Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you’ve settled into the new term and that your early mornings aren’t wearing you down! Here are a few updates for the new term.

Nursery Pick-Up Arrangements Our new starters are settling in very well and we now have 14 children in Nursery. As a result of the increased numbers we have changed the pick-up arrangements. Parents and carers are now to collect their children from the same door that they use at 8.50am. Entry to school will be through the gate leading onto the Early Years’ Outdoor Area.

Reception Children As we look to make best use of the space we have in Reception, could we please ask that all children bring only one bag to school each day. PE kits can be brought into school in a named carrier bag and then left in school for the half term. This way we will be able to store all of the bags safely without our cloakroom area taking up more room than it needs to.

Safeguarding Update We have been working with a safeguarding advisory service – Clennell Educational Solutions – to review and enhance our safeguarding procedures in school. You will notice some additional notices going up around the school site over the coming weeks but, as always, should you ever have any concerns about safeguarding or child protection, please do not hesitate to get in touch with either myself (chrisboddy@whitemereprimary.org) or Mrs Hutchinson (helenhutchinson@whitemereprimary.org) in our capacity as the school’s Designated Safeguarding Leaders.

After School Clubs I wanted to mention after school clubs as I appreciate that there has been some discussion about the system we are using for signing up to the clubs. I changed the system this half term (requiring parents to email their interest in gaining a place) in response to parental concerns about the old paper-based system being unfair on working parents in particular. However, the changes don’t see to have made things much better! I think that the ‘first come, first served’ system is the problem, so in future places for after school clubs will be allocated differently. Parents and carers will still be asked to email their interest, but from now on where the demand for places at a particular club outstrips the number of places we will put all of the names into a hat and draw them out. If the club is one which has taken place previously, those children who did not get a place earlier in the school year will be given priority. This should make things much better and fairer.

The Spring Sing! You may have noticed on the school’s website that we have been successful in our application to take part in Gateshead’s Spring Sing event at The Sage in March. Mrs Titterton will be leading the event and more details will be sent out as soon as we have them!

Gateshead Dance Festival As mentioned in the previous newsletter, Year 4 and 5 will be taking part in the annual Gateshead Dance Festival. We have applied for tickets and should soon know our allocation but I can tell parents that the event will be on Wednesday 21st March between 2.00-4.00pm at The Sage. We will be in touch as soon as we have more information.

As usual, if there is anything at all that you want to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact me at school.

Chris Boddy

Head Teacher

chrisboddy@whitemereprimary.org

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