January 2016

Happy New Year and welcome back to school! We hope you have had a good break and enjoyed lots of family time together.

 It seems a long time ago that we were in school celebrating Christmas! It was a wonderful time, it always is, with the delightful performances from the children in The Meadow and The Woodland which opened the season of Christmas so appropriately with Born in a Barn, the story of the Nativity told once again so poignantly. Christmas continued with our Carol Service which was, as ever, very well supported by you all. We thought the children's performances that night were wonderful, creating a perfect atmosphere and the retiring collection raised £130.38 for Shelter. On the last Thursday of term we were served with a truly delicious Christmas dinner and, after all the cracker pulling and telling of jokes, once back in the classrooms, we had a visit from Father Christmas with a present for every child. On the last day of term the school looked really jolly with everyone wearing their Christmas jumpers or outfits and we raised £97.50 for the  Santa Appeal.

 Thank you very much for all your support during this hectic time and a big thanks to all the staff who helped to create the wonderful end of term spirit we need at this time of year! Thank you very much also for all your good wishes for the season.

 Now we are back in the swing of school again with another busy few weeks ahead of us. We have been instructed by Oxfordshire County Council to return to having three terms a year namely Autumn, Spring and Summer. You will recall that about four years ago we were asked to name our terms 1-6. This is the first half of the Spring Term. Half term for those of you who don't have it in your diary is the week beginning 15th February and we are back to school again on 22nd February. Our first task this term is to assess all the children's progress; for the next couple of weeks they will all be having assessments carried out. Obviously these vary depending on the age of the child. Be assured, we don't sit the five year olds down to complete a long written test! By the time you come to meet with teachers at the next Parents Evening on 2nd March we will have information to share with you.

Rather more excitingly, we also have a visitor to The Ocean Class who will be showing the class lots of Roman artefacts, a Partnership Swimming Gala and Netball Tournament to participate in, and Book Week (week beginning 29th February) to look forward to. On the Thursday of Book Week The Mountain Class have been invited to Sibford School to join in an arranged author talk. The children in The Meadow and The Woodland will be visiting Hook Norton Library for a special session so may be asking you to join a library near home if you are not already members. The children in The Mountains Class are off on their residential trip to Dorset on 9th March and will return home on 11th March. Whilst away there is a packed programme planned including archery, a low ropes course and a Food and Farming Day. So you see we have lots to do!

The Friends of Great Rollright School have also got plans! The next meeting is on Wednesday 13th January and everyone is welcome to attend. Their next social event is a Ladies Night booked to take place in Great Rollright Village Hall on Friday 5th February.

We have another major building project starting on 8th February. We are finally able to afford to build the steps from the Ocean Class onto the Astroturf. This project includes changing one of the windows in The Mountains Class into a door so the steps will in fact enable both classes to finally have independent access out to the playground. In order to achieve this we need a large platform with a balustrade around it for safety. This project will take four weeks so we are in for some more disruption but nowhere near as bad as last year when we built the classroom. Nearer the time we will write with any information you need about bringing the children to school and collecting them. Should we be able to raise the funds, we are also planning to reorganise the hall so we have a much smaller group space and a larger hall. This would help a great deal at lunchtimes! However, we need to raise more money before we can plan those modifications.

We are still hoping to be able to change our servery into a kitchen and have our school lunches cooked on site. Sadly, no information about government funding for this is currently forthcoming. We hope to know more by March.

 As you have read through this letter I am sure you will have noted just how busy and exciting school is at present! We constantly strive to provide the best for your children and truly appreciate the strong partnership between home and school that makes this possible. Your children's wonderful attitudes to learning and all that you do to encourage them and work with them at home is an essential part of this process!

 Please don't ever hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions, concerns or worries. We are always happy to meet with you, answer emails or have a telephone conversation.

 Yours sincerely

 Anne Hewett and Michelle Hastings