14th July 2017
Dear Parents and Carers,
The Last Blog of this Year
We are rapidly moving towards the end of term and I do not know where the time is going! Year 6 has entertained us with performances fit for Broadway! We are very proud of them and the Year 6 teaching team who have worked so hard to support the children in delivering such a polished and hilarious show!
We are delighted to celebrate yet another good end to the year with our academic outcomes. Year 6 excelled our expectations, increasing the percentage of children who achieved expected and above in reading, writing and maths by 10% to 86%!
Year 2 improved their results in every subject and 90% of children in Year 1 passed the phonics screening test which is 5% up on last year. Even our Reception children improved on their already outstanding results. All staff, parents and carers should be thanked for the consistent support and efforts, in every year group and every department of the school, that go into ensuring the children are happy and successful. The children must be congratulated on their unwavering engagement and perseverance in their learning journey.
Once our results have been validated the data will be published in September via our website.
Whilst rounding off the year we are also very busy planning for September and establishing ways to build on the achievements of this year.
One of our biggest challenges in Primary education is to provide a curriculum that is both challenging and meets expectations with regard to literacy and numeracy whilst remaining exciting and engaging. Teachers have been busy planning exciting new topics to stimulate and inspire the children when they return after the summer. The aim is to continue building on our STEM work and Outdoor Learning which the children have loved so much this year.
We would like to open school up more to parents and carers so that we further develop our partnership working. We are planning to have “Stay and Play” afternoons three times a year (dates will be in the calendar for next year) where we will be inviting you in to stay with the children and take part in some fun learning activities. This will of course be in addition to parent consultation events.
We are also planning (following some requests from parents) to schedule one of our parent consultation slots in the afternoon to enable parents to meet with teachers and visit children’s classes to share their children’s work during the school day. We will of course have an evening event for those parents who prefer the evening and find this more convenient.
In addition to Children’s Book Week next year we have three other focus weeks planned already. The first focus week will be in Term 2 and will be on Festivals of Food and Light. In the Spring, in Term 3, we will be having our STEM week (renamed STEAM as this now incorporates art). In Term 6 we will be having a music week. Over the course of the year we will be finding out about all the children who play instruments outside of school so we can begin to enable these children to bring these skills into school. If you are an adult with a musical or artistic background and are interested in demonstrating this skill or helping children with learning, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also NEED YOUR HELP! We need parents and carers to volunteer to help in classes in all year groups. We have an army of skilled families out there who can really support the children with their reading and other activities where more adults are needed. Again, if you would like to offer your time and help, please email the school (see above), stating your area of interest e.g. reading, outdoor learning, maths, art, music, school trips, and the days and times you are free. We can then collate this information and contact you in the Autumn term.
We issued a very broad diary of events for September in our last newsletter (which is available on our website). We will issue key dates for the whole academic year 2017-18 shortly – if we can, we will do this before the end of this term.
There have been many questions and speculation arising from the mixing of the current Reception classes as they move into Year 1. Having always worked in schools where it was the norm to mix classes at the end of each year this has come as a surprise to me. I would like to clear up some of these questions in this blog. Year R were split to enable the distribution of the different needs of the children to be equal across both classes and to ensure that next year and beyond, ALL children have access to the adult support they need. They were NOT split because of behaviour or any other agenda. It has been sad to hear some of the things parents have been told about their children’s classes on the playground; these things are simply not true and in some cases have been hurtful. Both Reception classes are wonderful with beautiful children who I enjoy teaching very much.
I have also been informed that some parents chose Hartley because in this school classes are not split. I have investigated this and it is not the case. It is not school policy and is perhaps a perception due to the length of time that has passed since the last class was split. I have been informed that classes have been split previously and would also like to draw your attention to the School Prospectus which is available on our website (see page 8 where it states that children’s classes may be restructured).
Outdoor Learning Areas
Please can you help us to keep the outdoor environment safe, clean and protected for children’s learning by not allowing children to play in the woods or on the field before and after school, or be anywhere unsupervised on the grounds. In the woods children have often constructed things that they need for their next lesson and this can become damaged by children wandering through. One child was even seen urinating in the woods after school one evening – we have ample toilet facilities in school! Please share with grandparents and other carers who may collect your child from school; children must be supervised at all times.
Please can we ask that litter is taken home or disposed of in school bins – we are seeing an increase in litter generally around the site – especially baby wipes for some reason.
You will be thinking about next year and possibly buying new uniform and bags. Please remember that from September we will need children to bring small school bags not large handbags or holdalls as these do not fit in the cloakrooms.
Please can you refer to the uniform policy with regard to headbands and bows. Children should wear small headbands and bows in line with school uniform policy. Bows have been getting larger and larger and whilst lovely, are not appropriate for school.
Please order any branded uniform through our supplier, Brigade (www.brigade.uk.com) If you are ordering in time for September please ensure your order is received by Brigade by Monday 7th August.
Summer is the time for the children to relax and enjoy family time. Please help them to be ready for the next school year by hearing them read daily or ensuring your older children have access to books which they enjoy reading. BBC Bitesize has lots of very good games for both Key Stages 1 and 2 which are matched to the national curriculum and these are great tools for keeping children on track over the five week break.
Summer Reading Challenge
The reading challenge is here again and children are invited to join the challenge at their local library. The challenge starts from 17th July and will run throughout the summer. Children can go to their local library to enrol and they need to read 6 books throughout the summer. If they complete the challenge they will receive a certificate and medal. New this year is another challenge for all local schools – the school with the most participants in the challenge will receive a trophy. So come on everyone, let’s get reading over the summer holidays!
Keeping Safe over the Summer
The summer holidays should be a period of fun and relaxation for the children but most of all it should be safe. We are particularly mindful of safeguarding in relation to the internet at this time. Please can you support your child by monitoring internet usage and ensure the sites they access are appropriate for their age. We will be emailing advice to parents in the next day or so. You can also find the guidance on our website: (www.hartleyprimaryacademy.org.uk/parents/e-safety)
Finally enjoy this Summer break. If you are leaving us, good luck and do let us know how you are getting on. If you are continuing the journey with us have a great holiday and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday 4th September for another great year at Hartley.
Mrs Sarah Goosani