Newsletter -Opals

Dear Parents/Carers,

                                 Welcome to a new term at Bishop Pursglove School and to Class Opals. I hope that you have had an enjoyable summer break and are looking forward to the new term.

                        This letter contains important information about what your child will be learning over the term and tells you about important routines in Class Opals, so I do appreciate you taking the time to read it. Please keep it for future reference.

                        I am very excited to be teaching in Reception again this year. I have a lot of experience working with infant children. I am lucky to have children of my own, so I do understand a lot of your worries! My advice to you, if your child is upset on their first day or cries in the mornings is- don’t hang about. Give them a quick kiss and go. They will be fine, and we will ring you and let you know how they are, if you would like us to.

                        During the Autumn Term our new topic is ‘Do you want to be friends?’. We have set up a house experience in the role-play and I have planned lots of exciting, and play-based activities around this topic. Look out for texts asking for things for you to bring in from home. Later in the term, class R, 1 and 2 will be preparing for the school Harvest Festival and our Christmas play. Details of this will be available nearer Christmas.

                        All primary schools are given free fruit as part of a government funded scheme in raising children’s awareness about healthy eating. This has become part of the morning routine. Children are given a piece of fruit as they go out to play. The children are all encouraged to try and eat this fruit as it aids the children’s concentration for the rest of the morning. If your child is allergic to fruit, or indeed any other foods, especially nuts, then please let me know. Please do not send your child to school with a snack from home. Children are not allowed sweets or nut products in school, including children who bring packed lunches.

                 All children under five receive free milk at morning break. On the day your child turns five, they will stop receiving it. If you then wish for this to continue, you will need to organise to pay for this. This milk system is not operated by school, it is an outside service and any communication regarding milk needs to be with the company, not with school. Information regarding this will be sent in a separate letter.

                        Our P.E. days will be Tuesdays and Fridays. Kits need to be in school all week. P.E. kit consists of a white t-shirt, dark shorts and pumps (joggers and navy jumpers for outside wear). Please ensure that every piece of kit and school uniform is labelled clearly. There is a jumper box in the classroom where children can leave uniform if they get too hot. P.E. kits also need to be taken home for washing at weekends.

                       A reading bag box will be situated in the corridor. Children are not to bring toys from home unless for comfort, first thing in the morning. We have a school toy box. This box will go out to play with the children at playtimes and will have in it balls, skipping ropes, skittles as well as other activities. We appreciate you supporting us with the children not bringing in toys from home as it causes too many problems during the school day. We also ask that children do not wear jewellery of any kind.

                       We are currently revising our reading scheme and getting rid of the old Oxford Reading Tree scheme. We are hoping to develop our resources and use a new scheme which we are adding to. Reception children will now get a reading book using the sounds they are learning. They will get a book when we are confident they can recognise the letters/sounds. Please be patient as we adapt this system and we will keep you informed. Once your child starts reading, an adult will regularly read with your child, so reading books need to be in school every day. Children also read in guided reading each week, although this will not be from their home/school reading book. It is important that books are shared at home with family and friends, not just at school. It is important for children to have a reading system in place at home from the start of school, even if you do not have a school reading book, reading a book from home/library every night together is a great place to start and gives your child a love of reading from their very earliest years.

               Children will also be given a password and username so that they can access ‘Bug Club’ for any additional reading you want to do in the week. This allocates a range of e-books to the children at their level. More information about this soon.

                      As soon as we start our daily letters and sounds teaching programme in YR, children will be given letters and sounds homework sheets to complete at home. Children will be rewarded for their completion and their return to school.

                     Children can arrive at school between 8.30 and 8.45 a.m. There will be activities out for the children to do. I will begin the tidying up and register at 8.45 so please make your arrival as prompt as possible. Children should be encouraged to walk into the classroom and arrive in a calm manner.On arrival in the classroom could you please encourage your child to find their name and post it in the post box.Coat pegs for the class are outside the classroom.Please do not arrive before 8.30 a.m. as school will be locked.

                 Children may bring a drink of water with them. This can be an extra drink if they already bring a drink with their sandwiches. The drink needs to be in a child friendly container i.e. children need to be able to get the lid off by themselves. Their drinks containers must be labelled. Sandwich boxes can be left on the trolley in the corridor outside the kitchen. Juice/water only at lunchtimes. No fizzy drinks please.

               At the end of the day, parents/carers can collect their child from the double doors to the classroom. We ask you to wait outside the classroom until I open the door at 3.30 p.m. The automatic gate opens at 3.30 p.m. Reading bags and letters will be given to the children before they go home. Please check with your child that they do not have a letter in their reading bag as children are asked to put them in their bags. Children will be handed over to you when I can see the person who is collecting them. If your child is going to after school club, then please let me know. Please could you also let me know if someone different is picking up your child e.g. a friend, relative etc. as I am not permitted to let your child go home with anyone who I have not been informed about. Could you please make your collection of children at 3.30 as prompt as possible as I often have meetings or clubs to run at 3.30.

              If you have any free time, and can help on a regular and voluntary basis, then let me know. (This would be subject to safeguarding checks). Your time and help would be greatly appreciated! I will also use the texting service from time to time to make you aware of additional things which are happening in class one as the year progresses or to let you know of things we are collecting for lessons.

             Mrs Jackson, will teach in class Opals on Fridays. I have my planning, preparation and assessment time then. There may be occasional times when Mrs Jackson and I have to swap our working days around. This will not be very often and we will inform you. There may also be times when I go on courses or to meetings. Continuity for the children is most important. Please remember that we finish at 2.40 p.m. on a Friday and a prompt pick-up at 2.40 would be appreciated.

                Please could you let me know if your child suffers from asthma or if there are any medical conditions that I need to be aware of. We will need you fill out forms for this and provide an inhaler for school. We cannot administer Calpol at school. We can only administer prescribed medicines from the Doctor. A form will need to be filled in for this. Please remember that if your child has sickness or diahorrea, they must be off school for 48 hours after their last bout of sickness or diahorrea.

                 Don’t forget to visit the school website during the term. I will be adding things to it over the next few weeks. Attached you will find a parents’ sheet sharing some of the things we are doing at school and suggestions of activities you might like to try at home for the next half term. They are linked to our topic.

                 I hope that your child feels happy, relaxed and stimulated in Class Opals and they enjoy their time at school. If you feel at any time though, that you want to speak to me about your child, I shall always be happy to listen and discuss any of your concerns.            

                  Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope that your child enjoys being a member of Class Opals.

                                                Yours sincerely,

                                              Amy Mallender (Mrs).