Spring Term 2020
First half¬†of term Newsletter
Happy New Year from us all at the school. ¬†I hope that everyone had a peaceful and relaxing holiday and managed to have some real quality family time. Thank you so much for all the cards, kind words and gifts that you so generously gave the staff, and myself. ¬†We are always so grateful and humbled by your generosity.
The children were amazing again. The confidence and pure joy of performing really shone out. Thank you again to Mr and Mrs Mahone for providing the sound and lighting to make it even more special for our children.
This is something that we take incredibly seriously at St Peter‚Äôs. ¬†As you are all aware one of the biggest threats to our children comes from online issues, whether it be from either risks of grooming, cyber bullying or sexting. There is a worrying national pattern that these issues are starting with much younger children than ever before. ¬†In order to help educate us all we have booked ‚ÄėThe Two Johns‚Äô these are ex-police officers who worked in child protection and are experts in this field. ¬†We book them every two years so that they can alert us to the latest risks to our children. ¬†I have to say every time I hear them speak they scare the life out of me and make me feel slightly inadequate as a parent. ¬†However after each talk my own children are safer and so are the children in the school. This is one training session that you really, really do not want to miss. ¬†It is on the 30th January at 7.00pm. ¬†Please do come – even if your child is in the infants as they are great speakers and give really practical and sensible solutions to help protect our children. They will be working with year 5 and 6 and year 3 and 4 as well as the staff during the day.
Food in school
We are sending out the packed lunch policy this week. Please take time to read it. The most import thing to be aware of is what ingredients are in the foods that you send in. Please can you check that there are no nuts in any of the products. ¬†Nuts can be in some surprising things like satay and also cereal bars. ¬†We have some children who have such severe allergies that even being near nuts could be fatal. ¬†Please help us to keep them safe by checking all food that comes in.
We had an inspection at our school where an outside inspector looks at the schools religious character and quality of provision that our children are getting. ¬†We scored the highest marks in each of the seven sections that they look at. We really do have fantastic children and an amazing staff team- supported by great parents. ¬†The full report will be emailed out this week.
We have good news and bad news. The good news is that we have had the planning permission approved for the extra classroom that we need. ¬†The bad news is that we have to fund this ourselves. It is going to cost around ¬£90,000. This is not all bad as we have an offer from a local resident to meet the costs after we raise ¬£65,000. We already have ¬£15,000 from the extra work we do with other schools. ¬†This means we have to try and raise ¬£50,000. If your company allows you to do corporate giving please let us know. If we can get 50 people who either work for banks or other companies that do this we are there. If anyone else has any other ideas to raise money for the classroom then please let me know.
The schools attendance is 97.3 at the moment. The national average is 95%. If a child‚Äôs attendance drops below 90% we have to inform Essex County Council as it is classed as persistent absence. 90% might still seem quite high, however 90% attendance means that a child is missing half a day a week. There would be serious issues at work if an employee was missing half a day a week. It also means that the children miss out on vital learning so that they struggle to meet their potential. I know children get ill but please do not take holiday in term time or have unnecessary days off.
The new pool complex is well underway. It is slightly behind schedule due to the bad weather but we are hoping to swim in the summer term. Thanks once again to Blueprint Properties for funding the entire project.
I am really proud of a group of children who give up every Monday lunch break to pick up litter around the village. So far they have picked up 26 full bags of litter.
The reading scheme is going down really well. We have a number of children in the infants who have already got their stars, which they are proudly wearing on their blazers. I am hoping that we will have some juniors coming through this term.
Times table rock stars
This new on line times table initiative is really having an impact on the children who regularly go onto the programme. We are noticing a real difference with their times table recall accuracy and speed. We have 4 children who now have average times of below 1 second a question. This is really hard to do – I know this as I am currently on 2.3 seconds. Vincent is our current record holder.
I have noticed that there have been a few pieces of chewing gum on the entrance path to school. This is very unsightly and makes our school look bad when I show visitors around. The children are not allowed chewing gum on site so I can only presume that this has come from adults.
Children are only allowed to bring a phone into school if they are in year 5 or 6 walking home by themselves. If they do bring one in then it has to be switched off and left on the teacher‚Äôs desk. The phones remain the responsibility of the children and no liability can be accepted from the teachers if a child decides to bring their phone in.
If you are picking up your children, try not to be on your phone when you collect them. There is an increasing number of people that we see during pick up or just after who are on their phones. ¬†Please spend time asking your child about their day rather than being on your phone. I was given a great piece of advice from another parent who says they always ask their child every day what the best thing they did was and what was the part they did not enjoy as much. I still ask my girls this every day and they expect it, so even as they enter teenage years they still talk to me about their day.
We are having real issues with cars that are parking on the zig‚Äďzag lines after clubs. The sign says no parking on the markings before 4.00pm. This means that at club pick up people think they can park on the zig-zags. This is a grey area legally with conflicting advice from different people. However the fact remains that there are no crossing patrols at this time and parking on the zig-zags means that the pedestrians and drivers vision is blocked by cars making it dangerous for our children. I am sure that no sensible person would want to endanger our children by parking on the zig-zags. I have asked the council to change the sign to 5.00pm so that there is no doubt. Hopefully this will be done in the new year.
Please can you make sure that nobody comes to school with gel in their hair. ¬†Also can you make sure that whatever hair styles the boys have, that their hair is not in their eyes as it really inhibits their leaning when they have to constantly flick their fringes from their eyes.
Information to parents
A reminder that School Nurses should not send text messages as their first contact with parents.
If you receive a text message requesting information about your child from anyone purporting to be a School Nurse, please DO NOT engage.
To check authenticity of the text message received, please contact the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service Single Point of Access on:
Mid Essex 0300 247 0014 (option 2)
North Essex 0300 247 0015
South Essex 0300 247 0013
West Essex 0300 247 0122
To see examples of suspicious text messages, click the link below: