Welcome back! I hope you all had a lovely summer holiday. The children have settled in extremely well, especially our new pupils in Reception. I felt really proud watching them all come through the doors on the first day, dressed so smartly and with such big smiles.
The first day back usually includes some changes to the school building and this year is no exception. You may have heard the children’s shrieks of delight when they discovered the revamped Early Years outdoor area. Jason from The Countryside Garden Company has worked hard all summer to clad the existing structure with treated wooden panels so that the area will now be weathertight and hopefully free from garden debris. Mrs Dodson and Mrs Hartley have had a fantastic time spending the money donated from FOHS on brand new, exciting resources. Make sure you attend the first Good Works Assembly on the 14th of September so that you can see the changes.
We have many exciting opportunities planned for this year. Please read this newsletter carefully as we would love your support with these events. There are requests for forms and also some general reminders about procedures. We would be grateful if you would return your completed forms by the set dates.
Mrs K Appleby, Headteacher
Good Works Assembly
Please note that there will be NO Good works assembly this Friday (7th Sept). We would like to give the children in Reception another week to get used to school routines as our first assembly with parents can be rather daunting. However we look forward to seeing you at our first one on Friday the 14th of September and sharing what the children have been learning with you. Please also encourage your children to bring in their awards or certificates that they have achieved out of school so that we can all celebrate their achievements.
2018-19 School Priorities
At Hackthorn we are constantly striving to better ourselves by working together to achieve a number of whole school priorities.
For the academic year 2018-19 we are aiming to:
1. review whole school planning and delivery of Maths and ensure they show clearer progression of skills throughout the school
2. maintain our ‘Outstanding’ grade of Church Distinctiveness by keeping abreast of local and national guidelines by implementing the key changes in the local RE syllabus and the new SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglian and Methodist Schools) framework.
Forms to be Completed/Checked
The following forms need to be completed as soon as possible (by Monday the 17th of September at the latest please) to ensure our information is complete and accurate.
*Home School Agreement, Consent Form, Home School Communication Information: Attached to this newsletter are the home school agreement and consent forms. Please complete them and return them to school so that we have a record of which children can appear on the school website etc. We are immensely proud of the achievements of our pupils and regularly take photographs of them which are displayed at Good Works Assemblies. We would like to share these achievements on our school website and in promotion materials and would appreciate it if you would support us by granting permission for us to use them.
(*New Reception parents please ignore as you have already done this for 2018-19)
Attached is a note from the office regarding Home School Communication which we would be grateful if you could also complete, of particular note being the primary telephone number information requested at the bottom. Once we have all the forms returned, we will test out the Text Messaging service – ‘TXTRound’. This is a system where we can text all parents to inform them about things such as emergency school closures, severe weather etc. It is therefore imperative that we have your correct number.
Student Update Form
Could all parents please thoroughly check the information we currently hold on record for your child/ren on the form sent with this newsletter. As I am sure you will appreciate, it is vital that we have the latest medical information on file as well as correct addresses, telephone numbers and details of emergency contacts (ranked in order). In an emergency if calls to the primary telephone number notified to us are not answered then it is imperative that we know who to telephone next.
Letting the school know if your child will be away from school: In the event of absence, please inform the school as early as possible if your child will not be attending. Please do so by telephone, leaving a message on the school answering machine if necessary as this is the first thing that is checked when our administrative staff arrive in the morning. Please do not e-mail the school to advise of pupil absences as due to our rural location, there have been instances where we have had broadband issues and/or overnight powercuts, as a result of which the school server has been down and e-mail therefore unavailable first thing in the morning.
Administrative staff will phone parents if, on the first day of a child’s absence, no contact has been made with the school from parents by the time registers are closed. This is important for safeguarding reasons so their whereabouts are known.
Lateness: Registers must be closed 30 minutes after the start of each session. A child arriving later than the official opening time (9.15am in the morning and 1.15pm in the afternoon) but before the closing of the registers will be classed as LATE. Could all parents please complete one of the forms available in Reception and pass this to office staff if arriving late to drop your child off in the morning or late to collect your child from school at the end of the school day in the afternoon. A separate form also needs to be completed and submitted if collecting/returning your child from/to school during the school day – e.g. for medical appointments.
A child arriving AFTER the registers have closed must be classed as an UNAUTHORISED ABSENCE (unless there is a valid explanation such as a doctor’s appointment).
In cases of extreme difficulty (weather / sudden road closures / breakdown of vehicle / problems with the official bus) the period of time the registers are ‘open’ will be extended.
Sick Notes: Parents must explain any absence by the child in writing or by phone. Phone messages are recorded on an absence form by office staff and passed to the teacher.
Absence that is due to religious observance can be classed as authorised.
*Unauthorised Absence: Absences must be recorded as unauthorised for reasons such as:
- Shopping trips
- Having a hair cut
- Special treats
- ‘Couldn’t get up’
- Closure of a sibling’s school for INSET day or other purposes
- Failure of car to start / unavailability of family transport
(where the child lives less than 3 miles from school)
*If you wish to seek approval for any request of absence for your child(ren) from School, then you must apply in writing to the Headteacher, at least four weeks in advance of the requested for absence. You should only then remove your child(ren) if the absence has been authorised, and notified to you in writing by the School. Any exceptional circumstances must be clearly set out in the written request to the Headteacher who will consider each case upon its merits.
If you then choose to take your child out of school during term time and it is not deemed to be exceptional circumstances and/or has not been approved by the School, then this will be coded as an unauthorised absence and a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued for the period of absence.
Naming Clothes: Please can you ensure that every item of your children’s clothing, particularly PE kit, is named with their full name (including plimsolls) in order to alleviate their anxiety if they misplace items. Marking in biro is not recommended as it easily washes out.
Car Parking: Please ensure you do not park opposite school when dropping off children before school as this is dangerous and can obscure children from view when other vehicles approach.
When parking please ensure you do not block driveways.
Fruit At Playtime: All KS1 and Reception children receive a free piece of fruit each morning playtime. If children in KS2 want to bring in their own fruit to be eaten at morning play they should bring it to school in their lunch box and take it outside at playtime.
Before And After School Child Care: Don’t forget Welton Kids Club can provide child care (with transport) before and after school. For any questions or additional information contact school and we will give you Mrs Wass’s details.
Hackthorn Dog Show – 23 September: Vanessa Clark (Mum of Harry in Year 2) has booked space for a stall once again for this year to raise funds for the school. Please bring containers of cakes to donate for sale to school on Friday 21st September and Vanessa will ensure all cake tubs and boxes are available for collection the following Monday.
‘Understanding Phonics’ Training – 25 September: Phonics is the foundation for teaching children to read. Mrs Dodson and Mrs Hartley will be running an information evening on the 25th of September (3.45-4.45pm) to explain how children in Foundation stage learn phonics. Although this is mainly for parents of Foundation stage/Reception children, this is open to anyone who would like more information on how to support their child with their reading.
Friends of Hackthorn School (FOHS) AGM – 11 September: This will be held in school on the evening of 11 September at 6pm and will be an informal evening, with refreshments provided, where you will have the opportunity to meet other parents and have the chance to hear a summary of the work of this supportive group over the last year. All are welcome – parents, past parents, future parents and friends. If you are interested in helping out at future events but are unable to attend the meeting please inform the school office who will pass on your details to the relevant people.
Treasure Hunt – 29 September: Please also don’t forget the FOHS Treasure Hunt starting at 2pm at school on Saturday the 29th of September. Tickets available (£5 per car) from Welton Paper Shop or the School Office.
Pre-School Art Afternoon for Autumn – 10 October: We will be opening the school for pre-school children to attend an Autumn Art Afternoon from 1.30-2.30pm. These events are always very exciting and enjoyable.
This is a particularly important time of year for parents of pre school children about to choose the primary school for their child. We see an afternoon like this as a way of enabling parents to make a more informed choice about their child’s education.
If you know any parents of pre-school children coming up to foundation stage age who might be interested please tell them they can book a place by ringing 01673 860295.
On the afternoon of Thursday the 4th of October the photographer will be visiting the school. The photographer will take individual or family group photographs (or both) and it is important that you indicate on the form attached at the end of this newsletter (pdf version only), which of these options you require. If you have younger children who you wish to include in the family group please bring them along to school at 1.45pm.
An example print will be sent to parents who can then choose the format of prints they require.
There will also be an opportunity to purchase a ‘whole school’ photograph. (See future newsletters).
Dates to Remember
11 Sep FOHS AGM – 6.00pm
21 Sep Donations of cakes to school please for Hackthorn Dog Show
23 Sep Hackthorn Dog Show
25 Sep Understanding Phonics Training
28 Sep Macmillan Coffee Morning
29 Sep FOHS Treasure Hunt
04 Oct Wrates School Photographer (1:45pm)
16 Oct Parent/Teacher Interviews
18 Oct Parent/Teacher Interviews
19 Oct Harvest Festival/Last Day of Term
29 Oct Back to School
13 Nov Curriculum Information Evening for Y2 & Y6 Parents
12 Dec KS1 Nativity Dress Rehearsal
13 Dec KS1 Nativity Main Performance (2pm)
14 Dec Christmas Jumper Day
19 Dec Christmas Party
20 Dec Last Day of Term