Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome back to school. I hope you all had a lovely summer. We cannot complain about the weather this year. It must be the best summer we have had for a number of years.
Welcome Back Children
The children returned sparkling today and it is to your credit that they looked so smart and well prepared. Thank you for the time and effort you have put in over the holiday to sort their uniforms and school shoes and to make sure they have PE Kit. If you haven't done so already could I remind you of the importance of having everything labelled with your child's name. It is so distressing to see pupils and parents searching for "lost" clothing. Coats are often forgotten when labelling and usually these are the first items to go missing along with jumpers.
Book bags, ties, and badges are all available from the office if you need to purchase them.
I am quite happy to accept any all black, logo free shoes including trainers as long as they confirm to the all black, logo free rule. This does include laces. The girls may wear white shoes or sandals with their summer dresses.
I am delighted to welcome Miss Deborah Rainford as Year 1 Teacher. Miss Rainford is covering Mrs Hartley's maternity leave. Mrs Michelle Christiansen and Mrs Vanessa Foote join us as lunchtime supervisors and Mr Sean McCowan has been appointed to the post of Vulnerable Pupil Support Assistant. We hope you will all be very happy at St. Philip's.
The school has been cleaned and refurbished over the summer holidays. It is a pleasure to welcome the children back to a school that is freshly painted in many areas, scrubbed and cleaned and in pristine condition throughout.
We now have a designated Nurture Base which has been furnished and equipped to a high standard and along Nurture Group lines. Mrs Swift and Mrs Mather who have undertaken extensive training and preparation will work with small groups of children in this base for part of each week.
We have a range of topics to be studied this year by all classes so watch out for the Curriculum Topics Map which I will send out shortly. As always we ask for your support at home with projects and topics. Talking to your children about what they are learning at school helps them to appreciate the importance of their work.
Reading at home is vital but it is important to make this a pleasurable activity, not a chore, so a short burst of reading before bed is fine. Older children, of course, may choose to read for lengthy periods and this is to be encouraged. They may also opt to use the Internet to support their learning which is great. However, please be always mindful of Internet Safety and aware what sites they are visiting. I have arranged for an E-Safety talk for all parents and pupils in Key Stage 2 during the afternoon of Thursday September 19th. Full details to follow.
A Curriculum Information Meeting is planned for 12th September from 6.00pm when the class teachers will be talking about classroom practice and procedures and the topics your children will be covering. I do hope you make every effort to attend this very important meeting.
The school website is in the process of being extensively updated and I want this to be as informative for parents as possible. The Diary of Events in School 2013-2014 is already on the site together with the term dates and downloadable forms for the administration of Medicine and Parent Permission Slips for educational visits. Curriculum topics, homework details and Extra Curricular Clubs will all be published on the website shortly.
Attendance and Punctuality
Could all parents please note that school starts at 8.45am. It is important that your child lines up with their peers at the start of the day to give them the best possible start for learning and friendships.
As you are all aware, I can no longer authorise holidays in term time so I do ask that you give full consideration to the consequences of taking your child out of school for a family holiday during school time. I have written a separate letter explaining my interpretation of "exceptional circumstances" and how the general rule will be for me refuse requests for holidays unless there will be a detrimental effect on the child's emotional well-being.
Finally, the happiness and security of the children is paramount to their well-being and learning and we will endeavour to do everything possible to ensure that every child feels safe, secure, and cared for throughout the day. Should you have any concerns at all, please do not hesitate to contact me at school.