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The Stepney Star Daily Diary
Here is the News...
December 2012

Christmas Wishes!
On behalf of the staff and pupils of Stepney Primary School, we would like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas, enjoyable holiday and peaceful New Year. It has been a long term in which staff and pupils have been working extremely hard. There is no doubt that we are all ready for a well deserved break.

Attendance Figures ! 
Our attendance figures for this week are:
Reception: 91.2%
Class 1: 89.3%
Class 2/3A: 88%
Class 2/3B: 93% 
Class 4/5A: 97.8%*
Class 4/5B: 96.21%
Class 6A: 93.1%
Class 6B: 85.71% 
This class has been awarded a virtual cheque for achieving over 97%. The overall attendance for this school year is now 94.7%. Class 6A and Class 4/5A are joint winners with 96% for the whole term.

Christmas at St. Mary's!
Mrs Phelps-Jones has once again organised a memorable Christmas service at St. Mary's church in Sculcoates. As well as the usual readings, carols and hymns, we were delighted to have a few words from our very own Father Malcolm, one of our governors. This is always a highlight of our school year, and reminds us of the strong bonds we have with our local community. The one thing which tends to frustrate us each year is the music - whichever CD player we take along always seems to play up and stop working. This year, Mr Cameron's 'ghetto blaster' was commandeered for the occasion, so we had no problems with the soundtrack!

Phase 4/5's Tudor Christmas!
We were treated to a very different Christmas concert this morning. As Mr Browning explained to the packed hall, staff are passionate about pupils experiencing their subjects, rather than just reading about them on the internet and in books. This term, phase 4/5 have had a Tudor day at Gainsborough Old Hall; then another day looking at Tudor clothes and paintings at the Feren's Art Gallery and finally a visit from a chef, who helped them cook Tudor food. In addition, our very good friend, Sarah Middleton, has been teaching all the pupils Tudor dancing. Today's production had traditional Tudor Christmas carols and a re-enactment of a meal served to Henry VIII. The papier mache swan and turkey, that Mrs Smith had made, looked truly scrumptious and provided the centre piece for a very lavish royal feast. Many people commented on the superb singing by the pupils and the confident speakers.

Years 5 & 6 See a Panto At Endeavour!
Braving the howling wind and driving rain, years 5 and 6 went to Endeavour to watch a panto by the staff there. It was certainly a relaxing way to chill out after a heavy week of school productions.

A Brand New Look For 2013 and Future Plans!
Two hundred and forty new chairs arrived at school today, which were dispatched to classes by Mr Browning and a team of willing year 4 pupils! We are having a massive revamp of the school over the next few months. Now we have had all our windows repaired; the school completely redecorated and a brand new boiler plant installed, the school is looking better and feeling much warmer! However, the furniture around the school is now looking past its best so we having new tables, chairs and cupboards in every classroom. The Foundation Stage is getting a complete make-over with a whole new design. Furthermore, we are replacing the carpets upstairs, in year 1 and in year 6. After all, having two hundred people walking through the school every day soon makes carpets look faded. Our present carpets have not been replaced for many years, but with construction work being carried out, it has been pointless to have had them replaced up until now!
The one area of the school that we desperately need altering is the entrance. In 1887, our main Stepney Lane entrance was used for the senior girls school only (The boys and infants used other entrances). If you look above the door, you can still see the sign which says 'Girls', although this has been partially obscured by an electric outside light. The area is far too small to welcome visitors to the school. Also, as it is straight at the bottom of the stairs, it often gets congested and very cold, when the door opens. This week, Mr Browning and Mr Morfitt have met with one of the building surveyors to start to draw up ideas. The process is a complicated one as the building is a grade II listed building. What we can do is dictated not just by cost, but by getting permission to transform the look of this Victorian building. It is also likely, that it may take a few years to have the funding for the project, but we are determined to provide a better reception area for our school. Watch this space, as they say!

Phase 2/3's Christmas Production!
A brilliant performance from our two year 2/3 classes provided a wonderful alternative to the inclement weather outside. There is no doubt that both the pupils' singing and speaking skills are developing well. It was great to see the confidence in our pupils as they performed for another packed hall of parents/carers and older pupils. It has only been a week or so since these pupils put on their exhibition about the Great Fire of London, so there has been a quick turn around to get this production ready. Nevertheless, we witnessed a slick show, with delightful songs and a strong message about the Christmas story and messages of sharing and kindness. Many thanks go to staff and pupils for a polished concert.

Community Carol Singing !
Mrs Rice, joined by Mrs Brodie and Miss Atkinson, took our new community choir to the Beverley Road residential home and sang a selection of carols to the ladies and gentlemen there. Everyone was delighted to see the pupils and listen to their beautiful singing.

A Great Nativity !
Foundation Stage and Year 1 performed their nativity to parents and carers this morning. What a treat it was! Complete with super singing and amazing acting the show was certainly a hit with everyone. Weeks of work have gone into helping the pupils learn their lines and to produce the costumes so a big thank you goes to all the staff concerned.
Meanwhile, phase 2/3 performed their dress rehearsal for other classes, in preparation for their big day tomorrow.

Christmas Concert Season Begins !
Our youngest pupils in the Foundation Stage and Year 1 performed their dress rehearsal for years 2-5 this morning. We were also joined by some special guests. Twelve children and their teachers from the Fenchurch Street Children’s Centre came along to watch and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being in the ‘big’ school.
Jessica at the KC!
This afternoon, one of our phase 4/5 pupils, Jessica sang at the KC Stadium during the Hull City v Huddersfield football match. Jessica sings in the ‘All For One Choir’, which raises money by singing for organisations and doing concerts in aid of Heart Research.  Jessica is the youngest member and sang the solo part of Gary Barlow’s jubilee song “Sing” at the half time interval to a crowd of 16,500 and loved every minute. What a Star!

The Christmas Secret Shop!
Once again, our secret shop has been a big success. Thanks go to Mr Morfitt for the time and effort he has spent on organising the event. Although inflation has meant that we have had to raise the price of gifts from £1 to £2 over the last few years, it has still proven to be as popular as ever for our pupils.

Next Week's Christmas Productions!
May we remind you that next week will see Christmas productions from our Foundation Stage and Year 1 (at 10.30am on Tuesday 18th December), Phase 2/3 (at 10.30am on Wednesday 19th December) and Phase 4/5 (at 10.30am on Thursday 20th December). Then, on Friday 21st December at 10am, we will be having our traditional Christmas Service at St. Mary's Church, Sculcoates. Staff and pupils have been exceptionally busy in their final preparations for these events.

Attendance Figures ! 
Our attendance figures for this week are:
Reception: 93.6%
Class 1: 89.3%
Class 2/3A: 89%
Class 2/3B: 93% 
Class 4/5A: 98.5%*
Class 4/5B: 91%
Class 6A: 92.5%
Class 6B: 93.6% 
This class has been awarded a virtual cheque for achieving over 97%. The overall attendance for this school year is now 94.9%. Class 6A are currently in the lead this term with 96.2% with 2/3A in second place with 95.9%.

No Video Recording !
In light of child protection issues, we are not able to allow video recording or photography of the Christmas Concerts to take place during the actual productions. If parents/carers wish to take photos of their children in costume at the end of the shows then we must emphasise this is for your own personal use.

Sickness Bug
We have had many pupils off ill with the sickness bug that is going around. Please will parents/carers follow the guidance that has been issued i.e. 24 hour quarantine since their last period of sickness.

Contact Numbers
Can we ask all parents/carers to inform us of any change in home telephone/mobile numbers and make sure these are working at all times. It is important that we are able to contact you in any eventuality.

The Wizard of Oz !
This morning, all our year 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 pupils and staff walked down to Hull Truck theatre to watch an incredible performance of 'The Wizard of Oz'. Featuring Dominique Jackson (from the TV series Hollyoaks) as Dorothy, the cast performed a modern Hull-based version of L. Frank Baum's famous book. We're fortunate to be in easy reach of the city centre so it's great that we take advantage of this.

Increase in Fines for Holidays
May we remind you that the Local Authority will issue fines for parents taking holidays during term time. There will now be a £60 fine per adult per child. This means that if both mum and dad take their child on holiday, the mother will be fined £60 and the father will be fined an additional £60, making £120 in total. For two children the fine would therefore be £240. Furthermore, if the fine is not paid within 28 days then the amount due will double

Christmas Secret Shop!
Our Chair of Governors, Mr Morfitt would like to remind everyone that the secret shop will be running tomorrow, with gifts costing £2 each. In the first instance, we will limit the number of gifts each pupil may purchase in order to allow everyone a good choice.

Christmas Dinner!
We had a great Christmas Dinner, provided by Mrs Rowe and her staff at St. Charles Primary School kitchens. There was a massive uptake on hot dinners today as staff and pupils enjoyed this ever-popular festive event.

Last Time for 89 Years!
Some of our classes were thinking about today's special date. It will be the last time for another 89 years that the numbers in the date are all the same. Since the millenium we have had 1.1.1 then 2.2.2 etc up to today's 12.12.12. Mr Cameron's pupils were recording and producing special photos of themselves using the pixlr.com site.

Rainbow Writing Winners!
This week's winners are:
Year 1—Muna & Cara
Class 2/3a-Leon & Denver
Class 2/3b-Rifath & Dominic
Class 4/5a-Chief & Mia
Class 4/5b-Tabarek & Hollie
Class 6a-Lilli and Cameron
Class 6b–Marek & Tarek

Christmas Fayre Total !
We are delighted to report our Christmas Fayre raised £756.06 with a further £68 from Santa's Grotto, making a grand total of £824.06.

Date Clarification !
Please note that the starting date for the Spring Term 2013 is Tuesday 8th January, not 7th January as shown previously. Monday 7th is closed to pupils. This is a staff training day.

Attendance Figures !
Our attendance figures for this week are:
Reception: 96.1%
Class 1: 94.7%
Class 2/3A: 96.7%
Class 2/3B: 93.7%
Class 4/5A: 92.9%
Class 4/5B: 94.5%
Class 6A: 95%
Class 6B: 94.3%
The overall attendance for this school year is now 95.1%. Class 6A are currently in the lead this term with 96.5% with 2/3A in second place with 96.2%.

Christmas Fayre Success!
Another successful Christmas Fayre was held in our school hall this afternoon. Mr Morfitt and Staff had worked tremendously hard to prepare the stalls and the response from pupils and parents was brilliant as usual. Many thanks to everyone who attended and everyone who made it possible. Special thanks go to a certain gentleman for sparing us time away from important work in the North Pole to give our presents in the grotto that had been prepared for him!

Phase 2/3 Exhibition
Today, it was the turn of our two year 2/3 classes to host one of our ever-popular exhibition mornings. The theme for the whole term has been "The Streets of London" with a focus on the Great Fire in 1666. The pupils started off by reciting a poem and then singing 'London's Burning' before escourting their parents/carers upstairs for three different activities. We had forty two parents/carers attend. These included art work and a chance to look through pupils' work. We handed out our questionnaire to parents/carers and have had many favourable comments. Our sincere thanks go to everyone who attended.
We asked our guests what they thought. (We've substituted children's names with ???, and we've included all the comments).

What did you enjoy about it ?
"All the activities. Brilliant Work."
"Learning with the children about facts of London"
"I think it was very interested. I want back at school"
"The exhibition was really good was nice to see what my child has been learning about"
"I am very enjoying the exhibition. Thank you"
"Working with my little boy and seeing the fantastic work he does"
"??? loved showing me how much he knows about London. Enjoyed drawing"
"We enjoyed all activities. It was good to see children's progress"
"I enjoyed interacting with the children. It brought back memories of when I was child"
"All the sections were well organised and fun. I think you have done an amazing job"
"Today's morning is really very enjoyable. My child was very excited and she did a lots enjoyable work. I feel really good"
"Look at there work and watching them sing"
"Really pleased we enjoy doing work with children"
"Gathered with my daughters. I believe she enjoyed being with her very much. Thanks a lot for this chance"
"Seen the work and doing things together"
"I liked learning about what my son has been learning I enjoyed working him. I liked looking through his exercise books as well."
"Spending time doing activities with the children"
"Singing in the hall and art activities"
"Yes, this open lesson was enjoyed. Thank you"
"The children and I enjoyed spending time together and looking through all the work they have done. Very impressed with the work. Well done and thank you."

How could we improve it ?
"Doesn't need to be"
"No everything is ok"
"Thought it was very well planned"
"Space limited but otherwise great"
"It is really perfect. But I think the place is crowded"
"Nothing to improve the teachers are doing a grand job"
"For me, you are on the right track"
"Have more craft afternoons or focus more on a couple of activities rather than cramming more in short times"
"Nothing, everything was great"
"I want next time more better"
"I don't think anything need improving"

Exhibition and Fayre !

Just to remind you that tomorrow morning, phase 2/3 are presenting their exhibition. Parents/carers are invited to attend. At 2.45pm we have our Christmas Fayre. Please come along and join in the fun!

Rainbow Writing Winners!

This week's winners are:
Year 1—Helin & Evie
Class 2/3a-Connor & Sarah
Class 2/3b-Saimah & Abigayle
Class 4/5a-David & Kallam
Class 4/5b-Milena & Patryc
Class 6a-Phoenix & Jola
Class 6b–Zakir & Julia

Christmas Tree Switch On !

Mr Morfitt and Miss Cotson put up our brand new Christmas tree and lights this morning. We have decided not to have a real tree, but have invested in a really good quality artificial tree, which looks truly resplendent in the hall. They have also been busy converting our pastoral room into Santa's grotto for the Christmas fayre on Thursday.

Smart Kids Website !
Our local PCSOs have told us about a great interactive website to help children stay safe. Please feel free to follow the link and see what it is all about.

Hull - Energy Switch Offer !

Our We have been asked to pass on the following details to parents/carers from the Local Authority:

Click here to see the full poster

Energy Switch !
Energy Switch – Hull’s Collective Energy Purchasing Scheme.
"I am writing to you to introduce you to Hull’s new collective energy switching scheme, an initiative that invites communities to come together and purchase their gas and electricity collectively, driving down the price through the generation of ‘bulk’ buying power. The scheme that is open for all residents in the city to register now, and until December 17th works through undertaking a ‘reverse auction’ with energy companies. This will take place on December 18th with Hull, joining a network of 11 other participating Local Authorities, hoping to reduce energy bills for households up to the value of £300 a year. The winning, personalised, offer will be sent to all registrants on December 24th, either through email or via post, they then have until January 14th to accept the offer and switch if they choose to.
The scheme is the largest of it’s kind to happen in the UK, and the first to include households using Pre-Payment Meters and with arrears of up to £500. We are confident that such an initiative can be potent intervention in combating fuel poverty in the city, particularly at a time of rising fuel prices alongside increasingly squeezed household incomes. If successful, we will be holding auctions quarterly, encouraging households to register and save money through accessing an affordable energy tariff.
Families with general enquiries about the scheme can do so through ringing 01482 300300 or accessing any Hull City Council Customer Service Centre. Alongside this The Hull Families Project, a local registered charity, can also provide support and have agreed to liaise with schools and other educational establishments in encouraging promotion and supporting families to register onto the scheme. Beth Allen Development Co-ordinator is the designated contact within the project – tel. 01482 80933 email: b.allen@hullfamilies.co.uk
Alternatively, if you have any queries re. the scheme, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01482 383183 or via email: david.shepherdson@sanctuary-housing.co.uk"
David Shepherdson
Hull Financial Inclusion Support Officer






Stepney Primary School
Beverley Road, HULL, HU5 1JJ.
Headteacher: Mr P Browning
Tel: 01482 343690
Fax: 01482 348681
E-mail: admin@stepney.hull.sch.uk
©2009 Stepney Primary School