06 May Head’s Newsletter – May 2023
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you all had a lovely Easter Break and that this newsletter finds you well. As always it has been a real pleasure seeing the children returning to school with such energy and positivity. The summer term as always is a busy one and there is a lot to achieve, work on and to celebrate.
The Coleridge Newspaper – Spring Issue
Our newspaper club have just finished and published the latest copy of our school newspaper. The Children have been selling copies of The Coleridge after school and are donating all the proceeds to Food Bank Aid – our chosen school charity. This term’s edition features a write up of our Cultures of Coleridge Week, an article about Anne Frank, book reviews, an interview with a striking teacher, and so much more. It is a fantastic achievement; and I am so proud of all the children who have worked so hard to produce this edition. Well done! If you missed being able to buy a copy on the school gate, you can read the latest edition here.
Anti-Racism Development Board
We are in the process of setting up a Development Board, the role of which will be to support the school in its long-term ambition to be fully inclusive and anti-racist. The membership of the board will be made up from representatives from across the school community, including C.A.R.N, staff, governors, parents and Coleridge Families. On the Board, there will also be external experts who have a wealth of experience in the field of education, race and racism.
Racial Equity Review
This term we plan to undertake a racial equity review to inform our plans to address race and racism within the school community. We had originally asked Marva Rollins who ran our last review, to undertake this piece of work. As she has now agreed to chair our Development Board, we have asked Orlene Badu. Orlene is an educational consultant who has worked with numerous schools supporting them in their work around anti-racism. Orlene has also written a book due to be published in July called, “How to Build Your Anti-racist Classroom.”
Orlene has also worked with Coleridge staff, running a training last October. The review will include conversations with staff, children and parents. It will also include a focus on our curriculum. I will write again soon with more details on the review.
Cultures of Coleridge Week 2023
Cultures of Coleridge Week ran over the penultimate week of the Spring Term. During the week, there was a specific focus on different aspects of Turkish culture. Children also spent time learning about the different cultures which make up their classes. Over the week, children displayed deep levels of fascination, learning about each other’s cultures and backgrounds. This was reflected in the many exhibitions and display boards produced by our children over the week. A number of children came into school in traditional dress and brought in a range of foods representative of their heritage. We also mixed up classes to enable children to work with others from across the different year groups. Children reported back enjoying this experience and having the opportunity to interact with others who share the same heritage as them. There was parental involvement throughout the week – a big thank you to those of you who took part. On the final Friday of the week, our Turkish speaking parents set up a stall selling traditional Turkish food to raise money for Save the Children. Many thanks to those involved in organising this and setting up the stall.
During Cultures of Coleridge Week, the children also spent time looking at the book My Skin your Skin by Laura Henry Allain. Teachers reported back having some very interesting discussions with our children, which we will be continuing and following up on.
Supporting Parents to talk about Race and Racism
This term we are running a number of sessions for parents and carers around talking to your children about diversity, race and racism. Mpula Lawton from ARISE (Anti-Racism in Schools and Education.) will be leading the workshops. All the sessions start at 7.30pm in the hall on Coleridge West and will be live streamed for those wishing to join remotely. The sessions will also be recorded and added to the school website if you are unable to attend on the night.
The three sessions are:
- Talking about racism. This session explored racial literacy, focusing on language and strategies for talking to your children about issues of race and racism.
- 4th May: Diversity and Empowerment. This session considers diversity, inclusion and belonging at home. In the session, time will be spent looking at books, activities and tips that can be used to empower your children to love themselves and value others.
- 11th May: Speaking up and speaking out. This session explores setting boundaries, tackling racist bullying, and safely standing up for yourself and others.
We have also added a section to the school website which we hope will be useful for parents and carers to support talking to your children about race and racism. The three sessions will all be uploaded to this page of the website.
Finding a Voice Telling a Story Assemblies
As you will know, all year we have been running assemblies, where prolific and inspirational speakers from minority ethnic backgrounds have been coming into school to talk and work with our children. This term Mpula Lawton will be talking to our children about her life and how she got involved educating children, teachers and parents about anti-racism. On May 22nd, we are excited to announce that Mikaela Loach climate activist and author will be talking to the children about her life and her journey to becoming a climate activist.
Thank you to all those of you who completed the communication survey, 188 parents responded to the survey. This is a good response rate compared to previous surveys that we have run. When asked how easy or difficult it was to access information about the school.
- 70% of parents responded that it was easy or fairly easy
- 20% neither agreed or disagreed
- 10% said fairly difficult or very difficult
Of the 30% of parents who were unsure or who found it difficult to access information, the main reason given was that the school sends too many emails weekly. Parents also reported back that the school used too many channels/sources of info e.g. – school email, google classroom and WhatsApp.
As a result of the survey, together with governors and Coleridge Families, we have been looking into the idea of simplifying our communications by using an App. We have a couple in mind that we know are used successfully by other schools. We are aiming to have an App in place ready to use in the new term in September.
Attendance and Punctuality
We are continuing our drive to improve attendance and punctuality across the school. Extensive research over the last 30 years clearly documents the correlation between attendance and academic outcomes. Good attendance results in better academic achievement. We will now be updating you on your children’s attendance termly. We are about to begin a round of phone calls to those parents and carers whose children’s attendance has fallen below expectations. We fully appreciate that children do get ill, and that there will therefore be times that they cannot attend school due to sickness. Should you get a call, it is to inform you that your child’s attendance has fallen below 90% and to discuss what we can do to help you and support your child to improve their attendance. We will also be celebrating good attendance with the children as well in assemblies throughout the term.
I will be in touch later this term with more updates and news about the summer term.