It has been a busy week and this is a busy newsletter to boot! It was lovely to see so many of you at the ‘Meet the teacher’ event. The slides from these are now available on the class pages of the website: www.bidborough.kent.sch.uk
Below you will find information about:
As you will be aware, we are taking part in the Mini London Marathon in the week beginning 4th October. Please do take the opportunity to get some sponsorship for the children to support them in their running. They will all need their trainers in school every day in that week and full PE kit on Friday. Please ensure your children have correct PE kit in school (see the website if you are not sure) and plimsolls or trainers. These should ideally come into school on Monday and go home to be washed on Fridays. Importantly, please note that metal studded sports shoes are not permitted in school for health and safety reasons.
Spelling - a new approach – From Mrs Hard
Children bring home a list of words. Parents diligently help child to learn to spell these words throughout the week, writing them in lists and sometimes sentences, sometimes in rainbow colours sometimes in pyramid shapes, hoping to memorise the word or the spelling rule. Every evening the parent and child practise the words on the list and by Friday (if you are lucky) the child scores well in the weekly test. Job done, spellings learned. The next time the child needs to write such a word they will know how to spell it, right? Wrong! So often the reality is that children do remember the spelling for the Friday test but these spellings rarely make it into the long term memory which is where it is needed for writing. Over the years I’ve lost track of how many times children have scored 10 out of 10 in their spelling tests only to spell the word incorrectly in their writing just a moment later. So what can be done to improve the spelling success of the pupils in our school? Well this is where our new approach comes in.
We are doing away with weekly spelling tests and using the time to investigate words instead. In class the children will be learning to spell in two ways; using the extended phonic code and the Sirlinkalot app.
We begin the simple alphabetic code in Reception and it continues to be taught through Key Stage 1 and now through Key Stage 2 as well. The children will investigate our complex language in their lessons looking at the grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and how the same sound can be represented in many different ways. For example the long vowel sound for /ae/ can be represented by many graphemes: day, sleigh, prey, cake, break, table or brain to name a few. The children will be taught how to select the most likely grapheme for the positioning of the phoneme in the word. This is a lot simpler than it sounds believe me! As the children move through Key Stage 2 they will be taught more about the morphology and etymology of words too.
Bidborough is also thinking about linking with Sirlinkalot. Sir Linkalot is an official ambassador for Kent County Council's 'Reconnect'' programme. Part of the programme is to give all parents and schools free access to the app until half-term. This spelling app aims to help children learn the common exception words laid out in the National Curriculum by creating visual and engaging links via Sirlinkalot’s videos and Youtube channel. Every day in class the children spend approximately 5 minutes watching videos of Sir Linkalot’s links. This is a very popular way to learn tricky spellings. Watch this video if you need more information Sir Linkalot: YOU WANT PROOF !!?? - YouTube
How can parents help?
Download the app for free and login using the code given by your class teacher. Encourage your child to watch the videos aimed at their age group. Your class teacher will inform you about the correct level. At home you can use the app’s testing feature specifically for your child and they can see how quickly they improve their spelling of these words.
On a Monday we will send home a list of words containing the sound that we will be investigating that week. If you wish to support your child in learning these then get them to look carefully at the sounds within the words and the graphemes that represent that sound in that word. There are no spelling patterns or rules to learn just the 44 sounds that make up our wonderful English language and the graphemes that represent them.
Harvest – Mrs Voisey
This year we have decided to continue to support our local charity Nourish with our Harvest collection. We heard from Dawn that:
'The team at Nourish has continued to support those in crisis in our borough as the pandemic slowed and through the extra lockdown challenges and periods of self-isolation that many of our clients have struggled through.
Due to the ending of furlough and many areas of hospitality not reopening, we have seen a rise in local redundancies and the crisis many people face due to this.
We have spent close to £100,000 on buying in food over this past year to meet demand due to the drop in physical donations and we are working hard to bring our supplies up to meet the demands.
Sadly, one in five children in our area live in poverty today and we forecast that this number is likely to increase over the coming months with the end of furlough and a rise in redundancies. We continue to be committed to providing a lifeline to families who need a helping hand to get back on their feet. '
Please see the attached 'wish list' of most useful donations. Donations may be brought in any time
Nourish will be holding a special assembly with us next Friday 1st October .
We have had a couple of cases of confirmed Covid in the school community. As you know, the school is no longer handling contact tracing and you will be contacted by NHS test and trace if your child is deemed to be a close contact. Children under the age of 18 years and 6 months and fully vaccinated adults do not need to isolate if they are close contacts with a positive case, and your child should continue to attend school as usual. If you are contacted by Test and Trace and are told that your child is a close contact, then you should arrange for your child to have a PCR test, although they do not need to isolate while they are waiting for their appointment or the result (unless they develop symptoms). Whether or not you are contacted, please be vigilant and monitor your child for symptoms.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or tests positive for COVID-19
If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should get a PCR test and remain at home at least until the result is known. If negative, the child can end self-isolation; if positive, the child should isolate until at least 10 days after their symptoms appeared. Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new, continuous cough, or a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia). If the child has a positive test result but do not have symptoms, they should stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the date the positive test was taken. This isolation period will be extended if they go on to develop symptoms by counting 10 full days from the day following their symptom onset. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for a PCR test (the normally available test type) and this can be arranged via Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or by calling 119. Siblings are not required to self-isolate. Please keep in touch and let us know whether your child is well enough to work from home in this circumstance.
Finally, I would like to repeat that your child does not need to isolate and should continue to attend school as usual; this letter is merely a “warn and inform”.
Individual and sibling photos will be taken on Monday 27th September. We have been pleased with our new provider so hopefully you will get some great shots in time for that handy Christmas Present!
Message from the PTA – John Kwak – PTA chair
1. Today is the deadline tor those who want to put their names down for the available PTA roles. Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Independent Examiner.
2. The The AGM will take place on Tuesday 12th October at the school hall where everyone is invited to this official PTA meeting and everyone is welcome to our regular PTA meet-ups. Please contact your PTA Class rep for details.
Have a great weekend!