AutumnTerm 2017 first half
It is always sad to come back to school without the old year six here but it is also really exciting to welcome the 45 new children to school who have joined reception. We hope that they will be really happy at our school for the next seven years.
Brenda and Gerry have asked me to pass on their thanks for the generous gift that you all contributed to. I donâ€™t think any amount of money can express our gratitude to both of them for the extra hours they put in to keep our children safe. Â Unfortunately I have to inform you that Gerry is unwell and neither he nor Brenda will be able to work for the foreseeable future. Â We wish him well.
Thank you also for the amazing gifts and cards that you gave to all the staff- they really do appreciate them.
No holidays will be authorised in September as it really affects the child socially due to the children re-bonding after the summer break. May and June is also another time we will not authorise holiday as it is when the children are either sitting or preparing to sit exams. At other times we will only authorise up to 5 days in exceptional circumstances.
If you take your children out of school then there is a chance that you might get fined up to ÂŁ120 per parent per child.
There is a huge correlation between how well your child does at school and how much time they have off. When you take your child out of school it also affects the rest of the class as teaching time has to be given to getting the absent child to catch up on what they have missed.
The school attendance target is 97%. We reached 96.99%, which is the lowest it has been for 8 years.
Meet your new teacher
This will be straight after school on Wednesday 6th September it is just to say hello to your childâ€™s new teacher so you can put a face to a name.
We are in summer (or winter) uniform up until half term, then we swap to winter uniform. We had lots of different colours of tights and socks this year, which did not look as smart as it could have. In summer the girls should wear white socks with the uniform and in winter the girls should wear blue tights or blue socks. The boys should wear grey socks all year and no trainer socks are permitted.
The coats should be plain blue or plain black and should not have logos on them.
Bows should be either blue or red and small. If the children are in summer uniform they can wear gingham bows.
Caps, berets and blazers should be worn both on the way into school and on the way home.
The school has a strict no jewellery policy, with no exceptions.
There will be no swimming this term as we make improvements to the pool.
The more the children read then the better they do at school. If the children can read then it means that they do not have to think about this when they are accessing other subjects. If they struggle reading then when they are say doing maths, they have to think about the reading first before the maths and this can cause reduced learning. We are really lucky with the support that we get from home. You hearing your children read makes a massive difference to how well they will do. We will also be giving out information at the meeting on the 5th October to give ideas about how you can further help get the children prepared for the really hard SAT tests that the children have to sit for reading.
The parking does seem to be getting worse. The Church Wardens have made it clear that if we continue to cause problems in the church car park, they will not allow us to use it. I know that most people park responsibly but please do not block people in. We had a great idea from a year 6 parent who has suggested a drop off point in the park and then the children in year 5 and 6 walk up the path and cross by the church. This would give them some independence and mean you could just drop and go. Â This arrangement is dependent on us having a crossing patrol, so is on hold for now. Â We are also looking at making the path surface better so we can use it all year around.
I have also contacted Essex Highways to see if they will put in yellow lines in a couple of places on Wigley Bush lane so that there is space for oncoming traffic to pull into. I have also contacted them about the trees that cause obstructions.
We also have the walking bus from the Bull Pub which is a great way to start the day and relives the traffic pressure.
Please remember that you can only park outside the Alms Houses if you are displaying a blue badge. If you park here it causes a nuisance to the school as it is dangerous. We will formally warn any drivers seen parking here and then the governors will ban persistent offenders from the school site. Please also do not park in the layby outside of the school at any time as it makes it really dangerous for children crossing the road.
If anyone has any other good ideas about making the parking better- please contact the office.
Food in school
If your child brings in a break time snack please make sure that it is only fruit. We do not allow cereal bars. If you bring in grapes or cherry tomatoes then it is a good idea to cut them in half to minimise choking risk.
We also have a strict no nuts policy at the school due to a number of children having severe allergies. This includes peanut butter in sandwiches and things like chicken satay as this also contains nuts. If you want any further information about packed lunches then please see the schoolâ€™s packed lunch policy on the website.
When we return it will be week two of the cycle. We will also be starting with Mondayâ€™s menu on Tuesday 5th (meatballs or omelette), after that on Wednesday it will be back to normal days.
Thank you to everyone who sponsored Liz Head in her fantastic Marathon run. She raised ÂŁ550 for the school.
Light up the Night
This will be on Tuesday 31st October between 5pm and 7pm. It is free and open to year 2 â€“year 6. It is a really old school fun evening with lots of craft activities, games, hotdogs and apple bobbing.
The schoolâ€™s Harvest Festival will be on Monday 25th September. We will be collecting food for CHESS- a homeless charity based in Chelmsford-, the residents of the Alms Houses and the Brentwood Food Bank. If the children could bring their offering with them to church that would be great.
Meetings this half term for parents
Reception â€“ To discuss how to help your children, how we assess the children and what reading looks like at St Peterâ€™s-Thursday 21st September 6.30 â€“ 7.30pm
Year 1 -To discuss the assessment system that your children will now be using-Thursday 28th September 6.30pm â€“ 7.30pm
Year 6- To discuss secondary schools, health education, SATs and York. -Thursday 7th September 6.30pm -7.30pm
Parents evenings Tuesday 3rd October 3.20- 7.00pm and Thursday 5th October 3.20- 5.00pm. These will be booked through the online booking system that will be active the week before. Not for Reception children â€“ parents have a baseline meeting with the teacher early this term.
Thursday 5th October is the School Association Annual General meeting followed by the governorsâ€™ information evening. At this meeting the governors will share the schoolâ€™s priorities for the year and run three workshops: Spelling and how we will be teaching it; Reading and how you can help your child at home so they are ready for the challenging tests and a final one on maths and what we mean by mastery and the changes in teaching approach.
Litter around school
At the end of school there is a lot of litter dropped by children who have been given snacks by their parents. If you do give your child a snack after school please can you make sure the rubbish goes home with you or is put into a bin.
New Site Manger
We have appointed a new site manager called Errol Strachan. He has run educational sites in the past and has a comprehensive knowledge of health and safety and is great at tasks such as carpentry and plastering.
The new storage buildings are now finished. One has got a kitchen in it and will be used by the School Association to store food and serve teas and snacks from at events. The second building is for the school to store maths, RE and science resources.
We have also had new gates fitted to the reception area. All the toilets in the school have been repaired. The cleaning company also carried out a deep clean of the school.
The kitchen also had its annual deep clean.