Links News- 18th October
It is hard to believe we have reached the end of the first half term already!
As with any school and any business we will have changes of staffing. In schools most changes of staff occur at the end of the school year. Today I want to let you know of some changes of staffing that will occur at the start of the next term in January.
Miss Francis (Year 1) will be leaving us at Christmas to return to Australia. We have loved working with Miss Francis and really appreciated her dedication to the children. I know she is excited to return home to her family and I wish her well on her travels. I am very pleased to say we have chosen Mrs Cathy Tyler to join the Links team next term. Mrs Tyler will be a familiar face to many. She has worked with us over the last year replacing teachers on day to day cover in times of illness etc. We look forward to welcoming Mrs Tyler on a full-time basis to the Links staff.
Miss Akhtar who has worked at Links since 2012 will also be leaving us at the end of this term. I have worked with Miss Akhtar for a number of years and I know, having spoken with her, that this has been a very difficult decision for her to make. She has played a huge role in the Early Years provision at Links and I want to thank her for her years of commitment to the children and to the school. Miss Akhtar has been a member of the leadership team at Links for many years and I know she has wanted to progress her leadership career further. I am pleased she is progressing in this ambition and is moving to an Assistant Headteacher role in her new school. Salma is a dedicated educator and I wish her every success in the future. I have loved working with her and I know she will be really missed by our children and families and by the staff team.
As this news is very new we have not yet recruited a member of staff to join the Links team. I look forward to doing so over the next few weeks and will let you know when we have found the right person to join us.
Friends of Links
I know over the last few weeks many parents have approached me and asked how they can support us with organising events and fundraising. I am really grateful of these offers of help and want to say yes immediately! I have spent time over the last few weeks considering the logistics of how best to organise these offers of support. Michelle Tindall (School Business Manager) and Nicola Todd (Personnel and Admissions Officer) have offered to coordinate this support. Although I have listed their official job roles here I could add a much longer, detailed description of all the work they both do, along with many other colleagues, to ensure the school runs as well as it does. Suffice to say they are hugely knowledgeable about the school and have spent many years involved in the running of fairs, discos, quizzes etc. I am very grateful to them for offering to coordinate this work across this year.
With all that said if you would like to be involved in helping organise upcoming events please email email@example.com and Michelle or Niki will return your mail.
As I said last week the children all danced their socks off at the Danceathon and I am really delighted to tell you we together we raised £1030.84 for the NSPCC. Congratulations to 1M and 5G who had the highest participation rate. I am really proud of our children and know this money will be well used by the NSPCC to support children in need.
Learning outside the classroom this week
Year 2 went on a trip to the Tower of London. They attended a workshop and learnt all about the Great Fire of London. In assembly today, they were excited to tell us all about the Crown Jewels they had seen. Year 4 went to the Horniman Museum to learn more about Ancient Egypt. Despite the horrendous weather, they enjoyed the learning experience.
Again I would like to sincerely thank the parents who accompanied the children on their trips. It makes such a difference to us to have your fantastic support.
Thank you for all of the responses to the homework surveys. It was really interesting to see all the different views that children, parents and staff have on this subject. When sending out the survey, we were perhaps a little too hopeful that the results would be clear. They were not. If you would like to see the results of the surveys, please click on the following links: https://www.surveymonkey.com/stories/SMWJ5NR877/ (Parents)
Children, parents and staff all believed that reading homework was very important. So the decision about reading homework was a very easy one for our Senior Leadership Team to make. It was decided that reading should be a fundamental part of our homework policy going forward and that we would like the following reading homework to take place:
- Nursery, Reception, Year 1 & Year 2 children to read with an adult every night and for this to be recorded in their reading record.
- Year 3 & Year 4 children to read every night (3 times a week with an adult) and for this to be recorded in their reading record.
- Year 5 & Year 6 children to read independently every night and for their reading record to be signed by an adult weekly.
We are aware from the survey that we cannot make the same decision that will cover all year groups and to please everyone. Decisions regarding different subjects and the types of homework children receive will be made in the coming weeks. We will keep you informed.
House art competition
Hopefully you have seen the letter and template that were sent home last week for the children to complete over half term. I am looking forward to seeing the entries and choosing the house crests that will represent the houses and be displayed around the school.
Congratulations to Miss Akhtar’s morning Nursery class who won this weeks attendance award.
Congratulations to 5P who had the best attendance over the whole half term.
Yesterday Miss Campbell held her parents evening for 2C. Thank you to all the parents who attended. We will be having another parents evening later in the year.
Festival of Cultures
Over the last two weeks we have enjoyed celebrating the diverse cultures here at Links.
The children across the school learnt more about each other’s cultures. Today in assembly, it was wonderful to hear many children explaining what they had learnt.
Yesterday afternoon I was astounded to see our Early Years overflowing with families who came to celebrate with their children. Due to the rain we had to move everything inside which added to the excitement and atmosphere.
We know lots of parents made a big effort to attend this event and we are grateful for their support. Thank you all for bringing food, wearing traditional dress, and celebrating with us.
Also a huge thank you to our very dedicated Early Years staff who spent many hours preparing for the afternoon.
On a personal note I must say in my new role much of my day is spent in meetings, on a computer etc so I was also very excited yesterday morning when a group of Nursery children came to visit me in my office. They came to show me their traditional clothes, to show off their talents and to bring me my raffle tickets. (I didn’t win!) I loved chatting with them and listening to their excitement about the afternoon ahead. Their visit made me smile and really brightened up my morning, thank you Nursery.
Please remember, important upcoming dates are available on our school calendar, which can be found at https://www.links.merton.sch.uk/Calendar/
As I sign off at the end of this half term I want to thank you all for your support over these first few weeks. My team and I really appreciate you putting your faith in us to educate your children, we know what an important decision that is for you.
I hope you have a wonderful fun-filled half term.
Ciara Parris and the Links team