Newsletter October 2017
18 Oct 2017

Philosophy for Children

This term we have launched an exciting new project introducing Philosophy for Children to Petts Hill. Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a powerful educational approach which has been found through research studies to have cognitive and social benefits for children and schools.  It is centred on philosophical enquiry, where a trained teacher encourages children to think and reason as a group. Studies have shown that not only have children made better progress in their learning but that levels of happiness have also increased. P4C supports many other curriculum areas including Personal, Social and Health Education.

For the next three years we will be working with Sapere and NFER who are part funding this project. We started the term with a whole day of staff training. Some of the learning that will be developed through P4C will support children in clearly communicating their inference and deduction skills as the work is embedded into our existing teaching. Further information can be found at www.sapere.org.uk.

The School Games Mark

The School Games Mark is a Government led awards scheme launched in 2012 to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community.

I am delighted to be able to tell you that we have just been awarded the Silver Award for our sporting endeavors in 2016/17. This is the third year that we have achieved silver.  Well done to all the children that have worked hard at improving their fitness, attending matches and competitions and the staff that have collectively supported them.  The target for 2017/18 is GOLD!

School Development Plan

The school’s development plan this year will focus on: English, Attendance and Early Years. Within English we continue to focus on the development of reading.  In the recent Ofsted inspection (27-30 June 2017) there are numerous comments referring to 'good progress in reading' due to the way we restructured the teaching of reading in last academic year. This year we are focusing further on developing children’s vocabulary requiring them to be word detectives, investigating words that they are unsure of and then frequently using them to develop their own both verbal and written English.

A further focus for development in reading is that of children’s ability to infer and deduce from the text they have read. Teaching the children to be able to consider the authorial intent of the writer in the vocabulary choices they have made and what they intended the reader to think or feel.

Alongside our English work we shall be using a Philosophy for Children project to develop their thinking skills, while giving them lots of opportunities to develop their spoken English.

The Early Years focus for development includes using the Philosophy for Children programme and our work with the Speech and Language Therapist to develop further children’s early communication and literacy skills.

Obviously children that have the best attendance often achieve better than those who do not attend school as much. Working alongside the council we shall be looking at our procedures for encouraging good attendance. Working on good attendance will have a positive outcome for all children as learning time will not be wasted going over issues that absent children have missed.

Free Home Fire Safety Visits

The London Fire Brigade are offering free home fire safety visits. A fire can start in any room and the effects can be devastating, even a small fire in your home can lead to substantial damage and expensive repairs. The LFB want to stop fires from happening and that is why they offer free home fire safety visits to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

What happens during a home fire safety visit?

Our firefighters or trained staff will visit you at home, at a time that suits you and carry out a risk assessment. They will give you advice based on your home and individual needs, this includes: information on how to prevent fires, the importance of smoke alarms to detect a fire and your escape plan in the event of a fire. A visit can take up to 90 minutes or longer if needed and they will fit free smoke alarms if required.

Specialist alarms can be fitted for people who may have a delayed response to escape for example: strobe light and vibrating pad alarms for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

How to book a Home Fire Safety visit: freephone: 0800 028 4428; Email: smokealarms@london-fire.gov.uk ; Text /SMS: 07860 021 319

Holiday Project

This term many Petts Hill children learnt that doing homework and holiday projects can pay!  We were delighted to be able to award Maria in year 4 an enormous box of toys and resources from KS1 & KS2 Discovery Education Espresso News Bites, as she was one of the 10 winners of their summer holiday project that we encouraged you all to join in with. Maria also won a free subscription to a coding programme for the school that normally costs us £375 which all children benefit from in school. Thank you Maria.

This terms holiday project is called Take One Picture. We are linking our holiday project to the National Gallery work which aims to inspire a love of art and learning by promoting the role of visual arts within education. The project will be advertised at Parents Evenings this week and your child will bring home information on how they can join in. More information and ideas can be found on the National Gallery website or by visiting the gallery!  A wonderful half term treat to inspire. https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/learning/teachers-and-schools/take-one-picture/about

Dates for your Diary

Monday 30th October - First day of school after half term

2nd November: Tooth brushing project started two years ago today! All children at Petts Hill are taught to clean their teeth. They all do this daily during the afternoon as part of our work supporting them to develop and maintain good health and care skills. This was part of our work towards attaining the London Healthy School Gold Award.

Friday 3rd November: School Photograph Day – All children in the school will be photographed individually and with their brothers and sisters who attend school. You will receive a proof copy of the photographs during the following week. If you do not want your child to have their photograph taken please let the school office know.

Monday 6th November 3.15 – 3.45pm - Holiday Projects displayed in the School Hall.
Take One Picture is the National Gallery’s countrywide scheme for primary schools which aims to inspire a lifelong love of art and learning by promoting the role of visual arts within education.

Monday 13th – 17th November - National Nursery Rhyme Week - Children in our Nursery and Reception classes will be celebrating National Nursery Rhyme week by learning and performing new and old nursery rhymes.

Monday 13th to 17th November - National Anti- Bullying Week. Anti-Bullying Week shines a spotlight on bullying and encourages all children, teachers and parents to take action against bullying throughout the year. This year the tag line is ‘All Different All Equal’. We will explore this topic with the children in ways suitable for their age group. Working on making sure differences do not lead to bullying.  We will reflect with the children on the difference they can make.

Wednesday 20th December at 3.15pm - Last day of term -

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