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Autumn Newsletter 13 [Friday 3rd December]

Dear Parents & Carers


We have three teaching assistants leaving Woodlands at the end of the term: Mrs Land, Mrs Thompson & Ms Rogers. I would like to thank them all for their hard work & the commitment they have shown to the children in their care. Mrs Thompson has been at Woodlands since January 1999 (that’s a different millennium!) & is now retiring to spend more time with her family. Mrs Land first started at Woodlands in January 2005 & has decided it’s time for a new challenge in her life. Ms Rogers has been at Woodlands for 18 months & has helped so many children make progress in the relatively short space of time she has been with us. Between the 3 of them, they have over 50 years’ experience of working in education.  All three will be missed by the children & staff alike. I’d like to wish them all the best for the future.


I sent out a ParentMail earlier this week setting out all the different Christmas events happening at Woodlands over the coming weeks. Christmas is always a special time in a primary school. It’s lovely to see eyes sparking with sheer excitement & hear the constant chatter about what Father Christmas may bring - that’s just the teachers! I know things are somewhat uncertain in regards to having audiences at our nativities/plays, but I hope the measures we will put in place will enable the children to perform in front of their families. I want to assure you no matter what decisions are taken, we will make sure your children have a grand time on the lead up to Christmas.


One Christmas event that I did miss off the list is FOWSA’s Festive Friday on 17th December. FOWSA have given every child (& adult) in school a Santa hat which they will decorate in school between now & the 17th December. Festive Friday Goody Bags will be available for parents to purchase for their children. The day will end with a Santa Dash (free to enter – all welcome!) on the school field at 3.30pm with Squirrel Coffee providing the refreshments. FOWSA will be contacting families soon with all the information you need – keep an eye out for their ParentMail.


Here’s this week’s conversation starters…



What shapes can you see in the environment (both inside & outside the house)?



Reception [Red & Blue]

Can you name & order the different things you do in school during the school day?

{Maths: Time}


Y1&2 [Green, Yellow & Purple]

Can you explain how Sunny felt at the beginning of the story? Why?

{English topic: ‘Meerkat Mail’ Emily Gravett}


Y3&4 [3A, 3/4M & 4G]

What noun phrases could you use in a description of Italy’s landscape?

{English topic: ‘Writing a holiday brochure’}


Y5&6 [5D, 5/6P & 6R]

What would you use a spreadsheet for & what formulas do you know?

{Computing topic ‘Spreadsheets’}


Again, no classes achieved 100% in their attendance this week & our overall attendance has fallen further to at 91.9%. Well done 5/6P, the only class to have an attendance above 97% (97.3%).


We had 2 classes who had no late marks this week: 3/4M & 5/6P. There were 38 late marks across the whole school. 19 late marks ‘before the register closed’ – that’s before 9.20am & 19 late marks ‘after the register has closed’, that’s after 9.20am. I know that quite a few of the late marks this week were down to the increased traffic coming over the railway bridge because the level crossing was closed but we have had an extraordinary number of children arriving at school after 9.20am this week. The first few minutes of each school day is so important. Children arriving in class late is not a good way to start the day for several reasons: they will undoubtably feel self-conscious & embarrassed arriving after the lessons have started; they have missed the chance to meet their friends on the way into class & have a relaxed start to the day; they will have missed the input as to what they should be doing & therefore are starting their day in school trying to catch up with what’s going on. Especially after what they have been through over the last couple of years, every minute of a child’s education is vital


You may (or may not) have noticed a distinct lack of Tweets from school over this term. I must apologise for this – the Woodlands social media elves are struggling with our account at the moment. It’s being very temperamental. The elves tell me that that’ve tried “switching it off & switching it on again” but that didn’t work. I’m beginning to wonder if they’re as technically proficient as they claim to be…


If any of you are out & about in the village tomorrow morning, why don’t you pop along & see the massed ranks of our Junior Choir singing at Holy Trinity Church Hall as part of Bluebell Craft Fayre? The fayre runs from 11am to 4pm; the children will be performing at 11.30am.


I hope you all have a lovely weekend.


KD Williams


Last word

What do rock n roll pandas eat?

A wop bop a loo bop a wop bamboo

Thanks to Olaf Falafel