(01273) 477074

3rd February 2017

New Connections

We are now members of The Independent Schools Association. A decision to join was made by governors, on my recommendation, as I was concerned about the new ‘more rigorous’ inspection regime under Ofsted. Now that we are members of the association, the school will be inspected by The Independent Schools Inspectorate. I attended a course on Wednesday to learn more about their approach and I was pleasantly surprised. The system is still rigorous but the inspection process, it would seem from this training, is less draconian. The school’s compliance against the regulations (safeguarding, health and safety, policies etc.) will be carefully examined and all must all be in order and adhered to. However, it is in the area of teaching and learning that there is a noticeable difference to the Ofsted approach that I have been used to. The focus is on outcomes for students and these are divided into two key areas:

Academic and other achievements: attainment over time, knowledge skills and understanding, communication, numeracy, ICT, study skills and attitudes.

Personal development: self understanding, decision making, spiritual understanding, moral understanding and responsibility for own behaviour, social development and collaboration, contribution to others and the community, and respecting diversity and cultural understanding.

It is the second of these two that gives me hope that our approach will be given due recognition within the inspection process. This recognition that there are significant outcomes for children that are as important as academic achievement has been a long time coming. The independent school inspection process doesn’t judge teaching or expect a particular approach – it is up to us to ensure that we develop students both academically and personally. At last it feels as if we are being treated as the professionals that we are. Hooray! Linda

Goodbye: Sadly, due to personal circumstances, Willow who has been working in our nursery will be leaving us at half term. She hasn’t been with us very long but has made very good relationships with the children who I know will miss her.  She was just beginning to settle and to weave her own ‘magic thread’ within the Nursery. I’m very pleased to say that Anna and Emma have agreed to step into Willow’s place to provide some continuity for the children. 

Parent Team Meeting: Next Thursday morning after drop off in the Quiet Room. We will, among other things, be planning some summer socials like the lovely family camp and thinking about a possible new Parent Circle. All parents are welcome!

Parent & Patina Tea next Thursday at 2:45pm: Please bring a few pounds next week to support Patina fundraising. The parent team will be helping with hot drinks to complement the snacks prepared by Y6.  Always a nice chance to catch up before the break and hopefully enjoy some early spring sunshine!

Sarah F, our lunchtime assistant last year, has had her twins! 2 little boys: Noah Oak and Rowan Elliot. All are doing well and Sarah is tired but happy! 🙂 She will bring them in to school for a visit next time they are in Lewes.

Half-term Sports Adventure Day: We are now up to 11 pre-registrations for the sports adventure day at Lewes New School on Wednesday 15th Feb. We are capping it at 20 places. This is a not-for-profit venture. Not only have we kept the fee as low as possible, jut £20 for the day, but the first eight places pay for our very excellent coach, every place after that 100% of the fee will fund buying new sports equipment for use by the school. The sports adventure day is open to years 3-6 children. To pre-register contact Mark (Edgar Y3) perryman@mac1.net or 07957 416257

CLASS UPDATES

Later Years: In Later Years this week the Y5s have been busy designing and making stage props for the play they are writing with Joanna. The Y6s have improved with their baking and entrepreneurial skills even more and have now raised enough money to pay for one day with our PATINA artist. £500+ to go…. Thank you to those who have supported and tasted their delights so far. I still have PATINA tickets for the adult disco ‘Ditch the Detox’ on Saturday 11th February – come and buy one for a guaranteed fun night without the kids! (£8 each)

In projects we have continued to look at how animals have adapted to the environments in which they live as well as exploring our own personal interest with a theme of evolution such as fashion, technology and gaming, transport and human evolution. Personal exploration includes Power Point Presentations, stop motion films with Plasticine dinosaurs, dress design and making to name but a few! Please remind your children that they need their PE kits on Mondays and Thursdays. Anne-Marie, Louise & Ondine

Middle Years: This week we have been continuing our independent research into the natural and man made world, learning about a wide range of topics from beetles, bats, frogs, penguins, big cats and whales; to cars, aircrafts and robots. We’ve also been learning how to log into the computers with our own passwords, and how to search for and find websites on the internet. Our junk modelling projects are really coming on, as we experiment with different materials, exploring texture and colour. Our handwriting is progressing too, as once again we take a closer look at our letter formation. Book club has gone from strength to strength over these past weeks, as everyone has been taking care to prepare well. It has been really exciting hearing about the different books that everyone is reading! Have a great weekend, Clare & Lauren

Early Years: We’ve been learning how to use the USB microscope. We each found an object that we placed under the microscope, the rest of the group tried to guess what the objects were from the magnified image. Some things were easier to recognize than others e.g. we all knew when the leaf was magnified but the feather was harder to recognize as it looked like a striped jumper.

We have also been exploring how to manage our feelings and behaviour within the class. We started by discussing what we want our classroom to be like: no kicking or punching, no interrupting and no taking the iPad were a few ideas. Then we looked at a number of posters other schools have in their classes to give us inspiration. We tried to make our statements more positive. Instead of don’t do this or that, we tried to think of the way we want to be and the things we want to do. A few statements came up a few times. We’re honest. We listen to the teachers. Put your hand up. Be grateful. Be kind. Be safe. Keep your hands to yourself. Be ready to learn. Keep your classroom tidy. Play with your friends. Always share. We don’t fight. Do your best. Try to be kind in class. Look after the teachers. More unique statements include …Have fun. We don’t hurt people in the school. We are colourful and creative. Don’t call people names. We’re cool. Be responsible. We love learning when we’re in school. Always practice reading. Be strong. Respect your personality. We’ll display these in the classroom, adding photos to the statements to show first hand examples of us in action. Amanda & Rachel

Nursery: There has been a strong travel theme in the nursery this week, with vehicles being created, airports constructed and maps being made. This has extended into the playground and arrows pointing in directions being drawn so everyone knows which way to go! Don’t forget, our Coffee Morning will now be happening next Thursday, and everyone is welcome even if it’s not there usual day. This will be a chance to say goodbye to our lovely Willow so please do come along if you can. Julie, Willow & Emma

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS

Monday Netball Anna annacole.uk@gmail.com or Lucie lucie.ash@somnowell.com
Tues & Weds Art Club David Bradford 07855 038773 or davidbradford0@gmail.com
Weds Sports Club Mark 07957 416257 perryman@mac1.net or Leo 07862 285801 or leosedgley@googlemail.com
Thurs Knitting Susan on 01323 811942 or sign up in the office
Mon & Thurs After School Club Contact Fliss on felicityjbull@outlook.com or 07852 975661 to book

DIARY DATES

Tues 7th Feb 3pm-4.30pm Football League NOT HAPPENING (spare date not needed)
Thurs 9th Feb 9.15-10.30am Parent Team Meeting in the Quiet Room
Thurs 9th Feb 3.15-3.30pm Y6 Patina cake sale
Fri 10th Feb 3.15pm Break up for half term
Sat 11th Feb 7.30-12.30pm Ditch the Detox – Party for Patina at Lewes Town Hall
Weds 15th Feb 9.30am-4.30pm Half Term Adventure Sports Day, £20 (Mark 07957 416 257)
Mon 20th Feb 8.55am Back to school
Mon 20th Feb Evening (time TBC) Whole School Meeting
Tues 21st Feb 8.45am-5pm Y5&6 to Natural History Museum
Fri 24th Feb 12.30-2.30pm Y4,5&6 Cross Country at Ringmer Primary School

JACK’S MENU

Monday Bubble and squeak Apple crumble to make you rumble
Wednesday Pesto pasta or red pasta – the choice is yours! Fruit
Friday It’s the end of term, it’s Friday, it must be PIZZAaaAaa Watch this space!