Dear Parents and Carers,
I wanted to write a letter to you introducing myself and to let you know how excited I am to be joining the wonderful Elmhurst Junior School community.
My name is Fiona Airey and I am currently headteacher at a two-form entry primary school in Kent; I have been teaching for nearly 20 years and have led many subject areas in my time.
I decided to move across to Somerset because I fell in love with the beauty of the county and when I saw the advert for headteacher at Elmhurst I just knew this was an opportunity I could not miss. My house is sold, I am living back with my father until the end of term but I do hope to visit the school in July.
During my interview days, I was so impressed by the wonderful Elmhurst Etiquette shown to me by your children, they were true ambassadors of good behaviour, kindness and definitely showed a thirst for finding out more about who would be leading their school in the future. It was a joy to see pupils take such an interest in their community and its future.
I have not always been in education and I started my career as a ballet dancer but that was cut short due to a genetic condition that has now left me disabled. As is often said, “When one door closes another opens.” This is very true for me and I retrained as a teacher and I feel that I am fortunate to be part of one of the best professions in the world.
However, I do not carry out my role alone and you will soon come to realise that I come as a pair. I have a wonderful Canine Partner assistance dog called Verlin who helps me with a wide variety of tasks that helps to make my life easier such as opening doors; picking up items; fetching my walking stick and emptying the washing machine … the list goes on.
When we have started I will introduce Verlin to each class and how a working dog behaves in a school and how the community behaves towards him. I am sure you will all get to meet both of us on the school gates in the morning and please do come and say hello, although I feel in September we may still be socially distanced.
I will want to meet and chat with as many parents as I can when I start but this may have to take place in the form of virtual coffee mornings to start with but we will wait and see. We are a community and parents are an essential part in pupils achieving their full potential. As parents are their child’s first and most consistent teacher you are an invaluable part of our team.
As you are aware we are continuing to develop our curriculum and learning experiences to ensure that Elmhurst Junior School is a beacon of excellence in our provision for pupils. In order to support us, please can I ask that pupils arrive at school on time, ready to learn and supported by home in any home-learning tasks i.e. learning times tables. If you feel your child or your family needs any support then please do let us know, we are a community and a team that supports each other.
Remember we are here as a community to support, care and challenge each other so we can grow and develop, we are a team… we are Elmhurst Junior School.
So, for now, I will say goodbye, please do take care of yourselves and I will see you soon.
Website posts you may have missed:
Attendance at Elmhurst – w/c 28th June
Whole school – 95.2%
Yr 3 – 96.0%
Yr 4 – 96.9%
Yr 5 – 95.8%
Yr 6 – 92.1%
End of year reports
We were due to send the end of year reports home tomorrow (Friday) but, due to some classes and children needing to isolate, we have decided to send reports out on Tuesday 13th instead so that all children receive them on the same day.
The report differs from previous ones as it doesn’t include any attendance data or end-of-year assessments data. There will be no SATs results for Year 6 either.
The report recognises what your child has achieved in school from the start of the school year, throughout the period of lockdown, and since returning to school in March.
Hopefully, the report will tell you everything you need to know but, if you feel that you would like to discuss the report with the class teacher, please contact them to arrange a telephone conversation. We are unable to offer face-to-face meetings due to the current situation.
We were due to hold the sports day events for the different year groups on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th. As we have two classes isolating, we will now need to change the dates slightly.
Year 5/ 6 can still go ahead on Tuesday 13th but years 3/4 will move to Friday 16th July.
This, of course, is weather-dependent and may be subject to change depending on the circumstances. We will keep you posted!
Reading at Elmhurst
We expect all children to read at least four times a week to an adult.
No one reached the 100% target last week but Hazel came very close! Come on Elmhurst. Get reading!
Please support your child by reading with them at home.
Summer Reading challenge– a reminder
Wondering how to keep your children occupied during the summer holiday? Street Community Library has fantastic news! The Summer Reading Challenge is back. Children are challenged to read 6 books of their choice between 10th July and 10th September. Children get a free pack from the library, stickers as they progress, and a medal and certificate when they complete the challenge.
This year’s exciting “Wild World Heroes” theme will inspire children to explore ways of helping to save the planet. The challenge is all about reading for pleasure. There are activities and games on the Reading Agency website (this is positive screen time as it’s linked to reading!). We will also be holding fun events in the library. Please check Street Library’s Facebook page or the Somerset Libraries website for updates.
You can register children by popping into the library (from 10th July) or via this website: Somerset Libraries Registration Form http://bit.ly/WildWorldHeroes
The hedgerow on Elmhurst Lane
Thank you to everyone who has let us know about the brambles/ nettles in the hedge. We have been in contact with the grounds team at County who have promised us that they will take a look soon. The hedge cannot be cut back until the end of July, the end of the nesting season, but the team will give it a trim to help with accessibility on the pathway.
Summer activities for children in receipt of FSM
All parents/ carers of children in receipt of FSM should have received an email with details about various summer activities that are being provided free of charge over the summer holidays. Some of the activities, run by Premier Sports, are being held at school. Parents need to book directly via the details in the email and using the code provided. Other activities are being held at different venues. Parents can choose which ones to attend.
We have also just been made aware that, in addition to these activities, Somerset County Council has secured funding for FSM vouchers during the holiday as well. We are waiting for clarification on this but will get those vouchers out to families as soon as possible.
Parent Pay – a reminder
As you are aware, we now use Parent Pay for all bookings. Parent Pay can be accessed via the link below. Activation codes are needed from the school office if you haven’t used it previously.
Lunches and WAP will need to be booked via Parent Pay. For all inquiries about Parent Pay, please contact Abbie Laffen via the school office.
All parents, including those in receipt of FSM, will need to send their orders in for lunches, via Parent Pay, before Friday 16th July. Thank you!
Due to end-of-year procedures, Parent Pay will be closed from Friday 16th July at 3 pm but will reopen again from 9 am on Friday 23rd July. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.
Extra information about WAP and school lunches, including deadlines, may be found on the school website following the links below:
Inclusive Activities calendar – a reminder
We’re excited to share with you our Inclusive Activities Calendar for the Summer holidays! These activities are for children who have disabilities or additional needs and include a variety of face-to-face, online, and activity packs delivered to the young person’s door. The calendar, as well as more information about the Community Inclusion Activity Team, can be found under the Local Offer at Children with Disabilities Service (somerset.gov.uk)
Work from the week:
In a change to the gallery work, we will now be including examples of work in the weekly newsletter. Here are some of the things we have been doing at Elmhurst this week.