Willingham Primary School

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1 27 th June 2014 Dear Parents and Carers, As the end of the school year fast approaches, I wanted to share with you some of the work and successes of the year. Our main priorities for the year have been: Raising attainment and progress of pupils. Improving communication between school and home. Throughout the year, we have worked together with governors and parents to address these areas for improvement, and, whilst there always remains much to do, below are some of main achievements so far: 1. Introducing mid-year reports to parents, so that there is enough time within the same year for the parents/carers and teacher to work together to make sure your child achieves good progress. 2. Additional opportunities to meet your child s class teacher, following the final summary report to parents. 3. Giving parents/carers a clear set of written expectations for Reading, Writing and Mathematics, so that they are better able to give support at home. 4. Improving arrangements for helping children to settle into their new classes (e.g. 2 Changeover Days in the Summer Term, this year on 8 th and 18 th July, when your child will meet their new teacher and class, visits to school for new children) 5. Improved sense of nurture, reported within the school, Honeypot Pre-School and the After School Club. 6. Inviting the Local Authority into school to carry out a comprehensive Teaching and Learning Review of the quality of our provision. 7. Ongoing commitment to high-quality staff training, especially in key areas, such as English and Mathematics teaching and assessment. 8. Ensuring greater accuracy of assessment in Writing and Mathematics, through ongoing staff training. 9. Half termly teacher assessment of every child s progress, reported to the Head and Senior Leadership Team. 10. Running a wide range of high-impact, support programmes for children when they need them. 11. Regular measurement of the impact of catch up and support programmes, where children need them. 12. Regular monitoring of the quality of teaching, using evidence from different sources (e.g. speaking to the children, observing lessons, drop-in visits to all classrooms, looking at children s work). 13. Keeping 13 classes for 2014/15, despite significant financial constraints. 14. New, child-friendly and interactive website, (which, to date has received over 600,000 hits), used by children and other family members for a range of purposes (e.g. diary, videoing children s performances, pupil competitions, residential trip blogging etc.) 15. Open access to all teachers. 16. Termly Open Evenings to update parents on the school s progress against the Improvement Plan.

2 17. Termly Parents Forum meetings, run by a parent governor, with agenda items set by parents, feeding back to the Governing Body. 18. School Council, overseen by two staff who facilitate the work of this elected group of class representatives. A weekly standing item in Staff Meetings is given to ensure that pupils voice is given a regular forum in which to be heard by all teaching staff. The School Council have also attended a full Governors Meeting last term to present to them on the important work they do in the school. 19. Ongoing commitment to providing day trips for pupils across the school and for Years Five and Six, residential trips. We have begun the process of reviewing all trips planned to support the curriculum and to ensure that they remain both educational and fun! Changes for September Mrs Hill, Miss Nuzum, Mrs Caddoo and Mrs Millard will be leaving Willingham at the end of this term. We wish them the very best for the future and thank them for their hard work on behalf of the children during their time here. Following a rigorous recruitment process, drawn from a large pool of strong candidates, we have been very successful in our appointment of additional teaching staff, to complement a strong existing team. Below is a list of the class teachers and the year groups they will be teaching from September Mrs Jo Bailey Mrs Gemma Thomas Miss Karen Gill Mrs Gemma Ayers Mrs Joanna Hodgson Mrs Laura Latham Mrs Lianna Hodson Miss Ruth Watson Mrs Alyson Hammersley Mrs Katie Shipp Miss Sarah Barnett Mr Simon Wilson Mrs Aartje Veeneman Mrs Lucy Palmer-Jones Miss Frances Cocks Mrs Nadine Horne Reception Class Reception Class Year One Year One (Special Needs Co-ordinator) Year One class sharing with Mrs Ayers Year Two (Lower School Assistant Head) Year Two class sharing with Mrs Latham Year Two Year Three/Four (Upper School Assistant Head) Year Three/Four class sharing with Mrs Hammersley Year Three/Four Year Three/Four Year Five Year Five Year Six Year Six Release Time You may be aware that it is a legal requirement for all teachers to be released from their classroom duties on a weekly basis for 10% of their contracted teaching time, usually equating to approximately half a day per week. The purpose of this release time is for Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA). Some teachers have additional responsibilities (e.g. Maths Leaders, Special Needs Co-ordinators etc). They are given additional release time to carry out these very important roles, which benefit the learning of all children across the school.

3 Release Time (contd.) We cover this release time in a number of ways. The school is fortunate enough to have two very committed and effective Higher Level Teaching Assistants who are both experienced at working with children across the school and teaching a range of subjects. Miss Varty and Mrs Pipe will be covering most of the teachers PPA time, working in classes for approximately half a day. Maths and Literacy will continue to be taught by your child s class teacher. From September all pupils from Year Three (the beginning of Key Stage Two), will be taught French by their class teachers. September Classes A great deal of time and thought has gone into allocating pupils to classes for September. A number of factors are taken into consideration, with an aim to achieving parallel classes which are as balanced as possible. Parents and carers will be informed at the end of school on Monday 30 th June of the children s classes for September. Parents will receive individual letters with this information. New class lists will be displayed outside each classroom on Monday 30 th June and Tuesday 1 st July. Changeover Days 8 th and 18 th July Your child will be spending 2 days between now and the end of term with their new class teachers, so that they can get to know each other and begin to gel as a new class group. We received very positive feedback last year from children and parents alike, that this very much supported a successful transition into the following year. We welcome your views this year, too. End of Year Summary Reports 8 th July 2014 This year, we introduced a Mid-Year Report for your child, allowing you and the class teacher to share detailed information of your child s current levels of attainment mid-way through the year. The main reason for this change has been to allow the teacher and parents to work together as a team, supporting your child in achieving their next steps and ensuring improved in-year progress. In addition to this, we are also sending parents an End of Year Summary Report which gives an overview of the year s highlights. It also gives information about your child s previous year s End of Year attainment and this year s End of Year attainment. A brief comment will also be written by your child s class teacher and myself. Taking on board parents comments, following the Mid-Year Report introduction, a clear explanation sheet will accompany the report, to help parents understand the significance of National Curriculum Levels. Reception Class Reports For children in Reception, parents will receive a more detailed End of Year Report, giving information about your child s current stage of development, against specific areas of learning. Art Exhibition and Year Six Enterprise Evening This annual celebration of the children s work will take place on 10 th July from 6pm. Art and Design work by every child will be exhibited at this event. The children are rightly very proud of their creations and gain a huge amount of pleasure, knowing that others appreciate and enjoy their work. The Year Six pupils will also be running stalls, selling their wares.

4 Art Exhibition and Year Six Enterprise Evening(contd.) The funds raised will go towards the Year Six End of Year party. We hope that you will be able to join us for the Art Exhibition, which will be a genuine celebration of the children s achievements. Tuck Shop Children in Reception Class and Key Stage One are entitled to a piece of fruit each day, free of charge. If your child is in Key Stage 2, tuck can be purchased daily from the school tuck shop, through a token system. Token cards can be purchased from the school office - 2 for 10 tokens. If your child is in Key Stage 2 and entitled to Free School Meals, tokens can be issued free of charge by the school. Please remind your child to come to the office, who hold a list of children entitled to Free School Meals, and ask a member of office staff for a tuck card. Visits and Visitors We have been delighted to have a number of visitors into school this term, including the Raptor Foundation, where children were able to touch various birds of prey and watch them fly over their heads! We had a visit from Clyde, a Hearing Dog for the Deaf. He came with his owner who explained to the children the amazing work he, and dogs like him do. We were all awe-inspired by the stories told. Trips Both Year 5 and Year 6 pupils are given the opportunity to participate in a residential trip; this year, Year 6 have visited the Isle of Wight and Year 5 will be visiting Kingswood Centre in West Runton. We are in the process of reviewing the trips we run, but are fully committed to this important enriching ongoing provision. Several exciting day trips have also taken place (with some still to happen!) Year 1 visited Hedingham Castle last week. Children from across the school have throughout the year, participated in inter-school sports events including those based at Cottenham Village College, supported by older children. Reception children visited Wood Green Animal Shelter earlier this month. Year 5 visited the Science Museum in Cambridge. Year 6, as I write, are returning from a week s residential trip to the Isle of Wight. Year 5 are due to go on a residential trip to Kingswood next week. These events provide the children with invaluable opportunities to learn a host of important life skills (e.g. leadership, co-operation etc) as well as simply allowing them to make great memories and to have fun together. Parent Consultation July 9 th at 3.30pm This meeting is for those parents who wish to discuss their child s End of Year Summary Report with their child s current class teacher. If you wish to make an appointment, please sign up on your child s class door for a slot, between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Music Event July 9 th at 7.30pm Following the success of last summer s musical celebration, we are running this again. We very much hope that as many families as possible will be able to join us for this family event at which refreshments will be served.

5 Sports Day 7 th July all day That wonderful time of year has come round once again Sports Day! It will take place on Monday 7 th July with an anticipated start of 10am. Apart from Foundation Stage for whom Sports Day will be just in the morning, this event will run for the full day for all other year groups. Children who normally have a school dinner, will be provided with a packed lunch. This year the format will be different and we would like to invite you to spend the day with us and participate in the sporting events. Further information will follow on Monday next week. As we will be spending most of the day outside, please ensure that your child wears sun block on this day and brings a sun hat. In the event of wet weather, sports day will be held on Monday 14 th July. Children who normally have a school dinner, will be provided with a packed lunch. Parental Support Thank you to all parents and carers who have provided invaluable help throughout the school year, whether in the classroom, at pool side or on trips. We very much look forward to seeing you at the planned end of term events. We thank you for your ongoing support of the work of the school and its efforts to provide the best possible learning experience for your child. Yours sincerely Vyv Francis Headteacher Key Dates 30 th June Parents informed of new classes 30 th June 4 th July Cottenham Village College Primary Week for Year Six pupils 2 nd July 4 th July Year 5 Residential at Kingswood 3 rd July Year 6 Sports Festival at CVC 7 th July Sports Day 8 th July & 18 th July Changeover Days 8 th July Reports to parents 9 th July Optional Parent consultation evening to discuss End of Year Reports 9 th July Music Event 7.30pm 10 th July Year 2/3 trip to Gulliver Land 10 th July Art Exhibition, Business Enterprise Evening and Meet the Teacher event 6pm 11 th July Year 5 dress rehearsal 14 th July Reserve Sports Day 14 th July Year 5 Performance 7pm 16 th 18 th July Swavesey Village College Primary Days for Year Six pupils 17 th July Year 5 Performance 7pm 18 th July WSA End of Term Disco 23 rd July Year Six Leavers Assembly Year 6 parents are invited to attend 10.15am

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