2. Archive Newsletter 20.09.18
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER DIARY DATES
Foundation Stage in full time
‘The Long Walk Home’ Sponsored Walk
Year 3 London Zoo trip
Author visit - Phase 3
Foundation Stage Parents/Carers Coffee
Morning - 9am
Year 6 - Blackland Farm
Year 6 - Blackland Farm
Year 1 - Trip to The Vine
Year 2 - Parents/Carers Coffee Morning - 9am
Year 6 - Blackland Farm
Kent Test Results to parents/carers - 4pm
Year 6 - return from Blackland Farm
Year 1 - Parents/Carers Coffee Morning - 9am
Foundation Stage - Parent Consultation Week
Year 6 - Parent Consultation Week
Year 1 - Woodland Creature Day
Year 4 - Creative Education Workshop
Year 6 - Creative Education Workshop
INSET DAY - no children in school
It is already our third week of term and the summer holiday is now a fading memory. Our lovely, new Foundation Stage, fingers firmly crossed, have settled in incredibly well and appear happy and confident in their new environment. The same can also be said of the rest of the school. The children and staff have hit the ground running and I am confident it will be another successful, action packed year at SPS.
Drop off and pick up for Phases 2 & 3
Now that the children have settled in to the new year, we would encourage parents/carers to say goodbye and leave their children at the playground gates (on either side of the main building) at drop off in the morning. A member of staff will be on the playgrounds from 8.40am and a representative from the Senior Leadership Team will be by the gates. We do try and encourage the children to be independent and separating at the gates also supports the school in monitoring the adults within the secure zone.
We do appreciate that some children find it difficult leaving their parents in the morning and, if this is the case, please do speak to your child’s class teacher or a member of the Senior Team.
The end of the building work is in sight and the final ‘pieces of the jigsaw’ are about to be put into place. Over the next three weeks, the canopy connecting the modular buildings to the new school and the Foundation Stage corridor to the Year 1 classes, will be installed.
All being well, the work will be completed within the three week timescale. The final challenge is to keep the school operational during this period.
It does require the cooperation and patience of all concerned, but we are almost there!
THE LONG WALK HOME
27th to 29th September 2018
This is my last fundraising walk - I promise! The walk will start in Canterbury and conclude three days later, back at school. The route is over 60 miles and will be my biggest challenge yet!
The Hands Trust has very kindly agreed to match fund the money raised for the walk. The proceeds will be used to support the development of play provision across the school (more information provided below).
We have established a Just Giving page - www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MrDuffy-TheLongWalkHome - to offer you the chance to support my final venture.
How can you help?
You can join me for part of the walk! I am particularly looking for parents/friends who work for companies offering matched funding for charitable causes. If you can encourage friends, family and colleagues to sponsor you, your company may be prepared to match fund the amount you raise. You could complete a short leg or undertake your own walk if that is more convenient.
Sponsor me – this is our last fundraising push before I leave. This is the last event that The Hands Trust is match funding and we would like to make the most of the opportunity.
Many thanks in advance for your support - I think I might need it!
CREATING AN EPIC PLAY EXPERIENCE
The inspiration for developing our playtimes came from the children. During the production of the artwork that formed part of the Heritage project, one of the children had referred to playtimes as epic. When this comment was observed by a group of Year 6 children, they made it abundantly clear that playtimes at SPS were anything but!
We now have a fabulous new building, facilities and amazing grounds but the opportunities at playtimes are limited. Improving the quality and breadth of play will be a priority for 2018-19. By addressing this issue, we aim to ensure happy and safe playtimes for all so that the children can accurately describe their playtime experience as EPIC!
We will be working with an organisation called OPAL to support this process.
More about OPAL
The OPAL Primary Programme…
‘Children in British primary schools spend 20% or 1.4 years of their school attendance in play and yet many schools have no strategic or values-based approach to play across all ages.
The Outdoor Play and Learning (OPAL) Primary Programme is a mentor-supported, school improvement programme. It addresses all of the areas schools must plan for if they want to strategically and sustainably improve the quality of their play opportunities.
The OPAL Primary Programme is the only programme of its kind that has been independently proven to sustainably improve the quality of play in British primary schools.
Research shows that play contributes to children’s physical and emotional health, well-being, approach to learning and enjoyment of school. Given the importance of play in children’s lives and current concerns about children’s health and opportunity to access time and space to initiate their own play outdoors, there are considerable benefits for children, parents, school and the wider community from participating in OPAL’s programme.
The OPAL Primary Programme supports schools in developing a cultural shift in thinking about and supporting children’s play. Its success comes from a series of interrelated actions undertaken with the specialist support from the OPAL mentor. This embeds play into school’s policies and practices and establishes clear, guiding principles and strategies for initiating changes at playtimes. The results can be transformational and, at best, spectacular, and show progress even in more challenging school environments’.
If you would like to find out more about the programme, please look at the OPAL website using the following address www.outdoorplayandlearning.org.uk .
You may also want to look at examples of schools who have adopted the approach using the following links:
We are currently arranging a Family Learning session led by OPAL for Term 1 and will circulate the date as soon as possible.
In the meantime, we would encourage you to provide a pair of wellies or outdoor shoes (other than their P.E. trainers) for the children to wear during break times. We do want the children to make full use of the grounds, but they will require suitable footwear to access the fields and wooded areas. We also ask that you ensure the children have a suitable coat for the upcoming winter so that rain has a minimal impact on the enjoyment of the grounds.
Help keep our children safe on the way to and from school
‘SAFER SCHOOL ZONES’ – IMPROVING ROAD SAFETY/PARKING
We have received the following information from Sevenoaks District Council regarding a new scheme aimed at making the roads around schools safer:-
‘Sevenoaks District Council and Kent County Council have put in measures this term to help improve road safety and reduce congestion on the roads around this school, particularly at school drop off and pick up times.
New signs have been installed on the roads approaching the school to indicate “no stopping” zones, where drivers are not allowed to stop to drop off or pick up pupils. These zones are generally have either single or double yellow lines in force or school keep clear zig-zags.
Traffic wardens carrying out regular foot patrols of the zones will issue an immediate ticket to any vehicle they see stopped on restrictions within the zones.
For more information you can contact Sevenoaks Parking Team by calling 01732 227000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For information and advice on waiting and parking around schools please refer to The Highway Code by visiting:
Sevenoaks Primary School is committed to the continuous raising of achievement of all our pupils. Regular attendance is critical if our pupils are to be successful and benefit from the opportunities presented to them.
Only the Headteacher can authorise absence for approved reasons. Schools have discretion to allow absence in term time for special circumstances only such as:
- For service personnel and other employees who are prevented from taking holidays outside term-time if the holiday will have minimal disruption to the pupil’s education
- When a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis, such as death or terminal illness of a person close to the family
- For attendance at a funeral
- For attendance at a wedding of a close family member
All other absences are only authorised by the head teacher where there are exceptional circumstances, and the absence cannot be avoided. Please email through any term time absence requests to email@example.com or by letter to the Head Teacher, Mr Duffy.
Absences from school
You can report your child’s absence from school via the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you have emailed your child’s absence from school, there will be no need to follow up with a letter to the class teacher when your child returns to school. However, please note that we are unable to accept any other messages to the class teachers, school office or club leaders via this email address.
The telephone answer machine will still be in use to report absences (01732 453952, Option 1) or alternatively please call in to the school office.
Your child’s blue club list will be returned to them this week. Indicated on the club list is whether your child has received a place in their chosen club and when they should attend. The blue club list is for you to keep and refer to during the academic year. If you have any queries, please contact the school office.
Clubs begin w/c Monday 24th September
(unless notified by the club leader)
- We would like to remind parents/carers that following a bout of sickness or diarrhoea, children must not return to school until 48 hours after their final episode of illness
- Should your child (or their siblings) contract an infectious disease (particularly chicken-pox or cold sores) please inform the school office as soon as possible, as we have a child in school with a weakened immune system
- Should your child have asthma, please ensure that you supply the school with an in-date inhaler as soon as possible. Parents/carers will need to bring the inhaler into school in its original packaging with the prescriber’s information label attached and to complete the necessary paperwork
- PLEASE NOTE THAT WE OPERATE A ‘NO NUTS’ POLICY IN SCHOOL
- Polite notice – NO MEDICATION SHOULD BE BROUGHT INTO SCHOOL BY A PUPIL. Should your child be prescribed medication by a doctor that requires administration during the school day, it is the responsibility of the parent/carer to bring in that medication (such medication to be in its original container, complete with dosage instructions). As before, prescribed medication will also require parents/carers to complete the necessary paperwork
- ONLY PRESCRIBED MEDICATION CAN BE ADMINISTERED BY A MEMBER OF STAFF
If your child has any changes to their medical information, please email the details to email@example.com.
Toilet Facilities Reminder
Whilst we have gained lots of new facilities with our new building, may we politely remind parents/carers that we no longer have a bathroom for parents and preschool siblings to use.
We appreciate that many used the facilities in the entrance of the old school, however, the new building does not allow people to pass through the front doors without a prior appointment. We appreciate this may be an inconvenience (no pun intended) but the intention is that the school is fully secure.
Please ensure that you and your preschool child use the facilities at home before coming to school.
Pupil Premium Funding
Are you in receipt of Government benefit payments? If so, your child can benefit from Pupil Premium Funding. See below for more details:
For every registered child, Sevenoaks Primary School receives £1,320 per year which, in the 2018-19 financial year, means as a school we receive £61,660.
This money is used in many different ways depending on the needs of the children, among them:
- Continued free school meals for children in Years 3-6
- Providing small group work with an experienced teacher
- Offering 1-1 support
- Additional teaching and learning opportunities, either in house or with an external provider
- Financial support for swimming and curriculum visits
It is now easy to apply on-line at
Alternatively, come into school, bringing just your National Insurance number and Mrs Rodenhurst or Mrs Farmar in the Finance Office will be happy to go through the process with you.
Receipt of these funds plays a vital part in the education that we can provide for children throughout the school. Many thanks to everyone who is able to apply and does!
We have a fantastic Uniform Shop where you can buy good quality, second-hand uniform for school. Please see the following, upcoming opening times:
Monday 15th October – 9.00am to 9.30am
Friday 5th October, 2nd November and 7th December – 2.45pm to 3.30pm
Secondary School Open Days/Evenings!
This is a busy time of year for Secondary School Open Days and Evenings. If your child is in Years 5 or 6, please take a look at
on our school website for further information regarding dates and times. We update the information on a regular basis, so be sure to keep an eye on the website!
Overview Plans – Years 1-6
The overview plans and other useful information for terms 1&2 can be found on the school website under Parent Information – Year Group Information – choose year group.
They can also be found using the links below:
Cars and parking
In the summer of 2014, the Parent Council and school produced a leaflet to help keep our children safe on the way to and from school. The document was produced as a result of the concern felt by parents, staff, governors and local residents about the increased levels of traffic around the site.
The Parent Council and school will continue to work with the Sevenoaks District Council, Kent Highways and local residents to improve safety but we do require your support.
If you are driving:
Are you aware that we are receiving reports of the following incidents occurring outside the school every day?
- Roads are blocked to prevent cars getting through
- Cars driving on pavements so they do not have to wait for a car to pass
- Cars parking on double yellow lines
- Cars parking on the zig zag lines
- Drivers conducting three point turns in the school entrance
- Cars parking on the blind bend of Camden Road
There are also repeated incidents of aggressive and abusive behaviour being reported.
Photographic evidence of the above parking issues have been received by the school, and we continue to ask you to report any concerns you have to the following authorities:
- Kent Police by calling 101 (police non-emergency phone numbers)
- Sevenoaks District Council by calling 01732 227000 (for double yellow line and zig-zag offences only)
WE NEED YOUR COOPERATION IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT AN ACCIDENT DOES NOT OCCUR