Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome to the new school year – hopefully everyone has had a lovely summer. I have to say that the children have made an excellent start to the new term and there really is a lovely buzz around school. We’ve had work completed in several areas of school over the holidays: the Key Stage 2 classrooms have been re-painted, the Year 3/4 intervention room has been refurbished and we have also reorganised the three offices at the front of school, meaning we have more space for interventions, meetings and preparation time. You’ll also notice some new equipment appearing in the Early Years outdoor area.

Many of you will have seen Mr Connolly and Mrs Devenport in the yard already – they are settling into their new surroundings very well, along with Miss Julie Lymath who is our new PPA Cover Teacher, replacing Miss Willis. You’ll have the chance to meet all of the staff properly on Friday 21st September when we have our ‘Meet the Teacher’ sessions after school. As always, please do not hesitate to speak to us if there is anything at all that we can do to help.

Upcoming Events and News…
Meet The Teacher – 21st September at 3.30pm and 4.00pm As mentioned above, we hope you’ll be able to join us on Friday 21st September at either 3.30pm or 4.00pm in your child’s classroom. The teachers will talk about the routines and topics your child will be covering this term and also answer any questions you may have about school. Nursery’s Meet the Teacher sessions will be at 11.45am and 4pm. As last year, there are two sessions so that if you have two children in school and would like to meet both teachers, you can attend a session with both teachers. We hope to see you there!

Twitter As most of you do already, you can follow school on Twitter – our account is @OffWhiteMere and we will be posting lots of news and pictures each week – just ask if you need help getting onto Twitter.

Harvest Assembly – Friday 5th October at 11.10am and 2.45pm Mrs Titterton, Mrs Devenport and Year 6 will be leading our Harvest Assembly in a few weeks’ time – the assembly will be in the school hall and will be performed twice to allow as many parents as possible to attend. We will be supporting a local homeless charity and any donations will be handed to them after our assembly to support the good work that they do.

Residential Trips for Yr 5 and Yr 6  I am very pleased to let you know that we have again provisionally booked two residential visits for our older children. Our Year 6 pupils will have the chance to go on the very popular 3 day trip to Ford Castle in late June and our Year 5 children will have the opportunity to spend a night away at Gibside in April. The children had a great time on both trips last year, taking the chance to be involved in many exciting activities. If you would like to find out more about the trips, I will be holding information meetings for parents on Tuesday 25th September. The Year 5 parents’ meeting will be at 5pm and the Year 6 parents’ meeting will be at 5.30pm – please enter via the KS2 yard (Kids Club entrance).

School Photos – Wednesday 10th October The school photographer will be in school on Wednesday 10th October, taking both individual, family and class photos – the office are sending a letter about photographs with siblings.

Parents’ Evenings – Tuesday 16th and Thursday 18th October We will be holding our first parents’ evenings of the year before half term, when you will have the opportunity to see your child’s books, visit their classroom and speak to their teacher. More information will be sent out nearer the time.

Flu Vaccinations – Thursday 18th October  I am very pleased to let you know that the children will be having their flu vaccinations at a much earlier date this year, on 18th October.  We had complained at the very late date we were given last year – hopefully the vaccinations will have a bigger impact this school year!

Ear Piercings As you will be aware, many of the children in school have pierced ears. To ensure everyone’s safety, can I please ask that only small stud earrings be worn to minimise any risk of them being caught or knocked, especially during PE sessions. If you are concerned about your child wearing their stud earrings in PE, please provide a plaster for your child to apply themselves before PE. Children will also need to cover their earring with a plaster if they are going swimming. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Name Changes! Over the summer we have had a number of children and staff who have changed their names! Miss Allsopp is now Miss Wilson and Mrs Richardson is now Mrs Davidson. I’m sure we’ll get used to it soon!

Toddlers! Our lovely Toddler Group starts again tomorrow and we would love to welcome anyone who would like to come along, whether they have a child in school or not, so do spread the word if you know of anyone who might be interested. It takes place every Friday morning in the school hall from 9.00-10.30am.

Finally, just a few reminders for the year ahead…
– If your child has medical condition which requires medication (for example, asthma), can you please ensure that school has the medication (with the prescription label on it) so we can support your child.
– Please name all items of clothing.
– If you do need to speak to any of the teachers, please remember that they need to be in class by 8.50am in the morning so they are only available for a quick exchange before school. If you need a longer chat or meeting, simply email the teacher or the school office and we will be happy to organise a convenient time.
– As the teachers will discuss at Meet the Teacher, PE will be taking place twice a week and all children are expected to wear the correct PE kit for lessons – a red T-shirt and navy blue shorts.
– The atmosphere in our lunch hall is lovely, with the children enjoying a balanced school dinner or their packed lunches from home. As is the case with our school meals, sweets are not permitted in packed lunches to ensure the children have a healthy meal at school.

If, in the meantime, there is anything at all that you would like to discuss with me, do not hesitate to get in touch. I am in the yard every day or can be reached by email on

Best wishes,

Chris Boddy Headteacher

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