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January 2013

St Helen’s Nursery and Primary School


Newsletter – Tuesday 15th January 2013

Dates for the term

Please always refer to the website calendar for important school events this term.  Here are some taken from the website for your information:

Half term break:  Monday 18th – Friday 22nd February

Last day of term:  Thursday 28th March

First day of summer term:  Monday 15th April


SHARE DATES – please book the time off now to come and share in your child’s learning at school.  We always hope that every child will have one adult attending.  This adult doesn’t need to be a parent, it could be another adult who the child knows well. 


Rainforest Phase (Year 5 and Year 6) – 27th February 9.20 am – 12.00 noon

Ocean Phase (Year 3 and Year 4) –  1st March (morning – various times).  Parents will also be invited to sign up to come and help with props and costumes for the production in the week beginning 11th March

Year 2 – Thursday 28th February 1.30 pm – 3.00 pm

Year 1 - Thursday 14th February 1.25 pm - 3.00 pm

Reception – Wednesday 6th February 1.45 pm – 3.00 pm

Nursery – Friday 8th February 10.15 – 11.30 am (for morning children and their parents)

2.00 pm to 3.15 pm (for afternoon children and their parents)


Ocean Phase (Year 3 and Year 4) Production Dates:

Tuesday 26th March at 7 pm

Wednesday 27th March at 2 pm and 7 pm


Information Evening for Parents – Reading


Tuesday 5th February, 7 pm – 8 pm.  We would encourage you to come along to this meeting to find out how you can best support your child with their reading.  Children whose parents support them in learning to read are at a distinct advantage in school.  Find out how you can give your children even more of an advantage by coming along to this event!  Suitable for parents with children in Nursery through to Year 6. 

Volunteers – we recommend that all of our volunteer helpers attend this event so that they can give children the best support in school. 


Parent/Teacher Consultations

These are being held on Tuesday 12th March from 3 pm – 5.30 pm and Wednesday 13th March from 4.30 pm to 7 pm.  You will be able to reserve an appointment to meet your child’s class teacher by returning the request form that is sent out with your child’s spring term interim report in early March. 


Friday 1st February, 2.30 pm, in the school canteen – meeting for people who wish to support our lottery bid for funding to re-develop the school canteen building.  This project will enable us to make better use of the building but also enable community groups to use it.  We are in the process of gathering information to enable us to make a bid.   If you are interested in getting involved please come along to the meeting. 


Our learning priorities for the spring term:


Details of the curriculum being studied in each phase will be sent out soon.  We also have some priorities that all classes will be working on this term.  You can help with these at home too.


  • Practise counting with your child – go backwards and forwards, sometimes using negative numbers with older children, count in whole numbers, fractions or decimals.
  • Ask your child what the “natural powers” in maths are all about
  • Practise grammar and punctuation.  Try writing a sentence and then naming as many technical terms as you can eg full stop, exclamation mark, noun, adjective, verb, adverb, main clause, subordinate clause.  How far can you go? 
  • Encourage your child to tell you the stories and texts they are learning to say in class.  Make up stories to tell aloud – really use your imagination!


Suffolk’s results

I am sure that you will have heard in the local media about Suffolk’s disappointing overall performance as a Local Authority in the national league tables of Key Stage 2 results that were released before Christmas.  Suffolk Local Authority was ranked third from bottom nationally for attainment and fourth from bottom for progress.  For the headteachers, teachers, support staff and pupils in Suffolk this is indeed shocking and extremely disappointing news.  At St Helen’s we are determined to provide every opportunity to enable our pupils to make the best possible progress and reach the highest possible standards.  Every member of staff here is committed to this task.  We are working hard towards becoming an outstanding school at our next Ofsted inspection and there are currently, in school, many examples of outstanding practice happening daily.  It is essential that parents work with us to encourage, challenge and support their children.  Educational research proves conclusively that children achieve higher levels when their parents are involved and engaged in their education.  It is well known that a child’s social, economic and cultural background plays a large part in influencing their educational achievement.  At school the quality of our teaching and the learning opportunities we provide are crucial in enabling children to do their very best.  We are determined to provide the best possible support for all of our children whether they show particular skills and talents or struggle with their learning.  We are also committed to providing the range of opportunities that our pupils will need in order to prepare them for a successful life, widening their horizons and giving them memorable experiences and opportunities.  We know that our children can be the best in the country and we will strive to work with you to help them realise their potential. 

Learning from real life


We are delighted when parents are able to help us with bringing the curriculum to life for our pupils.  Last term we were able to do this on a number of occasions when parents offered to come in to talk to the children about their experiences.  For example Dr McNab came to talk to Year 5 pupils about the brain which linked with their science topic.  Children were able to ask lots of questions and were very keen to find out more.  If you have a particular skill or interest area that you feel may benefit learning please do contact us and let us know what you could offer.  Please also be ready for us to contact you if we hear about what you do!


Suffolk Young Carers

A number of our children have experienced “caring” for members of their families in times of need.  As a result we have arranged for Suffolk Young Carers to support a group of children to present an assembly soon.  They will also be organising a small fund raising event to support this important work. 



School Closure in the case of severe weather


Please note that in the event of our school needing to close due to bad weather you will be advised through the school website (www.sthelensprimary.net) which will be updated as soon as the decision has been made.  You can also listen to local radio stations for regular updates.  If the name of our school is not mentioned then we will expect all children to attend.  Please do not ring the school.    


Radio station  Frequencies

BBC Radio Suffolk

(all Suffolk schools)

95.5/ 95.9/ 103.9/ 104.6 FM

Heart FM

(all Suffolk schools)

97.1/ 96.4 FM

You can also pick up information of school closures on:




Important dates for the summer term:


First day of term:  Monday 15th April

SATS week for Year 6 children:  week beginning 13th May

Half term break:  Monday 27th May to Friday 31st May

School closed to pupils:  Monday 3rd June

International Street Festival:  Saturday 29th June

Northgate High School meeting with our Year 6 parents:  Wednesday 3rd July (evening)

Last day of term:  Tuesday 23rd July


Full term dates for 2013-2014 are available on the school website


Contacting school


Please help us by letting us know if you have any changes in circumstances at home or concerns about your child that may affect their learning in school.  Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s class teacher in the first instance.  Phase leaders are also available to deal with pastoral issues. 

Rainforest Phase Leader (Year 5 and 6 children):  Miss Lena Shete

Ocean Phase Leader (Year 3 and 4 children):  Miss Charmaine Evans

Savannah Phase Leader (Year 1 and 2 children):  Mrs Sue Poole

Sky Phase Leader:  (Nursery and Reception children):  Mrs Sarah Munnings