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Happy Christmas

Dear parents and carers,

First and foremost, I would like to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas. It has been a superb term at Glemsford due to the wonderful staff, the incredibly hard-working children and the support from the parents and grandparents. The term has finished in festive style with lovely performances from early years and key stage one; a visit from Father Christmas; a brilliantly attended and organised Christmas Fayre and a lovely Carol Service to finish it all off.


I wanted to take this opportunity to clear up a few things.



I hope that you received the dojo message I sent out on Friday 1st November. It caused quite a reaction, but as with any post can be open to misinterpretation. I want to reiterate both mine and the school`s feelings on this matter. One of the real strengths of the school is how we are such a part of the Glemsford community. One of the highlights of my working week is having so many people crammed into our hall (both young and old!) to celebrate the achievements of our wonderful children. I would never want this to stop and certainly want our next generation of pupils being present. The point of my dojo message was that if some of our younger audience are finding it difficult and distracting others, rather than being excluded, they are welcome to use the area outside of my office to let of a bit of steam so everyone can hear what is going on. As I hope you agree, I want our children to behave respectfully in assemblies and I ask politely if adults could not chat during assembly as some of our older children regularly tell me this happens.



We are working hard on improving our communication with parents but, being human, have made some mistakes this term. I am sorry about this. We try to be as paperless as possible for the obvious environment benefits. We tend to use class dojo for individual messages as well as reminders and parent mail for letters. If you are having problems with either of these, please make sure you let us know. As I have explained before, I do not use class dojo for contacting individual parents. I simply do not have the capacity to do so and have had experiences of parents using it in an inappropriate manner in the past. I pride myself on having very much an open-door policy and will always make time during the week to meet with parents to discuss any issues. I encourage you to do this rather than using social media. We teach the children to use social media appropriately and new parents now sign a home/school agreement agreeing not to post damaging comments about the school. I trust it goes without saying that to talk about individual children or staff on social media is entirely out of order.



Unfortunately, there have been reports of a few near misses due to careless parking and driving outside of the school. Please do try and walk to school with your child if you can and be extra vigilant and considerate to pedestrians. You will have heard about a horrible incident that happened to a pupil in one of our Trust schools in Newmarket. It goes without saying how awful it would be something similar happened at Glemsford. Our thoughts are with the family and thank you for supporting the family through the non-uniform day we had. I am trying to be out on the road before school but this is not always possible. Thank you to the parents who have made me aware of specific incidents.



I am sad to inform you that Mrs Martin will be leaving at Easter. I have always known this would happen one day because her husband is in the forces and he has been relocated. Mrs Martin is a star and has made such a positive impact on the children at our school. The good news is that we have plenty of time to look for a brilliant replacement to step into her dual roles as assistant headteacher and SENCO. In recent years, we have been very successful in recruiting new staff and the process has already started.



We have updated our procedures for administering medication to children. If children have medication that they need to take three times a day, I would recommend they take it at home before school, straight after school and then in the evening. This then allows the office staff to focus on those children need medicine specifically during school hours. Some schools will not administer medication and insist on parents coming in but, as a working parent, I understand how inconvenient this is so we endeavour to help out.


I hope this letter clears a few things up. Glemsford Primary Academy is a lovely school to work at, but we don’t claim to be perfect and strive to be even better. As always please speak to myself or one of my brilliant staff if you have any issues or suggestions. In January, we will be contacting you about how we are improving how we teach reading at school and how we our updating our homework policy so it is consistent and makes a difference to children`s learning without being too onerous.


Anyway, enough from me! Have a wonderful break and I look forward to seeing you all in 2020!

Yours sincerely,

Ben Jeffery



All class newsletters will be found in their Key Stages


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