Headteacher's News 13.05.22
All the most recent news from Edith
Friday 13th May 2022
Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary School,
I hope you are all well, thank you for reading this newsletter and for reading this week’s class news.
Accidents in the playground
As most parents know, from time to time children may have accidents whilst they are in the playground at break times and lunchtimes. Accidents can happen for a number of reasons, but almost all accidents fall into the following categories:
Accidents which happen purely by chance, for example when a ball hits a child on their head and hurts them.
Something ‘clumsy’ happens, like a child stumbling over their own feet or running into another child.
Sometimes a child will make an unsafe decision, like using the play or climbing equipment in an unsafe way.
Sometimes children have disagreements, which end up being physical such as pushing or even hitting each other, resulting in an injury.
As a school we recognise that staying safe and looking after ourselves and each other in the playground is part of our children’s education and that we have a duty to teach children about preventing accidents and injuries.
We do this in a number of different ways, for example:
Teaching children about safe ways to use the play and climbing equipment at the start of each school year and at playtimes.
Teaching children about their right to be safe and the rights of other children to be kept safe as well, by giving them examples of how they can do this (for example by being kind and careful).
Teaching children to say sorry when they have caused an accident or injury to another child, even if it was an accident.
Teaching children to report things that happen to them, for example when they have had an accident or when someone is unkind to them, so that an adult can help them
Teaching children about our behaviour expectations and insisting that they follow them.
In addition, we take a number of other measures in order to prevent accidents and to respond to them, for example:
Ensuring that supervision in the playground is plentiful, with clear behaviour management protocols, staff training, staff supervision and support from senior staff.
Ensuring that all play equipment is regularly checked and maintained so that our playground is as safe as it can be.
Assessing the risk of all activities and ensuring that control measures to limit the risks are carefully implemented.
Ensuring there is a 1st aider on duty during all parts of the school day.
Carefully investigating the circumstances of any incidents and calling parents/ emergency contacts if there has been a significant injury or a head injury.
Additional supervision or special behavioural support plans for certain children.
Ensuring all staff know who the children are that we need to keep a special eye on.
However, no number of risk assessments and supervision can totally prevent accidents from happening. After all, we couldn’t provide 1 to 1 or even small group supervision for all children. I’m sure most parents will have witnessed their own children having a fall at home or in the park at some point, even when they were nearby themselves.
We have chosen to have an exciting and fun playground so that our children will have opportunities to be active and develop physically in a safe environment. This means that some elements of risk will always be there, despite our best efforts.
We also believe in making our children resilient, which is one of our school values. ‘Taibah the Tiger’ who likes to ‘Try new things’ and ‘Abby the Ant’, who is ‘ambitious’ both help children to understand what ‘resilience’ means. Sensibly trying new and ambitious things in the playground is important, and so is being resilient after having had an accident.
I know many parents will understand and accept this, so I hope that all parents will consider everything we do to keep children safe and happy (whilst enabling them to develop physically and emotionally) when their child has received an injury at school. Thank you for your understanding and your support.
Our Year 6 children have finally completed their Spelling & Grammar, Reading and Mathematics SATs this week. They have worked so hard in getting ready for them, especially after all the lost learning during the pandemic. We will continue with the Writing element of the Year 6 assessments for the next few weeks. Well done to all Year 6 children, we are so proud of all of you; you have made fantastic progress!
Year 2 children are completing Year 2 SATs papers in small groups in the next few weeks. These papers are not seen as exams, but are merely there to back up Teacher Assessments. Of course, we have been keeping it very low-key and stress-free for the Year 2s.
Holiday in Term time-further reminder
Please do not book a family holiday or visit during term time. Our school holiday dates for this year and next year can be found on our school website.
Our attendance and punctuality policy, incorporating the ‘Tower Hamlets Policy on Holidays and Leave in Term Time’, can be found here.
Please park your car with consideration for other parents when dropping off or picking up your child. I have had complaints from parents who say that some parents block the road, so no one can get through. I’m sure we would all agree that this is not acceptable. I would encourage parents to report such issues to the council, who will most likely be able to send traffic wardens around to deal with these incidents.
Parents must not bring their car into the school car park for drop-offs or collections.
School Uniform, further reminder
Please remember that tracksuit bottoms or leggings without a skirt are not allowed, even on PE days.
I share a little segment of our website in this part of my letter each time. This week's focus is Curriculum - English/ Writing.
We believe that children's talk is a key factor in their ability to write and, as such, we prioritise children's talk and oracy to develop their writing, alongside drama, drawing and experiences. We always create clear purpose and audience for writing.
Children's writing skills are developed progressively as they move through the school. Each unit will have a main writing outcome which will be developed over the week. We plot these to ensure that a range of text types are explicitly taught and that these progress across the year and years.
There are opportunities for other short writing experiences across the units in order to develop comprehension and specific spelling and grammar foci - these might include: postcards; setting descriptions; diary entries; letters; adverts; character descriptions.
Extended writing each week in y2-6 will allow for the interleaving and retrieval of previously taught genres in order to consolidate these.
Our framework principles are:
A love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.
A vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing.
A highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description.
Well-organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures.
The ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics throughout the curriculum.
The ability to reflect on and improve their work.
Excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelled correctly and neat."
Photos with some lovely examples of children’s work can be found on our website
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Headteacher- Stepney Park Primary School