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Newsletter 21st July 2023

Newsletter 21st July 2023
September 4, 2023 Sandy Pike
Dear Parents and Carers,

As another academic year concludes I think back to all that has occurred over the past year. From a personal point of view highlights have included the warm welcome I received back in September 2022 – a heartfelt thank you to you all; continuing onto getting to know children and parents, the nativity, summer play, sports day, a myriad of extremely well attended assemblies, welcoming a variety of visitors to support children’s learning, and pupils exploring beyond the school environment and seeing learning developing from this and much talk of experiences.

I now look to September where there are a number of developments.


We will again have four classes. Reception and Year 1 pupils will be joined to form Hazel Class, and Beech will consist of a standalone Year 2 class. There are a variety of reasons for this move including pupil numbers, as well as acknowledging the past year which has been unsettled with a number of changes and combinations of teaching staff in Beech Class. Therefore, I plan, aim and hope for greater consistency for the children who have been in Beech Class this year, with the current Year 2s continuing with Ms Babiy in Chestnut class (Year 3 & 4), where Ms Babiy will be working 4 days a week, while the current Year 1s will move into a single year group class, taught by Mrs Whelan who is employed on a full-time basis.  Oak will continue as a Year 5 & 6 joint class.

Mrs Gardiner joins us and will teach Chestnut Class on a Monday and Oak Class on a Friday. I will cover all PPA time (teacher planning, preparation and assessment time), and will therefore have time in all classrooms over the course of the week.


Class Year Groups Staffing
Hazel Reception & Year 1 Miss Buxton Mrs Smeeton
Beech Year 2 Mrs Whelan Mrs Lewis

Mrs Stockley

Chestnut Years 3 & 4 Ms Babiy

Mrs Gardiner (Mon) Mrs Stone

Oak Years 5 & 6 Mrs Clasby

Mrs Gardiner (Fri) Mrs Fuller


In September we will be implementing a new synthetic phonics scheme – Read Write Inc. The scheme represents a very large investment by the school, both in terms of time and finance, however I strongly believe this programme will benefit our children and enable all pupils to become fluent engaged lifelong readers.

We will be supported with our new phonics programme by Read Write Inc personnel as well as the

Ramsbury English Hub. Both will help us with appropriate implementation of the scheme, offer robust training to all staff, and ensure assessment and tracking of pupils’ facilities progression and enables targeted support where needed. This investment is a direct response to teacher findings, phonics data and our OFSTED report where phonics was identified as an area for improvement. Phonic sessions will start at 8.55am daily.

A meeting to explain how our new phonics scheme will work in our setting is planned for Wednesday 6th September at 15.30.

Breakfast and After School Club

As many will know prices for our Breakfast and After School Clubs have remained at the same rate for around 8 years. I appreciate economic times are taxing for all currently, however there are increased costs for this provision from September.

I would also like to inform parents that we have outsourced our Breakfast and Afternoon School Club staffing provision from September 2023; this is due to challenges with ensuring sessions are staffed.  Parents will need to book their sessions, in advance and online using the link seen below. You will see the After School Club provision extends to 17.00 daily. Any queries do please ask Mrs Pike.

Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge led by libraries within the local area has been explained to the children during an assembly this week led by Amanda from Gillingham Library. Children will receive a Reading Challenge certificate and wooden medal when they have registered with for the Reading Challenge and logged the reading of 6 books over the holiday.   There is a sporting theme this year, with each school being designated a ‘sporting ball’ to represent their school which will be given to children at the library and should be completed when a book is read.  Stower Provost Community School has been given a tennis ball as their ‘sporting ball’.  There is therefore not only a personal challenge for pupils to read 6 books, but also a school one to see how many tennis balls we can gather collaborative through our reading efforts.

Parents might also be interested in signing their children up for a number of free activities and clubs being run at the library over the summer holidays. Please see the Gillingham Library website, click on:

  • What’s On
  • Children’s library activities tab
  • Summer Reading Challenge

You will then find all a list of activities offered by all libraries, with Gillingham Library’s offer including Lego, spy code breaking, indoor orienteering and yoga sessions to name a few!

The start of the day from September

Please could I ask all parents to ensure their children are in school for 8.50am, when registration will take place and lessons will start at 8.55am. This ensures all pupils receive their statutory school hours, as well as being in the classroom to hear session inputs at the start of the school day. The school gates will open at 8.35am with doors opening at 8.40am. Any children arriving after 8.50am will have to be marked in as late. The back gates will be locked from 8.50am, so should you arrive late please enter through the front door.

After School Hobbies

From September there will be two FREE after school sporting clubs open to key stage 2 children (Years 3,  4,

5 and 6 pupils), and one FREE after school sporting club for KS1 children (Year 1 and 2 pupils). These club are FREE as they are subsidised by the sports premium money school receives from government. Further details relating to these clubs and how to sign up will be provided at the start of the autumn term.

Pupil Premium, PLAC and forces children

Families on a limited income and/or receiving some benefits may qualify for Pupil Premium funding which can be used in a variety of ways to enhance their learning opportunities while at school. Also previously looked after children and those with a parent or guardian in the forces also qualify. Further information regarding registering your child can be found:


Your child could be entitled to free school meals and the school receives additional funding which can be used to further support your child and the school.

Healthy School

As a healthy school we encourage all pupils to have a healthy snack at playtime, in Reception and Key Stage 1 this is provided by the school, however an alternative snack may be brought, as long as it is in line with our guidance. Healthy snacks include: fruit, vegetables, cheese, yogurt, crackers, cereal bars etc. (Please avoid foods with high salt or sugar content e.g. chocolate and crisps). I would ask for any snack items brought in from home, to be labelled on the packaging or within a labelled container, this is due to duplicated snacks being confused and unnamed Tupperware being unclaimed.

Please could I also ask that your child has a labelled water bottle daily, which contains water for use in class. Spillages in classrooms do occur regularly and squash makes a very sticky mess! Juice and squash may be included within lunchboxes and consumed in the hall during lunchtime, where spillages are much easier to manage!

 I wish you all a very happy summer holiday and look forward to seeing everyone on 5th September at the start of the new academic year.