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Headteacher's News 10.12.21

All the most recent news from Edith

Friday 10th December 2021

Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary School,

As we are about to enter the last week of term, I am pleased to tell you that we have had a very successful and productive start of the year. The ‘soft start’ has been very successful, the removal of bubbles has been very popular and the changes to our curriculum have really started to make a difference. Children are beginning to recover from the lockdowns both academically and emotionally, due to the extensive support we have given them through various adaptations to the year group plans and through interventions. We know that there is a long way to go yet, but the first successful steps have been made.

So far Covid cases in our school have been relatively low this half term, both amongst staff and children. We hope that this will remain the case next term.

Face coverings- Reminder

The Government has decided that staff and visitors must wear face coverings in schools. Face coverings need to be worn when moving around inside the building, but not when outside.

Christmas Festivities

Our Christmas trees are now up and our halls have been decorated with beautiful homemade ornaments, it is looking very festive indeed!

Here is a reminder of Christmas dates:

  • Monday Dec 13th: KS1 and KS2 virtual poem recital 

  • Wednesday Dec 15th: Christmas Jumper day; Christmas meal and Reception virtual performance

  • Thursday Dec 16th: Class parties 

  • Friday Dec 17th: School will close at 1 pm for the Christmas holidays


We know some parents are finding it difficult to access ParentPay. We have a weekly workshop with the Pastoral Care team during Coffee Mornings at 9.15am on Mondays to help parents with this. Please come along with your mobile device, so that they can show you what to do.   Go to our What's on for Parents Page for more information.


Every day, I am surprised to see how many children arrive at school late. Parents have a window of 10 minutes every day to drop their child off. However, there are around 20 children every day (sometimes more) who are dropped off after 9.00 am. Some of these children have 10 or more occasions of lateness, which is simply not acceptable. We all have occasional times when we are running late for acceptable reasons, but regular lateness sets the wrong example to children as it is making it seem ‘normal’ to be late; it also leads to a significant loss of learning. We are in the process of contacting all parents where lateness has been identified as an issue through our AWA. I’d like to strongly encourage all parents to make sure that their child arrives at school and in class before 9.00 am every day. 

Racist and homophobic language in Music and Video Games

Some of our children have reported that they have heard racist and homophobic language, such as the ‘N- word’ and ‘gay’ in the playground. When we speak to our children about the reason why this language is not acceptable and ask the children who use this language where they have picked this up, they tell us that they hear this in music lyrics they are listening to at home and in Video Games they play at home. For some children this seems to be quite ‘normalised’, and they use this language to ‘fit in’.  I am very confident that our parents would never wish to expose their children to hearing such language and would be upset to hear their child using this sort of language. In my experience, parents always support school when issues such as these are brought to our and their attention. We always speak with the child and the parents; by law we are required to report any discriminatory language to the Local Authority, for their monitoring purposes.  Please help us to stop any discriminatory language by talking to your child about the importance of this and by encouraging them to report any discriminatory language to a member of staff.  Please also keep a close eye on the music they are listening to and the video games they play. Generally a game meant for 15 years and up will more likely have offensive language, violence and sexual content. 

Discrimination can be against a number of different so-called protected characteristics, including for example : race, gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation and disability.  PSHE lessons, discussion times and assemblies in school frequently focus on our school value ‘respect’, as well as on Anti- Rascism and Anti- Discrimination. Thank you for your help with this

Have a great weekend and a restful Christmas holiday.

Kind regards,

Edith Philipsen

Headteacher- Stepney Park Primary School.