Friday, 22nd June 2018
Dear Parents and Carers,
Summer Term Newsletter No. 9
SQUIRREL CLASS ASSEMBLY
What a wonderful very first class assembly Squirrel class treated us to yesterday morning. They told the story of ‘The very Hungry Caterpillar’ beautifully. Two things, in particular, were most impressive: the fact that the children had learnt 3, yes 3, songs off by heart and secondly that they spoke loudly and clearly to the whole audience. The parents at the back could hear them really clearly. Well done Squirrel class, we absolutely LOVED your assembly. A big thank you to all of you and also to Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Faghihi for supporting and guiding you so well.
EAGLE CLASS RETURN FROM CHAMONIX
Eagle Class return from their New Leaders in Sustainability expedition to Chamonix this afternoon after a transformational week away, exploring what well-being means for them individually, as a team, and in the way they live in the world. They set off on Monday morning with backpacks full of kit for their week in the mountains and as you will hopefully have seen on the website blog -
- they have had a fascinating time with rock climbing challenges, treks at altitude across to a refuge, where they stayed for the night, and cable car rides to experience the stunning panoramic views from the top. Thank you to the staff team, who have guided and supported the children during their week away, and to the parents for all their fundraising support. More than anything, many congratulations to all the children for achieving so much over the past five days. They are sure to have some great tales to tell. Next up are Hawk Class, who leave bright and early on Monday morning. Have a great trip, Hawks.
FOA SUMMER FETE SUCCESS
What a very happy and successful FOA Summer Fete we had last Saturday. Thank you to all of you who were able to come along and for all your support and hard work in preparing for such a lovely afternoon, celebrating our school community. A special thank you goes to the Summer Fete committee of Gina Broadhurst, Lynette Okello and Paula Motta for the incredible amount of work they put into co-ordinating the day and ensuring everything ran so smoothly. The final fundraising total was an absolutely amazing £8,500, our highest ever Summer Fete amount.
NEW PARENT GOVERNORS
We are delighted to announce that Gina Broadhurst and Rob Baker will be our two new Parent Governors. As you may know, Gina has Genevieve in Year 1 and Rob has Luke in Year 3, and they are both really looking forward to starting their new roles. Next week, Nigel Stapleton, our Chair of Governors, and I will meet with them and we very much look forward to welcoming them to our first Local Governing Body meeting of the new academic year in September. Congratulations to them both.
NEW RECEPTION YEAR PARENTS MEETING
We were very pleased to see so many parents for the new Reception Year meeting on Tuesday evening. During the evening, the Reception teachers talked through how the children’s first year at school will work with a particular focus on the characteristics of effective learning; exploration, investigation, critical thinking, problem solving and a ‘have a go’ attitude. This is how we want the learning in our school to be and this approach will be one of our priority areas for next academic year.
GOVERNORS FUND – IMPORTANT UPDATE
At the end of the meeting on Tuesday, we talked about the Governors Fund and its critical role in supporting the resourcing of our school. We have recently used Governors Funds to help with the installation of new interactive whiteboards in all the classes from Reception to Year 2. We have also used Governors Funds to enable us to buy new laptops across the whole school. We have major projects planned for the coming year to develop our grounds, but we cannot do it from within the school budget as we simply don’t have the funds available. As one of our parents has noted, Ashley School is in the bottom 1% nationally for EFA (Education Funding Agency) funding, primarily due to the fact we don’t have high levels of deprivation or pupil premium funding. This means we are incredibly tight for money and the Governors Fund plays a key role in enabling us to provide a broad, balanced and enriching curriculum.
We would therefore be delighted if all of you could contribute something to the Governors Fund, ideally on a monthly basis. We are aware that the communication has not been good enough around where the money is going – this will change next year – but we are very keen to move forward with some exciting projects in the coming year and the Governors Fund will be an essential component in enabling that to happen. If you are able to do so, please fill in the attached Standing Order or set it up through your bank account. Thank you for your support!
NOTES FROM THE FOA
We just wanted to clarify the position of the committee members who are stepping down this year. There is nothing untoward! We are either leaving the school or have been in place for two to three years and we feel that it is time to make way for new people and ideas. We have had interest in the Chair and Treasurer roles but we are still searching for a Secretary and Communications person. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or catch us in the playground. PLEASE come along to our next meeting on 3rd July - it’s a great opportunity to find out more about what we do and how we do it!
Parents, please be mindful that it is unacceptable for parents to contact class teachers, TAs and SNAs regarding a school matter on their mobile phones, WhatsApp or any form of social media.
THE SCHOOL CAR PARK
Please can we reinforce the message to parents not to use the staff car park for dropping off or collecting your children at the beginning or end of the school day. We have seen parents do this; it blocks the car park and causes chaos with staff trying to park. Only parents with disabled badges should use this car park – thank you.
PREMIER SPORT SUMMER HOLIDAY CLUBS
Premier Sport are back at Ashley school during the summer holidays on the following dates:
- Monday, 23rd July to Friday, 27th July
- Monday, 13th August to Friday, 17th August
- Monday, 20th August to Friday, 24th August
- Monday, 27th August to Thursday, 30th August
Children lose fitness very quickly over the summer holidays so keep them active and happy and book at: http://www.premier-education.com/ We are looking forward to seeing you all again after the wonderful Whitsun and Easter camps. The Woking Premier Sport Team
NEW CLUBS STARTING IN SEPTEMBER
Mandarin club - This will take place on Monday after school for Years 3-6 only. It will be a small group, maximum 10 children. The cost will be £10 per lesson per child. To register your interest or if you have any questions, please email Mrs Cole direct on email@example.com
Fashion club – This club will run on Tuesdays after school also for Years 3-6 only. Up-cycle your unwanted clothes, customize and embellish, stitch and design. With a fashion show each term! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book in.
MESSAGE FROM THE SCHOOL KITCHEN
Due to customer feedback and excessive food waste, the lunchtime menu on a Monday will be changing from next week. Quorn Burgers will be replaced by Vegetarian Chinese noodles.
LIBRARY UPDATE FROM MRS BARDEN
This year the Ashley School library has undergone a huge make-over, using money donated by the FOA. There is now a new infant woodland section with some fantastic log soft furnishings and fake grass. The junior section has wonderful wall hanging cushions, soft rugs and book-based posters on the wall. I have also been able to purchase a new biography section and update parts of the infant and junior fictions sections, using funds kindly donated by a local Walton resident. We are very nearly ready to open and parents will be invited to pop in and view. I've been able to purchase a few audio books but this section is looking fairly sparse at the moment. If anyone has any they would like to donate, I would be very grateful. Thank you.
NEW ACADEMIC YEAR
Please note that the new academic year and term starts on Thursday, 6th September. The staff will be in from Tuesday, 4th September and we will have two Inset Days to prepare for the new academic year. We look forward to welcoming the children to school on the Thursday.