13 September 2019                                                                                                    Newsletter 2

Dear Parents and Carers

WOW! What a fantastic week we have had.  The children have been busy settling into the routines of a full week and have been working hard – as have the staff!  I am always available to talk at the beginning of the day – I can often be found in or around the library area preparing for the teaching session after assembly. My door is always open so please do come and talk to me.

Thank you to all the parents who joined us yesterday for the first celebration assembly, it was good to see you all. If you were unaware, parents are invited to join us every Thursday to celebrate the achievements of the week and we’re always grateful for extra singing voices! Y5 enjoyed an extra 5 minutes of play today as they were the year group who have collected, on average, the most PRIDE merits during the week.

We have slightly changed the format of celebration assembly as we are recognising the effort of the PRIDE values every day in every part of school life. There will be a Star of class 1, Star of class 2 and a Star of the playground award every week and at the end of each half term, in our final celebration assembly, each member of staff will choose a child from across the school to receive a PRIDE certificate. Well done to the following children who were recognised this week:

Star of Class 1 – Margot

Star of Class 2 – Emily

Star of the Playground – Will G

Top table – Jack, Ella, Evie, Daisy W and Louis

Thank you to Brooke, Cian, Jen and Will M for sharing their awards from outside school. It is always a pleasure to hear about what the children get up to outside of school.

Information Evening: We would like to invite you to an information evening on Tuesday 24th September at 5pm. This is an opportunity to meet me and find out a little about me, find out about the curriculum, growth mind-set, structure/set up of the day and ask any questions that you may have. FOPS have their AGM at 6pm – it would be amazing if you are able to stay for that too!

Happy Roald Dahl Day.

Home School Agreement:  In the same vein as last year, your child has a Home-School Agreement for you to read and return; it has been slightly re-vamped in look but follows the same principles and ethos. As is the case at the start of the year, policies have to be reviewed and amended as necessary. The Governors and I have recently reviewed the Behaviour Policy that is now on the website and we will be reviewing other policies in the coming weeks. I will continue to signpost these to you as and when they are updated and published. Once you have read and signed the home-school agreement, I would be grateful if you could please return it to Ms Curnow in the office.

Curriculum News

Class 1

Class 1 have enjoyed a colourful week in Maths. EYFS have worked on chopping leaves up to make leaf glitter and then gluing numbers 0-10 to make some artwork. We’ve also enjoyed counting and sticking leaves to get us into the swing of things. Meanwhile, everyone continues to chip in to our castle construction project…..watch this space!

Trip to Berkeley Castle:  On Monday 23rd September Class 1 will be travelling by minibus to Berkeley Castle to learn more about the history of castles.  We will be going on a guided tour of the castle, dress up in some historic outfits and learn all about how castles are structured.  There is also a lovely kitchen garden with a minibeast workshop for us to attend!  Please return the consent form by Friday 21st September.  If your pre-school child does not normally attend Pendock on a Monday but would like to come along, please do speak to a member of the Class 1 team to arrange his/her attendance on the trip.  We will be leaving at 9.00 am and returning in time for 3.15 pm.  They will need to take a packed lunch, snacks and drinks and a small rucksack to carry them in.  The cost to this school of this trip is £18.82 per child but we are asking for a voluntary contribution of £10 towards these costs.

Class 2  

Year 6 Guided Reading: To help immerse yourselves in the story of Beowulf please research a Anglo Saxon Mead Hall.  What did it look like?  What did it smell like?  What did the people look like in it? Where did they sit?  So many questions!  You can present your findings however you wish on Wednesday 18th September.

As part of our ‘Epic Egyptians’ topic, Class 2 have been looking at the location of Egypt in the world and land use around the Nile.  We have used resources like Google Earth and school atlases to explore the continent of Africa and discover the countries that Egypt shares its borders with.  On Thursday afternoon, pupils were tasked with using a variety of resources to complete their own map of Africa.

Year 5 / 6 Football Tournament:  We will be taking part in this tournament at Hanley Castle High School next Tuesday, 17th September, from 4.00 – 6.00 pm at Hanley Castle High School.  If your child has been selected for the team there will be a permission slip attached with full details.  Please sign and return it on Monday.

Amendment to Dates in Last Week’s Newsletter:  We got slightly carried away when choosing the date for our dress up day and didn’t twig that it was a swimming day. Therefore we would like to change the dress up day to support our theme based learning to Friday 18th October.  On Thursday 24th October we will instead be having a ‘Dress in Pink’ Day for Breast Cancer Care and also a fundraising coffee morning.

Homework:  This is always a controversial subject and there is no right or wrong answer to what should be given as homework and how much there should be.  For the older children of the school, it is great training for High School.  I am a great believer in children having time to play, play outside, cycle, scoot, relax, play games as well as for parents to be not feeling pressured to help their children get their homework done on time whilst cooking tea/working etc…

At Pendock, we value reading at home as being extremely important – whether that is the child reading to their parents/adult/brother/sister or their parents reading to them.  A study conducted by Renaissance concluded that reading 15 minutes a day seems to be the “magic number” at which students start seeing substantial positive gains in reading achievement; students who read just over a half-hour to an hour per day see the greatest gains of all.  We know as educators, that reading with/to children enhances their language development, understanding of vocabulary and can give them a better understanding of situations and emotions.  Therefore, we would encourage daily reading at home. I am looking for recommendations of books to go up on the wall outside my office – I’d love to have some suggestions from home too!

If your child is in Y1-Y6, they will come home with a log in for Times Table Rockstars.  This is a web/app program, which the school has subscribed to so that your child can practise these ever so important mathematical facts in a fun way.  There is the opportunity to play against other people and to better their scores.  Please do take the time to help your child get this set up on a tablet/computer and if you have any problems please do come and ask.  There will be an opportunity for the children to use this in school too.

Your child will have 10 spellings a week that will be taught in school and any practise that you can fit in at home would be greatly appreciated.  These words will be linked to the English curriculum and assessed on a weekly basis.

Y6 will have some reading comprehension tasks to complete following their sessions with Ms White.

School Council:  Next week we are hoping to elect our new Pendock School Council.  The School Council will be a group of students elected by their peers to represent their views and raise issues with the teachers and Governors of Pendock Primary.  The School Council can also suggest and take forward initiatives and projects on behalf of their peers, and be involved in strategic planning and processes such as the School Development Plan, Governing Body meetings and staff appointments.

If you would like to represent your fellow pupils on the School Council, prepare a speech to be delivered in assembly on Tuesday, where you can tell the school why you want to be a councillor and what you would bring to the role.  The children will then vote on Tuesday afternoon and the school council for this year will be announced in Celebration Assembly on Thursday.

We will have other roles that will be voted for too in the coming weeks: Sports Crew and Worship Committee.

Community links: Thank you to everyone who has added a sticker to our very big Aldi poster in the main entrance.  We have managed to collect 16 stickers in the first week.  More information can be found at https://www.aldi.co.uk/kitforschools

Data and Consent Forms:  Please return the data collection and photo consent forms that were sent out last week if you have not already done so.  It is very important that we have up to date information regarding contacts, allergies etc and photo permissions.  In addition, we have discovered some ‘gaps’ in other consents for existing pupils and forms are attached if applicable; please return these as soon as possible.

Have a good weekend.

Mrs Gilroy and the staff team

Future Dates for Your Diaries:

Year 5 & 6 Football Tournament – Tuesday 17th September 4.00 – 6.00 pm HCHS

Class 1 Trip to Berkley Castle – Monday 23rd September

FOPS AGM – 6.00 pm Tuesday 24th September

Swimming Lessons Start – Thursday 26th September

FOPS Jumble Sale – 12.00 – 2.00 pm Saturday 28th September

Open Morning – 10.00 – 12.00 Tuesday 15th October

Dressing Up Day for Class Topics – Friday 18th October

Open Morning – 10.00 – 12.00 Wednesday 23rd October

Harvest Festival – Tuesday 22nd October

Dress in Pink / Coffee Morning – Thursday 24th October

TED – Friday 25th October

Half Term – Monday 28th October – Friday 1st November

Tempest Photography – Monday 4th November

Open Morning – 10.00 – 12.00 Thursday 7th November

FOPS Christmas Fayre – Friday 29th November

Nativity Performances – Tuesday 17th & Wednesday 18th December

Term Ends – Friday 20th December