Dear Pupils and Parents,
Welcome back to your Summer term at Manor Fields. I hope that you have all had a wonderful, restful break and are ready to enjoy all the learning opportunities we are busily planning! Our focus for much of this term will be on ‘active learning’, using our lovely grounds to enhance lessons across the curriculum……let’s hope that the glimpse of summer we all enjoyed at the beginning of the Easter break is the taste of what is to come!
The sunshine certainly seems to be encouraging our children into school bright and early. If your children walk to school alone please do be aware that the playground is not supervised in the mornings, so the children arriving earlier than 8:30am need to take real care if they are racing around or tempted to use the trim trail. Accidents can happen, and I would hate to think of children lying injured with no one to raise the alarm! This is particularly important in the coming week as a new and rather exciting addition to our outdoor playing equipment is being installed, which you may have noticed as you came into school this morning. Many thanks to our wonderful MFSA, and for all of you who have supported their fund raising events this year – the climbing wall is not only great fun, but also an excellent means of improving upper arm strength and with it, fine motor pen control.
The dates column seems a little empty at the moment, but that certainly doesn’t mean that the Summer term will be a quiet one. We have only been back 4 days and already Manor Fields girls’ and boys’ football teams have secured footballing success at the Howe Green tournament. We are currently finalising dates for a range of other events, including sports days, open days and the summer music concert so the calendar is likely to fill up fast.
Ms Jarman is unfortunately still unwell, so I will be continuing as Acting Head this term. I will be trying to get out on to the playground before school whenever I can so please do catch me if you have any concerns or queries.
Acting Head Teacher
It is with pleasure I extend a warm welcome to all the children, staff and parents at the start of my second year in post. It was lovely to see so many of you on the playground this morning – despite the weather!! Mrs Smith and I shall be trying to ‘meet and greet’ you on a more regular basis, so please do feel free to approach us and introduce yourself.
We had a lovely assembly this morning about some of the exciting changes that have happened in school over the summer holidays. You may have noticed the new playground surface, and coordinating the design of the playground markings will be the first project of our school council which will be elected by the end of this week. We also have new class names which reflect our focus this year on developing scientific enquiry skills across the school. Another key priority will be the development of our behaviour policy to promote and reward ‘active learning’.
Electronic recording of all rewards and sanctions will enable us to introduce a merit scheme that will recognise individual effort and achievement and we will be holding a parent workshop later this month to share more details with you. This focus on ‘active learning’ will also mean that we will be making good use of our wonderful grounds this year, ensuring that we promote them as a valuable learning environment. All classes will be using Forest School regularly so children will be asked to bring in a suitably scruffy set of clothes/ footwear so they can fully enjoy the experience without worrying about damaging their shiny new uniforms! With uniform in mind I have to note how wonderful our school community looked this morning. All the children (and staff!) looked so rested and smart and our collective challenge is to keep them looking that wonderful for the rest of the school year.
Welcome back to what is already proving to be a very busy term!!
As usual, I request that you look at the dates on our weekly newsletter to keep abreast of up and coming events - the bold dates being additions - as well as looking at the newsletter and on class doors!! We use a range of forums to keep you informed of all the exciting events happening and as the school is such a hive of activity, with many added extras it is imperative that you watch out for notices.
I am pleased to let you know that the new website should be up and running by next week. Please be aware there may be some teething problems and I welcome constructive and helpful feedback via the parent email route. email@example.com
It is with regret that I have to inform you that Mrs Maclaren, a newly appointed teacher has resigned due to an ongoing health issue. We were lucky to have Mrs Mather and Mrs Macallister covering the class during her period of absence and I can happily inform you that they will continue to teach the reception class ensuring continuation and stability for the children.
I am also pleased to inform you of our happy news - Mrs Watchorn and Mrs Kerslake are both pregnant! Mrs Watchorn will be starting her maternity leave after the Whitsun break and Mrs Mann, our SENCo, is covering her absence. Mrs Kerslake will continue teaching for the rest of the term.
I hope that you found your child’s report informative and timely. It was decided to write these in
the second term so that your child’s next step target could be addressed in partnership by the school and yourselves, and not lost over the summer holiday. I hope that you will be able to attend tomorrow’s open morning so that you can look through your child’s books with them. At the end of term there will be a summary sheet of year end achievement and a parent consultation will also be offered in the week beginning Monday 4th July. Dates and times to be confirmed.
May I wish everyone a very Happy New Year! Although the Christmas Holiday is one in which we can relax, meet up with family and friends – or even fly off somewhere to enjoy a holiday –we are now back to reality and, after starting with 2 very packed training days, the staff are hitting the ground running!!
The children’s first assembly was about New Year’s Resolutions and Individual Liberty – the ‘Value’ for our assemblies this term. We talked about the opportunities that a good education and good choices provide for us – both now and for the future – and how fortunate we are to have individual liberty to make our own choices.
I am sure you would all extend a warm welcome to our new Year 4 teacher, Miss Cooper and to our returning INCo, Mrs Mann. We would like to wish Mrs Knox all the best for her upcoming maternity leave and look forward to seeing her back next year.
Last term, Miss Stott and a team of staff and parent helpers dedicated a lot of time to sorting, colour coding and organising all the school books into ‘guided’ and ‘independent’ reading books. The children’s individual liberty is being reinforced by giving them the opportunity to choose their own reading books to practise reading at home.
I want to outline this change and the rationale behind it so that you may understand the difference between ‘shared’, ‘guided’ and ‘independent’ reading.
Shared – the teacher will select a high quality passage from a book, poem, piece of non-fiction text to read with the whole class and use it for teaching specific objectives and skills.
Guided reading – a book/text will be chosen that is above the reading band/ability of the children in the group and it is in this focused session that reading skills, including vocabulary extension, inference, deduction and decoding will be explicitly taught.
Independent reading – children will select a book in which they can read at least 95% of the text so that they can practise their reading skills AND read for pleasure. Many children like familiarity and will select a known book to re-read. This is perfectly acceptable as they are reading for pleasure! (even though it can be challenging for you to hear the same story repeatedly!) They can read to a toy, sibling, themselves as long as they are practising reading.