It’s Christmas week in school and that can only mean one thing….a wonderful roast turkey dinner and lots of Brussel sprouts to look forward to! Whether you are a fan of the traditional Brussel or not, they are just one of the things that makes Christmas all the more memorable for us, that and the endless repeats on the box! Whatever you do with Christmas and however you chose to spend it, the most important thing is having time with your nearest and dearest; something that we’ll be doing on many occasions in school this week – coming together as one!
Today, Mrs Weston and I kicked off the festivities with a good sing-a-long in the hall, going through some of the carols, which are being performed in Friday’s service. This service will be led by our Year 5 children, under the watchful eye of Ms Challinor. I am really pleased with the sound that our children make when they sing and I know that they will do us proud on Friday once again. I popped my head into the hall last week when Ms Challinor was leading singing practice and the sound was wonderful! We hope that all parents and relatives can join us from 9:45 am this Friday. Please note that if your child is in Year 5 or if you have a child who is receiving a Golden Dove Award for the term, you will have reserved seating at the front and you’ll be asked to take your seats first. Golden Dove parents need to arrive at 9:15 am and then Year 5 parents should arrive at 9:25 am to take their seats. The remaining seating will be on a first come, first served basis from 9:30 am.
Before that though, tomorrow is the turn of Key Stage 1 and the Early Years. They will be performing their Christmas nativity play in church. I must give a ‘shout out’ to Poppy’s Mum and Dad and also to Dorothy’s Mum (Learning Ladybirds) for helping us set up the staging this morning. We are so grateful for all you do to support our school and what we are trying to achieve for the good of the children! We took the decision to do the performance in church this year as we wanted to get out into the local community, also we felt it would make it more atmospheric. The seating capacity is just the same in church as it is in the school hall, but there is a little bit more room at the back should we need it. Having the stage in church has also meant that we have had more space in our school hall on the run up to Christmas and this was certainly useful when we had our Fayre as few weeks ago!
I was amazed by the total amount raised a few weeks ago at our Christmas Fayre – £1200. It was a real pleasure to see children past, present and future supporting our school cause and also many new parents, alongside our existing ones. I always say to any prospective parents, please come along to see how magical the evening really is because it just sums up what our school is all about – family! When I took up the position of Headteacher about 3 ½ years ago, I was determined to put families at the heart of everything that we do and build positive relationships. Much of our work in school is about bridging the gap between home and school, for we know that this can impact favourably on a child’s ‘Coton experience.’ Thank you to every parent who supported by running a stall or by making games. Frankie’s Dad (Dragonflies) did such a marvellous job to design and make a giant ‘buzzer’ wire and Teegan’s Dad (Busy Bees) made some excellent Christmas signs – you may have seen them in the hall as you made your way to the fabulous cake stall! Finally, thank you to the FPTA body as a whole and most notably, Aisha & Jim Mack and Emma Best. And of course, the whole staff team! We couldn’t have done it without you.
Speaking of bridging the gap between home and school, it was great to see so many parents and little ones for my termly Cuppa and Cake last Tuesday (although this time it was a Bacon Buttie and Brew). One of things I discussed with the parents who attended was our changing provision for children with Special Educational Needs. We have made great strides forward this term and the staff have worked really hard to improve the paperwork going out of the school, to outline all that we do for individual children. Much of what we do has been unknown in the past and it is important for transparency, that children, parents and staff are all on the same page in terms of what each child is working on. Also at the meeting, I expressed a wish for all parents and carers to spread the word about how we communicate messages from inside of school. It has come to my attention that many parents are not receiving letters, they are often stuck at the bottom of bags, or parents are struggling to get text messages and web alerts. A huge effort has been made from our school office to air announcements in timely fashion but we know that some parents are just not reaching us. We are currently looking at the purchasing of an app that displays all the information for parents in one place however, in the meantime – sign up for the website alerts and print off the diary dates from the website. All of the dates are displayed for the whole year.
Speaking of dates, here is the ‘run down’ for what we are doing in school to celebrate Christmas this week:
KS2 children watching the EYFS/KS1 nativity
Final rehearsal for EYFS/KS1 nativity
KS2 singing rehearsal for Friday’s church service
Matinee performance of EYFS/KS1 nativity in church (1:30pm start)
Wednesday @ 6pm
Evening performance of EYFS/KS1 nativity in church
Christmas Jumper Day (Children to wear a festive knit + uniform)
Christmas Dinner as a whole school
Y5 Christmas service in church (+ Golden Dove Awards)
Children to bring party clothes to change into
Christmas Parties and a visit from Santa
(Food being provided already!)
I had a lovely time this past week at Homework Club, working with some of the children on their spelling and times tables. Remember, we are trying to get the children into good habits for when they leave us for secondary school so, rather than struggle at home, advise them to come on a Tuesday lunchtime. There really is no excuse for not doing home learning when we have support in place during the school day. For all children, the extra practice will really do a power of good, especially with the challenging school curriculum as it is now. Every Tuesday, I’ll be there to sit with the children and talk through anything that they are not sure about. That being said, we will not be expecting compulsory home-learning from the children over the Christmas period, they should have the time and space to enjoy this time of year. However, should they wish to do some extra, there are some pages provided in the Home-Learning Diary, in readiness.
There were a number of children who received a ‘Special Mention’ this past Friday. Well done to the following children:
Evelyn (Learning Ladybirds) – For fantastic confidence in saying her lines in the nativity
Harry (Learning Ladybirds) – For fantastic confidence in saying her lines in the nativity
Frankie (Dazzling Dragonflies) – For super work with mental maths and CLIC tests
Oban (Dazzling Dragonflies) – For being a lovely helpful member of the class
Elsie (Curious Caterpillars) – For great reading comprehension
Henry (Curious Caterpillars) – For supporting others in Maths
Tamsin (Busy Bees) – For a great story and super effort with punctuation
Ava (Busy Bees) – For constant small steps of improvement in Maths
A huge well done to the Dragonflies for being the best attended class this week also. They attained a percentage of 98.62%. They have earned some extra playtime when it is convenient for Mrs Jones or Mrs Abbott.
Before I leave you to enjoy the final week, just a few reminders. Firstly, please can I respectfully remind you that children should not be playing on the climbing frame equipment prior to the bell ringing in the morning. We really don’t want to spoil the fun, but we have to make sure that adequate supervision is provided. Secondly, whilst our attendance is to be celebrated as a school, and many children will be given a reward for 100% this week, lateness still remains to be an issue for a small minority of families. Next term, we will be focusing on this, so that we can maximise the amount of learning time for every child.
Enjoy the week – ho, ho, ho!
This week’s Blog Box Question: Who designed the giant buzzer game for the fayre?