This week’s message (Friday 12 January 2024)

Friday 12 January 2024

Welcome to our first message of 2024! It seems a little late to wish you a happy new year, but we’ll do it all the same: best wishes for a happy and healthy 2024. This week’s message has quite a few things, but we’ve tried to keep them fairly short…

Dates for your diary

This Spring term is a short one – just five weeks in Spring 1 and just a day short of six weeks in Spring 2. As always, please check our school calendar to know what’s coming up (amongst other things, a Watch Us While We Work session in Years 1-6 and Stay and Learn sessions in Reception, plus parent-teacher meetings).

Did your child get an electronic device for Christmas?

…If so, then do make sure parental controls are all in place. Here’s a handy guide from the NSPCC.

Attendance matters

Our whole-school attendance for the Autumn term was 94.2%. How does your child’s class compare?

The low attendance in Year 5 and 6 is clearly a concern for us. We know some people in the class have high attendance, but the absence rate means about a week and half of lost learning as an average.

We know that winter is one of the peak times for adults and children to come down with mild illnesses such as colds, coughs and sore throats.

Your child should stay at home from school if they’ve a high temperature (fever) and are unwell, and wait until it has passed before going back.

If they’ve just got a runny nose, sore throat or slight cough – without a high temperature – your child should still attend school. Children should stay at home if they’ve a high temperature (fever) or if they have diarrhoea and/or vomiting – this helps stop the spread of stomach bugs.

If in doubt, check the NHS site: Is my child too ill for school?

Read this BBC article for five top tips to help.

The national attendance rate for primary schools in Autumn was 94.7%. Our figure is just a bit lower here at St James’ CE Primary. Let’s see if we can beat the national figure at the next review.

Talking of attendance…

Don’t forget…

All pupils with attendance of 96% or higher this half-term are entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Love to Shop voucher!

So, for the full Spring 1 half-term, Monday 08 January to Friday 09 February (five weeks), if your child reaches a good level of attendance – that’s 96% or more – their name will be entered into a prize draw. We’ll select one lucky winner on the last day of the half-term (Friday 09 February).

DT: Cooking and nutrition

We sent this message earlier in the week, but in case you missed it…

Our updated long-term plans for Cooking and Nutrition were introduced at the beginning of this school year. Last term, your child took part in a practical lesson where they did some cooking in school and were able to eat what they had made. Hopefully, they’ll have come home and told you all about it!

So we can continue to offer this to all children in Years 1 to 6, we’re asking you for a small voluntary contribution towards the cost of ingredients. This will help to cover the costs for the full year – that’s three recipes. We suggest a contribution between £3 to £6, although we really appreciate anything you can offer. Payment for this can be made online on the School Gateway app.

By the way, please remember to tell us if your child has an allergy so that we can adapt the recipes we’ve planned.

The Big Ambition survey

We’ve mentioned this before, too, but we’ve been asked to communicate a final reminder which comes from Dame Rachel De Souza, the Children’s Commissioner for England…

I have been overwhelmed by the response the survey has received so far. More than 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers have participated, making it one of the largest surveys of its kind, but I want to give even more people the chance to have their say.

Complete The Big Ambition survey. It closes on Friday 19 January.

Finally, I don’t often offer a personal recommendation, but a highlight of the holidays for me was a trip to the cinema to see Wonka – I loved it! Have a good weekend, whether that involves a cinema trip or whatever you and your family get up to.