A very warm welcome to our new parents in Nursery. Here are the slides from our getting to know you day.
We are concerned that children are using apps and websites that should only be used for young adults aged 13 or above. I want to stress with parents the importance of not setting up accounts for children who are underage. We understand it’s difficult to resist the pressure to have accounts but children shouldn’t be exposed to adult platforms when they are underage. Children should not have access to: What’s App, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any unrestricted email service. We recommend that children are only able to communicate within closed groups e.g. our own Google Education Apps which we will be developing in September, 2017.
In addition, children should not have the ability to download apps. Nor should they have fingerprint ID enabled on their devices. You can easily restrict this function on your child’s device. It’s important you maintain an overview of their communications to ensure they are safe.
We don’t want to alarm people about the dangers, but using adult sites and apps really is unsafe– especially if you don’t have a very close overview of what’s going on and what’s being said and what app is being used.
If we find children have profiles on these platforms we will report this information to the relevant authorities indicating that the child is underage. We held an Internet Safety meeting last week which highlighted the many different things you could do at home to promote safety and enable restrictions on children’s devices. You can download the slides and watch the videos here: http://www.sirjohncassprimary.org/heads-blog/safety-in-a-world-of-technology
At this meeting we reflected on the 4cs in relation to your child’s access to the online world:
· Conduct: children may be at risk because of their own behaviour, for example, by sharing too much information
· Content: age-inappropriate or unreliable content can be available to children
· Contact: children can be contacted by bullies or people who groom or seek to abuse them
· Commercialism: young people can be unaware of hidden costs and advertising in apps, games and websites
If you need a hand setting up restrictions on your device you’re welcome to come along to school on Mondays to speak to our computing technician who will be very happy to help!
We're welcoming Tim Gill to present a short talk to parents, staff and friends at Sir John Cass later in the Summer term. Tim is interested in the changing nature of childhood. His work - which embraces writing, independent research, consultancy and public speaking - aims to have a positive impact on children's everyday lives. You can find our more on his website: https://rethinkingchildhood.com/
We're planning to make some changes to the school day.
We currently finish the school day about 10 minutes earlier than most primary schools. We want to change the length of the school day by adding ten minutes to the end of EYFS, Key Stage One and Two from 1st September, 2017.
As a result of these changes, children in Classes 3 to 6 will finish the day at 3.30pm. Children in Key Stage One and the early years will finish the day at 3.25pm. The slightly earlier finish of the younger children is to enable collections of siblings from both playgrounds.
We want to make these changes to enable more time to be spent on foundation subjects in school. There are lots of pressures on curriculum time at the moment and it will assist teachers fitting everything in!
So far we have consulted with staff who are positive about the changes. We will be discussing the changes with our school council in the coming weeks. Governors have also discussed these proposals and approved them.
These changes will be implemented from September, 2017 to provide enough time for you to make any necessary arrangements.
If you have any comments, questions or concerns about these proposals, we'd be happy to consider them- simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or speak with a member of the leadership team.
School Council met last week and one topic on the agenda was sandals! Councillors were concerned that shoes could be very hot and uncomfortable in the summer months. We agreed that during the summer term, sandals could be worn in school. We had a long discussion about the types of sandals which we thought would be safe on the school playground and the type which wouldn’t be safe to wear.
The Governing Body of the school met last week for its termly meeting. Among topics for discussion were pupil progress, residential trips, and new initiatives in mathematics.
Governors also approved a new policy on Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) that had been proposed by Mr Wilson and the Senior Leadership Team. The policy emphasises the importance of safe and healthy relationships and brings forward the teaching on body changes during puberty to ensure children within the school are adequately prepared for these.
The review of this policy is well timed as Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, recently announced proposals that will make elements of SRE mandatory in all schools from 2019.
We are aware that SRE has the potential to be a controversial subject amongst parents. The new curriculum has been designed to sit within the Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) programme and makes use of the PSHE Association scheme of work, which teachers have already begun to use in other areas. It has also been the subject of extensive consultation with governors and parents, through discussion groups and a questionnaire. We hope you were able to contribute to that.
Parents expressed a range of views during the consultation process. There was general and broad support for the new curriculum and a clear feeling that the subject should be taught in the same manner as other topics in the PSHE curriculum. Parents also requested that faith and cultural contexts be explained and that teaching should be sensitive to these. The teaching team already considers such sensitivities in its delivery of the Religious Education curriculum and we are confident that topics within SRE will be delivered in the same manner.
If you wish to contact the Governing Body on this, or on any other matter relating to school strategy, you are very welcome to do so via the school office.
Mr Matt Piper
Vice Chair of Governors
We held a meeting with parents and carers today about the Key Stage 2 assessments. If you didn't get chance to come along, take a look at the video below for all the information you need.
Thanks for coming along to our discussion about home–school learning and the little red books we used in the Early Years. You’ve give us lots of ideas about how we can develop these next year including sharing more information about our approach in different areas of the curriculum. We discussed having a growth mind-set at the meeting and a video called, Austin’s Butterfly. You can find out more about these ideas in the video collection below.
Parents, carers and children in Year 6 have been receiving confirmation of their offers for secondary school places this week. This year has been a particularly difficult one across London. There has been a 2% rise in applications to secondary schools. As a result, many more children have been unable to secure their first choice of school. The problem is particularly bad in London—affecting around a third of applicants.
The first thing you should do if you don’t get your preferred school is not panic! It’s worthwhile finding out more about the school you have been offered a place at. If you haven’t visited before, it might be enlightening to go along and see the school in action. Schools change very rapidly and you may not have applied because of an undeserved reputation. It’s worth keeping an open mind.
If you want to appeal the decision we can support you in various ways. If you want to make an appointment to see me, I’m happy to help where I can. We can’t directly influence the decision but we can help you navigate the appeals process. Any appeal about a decision has to have a strong argument and a sound basis for making the appeal. It is considered by lay people who make a final decision for each school. We can also come along with you to appeals if that helps and we can arrange translators if that’s required.
You should also bare in mind that it’s a long period between now and September. After this initial round of offers some places will be declined, some people with move away and some children will take up places in the academy sector. This opens up school places for you– if you’re high up the waiting list you often stand a good chance of getting into school by September, 2017.
Finally, congratulations to those children and families who received their first choice or were admitted to schools in the independent sector. We know you’re going to leave our school proud Cassians with many lessons learnt which have laid excellent foundations for your future.
Mr T Wilson | Headteacher
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.
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.
Our new school council met for the first time on Thursday 22nd September, 2016 in the Board Room. School councillors discussed the quality of food, the new interactive whiteboards, problems with the toilets and made suggestions for the playgrounds. Thanks to Class 3 who have come up with the excellent idea of having a Class Teddy who will have adventures at different children’s houses each week. We’ll let you know more about this soon!
Who's on School Council this year?
Harvey and Edie– our head boy and girl are automatically members of school council.
Class 1: Florence and George
Class 2: Florence and Darius
Class 3: Contance and Ikram
Class 4: Bradley and Monika
Class 5: Hosna and Dhanyaal
Class 6: Zahra and Ubayd
Here are the slides in case you missed the governor's annual meeting this week.
As the building work on the new building on Mitre Square comes to a conclusion, the focus is shifting to the development of the public square.
We’re excited about these improvements but there will be very significant changes to parking arrangements over the coming months. Old style permits for cars will soon be no longer valid and will be replaced with a new permit arrangement. You will need a valid permit to park on Mitre Street if you need your car to pick up or drop off children.
It’s expected that there will be a limited number of spaces to park on Mitre Street which you will need a permit to use. Permits will issued on the basis of need and we will invite applications from parents and carers later in the autumn term. We strongly encourage parents to travel to school by public transport or on foot.
Please look our for further announcements. You're also welcome to pop in to chat to a member of the leadership team about matter.
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.