Newsletter September 2019:
We hope you all had a wonderful summer break and the children are ready for a new academic year! We have had a wonderful start; our new starters in Foundation One and Foundation Two have settled into school life very well and we have also welcomed several other children from other schools into Warmsworth Primary.
We have welcomed several new members of staff to the team: Miss Hague has started in her new role as class teacher in Year 2 and Mrs Lister has returned to her role as Year 6 teacher following her maternity leave. Mrs Sharp has also returned full time to her post as Foundation Stage Leader and Foundation Stage Two class teacher. Mrs Nottage, Miss West and Mrs McBride have joined the school support staff team, Mrs Featherstone has returned to the team following her maternity leave, and Mrs England has started her return too. We said goodbye at the end of term to one of our midday supervisors, Mrs Smoczek and we have welcomed one new member of staff to the midday supervisor team, Miss Day.
We would like to pass our wedding congratulations to Mr Thomson, who got married during the summer holidays, and had a wonderful day with family and friends.
Should there be any questions you have regarding your child, please approach the class teacher in the first instance. Should you need to speak to anyone further, please contact Mrs Sharp (Foundation Stage One and Two), Mrs Nithsdale (Year One and Two) and Mrs Nile (Year Three, Four, Five and Six.)
As usual, there will be quite a few letters coming home during the first couple of weeks; you should receive your child’s emergency contact form today – so please check with your child each day to see whether they have brought any letters home with them. Please make sure the emergency contact is completed and returned to school, as soon as possible. Safeguarding guidance recommends that schools hold up to 3 emergency phone numbers for different adults. The guidance also recommends that schools should take immediate action when contact cannot be made with a parent on the first day of a child’s absence, so please help us by phoning in as soon as possible to inform us of your child’s absence.
Please note that children should not arrive at school too early, especially during the winter months, when it is still dark in the mornings. Although the gate is open from 8.30am, there is no direct supervision on site until the start of the school day at 8.50am and therefore school cannot take responsibility for your child until that time.
Improvements to Site and Premises
During the summer holidays, we have been very busy improving the school environment at a cost of approximately £92,000. These improvements, which have been made across the school, include a new ceiling and lighting in the KS2 hall and an exciting development of the quad, which is due for completion mid-October.
School Improvement Priorities
School priorities are determined with regard to the following: outcomes of the school’s rigorous self-evaluation systems, government/LA initiatives, data analysis, consulting with children and parents, both formally and informally and embedding successful school initiatives which warrant further development.
Our key priorities identified for improvement over this coming school year are:
Quality of Education
- To implement an inspiring, global curriculum fit for 21st century learners
- To continue to improve the attainment and progress of pupils in reading and writing across the school
Behaviour and Attitudes
- To further develop a deeper understanding of and tolerance for others at a global scale
- To continue to promote healthy lifestyles incorporating both physical and mental well-being
Leadership and Management
- To further develop the challenge and support the governing body offer to school leaders and to enhance leadership capabilities in all staff.
- To maintain the high quality of teaching and learning
Early Years Education
- To further improve pupils’ mathematical understanding, reading skills and physical development across the Foundation Stage.
Music in school
This year we have introduced the teaching of recorder for all year 5 and year 6 pupils and the teaching of the glockenspiel for all our pupils in year 3 and year 4. We hope this will give every child in school at least 2 opportunities to learn to play a musical instrument in school, in addition to the peripatetic music lessons we offer.
This year we are continuing to fund peripatetic music tuition so that children across KS2 have the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument, free of charge. This year we have established a school choir, led by one of our peripatetic music teachers. So far 112 children have taken the opportunity of being involved in music at school this academic year. If your child is interested in playing a musical instrument, or joining the choir, please ask to speak to Mrs Shaw. Please encourage your child to remember to bring their instruments to school each week, practise at home, and join the school orchestra which takes place in school on a Wednesday at 3.30pm.
This year we are continuing to use our Sports Funding for 2019-2020 to employ specialist Sports Coach, Mr Halstead, who will lead some lessons in Physical Education and provide outdoor games during break times and lunch-times. We have also bought in the services of the PE Leader from Sir Thomas Wharton Academy and are working with Active Fusion to organise sports competitions and continue the children’s high level of participation in inter-schools competitive events.
School Council Elections
Elections are currently taking place for the School Council, Sports Council, Enterprise Council, Eco Council and Year 6 Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. I will share the names of those who are successfully elected in my next newsletter.
Thank you for sending the children back to school in the correct uniform – especially black footwear; they all look so smart. Please note that red cardigans are not part of the uniform. Also, please do not allow your child to come to school wearing make-up, nail varnish or jewellery, other than one pair of stud ear-rings and a watch.
Attendance & Punctuality
During 2018-2109 we achieved an attendance of 96.6% (our target was 97%) Although this is still a high level of attendance we narrowly missed our target and we will continue to strive to improve on this figure during this academic year.
Please read the attached letter – regarding unauthorised leave and irregular attendance at school. Headteachers cannot grant leave of absence during term-time, unless there are exceptional circumstances, which are listed on the absence from school letter. Please note being self-employed is not regarded as ‘exceptional circumstances’. Unfortunately, there have been a few instances where parents have reported their child’s absences as being due to illness when they have, in fact been on holiday. Please be aware, that we are often informed when this happens and have a duty to investigate; as a result, several fines were issued last year.
Please do not be offended if you receive a letter regarding your child’s attendance if it falls below 95%. We are required by the Local Authority to notify parents if this happens – for any reason. If, following the first letter, there are any further unauthorised absences in the following 15 days the school may request Doncaster Council to issue a fine.
If your child is absent for 10% or more of school sessions they are defined by the government as a ‘Persistent Absentee’ and information regarding your child’s attendance is reported to the Local Education Authority and Department for Education. The school office will also request sight of appointment cards for medical or dental appointments in order to authorise any absence in the school day. Also, please note that children in all year groups are assessed during May and therefore any absences should be avoided during this month. In addition to the end of Key Stage assessments (Years 2 & 6), there is a compulsory phonics assessment for every child in Year 1 and a multiplication tables test for every child in Year 4 which will both take place during June 2019
Payments to School
Payments to school for dinner money, trips, music lessons and extended school clubs have to be paid using the Parent Pay website, or at a pay point. If you have not set up an account with Parent Pay, or have lost your login details, please speak to staff in the school office. Login details for new children in F2 will be issued by the office within the next few days.
Please remember to label your child’s clothing and other belongings, particularly lunch boxes. Due to the amount of unclaimed belongings we have to store (and eventually dispose of), all lost property is circulated around the school and if unclaimed, is kept for one week only.
Photographs of children in school will be taken on Thursday 17th October 2019. All children present on that day will have an individual photograph taken, and those with siblings in school will also have a family group photograph taken.
We understand that parking is limited due to the school being situated on a very busy main road, but the safety of all is our primary concern. The number of cars dropping off and collecting children at the start and end of the school day can cause a major obstruction and is also putting the safety of children at risk. Please show consideration when parking and refrain from parking across residents’ driveways or on the grass verges on Mill Lane.
We have noticed that some children and parents are using the staff car park as a short-cut to walk into and from school – please do not access the car park for this purpose, for the safety of all those involved.
Many of you may have seen that we have updated and relaunched our new school website. This website is now fully compatible with smart phones so we hope this will be much easier for people to access. Lots of information regarding the school is available on the school website, and we will be adding new information regularly so please take a look!
We will also be using the messaging service through the website and a letter is attached providing further information on this service.
We are really looking forward to a wonderful autumn term – thank you for all your continued support!
Good attendance at school is the single most important factor in ensuring that your child will maximise their learning opportunities. By attending school every day your child takes an important step in reaching their full potential. Research completed by the Department for Education found that every day missed was associated with a lower attainment outcome at both KS2 and KS4. The more time your child spends around other children, the more chance they have of making friends and feeling included, boosting their social skills, confidence and self-esteem. Promoting positive school attendance is therefore everyone’s responsibility.
You may be aware that school absence in Doncaster is one of the highest in England and schools have been working with Doncaster Council to look at how we can ensure all children attend school as much as possible. The school wants your child to have the education and skills they need to live a happy and fulfilling life. With this in mind Doncaster Council has made two major changes in how it will respond to requests from schools when schools are considering enforcing poor attendance.
Unauthorised Leave (Holidays in term time)
You will be aware that no leave of absence from school for a holiday in term time can be taken without the authorisation of the Headteacher and should you take your child out of school for a holiday you may be issued with a Penalty Notice. Doncaster Council will continue to issue Education Penalty Notices to each parent for each child they take out of school for a holiday.
Irregular Attendance at School
The school may write to you to advise there are concerns with your child’s irregular attendance at school. It is very important that you work closely with the school to ensure your child is able to attend school every day wherever possible. If your child’s attendance is not at the expected level the school will offer support to you and your child to ensure an improvement in attendance is made. However, should the support not have the required improvement in attendance we may send you a penalty notice warning letter. If there are any further unauthorised absences in the following 15 school days the school may request Doncaster Council to issue you with an Education Penalty Notice.
The penalty notice is a fine of £120 but reduced to £60 if you pay it within 21 days. Doncaster Council will decide if a penalty notices can be issued but may decide to prosecute you instead. Where Doncaster Council decide a prosecution should take place, they will write to you offering you to attend a meeting with an Enforcement Court Officer. Following this meeting the Enforcement Court Officer will decide if a prosecution will take place and a summons will be requested from Doncaster Magistrates Court.
If you are experiencing any difficulty with your child’s attendance, please contact us immediately so we can work together to ensure improvements are made.
Mrs R Train