Hook Norton C of E

Primary School

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Newsletter 5 September

Dear Parents

Welcome back to a new school year. The summer holidays seemed to go so fast! It was lovely to see the children in their new school uniforms and smart hair-cuts, especially the new Year 1 children who all bounced in quite confidently as their parents looked on with slightly less confidence!

Thank you to Mr Ben Dix of Southcombe Garage for another year’s servicing & MOT of the minibus over the summer.

New Primary Curriculum:

This is a new school year with even more changes than ever before. We are introducing a brand new curriculum, called ‘The Learning Challenge’ to meet the expectations of the new Primary Curriculum. Our Learning Challenge Curriculum will be much more enquiry based, beginning each unit of work with an intriguing question that the children will work towards discovering the answers to. For example: Can a tiger live at the North Pole? Could Usain Bolt run faster than a T-Rex dinosaur? Our new curriculum will be closely linked so children will learn in depth about a particular theme. Teachers will not reveal the question until the work starts! We have produced ‘jigsaw puzzle’ sheets which will inform you about all the areas each class are covering in the year, but the questions will be a surprise for the children.

Alongside our Learning Challenge curriculum we will be following the Abacus Maths scheme to ensure that we continue to ensure the maths curriculum is fully covered. (We were particularly pleased with the children’s progress in maths this year.) We have also extended the library recording system (funded by FOHNS) so that children’s reading books are recorded electronically for us to monitor more extensively the books they are reading.

Please make sure you attend the parents’ information meeting for your child’s class where teachers will go into more detail.

School meals: All children from Reception to Year 2 are now entitled to a free school meal. I am delighted that so many children are now taking school meals and the new arrangements went very smoothly this week. The kitchen staff are to be congratulated for rising to the challenge and produce delicious, nourishing hot meals for all the eager extra children. A nutritionally balanced meal in the middle of the day has proven benefits in children’s concentration and ability to learn in the afternoons. Welcome to Clare Harrison who joins Mrs Collins and Mrs Harris in the kitchen.


Our staff meeting day is changing this year to Mondays, so if you need to speak to your child’s teacher, please avoid Mondays after school.

Mrs Prentice: Teash Prentice, who is our Crossing Patrol, midday supervisor and cleaner, has had a major operation. She is out of hospital and recovering and we all wish her a speedy return to good health. Meanwhile, Mrs Hambidge is covering as midday supervisor and we are using an external company to help with cleaning. Unfortunately we cannot have anyone as a temporary Crossing Patrol because they would need to go through the training beforehand. Therefore we do not have a Crossing Patrol until Teash returns, so please ensure your children take extra care, especially if they walk or cycle on their own. I have spoken to them in assembly about road safety.

Ms Kershaw is not yet able to return to work after her back injury so we have temporary cover in the Foundation Stage from Ms Perry.

Miss Bithell has gone and Mrs Vint has taken her place in Year 1! Many congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Vint who got married in the holidays.

New SEN framework:

In addition to the new curriculum, we now have a new Special Needs framework. The criteria by which children are assessed for Special Needs have changed and we no longer have the categories School Action, School Action Plus or Statements. Statements will move over time to Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs).

IEPs have gone, to be replaced with a more long term record called a ‘Profile’. Meetings will be held between teachers and parents 3 times a year to review the profile which will focus on outcomes for children rather than targets. Any concerns or queries about your child’s progress should be raised with the class teacher at the earliest opportunity. Please do not wait until parents’ evening if something is worrying you. This will not change how we support our children with SEN; we will still have intervention groups or individual support to ensure all children reach their potential.

If you want to know more about the new arrangements, Mrs McQuail, our SENco, is available on Fridays. Her role is to co-ordinate Special Educational Needs and advise teachers on strategies and intervention programmes.

You can email her directly on: 

Inhalers/medication: All children with an inhaler need to have one kept in school with a new signed Health Care Plan. We will be recording the times when children need their inhalers to ensure their conditions are properly managed. We have also revised parent permission forms for other medication kept in school with a new Healthcare Plan. Forms will be issued at the end of the Parents Information meetings.

School Expansion:Scott Orchard (our Chair of governors) and I met with various people from the county over the holidays to discuss possible school expansion to 1.5 entry (45 per year group instead of 30). The county will be sending out a leaflet in the next few weeks and will be holding drop-in sessions as part of the consultation process, which will involve the building of 4 new classrooms to accommodate the growing intake of children from Hook Norton and surrounding villages.


Please could you ensure that uniform, especially sweatshirts and cardigans, are named.

A reminder that no jewellery is permitted apart from a watch and small stud earrings.

Footwear: our uniform policy states ‘Flat, sensible, safe shoes, in plain black, brown or navy’

PE: A reminder that children should not wear any jewellery for PE activities (including swimming). Stud earrings will need to be removed beforehand (teachers cannot remove them). Please ensure that children have their PE kit at school at all times, with everything named!

As part of the sports grant the government has issued to primary schools we are pleased to be able to continue with our expert sports coach from the Ignite Sports Company. Children in all classes from Y1-6 will have one session a week with Mr Jones. In addition, we are continuing the comprehensive partnership sports programme organised by Jo Phillips from Chipping Norton School, which enables every child to participate in festivals, galas or team events. This is balanced so all children get the opportunity to participate, alongside the ‘elite’ competitions to challenge our most able children.

Swimming:. From this September as part of our review of the whole primary curriculum, children from Y3-5 will go swimming for two terms each i.e. Y5 – term 1/2, Y4 – term 3/4, Y3 term 5/6. Any child who is unable to swim 25 metres in Y6 will continue to go swimming with the other classes. We feel it is better to give younger children more sessions to learn swim as soon as possible and it is rare that children in Y6 are unable to swim. The Curriculum states that children should be able to swim 25 metres confidently by the end of KS2. Swimming starts for Y5 next week, Tuesday 9 September, so please remember swimming kit!

Parent/Class Information – 2014/5:

A reminder of the dates for the group Class Meetings for parents/carers and children – these meetings will take place in the classroom:-

Year 6 – Mrs Peters – Tuesday 9 September 3.20pm

Year 5 – Mrs Crouch – Wednesday 10 September 3.20pm

Year 4 – Mrs Robertson –Wednesday 17 September 3.20pm

Year 3 – Miss Hope – Friday 12 September 3.20pm

Year 2 – Miss Nunneley – Tuesday 16 September 3.20pm

Year 1 – Mrs Vint – Thursday 11 September 3.20pm

FOHNS AGM : Thursday 25 September 7.30pm Study Centre – all parents/carers welcome. Please come along and get involved!

Extra-curricular activities : Clubs start week commencing 15 September, apart from JAM Club which starts Wednesday 24 September, 3.20 in the Study Centre. Mrs Wood’s Recorder Club starts Tuesday 9 September, 8.30am in the hall. We will let you know which clubs your children will be joining as soon as all the slips have been processed.

Music: Mrs Allen will be demonstrating to parents and children a range of woodwind instruments on Thursday 11 September at 3.20 in the hall for KS2 children interested in taking up a musical instrument. Come along and have a go!

Well Done :This week we have said well done to All Year 1, All Year 2, all Year 3, All Year 4, All Year 5, all Year 6, Annabelle Butler, Daniel Rayner, Lily Armstrong.

Out of School achievements: Poppy Queenan Skate UK Level 3, Rebecca Milne Stage 2 ASA swimming and Zoe Milne Stage 3 ASA swimming.

Christian Value of the month: Koinonia (fellowship/partnership)

N.B. Parents of new children have been issued with a code for Parentmail – please sign up to receive information/letters, track school meals and make online payments with debit/credit cards.

Yours sincerely

Mrs S Belgrove

Head Teacher