This week’s message (Friday 06 May 2022)

Friday 06 May 2022

The Summer Term is a busy one for schools, not least because of all the statutory assessments: we’ve had end of Key Stage 1 assessments this week, and end of Key Stage 2 assessments (the SATs) are coming up next week. Also coming up are Year 1 phonics screening checks and Year 4 multiplication checks. Dates for these are in the school calendar.

Help support your child by making sure they’re reading daily (and practising times tables from Year 2), making sure they’re getting enough sleep, and making sure they’re enjoying time outdoors for play, too.

This week, we’ve a mix of messages…

Social networking

It’s estimated that about a third of children aged 8-11 have profiles on TikTok. But do you know the minimum age to use TikTok? Or other social networking sites? Most require users to be at least 13 years of age.

We’ve warned you before about the risks involved in primary school age children accessing TikTok. We’re sadly still encountering problems that stem from it. Please do check out advice so your child is protected.

High temperature

It’s been a while since we had to speak about Covid. Thankfully, the number of cases is dropping – but we do still have cases of Covid around. To help, if your child has a temperature, they should stay at home. (Please don’t send them to school with a dose of Calpol – that might help the symptoms, but your child can still spread Covid.)

Reception to Year 1 transition

This message comes from Mrs Beesley, our Early Years Leader:

As the weather becomes brighter and we near the end of the academic year, you may be thinking about your child’s next steps as they journey into Year 1. Moving to Year 1 is perhaps a less significant change for children – that’s because we’re a happy and healthy place to learn where we all know each other.

A meeting for parents on Thursday 23 June starts our transition process. Here, you’ll meet the Key Stage 1 staff (where possible) and find out about the Year 1 curriculum. You’ll get to see where your child will be learning. The next step is for your child to spend some time in the Year 1 classrooms. They’ll meet the teacher and join in with the learning, getting a taste of what it’s like to be in Year 1. A whole-school transition session, on Thursday 14 July, completes the process. Children will spend an afternoon with their new teacher, making plans for the learning in the year ahead.

This is a really exciting time of year, moving on and taking those next steps whilst continuing to strengthen the effective learning behaviours they’ve established in Reception.

Our settling in survey

Talking of Reception, thank you to parents of Reception who responded to our recent survey about various aspects of the first year at school. We’ve reviewed the responses.

Overall, for example, you’ve told us that you’d like to have chances to get into the classroom – we definitely agree! Normally, there would be various opportunities across the year, but sadly the high incidents of Covid meant this didn’t happen. Next year (we know – too late for you, sadly), we’re planning a mix of visits to Reception plus some Zoom sessions – it seems most of you found these convenient.

Across Sphere Federation, there were just one or two small issues, all of which we hope we’ve addressed. Please do speak with Mrs Weekes if you’ve any questions, comments or concerns – we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to act on everything, but we do guarantee we’ll listen and consider.

Other surveys

Sticking with surveys…

On a national level, the Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza writes:

Family is a core pillar of my work as Children’s Commissioner, following ‘The Big Ask’ survey, which demonstrated how important families are to children.

Children explained how having a supportive family has a positive impact on their lives, from receiving emotional support, to being able to talk with family members about their worries and aspirations for the future. I have been commissioned by government to undertake a review of family life across the country.

The family review will seek to understand the composition of the modern family. It will explore whether the needs of children are understood in the provision of services to families, and how we can improve children’s outcomes by developing the way public services understand the needs of families as a unit.

Capturing children’s voices is key to this review. That is why I am launching my call for action… Please encourage children to complete the questions on the Children’s Commissioner website, and to share their view on family life. The answers will help us understand what children think of family life and help inform our work.

Look out for our annual survey for all parents and carers later this term, too.

Have a happy and healthy weekend!