I hope that this newsletter finds you well and excited about the Christmas festivities and family time.
It has been such an action-packed half term already and the children look so energised in their learning.
It sounds like Year 3 and 4 had an amazing time at the Planetarium and, as difficult as space is to understand for anyone, I think that it really helped to develop their understanding of this vast concept.
Our open day for potential 2019 Hedgehogs went very well indeed. Fox class had made cakes for the parents and Deer class showed the parents around. The cakes were delicious and well-received and Deer class were such a credit to the school.
Parents said how impressed they were by our children’s maturity, confidence and the utter pride with which they spoke about Warnham. Since the open morning, many parents (for 2019 Hedgehogs) have visited the school and again, have been very out-spoken about their Deer Class guided tours.
They have described the school as a vibrant, hard-working and friendly place which has made me feel so incredibly proud of our wonderful children and staff, who create such a positive ethos and environment.
Within the last few weeks we have had visits from our School Improvement Partner from the local authority and an English expert from the local authority.
We received a very pleasing report from our improvement partner. He was delighted to see the significant and rapid improvements that have been made across the entire school.
This has had a direct impact on the children’s progress and attainment and the children are becoming more involved in their own learning and progress by choosing their own challenges and discussing their learning in more detail. The Literacy expert was impressed by the active and creative learning in every classroom.
Children were using drama to explore their own Narnia, shocked by a murder scene in the small hall and even applying make-up on their teacher, all in aid of literacy learning!
We are keen to develop our writing skills even further and are enthusiastic to engage in planning and ideas support from this expert to ensure teaching and learning can be outstanding.
If you follow us for instant updates on Twitter (@WarnhamCEP) or follow our Twitter feed on the school website (https://www.warnhamschool.org.uk/twitter-feed) you will not only see the wonderfully creative learning that goes on but also the amazing successes of our sports teams at the moment. For a small school we really are getting a great name for ourselves within sport and competition.
To explain sport a little more, I know that you are aware of the huge funding cuts in education; one area that hasn’t been affected is sport, health and fitness.
The 2012 Olympics raised such a significant sum of money that it decided it would gift several thousands of pounds, each year, to schools in order to develop sport throughout Great Britain in our young children.
At Warnham, we spend this money on many areas including Forest School, introducing children to new sports each term and enhancing opportunities for competitive sport.
We are delighted to be in receipt of this Olympic fund and believe that it truly has impacted the lives and sporting involvement of our children – they are excelling and keen sportspeople, as a result.
After Christmas, I am afraid that we are going to have to say goodbye to Alison Peters who has been both a Teaching Assistant and Learning Mentor at Warnham for many years.
Mrs Peters’ expertise is in adult Mental Health and, now her children are older and more independent, she would like to continue to develop this career further.
We will sorely miss Mrs Peters but delighted for her to be fulfilling her ambitions in such an incredibly important field. I am sure that you will join me in wishing her well and praying for her during this transition.
Children in Need
Children In Need was a huge success!
The cake decorating was amazing, who knew we had such talented little bakers at Warnham? Most importantly, the children learnt more about children who are in need and they empathised greatly – as well as raising in excess of £300!
Thank you for all of your support with this fundraising. The school council choose a few charities to prioritise each year and this one was very important to them.
The upcoming dates for this term have been set for several months now, so I am sure that you are well aware of these, but please cast your eye over the end of term arrangements and the remaining Christmas events.
Key Stage 1 have their Nativity performance as usual. Key Stage 2 are not performing a separate Carol Concert this year; instead, it will be merged with the Church Service on the last day of term, creating a ‘Carol Church Service’ (because everyone loves singing Christmas Carols with children).
I hope that you understand that this is due to the many hours loss of learning to rehearse songs over and over and the logistics / many hours of additional teacher workload to put on each event.
Upon discussions with staff, this was deemed too much learning loss/workload on top of the KS2 Summer performance – so, I’m sure you’ll appreciate that we had to choose just one.
This is a trial for this year and can be changed for next year, but we very much hope that you enjoy the ‘Carol Church Service’ combined, instead of the two separate events.
Another huge thanks goes out to our amazing PTFA for the discos, ‘bags to school’ collection and the Christmas Fair.
All of their fundraising efforts are making a huge impact and we will soon be able to develop a new beautiful library space for your children, in the small hall.
The PTFA are DESPERATE for other parents to sign up and give a little of their time to help to organise and participate in the running of fundraising events. Most parents work/care for younger siblings and time is short, but many hands make light work.
I am interested in linking with the PTFA, in the New Year, to create a ‘Parent Council’. This would involve possibly two PTFA representatives from each year group to meet with me or a member of the senior leadership team to discuss school-wide issues and events.
If you would be interested in participating in this, please let the PTFA know.
Many thanks for your support and kindness this half term and my very best wishes for the Christmas preparations.
Mrs S Kirby