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Start of year information

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope that you and your children are having a lovely summer.


With just a week and half until our children return to school, we wanted to share a number of pieces of important information to ensure that the start of term is smooth and successful.


Returning to/Starting School this year

Children in Year 1 to Year 6 return to school on Wednesday, 6th September. The gates will be open from 8:35-8:45 so please ensure your children arrive on time. These first few days are incredibly important to ensure children settle back into their new rhythms and routines. Staff will be on hand at the start and end of the day to help direct parents/carers and children to the correct places for drop off and collection. At the start of the day, Year 1 and Year 2 children will enter through their classroom doors. Year 3 to Year 6 will walk around from the blue gates. All children, in Years 1 to 6, will be collected from their classroom doors at the end of the day. 


Children moving from N1 to N2 and from N2 to Reception will be returning to school on Thursday 14th September. Children joining our Nursery and Reception, who are new to our school, will be starting slightly later. Further information about the start of the year for our Early Years children, which was shared before the summer, can still be viewed on our school website here.


PE and Swimming Days

Swimming and PE will begin from the week beginning Monday 11th September (the first 'full' week back). Children should bring their Swimming kit into school on their swimming day (blue costume, school hat and towel) in a labeled school swimming bag. A reminder that our Swimming Bag and Swimming Hat can be ordered from our ParentPay shop here and any items ordered will be delivered to children in the first few days back at school.


On PE days, children should come into school in our school PE kit (including PE sweatshirt, PE t-shirt, blue tracksuit bottoms or blue shorts and plain black trainers). A reminder that our PE sweatshirt and T-shirt can be bought from Havering Schoolwear. Other tracksuits, including hoody/zip tracksuit tops, are not permitted. If you need support with purchasing our PE uniform, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Macdonald, Home School Support Worker, via the school office as we have a limited supply of second hand jumpers/t-shirts. 


PE and Swimming days are as follows:

1SF                  PE: Friday                  Swimming: Thursday

1HO                PE: Monday              Swimming: Thursday

1J                    PE: Friday                  Swimming: Tuesday

Year 2              PE: Tuesday              Swimming: Monday

3S                    PE: Thursday             Swimming: Tuesday

3GH & 3P       PE: Wednesday         Swimming: Tuesday         

4S                    PE: Tuesday              Swimming: Monday

4B:                   PE: Thursday            Swimming: Monday

Year 5              PE: Thursday & Friday (see below)

Year 6              PE: Wednesday


On other days, children are to wear either their Winter or Summer Uniform, before we move to solely Winter Uniform after October Half Term. 


More information regarding Swimming and PE for Year 5 and Year 6, which will consist of 'booster lessons' for those children not currently meeting the National Curriculum requirements in Swimming, will be sent around at the start of the school term. 

School Meals

As we have shared before the holidays, all children in Reception to Year 6 are now entitled to funded school meals for this academic year. Our school dinner menu can be found on our website hereIf you have any balances outstanding on sQuid for meals taken last year these will need to be cleared as soon as possible.


Breakfast and After School Club

To be able to use our wrap around care facilities, bookings must be made and paid for in advance as the service is very popular and we need to maintain our staff: pupil ratio. The booking system has changed slightly to make it a bit more flexible.  Bookings can be made and indeed cancelled by following the Attendance, meals & events section and going into the Clubs page. If you have any queries, please direct these to our School Business Office (finance@stedwardsva.net).


Dates for this coming term

Our dates for this coming term (up to and including our Christmas nativities!) can be found on our school website, both on the calendar but also on our termly calendar, found here. As you would expect, there may be some small changes as we are planning so far ahead, but these will be communicated during our weekly newsletters. 


Attendance at school

We care deeply about our children, both their learning and their development, and we know that children who attend school the most achieve academically the strongest. Our attendance last year, compared to national comparisons was very impressive. Nationally, 17.2% of primary school children missed 'more than 10% of school days' last year, whereas at St Edward's this was just 8.3% of children, moving back to our 'pre-pandemic' levels. This is a testament to both the commitment of our parents as well as how much our children enjoy coming to St Edward's too. We want to continue to ensure that our children attend school regularly, so please ensure that you take note of our school holiday dates, which can be found here, and ensure your child attends school as regularly as possible. We will continue to work with, and support, the small numbers of children and families where their attendance needs to improve, to ensure that they make the most of every learning opportunity in our school. 


Communication with school

We are really proud of our school and the working relationship we have with parents, which makes our school the close and special community that it is. Weekly newsletters, as well as other useful emails, will be sent via Groupcall, so please do ensure we have an up-to-date email address. Class teachers will send weekly reminders out by Class Dojo too, including information about what children are learning in school that week, so please do keep up to date with these messages too. Our Facebook page and website are also great sources of information, and celebrations of the many things we do in school.


The best way to raise any questions, comments or concerns you may have is by speaking with your child's class teacher. You can make contact with your child's class teacher at the classroom door at the end of the day or by emailing the school office (contact@stedwardsva.net), where we will aim to reply within 48 hours, although often do so sooner. 


If you are unable to speak to them, or you would like to speak with a different colleague, you can contact the year group leader for the year groups as follows:

                Nursery and Reception Phase Leader: Miss Faulkner

                Year 1: Mrs Smith

                Year 2: Mrs Hall 

                Year 3: Mrs Hill & Miss Pearce

                Year 4: Miss Saint

                Year 5: Miss Kemp

                Year 6: Mrs Richards & Mrs Carter.


Our Assistant Head Teacher's are also regularly available, and you will often find them, alongside Mrs Sajuwa and I, at the gate at the start and/or the end of the day.

                Mrs Crosbie:          Assistant Head Teacher: Early Years & Key Stage 1

                Miss McPherson:  Assistant Head Teacher: Key Stage 2

                Mrs Marsden:        Assistant Head Teacher: Inclusion (SENCo & 'The Treehouse' ARP) 

Thank you for taking the time to read, process and action the information above. We are so incredibly excited about what promises to be another excellent year and look forward to welcoming your children back to school. St Edward's is a very special place and we are incredibly proud of all that our children achieve and the people they grow into. If you have any questions before the start of the year, or would like to make contact with  us, please do not hesitate to contact the school office. Otherwise we look forward to seeing you all very soon!


Kind regards,

Chris Speller

Head Teacher