Newsletter: Friday 4th April 2014
Our current value is: RESPECT
Our thought of the week:
‘To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.’
Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
Dear Pupils, Parents and Carers
We have made it to the end of this very long and incredibly busy term! This week has seen a great deal of police presence both in school and in our local area following the ‘Stranger Danger’ alerts. On Tuesday, we had the police on site at lunchtime and the children enjoyed asking questions and generally getting to know the officers. Obviously, as the holidays start, many children will be playing out. Today, in assembly, I have spoken to the children about the need to play in areas where they can be safe, not to engage with strangers and, above all, to stick together in groups and never leave anyone on their own.
Thank you to all of those families who made contact with us on an individual basis last week to wish us well during the Ofsted inspection. Thank you also to those parents who touched base with me on Friday evening at the disco to check on how staff are following the visit. As I mentioned in my brief letter to you on Friday, we cannot comment on the outcome of the inspection as yet. I will contact you as soon as the report is published and will make our ‘Post Ofsted Action Plan’ the sole agenda item at the forthcoming Parents’ Forum next half term.
Yesterday all pupils were issued with their end of term assessment report. Families were alerted to this via text and I very much hope that your child’s report arrived with you in its sealed envelope. If you have any questions or concerns in relation to the report, please contact the relevant subject teacher in the first instance. If your concerns are more general, please contact your child’s Head of Year.
SATs and Other Tests and Exams.
I am sure that Year 6 are more than aware that the SATs are moving ever closer! Please use the holidays to keep practising your reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar and maths on a regular basis. If you have study guides/ revision guides, use these to keep your knowledge and skills ticking over. I know the maths and English teachers will be setting you key tasks to complete over the break. There are now just 12 school days left ahead of the first tests on 12 May. Prepare well and you will succeed!
Pupils in Years 5, 7 and 8 also need to be aware that they will be sitting tests and exams in the week beginning 19 May. Your teachers will be telling you more about these after the holidays, but now might be a good time to start thinking about how you might prepare!
BBC School Report:
Congratulations to our team of 30 Linslade journalists who worked tirelessly during the course of Thursday on our BBC School Report Project. The team, pictured below had received a good luck message from the BBC’s very own Sian Williams, who just happens to be a student of one of our parents.
Sian’s message to the pupils read as follows:
"Just a quick note to wish you huge amounts of luck.
Working in television is an incredibly exciting and challenging job. The key is to embrace it - don't worry what anyone else thinks of you, just do what feels right and have a bit of fun.
If you are a reporter, make sure you work out your questions beforehand, but don't be afraid to go off script. Ask something the interviewee isn't expecting. Or pause after their answer and say - "why is that?" That guarantees they'll say more than they intended to.
If you are part of the technical crew, like a producer, director or on camera, work out the structure before you start and put your unique spin on it - a new angle or direction, really think about how you could do it differently.
And if the camera is on you, pretend you are talking to one person you know really well. Write how you would speak, talk as though you are telling someone a really interesting story.
Most of all, smile and enjoy it. This will be a brilliant day and you'll remember it always.
Once again, have fun and I'm sure I'll see some of you in the future.
If you have not yet had a chance to catch up with our School Report, please do so by following the link below.
Our budding team of journalists is pictured below.
Congratulations to our Year 8 Pupils of the Month for March: Mr Winter.
AMH - Shannon Louise-Rice
RE - Craig Davis
DC - Taylor Lapworth
TS - Alice Page
LM - Amy Thurgood
DI - Amber Mitchell
Tutor of the Month - Mrs Hodds
Well done everyone!
Staff Changes at the End of This Term:
Many families will be aware that Mrs Johnson has been working with us at Linslade as an Associate Member of SLT one day per week since November. During this time, she has led some key areas of our work including our reaccreditation as a Values Education School and a Health in Education School. Mrs Johnson’s time with us ends as of this week and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her hard work and support. I know she has enjoyed being part of our school on a day to day basis and has particularly enjoyed being with our wonderful pupils.
Mr Winter has made the decision to stand down as Head of Year 8 with effect from the end of this term. I would like to thank Mr Winter for his hard work and leadership of successive Year 8 cohorts. Whilst he will continue to liaise with the receiving upper schools as part of this year’s transition process, the day to day leadership of Year 8 will now be under the watchful eye of Ms Smyth.
Pupils on crutches:
Crutches appear to be the next most desirable accessory at the moment, with a number of pupils having incurred injuries of different sorts. We can, of course, accommodate children on crutches, however, I would like to take this opportunity to remind parents that if you are sending your child into school on crutches it is important that you liaise with us first to ensure we are able to assess your child's needs and ensure their safety when moving around the building. We also need to consider break, lunchtime and evacuation procedures prior to any return to school by your child. In the absence of Miss Kelleher, our Lead First Aider, please would you make contact with the main school reception and ask for Mrs Carty in the first instance.
A Plea from a Parent and Motorist in our Local Area:
I drive my daughter half way to school most mornings and have observed various standards of conduct on the pavement/roads.
This morning two Leighton Middle girls at the crossing across West Street/Bridge Street simply stepped onto it with no regard for any cars at all and simply walked across and thanked no one. At the other end in Linslade, crossing Wing Road from Leighton Road, three Linslade pupils did virtually the same. They looked at me as if I was an alien.
Please remind pupils that whilst they have a right of way, they should still stop and then allow cars to stop to allow them to cross safely and good manners dictate that one should acknowledge the fact that the driver has topped. Pedestrian crossings are also for pedestrians - you should get off your bike if on a bike as you are not then a pedestrian.
It makes me angry to think they are putting themselves in unnecessary danger as they walk to school.
I have spoken to the pupils about road safety once again and would be grateful for your support, as parents/carers, in reinforcing this very important message.
Summer Uniform: (Repeated from last week). Pupils are welcome to wear summer uniform as of the first day of the new school term. Our summer uniform comprises a maroon tipped school polo shirt (available from Wear 2 School) and either skirt or trousers as per winter uniform. Plain white polo shirts are not allowed.
Pupils who do not wish to wear summer uniform are welcome to continue wearing their shirt and tie as usual.
In either case, school jumpers should be brought into school as these should be the first layer of clothing applied if required.
School shoes: Please may I remind families that we ask for pupils to come to school in plain black school shoes. These do not include fabric shoes, which a number of pupils are wearing at the current time.
I would also like to remind families and pupils that make up, dyed hair and jewellery are not permitted in school. If your child has their ears pierced this holiday, they must be able to remove the earrings before they return to school after Easter. Retainers and plasters are not allowed. Our advice is that pupils wait until the start of the summer holidays if they wish to pierce their ears.
On behalf of the children, I would like to say a huge ‘Thank you!’ to all of our helpers who worked so hard last Friday evening to ensure our Easter Discos were such a great success. Once again, the children had a fantastic time. None of this would have been possible without you. Your time, commitment and enthusiasm were much appreciated!
Pupils Arriving at School:
Please can I remind families that pupils should not arrive on the school site until 8.35 a.m. unless they are attending ‘Early Birds’ or a before school club. I do not have staff on duty until this time and, as a result, pupils who do arrive early – some of them as early as 8.00 a.m. are unsupervised.
If you need to drop your child off at this time, please do take advantage of ‘Early Birds’ where they will be supervised and fed for the princely sum of £1; pupils in receipt of free school meals may attend free of charge.
Bringing Snacks to School:
We are more than happy for pupils to bring snacks to school for consumption at morning break. However, families who give their children money to purchase snacks at school might be interested to know that some of the money is being spent on the way into school and on snacks that might well be preferable to the children, but which are not exactly healthy nor conducive to effective learning. For example, last week I confiscated a haul of rainbow sherbet tubes; this week we had a pupil consuming a 65g pack of Quavers.
If you believe your child is falling into such habits, it might be worth packing him/her off to school with healthier alternatives which you have sourced rather than leaving things to chance!
Girls Year 5 and 6 Football Tournament: Miss Horwood.
On Wednesday 26 March, the Year 5 and 6 football tournament kicked off with a game against Gilberts. Ella scored four blinding goals for us to win the game 4-0. The game saw some excellent defending by Emily Carpenter, Mia Tubby, Zoe Barnes and Gracie-May Crabtree. The second game saw us face Fulbrook who were very organised. We battled well with a blinding shot by Rebecca Devereux only to be saved by the goalkeeper. We continued the game with a positive attitude ready to score. We then saw Olivia Campbell pass the ball really well to Willow Powell for her to then pass the ball to Ella to have shot, which was saved by the keeper. The game turned around for a while and Fulbrook started attacking. Emily Smith pulled off an outstanding save to keep us in the game at 0-0. The game ended 0-0. The girls are through to County Finals. Let’s go and win ladies!
Mr Sanders' Basketball round up!
Both the Year 8 girls and boys made it to the County Finals this year after some excellent results locally.
Year 8 boys:
The boys went into the County Finals undefeated but were aware that this is would be a big step up. They played with strength, power and a good deal of flair winning their group comfortably and earning a place in the final! The final pitted the best team from Group A against the best team from Group B. The opposition was a physical team but we weren't to be out-muscled as we took lots of fouls and scored the free throws we were awarded. The team held on for a 5-3 victory; the lowest scoring game of the tournament showing how close and physical it was! This is the first time Linslade has won the County Championships and they booked themselves a place in the National Cup Competition!
Year 8 girls:
The Year 8 girls were also undefeated going into the competition and hopes were high that we could do the double! They went out and won their opening two games with some excellent displays and it all went down to the final game to get through to the final. We scored in the dying seconds to take the game into extra time and golden goal! Unfortunately the opposition scored and knocked us out of the competition. The girls earned an excellent joint 3rd place in the County and showed excellent quality in the process!
National Cup: Regional Round 1:
The Year 8 boys now moved bravely into unchartered territory: The National Cup! We faced The Lancaster School who are County Champions for Leicestershire. After a long bus journey we arrived at the school for the boys’ first full length basketball game. The first quarter was a triumph as the boys shell shocked the opposition to take a commanding 12-6 lead. However, in the second quarter the opposition started to get to grips with our tactics and recovered brilliantly to tie the game 22-22 after 2 quarters. We changed our approach in the third quarter and slowed our game down as we edged the third quarter to lead 36-34. The fourth quarter was a real battle but at key times the ball just would not drop into the basket resulting in a sickeningly close 50-53 loss.
It was a truly brilliant game of basketball played at a very high level throughout! Although the boys were, of course, mortified to suffer their only defeat of the season but I hope they realise what a monumental achievement they have made. They worked their socks off all year and should be proud of being Linslade's most successful basketball team ever!
Boys’ Team: J. Fudge., T. Timberlake, T. Lester, S. Scott, M. Jones, H. Hewitt, A. Hurley, S. Garland.
Girls’ Team: A. Thurgood, A. Smith-Howell, H. Marshall, N. Brodrick, S. Brodrick, L. Avery, H. Lloyd , E. Thomas
Congratulations also go to Mr Jones:
Last week, Mr Jones attended an awards ceremony for Luton Sports Partnership and found himself receiving an award in recognition for over 20 years of service to sports in Luton in his capacity as a coach. Mr Jones was presented with his award once again in our celebration assembly last week; much to the delight of staff and pupils alike.
This time to Mr Powell and his partner Becky who are now the proud parents of Amy Jennifer, born last Friday. We are delighted to announce that Amy and her mum and dad are all doing really well. We look forward to seeing them all in school very soon!
Congratulations also to Mr and Mrs Taylor on the arrival of ‘Little Jason’ who joined our extended Linslade family recently. We have loved seeing his pictures and look forward to meeting him soon!
The winners from assembly on Friday 28 March were as follows:
Bucketful of Joy: This was a double roll over week!
• Year 5: Annie Copping and Poppy Booth
• Year 6: Chloe Swanton and Nina Watson
• Year 7: Rose Dickens and Alexia Lee
• Year 8: Ciara McConville and Ben Gibbins
Our Values Champions for displaying the value of RESPECT throughout the week ending 28 March were:
• Year 5: Jamie Charlotte
• Year 6: Freya Cole
• Year 7: John Budd
• Year 8: Abi Thom
Eating toast this week were: 8DC
This week’s winners from The Bucketful of Joy are:
• Year 5: Angelina Wesley Johansen
• Year 6: Sophie Yates
• Year 7: Oliver Daniels
• Year 8: Jack Young
Our Values Champions for displaying our current value: RESPECT are:
• Amika Rodger 5EW
• John Smith 6LD
• Katie Byron Cooper 7TC
• Amy Dann 8LM
Well done to everyone!
Term ends today at 3.30 p.m. and pupils return to school on Wednesday 23 April – this will be a normal school day. Thank you to everyone for your support this term, we would like to wish you all a very safe, relaxing and enjoyable holiday and look forward to seeing you again on 23 April ready to take on the challenges of the new term.