21 Sep Mr Choueke’s Newsletter – September 2022
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that you have had a restful summer break and that your children have settled in well to the new term.
Welcome to all our new families
I want to take this opportunity to welcome all our new families that started with us this year – I hope that you have enjoyed your first couple of weeks of being at Coleridge and that your children have settled in well
For all new parents of children in years 1 – 6, I will be running a welcome session on Thursday 22nd September at 9.10am on Coleridge West. The purpose of the session will be to explain more about the school’s ethos and vision, and to make clear some of the different systems, structures, and routines that we have in place. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions.
Attendance and Punctuality
The school day begins promptly at 9am. Please can you ensure your children are in school by 8.55am at the latest to give them time to hang their coats up and settle themselves ready for the start of their day.
If your child is off school for whatever reason, we ask that you contact the school office and leave a message letting us know why your child will not be at school.
Last term we had quite a few families requesting time off to visit their families abroad who they had not seen for years because of Covid-19. A year on, we now ask that you now book visits abroad during the thirteen weeks of the school holidays.
Staff INSET update
At the start of the new academic year, before the children came into school, we had two staff training days. On the first morning, we spent time reflecting on why we had all decided to work in the education sector, sharing stories about the individuals that had influenced us, and how their qualities and values had led us to work in schools ourselves. Staff agreed that we all wanted to ensure our children came to school each day to learn, thrive and grow in a safe, caring, creative, and fun school.
Staff then discussed how we should ensure our aspirations for our children and school community are met. It has been a few years since we looked at our school vision statement and much has changed in the world since we did so. It therefore felt right to spend time thinking about what was missing and what could be added. Themes which were discussed included instilling high expectations, and continuing our work around Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion. We will now be running a similar exercise with our governing body and with the children.
In the last survey, parents said that they felt less connected to the school and less clear about what their children were learning in the classrooms. This was inevitable given the distancing measures that were enforced during the pandemic. However, now that this is behind us (mostly!), we have been working with Coleridge Families to begin the process of getting parents back into school.
- On Wednesday 12th October at 9am in the hall on Coleridge West, I will be running a workshop for parents and carers to discuss the school vision and values. This will be a participative session and I am extremely interested to hear your views. We will also be considering barriers to parental participation and how we can reconnect the school community following the pandemic.
- New – Half Termly Open Mornings – each half term from 8.50 to 9.20am, we will be opening the classrooms to allow you to see your child’s classroom, read with them and have a look at their learning. Teachers will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.
- Parent Consultations – This year we plan to reinstate face to face parent consultation. The first meeting of the year will be in person with the new class teacher and will take place on Thursday 20th October. The second meeting, during the spring term, will be on School Cloud our on-line video conferencing platform, and appointments will be slightly longer to allowed for a more detailed conversation about your child’s attainment and progress. The final meeting in the summer term will again take place in person. Further details about parents’ evenings will be sent home in the coming weeks.
- Curriculum mornings – Over the course of this term, each year group will be running sessions for you to come in and meet your class teachers and hear about what your children will be learning this year. At these sessions, our PTA, Coleridge Families, will also be providing coffee, tea, and croissants. The dates for the curriculum mornings are as follows:
- Thursday 15th Sept: Year 6 (Coleridge West)
- Tuesday 20th Sept: Year 1 (Coleridge East)
- Wednesday 21st Sept: Year 3 (Coleridge West)
- Thursday 22nd Sept: Year 2 (Coleridge East)
- Friday 23rd Sept: Year 5 (Coleridge West)
- Tuesday 27th Sept: Year 4 (Coleridge West)
- Wednesday 28th Sept: Reception (Coleridge East)
- Thursday 29th Sept: Nursery (Coleridge East)
- Talks and Workshops – We are also planning a series of sessions and workshops for parents on various aspects of school life. Once we have finalised the topics and dates for these sessions, we will let you know.
Black History Month
We have been working to ensure that our curriculum is more representative of our school community and the wider world. For example, in history, children will study topics on ancient African and Islamic civilisations, and in geography they will learn about migration and its positive impact on London. In art lessons, children will be exposed to the work of a whole range of artists from around the world. While traditionally Black History Month traditionally takes place in October, we want this work to spill over and across the rest of the year.
This year, the theme for Black History Month will be “Finding a Voice, Telling a Story.” We chose this theme as we felt it could also be used to focus on other minority ethnic groups across the school too. We have made provisional plans, but would very much welcome involvement and feedback especially from our Black African and Caribbean families. We will therefore be holding a meeting on 26th September at 9.10am in my office on East. Please can you let me know if you are planning to attend by emailing me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently, in art, the children are learning about Althea McNish. They have also been learning about the work of Bisa Butler. On November 7th, Kelvin Okafor an artist will be coming to talk to the children and run a couple of workshops. I first heard Kelvin talk at a head teachers conference last year – he was a truly inspirational speaker and described his journey through school to become the artist that he is today. Nursery children last year also learnt about him, and drew their own portraits based on his work. We sent these to Kelvin, and he was extremely impressed with their portraits
Jewellery in School
We have seen a rise in the number of children wearing jewellery to school. Please do not send your child into school with jewellery. We make this request for health and safety reasons and, we cannot take responsibility for anything valuable getting lost. If your child has their ears pierced, we ask that they wear studs only. Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.
The Queen’s Funeral
Please be aware that all schools nationally will be closed on Monday 19th September due to the Queen’s funeral.
Summary of dates for your Diaries
Monday 19th September – Bank Holiday
Thursday 22nd September – Mr Choueke will be running an ‘Introduction to Coleridge’ presentation. This is for all parents/carers whose children have recently joined Coleridge from Years 1 to 6. The talk will be in the West hall (junior side) and start at 9.10am.
Thursday 20th October – Parents evening. This parents evening will be a face-to-face one and will take place in school. More details will be sent out nearer the time.
Monday 31st October: INSET day (school is closed for all children).
Monday 30th January: INSET day (school is closed for all children).
Friday 17th March: INSET day (school is closed for all children).
I am always out on one of the gates in the morning should you wish to see me, or you can contact me email@example.com.