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Headteacher's News 21.10.22

All the most recent news from Edith

Friday 21st October 2022

Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary School,

We are all looking forward to our first half term holiday of the school year.  Staff and children have worked very hard and they are all ready for a lovely break.  Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make school fantastic and a great place to be! 

I hope you will have a pleasant and restful holiday, will have some family time to complete the fun family homework and I am looking forward to seeing you back in school on Oct 31st. 

Learning Partners

I thought parents might find the following information useful:

Learning partners are an important aspect of teaching at Stepney Park. Children in all classes should have a learning partner with whom they can discuss their learning at appropriate times throughout the day. This promotes inclusion, supports the school’s values and allows children to develop their social skills. In addition, by avoiding ability grouping, teaching can be more responsive and expectations of all children can be kept high. In general, learning partners should:

  • Be changed often. This promotes inclusion and allows children to work with a number of different peers. Many teachers change the learning partners in their class weekly. However, in some circumstances it may be more appropriate for children to keep their learning partners for slightly longer. As such, teachers have the autonomy to decide when and how frequently learning partners are changed in their class.

  • Generally be randomly allocated. Pairings for learning partners can be randomly selected or more targeted to address particular needs in a particular week as identified by the teacher. However, in either case the pairings should appear random to children. As learning partners are changed regularly, children should regularly learn in mixed ability pairs. The school does not endorse children routinely sitting at tables based on ability. However, if teachers identify that a specific group of children need extra support with a specific aspect of learning and wish to group them for a short period, this would be appropriate: the school encourages this kind of responsive teaching.

  • Be on display. This should include photographs and names of the children. This will support some children in remembering their learning partners, as well as being useful for teachers in the class other than the class teacher.

Working together

The Tower Hamlets Children and Culture Directorate, led by James Thomas (Children's Corporate Director) and Steve Nyakatawa (Director of Education), has written to all schools and has asked them to distribute a letter titled ‘Working together’.

In the letter it says that it is rightly proud of its schools in Tower Hamlets and how we all put the interests of our children and young people first. It says that school staff deserve to be treated with respect for their commitment and dedication to providing the best education for your children.  It asks parents to be respectful and be mindful of their behaviour when they are in the school playground.  It also talks about appropriate actions it would take if this is not the case.  The original letter is saved here and is below in the letter.

Thankfully, incidents where respect is not given to our staff are unusual in our school. I am grateful for the support parents give us in almost all cases. 

Drugs dealing in our streets

We have received reports from parents who have witnessed drug dealing in streets next to our school. We always report such incidents to the police and encourage parents who witness this to do the same. The more reports of these incidents are received, the higher on the list of priorities drug dealing in our streets will be placed by the police. Over time this will lead to extra surveillance and patrols and therefore safer streets. 

Cost of Living crisis

I know that the cost of living crisis may be hitting some of our families.  We would like to offer those families support where we can.  We may be able to offer help with the purchase of school uniforms and signpost parents to certain services for example for food banks.  Please do not hesitate to contact our Pastoral Care Team (Khaleda, Shapna or Shipa) for a supportive and confidential chat if you would like some support.

Thank you for reading this newsletter and enjoy your holiday.

Kind regards,

Edith Philipsen

Headteacher- Stepney Park Primary School.