Avondale Newsletter 10th February 2017

Governor Update

Ms Chris Southworth has now taken over as Chair of the Governing Body and continues to spend as much time in school as possible.

There have been meetings of all four Committees this term—Finance, Premises/Health & Safety, Curriculum and Standards & Effectiveness. Following the appointment of four new co-opted members, Governor curriculum links will be reviewed at the full Governing Body meeting in March.

Governors have had the opportunity to continue to visit assemblies on a Friday to see how wonderful the children are doing and the achievements they are making. This has also provided an opportunity to gain feedback from parents; who feel that coming to assembly gives them more of a chance to be part of their children’s education. The children enjoy seeing their family too!

Sarah Bateman, parent governor, has also had the opportunity to meet with Mrs Duckett to learn about the PSHE ‘jigsaw project’. This appears to be developing well and class feedback from pupils is positive.


As you know, space is limited in school and we largely keep children’s bags on the corridor. Yes, fashion is important to some children but bags seem to be getting bigger and bigger and this could lead to slips and trips as large bags fall off hooks and end up on the floor! Please be mindful of this and only let your child bring a small bag or a book bag to school.

Lesson Observations

Last week all teachers and classes were observed during Maths lessons. Our School Improvement Advisor also came into school to quality assure Middle & Senior Leaders. Feedback was positive and strengths included:

  • Raised expectations and high aspirations
  • Children’s use of mathematical language
  • Precise and tight lesson objectives
  • Relationships
  • Children’s use of displays to promote learning and effective questioning.


Thank you for the homework questionnaires you completed. Staff and Governors have now reviewed homework arrangements and agreed that for:

  • Early Years : Topic Mats will continue to be issued as will weekly spellings. Reading 4 x weekly is the main priority.
  • KS1 : Reading, Spellings and a half termly topic grid stuck in homework books (Year 1 and 2).
  • KS2: after reflecting on parents’ comments we have decided that homework will consist of more formal pieces consisting of weekly spellings, reading and grammar work.

Homework will be issued in a homework book and it is REALLY IMPORTANT that this book is returned weekly so you can see marked work and new homework can be issued. Homework gives you an opportunity to see what your children are learning about, as well as a chance to help and celebrate success. Please support us in encouraging your child/ren to achieve educationally.

House Points

The winning house this term is BLUE with 1025 points. You have earned yourself a non uniform day on 24 February. Well done BLUE team.

Warm/appropriate clothing

Please can we ask parents to send children to school with appropriate clothing. If the weather is fine, children will be out on the playground at break and lunchtimes—but they need to be warm. So, please send them with coats, hats, scarves and gloves.

Phones in school

Children should not need to regularly bring a mobile phone to school. On the rare occasion, due to clubs or alternative pick-up’s etc, this may be necessary. Children MUST hand in their phone at the school office first thing and collect at the end of the day. The school, however, does not take any responsibility for any phones brought onto the premises as this is parental choice. Mobiles are not permitted in school during the day.

Green text messages

This half term, as a school, we have (and will continue to work on) been promoting a growth mindset and children taking responsibility for their own actions. So, for the last couple of weeks, we have been sending green text messages out on a Friday to all children who have stayed on green all week. If you don’t get one—perhaps ask your child why? If you do—please give positive praise. We think it is important for your to know how well behaved our Avondale children are.

Dates for the Diary

  • February Half Term—Monday 13th to Friday 17th February
  • 21 February—Year 1 Phonics Parental Workshop, 3.30 pm
  • 22 February— Headlice Workshop 2.45pm
  • Easter Holiday—School closes on Friday 31 March at 3.15pm and re-opens on Tuesday 18 April

Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling

Thank you to the families who came to the GPS workshop after school on Wednesday; it was great to see you. If you couldn’t make it, the PowerPoint from the session is available on the school website under curriculum.


We are holding a Parents Workshop on Weds 22 February at 2.45pm, our family health team will be available to answer any questions. This issue is one we ALL need to work on together!

world book day

On Thursday 2 March we will be celebrating world book day. Children can dress up as their favourite book character on this day and will be encouraged to talk about this character, why they like them, what story they are from and what happens in the story.

Year 6 SATs Booster Sessions

Just a reminder that these session are running every Wednesday morning at 8.00 am. Please encourage your child to join us.

sporting update

  • Year 5/6 Indoor Athletics. Well done to the team who competed at St Wilfrid’s in Blackburn, coming 3rd in the Blackburn with Darwen Finals.
  • Year 3/4 Indoor Athletics. Again, another well done to the Year 3/4 team who competed at Darwen Vale this week against 8 other schools and gained 3rd place.
  • Netball. Well done to the netball team , who have had mixed success this last week. Whilst we had a 6:1 loss against St Cuthbert’s, we had a tremendous success against Belmont with a 17:1 win. Player of the Match—Lily Hunter.

Please note that Football & Pokemon cards are not allowed in school.

Clubs in School

There’s lots going on at the moment, including:

  • Netball, Choir & Digital Leaders — Tuesday
  • Dance, Swimming, Homework and Art—Wednesday
  • Guitar and Orienteering—Friday

Class Assemblies

We will soon be starting our Class Assemblies, to which all parents are welcome to attend. Individual class letters will be sent home, but for information the dates are:

  • 2 March-6D
  • 9 March-5C
  • 16 March-3P
  • 23 March-1R
  • 30 March-6L
  • 27 April-4B
  • 18 May-3W
  • 25 May-5J
  • 15 June– RRT
  • 22 June-4H
  • 29 June-1L
  • 6 July– School Council
  • 13 July– Year 2

The assemblies will take place on Thursday mornings at 9.00 am. Please enter via the Year 6 door near the mini-bus.


Across the school the overall attendance is 96.2.% The top 5 classes so far this year:

  1. 3W—98.7%,
  2. 5C—97.7%
  3. 2M—97.4%
  4. 3P—97.2%
  5. 6L—96.8%

parents' evening

Thank you to all the parents who came last night. The atmosphere along the corridor was very positive and encouraging.

Safer Internet Day

Tuesday 7th February was Safer Internet Day, our school took part in a variety of activities throughout the day and learnt about the importance of keeping safe online.

Year 4 and 5 children are visiting Darwen Vale over the next few weeks to attend some sessions on cyber-bullying and keeping safe online, using video and discussion.

5J at Darwen Vale


Reminder, the final payment (£130) is due by 7 March. Thanks

We hope you all have a lovely break.

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