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Working together, Learning together

Mr Mayer's News

23rd May 2022

Dear Parents & Carers

Well now that SATs are over and done for both Key Stages 1 and 2, we can all look forward to a fantastic last term at HPS. Hopefully the weather won’t let us down and we can get outside as much as possible.

I’m sure the teachers will be sending home reminders but I’ll do it as well!  Please remember that if it is sunny and warm, to send your child to school with a suitable sun hat and having had sun cream applied. Can I also remind you all to put labels in ALL your children’s clothes? We have a lost property box full of coats, school uniform, shoes and book bags, none of which has a name. These things are not cheap and when the cost of living is going sky high I am surprised that they are so easily forgotten about.

Can I also remind parents that tempting though it may be, to send your child in flimsy sandals, these are not suitable footwear for school! It is really all about health and safety as there are too many activities in school where toes could be hurt. So please, no open toed shoes of any kind. Thank you for your cooperation with these things.

We will also be on the field a lot so if your child suffers from hay fever, please make sure they take their medication before coming to school.

Attendance

The pandemic has had a huge impact on attendance, not just when children have had Covid but also when they have had to isolate or if they were staying off “just in case”. However, with things returning to something like normality, we need to improve our attendance. Our whole school attendance target is 96% which is the equivalent of having a maximum of 7 days off over the whole year.

Currently these are the average attendance figures for each class.  I have also included the percentage of children who have under 90% attendance (equivalent to having 3 weeks off school).

Class Name

Average attendance

 Percentage of children 90% or under

Starfish

93%

12% (3 children)

Dolphins

90%

35% (8 children)

1H

92%

23% (7 children)

1M

94%

19% (6 children)

2JB

93%

18% (4 children)

2S

93%

16% (4 children)

3H

91%

36% (8 children)

3F

93%

26% (6 children)

4P

95%

15% (4 children)

4L

95%

20% (5 children)

5K

94%

14% (4 children)

5B

92%

28% (8 children)

6AR

93%

29% (8 children)

6C

91%

25% (7 children)

Unfortunately, we do seem to have quite a number of parents who are persistently allowing their children to stay home from school. Understandably this has a massive impact on their children’s progress. Because of this, from September we will be starting to issue fixed penalty fines for unauthorized absences. In effect, if a child is off school without a good reason, then there will be an initial fine of £60 per child per adult in the house. So if two children are kept away from school then this could result in a fine of £240 which doubles if this is not paid straight away.

Unauthorised attendance also refers to persistent lateness and not being in school for registration in the morning.

Further information will be sent home about this next term with full details of our policy on promoting good attendance. You have a legal responsibility to get your child to school. Not to do so is a safeguarding issue as your children will not thrive as they should do. It is classed as Educational Neglect which may very well lead to involvement with the local authority children’s services. If your children are not in school, then we can’t teach them and they won’t learn.

I have been trying to avoid having to do this but with so many children across the whole school having under 90% attendance, I have been left with no other choice.

If, for any reason, you are having difficulty with getting your child to school each day and on time, it is vital that you let us know as soon as possible. This policy will apply to everyone with no exceptions.

To see the newsletter in full in 'Headteacher's Newsletters' below.

David Mayer

Headteacher

Laura Farris MP with Card Competition winner Emerald Y6
Prime Minister & Laura Farris MP

Reading

This will be our biggest focus this year and will continue to be for the next few years. At Hungerford Primary School the children will “Learn to read and then read to learn”.  Whatever else they learn, reading will be our focus with the aim that every child leaves us as, at the very least, a functional reader, ready for their secondary school education.

We genuinely cannot do this without your support. I have said this before, but I say a big thank you to those of you who do listen to your children read, read stories to them and talk to them. Your children will do better than those who do not have these things.... by a significant margin.

To those of you who want to support your children but are struggling for one reason or another, then please come and speak to us. It could make all the difference to your child’s future. We won’t judge you but we can help you. If you struggle with reading yourself or don’t know what you should be doing or saying when you sit with your child, then you should talk to your child’s teacher or anyone else in school that you feel comfortable talking to. They will be only too happy to help you.

For those of you who don’t see this as important or don’t see it as your responsibility please think again. Imagine your child as an adult and what their life might be like if they can’t read or write or communicate effectively. Teachers in all their schools will do their best but without backup from home it is as effective as building a house on sand.

Christmas Card Competition Winner

Congratulations to Year 6 pupil Emerald, who was the winner of a Christimas Card competition run by Laura Farris, MP for Newbury,  The competition was to design a Christmas card for Mrs Farris to produce as her official Christmas card to send out across her West Berkshire constituency and to the Prime Minister.  The competition was open to all West Berkshire Schools and Nursery Schools.  Mrs Farris came to school to congratulate Emerald on her fantastic design and present her with her prize.

Safeguarding

safeguarding(1)

I was asked last term by a parent what they should do if they have concerns about a child’s welfare outside school. The answer is simple. If you believe that there is imminent danger to the child, then you should phone the police straight away. If you have any other concerns around neglect or emotional abuse or a child’s attendance or anything else then you should Children’s Services. Their number is 01635 503109. This can be done anonymously.

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