Dear parents and carers,
Welcome back to another exciting year at St Helen’s. I really hope you all enjoyed a wonderful summer together.
This year, your children will be taught by myself, supported by Ms Wood ensuring continuity for the children. The children will also have weekly art/outdoor learning with Ms Hawkins. We have a wealth of amazing learning opportunities, and this term, our project will focus on ‘Caring for Our World’, with a specific focus on the significance of river systems, more about which can be found on the overview below.
I am fairly new to the school as a teacher (although not as a parent - my son is now in year 6!), therefore I feel it’s important to let you know a little bit about myself. Firstly, let me reassure you that I have taught Year 4 previously for 3 years and although my BA (Hons) degree is in Fine Art, and the majority of my 21 years working in Education has been focused on sport (including working for the Devon FA, Plymouth Argyle Youth Development Team and being voted Devon Coach of the Year for Services to Education in 2002), I do also have substantial academic classroom and school leadership experience, including leading English. So rest assured, I will be putting all of my experience into making this a successful year for your child.
I can see that you are all great at keeping in touch via Seesaw, and this is something we will continue to develop as the year progresses, however I’d like to take this opportunity to offer a few reminders about daily and weekly routines.
To ensure a settled start to the day for all children, we would ask that you say goodbye to them at the main doors and allow them to enter the classroom and organise their belongings independently. It really does make for a smooth and speedy start to the day, which means we can make the most of every minute of learning time. If you need to inform me of a change to pick up arrangements, please feel free to use Seesaw or to inform the office who will let me know.
Please ensure that your child has with them everything that they need to fully access all aspects of the school day, including weather appropriate outerwear, PE kit and fruit or vegetables to have at break time.
Supporting your Child:
Please read with your child at least 4 times each week, and record this in their reading journal, and spend time completing any home learning tasks, which will be sent home weekly. These tasks are designed to be done in collaboration with your child, in order to support and enhance their learning in class. Daily practice of times tables using a free app such as Hit the Button also makes a huge difference and takes only a minute to complete. We are aiming to develop the use of Seesaw to better support you in supporting your child, by filming teaching inputs and providing links so you can see the teaching methods used in school. I will endeavour to check reading diaries weekly but have found Seesaw to be a much more effective communication tool.
Please take time to read the weekly email sent out by the incredible office staff. It contains invaluable information about the coming week, and ensures your child is prepared for upcoming events and opportunities. I will send reminders via Seesaw but for more advanced information, the weekly email remains the first port of call.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY…
I will always encourage children to talk openly about anything that is worrying them in school but, having children of my own, I know how, at times, they can let things stew. My personal approach is always try to nip worries or problems in the bud as quickly as possible, so as I have said, feel free to contact me via Seesaw, or contact the office whenever you feel the need.
I will finish by saying it is a privilege to be able to teach your child. I will endeavour to do my very best and attempt to give them a fantastic all round primary school experience and to ensure they make strong academic progress.
Mr Robin Lewis