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Message from Headteacher

Fri 29 Apr 2016

 

We have had a very exciting time during breaks and lunchtimes this week as the new tree house and slide are finished and the children have been enjoying the experience of the new playground attraction. It has been great to see all the children so happy to come out to play and to see them enjoying the new playground experience. I know that lots of parents and staff are keen to have a go too! While the children are in school, we are able to supervise the children on the climbing equipment and slide, but before and after school, can I please ask that you supervise your own children if they are having one quick go on the slide before class or before going home. The school and staff cannot be responsible for your children at these times. Thank you for your support with this.

The children have also been working hard in class this week, especially in Year 2 and Year 6 as they are preparing for the end of key stage SATS. As you will know the government have raised the expected standards for pupils at the end of KS1 –Year 2 and end of KS2 –Y6, and the children currently in these year groups have had to squeeze more than one year’s learning in to this year. The teachers are very aware that some of the children will be anxious but the teachers will make it as stress-free as possible. In Year 2, the pupils will sit the tests in small groups during the course of the month of May. Year 6 pupils must sit the tests at the same time as all other Y6 children nationally, so there is a timetable in place for the week of the 9th –12th May. The children in Year 6 are offered free breakfast club that week, so look out for the letter regarding this next week.

Today, we had a visitor working with both teachers and pupils on reviewing marking and feedback policy and practice at Millfields. This piece of work is in response to the recent DfE paper on marking and teacher work-life balance. The aim of the review is to ensure that the teachers are spending time marking and giving feedback that the children think is worthwhile and is moving them on in their learning, which helps them to improve their work; as well as teachers spending their time on quality rather than quantity written feedback, as well as verbal feedback, that they feel is manageable and meaningful. The outcomes will be available for parents to see if they wish at the next Parents’ Evening.

You will see a few reminders in the Mag, especially about uniform, so please ensure that your child is wearing the appropriate clothes and footwear for school, especially when the weather gets warmer… hoping that will be soon! Thanks again for your support with this. Also, again, please make sure that if your child is in the playground and on school playground equipment before or after school, then they are your responsibility.

Have a lovely long weekend. Best Wishes, Jane

 

Message from Headteacher

Fri 22 Apr 2016

 

We have had a fantastic week of speaking, listening and performance poetry as part of our language enrichment focus for Speaking and Listening Week. On Monday we started the week with a focus on bi-lingualism that was run for parents by the speech and language service. On Wednesday Y5 worked with various members of the school community on an activity called 'Talking Tables'. The children were given the opportunity to just talk to the group facilitator about the interesting image or object that they had on their table -the children loved it and the language and inquiry were fantastic. We are thinking about doing something like this more regularly, so look out for a call for volunteers in the future. There was also a stall after school on Wednesday, with interesting leaflets, ideas to encourage children to talk and be proud of their home languages, as well as the importance of story-telling. Lots of parents said that they found this very helpful.

As part of our Speaking and Listening Week, all of the classes have been looking at appreciation of poetry and writing their own poems. The competition for a place in the Poetry Finals yesterday was very fierce, with lots of children writing and performing their own poems. The judges had a very difficult  job choosing who they thought had either performed well, written heir own poem and presented it in a very confident and expressive way. The winners  received a medal, certificate and a poetry book –well done to everyone as below:

EYFS: Runners Up: Christie and Aqeela. Winner: Zhane

KS1: Runners Up: Honor and Annie . Winner: Asma

LKS2: Runners Up: Safiyah, Safiya, and Joe. Winner: Oscar

UKS2: Runner Up: Husna. Winner: Oasis

Also this week, you will notice that the new playground treehouse is nearly finished. The children are all very excited to start playing and exploring the new structure. Everyone will have an opportunity next week, and then  it will then, I am sure, become one of the popular playtime activities.

Year1 and Year 2 also enjoyed and learnt lots from Road Safety workshops that tool place on Monday. Please reinforce rules about coring the road with your child/ren and follow the ‘Green X Code’!

Have a good weekend. Best Wishes, Jane

 

 

 

Message from Headteacher

Fri 15 Apr 2016

 

Welcome back to everyone, and hope you all had a good break. Some of the children look like they have grown and certainly everyone looks rested and ready for the excitement of all this term’s learning opportunities. I have really enjoyed hearing about all the different trips, holidays and activities that the children took part in over the break -they are very lucky!

I am sure you will have noticed the new playground structure is nearly complete -we are hoping that it will be ready to be used in the next week or so! The children have been fascinated to watch the progress and have been asking lots of questions. Thank you for your patience and understanding until the construction is complete.

On Tuesday, we had a Governance Review. The school Governing Body met with Trevor Walker, an external consultant who had a tour of the school, spoke to staff and governors, scrutinised documents and ask lots of questions about the way we work together -school and governors, to ensure the best possible outcomes for your children. We will have a final report in a few weeks that you will be able to read on the website.

Today we have had a visit from Denmark -Headteachers, politicians and educationalists. This was their first visit and experience of a British school, and they were overwhelmed by all that they saw. They were most fascinated that children had talk partners in class, and that each classroom had a carpet area for the whole class group to sit on. They also commented on how friendly and engaged the children were, and loved all the displays in class and around the school. They saw a variety of activities including an Art lesson, a Class Council meeting, PE lessons and topic lessons. A huge thank you to our Y6 Ambassador today, Taylor West, who was a fantastic host and advocate for the school.

The PSA met just before the Easter break and have agreed the Summer Fair date as Saturday 9th July. The theme is going to be ‘Eid celebration', as our Muslim community will be celebrating the end of Ramadan and marking Eid on that day. The PSA will be sending out a newsletter very soon and will, as ever, be asking for help and support before, after and during the event. Please email psamillfields@gmail.com if you have any time, enthusiasm or both to spare!

We also have lots of exciting events and theme weeks and days coming up this term. Next Week is ‘Speaking and Listening Week’ that will culminate in the Poetry Recital Final on Thursday. Please encourage your child to learn and practice performing a poem over the weekend as a winner from each class will go through to the final. Also, if there are any parents who are willing and able to read or tell stories to their child’s class that week, especially stories or traditional tales from other cultures and countries, and in different languages, please contact info@millfields.hackney.sch.uk

The class photo proofs arrived and were given out to classes this week. We think they look great, hope you do too! Orders need to be returned to the main office by the end of Monday 18th April -this is an extension to the original deadline! No orders can be accepted after this time.

As the weather is getting warmer, please ensure that your child is still wearing school uniform and that they wear sensible shoes/sandals, not flip flops and please wear a hat if necessary. There is plenty of water available at all times in class and in the playground for children.

Have a good weekend. Best Wishes, Jane

 

Message from Headteacher

Thu 24 Mar 2016

 

We have reached the end of a very short but extremely busy term! This week we have enjoyed our annual visit from the Owl Sanctuary –the children loved seeing the owls in assembly and children in Manchester Class told me: ‘they were swooping low near their heads –it was awesome!’ If your child had their photo taken with the owls, (Nursery and Y6 pupils), the proofs will be in school after the Easter break.

Also this week, our budding musicians of the future –our ‘Rock Bands’ took part in a music session at Daubeney School. Our children were brilliant and were excellent ambassadors for the school and a showcase for all the music department do that enriches our children’s experience in school. Thank you Roz and Tom for organising.

Today we are all very excited as it is the last day of term, but also because it is non-uniform day, the annual Easter Bonnet competition, and the Easter Raffle draw! The bonnets this year were even better, bigger, more innovative and creative than ever before –it was a really tough decision choosing the winners. Thank you to all the children (and parents!) who worked so hard to make such amazing hats! Winners of the Easter Bonnet competition –one from each class, were notified during the school day, and raffle prize winners will receive a text to collect their prize from Jane’s office at the end of the day.

On a more sombre note, all the children in each class took a moment to talk about and reflect on the recent events, in both Ankarah, Turkey and Brussels, Belgium. It is important that we let the children know we are always thinking of others and sending our prayers and thoughts to families all over the world. P lease look at the following link for more information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/35870981

As you will have read from the latest PSA Newsletter, work is starting over the Eater break, on the next phase of the playground development. The work will start tomorrow – Friday 25th March and should be finished by Friday 22nd April. Please bear with us while some of the existing playground is fenced off – this is obviously for health and safety reasons. We will be speaking to the children about safety issues in assemblies on the first day back. Details of the design and build are now on the school website.

As ever we are now getting ready for the summer term. There are lots of exciting things planned for Speaking and Listening Week, DT and Science Week and Sports Week, so look out for more information on all of these in the coming weeks. Sports Day dates are also in this Mag and on the school website.

Thank you to all the parents for their support this term with events, workshops, Parents Evening and work through the PSA and volunteering programmes. There will be more to come in the summer term, so look forward to working with you more then.

Finally thank you to all the wonderful children at Millfields who have worked so hard this term, and to the staff for their hard work, enthusiasm and commitment.

I hope you all have a good break, and see you on Monday 11th April at 8.55am.

Best Wishes,. Jane

 

 

Message from Headteacher

Fri 18 Mar 2016

 

We have had a fun-packed day as part of our fundraising efforts for Sports relief. All of the children look fabulous in their red clothes and/or sports gear, and they have all been involved in a run around the school. Year 3 children have also had the opportunity to play tennis today! Thank you to all the staff and children who dressed up and donated £1 –we will keep you informed of the money raised in the coming days. The proceeds of today’s after-school cake sale will also be going towards this worthy cause!

Thank you to all the parents and carers who attended Parents’ Evening this week. It is always good to see so many parents and carers, and also to get your feedback on a range of things from across the school via our termly questionnaire. If you didn’t get a chance to see the responses to feedback from the Autumn term, please ask for a copy at the main reception, or look on the school website.

Thank you also for the overwhelmingly positive feedback on the school food through the questionnaire and the opportunity to buy food on the evening. The question around ‘My child enjoys school meals’ is always an interesting one, as there appear to be many misperceptions about the quality and range of food on offer every day. In brief, all of the meat at Millfields is halal –the certificate is on display in the dinner hall and on the school website; there is a ways a ‘meat free’ day for all pupils; on four days, there is a meat, vegetarian meal as well as soup/sandwich option and/or a jacket potato; there is always a choice of desserts –fruit, yoghurt, cheese and biscuits or a cake/hot dessert; we do not add salt to any food and the custard is sugar-free. The menus are always available in advance on the website and at the main office.

Also this week, all of the top point scorers were treated to a brilliant trip to the amazing Kidzania in West London. This is a fantastic and unique 4-hour experience where children can choose from more than 60 real-life role-play adventures. Worth a trip to see for your self!

Class photographs were taken yesterday –the children looked very smart in their school uniform and the photos are always brilliant! The proofs will be arriving in school after the Easter break, so you will have the opportunity to but them then.

The Nursery classes have been out and about in the local area this week, visiting Charterhouse Aquatics in Dalston. The children had a great time looking at this amazing hidden gem  in our midst! The children saw a wide range of fish, and were very well-behaved as commented on by the staff at Charterhouse. Thank you to Cynthia for organising.

I can hardly believe that it almost the end of the Spring term, so a few reminders about next week: we finish school on THURSDAY 24th MARCH at 2pm –please collect your child from the playground at that time; also next week, there will be a non-uniform day on Thursday 24th March –dress for Spring or in yellow; there is also the usual Easter Bonnet Parade and competition –please bring all bonnets to the tables in the playground on Thursday morning and there will be a winner from each class. More information to follow.

Finally, have a good weekend. Best Wishes, Jane

 

Message from Headteacher

Fri 11 Mar 2016

 

This week, we have been welcoming authors and illustrators to classes as part of our Book Links project. Each class is assigned a book as part of their Literacy work and then the class complete work and activities base don the text, and have the opportunity to meet and question authors/illustrators about their role in creating the book. The authors usually come prepared with a presentation and also share some of their skills and expertise needed to be a writer or illustrator. The children have really enjoyed the experience asnd have been especially keen to share their own writing with our visitors! Well done everyone.

Yesterday Year 2 classes visited the  UK Wolf Conservation Trust in Reading. The children said that this was one of ‘the best ever trips’, and the teachers are already planning their next unit of Literacy work which is non-fiction, around wolves. I cannot wait to see the writing and work produced.

Also this week, Nursery pupils have been involved in a local history and local buildings project workshop that took place at St John’s Church. The focus was on St John’s restoration project, and was aimed at the youngest pupils in the school becoming more aware of the history of the building and other historical buildings in the area. The children enjoyed the experience and we are hoping to make more links to encourage our children to be historians in their local area. Year 1 children will also be getting involved with this project at some point in the future. Thank you to Cynthia and Emma for organising.

Thank you to the parents who attended the Year 6 Open Morning this week. I hope they found it useful to see what the children are learning and how they are being taught to tackle Maths problems, especially with the raised expectations in this year’s Y6 SATS.

This week, also saw the culmination of an art project base don the work of Alexander Calder that Glasgow Class have been studying. Glasgow Class organised a pop-up art exhibition in the top hall and invited school staff, parents and carers have a tour of their work and to be part of a question and answer session. There was a fantastic turn out of parents and the work was amazing. We are now trying to look for a permanent space for it to be exhibited in the school so watch this space so you can all have a look at their amazing work. Well done to Glasgow Class and thank you to Celeste for organising.

As part of our role as an Ashoka Change-maker School, we welcomed visitors from Freuds PR company to our school. They were very impressed with the member sof school council and the prime Minster who showed them around and were able to answer lots of questions and talk about all the different aspects of learning and enrichment opportunities we offer at Millfields. We are hoping that they may be able to help us in the future with fundraising projects and with our Y6 Dragon’s Den as part of Work Week.

Finally, a reminder that it is Parents’ Evening on Tuesday 15th March –I hope you have already signed up to see your child/ren’s class teacher, and you will also have an opportunity to taste some of the school meals –adults £2.50, children £1.50.

I hope you have a good weekend.

Best Wishes, Jane

 

Message from Headteacher

Fri 04 Mar 2016

 

World Book Day was yesterday and we had a wonderful day guessing who everyone was dressed up as! There were lots of super heroes, princesses and Harry Potters, as well as lots of our other favourite book characters. It was a very difficult task but Debi awarded prizes to 2 children in each year group. Well done and thank you to all the children (...and parents), and to lots of the staff, for a great effort!

Also this week, we welcomed lots of parents in to look at Maths in Years 2-5 and to see how reading is taught in Year 1. Thank you to all the parents and carers who attended. The feedback was, as ever, overwhelmingly positive. Thank you also, to the parents who have emailed their thoughts and thanks. Feedback of all kinds is always very welcome.

Year 6 visited Kew Gardens as part of their topic on the Amazon. The children enjoyed looking around the gardens and hot houses and also took part in a workshop and learnt lots to bring back to the classroom and support their learning.

I enjoyed a fantastic evening of music on Tuesday, when 7 of our pupils, along with brass tutor, Lawrence –played alongside 10 other school and the London Symphony Orchestra at Stoke Newington Town Hall. The piece of music was composed by the children and the music written especially for the event. The atmosphere was amazing and the parents and families who attended were quite rightly very proud of their child and the whole groups involvement in the project. Thank you to Roz and Tom for their support in the lead up to and during the event, and to Lawrence who not only played with our players but also conducted the 2 orchestras that also played! Well done everyone!

Another well done and thank you goes to Derby Class who shared their work so far this term with us during their Sharing Assembly today. We learnt lots about dinosaurs, map-reading, human and physical geography and we also enjoyed a Maths Rap!! Fantastic everyone!

Next week is Book Links Week when the children will be meeting authors and illustrators of the texts that they have been reading in class. We are always very lucky to meet and make links, so do ask your child which book they have been reading and talk to them about the characters and plot. They will have lots to tell you!

Spring term Parents’ Evening is coming up soon, so if you would like to make an appointment to meet with your child/ren’s class teacher, please see the board that will be ready from the end of school today. Each meeting is only scheduled for 10 minutes per parent and you will have the opportunity to look at your child’s Maths and Literacy books and to ask questions about their progress. Please be reminded and aware that national expectations for each year group have been raised –your child’s teacher will talk to you about this if you need further clarification. There will also be school meal tasting—meals will be on sale on the evening.

Finally, I hope you have a good weekend.

Best Wishes,

Jane