Week of May 22nd
The end of the half term, and now, unbelievably, that means we only have one more half term before the academic year is over. Where has that time gone!
The weather is forecast to be good over the break, so hopefully, we can all enjoy some time outdoors.
A few reminders for the first week back;
- Clubs will all start straight away.
- School in action sessions for YR 1 on June 5th @11am for boys and June 6th @11am for girls.
- The new traffic calming scheme comes into force on Monday 5th - no access to Fairfield at all between 8.15-9.45 and 2.45-3.15.
Safeguarding Information: Thank you to a parent who has made us aware of an app/website that their child has been using and has asked us to share with all parents to highlight the dangers. The app is called Omgle and the website is Omegle.com. Users are able to post messages and videos anonymously and connect with anyone. For more information please see: https://saferinternet.org.uk/blog/what-is-omegle-keythings-parents-and-carers-need-to-know
Parents of Chickerell Facebook page: I know many of you are on this page and most of you use it appropriately for checking school/local event information, which I believe was the original reason it was set up for. However, some of you have brought to my attention that recently, there have been one or two things posted that might be more concerningly 'political' in nature [and not necessarily appropriate] - I know for example there was a post about the 'barge' and the impact of that. I want to make it clear that this page is not endorsed by the school at all, we do not take any responsibility for what is posted on there, this is for the administrators to manage. Please contact them if you have any concerns about what is being posted.
School Summer Fair-17th June. We'd love to see you there for a few hours of fun and entertainment.
Do enjoy the half term break, I know most of you will still have to work, but hopefully you can still make the most of some glorious weather and get outside.
We'll see you back on Monday 5th June
Week of May 15th
Kind weather this week, thank goodness. People just feel so much better with some sun!
Some reminders for the last week of the half term and advance notice for the first week back to help with your planning.
- School in action sessions for Reception boys on Tuesday and Reception girls on Thursday, both at 11am.
- All clubs are on as normal .
- The winners of the house points that will be counted up on Thursday will wear home clothes on Friday. The winning house will receive an email from Miss Bates
- Miss Bates and I will also be checking this half term's attendance and 'late' figures to see if anyone is of concern to us. You will receive a notice letter if this is the case.
First week of term:
- School in action sessions for Yr 1 boys on Monday 5th at 11, and for Yr 1 girls on Tuesday 6th at 11.
- All clubs will restart straight away.
- We are having a 'Doctor bike' day on June 5th whereby you can bring in your child's - or your own bike - to be serviced/repaired for free. Bring it to the bike sheds at 8.30am.
- A reminder from June 5th, the new parking restrictions come into force and you will not be able to access the areas around Fairfield between 8.15-8.45 and 2.45-3.15. Local council road safety officers will be in attendance initially to ensure that everyone is complying. Please read the attached letter from Dorset Council about this.
Finally, a plea to be vigilant again about what your children are watching online. There is a very dangerous trend being video'd of children kicking others legs from under them to deliberately make someone fall backwards to the floor - it's distressing to watch and very dangerous. Technology sometimes really is not an advantage, is it?
Enjoy the weekend
Week of May 8th
Trips: We love taking children out on trips, it is one of the best parts of a school year. However, attendance on them is entirely dependent on positive behaviour and if the staff feel that they cannot trust a child to manage themselves and make appropriate choices , then that child may not be allowed to go. Children will always have had 'warnings' about this possibility in the lead up to the trips, so we'd very much appreciate you reinforcing this at home.
Holiday club: Unfortunately, I am unable to offer a childcare club this half term, I simply do not have the staff offers of help to run it.
'Prime' energy drinks : Should a primary age child drink Prime?
According to its website, Prime states that energy drinks aren't suitable for children under 18, pregnant people, or breastfeeding people.
Prime Energy contains 200mg of caffeine in each 335ml – or 12fl oz serving. By comparison – there are 80mg of caffeine in a 250ml can of Red Bull which is roughly the same as in a standard cup of coffee of the same size. Each Prime energy drink provides 200mg of caffeine - compared to Monster Energy and Relentless with 160mg and Red Bull with 80mg. Despite these alarming statistics, we have children coming to school having had these for breakfast! This makes for an incredibly challenging start to the day for the youngsters, as you can imagine- they are completely unable to regulate themselves. Please, please, do not give your children this horrible drink!
Unauthorised term time holidays :Sorry to be a little negative, but I am growing increasingly concerned at the number of holiday requests I am receiving this term. I understand that there are occasionally very good reasons for having to take holidays in term time but am concerned that there is a growing perception that this is an ‘ok’ thing to do just because it's inevitably cheaper. Although I understand that, particularly in this financial climate, the fact is that, according to the Government and Department for Education, it isn’t. Any term time holiday should be an exceptional circumstance only . Any day lost is important - children will never really catch up what they have missed. It is worth remembering too that holidays always count as unauthorised absence - and this means parents may be liable to a fine from Dorset Council. The fine is meant to be a deterrent - to emphasise that fact that school attendance is important. Please help your child by valuing their education - they only get one shot at it - and taking holidays outside of term time.
Afternoons: On a related note, we are seeing increasing numbers of children being taken out of school for 'medical appointments'. Our attendance policy requests that parents try to make all appointments outside of school hours. All such absences will be now be recorded as unauthorised until evidence of the doctor’s letter or surgery appointment is provided when you come to collect your child.
'School in action': the rota for these begins on May 23rd with Reception boys, parents welcome in from 11-12 and then for the girls on May 25th from 11-12.
Back to normal 5 day weeks for the next two weeks until half term.
Enjoy the weekend
Week of May 2nd
Some sunnier weather to enjoy this week, how very welcome!
- Monday is a Bank Holiday, we return on the Tuesday.
- Our Yr 6 and Yr 2 are due to sit their SATS exams over the next few weeks, please can we make sure that these children are in on time and have plenty of sleep the nights before?
- COVID- we are seeing a slight increase in number of cases recently, please still be vigilant to symptoms, since if the adults get it, it can mean real disruption to teaching. We always have some tests in the office if you need one.
- I am attaching the final school in action rota for this year for you to come and see your child in their classroom.
Traffic calming reminder- 5th June. From this day, you will not be able to turn into Fairfield to park or drop off between 8.15-8.45 and 2.45-3.15. At these times, the access will be for residents only. There will be a manned barrier up to reinforce this. Can I urge you then to rethink your plans if you drive. Can you park a bit further away and walk in? Can your child now cycle or scooter independently in this nicer weather, at least some of the way? Let's use the summer months to really think how we can better use the local roads.
Whether you're a royalist or not, enjoy the long weekend again.
Week of April 23rd
We're still waiting for some more spring like weather to hit, but the children have been able to get back to using the field this week for breaktimes, which definitely makes those times easier!
Some reminders for next week:
:Firstly, it is a Bank Holiday on Monday, so we return on the Tuesday.
:Secondly, there is another day of planned industrial action by teachers on the Tuesday, we will be open as usual.
:On May 5th, the Friday, to celebrate the Coronation, children are invited to come in dressed in red/white and blue. For the YR 3's on their school trip ,they can also do this but they MUST wear a Chickerell top to be able to be easily identified on the trip.
: there is the additional Bank Holiday on the 8th. Again, we will return on the 9th
: Yr 6 have their SATS exams that week, attendance for them therefore is vitally important.
Enjoy the long weekend
Week of April 17th
It was so lovely to see all of the children back with us this week, I know a few wobbled at the start, that is inevitable, but they are now all well settled.
A few notices for you:
Advance notice of parking restrictions from June 5th :
Again, in a bid to try and keep our children as safe as possible outside of the school gates, the Local Authority are working with us to trial a new traffic calming system between the hours of 8.15-8.45 and 2.45-3.15 every day that may alleviate too much traffic outside the gates and also stop some parents parking in a discourteous/unsafe manner. The new trial will come into force on June 5th and I will send you some detail next week. However, in essence, it means that access to Fairfield and those roads will be prohibited during those hours. Barriers will be in place to enforce this, so do start to plan where you will park if this is an area you normally use to drop off/pick up.
Thank you to all those of you who took the time to fill in the recent parent survey The results were overwhelmingly positive, but there were a few areas that we need to look at to improve on. One of these was about how safe children are at pick up time from clubs. Quite a few of you wrote that there are parents who drive in to the car park and then park dangerously so that other children find it tricky to see/spot their own parents. I am unable to close the gates at this time due to staff leaving the site but I would respectfully ask that if possible, please park outside the gates for club pick up , and if you really do need to drive in, please park in an allocated space only.
It's interesting reading this as I'm writing that so many of these reminders are linked, but now we are in the Summer term when hopefully weather will be better, can we all make a concerted effort to either walk to school, or park further away and walk the rest of the distance. Not only is this so much better for the children's health and well being, it definitely calms them quicker, ready for their learning.
The first week of these have been really well received. If you haven't done so, do book to try them - they're amazing!
Reminder of bank holidays
A reminder that we have two bank holidays coming up, May 1st and May 8th. School is not open on those days.
Next school in action rota
We will be giving you one more opportunity to come and see your child in action over the summer term. This will be sent to you next week.
Unfortunately, we have had several instances this week whereby children on scooters have struck other parents or children whilst scootering/biking inside the gates. Please ask your child to wheel their scooter or bike to the gate and ride them outside of the grounds.
This week PC Stuart Hann came into school to speak with parents/carers and Year 6 children about on-line safety. He advocated a really sensible approach to speaking with our children about on-line safety. Amongst some of the points he raised was that we should be having conversations about on-line safety on a regular basis and not waiting until something goes wrong. By having regular conversations about the use of technology we can share the benefits as well as the risks of using technology. Children 'fear' the loss of their technology and will often not speak about something that's not working for them on-line unless we are open with them. He said that although the children he speaks to were well-aware of the risks of sharing information on-line, they often 'accidentally' shared information even when they knew they shouldn't. He stressed that we should be reassuring towards our children when they make mistakes on-line. He also stressed the importance of having strong passwords, both you and your children's. There may be people in your child's chat rooms who they do not know. He stressed the importance of removing, blocking, taking screen shots and discussing concerns with school. Lastly, he stressed the importance of knowing how to check your child's security and privacy settings and content to be more aware of anyone following your child on-line. Worth everyone taking note of, I think.
Enjoy the weekend
See you all Monday
Week of March 20th
Another fun packed week, 'school in action' visits, Farm visits, science workshops, yoga sessions, netball tournaments to name but a few. My thanks to all the staff who have helped run and organise these to enrich the experiences of our children.
- Monday is school photo day. All children must attend in school uniform, NOT PE kit. Ties must be worn, please.
- Parent consultations begin- do book a slot if you have not done so already
- We'll be counting up the house points on Thursday for the winning house to wear home clothes on the Friday.
- I'll be looking at each child's attendance this week again, you will receive a letter if I am in any way concerned about this or how late they are getting to school.
- We finish as normal on the Friday, normal times.
- No clubs this week other than veggie cookery and kickboxing.
- We have our 'food tasting' sessions this week for you and your child to sample our new supplier's food. You are welcome to come in any time after picking your child up on Wednesday and Thursday next week.
Protocols for getting in touch with school:
Being at the gate every day means that for many of you, we can collect those little notes that may need to be passed onto the class teacher or office. However, if you have a query about something that is happening in class or at break, please contact your child's class teacher in the first instance. Although they are happy for email contact, do be aware that they will only respond within reasonable hours of work, or in directed time after work. For their own work/life balance and a healthy mindset, they may well not be answering queries after 6pm.
Please only then refer things to me if you have already contacted the class teacher, and have not managed to reach a resolution, the reality otherwise is that I will simply ask the class teacher to respond anyway. I need to look after my staff - and myself!
Week of March 13th
Another super busy week, thank you to those of you who have been able to attend the 'school in action' sessions. We will repeat these again in the Summer term.
With two weeks of the Spring term remaining, children may well be sitting small tests to show what they have learnt over the last 10/12 weeks, but all their progress will be discussed with you at the forthcoming parents evenings.
- 'School in action' sessions for YR 5 and 6 this week, Yr 5 boys 9-10 on Monday Yr 5 girls 9-10 Tuesday, YR 6 boys 11-12 Wednesday and YR 6 girls 1.15-2 Thursday.
- You will get a parentmail on Monday early evening inviting you to sign up for the next round of parent evenings. Some are face to face, some are online - sign up for whatever suits you best.
- Final 'call' for anyone needing childcare during Easter 3/4/5/6 and 11/12/13 April - please let me know asap because I have to set staffing ratios accordingly.
- Advance notice, 27th March is the class photos, we want all children to be in proper uniform that day, no PE kit, and they must have ties on.
- Clubs: This is the last week of clubs, they all finish on the 24th apart from veggie cookery and kickboxing, which will run right up to the very end.
Enjoy the weekend
Week of March 6th
What a wet, cold, miserable week. Let's hope Spring and some warmth will appear soon- I think we could all do with it!.
- Yr 3 and 4 school in action sessions this week, Monday @1.15pm for parents of Yr 3 boys, Tuesday @11am for parents of Yr 3 girls, Thursday @1pm for parents of Yr 4 boys and Friday @10am for parents of Yr 4 girls
- The next 2 days of teacher industrial action are on Wednesday and Thursday. Again, I will let you know of any disruption, it is highly likely that there will be no Drawing or Art club on those days.
- Please do let me know if you think you'll require childcare over Easter on the dates I specified last week, we must have enough notice to set our staffing levels appropriately.
- We will be 'opening up' our parent evening bookings on Monday, do keep an eye out for the parent mail that day about that.
Enjoy the weekend
Week of February 27th
It was an amazing sight to see so many 'wallies' yesterday in school- thank you for your efforts with this. Photos will be uploaded to the website very soon.
Pastoral Care: As many of you are aware, we are extremely fortunate to have two very well qualified and diligent pastoral support workers in Laura Richards and Clare Smith who are on the gate with me every gate. They and I meet every Monday to discuss the children in most need of support, and sometimes, we have to make difficult decisions to prioritise certain children depending on what they are going through at that moment. Although sessions are carefully planned in, a lot of their work can also be 'reactive'- when a child runs suddenly, or has a panic attack. This may then mean that they cannot take a child they'd planned to. Please do be mindful of this, if your child comes home and says that they haven't had their ' normal' slot with them, there is always a very genuine reason as to why.
Over the next few weeks, their time will be more limited, we are going to the Farm again which they are attending to support some of the more vulnerable children, they've been asked to help out with mock SATS, so your child's TA's may need to help out during these times. Thank you for your understanding with this- we are so lucky to have them both and we need to remember that!
- Yr 2 school in action sessions next week - Tuesday for parents of girls @11 and Friday for parents of boys @11.
- We are hoping to provide some Easter holiday childcare 3/4/5/6 and 11/12/13 of April- please let me know what dates you may need as soon as possible.
- Advance notice. On Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th March we are going to hold some food tasting sessions in the hall at 3.15 for anyone who'd like to sample the food from our new hot meals supplier, bring your child!
Enjoy the weekend
Week of January 30th
We're slowly winning the illness 'battle' - our numbers absent each day are dwindling at last. Thank goodness!
Some notices for next week:
- INSET day 10th - children are not in school that day
- Magdalen Farm reminder. The children in Yrs 3/4/5/6 who went to the farm in November are returning for a day on Monday. You should have received an email about this.
- Clubs: clubs will be running next week, except obviously any Friday clubs.
- The attachment with this email refers to our next 'dress to express 'day on February 8th- where we are inviting the children and adults alike to come dressed in a way that expresses something about themselves. This could be anything that reflects their likes/hobbies...
Breakfast club: Our take up for this now exceeds 50 most days, which is wonderful. Can I remind you, though, that if you arrive BEFORE 8.20, you will need to pay for the service, after 8.20 - for the last 10 minutes - is free.
Attendance: On the INSET day, Miss Bates and I will be looking at the children's attendance over this half term. If your child is significantly below 90%, then you will receive a letter from us. I know we've been really badly hit by illness, and we will be taking that into consideration, but for the children who seem to have repeated absence or who are regularly late, we will be monitoring this before considering recommending a fine. In these financial times, I don't want anyone to have to incur such a cost, but it is important that we treat being in school, on time, as an essential.
Reminder:' A Stars', we host a club here at the SEN base on a Saturday from 10.30- 12.30. The club is aimed at families who have a family member on the autistic spectrum, they can meet others and share ideas, strategies, stories, whilst the children can interact with each other helped by a school adult. Do pop along to find out more about it.
Enjoy the weekend
Week of January 23rd
What a week! We have really struggled with illness- these blasted colds/flu/COVID like symptoms. Just to reiterate as per my email on Tuesday, if your child is ill, particularly with these symptoms, then keep them off.
I know some clubs and activities have been disrupted this week due to staff illness- apologies for that.
- Due to some ongoing challenging personal circumstances, Mrs Griffiths, the SENCO, will only be available via email next week. Thank you for your understanding with this.
- February 1st sees the first day of teacher industrial action. School will remain open, but two classes will operate a different timetable for that day. Some clubs may be affected, we'll email those parents affected.
- A reminder again that February 10th is our next INSET day.
- Hot meals: we are in the process of retendering for our hot meals, we have become a little unhappy with some of the food quality we have seen lately from our current company ,so we intend to look for alternatives. The reality is that alternatives may be more expensive, but it is much more important that our children are getting a meal that is of higher quality and a more substantial portion size.
Pre school: We are currently looking to increase the capacity of staffing in our pre school. If you enjoy being around little children and feel this is an avenue you'd like to explore, please get in contact with me.
Enjoy the weekend
Weekly of January 16th
What a change in the temperature this week!
Unfortunately, we have had several staff COVID cases this week, which have meant some disruption to normal service for some children- thank you for bearing with us.
I am attaching some information about internet safety with regards to TIKTOK that you may find useful. It is our experience that our children are using this platform a lot, and if not managed properly, it can be quite dangerous in terms of what videos on there can encourage children to try.
A few reminders:
- Movie night tonight, 20th. If your child is coming, they should have signed up for the movie they want to watch. Please can you ensure that although you can leave your child with us on that night, you are contactable should we need to get hold of you for any medical/behaviour issue.
- Don't forget to sign up for childcare in the half term if you might need it. Although it is predominantly for working parents, if you simply want your child to have some 'routine' of school, then do please book them in. £15 a whole day, £7.50 a half day. Because we keep the cost of this so low compared to other providers, we cannot offer any 'free' places, sorry.
- Advance notice that our next INSET day is the 10th February, and then the school shuts for half term week.
Industrial action: You may have seen from the news this week that the unions have endorsed the industrial action for teachers to go ahead this week. The potentially affected dates will be the 1st February, 2nd March and the 15th and 16th March. I will let you know in due course if this will impact on your child in any way. However, school will not be closing. We may just be running slightly different days for affected classes.
Enjoy the weekend
Weekly of January 9th
Another wet, blustery week to test us all. It is clear that driving and parking become so much more of an issue in this type of weather. Although there is nothing 'formal' set up, watching from the gates, it does seem that if we were all to try and use a one way system, drive down the road towards school, then leave via Rashley Road, the road adjacent to the school, this would alleviate the 'snarl ups' at the junction we see.
Clubs: It's been lovely to see so many children at clubs this week, we do have a few with spaces in if you've not yet signed your child up. These will continue until Easter, although there may be a few days again that will coincide with parent evenings etc that they do not run, but I'll give you good notice of those.
Can we make a plea for any outgrown wellies and waterproofs to donate to our Forest School work, please? If you can leave them in a bag in the main school office, we'd be really grateful.
Industrial action: You may well be aware from the news that teachers are currently being balloted to determine whether there will be a 'strike' over pay, much like the nurses, rail staff and postal workers have done. The ballot for this closes on the 13th January and then, in due course, we will hear if industrial action will be happening. The very nature of a strike is that it is intended to cause disruption, and therefore please understand that staff are under no obligation to inform me that they will be taking part in this, although because of the excellent working relationships we have here, some of them have already done so. Undoubtedly some schools may well have to shut on those days, if the safety and supervision of children would be compromised by less adults in the building, and rest assured I will inform you of any disruption and change to plans that we may need to make as soon as I possibly can.
Inevitably, this is a contentious issue, and I know striking is not viewed as a popular response to a problem, but I think that we must put our own personal thoughts aside and accept that this is a national picture in a variety of professions that will continue to dominate headlines this year.
Childcare in February half term reminder: If you wish to use this service, from Mon 13th- Thur 16th, then do let me know in good time, we need to set our staffing levels accordingly.
Parent helpers: We'd really like to get back to welcoming you in to help in the classroom, listening to children read, and such like. If you'd like to do this, please bear in mind several things;
- You would not necessarily be in your child's class, you will be where we may need you!
- We'd need to do a full DBS check before you can come in, and should that show up anything untoward, then you would not be able to undertake such voluntary work.
- We'd expect and insist on a high level of confidentiality.
If you'd be happy to be considered on that basis, then email me directly.
Enjoy the weekend, let' s hope the weather improves!
Weekly of January 4th
A belated Happy New year to you all. The children have settled well back into their learning and we are really thrilled to have them back with us. They are already tired from the week back in routine,[ several younger ones actually fell asleep in lessons!] but will 'acclimatise' soon!
A few reminders for you:
- Clubs will restart next week. You should have been notified by the office which clubs your child has been allocated. Remember that these are still free at present, so do encourage your child to perhaps try something different .
- The new 'school in action' rota is attached for you to come in again and see what your children typically do in class. Many of you really enjoyed these and I know were quite surprised as to the level of work 'expectation' that the classes have.
- Check you've ordered your hot meals for the next few weeks- these are still only £1 at the moment and will be at least until Easter.
Help: With the cost and expense of Christmas still being felt by many, a reminder that we have our 'support fund' to help you out if you are struggling to pay for essentials. Do just email me if you need this kind of assistance- we will do what we can as always . No child should be at a disadvantage because of financial struggles.
In addition to our fund, there is also :
Household Support Fund - Dorset Councilhttps://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/w/household-support-fund
Household Support Fund - Dorset Council
Residents are eligible if they have: an annual household net income of less than £30,000 and; savings of less than £16,000; Calculations for the annual net income should not include Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance, or Child Benefit.
I know that you can also access some financial support via this too.
Childcare: I know we've only been back a few days but some of you are already needing to think about plans for February half term. We intend to offer childcare for working parents again who may need this service. It will operate from Monday 13th - Thursday 16th [ inclusive of those dates] and hours will be 9-4. As before, you can book children in for whole or part of the day. In order to keep costs low for you, we will only charge £15 a day, £7.50 a half day - this is not a 'money making' scheme for us. Can you get back to me via my normal email if you are interested in this? It would be helpful to know which days you might want too, for staffing ratios.
Attendance and holidays: I am really disappointed to learn that there are several WhatsApp parent groups set up currently where discussions are being had about how to go on a term time family holiday and avoid a fine by being less than honest about the absences. As a staff, we pride ourselves on encouraging the children to be honest and respectful in school so it is a shame that some grown ups are not modelling this too. I completely understand how attractive a term time holiday is in respect of being cheaper, but please, can we be 'up front' about them.
My Concern: We have a system in school called Myconcern , that allows us to record and monitor any changes in children's behaviour, presentation, circumstances that we notice- that may be affecting their ability to cope with/manage school. All staff, teachers, TAs, lunch staff, can record any worries or concerns they have about a child, and myself, Miss Richards and Mrs Llewellyn then meet weekly to look at these and discuss what we need to do to support the children. We have decided that once the number of my concerns reaches a certain threshold, then we may well ask you to join us for those discussions too about how best to help your child. You may already have been made aware of any real concerns from the class teacher, but the chat with us would be about what we can all do to support and help.
Enjoy the weekend, let's hope it not too wet and windy!
Week of December 5th
The last week is nearly here...
I know it's been a tough one for many of you with a lot of illness and children's absence from school, hopefully the break - and a really deep clean of the entire school - will dispel these horrible, horrible germs.
Final reminders for the last week:
Performance times again:
Reception: Tuesday 13th @9.45am
Year 1: Wednesday 14th @9.45am
Year 4: Thursday 15th @3.30pm
Year 5: Tuesday 13th @ 1.45pm
Year 6: Wednesday 14th @1.45 or Thursday 15th @9.45 [ 2 slots]
A reminder once again that there is a very strict limit of 2 adults per child for each performance due to fire regulations.
On the last day, we finish slightly earlier, in line with other schools.
N-Z will be out at 1.55, A-M 2.05
We return on the 3rd January.
On behalf of all the pupils, staff and governors, I'd like to wish you all a very 'Merry Christmas' and thank you for your continued support with everything we do.
Week of November 28th
Hello, so, we are into the last two weeks of the school term and they're going to be busy with Christmas events. Below is confirmation of times etc for performances within the next two weeks:
Reception: Tuesday 13th @9.45am
Year 1: Wednesday 14th @9.45am
Year 2: Thursday 8th @1.45pm
Year 3: Thursday firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 4: Thursday 15th @3.30pm
Year 5: Tuesday 13th @ 1.45pm
Year 6: Wednesday 14th @1.45 or Thursday 15th @9.45 [ 2 slots]
A reminder once again that there is a very strict limit of 2 adults per child for each performance due to fire regulations.
'School in action' slots next week: Yr 5 boys December 5th @1.15pm, Yr 5 girls December 6th @ 9am, Yr 6 boys December 7th @9am and Yr 6 girls December 8th @1pm. Please arrive 5 mins before and ensure that all phones have been switched off. Come and see what your child typically does with us.
New clubs list out now: As well as our extensive extra-curricular clubs that take place after school ,which we hope lots of children will sign up for, we also run some 'discreet' clubs at lunchtime for smaller groups of children, for example we run a social lunch club for children who find eating in the hall with crowds too much, and a 'diversity' club for children who feel in some way that they struggle to 'fit in' for whatever reason. We hope that you will always support the children to attend these if they want to.
Our next scheduled parent 'drop in' on December 6th is postponed, apologies for that.
Children's health: As you are probably aware, lots of horrible coughs and colds have been going round, and I was sad to learn that several of our children have been hospitalised with their coughs. Although obviously at normal times, attendance is important, your child's health is much more so, so please do keep them off until you are absolutely sure they are well enough to return.
Christmas Jumper day, 8th December: If you want your child to wear a Christmas jumper, they are most welcome to, but there is no obligation to at all.
Week of November 21st
Hasn't the temperature dropped this week! Do make sure that your children are well wrapped up for this. I know for our older children particularly it isn't 'cool' to wear a coat, but it is safer and more comfortable.
- It's parent consultations next week- have you booked your slot? Over 75% of the school have-which is brilliant. They are a really good chance to find out how your child is doing in every way- academically, socially, emotionally.
- A reminder that there are no clubs now until January except for our paid after school club
- Christmas events. Remember- there is no ticketing process but it is strictly two adults per child to each event to comply with our fire regulations.
- Children are not in school on Wednesday 30TH- it is an INSET day
- On the 28th November, we have 'Dr Bike' visiting- a bike mechanic who will mend, fix, service bikes to make them safe and roadworthy for free. If you'd like your child's bike to be looked at , please bring it in through the main gates and put it near the bike sheds. They will be done by the end of the day. I still have 3 spaces for children in Yrs 5 or 6 to do their 'bikeability' training on the 30th, our INSET day. Please contact me asap if you'd like one of these places.
- The next 'school in action' slots will be for YR 5 the week of December 5th..
- A reminder that the PTA are running a Christmas Bingo night on December 2nd- tickets in the school office.
- Any donations for hampers for the bingo would be very much appreciated, they are in the main school office should you wish to do so.
- We will be celebrating Christmas Jumper day on the 8th December - children are more than welcome to come into school wearing one if they wish, but it is not obligatory.
Joining a Multi academy Trust - reminder
You may remember from the recent newsletter and email, that I talked about securing the future of the school, by potentially joining a multi academy trust. For those of you who may not know much about this, multi academy trusts are a group of schools who formally work together to improve each other, whilst at the same time allowing for greater financial gains by ‘bulk buying’ services to save money. The government agenda is very much for every school to be a part of one of these MATS by 2027. Some schools are ‘forced’ to join by virtue of their Ofsted rating, for schools like us who are graded ‘good’, we have - at the moment- a choice of which MAT to join, and when.
The board of governors have been having conversations for a while now on this, and they understand that this is the direction that schools need to take. To this end we have been researching local MATS who may suit our own ethos and values and although no fixed decisions have been made as yet, currently, First Federation Trust, a Devon based trust that is ‘opening’ a hub here in Weymouth and West Dorset seems to most align with our core values and vision.
What I’d really like you to do is to google this MAT, look at their website, look at their ‘offer’ and get a sense of how they operate.
It is really important for you to understand that, day to day, week to week, joining the right MAT would make absolutely no difference to your children’s experiences. I will still be the Head, our staff will remain the same, uniform stays the same - the differences will be around what school improvement we can offer teachers to develop their teaching even more, and what financial savings we may be able to make.
Once you’ve had a look at their website, if you have any questions that you’d like to ask about this issue on general, then there is a new email ‘box’ open to send these to. This is MAT@chickerell.dorset.sch.uk
I look forward to seeing your thoughts/questions
Week of November 14th
A busy week, more 'school in action sessions' , whole school flu jabs, residentials...and now also just beginning to prepare for Christmas events too.
Thank you for bearing with us with regards to staffing this week, we have been really badly hit by sickness and I know some children may have found the changes difficult, but obviously the most important thing is to ensure that there is a suitably experienced and qualified adult in front of the children so that their learning can continue.
Reminders for next week, the 21st:
- It is the last week of clubs until January. 'Paid After School Club' will run up until the 15th December.
- 'School in action' sessions for parents of Yr 3 boys on Monday 21st, 1-2, and parents of Yr 3 girls Tuesday, 1-2. Come and see what we do on a day to day basis.
- A reminder- For the Christmas events, there are no tickets, but there is a strict limit of 2 adults per child, you simply turn up to the performance and we will mark the 2 adults next to the name of each child.
- If you haven't signed up for a parent consultation slot yet, please do. If you cannot attend at all, it is also worth letting us know so we don't 'badger' you for an appointment !
- It is our next INSET day on the 30th November. Children are not in school that day. We will be running some of the parent consultations on that day, in the afternoon.
Enjoy the weekend.
Week of November 7th
Another blustery week for us. We're still battling with lots of cold/flu illnesses that are affecting both children and adults, but we are still regularly 'fogging' the rooms to try to keep them as germ free as possible.
Next week and the gate: Myself and the pastoral team are running a mixed year group residential trip next week, so from Monday afternoon to Thursday, we will not be on the gate to assist in our normal way. Mrs Llewellyn, our Deputy, and Miss Heslop - who is also part of the pastoral team- will be there to help you with any urgent support, but your child's TA will also be near the gates to help out with any wobbly children. At the end of the day, Mrs Llewellyn will be there to call you in at the requisite time.
Christmas events: Year groups have chosen what they wish to do to celebrate Christmas with the children this year, so I am attaching a 'draft' list of what your class are doing and when any performances are. I cannot specify times yet, simply mornings from 9.45 or afternoon events from 1.30. For performances, we will need to stick to fire regulations as to how many people we can have in the hall at any one time, so do be aware that spaces will be very strictly limited to two adults per child. Siblings may well get the chance to watch the dress rehearsals for things. Please note that if there are any changes to this, I will let you know asap.
Please also note that in line with most other schools, we will be finishing at 2pm on the last day of the Christmas term. There will be no Chattichicks club that day either.
There are a number of School Uniform Grants in the school office awaiting collection. We will always endeavour to have these waiting for you within the week you give us the receipts, so do please pop in and collect the money.
Clubs: Advance notice that all clubs will finish for the Autumn term on the 25th November. Paid after school club will run up until - and including - Thursday the 15th December. A new clubs list will come out before Christmas for us to start as soon after the break as possible.
Anti Bullying: Next week is 'national anti-bullying week' and there is a nationwide initiative to show awareness of this by wearing odd socks on Monday 14th. This may well happen naturally in your house- it does in mine because the washing machine eats them - but do encourage your child to wear really brightly coloured, odd socks!
Enjoy the weekend, let's hope for some slightly better weather!
Week of October 31st
What a week back! Halloween, very blustery ,wet weather, darker nights- welcome to winter!
Some reminders for you:
- Next week, we have our 'school in action' sessions for Year 1. If you have a male Yr 1 child, you are welcome to come in on November 7th from 11-12, and if you have a Yr 1 female child, you are welcome to come in on the November 8th, 11-12. No siblings or babies, phones must be switched off for the duration. Come to the main school office at 10.50 and we'll sign you in.
- There is a Yr 3 and 4 trip to the cinema on Wednesday 9th, you should have had all the details about this from the class teachers.
Breakfast Club: As you are all aware we have heavily discounted the hot lunch meals so that hopefully more children are getting a hot meal in these challenging times. We'd like to extend this offer to breakfast club, so that from 8.15-8.30 every day, if you are struggling to feed your child breakfast, they can come and have some in the hall in this 15 mins. There is no need to book, simply bring them to the side gates by the bike sheds and they can come in.
Sweets/Lollies: With Halloween having happened this week, it was brought to my attention that we must all be mindful of giving sweets that are appropriate for young children in that they should not be a potential 'choking' hazard. Do bear this in mind if you are providing sweets for your child's class.
Financial support: The link below can help you get access to some extra funding to support you financially through the winter months. Remember too we have our own 'support fund' that you can access by emailing me to let me know how we can help you.
Household Support Fund - Dorset Council
The government introduced The Household Support Fund to support vulnerable households who need help with their energy, food, and water bills. The third round of funding for autumn and winter will be open from 8am on 4 November until midnight on 30 November (unless all funds are allocated before that closing date).
'Dr Bike': On November 28th, we have a bike doctor coming in from 8.30 in the morning to look at , repair check out your child's bikes to ensure that they are safe and roadworthy. Please feel free to bring your child's bike in on the day.
Remembrance: We will be 'selling' poppies etc for Remembrance day, but this year, instead of asking for a £1, we simply will ask for a donation of any amount if your child would like one. They will be available from Monday, we'll take them round to the classes.
Sports Clubs: With the weather now turning more inclement, we will always try to keep the 'outdoor' clubs running where possible, but it would really help if the children are dressed warmly for these - tracksuits and long sleeves- not shorts and t shirts now.
Enjoy the weekend, let's hope it's a bit drier and less blustery than last week!
Week of October 17th
So, here we are at the half term and I think everyone is ready for a bit of a break.
It's been quite a challenging time with illness/COVID/sickness bugs- and that, coupled with tough times financially, I know has meant that you have sometimes found things hard too.
To that end, I want to remind you about the 'support fund' we established last year to help you with the unexpected bills that you may find really tricky to pay.
We have helped lots of you already, but if there is something that you need that you simply cannot afford- and that would mean that without it your children would be disadvantaged in some way, then please email me and let me know what I can do to help.
And if you haven't done so, get your uniform grant from us [ this can be used on a warm coat, for example], sign up for the cheap hot school meals - anything that may help make the winter months a bit easier.
Parent evenings: These will be held the week of November 28th. Two evenings will be dedicated for online consultations, two for 'face to face' consultations. Please choose the option that most suits your home life. The online booking system for both will open after half term, and we will open it at 6pm one evening, so as not to disadvantage anyone who is at work and cannot access the system until they've finished.
I have attached to the weekly email the 'school in action ' rota that I mentioned in last week's parentmail. Do look to see when your slot to come in and see us in action is. Please remember you cannot swap groups , so if you can't attend these initial ones, they will be repeated every term. A reminder of protocol for them: No siblings, no pushchairs, mobiles must be switched off, and we ask that you be respectful when the teacher is talking to the class and be quiet so the children can really listen .
Enjoy the half term, keep safe and warm. We come back on Monday 31st.
Week of October 10th
I can't believe that we've almost finished the first half term already. Although we've been struggling with a few bugs and COVID cases, in general, the weeks have gone well and children have impressed us with their attitude to learning.
Harvest: I'd really like us to be focusing on helping those closest to us in our community, so this year, for Harvest, can we ask for donations instead for Weymouth food bank ,please. Can you take them direct to the ' football pavilion' in Chickerell, on the football field between 12 - 4 on a Wednesday.
Reminder: INSET day 21st October , children not in school.
Clubs: These finish on the 19th October [ Wednesday] and restart on the 31st October, no change to those available.
PTA Disco on Thursday 20th . Timings: YR 1 /2 3.15-4.15 [ children will stay in school until that] YR 3 /4 4.30-5.30 YR 5/6 5.45-6.45. Children can come to school in home clothes they would wear to the disco. If they have PE that day, they can still do PE, but bring some trainers to put on for the lesson.
Winning 'house' will be wearing home clothes on the Wednesday 19th. You will receive a parent mail only if your child is in the winning house once we have counted up the half term's house points.
School in action: In November, we will be starting a 'school in action' rota whereby you can come in at a designated time and see your child's class, how it works, the expectations the staff have and so on. These will be for an hour and there will need to be some strict protocols around them: no younger children to attend, phones turned off, that kind of thing. We will repeat it later in the year too, so if you can't make this initial slot, there will be others. However, please understand to keep numbers manageable, we cannot allow you to join another slot.
Uniform/hair/general appearance: Despite clear guidelines on the website[ attached], we are seeing a lot of hairstyles amongst the boys in particular that I deem too short and inappropriate for school, lots of shaved heads, tram lines etc. Please be clear that we expect hairstyles to not be too extreme, at the Upper schools they are VERY strict about that and I do not want any child lulled into a false sense of security that this is acceptable. Can I also remind you that nail varnish is not allowed, and neither are 'festival ' wristbands. Do read the attached below to be clear on our expectations.
'All pupils will wear the Chickerell sweatshirt, v-neck jumper or cardigan as some form of jumper. Children must wear the school tie with a shirt or polo shirt. They then can wear grey or black trousers or shorts , or grey/black skirts/pinafore of an appropriate length .The summer dress can also be worn during the warmer weather. Shorts are not really appropriate for colder weather, even with tights underneath, but if they are worn, then they too must be knee length. Shoes need to be safe, comfortable and of a dark colour, not boots. Plain black trainers are acceptable too.
For PE, all pupils will have the Chickerell logoed PE t-shirt in maroon or white, they can wear this with shorts [inside PE] or tracksuit bottoms and the Chickerell hoodies. On the days that children have PE, they will come to school in their proper PE kit.
With regards to jewellery, a watch, stud earrings and a necklace denoting a religious affiliation such as a St Christopher may be worn. All items must be removed for PE, earrings may be taped over instead. Charity wristbands are acceptable.
Long hair must be tied back for practical subjects, a small, plain headband can also be used. We are also looking to discourage an 'overuse' of hair gel and any hair style that is deemed too 'severe'- this will include hair shaved too short, designs shaved into hair, hair too 'pointed' and such like. Equally, no make-up is to be worn under any circumstance, including nail varnish.
Our rationale underpinning these expectations is quite simple, if pupils deliberately look to set themselves apart from others by virtue of how they look, they are invariably treated differently by their peers. Differently does not always mean fairly. As a staff we very much look to promote cohesion with our classes and when we are all conforming to the same 'dress' expectations this becomes inevitably easier.'
Enjoy the weekend
Week of October 3rd
Lots of information in this one today, apologies for that.
Clubs: These will run right up to the 19th October, the Wednesday, and then restart on the 31st October.
Getting to and from school: With the current economic climate making everyone feel the pinch a bit more, we are looking at different ways of cutting costs for our families. Petrol is one of the big expenses and in conjunction with Sustrans charitable travel organisation we have come up with some free ways to help you with this. Cycling to and from school is the most obvious way to help and yet very few of our children who live close actually do. This may be because they- or you- don't feel confident in their ability to do this safely, it may also be that their bike is not that roadworthy, so to that end we are proposing a few ideas:
- We will run, free, bikeability sessions whereby the children in Yrs 5 and 6 in the first instance will be taught cycle/road safety by a fully qualified instructor, here at school and around the surrounding roads
- We will offer for anyone a 'Doctor' Bike service where you can bring your child's bike to be serviced, checked over and repaired where possible
- For the much younger children in Reception/ Yr 1 and 2 we will run free 'learn to ride' sessions- all they will need is a bike that is 'safe' for them to learn on.
For now, in order to fit sessions, I need an expression of interest from you if you/your child would be interested in these. Please email me back directly on my normal email:
email@example.com letting me know which you'd be interested in.
Equally, if you don't have a bike, walking to school is great too. I know the easiest thing is to put children in a car, but if you're pushed to find a parking space, and stress levels are increasing as a result, then this can stop that. We also find that children who have had that short burst of activity getting to school settle much quicker to their learning.
Helpful hint from another parent:
'I know times are hard for lots of people at the moment, I found an account on Instagram (also on YouTube) that shows a weekly shopping list, recipes and videos of how to, for feeding your family for £10 a week. It's 2x meals for 4 people for 5 days, so 40 hot meals a week. I've followed for a few weeks now and think it's just fab!
It's called _myfirstmeals
Just thought it was a great resource for people watching the pennies even more so now. :)
13th October is school photo day. Even if your child has PE in that day, please have them in school uniform.
Any more final requests for our childcare club at half term, please email me as soon as possible.
School can give children and young people a source of support, boost self-esteem and give them a sense of achievement, friendships and relationships with trusted adults. It is however completely normal for children to feel worried about aspects of school life occasionally. This is usually short-lived, but for some children school can feel challenging, stressful or distressing for a longer period.
In some cases, this builds up so that the child is reluctant to go in, or becomes so severe that they are unable to attend. This is usually called ‘school refusal’, though many object to the implication that it’s a choice. It is also known as emotionally-based school avoidance (EBSA) or anxiety-related absence. Below are links to useful resources that may help you in supporting your child who may be experiencing this. Copy and paste them into your browser to access them.
Enjoy the weekend,
Week of September 26th
It was really lovely to see so many of you at our 'meet the teacher' and phonics sessions on Monday, many of you remarked how nice it was to be back in school itself. We will begin to offer you more opportunities to see us in action over the next few months, so that you get a clearer picture of what we do and how we do it.
There will also be a formal parent evening opportunity after half term, which you will have the choice of either coming in or having an online appointment - whichever suits you best.
I have attached via email a leaflet to promote again a club that runs here called 'A Stars' that is for any parent or carer that suspects their child may be on the autistic spectrum to any degree. It is a support group in place for you as a parent to come and share experiences whilst your child can play with others, with staff from the school helping. This is also open to families from other schools, so if you know of anyone who might also benefit from this then do let them know.
I'm hoping that the sickness bug that has plagued us this week will now be waning. For your information, we did have a few isolated COVID cases also creep in this week, and we will continue to let you know via email if this is within your child's class.
Week of September 12th
Wow! An overwhelming response to clubs, which was wonderful to see. We have tried to be as fair as possible in allocating these, so, for example, if you'd asked for your child to access 4 clubs but someone else has only asked for one, we might have given one of your 'spaces' to that child instead. I'm sure you'd understand that- we want all children to benefit from this temporary 'free' access to clubs.
Thank you too to those of you who responded to my request for opinions on the subsidised meals/food vouchers. By far the most popular was the former and we are currently working with our lunch providers to be able to start this as soon as possible, details to follow shortly.
For those parents in KS2 who received a parentmail about a subsidised farm residential trip in November, we had an incredible uptake in terms of expressions of interest. For 50 places, we've already had 106 considerations - which is wonderful. However, this does mean that we will have to 'pick out of a hat' to be fair. Potentially, for those of you who've asked for consideration for siblings, this could mean that one gets a place and the other doesn't, which I know might not sit easily with you. Or we pick by family as opposed to individual child. The pastoral team - Mrs Griffiths, Miss Richards and Mrs Smith will be helping me with these decisions and we will get back to you shortly. A reminder that it is vital that your child is comfortable staying away from home - for 3 nights - to really get the most out of the trip. If you wish to change your mind about the expression of interest, please do so by Friday 23rd. We will be drawing names on the morning of the 26th.
Weymouth College has a commercial hair salon which is open to the public. The salon is supported and overseen by experienced lecturers. Due to the current financial situation affecting many families and individuals, we would like to offer all school children haircuts for only £1. In return, they will be also be supporting students gain their hairdressing qualifications. To book an appointment please phone 01305 208927 quoting ‘SCHOOL’.
A reminder that the rescheduled 'meet the teacher' is on the 26th, from 3.30-4. If you are bringing your children, please encourage them to be quiet and calm during the session.
Parking: Again, we have had some issues this week with inconsiderate, dangerous and downright illegal parking, which I know has resulted in at least 8 families receiving a ticket . We are hoping to potentially trial a very innovative idea of completely closing the road to the left of the school gates[ as you look at the school] to prevent people turning in, swinging round and parking on the pavements there. It is somewhat of a shame that we may have to resort to this.
I do hope that you and your family can take the time to watch the state funeral on Monday. Even if you're not a 'royalist' , the historical nature of this event means that children should at least experience a part of what it means for our country. I will most definitely be sat, with tissues and tea close by....
Week of September 5th
One week down and I hope that your children have had a positive first week. We've loved seeing them again- and welcoming our new ones.
Soon , you will have information about clubs and such like, but in this email I wanted to share with you some thoughts about our hot meals. As I mentioned earlier in the week, I'm very keen that no children should be disadvantaged by virtue of the current financial situation - which is harder for everyone right now.
One of the biggest 'users' of electric are ovens, so with that in mind, it makes sense that if we can offer at a very discounted price a hot meal for every child, every day, then that might help.
Currently, all children in the Reception and Yr 1 and 2 are entitled to a free hot meal anyway, as part of the Government scheme. Also, anyone in Yrs 3/4/5/6 whose parents are on some kind of income support are also entitled. This initiative for a discounted meal is aimed at everyone else.
The meals currently cost £2.60,our idea is that if you pay £1 for them , school will subsidise the rest. That means that your child could have a hot meal every day of the week for £5, as opposed to £13. Even if you didn't want to use the oven at night, you know they've had a hot meal during the day.
The other option would be to issue everyone who wants one - and who doesn't already receive one - a food voucher at key times, start of terms, half terms, Christmas, Easter. These vouchers would be between £15-£30.
I'd really like your thoughts on which of these you'd be most interested in . If you can email me back, then we can make some decisions. Equally, it would be really helpful to know if you will not need either of these at the moment, we can then divert funds to help more people.
Can I also reiterate too that the uniform grant can be used for trousers, shirts, shoes, trainers, anything that a child might wear in school- not just logoed jumpers etc..
Finally, can I respectfully ask that we remember that as adults, we must use social media in a positive way. Facebook groups/whatsapp are great for checking arrangements with other parents or asking advice, but all too often we see things turn very negative, or even personal about staff. If you have an issue with the school that needs addressing, please contact myself or Mrs Llewellyn, and we can help - that is the most appropriate avenue. Misuse of social media in this way will result in robust action from the Governors.
Enjoy the weekend.