Lower Park Beacon - 21st July 2017 - Issue 441
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This will be the last Beacon of the school year.
I would like to begin by thanking you for all your positive comments about the Beacon and about how useful it is. We will soon reach the 450th edition so it must have stood the test of time.
On Thursday, all the children in Year 6 will be leaving us to move on to a new secondary school and we would like to wish them every success and happiness in their new schools. This year 6 has been a very talented cohort of children. They have achieved very well but have shown their caring nature to the younger children in school whilst making the most of their responsibilities as the oldest children. Very well done!
For some parents, it will mean moving on from a very long association with Lower Park. It could even be more than 7 years, especially if there have been several children in the family and your Year 6 child is the youngest. We thank you for your support and we wish you the very best for the future
We are also saying goodbye to Mrs Kendry, who has been with us for a year since Mrs Daniels retired. You may have already guessed but she is expecting her second child. We would like to thank her for bringing in her smile each day and her consistent appreciation of the children’s efforts and work. Of course, we wish her all the very best for the future and best wishes for the new baby when it arrives.On a related theme, we will be welcoming back Miss Jenkins next term after her maternity leave, although it will just be for Monday and Tuesdays each week.
On Tuesday, 25th July, we will be having our Year 6 leavers’ prom. The red carpet will be rolled out and the children will make the ‘Walk of Pride’ down into the prom itself.
If you plan to watch the arrival (and many do) I would ask you to take special care on Hazelbadge Road when children’s thoughts are sometimes not as focused on road safety as they should be.
It is a special occasion for the Year 6 children and it starts at 7.00pm with the arrivals and ends at 9.30pm when Year 6 parents can watch the final game.
The annual questionnaire is being sent home with this final Beacon of the year (a paper copy too). We really would appreciate you filling it in with your views, (especially, but not only) by parents of Year 6 children, by the end of next week.
It can be returned by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in an envelope and posted / handed in at the office or via your child’s class teacher. The important thing is that we have everyone’s views to take with us to our Evaluation Day (Review Day) next term. It is at the Review Day that we set our priorities for the future and all your views are presented to staff and governors.
We always give parents a summary of the questionnaire results too.
In September, we will be creating a new website and it will look quite different. Over the last many years, Mike Gallagher has been our webmaster and this will also change in September. The website he has built for us over the years is one of the biggest and original school sites. It contains a great deal of Lower Park history and has been part of maintaining the ethos of the school through the website pages he created. The gallery pages are always worth re-visiting.
Mike has new ventures that he is pursuing and, whilst I would like to extend our real thanks to Mike, we would also like to wish him every success in his pursuit of multimedia and website production, online video and digital marketing.
Wow! What a hot night but….
Wow! What an excellent quality of music we listened to! With over 50% of KS2 children playing a musical instrument, the standard that the children have achieved is amazing. There was such a range of instruments with jazz, classical, blues, rock, rock and roll and pop genres being played and their ability to perform any style was fantastic.
Well done to the boys and girls, to their music teachers and to Mrs Mellor, who co-ordinates our school music.
Children will be going to their new classes on Monday 24th July. Parents will receive a letter to inform you about your child’s new class.
This can be a difficult job for teachers in determining what classes to place the children in for September. It takes many hours of teachers’ time until the final lists are made and I can assure you that all decisions are made in the best interest of the children.
Once established on Monday, we will not be moving children to different classes and I would request that parents do not ask for a class change for their child, but instead, trust the staff to ensure that your child will achieve the best they can in the class in which they consider to be best for your child. I admire the teachers’ care and consideration in carrying out this task. Each year they show excellent professional insight and knowledge of the children’s needs when making these decisions.
For your information, there are several criteria we apply when determining which class your child is placed in, which are; social grouping, friendships, maturity and ability to respond to the challenge of the class. It is not determined just by ability as is sometimes assumed. In each class, there will be children with a range of ability levels.
In the past, any concerns parents may have had were negligible after a short time in September and they have been very satisfied with the outcome. It is this support from Lower Park parents that we appreciate so much.
The staff and I would like to thank you for the very positive comments you have placed on your children’s reports. They were a real boost to staff after a year’s work with your child.
Children moving from Year 2 to Year 3 are moving from one key stage of the national curriculum to the next key stage – from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2.
Along with this transition are several changes to routines, timetables and expectations. To help parents support their children, we have created an explanatory leaflet about the transition from KS1 to KS2 to explain all the changes. This is being sent home to parents of all Year 2 children on Monday with news of your child’s new class. Keep a look out for it in book bags. We hope you find it useful.
On Thursday 27th July at 10.00am, there will be a leavers’ assembly. Parents of Year 6 children are welcome to attend. Due to the limited space in the hall, there is only room for Year 6 parents to attend.
On Monday and Tuesday next week, all Children in Year 6 will be taking part in a bike safety programme during those days. Those taking part are asked to come to school on those days with a roadworthy bike and also to bring their helmet as they will not be allowed to participate without one. The children can also come dressed in appropriate clothing for this activity - and apply a good amount of sun cream too please.
Children need to walk their bikes through to the field and rest them by the Hollies’ building.
Children in Year 4 will be taking part in bikeability level 1, Mrs Chadwick’s class on Monday and Mr Cunha’s Year 4’s on Tuesday. The same arrangements for bikes and helmets apply.
You may have heard that there was an announcement from London that there was to be an increase in funding for schools from April 2018. Hurray! However, the finer details are yet to be made clear and exactly how that will impact on Lower Park. It seems to depend on whether we were previously considered to be an under-funded school. Cheshire East was certainly under-funded and had been for some years.
A 3% increase would translate into about £30,000 for our school and would certainly help us in 2018 – 2019. However, it seems that there will be some improvement coming our way, so thank you to all the parents who wrote to David Rutley – the pressure has paid off.
Some good news is that we will not be increasing the cost of a school meal from September. The number of children having a school meal has increased this year and I would like to commend the work of Mrs Laffey and her team for raising the standard of the meals and responding to the children’s requests whenever she can – she is such a fantastic school cook.
From September, the cost of a school meal will still be £2.35. This applies to KS2 children only as KS1 children have Universal Free School Meals.
Please ensure your school meal payments are up to date prior to the end of term to enable a smooth transition to the new school year in September.
Your child may be entitled to receive free school meals if you are entitled to receive one of the following benefits. Cheshire East Council also needs to know if you are eligible and have a child in KS1 or FS (even though your child will receive free school meals in September) The criteria are:
The children will not know who is on free school meals as everything is kept discrete and confidential.
For further information, to inform about your eligibility with a child in KS1 / FS or to make an application please contact Cheshire East Council.
Visit www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/fsm or call 0300 123 5012
We have successfully recruited midday assistants for most of the week from September, but we still need one more person to work on Friday lunchtimes (there is more if you would like more).
Please consider this and Mrs Peart or I can talk you through the details.Please ring 01625 872560 or call in.
Just a quick feedback to say that I have had two productive meetings (one a long phone call) with Cheshire East officers about improving the safety aspect of Hazelbadge Road. I am convinced there will be at least some safety measures built in should the development go-ahead.
There has NOT yet been an official planning application submitted, but that is likely to happen soon. Many of our parents were at the consultation meeting at the Civic Hall last week and I would urge any concerned parent to respond to the consultation.
Commendation awards are presented to children on Mondays. The staff, including midday assistants, nominates children (one from each class and one from the midday assistants) each week and they receive a commendation badge. They also receive a certificate which is displayed on the internal noticeboard outside my room. After a week, the certificates are given to the children to bring home to keep.
Whilst every child in the school will receive headteacher’s badges and stickers at times through the year, commendation awards are meant to recognise particularly ‘commendable’ achievements.
They are used to promote exceptional attitude, approach to work, exceptional kindness, behavior, helpfulness consideration and attitude. Often, we will have a theme for the commendation awards.
The winners this week are:-
Charlie K, Darcie C, Sophie W, Amy P, Felicity F, Zoe M, Grace W, Henry B, Macie A, Louie L, Matthew G, Theo L, Kyle H and Felicity K.
Well done to all those boys and girls!
We will need to send out individual reminder letters to parents who have still to pay overdue dinner monies.
One of our library helpers is no longer able to help administer books from the library. Therefore, we are looking for another volunteer to administer books to children in the library, for one afternoon a week. This would involve checking books in and out of the school library and talking with the children about the books available for them to choose. If you are able to give this time from September, and are willing to do this important role, please let me know.
We are able to ‘train’ our new helper and, of course, we need to carry out the usual safeguarding checks in good time for September.
We really would appreciate a willing volunteer for this role as it is such great benefit to the children in developing good reading habits.
Thank you so much for collecting and sending in the Sainsbury Vouchers, we collected almost 11,000 which will go to towards resources for use by the children in school.
During the summer break, building work will commence on the new outdoor classroom. It will be built on the spot where the old pergola was situated. This was requested by our School Council and it is rewarding to see this major request becoming reality. It is being funded by our excellent PTA – thank you!
The PTA is also helping to fund the laying of more artificial grass around the trim-trail and behind the goal fence. This will increase the available, all-weather play area for the children (not to mention less muddy clothes when it has rained).
If you are stuck for something to do during the summer holidays, Poynton town mayor, Councillor Sarah-Jane Gilmore, is hosting a quiz at Poynton Legion Club on 11th August (7.30pm for 8pm) to raise money for her chosen charity, which is the Living Well Dementia Support Group.
It costs £10 per team of 4 and tickets are available from Mates DIY and Poynton Royal British Legion.
Missing Library Books
Our librarians have been stock- checking our school library books and have discovered that 190 books are still missing from our library. It could be that they just have not been returned. Please check at home and return any books to the green dragon shelf in the library.
Next week, we will be sending a letter home with the child who has last loaned out the missing book.
Obviously, it is a big expense when books go missing.
You can download a copy of the menu for the school week starting 24th July 2017 here.
(Note you will need Adobe Reader to view or print the menu.)