Catch up on all our news in our weekly email newsletters.

Dear Parents,

Spring Term reports have been sent home with the children today. I am very proud of all our pupils’ hard work and of what they have achieved over the last six months. Please use the acknowledgement slip enclosed with the report to confirm receipt and make any comments you may have to the form teacher or myself. I wish you all a very enjoyable and relaxing half term.

Mrs S Leyshon

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

18 – 22 February | Half Term
 7 March | World Book Day
26 March | Form I Trip to the Natural History Museum (Colchester)
27 March | Cross Country competition (FV + FVI)
28 March | Swimming Gala
1-5 April | Stay and Play sessions
5 April | Term ends at noon
5 May | Summer Production
14 May | Whole School and Individual Photos

New Staff Member
We are delighted to welcome Miss Amber Fox-Hammond to the school. Miss Fox-Hammond will be taking on the role of Early Years Teaching Assistant.

Cross Country
You will have been informed by email if your child has been selected for the Cross Country Team. Please can acceptance forms be returned by Monday 25th February, as the competition will take place on Wednesday 27th February.

School Production Rehearsals – Headgate Theatre
On Wednesday 27th February, we will be starting rehearsals for our Annual School Production at the Headgate Theatre. Please can all children in Forms I, II & III come dressed in their winter P.E. kit for the day. We encourage children to wear their white P.E. shorts under their navy jogging bottoms. If the weather is warm, they will be allowed to take their jogging bottoms off. Please ensure that children wear their navy blue fleeces and waterproof jackets. No blazers, coats, caps or berets are needed and children will not need to bring in their school uniform to change into when they return to school.

Lost Property
Please check the lost property box in the entrance porch for any lost or missing items. Any unclaimed items will be removed and donated to charity on the first Friday after half term.

Stay and Play sessions


It has been lovely to see so many of you attend the ‘Stay and Play’ sessions in Nursery and Reception this week. Please join us again for the next Stay and Play Sessions from 1st – 5th April. More images from this week’s sessions can be viewed on the website under ‘Latest News’.

Safeguarding advice for parents
With half term approaching, you might be wondering if your child is ready to be left at home alone. The NSPCC have provided useful guidance to help you make up your mind about whether leaving your child home alone is a good idea, as well as tips for choosing appropriate childcare if you decide it’s not. Click on the following link to view their advice: http://bit.ly/2SAPLGz

Dear Parents,

The safety and wellbeing of our children is fundamental to how we operate the school and the fire evacuation procedure is a key aspect of this. You may have heard about the fire practices we hold in school and we will be undergoing more of these over the forthcoming months to ensure that we are confident that we could evacuate the building safely at any time of the day. I thought it may be prudent to advise you as parents what you should do if you are in school during a drill (or indeed a real event). The fire evacuation procedure is outlined below.

Mrs S Leyshon

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

11 – 15 February | Stay and Play sessions
18 – 22 February | Half Term Week
7 March | World Book Day
26 March | FI Trip to the Natural History Museum (Colchester)
28 March | Swimming Gala
1-5 April | Stay and Play sessions
5 April | Term ends at noon
5 May | Summer Production


Fire Evacuation Procedure

  • If the alarm sounds, please look out for our Fire Marshals (wearing hi-vis vests) who will direct you towards the designated Fire Assembly Point (Playground). Our Fire Marshals are 8 members of staff who have received full and up to date Fire Awareness training.
  • Please do not stop to collect coats or bags (either yours or your children’s)
  • Fire Marshals are trained to sweep the school to ensure nobody is left behind – please do not feel you need to check any rooms
  • Once on the playground, Fire Marshals will inform the Headteacher whether there is any evidence of the fire, whether the Fire Brigade has been called and what the progress of the evacuation is.

Fire Marshals have been allocated specific zones and a plan a showing these zones is available for you to view at reception. It is important that all members of the school community adhere to the fire procedure; this will ensure that staff can manage an incident effectively and keep the children safe. Thank you for your support and co-operation.

Voice of the Parent Survey

Thank you to all of you who have completed the Voice of the Parent survey. Your feedback is really valuable to us and we will give an update on actions taken as a result of the survey later this month.

Mrs Garnham

Mrs Garnham is recovering well after her recent operation and we look forward to her speedy return to the school.

School hats

It has been lovely to see so many children wrapped up warm for school recently. Can we remind parents that woolly hats must be purchased from our school uniform provider Coes. Other hats are not permitted.

Tuck money

We have noticed that some children are kindly sharing their tuck money with their friends, despite regular reminders from staff not to do so. If you think that your child might be sharing their tuck money, please remind them that this is not allowed. We have also been receiving some old and foreign coins, so please ensure that you send your child to school with valid currency.

Chinese New Year

This week, we have been celebrating the start of the Chinese Year of the Pig. Our Chinese pupils in NI gifted lucky red envelopes to all children. NII pupils made dragon puppets and also created red envelopes containing chocolate coins. FI pupils made beautiful Chinese Pig drawings and FII learnt about the Heavenly Gate Race Story and the reasons for the 12 Zodiac animal rankings. On top of all that, we were delighted to welcome Mrs Liao in Reception yesterday to speak to pupils about this wonderful festival. Reception children had a go at playing mini cymbals, learnt about Chinese food and even had a go at using chop sticks. Happy Chinese New Year!

More pictures can be found on the website under ‘Latest News’.

Talk on career possibilities

On Tuesday. we were privileged to welcome Jaya and Rishan’s father, Mr Yoganathan, to speak to our Form VI pupils about career possibilities. Pupils learnt about the differences between working in the private and the public sector and found out about the opportunities available in both. It proved to be an inspirational session, encouraging students to be the best they can be and use their passion.

Dear Parents,

It has been lovely to see the children wrapped up warm with hats and gloves this week. Hopefully we will avoid the snowfall for as long as possible but, should we get heavy snow and need to close the school we will endeavour to email you before 8.00am and put a notice on the school website.

Mrs S Leyshon

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

11 – 15 February | Stay and Play sessions
18 – 22 February | Half Term Week
7 March | World Book Day
26 March | FI Trip to the Natural History Museum (Colchester)
28 March | Swimming Gala
1-5 April | Stay and Play sessions
5 April | Term ends at noon
5 May | Summer Production

 

Voice of the Parent Survey

You will shortly receive an email invitation to participate in the Cognita ‘Voice of the Parent’ survey. Please do take the opportunity to complete this survey, as your feedback will help guide us in the decisions we make. We have worked hard to resolve some of the concerns raised during last year’s online survey. Below are some of the actions we have taken:

General Communication
A weekly email newsletter, regular website news posts and social media channels help to inform about daily activities in our school. For more specific queries, staff are always happy to speak to you. Please note that, depending on the subject, a meeting may have to be scheduled within 1-3 days.

Teaching and learning
To support you with subject terminology and expectations, a Maths booklet is being created to help explain the ways we teach Maths. Reading and Phonics workshops are planned for later in the year. Every term, NI, NII and Reception parents will have an opportunity to view pupils’ work during ‘Stay and Play’ sessions (the first sessions are scheduled for 11 – 15 February). For older pupils, there will be an opportunity to view and share work before Easter. We also hope you found the ‘Meet the teacher‘ sessions at the beginning of the school year useful.

Voice of the student
There is a strong focus on ensuring that pupils’ opinions are included in developing the school. As part of this approach, we have introduced School Ambassadors and House Captains.

After school clubs
We are currently reviewing the results of the recent after school club survey to ascertain if the Cognita wraparound care solution can work for our school. In the meantime, our Wednesday after-school club will continue to run, offering indoor activities in Winter and outdoor fun in Summer. An arts and crafts activity is always on offer. We are currently looking to extend the Wednesday club to include Reception class children, but this will be subject to space and staff availability. Our recent attempts to run a choir club during break times and before school have unfortunately proven to be unsuccessful and we are looking at alternative options. Finally, we are planning to introduce some exciting new after school clubs in the near future, such as LAMDA drama qualifications and other options.

Staff training
Staff are required to undertake mandatory training to ensure that we comply with regulations and that knowledge, skills and understanding are kept up to date. Courses are always booked to avoid as little disruption to teaching as possible, however, occasionally staff may need to complete this training during the school day.

House system
On Monday, our new house captains Molly, Ishaan and Gabrielle helped to introduce the House System to pupils throughout the school. They handed out badges and presented the new house names and crests.

House crests were created from drawings made by Keira, Dina-Kate and Max F.

School production
We would like to remind parents that the annual school production will take place on Sunday 5th May, during the early Summer Bank Holiday weekend. Parts for the play are now being allocated, so please let us know if your child will not be able to attend.

Lost property
Please remember to keep an eye on the lost property box by the entrance gate for any lost or missing items. Some smaller items, including a silver ring, a necklace and a ‘jet cadet’ badge have also been found. Please speak to Mrs Stokes if any of these belong to you or your child.

Borrowed items
If your child has borrowed any items of clothing from the school, such as tights, shorts or underwear, please would you return them as soon as possible.

Going home arrangements
Parents are requested to respect the following collection times:

Nursery I: 12.00 noon
Nursery II: 3.00pm
Reception: 3.00pm
Form I: 3.10pm
Form II: 3.15pm
Form III/IV: 3.30pm
Form V/VI: 3.40pm

Late collection is not permitted, unless you are collecting more than one pupil. In this case, you will need to arrive at the later time. Younger pupils are cared for by staff covering the late duty until 3.45pm.

Dear Parents,

This term, we are introducing a school House System. Our current and previous Form VI pupils have contributed to a great extent to develop this concept over the past year, coming up with names and creating house crests. The House System aims to teach team building skills as well as developing perseverance, self-esteem and resilience. It will bring younger and older pupils in the school together and develop social solidarity, giving our pupils a greater sense of belonging within the school community. The new house captains will be announced on Monday and their names will be published in next week’s newsletter.

Mrs S Leyshon

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

11 – 15 February | Stay and Play sessions
18 – 22 February | Half Term Week
26 March | FI Trip to the Natural History Museum (Colchester)
28 March | Swimming Gala
1-5 April | Stay and Play sessions
5 April | Term ends at noon
5 May | Summer Production

House names
After careful consideration, Form VI students have decided to base our House names on bird types. Three birds were selected and each bird name represents a number of values which reflect the ethos of the school:

Chaffinch: joy, happiness, celebration, perseverance, positivity
Nightingale: inspiration, guidance, triumphant of goodness, expression through the arts, individuality

Kingfisher: peace, mindfulness, trust, prosperity, selflessness

House crests were created from drawings made by pupils and will be unveiled in next week’s newsletter.

Initially the house system will be used for sporting events such as the swimming gala, cross-country and sports day. As time goes on we will use the House System for team incentives, team building exercises, competitions and much more.

Waterproof jackets
Could we ask that children in Forms II and III bring their Navy waterproof jackets in for travelling to and from swimming. Our grey coats don’t fit in the Leisure World swimming lockers and can therefore not be taken to swimming.

Cold Weather
Please ensure your child brings a hat and gloves to school, especially on days when they have PE/Games. Children go out to play twice a day, even when the weather is very cold.

Arrival and Collection
In the interest of health and safety, we request that you use the path opposite the entrance gate when arriving/leaving, and do not walk across the drive through the parked cars. Please do not allow your children to play among the cars in the car park. Parents are not permitted to park on or across the school driveways.

Dear Parents,

We are well and truly back into school routines now. It’s lovely to see the children’s enthusiasm for learning at the start of the new year. Our new Nursery starters have settled into school life quickly, exploring the various learning activities in our classrooms and outdoor area.

Mrs S Leyshon

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

24 January | Cookery Club starts
11 – 15 February | Stay and Play sessions
18 – 22 February | Half Term Week
26 March | FI Trip to the Natural History Museum (Colchester)
28 March | Swimming Gala
1-5 April | Stay and Play sessions
5 April | Term ends at noon
5 May | Summer Production

Curriculum Summaries
All class summaries for the Spring Term for your child’s year group are now available to view on the website under ‘Parent Login’. The summaries outline the learning taking place in each curriculum area and allow you to better support and enrich your child’s learning at home.

After School Club Surveys
Thank you to all parents who took the time to complete the on-line surveys sent out before Christmas on clubs and child care cover. The school is now reviewing the results and will be looking at different options available and will contact parents when more information is available.

Cold Weather
Please ensure your child brings a hat and gloves to school, especially on days when they have PE/Games. Children go out to play twice a day, even when the weather is very cold.

Snow Closure
In the case of adverse weather, we will contact you via email as early as possible in the morning if it is deemed necessary for the school to close. A message will also be displayed on the website.

Drop off times
We would like to remind parents that all pupils are expected to arrive at school no later than 8:50 for registration. It can be very disrupting and unsettling for the individual pupil and the class, if pupils are not ready to commence lessons at 9:00.

Entrance gate
In the interest of health and safety, we request that you use the path opposite the entrance gate when arriving/leaving, and do not walk across the drive through the parked cars. Please do not allow your children to play amongst the cars in the car park.

Dear Parents,

Welcome back!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas break and are looking forward to a new year full of fresh beginnings and opportunities.

From this term onwards, we will be sending the Newsletter out on a weekly basis to improve communications between the school and parents. The Newsletter can now also be viewed in the email and there is no longer a need to open it as an attachment.

Mrs S Leyshon

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

14 January | School Clubs start
24 January | Cookery Club starts
18 – 22 February | Half Term Week
26 March | Form I Trip to the Natural History Museum (Colchester)
28 March | Swimming Gala
5 April | Term ends at noon
5 May | Summer Production

After School Clubs
After school clubs start next week, with the exception of Cookery Club which starts on 24th January.  If you have not already done so, please complete the application form sent out earlier this week by School Comms and return to Mrs Stokes.

Cookery Club
Thank you to all who have applied to Cookery Club. Priority will be given to those children who haven’t attended Cookery Club before. There are still some places available.

Stay and Play Sessions
We would like to invite all parents of NI, NII & Reception pupils to a Stay and Play session on the last week of each half term. Please feel free to visit between 8.30- 8.50 on any morning to look through your children’s work and spend time with them in class.

Our first Stay and Play session will be held the week beginning the 11th-15th of February and our second invitation will be in the next half of the Spring term from the 1st-5th of April.  We hope you will be able to join us and we only expect you to be able to visit once or twice during each stay and play week.

School Production
Due to the renovation work that will be carried out this Summer to the Mercury Theatre, this year we will be holding our Annual Production at the earlier time of Sunday 5th May. Please  make a note of this date, as we expect all children from Reception age up to take part in the school production. If a holiday has already been booked for that Bank Holiday weekend, please notify us at your earliest convenience.

Road Safety Workshop
Form V are completing a road safety awareness programme as part of their curriculum. This is a continuation of ‘keeping safe’ and supports work completed in Bikeability.

New Term Menus
The new term lunch menus are attached to this email and can also be found on our school website.

Drop off and Pick Up
A gentle reminder that children need to be dropped off and picked up via the side gate, and not via the main entrance door.

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