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Headteacher's News 22.10.21

All the most recent news from Edith

Friday 22nd October 2021

Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary School,

End of the first half-term

It has been a very long and very good half-term.  Our children have loved coming to school and have already made some great progress.  I’m sure that you will have looked at our past newsletters and will have been impressed with all the things that the children have done.

Interventions in Stepney Park

Teachers and children across the school have been working really hard this term and it's been great to see how much they've learnt already.  However, we know that the disruption from covid means there are gaps in children's learning so we are working particularly hard to ensure children succeed. At Stepney Park:

  • Class teachers are working hard to identify gaps in children's learning so we know what they need next.

  • We have adapted our curriculum to address gaps that have arisen in children's learning.

  • We are giving children in years 1 and 2 extra phonics sessions to help their reading, and we are making sure they can read with an adult more often.

  • Many children across the school are getting 1:1 reading in school every day to build their fluency.

  • Senior members of staff are teaching children in small groups to help ensure their progress this year is rapid.

You can help with the catch up effort at home by reading with your child as much as possible - ideally every day - and by ensuring they complete their homework (which is all online). We will also soon be starting an after school tutoring programme which will support children across the school with extra very small group teaching.  We are planning to start with Year 4 and will be offering this free to the parents of selected children and, as such, it represents a significant investment.  If you are approached for your child to join a tuition group, we would ask that you try to make children attending a priority.

Mental Health

Last week was Mental Health week, and I spoke to the children in my assembly about what they can do to stay mentally well. They had some great ideas, including getting enough sleep and taking enough exercise.

I do hope you will be able to have some well deserved rest, sleep and exercise this half-term holiday.

Please try and have some family fun with our Family homework leaflet, which went out to families this week.

School Gate and pick up arrangements at the end of the day

Thank you to all parents who continue to follow our procedures.

I have noticed that some parents are in a great rush to pick up their child at the end of the day.

This has recently sadly resulted in an accident; a parent received a significant head injury as someone bumped into her in a haste, which resulted in her bumping her head against the school gate.

There are also parents who walk through the Year 2 and Year 4 lines in order to walk the shortest route possible to pick up children in Nursery, and other parents who do not follow our one way system. This makes it much harder for us to ensure no child goes missing at the end of the day, as it is difficult to keep an overview of the children in the line and when they leave the school grounds. 

We want to keep everyone, including our parents and children safe, so please be careful and help us by following staff directions.

Travel abroad during term time

I need to remind parents that unless there are exceptional circumstances, they must not travel abroad during term time. All requests must be put in writing prior to booking a ticket and will be considered under the Leave in Term time Policy, in our Attendance and Punctuality policy, which is available from our website.

Parents may be liable to pay a substantial fine if they take their child abroad for unauthorised leave during term time.  (term dates)

Our children have missed so much time in school already, and they last thing they need is to miss more school. There are 12 weeks in each school year where they can be taken abroad; this should be more than enough time to do this. 

And finally:

I want to express my great gratitude and extend a huge ‘thank you’ to all the staff who have worked relentlessly hard this half term. We have had to deal with our fair share of staff absences, but they have pulled together so well, and worked together to make sure the children have not been impacted too much by this. I hope they will all have a great and very restful holiday, as this is well deserved!

Have a great holiday everyone!

Kind regards,

Edith Philipsen

Headteacher- Stepney Park Primary School.