We have had such a busy start to the school year!
On Monday 12th September we had our grand opening of Lainesmead Nursery. I do hope you saw the coverage in the Swindon Advertiser. We are so pleased with the transformation that has occurred to the building and I know that a number of parents who have had children attend the setting previously have been ‘wowed’ by its new look.
We had a fantastic collection of food for our Harvest Assembly on Monday 19th September and Swindon Foodbank were particularly pleased with the contribution made by the children. A huge thank you to all who contributed and helped us to promote the value of co-operation within the community.
Year 6 spent a very enjoyable day at Churchfields on Tuesday 20th September, taking part in drama, dance and singing workshops alongside 2 other primary schools. The children thoroughly enjoyed their day and it was a pleasure watching their final performance to parents before the start of Churchfields Open Evening.
We have also had two further special assemblies. We were lucky to have the Swindon Wildcats Ice Hockey Team revisit us on Wednesday 28th September to share their experience. They are keen to invite as many families along to watch their games as possible. Furthermore, we had a visiting group of children sharing their Anti-bullying message with us as part of a project they had undertaken. More anti-bullying work with be covered next term as part of the annual ‘Anti-bullying Week.’
A group of Year 6 children are preparing for the performance of ‘Twelfth Night’ as part of the Schools Shakespeare Festival. This has already involved a visit to the Wyvern Theatre to take part in a drama workshop which will enhance their performance on the night! The final performance takes place on Tuesday 15th November and tickets can be booked through the theatre for anyone wishing to attend.
This year we have invested a great deal of money in buying a new reading scheme in EYFS (Nursery and Reception) and Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2). The new scheme, Collins ‘Big Cat,’ has a mixture of books which link directly to the phonics (Big Cat Phonics) and books which give the children a chance to read a wide range of text types. The scheme includes books by some of our most famous children’s authors, including Michael Morpurgo, Julia Donaldson and Michael Rosen. You will see these books being sent home as home readers as well as other books we have in school which we use within our reading scheme.
As a result of this change, a numbered reading level will no longer be in use. The children will be regularly assessed by their class teacher, through reading individually, whole class reading sessions and through the monitoring of the READ IT books, to decide when it is the right time for them to move on.
It is extremely important to remember that decoding the words alone is not enough to move the children on to a new colour – they must show understanding of what they have read!
As a guide, Collins provide the following to help you to understand the colours of the books which show progression through the scheme:
SCOOTERS AND BIKES
We have recently had a spate of scooters and bikes go missing from our bike sheds. Thankfully, a number of these have been returned to their owners within plenty of time. However, we have one scooter missing currently – as seen in the picture. If you are aware of its whereabouts then please do contact us as a matter of urgency so that it can be returned to its rightful owner.
In order to keep bikes and scooters as safe as possible, it would help greatly if they are named in some way and when incidents occur we can then trace the owners more effectively.
In addition, it has been noticed that older children who are no longer part of Lainesmead are leaving their bikes and scooters in our sheds. This must not happen. Staff have already spoken to a number of these children. Could I ask parents to reiterate this to their children at home?
PARENT QUESTIONNAIRE FEEDBACK
At the start of the summer term, questionnaires were handed out to receive feedback to help us to improve our practice. The results are as follows:
My child is happy in school = 94%
The school enables my child to achieve a high standard of work = 94%
I believe that the school meets the individual needs of my child and his helping him/her achieve his/her potential = 92%
School offers a wide range of after-school activities = 75%
I receive good information on the progress and attainment of my child in school. = 79%
I believe that there is good communication between school and home = 80%
I believe the school achieves good standards of behaviour = 85%
I feel happy to approach the school with any issues concerning my child = 96%
I believe the school provides help and guidance to parents in how to support their children at home = 83%
I believe the school is well led and managed = 92%
I believe the school provides a safe environment for my child = 96%
I believe the school helps my child to understand how to stay safe = 98%
Many parents provided additional comments on the strengths of the school, summarised as the following:
Community/family feel/nurture Recognising achievement Great after school clubs Approachable
Teaching standards Creating a safe learning environment
Good staff, education Opportunities for children (including trips)
Values Parents feel welcome
Children are happy Children treated with respect
Children are well supported
Breakfast and after-school club
We, of course asked for feedback regarding areas we can develop. The following shows these areas and how we are planning to address these:
|Comment||How we are addressing|
|Communication between the school and parents.
|A great deal more is now placed on to Schoop – our school app. This has diary dates for the forthcoming year.
Text messages continue to be sent out as needed
Twitter feed shows events happening in school
Year group pages show what children are learning and photos of activities.
|School lunches/School meals ordering system
|We reviewed this last year and have introduced a new system. This is constantly under review by the office team to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible for parents.
We work closely with the school cook on menu selection and continue to do so in order to provide the most nutritious meal possible. Pupils themselves tell us that they are happy with the provision.
|More playing equipment/better play areas
|All of last year’s fundraising is going towards play equipment. We are currently completing a bid for further money to subsidise the money raised in order to be able to buy the large equipment suggested by the school council – an example cost of this sort of equipment is £10,000. We hope to be successful with this bid.|
|More PE Sessions
|This year we have introduced 2 PE sessions a week.
We have implemented a new scheme, used in many schools in Swindon and across England, called REAL: PE, teaching values, sportsmanship as well as skills transferable into many sports.
|New/more after school clubs e.g. chess, music||We are always assessing the after-school clubs we have on offer.
This year we have already introduced the following new clubs this term: craft club, science and recorder. Gardening has also returned having been absent for a couple of years. We realise that there is a huge demand for these clubs and are always looking at what can be provided. It may be that we look at outside providers for additional clubs, which will, unfortunately, have a cost attached.
|We have looked again at our curriculum maps this year and have a more cross-curricular approach to teaching. This enables more creative opportunities to take place|
|Homework projects – process of choosing who goes forward to the assembly||All classes now swap the homework projects within their year group and anonymously vote of each other’s class projects.|
|Reports not clear enough||Under the changing world of primary assessment changes had to be made to the way we have reported to you.
Three reports are provided throughout the year (only 2 have to be provided). The Senior Leadership of the school regularly assess what is included in the report to make them as clear as possible to all. We will continue to do this
Reports are also discussed at Parent Evenings to give further clarity.
|Comment||How we are addressing|
|More information on how to help at home
|In the front of the homework books there are prompt sheets which give ideas for helping with spelling and maths at home. We have already run our first workshop on the teaching of maths and homework – held during the ‘Meet the teacher’ meeting. Further workshops are planned for later this year to go through the teaching of spelling, phonics, maths mastery as well as Year 2 and Year 6 SATs information sessions.
We would be delighted for as many parents to attend as possible as turnout is not always conducive to running these
|Address the few who don’t adhere to school policies
|School policies are reviewed regularly.
Policies to do with uniform and behaviour are constantly addressed.
Our policy on Abusive and Threatening Behaviour towards staff is also strictly adhered to with the Senior Leadership of the school having individual conversations with any parent or carer who does not adhere to the policy.
We also asked for feedback regarding the two residential visits we conduct, especially as the numbers attending are falling. The main feedback was to do with the cost of both of these visits. We are currently investigating alternative residentials. None that we have contacted so far, including the local PGL centre in Liddington, are any cheaper than our current residentials. However, we will continue to investigate alternatives.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES
All dates have been published on our school app ‘Schoop.’ Please do download this in order to keep up to date with events!
Friday 14th – Monday 17th October – Year 6 Isle of Wight Residential
Wednesday 19th October – International Primary Curriculum Fabulous Finish Afternoon (Years 1 – 6).
2:15pm – Year 2 assembly – starting with a 15 minute presentation on E-Safety (please note that these are different to last year’s)
2:30pm – Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Fabulous Finish afternoon begins
Monday 24th – Friday 28th October – HALF TERM
Monday 31st October – T D Day
Tuesday 1st November – All children return to school (Nursery to Year 6)
Wednesday 2nd – Friday 4th November – Year 4 Braeside trip
Thursday 3rd November – Glow and Sparkle Disco
Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th – School Photographer in
Week Beginning 14th November – Anti-bullying Week
Tuesday 15th November – Year 6 Performance of Twelfth Night at The Wyvern Theatre
Week Beginning 21st November – Parents’ Evening Week
Miss E Brown, a teaching assistant in Year 1, left at the end of September. We have recruited Ms K Vincent in her place who is settling into France class and getting to know the children.
I am delighted to inform you that Miss Rance is expecting her first child, due in February. We wish her and her partner all the very best. We will shortly start the recruitment process for her replacement for the remainder of the academic year.
It is with sadness that I have to let you know that Mrs Sue Gladman is leaving Lainesmead Primary after 14 years of dedicated service to the school. Mrs Gladman has chosen to work in a similar school but closer to home so that she can spend more time with her family. Mrs Gladman’s last day will be Friday 21st October. I am sure that she will be as missed by children and parents as she will be by all the staff of the school.