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School Newsletter January 2013 Happy New Year! I wanted to start by saying a huge thank you for all the gifts and cards we as staff received before the holidays we are all very grateful. I trust everyone had a lovely festive time, I have certainly heard lots of fun stories. Staffing Due to personal circumstances, Miss Hutchison will be out of school week commencing 18 February and I am currently trying and get a supply teacher in place – I will of course keep you updated on arrangements. Coffee and Chat Thank you to all parents and carers who come along for coffee and chat. In order to get dates in diaries I thought it might be useful to have prior notification to when further meeting will be: Friday 25 January at 9am Friday 22 February at 9am Friday 22 March at 9am Friday 26 April at 9am Friday 31 May at 9am Friday 21 June at 9am SoftStart Soft Start gives you the opportunity to come into school and experience learning with your child/children. Our next date is Thursday 7 February from 9am to 9.30am and I look forward to seeing many of you in school on that day.

Issue 5 Parent/Carer Consultations A reminder that these take place on Wednesday 27 February and Thursday 28 February giving you the opportunity to speak with the class teachers about his/her progress. Time slots will be forwarded to you in due course. After School Clubs We will be continuing to offer extra-curricular experiences to our children this term. You should have received a letter this week giving more information about the opportunities available. Website The website continues to be a great source of information on what is happening in our school. I would like to encourage more of the school community to leave comments for the children on what they have been learning and achieving. This gives them real encouragement that their efforts are being recognised and supported by all of us. Winter Weather Due to the increasing wintery weather we are experiencing I would be grateful if you could reinforce the importance of coming to school dressed appropriately for the conditions and certainly encourage your child to wear a warm jacket. I would be grateful if all children could bring indoor shoes with them which will continue to help keep the school a bit less muddy and slip free. S:\Admin\Newsletters\1213\Newsletter 5.doc


Uniform It is great to see all of our children wearing the appropriate uniform and taking pride in this. Can I remind you all that any football colours are not permitted to be worn in school and I appreciate your support with this. The Playground You should have received a letter detailing our new playground charter and what this means in terms of rewards and sanctions in our playground. I would welcome any feedback on this and will be discussing this at our coffee and chat on Friday this week. Learning Event The second of our events is in the planning and will focus on the theme of home learning. As a staff, we have been discussing what the purpose of home learning is and what this should look like in our school and I plan to use these meetings to start thinking around this. Information about dates and times will be sent to you in due course. School Improvements I wanted to give an update on our progress in terms of the School Improvement plan and the impact this is having on our children. Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me at the school. Reading – We are currently in the process of developing an agreed framework for skills in reading from nursery to P7. Our plan is to have this available by May for consultation with parents and carers and an opportunity for you to feed into how you support this process at home. Maths and Number – The focus for us as a school has been on embedding the number counts approach into school and giving children the skills and knowledge they need to be successful and develop their understanding in terms of number. Evidence shows that children’s experiences have improved in number and that they have developed confidence in using the different approaches in class. In speaking with the children, they were very vocal in how the approach has changed their thinking.

Health and Wellbeing – Creating Confident Kids is now fully embedded into the practice of our school and serves well in terms of the whole school ethos it gives. As a cluster, we are embarking on the journey to becoming Rights Respecting Schools and for this term to the Feb break, all classes are developing their awareness in terms of rights and responsibilities. Curriculum Design – Our new topics have developed greatly as the year has progressed and the children are involved in a variety of different themes. It has been hugely beneficial for the staff to have time to work collaboratively with the staff from Dirleton and reflect on how this is being delivered. Our next step is to invite you in more throughout the year to see what the children have been learning and for them to have a relevant audience. Achievement Folders – We have spent a great deal of time this session developing the best way for this to work for all children and engage them with their learning. We have agreed a system where the children set one target and this is visually represented in their classroom. When that target has been met, this together with the evidence to support is added to the folder. A new target can then be set at this time and the whole process becomes more relevant. Achievement folders will be shared with you at parent and carer consultations in February. DATES FOR DIARY: January 25th Coffee & Chat at 9am 28th Rag Bag Collection th 29 P1 & P7 Dental Inspections Village Hall AGM at 7.30pm February 6th Soft Start 8th School Breaks for Mid Term Holiday th 18 Back to School th 27 Parental Consultations (Late) 28th Parental Consultations (Early)

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Class news Here is an update from the children of the learning in their classrooms since coming back after the holidays. P3/4 Nursery Off to a flying start in all areas of our learning. We have been learning all about Pirates – we In literacy we are focussing on short have made money bags, a jolly roger Scots texts to hep learn strategies to flag and have been learning pirate decipher unfamiliar words and look at songs. key events. We have also been learning about how to look In maths we continue to learn about time, after animals. Mrs Taig brought in focussing specifically on calendars and her puppy, Kai and told us what she timetables. needed to do to take care of it. Imogen and Louisa’s mum brought in Our interdisciplinary topic this term is their rabbits, Charlie and Molly and Blood, Bones and Bodies – we are learning told us lots of interesting information about how more about what happens on the inside and to look after them. how germs make us feel unwell. We have also found out about feeding the birds especially in the winter and we are going to be making bird cake next week. We will then be looking through the bird hide we have made to see what kind of birds eat the cake. P1/2 Primary 1/2 have been looking at area in maths, they have been counting using cubes and squared paper to see how much space things take up. We have also had Sarah Cowie in to start our museums topic and have practised being archaeologists and curators.

P5/6 Another busy term lined up for P5/6/7. In maths and numeracy we are learning about time and different types of fractions. Our literacy focus is learning how to write dialogue and also exploring features of playscripts as well as reading short Scottish stories. In interdisciplinary learning we are investigating light and sound. We are looking forward to being part of a Youth Music Initiative production about Burke and Hare. All of primary 5 will be developing their golf skills with Mrs Elliot while P6/7 will continue tag rugby with the Rugby Development Officer.

Please remember to keep an eye on the school blog http://edubuzz.org/blogs/athelstaneford/ for the most up to date information. As ever if you have any concerns or queries please do not hesitate to contact me. Scott Lavery Head Teacher

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Newsletter 5 2013  

January 2013 Newsletter

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