Our Old Shoes Were New Once!

Head Teacher Newsletter - Tuesday 6th September 2022

'Remember not the former things.' Isaiah 43:18

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Welcome back!

Welcome back, everyone!

I hope the return to school yesterday was a positive experience for you all; from a school perspective, it most certainly felt like a seamless transition back - as soon as the gate swung open it was lovely to see lots of smiling faces and eager beavers...and that was just the parents and carers. I was particularly amazed at how well our new reception children came straight into their new classroom environment and immediately took up the mantle of powerful learners (as Mrs Ling calls them). It was also lovely to welcome a few new faces further up the school as well as the familiar ones too; you can be safe in the knowledge that Crawford's prides itself on being nurturing and kind communicators...'Following Jesus, together we care, inspire and achieve.'

In our first collective worship of the term, I made parallels to the new term as being somewhat similar to new shoes...on one hand, shiny new shoes can make us feel proud; they are also a sign that we have grown. On the other hand, they can make us feel strange and uncomfortable. They can also be difficult to put on (especially when we first learn to tie laces). However, before long our feet become used to them and our new shoes become as comfortable as the old ones! For, our old shoes were new once!

We're all really looking forward to the new term and please do watch this space as we will shortly be communicating to you with regard to your child's timetable, curriculum focus, clubs, and general routines and expectations.

Mr Francksen & Mrs Ling

Headteacher & Interim Head of School

Welcome to the leadership team, Mrs Ling.

I'd like to formally welcome Mrs Jo Ling as she joins me as Head of School/Deputy Headteacher on an interim basis. Jo will be the HOS when I am not present; she will assume the deputy head role when I am present. I am incredibly excited to continue our strategic journey at the school and I am thankful that Jo has stepped in and offered her services. As you may know, Jo has a wealth of educational experience but more importantly life experience. Jo's main responsibilities will be to establish and maintain good working relationships between you (the parents/carers), the staff and of course, the pupils. Hence, Jo will manage the day-to-day running of the school alongside supporting me and the governors in the strategic direction of the school.
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Staffing Structure

Mr Rob Francksen - Headteacher

Mrs Jo Ling - HOS/Deputy Headteacher, Class 1 Teacher (EYFS)

Mrs Gill Watson - SENDCo

Mrs Maxine Mason - Pastoral Leader, SENDTa, Class 3 Ta

Mrs Rachel Buckle - Speech and Language Leader, Class 2 Ta

Miss Jess Faiers - Class 2 Teacher

Mrs Clare Welch - Class 3 Teacher

Mr Alex Bourne - Class 4 Teacher

Miss Jenine Grist - Forest School Leader, Class 1 Ta

Mr Jordan Robinson - Specialist support (Class 4), PE Leader

Mrs Julie Cook - OPAL Coordinator, Forest School Assistant

Mrs Claire Barber - Office Manager

Mrs Kayleigh Smith - Admin Assistant

Mr Alan Brackley - Maintenance Operative

Mrs Zena Andrews - Cleaner

Mr Kevin Vallier - Cleaner

Communications Flow chart

This is a gentle reminder that we have a flow chart, which will assist you in directing any queries, issues or concerns. Please utilise this so we can best support you and your child/ren.

Some new developments...

New flooring and painted dining hall

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Class 4 has a make over...

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Class 3 and their reading for pleasure corner

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Class 2 has a new carpet, is painted and immersified!

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Even the staff room has a revamp

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Extended OPAL time

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Sensory garden

Alan, our maintenance man, has begun work on the side garden - alongside Mrs Mason and many of our SEN cohorts, they are creating an exciting new sensory garden, in remembrance of Roy Buttle. Their designed plans include a pagoda (with a colourful, transparent ceiling), a water station, a sensory wall, a hammock and some multi-sensory flooring. Watch this space as it slowly develops.
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Welcome Mr. Robinson

I'd like to formally welcome Jordan Robinson to Crawford's team and community. Jordan has joined us from Olive Academy where he worked with pupils at a challenging point in their education. He is an experienced practitioner who is particularly adept at supporting children with significant barriers to learning new skills or mastering those they have learnt before; he is also an experienced PE teacher and specialist having learned his craft at King Edwards VI Secondary School. Mr Robinson will be joining us and fulfilling the role(s) of Class 4 support, PE teacher and early-help clubs leader. Jordan is such a great addition to the team and I know he's really looking forward to meeting and working with you all.
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Welcome Mrs Cook

As you know Mrs Cook has been on our OPAL team for the past year; this year she will be expanding her role by becoming the OPAL Coordinator (overseeing our lunch provision and training in 'Play') and a Forest School Assistant. I'd like to formally welcome her and I look forward to this exciting new journey with her and the school.
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The One and Only Mr. Hurkett

It is with sadness that I announce Mr Hurkett will not be returning to Crawford's. Lee was due to be leaving in October, having decided to embark on a new dream job opportunity.

However, the serious achilles injury he sustained (at the end of the last term) has meant he is unable to return to Crawford's to complete his contract.

I am sure you will all join me in thanking him for his dedication, motivation, positivity, character and endeavour! It's been a special journey these past 5 years and I would like to personally thank Lee for his involvement at the school and for putting PE and extracurricular sport on the map for Crawford's. We have a curriculum and provision to be proud of and that is all down to Mr H! We all wish him well in what is an exciting new challenge for Lee.

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Pip Jackson RIP

It is with such sadness that I write to inform you of the tragic passing of Pip Jackson. Pip died unexpectedly last week; those of you that knew Pip will know what a kind, soft-hearted, kindred spirit he was.

Pip was a school foundation governor who has supported the school over the past 5 years. Many of you will also know that Pip ran a gardening club with Gabi Wood. The children were very fond of him and he was an incredibly valued member of our school community.

Yesterday afternoon, we all gathered at the church for our first 'Cog' monthly collective worship. Here, Reverend Brin shared the story of St. Pauls's resilience during his sea voyage to Rome. In this worship, Brin gave a light-touch remembrance to Pip, which was lovely.

If you/your family knew Pip well I would encourage you to open up a channel of communication with your child/ren and just check in with them.

Our thoughts are with Pip's family at this difficult time.

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Early-Help Clubs

Our early-help breakfast and after-school club begin next Monday 12th - please sign up on Arbor and make payment. If you are in receipt of the Pupil Premium, all clubs are FREE. You will still need to sign up! Please see the letter sent this week along with the new club's list for this half term.

We Need You! Community Governor Advertisement

We have a community governor vacancy; if you are interested, please contact the school office who can take your details down; I will then be in touch. The closing date for expression of interest is next Tuesday 13th of September.
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Cost of Living Crisis

RE: Cost of Living Crisis

Although at the time of writing this letter the government’s support for families remains unclear, we do expect more information in the next 7 days about the measures they will take to support families struggling to cope financially. For most of us, the rise in fuel prices, and the subsequent increases in costs of food and clothing, have been difficult, but some families are already experiencing financial hardship. Families are struggling even before the winter months arrive when additional heating and lighting are essential. Many families are understandably worried about the next 12 to 18 months and it is likely that far more families will find themselves in difficulty.

If you find yourself in a difficult situation financially please come and talk to us, as we may be able to help with advice or support.

Schools too are facing significant challenges due to fuel costs, inflation and an unfunded increase in staff salaries, but we will help where we can. In times such as these, our community comes together to support everyone. We know, for example, that many churches are setting up food banks. This link is to food banks registered with Suffolk County Council but there are others already running or about to begin.

It is very important for families to ensure that they are getting the benefits that they are entitled to and Free School Meals (FSM) is one of the most important. All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to a free school meal (part of the infant free school meals system) but you may be entitled to claim FSM for older pupils if you are eligible. If you would like to apply online please click on the link below or speak to the school office.

Suffolk provides access to other support services, including financial support, and some of these require a referral to be made through a gateway organisation. Citizen’s Advice Bureaus are in place across the county and can support with referrals (Diss CAB, West Suffolk CAB, Mid Suffolk CAB, Ipswich CAB. There is also a Suffolk Advice and Support line 0800 0683131 (Mon to Fri 9 am to 5 pm).

There may be other things that the school can help you with directly. For example, if you are finding school uniforms unaffordable or need longer to pay for your school dinners, this may be possible. Whilst on the subject of educational visits, we are planning on funding these entirely through the school budget this year, saving you costs but ultimately ensuring your child's enrichment offer is not affected.

We would also like to understand if there are particular concerns about the financial costs of school clubs or resources. We have therefore constructed a short survey to help us better understand how we can help (which can be completed anonymously). We appreciate that the answers you provide may be sensitive and therefore results will remain confidential to the senior leadership team, only generalised results (ie not attached to names will be shared).

The survey also asks for any ideas you may have or support that you know is available in the local area for others to use so that we can share this.

Please click on the link below.

Diary reminders

  • Thursday 15th September - Flag raising - The Battle of Britain;
  • Monday 26th September - Stow Food Bank Charity Week;
  • Thursday 29th September - Year Reception and Y1 Phonics Workshop (8.45-10);
  • Thursday 6th and 13th October - Parents Evening (4-6 pm);
  • Monday 10th October - The Big Draw Festival Week;
  • Thursday 13th October - Miniature Donkey's Mental Health Day;
  • Friday 21st October - Flag raising - Trafalgar Day;
  • Friday 21st October - Last day of school.

Remember...you can see the full termly calendar, here, or on the school website.


Healthy Snacks

Please ensure your child has a healthy snack in school to have at break time - e.g., a piece of fruit, carrot sticks, muesli bar, yoghurt tube. No chocolate bars or crisps please, and nothing containing peanuts.

Younger children (YR to Y2) have fruit or vegetables provided by the School Fruit & Veg Scheme.

Please note, that any snacks brought in to school will be collected by the Class Teacher and handed out at break time. Therefore, please can you ensure that any tubs, bags, etc are named.

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Allergy Awareness - Nut Free School

We are an allergy-aware school and would like to remind all families that there may be pupils in school with a nut allergy. If a child with a nut allergy comes into contact with nuts, or with a pupil who has eaten nuts, then this could lead to an anaphylactic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to a trigger such as an allergy.

Because of this, the school cannot accept products containing nuts to be provided in lunch boxes or for eating at other times.

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Year 2 going into Year 3

Suffolk County Council has asked us to remind you to apply for income-related for Free School Meals (FSM) if you think you might be eligible.

They hope this will help to boost our pupil premium income, as they know many parents/carers forget to apply for FSM at the beginning of Key Stage 2 due to having received Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM).

You can make an application for free school meals online at: www.suffolk.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals.

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Safeguarding & Wellbeing

NSPCC Social Media advice

Children and young people use many different social media apps and sites. The most popular are Facebook and Instagram, with many others such as Snapchat, TikTok and Twitter.

There are lots of benefits to social networking. They can allow users to stay connected with friends and family. They can also learn many different things, from make-up or gaming tutorials to making slime, or how to create their own videos.

Like most things, there can be negatives too. For children and young people, there are risks that you should be aware of, to help keep your child safe on social media.

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Further information for families seeking financial help

Will Wright at West Suffolk Council has advised that, for families that are not in receipt of free school meals, but that are in financial hardship:

A) Have you also spoken to the Citizen Advice service in West Suffolk about any financial hardship funds available?

Citizens Advice West Suffolk | Free, confidential, independent advice (suffolkwestcab.org.uk)


B) Suffolk Advice and Support Service

Suffolk Advice and Support Service Helpline (SASS) 0800 068 3131 | Community Directory