Dear Parents and Carers,

I cannot believe that we’re already in the final week of the half term – the weeks are flying past! Can I start by saying thank you for the impressive turnout at our two Harvest Assemblies – the children were in excellent voice thanks to Mrs Devenport’s guidance and Year 6, Reception and Nursery in particular did themselves proud. As we enter the last week of the half term, I wanted to share with you the important dates for the rest of the term as I know some of you will need to book time off work.

Nursery Halloween Crafts Stay & Play – 31st October Mrs Lowrie and the Nursery children will be having a stay and play session for parents and carers after half term. The session starts at 10.30am and will last for about an hour. Entry will be through the main office and parents are welcome to take their children home at the end of the workshop.

Halloween Parties – 1st November As mentioned in their own letter, the PTA are organising our Halloween Parties. Reception and KS1 will have their party from 3.15-4.30pm, while the KS2 party and disco will take place from 4.45-6.00pm. Both discos will take place in the school hall and the children must be collected from the KS1 playground afterwards.

Reception Stay & Play Sessions – 5th, 6th & 7th November Miss Wilson and the Reception children will be having a stay and play session for parents and carers after half term. Each session will starts at 2.00pm and will last for about an hour, giving you the chance to see how the children learn and enjoy time doing activities with them. Please let us know if you’d like to come as there will be 10 places at each session.

White Mere Christmas Fair – 7th December at 2.30pm This year we are going to have a Christmas Fair in school. It is not going to be on the same scale as the Summer Fair but I think it was lovely in the Summer when the children made crafts and other items, therefore learning a little bit about enterprise by selling them at the fair in July. So, on Friday 7th December, we will be running our own Christmas Fair in the hall from 2.30pm and the PTA will be providing refreshments. We’ll send out more information nearer the time.

Reception & KS1 Nativity – 17th December Our Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children will be putting on a Christmas Nativity for parents in the school hall. There will be two performances, one at 9.30am and then again at 2.30pm.

Christingle Service – 13th December at 6pm School will be having its now traditional Christingle Service in St Andrew’s Church. The service will be at 6pm and involve pupils from Year 3-6. More details will follow nearer the time.

Nursery and Reception Visit to West Boldon Lodge – 11th December The children in Nursery and Reception are visiting West Boldon Lodge for their Christmas treat. This will take place on Tuesday 11th December between 1.30 and 3.30pm – we did try to get a morning slot but there were only afternoons available. As a result, on Tuesday 11th December we will be asking Nursery parents to bring their children in for the afternoon instead of the morning. Please note, the visit will not be returning to school until around 4.00pm – more details will be given out nearer the time.

Year 1 Christmas Trip to Gibside – 10th December Year 1 will be going to Gibside for their Christmas treat, where they will be completing a Christmas trail. More details will be sent out nearer the time.

Year 2-6 Pantomime Trip – 19th December Our Year 2-6 children will be enjoying Aladdin at Gateshead Stadium on the afternoon of Wednesday 19th December. More details will be sent out next half term.

Parking around school I know that this is a very difficult issue as there is simply insufficient parking around school but can I ask that parents and carers continue to park with care and consideration for the local residents. It is very busy around school at drop-off and pick up times – please do drive with extra caution.

E-contact with staff It is great to hear that so many of you use either email or Class Dojo as a way of contacting staff. It certainly makes it easier to keep in touch when we all lead such busy lives. Please note that staff will always try to respond to you but, to ensure a healthy work/life balance, they can only do so between 8.00am and 5.30pm and that it may not always be possible to do so within 24 hours.

Family Learning Club Our second round of Family Learning Club has come to an end and it has been lovely to hear what a positive experience it has been for those who have taken part. I have already lodged our interest in having more sessions but we are now a little way down the list as we have had Clare for the past two half terms. I’ll be in touch as soon as we hear more.

Sickness and diarrhoea At this time of year there are always many sickness bugs going around. I just wanted to remind parents that if your child is sick or has an upset stomach, they do need to stay off school for 48 hours after the last episode of illness. I know this can be very inconvenient but thank you for your understanding in this matter.

In the final week of term we will also be having our class Christmas Parties – we’ll be in touch about the arrangements for these highlights of the Christmas period.

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

Chris Boddy

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