Another great week! We planned the three weeks before the end of term carefully. Settle, assess, teach. This week there has been a focus on assessment. We have worked really hard to streamline and improve our assessment processes. I have worked in too many schools where assessment has been time consuming and lacking impact. I always return to the question. Why are we assessing your child? How will it move them on as learners? How can I ensure that my teachers have the maximum impact? To this end we have purchased software that helps us to build an understanding of what gaps there may be in your child's learning. From Years 2-6 your child will have completed a low key test on their chromebook for both English and Maths. When I say low key I really mean it. I went into Year 3 today and they were doing a comprehension test on their chromebooks. They are already so fluent using the chromebooks that this process is not a problem and I was met with a sea of happy faces. By the time I had made my way downstairs Mr Gilbert was analysing the results with a reading age being generated for each child and areas for development being generated for all. Just so you know our main assessment system is called Insight Tracking while our testing data is provided by Renaissance Reading and Maths. I am telling you this because I rightfully always emphasise the social and emotional well-being of your children and what we do to ensure your children are happy. I also want you to know that we are looking very closely at what your children can do and what they need to focus on. The software that I have highlighted is making us even better at doing this.
I would like to dispel two myths about Lockdown. Number 1: there will be great learning losses due to lockdown. What we are finding is that many children did well during lockdown and some made accelerated progress. Number 2: all children are really happy to return to full time schooling. We are finding that the return to school is a challenge for some. I had a personal experience of this when I returned home last Friday after writing a newsletter celebrating the full return to school. My eldest daughter, who is in Year 6, had what can only be described as a meltdown. I think we sometimes forget how tumultuous this last year has been for all and while we think our children are coping this is not always the case. I tell you this because it is important that, as parents, we understand that we cannot always understand and that it is ok for our children to feel and express extreme emotions. We just need to remain there for them. I did this and we ended up having a lovely weekend.
I have an individual and a group to thank before finishing. Firstly, I would like to thank Jennifer Powers, a new member of our governing body, who devised a survey to gather opinions on what attracts parents to Darell School. Now I have to thank you, as the parental body. Your response nearly blew up the mainframe and we had to send out another link. At last count, we had 72 respondents and 22 volunteers for a focus group. This fills me with joy. I feel that we have an extremely supportive parental community who are willing to offer practical support and advice. I have not read the comments but I look forward to analysing the responses and using them to further promote the school.
Have a lovely weekend. Ride the wave of family life and be there for your children.
Reading Comprehension Bookmarks
One of our three big goals across the school is ‘For every child at Darell Nursery and Primary School to love reading.’ Possibly the most important reading skill is comprehension. To help support you in promoting high quality discussion around books, we have created some reading comprehension bookmarks?, which your children will be bringing home today. These can be kept inside your children's reading books and offer ready-to-use prompts to help when talking about reading. Please see the attached sheet for further information.
All children need to attend school with a coat and appropriate foot wear the weather is still very cold and often wet.
Children with long hair need to have it to be tied back as this reduces the risk of head lice.
Please can all child attend school with a water bottle.
Year 5 & 6 children with mobile phones need to ensure they are turned off and kept in there lockers/bags.
Can we remind all parents that if your child presents with:
A new continuos cough
temperature (hot to touch on the chest or back)
loss of taste and smell
You must book a Covid test for your child. If they have siblings they will need to isolate until the results are back.
We cannot allow your child back to school until they have received a negative result or completed the isolation period.
Please can we ask all parents and carers to top up their child's meal account on Arbor and clear any over due balance.
Can we remind all parents and carers that we are a Nut Free School. Please be especially careful when using chocolate spread and chocolate filled crepes, as often it is chocolate and hazelnut. We have several children that suffer from nut allergies and sitting next to someone who has eaten nuts could be enough to cause a reaction. We thank you in advance for your co-operation.
Chrome books and Chargers
If you have any devices or charges remaining at home please can you return them to school before the end of term Wednesday, 31st March.
Doughnut Cake Sale
3:00pm – 3:30pm
Spring Term Ends
Easter Bonnet Themed Mufti Day
National Offer Day Reception 2021
Summer Term Begins
Communications Sent Home
Year 6 Leavers Hoodie
Medical Letter Nursery, Reception, Y1, Y3 and Y4
We just wanted to remind everyone that here at Darell Primary and Nursery school we feel that wellbeing, including your physical and mental health are extremely important. We want to support the whole family during this time.
It is important that our parents and carers feel supported and well in themselves so the tips and links you will find within this section are to support adults and children.
The Reading Corner
Welcome to our weekly section of the newsletter all about reading. Every week, we will share a question (or two) with you about the book your child is reading in school. Please use these questions to help you find out a little more about what your child has been reading in school and continue to develop their love of reading.
Packham - Where did Mr Bear try to sleep and what happened in each place?
Peake - What do you think the story ‘The Last Tree’ is trying to teach us? Do you think this is an important message? Explain why.
Weir - Would you like to visit Black Rock? Why? Why not?
Mozart - What did Jasper do to the bean?
Newton - Why did the chief run away?
Thunberg - Why do you think that no one knows who the Iron Man is and where he has come from?
Darwin - Was it for the best that Sacagewea was taken prisoner when she was a young girl?
Attenborough - Do you think Lily will find her long-lost brother in Egypt?
Parks - If Dr Kalmenius is famous for experimenting on dead bodies, how did he create Sir Ironsoul who is metal?
Please predict will happen to both Fritz (the optimist) and Karl (the pessimist).?
The mighty maths challenge is back!
Each week you will find a new maths challenge in this section of the newsletter and your Google Classroom along with the winner of the previous week.
Please email your answers to email@example.com
Sadly, we had no winners for the Maths challenge last week. We will carry it over for this week and fingers crossed we'll get a winner!
Internet Matters team
We work collaboratively across industry, government and with schools to reach UK families with tools, tips and resources to help children benefit from connected technology smartly and safely.
Typically at this age children will start to be more active online so it’s important to equip them with the tools to strike a healthy balance between the time they spend on and offline, especially as they start to get their own devices. Find tips and advice to help them do just that.
Gaming is a fun and sociable way to spend time, encouraging teamwork and developing skills. All good stuff, but there are a few risks you need to be aware to help them stay safe and have positive gaming experience.
If this doesn't get your mouth watering then I'm not sure what will! Our fantastic PSA are gearing up again and today there is a doughnut sale after school. Make sure you get there in time to get yours! #yummy https://t.co/aYPXoJtxeu
Overall school attendance this week was 94.3% our target is 96.8%.
Well done to Nursery for the highest attendance with 99% this week.
Best for Punctuality was Nursery, Mozart and Thunberg class with 0 lates!
Let's do our best for next week!
Easter celebration at Darell
On Wednesday, March 31st, the last day of term, we will celebrate Easter with a Mufti Day, Bonnets and Treasure hunt!
Easter Bonnet Day & Mufti Day
After a long winter, the return of the bonnets will signal the return of spring.
It will be a different celebration than before due to restrictions, but we can still celebrate the arrival of spring in a fun and creative way in the class. Children can wear their unique hats to school with cheerful clothing to match instead of uniforms (Mufti day) on March 31st.
This year, we are encouraging everyone to participate in making a creative spring hat of any style. There will be some bonnets and kits on sale in the playgrounds. Students can also be creative and make a bonnet of things from home. A cereal box and some crayons can fashion something unique and fun. We will post some ideas on Classlist for inspiration.
Easter Treasure Hunt will take place on the same day (March 31st) after school on the North Sheen Recreation ground.
Easter Hunt Maps (£2) with clues will be available to buy next week in the playgrounds and will include a prize in return.