• Preston Montford expected at 5.30 but will tweet nearer the time

Infant 24/1/14

24 January 2014

Dear Parents,

Greetings from a rainy and chilly Holland. I am here on a two day visit to The British School of the Netherlands to set up a partnership and look carefully at what makes them a highly successful school. The BSN is a school from Foundation 1 - three years plus - to the end of year six. There is also a secondary school. It has been a real privilege visiting every classroom and making suggestions and gleaning good practice. So far I have seen very high quality work in year six, where iPads are widely in use. Creative writing is submitted to teachers who then can make a mini video as means of response marking. One boy had made an outstanding film bringing together his creative writing and film skills to create a great piece of work. It took him three months! There is excellent practice throughout the school and I am sure that there will be a great deal to be gained by children, teachers and parents alike as we start to share in a variety of ways. One early initiative would be to have the school councils having a video linked meeting. This is something we cannot do with our Comenius partners due to
language difficulties.

The school also enjoys working closely with parents as we do. There is coffee morning once a week after drop off and parents are encouraged to popularise any causes or initiatives they are involved in. That reminds me of an exciting initiative we are hoping to do soon. We are going to invite dads to come in for ten or twenty minutes after drop off and read with the children. We hope this will be a good role model, especially for boys, and further increase the love and joy which we find in reading.
Right, I am off now to visit years 1 to 4 and see what else I can find out. The very occasional visit such as this always makes me excited at the good and creative things I find out, but also makes me aware of what an enthusiastic and excellent school we have in HTPD with great staff, responsive children, wise governors and partnership with parents. Thank you for the vital part you all play in this and look out for those coffee mornings coming up soon!
With best wishes, Richard


Cup stacking
Next week we are having a fun, cup stacking activity which will take place in year groups. The children will compete against the clock to find out who is the speediest cup stacker in each house.

Assembly
This week we are focussing on the spirit of Peace and will be concentrating on creating a calm and peaceful environment as we move around the school and in our classrooms.

Sports funding
Every primary school in England has been given some money to spend on increasing participation in sport.
We have planned a range of different things, from improving teachers’ coaching skills, extending the tarmac area in the front playground to give us more usable space, offering more after school clubs, buying new equipment, visiting sports centres or having visitors come to us so the children can try a range of different activities, to participating in organised events with other schools. We will publicise events through the newsletter and on the website. We will endeavour to ensure every child is included over time, but please be patient as we will have to space out the events!
Things to watch out for - swimming, tennis and yoga clubs after school; a visit to the Spectrum for a day in April for all 60 year 1 children and some year 1 and year 2 children taking part in a Sports Hall festival with other schools in February.
Star Diving Club will also be coming in to look for potential diving talent by running a special activity session during PE with year 2 before half term.

Bedtime Story, Thursday 6 February, 5.00 – 5.45pm
This is an opportunity for children to come back to school in their pyjamas and have a bedtime story in their classroom with cocoa and biscuits provided by FOPS.

Parking
Please can we remind parents driving to school to be mindful of parents who are walking to school,and not to park on the pavements, the zig-zag yellow lines or across neighbours’ driveways.

FOPS NEWS

Wine Vouchers for Bill's
We have nine vouchers for a premium bottle of wine (up to the value of £24) when two people order a main in the evening at Bill's in Guildford. bills-website.co.uk/restaurants/guildford/. The vouchers are valid until 31 January 2014 and can be bought for £5 each. All profits to FOPS/HTSC. If you would like to buy one, please contact Emily Bourke (emilybourke@msn.com / 07956 664028).

Cake Sale - 31 January 2014 - Hazel
Hazel class will be running the first playground cake sale of term next Friday. Please bring a few pennies and break your new year diet.

"Call the Midwife" DVD
We have one spare copy of the DVD of the Christmas production, "Call the Midwife". If you didn't order a copy and Christmas but would like one, please contact Emily Bourke. The DVD costs £8.

Mad March Ball
Thanks to everyone who requested tickets for the ball, we sold out in record time. We are still finalising the numbers with the hotel so will confirm to everyone who requested tickets in the next few days including those on the reserve list.

Auction Items Needed
We have already had some fantastic offers from parents but we still need more auction items if we are to meet our target. We know you are a talented lot! Please have a think about any talents or skills you have which you could offer for us to auction. For example, do you play an instrument or speak a foreign language or coach a sport or have a talent for garden / home design? Also, do you know of anyone with a holiday home for use or a local business or employer who might be able to donate an item for auction or provide sponsorship. Do you have any links to professional sport or the world of entertainment? Please put your thinking caps on and, if there's anything you can contribute, contact Ros Vickerman (jrvickerman@yahoo.co.uk). We need to have the final details of all prizes by 31 January so please could any offers be made by then. Thank you for your support which will benefit our school.

Year 2 parents’ contact details
Please would you email Helen Burgess with your up-to-date contact details (helenburgess@doctors.org.uk) or speak to one of the Year 2 reps. We plan to be in touch soon about planning the year book. Thank you.

Year R Coffee Morning - Friday 31 January
Come along after drop-off to Caffe Nero in North Street. Ali, Lucie, Sarah & Sandra (class reps)

PUPS
We are pleased to welcome Ellen Whitehead who has recently joined the PUPS team. Ellen has plenty of experience having worked in other child care settings.  Also, just to let you know that PUPS will be running during the half term holiday; reservation forms are available to download from the school website.

Lost: Joe Naysmith has lost his blue LandsEnd coat – the coat is named.

Found: A ‘Polo’ sleeveless pullover, navy blue, age 5.

Menu for week beginning Monday 27 January
Mon: Salmon & Pasta Bake or Mixed Bean Wrap, Cauliflower, Green Beans; Orange Drizzle Cake
Tues: Pork or Quorn Sausage Volcano, Mashed Potato, Baked Beans, Mixed Vegetables; Chocolate Krispies
Weds: Roast Chicken & Gravy or Butternut Squash Bake, Carrots, Broccoli; Vanilla Ice Cream & Pear Sauce
Thurs: Margarita Pizza or Ratatouille Risotto, Cucumber Slices, Fresh Coleslaw; Oaty Apple & Pear Crumble
Fri: Fish Fingers or Sweet Chilli Vegetable Noodles, Chipped Potatoes, Peas, Sweet Corn; Jam Tart

Reflexology
Pippa Godsill (Dan & Daisy's Mum) is learning Reflexology and needs some female volunteers to practice on. If you have a spare 1.15 hrs over the next few months during school hours or on a Saturday and fancy a visit to her beauty room in her house for some relaxing reflexology then please email Pippa at pipgodsill@hotmail.co.uk with some dates and times when you are free.