Newsletter November 2018
A word from our Principal, Mr Yates
Dear Parents / Carers
Time is passing quickly and exciting events are approaching ‘thick and fast’. We are an enriched community, with a terrific mix of culture and beliefs. Already, children have been exposed to many experiences – we now look forward to the festive Christmas season.
Christmas, like many religious festivals, can be a time to come together with family and friends, to share food and exchange gifts. For many children, it is a time of great wonder and joy, and the most treasured memories of many adults derive from a family celebration during their childhood. At these times, there’s an opportunity for the school community to ‘pull’ together, an opportunity to support and help others. As a community, we do this well! One of the ten school values is to ‘UNITE AS A COMMUNITY’. Please talk about this with your child.
As always, I am indebted to you for your support so far this term – it is both home and school that contribute to learning. Children progress at different rates and we expect everybody involved to rigorously support this process.
I have been analysing last term’s parents’ questionnaire. You agree that the school is led and managed well, teaching is good and your children are happy and safe. You say that we could improve by: offering a wider choice of extra curricular activities, helping children lead more healthier lifestyles and explaining how we deal with episodes of misbehaviour. We will be working very hard to sustain areas of strength and try harder in areas of development. Thank you for supporting us.
Please don't hesitate to ask if I can help in any way.
Releasing children at the end of the school day
As the school has expanded, we have had to review our arrangements for home time. A letter was sent home to all parents/carers and published on our website and App. We are hopeful the new system will work to both ease congestion and safeguard the children.
In brief, we are trialling dedicated zones for year groups and classes and will be using both the front and main playgrounds. The gate between the two playgrounds will remain closed to avoid any confusion with parents / children moving in between and reducing the risk of teachers losing sight of the children they are dismissing.
Safety outside the school gates is as important as safeguarding within school. We appreciate that it is very busy at drop off and pick up times and ask that, if you have to drive to school, you park with consideration to our neighbours, other road users and particularly pedestrians.
Children who are driven to school should always disembark on the pavement side.
A few reminders to keep our school a safe, tidy and a welcoming place.
· When you collect your child at the end of the day, please acknowledge the teacher as a courtesy and to make it clear you are ready for your child to be released;
· Children should disembark from scooters and bikes at the school gate as there is no room for them to be ridden in the playground during drop off and pick up times;
· The school is a strict non smoking zone—this includes the playground and immediately outside the school gate;
· If you bring a snack or drink for your child at the end of the day please use the bins provided for any wrappings or fruit skins. Our Premises Team do a sterling job keeping our grounds litter free.
At WDA, we closely monitor attendance and we recently sent out letters to all families where attendance level were below our expectation. The illustration here clearly shows how attendance can impact on progress.
Since our last newsletter, 1E, 5B (for the second time!) 5WS and 5L have earned a non-uniform day having achieved a perfect 100% attendance
Every school day does matter and we are keen to recognise, celebrate and share excellent attendance.
As a school we work hard to encourage pupils to be respectful of each other, make good choices and forge positive relationships. Occasionally, conflicts do occur and we have our ‘peace plan’ which we ask the children to observe to resolve any misunderstandings.
We take bullying very seriously and any reported incidents are always fully investigated. Our Behaviour Policy forms the foundations for maintaining a positive learning environment and there are always consequences for those who do not follow the rules.
To help children understand what bullying is and how to deal with any incidents, we invited a drama company to come and deliver some ‘training’. They gave separate performances to KS1 and KS2, adapted for the different age groups , and explained through various scenarios, the different forms that bullying can take and how children should respond—to stand up to bullies and to support each other.
Don’t be a bystander! Be an ‘Up-Stander!’
Stand up for yourself and stand up for others.
Bullying is not acceptable.
Always report it.
We have been reviewing our stock of reading books in school and it is apparent that were are missing a significant number. We encourage children to take books home and appreciate that they may sometimes not bring them back to school when they are finished with them.
We are appealing to all parents / carers to check if there are any WDA books at home.
We will be placing boxes on tables in the front and main playgrounds at drop off and pick up times for you to deposit any books you may find. The drop off points will be set up Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, or you can bring them to our main reception.
Thank you in advance
Diwali (also known as the Festival of Light) is celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs. It is an important celebration of victory of good over evil and light over darkness.
In school, the children learned about Diwali and one of our parents from Reception came and spoke to all of the Reception classes about the Festival and answered questions.
Here at West Drayton Academy, we believe we offer our children the best start to the school day at Breakfast Club.
The club opens at 7.30am and breakfast, comprising of a choice of cereal or toast with a variety of toppings, is available between 7.30-8.15am. Fruit and fruit juice is also provided every day and occasionally warm pastries.
The children are encouraged to serve their own breakfast to develop their independence.
We cater for children from Nursery to Y6 and the mix of age ranges provides an opportunity for the children to socialise at different levels and develop their social skills.
There are varied activities set up daily and there is something for everyone—from arts and craft to games and small world play or they can read their books.
At 8.40am, the children are escorted to their class to prepare for registration and the school day ahead.
If you would like your child to attend Breakfast Club, please drop n at 7.30am. There is no need to pre-book.
Other Clubs at WDA
We have a range of clubs and activities for different year groups and we do our best to accommodate as many pupils as possible. Some clubs are run by external companies and some we manage ‘in-house’ thanks to our dedicated staff.
This term we have STEM and Mad Science (run by external companies) as well as Choir, Sports, Dance, Drama, Bug Club & Mathletics. All clubs are currently full but look out for information on clubs running next term which include STEM, Mad Science, Crochet , Bug Club & Mathletics, Sports and Art.
Little Painters Art Club is starting next week and running for 4 weeks from next Monday 19th November up to and including Monday 10th December. The sessions will run after school up to 4.30pm.
You can pick up a leaflet from our main reception. For more information, call Ms Sharma on 07816 765 285 or email: email@example.com
Our After School Club, run by Schoolfriend Clubs, offers families the opportunity to extend the school day, particularly for working parents, carers.
· Healthy snacks and refreshments
· A quiet space for reading and relaxing
· Imagination time, dressing-up, role play and puppets)
· Arts and crafts
· A celebration of other religions and cultures such as Christmas, Hannukah and Diwali
· Construction, creating and building
· Sports including team, ball and parachute games
· Board games
We politely request that you collect your child promptly from any after school activity.
Being Creative with the Curriculum
We are incredibly lucky to have a team of teaching staff who bring enthusiasm and imagination to every lesson to keep children engaged and active in their learning.
After learning about Victorian kitchens and cooking, the Y4s compared recipes from Victorian times and Jamie Oliver. The children then designed and made their own bread. They looked like rocks but 'tasted' good!
Year 5’s immersed themselves in the world of Harry Potter and pretended they were all at Hogwarts for the day. They have seen the film ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers’ Stone’ and will be off to the Harry Potter Studio Tour at the end of the month.
Year 1’s are practicing their pointillism. Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of colour are applied in patterns to form an image. We look forward to seeing their finished creations.
What would make you run a mile?
Most of us are probably familiar with the expression ‘I would rather run a mile’ to mean running away from something.
Here at WDA, Miss Callanan, our Sports Co-ordinator, has successfully got all of our children , from nursery to Y6, running a mile once a week for FUN!
Each class has an allocated time to run around the playground for a mile to promote fitness and wellbeing. The teachers have noticed an improvement in the children’s attitude to learning and ability to concentrate.
Well done to Miss Callanan for getting children (and staff )fitter and healthier!
Why exercise is good for you:
· Can make you feel happy
· Weight management
· Good for muscles and bones
· Can increase energy levels
· Can held your brain health and memory
Spotlight on Sports
Our football and netball teams have enjoyed success and endured defeat over the last few weeks.
Mr Wichelow was disappointed for the team when we lost to Oakfarm in a tightly fought 3-2 match but was over the moon with a 9-1 win versus Rabbs Farm the following week. It would appear Mr Wichelow’s ‘team talk’ had the desired effect to get the boys back in the game and on form.
Miss Callanan was proud of the netball team’s efforts when they played away at St Catherine’s with a result of 8-0; however the 8 goals were against us the following week when we lost to Hermitage.
Whatever the result—taking part is paramount and team work is the key to success.
Speaking of team work—congratulations to our basketball team who triumphed in the Park federation Basketball tournament which took place just before half term.
The team played 5 games, 3 group games followed by the semi-finals then the final. We lost our first game to the team we ultimately beat in the final.
Mr Wichelow is super proud of the team’s performance and for retaining the title from last year.
Thank you to all of the parents / carers who help us to get our players to and from matches and without whom we would be unable to take part.
We really appreciate your support!