01 Feb Mr Choueke’s Newsletter – January 2022
Dear Parents and Carers,
It has been an incredibly busy but enjoyable term so far. Despite Covid continuing to impact children, staff and parents, we have been as busy as ever and there has been many really positive and great things happening across the school.
Last week, my headteacher talk to parents provided an overview of where we are as a school, our vision and aspirations for the future. Thank you to all those of you who attended. For those of you who were unable to attend, I have a recorded an abridged version of my talk, which can be viewed using this link. I will also be uploading it to the website.
The West Playground
The West playground is finally finished and is looking fantastic. It has taken a huge amount of effort to get this far; however the children are loving having the extra space and they coped so well when we had limited space last term.
I am sad to say that Nina Grimes, (Deputy Head) will be leaving Coleridge in July at the end of this academic year, as she will be moving out of London. Nina has worked at Coleridge for over twenty years, first as a class teacher and has since led on many different areas across the school, including her current role as Well-being lead, Designated teacher for our looked after children and adopted children, and has recently been working on the school’s work around diversity, equity and inclusion. The impact that Nina has had on the school cannot be underestimated and she has had such a profound impact on so many of our children and families. She will be greatly missed, but I am sure you will join me in wishing her all the very best in her move to West Yorkshire.
Last term, we appointed Alicia Williams as work as a teaching assistant, she is working in Reception; most recently, Firat Sac was appointed to join our admin team. They are both such welcome additions to the staff team and have been working hard to learn the ropes.
As part of our work to make the school more environmentally friendly and sustainable, we are in the process of setting up a children’s Eco Committee. We have been overwhelmed by the number of children who have expressed an interest to be on the Eco committee and had over 140 children apply. We are now thinking about how we build on the children’s enthusiasm and include as many children as possible in the committee’s work.
Persistent lateness leads to a significant loss in learning time; if your child is late they can often struggle to catch up, participate in the lesson fully, as they have missed the introduction to a lesson. The majority of our children arrive at school early or on time, but there are still some children who arrive late to school on a regular basis. Please ensure that your children all arrive in school at 8.55am so they can be ready and in the classroom by 9am ready to begin their school day. Arriving on time ensures your child is able to settle and prepare themselves for the day ahead. When a child is late for school, it causes disruption to the teacher and other children in the class, in addition to causing your child embarrassment.
On the INSET day this week, all staff received the second day of our training on the teaching of phonics in a rich reading curriculum. The training was led by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. It was an incredibly useful and productive day allowing staff to further develop their understanding of reading and phonics to ensure that we are providing our children with outstanding teaching and learning.
We have just bought into a new teaching scheme for the teaching of phonics. All schools are now required to choose from a list of approved phonics schemes. In conjunction with advice from the CLPE, we have chosen to use a scheme called Little Wandle. All staff from Nursery to Year 3 have received additional training on the scheme and how to effectively use it. We have also invested heavily in new reading books which are already being used and sent home. More information on this will be sent home to the relevant year groups.
Children and Parent Surveys
Over the last two weeks children from Year 2 upwards have been filling in a children’s survey. The survey results will be used to give us a better idea about how our children think and feel about school, as well as identifying areas for development.
As a school, we value and welcome the thoughts and opinions of the parent body; as such, we have run regular parental surveys on different aspects of school life. Thank you to those of you who have, in the past, responded to our surveys – we are very grateful for the strong response rates we receive, as your views are invaluable when developing our ideas and thinking.
Next week, we will be emailing a link to a new survey for parents. Please do keep an eye out for the email.
One of our focus areas for school development this year is to ensure that our children are exposed to a broad and balanced curriculum. This year, in particular we are working on developing the following areas, Music, History, Geography and Religion and World views. All teachers are now part of curriculum working groups and together are evaluating and looking at how to improve each area. We are currently updating our curriculum pages on the school website to ensure you have a clear understanding about what our children are learning about in school. We have just updated information on the Wider Curriculum and the webpage can be accessed by using the following link. https://coleridgeprimary.net/learning/the-coleridge-curriculum/wider-curriculum/