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Headteacher update 7th December



We hope you had a peaceful weekend and are able to enjoy a little more 'restricted' freedom as children return to some clubs and activities. We also hope you are getting ready for a 'different' Christmas. Lots going on in school for the next two weeks and some information will come via updates, some via curriculum updates and some via class Parentmails. 


1. Kindness and generosity of parents and our community

Comet's Meadow - our project is really gathering pace. Until February we will continue with the sheep grazing to get the grass right down, then we will mark the areas for the ground beds before ploughing/rotavating those spaces and weeding them. February half term we hope to start building the outdoor kitchen. Before then we hope to have some structural elements in place such as the mains water/water piped to the far end and our storage container. Next week Year 6 are digging the trench for a hedge to be laid. Hopefully we can start to get some working parties onto the field if the Covid situation improves. 


Christmas lunch - what a very generous and amazing gesture by our security partners to pay for the children's Christmas dinners. 


Local businesses - we are very fortunate to have the support of so many local businesses who give us so much and always step forward if we need anything else. We are so fortunate. 


2. Christmas Party timetable :

Year R =  Thursday 17th December (school hall) = party clothes can be worn all day

Year 1 =  Friday 18th December (school hall) = party clothes can be worn all day 

Year 2 = Monday 14th December (forest school clothes with Christmas hat) - packed lunch needed (we will provide other party 'bits').

Year 3 =  Wednesday 16th December (forest school clothes with Christmas hat) - packed lunch needed (we will provide other party 'bits').

Year 4 =  Friday 11th December (forest school clothes with Christmas hat) - packed lunch needed (we will provide other party 'bits').

Year 5 = Tuesday 15th December (forest school clothes with Christmas hat) - packed lunch needed (we will provide other party 'bits').

Year 6 =  Wednesday 9th December until 5pm - forest school clothes with Christmas hat. We will provide food for tea. 


3. Covid restrictions -  a few children have been talking about having sleep overs ! Please refer to the Tier 2 restrictions that were published last week.  As a school we have been very lucky to not have any  isolation or closures so far but we are expecting it. We are worried about January and hope that everyone is 'aware and cares.' 

It is hard for everyone and we appreciate the vast majority for your care, awareness and safety. As a school we are on 'duty' until Christmas Eve with contacts for 'track and trace' and we would prefer to enjoy the start of a well earned holiday. 


4. Standards and what is happening this year:

Despite everything else that is happening the world we still have to ensure the children are learning effectively and making progress. Whether you agree with it or not one aspect of this is testing and assessments. 

The following are 'tests' or assessments that we have to report to the Government and are used to 'judge' the school (by the age of 11 your children will have been involved in at least 8 'external' assessments as well as our own. Many of these 'tests' they won't know anything about until they are old enough to. As a school we recognise the need for testing but we are not an 'exam factory' and make sure the children 'do their best' but we are also acutely aware of where they are academically. No performance tables will be published for primary schools in 2021. OFSTED inspections (we are not due one for a few years) will be advisory until Summer 2021 and will focus on schools in a category (not us as we are 'good'). 


Year R are assessed by the teacher but it statutory and used by the government to judge starting points in schools. This will go ahead but the children do even know it happens as it is teacher observation based. 


Year 1 have a phonics reading test - this will go ahead this year but the children often don't know they are even doing it. 

Year 2 have written tests in maths, reading and writing as well as spelling and punctuation (these have been cancelled for 2021 and only teacher assessment will be used).

Year 4 have a times table test. This will be optional for every school. 

Year 6 have 'SATs' and are tested in maths, reading and spelling and punctuation (this one has been cancelled for 2021). Writing is assessed by the teacher but may be externally moderated. 

We also have our own internal assessments to inform teachers of attainment and progress.  


4. Parking 

We are still receiving regular reports from residents about parking (either across drives or on the brow of hills or in places where it is hard to see the road). Please could you:

- Show good awareness of where you park.

- Be mindful of residents (we are providing some with yellow cones to make their life easier).

- Park in the village and walk a short distance ! 

The good things are that it clears very quickly and the majority of people exemplify the school values (we do a lot of training with your children about awareness and social responsibility). 


Have a safe week. 


Mr Batstone