1. Archive Newsletter 07.09.18
Welcome back – I hope you all had an enjoyable summer. Contrary to rumour, I am still here! I was greeted by one of our lovely pupils this morning with a slightly bemused expression, followed by, ‘I thought you had gone!’ I am pleased to say that I will be here until the end of Term 2 (December) and plan to enjoy every moment.
I am delighted to inform you that my replacement has accepted the position. I would love to be able to announce the name of the new headteacher but, unfortunately, I need to leave you on tenterhooks until next Monday. It is obviously important that the communication is coordinated with their existing school and they are planning to announce the news early next week.
The advantage of me leaving at Christmas is that we can ensure a smooth transition with the new head and I am sure there will be opportunities to meet her over the next two terms.
As I mentioned when I first spoke of my departure, I will continue to devote all my energies into ensuring every child here achieves their potential until I finish at the end of the calendar year. Life is never dull at Sevenoaks Primary School and there is still an awful lot to do in the remaining two terms.
Summer holiday work
It is a common misconception that the school closes over the summer holidays. It is actually an incredibly busy time at Sevenoaks Primary. B&K (our building contractors), completed the landscaping of the site and a number of snagging jobs, which had emerged over the year.
Other work included:
- The replacement of the flooring in Phase 2, which had been damaged by a flood last year.
- Internal painting of the ‘Villa’ and the replacement of the flooring.
- Completion of the security fencing.
- General maintenance work around the site.
The building work is almost complete, with the remaining covered walkway timetabled to be installed week beginning 17th September and lasting for 3 weeks. The work will inevitably lead to some disruption to the walkway. However, the contractors have agreed to keep this to a minimum. Thank you in advance for your patience!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff, particularly the site and premises team, for their dedication and hard work during this period.
At the beginning of any new academic year there is always a lot of information that needs to be communicated to parents/carers. This year is no exception and we would ask for your understanding during this period. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect across the EU in May of this year and the framework has had a major impact on how we operate.
The data collection sheets and the photographic permissions will be issued over the next few weeks. They are more onerous this year, but we are obliged to follow the guidance given. Please do take the time to complete and return to school by the date stated on the forms. I am genuinely grateful for your support.
Food allergies and intolerances
The number of children and adults with identified intolerances or allergies to food products has increased significantly in recent years. This is due in large part to an increased awareness and more effective identification of individual conditions/needs.
At SPS, we are always looking at ways in which we can better support our children and staff, and this includes our provision for those suffering from allergies and other medical conditions that may affect their diet. As part of this process, we continue to work closely with Accent Catering, our lunchtime meal providers, and Play4Ages, who provide our after school care.
Actions taken by the school and our partners to improve our procedures have included the following:
- Accent Catering have undertaken an extensive review of procedures. Coeliac UK Society was invited to complete a full audit of working practices at the school and they have also delivered training to the Accent staff and to members of the school team. The training reinforces Accent’s own training and development.
- Requesting that any allergy/intolerance be diagnosed by a medical practitioner and asking parents/carers to provide detailed, up-to-date information, which includes the possible consequences of eating an allergen and the necessary action to be taken.
- Asking parents/carers to liaise with the school, in writing, if there are any changes to this information.
- All children with an allergy/intolerance will be issued with an orange wrist band, which they must wear whilst they are in school (including before and after school clubs and services).
- Both the children, parents and staff will need to work together to ensure that the band is worn every school day.
- Parents are welcome to visit the catering team at any time to discuss the lunchtime arrangements. The menu provided by Accent Catering includes a description of meals which contain specific allergens. The school cook is happy to meet any parent and discuss specific, individual requirements. However, it is imperative that Accent Catering have the information requested and the allergy or intolerance should be diagnosed by the child’s medical practitioner.
If you do have any concerns or general questions, please do contact the school office.
I am delighted to welcome a number of new staff to the SPS team.
Mrs. Mayes, who some of you may remember as a parent of the school, has joined the Year 2 team as class teacher of 2A.
We are lucky to have a number of new support staff joining across the school and we welcome Miss. Gauntlett (Leopards), Miss. Rogers (4B), Ms. Wildman (5C), Mrs. Edwige White (6A) and Mrs. Tschorn (6B).
Additionally, we are very pleased to see the return of two familiar members of our team. Mrs. Bromwich is back in school following her maternity leave – she will be teaching alongside Mrs. Menzies in 3A. Mrs. Greathead, previously a midday supervisor and helper at Breakfast Club, is now a member of our support staff in 5A.
THE ‘LONG WALK HOME’
27th – 29th September 2018
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE SPONSOR ME!!
This will be my very last walk to raise money for Sevenoaks Primary School – I promise!
The ‘Long Walk Home’ will start in Canterbury on Thursday 27th September. The plan is to finish at around 5.00pm on Saturday 29th September, at Sevenoaks Primary School. The route is 60 miles over 3 days, along part of the North Downs Way.
The Hands Trust has very kindly agreed to match fund the money raised for this walk. The proceeds will be used to support the development of play provision across the school. The intention is to develop an ‘epic play experience’ for the children, and whilst we may not have completed the vision before I depart, we should be well on the way.
BREAKFAST CLUB/SCHOOL LUNCHES
If you have any queries regarding Breakfast Club or online payment for school lunches, please contact Mrs. Megan Farmar, our Finance Assistant, via the School Office (dialling ‘4’ when you hear the options).
We have been very lucky to have enjoyed warm and sunny weather for a prolonged period of time. Inevitably, this will change! With more inclement weather (probably) just around the corner, please can you ensure that children come to school with a pair of outdoor shoes that they can change into at playtimes. We are actively encouraging the children to use and enjoy the school grounds and we want to ensure that the school building is kept clean and safe for all.
SPSA – CAN YOU HELP?
Would you like to be involved in helping the school with fundraising events? Do you have some spare time? The SPSA would like to hear from you!
The Committee is looking for a Secretary to join their team. If you are interested in this role, please contact the School Office.
PUT IT IN YOUR DIARY!
The first SPSA event this term is a COMEDY NIGHT on Saturday, 6th October from 7.30 to 9.30pm. Tickets will be on sale soon!