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Newsletter Autumn 1 07.09.1


Autumn Term 2018 - Newsletter 1

7th September 2018

Dear parents/carers,

Welcome Back

Welcome back to a new school year! Teachers have lots of exciting learning and activities planned for term. Already, Chestnut Class are spending two nights at Thorpe Woodlands next week and Sycamore Class are going to watch a live theatre performance of Awful Auntie the following week.

We are delighted to welcome our two new teachers - Mrs Brighton, who will be teaching in Lime Class on Mondays and Tuesdays and Mrs Mathlin who will be teaching in Chestnut Class on Fridays.


Making sure that behaviour at the school is as good as it possibly can be is going to be a key school improvement focus this year. On the staff training days this week, staff worked together to make sure we have shared, high expectations for behaviour and a consistent approach to addressing any behaviour that falls short these expectations.

A lot of the focus will be on supporting children to develop excellent learning behaviour so today, each class has been spending time practising routines such as lining up and transitions to different activities and teachers have explained our expectations and why good behaviour is so important.

The parent and pupil surveys at the end of last year identified the way we have responded to bullying as an area that we could improve on. This is something we will be focusing on as well. On the training days, we made sure everyone who works in the school has a shared understanding of what bullying is and spent time reviewing how we respond to it and how we can do this better. We also plan to further develop our school culture, maximising opportunities to celebrate differences and promote positive relationships. We will be sending an ‘anti-bullying pledge’ card home for children to sign in the next few weeks and will mark Anti-Bullying Week in November.

Our school rules were simplified down to two last year: ‘Be kind’ and ‘Work hard’. We plan to really promote the ‘Be kind’ message this term, including in assemblies and by holding a ‘Kindness Day’. We will also be introducing  weekly ‘Kindness Awards’ soon.

School Improvement Priorities

We have made strong progress since our Ofsted inspection 18 months ago and are almost certain to be re-inspected some time this school year. Our main school improvement priorities this year will focus on maths, behaviour and further developing the wider curriculum.

Homework Reminder

A year ago, we streamlined our approach to homework from Year 1 upwards, introducing set activities that children are expected to do every week:

  • Read at least 3 times

  • Learn their spellings

  • Do four given maths calculations

  • Practise their times tables (or number bonds for younger children)

  • Go through their knowledge organiser with an adult

A half-termly tick-sheet in homework books records that these have been done. We ask parents to encourage children to take responsibility for ticking off the activities in their homework book each week themselves. Younger children will probably need support with this, but by the time children reach Year 3, they should be able to take this on themselves. We also ask that an adult signs to confirm that the tasks have been done.

Across the school, homework is sent out on a Monday returned on Friday. Spellings are tested each Friday. Homework, including the knowledge organisers, is also emailed to parents. If you prefer to do tasks such as practising tables and going through the knowledge organiser and some reading at the weekend rather than during the week, you are very welcome to do so.

Each knowledge organiser summarises all the key information that children are expected to learn in that unit of work (usually over a half term or term). Each week, children have a multiple choice quiz in class on what they have learnt so far in the topic. At the end of the unit, they have a longer quiz covering the whole knowledge organiser. The quizzes are to provide regular opportunities for children to retrieve the information they have learnt. This helps the information to get filed away into their long term memories, meaning it will be retained over time. This is based on research about the most effective way for children to learn.

Parents can support this by:

  • Reading through the knowledge organiser together, going over the information that have been learnt in previous weeks and identifying the new information they have learnt since the last time. Feel free to highlight, underline, annotate etc. on the knowledge organiser itself

  • Quizzing your child about the information they have learnt so far

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask your child’s teacher.


Local residents have asked that I remind you about parking considerately near the school. Parking near schools is a challenge all over the country, but please be aware of the needs of people who live near the school. Parking in the school car park is for parking permit holders only who have pre-school aged children or disabilities. New parking permits are needed for the new school year. Please ask at the office if you qualify and would like one.

Values for Life

The value that we will be focusing on in collective worship and across the school this term is ‘Courage’.

Colder Weather

The weather this time of year can be unpredictable and we do keep children outside at break times in drizzle and light rain. Please make sure they have a coat in school every day, preferably a waterproof one with a hood.


As always, several important forms will be sent out with this newsletter today. Please complete them and return them to school as soon as possible.

These are:

  • Photo Consent Form

  • Locality Visits Consent Form

  • Authorisation to Collect Form

  • Annual Data Collection Form

In response to new national safeguarding guidance, on the Annual Data Collection Form we are now asking for at least two emergency contact details, one of which is not a parent and lives elsewhere.


Please see below for events happening this term. These include class assemblies where children share what they have been learning with parents. Parents, grandparents etc are warmly invited and they usually take place in the village hall.

Please note that the Harvest and Christmas Service dates are not yet confirmed. Also, there is a PD day after the October half term break (Monday 29th October) when children are not in school.

Thank you for your continued support and we are all looking forward to working with you and your children this term.

Vicky Doherty


Dates for your diary

12-14th September

Chestnut Class Residential Visit - Thorpe Woodlands

21st September


Sycamore Class to Awful Auntie performance - Ipswich Regent

8th October


Harvest Service in the church (TBC)

16th October

3.45 - 6.00pm

Parents’ Evening

18th October

3.45 - 6.00pm

Parents’ Evening

Wc22nd October

Half Term Break

29th October

PD Day - children not in school

12th November


Lime Class Assembly

29th November


Sycamore Class Assembly

6th December


Chestnut Class Assembly

17th December


Christmas Service in the church (TBC)

12th July


Chestnut Class Assembly

19th December

Term Ends

Term Dates


Autumn Term

Wednesday 5th September 2018 to Wednesday 19th December 2018

(Half Term: Monday 22nd October 2018 to Friday 26th October 2018)

Spring Term

Wednesday 2nd January 2019 to Friday 5th April 2019

(Half Term: Monday 18th February 2019 to Friday 22nd February 2019)

Summer Term

Tuesday 23rd April 2019 to Wednesday 24th July 2019

(Half Term: Monday 27th May 2019 to Friday 31st May 2019)

PD Days:

3rd September 2018

4th September 2018

29th October 2018

2nd January 2019

5th April 2108

Parent Response Slip

Either email or send in a paper version for the attention of the Headteacher.

Name of parent  ________________________ Date _______________


Thank you for taking the time to respond. Your views are listened to and given careful consideration.