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Mr Ali’s weekly message

Heron Park has just been awarded School Games GOLD Award.  We are all extremely proud of this stunning achievement, only a handful of schools/academies in each county reach this milestone each year, and we are one of them.  The award recognises our efforts to provide a wide ranging, high quality sports programme that is inclusive and gives opportunities to all.  Special thanks go to Mr Griffiths for taking the initiative and taking the lead, the staff at the school for working as a team to make sure that many of the requirements of the programme are met, and to Mrs Streeter for supporting the application process.  This is a major achievement and we should all be very proud!

This week as part of science week, we had lots of visitors and workshops, and children developed their enquiry skills.   We also had a famous author who gave a talk to all key stage 2 pupils, and then ran workshops in class.  As a result, our pupils produced some amazing writing, and many children were able to be awarded with golden headteacher awards.

Our student ambassadors have been holding ‘Heron Park has Talent’ rehearsals and are very impressed with the standard of the auditions.  Creativity takes many forms, and it is vital that we give our children the confidence to develop this and perform in front of others.  It really is not about the winning, but the taking part!

Next Wednesday, our pupils will be participating in the Paragon Extravaganza and the year 6 teachers have been working extremely hard rehearsing for the performances.  I am sure it will be an amazing event, and it something that is extremely special as all 5 of the Aurora Academies schools will be performing their acts in from of an audience of hundreds at the White Rock Theatre in Hastings!  If your child is performing, you will be able to purchase tickets from the school office.  Places are limited!

Next Friday at lunch time, the Mayor of Eastbourne, Councillor will be coming to Heron Park to have a tour, and also join the children for lunch at the golden table.  

Finally, please do not forget that we have our annual summer fair tomorrow, do please make sure you attend and enjoy in the fun!

 


Mr Ali’s weekly message:

I am pleased to share with you that Heron Park pupils won against Tollgate School with a 3-0 victory!  They are now through to the semi-finals against Langley, and I wish them well!  Our children continue to show perseverance under the expert coaching practices of Mr Griffiths from Sportitude, and are growing in both their skills and their confidence.  A significant part of achievement and winning is to believe that you CAN do it, and that it is not going to be easy.  Success and involvement in sports and physical leisure activities is not only healthy for your body but also for your state and mind, and can develop life skills. 

We have a range of activities and organisations that use our facilities including Sama Martial Arts (http://samamartialarts.co.uk/) and Eastbourne is lucky to have organisations such as the Scouts (https://www.eastbournescouts.org.uk/) , sea cadets (http://www.sea-cadets.org/eastbourne/home.aspx)  and Royal Air Force air cadets (https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets/find-a-squadron/london-south-east/sussex-wing-hq/54-eastbourne/) operating within the town, and children benefit enormously from such organisations in many ways, if they start at an early age. 

We also have many sporting activities and organisations that work with young people including Eastbourne Borough FC and Eastbourne Cricket Club which both have activities for under 10s. 

At school, we provide a range of activities to stimulate interest in various sports and activities, and our support staff are highly skilled, with many of them training for additional coaching qualifications.   This, complemented by both PE lessons from our teaching staff and Mr Griffiths means that PE provision is excellent at Heron Park, and the after-school club programme is extremely comprehensive.  If you have any ideas for future clubs in the next academic year, please do get in touch with the office.    

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Next week is SATs, we would like to wish all our amazing year 6 children the best of luck, we are all very proud of you.

We will be reviewing the way we communicate with our parents, emailing our newsletter is one consideration, with paper copies available to those who need them. Please let us know your thoughts.

Year 4 had a wonderful trip to The science Centre at Herstmonceux today, it was a little cold but it didn’t deter the children from having a wonderful time. The staff at the Science Centre informed us that the children were impeccably behaved


This newsletter will focus specifically on you, our wonderful parents!  There are many ways that parents help and support the school.  In the first instance, we have the governing board that has parent members, and our PTFA is full of active members who are the first to come and volunteer their free time, energy and effort for events throughout the year.  Our chair of the board is a parent herself, and is also part of the Trust board.  Very recently, we have had an amazing parent with a specific set of skills, qualifications and passion around libraries and books support the school around the Accelerated Readers programme, and another parent who has volunteered their time to not only run after-school clubs at the school, but also an amazing production in school, as well as the Paragon extravaganza performance that will take place at the White Rock Theatre, Hastings, this summer. 

What a small handful of parents have achieved, and continue to achieve, is simply amazing, and I can never thank them enough.  However, I do feel that this is the tip of the iceberg.  We have hundreds of parents, all of whom, just like our children, have skills, talents and interests in many different areas.  If we have more parents who came forward to help the school and increase provision, they would be provided with opportunities to have a wider variety of experiences, and there would be added benefits to their interests and ambitions. 

I would like to urge you therefore to think about what you could offer the school on a weekly or monthly basis, and inform the office.  We will then get in touch if there is a need, and we can then take the next steps to developing capacity and provision of possible.  At the very least, joining or supporting the PTFA would be a great start!  Any ideas would also be appreciated and it could be that you also would like to learn a bit more about how to do something, and does not have to an area where you are an expect.  We can then truly live our motto that we are a school community that is ‘Learning and Achieving Together’.

 

 


Welcome back to all of our parents and pupils.  Many of our pupils have been awarded gold sticker awards for diaries of activities that they were involved in, and it was great to see!  Regular activities over the holiday period can enrich and support learning, and often cost nothing, or very little!  Children reflected on what they had done over the day, weekend, and week and this assuredly helped their vocabulary and handwriting. 

This is a very important term as we have children in year 2 and 6 sitting their SATs exams.  As part of this, we held a meeting for year 6 parents on Thursday, and had the best attendance ever.  It is vital that we work together to make sure that our pupils perform to the best of their potential, and that we give them the confidence to achieve their dreams and ambitions.  The future is uncertain, but what we education, confidence and adaptability will prepare them well for future success. 

Triple P is continuing their workshops for parents on strategies for positive parenting, and I would urge as many of our parents to sign up for the sessions.  Places are limited, and the first session this term will take place on Tuesday 25th April at 9:00am. 


It has been another great term for Heron Park pupils, with lots of activities and achievements both within the school and beyond.   A special mention goes to our year 4 pupils who won the Downlands in Bloom competition, which demonstrates yet again that our children are some of the most talented and capable school children in the whole of Eastbourne. 

This morning, we had Maths activities as part of a special initiative in aid of the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) around Big Board Game Day 2017.  Thank you to all the parents who came in and took part, and also those of you who donated games for the event. 

Our Paragon Events this week were even better than before, and our pupils were simply amazing.  Our teachers work very hard to make sure that our children make progress academically, and in their confidence and presentation skills.  Thank you to all the parents who were able to attend. 

Mrs Houri will be off to the walk along The Great Wall of China over the break, and we wish her well.  She is raising money on behalf of Cancer Research UK, and she extends her thanks to all the parents and children who raised money through the walk in the school last week.  We have created a school mascot called Hatty the Heron, and Mrs Houri has kindly knitted her, and will be taking her along to China!

This week, we had a whole-school penny race that was organised by Mrs Pengelly in support of Water Aid.  We are still counting the coins and will report on the exact amount as soon as we can.  Thank you all for your support!

At the celebration assembly, Mr McCarthy, CEO of Aurora made a special appearance to present 2 of our year 6 pupils with their prefect awards.  He toured the year 6 classes and thanked them for working so hard for their SATs exams.  We have also arranged for special meeting for year 6 parents on Wednesday 20th of April at 3:15 in the hall, and I would encourage every year 6 parent or carer to attend.

Finally, we had an amazing egg-hunt in school today with lots of children enjoying themselves immensely.  I would like to wish you all a good Easter break, and I look forward to seeing you all in term 5.


Our pupils did a tremendous job last Friday and won the Downlands in Bloom competition which took place in the town hall.  Their design and presentation impressed the judges and they beat a number of private and public schools, and their design will be planted out at Holywell in June.  I am really looking forward to seeing the final product!

Year 2 took part in tennis trials in Hampden Park this week.  This will continue in to next week, and the children enjoyed going to a really professional venue and competing against each other. 10 children will be offered a free 6 week course courtesy of Hampden Park Tennis Club.

We had team of netball players compete in an inter-school event this week, and they came fourth out of ten teams. This is a great achievement, considering we were not able to participate in region-wide events.  This is largely due to the leadership of Mr Griffiths, and the support of some very committed and talented staff from Heron.

This week, Heron took part in science week by involving the animals we have in the building.  Every year group in the school learnt about different animals, their habitats, and other facts of interest including their origins and related species.

We will be distributing the latest Heron Park whole-school challenge, which we hope every child in the school will complete, next Monday.  There will be at least three challenges over the course of the year, and there will be a two week window to complete the challenge.  This term, the challenge is focused on British Values, and the deadline for submission is the 31st of March 2017.

Thank you to all of you who have supported your children by sponsoring  them and encouraging others to do so, as this will go to a very good cause in the form of Cancer Research UK.  Every child in the school walked a mile, and Mrs Houri would also like to extend her thanks to everyone who has supported her, and is very excited about going on her adventure.

Finally, I would like to invite you all to our Paragon events on the 29th of March 2017, which will take place in the main hall.  Paragon for Reception Year 1 & Year 2 will be at 9.15am and Paragon for Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 & Year 6 will be at 2.15pm.  I look forward to seeing you all there.

 


Friday 10th March

This week, we have been focusing on British Values, and every year group has been working hard on exploring quite complex and challenging areas including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and the tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.  We have put up a display in the main reception area to celebrate all the great work they have done, and it is really impressive. 

Mrs Houri who works at the school is undertaking a huge challenge in the form of a walk along The Great Wall of China, in aid of Cancer Research UK.  As a school, we will be following her progress, and are supporting her by holding a sponsored walk in school- on the 17th of March (Friday).  Please support our children and Mrs Houri in this great cause, as all proceeds will be going to Cancer Research UK!

Our year 3 pupils took part in making sushi (without the raw fish) this week as part of their Paragon work around Japan.  The children were very engaged and tried the food, and for many of them, it was the first time they had tasted nori (seaweed!).

Our year 4 pupils are taking part in the Downlands in Bloom competition, and have been working hard on their design, and business links.  I am really impressed with their creativity and the design in spectacular, and I wish them all the best!


Friday 3rd March

I would like to thank all parents that have returned the parent questionnaire.  As a school, we try our very best but there are always things that can be done even better and your views and feedback is invaluable. 

Book week has been absolutely amazing, and it was great to see so many activities taking place.  On Thursday, children came in and dressed up as a word.  We had some amazing costumes, and the teachers showed their creativity and participated as well!  There was a special World Book Day assembly, and children were reminded that they would each receive a book voucher that they could use to buy special books, and put towards buying other books that cost more than £1.  Finally, all our classes wrote and performed part of a story around the crayons in assembly, and this was linked together to create one big story – it was a fantastic example of the school working together and was very impressive!

Heron Park continues to participate in local sporting activities, and this week, a team of children were taken to Saffrons to participate in the South Downs Area Hockey Tournament.  They tried their very best against established school teams and made it to the semi-finals.  A truly excellent performance!

Today, we had Mr Boorer from Hellingly Hounddogs (http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/hellinglyhounddogs, https://www.facebook.com/hellinglyhounddogs/)  who worked with our year 5 children introducing them to flag America football.  We are very lucky to have Mr Boorer working with us as the aims are to develop skills and team working.  Mr Boorer commented on how keen all the children were and was impressed by how quickly they developed their basic skills.  He will be working with Heron Park over the next six weeks, and the children are very excited about this! 

Finally, every term, I am amazed by the work that our children do at home.  This is celebrated by putting the best pieces of work on the table in the reception area.  We now need to make room for work that children are doing this term, and would like work to be collected that has been there for a term already.  Where possible, we will create space in other parts of the school to showcase them but sadly this cannot be guaranteed.


Friday 27th January 2017

The theme for next week will be positivity.   Positivity is an essential outlook to have in all aspects of life as it not only gives you an increasing chance of success, but also promotes a can-do attitude. 

Our new prefects have already started their new duties and have impressed me with their commitment and efforts so far.  Some of them are performing their duties in the playground, along the corridors and in the dining hall. 

The school council met yesterday, and they had a very successful meeting.  Many of the suggestions made by the council have been implemented, and this demonstrates how seriously we take any feedback that will improve the school even further. 

We are currently putting together an interim report based on progress made up to the end of term 2.  This is a pilot project to try and share information with parents, and if you should need to speak to the class teacher about anything, please contact the office. 

We had a couple of successful workshops on flower-arranging, organised by Sussex Down College, and are looking to ask them to run further workshops.  If you have any ideas, or areas of interest, do let the school know. 

Paragon events will be taking place on the 6th of February for key stage 2, and the 7th of February for key stage 1.  Both events will be taking place at 2:30pm, and will take the form of workshops in the classrooms.  I look forward to seeing you all on those days!

 


 

Friday 20th January 2017

The theme for next week will be PRIDE.  Our children have every right to be proud of the work they do, and their attitude to their work.  Our prefect assembly this morning was a very proud moment for the year 6 pupils, their parents and staff.  It shows that we have pupils who have really tried their best and shown initiative and leadership.  As a headteacher, it is fantastic to not only have great staff running the school, but also a team of senior pupils taking on responsibilities.

I would like to thank you for supporting the school on Thursday in our drive to encourage more children to take up a hot lunch in school.   Healthy eating is very important, and I would ask all parents to consider a hot lunch for at least some days of the week if their children are always on packed lunches.  We have a wide ranging menu, and jacket potatoes are always on offer.   I would also like to ask parents to include at least 1 healthy item in the lunch box in the form of a fruit. 

One of our pupils is extremely interested in becoming an astronaut, and not only as she met Tim Peake in person, but was invited to Imperial College London as part of a launch of ‘Mission X – Train like An Astronaut’ initiative.  She met some celebrities, undertook activities and thoroughly enjoyed herself!  It is so inspiring to see young minds buzzing with energy and a passion for learning and success.

Another of our pupils was assessed by coaches from Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club recently, and they were very impressed with her skills and talent, and will be taking this further. 

All of our children have skills, talents and huge amounts of potential, and it is our job as parents and educators to find, nurture and develop those talents and give them the attitudes and confidence that will give them the very best possible start in life.   This is one of the reasons that I am so passionate about the Heron Park Way and the 5 Ps, and it encourages children to have the right attitude to everything that they do. 

 


 

Mr Ali’s weekly message:

The Primary Writing Project (PWP) is having a huge impact on the engagement and outcomes of our children. They are getting to know stories really well (Imitation), adapting the story slightly (Innovation) and finally creating their own stories themselves independently (Invention). This means that when they come to write, they have lots of ideas, and experiences that they can use to develop their writing so they are better able to meet the higher expectations of the new curriculum. Our amazing teachers have implemented the PWP across the board.

Mr Griffiths will be organising a year 5/6 Football match against Ocklynge Junior School on Thursday 2nd February, look out for more information about this in the coming week.

This terms Paragon Event has been confirmed as Monday 6th February at 2.30pm for Key Stage 2 and Tuesday 7th February again at 2.30pm both will be held in classrooms I hope you can join us.


 

Welcome to the final headteacher newsletter for the calendar year – It has been a very busy week, with lots of incredible things going on!

The New National Curriculum has increased in challenge, and the current measure for children in year 6 is the progress that they have made.  The national school league tables have been published, and I am very pleased to share with you that our progress measures for all aspects (Reading, Writing and Maths) have been above both East Sussex and national averages.  This is as a result of the hard work and dedication of our extremely talented and committed year group teams and your support.  You can see the actual results by clicking on the following link:

https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/school/138390

 

We have rearranged the reception area to hold our guided reading books, and have a new technology section so that our children can access the internet to complete research, take online assessments and our learning platform.  Please remember that our online learning resources are available from home as well, and you are able to access them via our web site, or directly by clicking the following links:

DB Primary Online Learning Platform:

hppa.esussex.dbprimary.com

 

Activelearn English Resources:

www.activelearnprimary.co.uk – school ID is MXKW

 

The nativity has been a resounding success, and all tickets were sold with standing room only in the final performance.  Our children were all bright little stars, full of confidence and talent.  We need to continue to give them the confidence to succeed and persevere in everything that they do.  I recommend that you to use the Heron Park Way at home, and encourage your children to have PRIDE is everything that they do, be POSITIVE in their approach, PROBLEM SOLVE when they face challenges, be PROACTIVE and think and plan ahead and last but by no means least, PERSEVERE.  These are skills for life, and will ensure that they reach the potential that they are capable of.

 

A group of people that that have exemplified the ‘Heron Park Way’ yesterday were our school football team, who played against Tollgate Primary School as part of an East Sussex Football Tournament match.  The result was a draw, and I am extremely proud of their efforts.   I would like to thank parents who turned up to cheer on our teams.

 

Thank you for your support over the last year.  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a fantastic new year and hope to see you all in the new year.  Please remember that we have an INSET day on Tuesday the 3rdof January 2017, and children are back at school on the Wednesday the 4th of January 2017.


 

The theme for this week has been pride, and next week, the school focus will be positivity.  It is important that every child at Heron Park has a positive outlook and attitude to things.  We encourage our pupils to think positively about learning, challenges and people.  The chances of success are far greater if we think positively, and this is encouraged in all of our pupils. 

The annual Heron Park Christmas Fair was a huge success, which this year was based around the theme of Harry Potter.  This event, and others throughout the year, would not have been possible without the hard work and determination of our PTFA, who had been working for weeks to prepare for the event.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank them, and also invite all of our parents to join the PTFA and give some of their spare time.  Everyone has talents and things that they can contribute, and I very much look forward to seeing more of you become members of the PTFA. 

Micro Tyco for year 4 has finished, and we are going to be counting how much they have raised over the next few days, and I should be able to report on this by the next newsletter. 

Year 5 had a special assembly last week from Weald Technology around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), and they explored renewable energy and transport and came up with various vehicle designs.  The presenter was very impressed with the behaviour of our children, and also thought that they were very confident and creative. 

Our choir has been visiting different venues this week including Langney shopping Centre, Lakeside Court and Roseberry House, bringing cheer and happiness to people all around Eastbourne during this very special time. 

Thank you to all those parents who attended the flower arranging workshop organised by Sussex Downs College.  The follow-up session in on Monday and all places are now full.  We are hoping to host further FREE workshops next year so please make sure you book early when they become available as places are limited. 

 


 

I would like to thank all parents who were able to attend the parents evening this week.  These are just one of the ways we provide information on how your child is doing at school.  If you were unable to attend and would like to speak to the class teacher, please arrange a mutually convenient time. 

We currently have the book fair in school, and will continue to have it on Monday and Tuesday next week.  Reading is not just important to access learning across a range of subjects, but also is a joy in itself.

This week, the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service gave a talk to year 2 pupils about being safe around the home.  Officers were very impressed and pleased with the attitude and behaviour of our pupils, and commented on their questioning skills.  If you would like further information, please view the following link: http://www.esfrs.org/your-safety/education-intervention/firewise/.

Year 4 have all registered for Micro Tyco, and held a superb event on Wednesday.  The challenge is to take £1 and convert it to as much as possible over the month of November.  The project develops maths, business and enterprise, communication, confidence and social and geographical awareness as the money they raise will be donated to micro-finance projects in the third world, where people are looking to set up or expand a business.

Our teachers and support staff attended a training session on how to work together in teams, to deliver the Primary Writing Project.  This is an investment by Aurora Academies Trust in securing higher outcomes and progress in both reading and writing, through an interactive whole-school approach using fiction and non-fiction texts through a 3 stage process involving imitation, innovation and invention.  Pupils learn a story through actions and then once this is secure, they move on to actually writing.  They then adapt the story, and finally write their own. 

Please make sure you attend the annual Heron Park Christmas Fair on Friday the 2nd of December, between 3:15pm and 4:30pm.  I would like to thank our PTFA for their hard work and dedication.  Without their involvement, we would not be able to enjoy such fantastic events, and the funds they provide support many of the enrichment projects in the school. 

 

 


 

The Heron Park Way is a special feature of our school that promotes desirable attitudes to learning and life.  The theme for this week was being proactive, as we encourage our pupils to think ahead, be prepared and take the lead.  Next week, the theme will be perseverance, which is all about never giving up!

Our young footballers, together with Mr Griffiths, took part in an Eastbourne football tournament on Saturday.  The team did really well, and tried extremely hard.  They won their first game 3-0, and continued to persevere and gained 4th place overall in their group.  This is a great achievement, as this is the first time we have got involved in inter-school competitions.

We had an open morning for prospective parents on Tuesday.  It was great to hear such positive feedback about our children and staff.  Please continue to spread the word about how great Heron Park is, out there in the community!  If you have any ideas about how we can improve things, please contact the school.  We are always looking for positive constructive feedback.

The parent drop-in sessions are still available for parents, and no appointment is needed.  Please feel free to come and discuss anything regarding the school or your child.  A member of the senior leadership team is always at hand on Mondays between 4pm and 6pm for this.

Year 6 had a great trip to Portsmouth to visit HMS Victory in Portsmouth on Tuesday.   The feedback from the teachers was that they were a credit to the school, had a great time, and learnt lots!

Chartwells, our catering partner for school dinners came in to distribute food pots to pupils who do not currently choose school dinners.  They were very complimentary about our children and how well behaved and polite they all were.  The lady who came for the day was also very impressed with the fact that many of our children used their cutlery in the correct way, and had excellent table manners, which she attributed to parents modelling this at home with their children.

Paragon is currently being reviewed, and as part of this, 2 teachers have been helping Aurora rewrite some of the units, review the resources needed and build in closer links to our local environment.

I would like to remind of the following events next week:

  • Open Afternoon for Prospective Parents: Wednesday (16th, 1:30pm)
  • INSET so no pupils at school : Thursday (17th), Friday (18th)

 

 


 

This week has been another exciting week at Heron Park.  Once again, we are taking part in the Eastbourne Youth Radio project, and our pupils have been very busy recording interviews, singing and cooking.  We are very lucky to be sponsored by Paull Aagaard who is the director for Recipe for Change (www.recipeforchange.co.uk).  Paul is passionate about healthy eating and positive lunchtime learning and works with schools all around the UK improving their lunchtime provision and experience.  Paul has worked with Heron Park before, and has helped transform lunchtimes from being functional, to a more ‘restaurant’ style experience with designated areas and less queuing.  Please tune in to the broadcast, which will be advertised on our Facebook page.

On Thursday, our pupils were involved in a Boccia tournament, and came 3rd out of 14 teams.  Our students also participated in an orienteering challenge earlier this week and again came 3rd.  Special thanks go to Mr Griffiths who has worked very hard to involve Heron Park pupils in inter-school activities and competitions.

I would like to thank you for supporting the PFTA in their preparations for the Christmas Fair.  It was great to see all the contributions from our wonderful families, and I am sure it will help make the event a great success.

I would like to remind of the following events next week:

  • Year 6 Trip to Portsmouth: Tuesday (8th)
  • School photos: Thursday (10th)
  • Cinema Trip for year 4: Friday (11th)

 


 

Our pupils did a tremendous job on Monday when they participated in the Eastbourne Education Business Partnership challenge and won!  A number of public and private schools from Eastbourne participated at the event, and teams had to come up with a business idea, present a proposal, create range of products, decide on pricing, work out finances, and produce marketing material.  This is a great achievement for our pupils, and shows that we are continuing to prepare our children for success.  I look forward to seeing many of our children on ‘The Apprentice’ in the future! 

Our children will again be taking part in the ‘Tyco Micro’ challenge.  Teams have already been registered and the event will take place in November, when they will have the opportunity to convert £1 to as much money as possible.  Please support your child, and the children by giving them ideas and participating in any activities they may be organising.  The money goes to worthwhile causes in poor countries where people are trying to be enterprising through micro-financing projects.

I am really looking forward to the performances at our first Paragon event of the year next Wednesday, and I hope to see you all there. 

Finally, our attendance figures are looking positive, and I would like to thank you for working with us to improve this.  Research is very clear on this subject, and there is a direct correlation between attendance and attainment and progress.  As a school, we also need to improve punctuality.  Learning starts as soon as children enter the classrooms, and for some children this is within a couple of minutes of the gates being opened.  Please get your children to school through the gates as soon as possible as they will then learn more!  Thank you for your support in this matter.   Small amount of learning time lost regularly adds up to a significant amount and will be detrimental to their then reaching their potential, so being on time is very important.   

 


 

 

We have had a number of submissions for the Olympic challenge, and are hoping to get even more than last year.  The deadline is the 19th of October so there is not a lot of time left.   Please contact the office if your child needs another copy of the challenge.  The entries so far have been very impressive, and I look forward to seeing all the submissions. 

STAR assessments have been used to assess pupils this academic year, and this is an online system which allows teachers to quickly find out where pupils are, and identify gaps in their learning so that teachers can adapt their approach and resources for every child.  This will ensure that every child at Heron Park achieves their fullest potential. 

Technology is all around us, and we use it sometimes without even thinking about it.  It helps us to do things better, from parking our cars to helping us keep track of our finances.  Technology for learning has the potential to help children learn certain things differently and work in a more personalised way.  E-learning has transformed how some people study, and many courses allow pupils to gain degrees and masters without ever having to attend a school.  While I was working internationally, I would meet families who would change where they lived every year, or even less, and e-learning made sure that their children never fell behind.  Indeed, many of these children over-achieved, as they could zoom ahead of their peers and start working on the curriculum covering older year groups.  E-learning delivers a curriculum to the needs of the child, that may not necessarily be the same as the expectations for their age range.  Heron Park has acquired DB primary as their learning platform.   DB primary allows pupils to work at their own pace, and I would like to encourage all of our families to use this at home as we have acquired DB primary in order to help students with their maths and English studies. 

We are in the process of training all of our teachers in the Primary Writing Project that will support creative writing through stories, and reading with your child will help in this.  The Primary Writing Project will be taking place in every year group, and also our nursery, and the target is that pupils, by then end of year 6, have been exposed to, and can call on, around 50 stories.  If you would like to find out more, please visit the following website:  http://www.primarywritingproject.org.uk/.

I would just like to remind you that the Paragon even will take place on the 19th of October, and I look forward to seeing you all there. 


 

 

I would like to extend a very warm welcome to our new reception children.  They have settled in extremely well, and will be starting full time from next Monday.  There have been some tears, but they have settled very quickly, and the children that have joined us from the nursery have been the most settled.  Our nursery team do a tremendous job, and the work that they do in collaboration with the reception team ensures that pupils are very familiar with the reception classrooms and play areas before they officially join in September. 

You may have noticed the new fencing around the nursery and the entrance to the key stage1 playground, and this is because we wanted to build on the very successful foundation village approach that has been implemented at Heron.  Where pupils from the nursery and reception classes free-flow and choose activities in multiple locations. 

We have installed an adjustable net for badminton, volleyball and tennis in the key stage 2 playground.  Mr Griffiths will be centring his PE lesson around these sports so that children are able to develop their skills correctly, as well as having fun!

Heron Park Challenge for this term will be the Olympic Challenge, based around the role models linked to our 5 Ps and historical facts around the games.  Children should receive their challenge by the end of next week!  I look forward to seeing some amazing work from our very talented pupils.

 


 

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone back to school, and it is great to see the children happy to be back.   They have all settled in to their new classrooms which are themed around various famous world landmarks.  The class names are as follows:

RMN: Seven Sisters

RMK: Victoria Falls

1PB: Loch Ness

1JP: Pyramids

2RS: Giant’s Causeway

2NB: Niagara Falls

3IS: The Alps

3CN: Eiffel Tower

4KW: Uluru

4AR: Shark Bay

5TC: Stonehenge

5ST: Leaning Tower of Pisa

7AP: The Victory

6AG: Trafalgar Square

 Many of the pupils have been very busy of the summer, and produced some excellent project work around the themes of their new classes, and it was a pleasure to be able to award gold stickers on the first day!

 During a special assembly, I introduced the new role models for the 5 Ps, themed around the Olympics, and these are:

PRIDE: Bryony Page who was responsible for Great Britain’s first ever medal on the trampoline.

POSITIVITY: Joe Townsend, a local Paralympian who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, and has undergone 50 operations as part of his recover and is representing Great Britain in Rio as we speak.

PROBLEM-SOLVING: Great Britain’s Ladies Hockey Team who won gold through developing their strengths and overcoming challenges.

PROACTIVE: Nick Skelton who recovered from a broken neck and trained proactively take him up to the standard required to win a gold medal at the Olympics at the age of 58. 

PERSEVERANCE: Mohamed Farah, who, despite tripping up and falling behind the leaders, did not give up and won gold in the 10,000 metres.

The Heron Park Way and the 5Ps are designed to promote positive attitudes to learning, and life, and are reinforced through awards in school.  It sets the expectations that we have for all members of the school community, and it is used to promote positive choices about learning and interacting with others. 

 We will continue to offer drop-in sessions for parents, guardian and carers with members of the senior leadership team every Monday between 4pm and 6pm.  We also make sure that our website and Facebook page are as up-to-date as possible, and you will continue to receive our fortnightly small newsletters, and our termly A3 newsletters highlighting things happening in the future, and celebrating achievements from the past.  Letters will be given to pupils to take home in their book bags, and important letters will be sent via post.  Urgent matters will be communicated using text messages and phone calls, so please do make sure that the office has your current mobile phone number.  If there any other ways that you feel we need to communicate to you, please do let the school know through the central office. 

 Our pupils can only achieve their very best if both parents and the school work in partnership,  and look forward to your continued support, and I am extremely excited about the coming academic year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 24th 2016

On Monday, we had a special EU referendum assembly for key stage 2 pupils.  It took the form of a ‘Question Time’ panel, with presentations, pre-released questions and also questions from the audience.  Our panel members were eloquent, persuasive, and passionate and there were some very interesting questions from the pupils.  After the assembly, each key stage 2 pupils had to vote on whether Britain should remain or leave the EU.  The results, according to Heron Park key stage pupils were 64% remain, while it was 36% for exit.  This is of course not quite the outcome that we had yesterday, but it was great to see pupils participating. 

Year 1 pupils went on a trip to Knockhatch this week, and enjoyed themselves immensely.  This trip was linked to our Paragon curriculum, and children had great fun with the activities and animals. 

Year 5 and 6 pupils went to Brighton today to take part in a cricket tournament.  Our pupils represent the school extremely well, and this was no exception. 

Year 6 will be taking part in our annual Paragon extravaganza at the Winter Gardens on the 5th of July.  Tickets will be available soon.

We had a competition a couple of weeks ago where pupils wrote profiles of famous sports personalities.   The winners have been on a special trip to watch the tennis, and have been so well-behaved that a member of public treated them all to ice cream!  They have also been given special privileges at the event which have enabled them to meet and take photos with some of the personalities. 


 

Our year 6 pupils who chose to go on the London trip have been having a fantastic time, and have been a credit to the school.  A day out in London is never enough to make the most of what the capital has to offer, and I am sure the children will benefit from the huge opportunity.  It is great when we get together with the other academies in the trust, and engage in extra-curricular activities.  Another example of this is our Paragon Spectacular – year 6 will be performing at the Winter Gardens this year on the 5th of July, and tickets will be available soon from the school office. 

We had an amazing party in honour of the Queen last Thursday and it was filled with delicious food followed by games and lots of fun activities.  The finale was a rendition of a birthday song for the Queen. 

We had a great time yesterday when we transformed the main hall in to cinema showing the England v Wales match, and the most overjoyed person in the hall was Mr Cook who organised the event!

We will be holding a ‘Question Time’ style debate on Monday around whether the United Kingdom should stay or leave the European Union, and children will be able to vote at the end of the debate.   It is important for our children to see the value of learning about current affairs and the importance of involving themselves in a democratic process.  We will then have a preview of the outcome based on votes that are cast by Heron Park pupils, and we will then be able to compare this with the results the actual vote next Thursday.

Thank you for supporting your child in the British Values challenge.  We had a total of 78 entries, and a significant proportion of those entries, 54 in fact, achieved the gold standard.  I will be launching the next challenge on Monday and this will be a more local one.  I would like the positive trend to continue and for even more entries to be submitted this time!

 

 


 

Our Paragon events get better and better, and it was great to see the hall full for both the key stage 1 and key stage 2 events.  Paragon id not just a fantastic curriculum programme that integrates history, art, geography, music, food and RE but also one that develops the whole-child, and builds up confidence and transferable skills.   

We have now counted up all the British Values Challenge entries, and the number of entries has increased in term 5 to 75!  This is very positive and shows that children and parents are engaging with the challenges, and I look forward to announcing the topic of the next challenge!

You should all have received a copy of the report from Ofsted.  Although overall judgement has not changed since the last inspection, we now have three aspects judged as good, compared to one from the last inspection.  We will of course continue to work hard within the areas that have been identified as requiring improvement, but I do feel that as a school we have made tremendous progress since the last inspection.  This is due to the hard work and dedication of our staff, support from our parents and the talents and abilities of our wonderful pupils being recognised by the inspectors.

You will have received a new menu for Term 6 which we are awaiting confirmation to run with. We will text you if the new menu gets the go ahead.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support, and look forward to seeing you all after half term.   

 

 


 

Heron Park is building on the super work our pupils have done throughout the year celebrating national events, through British Values Week, and also through the British Values Challenge.  We will be having a great birthday party for the Queen, on the 9th of June.  We will all be having sandwiches, fruit and cake, and everyone will be dressed in red, white and blue!  The lunch will be followed by party games and should be lots of fun for the children, and the staff. 

The closing date for the British Values Challenge is Monday the 23rd.  I hope you have had fun helping your child complete this, and the previous challenge.  I have seen some of the entries, and what I have seen has impressed me very much!  If you have any ideas for future challenges, please do let the school office know.  The focus for the next challenge is still to be finalised, and I am going to ask children in assembly on Monday for ideas, and will be working on the new challenge over half-term.  Even the head of Heron Park gets homework! 

Please encourage your child to use Active Learn at home.  Use of this resource, even if this is only a couple of times a week, will enable your child to make accelerated progress, and help them to work towards and exceed Age Related Expectations (ARE).  You should have already been provided with logon details, but if you require them again, please contact the office.  If there is a need to provide another series of workshops on Active Learn, please do let us know and we will be more than happy to do so.  

Our pupils are performing really well in inter-school competitions, and this week, have been involved in golf for the first time ever.  Despite this, they did extremely well, and came 6th out of 11 teams, which is a great achievement.  I am confident that they will do even better next time, and have asked Mr Platt to see if he can set up a mini-golf course over in the field!

We have recruited some amazing librarians for our yellow, orange and green book exchange stations.  They have been working really hard categorising the books, labelling them and then listing them.  Children will be able to borrow books, read them at home and then come back and exchange them for another one.  The benefits of being a librarian are great, as not only do they get a special assembly mention on Monday and get a special badge, they will also have first choice from any new books that we may get.  We are looking for donations of popular books written by authors such as J. K. Rowling, , Jacqueline Wilson, Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl, and if you have any copies that are no longer used, please feel free to bring them to the office. 

Please make sure you support your children during our Paragon performances next week.  Key stage 1 will be at 9:15, and key stage 2 will be at 2:30.  The event will be taking place in the main hall, and entry will be through the main reception area. 

 


 

I am sure you are aware that Ofsted has inspected our school this week.  The role of Ofsted is to inspect maintained schools and academies in order to raise standards and improve lives.  I would like to thank all parents for engaging with the inspection process by expressing your views.  The official report will be published within 2 weeks and we will send a hard copy to all of our parents when it becomes available. 

SATS are over for our year 6 pupils, and although the pressure has eased off for them a little bit and they have been celebrating, they will still be engaged in learning activities to help them transition in to secondary school.  Year 6 will also be performing this year at the Winter Gardens, and will be working on their performances.  They have worked extremely hard this academic year, and have tried their very best and I am extremely proud of them.

I am looking forward to seeing more entries from the British Values Challenge.  Please get your child’s entry submitted by the deadline, which is the 23rd of May. 

We are setting up a book exchange for pupils and parents across the school, including the nursery.  If you have any books that you and your children no longer use, please bring them in to the school and donate them.  We already have recruited some librarians who will mann the book stands during lunch and break time.

Our Paragon event will be taking place on Thursday 26th of May, and the key stage 1 performance will take place at 9:15 while the KS2 performance will take place at 2:30.  Both performances will take place in the main school hall.   I look forward to seeing you at the event. 

 

 

 


 

Friday 29th April

We have already had 5 entries to the British Values Challenge, and I am looking forward to seeing many more over this term.  I have been really impressed by the work that our children produced for the Global Challenge, and I am confident that the entries for this challenge will be of an even higher standard.  Thank you so much for engaging with the challenges and supporting your child in their work.  The closing date for entries is the 23rd of May.

Our rugby team, aptly named The Herons, took part in their first ever inter-school rugby competition.  They played extremely well, and made it to the semi-finals, which is a major achievement.   The team was made up of year 5 and 6 pupils and they played against schools that had established ‘rugger’ teams that had been training for years, and beat them!  This builds on the superb success we had had this year in our involvement in inter-school sports competitions through Mark Griffiths from Sportitude, and also our dedicated and talented school staff.  Our pupils were such a credit they that received the highest score for their behaviour, gamesmanship, attitude, and respect towards others and adults and have been awarded an entry in to another final match which will take place at Brighton College, which is absolutely fantastic news, and well deserved. 

I would like to thank all parents who made appointments and attended a parent meeting this week.   It is vital that you speak to your child’s teacher and discuss their progress, attainment, behaviour and attitude to learning, so that we can work together to make sure that every child who attends Heron Park achieves their fullest potential.  Please make an alternative appointment if the times available were not convenient. 

I would also like to thank the parents of our year 6 pupils who attended the SATS meeting this week.  It was full of tips and tricks on supporting the children through this stressful time, as well as coffee and lots of biscuits.  Please contact the office if you would like further details.  

A final reminder that it is May Day bank holiday on Monday the 2nd, and we look forward to seeing all the children on Tuesday.

 

 


 

 

We are extremely fortunate to have Mr Griffiths from Sportitude, working closely with Heron Park.  Mr Griffiths has introduced the PlayMaker Award and a number of pupils have achieved their Bronze Award this week.  The PlayMaker Award is a great introduction into leadership for pupils and is developing learners leadership skills.  These PlayMaker Bronze Leaders have already made a great start since completing the award by running activities for younger children.  The staff in the playground were very impressed with the activities that were run by the children. 

This week, every afternoon after registration, every single child has been learning about British Values, as we have held British Values Week in in the same week as the Queen’s 90th birthday.  The pupils have been looking at the following:

Democracy

The Rule of Law

Individual Liberty

Mutual Respect and

Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs.

 

Our pupils have been producing some fantastic work, and this will be presented and displayed in the main hall. 

On Monday, all pupils will be issued with the whole-school independent project focusing around British Values.  There are lots of engaging activities designed to develop the general knowledge of all of our pupils, and I encourage you to work through the project with your child.   The deadline for the submission of the work in the 23rd of May 2016, which is the last Monday of this term.  I look forward to seeing all the amazing work that our pupils produce, and would like to thank you for supporting the Global Challenge from Term 4.  We will be posting a sample of the work on the web site and the Facebook page, and also exhibiting them in the Paragon Dining Hall.

The Paragon Events this term will take place on the 25th of May 2016, with the key stage 1 performances starting at 9:15, and the key stage 2 performance taking place at 2:30.  Both performances will be taking place in the main hall, and entry to the show will be through the main entrance. 

Parent meetings will be taking place on Tuesday 26th (4pm-6pm) and Wednesday 27th (3:15pm-5pm).   Please make sure you book your slot with the class teachers if you have not done so already. 

 


 

Thank you for helping your child complete the Heron Park Global Challenge 2015-2016.  We had some amazing work entered, and many of the pieces of work have been scanned in and will be displayed in the Paragon dining hall.

We are having a British Values theme for next week, and there is a comprehensive programme of activities for children to complete in school.  Complementing this this will be a new home-school activity called the Heron Park British Values Challenge, and you will be able to work through the interactive activities with your child in a manner similar to the Global Challenge.  The deadline for final submission will be the 23rd of May 2016.

We are really proud of the work that out pupils are completing in science, especially the science model work.  The standard of work is amazing, and I never get tired of giving out golden stickers to our pupils, and celebrating their achievements in assemblies.

We will be holding parent evenings on the 26th and 27th of April, and I urge you to make time to talk to our teachers to review pupil progress and attainment, and how we can work together to make sure that every child achieves their fullest potential.  If you need to make arrangements to attend at an alternative date and time, please do contact the school.

Year 5 pupils visited Battle Abbey as part of their curriculum enrichment programme, and we are indeed very fortunate to live in such close proximity to such historical sites.

We are lucky to have Sam Attwater, Director of Nurseries working very closely with Heron Park, and she will be holding a parent workshop on the 4th May 2016 learning through play with young children, and this will include some information about our Foundation Village.  Please contact the office for more information.  The theme for this week was PRIDE and the focus for next week will be POSITIVITY.

 


 

We focused on being proactive this week, and I will be talking about Ghandi, and the salt march of 1930 on Monday with the children, at the whole-school assembly.   I will also be handing out the teacher-nominated Proactive awards. 

Year 6 pupils took part in an inter-school netball tournament, and came third.  They won 4 games, drew 3 and only lost 1 game!  A fantastic achievement considering they were only formed 2 weeks ago, and this was their first ever competition. 

This week has been the best science week ever!  We have had animals in school twice, lots of experiments, and a special gadget shop that has proved to be extremely successful.  Thank you so much for supporting the school.

We have a series of Paragon events next week that will be taking place in classrooms.  Your child should have been given an invitation to pass on.  Please attend and support your child, and give them the opportunity to share with you what they have achieved and learnt. 

The Towner Gallery is holding the Annual School Exhibition which is open from the 24th of March to the 5th of June and is showcasing work from Heron Park, as well as other schools from the area.  Please go along and enjoy the event – you will be impressed!

We have an e-safety workshop for parents on the 24th of March at 2:30.  Please contact the office to reserve you place. 

School breaks up on Thursday 24th of March and will reopen on the 11th of April. 

 


 

The focus for this week was problem-solving, and teachers have nominated students for this award.  The aim of the focus of the week is to encourage our pupils to think differently, be creative and find answers.  If we can promote these attitudes in our pupils, they will be pioneers of the future, and will be more prepared for the rapidly changing world that they will face. 

Thank you for working with your children on their Science and Paragon homework.  We are setting up special exhibition spaces of 3D work in the reception and office area to showcase the fantastic work that out pupils have produced across a range of subjects. 

Our pupils enjoyed a very entertaining and educational show around punctuation and grammar delivered by Barrie McDemid on Wednesday.  The government has raised expectations around spelling and grammar, and this is part of the strategy of the school to engage our pupils and accelerate their progress.  Both shows were attended by key stage 1 and key stage 2 pupils, and our superb teaching team will be building on this in the classroom. 

Thank you for supporting your child in completing the Global Challenge.  Do remember that the closing date is the 21st of March 2016.  I have already seen some of the work submitted, and I have to say that I am very impressed. 

Our year 4 pupils went on a science trip to Plumpton College, and they had a fantastic day, and enjoyed themselves and learnt lots.  This is part of the build-up to science week next week, which is packed with interesting activities including practical science activities, an animal roadshow and also a gadget shop that will be run by our year 4 pupils. 

Also on the theme of science, as you know we are taking part in the NASA Rocket Science experiment and I am pleased to tell you that At 04:26am on Tuesday 2nd March our seeds landed safely back on Earth following their journey on the International Space Station. They then travelled to the UK on Thursday. They are being sent to us with our Rocket Science experiment pack in April!

 

Finally, some of our pupils have worked hard together to prepare fantastic pictures ready to exhibit at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne. More details of the exhibition can be found here http://www.townereastbourne.org.uk/exhibition/annual-schools-2016/ – they will be proud to have their work on display in a gallery visited by so many people.

 

The focus for next week is Proactive, in order to promote planning ahead, and not procrastinating. 

 

 


 

Heron Park has invested in Active Learn which is an online resource that can help you support your child at home with Maths and English, in an interactive way.  We invite you to a workshop where you will find out how to make the best use of this resource at home, allowing your children to make increased progress.  The workshop for Year 1, 2 and 3 parents will take place on Wednesday 2nd March and the workshop for Year 4, 5 and 6 parents will take place on Wednesday 3rd of March.  Both workshops will take place within the computer lab from 2:30 to 3:00pm.  Please contact the office to book your place as places are limited. 

For term 4, we have launched lots of different ways of organising homework in various year groups, giving choices about the sequence that pupils complete homework.  In addition to this, we have launched The Global Challenge, which is a homework project with a difference, as it is a joint piece of work between a child and their family.  There is no set schedule to complete the activities, just a deadline for submission.  Please help your child choose a country to explore … you are free to choose any country you like that you all find interesting!  There are a number of activities including one around cooking a favourite dish .. I urge you to give this activity a go- I am really looking forward to reading all the interesting things that you work on!  Please remember that the deadline is the 21st of March 2016.

Year 4 held a Micro-Tyco market on Thursday in order to transform the £1 that each team received into more money, through setting up and running businesses.  They have done extremely well as it was a very successful event.  They had many activities centring around competitions, which cost very little to make, but brought in lots of money!  All the totals will be calculated for each team, and the combined amount will be donated to the Micro-Tyco organisers to fund budding entrepreneurs in the third world.  It is amazing to think that our pupils have participated in an event that also engages teams from all over the world from blue-chip companies including Deloitte, Intel, Microsoft, Barclays and Google!  Our year 4 pupils raised £191.28 on Thursday, from £12, as there were 12 teams – Well done everybody!

We had a great visit from Caroline Ansell, MP for Eastbourne who had a tour of the academy with our school ambassadors, and met with our school council.  She has pledged to support our annual awards evening by funding the community award, and will be personally presenting this herself on the night, which is absolutely fantastic!

Staff and pupils looked amazing today as part of our activities building up to Book Week, and World Book Day.  We had a superb space parade, and all the children performed fantastically on the stage.   Please encourage them to read as much as possible.  I will be putting up posters around the school to show pupils what staff are reading, and I am looking forward to reading some of the titles!

 


 

 

Heron Park has invested in Active Learn which is an online resource that can help you support your child at home with Maths and English, in an interactive way.  We invite you to a workshop where you will find out how to make the best use of this resource at home, allowing your children to make increased progress.  The workshop for Year 1, 2 and 3 parents will take place on Wednesday 2nd March and the workshop for Year 4, 5 and 6 parents will take place on Wednesday 3rd of March.  Both workshops will take place within the computer lab from 2:30 to 3:00pm.  Please contact the office to book your place as places are limited. 

For term 4, we have launched lots of different ways of organising homework in various year groups, giving choices about the sequence that pupils complete homework.  In addition to this, we have launched The Global Challenge, which is a homework project with a difference, as it is a joint piece of work between a child and their family.  There is no set schedule to complete the activities, just a deadline for submission.  Please help your child choose a country to explore … you are free to choose any country you like that you all find interesting!  There are a number of activities including one around cooking a favourite dish .. I urge you to give this activity a go- I am really looking forward to reading all the interesting things that you work on!  Please remember that the deadline is the 21st of March 2016.

Year 4 held a Micro-Tyco market on Thursday in order to transform the £1 that each team received into more money, through setting up and running businesses.  They have done extremely well as it was a very successful event.  They had many activities centring around competitions, which cost very little to make, but brought in lots of money!  All the totals will be calculated for each team, and the combined amount will be donated to the Micro-Tyco organisers to fund budding entrepreneurs in the third world.  It is amazing to think that our pupils have participated in an event that also engages teams from all over the world from blue-chip companies including Deloitte, Intel, Microsoft, Barclays and Google!  Our year 4 pupils raised £191.28 on Thursday, from £12, as there were 12 teams – Well done everybody!

We had a great visit from Caroline Ansell, MP for Eastbourne who had a tour of the academy with our school ambassadors, and met with our school council.  She has pledged to support our annual awards evening by funding the community award, and will be personally presenting this herself on the night, which is absolutely fantastic!

Staff and pupils looked amazing today as part of our activities building up to Book Week, and World Book Day.   Please encourage them to read as much as possible.  I will be putting up posters around the school to show pupils what staff area reading, and am looking forward to reading some of the titles!

 


 

The fire service came in this week to speak to year 2 and last Friday for Year 5, regarding having a fire exit plan, dialling 999 and road safety. The children had a great time, they were able to spot dangers when crossing the road and identified safe locations to cross the road.  Well done!                                                                                                                                                                                           We have Fire Safety leaflets available in the office if you would like more information.

Our partner Mosaica Education UK has recently become part of the Pansophic Learning. Heron Park and our three other Primary Academies continue to be operated by Aurora Academies Trust so this won’t affect the running of these schools. However, you will notice the new Pansophic Learning UK logo being used on our letterheads etc. We look forward to building links with schools in the Pansophic international network.

Mr Cook, Mrs Wilson and I held a virtual meeting with the Executive Vice President of a school in Colorado Springs, in the USA.  This is the beginning of an exciting project which will bring together teachers and students from both Heron Park and Banning Lewis Ranch Academy on joint projects around Paragon and English.  We will keep you posted!

Year 5 will be starting a new project next week.  Micro-Tyco is a month long competition that enables participants to practice and learn fundamental business principles in a safe, ‘micro’ environment. Teams have one month to turn £1 seed capital into as much money as possible. There is only one rule: transactions must be legal. Micro-Tyco unleashes participants’ latent talents, fostering essential entrepreneurial thinking, resourcefulness and team work.

Please don’t forget next Friday is an Inset Day and we have moved Friday’s lunch menu to Thursday.

Have a great weekend

Raja Ali

Head of School

 


 

First of all an enormous THANK YOU to all the parents who have supported our first Friendship Week.

The children have all been very busy solving problems in teams, working together on different activities and thinking about friendship, bullying and what to do to be a good friend on the playground.
Year 5 and 6 started the week with a visit from the NSPCC completing a ‘Buddy’ workshop. We have had some fabulous feedback from the two ladies who came to deliver this work. They said “Your staff team were so very supportive not just of us but what we observed with the children during our time in your school. Great staff team and wonderful children.
On Wednesday we had Jamie from Skipping Workshops to teach skipping to Y3 to Y6. There were some fantastic long rope skipping games taught and we hope to see these on the playground!


Thursday was an exciting puppet show about ‘Whispering Smith’ an animal who was very shy until he managed to be brave enough to ask for help and make friends. The company took a long time to set up a stage with lights and a great set using a range of different puppets including a rather noisy bird and a friendly dragon! Children from Foundation to Y4 were able to watch this.
The week ended with Foundation to Y2 meeting our animal friends. Thank you very much to our chair of governors Karen Rolf, Mr and Mrs Dodd and Jon Platt for organising this.


It was wonderful to see so many children dressed as pirates to join Heron Park’s jolly Friend Ship. I hope the children enjoyed themselves, once again thank you for your support.


Mrs Nevada Smith

 


 

15th January 2016

Welcome back! The first full week back has been very productive!

During Art week, the children painted some fantastic pictures which have been taken away for framing and will be available to view and purchase at a gallery to be held here at school on the 3rd & 4th February. Please come and support this event as your children have worked very hard and I am very proud of the standard of work the children have produced.

 

Next week is Friendship week where we will be holding various activities during the week to look at different areas of working together including playing with friends, being part of a team, how to keep safe, bullying and helping each other.

Activities include a puppet show for KS1, skipping for KS2 and NSPCC workshops.

There will also be a Skipping workshop on Wednesday for Years 2 -6 at £3 per child. Please let the office know if you would like to book a place.

Friday is a dress up day and children are invited to dress as pirates and join the Heron Park ‘Friend Ship’ crew.

 

Have a great weekend

 

Raja Ali

 

 

 

 


 

11th December

On Monday, 1 pupil from each class was awarded the Problem-Solving Award, and next week, the focus will be Perseverance which is the  the last of our 5 Ps.  We will start again on the first week with the Pride Awards.

Reverend Blanch led the whole-school assembly on Monday and talked to the children about the history behind Christmas, St Nicholas and the spirit of giving and helping those in need and who are less fortunate than ourselves.

Our pupils participated in the Big Sing this week at the Winter Gardens, and performed amazingly.  We are involving the school in regional and local activities, and pupils have also participated in the local cross-country competitions.

Thank you to all the key stage 2 parents who attended the Paragon event.  Paragon continues to be a very special part of our curriculum, and something that is unique to Aurora schools in the United Kingdom.    Questionnaires have been issued today, and we would appreciate it if you returned them as soon as possible.  We would love to hear from you, and how can we can improve things even further.

 


 

 

4th December

 

13 children were awarded the Positivity award on Monday.  Children are nominated by their teachers, and the focus for next week will be Proactive.

On Monday, the entire school staff, and children were amazed to see the building had been decorated by our secret elves (members of the PTFA) over the weekend.  Our PTFA do a tremendous job, in partnership with school staff, and I would like to formally thank them for their support.  The PTFA are hosting our biggest ever Christmas Fair this Friday, starting at 3pm and finishing at 4:30pm.  There will be stalls, games and prizes, food and drink, craft, raffles and a tombola and last but not least, Father Christmas!

The school teaching and support team got together to put up the Christmas trees in school on Wednesday, and they are an amazing addition to the already superb decoration within the building. 

We had a special assembly for prefects, as part of the celebration assembly.  It is vital that we encourage our children to be more responsible, develop their leadership capability and take initiative.  Our prefects have had to prove themselves over the last term and half, and I look forward to their additional contribution  and support in the school. 

Our Christmas fair was bigger and better this year, and Santa was very busy.  Thank you for helping make the event a success, and I would like to formal thank our PTFA, and in particular, Mrs Karen Rolfe who is both chair of the LAB and chair of the PTFA for her unwavering support to the school.

 


 

Friday 27th November

 

I was very pleased to hand out our weekly ‘Heron Park Way’ award on Monday.  The Heron Park Way is our brand new initiative to remind children about our core values and, each week, the entire school focuses on a particular aspect of the Heron Park Way.  These are linked to events and individuals, and are as follows:

PRIDE: JESSICA ENNIS-HILL

POSITIVITY: SIR EDMUND HILLARY

PROBLEM SOLVING: APOLLO 13

PROACTIVE: MAHATMA GHANDI

PERSERVERANCE: NELSON MANDELA

Next week, the focus will be problem solving. 

 

We had a really exciting assembly on Monday when Sid the Shark, from Sussex Cricket Club (SCC) paid our children a visit.  They are holding weekly ‘Street Cricket’ sessions at Bourne Primary School.  Please visit the SCC club for more details. 

Please make sure you come and join us at our annual Christmas fair.  Our PTFA have been very busy working on props, costumes and a superb grotto, where Santa will be meeting some lucky children.   

 

 


 

 

Friday 20th November

On Monday, PC Ted came in to school to talk about e-safety.  It is vital that we teach our children, and be aware ourselves of the potential dangers from the internet, so that it is used responsibly.  Please take time to monitor how your children access the internet at home, and that they are using it with your supervision. 

 

Thank you to all those parents who attended parents evening this week.  It is important that we work together to make sure that children are preforming to the best of their ability, and if you have not been able to attend, please contact the school to arrange an alternative time.  

 

We have been welcoming prospective parents to the school over the last few weeks, and Thursday night was the last official open evening.  However, if you know of anyone who is considering Heron Park as their school of choice and was unable to attend, do ask them to contact the school and we can arrange for a personal tour to take place.  

 

I know that many of you tuned in to Eastbourne Youth Radio on Thursday to listen to our live broadcast.  Our pupils talked about school meals and how they had improved since the project with Paul Aagaard, who also sponsored our programme.  The pupils made healthy smoothies on the radio, and were very confident and tried their very best.  Our broadcast really stood out as our pupils did not just play their favourite pop music tracks like many of the other schools, but actually broadcast singing from our key stage 2 choir.

 

The office have sent out letter for the Christmas dinner today, and would really appreciate you returning the slip with the money as soon as possible. 

 


 

November 13th 2015

On Monday, Mike Blanche held a Remembrance Service to commemorate all those who had fallen, and have been injured during the world wars, and other conflicts around the world.  He lit a candle to remember the fallen, and talked about how loss and injury affects families and friends.  On Wednesday, we had a special assembly that included a 2 minute silence for the entire school, and the children were very respectful.

 

Heron Park has been working with Plumpton College in this week, and they have been leading a number of workshops around different curriculum areas, food and farming.  The children made cheese and butter and Year 6 made a bug hotel that will now be used throughout the school.  Year 3  activities were based around maths, looking at trees and the environment  and looking how to establish a tree’s age by looking at the width.  Year 5 completed literacy work around explanation texts.  The ladies from Plumpton College were thrilled at the responses from the children and how well behaved and interested they were in all the activities.

 

Heron Park is again involved with Eastbourne Youth Radio, and we will be transmitting live on next Thursday (19th of October 2015) from 2pm to 3pm.  We are extremely happy to have been supported by Paul Aagaard once again this year, through Recipe for Change, and would like to thank Paul for inspiring us to transform lunch time provision at our school.  Please make sure you tune in!

 

It was great to see the children and staff supporting children in need today, with the theme of superheroes.  Our staff and parents are superheroes to our pupils every single day, and I would like to formally thank both staff and parents for their commitment and support of the school.

 

I would like to draw your attention to a consultation letter on our web site, as we would like to extend our age range from 3-11 tis to 2-11 to formally include our 2 year old pupils, as following a change in legislation earlier this year, pupils in the nursery are now classed as pupils of the academy.  We would like to thank you for your support in this matter.

Mr Raja Ali

Head of School


 

November 6th 2015

 

Heron Park has invested, together with all the other Aurora Academy group of schools, in an interactive learning environment for our children from Pearson Education, a global leader in curriculum and assessment.  We have also purchased their tests, and these will take place at the end of each term. 

As part of the programme, each child has been given a username and password to a learning platform where class teachers will set them engaging activities to complete in their own time.  The great thing about the activities is that they will challenge children to improve themselves, and will be able to work at their own pace.  The activities are diagnostic and adaptive in nature, so will increase or decrease the level of challenge according to the needs of the child, and the teachers will get instant feedback on the areas that they need to focus on immediately.  This will allow teachers to challenge the children so that they are able to perform at their very best.

 

The three programmes are the Maths Factor by Carol Vorderman, Grammar and Spelling Bug, and Rapid Reading. The great thing is that all three programmes are built in to one logon, and the platform will run on Macs, Windows devices and tablets.  We will be sending logon details next week, and ask that you encourage your child to work on the platform at home.  If they put in a small amount of work on the system regularly, they will make even more progress in class, and perform even better in their assessments. 

 

We are running the Capital Cities of the World challenge in term 1 and 2, and will be having a raffle at the end of term 2 for all the children who learn the Capital Cities that have been allocated to their year group.  When a child learns all the capitals, they will be given a small prize, and we will be looking to sell, at cost prize, maps of the world and inflatable globes for the children.  These are great things to have in the bedroom of a child, and they will be more aware of the world, and their general knowledge will also improve.  Please do work with your children on these activities, and if they complete their year group quickly, we will be more than happy to provide the cities for the next year group!

 

We have an INSET day next Friday and on Thursday, we have the Paragon Events on Wednesday 21st of October 2015.  The key stage 1 will take place at 9:15am, while the key stage 2 event will take place at 2:30pm.  I look forward to welcoming you all, on the day.

 


 

Today Year 4 have enjoyed a wonderful trip to Drusillas Park where they were able to touch a snake.

The weather was just perfect and their behaviour was exemplary. Well done year 4!

 We are excited to be able to offer the children a new Pearson online Maths programme very soon. It will enable them to keep a record of their achievements with certificates they can print off. We hope this will enthuse the children and help them progress.

 

Don’t forget that next Friday the 9th we have an Inset Day.

 

 

Key Dates: 

9th October – Inset Day

13th October – School photographs

23rd October – Inset Day

 


 

Thank you to all of you who supported the book sale at the school on Wednesday.  It was a great success, and the proceeds will be put to good use by the PTFA.  Reading for pleasure is something that we are trying to promote throughout the school, and we really would appreciate you supporting this at home with your children.  Please make sure you attend the Friday morning reading activity in the classroom where you will be able to read with your child, as the children really enjoy spending time in their classrooms with family members. 
 
We had a visitor from America on Wednesday, who was very impressed by Heron Park, especially what he saw in the classrooms.  He was very pleased with the way our children were engaged and trying their best, and he commented on how Paragon, our unique integrated curriculum, was being implemented. 
 
Heron Park is investing in a number of Pearson Education programmes to support out Maths and English programmes.  Pupils will be able to access these resources from home using a smartphone or a computer, and we will forward details as soon as they become available.   If children are able to reinforce learning at home, it has proven to accelerate their progress across all subjects, so please make use of these facilities once they become available. 
 
KEY Dates:
09 Oct 2015: Aurora Directed INSET Day
21 Oct 2015: In class Paragon Event
22 Oct 2015: Last Day of Term 1 for pupils
23 Oct 2015: HPPA INSET Day
02 Nov 2015: First Day of Term 2

 

Heron Park has been celebrating and recognising the fact that the Queen has just become the longest reigning monarch in Britain and has surpassed the record set by Queen Victoria.  Students have been finding out interesting fact about the Queen, drawing portraits, mapping out timelines and writing letters.   We have set up a special display in the main hall where all the superb work will be displayed, and this display will be updated with other events and activities that happen throughout Great Britain, over the academic year.
 
Our reception pupils have made a fantastic start to the term and although we had a few tears on Monday, all the children were very settled by Tuesday.  They are excited to be at the school, and are showing increasing confidence with every day.  I would like to remind parents who have not completed the pupil premium forms to return them as soon as possible as if affects the level of provision and resources we have within the school, to support the learning of all pupils.  The form is not just for families that may be entitled to free school meals for their children, but for every child in the school.
 
On Monday morning assembly, there were over 50 key stage 2 students with golden stickers for work that they have done last week, and also over the holidays.  This is an incredible start to the academic year, and I would like to thank you all for helping your children with the tasks that were set.  We will be setting some independent tasks for the children to complete at home, and they may need your support at times.  Please continue to work with your children so that they can achieve their fullest potential.  
 
Elections were held for the School Council positions, and there was a meeting today with Mr Cook, who will be leading the School Council this academic year.  School Councillors have a vital role in making sure that they represent the views and ideas of their class to the senior leadership team, and also play a key part in supporting the activities of the school. 
 
The PTFA will be holding a book sale next Wednesday at 3:00pm.   They will all be books aimed at children, and I am sure there will be some great bargains.  The majority of books are new.
 
Web site of the week:
This week, I would like to highlight a very engaging Maths site that has lots of games on it, and which allows children to learn through play.  The site is:
https://www.mathsisfun.com/
The website has activities for all ages, and many of the games are adaptive and adjust in their challenge depending on the ability of the child.  You will be able to see your child develop their skills and confidence, and this will have a positive impact on their progress at school as well. 
 
Today, the entire school took part in Jeans for Genes day.  The money raised for Jeans for Genes funds a range of initiatives that improve the quality of life of children affected by genetic disorders, and we are proud to have taken part.
 
KEY Dates:
23 Sept 2015, 3pm: Book Sale by PTFA
09 Oct 2015: Aurora Directed INSET Day
21 Oct 2015: In class Paragon Event
22 Oct 2015: Last Day of Term 1 for pupils
23 Oct 2015: HPPA INSET Day
02 Nov 2015: First Day of Term 2

 

 


 

I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all our pupils and parents.  This year promises to be even more exciting, as we continue to grow, and add to the provision that we offer.  We have a number of new staff who have joined the academy.  In reception, we have Mr Kenney, in year 2 we have Mr Simmonds, in year 3 we have Miss Russell and in year 5 we have Mr Cook. 
This academic year, we are focusing on a number of key areas, and would appreciate you working with your child at home on them.  The first are times tables, the second is spelling and the final area for term 1 is capital cities of the world.
We will be continuing our achievement raffle this academic year, and the prizes for the raffle will be announced soon. 
Senior leaders will offer drop-in sessions for parents on Mondays, and would welcome visits from parents.    Final dates for the term will be communicated when this is finalised. 
Finally, below are some key dates over the coming term.  These are subject to change, and you will be informed if this is the case.
 
KEY Dates:
14 Sep 2015: First Day of School for Reception Children
18 Sep 2015: Jeans for Genes Day
09 Oct 2015: Aurora Directed INSET Day
22 Oct 2015: Last Day of Term 1 for pupils
23 Oct 2015: HPPA INSET Day
02 Nov 2015: First Day of Term 2

Our year 6 pupils are beginning to say their goodbyes, and they have been an absolute credit to the school.  I am confident that they will be successful wherever their life choices take them, and I am sure we will continue to see many of them in the future.  I wish them all the very best, on behalf of myself and all the staff at the school. 
 
The school sports days have been a resounding success, and I would like to thank Mr Griffiths, teachers, support staff and our year 6 helpers for their contribution to the success of the days.  It was great to see such excitement around physical activity, and sportsmanship. 
 
We will be releasing our summer newsletter next week, which will be a celebration of the academic year, and will hold key dates.  The last of term will be Wednesday 22nd of July 2015, and we will welcome our key stage 1 and key stage 2 children on the 7th of September 2015. 
 
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support this academic year, and I look forward to seeing you all soon!

 


 

The entire school observed a minutes silence at midday today to remember the people that were killed in the Tunisia beach attack.    Our thoughts are with the families affected by the tragic event. 
We had an extremely successful Mufti Day with a blue and white theme today.  The aim was to raise funds for Spinal Muscular Atrophy in memory of Miss Miller’s father.  Miss Miller, who is a very valuable member of our support team, is cycling 160 miles to raise money for charity.  Our pupils went on to the playground and formed a giant bicycle as part of the different events taking place on the day, which I am sure you will see on the website and our Facebook page. 
Year 5 and 6 had a great visit to the London Science Museum.  For some of our pupils, this was their first ever visit to London, and they were very excited!  A visit such as this consolidates many of the things that pupils learn at school, and the hands-on practical activities were very popular!  Our children were wonderfully behaved, and gained a lot from the visit.  Year 3 are off to the Natural History Museum on the 9th of July, and I am sure they will have a superb time. 
We have a musical performance taking place on the 7th of July at 9:15, involving year 2, 3 and 5 pupils, and your attendance would really be appreciated by your children.  They have been extremely dedicated and have been rehearsing regularly, and it would be great to have a full hall of appreciative parents. 
The 8th of July will be the date for our annual Sports Day, and the 11th of July is the date for our Summer Fund day.  I look forward to seeing you all at both events. 

 


 

Our year 5 pupils had a great time at Blacklands Farm, near East Grinstead.  The activities at the centre were designed to not only be enjoyable, but also character-building.   I visited them yesterday and joined in the kayaking activity.  The weather was great, the coaches were experts in their field, and we all had a great time and got very wet!  The feedback from the pupils was extremely positive although they looked very worn out when they were all getting off the coach, and I am sure they will remember this experience for many years to come. 
There was an action-packed play-and-stay session for new reception children this afternoon, and all the parents and children had a very enjoyable time.  This is part of the induction programme for new children in to the school, and the next session will be on the 3rd of July.
I am extremely proud of a number of keys stage 2 pupils who chose to help Mr Griffiths who was teaching P.E. to the reception children, and gave up their break time to do so.  This reflects one of the key core values that we want all Heron Park pupils to have, which relates to the caring of others. 
Sports Day will be on Wednesday 8th of July, and I look forward to seeing you all there.  The Paragon Extravaganza will take place at the Winter Gardens on Tuesday the 14th of July.  Doors will open at 5:30 and the performance will start at 6pm.  Children can be picked up at 8pm.  Those key stage 2 pupils that will be performing will be taken to the Winter Gardens from school, and will remain there until the end of the performance.   The performances this year promise to be even better than before, and tickets are limited to 2 per family, and will be available from Monday.
The final day of term will be Wednesday the 22nd of July, and school will reopen for key stage 1 and 2 children after the summer break, on the 7th of September. 

 

The trip to France for our year 6 pupils will take place next Friday, and they will be away for the weekend.  It will be an amazing and memorable experience for our pupils, and a chance to experience a different country, culture, language and cuisine.    This trip links well with the work that they have been doing with Miss Phung who teaches our key stage 2 pupils French, and who is a native of the country.  This provision is part of Heron Park’s commitment to provide the very best for our young learners, and we are lucky to be able to employ a specialist in this instance.
 
Skil are continuing to support Heron Park in the provision of after-school physical education activities, and are still accepting enrolments for the Wednesday after-school session.  They are also finalising their summer programme, which will be based at Heron Park, so look out for the dates and timings. 
 
It was great to see so many children enrolled on to the football programme. We are well supported by Mr Griffiths, who provides an extremely high quality physical educational programme through Sportitude within the school as part of curriculum, and has also trained key members of staff so that they are able to support him, and increasingly deliver independent, after-school activities and provision.  I look forward to Sports Day, which will allow Mr Griffiths to showcase the superb work that he does at our school, with the wider community. 
 
The Paragon Event will take place on Friday 19th of June, and we look forward to welcoming you all.  Our annual Paragon extravaganza which brings together a collective performance from our five schools at the Winder Gardens, will take place on the 14th.  

The year 3 and year 4 performance was an amazing end to the term.  I particularly liked the twist to the story, at the end, and I was very impressed by all the children.  They have grown in confidence, and this will stand them in good stead over their time at school, and beyond.  I would like to thank all of you who were able to attend and supported the school, and the children. 
 
Friday the 22nd is an INSET day, and we look forward to welcoming all of our students back on Monday the 1st of June.

 

Raja Ali