Newsletter April 2016
29 Apr 2016

Top Secret!

I wonder if any of the children went home last week and shared the secret that they were told in school.

We shared what was our secret with the children that Mrs Clare after 13 years of loyally serving the community of Petts Hill has decided to have a rest and retire at the end of the summer term 2016.

Mrs Clare started at Petts Hill as Deputy Headteacher in September 2003 when the school first opened. She has tirelessly supported myself as headteacher in the day to day running of the school and deputising in my absence as well as developing the teaching of English and being SENCO leading on all issues related to Special Needs, line managing the support staff and lots of other jobs.

Obviously Mrs Clare will be around until the end of term and so we will all have an opportunity to say goodbye to her and thank her publicly for all her hard work and kindness. If anyone has any ideas regarding this please let me know.

As I have had advanced notice of Mrs Clare’s plans we have been busy looking at ways to fill her shoes. Firstly Ms Makins has been shadowing Mrs Clare as SENCO and this year has taken over as Lower Team SENCO and next year will be the full school SENCO.

Last week we held interviews for the position of Deputy Head. The children were asked to think about questions that they would like us to ask each candidate. School Council carried out their own interviews with two of the school governors as part of the interview process. We will announce who our new deputy is when the paperwork is finalised.

Academisation - News

  • The government is not taking immediate powers to force conversion.
  • Schools must have a plan in place by 2020 for completion by 2022.
  • The Multi Academy Trust (MAT) is the preferred option but is not compulsory
  • Local authorities will lose their statutory school improvement role.

The White Paper was published days before our latest governing body meeting so governors had an opportunity to discuss the issue. The feeling of the meeting was not to rush into anything at this moment in time and see what Ealing advises. There is a governor conference later on this term where Ealing will present some alternatives to governors. Just this week we heard on the news about high performing local authorities being able to form their own MATs. Ealing would currently fall into this category. So at present the plan is to carry on working closely with Ealing and our current local schools network. When we have more news we will advise you accordingly.

The other issue from the White Paper was that there would be no new curriculum policies and that Local authorities will retain a role for school places, admissions, special needs, high needs funding and championing the needs of families and children.

Electronic registers

At the beginning of this term we introduced electronic registers to all classes. The implication for the children is that if they are not in class by 9am they will not be recorded in the register and will have to go to the school office to get a late card so that the class teacher knows that they are recorded as present. This is extremely important for health and safety reasons. If children arrive after 9am they need to go into school past the school office and not go through the side gate.

Summer Fair

We have held a summer fair at Petts Hill for a number of years now. Last year as the parent that oversaw the running of it had moved away we got each class to take an area/table or activity and encourage the parents of children in that class to help. I have pencilled in the date for this year as Friday 1st July from 3.30 to 5.00 pm in the school diary. What we need now is a group of parents to help organise the event and do some of the pre-event preparation. So if you are able to help in any way please let the school office know or attend our first meeting planning at 2.30pm on Monday 9th May. If you can’t manage this time please let the school office know what your availability is.

Children’s University.

This term we have launched an exciting new programme, for pupils in Key Stage 2, called the Children’s University.

The Children's University (CU) Trust is a charitable trust that provides 7 to 14 year olds with exciting and innovative learning activities and experiences outside normal school hours. They celebrate achievement and reward participation through awarding certificates.

All children wishing to take part in the CU have purchased a passport. This programme is based on a system where pupils collect attendance stamps in their passports, for every hour of attendance, where they are learning outside of school hours. The hours are totalled up to gain awards - bronze (30 hours), silver (65 hours) or gold award (100 hours). These awards can then presented at the end of the year in a Graduation Ceremony at Brunel University, to which parents will be invited.

CU provides an excellent opportunity for parents to take children to worthwhile out of school learning centres, such as The Natural History Museum and more local destinations such as Gunnersbury Park and even free workshops at places such as Halfords and Pets at Home. More information can be found at

e Passport To Learning: "Tell me and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand!" - Anon

Health Advice

During the next couple of months we often find that some children are struggling with their work due to health issues that can be solved with some early intervention!

Hay fever sufferers: If your child suffers from hay fever now is a good time to go to your doctor and discuss how you are going to manage their hay fever this summer. Many trees are already coming into blossom so the tree pollen that affects many children is already around. If you visit your doctor now they will be able to give you medication that will build up a protective effect for your child. Don’t wait until the symptoms come on! This information is particularly important for year 6 children who have their SATs tests in May.

Asthma sufferers: If your child has asthma it is likely that they may also be affected by pollen in the air. So now is also a good time to make an appointment with your doctor or practice nurse and check that the medication is at the right level and also to check your child’s technique to ensure they are getting the full benefit of the prescribed amount of medication.

Dates for your diary

Friday 29th April – 2016 Whole Class photograph

Monday 2nd May – School closed, May Day

Monday 9th - Thursday 12th May - Key Stage 2 SATs assessment week – Year 6. Year 6 Year 6 invited to Breakfast Club

Wednesday 25th May - Year 4 and the School Choir are singing at Ealing Schools’ Spring Concert - 7pm St Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane. All Welcome.

Friday 27th May -Last day of summer half term

Monday 30th May – Friday 3rd June. School closed for half-term holiday

Monday 6th June – School open new half term

Thursday 30th June – Governing Body Meeting

Friday 1st July  - Summer Fair

Thursday 7th July – Open Evening. Come and collect your child’s report, meet the class teacher and the teacher they will have next year, see your child’s work and work around the school. Fill in our parent survey and let us know what we can improve on in 2016 – 2017 with our parent questionnaire.

Tuesday 12th & Wednesday 13th July - Lower team concerts.

Thursday 14th July – Upper team concerts.

Tuesday 19th July -  Last Day of Term

Start of new school year 2016 - 2017. Wednesday 7th September

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