January 2018 Newsletter
Happy New Year
As we launch ourselves into another hectic term all at St Thomas’ hope that you had a Merry Christmas and that 2018 brings you all the health, wealth and happiness you wish for yourselves and your loved ones.
This term will be arduous for all our children especially Y1, Y2 and Y6 as they build up to their Phonics Health Check and the SATs which will be upon us soon after we come back from the Easter holidays. We ask that you give them every help you possibly can with their learning at home – hearing your child read; reading to them; encouraging their individual learning and encouraging them to complete their homework. The biggest help you can be will be to ensure that they attend regularly and on time. I know beyond doubt that we all want the best possible outcomes for all our children and with hard work and resilience on all parts I am very confident we will help every child to reach their full academic potential. We will of course be offering every child opportunity to take part in educational visits, learning first hand through hands on learning.
We are extremely fortunate that we have been selected to be part of an exciting educational initiative in partnership with Chester Zoo, using “Birds” as a theme to introduce the children to many new concepts to do with scientific enquiry and conservation. The children will all receive in school tuition from specialists from Chester Zoo and will also get to visit the zoo. The visit will include specialist workshops as well as opportunity to spend a full day at the zoo. This will be happening relatively soon so please ensure that you keep checking your child’s book bag for letters about this. Our staff have already had their input and are excited to be part of the project, which the Zoo is funding.
Miss Gee is presently off sick but hopes to be back shortly. In the meantime we have a very capable supply teacher called Ms Turya working alongside Miss Thornhill to ensure continuity for the class.
As you may have noticed, Mrs Gaskell is now very heavily pregnant. She had hoped to continue working up to 15th January, but as the birth of her first child could be rather more imminent, and we didn’t want any deliveries of that nature in the Year 2 classroom, Mrs Gaskell will be going on maternity leave as of 3pm this afternoon. In her absence we have appointed Miss Emily Cooper, an experienced and highly regarded teacher to cover Mrs Gaskell’s maternity leave. Miss Cooper will join us on Monday, having been in school to meet the children and do a handover with Mrs Gaskell just before Christmas. I am sure that you will all join me in wishing Mrs Gaskell a safe delivery, and welcoming Miss Cooper to St Thomas’. Mrs Gaskell is planning to return to her post just before the end of the Summer term, although we all hope to have a glimpse of the new baby (and Mrs Gaskell of course!) well before then. Miss Williams will continue to work with the class.
Whilst I congratulate most parents/carers for ensuring that every child is wearing their school sweatshirt/uniform, I am concerned that there has been a lowering of standards in children having correct PE kit; and also an increase in the number of children flouting the rule about jewellery.
The correct PE kit consists of:
- Plain white tee-shirt/tee-shirt with school logo (available from school)
- Black shorts (or leggings if legs are to be covered for religious/cultural reasons)
- Black pumps
- For outdoor PE the children can wear trainers and a tracksuit
If your child does not have pumps for indoor PE they will be required to do it in bare feet.
The rule regarding jewellery is stated in the School Brochure as:
“We do not allow jewellery in school including earrings except for small studs and a wrist watch, and cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage or for injury resulting from wearing of jewellery. Your child will be asked to remove any jewellery and it will be stored safely until the and of the school day.”
For PE all jewellery ie studs and watches MUST be removed. If your child cannot remove the studs you MUST provide plasters to cover the studs
Please be clear that we will be having a crackdown on other forms of jewellery and adornments including oversized hair bows (Jojo bows I believe they are know as) and also any headbands that have protrusions; this include ones that look like cat ears, the wearing of which seems to be on the increase. Therefore, should any child wear any of these adornments they will be required to remove them until the end of the day. Repeat offenders will be required to ask their adult to collect the items from the class teacher or school office.
Whilst I agree that the items are colourful and individual, and that the children like wearing them I do have to consider health and safety and risk of accident or injury to the child wearing them or indeed other children.
Further to comments made in church by one of our grandparents encouraging others to ignore instructions not to take photographs may I point out that the decision not to allow photographs is nothing to do with the Data Protection Act it is because we have children at the school who would be put in grave danger if they were accidentally in the background of any photograph taken and then these even inocently shared with people seeking them out. Therfore, school will take steps to prevent any person taking photographs attending futher whole school events.
As part of our ongoing commitment to the safety of our children we have had secure locks put on the newish entrance doors at the bottom of the KS2 corridor. Therefore, please be aware that there will be no access to school through those doors other than with an electronic entry toggle.
We have also taken the first steps in having a secure holding area built as an extension at the main entrance. Having been agreed by governors we have held a series of meetings and the design has now been agreed with Stockport Homes architects and detailed plans are being drawn up to submit to the council for planning permission. It is hoped that this much needed addition to the front of school will be complete by some time in the Autumn term. However, we are envisaging that there will be some disruption to visitors using the main entrance so we are also considering our plan of action for when the works are ongoing. Please watch this space – and the front entrance!!