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Headteacher's Letter 16.04.21

All the most recent news from Edith

Friday 16th April 2021


Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary School.

Welcome back, I hope you have managed to have a good Easter break. 

School Closure:

Once again, my apologies for the enforced school closure on Monday. It was the last thing I wanted to do, especially after so many missed school days this year. I have been reassured that the temporary fix that was done on the heating system will be strong enough to last until a permanent fix can be completed later this year.

Building works:

Building works have got underway in the south side, please check our website for photos of progress. As with all building works, there has been some noise nuisance, Year 4 has been particularly affected. We have asked for the noisiest jobs to be completed over the weekend. The good news is that all works would be completed by the middle of June. Please remember to use the Redman’s Road entrance during the day until then.


We will be starting to use a new PSHE scheme of work, it is called Jigsaw. We have decided to prioritise ‘Health’ as the topic for this term. 

Next year, we will have half-termly topics. I will be organising online year group parents’ meetings to discuss with you what we are going to propose for our Relationship, Sex and Health provision, which incorporates PSHE. Meetings will be around 1 hour long, from 4 pm to 5 pm and dates will be as follows:

Year 1: May 17th, Monday

Year 2: May 18th, Tuesday

Year 3: May 19th, Wednesday

Year 4: June 7th, Monday

Year 5: June 8th , Tuesday

Year 6: June 9th, Wednesday

After these meetings, I will send all parents a Google Form Questionnaire.

Recovery curriculum:

Sadly, due to year group closures and national lockdowns, many of our children have only been able to attend school for around 50% of the time this school year. As a result, we know that some children have not made the progress this year that we would normally expect.  The Government has acknowledged this and has made extra funding for interventions available to all schools; they call this ‘Catch-up’ funding.

We have been very busy planning our interventions; all children were assessed when they returned after lockdown, and a range of staff, including our senior staff, will be involved in delivering the interventions.

Children who would benefit from interventions and who we feel are able to make accelerated progress this term have been identified for additional support, if your child has been identified you will be contacted to inform you of this. 

The principles we are following with regards to the Recovery Curriculum are as follows:

  • Our understanding that it is "recovery" rather than "catch up". It is a ‘Marathon, not a Sprint’.

  • Our approach is holistic, recognising our pupils' personal, social and emotional needs and acknowledges that our pupils will take time to get back on track

  • We prioritise oracy and communication

  • Art, PE and PSHE are key to our approach

  • Quality teaching by class teachers is complemented by targeted Maths and English interventions, using same/ similar resources within Milestones. The approach is similar across the school, although it may look different in different year groups.

  • English and Maths curricula for the summer term/ autumn term 2021 are adjusted based on best practice to manage gaps and focus on the basics.

  • The key Apps for English and Maths (Sumdog, Times Tables Rockstars and Bug Club) are regularly tracked by teachers and children's progress and engagement is always on the agenda.

We need the support of all parents to ensure that their children get enough sleep, attend school and are supported to complete their homework. 

New Deputy Head:

As you may have heard from your child, Geri has decided to retire at the end of the school year. We will be very sad to see her leave, as she has been such a source of strength, knowledge, experience  and positive energy to our new school during the amalgamation process. 

The Governing Body started a recruitment process, and I am very pleased to announce that Richard Thompson will become the new Stepney Park Primary School Deputy head from September. Richard has agreed to spend time in our school beforehand, so we can have a really good handover.

We will of course make sure we will say goodbye to Geri in an appropriate way nearer to the end of the school year, and will involve parents at this point too. 

School Uniform:

Please ensure that your child wears the appropriate school uniform to school each day. Children can now change into PE clothes whilst at school, so no tracksuits or sports clothes should be worn at the start of the day.

Long hair should be tied back and only small stud earrings should be worn. Stud earrings must be covered on PE days.

All clothing items should be labelled.  Hooded tops should not be worn in school. School coats should be waterproof and have a hood. 

To remind everyone, this is what uniform children should or shouldn’t wear:

  • Purple jumper with the school logo (not without the school logo)

  • Grey trousers, shorts, dress or skirt, with grey tights where applicable  (no tracksuit bottoms, leggings or jeans)

  • Warm days: purple gingham dress

  • Where appropriate: grey or black plain hijab (no lace or sparkling adornments)

  • Purple t-shirt with school logo (not white)

  • White socks (no other colour) 

  • Grey or black tights

  • Black shoes or trainers (no other colours,boots or wellies) 


  • Non-branded clothes (no Nike, Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger etc)

  • White t-shirt 

  • Black shorts or leggings/non-branded tracksuit

  • Sports hijab

Our website has all the school uniform information in the Information section.

Parental Consultation around Engagement:

Thank you for all of your feedback, we have now been able to summarise what you said, and going forward will be taking what you said into account when we finalise our Parental Engagement Strategy and homework strategy. 

This is what you told us:

Reviewing previous provision: (workshops/coffee mornings etc)

  • Activities were well presented, parents were given options of attending and children were happy when parents were involved. 

  • Parents felt that they had a part to play and that it improved relationships with the teachers. Parents felt it was important that these activities continue for the benefit of the children, parents and the school.

  • Workshops were very well organised. 

  • Parents were keen to attend more Phonics, Early Reading and Curriculum workshops; as well as workshops which support volunteering/employment.

  • Working parents requested more opportunities to attend after children's school hours.

Communication with parents:

  • Texts were seen to be a popular and useful form of communication.  The majority of parents welcomed them at least weekly or twice a week.

  • Emails/ newsletters were popular for weekly communication.

  • There was a 50-50 split on parents wanting or not wanting paper letters.

  • The school website use is still quite low,  with around  44% of parents saying they sometimes use it.

  • There was a suggestion to offer some more Bengali communication on the website

  • There is a sense that some parents are slightly frustrated about communicating with teachers - some of this is Covid related


  • Over 80% of parents wanted homework.

  • The majority in Year 1-4 wanted it weekly.

  • Year 5 and 6 parents wanted it 2x a week.

  • Over 90% wanted it in Maths and English.

  • In addition, 55% wanted homework in Science and 43% in History and Geography.

  • 85% wanted homework  to be sometimes in paper form,  around 50% also wanted projects and 60% wanted online homework.

  • Parents wanted feedback on homework.

  • Parents requested suggestions of methods and terminology so they could better support their children  at home.

Information from school:

  • The majority of parents find reports and parents’ meetings useful.

  • Comments included that parents would like more information and more meetings.

  • 50% of parents said that online meetings could be useful to keep up.  Parents don’t mind for some meetings to be online but would like to get opportunities to see their children’s books and classroom displays etc in person too.                  

Parents supporting the school:

  • 67% of the respondents said they would support with trips - around 40% said they would like to support with events and reading as well.

  • A majority (57%) of parents said they are not interested in a parent council  - 35% saying maybe.

  • A few parents said they felt that emails to admin sometimes go unheard

Thank you for reading this newsletter, I hope you will have a good start to the term, and where applicable, a good start to Ramadan.

Kind regards, 

Edith Philipsen

Headteacher- Stepney Park Primary School