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Headteacher's News 11.02.22

All the most recent news from Edith

Friday 11th February 2022

Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary School,


Some of you have asked if we are able to take on volunteers this year.  Unfortunately, this is not something we are able to do at the moment.  It is however something we will consider going forward in the new school year.  Please approach us at the end of June if you would like to join a waiting list; your help is much appreciated and we would be more than happy to support members of our community gain employment once we can. 

One way system

We continue to operate our one way system in the playground at the end of the day for Health and Safety reasons.

We are a very large and busy school; allowing parents to come in from all gates whilst many others are leaving through those same gates creates a potential danger. Thank you for helping us with this.

Granting Holiday and Leave in term time

Please read our Attendance and Punctuality Policy to find out how we follow the Tower Hamlets approach to granting Holiday and Leave in this policy.

Please remember:

  • Do not book a flight until you have spoken to either me or Andy (the Assistant Head with a responsibility for attendance) to explain your reason for holiday or leave in term time.

  • After the meeting, you need to complete an application form, which we will provide to you. 

  • Permission for authorised leave can only be granted by me, as the Headteacher; I will sign the form to indicate whether or not your request for leave has been granted.

  • Holiday or leave in term time will only be granted in the most exceptional of circumstances.

  • Parents who take their child on holiday or leave without authorisation will almost always receive a penalty notice, which is following DFE and Tower Hamlets statutory guidance.

Polling Day May 5th

The school will be closed to all but Year 6 children on May 5th, as we have been asked by the local authority to be a polling station for the local elections. We will write to you again a bit nearer to the time about the arrangements for Year 6, but it will be a half day, leaving before lunch.

Parent/ teacher meetings

We are in the process of writing mid-year reports and will share these with you before our next Parent-Teacher meeting. Meetings will take place on Mar 15th and Mar 17th after school. We would like to encourage all parents to come into school with their child for a face to face meeting with the class teacher. However, we will offer remote meetings where parents indicate they are unable to come into school. During the meeting we will discuss your child’s progress, what you can do to help them at home and we will be showing you some of their work.  Your child will bring home an appointment letter on Monday 21st February.

Water bottles

Please remember to send your child into school with their water bottle every day. Many children forget to bring their bottle, so up until now we have been providing them with plastic disposable bottles free of charge. We are very concerned about the impact this is having on the environment and on the school budget.

From half term we will therefore no longer be providing children with disposable bottles, but we will re-open the water fountains in the playground, so children without bottles have access to water in the playground during break times. Children will of course still be given cups of water with their lunch.

Looking after Chromebooks

We all know that unavoidable accidents with Chromebooks can happen from time to time. However, from time to time Chromebooks are taken into school which have clearly been mistreated and vandalised. I have seen Chromebooks with parts missing, with keys missing, Chromebooks with water damage and with cut and broken power leads. We have paid for almost all repairs, which is very costly. There are however times when we deem it reasonable to ask for a parental contribution towards the cost of the repair, this will normally be in the region of £25.00. If your child’s Chromebook is damaged due to an accident, please report this to school or to the class teacher. We will ask you about the circumstances before we make a decision if we need to ask you to pay towards the repairs. Please always supervise your child when they are using their Chromebooks.  Thank you for your help.

Website updates 

I will share a little segment of our updated and lovely website in this part of my letter each time. This week's focus is Personal Development - Curriculum enrichment:

As a school, children's learning is naturally at the heart of everything we do. However, at Stepney Park we believe strongly in the importance of educating the whole child. This means helping them to develop our learning behaviours, explore their own hobbies and interests and, ultimately, to grow into respectful, resilient and independent members of the community. This is why our curriculum is enriched with a range of other activities and opportunities, including those outlined below.


Children in key stages 1 and 2 attend four assemblies each week, while on the fifth day they take part in ‘Class Discussion Time’ to discuss topical events and issues they raise themselves. Assemblies cover a wide range of topics, including elements of PSHE, our school values and learning behaviours, British values, children’s rights, cultural and religious festivals, and celebrating and sharing achievements. This brings our school together as a community and helps children to reflect on major themes and events.

Special Days and Special Weeks:

Special Days and Special Weeks involve children enjoying an adapted curriculum that is designed to focus on particular aspects of their personal development. These include: ‘Empathy Day’, ‘Collaboration Day’, ‘Happy Day’, ‘Health Day’ and ‘Sports Day’. We also plan activities for and take part in other annual events such as Children in Need, World Book Day and Anti-Bullying Week.


We are very lucky to have our very own forest in our school grounds. Children visit the Woodlands to learn about and experience the natural world. We are currently developing the use of our Woodlands, and will be exploring a wider range of activities for the children to take part in to make the most of this fantastic resource. We aim for our Woodlands provision to take children out of their comfort zone, excite them and help them develop resilience.

Trips and Visitors:

Cultural capital is enhanced by children’s knowledge and understanding of their local area and how it relates to other places, including the rest of London and other cities in the world. Our children visit the world-class museums and galleries available in the capital and receive visitors and workshops as part of the curriculum to help develop their cultural capital. Residential trips, which include overnight stays, are planned to help children become more independent and to take them out of their comfort zone. Children who attend residential trips have opportunities to develop resilience and build stronger relationships with each other.

Developing talents and interests:

As children move through their time at Stepney Park, we aim to support them in trying as wide a range of activities as possible and to offer them opportunities to develop the talents and interests they find as a result. The opportunities we offer include:

  • A wide range of after school clubs. These include music production, sewing, arts & crafts, board games, Henna art, yoga, ICT, chess and a wide range of sports too.

  • Music. While all children across the school enjoy a rich music curriculum with weekly opportunities to listen to and discuss music as well as learning to play music instruments, some children also choose to pursue music through small group tuition. At present, we offer small group tuition in flute, violin and cello, and there is also a school choir.

  • Competitions. Children from Stepney Park compete against other schools in a range sporting competitions, but also in chess, a Spelling Bee and a maths league.

  • Performances. Over time, children take part in a range of performances, including Christmas shows, End of Year 6 productions, musical concerts (inside and outside of school), Poetry Performances, Talent Shows and sharing assemblies. We also offer children the chance to watch professional performances, for example by visiting the theatre.

Thank you for reading this newsletter.

Kind regards,

Edith Philipsen

Headteacher- Stepney Park Primary School.