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Newsletter - w/c 06/01/20


Please find below the weekly newsletter containing important information.


A Christmas Message from the Chair of Governors


Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been another very busy term for everyone at school and I am sure you are all looking forward to a well earned Christmas holiday.

On behalf of all the governors, may I wish you and your families and very happy Christmas and peaceful New Year.

With best wishes,

Emma Kight
Chair of Governors


Christmas Holidays


We wish all our children and families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, hoping that 2020 may bring good health, happiness and success to each of you.

School reopens on Tuesday 7th January 2020 at 8:40am.  We sincerely hope that all children return to school on time as we have organised some fun activities for the first day back, including a robot-making workshop!  


School Uniform


We changed the school uniform in September 2019 to make it cheaper and easier for parents/carers to purchase.  


Over the Christmas Holidays, please buy the correct school uniform for your child, particularly a white polo shirt instead of a white buttoned shirt and smart black shoes instead of trainers.  We will review school uniform in January and, if needed, begin sending letters home with children who are wearing incorrect school uniform.


Please make sure you label all your children's clothing with their name - we have a lot of lost property with no names on it!    


After-school Clubs


The after-school clubs are now available to book on the School Gateway app.  Please click here to see what clubs are on offer before using the School Gateway app to book your child's place.  


Those clubs run by school staff are free but there are currently two fee-paying clubs: steel pans and Spanish.  The cost for steel pan tuition is £5 per week and the cost for the Spanish club is £4 per week.  Parents/carers told us in the Parent/Carer Survey that they wanted more clubs on offer, including fee-paying ones, so we will continue to look for individuals and agencies who can run these clubs for us in school.  


If a parent/carer knows of an individual or an agency who may be able to run an after-school club for us, please speak to Mr Short (Headteacher) or Miss Bracken (Deputy Headteacher) or alternatively, ask the person or company to e-mail FAO Mr Short with what they can offer by way of after-school club/s.  


Dentist Visit - Thursday 16th January 2020


Due to the fact that more than a dozen children in our school visited the dentist in the autumn term to have adult teeth extracted or treatment for a tooth abscess, a parent who works in a dental surgery has kindly organised for the dentists who work in that surgery to visit our school on Thursday 16th January 2020 to check children's teeth and gums.  


Your child will bring home forms that must be completed to allow them to access this free check-up in school.  If you have any trouble filling out the forms, please bring them to the School Office and ask for help.  


The dentists will not carry out any treatments on this day but they will check the children's teeth carefully and identify those children in need of treatment.  We will then pass on this information to parents/carers so you may take your child to the dentist to have your child's teeth treated to avoid them losing any of their adult teeth.


Remember, dentistry is free in our country for the following people:


  • those people under the age of 18, or under the age of 19 and in full time education
  • those who are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months
  • those adults receiving low income benefits (e.g. Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance)


Packed Lunches


We know parents/carers dislike being told how to care for their children; however, we need to adopt a very strict approach with packed lunches for the following reasons:


  • Too many of our children have fillings, rotting teeth, tooth abscesses or teeth removed due to a diet high in sugar (as well as poor dental hygiene);



  • A recent news article published by the BBC stated that fewer children in disadvantaged areas are getting the recommended 60 minutes of exercise each day which means many of our children are not adopting healthy routines to help them grow up to become healthy adults.


There is also no escaping the fact that if our children at Hurst Drive Primary School grow up to be adults who are obese, or who eat a diet high in fat and/or sugar, they will be at greater risk of developing life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  


If your child's packed lunch contains a food item or items that we do not allow, we will place it in their packed lunch with a reminder note or sticker.  We know this will upset some parents/carers; it won't be our intention to upset you but we have to try our best to ensure all the children in our school have a healthy diet.  


Please note, our school dinners have to follow very strict guidelines set out by the Department for Education.  Please also note that all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are eligible for a free school meal - this could both save families money whilst also ensuring your child has a healthy lunch Monday-Friday without you having to worry about preparing it.  For those families with children in Years 3-6, a school meal costs £2.60 per day or £13.00 for the week.  


Our catering staff who work for Herts Catering Limited have worked hard this term to ensure our school lunches are the best they can be.


Break-time Snacks


Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are given free fruits and vegetables by the government every day.  Unfortunately, the same is not provided for children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 which is why we allow children to bring in a snack for the mid-morning break. 


Please note, children cannot bring cereal bars any longer - the only options are fruit (e.g. an apple, strawberries, a banana, pineapple etc.) or vegetables (e.g. carrot sticks, celery sticks, tomatoes, cucumber slices etc.).  This is because the average cereal bar contains 10g of sugar and children aged 4-6 are only permitted 19g of sugar per day and children aged 7-10 are only permitted 24g of sugar per day and seeing as lots of other foods contain natural and added sugar, we are concerned many of our children and families are unknowingly eating more than the recommended amount of sugar each day, putting them at greater risk of life-threatening conditions like diabetes.  


Please also note that all school staff have been told not to give children chocolate, biscuits or sweets as rewards - we know that if our families are making an effort to help their children adopt a healthy diet in school that our school staff must also do the same.  


We will continue to allow children to bring in confectionery to share with classmates when it's their birthday or when it's an end-of-term class party; however, we would ask parents/carers to avoid oversupplying (i.e. one 10p bag of Haribo per child or a mini-sized chocolate bar per child is better than a big handful of lollipops, chewy sweets etc. per child).  


As always, thank you for your support.     


Scooters and Bikes at Lunchtime


Mrs Thomson (Subject Leader for PE) is working with Mrs Ackland (Senior Midday Supervisory Assistant) to set up sport and play stations at lunchtime based on the children's thoughts and opinions (e.g. space hoppers, skipping, football etc.).  

There will be four sport/play activities each lunchtime on a two-weekly cycle. 


If your child would like to bring their scooter or bike to school to use at lunchtime, please see the dates below to work out when they should bring it in:


Reception, Year 1 & Year 2 = weeks commencing 06/01/20, 20/01/20 & 03/02/20


Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 & Year 6 = weeks commencing 06/01/20, 13/01/20, 20/01/20, 27/01/20, 03/02/20 and 10/02/20


Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 should park their scooter or bike in the bike shed on the front playground.  Children in Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 should walk their scooter or bike round to the bike shed by the main hall, near to Cedar Class - your key stage 2 child will know where this is.    


Please note that we do like the key stage 2 children to use our big field, even when it's muddy, so if you are concerned about your child dirtying their school shoes, please provide them with an old pair of trainers to wear at break and lunchtime.   


Please also remember that all classes will have two PE sessions a week starting after the Christmas Holidays: one PE lesson in the hall and one PE lesson outside - please click here and scroll down to find your child's class timetable.  On the first day back to school, Tuesday 7th January 2020, please send your child in with their PE kits, both one for indoor PE and one for outdoor PE, ensuring the one for outdoor PE includes suitable outdoor clothing (e.g. jogging bottoms, a hooded top etc.).  Thank you.    

Elm Class Swimming & Class Trip


The children in Elm class who missed their swimming session on Wednesday 18th December 2019 will be having a session on Wednesday 8th January 2020. Please make sure your child brings their swimming kit in on this day.


On the first day of the new term, Tuesday 7th January 2020, Elm Class have their trip to the Ben Kinsella Knife Crime Awareness Exhibition.  This is an important trip to ensure our children know how to keep themselves safe and the dangers involved in carrying a knife or being friends with someone who chooses to carry a knife and/or commit a crime.  


If you haven't done so already, please make sure you provide permission for your child to attend this trip, being sure to have them wear a waterproof coat on the day and bring with them a healthy packed lunch including a drink of water.  A packed lunch can be provided by the school if your child is eligible for free school meals - please speak to a member of the School Office about this.  



Yours sincerely,

The School Office Team

Hurst Drive Primary School