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Headteacher's News 1.04.22

All the most recent news from Edith

Friday 1st April 2022

Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary School.

I can’t believe how fast this term has flown by; we are already two thirds of the way through the school year! I hope you will all have an enjoyable Easter break and where applicable, a good start to Ramadan. 

Easter Break and other closure days 

Please remember we finish the Spring term and start the Easter Holiday at 1pm today (Friday April 1st). There will not be a child care club today. School will reopen on Tuesday, April 19th. 

Please also note that school will be closed on the following dates:

  • Monday May 2: Bank Holiday

  • Tuesday May 3: Eid- al- Fitr

  • Thursday May 5: Polling day (Year 6 children will come into school until 12.30pm)

Power Cut

Thank you to our staff who managed to keep the children safe and managed to adapt their teaching plans at the very last minute during the huge power cut on Tuesday. Teaching without digital whiteboards, chromebooks and computers isn’t the norm any more these days, so well done to the teachers for ‘thinking on their feet’.

Staff absences

Covid continues to impact heavily on staff absences; on average we have around 4 to 5 staff off work due to Covid each day. We have been lucky enough to have great HLTAs and Assistant Heads, who have stepped in and covered all classes. We have only needed to use supply teachers on a few occasions, which is just as well, as schools are struggling to book supplies due to the very strong demand.

Book Fair

Thank you to all families for coming to our book fair.  It was a roaring success. We sold lots of great books and all the profits go straight back into the school, so we can get new books for our class libraries.  We know the children will be enjoying their lovely new purchases!  Thank you families for valuing books and reading.

Medical Appointments

Please note that non-urgent and routine medical appointments need to be booked outside of school hours, so children do not miss out on any more learning. This includes, where possible, hospital appointments. Please bring evidence of your medical appointment to school in the morning when you drop your child off, so we can talk to you about the nature and urgency of the appointment. 

Visits to other countries and holidays in term time

Unfortunately, some families still choose to take their children away during term time, sometimes for holidays and sometimes for family visits. I would like to remind parents that this is against the law, and that families will be fined by Tower Hamlets Council in almost all cases. Families who wish to apply for leave in term time need to apply for this before booking their trip. Forms for this are available from the school office. However, unless it can be proven that there are truly exceptional reasons, such as attending a funeral, permission will not normally be given. 

Open afternoon - July 6th

If possible, please try and book some time off work on the afternoon of July 6th. This is the date for our first Stepney Park ‘Open Afternoon’. We will open our doors at 2.30 pm, so parents can pick up their children early. Parents are then free to come and look at their child’s work, pick up their child’s brief ‘End of Year’ Report (Year 6 reports may be given a few days later due to the SATs result publication date) and walk around and explore the whole school grounds and all classes.

There will be special performances, Art displays and other fun activities will be set up around the school and playground. We are looking forward to welcoming you all. Although it would be a shame, please do not worry if you can’t come early due to work or other commitments as teachers will supervise children in class until home time. All children need to be picked up from their class that day instead of from the playground. We won’t have after school clubs, although we expect to run the child care club as normal that day. The open afternoon will finish at 4.00 pm, and we hope to see many of you that day. 


We know that our Muslim families will be preparing for the month of Ramadan, which will start around Apr 1st. Please refer to my letter dated 25.02.22 for more information around fasting in Year 5 and 6. 

Website updates

I will share a little segment of our website in this part of my letter each time. This week's focus is Curriculum - Early Years.

Our curriculum for Nursery and Reception is based on the principles of the non-statutory guidance for the early years foundation stage contained in the Department for Education's ‘Development Matters’ documents. 

All the ‘Areas of Learning’ are developed through our stimulating and engaging curriculum.

Communication is our driver and drives everything we do. 

We aim for our children to be confident communicators - this underpins all other areas of learning and is a focus of the whole school.  We see this as building relationships that encourage communication, and giving children the language with which to communicate effectively.  We promote effective communication within our staff team, and with parents, by ensuring an ethos where everyone feels safe to express their views and needs.

Songs, stories and rhymes are also at the heart of our teaching and learning in Early Years to support children’s language development.

Respect, Independence, Resilience

Respect, Independence and Resilience are our whole school values and support our PSED curriculum.


Children will learn to be aware of, and celebrate the religious and cultural diversity in our community and beyond. They learn that they have rights and to respect others. They learn the importance of good manners and polite use of language.


Our children are encouraged to be confident, engaged and curious. They display active learning and are encouraged to explore and follow their own interests.  They are not over-reliant on adult direction and are not led by other children. They learn how to show engagement in their learning, taking responsibility, creating and welcoming all opportunities. They have their own interests which in turn are valued by the school community. 


We encourage our children to be risk-takers. They learn how to cope with change and to take on challenges both physical and mental. They learn not to give up easily, and how to persevere and take risks.We ensure children are settled, happy and confident in the setting.  Adults teach children how to use particular areas of the environment appropriately, use the resources, look after them and tidy up. Adults spend time modelling how to engage with learning, developing vocabulary and demonstrating skills and supporting children with their interactions.

Thank you for reading this newsletter.

Kind regards,

Edith Philipsen

Headteacher- Stepney Park Primary School.