News & Events

Newsletter: 23.1.20

Equality or Equity?

There is a common misconception that equity and equality mean the same thing — and that they can be used interchangeably, especially when talking about education. But the truth is they do not — and cannot. Yes, the two words are similar, but the difference between them is crucial.

What’s the difference?

Should per-student funding at every school be exactly the same? That’s a question of equality. Should students who come from less get more in order to ensure that they can catch up? Should children who struggle academically be supported differently? Should children who struggle with behaviour have different behaviour plans?  That’s a question of equity.

Yes, making sure all students have equal access to resources is an important goal. All students should have the resources necessary for a high-quality education. The truth remains, though, that some students need more to get there.

Here’s where equity comes in. The students who are furthest behind require more of those resources to catch up, succeed, and eventually, close the achievement gap. Children who struggle with behaviour need a different type of behaviour plan. Those who struggle academically need more support in the classroom. Others who are higher attainers need more opportunities to be challenged. Children in the “middle” are also supported at different times and for different reasons. All children need to be treated fairly with equity – not equally.

It can often be seen as being “unfair” when one child is treated in one way and another in a different way. A good way to explain this is to consider the following: How would you feel if, in treating children equally, we asked all children to remove their glasses in lesson time? There would, quite rightly, be an outcry of horror; the children wearing classes need them in order to help them. It isn’t giving them an unfair advantage- it is a matter of meeting their needs and levelling the playing field.

That is what we try to do at Elmhurst. We try to meet the needs of the individual child. There is a basic expectation and a “code” if you like but we will always treat children according to their particular needs whether this is with regard to their academic ability or their behaviour. Every child and family circumstance is different. We don’t always get it right and many, many parents and children may still feel that it is “unfair” – we will never be able to please everyone. We will not stop trying, though!

Tracy and Mike

Attendance for the week beginning: 13th January was: 94.7%below our target of 96%

Year 3: 93.9%

Year 4: 96.7% – Well done, year 4. Top of the leaderboard this week and above the school target!

Year 5: 92.8%

Year 6: 95.3%

What’s happening next week? w/b 27th January

Monday: Class-based NSPCC workshops. First Aid training for selected volunteers.

Tuesday: Hestercombe meeting for Y4 parents; an opportunity to meet Andrew (the Hestercombe lead) and find out details regarding kit list and cost.

Thursday: Y6 to Crispin to see Sister Act (packed lunches will be needed for all children)

Friday: NSPCC danceathon. Maths day – to include morning workshops and afternoon family event

Gardening – Mrs Chard

We had another great afternoon in the garden. Ms Prime’s class worked very hard turning the big compost heap and moving daffodils into a new little garden we are creating out of our defunct wheelbarrows. The daffodils come up year after year in an area where they get walked on and trodden into the ground. Fingers crossed they will like their new area and survive transplantation.
I’m with the rest of Ms Prime’s class on Friday. If your child is in that group, please ensure they bring in wellies and old clothes as they can get messy in. Thank you.
Also thank you to Chris Gossling, Josh’s and Emily’s grandparent, who has sent me in an idea we can try in the garden – growing with sacks.

Poetry session with AF Harold

Last Thursday, in the middle of our ‘Special Visit’, we received a more than welcome ray of sunshine in the form of the wonderful A F Harrold.

Ashley is a poet and came to us for the morning thanks to our continued link with the committed members of the Well’s Festival of Literature. He brightened up everybody’s morning with a wonderful whole-school assembly, where he treated all those present to a selection of some of his poems including one where we were warned about the dangers of breakfast (remember to watch out for bears in your cornflakes!) and about a dog having a bath.

Ashley then spent some time in Ash class and Cedar class, where we listened to some of his animal-based riddles (and our clever bunch worked them all out!) and had a go at creating some of our own using the techniques he had shown us. The children were so excited to listen to and learn from Ashley; it was a really enjoyable and engaging morning. If you would like to find out more about Ashley’s poems or watch some of his videos, including the poems mentioned above, please follow this link:

Mr Mullen

NSPCC Speak out. Stay safe. assembly

This week we were visited by Sarah from the NSPCC. She spoke to the children in assembly about the work that the charity carries out and how children can get help if they are feeling worried. She also talked about the fundraising which we will be doing. The children should have brought you home a Sponsorship Form in aid of our school Danceathon which will take place on Friday 31st January.

We look forward to seeing Sarah again on the 10th of February when we find out how much we have raised. Keep an eye out for the information posters that the School Council will be producing.

Connected homes – Internet safety

Keeping Your Connected Home Safe for your Children

More and more families now regularly use a range of devices that connect to the internet, such as smart speakers, smart meters, fitness trackers, and even toys.

Alongside the excitement and convenience of these devices, we also need to be aware of the risks associated with any device that connects to the internet.

ThinkUKnow say that these risks include:

  • Concerns have been raised about whether these devices are collecting too much personal information from children.
  • Some children (either accidentally or on purpose) are able to search for and access age-inappropriate material via a connected device such as a smart speaker.
  • Children may make ‘in-app purchases’ and spend money, which is often taken from their parents’ bank account without their knowledge or consent.
  • Some of these devices may be more vulnerable to hacking and monitoring, as there are currently no security standards in place for connected devices.

Luckily, they have also released guidance to support us in keeping their connected homes safe for children: These tips, as well as further details, can be found at

Year 6 – Bikeability

We are fortunate to have booked sessions for Bikeability training.  This is open to Year 6 children only and is offered on a first-come first-served basis.  We are limited to 12 pupils per group. The dates for the training sessions are:-

Group 1: Monday 2nd March / Tuesday 3rd March

Group 2: Monday 30th March / Tuesday 31st March

All children involved MUST have their own bicycle and helmet and the bike MUST be roadworthy.  They must be able to do the full two days. If your child is interested, please return the slip below to the school office – your child, if successful, will then be allocated a two day training session.

Sporting news

Netball. Well done to the A and B teams who played their first games on Tuesday at Strode. The B team stepped up and are now part of the A league. The A team beat Catcott and the B team lost to Ashcott but both teams showed great team spirit and we are very proud of them.

Cross country. Next week cross country is at Millfield Senior School, the Butleigh Rd hockey pitches, on Tuesday 28th Jan . Anyone can come and run. First race will be between 3.45 and 4pm.


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