January Newsletter

Dear parents and carers,

Welcome to our very first newsletter of 2024! Happy new year to you all! There are lots of things to celebrate already from the 2 weeks that we have been back and it has been a wonderful start to the term here at AFJS. Assembly behaviour has been impeccable, I have seen lots of great examples of children's work and also been in lessons to see the great learning taking place. The respect that children are showing for adults and one another around school makes AFJS a joyous place to be too and it has been commented on by many visitors recently, which makes me very proud indeed!

Unfortunately, January has brought us the gift of Norovirus. Thank you for helping to stop the spread by keeping your child at home for 48 hours after they have last had sickness or diarrhoea. While we are usually keen to have your child in school as much as possible, in cases of norovirus, those extra days at home are vital to limiting the spread.

Please take the time to have a look through our newsletter to find out more about what is going on in school and also to keep yourself up to date with upcoming events.

Have a great weekend, Mrs Webb :)

Personal Development at AFJS

In the last newsletter, I shared with you what our School Improvement Partner, Mr Watts, said about reading on his last visit to school. This month, I have focused on the area of Personal Development. We have recently created a new page on our school website to explain more about what this means and more specifically what it means to us at AFJS as our personal development provision is something we are very proud of! As you may have seen on our social media channels, we have also reviewed our Equality policy and objectives and created an action plan that really reflects the direction of travel for us as we continue to create an amazing atmopshere for learning, where all children feel safe, respected and listened to.

Leaders and staff promote high expectations of pupils’ behaviour and conduct. Teachers and teaching assistants have established positive relationships with pupils
Leaders and staff at Abbots Farm Junior have created a positive and purposeful ethos where all groups of pupils, including those with SEND, are included and valued. The well-planned curriculum successfully promotes pupils’ personal development as well as academic achievement. The school’s motto, ‘Learning for life, Farmers for ever’ sums up the school’s learning focused ethos
Abbots Farm Junior has an effective pastoral system to support pupils and their families. An experienced Child and Family Lead and an experienced Child and Family Champion provide specific support to pupils and their families
Fundamental British values are promoted well so pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain. The school uses the well-regarded materials ‘No Outsiders’ to develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of equalities and protected characteristics. Pupils understand, appreciate and respect how people are different. They know that any form of discrimination is not acceptable
Pupils enjoy the wide range of additional activities which develop their interests and talents. These include Forest School, choir, cooking club and the various sports clubs provided by the school

As part of our Personal Development offer, we are working with the NSPCC again this term to deliver their 'Speak out. Stay safe.' lessons to all children. Here are some resources to help you support these messages at home.

We are also very lucky to have our own Mental Health in Schools Team worker, Sue, who some of you will have met this week if you attended the first anxiety for children workshop. We are now able to put referrals in for Sue and some of her other NHS colleagues to come and work with children and/or their families. If you would like to know more about what they can offer, take a look at these information pages below and get in touch with our Children and Families team by phone or email (pastoral2421@welearn365.com) if you would like to see if there is something they can do for you and/or your child.

Learning around school

Year 3

Year 3 have started off the new year with a new text called 'Journey' which they all seem to be enjoying. I saw them in lessons this week working on the development of vocabulary that they could use in their writing to interest the reader. I have also seen the year 3s working hard to learn how to multiply 2 digits numbers by a 1 digit number this week and they were very quick to spot Mrs Hartwell's "accidental mistakes" and tell her how to put them right! :)

Year 4

In English, Year 4 have been looking at the alternative version of 'The Three Little Pigs' and writing persuasively to try and get the wolf out of jail! Of course it wasn't him! How could it have been?! :) When I went into year 4 classes this week, I was very impressed with the calm learning environment and how hard everyone was working on developing their reading skills by answering questions about a text.

Year 5

Kensuke's Kingdom is the new text that year 5 have been reading since they came back to school in January and they have been learning about the subjunctive to help them in their writing to persuade Michael's family to go on a trip. I have seen some really hard work going into spelling lessons this week too and children using some excellent vocabulary such as phonemes, syllables, homophones and word class to discuss the words and spelling rules they were learning. Ask them about 'silent letters' and see what they can remember! :)

Year 6

This term, the topic in year 6 is World War 2, which never fails to engage the children and capture their imagination. The children have been reading Ronnie's War to understand what life was like for children in England during the war and in their history lessons, they are learning about different turning points in the timeline of the wat and why they were so pivotal. I saw the children reading a text about Anne Frank in their guided reading lesson this week and they were all working hard on their reading skills and enjoying the text, but also bringing lots of their other learning about World War 2 into the lesson too. It is great to hear about children going home and finding out more too - truly ambitious Learners for Life!

Young Voices 2024!

The year certainly started with a bang for our Young Voices choir who went to the Resorts World Arena last Wednesday to take part in the final concert! The joy on their faces was amazing to see as they sang their hearts out and had what was apparently the "best day ever!" All of the staff that went were very proud of the children not only for their wonderful singing and their hard work in learning all the songs in rehearsals but also their excellent behaviour throughout the day.


Message from the chair of Governors:

This year, we are introducing a mid-year parent survey in addition to the usual end of year one. As governors and SLT, we are keen to hear the views of our parents more regularly and sending out this survey at the half-way point in the academic year also gives us time to consider parental views in our ongoing development plan both in terms of what is working well but also the areas where we could further improve. Please keep an eye out for the survey link, which will be emailed to you all in the next week or two. We would be very grateful if you could give us 5 minutes of your time to complete it.

Many thanks, Mrs T. Forsyth (Chair of Governors) and Mrs G. Webb (Headteacher)


A huge thank you to everyone for your support of the PTA events last term, especially over the Christmas period. We hope you and your families enjoyed the events - keep a look out for the next events coming up this term and remember, if ever you want to volunteer to help out, we are always more than happy to welcome new members.

We would like to extend a huge "Thank you" to Sainsburys for their generous donation of Mince Pies last term! They were a great addition to our Christmas performances and were the perfect addition to a hot chocolate or mulled wine.

Why not make using our Easy Fundraising account your NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION! You can raise FREE donations for us EVERY time you shop online. Over 7,000 brands will donate, including all the big names like John Lewis & Partners, BT, Expedia, Argos, ASOS, Just Eat, Uswitch and many more! Please support us by clicking the button below to sign up and get shopping

Please remember to keep saving the plastic lids of milk cartons and sending them in to school for the attention of Mrs Warneck too.


Attendance - Please make sure that children are in school by 8:50am each day so that they are settled and ready to start their learning on time. The gates are open from 8:40 to 8:50. We will be sending out letters to parents next week if pupils have lower than expected attendance. Please be reassured that we often know the reasons for your child's absence but we are expected to follow up anything lower than expected and we only ever want to support, not judge. If you need any support at all with your child's attendance, please email Miss Ingle on pastoral2421@welearn365.com and she will be more than happy to arrange a chat (and maybe even a cuppa if you are lucky! :) )

School uniform - school shoes should be sensible black shoes/boots/smart, completely black trainers. In bad weather, children may wear other boots, shoes or wellies to walk to school but they must bring their school shoes to change in to once they are here. Children should not wear smart watches of any kind.

Diary Dates

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

  • Tuesday 30th January - pm - Y5 & 6 are going to Ashlawn to watch the student production of We Will Rock You.
  • Friday 9th Feb - Mid year reviews out to parents
  • wb 12th Feb - HALF TERM
  • Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st February - parents evenings
  • wb 4th March and 11th March - year 4 swimming
  • Friday 8th March - Y4 forest school will be in the morning so that the children can still go swimming in the afternoon
  • wb 11th March - open mornings
  • wb 25th March and 1st April - EASTER HOLIDAYS

Class assembly dates

DON'T FORGET: This term, class assemblies start at 9:05am. Here are the dates for your diary. A huge well done to Mrs Thomas' class who started us off this week with some very confident speaking.

Open morning dates

Do you have your child's open morning date in your diary? This term, they will be between 9am and 10am in the week beginnning 11th March 2024.

Our open events are a great opportunity for parents to come in and complete some activities with their children linked to their learning this term. You can also have a look through all of their books and chat to year group staff. Even if you can't stay for the whole hour, come along for as long as you can.

Messages from the office

Clubs - please check the start and end dates carefully on the email you were sent or in the list in 'Diary Dates' above - they are all a bit different this term due to the weather, dark nights, availability of space in school etc.

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.

Payments - New Kidzone fees, music tuition etc are now in your account to be paid.

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.