This week’s message (Friday 07 January 2022)

Friday 07 January 2022

Happy new year! We hope 2022 has started well for you. Our first message of the year has three parts: an attendance update; some information about books we’re sending home for children in Reception and Key Stage 1; and some information about forthcoming workshops.

Attendance matters

It’s difficult deciding whether your child should attend school if they’re poorly. It’s even more difficult in these Covid times. Children have missed out on so many days of learning in school because of lockdowns and isolating, and yet we know you’re careful that your child isn’t attending school if they’re displaying any Covid symptoms.

Our whole-school attendance figure for the Autumn term was 96.2%. Over a quarter of children have 100% attendance so far this year – that’s brilliant! Here’s an update on the attendance for each class:

Reading at home

This section is for parents and carers of children in Early Years and Year 1. Something similar may be happening for Year 2 children – check with your child’s class teacher.

Earlier this week, we sent some information home about a change to what books we’ll send home. Since then, a few parents have asked for a bit more information about why we’re now asking you to read e-books at home.

It might help to be clear that there are two types of book.

The practice books are short books with simple words that your child will be able to ‘decode’ (to read). In school, these are physical books; at home, it’s the same text as an e-book. Your child will have read this book at least three times in school across the week. They’re for children to practise the phonics that they’ve learnt in school – matching letters to sounds. They’re also for you to celebrate your child’s increasing phonics skills. Reading the book won’t take more than about 10-15 minutes.

The sharing books are physical books (not e-books), typically chosen by your child. They’re likely to be longer. These books are to read together and enjoy. Your child is unlikely to be able to read all of the text independently. You’ll probably spend more time over a few days reading together the sharing books than the practice books.

Here are some of the reasons we’ve chosen to use a web-based approach for the practice books at home:

  • the e-books mean the hard copies of the same books stay in school and therefore there will be less chance of some going missing – this is essential as even just one missing book will undermine the impact when we practise reading in school
  • we’ve been really impressed by the appearance and user-interface of the website
  • we’ve consulted other school leaders – the feedback about e-books has been overwhelmingly positive
Like everything, we’ll continually review the arrangements.

Workshops

Coming up next week is a Zoom session for parents and carers of children in Year 6, although others are welcome to attend, too. It’s to provide you with information about the end of Key Stage 2 assessments (the ‘SATs’) that will take place in the week beginning Monday 09 May.

The session is on Thursday 13 January and starts at 6pm. It’ll last around 30 minutes, and there’ll be opportunities to ask any questions that you might have.

We’ll send to Year 6 parents and carers the Zoom link. For other parents and carers, if you’re interested in attending, please either send us a message on the School Gateway app or email the school office. We’ll then email the Zoom joining details out to all those who have expressed an interest.

Talking of workshops, there are also some coming up about special education needs and disabilities (SEND). These come from Leeds Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information and Advice Support Service (not us) – read more about the workshops here.

 

Next week’s message comes from Mr Wilks, who leads on Science and topics across Sphere Federation. He’ll provide an overview of the History learning that’s happening in Key Stage 1 and 2, and how you might help at home. In the meantime, have a great weekend.