What a changeable weather week we have had, I hope all your fences held up! The children’s class photos were terrific this week, I am so looking forward to seeing the final products. It is so wonderful to see the nation doing so well in the fight against Covid and hopefully we will be able to reduce some of our measures in the coming weeks (in line with the government dates), until then remember Hands, Face and Space.
In Lockdown we stared sharing the Scout monthly challenges that Mr Rattan has passed to me, which are so fab, here are some you can do at home in May: (see photo below)
The focus last week and next week is on Kindness and Sharing – which house will receive the most points?
Nursery 2 really enjoyed their swimming on Friday and had a super splashing time!
All Early Years parents/carers don’t forget to have a regular look on Parent Zone to see you child’s targets and wows; remember to share with the team the wows from home.
I'm sure we are all looking forward to the restrictions being lifted and life getting back to a bit more 'normal' - whatever that will look like.
As governors of the school, we have found it quite difficult to completely fulfil our role during the past year. One of the core functions of governors is to keep a check on the educational performance of the children. We do this by regularly talking with Mrs Curtis, the Senior Leadership Team and the staff to make sure that everything is done to help the children achieve their best and make progress. We monitor the data that shows achievement and progress. We have been able to do this. But the best way to see if this is having effect is by seeing what is actually happening in the classrooms and how the children are responding, and how their work shows this in practice.
During the lockdown, the one thing we have been unable to do is be in school, visiting classrooms, talking to children and seeing their work. I am so pleased that this term we have started these monitoring visits again. A couple of governors together will visit, and they will always have a focus on a particular aspect of the curriculum. After the visit a report is produced which is shared with Mrs Curtis and with the other governors. This report will also suggest what further action might be required.
I particularly enjoy this aspect of the governor role and find it encouraging to be in face-to-face contact with children and staff. And I am pleased to find that our checks on the educational performance of the children are usually so positive and confirming.
Vice-Chair of Governors
As a member of the Governing body of Ash Grange it is our collective responsibility to monitor and evaluate the progress of the school. This is achieved through regular attendance at the Governor’s meetings (Full Governing Body minutes are published on the Ash Grange website), analysing the educational data provided by the school as well as monitoring visits.
Due to COVID19, it had been 18 months since my last visit to the school, so I was delighted to be invited back into the school with Dougie Clark to monitor the SEN provision. When walking around the classrooms we could see the variety of resources to help the SEN children, from designated calm areas through to ear defenders. Every SEN child has a bespoke plan to help them achieve their full potential, with this being delivered within the classroom with their friends. The resources were unobtrusive and unless pointed out were not obvious. We were very impressed with the SEN provision provided by Ash Grange and it was wonderful to observe all the children in every classroom fully engaged in their lessons despite the presence of two visitors.
After hearing from both Mrs Curtis and my daughter about how amazing the new school dinners were I wanted to sample them first-hand! The menu was a step change from the previous provision, and I will admit to Googling some of the terminology (who knew what cacciatore was?!). My previous school dinner experience was in the 80’s with instant mash potato served with an ice cream scoop being a staple. So, to be honest the benchmark was low. On the menu for my visit was either pollock or edamame beans in a creamy rocket and parley sauce with new potatoes, peas, sweetcorn and tomato bread followed by banana and date sponge. The smell on entering the hall was delicious and I had the pleasure of sitting with the YR3 Group who were happy to discuss their favourites from the new school dinner menu. Most of the children had the pollock, whilst I had the edamame beans. Every item on the plate was tasty, and I can honestly say the children enjoyed their lunch and there were clean plates all around – including mine! Everyone got a much coveted ‘clean plate sticker’ (see picture of myself proudly modelling it!)
I love the variety offered with the new menu which means my daughter gets to try new foods which we would not necessarily eat as a family. The vegetarian option is very similar to the meat, which means all the children are eating something similar. The amount of food waste has decreased, and the portion size has increased. If your child has not tried it yet I would strongly recommend giving it a go!
Dr Lynsey Mutton
School Parent Governor of Eleanor YR 3
We are aware of an issue with requesting Second-hand Uniform through Scopay. If you have a need please email the school office and we will check what is available.
We will update separately when we have a solution.
To help you with planning your children’s meals we have added a new page to our website with details of the weekly menus. This can be found at www.ash-grange.surrey.sch.uk/lunch-menu/
A gentle reminder that parents need to continue to book 2 weeks in advance for all school meals through www.scopay.com.
All open as normal. Teeny Funzone Parents - Please be aware that drop off and collection for Teeny Funzone will be from the Funzone Door (access via the school car park) due to numbers of children attending at this time.
At Parent Council it was asked if I could explain more about the PiXL association that we have as a school.
PiXL (Partners in Excellence) is a partnership of over 1,400 secondary schools, 450 sixth forms, 900 primary schools and 50 providers of alternative education. We buy into the organisation each year and this provides resources, assessment data and national comparisons and consultant support to us which shares best practice to raise standards and to give students a better future and brighter hope. Many of these resources are used for the Shine Programme and wider whole school assessments each term.
A good school library isn't just important for academic achievement. Reading for pleasure also improves children's wellbeing – something our children need now more than ever before.
National Book Tokens are running a big prize draw giving you the chance to win £5,000 of National Book Tokens for our school's library – and if your entry is picked, you'll also get £100 of National Book Tokens to spend on yourself! www.nationalbooktokens.com/schools
There is concern locally about the use of edibles by a small number of young people which has resulted in some requiring medical assistance. Surrey Health have written you parents to share information with you about edibles and how to support children and young people who may have access to them. Please see the letter sent to parents.
Ash Manor Tennis centre are launching term-time tennis classes for all ages and abilities ranging from 5-16 years. The first 4 classes are completely free! See the leaflet emailed to paretns for more information or alternatively contact Kieran on 07871098825.
Keep well, kindest regards,