Newsletter 25 January 2019

Dear Parents and Carers

This week we have been celebrating our school value of ‘creativity’ and I have seen many creative approaches to teaching and learning across the school. We welcomed the lovely Mr O’Sullivan back to Palm Bay on Tuesday and Wednesday for Year 6’s WW2 immersion days. They dressed as evacuees and imagined childhood during wartime. Year 1 have been creating dinosaur skeleton pictures using black paper and art straws and Year 4 have been writing creative stories based on the novel ‘The Firework Maker’s daughter’.

I have been treated to lots of creative writing this week and I am impressed with how the children’s vocabulary is growing. We are having a whole-school focus on vocabulary development this year at Palm Bay and are teaching the children using a programme called ‘Mrs Word- smith’. Ask your child which ambitious words they have used this week.

Thank you to all those of you who have been observing our rules for the Drop-off Zone this week. We are having some signage made to make our expectations even clearer to ensure this area is safe for your children.

Last week I asked for parental feedback and a number of you have been in touch with your frustrations over paying for school meals with cash. I am happy to announce that our catering company, Caterlink, have agreed to put an online payment system in place and we will let you know as soon as this is set up. I very much hope this will make lunch payments quicker and easier to manage.

I have staffing news this week, first with the sad news that Mrs Smith
will be leaving us in May. She has worked at Palm Bay for 17 years,
since first qualifying as a teacher, and is moving on for a very exciting
and well-deserved promotion: she will be the new Headteacher of a
little school in Cornwall called Sennen Primary School. This means she
will be relocating with her young family and we wish her all the very
best. Mrs Smith has been a very important part of the Palm Bay team
and has overseen many initiatives, including leading our topic-based
curriculum and introducing Forest School to Palm Bay. Mrs Stephens
will, of course, continue with Wagtails until the end of the year. Also,
our Chair of Governors, Mr Alisdair Chisholm has stepped down, after 2
years of leading our governing body. Mr Chisholm’s appointment as chair was always a temporary one, and in his time with us he has grown and strengthened our board of governors, as reflected in our recent Ofsted report. We would like to thank him for all his support for the school. Our Vice Chair, Mr Eddie Fox, will step up as Chair until a formal vote is held at the next FGB in March.

We would like to welcome Mrs Hale back from maternity leave, who will be joining the teaching team in Year 1, and would also like to welcome two new staff members: Laurence Metayer, our new Feagans Counsellor and Libby Northedge, our new Play Therapist.

Next week we are celebrating ‘NSPCC Number Day’ and I look forward to seeing the children and staff wearing Maths- related outfits…

Have a lovely weekend. Best wishes,
Miss Williams

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