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Newsletter 15th December 2023

Newsletter 15th December 2023
December 15, 2023 Sandy Pike

Dear Parents and Carers,

The final newsletter for 2023 and our autumn term. My I take this opportunity to thank parents and carers for their support this term and wish you all a very merry Christmas.

Christmas Good News

A baby is to be born, but not at Christmas, and probably not to be called Jesus! However, many congratulations to Ms Gardiner on her forthcoming child, due in May. I will keep parents informed regarding a maternity replacement.

Curriculum Engagement

This term has seen a number of new initiatives in school. These have included:

  • Read Write Inc – a phonic scheme, where pupils have been working in small groups every morning for an hour, focusing on their phonics, reading, spelling and handwriting. The impact has been wonderful to witness. Thank you to all parents for their support with reading books at home, as there is a proven relationship between reading both at school and home and reading ability and fluency.
  • Curriculum Maestro – our learning platform used as a basis for the teaching of History, Geography, DT, Art, RE and Science, was introduced back in September. The curriculum content is both challenging and exciting e.g. Taco making in Years 3 and 4, and Pneumatics in Years 5 and 6, with pupils responding with enthusiasm, new experiences being had, and work of a good standard being produced.
  • Language Angels – was introduced in September in Years 3 to 6 for the teaching of French. The platform focuses on the listening, speaking, reading and writing of French, with many songs and activities for pupils to enjoy.
  • Our fun learning behaviour characters were also introduced into our Praise and Celebrate assemblies each week, with pupils rewarded for showing the learning characteristics in any subject of the curriculum. The learning characteristics are: Curious Cat, Collaborative Clownfish, Persevering Porcupine, Observant Otter, Listening Lemur, Respectful Rhino, Concentrating Chameleon and, finally, Creative Cheetah.
  • Remember we have also introduced the Commonwealth Characters designed and chosen by the children too – including Rosie the Relationship Red Panda, Ripples the River Turtle of Resilience, Steven the Self-Care Stingray, Harriet the Hammerhead Shark for Hope and Optimism and, finally, Sam the Self Worth Sea Otter.

We have been thrilled with how well the children have responded to our initiatives to make school more engaging, purposeful and fun – we are always happy to hear more ideas from them!

Sitting alongside curriculum engagement is our behaviour policy, incorporating 3 clear rules, which for the basis of all expected behaviour in school:

  • Be Ready
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Safe

Pupils have created posters outlining these three key points, which will don the walls and corridors.


Let’s see if the Christmas break will help us break the nit cycle! Please would all parents be vigilant, check their child’s hair and take appropriate action. The aim is to reduce and then eradicate this problem in our school, however it takes a ‘team parental effort’ to make this possible.


Christmas Disco

Many thanks to the Friends of Stower Provost who ran the Christmas Disco last night, and to the staff who helped care for the children during their classroom activities.


Volunteer Painters

A last shout out for any parents who would be willing to paint for an hour or two tomorrow morning – Saturday 16th December between 10 – 12. Miss Buxton promises to provide cake and refreshments as an enticement! By all means just turn up if you are suddenly free and able help.

Winter Reading Challenge

It’s back! Spark a love of reading even in the most reluctant reader with the free online Winter Mini Challenge. Unlock rewards for reading and find fun activities on our dedicated children’s website. The Winter Mini Challenge is an online, bitesize version of The Reading Agency’s annual Summer Reading Challenge. This summer, they teamed up with the Youth Sport Trust and public libraries to bring you Ready, Set, Read! – a Summer Reading Challenge that empowered hundreds of thousands of young people to read and play, keeping minds and bodies active over the summer break.

Following the success of Ready, Set, Read! The Reading Agency are delighted to extend the theme

into the Winter Mini Challenge. With the holidays approaching, now is the time to encourage families

to discover the joy of reading or to build on good reading habits!

Tackle the holiday reading ‘dip’ and join in at from 1 December 2023.

More information on the Challenge can be found on the website.

Please would interested children collect a reading record from the office.

Amazon Wish List

I would like to thanks those parents who have donated a number of books from our Amazon Wish List. They have been very gratefully received – THANK YOU!

Should other parents wish to purchase a book(s) from our Amazon Wishlist please follow the link below:

To purchase from the list:

  1. a) Browse the List.
  2. b) From the list page or the product detail page, select Add to Basket.

Note: When you order, the item will be moved to the purchased section of the recipient’s list. You can enter a gift message and request gift wrap.

  1. c) Continue shopping or proceed to checkout.
  2. d) To complete your order, follow the on-screen instructions.

No matter how you choose to donate a book, a sticker will be placed in each and every book donated, for the children to acknowledge and appreciate where the book has come from.

Easy Fundraising

Just a reminder that if you are buying gifts this Christmas to please sign up and use the Easy Fundraising site for your searching and purchasing. This will generate money for the school, without costing you a penny!


Welcome Back to Well-Being

We are really looking forward to welcoming the children back on the 3rd January 2024. We have some exciting curriculum enrichment projects already at the planning stage to give the children the awe and wonder that is so valuable in terms of their enjoyment and their depth of learning.

To start the term off in a positive and lively way, there will be a Welcome Back to Well-Being day on the first day back. We will provide a variety of well-chosen activities to make the very best start to the term. We will make this a regular day every half term, and have some new questionnaires we have designed to help the children measure and manage their own and others well-being.

Remember we also have the Commonwealth Characters designed and chosen by the children too – including Rosie the Relationship Red Panda, Ripples the River Turtle of Resilience, Steven the Self-Care Stingray, Harriet the Hammerhead Shark for Hope and Optimism and, finally, Sam the Self Worth Sea Otter.

 Curriculum Engagement

In addition to the Curriculum Maestro platform which we have found engaging and challenging in equal measure; we have also enjoyed using other curriculum tools – Language Angels for French, Real PE and Teach Computing.

We embark on a new writing scheme next term, called The Write Stuff. The scheme has received very good reviews from other schools. Beech class have already trialled The Write Stuff this term, have found it really engaging and we have seen a significant impact on their writing content and vocabulary.

 Breakfast Club and After School Club Costs

There will be a 10% increase to Breakfast and After School Clubs costs from January 2024. This is due to Prime Sports incurring increased VAT costs themselves. The company are absorbing a proportion of the increase themselves in an attempt to remain reasonably priced for parents.

After School Sports Clubs

Next term the following sports clubs will run:

Monday:  KS2 Handball (Chestnut and Oak classes)

Tuesday:  KS1 Handball (Hazel and Beech classes)

Friday:     KS2 Hockey (Chestnut and Oak classes)

Sports Clubs are free for children to attend and subsidised out of the school’s PEPPSA (sports funding).

Class news


This week, we have been learning about pneumatics and prototypes in DT. We had a fun and creative session, where we made lifts and other useful objects for use in the home. Some projects which we designed and made included a light turner off-er and on-er, a shoe taker off-er and a trap to catch burglars! We tried some new tests which we found very hard but we all did our best – quite a lot of us enjoyed them too! We also learned about the phases of the moon which was really interesting. We are looking forward to our Welcome Back to Well-Being day and seeing all our friends again. Written by Oak class


This week, the pupils have been finishing off their topic – Through the Ages. They have consolidated their learning by writing non-chronological reports about what they have learned. The children have finished their science, RE and French topics. They will be ending the week with a range of Christmas activities. Merry Christmas! (Ms Babiy)


The children in Beech Class have worked really hard on their Maths and English assessments this week. The children have also been making great strides in their Read Write Inc groups, which has seen many progress through the scheme.

This week we have been using our persuasive knowledge and vocabulary, from ‘The Write Stuff’ scheme, to create letters to Father Christmas, persuading him to deliver wanted presents. Pupils have also learnt about Christmas celebrations from around the world, and explored how they are similar or differ from our own experiences. (Mrs Whelan)


This week the children have finished their PSHE learning on celebrating differences, which has involved making new friendships within the classroom, based on similar interests, for example all the children who had a dog played together.  The children have enjoyed a multitude of Christmas craft activities, with one very special handmade creation wrapped in their own wrapping paper!

Hopefully the children enjoyed their reindeer cakes, made by our very own Mrs Oram! (Miss Buxton)

Diary dates  (dates in red have been added this week)


2nd Jan   INSET DAY
3rd Jan 08.40 Spring Term starts
3rd Jan All Day Welcome Back to Well-Being day (activities in school)
5th Jan All Day Hazel and Beech Class trip to Longleat
22nd July 2024   INSET DAY
23rd July 2024   INSET DAY


Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas.

With very best wishes from,


Mrs B