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Headteacher's News 29.4.22

All the most recent news from Edith

Friday 29th April 2022

Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary School,

Welcome back after the Easter break, I hope you have all managed to have some quality family time.

I would also like to wish our Muslim families Eid Mubarak! I hope you will enjoy your special day next Monday (or Tuesday).  

I also hope you will enjoy reading the Class Newsletter. 

Here are my messages and my news:

Reminder of closure days 

Please 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)

Eid Parties

On Wednesday 4th May each class will be having their Eid party. Children will be allowed to come into school wearing their own clothes. It would be great if all children would bring in food to share. If this is possible, can you please remember the following:

  • Only send in food which doesn't need refrigeration; 

  • Please do not send in anything containing nuts; 

  • Only send in ‘finger food’ that doesn't require cutlery.

Government Covid Guidance- latest update

On April 1st  the government updated its next steps for living with Covid-19 guidance, with the current status of population being much stronger protected against CV19 than at any other point in the pandemic. Living with CV19 means that we must manage the virus like other respiratory infections, and for that reason regular asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended in any educational setting. To coincide with these changes to restrictions the NHS have published the following:   

The main changes are summarised below: 

  • Children:

    • Children who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home to avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school when they no longer have a high temperature and they feel well enough to attend. 

    • Children with a positive Covid test result should stay at home and avoid other people for 3 days.

    • Healthy 5 to 11 year olds are currently being offered the covid-19 vaccine and this will take place outside of school at walk-in centres, GP surgeries, pharmacies and parents of 5 to 11 year olds will receive a letter from the NHS with the details and further information. 

    • You can book you child’s vaccinations for 5 to 11 and 12 to 15 via this link:  Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS.

  • Adults:

    • Adults with symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or feel unwell should try and stay at home to avoid contact with people until they feel better to resume their normal activities and that they no longer have a high temperature. 

    • Adults with a positive Covid-19 test result should stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days.

School Uniform, please remember
  • Girls can wear tight black or grey leggings (not trousers) underneath a skirt or dress

  • Tracksuit bottoms should not be worn to school, even on PE days.

  • Children should wear a purple T-shirt. Children can only wear a white T-shirt if worn under a jumper or cardigan.

Year 6 SATS

After being cancelled for the last 2 years, we are finally asked to administer SATs again in Year 6. The children and staff have worked very hard and we wish them all the best. Year 6 SATs will take place in the week beginning May 9th.

Parents’ Notice Board

We now have a new parents’ notice board, which is positioned next to the small Smithy Street entrance. We will of course continue to communicate all important messages with parents via letters, emails, texts and on our website. The parents’ notice board will give us another way to keep in touch with our families. 

Website updates

I share a little segment of our website in this part of my letter each time. This week's focus is Curriculum- English/ Reading:

Our Reading framework principles ensure that children develop:

  • The motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.

  • Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.

  • Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.

  • Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.

  • An excellent comprehension of texts.

  • Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.

Early Reading

From Nursery, we read a breadth of engaging books which develop language, including the awareness of rhythm and rhyme, alliterative phrases and the understanding of a range of story structures.

We teach phonics using Tower Hamlets Systematic Phonics Planning. 

Lessons follow the structure: Revise, Read, Hear, Write, Apply.  Pupils develop their independence and fluency as they move through the lessons. 

We use Phonics Bugs decodable books for Guided Reading from Reception until the end of the phonics programme to apply and embed phonic skills.  The Phonics Bugs books follow the sets which are taught during the lessons.  This ensures the books children read in guided reading reflect the phonics sounds they have already learnt.  We use Bug Club online to access a wide variety of phonetically decodable books.

Developing Reading

We want all our pupils to develop a love of reading.  Reading feeds pupils’ imaginations and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.  

Pupils at Stepney Park Primary School are encouraged to read for pleasure as well as to support their acquisition of knowledge.  At Stepney Park Primary School every pupil learns to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.

We deliberately choose our focus texts to develop ‘cultural capital’.  We know this provides our pupils with the vital background knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community. Our children are taught to identify books they love (or dislike!) and explain their reasons for their choices.

Once children are secure in their phonics and have built up their reading fluency, they read a wide range of high quality texts in school and out of school, including fiction, non-fiction and a range of poetry, to develop their reading further.  These are chosen in line with their reading level.

In Year 3,4,5 and 6 a whole class reading approach is adopted, whilst children who still need individual support receive this as well.

Our Reading Spine

Our reading spine (the selection of books and reading materials that our children will be reading in each year group) shows how our reading provision is planned for across the school. Our Core Text curriculum is designed to meet and revisit important themes which relate to our community interests and needs. 

Our book choices are engaging, develop emotional connections and reactions and develop pupil’s vocabulary.  They are used to develop purposeful writing outcomes. 

Our Reading Spine can be found here: SPPS Reading Spine


Thank you for reading this newsletter.

Kind regards,

Edith Philipsen

Headteacher- Stepney Park Primary School