Newsletter 21st February 2018
A few words from our Principal, Richard Yates
I hope that you all had a lovely half term break.
Reading with your child now can have long-lasting benefits for their future and there are lots of simple ways that you can help your child get more out of reading a story. The great news is that reading together for JUST 10 MINUTES a day can make all the difference. It should be a fun experience for both of you - have fun!
STRIVE to make your child a more confident reader by following these easy strategies...
Give your child lots of positive praise, support and encouragement before, after and during reading.
Can your child tell you what they think will happen next?
Can your child retrieve information from the text if you ask questions?
Can your child use clues from the text (infer information) to say how someone is feeling or why something might happen?
Can your child discuss why the author used certain vocabulary in a text?
Can your child evaluate what they have read: Did they enjoy what they read? Why or why not?
Next week we will be celebrating books on World Book Day, Thursday 1st March. We would like all children and staff to dress as their favourite book character. Miss Richards is busily preparing a gift for each child to take home … very exciting!
Celebration Assembly 2nd February
Excellence: Sophia, Aadvika & Jessie
Work Together: Rahman & Zahra, Nicholas, Ghaliah
Excellence: Poppy, Kate & Admire
Aim High: Aaron, Olivier & Siri
Excellence: Kyla, Livia & Rokshar
Persevere: Ojaswini, Summer & Abubakr
Excellence: Denzel & Jamie
Work Together: Leighton & Kabir; Ahyan, Cody, Shabnam, Jay, Rizwaan & Ziana
Excellence: Happiness & Hannah
Reflect & Improve: Tia & Husni
Excellence: Jessica & Elijah
Offer & Accept Support: Teghbi
You may remember we mentioned our ‘Attendance Competition’ in our last newsletter. This term, we have been closely monitoring the attendance levels of all classes on a weekly basis.
· Every Monday, we will announce the class with the best attendance in assembly and that class will enjoy a non-uniform day on the Friday.
· The winning class will receive a certificate to display in the classroom.
Through this initiative, we hope to show children that good attendance is recognised and rewarded:
· We want the children to aim high to reach their goals
· Unite to share in their attendance success with a non uniform day
· Work Together to encourage each other
11th—18th January: 4WS with 98.61% attendance
18th—25th January: RS with 98.67% attendance
Alot of Huffing & Puffing during 1R’s Class Assembly!
Year One’s topic theme this half term is all about Fairytales and 1R’s class assembly was an entertaining re-telling of The Three Little Pigs.
This traditional tale, originally written by the Brothers Grimm, shows us how hard work and dedication pay off in the long run.
Mrs Rustage spent a lot of time preparing the children for their performance through lots of rehearsals in the hall and in class.
The children performed beautifully, particularly with their singing and dancing.
Well done everyone; Mrs Rustage was very proud of you all.
On Friday 9th February, 6R created a show about the Trojan War and they managed to pull it off even though they only had 6 days to work on it!
The story of the Trojan War is about the most beautiful girl in all of Greece, Helen, and how when she was already married to King Menelaus of Sparta she ran off with Prince Paris of Troy. The two men waged war against each other in a battle over Helen. The war waged for many years and both sides lost mighty warriors.
Later, King Menelaus killed Prince Paris and brought Helen back to Sparta.
On the day of the show, there were some technical difficulties and so the class had to sing without words and a very quiet backing track.
The audience were enthralled by the performance; they couldn’t take their eyes off the stage.
I’m very proud of our show and I know that Miss Richards is proud as well.
This term our Year 2’s have been treated to practical music lessons using African drums. The sessions have been very up beat (pardon the pun!) and the children have been playing with much enthusiasm. The teacher has taken them through different rhythms and arrangements and it is shame that we do not have an audio version of this article!
The Nonesuch orchestra is a high standard string orchestra and one of their aims is to introduce live music to young children. They played a range of music and the children sang ‘There’s a Worm at the Bottom of my Garden’ which sounded amazing with the orchestral music. After the concert, the conductor invited questions from the audience which included ‘how do the instruments work ’and ‘do the strings break?’
O What a Night at the O2!
On Wednesday 31st January, 22 children from the choir took part in the Young Voices concert at the O2 Arena.
Preparation began back in September when the choir started to learn the 14 songs, arranged especially for Young Voices. There were a lot of words to learn and dance moves to add in to make sure that we would be up to scratch to perform in such a world famous venue.
The choir have worked really hard with a huge variety of songs to learn, from cartoon theme songs to 80s pop anthems, from modern day classics to singing in Swahili.
The afternoon was spent rehearsing with the other 7000 children who made up the choir and after a tea break we took our places ready for the concert.
As the lights went out, the arena was filled with twinkly star lights from the children’s torches and the excitement really began to build. Before we knew it, we’d sung through all the songs, danced all our dance moves and it was all over.
After a very long, but unbelievably amazing day, we finally made it back to school at 10:45pm. All of the children who took part in the concert were an absolute credit to the school; they worked so hard to learn the songs and behaved so well on a very long day.
We can’t wait to do it all over again another year!
Thank you Mrs Barrett for organising the trip and the staff who volunteered their time to support the group.
A Bear-y Fun Time in Nursery
They dressed up in bear costumes and prepared honey sandwiches and jam sandwiches for the picnic. They brought along their favourite teddy bear and played bear games such as ‘The Honey Pot Game’. They also used cubes and links to measure how tall their teddy bear was and made pictures of their teddies by drawing around them.
At the end of the session, they performed songs and stories, including ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’ and ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ to an audience of parents.
A fun day was had by all and we were all very proud of the children’s teddy bear performance.
Our Home Town
As part of our topic ‘What would Beauty and the Beast like about West Drayton?’ Year Two went on a walk around our local area on Monday 22nd January. The children were very excited but behaved impeccably throughout as we made our way round West Drayton. Our route took in various sights including the train station, the bus station, the High Street and the library.
As we walked along the route we discussed the various things we could see including the different uses of the buildings we saw. We noticed that along the High Street there were many different types of shops including restaurants, a greengrocers and a Post Office.
Our final stop was along Church Road where we were able to see the Gatehouse next to the church. This makes up part of our school emblem.
In class we have been making models of some of the buildings in our neighbourhood—can you spot our school?!
Hansel & Gretel
Continuing Year 1’s fairytale half term, the children enjoyed a visit from The Hobgoblin Theatre Company who bring entertaining and original theatre into schools.
The children were thoroughly engrossed in the performance of Hansel and Gretel and enjoyed taking part in the workshop which followed the show. The children became statues in a museum and trees and bushes in an enchanted forest.
On 25th January, our Dodgeball crew took part in the Federation Dodgeball Tournament at Montem Academy.
8 schools took part, with 2 teams per school. Our A and B teams each played 7 matches, both winning 5 and losing 2. We finished 2nd in the group (out of all 8 schools) meaning we were through to the semis where both A and B teams joined forces. We made it to the final, playing with passion, enthusiasm and skill.
Having won the last two Federation sporting events, we could tell that the other schools realised we were a force to be reckoned with and clearly upped their game.
On this occasion, we were runners up, losing to Godolphin Academy in the final.
Well done to all of the players and huge thanks to the parents / carers who supported us and without whom we would not have been able to participate. Mr Wichelow is super proud of you all and already looking forward to regaining our crown at the next event!
Miss Callanan’s netball team enjoyed another victory this season playing an away match at Colham Manor, netting 12 goals against Colham Manor’s 2! Well done.
Our Footballers had a busy week leading up to the half term break, playing two matches. We played in a cup games against Cherry Lane on Monday and, although we played with grit and determination, we were unable to find the net and lost 2-0. A league game on Wednesday this week was an entirely different story and we scored an impressive 5 goals to beat the visitors Colham Manor 5-0. Well done team :-)
It’s All ‘App-ening!’
Keep in Touch—Download our new FREE App!
We are delighted to announce that we have invested in a new communication tool to give parents / carers the opportunity to keep up to date.
To download the App:
· Go to the ‘App Store’ or ‘Google Play’
· Search for ‘Piota’
· Start typing our school name, West Drayton
· Select West Drayton Academy
You’re good to go!
You can select whether you wish to receive notification alerts and news specific to your child’s class or year group.
The information available here is news in brief and items you may wish to access regularly such as dinner menus and diary dates. This is not intended to replace our website so you may wish to continue to access our website for more detailed information on class pages, polices etc.
We are holding information sessions this FRIDAY 23rd FEBRUARY at 8.45am & 2.45pm to offer any assistance or answer any questions you may have.
What is Age Appropriate?
In this age of technology, where children have access to gaming and the internet, we need to be mindful of the material and content that children can be exposed to. Children are influenced and learn from what they see.
On games and films, there is a rating to give guidance on the age levels for which they may be suitable which should be observed.
Behaviour Policy Changes
On Monday we had a whole school assembly in which we told children about some changes we have made to our behaviour policy. We talked about our three school rules:
These rules are there to help ensure that children can get on with the important business of learning, that they are kept safe and they are happy at school. If children break the rules, they receive a warning. Under the old system, the children received the following consequences according to how many warnings they received:
Warning 1: reminder of the rule
Warning 2: 5 minutes away from the group
Warning 3: 15 minutes away from the group, reflection room, parents informed by text
Warning 4: 15 minutes in another class
Warning 5: rest of the session in another class, SLT informed
The reason we give warnings is because it gives children the opportunity to change their behaviour and to make good choices. Even if children get two or three warnings, we praise them if they then change their behaviour and get back on track. Warnings are not a punishment - they are an opportunity to do the right thing.
Over the last few weeks, we have been reflecting on our current system and have decided that we need to make some small changes. The issue with the old system was that the biggest consequence happened at the third warning giving children less chances to change their behaviour.
In the new system, we are giving children more chances to change their behaviour and to follow the rules but we are still expecting the same high standards of behaviour that we did before. We have spread out the consequences so they do not all happen at warning 3. The new system is as follows:
Reminder of rule
5 mins away from the group: teacher chooses where you go (child uses timer)
Rest of lesson away from group
Partner class for 15 mins (child times with timer or clock)
Reflection time at lunchtime (5 mins KS1, 10 mins KS2)
Another class for rest of morning or afternoon.
Parents and SLT informed
How can parents and carers help?
All systems work best when school and home are giving children the same consistent messages. If your child comes home saying they have received between 1 and 4 warnings, you can help by discussing with them which rules they broke and what they are going to try to do better the next day but you should also praise your child for not getting to warning 5 because this means they took the opportunity offered to them to change their behaviour. If your child gets to warning 5, again it would be helpful for you to discuss the school rules and which ones your child broke. It would also be helpful to talk to your child about why they didn’t take the opportunities they were offered to change their behaviour and to explain what your expectations are for the next day. If your child regularly gets to 5 warnings, the class teacher will invite you in to discuss how school and home can support him or her to make better choices.
The new system is now up and running. If you have any comments about the changes we have made I would be happy to hear them either through an email to the school marked for my attention or in person.