Children from London schools and headteachers deliver a letter signed by over 100 London headteachers to London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, asking for him to tackle the air pollution crisis.
We have arranged for Year 3 to go on their first school journey - this term !!
We will be staying for 2 nights at a Residential Centre called Gorsefield which is owned and run by Tower Hamlets Local Authority. Gorsefield is situated in Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex which is about an hour train/ drive away. It is a large house set in its own grounds with lots to do. There are staff who look after the centre and a fully qualified teacher who will assist with the activities during our stay there.
The trip will be from Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd March 2017.
It will be great fun and I know the children will have a fantastic time. This centre has been chosen as I have many years’ experience of leading journeys there and know it is a perfect setting for a first residential school trip!
This is a trip - which I hope all Yr 3 children will take part in - will form the basis of work when they return to school.
A parents meeting is to be held on Tuesday 24th January at 9am and 5pm where you can find out more about this exciting week.
As this is the first Residential School journey for these children the costs will be reduced. This I can do through grants and donations from the PTA, therefore the actual cost will be only £50.
We’re excited to announce that we are launching a new programme to support the teaching of reading in Key Stage 2.
This week we have introduced Accelerated Reader to your child.
Accelerated reader is simple. A child reads a book, takes an online quiz, and gets immediate feedback. Children respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills.
When a child finishes a book and completes a quiz in school, the teacher gets really useful information about the child’s reading level and what would be best for them to read next. One of the great things about AR is that children are given a range of appropriately challenging real books to choose from; challenging enough to keep them engaged but not so tricky children give up.
It’s so important that children read a suitably challenging book every day. Recent studies indicate that, when students spend 25 minutes a day reading, they make excellent progress in their reading skills.
Reading is also part of our homework in every year group. It’s so important that you make the time and encourage good reading habits from a very young age.
You can find out more about AR by visiting http://www.renlearn.co.uk/accelerated-reader/ where you will find videos, resources and lots more information. You can also access a list of books closely matched to your child’s ability level via the ARbookfinder website, which has a link to the parents’ guidance on its home page. This is a great resource for borrowing or purchasing books based on your child’s interests and ability level.
At Cass, we’ve purchased a number of iPods for each class in Key Stage 2 and children will be using these to complete their quizzes in school.
We’re going to be holding an information session about Accelerated Reader on Thursday 26th of January after school and we’d love you to come along. We’ll start at around 3-30 pm in Class 5.
Thank you for attending our recent Parent Conferences. Please ensure you have completed your feedback forms and sent them back to the school office. You can also fill them in online: https://goo.gl/forms/cCEVFuRNbv7seSfh1 . The teaching and leadership teams read every comment you make and the governing body curriculum committee analyse the results very closely. This helps us to continually make improvements.
The teachers in Class 2 have changed around the days they work. Ms Pak will now be working on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday morning. Ms Lucas will be in school from Wednesday to Friday.
We welcome Moira Colletta who will be assisting with French teaching until the end of the academic year. This will free up a little of Ms Pak’s time to focus on her own Class. Ms Pak will continue to lead modern foreign languages at school and will return to French teaching next year.
Our Term Dates
We always look to Tower Hamlets when setting our term dates. It’s come to our attention that while our term dates follow the pattern suggested by Tower Hamlets Local Authority one or two of the schools near to us have chosen different term dates for the spring term. Many schools are now free to set their own dates and don’t have to follow Local Authority advice. You can find out our term dates for the rest of this academic year on our website.
Our clubs and out of hours tuition typically start back on Week beginning 9th January, 2017. If you would like to check a date or time, please contact the school office.
A local group of parents and residents in Aldgate are planning to present a national petition to the Prime Minister to convince her to act on air pollution. As you will know, our area of central London suffers from poor air quality and the school is very supportive of any action to help things improve.
You can support this local campaign by visiting: http://www.wecanwin.co.uk/my-son-cant-wait.
The group are also making a film on air pollution in the City of London with Munsur Ali, an ex student from Sir John Cass’s Foundation Primary School and resident on Mansell Street. They aim to launch this in the new year.
There are lots of measures we have in school to help mitigate the effects of poor air quality. We monitor the air with stations around the school site and inside the school building. This helps us to make decisions about physical activity in the outdoor spaces. We’re also fortunate to have the support of the City of London Corporation who have recently made available a grant of £50,000. We plan to use this to install air filtration systems into the basement among other measures.
Ultimately, the only way to really improve things is to improve air quality across our City. I strongly encourage you to get involved.
Our children have been making their voices heard recently by writing to Sadiq Khan about this very issue. You can see some of the writing on the head’s blog.
It has been such a busy term and year so far– but one filled with much learning and exploration in all of our class groups. It’s interesting at this time of year reading through all of the termly reports, getting a picture of how children are grasping the demands of their curriculum in each year group and mastering new skills or having new experiences.
We’ve updated the formats of our reports once more. I realise for parents, it may seem like we are continually revising the way we give information to you about learning and progress. In a sense we are, but with all the curriculum, assessment and testing changes in recent years it’s necessary to keep on our toes. We’ve set the most challenging targets for each of our year groups this year because we want to continue to improve the excellent performance of every child at our school. I do hope you read the report carefully and spend time with your child’s class teacher to discuss in greater depth how you can work with us to support learning at home. I encourage you to read our guide to understanding your child’s report carefully. It’s available on our school website: http://www.sirjohncassprimary.org/key-information.html
One key thing to remember about the new curriculum is we monitor children's mastery of the curriculum in the year group they are in– we don’t use artificial levels any more which are separate from the knowledge and understanding in each age group. It’s perfectly normal for children to still be emerging or developing their understanding of the curriculum at this stage of the academic year.
We’ve had so many lovely Christmas events this year. It has felt like a very special time. The children have been out and about singing around the City, but we’ve also enjoyed the Christmas Market, the Nativity, an activity morning, lessons and carols, Christmas lunch (right) and more! Our Christmas Market– run jointly by the school and the PTA raised over £1,500 this year. Thank you so much for your generosity. This is the most we’ve ever raised at this fundraiser! Every penny will be used to support extra curricular activities and other special things in school.
I really do hope that all of you– children and adults alike- have a joyous, relaxing and peaceful Christmas break and I look forward to welcoming you back in the new year. We’ll see parents and carers on Wednesday 4th January, 2017 for progress meetings and children on the day after.
For several years the governing body and the City of London have been actively pursuing one-form entry expansion and a major capital building project to invest over £5 million into the school site.
The City of London have worked with us to try to secure the necessary permission from the Sir John Cass's Foundation, the school’s trustee for the project to go ahead. At their board meeting in October the Sir John Cass’s Foundation considered the representation made by the City of London and have decided not to consent to grant a licence to build on the school site to enable it to expand. They have decided to await the opening of the new City of London Primary Academy Islington before re-visiting the situation in the 2017/18 academic year.
The bulge class admitted this academic year, at the request of the City of London, has been a great success, but governors did not feel able to open the school to a further bulge class in 2017.
The governing body remains keen to secure the long term future of our school and is enthusiastically committed to providing outstanding education for our children
If you'd like to find out more about this topic or have further questions or comments please don't hesitate to speak with a member of the leadership team.
BBC Newsround filmed a debate about homework at school earlier last week. The team were joined by some of our pupils and representatives from the ATL and the Campaign for Real Education who were presenting their arguments for and against homework in schools.
You can find out what our children thought after the Christmas holidays when this will be featured on Newsround.
During our Holiday Playscheme, we ran a workshop with the children exploring the sounds that can be found in different spaces around the school. Children recorded footsteps, claps, bells and rhythms to create a unique piece of music reflecting the building. The music inspired them to create a strange story to accompany it, about a Lion and a Horse on the loose in the school.
The music, story and sound effects were performed and recorded by the children involved:
Isabella, Harrison, Joshua, Mary, Ilka, Ryan, Veronique, Ossie, Arthur, Florence, Oliver, Fermin, Marley, Amanda, Matas and Iris
During both Holiday Play schemes and term-time Playcentre, we have been running a Stop Motion Animation workshop using whiteboards, plasticine, models and 3d objects. The children's animations were made independently and they also learnt to use Dragonframe software to capture their work.
Thanks to the following children for their brilliant animations:
Raya, Yasmin, Fermin, Oliver, Ravi, Kush, Lily-Rose, Niya, Layth, Amelie, Maya, Freddie, Philip, Bradley, Georgia, Joseph, Gabriel, Romilly, Harper, Tristan Archibald, Veronique Seymour, Nicole, Harrison, Fermin, Joshua, Zackand Harvey.
Tabby Callaghan recording his new Young Voices single in aid of Nordoff Robbins with children from Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School at Air Edel Studio in London.
Watch the video!
We like to keep you updated with the latest news and special events at Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School.
The Head's Blog
All the latest news and information from our great school.