Kells Lane Primary School - DOC by 43X4vjro



                              Kells Lane Primary School
                              Half Termly Newsletter and
                     2012 information bulletin
     Wednesday 5                   Y4 Chris Connaughton – Robinson Crusoe
     Monday 10                     Y5 Play in a Day – Good King Henry
                                   Reception 2013 starters information available for parents
                                   Secondary School information packs sent out to Y6 parents
                                   Music lessons commence this week
                                   Tennis sessions funded by The Dad’s Bike Ride, each Monday afternoon.
     Tuesday 11                    Newcastle Football Training – lunchtime sessions commence for Y3 & 4
     Thursday 13                   3A Swimming Lessons commence (separate letter has been sent out)
                                   Y5/Y6 Football coaching after school for 6 weeks
                                   Gym Club commences
     Monday 17                     Breakfast and After School Clubs commence this week – (separate letters sent out)
                                   Reception class in full time plus school meal
     Tuesday 18                    Y6 visit to Beamish Museum for evacuees project
     Friday 21                     Maths Fun Day – theme Shape
     Tuesday 25                    Y5 proposed visit to Dukeshouse Wood – Parents meeting
     Thursday 27                   1.30pm – Meeting with parents from RM and RS in KS1 hall

     Monday 1                      School Book Fair
     Wednesday 10                  Y5 - Climate Cops NPower workshop
     Tuesday 23                    10am – KS2 Harvest Assembly
                                   11am – KS1 Harvest Assembly (parents from 1B, 2BJ are welcome to join us)
     Wednesday 24                  11am – KS1 Harvest Assembly (parents from 1W, 2T welcome to join us)
                                   2pm – Reception Harvest Festival (parents from RM and RS welcome to join us)
     Thursday 25                   Y2 – Y6 – Whiz Bang Chemistry workshop

     Monday 29 – Friday 2 Nov      Half term holiday

     Tuesday 13                    1st Parents Evening
     Wednesday 14                  Tempest – Individual Photographs of each child
     Thursday 15                   Police and Crime Commissioner elections
     Tuesday 20                    2nd Parents Evening
     Monday 26                     Informal Chat and Visit Afternoon for Reception 2013 parents (1)
                                   Last date for ordering Christmas lunch
     Tuesday 27                    3rd Parents Evening

     Monday 3                      Y5 Tudor week concluding with a Tudor Banquet on Friday
     Wednesday 5                   Informal Chat & Visit Afternoon for Reception 2013 parents (2)
     Thursday 6                    Y1 & Y2 – Chris Connaughton presenting Christmas Tales
                                   Christmas lunch ? – date to be confirmed
     Tuesday 11                    Y2 Pirates Playday
     Wednesday 12                  WWII Street Party – get the gas masks ready Y6!
     Thursday 13                   Last Y3 swim before Christmas
     Monday 17                     Performances and parties week – details to be confirmed by a separate letter

                              Kells Lane Primary School Newsletter – Issue 1 - September 2012             1
A very warm welcome back to the start of a new school year. For new parents to the school, this newsletter is sent out
during the second week of each half term. It can be a useful point of reference as it includes dates for your diary for
the next few weeks. Please take the time to read this newsletter as it often contains very important messages and
useful pieces of information. Parents asked us to provide an outline diary of proposed dates at the start of the year, so
that they could book days off for special events, like performances or sports days (weather permitting). At the end of
this newsletter, you will find a list of proposed dates for your diary for the whole of this academic year. Please note
these are subject to change so do watch the ‘dates for your diary’ in future versions this newsletter. If changes are
required, we will inform you as these arise through that page.

We welcome two new part time members of staff this year. Welcome to Miss Snowden who will be working in Year
2 and Miss Atkinson who will be working in Reception – we look forward to working with them both.

We also welcome back on a one day a week basis, Mrs Robertson who will be teaching 1W each Friday alongside
Mrs Warwick. Mrs Craig and Mrs Millar are now job sharing a class in Year 3. Mrs Millar will be teaching at the
start of the week and Mrs Craig at the end.

We are delighted to be able to tell you that Miss Pearson was safely delivered of a little girl on 7 August 2012, called
Luella. We have only seen photographs so far, but she looks absolutely gorgeous and I am sure Miss Pearson will be
visiting school with her shortly. Mrs Beadle is covering her post in Reception until Miss Pearson returns.

Staff PPA time (planning, preparation and assessment time) will mainly be covered by Mr Smith. Children in Year 6
will be also be taught by Mrs Hewitson to develop extended writing skills on a weekly basis and Mrs Giblin will be
teaching groups in Year 6 most mornings.

Please remember that no jewellery, except for a watch, can be worn in school. We cannot allow children to take
part in any physical activities if they are wearing jewellery. Gateshead’s Health and Safety advice is that
earrings/piercings should not be worn by children during any physical school activity, this includes playtimes.

Parent Pay is our online payment system which enables parents/carers to make an electronic payment at any
time of the day or night and which provides a useful service, in this day and age when time is so precious.
We hope as many parents as possible will use the service and thank you for your co-operation with this.
Please ensure payment for school meals is kept up to date as a large amount of admin time is spent in
chasing payment for school meals – which obviously has a detrimental effect upon the school. We would like
to remind you that if money for school meals is being sent into school, rather than being paid via the new online
system, it must be sent to school on a Monday morning in a suitably named purse, container or envelope with
your child’s name and class clearly marked. As a security firm comes to school to collect the money, Mrs Robson
has a deadline to keep to, so we really do appreciate your support. If your child is absent on a Monday, please send in
the dinner money on the first day back at school. Please note: Parents who are having difficulty in paying dinner
money need to telephone or make an appointment to see Mrs Heath on 0191 4334142 to make alternative
arrangements, in order to avoid having school lunch provision stopped and your account being referred to
Debt Collection Services.

We have had several occasions recently when cheques have been returned to school from the bank which creates a lot
of unnecessary paper work for both council and school admin staff. If you wish to pay by cheque, please ensure that
you have sufficient funds in your account to cover the amount. If you are having difficulty with any payments to
school please contact Mrs Heath as above. No account will be allowed to go over £20. Any monies owing above
this amount will be referred to Debt Collection Services

The new meeting areas instigated last year seems to be working very well. All adult access to the school
must be via the school office. Thank you for your support with this.
                           Kells Lane Primary School Newsletter – Issue 1 - September 2012                2
Parents must supervise children before and after school. The school cannot be held responsible if accidents occur out
of school hours. The soft pour play area will be for Reception children only and not for other children or siblings to
play in. Please do not allow your children to swing on gates or climb walls. This is not allowed during the school day.

During the summer, work commenced on our new outdoor classroom area in school and shortly a poly tunnel will be
erected behind the dining centre. This is the result of a project and funding secured by Mr Smith and which will
primarily be used to support Science in school. We look forward to the completion of this project and thank Mr
Smith for all of his work.

Our car park, off Wilson’s Lane, is strictly for staff use and deliveries only. Under no circumstances should you park
in the car park to drop off your child for school or Breakfast Club. I also urge you not to park on Kells Lane as it is a
very busy road, with parking restrictions in force now. Please consider our neighbours when parking and DO NOT
park outside garages or drives as there may be an emergency while you are dropping off or collecting your child.
We get frequent complaints from residents who ask that I remind you use the main car park in Lowrey’s Lane. Also
can we ask that you are vigilant when pulling away as there are very often ‘near misses’ in the surrounding roads
around school start and finish times. Thank you for your support and understanding.

We are currently in the process of updating the learning journey booklets which were sent out last year. They will be
updated and sent out to each year group within the next couple of weeks. These booklets will also be put on the
website (

Tempest, our school photographer, will be in school on Wednesday 14 November 2012. A letter will come out with
information on how to order – please do read the letter and keep to the dates given as it will enable you to have the
photographs processed in time for you to give them to grandparents, family and friends for Christmas. Once the
orders have been bagged up for collection we cannot accept any more orders. Additional orders will have to be sent
direct to the company as late orders with the appropriate additional fee enclosed. Class photos for Reception class,
Year 2 and Year 6 will be taken during the summer term.

If it is essential for you to take your child out of school during term time, you must complete a Leave of Absence
Form which is obtainable from the main school office. Permission to take your child out of school has to be granted
before you go on holiday – therefore we would ask that each Leave of Absence Request Form is completed and
handed into school a minimum of 3 weeks before the planned visit. We have recently been receiving requests for
leave of absence only a couple of days prior to the requested date which does not allow time for the form to be
processed in line with guidelines. Permission is granted depending upon attendance during the year and is at the
discretion of the Headteacher who has to account for absence within the school to Ofsted.

Please see below two extracts taken from briefings (from The Department for Education) received last school year
regarding absence from school:

“The DfE have announced that their definition of 'persistent absence' will change with effect from 1st September, with
the current 20% (of lost sessions) threshold figure reducing down to just 15% or the equivalent of 23 missed days or
46 pupil sessions, compared with the previous figures of 32 school days or 64 sessions... with the threat that Ministers
will further lower the threshold next year!”
“These new thresholds will appear in the national pupil absence statistical releases published from October 2011
onwards, and will be taken into account in Ofsted inspection judgements undertaken from January 2012.”
I would appreciate your taking this information into consideration when keeping your child off school for
whatever reason. The school is legally obliged to monitor pupil absence very strictly.

As part of this monitoring process we now have a ‘Late Book’ and all children entering school after school has
commenced are entered into this book. This will be closely monitored and parents of pupils who are consistently late
will receive a letter requesting they make an appointment to come into school.

                           Kells Lane Primary School Newsletter – Issue 1 - September 2012                3
A huge thank you to all who sent in the above vouchers. During the last collection period our school collected 11,000
Tesco vouchers, which they have used to purchase programmable toys for Early Years and Key Stage 1. We also
collected 16,000 Sainsbury vouchers, which have enabled us to purchase a lot of equipment which can be used in
curriculum time and at playtimes and lunchtimes. Well done!

From the school’s perspective this is an invaluable role and really helps raise pupil achievement. Our class sizes are
larger than average, at 30 and parent helpers really make a difference. Parents often find that it helps them to
understand how schools work too. Voluntary helpers who wish to come in to help on a regular basis must complete a
number of forms including CRB checks to allow them to support in class, on school educational visits, or any work in
school, which involves contact with children. The forms requires simple factual information to be recorded and
checked against central records, the cost is paid by Gateshead Council at present, if you are working at, or helping in,
one of their schools. If you would like to help, please see Mrs Jameson or Miss Blackwell. All forms including CRB
forms can be obtained from Mrs Heath. A meeting will be held for interested parent helpers in school – depending
upon interest.

For parents new to the school, we hold an art project every year. In the past we have had a Christmas card project and
either a t-shirt project or an art exhibition. Parents asked that we retain the Chrismas card each year but hold the
teeshirt or art exhibition periodically. The children design their own picture, which is printed on to Christmas cards
with their name on the back. Parents are able to purchase these goods and any profit made by the school is used to
buy extra art materials. Further information will be sent out to you shortly regarding this but we would ask that you
return your orders and payment direct, for each child, to individual teachers.

We would like to remind parents of the importance of ensuring school has up to date contact telephone numbers.
When we need to contact you regarding a specific subject, we prefer to use landlines, rather than mobile phone
numbers, as calls to mobiles are much more expensive. However, mobile numbers are useful in case of an emergency
and also when we use our Teachers2Parents system to inform you quickly of urgent information eg in case of bad
weather. Many parents do already update their information regularly throughout the year, but we need you to check
the details held by school to ensure that this is accurate. With this in mind we will be sending you a copy of your
child’s data collection sheet home sometime later this term or early next term. The only exception to this is where we
have had difficulty contacting you, in which case an updated sheet will be required immediately.

It is imperative that you check the sheet and return it with amendments or with no change written across the
top. This information is then entered onto the admin computer. These contacts are used if your child has an accident,
i.e. suspected sprain, fracture and head injury or if they have sickness/diarrhoea. Remember children who have had a
stomach upset should be clear of symptoms for 24 hours before returning to school as toilets are shared. Some of the
younger children become upset if they are hurt and want to see a familiar face; in these circumstances I would contact

Often we get a report of head lice in school. We no longer have a standard letter to inform you of an outbreak in your
child’s class. The school health service recommend you buy treatment from your local chemist and follow the
instructions accordingly and they stress how important it is that you treat the infected hair again the following week.
It is also recommended that the whole family be treated. If the symptoms persist, please contact your family doctor.

The closing date for application forms for children starting school in September 2013 is Tuesday 15 January 2013.
If you have not registered your child’s name, please contact the office as soon as possible. Admissions to Reception
2013 are for children born between 01.09.2008 and 31.08.2009. Please pass this information on to any friends or
neighbours who have children born between these dates. We are holding two Informal Chat and Visit Afternoons for
prospective parents to look around the school and ask questions, instead of making individual visits – these will take
place on Monday 26 November and Wednesday 5 December 2012.

                           Kells Lane Primary School Newsletter – Issue 1 - September 2012               4
After school clubs are very successful, they are normally run in blocks of 10 weeks and all children will be able to
have their turn to take part if they wish. Most clubs are for Key Stage 2 pupils but some are also offered to older Key
Stage 1 children. At the beginning of the school year the clubs re-commence on the third week back and no clubs
take place during the first week back at the beginning of the other two terms unless you are informed otherwise.
Last term our African Drumming group performed superbly at the Jubilee celebrations at Gateshead Stadium when
The Queen came to Gateshead. Well done to all who performed.

Clubs will re-commence as follows:
    Gym club will commence on Thursday 13 September 2012 3.20pm - 4.20pm in the KS2 hall
    Karate will continue on Monday (Y1/Y2) and Wednesday (KS2) mornings from 8.00am-8.45am in the Key
       Stage 1 hall during week commencing 17 September 2012
    Hoopstarz/Zumbatomic/Cheerleading – unfortunately our tutor for this is unwell at the moment, so this will
       definitely not be taking place for the first term as had been planned. We will keep you updated and hope to
       restart as soon as we can
    African Drumming will take place on Fridays from 3.20pm to 4.20pm commencing on 21 September

Do you have any skills that would further enrich our programme? If so we would love to hear from you – please
contact Mrs Heath on 0191 4334142.

We have had our first celebration assembly that is held on a Friday morning. These assemblies are used to present
stickers and certificates to children who have been nominated by their class teacher or other staff for special
recognition as a ‘Golden Pupil’. Nominations could be for courtesy, effort, helping others, special behaviour or
achievement over the week. The children are given an individual certificate and their names are entered into our
‘Golden Book’. This will be available for parents and visitors to peruse in the Key Stage 2 hall outside the offices.
The Reception children have not yet joined this assembly but may do so in groups towards the end of the school year.
Most weeks, Reception children awarded golden pupil certificates will have these presented in class.

Citizenship features heavily in the life and work of our school. All Key Stage 2 pupils attend student council
meetings with Mrs Hewitson. These are held fortnightly on Tuesday mornings. At the end of last term the Year 5
pupils prepared election leaflets (linked to their Literacy work). These were judged by a panel of staff and governors.
Those who produced the best pamphlets and wished to stand for election prepared a 2-minute presentation for Years
1, 2, 3, 4, 5. At the hustings, the outgoing councillors explained about secret ballots and how to complete the ballot
paper, then they supported the candidates before they had to speak. The children then voted for their favourites to a
maximum of 4 candidates. We must also thank the other children in the year group who prepared dances, stickers,
posters and banners for ‘their candidate’.

Following a frantic morning break-time count, our usual returning officer (Don Sweeney who works as part of the
local authority’s healthy school team) called them back later in the morning to announce the winning candidates. The
four successful candidates, Josh Dixon, James Hopkinson, Amy Baker and Amy Long , then help to run the student
council sessions. During the council sessions we write our anti-bullying statement and discuss social issues, eg
bullying, racism, disability, inclusion and improvements we would like to make to our school.

Once again we are hoping to support The People’s Kitchen with harvest donations of dried and tinned goods. The
People’s Kitchen provides drinks and a hot meal each evening to the homeless in Newcastle. The Kitchen is staffed
by volunteers who also devise menus from the ingredients donated. Tins of meat, also dried goods like tea, coffee,
sugar, flour, rice, pasta and custard powder are particularly useful. Blankets, J cloths, black bin bags and toiletries
such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and deodorant are also gratefully received. They have asked that we do
not send fresh green vegetables as they are difficult to use or freeze quickly enough.

   Mr Sweeney will be continuing with extra curricular sporting events, eg football, hockey, cricket, swimming
     and cross-country. Last year was another excellent year with some fantastic results, despite the weather and
     we hope we can achieve similarly this year. One of the events we were successful at last year was the
     Primary Athletics Festival in June, winning several medals
                           Kells Lane Primary School Newsletter – Issue 1 - September 2012              5
       Music Tuition continues this year with Mrs Weaver taking brass tuition in Key Stage 2 on a Tuesday
        afternoon and Mrs Cuggy taking Violin on a Thursday lunchtime. We are currently having problems
        sourcing a guitar teacher but hope the local authority will be able to find a teacher for us shortly. Music
        sessions normally commence the second week back at the beginning of the school year and then continue
        throughout the year except for the Christmas activities week
       There will be a School Book Fair starting Monday 1 October for one week. This is run by Miss Anderson
        and is a great opportunity to select up to date titles and books from well-loved authors with your child. The
        school receives commission from the sales and this is used to update the class library books
       The Year 5 children are being offered a residential visit this year to Kingswood’s Centre at Dukeshouse
        Wood. We arrange this during Year 6 transition week in July so that both their Year 5 and new Year 6
        teachers will be able to attend. Further information regarding meetings will be sent out shortly

Year 6 parents should receive their pack this week for application to senior schools. Closing date for paper
applications is Wednesday 31 October 2012.

The Home School Association is always delighted to see new faces and will also be looking for volunteers. They do a
great deal of fundraising which is so essential in times of financial constraint. They organise school fairs, craft fairs,
excursions, ceilidh, activity mornings, school discos etc, all of which need lots of help and support. They paid for
the books some of our author visits to school last year and also for the football sessions from the annual dad’s bike
ride. I am most grateful to them for the excellent work they do in organising, ordering and issuing of the school
uniform – a thankless task, which seldom seems to be appreciated and is never finished.

This year’s Mums and Dad’s Bike Ride raised funds for sports coaching for every child. We have engaged the
services of a Tennis coach who will work with every child from Year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 over the coming year. These
will take place on Monday afternoons, starting with Year 3. Watch out for the AGM, usually around the middle of
November, as there is always a good choice of cheese and wine served (and it is free!) to those who attend. You will
receive regular bulletins through the school post about their forthcoming events. The Home School also fund the
annual pantomime by M & M Productions which we have immediately after the Christmas break. A big thank you to
the parents of the association who give up huge amounts of their time to help improve our school.

From time to time we have parents who talk to the children in Key Stage 2 about their jobs. We have enjoyed lots of
superb talks about different careers, which helps the children have a better understanding of the World of Work. To
lay the foundations for career work in future, we ask them to apply for jobs as junior Park-keepers, Accelerated
Reader team members, playground Buddies and to be members of the Young Enterprise team who raise funds for
school visits. In Years 5 and 6 this includes an interview and references for the selected post.

At the end of last term we enjoyed a number of excellent and very different speakers. We had members of the
Pearson family, who shared mum’s experience as an Olympic torch bearer including handling her torch, Katherine
Ramshaw talked about being a torch escort. Jack Fountain’s mum came with staff from Shipley/Laing to talk about
the Queen and her life in pictures, which was very enjoyable and timely on Jubilee lunch day. One member of the
Evans family presented medals to Paralympians and has talked to the children about that. We had a fascinating talk
about life in the Rainforest from Sasa, a family friend of the Waterfield’s. He talked about growing up in Burma
incuding the abject poverty and deprivation that included, which dispelled so many myths for staff too. The children
were most upset that he didn’t know his birthday only that it was a rainy day… Thank you for enriching our
educational experiences - keep the suggestions coming, we love them!

We have started the year sharing Key Stage 2 rules and talking about determination to be and do the best we can. In
Student Council we have talked about the Paralympians who have inspired us with their exceptional performances
that belied any physical difficulties; the dancer who performed with such grace that we forgot he had no legs, being a
case in point. Please have a look at these rules and talk about them with your child. Thank you so much, as always,
for your support. It really does make a difference.

                                                                            Mrs. D Hewitson Headteacher

                            Kells Lane Primary School Newsletter – Issue 1 - September 2012                6

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