Newsletter 8 – 7th July 2017

Dear Parents / Carers,

As we are close to the end of the year, this will be the final newsletter for 2016-17.

INSET days 2017-18
1. Monday 4th September 2017
2. Friday 20th October 2017
3. Tuesday 2nd January 2018
4. Friday 16th February 2018
5. Monday 4th June 2018

Summer Fayre 2017– What a fantastic event! My heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped before, on the day, and with clearing up; it couldn’t have gone better and I am pleased to report that the final amount raised was an incredible £6424.67, which will be used to complete ‘Operation Outside’ over the summer. Thank you all for coming and donating so generously.

Safeguarding message – I have received an email from a resident who is concerned about unaccompanied pupils crossing Holymoor Road, apparently she witnessed a near miss the other day, when a pupil ran across without looking. Please ensure your child is safe if they are walking home alone. Thank you.

Staffing – We are currently advertising for a Year 1/2 teacher, as Mrs Lancashire is wishing to reduce to 2 days working in September. Mrs Clapham will be providing PPA cover in EYFs and key stage 1. Interviews are next Thursday and we have had a good field of candidates. I hope to make the appointment on that day. If we cannot, we will cover the role until Christmas with staff already known to the children, on a supply basis. I am pleased to say there are no other staffing changes for September.

Holidays in term time– New guidance has now been issued and I am sorry to say that following the collapse of the Isle of Wight case, Derbyshire local authority are taking an even stricter view of the policy. They have removed the interim guidance relating to attendance over 94% and have returned to the original policy of no holidays to be taken except in exceptional circumstances. Penalty notices will now be issued for every holiday day that is unauthorised. The only exceptions will be holidays booked before the release of these new arrangements with evidential proof. In this case the 94% rule will apply. As a school, we will be expected to strictly adhere to this policy, so I would ask you to consider any holiday plans very carefully.

Key Stage 2 Statutory assessment On the reverse of this newsletter are our school results for the 2017 Year 6 SAT tests. Overall our results have improved in maths from last year, with more children achieving the expected new standard and now being in line with national data. (This has been the main focus of our School Development Plan). Reading and Writing are also in line with national data in 2017. The area we still have to work on, is the grammar, punctuation and spelling test, and although we did improve, we are still below national data, which is a concern. We are in discussions with schools that do better in this area to see how we can improve again next year, but our initial conversations indicate that they do more and more testing and training for the test, and this is not the route we want to go down. We have some exciting plans for September to introduce the children to ‘Growth Mindset’ strategies, new assessment for learning techniques and reflective learning. All of these are proven to make a difference to learning and progress, which we are much more interested in than one off results. Unfortunately, the current Ofsted framework is data driven and it could be that if we get an inspection they move us to Requires Improvement. The Governors, staff and myself do not believe we are an RI school but do believe we can always improve, as we are never complacent. I will be inviting you to a meeting in the Autumn term, to hear about our new ideas and plans.

Sports Summary -This year has been another very successful year for Sport at Walton Holymoorside. As a school, we have participated in over 25 different competitions or festivals, with 99% of our pupils participating in some form of additional physical activity. We have achieved many awards over the year for a range of sports and we thank all the children who have demonstrated commitment to the sports’ clubs and competitions they have attended. In addition, we have trained 59 sports’ leaders who have all gained either a bronze, silver or gold award for their leadership skills in sport. These include the Bronze Young Ambassadors, Y2 and Y5 Mini Leaders and Change for Life Champions. A huge thank you to all of our young leaders who have helped enhance sport and physical activity this year. We have now secured greater links with a range of sporting clubs and this is an area we would like to develop further next year. If you have links with a sport club that you think might be beneficial, please do not hesitate to get in touch in September.
Lastly we are very pleased to say that as a school we have now applied for our Gold Sainsbury’s Games Mark. We currently hold the silver award. May I take this opportunity to thank all of the children, parents and staff that contribute to sport at our school.

Miss Fairweather

School Uniform Please can I remind everyone that when we return in September we expect every child to be wearing the correct school uniform and have the correct PE kit. Please look on the website to check colours etc. Also please make sure that shoes are school shoes not trainers. Thank you. Can I also plead with you to name all uniform clearly.

Goodbye to Year 6 I would like to formally wish all our Year 6 pupils, who are moving onto the next phase of their education, good luck and best wishes. Due to the changes in the curriculum and the much harder tests they have worked so very hard this year, but have done so willingly and enthusiastically; we are so pleased and proud of them all. I hope they will take with them, happy memories from their time here, uphold the values they have learnt and continue to build on their academic success. We truly thank them for everything they have contributed to the school. I look forward to seeing parents and carers of Year 6 pupils at our Leavers’ assembly at 10.30 on 21st July 2017.

Finally, can I thank everyone who has made this year another great year at our school. The teaching and support staff who have again worked extremely hard under incredible pressure. Also the governors, who have supported the school so well and to the PSA who have given a huge amount of time to raise money and organise events, which will benefit all the children now and in the future. Finally, of course, thanks to your children, who never cease to impress me with their kindness, enthusiasm and determination to make our school the very special place it is. I wish everyone a happy and healthy summer break and look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 5th September.

Warmest regards

Mrs Palmer-Coole and everyone at WHPS