Mr Veale’s welcome
We got there in the end! It’s the last day of March and the last day of the Spring Term. As I write, I am at my home in a wet and windy Whitstable having tested positive for covid on Tuesday morning. I would prefer to be at Atwood surrounded by the children and the staff, but it’s not meant to be.
We certainly have had a very busy term, with lots going on by way of trips, including the Year 5 residential trip, visitors and theme weeks such as Book Week and Science Week. These all add to the depth and breadth of Atwood’s curriculum and make for memorable learning experiences for the children. I know that the Summer Term will be just as action packed with more opportunities to learn outdoors and take part in sports and fun activities on our school field.
I want to say thank you to my staff who have worked very hard all term and wish them a restful Easter holiday when it arrives today. I also want to say thank you to Pegasus for their support. There have been lots of capital investments already and Atwood is already feeling the benefits of being part of a wider family of schools. I know that the Atwood staff have benefited from continuing professional development especially around whole class reading and Little Wandle Letters and Sounds (phonics), making us all even better teachers. This CPD has also been provided by the Trust.
Why not take a look at the Atwood news stories from this week?
The Easter Table Display: https://www.pegasusacademytrust.org/news/pupils/atwoods-easter-table
Swimming Gala Finals: https://www.pegasusacademytrust.org/news/atwood-makes-a-splash-at-the-swimming-gala-2
LionPod #2 Carroty Wood: https://www.pegasusacademytrust.org/news/year-5/atwoods-lionpod-episode-2-is-out
Football Report from 17th March: https://www.pegasusacademytrust.org/news/year-5/atwood-suffers-defeat-at-the-hands-of-gresham-boys-football-17-03-23
Those who help us in an emergency: https://www.pegasusacademytrust.org/news/eyfs/atwood-reception-police-officers-to-the-recue
Medical Staff to the Rescue: https://www.pegasusacademytrust.org/news/eyfs/atwood-reception-medical-staff-to-the-rescue
And one that you may have missed from last week:
EYFS Easter Making Day: https://www.pegasusacademytrust.org/news/eyfs/atw-easter-making-day-in-the-early-years
Word of the Week
The word Easter in English, Ooster in Dutch and Ostern in German are developed from an Old English word in the form of Eastrun. According to the Venerable Bede writing in the 8th century, he described this time of year as the Paschal month, because Christians reflect on the ‘passion of Christ’ or Christ’s crucifixion.
The month, rather than being called April, was called Eostre, named after a goddess of fertility, in whose honour, many feasts were held. This would coincide with the the fertility of Spring and the onset of the warmer weather.
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:
Congratulations to AIR who have won the Team Points Competition for the SPRING TERM. This means that the children in AIR may wear YELLOW on Friday 21st April.
Why not head over to the Pupil Reward Points website? https://www.pupilrewardpoints.co.uk
The DfE continue to be concerned about attendance in the post covid world. Indeed, governments across the world have noticed a worrying trend of children attending school less than before covid. Atwood works on the 95% expectation and each year, we endeavour to hit our whole school community target of attending at least 95% of the time. Most years, Atwood nearly reaches 97% which is higher than the national average. Looking at the Year to Date percentage of 94.8% so far, we are doing better than many other schools, but we just need a concerted effort in the remaining part of this year to rise above 95%. I know we can do it.
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. This allows for a child to be absent for a couple of days per year due to coughs, colds and medical appointments that cannot be made in holiday times. Remember that we never authorise holidays in term time. Often I am asked to authorise a family wedding abroad, or to visit a poorly relative abroad. None of these are valid reasons for absence in term time. Please bear this in mind.
Here are the attendance figures for this week:
|Week Ending 24th March||Week Ending 31st March|
|Infants (highest)||Blue 97.3%||Orange 96.7%|
|Juniors (highest)||5D 97.7%||5G and 6S 97%|
|Whole School (weekly)||95.2%||95.3%|
|Whole School (year to date)||94.8%||94.8%|
Forthcoming dates with newly added items in BOLD- Please note that from the Summer Term, I will not be putting these dates in the newsletter, as they are in the ATW Calendar.
Friday 14th April- PAT Parent and Carer Survey closes
Monday 17th April – Summer Term 1 Commences
Wednesday 19th April- Year 2 ‘Hook Day’ for the Seaside
Friday 21st April- AIR children may wear Yellow today
Friday 21st April- Year 5 to present their Carroty Wood Assembly to parents- 10.00am to 10.30am
Saturday 22nd April – Happy’s Circus- Gates open at 12 noon. FOAP Event- Please do support this Atwood community event
Friday 28th April- Year 3 Stone Age Workshop
Monday 1st May- Bank Holiday
Thursday 4th May- 3M (Jade) Class Assembly- 10.00am to 10.30am
Friday 5th May- FOAP Afternoon Tea for Atwood- 1.45-3.00pm
Monday 8th May- Bank Holiday
Tuesday 9th May to Friday 12th May- Year 6 SATs Week
Friday 19th May- 4MT (Amber) Class Assembly- 10.00am to 10.30am
Monday 22nd May to Friday 26th May- Pegasus Walk to School Week
Wednesday 24th May- Reception Vision Screening- morning
Thursday 25th May- Reception Vision Screening- morning
Friday 26th May- End of Summer Term 1- normal closing time
Monday 5th June- Summer Term 2 Commences
Friday 16th June- 4T (Indigo) Class Assembly- 10.00am to 10.30am
Monday 19th June – Year 1’s Trip to the British Wildlife Centre
Wednesday 21st June – New to Nursery and Reception Parents’ Evening- 6.00pm
Thursday 22nd June – Sports Day
Friday 23rd June- 3S (Ruby) Class Assembly
Tuesday 4th July- Pegasus Directors’ Day – Lunch at Atwood
Tuesday 4th July – Year 2 Trip to Eastbourne
Thursday 6th July – Camp Atwood for Year 4- please take note of change of day
Friday 7th July – Year 6 in to Year 7 Transition Day
Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th- Upper KS2 Production- 6.00pm onwards
Thursday 13th July – Museum Day for Year 2 and 3.
Thursday 13th July – Year 6 Prom Event
Friday 14th July – Reports to Parents
Monday 17th July – Year 3 Trip to RHS Wisley
Monday 17th July- Year 6 Trip to Chessington
Friday 21st July – 9.00am- 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
And finally, just for the children…
This Week in History- Rene Descartes was born in 1596
Children in KS2 learned about Rene Descartes in Assembly this term. Descartes is often known as the father of modern philosophy and he he is famous for his phrase, ‘I think therefore I am’ or ‘Cogito ergo sum’.
But what does this actually mean? In a beautiful leap of thinking, Descartes decided that ‘I am able to think, therefore I exist. A philosophical proof of existence based on the fact that someone capable of any form of thought necessarily exists.