A Very Happy 2019
The Governors and Staff at St Thomas’ wish all our families a happy, healthy and peaceful 2019.
Epiphany: 6th January – The arrival of the Kings
New Year Newsletter 2019
As we broke up for Christmas Mrs Holt left to go on maternity leave until into the new school year in September. I am sure that you will all join with us in wishing her safe delivery. In her absence we have been very fortunate to be able to recruit a very experienced stand in, Mrs Gale Carter, who until Christmas was School Business Manager at another Stockport School. I am sure you will join me in welcoming her to the St Thomas’ family.
Miss McLaughlin has now left the school, and we unfortunately only got to say a fleeting goodbye to her as prior to her end date she was absent from school through an ongoing illness. We do hope that she will feel well enough to pay us a longer visit in due course.
We have also been joined by Mrs Parveen who replaces Miss Williams in Year 1, working alongside Miss Weekes. I am sure you will join me in welcoming Mrs Parveen to St Thomas’.
EYFS Inspire Days
On Monday 11th February and Tuesday 12th February our Nursery and Reception classes are holding an Inspire Event at Vernon Park. This event is an extremely important part of our Narrative Immersion approach to the children learning to read and write and can only go ahead if your child has an adult to share it with. Therefore, please make yourself available on either of the two days so that your child does not miss out on this important learning opportunity which is being led by Rebecca Bell, an internationally renowned Educational Consultant, who we have had the pleasure of working with over the past few years. It is really important that you sign up to attend and then do attend. Please see Mrs Rowles or Mrs Williams for more information.
Please be reminded that our school sweatshirts can only be bought from school and that our school colours are a particular shade of maroon and not red. We do sell the clothing and book bags at cost price so please try to buy the correct colours – buying from school would ensure that. We are currently negotiating with a new supplier to reduce prices but retain quality.
Attendance continues to be an issue and a significant percentage of absences are through families taking term time holidays. Please be advised that we ALWAYS refer term time holiday absences through to Educational Welfare and this could result in an Education Penalty Notice being issued that carries with it a £60 fine per pupil per parent. Hence, a two parent family taking away 3 children would incur a fine of £60 x number of children x each parent, which is £360. Also, should any child be off school repeatedly without acceptable reasons a medical note may be required from the GP and we can also request to have sight of medical appointment cards/forms.
There are an increasing number of children arriving late for school and we have requested that Educational Welfare visit school unannounced to do “Late at the Gate” checks. Persistent lateness means that your child will not have a smooth start to the school day and this is detrimental to their learning. We will be involving educational welfare to improve this situation from the start of January 2019. Persistent lateness may result in referral to our School Social Worker/School Age Plus Worker.
Despite my informing those parents/carers/grandparents who attended our Nativity that school policy is that photography and videoing of the performance is not allowed, it has been brought to my attention that there is video footage of parts of the nativity on Facebook. This is not only against policy, it also extremely dangerous for certain vulnerable children in the school. We are presently investigating who is responsible for posting the materials on social media and if/when we find out who it is I will take steps to ensure that they are not given access to future events in school involving the whole school. This is not a matter for discussion; it is extremely serious and I will ensure that I carry out my duty of care to those children. Either that or we impose a blanket ban to stop parents attending such events – which is totally unfair on the vast majority of our families.
The children who represented school in this year’s Young Entrepreneurs based their concept on conservation of our natural habitats and the creatures that live in these habitats. We worked closely with Chester Zoo staff on our Songbirds and those staff supported the children during the Young Entrepreneurs process. Therefore, the children who took part in YE, having seen the devastation caused by the recent fire at the Zoo, which killed a number of the rare birds, have decided to donate the profits they made from the YE project to the Zoo. We will be contacting them in due course to arrange for the handover of the cheque.
I am extremely proud of the group for their generosity of spirit as well as the fiscal generosity they have shown.
Further to the completion of the new Main Entrance/School Office extension and the necessary removal of the cherry blossom tree (the trauma of the building work killed it), and the fact that 2018 was the centenary of the signing of the Armistice, we decided to develop a small area for sitting and remembering those young men from St Thomas’ who went away to war and did not return. Hence, we have had the area paved and a bench installed, which we will be dedicating to those past pupils of St Thomas’ who fell. We will be having the area planted to include poppies, and we are also hoping to apply for a grant to incorporate individual brass plaques on the bricks of the adjacent walls. Gary our Site Manager has been invaluable in carrying out research on the names that are listed on our War Memorial in the Hall, but we are lacking some details for individuals named up there. If you know of any of the men and details of their year of birth/death/regiment we would love to hear from you.
We would also be interested in adding the names of any former pupils who may have lost their lives in any subsequent conflicts, but we would be reliant on other people informing us of who these brave young men were.
If you have any details of any of the above information please send it to Mrs Gray at email@example.com. Or let us have the information in any other form if you do have some to share. We will be checking records and making our own enquiries.
Dates for Your Diary
At this very early stage of term the following are the only ”whole school” dates we have in the diary as yet:
- Half Term Holiday: Monday 18th February – Friday 22nd February
- Thursday 4th April: Parents/Carers Consultation Evening 3pm – 6pm
- Friday 5th April: Easter Service: Church – 2pm End of Spring Term – 3pm