Dear parent / carer
It has been an absolute joy to have had some sense of normality back in our school, after the last two school years which have been impacted on by COVID. It has been fabulous to see all of our children settle back into school after their summer break. A huge welcome also to our new Nursery and Reception children and families!
Our children have demonstrated repeatedly over the last 18 months how resilient, hard-working and determined they are. They are a credit to themselves, our school and to you.
Frank and our outdoor developments
As you will know, we have been developing our outdoor spaces in memory of Frank, who died last December. Although the work took considerably longer than expected, they have absolutely been more than worth the wait! We now have designated quiet and mindful spaces, places to relax and read, a KS1 football pitch and active places to be. The 35m+ trim trail is a particular hit with the whole school! We will never forget Frank and will continue to raise funds and awareness in his memory. He is very missed.
I am delighted to say that following a very detailed assessment process, we have again been award ‘Primary Science Quality Mark Gold’! Many thanks to all of our children and our dedicated staff team. Without their consistent commitment to the excitement of Science, we would not have been successful. The reviewer feedback is as follows.
“As a result of the SL’s commitment to the PSQM process, and the support of SLT, school colleagues, parents and the wider community, King Edward Primary School has emerged as a school with an appetite for high quality teaching, learning and assessment in science, and a desire to support the local community and the wider science community. Building the science capital of children, their families, and the wider community has been well established, and future actions in the post-PSQM needs and actions seek to extend and embed this in the wider scientific community. In the world today, we especially need all children to grow up scientifically literate, and for some to go on to choose science as a career. King Edward Primary School is a school taking on this mantel!”
The school should be “proud of our children’s learning and achievements during such a challenging time.”
If you were in the KS1 yard this morning, then I hope you were lucky enough to see our new Y5/6 choir, singing in public for the first time to surprise you! I felt they were amazing and I know some parents were moved to tears! Music during COVID was a real challenge in all schools. Singing was not allowed and music specialists were not able to visit schools. Moving forward, in order to prioritise music and build back our music provision to be even better than it ever was before, Mrs Brown (Assistant Headteacher), has taken on music leadership for this school year! I have tasked Mrs Brown with all things musical and the difference in a few short weeks is brilliant! We have music specialists supporting and developing provision throughout school. We have this brand new Year 5 and Year 6 school choir. This is with the help of our amazing new singing coach Charlotte! She comes in armed with enthusiasm every Friday morning at 8.15am. What better way to end the week than on a musical high! In addition, Mrs Brown has identified a range of music specialists to teach individuals and small groups in Year 4, 5 and 6. Therefore we are now offering keyboard, guitar, violin and brass! Finally, we are also delivering whole class recorder lessons, samba lessons and trumpet lessons in identified year groups! I am confident that our music provision will soon be the strength that it was before COVID, in fact even more so!
Phonics and reading
Since the school term started, we have made the decision to adopt a new approach to phonics. Although our current approach to phonics is considered to be a real strength in school following LA visits, we have no choice but to make some changes. In July the DfE brought out new guidance for all schools, based on the latest research. As a result we are required to update our provision in line with this latest research. Our next INSET day will be dedicated to staff training on our new phonics provision. We will then update parents on the changes after that.
On that note, HUGE thanks to every child and family in our school for working together over the last two weeks on our sponsored read! Every penny raised will go towards funding these improvements and it is wonderful that all of our children and families are actively participating in contributing whilst also enjoying a love of reading! Thank you to each and every one of you.
Virtual parents evenings
As COVID rates are still high and in line with our COVID Contingency Plans and PHE/LA advice, our parents evenings this week have been using School Cloud. We very much recognise that some of you may have preferred a face to face appointment, but thank you for understanding the COVID reasons for our virtual parents evening. Whilst there were a small number of families for whom the technology was not seamless, phone calls were then used where necessary. A small number of technical issues were to be expected for the first time of its use. But it was also lovely to hear lots of varied positive feedback as well. We have sent out a survey to gather your views and will consider them alongside COVID restrictions moving forward.
Parent governor election
Many thanks to the parents who recently expressed an interest in becoming a parent governor. Potential candidates are currently writing short statements to be shared with all parents/carers as part of the election process. This will take place after half term.
Our staff team is going to be hosting Halloween discos for our children in Reception to Year 6 on the first day back after the half term holiday! We’re looking forward to some spooky fun!
It has been a really positive first half term back and a real pleasure to be around your children. We hope that you all have a happy and restful half term break and will see you in November when the clocks will have gone back! Take care!