Friday 10 February 2023
We have now completed OFSTED inspections at both schools in the Federation. The team responded brilliantly again, and our children were amazing. Thank you to all the parents who took the time to feedback their views to the inspection team.
I have been pleased to see lots of our children, Playtime Leaders and Reading Buddies have been walking up to the Infants, to support our younger children on the playground and in the library.
Pupil welfare is at the heart of our schools and this week the children have been learning about how they can keep themselves safe. At the Junior School the children have taken part in activities relating to Children's Mental Health Week. The theme has been 'Let's Connect'. The children have been thinking about how meaningful connections with others supports their wellbeing. Our school promotes belonging and resilience through our Six Strands curriculum and this helps to promote positive mental health in our children.
Tuesday was Safer Internet Day and the children at St Thomas' took part in a number of activities to promote awareness of this important issue and learn tips on how to stay safe online. We would encourage our families to have open discussions about both of these issues at home and if you need any help from school, do not hesitate to get in touch.
Next week is half term. I hope all of our families have a relaxing break and we look forward to seeing the children back in school at 8.45am on Monday 20th February
Thank you to all of you for your understanding during last week’s strike action. A reminder that further possible days for our area are: March 2nd, 15th and 16th. I would advise you to seek alternative child care arrangements in case the school needs to close/partially close. I will write with updated information as it becomes known.
The 'Emotional Health Triage Service' offer support to children and families who are having difficulties with things such as low mood, anxiety, anger, friendship issues, eating or body-image. This service can support families who live in West Berkshire but also those who are registered at a West Berkshire GP service (Woolton Hill Surgery is part of West Berkshire).
I would recommend making contact with this service if you feel it could be of support to your child and family. Families can refer themselves to the service or can ask for school support to do this. Please contact Miss Knapp if you need some support or want to discuss what the service can offer.
There is also a P.A.C.E Event 3rd March in Basingstoke organised by Hampshire CAMHS. This is a free event to help families better understand the needs and difficulties that young people can face and how to manage potential concerns they have about their young person. The timetable covers topics such as anxiety, managaing ADHD, Autism awareness, wellbeing in U12s.
Can you help?
We are always looking for ways to improve the lunchtime experience for our children, the School Council have chosen new equipment for the playground which children are enjoying, and we are now also welcoming Junior School Peer Buddies back to the Infant School - children are really enjoying the games they organise. If any parents are able to volunteer on a regular basis to support lunchtimes between 12:15 - 1:15pm we would love to know. This would enable us to offer an inside lunch club for children to access Lego and board games/colouring. Please contact Debbie if you can help out one day or more a week.
This week children in school used what they have learnt about habitats to make a woodland habitat diorama for a Barn Owl. Here are a few examples:
An Evening of Star Gazing
Earlier this year we changed our Federation Houses to the names of constellations that can be seen in the night sky above Woolton Hill. On 22nd Feb we invite children and parents to join us on the playground at Woolton Hill Junior School to gaze up at the night sky and see what they can spot.
The event will be supported by Newbury Astronomical Society. They will be bringing along some telescopes, but families are invited to bring their own equipment, if they have it, for their own use. Children must be supervised by an adult for the duration of the event.
We have tweaked the start time of this event to 6pm , to take account of the later sunset. Please note this event is weather dependent. If there is too much cloud for viewing on the day, we will inform all of our families.
To register your place, please click below:
The following children received Star Awards this week! They should all be really proud, well done!
Six Strands Awards