News and Events

Samuel Lucas News

Newsletter 1 – September 2017

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to school and welcome to all of our new families. It has been lovely seeing the children arriving punctually in the mornings in their new school uniforms ready for learning.

Morning Arrival at School

Just a reminder about our early morning routines. In reception classes the doors will open at 8.45am and children and parents are welcomed into the cloakroom where they can help their children prepare for their day. At 8.45am children in the rest of the school will be met by teachers from the playground. This is the time for parents who need a quick word to speak to the teachers can do so, as they will not be available once they have taken the children into class. If you wish to speak to a teacher after they have gone into class please come to the school office and leave a message and the teacher will contact you. All children will then be in class ready for registration at 8.55am, when all external doors throughout the school will be closed. If children arrive after 8.55am and the doors are closed they need to come to the school office so that they can be registered. Please help your children to be in school on time and ready for learning. To enhance our safeguarding procedures we would like to lock the school gates by 9.05am and therefore ask parents to leave the school grounds as quickly as possible once your child has gone into school.

Playground safety

With our ever growing school there are more people in the playgrounds in the morning and after school. Please can you help us to keep our children safe by reminding your children to dismount from their bikes and scooters when they enter the school grounds. Please do not allow your children or their younger siblings to play on the playground equipment before or after school.

Uniform

All long hair is to be tied up. Hairbands may be worn but should be discrete in school colours, no large hair accessories are to be worn. Items of jewellery should not be worn. In the interest of safety only one set of ear studs are permitted. These must be removed or covered during P.E.

Payments

It is appreciated if any requests for payments for trips, school lunches etc. are made on time. Please send any payments in a sealed envelope with your child’s name on and indicate what the payment is for. We will be putting up a locked post box in the new conservatory porch for parents to post any envelopes and payments for the office to alleviate any queuing in the school office.

Congratulations

We have read in the local newspaper that several past Samuel Lucas pupils have achieved amazing results in their GCSE exams. Amongst others, these past pupils were named as achieving 10 or more A* or A grades: Louis Condon, Patrick Sloan and Ben Sutton (Horne). Well done!

Diary Dates – Autumn Term

Date Class Event Time
Thurs 14th September Year 3 Celtic Harmony School day
Mon 18th September Reception, Yr 1 & Yr 2 Parents welcome meeting 7pm-8pm
Wed 20th September Year 5 NHSSP Olympic Event School day
Thurs 21st September Yrs 3,4,5,6 Parents welcome meeting 7pm-8pm
Mon 25th September Whole School Individual school photos School day
Wed 4th October Reception Parents Phonics & Maths Workshop 6.30pm-7.15pm
Wed 4th October Yr 1 & Yr 2 Parents Literacy & Maths Workshop 7.30pm – 8.15pm
Mon 16th October Reception – Year 6 Parents Evening 5pm – 8pm
Wed 18th October Reception – Year 6 Parents Evening 4pm – 7pm
Fri 20th October Yr 1 & Yr 2 Harvest Assembly 9.30am
Fri 20th October Yr 3 – Yr 6 Harvest Festival Service at Christ Church 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Mon 11th December Hazel / Hawthorn Christmas Play 2.00pm
Tues 12th December Birch / Oak Christmas Play 2.00pm
Fri 15th December Reception Christmas Concert 9.30am
Fri 15th December Yr 3 – 6 Carol Concert – Christ Church 2.00pm

School Term Dates

Autumn Term (*INSET day 4th Sep 2017)
Wednesday 5th September 2017 – Tuesday 19th December
Half term – 23rd Oct to 27th Oct 2017

Spring Term (*INSET day 3rd Jan 2018)
Thursday 4th January 2018 – Thursday 29th March 2018
Half Term – 12th Feb to 16th Feb 2018

Summer Term (*INSET day 16th April 2018)
Tuesday 17th April 2018 – Friday 20th July 2018
Half Term – 28th May to 1st June 2018

*INSET Days 23rd & 24th July 2018
*Children do not attend school on INSET days

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Thomas – Headteacher

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Newsletter 8 – July 2017

Dear All,

As we approach the end of term and another academic year at Samuel Lucas, it is a time for celebration and reflection. The reflection undoubtedly will bring mixed emotions as we say goodbye to Year 6 and to some members of staff. Ms Oke, Reception Teacher and Mrs Higginbotham who has worked at Samuel Lucas for a number of years as SMSA, leave us tomorrow and we wish them both the best of luck for the future. We also say goodbye and thank you to Miss Briddon who has stepped in to cover Mrs Hammacott’s role when she left at the end of May. We have also had news that Mrs Bannister will not be returning to Samuel Lucas following her maternity leave and we wish her well in her new job.

Sports Day

Thank you to all of you who came and supported the children on Sports Day. The weather was lovely and the children all enjoyed the day immensely. I would like to say a big thank you to Mr Smith from Rising Stars for helping us out and making sure that the day ran smoothly.

Lion King Production

What an amazing show the children put on! A special thank you to Mr Burgess and Miss Painter for all their hard work but also to Nicky Footer from the music service and a big thank you to everyone who was involved in putting the fantastic costumes together. The children did themselves and the school proud.

Athletics

On Tuesday 11th July our Athletics team travelled to Ridlins Athletic Stadium to compete in a variety of events against other schools from the North of Hertfordshire. The children were a real credit to the school and the team came 3rd overall. Well done!

Successful Transition Morning

Last Thursday the children enjoyed their first morning in their new classes with their new teachers. It was wonderful to also welcome the new members of staff – Mrs Schroder, Miss Morgan and Miss Gibson. The children seemed settled during the morning and September looks to be an exciting time.

Questionnaires

Thank you to all of you that have returned the completed questionnaire. A summary of feedback will be give out after the summer. It has been lovely to read so many wonderful positive comments.

Results

(National and Herts Data is still provisional at this stage and subject to minor changes)

EYFS :

Key Stage 1 :

Key Stage 2 :

‘Higher standard’ has been assumed to mean a scaled score of 110 or above.  However this will be confirmed by the DfE in the Autumn Term.

I would like to thank all the staff across the school, including our Teaching Assistants for all their hard work and commitment to giving the very best opportunities to your children.

Musical Success

Congratulations to all our children who have taken part in music lessons this academic year; your performances during the Open Evening were brilliant. I know a number of you have taken musical examinations and I hope you all continue to achieve and be the best that you can. We have been informed that the following children have been successful in their recent exams:

Alexander Starr Grade 2 Piano
Lydia Skuse Grade 1 Clarinet
Scarlett Lait Grade 2 Clarinet
Amelie Woolass Grade 2 Flute
Nathaniel Edwards Grade 3 Alto Saxophone
Ottilie Summerhayes Grade 3 Flute

Well Done!

Attendance

Attendance at Samuel Lucas continues to be good with our whole school figure at 97.2%. May I remind parents to avoid booking holidays or medical appointments during school times, especially during registration time, wherever possible.

Class % Attendance
Lilac 97.6
Willow 97.6
Hazel 96.9
Birch 97.4
Hawthorn 96.1
Oak 97.9
Elm 97.8
Ash 97.8
Year 4 96.9
Year 5 96.4
Year 6 96.7

Well done to Oak class who top the attendance table for this academic year!

Certificates will be given to all those children who have achieved 100% attendance.

Open Evening

I was immensely proud of the school and the children on Open Evening, thank you to all of you for coming to look around. It was fabulous to see the children’s work on display and to witness the children being so proud of what they have achieved this year. The school’s Hertfordshire Improvement Partner visited school the next morning and was really impressed by the broad and balanced curriculum that Samuel Lucas offers and even more so by how engaged children were in each other’s learning.

SLPA Picnic

What a fantastic event! It was so very well attended with all 500 tickets selling out. The weather held out and everyone had an amazing time. Thank you to all of the SLPA for their hard work and efforts not only for the smooth running of this event but for all that they do during the whole year.

2017/2018 Term Dates

Autumn Term (*INSET day 4th Sep 2017)
Tuesday 5th September 2017 – Tuesday 19th December
Half term – 23rd Oct to 27th Oct 2017

Spring Term (*INSET day 3rd Jan 2018)
Thursday 4th January 2018 – Thursday 29th March 2018
Half Term – 12th Feb to 16th Feb 2018

Summer Term (*INSET day 16th April 2018)
Tuesday 17th April 2018 – Friday 20th July 2018
Half Term – 28th May to 1st June 2018

*INSET Days 23rd & 24th July 2018
*Children do not attend school on INSET days

Diary Dates

Date Event
Monday 4th September INSET Day (no children at school)
Tuesday 5th September Children return to school
Monday 11th September Swimming starts for Year 4 Pine
Tuesday 12th September Swimming starts for Year 4 Larch
Thursday 14th September Year 3 trip to Celtic Harmony
Saturday 16th September A Team Rally – Wilshere Dacre
Monday 25th September Individual School Photos

Window Works and Kitchen Extension

I am very happy that the window walling works have all been completed and with minimum disruption to the school and the children. The kitchen extension works have begun and will be completed by the time the children return to school in September.

Final Farwell

I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you and farewell to our Year 6 pupils. We are all proud of their time at Samuel Lucas and wish them the best of luck in their new schools.

Enjoy your summer holiday!

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Thomas – Headteacher

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Newsletter 7 – May 2017

Dear Parents and Carers,

Next week is SATS time again for Year 6 and we wish all the all the best for the week. They will be coming and having a breakfast each morning to set them up for the day, thank you very much for the SLPA for supporting this.

Entrance Gates

Thank you for your patience during the period leading up to the completion of the gate works. The vehicle gates will now be closed from 8.30am until 3.30pm. If you need to access the school car park during the school day you will need to press the intercom button on the right hand side of the vehicle gates. To exit the car park, approach the gates slowly and they will open automatically. Please wait until they are fully open before you exit.

The main front pedestrian gate will now be closed all day, if you require access to the school office during the school day please press the intercom on the pedestrian gate. Once the office staff have spoken with you via the intercom they will release the gate which you will need to then push open.

We have completed these works for the safety of your children and to enhance our safeguarding culture. Please ensure when you are coming in to the school grounds or collecting from Playaloud that you do not let anyone else enter the premises that you do not recognise.

Park n Stride Scheme

We are now in receipt of a small number of parking permits to allow you to park on the top floor of the NHDC Lairage car park (next to Waitrose). The permit is valid for use during school term time only from 08:30 to 09:30 and 14:45 to 15:45.

If you would like a permit to use this car park please come to the school office and fill out a form.

Window Works and Kitchen Extension

We have been very lucky to secure funding to replace the windows and doors throughout the original school building and also to build a small extension to our school kitchen. The builders will be starting the works to the kitchen from the 22nd May 2017. The window and door works will be taking place, with minimal disruption, from Monday 12th June.

Baby Mead

Congratulations to Mrs Mead who gave birth a bouncing baby girl, Erin, during the Easter holidays. We can’t wait to meet her!

SLPA

Thank you to everyone who helps with the SLPA and for all your contributions and support as parents. We have been lucky enough to raise enough money to lay fake grass in the outside EYFS Reception class area which will enable the Reception classes to use their outside space all year round. The fake grass will be laid during the half term holiday at the end of the month.

Attendance

I am very pleased to say that attendance for this term remains high. As you know I carefully monitor all pupils’ attendance and you will be informed if your child’s attendance drops below 95%. If your child is late (classroom doors open at 8.45am – registration is at 8.55am) please ensure they come to the school office to register.

I hope you all enjoy the weekend and have fun if you are going to the “Fair in the Square” tomorrow in Hitchin Market Square.

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Thomas – Headteacher

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Newsletter 6 – 31st March 2017

Dear Parents and Carers

The Easter holidays have now arrived and hopefully the sun will shine for the Easter break.

Outcomes

Thank you to all the parents and grandparents who came to school to see the class outcomes. It was lovely to see all the children’s hard work on display and to see them so animated about their learning.

Football Rally

A Team

The A Team made it through to the finals and played amazingly well against Whitehill School. It was a very exciting match and very close and it all came down to a last minute goal scored by Whitehill School. The team should be very proud of themselves as they played brilliantly.

B Team

During the afternoon the B Team played a selection of other schools and displayed great teamwork skills. Although the team did not reach the semi-finals their effort did not reflect this result.

All the boys who played in the both teams were a real credit not only to the school, but to their families and themselves in their efforts and behaviour. Well done.

Staffing Update

Today we say goodbye to Miss Greenbank in Year 2. We would like to wish Miss Greenbank the best of luck with her new job. After Easter Mr French will be joining the teaching team and willbe teaching in Year 2. Mr French will also be the Phase Leader for Years 1 & 2 and we look forward to welcoming him to our school.

Mrs Hull will be returning from maternity leave to work with Mrs Johal in Year 1 (Birch), we would like to thank Mrs Johal for covering Mrs Hull’s maternity leave and for continuing to work with her to ensure continuity in the children’s education.

Red Nose Day – Comic Relief

We had a very bright and colourful school for Comic Relief day and would like to say thank you for your generous donations, raised £308.16 for the charity.

School Security

To further ensure the security and maintain a safeguarding culture in school, the school will be installing automated access control to the pedestrian and vehicle access gates. The quotation for these works have now been agreed and we are just confirming when the works will take place. This will mean that the pedestrian and vehicle access gates will be closed during the school day, with access to the school grounds via an intercom to the school office who will allow access to visitors.

In the interim to these works being completed, we will be putting a number lock on these gates and for access during the school day, we will be asking visitors to telephone the school office from the gates and a member of staff will allow manual access. Please bear with us during this time, your patience is appreciated.

Isle of Wight

A reminder from the school office that the total balance is due by Friday 21st April please.

Sainsbury Vouchers

Just a reminder that we are collecting Sainsbury school vouchers. The collection box is in the porch, by the school office, or you can send the vouchers in via your children.

Hertfordshire School Nursing Service

The School Nursing Service is provided by Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, for children and young people aged 5 to 19 in mainstream schools. The service provides confidential support and advice on a range of health and wellbeing topics. Some of these include:

  • Emotional health
  • Lifestyle issues including weight management and healthy eating
  • Keeping safe.
  • Health conditions requiring support in schools.

The service also manages a local Health for Kids website, designed to deliver topical health messages and advice for children, parents and carers, through interactive tools and creative marketing materials.

Health for Kids – aimed at those aged four to 11 – can be seen, via

www.healthforkids.co.uk/hertfordshire

The website is kept updated with local information and events.

To contact a school nurse with any concerns, a referral form is available to complete online, via

www.hct.nhs.uk/forms/school-nursing-form.asp

I wish you all a restful Easter and thank you all for your continued support. We look forward to all the children returning to school, ready for their learning, on Wednesday 19th April at 8.45am.

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Thomas – Headteacher

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Newsletter 5 – 10th February 2017

Dear Parents and Carers

This half-term seems to have flown by and we have been very busy in school with our learning and creative curriculum. This week the children have been enjoying Feeling Good Week, they have engaged in a number of activities including a daily jog, yoga and a Kidz Fit session.

Internet Safety Day

This week we focused on internet safety. The children attended special assemblies learning about e-safety and participated in activities based on how to stay safe when using the internet. The following website: saferinternet.org.uk has lots of useful information as well as an on-line quiz, which you may wish to discuss with your child.

The following websites also offer useful information:

CEOP – www.ceop.police.uk/

ThinkuKnow- www.thinkuknow.co.uk

Childnet – www.childnet-int.org

Beat Bullying – www.beatbullying.org

Know IT All – www.childnet.com/KIA

 Insafe – www.saferinternet.org

We appreciate your help in keeping your children safe.

Message from the SLPA

Thank you to everyone who was involved in the setting up and running of the three discos. These were enjoyed by all and a great success. Thank you for supporting the school. Our next event is the Adult Quiz Night on 24th March, further information regarding this will follow after half-term. The Children’s Easter Egg Hunt is on Friday 31st March and details will be sent via Parentmail nearer this time.

Our SLPA page on the school website is now updated with blogs regarding our events so please do have a look and read what we have been up to. To access, just click on the following link: http://samlucas.herts.sch.uk/our-community/slpa-blog/

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 21st February at 8pm (venue to be confirmed).  If you would like to know more about us or want to join us please come along, we always welcome new members.  If you do have any feedback for us or want to know any information about us you can contact us on the following email address: enquiries.slpa@gmail.com.

NSPCC

Last week, the children in both KS1 and KS2 enjoyed assemblies led by the NSPCC as part of the ‘Speak out. Stay Safe.’ campaign. They delivered key safeguarding messages including who to talk to if they have a worry and the work of Childline as a means of support.

As they have offered the assemblies and workshops for Y5 & 6 free of charge, we thought a good way to say thank you would be to raise some money for the NSPCC so that they can continue supporting children around the country. Each class will be taking part in an activity during Feeling Good week, which we are asking for your support in sponsoring.  Forms have been given out and we are encouraging all pupils to ask relatives and friends to sponsor them to complete these activities. The deadline for returning your form is Tuesday 21st February. Please give whatever you can to support the vital work the NSPCC do to keep our children safe.  Thank you on behalf of the NSPCC.

Absences from school

If your child is unwell please notify the school office as soon as possible if they are going to be absent from school. If you leave a recorded message please state the exact reason for your child’s absence and the nature of the illness, not just that your child is unwell; this helps with our attendance records.

Twitter!

You can now follow Samuel Lucas School on Twitter. Follow us @samlucasJMI.

Parent Consultation Evenings

Just a reminder that Year 2 parent consultation will be taking place on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th March. Reception, Year 5 and Year 6 parent consultations will take on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th March. More details of how to book a time slot will be available after the half-term holiday.

Family Support Worker Service

If you are finding raising children challenging or frustrating at times, then you are not alone; for many people, parenting can be a lonely and difficult job.

If you feel that you would like to speak to someone other than family or friends, we can refer you in strictest confidence to the Family Support Worker Service.  There is a team of people with a wealth of experience, who work alongside families by giving practical support and user friendly parenting strategies.  The Family Support Workers also offer Hardship Support and are authorised distributors of:

* Food Bank Vouchers for emergency food parcels

* Community Wardrobe Vouchers for uniform, clothes and shoes

* Shoe Vouchers (Where need is identified they can provide vouchers for children requiring school shoes)

* Holiday Activities (Through the support of local organisations and fundraising, they have paid for children to attend holiday activities with participating providers)

We also send out regular information regarding free courses that are accessible to parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Difficulties and some which are suitable for all.  Please remember to tell us if your child has a younger or older sibling who has additional learning needs as the impact on family life can be significant.  Any information that helps us have a better understanding of your child can only be helpful.

If you would like further information, please speak to Mrs Barley directly or email the school office and mark your message for her attention. Any communication will be treated with the utmost confidence.

Sainsbury Vouchers

Just a reminder that we are collecting Sainsbury school vouchers. The collection box is in the porch, by the school office, or you can send the vouchers in via your children.

Outcome Dates

EYFS ”What a Wonderful World” Wed 29th March 9.30am – 10.00am or 10.00am – 10.30am
Year 1 “Out of the Toybox” Tues 28th March 9.00am – 10.30am
Year 2 “This is our House” Tues 7th March 1.45pm – 3.00pm
Year 3 “Building the Bronze Age” Thurs 30th March 1.45pm – 3.00pm
Year 4 “Ruthless Romans” Thurs 23rd March 1.45pm – 3.00pm
Year 5 “Building Kingdoms” Thurs 30th March 9.15am
Year 6 “The Land of Fire & Ice” Wed 29th March 1.30pm – 2.10pm or 2.30pm – 3.10pm

World Book Day

We will be celebrating World Book Day on Thursday 2nd March 2017. Children may come to school dressed as their favourite book character.

School finishes at the normal time on Friday. I hope you all have a lovely, safe half-term break and we look forward to seeing you all back at school on Monday 20th February 2017.

Just a reminder that are you are all invited to come in and find out more about what your children have been learning. Dates are:

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Thomas – Headteacher

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Newsletter 4 – 16th January 2017

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome back to a new term and Happy New Year to you all, it is lovely to see the children back in school ready to learn.

Term Dates

You are invited to come in and find out more about what your children have been learning. Outcome dates, to which parents are welcome to attend, are:

EYFS Early Years Hall “What a Wonderful World” Wed 29th March 9.30am – 10.00am or 10.00am – 10.30am
Year 1 Year 1 classrooms “Out of the Toybox” Tues 28th March 9.00am – 10.30am
Year 2 TBC “This is our House” TBC TBC
Year 3 KS2 Hall “Building the Bronze Age” Thurs 30th March 1.45pm-3.00pm
Year 4 KS2 Hall “Ruthless Romans” Thurs 23rd March 1.45pm-3.00pm
Year 5 KS2 Hall “Building Kingdoms” Thurs 30th March 9.15am
Year 6 KS2 Hall “The Land of Fire & Ice” Wed 29th March 1.30pm–2.10pm or 2.30pm– 3.10pm

Please check the calendar on the school website for upcoming events.

New School Staff

I would like to welcome Mrs Ferridge, the new School Administrator and Mrs Cosgrave, the new School Business Manager, to our staff team. I hope they both enjoy working in the Samuel Lucas school office.

Exciting News

I am sure you will join me in congratulating the safe arrival of Mrs Andreas’ baby, Charlotte, who arrived in time for Christmas.

Lost Property

Please ensure your children’s uniform and belongings are clearly labelled with their names. We do our best to re-unite children with their missing belongings but can only do so if we can identify who they belong to.

We will be putting out lost property items in the KS2 playground, after school, on Friday 20th January (weather permitting). If it rains this will be inside in the KS1 gallery area. If your child is missing any uniform, please come and take a look. Any unclaimed items will be disposed of after this date.

School Closure in the Event of Bad Weather (Everbridge)

We will always try to keep the school open and only close if we don’t have enough staff able to get to school or if we consider the school site unsafe.

If we are open and it does snow, children will be able to go out at playtimes and lunch times if they are dressed appropriately – in particular footwear.

The information below shows the ways in which we will communicate any necessary closure due to bad weather. Please check regularly for updated information as follows:

We will send a message via Everbridge – If the school is closed for any unscheduled closures (e.g. snow, flood, broken down boiler) we will send a notification out using this system.  To sign up please go to https://member.everbridge.net/ index/892807736725489  and click the “Sign Up” button at the top right hand side of the page on the grey strip and from there follow the instructions, you will then receive notifications of closures by SMS and email.

If the school is closed, BBC Three Counties 103.8fm/92.1fm/90.4fm/630mw/1161mw, Heart 96.9FM or 97.6FM and 106 Jack FM radio stations will be notified and should broadcast a message accordingly.

You will also find information about any school closure on: http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/edlearn/schlife/schoolclose/

SLPA DISCO

You should have now received a letter in your eldest child’s bag this week for the SLPA Disco on Friday 3rd February. The closing date for returning your reply slips and money is Friday 20th January.

Sainsbury Vouchers

Just a reminder that we will once again be collecting Sainsbury school vouchers from 25th January. The collection box will be put in the porch, by the school office, or you can send the vouchers in via your children.

Willow Classroom

Just a reminder to parents to please close the white front door behind you when coming in or out of Willow classroom, thank you.

Free School Meals

I just wanted to remind you where to check for eligibility for free school meals.  Here is a link to the web site: https://beta.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/schools-and-education/at-school/free-school-meals/free-school-meals.aspx.

This funding enables the school to claim for additional funding known as Pupil Premium funding for the year, to support your children’s learning, whether they are an infant child or a junior child.

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Thomas – Headteacher

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Newsletter 3 – 13th December 2016

Dear Parents and Carers

We are coming to the end of a long and busy term and it appears to have flown by. We are looking forward to a well-earned rest. School is a very exciting place to be this time of year. So many Christmas activities are going on; lots of preparation and rehearsals for our Christmas plays and carol concert.

We look forward to seeing you all at our performances. We will be donating money this year to North Herts Sanctuary for the Homeless. There will be collection buckets at the end of each Christmas performance.

We thank you for your Harvest Festival donations. We raised £372.00 for Youngminds: a charity that supports mental health and wellbeing for young people.

Term Dates

Just to remind you that the term will end on Wednesday 21st December at 2pm. The first day of term for the new children is Monday 9th January.

Staff Goodbyes!

We will be sad to say goodbye to Mrs Millar, who will be leaving us at the end of the term. Mrs Millar has done a very efficient job in our school office for a number of years, and we wish her every happiness for the future – thank you Mrs Millar. A new office team will be joining us in the New year.

We will also be saying goodbye to Mrs Dulai. Although Mrs Dulai has only been with us a short while, she has fitted well into our teaching team and we will miss her. It is Mrs Dulai’s intention to move back to her home town. We wish her every success for the future. We are pleased to announce that Miss Painter, our Deputy Headteacher, will be teaching Year 5 next term!

Exciting News

I’m sure you will join me in congratulating Mrs Mead, who is expecting her first baby. She will be leaving to go on maternity leave in March. We have appointed a new teacher, who will also be a member of the leadership team as Key Stage One leader. Mr French will be joining us initially to cover Mrs Mead’s maternity leave.

I hope you all have a relaxing but Merry Christmas, thank you for your continued support and I look forward to seeing you all next year.

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Thomas – Headteacher

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Newsletter 2 – November 4th 2016

Dear Parents

Welcome back to the second half of our Autumn Term!

The first half was a very busy one that ended with two wonderful Harvest Festival celebrations. We were very proud of the children’s performances.

During the last week of term the whole school took part in Book Week using Anthony Browne’s ‘Willy’s Stories’ as a stimulus for art and writing. The children were excited to show parents and their families the outcome at our whole school exhibition this week. It was lovely to see so many of you admiring the quality of our work. Thank you for your very positive comments.

We were particularly impressed with the home learning that was undertaken during half term! Well done everyone for such outstanding contributions – we struggled to find space to display it all at the exhibition! Thank you parents for your support with this. The home learning will be circulated around the school and placed in the class reading corners for everyone to read and enjoy.

Children in Need Day

On Friday 18th November we will be raising money for Children in Need. Please bring a £1 donation to school and wear something dotty!

Free School Meals

Following our recent Parent mail to you, I just wanted to remind you where to check for eligibility for free school meals. Here is a link to the web site: beta.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/schools-and-education/at-school/free-school- meals/free-school-meals.aspx.

This funding enables the school to claim for additional funding for the year to support your children’s learning.

Sweets and Treats

I would just like to remind you that we are unable distribute any food or sweets to children brought in from home. There are children in school who have a range of allergies and we have protocols we have to follow to ensure the safety of these children. Thank you for your support with this matter.

School Car Park

Please do not use the school car park unless you are collecting or dropping off your children from Play Aloud. We are concerned about your children’s safety.

School Playground

Thank you for supporting us by asking your children not to ride their scooters or bikes in the school grounds. Please can you ensure children keep off the play equipment before and after school.

Staffing

We are pleased to announce that Mrs Oke will be covering Mrs Andreas’ maternity leave in Willow class. She will be starting on Monday to work alongside Mrs Andreas to ensure smooth transition. We look forward to working with her.

We are very sad to be saying goodbye to Mrs Charter. She will be leaving us next week. I’m sure you will join me in thanking her for her valued contribution to the school. We wish her every success with her new career venture. The school office is ‘under construction’ at the moment. We will be short staffed in the office for a while; we thank you in advance for your support during this time of transition.

News from Mrs Barley

Parenting courses

Hertfordshire County Council have developed a directory of parenting courses, which is available on the website at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/parentingsupport. The parenting directory lists all courses that are available to parents/carers in Hertfordshire and cover a range of topics including: parenting a child with additional needs; healthy relationships healthy baby programme; confident fathers programme; caring dads and understanding teens. You are able to view the courses you are interested in by district, type of course and also see if there are any costs involved. If you are interested in attending one of the parenting courses, speak to Mrs Barley, Inclusion Coordinator at school or contact the course provider directly.

Thank you to the SLPA

Many thanks to the Parents’ Association who kindly funded the purchase of a number of Lego sets last half term. These will enable children to take part in some short Lego therapy sessions in school; the benefits of this work may help increase confidence, team building and listening skills, among others.

CELF-5 (Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals) standardisation project

In the summer term, several parents agreed to their children taking part in a research project. The Speech & Language Therapist who conducted the assessments asked us to thank the wonderful children, parents and staff for their participation and time.

As a result of this project, school has received £220 of gift vouchers. School Council will be asked to spend the money wisely to purchase games and equipment for the lunchtime Quiet Club.

Mrs Barley

News from SLPA

We held our SLPA AGM (including Wine and Cheese!) on 6th October, during which we said goodbye to our Chair and Vice Chair, Kerry Haynes and Roz Grennell respectively, who have both stepped down after leading us for 2 years. Thank you to you both for all of your hard work and dedication you will be missed. We voted in our new chair Natalie Gray, and vice chair, Kate Turner and we know that we are in great hands going forwards.

We have also been spending money that we have raised. Last month we paid £100 for Lego therapy which has been helping all children in the school with their social skills. We also paid £500 for the artist Jane Bower to come in to school for book week and spend time with the children which was a fabulous and educational visit.

This year we are planning some amazing events kicking off with Film Night for years 1 – 6 which will be on 18th November, so look out for letters in your children’s book bags soon. We can also confirm this years Christmas Fayre with the theme of “Santa’s Little Helpers” will be on Saturday 3rd December, more information to follow so watch this space…

As always we welcome any new members, help and support, if you would like to get involved or are interested in finding out more information about what we do you can contact us at our email address: enquiries.slpa@gmail.com. We are a friendly bunch!

SLPA

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Thomas – Headteacher

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Newsletter 1 – 9th September 2016

Dear Parents,

It has been lovely seeing the children arriving punctually in the mornings in their new school uniforms ready for learning. It has been an exciting week in Reception as we welcomed our new children into our school – a great start to the term!

Early morning routines

Just a reminder about our early morning routines. In reception classes the doors will open at 8.45am and children and parents are welcomed into the cloakroom where they can help their children prepare for their day. At 8.45am children in the rest of the school will be met by teachers from the playground. This is the time for parents who need a quick word to speak to the teachers as they will not be available once they have taken the children into class. All children will then be in class ready for registration at 8.55am. All external doors throughout the school will be closed at 8.55am. If children arrive after the doors are closed they should go to the school office. They will be marked on the register as late. Please help your children to be in school on time and ready for learning.

Playground safety

With our ever growing school there are more people in the playgrounds in the morning and after school. Please can you help us to keep our children safe by reminding your children to dismount from their bikes and scooters when they enter the school grounds.

Please don’t allow your children to play on the playground equipment before or after school.

Parent Communication

We are looking forward to our Parent Information Evenings – Reception, Year one and Year two, 15th September 7.30pm and the rest of the school on Wednesday 21st at 7.30pm. We have made sure this year there are no clashes with meetings at other schools and made the start time a little later. It is important that you attend the meetings even if you have children higher up the school as there have been some changes. It is a great opportunity for you to meet all the staff who work with your children and to gain the relevant information for the year.

We are presently updating our school website, keep looking as we will soon be blogging!

We are looking forward to an action packed year with lots of opportunities for you to come into school to find out what your children have been learning. We will be having our autumn whole school exhibition, and in the summer our junior school production to name but a few so look out for the diary dates!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and I look forward to working in partnership with all of you over the coming year.

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Thomas – Headteacher

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Newsletter 10 – 15th July 2016

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the last Newsletter of a very busy academic year.

It was lovely to see so many of you at the Open Evening, enjoying the children’s work and musical talents. Please see our blogs on the website for more details.

I would also like to extend a big thank you to all staff, parents and children for all your hard work and support this year and we hope you all have a very relaxing and well deserved summer break.

Finally, could we say an enormous thank you to the very hard working members of the SLPA who made it possible for so many people to enjoy two very memorable events, the Circus and the Picnic. Well done to everyone who worked so hard and to all the parents and children who came along to support both events and join in the fun.

Staff

We bid farewell and wish the best of luck to our leavers; Mrs Fernandes our Y5 teacher, Mrs Pietersz, Teaching Assistant, Mrs Cruise our Lilac class teacher, who will be starting a full time teaching post in Letchworth in September, Mrs French, Teaching Assistant who is leaving to work at Breachwood Green Primary School, Miss Briddon, our student who has worked so hard for us this year and is returning to university and Miss Costin, our Admin Assistant who is leaving us to work for a private medical practice. We will miss them all!

Athletics

A large team of athletes from Years 2-6 took part in the North Herts Schools’ Athletics Finals this week. The events consisted of sprints, relays, middle dis-tance running, standing, long jump and ball throwing. We were very unlucky with the weather and everybody got wet! The chil-dren and adults coped admirably with the appalling conditions and we finished in 4th place in the county which is a great result as we were competing against some much larger schools.

Well done everyone and thanks to all the parents who came along to support.

Y3 Celtic Harmony trip

On the 6th July, Y3 had a living Iron Age history day at Celtic Harmony near Hertford. We dressed up as Iron Age settlers and set off on our learning adventure. We learnt about Iron Age life and took part in lots of hands on activities. We had a fun day full of learning new skills including, how to grind flour, make bread, trade items, dye and weave.

Y4 Ashridge Estate

On Tuesday, Y4 went to the expansive Ashridge Estate. Despite the rain, we had a fantastic time listening and looking for wildlife. We learnt more about woodland and pond habitats and saw a wide range of mini-beasts including newts, lesser water boatmen and phantom midge larvae! We then had an opportunity to create our own “beetle”.  Whether you go for a dog walk, a run or a cycle, we highly recommend you visit Ashridge Estate – only 50 minutes by coach!

Y6 Yanomamo Production

I am delighted that we participated in this joint venture with the Boys’ School. The weeks of planning, artwork and re-hearsal really paid off on the evening. Ms Hetherington has visited our school this half term to ensure that, with Mrs Footer’s help, the singing was up to its usual beautiful standard. The acting from Samuel Lucas was fantastic (as it was from the Boys’ School) and the projection of artwork we have created in class really complemented the songs and storyline.

A huge thank you to Y6, all of you who attended this enjoyable evening and to Mrs Footer whose commitment and enthusiasm is boundless.

Y6 Crucial Crew

Y6 enjoyed participating in a variety of health and safety activities when we visited “Crucial Crew” at Hitchin fire station on July 6th. We shared the learning with Highover School and returned with enthusiasm to complete the accompanying booklets. The afternoon was superbly organised by the team; the strict timings for each of the ten activities enabling us to maximise the experience. Y6 responded wonderfully to the questioning and situations in which they found themselves.

HGS Potion Roadshow, Y4,5 and Y6

Years 4-6 were lucky enough to have the Potions Roadshow from Hitchin Girls’ School in to visit last week. They performed a range of experiments with dry ice, colour changing water and explored a number of chemicals resulting in several loud explosions!

For more information, please see the class blogs on the website.

Star Performer

Congratulations to Nathaniel Edwards who passed his Grade 2 Alto Saxophone with merit, Ottilie Summerhayes who passed her Grade 2 Flute with merit, Scarlett Lait who passed her Grade 1 Clarinet with merit, Finn Scourfield who passed his Grade 1 Piano with distinction and to Holly Dermont who sat her Prep test and received very positive comments from the examiner. Well done to everyone for all your hard work this year.

Reminders

New Uniform

All new Reception children will be purchasing the new style school uniform and PE kit from Hawkins for September. However, this is just a reminder for everyone else that you do not need to replace perfectly good old style uniform that still fits! Please just replace items as and when they no longer fit.

If you have purchased the old style uniform recently Hawkins will exchange this for you provided it has not been worn.

Lost Property

All lost property will be placed in the porch by the school office for the whole of next week. We will endeavour to return all named property to its rightful owners but if you are missing unnamed items, please remember to come and check the boxes. Any unclaimed clothing will be used as spare uniform or put in the next Bags2School collection.

Please can you make sure that for next term, all property is named. With the increasing numbers of children in the school, it is becoming more difficult for everyone to identify missing items as their own.

Thank you for your help with this.

Last few dates to remember!

18th July – Y6 Leavers’ BBQ 5-6.30pm 19th July – Sports Day

20th July – Reception picnic

22nd July – Y6 Leavers’ Assembly 1.30pm (Parents welcome)

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT SCHOOL FINISHES AT 2PM ON FRIDAY 22ND JULY AND THE NEW TERM BEGINS ON MONDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER!

From the SLPA

The last month has been a busy one with both the Picnic and the Summer Fayre (including the Circus). We would like to say a massive thank you to all the SLPA members and parents who have volunteered their time to help make these events happen. Thank you! We cannot host these events without your support.

The Picnic

On Friday 24th June we hosted our first big event on the school field. Thank you to those of you who braved the wet weather at the start and joined us in what turned out to be a fabulous evening. We appreciate all of the feedback we have received, it was a great success! Special thanks go to the SLPA Picnic sub-committee for all of their hard work, effort and energy in making this a real night to remember. We are very pleased to con-firm that we raised a profit of £2,152.40 – an amazing amount!

The Summer Fayre/Circus

On Sunday 10th July we held our Summer Fayre combined with Happy’s Circus. It was a well attended, successful event and it was lovely to see the big top on the school field. The children’s happy faces and hearing their screams of laughter made all of the hard work worthwhile.

At present we are still processing the amount of money raised and will confirm this in the next Newsletter.

We would also like to thank Kerry Haynes (Chair) and Roz Grennell (Vice Chair) who are both stepping down from the SLPA committee this year. They have both made a huge contribution to the success of the SLPA events and their ideas and enthusiasm will be sorely missed.

We are always looking for new members of our committee – if you are interested in joining us in September (we are a friendly bunch!) please email and register your Details with us on enquiries.slpa@gmail.com

Here’s to next year!

From the SLPA.

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Thomas – Headteacher

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