March 2008 Newsletter

Loirston School Newsletter                               March 2008

Here we are at the end of another school term. Where does the time go? I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the children, parents and staff for making this term such a busy and productive one. The children have worked and played hard, made good progress and have achieved a great deal both personally and for the school as a whole. We all are ready for a well-earned rest and maybe the odd Easter Egg!  HMIe Report –A copy of the report is being sent home with this newsletter. As you will see Her Majesty’s Inspectors identified four key strengths of the school –

  • Nursery children’s progress in key aspects of the curriculum
  • The relationships between staff and children across the school and nursery
  • The support given to pupils within the additional support needs base
  • The innovative use of the school’s website to communicate with parents and develop homework activities

School staff have already begun the process of planning to meet the main points for action and will form the basis of this year’s School Improvement Plan. We will be working on

  • Developing the leadership across the school and ensure effective teamworking at all levels
  • Reviewing and developing curricular programmes to enrich pupils’ learning, ensure progression and raise attainment
  • Developing effective planning which enables teachers to better meet the needs of all pupils
  • Introducing effective self evaluation to improve the quality of learning and teaching across the school
  • Developing a shared vision for the school which supports and improves all aspects of school practice

 On our In Service Day in February staff worked on a number of teambuilding exercises. We also agreed a set of values for Loirston School – (see box below). These will be shared with pupils in the near future and meantime we would welcome any comments from parents.

Values

Loirston School is welcoming and supportive. A place where we value

Learning and Teaching

Honesty and Integrity

Co-operation, Understanding and RespectIndividuality, Well-being And Fun

            
Staffing MattersMrs Thom continues to be absent from school on sick leave. Mrs Aitken, our P.E. teacher will be off until the end of term. We all wish them both a speedy recovery. Welcome back to Kath our school cook and many thanks to Linda for managing so well during Kath’s absence.  Other itemsStaff and pupils have been discussing and agreeing a set of playground rules and sanctions. This has been necessary to ensure we are all working together when managing children’s behaviour in the playground. So far we have discussed the matter of children bringing personal belongings like MP3 players, mobile phones and other games to school. Parents are requested to support the following advice. Personal property and belongings –  please leave all items of value at home. School cannot accept any responsibility for the loss or damage of such personal belongings. If personal belongings become the cause of disharmony or are used in bullying incidents, school staff will instruct pupils to leave them in the classroom.Mobile Phones – same advice as above and additionally if a phone is brought to school it must be switched off between 9.00 and 3.15. Children are currently being consulted about a set of rules. We have agreed a ‘sliding scale’ of sanctions. Staff working in the playground will be responsible for issuing these sanctions. They will also keep a weekly record. 1.        Verbal caution/warning2.       Being given a yellow card3.       Up to ten minutes time out 4.       Phone call to parentsTherefore if a child breaks the agreed rules once s/he will be given a verbal warning; twice s/he will have a yellow card; three times s/he will have up to ten minutes time out; four times will mean s/he will telephone parents during the school day! The children are convinced that this four-step set of sanctions will help children to manage their behaviour in the playground.Any more serious breaches of school discipline will of course continue to be dealt with appropriately by Mrs Pert, Mrs McPhee and Mrs Stewart.  Possible school closures and amalgamationsWe have received the following advice for parents of children who have already enrolled for nursery and primary 1.“If you have a child who has already been enrolled in a nursery or primary one class in schools which are not included by the proposed school closures, the only change will be that you will not receive a final formal offer of a place in the nursery or school of your choice until the beginning the MayLoirston School is not included in the proposed school closures. 

Loirston Connect

Please have a look at our blog/ website at http://loirstonconnect.edublogs.org/  Here you will find copies of all paper communications that go home , holiday dates, contact details and schools closure information. The site also contains links to the French homework blog, the monthly Radio Broadcast blog, Pupil council blog and some blogs/websites for individual classes.  We would welcome any feedback and hope to contact you, at a later date, in the hope that some parents may elect to use this electronic form of communication instead of receiving paper copies. Parental Involvement Act This took effect from August 2007 with the aim of

  • helping parents become more involved with their child’s education and learning
  • introducing a new system of Parent Forums/Parent Councils to replace School Boards

To help achieve these aims, all parents will now automatically be members of the Parent Forum at their child’s school. A Parent Council will need to be created and to help with this we have been advised to set up a working group. To that end on Thursday 17th April at 1.30 an open meeting for parents interested in finding out more or becoming part of the working group as well as members of the PTA has been arranged. Please complete the attached slip for (‘catering’ purposes!) and return it as soon as possible. I look forward to seeing you then. ********************************************************************************­­­­­­­­­­­­Parent Council Open EventI will attend the meeting on Thursday 17th April at 1.30 Name: Child’s name/class

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