Changes are ahead! Year 6 have been visiting their new schools, to familiarise themselves with their new building, new peers and teachers, new expectations and new routines. I have only heard pupils, who will soon be known as students, talk positively about their experiences, which all bodes well for a smooth transition into secondary education. Mark Oliver delivered an assembly with this in mind - there is a lot of change in life but instead of being sad about it or worrying about it, see these changes as positive, and sadness of leaving as memories. We have many memories (!) of our Year 6 and look forward to sharing some of them with you next Monday 2pm @ our Achievements and Awards event. (All welcome.)
Assessment data is now in for KS2, so this along with all other key data demonstrates that, yet again, our pupils have risen to the challenge and achieved very well. Please check out the headline data here, it makes for good reading! As a school staff we are obviously delighted that outcomes remain positive, and believe that this is because our pupils get a broad, rich, curriculum experience. However, as per this time every year, we consider what further developments we can implement. A key focus for next year will be writing across the school, with particular attention to handwriting and spelling. We also want to further promote/develop the Creative Arts and are looking at possible opportunities that may be available. As with everything funding is a key element; as you have probably heard in the news, schools' budgets are at their lowest and unless there are some major changes we may see many schools with deficit budgets. Having forecast our pupil numbers and expenditures for the next three years, I can say we remain in a healthy position, and virtually at capacity. We currently have some year groups with a waiting list, so if you are aware of a family wishing to consider admission to Wembury Primary, it may be worth getting them to notify us of their interest. For September we only have spaces available in Year 1, Year 5 and Year 6!
I was delighted to hear that we have successfully gained our GOLD Sports Kitemark, for the 5th year running. Whilst we have been congratulated on this we are also delighted to be notified we are now eligible to apply for a PLATINUM award. (This is in recognition of our five years of gold, and the first year it is to be awarded.) Unfortunately we have to wait until October to be able to do this.) We have achieved some amazing feats, in sports this year, and next year looks to offer further opportunities. Thank you to all parents who have encouraged their children to take part in events and in providing support with transport. We look forward to your continued support next year, on our journey to platinum.
As you are aware, all year groups have worked with the Marine Centre, National Trust and Devon Wildlife Trust this year, the latest group being Year 5 who had the opportunity to snorkel! As a culmination of these days there is to be an exhibition and open evening (4.30pm-6.00pm). Unfortunately the desired date clashes with parent consultations (this Thursday) so we are hoping to hold it next Monday 17th, after our Awards and Achievements event, to further celebrate the work and efforts of our children. Please pencil this date in your diary and once I have confirmation I will inform parents and the community.
A reminder regarding absences; in light of a recent visit from our Education Welfare Officer, all requests for absences must be requested in advance. If it subsequently transpires that an absence taken is for a holiday or day out, rather than an illness, without prior agreement, a fine may be issued by Devon Local Authority. (Please read the reverse of the request form or click here for information.) It is my duty of care, as Headteacher, to ensure pupils attend school regularly, as well as arriving and being collected on time. It is the local authority that issues fines, from the evidence of the data collected. Should your child have a medical appointment; dental, doctor or otherwise, please ensure that you attach a copy of the appointment to your request. A copy of a formal evidence letter/invite/email is also required for exams or sporting/club events. Without these I will be unable to authorise and any subsequent absence may be recorded as unauthorised. I am happy to support a range of absence requests for exams, sporting events and therefore ask that full information is available at the time the request is being made. Unfortunately unless an absence is deemed, unavoidable or exceptional circumstances (the fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional circumstances’ are that they are ‘rare, significant, unavoidable and short’) I will be unable to authorise.
Below are some NAHT Guiding principles:
1. Term times are for education. This is the priority. Children and families have 175 days off school to spend time together, including weekends and school holidays. Head teachers will rightly prioritise attendance. The default school policy should be that absences will not be granted during term-time and will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.
2. The decision to authorise a pupil’s absence is wholly at the head teacher’s discretion based on their assessment and merits of each request.
3. If an event can be reasonably scheduled outside of term-time then it would not be normal to authorise absence for such an event – holidays are therefore not considered ‘exceptional circumstances’.
4. Absences to visit seriously-ill relatives or for a bereavement of a close family member are usually considered to amount to ‘exceptional circumstances’, but for the funeral service only, not for extended leave.
A reminder that the final SCHOOL DISCO takes place this Friday 14th - 6.00pm-7.30pm, £1.00 entry fee. Please come and support FroWS, who have done an amazing job of fund raising again this year. All help, however little is gratefully received.
Please remember to return the reply/acknowledgement slip, from your child's annual report. Hopefully you all will have celebrated and shared your child's successes and discussed with them how they can continue to develop and make progress in their learning.
These last couple of weeks have flown by, perhaps because our older pupils have been on residential/activity weeks? All feedback from pupils, parents and staff has been very positive, with some amazing personal achievements. There are of course plenty of photos to capture the great times they have had. If you have a child going into Years 4, 5 or 6 it may be worth checking them out as this could be you next year!
As a gentle reminder, as we enter the last few days; pupils are overly excited and tired, staff just tired (!), we expect pupils and the school community, to continue to abide by the school policies, especially the Behaviour Policy and Uniform Policy. Should you have any concerns or comments regarding anything school related, please could you discuss this, in the first instance, with your child's class teacher or other member of staff or senior management. It has been brought to the school's attention that comments, regarding individuals (including staff) or groups of pupils, have been made on a social media platform, and despite many parents using a private/closed group, what is forgotten is that this is still a' public domain.' (It could be likened to talk at the playground gate, to put it crudely, but it leaves a footprint.) Whilst the school positively promotes the use of these networks, to get messages across and to ask questions of each other, and pass on information, I would respectfully request that the school be given the opportunity to investigate, or respond to, a concern, worry or comment, prior to posting comments that could be deemed negative or inappropriate by others. Thank you for your support and understanding with this; as technology rapidly moves on we are all adapting to new ways, new issues and new resolutions.