10 February 2023

Atwood News for week ending Friday 10th February

Mr Veale’s welcome

It would be remiss of me to not start my newsletter this week without wishing Mrs Standing all the very best as she commences her maternity leave.  Mrs Standing is a truly amazing teacher and leader and we shall miss her.  We also wish Miss Dunn the best of luck as she embarks on her new role as acting deputy headteacher at Atwood.

We also bid a fond farewell to Mrs Dobson, after eight years in the Office and previously many more as a TA.  Sarah will be very much missed and I know how well respected she has been, working in the school office.  We all wish her the very best in her new career.  Thank you, Sarah, for all of your kindness and support.

I am delighted to inform you that Mrs B Vamadevan has been appointed to the role of Office Administrator and will commence after half term. In other news, Mrs Khabandha, one of Atwood’s TAs will be leaving us today.  I wish to thank her for all of her support in Year 4 this year.  A reminder to you all that Mrs Winton will be joining Atwood after half term, teaching in Year 5.

Many of you will know that I have been fortunate enough to have been Atwood’s headteacher for eight years now and in that time I consider Croydon and Sanderstead as a bit of a second home.  I suppose I live a bit of split life.  When I wake up, I’m at the coast and by 7.30am I’m working in Sanderstead.  Over those last eight years, I have come to know most of the potholes along the Limpsfield Road.

Indeed eight years ago, the council had just surfaced the main road and it made the roads back in Whitstable seem like the craters on the moon.  Fast forward all these years, and we have progressively seen the road surface deteriorate and become in places, dangerous.  The size of the potholes, especially in the dark and rain, would engulf my bicycle wheels as soon as you could say ‘buckled wheel’.

It was to my relief that I saw the tell-tale yellow signs warning residents not to park on the road. I knew that the long awaited resurfacing work would soon be underway.  What a difference it has made: quieter and safer for all concerned.

I received an email from a member of the public complaining of a parent stopping on the zig-zag lines, which caused a commotion at the traffic lights.  Last year, we purchased the banners reminding parents to follow the highway code and largely, these reminders have been followed.

Let’s all capitalise on the brand new, safer road surface and all be mindful of the zig zag lines- they are there to protect pedestrians and of course your child.

Catering News

This is a reminder that the Harrisons menu will be changing after half term.  The new menu is available to view for Atwood on the Pegasus website.  You will remember that I took feedback as to whether to serve halal meat for all children after half term.  Thank you to those parents who expressed their views.  From Monday 20th February, Harrisons will not be offering meat that is halal.

After half term, from March, we will be inviting a maximum of 15 parents from each class, starting with Reception, to eat alongside their children’s class.  This will be on a first come, first served basis and parents will need to purchase a meal, and this will be organised most likely via a google form.  Please do watch out for information.

Strike Action

On Wednesday 1st February we saw the first day of industrial action involving teachers from the NEU.  As I have said before, teachers do not traditionally have a propensity to strike  – a teacher should be teaching children. However, many teachers feel that industrial action is the only way in which pay and conditions will be improved.

Please note that the next planned strike day is on Thursday 2nd March.  After that, it will be both Wednesday and Thursday 15th and 16th March.  As a reminder to parents, it may not necessarily be the same teachers and the same classes striking and being affected.

Football News

Coach Aaron let me know that last Thursday, the boys’ team were playing at home vs Gresham.  I have to apologise to the boys, as I was so caught up watching the netball, that I didn’t take any shots of them playing.

I’m delighted to report that Atwood beat Gresham 3-0 with Toby, Kai and Jacob slotting those vital goals home.  Keep up the good work, gentlemen.

Mums and Female Carers’ Maths Morning

On Friday 3rd February, over 100 mums and female carers visited Atwood for a very special morning of maths organised by Mrs Standing, Miss Dunn and Mrs Townsend.  Similar to our dads and male carers’ breakfast, the mums had a small input from the Atwood team about maths and then had the chance to play a mathematical game with their children.

We are planning more of these events in the coming months, so watch this space.  I have placed some photos that were taken by Mrs Townsend during the morning in the gallery below.

Year 2’s Superhero Day

Miss Daley and Mrs Gill report back from Year 2’s Superhero Day:

‘On Tuesday we had a very exciting day; SUPERHERO DAY! The children in Year 2 dressed up a superhero which they had created and designed at home. We had Ice girl, Galaxy girl, Electro man and Environment man to name but a few. In the morning the children created their own comic strip about the adventures their superhero went on and we discussed who are real life superheroes are. In the afternoon the children worked together to build the strongest, tallest tower made out of entirely spaghetti and marshmallows. But… the afternoon took a turn for the worse when Bionic Bakers cookery equipment was stolen. The children had to solve riddles to find the missing equipment and we all ended the day with a delicious cupcake!’

This sounded like a great day, Year 2- well done!

Super Science 

This week, Atwood celebrated International Day of Women and Girls in Science’. This day allows us to honour women’s significant achievements in science and places a focus on encouraging girls to enter Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) careers. It is also an opportunity to promote full and equal access and participation in science for women and girls. Did you know only 33% of the global average is female researchers? Only 35% of all students in STEM related fields of study are women?

Here’s what each year group did to celebrate this day…

Year 1 linked their female scientist to their topic ‘Everyday Materials’. They found out about Dr Pearl Agyakwa, who is a materials scientist. They discussed the skills and interests, which they already had to become a materials scientist and the new skills and knowledge they would need to develop. They even had time to hot-seat Dr Pearl Agyakwa!

Year 2 took a different approach and worked on their research and collaboration skills. They worked in small to groups to discover many interesting facts about a female scientist of their choice. When they had found their facts, they shared them with the rest of the class.

Year 3 have been learning about ‘Rock and Soils’ in science and have been focusing their lessons on ‘fossils’.  They created a fact file about Mary Anning, an English fossil collector and palaeontologist, who became known around the world for the fossil discoveries she made.

Year 4’s topic this half term is ‘Living Things and their Habitats’. They researched facts about Margaret Strickland Collins, who was an entomologist specialising in termites.

Year 5 revisited a previous topic ‘Earth and Space’ and found out about Mae Jemison, who was an astronaut with NASA. Did you know she spent a total of 7 days, 22 hours, 30 minutes and 23 seconds in space? She resigned from NASA in 1993 to start her own company.

….and finally….Year 6 researched two female scientists (Katherine Johnson & Rosalin Franklin) and discussed what they had found out about the scientists.

​During their activity, the children really enjoyed finding out about female scientists and their contributions to science.

Word of the Week:  Genial

I’m going to round out this half term with the word genial.  Why?  Well, it’s because the children have been learning all about ‘Good Manners’ this half term.  So, children, what does being genial mean?

Genial comes from the Latin genius, meaning ‘productive’.  If you are genial, you are ‘open minded and productive to new ideas’.  In the 17th century, the meaning of the word genial took on a slightly different meaning – it meant happy and cheerful and good natured.  Synonyms for genial could be:  affable, hospitable, amiable and friendly.

Word of the Day: genial - The New York Times

Team Points (Pupil Reward Points)

Remember that everyone at Atwood believe in the Terrific Trio- Kind Words, Kind Thoughts, Kind Actions and for that, the children are rewarded.  The first key milestone for a pupil is to reach 50 Pupil Reward Points because they will be awarded a £5 Book Token in Celebration Assembly, as we also wish to promote the love of reading at Atwood.  I will be taking a look at the leaderboard after half term.

Each pupil has been assigned to a Team or House.  These are Air, Earth, Fire and Water.  All Pupil Reward Points also contribute to the Team Points each week.

Here are the all important totals for the term so far:

401 371 368 339

Congratulations to AIR who have won the Team Points Competition for the final week of this half of Spring Term- can they be stopped?  Indeed, the competition is hotting up as the gap is not that great anymore:  who will prevail at the end of the Spring Term on Friday 31st March?

Why not head over to the Pupil Reward Points website?  https://www.pupilrewardpoints.co.uk


With those holiday adverts all over the TV at the moment, just a polite notice to families- we do not authorise holidays in term time.  Children are expected to attend school for 190 days per year leaving plenty of holiday time for those summer vacays!

Attendance is important.  After all, children only have one opportunity to go to school, don’t they?  As a rule of thumb, we expect children to attend school at least 95% of the time.  Here are the Attendance figures for this week:

Week Ending 3rd February Week Ending 10th February 
Infants (highest) Violet 96.3% Green 99%
Juniors (highest) 5G 98.8% 5G 96.7%
Whole School (weekly) 95.7% 94.5%
Whole School (year to date) 94.6% 94.7%

Forthcoming dates with newly added items in BOLD

Friday 10th February- Last day before the half term holiday
Monday 20th February- Pupil and staff return after the half term holiday
Wednesday 22nd February- Year 6 Dental Screening
Week commencing 27th February- Book Week
Monday 27th February- Author Visit- Dan Freedman  author of Unstoppable
Tuesday 28th February- Year 5 Carroty Wood Information Evening commencing at 6pm
Week commencing 6th March- Whitgift Primary Project for Year 5
Thursday 2nd March- Planned industrial action- London Area
Friday 3rd March- FOAP Pre-loved Book Sale- before and after school in the Purple Room (off the junior playground)

Saturday 11th March- Farthing Downs Cross Country Race
Week commencing 13th March- Science Week- Our Theme is CONNECTIONS
Tuesday 14th March- KS1 Science Wizards Workshop
Tuesday 14th March- The Missing Body workshop at All Saints Church (KS2- details to follow)
Wednesday 15th March- Planned industrial action
Thursday 16th March- Planned industrial action 

Friday 17th March – KS2 Science Wizards Workshop
Saturday 18th March – SLH Cross Country Races
Monday 29th March – Year 6 to visit Wimbledon Temple
Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd March – Year 5 Residential to Carroty Wood
Thursday 23rd March- 10am start for Year 5 Carroty Wood adventurers!
Tuesday 28th March – Red Class to visit Sanderstead Methodist Church- 12.30-1.15pm
Thursday 30th March – Yellow Class to visit Sanderstead Methodist Church- 12.30-1.15pm
Thursday 30th March- Disco
Friday 31st March – Last day of the Spring Term- School finishes and 1.30pm
Monday 17th April – Children return from the Easter holidays
Saturday 22nd April – Happy’s Circus- Gates open at 12 noon.  FOAP Event- Please do support this Atwood community event
Wednesday 21st June- New to Nursery and Reception Parents’ Evening- 6.00pm
Tuesday 4th July- Year 2 trip to Eastbourne
Thursday 13th July – Museum Day for Year 2 and 3.  Details to be confirmed
Thursday 20th July – 6.00pm to 8.30pm- Year 6 Leavers’ Party
Friday 21st July – 9.30am- Year 6 Leavers’ Service
Friday 21st July – Last day of Summer Term closing at 1.30pm

To note, all of the ATW dates are on the calendar and so please click on this link to find them: https://www.pegasusacademytrust.org/events-calendar?school=ATW  

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Published on 10th February, 2023

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