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Newsletter Autumn 1 08.09.17


Autumn Term 2017 - Newsletter 1

8th September 2017

Dear parents/carers,

Welcome Back

Welcome back to a new school year. We would like to send a particular welcome to the children who have started school in Lime Class - Kit, Leo, Harriet, Eleanor and William.

School Improvement Priorities

Our school improvement priorities for the year will follow the recommendations in March’s Ofsted inspection, as well as priorities from assessment outcomes at the end of the school year.

These are:

  • To develop the wider curriculum and subject leadership

  • To improve reading by encouraging children to read widely and often and for teachers to make better use of assessment information to support children’s learning

  • To improve children’s achievement in spelling, punctuation and grammar

  • To make sure the recent improvements in the teaching of maths are consistent across the school

  • To provide opportunities for children to write more regularly and for different purposes and audiences

  • To improve the Early Years learning environment and use of assessment

Staff have been working really hard to make the necessary changes over the last term and have made an excellent start. At some point over the next 18 months or so, we will have a 1 day monitoring visit from Ofsted to look at the progress the school has made towards the areas identified for improvement.


One of the priorities above is to encourage children to read more widely and often. We have put several strategies in place in school to support this, including revitilising the school library and naming it The Escape, the appointment of Reading Champions, and weekly staff book recommendations in assemblies.

However reading is something that parents can play a vital role in! Those parents who came to last term’s information evening on reading were surprised by the impact reading regularly has been proven to have on children’s future success. See the attached flyer for details!

As it outlines on the flyer, we expect children to read at home at least 3 times a week. Reading records and reading books should be taken home every night. ‘Free readers’ in KS2 are welcome to bring in the book they are reading at home to read during quiet reading sessions in school.

Behaviour Policy

Following the adoption of the governing body’s revised Statement of Behaviour Principles, the school’s Behaviour Policy has been revised. This is being sent home today and I would be interested to hear your views. During the consultation about the Statement, some parents felt that the Behaviour Policy ought to be clearer about exactly what kind of behaviour would result in different sanctions. This is now set out in Appendix A. The suggestion that parents’ behaviour on the school premises should be mentioned has also been included.

After consultation with staff, we have also simplified the school rules to two statements:

Be kind. Work hard.

We feel that this emcompasses all the positive behaviour we want children to show and adults to model. These will be explored with all children and expanded on with our youngest children with a list of class rules.

Please let me know your thoughts by 15th September, using the reply slip at the bottom of this letter or by email.

Extreme Reading Competition

There have been some great entries already, but the deadline is being extended until 15th September to make sure you have time to get any entries in.

Knowledge Organisers

As part of our focus on the wider curriculum, we are excited to be trialling the use of ‘knowledge organisers’ in history and geography this term and will extend their use into other subjects if they prove to be successful. Knowledge organisers are one side of A4 that summarise all the key knowledge that children should learn and retain over the course of a unit of work (usually half a term) in that subject. Alongside these, children will have multiple choice quizzes each week (and at the end of the unit) to test their recall of facts from previous lessons. This has been shown to help embed information into children’s long term memory, providing a growing bank of knowledge and a firm foundation for future learning. A copy of the knowledge organiser will be sent home in children’s homework books. Parents can support by going through it each week and asking children which part they have been learning about in school that week and going over knowledge from previous weeks with them

Parking and Driving Considerately

Concern has been expressed by a local resident about the the behaviour of a some parents at drop off and pick up times. I appreciate that parking is difficult, but please consider the impact of inconsiderate parking and driving on the local community. Amongst other things, concerned was expressed about engines running when parked, loud music being played, speeding and driveways being blocked.

Parking Permits

A reminder that only those with mobility issues or children of pre-school age are permitted to park in the school car park. Parking permits are available at the office and must be displayed on the dashboard. Those with existing permits will need to apply for a new one for 2017/18. Please contact Tracey Sheppard in the office for one.


You will remember that I wrote to parents last term about possible arrangements for swimming this year. With the rural location of the school, transport costs to take children swimming are high and, more importantly, nearly a whole morning’s learning is lost for just a half hour session in the pool. As a result, governors have decided that we will only take children in Y3 and 4 who cannot swim the required amount swimming. This will be an intensive course of 6 x 1hr sessions to really boost their swimming ability. The parents of children who will be taken swimming this term have been contacted separately.


There are some important forms going home with this newsletter today, including:

  • data collection

  • authorisation to collect children

Please make sure they are completed and returned to school as soon as possible. Thank you.

A copy of our Home School Agreement is being sent home as well, as it does at the start of every year. Please go through it with your child and both sign it and return it to school. It is important that we are all reminded of the expectations between pupils, parents and the school at the beginning of each school year.

Vicky Doherty


Dates for your diary:


18th - 21st September

Y5/6 residential trip

2nd October

Harvest Service (TBC)

17th & 18th  October

3.30 - 6pm

Parents’ Evening

20th October

PD Day - children not in school

9th November


Lime Class Assembly for parents

10th November

Individual school photos

23rd November


Chestnut Class Assembly for parents

7th December


Sycamore Class Assembly for parents

18th December, 6pm

Christmas Service (TBC)

Term Dates

Autumn Term

Monday 4th September 2017 to Tuesday 19th December 2017

(Half Term: Monday 23rd October to Friday 27th October 2017)

Spring Term

Wednesday 3rd January 2018 to Friday 24th May 2018

(Half Term: Monday 12th February 2018 to Friday 16th February 2018)

Summer Term

Monday 16th April 2018 to Tuesday 24th July 2018

(Half Term: Monday 28th May 2018 to Friday June 1st 2018)

PD Days:

20th October 2017

3rd January 2018

16th 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.