Newsletter 9 – 11th November 2011

Dear Parents

Christmas Plays Casting for the Christmas plays is complete and rehearsals are in full swing. Because the school term ends so early this year, we only have 4 more weeks of rehearsal before the week of the performances. The children are working hard at learning their lines and getting the props and scenery together. The KS2 play has been written from scratch this year by Mr Amor and Mr Gyllenspetz (who are also producers, directors and lighting technicians) with accompaniment by Mrs Edwards, and the KS1 play has been presented and accompanied by Mrs Wilding and produced and directed by the KS1 teachers and support staff.  My thanks to all the adults and children in school who are working so hard to make sure we meet the tight deadlines.

 Important dates this term (KS1 includes all Foundation stage children and those in Year 1 and 2)

Wednesday 7th December: Carol Service at St Peter’s in Great Cheverell (All welcome) at 1.30pm

Monday 12th December: Christmas Play   KS1  10.00am  KS2  1.15pm

Tuesday 13th December:   Christmas Play  KS1 10.00am    KS2  1.15pm

Wednesday 14th December:      Christmas Play  KS1  6.00pm      KS2    7.15pm

Wednesday 14th December:   Recorder Concert     10.45am – 11.30am

Thursday 15th December: Christmas Party – fun food, lots of games and a special visitor!

Friday 16th December (Last day):  Christmas Dinner and Puppet show (New puppeteer this year)

 Drama The GCSE drama students from Dauntseys performed “Alice in Wonderland “for our school on Wednesday – it was very well done and the children and adults enjoyed it.

 Pilgrimage The children in Silbury class are studying pilgrimages in various faiths this term. As part of their enrichment, they went toSalisbury on Tuesday, and walked from Harnham to the Cathedral. Once there, they took part in various activities such as making Piligrims’ badges. It was very good event and the organisers said that they had never had such a knowledgeable, well behaved group before. As ever, it was a joy to take them out.

 Sarum Trip to Salisbury Sarum class will be going toSalisbury on Thursday next week, where they will walk around the market and then go to Waitrose to cook food from other cultures.

 I have been asked why the Silbury trip toSalisburywas more expensive than the Sarum trip. In both cases the bus fare was £5 per child, but for Silbury there was an additional £5 cost for the activities run by the Education Department at the Cathedral. Sarum’s activities were free since Waitrose does not charge for their cooking activity. (Free advertising, I suppose).

 Lantern making Sessions are being run at the Crown Centre in St John’s Street, Devizes on Saturdays 12th & 19th November from 2pm – 4.30pm and on Wednesdays 16th & 23rd November from 6pm – 8.30pm. The lantern parade takes place in Devizes on the evening of Friday 25th November, when the Christmas lights are switched on.

Oxenwood Thank you to those parents who attended the meeting about Oxenwood on Thursday evening. We shall be sending a letter home on Monday with more information about the trip and the activities taking place, and asking parents to indicate whether their child is going on the trip.

Photos Please send in your photo order with payment by Friday 18th November at the latest.


I like to present a very short summary of some of our policies in this newsletter each year. This week we will look at the Attendance policy:

We are very grateful for the outstanding attendance that we have in school – we are in the top few percent for attendance figures nationally. It is a legal requirement that parents ensure that children attend school regularly. 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 have been 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:

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

Unauthorised absence of more than 10 sessions (5 days) 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.

Lice and Worms Unfortunately, it is easy for children to pick up parasites such as lice and intestinal worms. If you suspect that your child might have either of these parasites, please contact your pharmacy and ask for advice. The following link gives some more information about worms.

Stir Up Coffee Morning on Saturday 19th November at Dairy House Farm, Edington in aid ofEdingtonChurch.  Come along and stir the giant pudding and make a wish, then take some home to cook for Christmas Day. There will also be a bring and buy and cake stand. Admission £1.50, children free, Christmas pudding £4 a lb.  Ring Annabel Brooks for further details (01380 871 797).

Children’s Movie Night Bugtime Adventures – Samson, Goliath and Elijah is being shown on Friday 18th November from 6-8pm inErlestokeChurch. Come along for a light supper, pudding and a movie! Donations of £1 for food are gratefully accepted. Children under five must be accompanied by a parent.

*Baby & Children’s Nearly New Sale* Come along to Great Cheverell Pre-school’s Nearly New & Second-Hand Sale. A family event with tombola, face painting, children’s games and refreshments to enjoy. Buy, sell or donate toys, clothes and equipment. Come and see us on Sat 19th November at Holy Trinity School Hall from 10am – 12.30pm. To book a stall/donate call 07941 201998                                                                                     

PFA News

The Christmas Fayre will soon be here, Friday 2nd December during afternoon school. We will be selling gifts, sweets, festive cakes and treats, holding a raffle in addition to games and make and do crafts for the children. Please make a note in your diary! If you are able to help on a stall, please contact Louise George on 01380 816228.

 There is a Non Uniform Day on Friday 25th November.

 Best wishes,

M Henning

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