Firstly, a massive thank you to those who ‘sprung’ into action and helped prune the orchard and clear the FroWs shed, at the end of last term. (This was no mean feat!) As you know the shed is in a sorry state, and whilst we have had quotes for refurbishing and repair, (this is an old WW2 shed, from HMS Cambridge, it is apparently salvageable at a cost) this may still be a better option than a new shed, which we are also looking into.
Unfortunately the donated fence paint, from Dulux, has only just arrived, so the planned Opening of the changing rooms could not take place. As soon as we have another date we will let you know.
Governors have been busy gathering evidence and information on our Oracy project and its impact on pupils. Part of the outcome of this visit was to discuss how Oracy could be shared with, and involve parents. Although we are only seven months into the project, led so successfully by Mrs Chamberlain, we are keen to involve parents, which we hope to do so soon. In the meantime governors are also considering a Blog, rather than a lengthier Newsletter, to ensure a timelier, and user friendly report to parents. In the meantime I would like to share just a few of their comments from their visit.
‘Oracy is embedded in all subjects, girls and boys are well involved. Children have confidence to talk to adults including those they don’t know… and have confidence to give opinions.’
They ‘were impressed by the confidence and maturity of the children in the way they spoke and reasoned and interacted with one another. They exemplified the school’s values and vision and embodied the so-called “British” values. They would be a good example for our politicians.’
Governors will no doubt provide further information regarding this and other visits, but it is very humbling to hear others recognise and praise the fantastic work that Wembury teachers do and the impact of their work upon our pupils; your amazing children.
As you know May is a month of assessments. For those parents of pupils in Years 2 or 6, I hope you have had opportunity to attend earlier information meetings and read the information provided by the DfE through this link on our website: Information for Parents
As you know we try to make these as stress-free as possible encouraging children to try their best. In Year 2 we try not to even mention SATs, so most children see it as normal practice, and don’t even realise it is an assessment. Of course this is also because assessments are marked within school, where all, but writing are marked externally in Year 6. Year 2’s timetable is also not rigid and not as strictly timed – it should be a celebration of their achievements and learning. (Hopefully the format will be reviewed as times change.)
A FREE cooked breakfast will start Year 6’s day, with sweet treats and breaks, where appropriate and possible. They can also bring in their lucky mascot or cuddly toy. Best of all is the ‘End of SATs’ party on the Friday afternoon. Please remember if your child appears worried or concerned in the lead up or during the SATs week (13th – 18th May), please speak to Mr Chantler, Mrs Chamberlain or myself.
Please note there is a new menu for this term which can be found using this link – LUNCH MENU. There are still a number of parents who are not booking meal choices in advance. Whether your child is in receipt of free school meals or paid meals it is important that not only do you book their choice, in advance, before they come to school but also that you share/discuss this choice with your child. We regularly have children refusing the selection and therefore need to provide them with an alternative, some of which will not available as the kitchen staff will only cook sufficient as per original order. Therefore it is equally important to book in advance. Should you face difficulties in doing this please contact our office staff who will be more than happy to talk you through the process, and if need be, demonstrate the process. Thank you.
Although at times it appeared a little chaotic, with the number of children and instruments needing to move and swap, the talent and progression in skills was obvious. How lovely to see and hear children attempting their first musically accompanied piece to those older pupils who are very accomplished and confident to perform for others. These musical days are always a wonderment and always showcase hidden talent - and we certainly have plenty of that! A brilliant effort from Mr Calvert, who was also able to show the learning journey that year groups had been on over the year, to the performance on the day. Whilst some may not have been such accomplished and polished performances, the importance was the having a go, improvising and having fun! Hopefully those of you who were able to join us enjoyed the variation and the super talents of our pupils, and dads! Well done to all – a fabulous day.
A plea from the Activities Club – staff who carry out activities for this club, after school, have requested old t-shirts/shirts, in readiness for some planned painting. If your child attends the after-school club or intends to attend, please could you send in a named shirt ASAP for the attention of Ms Jenny Davis.
Again we are requesting that full PE kit be in school at all times. PE kit consists of plain white shorts and T-shirts (available from MAPAC our school uniform supplier) and trainers. New health & safety guidance from The AFPE has come out that trainers, rather than the old, black style plimsolls, be the preferred footwear. (As long as these are not psychedelic, colour is not specified. However children should be able to put on their own trainers so please take fastening option into consideration.) Other guidance includes;
This is also a reminder that schools teach swimming to the National Curriculum: teachers are not swimming coaches but have had training on supporting pupils to achieve the expected standard, by the time they complete primary education.
Swimming is always the highlight of the year, and we are so lucky to have our pool, and exciting, new changing rooms. This provision is such an asset and one that FroWS have recently, successfully gained around £1700 to provide ongoing maintenance and chemical costs, as well as other pool resources. For this we are exceptionally grateful, and a massive thank you must go out to the ‘very small’ team. We are also very grateful to Mr Clarke and the hours he puts into getting the pool ready – yet another amazing feat. Of course we wouldn’t be able to maintain this were is not also for our parental support – thank you all. Please look out for swimming permission letters, which are due home within the next couple of weeks and will need to be returned.
Having recently completed an attendance audit I am concerned at the number of absence requests submitted, specifically for holidays. A reminder that absence requests are only considered if exceptional and unavoidable and/or meet other criteria, such as current attendance. This should be at least 96% before any consideration will be given. If there is a medical issue, further evidence may be required i.e. hospital/doctor appointment letter/card.
As a consequence of the drop in whole school % attendance I have revised my letters. Letter one will be issued when a child’s attendance falls between 94%-96% and note a concern in the drop of attendance. Letter two will be issued when a child’s attendance falls between 92%-94% and will invite you in for a meeting. Letter three will be issued when a child’s attendance falls below 92%, where a referral may be made to the local authority and a possible penalty notice issued. Where a child’s attendance, or late arrival is causing concern the Educational Welfare Officer will be asked to be involved, with possible follow-up of a formal legal meeting.
Should a request be unauthorised, and the child taken out of school for this period, their absence will be recorded as unauthorised and a penalty issue may be raised. As parent(s) it is your legal responsibility, as stated under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996, to ensure that your child attends the school at which he/she is registered, regularly and punctually.
Please also read our Attendance Policy, which clearly sets out expectations. Attendance Policy.