Newsletter Friday 17th March 2023
Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you for all your support with the school being closed due to the strike for two days this week. We really appreciate your support and understanding. It means a lot and I know you are aware of how hard our staff work and how we need the money to pay them properly.
Please make sure you have signed up to Arbor as this will be the only way you can book clubs and I don’t want you to miss out. We can still only allow two clubs per child to ensure all children get a club. If you book more than two clubs on Arbor we will have to choose the two your child will be allowed to attend so please ONLY choose two.
Thank you to those of you who have paid off any money owing. Please ensure this is done before the Easter holidays. If you need any help or support please let me know.
On Tuesday 14th March, children from year 4 and 5 represented Betty Layward in a football match against Rushmore. The boys kicked off first and after going 1-0 in the first half, Wilfred equalized and made it 1-1, to the delight of the Betty Layward team. Unfortunately, Rushmore scored in the last minute to make it 2-1 at the end. The Girls kicked off next and despite putting in a resilient performance lost 2-0. Well done everyone.
Well done to Violet class for their assembly this week on hot and cold climates. It was brilliant and made me want to travel on Violet airlines. The children did so well and it was great. Thank you to so many parents and carers for coming.
Tuesday 21st March is World Down Syndrome Day. We are asking children and staff to wear some socks that will get noticed: either mismatched or colourful and crazy. The idea is to start a conversation, so when people ask you about your socks you can tell them, "I'm wearing them to raise awareness of Down syndrome". The theme this year is 'With Us Not For Us', which promotes a human rights-based approach to disability. A human rights-based approach views people with disabilities as having the right to be treated fairly and have the same opportunities as everyone else, working with others to improve their lives. Please remember to ask your children to wear special socks on Tuesday 21st March. Thank you.
I wanted to let you know about an exciting new project that we are embarking on in September. We will be working with OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) to improve our lunchtime provision. Lunchtime is a really important part of the day and we want the children to get the most out of it as possible. OPAL is an award-winning, mentor supported school improvement programme that addresses all the areas that schools must plan for if they want to strategically and sustainably improve the quality of their play opportunities. OPAL is the only programme of its kind that has been independently proven to sustainably improve the quality of play in British primary schools. Its success comes from a series of interrelated actions undertaken with specialist support from an OPAL mentor. This embeds play into the school’s policies and practices and establishes clear guiding principles and strategies for initiating lasting changes at playtimes. As a school we will provide many more outdoor exciting opportunities for the children in the playground, e.g. building dens, small world and much more.
We know you want your children to be happier and healthier and to get the chances to play happily. OPAL schools also see these benefits:
- 80% drop in reported behaviour and first aid incidents
- 20% more afternoon teaching time
- Compliance with wellbeing inspection requirements
- Increased resilience, collaboration and inclusion
Our aim by engaging in this project is to ensure all children have great play at school. There will be a working party consisting of staff, a governor and 2 parents/carers. If you are interested in supporting this and would like to be part of the working party please email me. You would have to commit to several meetings (not many) from September for 2 years as that is how long the project takes. I am really excited about this and please look at the OPAL website for more information. Any questions please ask.
The PTFA are working with Class Fundraising to produce two tea towels for Betty Layward. The design will feature self portrait drawings by every child at Betty Layward and their class teaching staff. One will be produced by Nursery and KS1 and one by KS2. Children love drawing and we are really excited to support this initiative which involves the whole school and will raise funds for the PTFA. The children will be doing their drawings over the next two weeks and the tea towels will be available to buy early in the Summer term - £5 each or 3 for £12.
We are signed up for the Hackney Half Marathon for the children on Saturday 20th May at 10:30am. They will run a mile that day at Hackney Marshes. The actual half marathon is Sunday 21st May. There are 150 places for Y2 – Y6 children on the Saturday and we will also need parent/carer volunteers to make this happen. Parents and Carers can also support by raising money by running the half marathon on the Sunday. Please put these dates in your diary as these are great fund raisers for the school. A just giving page is being set up and more information will follow.
I hope you have a good weekend,