• Place available in Year 3 for Sept - email bevr@htpd.surrey.sch.uk

Infant - 27 January

27 January 2012

Dear Parents,

There has been a little confusion recently about homework and if I’m honest I think that I may have been responsible for the confusion.  I suppose it all comes down to definitions.  If we define homework as any school task carried out at home then we certainly do have homework.

I believe that it is really important that some tasks happen at home. This is in order to consolidate learning from school; be confident readers and spellers and know how to research and produce a project from their topic using their resources.

To this end all children will be encouraged to read at home. In the earliest year this will be sharing the books with a parent, moving through to our oldest children, who I hope will be reading age appropriate books for their personal pleasure, as well as to continuing to improve their literacy. Of course, we would still hope that they will read aloud with you and be read to.

Initial spellings will be brought home as well as phonics. After the major and minor spelling rules have been addressed, many of the lists may be connected to words from their topics and learning areas for that week.

As the children move through the school multiplication tables and facts are added into the mix.  Complete recall of tables is a really useful aid to maths and they help the children with mental manipulation of numbers.

Finally in the upper years of the juniors we give children the opportunity to prepare part of their topic as a homework task.

With all these homework tasks, we still want children to have a happy and fulfilling childhood and use their leisure time to the full. Most of these tasks will be on the ‘Just to let you know’ pages.  Please look each week.

So there it is - we do have homework; it is well focused, relevant, useful and not onerous.  I would like to thank all parents for their partnership in their child’s learning.

With best wishes, Richard

Cup stacking, Tuesday 31 January
After last year’s cup stacking success we are running another challenge.  Gemma from County School will be coming in with six of her Sports Leaders (pupils from County) to work with all year groups on a grand cup stacking competition.  The following week we will be having a cup stacking house challenge.  We look forward to lots of stacking fun! 

BOOK WEEK, 6-9 February
The School Council are organising a Book Week starting on Monday 6 February.  They have come up with all the ideas for the week and have given them to the teachers.  They have arranged for a local author to come and read to the children and are also leading the week's assemblies.
Things to get involved in:

  • Bedtime story is back on 8 February (5.30-6.15pm) where the children can come back to school in their pyjamas, teddies and blankets in tow to be read a Bedtime story in their Year group.  Parents are invited to wait in the hall and FOPs will be doing tea and coffee.  After last year's success we will also be running a 'Buy a New Bedtime Story' stall.
  • Our 'Extreme Reading' challenge will run from 6-24 February where we would like children (and parents) to bring in photographs of themselves reading in 'unusual' places.  We will put some ideas on the website nearer the time.

Two requests:
Please could we have any donations of good quality children's books for the Bedtime Story sale and children’s magazines for the swap organised by the eco team.

Fluffy Friday, 10 February
You should now have received a letter with details of the fluffy activity choices.  Completed forms should be returned to the office by Thursday 2 February - please ensure that your form is named.
Reception children will not have received the fluffy letter as they will be doing their own activities in the reception classrooms.  All children should come to school in their own clothes (mufti) for Fluffy Friday and we also a request a voluntary £1 contribution to help cover the cost of materials.

As you may be aware there is a nasty bug going round at the moment which involves either being or feeling very sick.  If your child has been unwell or is complaining of a tummy ache please keep them at home (and in the case of vomiting or diarrhoea they should not come to school for 48 hours after the last occurrence).   This is to ensure that they are well enough to return and that the infection is not spread to other children.


Next playground cake sale will be on Friday 3 February and will be run by Chestnut class.

Dates for the diary:

  • Saturday 24 March, 5-8 pm – Pig Racing and fish & chip supper.
  • Friday 27 April – Phil the Bag will be calling again at school so keep collecting unwanted textiles, bags and shoes.

Parents have raised concerns regarding the amount of time their children are spending on-line.  We have recently been made aware of a  program called GroundHog  that may help. It is a free, simple to install application that allows parents to limit the time children can access the internet for.  Children can pause their time allocation to eat dinner, do homework etc then return to the remaining time.  It doesn't however allow you to select specific time windows for different days at this stage. There are more sophisticated programs that you can buy if you choose to, but GroundHog is a great starting point to set a daily time limit.
Please let us know if this is helpful or if you have any further concerns.

Research study
A letter has gone out in book bags from Samantha Felthouse, a research assistant at the Institute of Education, University of London.  She is carrying out research looking at younger children’s spatial development and the letter explains this in more detail. If you are happy for your child to take part in this project (which will take place at school)  please return the permission slip at the bottom of the letter.

Computer monitors
Thank you to everyone who brought in a computer monitor in response to our request and especially the Mavani family for their donation.  We have now managed to replace all the monitors that we needed to, so no more are required.  

Lunch Cards
Please come up to the office and pay for a new lunch card if your child needs one.  Some children are starting to have quite large amounts of lunch money outstanding.

Holy Trinity Church Girl's Choir, directed by Mrs Sian Ford, is looking for new members aged 6-16 who have a passion for singing and who can commit to regular rehearsals and services.  Currently we rehearse each Thursday at the Trinity Centre from 6.30-7.30pm and sing two Sunday services a month.  We are having an open rehearsal/bring-a-buddy day on Thursday 9th February at 6.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Quarry Street, Guildford.  All are welcome to come along and meet us.  We are a very friendly bunch!  To find out more, please contact Mrs Ford by email on sianings@hotmail.com or telephone 07970 128187.

Surrey Arts Open Rehearsal - all string, woodwind, brass and percussion players of all ages and levels of experience are invited to an open rehearsal with the Surrey Arts orchestras and ensembles at Tillingbourne Junior School, Chilworth on Wednesday February 8th 2012 from 5.30 to 7.30pm. No charge, just bring your instrument. Any questions call 01483 518099