March Newsletter

Dear parents and carers,

Spring is slowly but surely creeping up on us and I hope that there is some sunshine for us over the Easter holidays. It was wonderful to see so many parents in school again last week for open mornings - thank you for taking the time, where possible, to join us for these events. Next term we will go back to afternoons for the open events and class assemblies to help parents that work different shift patterns to find the time to attend if they wish.

On the final assembly of this term this Friday, we will be presenting our termly values awards and half-termly over and above awards - keep an eye on our school blog to find out the winners!

Thank you all for your continued support again this term and for being such an important part of our AFJS community. Have a wonderful Easter break, whatever you have planned. Mrs Webb :)

Baby news!

Last week, Miss Trainer gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, who they have named Jesse. She has given me permission to share this photo with you all and I'm sure you will all agree he is just adorable. Congratulations Miss Trainer and family!

The quality of education at AFJS

In the last newsletter, I shared with you how impressed our School Improvement Partner, Mr Watts had been when he visited our school. We have since had his written report and here are a few extracts for you:

The teaching of mathematics is consistently good across the school. There are examples of exceptional practice. Teachers convey high expectations of learning. They have a secure knowledge of the teaching of mathematics.
Pupils are appropriately challenged in lessons. Learning activities on the same theme are presented as three levels of challenge. These help to ensure that the tasks are well matched to pupils’ attainment and needs.
Pupils have positive attitudes to learning in mathematics. In Year 3, pupils said, ‘I like maths because it challenges me’ and ‘It’s my favourite’. A Year 4 pupil commented, ‘I love maths, it’s really interesting.’ In Year 5, pupils said, ‘Maths is important, you need it for a good job.’ Half of the pupils spoken to said that maths was their favourite subject. Pupils in Year 5 found rounding decimals challenging but they appreciated that mathematics should make you think. In Year 6, pupils said, ‘Maths is enjoyable’ and ‘It's sometimes challenging and tricky’. They said that algebra and ratio were challenging but they were pleased that they showed perseverance and resilience.
The behaviour seen in mathematics lessons was consistently good or better
All pupils stated that they feel safe at school. They reported that they are very well looked after by staff. Pupils are fully aware that the internet can be misused. When using computer devices, pupils know how to keep themselves safe when working online.
Pupils demonstrated a clear understanding of bullying. They know that bullying is unkind behaviour which is continuous. Pupils stated that bullying is very rare at Abbots Farm Junior. They were extremely confident that if it did happen, it would definitely be sorted out by staff.

Learning around school

Over the past week or so, we have been doing assessments with the children to see the progress they have made in the Spring term. They have all worked super-hard on them and have tried their very best, demonstrating our school values of ambition and resilience at all times. This has also been a great opportunity for us to remind the children that some things in life are unavoidably more difficult or stressful, but that there are ways to overcome these feelings by putting into practice the strategies they have been learning in PSHE lessons, the NHS creating calm workshops and our discussions about their 'Zones of Regulation.' Well done everyone for putting our school value of Healthy Body and Mind into practice too!

Year 3

Last week, I saw Year 3 out on the field learning about what it was like to be a Roman soldier. Mr Corbett and one of our Governors also spoke with the year 3 children last week about their history and geography learning at AFJS and were very impressed with the enthusiasm for these subjects and the knowledge that the children had learned.

Year 4

In maths recently, Year 4 have been working on developing their understanding of fractions and have started to calculate using fractions too. In English, the children have written narrative paragraphs based on the text The Ice Palace. Year 4 have done a great job improving their swimming skills over the last 2 weeks too.

Year 5

I really enjoyed seeing some of N5s topic work on Brazil last week - they were so proud of what they were doing that when I was out on the path behind their classroom, they all held their work up to the windows to show me their hard work, which certainly brought a smile to my face. Year 5 have also been enjoying writing non-chronological reports about sloths this half term and have been really working on editing their writing to reflect on what they have done well and where they can further improve.

Year 6

Year 6 have been doing a brilliant job so far with their SATs revision home learning - staff have been very impressed by children's attitudes to completing this and checking it to help them further improve, so we felt this deserved a special mention this month! Not only does it help them prepare for their SATs, but it also helps them prepare for the transition to secondary school, by getting homework done on time and taking some responsibility for their own learning and progress.

In class, Year 6 have also been working hard on their writing and have really enjoyed learning about Winston Churchill and writing a speech just like he would have done during World War 2. They have also been using their writing skills in computing to create websites about volcanoes, using knowledge they learnt last term. In maths, the children have been learning to make connections between fractions, decimals and percentages.

Message from our Governors

At our recent Governors meeting we discussed the feedback from the parents survey sent out earlier this year. As Governors, the views of parents and the community in general are very important to us. Pleasingly, the overall feedback was highly positive, with the majority of questions having over 80% of parents responding ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’. Perhaps unsurprisingly, where parents had disagreed with a statement, the majority of the comments received were around pupil behaviour and the management of incidents at school.

I would encourage all parents to read our behaviour policy (available on the website) and speak to your child’s teacher if you have any questions. As Governors we visit school regularly for monitoring and also receive reports from third parties such as our school improvement partner. On our visits to school, we have witnessed fantastic behaviour from our pupils and it is always a lovely experience to come in and see the children enjoying their time in school. We have also witnessed how challenging behaviour is managed by staff, and this is always fully in accordance with our behaviour policy. This is also echoed in the third party reports we receive. We encourage parents to use the school communication channels to continue to discuss any incidents or concerns with staff.

Thank you once again to those of you who provided feedback this time. Please look out for future surveys as we really do appreciate your input and use this to shape our decisions as Governors.

AFJS sporting achievements

The weather is slowly improving (for now!) and the calendar is filling up with lots of sporting opportunities for AFJS pupils in the final term of the academic year, including inter-school competitions, sports week and our sports day which we have provisionally put on the calendar for Monday 1st July, weather permitting.

Last week, the football team did a great job and Mr Corbett said that they all played well. There were some new faces in the squad and when the nerves were overcome, they all had a fab time and represented our school brilliantly! They came away with 3 draws and big smiles on their faces! There is one more round of matches left, which are being played tonight, and it has been a very close competition this season so there is still a good chance of us being placed in the top 3, so fingers crossed! Good luck to the team!

Charity work

We had a great day celebrating Comic Relief last Friday by wearing 'something funny for money' and raised over £350!

We were also excited to welcome children into school for a movie night this week, arranged by the Kestrel House Captains and Ambassadors, with a little help from Mrs Hartwell and Mr Corbett. The children had a great time watching the Wonka movie and enjoying some sweet treats, and raised some much-needed funds for the Air Ambulance too! They have calculated the takings today and we made a grand total of £467.74 to donate to charity!

Thank you for your continued support with not only raising money for great charities but also promoting the importance of helping others and community spirit among our pupils.

It's BINGO time!

Please consider coming along to join us for this new family event - it would be great to bring together as many members of our community as possible for an enjoyable evening, the chance to win prizes and a fully licensed and very reasonably priced bar, all while helping to raise funds for the school. A letter has been sent out with a form on to book your table - please return these by 15th April.

Bag2School will be collecting from our school on Friday 3rd May from 9am. Please bring your bag (or bags!) to the yellow doors in the school car park and help us have a really good collection. Please note that we do not have the space to store any bags before this date!


Diary Dates

UPCOMING EVENTS - more information will be shared closer to the time but keep these dates in your diary

  • Friday 23rd March - BREAK UP FOR EASTER
  • Monday 8th April - BACK TO SCHOOL
  • Tuesday 9th April - 3:30pm - parent meeting for year 4 parents about the Times Tables Check for all year 4 pupils
  • Friday 12th April - Year 5 start Forest School
  • Wednesday 17th April - Y4 trip to Leicester Museum
  • Monday 22nd April - No Outsiders day
  • Thursday 2nd May - Polling Day - school is being used as a polling station but we will still be open for pupils
  • week beginning 13th May - year 6 SATs week
  • Friday 24th May - Break up for half term
  • week beginning 3rd June and 10th June - year 4 Times Tables Checks
  • week beginning 10th June - open afternoons (see details below)
  • Tuesday 11th June - Year 4 trip to Cotswolds Wildlife Park
  • week beginning 17th June and 24th June - year 6 swimming
  • Friday 21st June - training day - school closed to all pupils
  • week beginning 24th June - Rugby School Festival on the Close - different year groups involved in events across the week - TBC
  • Monday 1st July - Sports Day
  • Wednesday 10th July - Warwickshire transition day
  • Friday 12th July - PTA Summer Fair

Class assembly dates

Here are the dates for next term for your diary - please note that there are no Y6 class assemblies in the summer term as they will be doing their leavers play.

Open afternoon dates

Next term, we are moving our open events to afternoons again and this time, they will be sports linked, so bring your trainers! This is to fit in with sports week, which is the week after, and also to promote our school value of HEALTHY BODY & MIND!

Messages from the office

Please note there will be no fees showing on your accounts for KIDZONE (April & forward) until after our financial year end is completed - this will be after the Easter holidays so please don't panic when they are not showing up in your account. You can still make voucher payments in the normal way but these will be credited after year end completion. A text will be sent once fees available to view & pay. Thank you.

Medication - if your child needs to take a regular dose of medication within the school day for a short period of time for any reason, you need to complete a form at the office and hand in the correct daily dose to the office ladies for safe keeping. Do not put it in your child's bag. Please note that we are unable to refrigerate any medication.

Here are details of some local activities we have had shared with us recently that may be of interest to you.

Please remember that we cannot vouch for any of these providers, we are just sharing information that might be of use or interest to our families that has been sent to us.

The library also has a wonderful exhibition of Quentin Blake's book covers at the moment. Why not take a visit over the Easter holidays - the children will be sure to spot some familiar artwork in there from their favourite Roald Dahl stories! There is also a competition that children can enter - scroll down for more information!

The Top Secret Magic of Science show is coming to the Benn Hall during half term, on 27th March. Click here for further details