Dear Parents and Carers
It has been lovely to see the children coming into school so confidently and happily this week. Two advisors from Dorset Council visited the school on Wednesday, when watching Hazel Class at work, commented that they were already so engaged in their learning it didn’t feel like only their third day in school. Well done to all the children, and thank you for ensuring they all have everything they need each day.
It has been disappointing that due to a technical issue we have been unable to swim straight away this, but I am hoping now we will have a clear run through to the end of September – or later if the weather permits. Please make sure your child has their swimming kit (named costume, hat, towel and, if your child needs them, goggles and armbands) in school each day from now on and we will try to get them in the pool as often as possible. If your child is reliant on armbands or, conversely, during the holiday has learnt to swim like a fish – on top of the water – please let us know so we can build on their skills straight away. Remember that the children must be able to remove their own earrings before going in the pool, and replace them themselves if necessary.
Now we are back in school, experience tells us that this is a prime opportunity for the spread of headlice. Please make sure that, if your child has hair shoulder length or longer, it is securely tied back, with a plain band or clip to avoid distractions. I think we had only two notifications of nits throughout last year, a record, but perhaps a consequence of social distancing…Please help us to aim for as good a result this year.
If you are in receipt of certain benefits, the school can receive an additional sum of money which can be spent on improving our provision. Known as the Pupil Premium, this money can be used to increase levels of staffing, purchase additional resources, subsidise school trips or clubs – anything the school feels will benefit your child as well as other children in the school. If you think your child is eligible, please go to Pupil premium – Dorset Council where there is a form for applying for free school meals (your child does not have to have these, and the school will still receive the money!). If you would like any advice, please contact the school office and be assured that the whole process is completely confidential.
A message from Gillingham Library:
The Summer Reading Challenge finishes on Saturday 11th September. Please remind the children to come and get their stickers and medal. If you have some children who feel they may not complete, please ask them to come and see us anyway and discuss what they have read, so we can help them achieve their goal!!!!!
Saturday 11th September is also when Gillingham Library celebrate Roald Dahl Day – do come in and see the staff in costume, try and guess which character they are and take part in a Bug Hunt!!!!!
Our same visitors were also hugely impressed with the size and interest of grounds at the school, including the developing woodland and Mrs Clasby’s brilliant efforts planting up the border in the Swimming Pool enclosure. Last term, Mrs Clasby asked for donations of any perennial plants you are dividing up or getting rid of – please keep bringing them in.
Stower Provost goes Green!
In another cause for celebration and future publicity, I thought you might like to know that, as of 1st October, the school will be deriving 100% of its energy from renewable sources. Our heating is by biomass, the pool is heated by air-source heat pumps and a significant proportion of the electricity used in the school is generated by the wind turbine and the solar panels. The remainder of the electricity is bought in and, through the Local Authority, we have switched to a new tariff that is guaranteed to source ‘green’ energy. This is quite some achievement for us, and we will be linking this to our teaching the children about the importance of looking after our planet and the next stage of our journey to EcoSchool Gold!
With best wishes