Dear DCIS Parents and Guardians,
I hope you all had a restful half term break!
The children were all full of enthusiasm last week as we launched our new Project Work topics. This half term Year 1 will be finding out about Celebrations while Year 2 are studying It’s Shocking. In Year 3 the focus is on Time and Place, Earth and Space, while in Year 4 the children are already engrossed in Bright Sparks as they find out about electricity. Our Nursery classes are continuing to follow their own interests which, so far, this term has included The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks, dinosaurs and using magnetic construction during continuous provision. In Reception the children have enjoyed looking at magic potions, spells and making lists of ingredients as they got themselves ready for Halloween.
Linking to our Project Work, we also have some great Education Visits coming up over the next half term. These include Nursery’s visit to watch The Polliwogs, Year 4’s trip to Kidzania, Reception classes going to Little City and Year 1’s exciting trip to Centre Stage. The rest of the trips are already planned for the academic year. There will be more information to come on all of the above mentioned trips and a great many more.
In August we introduced Phase 2 of our primary behaviour system, which, judging by the motivation in the classrooms, appears to be going extremely well. Several children have been to see me this half term already to let me know that they have reached the top of the beehive. Watch out for the special shiny stickers and ‘I’m Flying High’ postcards that are making their way home in bags, and please do celebrate at home with your children too.
In terms of what is coming up ahead, we do have some workshops for primary parents which we would be delighted to see you at this half term. On Wednesday 9th, Mrs Gray, Mr Rinaldi and myself will give an overview of how Maths is taught in the Primary School from EYFS to Y6. On Wednesday 23rd November, Mr Rinaldi will be running a workshop on reports and assessment and I myself will be presenting on our positive approach to behaviour (fuzzy bees and bee hives!) on Wednesday 7th December. Do come along if you have time and any of these topics are of interest to you.
A couple of parents have asked me about Assessment Week which is coming up commencing 14th November. The big question being asked is: What do we need to do to prepare? The short answer to this: Nothing. During Assessment Week, the children will undertake some tests that will cover the work they have been doing in class. The tests will be broken up over the week and in some cases your child won’t even know they have been tested. There is no preparation required at all, the children have covered the work and now the teachers want to know what they have understood so we can see the progress being made. The information gathered will aid the teachers in writing reports which will be going out at the end of term. If want to help your child, we suggest some nice early nights and a nutritious snack for mid-morning, nothing more than that. Trying to cram your child with information and even talking to them about the assessments could make them anxious, so please do help is by keeping it all as low key as possible.
Just a few reminders for you all. Firstly, we are a nut free school. It would be most helpful if you could talk to the person who puts up the snacks and the lunches in your house, and ensure that they have a good understanding of this along with the reasons. Every peanut butter sandwich matters, so to speak, in a school where exposure to nuts could be fatal for some of our children.
One final item – we are having a problem with some of our younger children bringing toys to school. It would be great if toys could stay at home and only be brought in when requested by your child’s teacher. We do have some occasions when the children may be invited to bring in a toy as part of our rewards system; we will of course let you know in advance. Thanks for your support with this.
As ever, do let me know if you have any question or concerns. I am more than happy to help.
Ms Kara Lebihan
Head of Primary School