September 2016

Hello and welcome back. With the lovely long holiday memories receding fast, we hope that you and your children are now settled into the new school year.  It is great to see familiar faces and say hello to newbies - Amber in Class 2;  Elsie, Amelie, Sophie & Klara in Class 1 and Noah, Shakira, Arthur, Cora, Nate, Noah, Ada, Dylan, Olly & Scarlett in EYFS part time. 

Hello also to students who have joined us.  Miss Murdie in Class 1 who will be with us as an apprentice for the next school year;  Kayleigh Bland who is joining us later this month on Wed/Thurs as a work experience student along with Laura Smith on Thursdays.  Its great to have you all as part of our school family. 

After School Clubs this term…..

Mondays - KS1 Football Club with Mr Wathall, 3.30 - 4.30pm

Tuesdays - Bell Ringing Club with Mrs Crooks 3.30 - 4.30pm (starting on the 27th)

Tuesdays - Spanish Club with Senora Neville - all age groups

Wednesdays - Fun French with Madame Davy - KS1

Thursdays - KS2 Football Club with Mr Wathall 3.30 - 4.30pm

Thursdays - Choir with Miss Stevenson 3.30 - 4.30pm 

Two themes we have been working on since 9.00am day one,  are independence and presentation. 

Independence - you can help your child with this by making sure that they come into school and hang their things up/find the book bag box all by themselves!  We have been very  impressed that the majority of children are now carrying their own bags and completing this simple routine task well. Growing independence is exceptionally important.  We know that if our children need adult prompting to hang up their coats and bags then expecting them to work independently on any aspect of the curriculum can be very challenging for them.  Please help your child in this vital aspect of their development. Of course, if there is an urgent, first thing in the morning message about the day ahead, staff are always available. On the subject of bags - a massive thank you!  You may remember our safety concerns regarding the size of huge bags being "hung" on coat pegs and that this just meant coats and bags constantly on the floor, blocking entrances/exits.  Please, if you have not yet managed it, could you ensure your child's PE kit is in a draw-string bag that will hang down below the pegs.  If they need an additional bag for reading and homework book this should be either a  book bag or as small a "satchel" style bag as possible - there is a storage box in every classroom for these but again, only a limited space available.

Presentation - this issue is one of our improvement areas.  Presentation in the learning environment can also have an impact on presentation of written work.  We are also starting to talk to children about how they present themselves, as we review our whole school behaviour policy. Please look/listen out for more on this important aspect of our school life, after all, how successfully we can implement it makes us the place we are! 

Supporting you to support them! Term started for staff with 2 training days.  The first of these, besides the usual start of year administration, we reviewed what underpins all aspects of our school improvement.  We are so fortunate at St Marys that the whole team are committed to the ethos of knowing and developing the whole child in a nurturing learning environment.  Alongside high expectations for all aspects of the work of our school community, we appreciate how fabulously, and equally different, we all are.  We want to focus on the progress YOUR child makes and working in partnership with you means a shared understanding of their individual learning journey.

Please feel that we are here to support you in supporting your child.  We are at the end of the phone if you are unable to speak to us in person.  After all,  our shared and passionate interest is in the  personal achievement and well being of your child in their school. 

On the second training day, staff  completed training on handwriting and presentation.  We are busy preparing displays in the hall, ready for parents evenings, to exemplify our handwriting policy practice. 

THE LATE RACE… Is your child late into school on a regular basis? We will be contacting  individual parents over the next few days with a view to implementing a "Late Race" card for pupils who are quite often late into school. It will operate on a reward system and is designed to encourage your child to be in school on time every day.  However… it can only work with your support and cooperation. Remember, pupils can arrive at school from 8.50am every day and the class register is taken at 9.00am.  If your child arrives at school after that time, their attendance will be recorded as "Late'.  If your child is 5 minutes late every day, over an average term that equates to either a morning or afternoon missed from class - it soon adds up!!

Car parking at the start and end of the school day. Please, if at all possible, use the Forest Corner Car park at the start/end of the school day.  This helps reduce the congestion from the Paddock Close entrance.  If you have to use the main gate, please be mindful that this is a residential area and that the school requires emergency access at all times - no double parking, parking on yellows or obstructing driveways & gates. Thank you

School Dinner Money. Remember, the cost of a school dinner is £2.22 per child per day (£11.10 for a full week).  Please ensure that dinner money is sent into school with your child on Mondays in a named and sealed envelope.  All Reception Class and KS1 pupils are entitled to a free school meal as part of the governments Universal Free School Meal Scheme - you do not need to pay until your child is in Class 3! 

Dates for the diary, so far… (please note, some are still to be confirmed!)

Monday 26th September     INSET day - school closed to pupils

 Monday 3rd October    Harvest Service in Church - tbc

 Wed 19th October        Parents Evening - more info to follow

 Fri 21st October          Last day of term

Monday 31 October        Term 2 starts

Tues 1 November       National Heights & Weights programme

for Year R & Year 6 pupils - more info to come

Thus 10 November        Flu vaccinations for Year 1,2 & 3 pupils

Fri 9 December                   Part time pupils "Carols Around the Tree" - tbc

Wed 14 December               Reception  & Class 2 Nativity. 2.00pm  - tbc

Thu 15 December                Part time & Class 1 Christmas party day - tbc

Thu 15 December               "Carols by Candlelight" 6.00pm - tbc

Fri 16 December                Reception & Class 2 Nativity 2.00pm - tbc

Mon 19 December             KS1 Christmas party - tbc

Tue 20 December               KS2 Christmas party - tbc

Tue 20 December Last day of term.

Wed 4 Jan 2017 Term 3 starts