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St James Primary School

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St James E-News 

26th May 2022

Welcome to the St James Primary School's E-News, a weekly roundup of the latest goings on at the school.

Latest Headteachers Blog

Dear Parents, 

This week, at the most recent PTA meeting on Zoom, the decision had to be made to cancel one of the planned events due to low uptake of ​tickets and the general lack of volunteers was the main item for discussion.  The PTA undertake fundraising to enhance the experience of all the children in our school.  In particular they fund the running and maintenance of our wonderful swimming pool at a cost of approximately £7,000.  The pool can only continue to exist if sufficient funds are raised, and without these funds we may have to make the decision to suspend the opening of the pool next year whilst we explore other possible funding options, although these are limited. 

The fundraising events cannot take place without willing volunteers and the greater the number of volunteers, the less the burden placed on individuals.  At the moment there has been no response to the request for a new PTA Treasurer and very few entries on the form asking for parents to sign up to offer varying levels of help.  I am including a link to the form once again and would be grateful if each one of you would complete it, either to offer help and/or perhaps suggest other ways you think we could raise funds.  We are also interested in understanding what the barriers are for parents in supporting the PTA, so if you can add additional comments about these issues, it would be very helpful for future planning.  We would like to understand how our whole school community can work together effectively to ensure that we continue to raise funds to provide additional experiences for our children.

Best wishes for a lovely weekend,

Valerie Elliott

School Notices 

  • INSET Day Tomorrow - Our final INSET day of the year is tomorrow.  School closes for the half-term break at 3.10pm today and we look forward to seeing the children back in school on Monday 6th June.
  • Plastic Free Shopping Service - Mrs Chambers and the Eco Team have been working hard to set up a shopping service at St James Primary.  Please see the details on the Parent Portal.
  • PTA TREASURER STILL NEEDED - Justin Radford writes; 'Due to unforeseen circumstances we will be moving away in September which means I will have to step down as Treasurer of the PTA.  Although I’ve only been doing the role for barely a year, it’s been tremendously fulfilling.  But, we NEED a replacement, the PTA can’t operate if it doesn’t have a Treasurer. Please contact me for further info at justindjr@gmail.com  …..Your PTA needs you!'
  • Sports Day Save The Date! - Sports Day will take place on Friday 17th June and we are pleased to be able to invite parents once again.  Please see the letter on the Parent Portal for full details.
  • May/June Families Magazine - Please click on the picture below to see a raft of information about events and offers for the half-term holiday.

  • Drop in sessions with our Home School Link Worker, Helen Owen - The role of the Home School Link Worker (HSLW) is to support families with a range of issues at home or at school. 1:1 sessions are available on Wednesdays. To book an  appointment, email Helen on hslw@st-james-elstead.surrey.sch.uk or ring the school office to request a call back.

Letters This Week 

The following classes have had letters uploaded to the Parent Portal this week.  Note: You will need to login to view this area.

  • Penguins
  • Robins
  • Whole school

PTA News

Please click on the link below to find out about activities planned for this term.

View the latest PTA News  

News Blogs

Blog of the Week: Please click on the photograph below to see what Robins have been doing during Forest School.

Click below to view all the latest News Blogs:

View recent blogs  

Dates For Your Diary

 View the school calendar for the latest information

View Full Website Calendar  

School Meals

View this week's school menu

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Safeguarding Information

Keeping our children safe is a partnership between school and home, so if we have any worries or concerns about your child we will always speak to you first to see what we can do to help.  If you would like to speak to a member of staff, in confidence, about a safeguarding concern about a child at St James Primary, or seek help or advice, please contact either Mr McArthur or Mrs Elliott via the office, they are the school’s Senior Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL). 

If you would like to speak directly to Surrey Children’s Safeguarding Services, their contact details are 0300 470 9100 cspa@surreycc.gov.uk 

There is also plenty of support and advice that parents, carers and families can access for further help and we’ve listed the main ones below. 

Helen Owen, our Home/School Link Worker, can signpost to further agencies who can support with a range of issues including financial hardship, housing issues or offer practical support with problems at school.  

The Surrey Family Information Service offer a free impartial information and signposting service on all aspects of family life for parents, including parenting advice and courses. https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/children/families 

Mental Health 

The Surrey website Mindworks offers a huge amount of advice for young adults and parents on a range of mental health issues. 

https://www.mindworks-surrey.org/ 

Online Safety 

The NSPCC website contains information and advice on many safeguarding issues, including keeping your child safe online. Information includes talking to your child about online safety, looking after your child’s online wellbeing and how to set up and manage parental controls.  

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/  

School Policy on Granting Leave of Absence

 Absences will be authorised for illness, and parents are requested not to send their child to school when they are unwell.  Apart from illness, absence will be authorised for medical appointments; attendance at religious festivals; visits to other schools at the age of transfer or when moving; and for exceptional circumstances.  

Absence will not be authorised for such reasons as looking after others at home, visiting friends or relatives, birthday treats or shopping trips. Unauthorised absence is also recorded if the child arrives after the close of registration at 9.15am unless for exceptional reasons. Parents are requested to arrange medical appointments out of school hours whenever possible.  

Parents should be aware that due to the pressure on the curriculum, absences may mean that children miss vital learning activities that will not be repeated.

Family Holidays 
There is a clear link between attendance at school and good progress.  

Children do not have a right to be withdrawn from school for holidays. School holiday dates are published a year in advance and parents should arrange their family holidays during these times. If an absence in term time is unavoidable, an Absence Authorisation form must be completed well in advance to gain prior authorisation. Forms are available from the school office and website.  

On submission of the form, the Headteacher will decide whether or not to authorise the absence having considered:  

· the child’s record of attendance  

· the ability of the child to catch up the work that they have missed  

· the reason why they are taking the time off during term time  

· the timing of the holiday, ensuring that it would not prevent the child from taking any important examinations or assessments.  

Leave may be requested in advance for attendance at religious festivals, visits to other schools at the age of transfer and for exceptional circumstances. Please note that Year 6 will not be granted leave of absence during the Key Stage 2 Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) week.  

The Headteacher reserves the right to issue parents with a Penalty Notice for unauthorised absence This can include parents who take their children on holiday during term time without getting authorisation from the school. The penalty is £60, rising to £120 if not paid within 28 days.   

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