The half-term has absolutely flown by, but as I write this final newsletter of the half-term and reflect on the achievements, it has certainly been a productive one. On Thursday, the reception children took part in a carnival, where they brightened up our corridors dressed in brightly coloured clothing and danced to music while moving through our school - this was part of their learning on Trinidad and Tobago. Some of our year 6 girls took part in a netball competition and were true ambassadors for The Vineyard. Today, we enjoyed International Day. It has been wonderful seeing all the children proudly wearing their international dress or the colours of their flags. They spent the afternoon doing different activities, such as: learning a traditional dance from Turkey, a national anthem quiz, presenting about the country they come from, mini projects, art and so much more. Thank you to our wonderful parents who came in to help.
The staff have been busy with their continued professional development and have all received further training on Emotion Coaching and Attachment Theory, which was delivered by our educational psychologist. We have also been working on how to further develop the quality of our lessons (more information to come on this in the next few weeks).
Many of you joined our workshops on the new RE (religious education) curriculum, handwriting and feedback & marking. A highlight of the term was the open classroom event - it was so lovely to have the school full of children sharing their books with their families.
The PTA have been working very hard planning events for the rest of the year. They hosted an information evening this week. For those who could not attend, there is another opportunity on Tuesday 6th February at 9am. Please click here to find a report from one of our parents about the meeting. It would be great to have a room full of families at the next meeting - you can never have too many people ready to help with events.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to Lily Bracegirdle for all her hard work developing music during her time at The Vineyard. We will certainly miss her but wish her all the best in her new job.
Thank you and we hope you have a wonderful half term,
On Monday, the local police came to the school gates to support us with the ongoing issues we have been having. These issues include: parking on white zig-zag lines, stopping in the middle of the road and drivers beeping at pedestrians crossing. The police officers identified the major issue we are facing and will be doing more regular visits to support us. We did feel, with the presence of the police on Monday, the issue was dramatically improved. Please do ensure you are abiding by the rules and not stopping on zig-zag lines or blocking drive ways etc.
- Alice McArdle- Safeguarding Lead
Well done to all the year groups that got above 96%! The attendance looks great this week!
A reminder as we approach half-term that all absences in the week before and after a holiday are unauthorised. We also now have fixed penalty notices in place for termtime holidays.
Well done to Zircon class who have got a slice of pizza added to their chart for not having any lates!
Following what has been discussed in the previous newsletters with a high number of children being late, if a child is more than 20 minutes late, they will be marked as a 'U' (unauthorised absence). This will mean that it impacts their attendance percentage. It is vital that children are in their classrooms by 8:45 when the registers start so they do not miss valuable learning and social times.
Racial Justice at The Vineyard
This week we have held our second meeting as a Racial Justice working party. Our aim is to meet as a group of teachers, teaching assistants, members of SLT and office staff to discuss, share and listen to each others views and questions towards developing an anti-racist school. We are reading a book recommended by our racial justice network lead called ‘How to build your anti racist classroom’ by Orlene Badu. The book includes, real life experiences, reflections and practical steps to achieve change.
This week, we had a family workshop on handwriting and feedback and marking. This covered the research endorsed approach we take towards feedback and marking (more information to follow in our next newsletter) and our bespoke handwriting script. Following feedback in the meeting, we will endeavour to share the letter formations that children are focusing on in their handwriting lessons from Year 1 to 6 after half term, so you can practice at home if you wish. Selene Cutler is the handwriting expert who worked with us to develop our approach.
Below, I have summarised the key messages, which I hope will support you in supporting your child’s journey with handwriting:
The ‘4Ps’ are 4 areas every child needs to consider before they write
Our handwriting approach is non-continuous cursive, which means that some letters do not need to be joined to the letter before them.
These are the magic clock family letters: c o a d q g
Below is The Vineyard script – you can see that letters lead out, naturally then joining to the next letter (unless it is a magic clock family letter).
If your child’s handwriting is legible and their handwriting is established in KS2, we would not ask them to adjust their handwriting for our new approach outside of handwriting lessons.
Children’s Mental Health week w/c 5th February 2024
We will be taking part in this next week, following the theme of ‘My Voice Matters’. As well as activities in class and assembly, on Thursday 8th of February, children can come to school in their comfiest clothes that express themselves and/or bring an item in that is a part of who they are (optional donation via link).
Here are the slides that share some of the activities children will be carrying out during this week with the language/messaging we are using and the different approaches we are taking for Children’s Mental Health Week.
In addition, as part of Children’s Mental Health Week, Rachel Chambers will be introducing ‘Time to Talk’, to Key Stage 2. As a trained Samaritan, she will be offering a listening service to the children during a Wednesday lunchtime. If they want a slot, they need to write their name, class and what they’d like to discuss and put it in your Listening Boxes.
Some food for thought this week-
Research from the National Literacy Trust has shown us that children and young people who like to read are three times more likely to have better mental health than those who don’t.
Reading for just 10 minutes a day can have astonishing benefits. Not only is it a brilliant way to relax and unwind, reading can also help boost your mood, provide an escape from the pressures of life and even reduce stress levels.
National Literacy Trust’s research on children and young people’s writing during the lockdown in 2020 showed that 2 in 5 children said writing made them feel better, either because they wrote creatively to escape the difficult circumstances of the pandemic or because they wrote to process their feelings. Furthermore, there 2022 Writing Report found that writing continues to support children and young people’s mental wellbeing, with 1 in 3 (32.8%) children and young people saying that writing helps them relax.
Ms Reilly - Mental Health Lead
Report from the Governors - Spring 1 term 2024
The Spring term is an important one for the Resources Committee. This is the term when we prepare the school budget for the following year and look at any big decisions that need to be made – staffing levels, educational resources, building maintenance, contracts etc. In preparation for this, the governors also carry out a benchmarking exercise, comparing our income and expenditure with other schools, to make sure that the school is not spending excessive funds anywhere. (As you would expect, the school has done an excellent job in managing its finances, given very tight funding, and particular thanks must go to our business manager, Svetlana Koksharova). We expect next year to be especially tough for the school’s budget and will be discussing whether the school can generate more income from its facilities.
It is important that we continue to maintain and upgrade the school’s facilities. The Resources Committee is looking at the utilisation of the school site and potential options for the development of the school field. We are also exploring opportunities to share facilities.
The Committee reviewed a report from the school’s external data protection officer, David Coy. David specialises in advising schools on data protection issues and we value his expertise.
Apart from the formal committee meetings, governors have been busy visiting the school on an individual basis to fulfil their link governor responsibilities. As well as finance and data protection, governors monitor the progress of the school’s curriculum development for each subject, ensure that the school’s safeguarding and health and safety procedures are robust and that there is good support for children with additional needs.
We wish all our families an enjoyable half-term holiday.
Luna New Year
Do you celebrate Lunar New Year? Would you or your child like to share your experiences with the children in an assembly? If so, please email me on email@example.com We would love to hear from you!
This week full of reading, entertainment and laughter has been an important part of the Vineyard calendar for many years and we hope this year will be no different. We have authors, acting experiences and even dragons hired!An outline of the week can be found here:Monday - Assembly by M...
Miss Sanchez spoke to all the children in KS1 and KS2 about this book in assembly, and it has left many of them feeling awe-inspired. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.Miss Sanche...
We are the Green Team and we aim to make the world a better place by pitching in. We’re trying to make smaller changes to make a bigger difference, starting with our school. Recently, we presented an assembly to inform KS1 and KS2 about the small changes they can make such as switching off lights to save energy and recycling paper. We will also have assemblies in the future about tackling other problems, such as food wastage and saving water. The Green Team have also taken on litter picking each breaktime to help keep our school environment tidy.
Thank you to all who supported International Day today, whether you led workshops, baked delicacies or attended our screening of My Neighbour, Totoro. We hope your children enjoyed our celebration of international cultures!
PTA information meeting: Tuesday 6th February, 9.00am
If you’d like to find out more about the PTA’s plans to support our school this year — and have your say! — come along to our meeting on Tuesday morning after drop off. All caregivers are welcome.
Bingo Night: Thursday 22nd February, 7.00 for a 7.30pm start
Next up: BINGO NIGHT! This will be a fun social evening, for adults only. Come along, support the school and have fun! For more information and to book your place, visit here