schools. Most cases of abuse, sadly, happen in the home. Schools are usually very safe places to be with highest standards of care being maintained and checks and monitoring being very strictly adhered to.

If you have any concerns about the welfare of any child, please report these either to the headteacher or directly to the police or social services. It is the duty of each one of us to ensure that children are kept safe.

Devizes Musical Theatre – DMT Footlights, which features a number of children from our school – will be presenting their first show on Saturday 24th November at 7.30pm in Devizes Town Hall. The show will feature songs and movement from popular young people’s shows such as Bugsy Malone, The Wizard of Oz, LIttle Shop of Horrors and Glee, to name a few, and will be accompanied by a live band.  Please contact Liz Sharman on 01380 831332 or  if you would like tickets for this show. Tickets cost £6 for adults and £3 for under 18s.

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning


You will find leaflets for operation Christmas Child in the bags, as we have had a few requests to get behind this worthy cause.  If you have not seen it before, the idea is to put some gifts from the list on the leaflet into a decorated shoe box which then gets shipped to children around the world who will not get much, if anything, this year.  The cut off date for them to be in the warehouse in Melksham is Nov 25th.  Could we please ask for all boxes to be returned to school on Monday 19th November in the morning?  Please don’t feel you have to do this. At this time of year everyone is asking and we do understand if you don’t wish to take part.

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