School Newsletter – Autumn 2018
We presently have poppies and a variety of other items from The Royal British Legion on sale in school. The items are priced 50p, with a ruler at £1. We only have one box of the goodies and we anticipate these selling fast.
At present our children are working with a local artist, Pauline Wood on art work connected to Remembrance Sunday and on the day itself (11th November) some of our children will be taking part in a Light Parade, walking through the centre of Stockport to mark the centenary of the Armistice.
We Will Remember Them
We have given thought to how we can ensure that future pupils remember those from our school who gave their lives in the Great War, and as it is the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, it was decided to make a small area for contemplation and dedicate a bench to those ex-pupils who gave their lives in the Great War. We are hoping to be able to develop this external area as a place of remembrance and contemplation and would ask that you respect it as such as you see it develop further in the near future.
We are fortunate to still have the original memorial dedicated to those pupils, and this is exhibited in the school hall where it will remain. When the previous Victorian two storey school which stood on the site was demolished in the mid 1960’s the memorial plaque was thrown on a skip for disposal. However, some forward thinking person who obviously recognised its importance as a historical record rescued it, and when the new school was built the memorial was incorporated into the build. It is my understanding that it has been on display in the school hall since then.
Our Site Manager Gary has kindly been researching the people listed on the plaque. If anyone has any information about any individual named on it or indeed any old photographs, connection to any of the families of the individuals we would love to hear from you as those people are a hugely important part of the history of not only our school but the whole community and beyond; and it is important that we do not forget.
New School Year
A very belated welcome/welcome back to you all. As we have launched into another school year we have been delighted to welcome many new faces to the St Thomas’ family, including our new children and parents/carers and we are also pleased to welcome a familiar face, Mrs Judith Woodside to the school as a part-time permanent member of staff rather than her being on loan from the Learning Support Service. We also welcomed back Mrs Gaskell at the end of last term, having her return from maternity leave. Mrs Gaskell is initially returning to school for three days per week and she will share teaching duties with Mrs Park who will teach Y2 for two days per week. Both teachers have met and are in constant dialogue with each other, and have an agreed planning approach to ensure that the children in Y2 have continuity in their learning.
We have said a sad farewell to Miss Williams who had worked at the school for some years. She has moved on to work with older children with profound barriers to learning and she leaves with our very best wishes, and thanks for all the fantastic work she has done on behalf of the children at St Thomas’. We also said a temporary goodbye to Miss McGuire at the end of the Summer term as she started her maternity leave, and we are thrilled to announce that she safely delivered a beautiful baby girl at the very end of July.
Photograph Permission Letter
You should receive with this newsletter a photograph consent form for each child you have at our school that we are required to send to every child in the school to be compliant with GDPR. It is vitally important that you complete the form ticking either Yes or No in each of the six categories then sign and date it before returning it to school as soon as possible. If you have more than one child please be aware that you have to complete a separate form for each.
The work to build our new front entrance was supposed to be finished before our return to school in September, but unfortunately due to many factors beyond our control we are still have the final touches applied to the work. Hopefully once the work is finished and everything is fully operational you will agree that the long wait and the immense upheaval have been worth it. Mrs Evans and Mrs Holt have a much improved workspace and secure access to the front of school is much enhanced.
Due to the building works at the front entrance the cherry blossom tree at the front of school sadly died. You may have noticed that rather than get rid of the tree altogether we retained the trunk and a local artist has carved an owl from the remaining trunk. The owl is widely regarded as a symbol of learning and wisdom so we thought the symbolism was apt for the main entrance of our school.
New Front Door
The new external front door is automatic and as you approach it will open outwards so please be aware. It also has safety features so that if you are half way in/out and it starts to close it will sense that you are there and stop. However, sometimes it will be necessary to have it in “locked mode” in which case it will be controlled by office staff and will not open until released by them. Please do not pull on the front door as this causes damage to the door mechanism. There is a bell for use in such circumstances.
Letters are due to be sent home this week for our visit to this year’s pantomime. Letters will be sent to all children in school and we have kept the cost at £10 per person. However, as we have already explained we will be linking all such visits to our behavioural expectations. Therefore, if any child is considered not to be behaving in an appropriate manner in school we reserve the right to return that child’s money and not take them to the pantomime. This is something I am loathe to do, but such has been the behaviour of a small group of individuals so far this year I will carry out this sanction for the good of the rest of the school and the vast majority of our children who are a credit to us all. Please be advised that it is not an option to keep your child off school if they are not going to the pantomime as this will be classed as an unauthorised absence.
As usual we will be having our Christmas Dinner on that same day so please look out for the letter about that, especially if your child doesn’t normally have a school lunch but you would like them to on that day.
Autumn Parent/Carer Consultation Evening
Thanks to all those who attended our recent consultation evening or made alternative arrangements with the class teacher to speak to them about your child’s progress this term. It lets your child know that you ARE interested in their education and how they are doing. We have three such consultation meetings per year and it is important to attend. It also gives you the opportunity to look at their books and for them to talk to you about how they are doing.
The Weather & Coats
Could you please ensure that now the colder weather is upon us that your child comes to school in a suitable warm coat. Whilst I appreciate that you may be bringing your child in the car they are still required to go out into the playground at lunchtime and playtime, and it is cold. You may think I am telling my grandmother how to suck eggs, and I apologise for that, but on the first day back there were a significant number of children who either did not have a sweatshirt/fleece on and/or did not have a warm coat.
As you know, last half term we raised money for research into Myeloma to support Pat and her husband, Nigel who has suffered with this rare form of cancer since shortly after Pat retired. Thanks to everyone who donated we raised a total of £211.91. Pat has asked that I send her and her family’s thanks for everyone’s donations, which will be added to the money raised by the family themselves, which included funds raised from both their daughters doing their first parachute jump, and a fund-raising evening. I am sure that you will join with us all in wishing Pat & Nigel and their family well.
Thank you so much to all those of you who donated items for our Harvest collection. The items have now been sent to the local food bank and I am sure will be made good use of by those families who visit.
Dates for your diary November/December 2018
Wednesday 7th November Reading Activity Workshops for Pupils/Parents
(EYFS/KS1 – 9.15am; KS2 – 2.15pm) There will be chance for you to take part in a reading activity alongside your child – this is NOT a test of your reading ability!
Sunday 11th November Stockport Light Parade – Armistice Day
W/B 12th November Alcohol Awareness Week
Friday 16th November Christmas Angel Design Competition
W/B 19th November Road Safety Week
Wednesday 21st November Flu vaccines YR – Y5
Friday 30th November Christmas Tree arrives from Lapland
Friday 7th December Christmas Dinner & Pantomime (Sleeping Beauty @ The Plaza)
Wednesday 12th December Parents Christmas Craft Day/Mince pies in the Hall
(EYFS/KS1 – am; KS2 – pm) Come and join us and get full of glue and glitter!
Friday 14th December Christmas Parties (EYFS – am/KS2 – pm)
Tuesday 18th December Carol Service in Church @ 2pm
Wednesday 19th December Christmas Jumper Day/ Break-up 3pm