Heads Up

January 2020

A new year

Welcome back to school everyone. I hope that you all had a very restful and enjoyable break. If you were celebrating Christmas then I'm sure you have had fun and possibly enjoyed seeing family and friends.

In my new role as Head of School I will be focusing on the way that school and parents communicate. Our open-door policy will continue, ensuring that important messages and information is shared whenever needed. Our social media presence continues to grow, using Twitter and Facebook to share events and celebrate things that have been done in school.

This 'Heads Up' newsletter will come out to you to inform you of upcoming events as well as looking back on successes.

Happy reading!

Jamie Ainscow

(Head of School)

Parent Involvement

One of our Heronshaw Values is Community. We pride ourselves on the strong sense of community that has been developed here over the years and it is often something that families talk about. To start a new year there will be a number of opportunities for parents who wish to be involved and we would welcome your support in a number of ways.

Parent Helpers

School is a busy place with lots of activities taking place each day. The focus on learning is our strength here and the staff work hard to maintain our 'Outstanding' rating. We would also like to welcome parent volunteers for a number of different roles in school.

Reading Champions: Perhaps you would like to join our team of parents to support children with their reading skills. You will receive some training and support for how to get the best from children when listening to them read as well as questions to ask and how to support their decoding (reading) skills.

General Help: We are also very grateful to welcome parents who can offer time to support in class. This may be on a weekly basis for a morning or afternoon. Jobs might include general support with activities, cutting and sticking as well as much more.

* If you would like to support in school you will need to complete one of our parent volunteer applications, which you can collect from the school office.

Class Parent Representatives: This term a new initiative will be launched with your support. In order to develop the sense of community for each class we invite any interested parents to put themselves forward to become the 'class rep'. Each class will need one parent who would like to support the class teacher(s). This support will come in the form of helping with sharing upcoming messages (as parents often see each other in the playground), coordinating resources that might need to be brought in to school, setting up a class social media/WhatsApp group. The class reps will be invited to meet with the Head of School as part of ideas sharing coffee mornings. The aim will be that this group work together with the Head to drive forward exciting new initiatives in school. A survey will come out shortly for interested parents to put themselves forward. We will then contact all parents informing them of who will be the representatives for each class.

Join our Governing Body: We have spaces on our governing body for parents to join and become part of the team that ensure that we remain the successful school that we are. It may seem like a daunting prospect to be on the governing body, but the team will give you all the support needed to do this successfully.

What is required? You do not have to have experience of being on a governing body or working in education. A range of skills makes the team more productive. There are governor meetings held each term and decisions regarding the school are made collectively. We do need to increase the number of parents on our governing body. If you are interested to know more about the role and how you can help then please speak to Jamie Ainscow (Head of School) or Danielle Chapman (Chair of Governors).

Wellbeing Wednesday: We have a small group of parents who attend the weekly coffee morning sessions in the hall with Mrs Meehan. We would like to expand this group even further. Do look out for Mrs Meehan on Wednesdays and feel free to stay for a chat. If there is a particular topic that you would like to discuss then we can accommodate this too.

Reading books

You may notice that our reading books have been relocated from the corridor into the key stage 1 shard area. Red, Yellow, Blue, Green and Orange level books are outside year 1 and Turquoise, Purple, Gold, White, Lime, Brown and Free Readers are outside year 2.

Please change your child's reading book regularly and aim to read 5 times a week. Look out for the reading reward, which will be starting again soon for all classes. Miss Guntrip will talk to the children about this in assembly.

Big picture

Celebrating successes across the school

This year we have been celebrating success for children and staff in a variety of ways.

Heronshaw Houses
Well done to Fuzton for achieving the most points in the autumn 2 half term. The overall autumn winning team will be announced in Friday's assembly and they will have their team reward shortly.

Star of the Week
In class, children can earn points for great work, good effort, tidying, being helpful and demonstrating the Heronshaw values. The daily totals are added together giving a winner at the end of the week. This winner is the class 'Star of the week'. Every Friday the winner from each class has their photo displayed on the 'Star' display in the hall for everyone to see. The children are very proud of their classmates.

Celebrating Out of School Achievements

If your child is working hard on something out of school or is successful in something then we would love to be able to share this in front of the whole school. Perhaps your child has been awarded a medal or certificate that they would like to have shown in assembly. Please speak to your child's class teacher and this can be arranged.

Showcasing work on the Head's Board

In Mr Ainscow's office there is a board where children will have their work displayed. If your child produces an outstanding piece of writing, maths or something creative then they may be asked to visit Mr Ainscow where they will receive a special gold sticker. A copy of their work will then be added to the wall.

VIP Assembly

In autumn the first VIP assembly was held. 2 children from each class were nominated by their peers to receive special recognition for their efforts and commitment to hard work. Parents of the nominated children were invited (secretly) and attended without the children knowing. It was a wonderful launch for the first of many VIP events! The next round of nominations will be complete soon.

Don't forget to check the News feed on the website, Facebook and Twitter for ongoing updates.

Special days and Events

Our spring term started with a 'well being for children' day. The children enjoyed a range of activities from yoga to mindfulness in their classes and across the school.

Thursday 9th January - the children will be attending the pantomime at Milton Keynes theatre to see Aladdin. It is always a memorable event for the children.

Tuesday 11th February - Safer Internet Day

Thursday 5th March - World Book Day

Monday 9th - Friday 16th March - British Science week

Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd April - Parents Evenings

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We have exciting fundraising news. One of our long term projects is to raise money to redevelop the main playground to create an inspiring set of zones for the children to be physically active and create. We want to kick start our fundraising and will be sharing more about this in the coming months.

You can now find Heronshaw School on TheGivingMachine, a great fundraising site that lets you raise donations for Heronshaw School whenever you shop online. It’s easy to use and doesn’t cost you (or us) a penny!

TheGivingMachine is a fundraising charity setup to help other charitable causes raise money online. By signing up and shopping online via TheGivingMachine you will generate a free cash donation for us. With over 2,200 of your favourite retailers, including Amazon, Ebay, M&S, NEXT, Tui, Sainsbury, John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners, you are bound to find what you need and generate a donation.

To start raising free donations go to https://www.thegivingmachine.co.uk/causes/heronshaw-school
and join – it’s that easy.

You can also download the free desktop reminder app to help you remember to always shop online via TheGivingMachine https://www.thegivingmachine.co.uk/shop-and-give/

Thank you for your support.

After school clubs

The spring term clubs will be starting soon. Looking ahead to spring 2 and beyond there may be parents who wish to help with a club. Perhaps you have a talent that you would like to come in to share with the children (i.e. art, sewing, crafts, sports, languages, etc). Please contact Mr Bas Ainscow (Leopards class teacher) if you would like to know more.

Breakfast Club

If you are interested in your child attending breakfast club then you can book directly with Mrs Collins.

7.45-8.40: Child 1-£3.50 (Sibling- £2.50)

8.00-8.40: Child 1- £2.50 (Sibling- £2.50)

8.15-8.40 Child 1- £1.50 (Sibling- £1.50)

Please note that as of February half term breakfast club will be paid for on a monthly basis for the sessions that have been used. Parents will receive an invoice for the sessions to be paid. Money will no longer be taken in advance and a receipt will be issued for your records.

Staff Training

We sometimes have parents ask about what the staff do during INSET days (In-Service Training). INSET and staff meetings focus on a range of staff development opportunities. Since September we have focused on:

  • Safeguarding and Child Protection
  • Maths planning, mastery and challenge
  • Developing non-core curriculum (geography, science, PE, art, etc)
  • Trust wide development day
  • Moderation of teacher judgments for writing (trust wide)
  • Foundation reading moderation
  • Music training

Term Dates


School Starts - Tuesday 7th January 2020

Break Up - Friday 14th February 2020

School starts - Monday 24th February 2020

Break up for Easter - Friday 3rd April 2020


School Starts - Monday 20th April 2020

Spring Bank Holiday - Friday 8th May 2020

Break Up - Friday 22nd May 2020

School Starts - Monday 1st June 2020

Break Up for Summer - Friday 17th July 2020