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Pulteneytown Academy
Newsletter 19 August 2005

Dear Parent

Newsletter – 19.08.05

Car Park – Thank you for your understanding as our building work continues in the car park area. I would be obliged if you would continue to drop off children outwith the car park entrance until further notice. The janitor will not be on duty here next week but parents are reminded in the interests of Health & Safety that they must not come into the car park even to turn. Yesterday, when it was wet, there was considerable congestion and this would be eased if everyone followed a one way system. If you do not want to get trapped please approach the school by coming up and along Queen’s Square and then going back down to Seaforth Avenue on the usual approach road to the school.

This system means that children can be dropped off and come into the school without having to cross the traffic. I have requested that staff also follow this procedure if they arrive after 8.40 a.m. and I would be obliged if you could pass on this information to anyone else who may be dropping off or collecting your child (including taxis).

Staffing – Miss C Oag was appointed Nursery Coordinator Teacher during the summer holiday and I would like to welcome her to the staff of Pulteneytown Academy.

School Board – Nominations for elections to School Boards are held every few years and information will be sent to you over the coming months. Pulteneytown Academy has never had a School Board but we do have a very active PSA. As School Board information is not sent from the school but from a central office, they access our computer records to get your names and addresses. Our records are up-to-date with the information you have given us, but if you have moved house and not given us the information, you will not receive the School Board paperwork.

Medical Information – As above, our records are accurate with the information you have given us. However, if you have not informed us of your child’s medical condition we cannot respond to any likely emergency which may arise. It is important that we are kept up to date. Family Update Forms will be distributed to everyone over the coming weeks which will include medical as well as all other information, e.g. telephone numbers, but in the meantime any urgent changes should be notified to the office.

SNAG (School Nutrition Action Group) – After a very successful start last year, which contributed to the school being given an Accreditation Level 4 (very good), the SNAG Group will continue this year and it was suggested by the Accreditation Team that one item we could look at would be healthy packed lunch boxes. As Mrs Baikie was the only interested parent last year who could spare the time, and the fact that we only had one meeting, I would suggest that she continues as the Parent Representative.

Holiday Dates For Pupils

School Closes Fri 7 Oct 05 School Opens Mon 24 Oct 05
School Closes Thur 22 Dec 05 School Opens Mon 9 Jan 06
School Closes Fri 31 Mar 06 School Opens Wed 19 Apr 06
School Closes Fri 30 June 06 School Opens Tues 15 Aug 06

School also closed for In Service Training and short breaks on Mon 7 & Tues 8 Nov 05, Thur 9, Fri 10 & Mon 13 Feb 06 and Mon 1 May 06.

Cake Days – This term will be Tues 6 Sept & Tues 4 Oct. For those of you that are new we sell doughrings and cream cookies for 30p each one day each month as a treat.

Other News

  • Parents’ Evening Dates will be included in the September Newsletter as will a date for the PSA (Parent Staff Association) AGM.

  • Pupil Council Representatives will be elected shortly as will House Captains and Vice Captains. Again this will be included in the September Newsletter.

  • Class Newsletters will follow but this may take one or two weeks as we have a number of new teachers who have not done this before.

  • P1 free fruit was given by mistake this week as the cook has been instructed not to give this until the pupils start to come for whole days, so this will recommence in Week 5.

  • Shoebags - a gentle reminder – all pupils should have one. If your child does not have one this can be purchased from the school at the discounted price of £l each.

Curriculum News – As you are probably aware the school has a School Development Plan each year which consists of the school’s aims, an audit of all 33 performance indicators, a review of last year’s developments and a number of development priorities for this year. A full copy of this can be found in the school reception (it is 57 pages long) and you are welcome to read this at any time, but it is too lengthy to copy for all parents. A summary of the Development Priorities is attached to this Newsletter (See Below), and if you have any questions please feel free to ask. I have only included our Targets in your summary but please remember there are timescales for each of these to be developed in the course of the year so do not expect everything to be done this term.

Head Lice – I would ask parents to check their children’s heads regularly to ensure they have not contracted head lice. If these are found parents are asked to take the necessary steps to treat their child. Children will NOT be excluded from school if they are found to have head lice, but parents are requested to take prompt action to minimise the risk of spreading. If your child’s teacher suspects your child has head lice you will be informed by means of a confidential telephone call. If you require any further information on the treatment please contact the school and staff can provide you with an information leaflet or put you in touch with the school nurse if you would prefer.

Attendance/Absence Notification Reminder – If your child is off school for any reason you can inform us by telephoning or sending a written note on their return. If any absence is longer than 3 days you should telephone the school (602649) to keep us up to date with the reason for this absence and its predicted length. In line with Child Protection procedures any absence longer than 3 days which is unexplained must be reported to the Education office for further action.

Clothing - Staff sometimes have to change a child’s clothing due to falls etc and we are running short on trousers for ages 5 - 7. If you have any that your child has grown out of I would be grateful for these. Also, often children forget their swimming costumes/trunks and I would also be grateful, if again your child has outgrown these, they could be given to the school so that children can take part in this curricular activity.

School Meals – Just a reminder that these have increased to £1.50. Attached is a copy of the six week menu which will be repeated for the whole of the year. Please keep this in a safe place (how about on the fridge door) so that you can to refer to it throughout the course of the year. Monday 22 August is the start of Week 2 on the menu. A vegetarian menu is available on request.

Yours sincerely
Head Teacher

School Development Plan Summary

Priority 1

· Raise attainment in Reading and Comprehension

· Address the gender imbalance in Reading Comprehension


· Introduce a lending library which has a bias of books suitable for boys

· Parental Questionnaire conducted before and after work being undertaken

· Write a guidance leaflet for parents on

o the importance of reading to their children

o how to ask open ended questions

o recommended books for their children to read

· Conduct shared reading sessions for P4 children and parents

· Encourage fathers to become role models for reading

· Hold a parents’ open evening to explain how they can help their child with reading and comprehension

· Introduce regular visits to the local library as part of the curriculum

· Invite authors to speak to the children – especially books for boys if possible

· Start a multi age ‘Look and Read’ learning group

· Fully implement the ‘Big book’ lesson approach in all classes by cascading training already received

· Purchase non fiction reading scheme for P4 – 7

· Continue shared reading with P6 and P1 and introduce this into P7 and P2

· Review the Highland Programme of Study in depth in order to ensure full adoption of the programme in all classes

· Reorganise forward planning to ensure concise and clear specifications of what pupils are expected to learn and how and when this is to take place

· Review phonic assessment sheets in the infant department

Priority 2

· Improve writing by focusing on the writer’s craft

· Customizing the North Lanarkshire Package to ensure a more balanced programme


· Purchase resources to support the writer’s craft

· Review these resources and have staff observe each other while they teach a writer’s craft lessons to establish models of good practice.

· Review and agree changes to the NLWP to ensure more time is available for functional and Personal writing and to ensure time is available to proof read and edit pieces of writing and have more time to focus on parts of the story instead of having to focus on a whole story each week

Priority 3

· Introduce Science Sacks to all Primary 1 – 7 pupils as part of a homework programme


· Print all Highland Science Sack Booklets in colour and make them ready for sacks

· Print and laminate all science sack activities for P1-3

· Create, write, print and laminate Science sack cards for all of P4 – 7

· Prepare content materials and sacks

· Staff to discuss and decide how to manage and get the best from the science sacks

· All pupils begin to take home sacks as part of their homework

· Hold a parents evening where the use of Science sacks is explained and questions answered

· Assess value of sacks through use of a questionnaire and by assessing standard of science in classes

Priority 4

Learning and teaching to be developed though

· Establishing a policy for the support of probationers

· Establishing a procedure for monitoring the pace of learning

· Sharing targets for lessons with pupils in written form as well as orally


· Write a policy and guidelines on the support of probationers

· Write and develop a procedure for monitoring the pace of learning in classes

· Staff to share targets for some lessons with pupils both in writing and orally

Nursery Priority

· To develop ICT in the Nursery.

· To ensure practice is reflected in written policies.


· To ensure that there is a breadth & balance of ICT learning opportunities offered to the children.

· To improve and increase ICT resources and catalogue these.

· To display relevant ICT vocabulary within the Nursery.

· To assess, record & plan ICT in an effective way.

· To write a policy for ICT.

· To continue writing policies which reflect current practice.