Welcome back! I hope you all had a lovely summer holiday. It was lovely to see everyone coming into school so animated after the summer break, sharing their holiday adventures.
The children have settled in extremely well, especially our new pupils in Reception.
The first day back usually includes some changes to the school building and this year is no exception. The majority of the school has been repainted and the carpets have been cleaned in the entrance and the KS1 classroom. Areas outside KS1 have also been transformed, thanks to members of FOHS who worked hard during their maintenance day. Make sure you attend the first Good Works Assembly this week on the 13th of September so that you can see the changes. Please encourage your children to bring in their awards or certificates that they have received out of school so that we can all celebrate their achievements.
As you know we are constantly striving to better ourselves and to provide a range of opportunities for the children. This year we will be focusing more on physical and emotional wellbeing. There will be increased opportunities for physical activity led by Mr Sheehan, our new PE & Sports Apprentice. He will be organising different physical activities every Monday to Thursday morning when the children arrive, at break-times and at lunchtimes. We will also be dedicating specific times to focus on healthy eating, reintroducing Rainbow Lunchboxes.
This year we have decided to work with a new music provider. Front Row Music will work with ALL pupils during Terms 1, 3 and 5. They are passionate about inspiring future musicians and teach all of the Music Curriculum through the learning of an instrument. True to Hackthorn tradition, we have opted for the ukulele. Front Row will provide the instruments but if your child has their own ukulele, they may like to bring it in on a Friday.
Later on this year we will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the school. We plan to hold a special event to mark this occasion in the summer term and would like to create a special memorial garden at the front of the school.
We have many other 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
Forms to be Completed/Checked
The following forms need to be completed as soon as possible (by Tuesday 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 the newsletter we sent out to parents were the home school agreement and consent forms (please contact school if you didn’t receive them). 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 and parents of children joining us this September in other year groups, please ignore as you have already done this for 2019-20. Please do still check and return Student Update Forms however, to make sure details have been entered correctly – see overleaf).
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(please contact school if you didn’t receive them). 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.
If there is information to update then please amend accordingly or simply tick the ‘No corrections made’ box on the reverse of the form before signing and returning as soon as possible.
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 email 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 before and after school. Children are transported to school from Welton in the mornings. For after school sessions please speak to office staff, who will now need to apply for concessionary bus passes for pupils requiring transport to Kids Club at the end of the school day. (Please note the cost of passes will be met by the school). For any questions or additional information please contact school and we can pass on Mrs Wass’s details to you.
Friends of Hackthorn School (FOHS) AGM & Meeting – 17 September: This will be held in school on the evening of 17 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.
‘Understanding Phonics’ Training – 23 September: Phonics is the foundation for teaching children to read. Mrs Dodson and Mrs Hartley will be running an information evening on the 23rd 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.
Treasure Hunt – 28 September: Please also don’t forget the FOHS Treasure Hunt starting at 2pm at school on Saturday the 28th of September. Tickets available (£5 per car) from Welton Paper Shop or the School Office.
Year 5 & 6 Bikeability Level 1 & 2 Cycle Training Course – 30 Sep to 03 Oct: A reminder that this is scheduled to take place in school from Mon 30th Sep to Thursday inclusive. Please ensure your children’s bicycles are in a roadworthy state (i.e. two working brakes, properly inflated tyres and the appropriate size for your child) before bringing to school Monday 30th. All children must have their own helmet for the duration of the course. This is compulsory.
School Photographs: On the afternoon of Friday 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 the pdf version of this newsletter, 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.
Pre-School Art Afternoon for Autumn – 18 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.
17 Sep FOHS AGM & Meeting – 6pm
23 Sep Understanding Phonics Training – 3.45pm
28 Sep FOHS Treasure Hunt – 2pm
30 Sep – 03 Oct Bikeability Training (Y5 & Y6)
04 Oct Wrates School Photographer (1:45pm)
11 Oct Harvest Festival – 2pm
15 Oct Parent/Teacher Interviews
17 Oct Parent/Teacher Interviews (& Flu Immunisations)
18 Oct Pre-School Arts Afternoon
18 Oct Last Day of Term
28 Oct School closed for INSET Day
29 Oct Back to School
12 Nov Curriculum Information Evening for Y2 & Y6 Parents – 6pm
22 Nov Young Shakespeare Company (KS2)
11 Dec KS1 Nativity Dress Rehearsal
12 Dec KS1 Nativity Main Performance (2pm)
13 Dec Christmas Jumper Day
16 Dec Christmas Pre-School Arts Afternoon
17 Dec Christmas Pantomime Trip
18 Dec Christmas Party
19 Dec Last Day of Term