November 2nd 2018

Dear Parent/Carers,

I hope you have all enjoyed the break and return to school refreshed and looking forward to another exciting half term. Yesterday, was outdoor learning day and it was lovely to see the variety of learning that was taking place. Today, our Year 3 football team was in action. You can see photos of these, and more, in the attached newsletter.

Yesterday, I received the good news that our appeal against the restrictions on the use of the proposed changing facilities has been successful. Planning permission has already been granted for erection of new changing rooms with toilet facilities at Christ Church school field, next to Corpus Christi, and the removal of the restrictions means that the field can be used for longer hours and also used for sport and community use, in addition to school related activities.

This term, Year 6 children have started to play on the field at lunchtime. This have proved very popular so far and it is fantastic that the children are now able to benefit from this space. We are also arranging for port-a-loos to be installed shortly.

The Importance of Sleep

Over half term, I became fascinated by the book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. It was full of amazing insights into how our bodies work and also things to ponder about how to promote our own wellbeing. One of the points which really struck me was the evidence from experiments to demonstrate the importance of sleep both on nights before we learn and on the following nights if that learning is to be truly effective. In a recent interview he comments ‘Without sleep the memory circuits of the brain essentially become waterlogged and you can’t absorb information…You need sleep on both sides of the learning equation. Sleep to prepare the soil of the brain for fertile seeding of the information and then you need sleep afterwards to germinate it and secure those roots so that you don’t forget.’

I know this is a challenge for adults and children alike, particular in light of the growth in the use of technology. I think it is worth reflecting upon the guidelines set by the NHS that children of primary school age should receive between 9 ½ and 11 hours sleep per night in order to help them with both their wellbeing and their learning. Further information can be found on their website – https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-much-sleep-do-kids-need/

Cake Sales – Ready, Set, Bake

Every class has a cake sale once a year, organised by parents, which raises money for an additional opportunity for the children. Last year, cake sales funded ducklings in Reception, a trip to the Kidzania for Year 5 and leavers’ hoodies for Year 6. The dates for this year’s cake sales are as follows:

  • Nursery 23rd November
  • Reception 8th March
  • Year 1 8th February
  • Year 2 11th January
  • Year 3 16th November
  • Year 4 1st March
  • Year 5 18th January
  • Year 6 1st February

Shoeless learning

A recent idea we are trialling, supported by a decade-long research study, is the introduction of slippers in Year 6. Researchers at Bournemouth University found that allowing pupils to remove their shoes helped them to engage better in class – how lovely it has been to see them wearing slippers during their learning time and the relaxed, positive atmosphere it is creating. It is also fascinating to see the range of designs on display!

Remembrance Sunday

Some of our children will again be representing the School at this year’s Remembrance Day Parade and Service on Sunday 11th November. Should you wish to join us the parade marches off at 9:20 a.m. from the junction of the High Street and Kingston Road and the service at the War Memorial will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Supporting our children with their Year 2 SATs – Friday 16th November

On Friday 16th November at 9 a.m. in the infant hall, we will be offering a talk to help parents understand how we will assess children’s learning at the end of Year 2 and report these assessments to parents. We will talk about how we can work together to enable your child to achieve his/her full potential. This talk is likely to take a maximum of 45 minutes, including questions. We will also put the presentation on our website for those who are not able to attend, although I am sure people will find the discussions helpful to listen to in person, if possible.

PMG SchoolWear

PMG have given us notice that they are moving premises from Tolworth to Hook Parade and will be closed from 15th December for a few days. More details to follow

Best wishes,

Tabitha White, Headteacher