Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you all had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend and the first two weeks of the new term have gone smoothly! We have had a very busy start to the term, with the appointment of our new Headteacher, our Year 5 residential trip to Gibside and even a Circus Workshop for Years 1 and 2! As always at the start of a new term, there are some important dates and information to share with you.

Headteacher Appointment As you all know, the Governors recently appointed Mrs Susan Richardson as our new headteacher and I am sure she will become quite a familiar sight here in school before the end of term. Mrs Richardson was in school last week and we have already begun the handover process – it was very good to meet her and I am sure she will  bring much success to White Mere.

KS1 and KS2 SATs May is the month when our Year 6 and our Year 2 children complete their SATs. For our Year 2 pupils, this is an informal process and any parents wishing to chat to Miss Orrock about the assessments are welcome to a Drop In session on Monday 13th May between 3.30-4.00pm. For our Year 6 children the SATs are a more formal assessment but as we have discussed with them on numerous occasions, the exams are a test of school’s effectiveness not the children themselves and they simply need to try their best to get what they deserve. Again, any parents wishing to discuss the SATs are welcome to a Drop In session with Mrs Devenport on Monday 13th May between 3.30-4.00pm. If any parents can’t make those times and have questions, please feel free to email either Miss Orrock (fionaorrock@gatedu.org) or Mrs Devenport (catherinedevenport@gatedu.org) and they will be in touch.

KS2 Yard Project & New PTA Project Thank you so much to all of you for your incredible support in our aim to raise the money needed to pay for our KS2 yard play equipment and PE markings. You will have seen the fantastic new look to the KS2 yard and I can tell you that the children are really enjoying using it. Later this term we are receiving training about how to use the markings in our PE sessions so the children will soon be learning new games for them to enjoy in lessons as well as during break times. We will be liaising with the PTA about what we’d like our focus to be in the coming school year – once again, I’d like to thank them for their hard work and commitment to school. If you’d like to keep up to date with the PTA’s work, they have a Facebook page – White Mere PTA Forum.

Parents’ Evenings This term’s parents’ evenings will take place on Thursday 11th July and Tuesday 16th July. These final parents’ evenings are designed for parents who’d like to discuss the end of year reports and if, after receiving your child’s report you don’t feel you need an appointment then that is perfectly acceptable. As usual, further details will be sent out nearer the time.

Summer Fair – 12th July Last year we had a very enjoyable and successful Summer Fair on the penultimate Friday of the school year and we’re going to do the same again this year! The Summer Fair will take place on Friday 12th July at 2.30pm – I’ll send out further details nearer the time but please make a note of the date in your diaries.

Sandcastle Challenge! I am delighted to say that – for the first time – we have been lucky enough to get a place in the Children North East Sandcastle Challenge. Year 5 will be working closely with one of our parents, Mr Stephenson, to come up with an exciting design for a sustainable home before building it out of sand on South Shields beach! Funnily enough, we’re not short of staff willing to go on this trip!

Year 5 and 6 Residentials – Yr 6 Drop in 10th June In the first week of this term Year 5 spent a night away at Gibside on their residential trip. The children were great, with their enthusiasm, positive attitudes and impressive snack and sweet selections leaving us all really impressed! All staff agreed that the Year 5s really were very good company. Next month it is the turn of the Year 6 pupils and we will be holding a Drop In session for parents with any questions on Monday 10th June between 4.45-5.45pm.

Sports Day – Wednesday 10th July Miss Wilson is already busily preparing for our annual Sports Day. The Early Years Sports Day will take place on the morning of 10th July between 9.15-11.00am and the Year 1-6 Sports Day will take place that afternoon from 12.45pm. We hope that we have good weather like last year – in the event that the weather is not good enough for us to hold Sports Day, we will try again on Monday 15th July. Hopefully we won’t need it but it seems a good idea to have a reserve date bearing in mind our British summers!

2019-20 Nursery and Reception New Starter Sessions To help our 2019-20 Nursery and Reception new starters get ready for school, Mrs Lowrie will be holding a number of parents’ sessions. The dates are:

– 13th June @5pm – Early Years Unit Parents’ Session: this meeting will explain how our new Unit will work, including how staff will work with the children.

– 20th June @5pm – Getting Ready for Reception Parents’ Session: this meeting will be for parents of children starting in our Reception class in September 2019.

– 27th June @5pm – Independence in Nursery Parents’ Session: this meeting will be to help parents of children starting in our Nursery class in September 2019 promote independence.

– 4th July @5pm – Communication in Nursery Parents’ Session: this meeting will be to help parents develop their child’s communication skills for those pupils starting in our Nursery class in September 2019.

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

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