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Headteacher's Blog

Week 12- Autumn term 2023

 

Dear Parent,

We are well into the throes of  Christmas excitement now. It's that absolutely lethal combination of children  [  and Mrs Cecil ] getting super excited, and the other grown ups getting super tired .

 

By now, you should all know exactly when your child's Christmas event is. Each little Christmas event will start at 1.45 promptly, with the 'doors' opening at 1.30 to allow us to clear up from lunch and get the seating out. A clear reminder that it is only two adults per child allowed in to comply with strict fire regulations with regards to numbers in the hall -  please do not turn up on the day hoping to get in if you are not counted within the 2 allocated.

 

Other notices:

We will be counting up this half term's house points on Tuesday 5th, the winning house, who will be notified by email ,will then wear home clothes on Wednesday 6th.

 

It's Christmas jumper week the following week, the week of the 11th, your child can choose to wear  a Christmas top every day- but the rest of the uniform  remains the same, please.

 

Remember that there are now no clubs other than our paid facility of Chattichicks until after Christmas. A new clubs list will come on out on the INSET day, January 2nd.

 

It is a 2pm finish for us on the 15th 🙂 [ Miss Harris will be in her PJ's and holding a glass of something sparkly by 2.30..] 

 

Enjoy the weekend.

Week 11- Autumn Term 2023

 

Dear parent,

 

I'm hoping that this week you take the time to look at the attachments on my email, since they are all linked to online safety. We know that with the Christmas holiday fast approaching, children will probably spend more time ' on screen' and they may also be getting new devices for Christmas that will need you to put privacy controls etc on. 

 

All this information attached, if a bit scary, is worth a  read, and there are more leaflets on our website under the 'parents guide to online safety' page.

 

Reminders from last week:

 

Christmas notices :

 

December 15th- the last day of term, there will be no after school club and we will be finishing at 2pm that day.

Christmas Meal day :`13th December. Please order by 4th December if you want your child to have a mini Christmas dinner on that day.

Christmas jumpers: Rather than just have  a Christmas jumper day, we'd like to let the children wear a Christmas jumper, if they want  to, every day of the last week of term.

Christmas expense: We know that this time of the year is particularly difficult for many of you who find 'normal' times of the year difficult financially. We are absolutely clear that no child should be disadvantaged in this respect and therefore if you need some extra help with food, or electric, or anything else that might make your Christmas easier, then please, please email me on j.harris@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk   We will do whatever we can.

 

Additional financial support that you can access...

Household Support Fund - Dorset Council

Next round of applications 10am Tuesday 5 December 2023

Household Support Fund - Dorset Council

The government Household Support fund helps vulnerable households with the rising cost of energy bills and food.

www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Another reminder of Christmas dates for performances:

 Reception to Yr 5 traditionally put on some kind of Christmas performance for you in the last week of term. I am attaching the dates for the shows. Due to fire regulations, we are very limited to two adults per child for each show- I know you'd love to bring all the family , but it simply isn't possible without compromising safety .

December 7th 1.45+  Yr 1

December 8th 1.45 +  Yr 2 

December 11th  1.45 +  Yr3 

December 12th 1.45+  Yr 4 

December  13th 1.45+  Yr 5 

December 14th 1.45+  Reception 

 

New fencing work: There will be some significant disruption to the path by Willowbed and access to our car park over the next few weeks, we are having new security fencing installed to keep  children safer, and also  to stop people climbing over onto the site out of hours. Please bear with us whilst this is happening.

 

Clubs: All clubs finish on December 1st. Our paid facility, Chattichicks, will still be available until the 14th December.

 

Enjoy the weekend.

 

 

J.Harris,

Headteacher

Week 10- Autumn term 2023

 

Dear parent,

 

Another very inclement week weather wise. Thank you for ensuring that your children are well wrapped up against the elements.

 

Can we respectfully ask, on those really rainy days when you naturally want to find shelter, do be aware that children need access to get their bikes and scooters from the bike sheds, and also that if you've got your hood up, the teachers  still  need to see your face to point you out to your child 😉

 

We  have now finished our first round of 'school in action' sessions- it was lovely to see so many of attend these. We know because of work commitments that it isn't possible for you all to do so, and we will make sure that we vary the day and time next term for you.

 

Advance notices: all clubs apart from our paid facility will stop on December 1st until the Spring . If you need childcare for those last two weeks, then do use this paid facility.

 

Christmas notices  [bah humbug, says Miss Harris , the Grinch..]

 

December 15th- the last day of term, there will be no after school club and we will be finishing at 2pm that day.

 

Christmas Meal day :`13th December. Please order by 4th December if you want your child to have a mini Christmas dinner on that day.

 

Christmas jumpers: Rather than just have  a Christmas jumper day, we'd like to let the children wear a Christmas jumper if they want  to, every day of the last week of term.

 

Christmas expense: We know that this time of the year is particularly difficult for many of you who find 'normal' times of the year difficult financially. We are absolutely clear that no child should be disadvantaged in this respect and therefore if you need some extra help with food, or electric, or anything else that might make your Christmas easier, then please, please email me on j.harris@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk   We will do whatever we can.

 

Enjoy the weekend- I've already spotted Christmas trees up on my nightly dog walks around Wyke!

Miss Harris

 

Week 9- Autumn term

Dear parent,

Good afternoon, everyone. I hope you're all well.

A huge thank you to all of you who made the effort to attend/ log in to  a parent evening appointment. It shows your children just how interested you are in their education. If you have not done so, but maybe would like a phone call with the class teacher to ask how your child is doing, then please do email them to arrange.

 

'School in action' sessions next  week- lots of them!

Yr 3 girls Nov 13th 11-12,

 Yr 3 boys Nov 14th 11-12, 

Yr 5 boys Nov 13th 9-10, 

Yr 5 girls Nov 14th 9-10, 

Yr 6 boys Nov 15th 9-10, 

Yr 6 girls Nov 16th 9-10

These will be the last opportunities before the Spring term to see a typical lesson for your child. We do have a visitors book in the front office, after these sessions it would be so lovely if you could take the time to write a few comments on what you've seen.

 

A reminder of Christmas dates for performances:

 Reception to Yr 5 traditionally put on some kind of Christmas performance for you in the last week of term. I am attaching the dates for the shows- please note that these are provisional, but unlikely to change too much. Due to fire regulations, we are very limited to two adults per child for each show- I know you'd love to bring all the family , but it simply isn't possible without compromising safety .

December 7th 1.45+  Yr 1

December 8th 1.45 +  Yr 2 

December 11th  1.45 +  Yr3 

December 12th 1.45+  Yr 4 

December  13th 1.45+  Yr 5 

December 14th 1.45+  Reception 

 

Just a reminder that Chickerell Primary Academy is a nut free school.

 

Enjoy the weekend, let's hope for some drier weather again....

J.Harris

Headteacher

Week 8- Autumn term 2023

 

Dear Parent,

 

What a blustery, rainy week. Things are always a little trickier when children  can't get outside for breaks, but the weather hasn't stopped us doing too much this week.

 

Thank you to those parents who have attended the 'school in action' sessions so far. We have  a few more of these to go and then we will resume them in the Spring term. There is a 'visitors book' at the front office for you to write any comments after being in these that you'd want us to know.

 

Reminders:

  1. Parents evenings next week, almost 82% of you have booked a slot, which is brilliant. Come on, the other 18%, let's see how close to 100% we can get.
  2. School in action sessions resume the week of the 13th.

 

Parking: It really saddened me this week to have an elderly resident ring, upset, because she had been blocked in on her own driveway and then verbally abused when she'd asked whichever parent it was to move so she could get to her appointment. I completely understand that when the weather is poor you want to park closer, but, please, show some consideration to our neighbours- many of whom are, in fact, quite elderly. I am asking the residents to take registration numbers of any illegally parked cars and we will be sending these onto the police.

 

Christmas dates: Reception to Yr 5 traditionally put on some kind of Christmas performance for you in the last week of term. I am attaching the dates for the shows- please note that these are provisional, but unlikely to change too much. Due to fire regulations, we are very limited to two adults per child for each show- I know you'd love to bring all the family , but it simply isn't possible without compromising safety .

 

December 7th 1.45+  Yr 1

December 8th 1.45 +  Yr 2 

December 11th  1.45 +  Yr3 

December 12th 1.45+  Yr 4 

December  13th 1.45+  Yr 5 

December 14th 1.45+  Reception 

December 15th 10.30am+  Chickadees

 

Enjoy the weekend, let's hope it's  a little drier....I'm running out of 'wet weather' coats!

 

Miss Harris

Week 7- Autumn term 2023

 

Dear parent,

I just wanted to wish you a relaxing half term break. Your children have worked really hard this half term and they deserve - and need - a  break.

I'll send you a parent mail with reminders for the first week back at the end of the half term week, but, enjoy it, whatever you do . 

Kind regards

Miss.Harris

 

Week 6- Autumn term 2023

 

Dear parent,

How on earth is it almost half term. That time has just whizzed by...!

Reminders for next week:

 

  1. School in action sessions for: YR 1 boys October 16th@11-12, YR 1 girls October 17th@11-12, YR 2 boys October 18th @11-12, YR 2 girls October 19th @11-12. Remember that mobiles MUST be switched off and we cannot bring younger siblings.
  2. Yr 5 go to Magdalen Farm this week, I'm sure they'll have an amazing time.
  3. You will be receiving information about our upcoming parents evenings very shortly. We will be offering both face to face and online meetings-whichever best suits your family situation.
  4. Ties: lots of children are coming to school daily with no tie. These are a part of the uniform and must be worn. You can buy them from the school office too.
  5.  All Clubs continue in this last week and will restart the first week back too.
  6. Attendance: As part of our duty of care, we will be looking at each child's half termly attendance next week. You may well receive a letter if your child's attendance is falling below 90%- even if we know they've been ill or on holiday- it is our duty to inform you that their current rate is falling short of Government expectations.

 

I am really sorry to say that we have been dealing with a few situations in recent weeks where people have behaved in ways that I can only describe as unacceptable towards some of  our staff. I want to assure you that wherever there are difficulties or challenges, we will do all we can to work with you towards a suitable resolution. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to completely satisfy everyone all of the time, but our staff will always do all they can. However, I must emphasise that we will not tolerate staff being spoken to/or talked about inappropriately, be that with bad language, raised voices, personal attacks or aggression. This applies to  both face to face communication and online via email or social media. In these situations, we will write to warn people about future behaviour and , as a last resort, use legal measures where necessary. It pains me to say this, and I know it only relates to a small minority, but I know that  you will be supportive of this in order to maintain positive environments for both children and adults. 

 

 It is certainly true too that a number of you face frustrations  at present with accessing support services beyond school for meeting particular learning, physical and social needs. I can assure you that we share these frustrations as we find it harder and harder to access these services. We make as many representations as we can in the case of individual pupils. It often feels that there are insufficient services and funding for addressing need- and this is a real problem. We completely support you and your children as we seek to secure the very best opportunities for them, but please understand that we are also sometimes very limited as to what we can change.

 

 

I will send the email for the week of October  30th at the end of the half term week. 

Enjoy the weekend,

Week 5 Autumn term 2023

 

Dear parent,

 

A busy week, we've had our first trip of the year out to Stonehenge, the children who went were a real credit to us. I am very grateful to the staff for organizing such trips - it takes a significant amount of work. 

 

Reminders;

 

The 'school in action' sessions begin on the  12th, Thursday, with parents of Reception boys invited in from 11-12 and then the following day, at the same time, parents of Reception girls. If you are attending, mobiles must be switched off prior to entering the building and we cannot accommodate siblings, sorry- our classrooms are too small.

 

It is class/sibling photos on the Thursday12th, all children must be in proper uniform, shirts/polo shirts and ties, please. No PE kit to be worn that day.

 

PTA disco on the 13th- again attendance is dependent on the children being trusted to manage themselves appropriately. Non-school uniform that day for a donation to the foodbank, please. If older children are walking home from the later disco, we must have consent from a parent.

 

Another plea for you to monitor your children at the park, I am dealing with several issues each week that unfortunately then spill over into school. It is impacting on their learning and must be addressed. I think we presume that our children are more mature than they really are, but the reality is that they cannot manage conflict when adults are not around to support them. Realistically, as the nights draw in soon, I’m sure this will naturally become less of an issue. 

 

Enjoy the weekend 

Miss Harris 

Week 4 Autumn term 2023

Dear parent,

I hope this email finds you all well.  A month into the school year- I'm sure the summer holidays seem a distant memory now.

 

Some reminders for you:

 

Code of conduct: Following on from my note in last week's email about children's conduct needed to for them to access trips, several of you have asked for clarification of the types of behaviours that would warrant stopping a child going. I am therefore copying these from our  children's 'code of conduct.'

 

  1.            Disrupting the learning of others repeatedly;
  2. ·         Violence towards another child;

  3. ·         Violence towards an adult;

  4. ·         Bullying persistently (physical, emotional, verbal and e-bullying);

  5. ·         Rudeness towards others repeatedly;

  6. ·         Inappropriate language;

  7. ·         Refusing  reasonable requests repeatedly;

  8. ·         Vandalism;

  9. ·         Theft;

  10. ·         Bringing offensive weapons into school; which could put themselves and others at risk.

 

This is not an exhaustive list, but should give you an indication of what a child would need to do to be excluded from a trip. Thankfully, this so very rarely happens in our school, in fact I cannot remember the last time I had to do this.

 

Parent/class whatsapp groups: I know I've mentioned this before, but please can we be very careful what we write on these group chats? I regularly get to see messages on them that I feel are disrespectful [ sometimes downright rude] to the class teachers, and unfortunately, often the class teachers end up seeing them too  -  which as you can imagine then creates  a lot of upset . If you have a genuine concern that needs addressing, please contact the class teacher or one of the senior team, [emails below,] since committing things to social media mean that they are 'out there' forever...

 

j.harris@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk

l.llewellyn@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk

e.penn@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk

 

'Giraffe': One of the safety procedures that we are required to have is a protocol for a' lockdown' situation- if, for example an intruder tries to enter the school.  As a head of primary age children, I am very reticent to practice a formal 'drill' for such a situation that may well make children overly anxious and scared - fire drills are far easier to explain to a child. So, with that in mind, we are making more of a game of this initially and when children hear the code word- giraffe- they are racing against a timer to see how quickly they can get to sit under their tables, as the adults close all doors and blinds. So, if they come home and tell you that they were hiding under tables- that is correct!

 

Collection after clubs: It's wonderful to see so many children at clubs again, but as we had last year, we are having some near 'misses' with people driving into the car park to collect their children, and children trying to run to get to the car.  Can I ask that we are all far more considerate about this and only use the car park if absolutely necessary, otherwise I may have to resort to locking the gates between 3.30-4 to ensure that we keep these children safe.

 

October childcare: We are  unable to offer any childcare provision in the October half term, sincere apologies, I simply do not have the staff  capacity to run it this time round. 

 

Enjoy the weekend.

Miss Harris

 

Week 3 Autumn Term 2023

Dear parent,

Well, the weather certainly changed this week. Thank you for ensuring that your children were appropriately dressed for the conditions. Let's see what next week brings- snow?!

 

Some reminders for you below:

 

  1. 'School in action' rota attached: Can I strongly suggest that if your working pattern allows that you come in to your child's lesson. It really will give you an insight into a typical experience of  your child here, and may well put your mind at ease as to how they are coping with school life. Protocols around these visits are that: mobile phones must be switched off, no younger siblings can be brought in, and being prompt for the sessions is a must!
  2. Attendance reminders around illness- do please read  the text underneath with regards to this carefully.
  3. Reading at home: without doubt, one of the most  important ,positive things we can do to increase a child's ability to do well at school is to listen to children read/read to them/with them at home. Secure reading skills enables a child to access all other areas of the curriculum effectively. Reading at bedtime also is the best way of calming and settling children. I know home lives are often ridiculously busy, but if we can make an effort to do this regularly, then your children will really reap the rewards.
  4. The 'Golden Lock' will continue next week, do encourage children to keep cycling or scootering to school.
  5. Trips: we are just about to start our programme of school trips and , as I will be saying to the children today in assembly, their participation in these will be entirely dependant on their behaviour and ability to manage themselves. They will not be allowed to attend if I, or the staff leading the trip, have any doubt about this.

 

 RE: Guidance on Attendance in light of ongoing Covid-19 cases

 I am sharing with you some  updates provided by the Department for Education (DfE) regarding the importance of your child's school attendance, especially in light of  COVID19 cases still occurring. We understand that these unprecedented times may have left some parents feeling uncertain about when it's appropriate for their child to attend school. We want to reassure you by offering a clinical and public health perspective on this matter: 

For illnesses other than confirmed  COVID :

For mild respiratory illnesses, such as a minor cough, runny nose, or sore throat, it is generally appropriate for parents to send their children to school. It is also generally appropriate to send your child to school if they feel tired, have a slight headache or a stomach ache. However, if your child has a temperature of 38°C or above, it's then appropriate to keep them at home. We encourage you to refer to the NHS 'Is my child too ill for school?' guidance, which provides further information and guidance: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/

I hope that helps.

 

Enjoy the weekend, what ever the weather. [Without tempting fate, Wales rugby  team are 2 out of 2 wins in the World Cup, could be on for a third on Sunday= Happy Headteacher 😉]

Kind regards

Miss Harris

Week 2 Autumn Term 2023/2024

 

Dear Parent,

Week 2, slightly less warm for us all- thank goodness. It has made being in the classrooms more bearable...

 

A reminder that clubs start next week, the office will inform you if your child has a place at the club/s you've requested. Please can we ask that if you child cannot attend a club at any point, do inform the office, otherwise we spend time running round looking for them!

 

'Golden Lock': To encourage children to bike/scooter to school, we are running a 'Golden Lock' competition, starting next week. If your child finds a 'Golden Lock'  attached to their bike/scooter, then  they bring it to me and they can exchange it for 50 house points plus a free prize that they can chose from my secret stash...

 

Two attachments to this week's email that may be of use to you. Firstly, the information about the 'preloved' clothes sales happening at Willowbed this weekend - really helpful  in the current financial climate. And secondly, some flyers for children's martial arts classes- a fabulous way to develop children's self confidence .

 

Safeguarding: Last week, we had several instances where children were dismissed from school, but then ran away from their parents and in two cases, actually ran out of the carpark and along Rashley Road. This is obviously very concerning from a safety point of view, even with the new traffic calming measures, please can you impress on your children how important it is to stay with you, especially the youngest ones.

 

Multi Academy Trust: You may remember from last term that I informed you that the Governors had made the decision to ask to join a multi academy trust, namely First Federation Trust, in order to  both secure the school's future both in terms of the financial viability and  to have access to excellent school improvement. What happens now is that the National Board of Headteachers will 'hear ' our case to determine if this is the right move for us. This will take place in October and you will be given the chance to give your views on this via  a specific email address that I will give you nearer the time. You will also be invited to a meeting to hear more detail of this proposal too.

 

Enjoy the weekend

Miss Harris

 

 

 

Week 1 Autumn term 2023/2024

Dear parent,

A belated welcome back to those of you I've not seen this week. The children have settled really well- inevitably there are a few wobbles- there's bound to be-but on the whole, we're right back into the swing of things!

 

Clubs: If you haven't done so already, you will receive the list for this whole term's clubs . Get your responses to the school office asap, spaces do fill up very quickly.

 

School in action sessions: These proved really helpful last year for you to come and see what your child does in  a typical lesson, so we will be restarting these within the next few weeks. I'll email you all the dates soon, so that you may make any necessary arrangements to  be able to come in.

 

Contacting school: If you wish to talk to your child's teacher, please email them - they will put their email addresses on a separate newsletter to you shortly - to arrange an appointment or phone call. If, after that, any issue or concern is still unresolved, please contact myself, Mrs Llewellyn [ Deputy Head] or Mrs Penn [ Assistant Head/SENDCO] to assist you.

 

j.harris@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk

l.llewellyn@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk

e.penn@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk

 

For anything that is 'operational' in nature, to do with uniform, lunches,  medicine, trips, pick ups etc- please email or ring the school office     01305783876 office@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk

 

Hot Lunches: A reminder that these MUST be booked  a week in advance. Please be aware that we don't have 'spare' meals, if your child does not have  a hot meal, you will need to provide a lunch box.

 

Calpol: We will always administer prescribed medicine, but we do have Calpol on site at all times if you wish us to give your child some if they are feeling a bit under the weather.

 

Uniform: The weather is set to be cooler next week, so I will be expecting to see shirts with ties- proper autumn uniform. Of course school dresses may still be worn, but now ties must be worn with shirts or polo shirts. Can I also reiterate about hair colour - I've seen pink and green hair this week that needs to be washed out. No nail varnish either. 

 

At the risk of sounding like Miss Trunchbull, please can I urge you to be clear about the timings to enter the school at the end of the day pick up. It is children with surnames A-M first, then N-Z. If we try to 'sneak' in - or even blatantly ignore this and stroll in - it makes the area very congested and this isn't fair on the children and staff trying to look for you. A reminder too that Yrs 4/5/6 can use the side gates to walk out of  to make this congestion less.

 

I will continue to use this weekly email to update you of any upcoming events .

 

Kind regards

Miss Harris

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