Welcome back everyone – I hope you’ve all had a wonderful, enjoyable and relaxing summer break. Children have settled in really well this week and it’s been wonderful to welcome our new Reception class to Pedmore too. There’s lots to update you and remind you about in this newsletter; if there’s anything that you need to ask please contact school – 01384 818955 or hscontact email.
Talking to Children About the Death of The Queen
As the news broke yesterday evening, there has not been much opportunity to discuss this sad event with children before the weekend. We will be doing more with children in school over the coming week. We can mourn her death but also celebrate her life. If you want to talk with your child, or your child brings things up, it can be difficult to know how or what to say. Here are a couple of ways which may be helpful:
We can feel many different emotions when somebody dies. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Invite children to share how they are feeling and do not be afraid to share your own feelings too. Sometimes it is easier to describe how an emotion makes our body feel than find the right word for it. A child may not show the same emotional response as an adult, and it is alright if your child does not respond in the way you expect. There may also be a delayed response as children pick up on, and often mirror, the emotions shared by adults around them. You might want to explain that the country and world will spend time mourning together – this is because many people will feel sad and want to show respect for who the Queen was. We can be empathetic, thinking about how the family and close friends of the Queen must be feeling at this sad time.
We can remember the many ways in which the Queen served our nation and countries around the world. The Queen was also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Chief of the Armed Forces and Head of State.
Curriculum Newsletters and Class Update Newsletters
Next week we will send out curriculum newsletters, through ParentMail, so you know what each class will be focusing on for the coming term. You will receive three of these throughout the year – one at the beginning of each term. We are also introducing class update newsletters. You will receive these, again through ParentMail, each month, on average (there are 9 planned to be sent over the course of this academic year). These will include updates on what children have been learning and will include some photographs. The first one of these will be sent out at the end of September and hopefully will help keep you up-to-date with what children have been learning in the classroom.
Re-Introduction of Events After Covid
As we all know, the Covid pandemic had a huge impact on what schools could do and offer to both children and parents. Many year groups have missed out on opportunities and we had to limit many of the events and activities we would have previously done. This all started to change during the summer term – first being the re-introduction of whole-school assemblies and acts of worship. Our main focus during the summer term was making sure that our Year 6 children were able to take part in as many events as possible leading up to their leaving – something which the previous two Year 6 cohorts had missed out on. We are now re-introducing many of the events that we used to hold in school, and there are many children and parents who have had no experience, or knowledge, of these. You will find a timetable of events below, and there will be more information coming out before each event giving more details.
We want to get back to what we were able to offer previously. Obviously, there is a lot of planning and organising involved and so far, we have only planned for the remainder of this term. We will be adding new dates and events all the time for subsequent terms and will let you know when we have more information on these. Please note that these dates may be subject to change – we limit this as much as possible but sometimes events out of our control force us to have to make changes.
|Event||Date & Time||Extra Info|
|Phonics Workshop||15th September @ 4:00pm||Held in hall – enter from staff car park.|
|Individual Photographs||22nd September – am||Children in school uniform. Bring P.E. kit if required.|
|Reception Welcome Assembly||29th September @ 2:30pm||Reception parents invited.|
|MacMillan Coffee Event||Date TBC||Parents invited.|
|Parents Evenings (1-6 only)||4th & 5th October – evenings||In person or online. More details to follow.|
|Harvest Celebrations||6th October||Donations for FoodBank gratefully received.|
|Anti-Bullying Week||w/b 14th November||Activities in school.|
|Parents’ Book Drop-In||16th November @ 3:45-5:45||Parents invited.|
|Reception Stay & Play Meetings||15th, 16th, 17th November||Parents invited to 1 of 3 sessions. More details TBC.|
|Children-In-Need||18th November||Donations gratefully received.|
|Reception Nativity||2nd December @ 9:30am||More details to follow.|
|KS1 Nativity||7th December – am & pm||Year 2 parents @ 9:30am; Year 1 Parents @ 2:00pm.|
|Year 3 & 4 Carol Concert (in Church)||Date TBC||Parents invited.|
|Christingle Services||15th December||Children only.|
|Year 3 Violins||Ongoing throughout the year||Whole-class violin tuition. Weekly lessons.|
|Year 5 Samba Drumming||Ongoing throughout the year||Whole-class drum tuition. Weekly lessons.|
|Year 4 Swimming||Whole of the Autumn term||More details to follow.|
|Forest School Sessions||Different dates for each class||See below.|
Forest school sessions have been planned in this year for the following year groups: Reception, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 4. There will be specific focus days for years 3, 5 & 6 later in the year.
School Trips & Visits
For the next academic year, each year group will have one trip or visit planned. We had previously, pre-pandemic, had two visits for each year group. We have decided for the next academic year to have just one. The main reason for this is the rising costs of transport, which we have to pass on to you as parents as we are not able to fund these through school. As an example, an average local trip would cost around £350-£400 for the coach, with the recent Year 2 trip to Weston costing nearly £700 for the coach alone. With the current cost-of-living crisis, with increases in everything, we didn’t want to place any extra burden on, what for many are, already-struggling home budgets. The planned trips/visits are as follows:
Autumn term – Year 1 & Year 3.
Spring term – Year 4 & Year 5
Summer term – Reception, Year 2 & Year 6.
Details of exact dates and where each trip will be going will be sent closer to the time.
All children will have days when they’re not able to come to school, whether that’s due to illness, a family emergency, etc. and the occasional day off is unlikely to affect their education. However, missing too much school can seriously affect a child’s learning. Whilst there is no specific attendance target set by government, schools are expected to set their own, with 95% or higher being considered good. This allows for a child to miss 9.5 days each year and still have attendance of 95%. The government defines ‘persistent absence’ of 90% or below.
95% attendance (9.5 days missed each year) is the equivalent of nearly 50 lessons missed.
90% attendance (19 days missed each year) is the equivalent of at least 95 lessons missed.
80% attendance (38 days missed each year) is the equivalent of at least 190 lessons missed.
As you can see, it can make a big difference. Poor attendance at primary school often continues into secondary school, and statistics show that there is a huge difference in outcomes at GCSE for students with less than 90% attendance and those with 95% or above.
We will be sending a half-termly attendance report out for each child, detailing their attendance to date. We will be contacting parents whose child’s attendance falls below 95% or lower.
A reminder that children are allowed a watch and one set of stud earrings when at school. All jewellery must be removed for PE. If a child cannot remove their earrings, then they will not be allowed to participate in PE until such a time as they can be removed.
If your child receives first aid in school, you will received a first aid notification through ParentMail, and a phone call depending on the nature of the first aid required. In the case of head bumps, a phone call will always be made.
If you have any photographs of visits to the Commonwealth Games, please send a copy into school so we can put them all together on our display!
Heritage Open Day Weekends
A link to information below.