Dear Parent/ Carers,
It has been such a busy term already with the children returning after the Christmas break and the children have all been enjoying their learning through their inquiries as well as having some visitors into school or some classes having the opportunity to go on an educational visit. I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate everything that we offer here at Peninsula East Primary Academy as well as remind you of many of the great opportunities and support that we offer to our children and our families.
We would like to remind all parents that Mrs Drogomirecki, our SENcO and Assistant Principal runs a SEND surgery regularly that you can sign up to attend to discuss any concerns you have around SEND support or well-being needs for your child. You can still arrange appointments to meet with Mrs Drogomirckeci outside of the SEND surgeries and she also offers appointments during parent evenings too. Mrs Drogomirecki works on Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays at PEPA and puts a termly feature around information to share with parents on our newsletter. Mrs Drogomirecki also works individually once a term with our teachers and TAs to discuss individual support plans for our SEND children and monitors interventions that are taking place. Mrs Drogomirecki is also trained to provide ELSA (Emotional literacy support) for children and this means she will work with them on strategies to aid them with emotions and social interactions. You can find all of the information about what we provide and how to contact Mrs Drogomirecki here:
Behaviour and safeguarding
At PEPA we have implemented our class stars initiative to support our positive behaviour recognition across the school. Each term the students are aiming to collaboratively achieve 10 class stars who a whole class treat. Mrs Drogomirecki will be sharing what each class has been up to regularly on our newsletters. We have also made changes to our house point rewards, now when pupils get to 100 house points they get a prize, but also a shiny bronze star badge to wear with pride around the school. There are 3 different badges for the children to collect. We have recently spoken with pupils about the behaviour in our school and pupils have commented on how pupils look after each other at PEPA and how children and adults support our expectations around behaviour with the IB learner attributes that mean our children are well-rounded individuals.
We complete regular opportunities for pupil voice on different key areas within school, such as safeguarding. This means that we can find out how our children feel or know about areas like bullying, feeling safe at school, about their learning and so on. We then share our findings with staff to ensure that we continually act on feedback and can improve any areas that we need to. We do add features onto the newsletters so parents get to see children’s feedback too, so please watch out for these. On our Google teaching slides, children are reminded about our safeguarding team within the school and who they can speak to if they have a worry or concern for themselves or their friends. We also have regular safeguarding assemblies, each class has a child friendly safeguarding policy they can access and we celebrate particular days regularly, such as Internet Safety Day. Our children in a range of year groups have reported that they feel safe in school, can identify and talk to the safeguarding team or any adults that they want to talk to and can discuss how to keep safe online. Please see further information about safeguarding at PEPA on our website:
We continue to ensure that well-being is a high priority within the school. Children from each year group are included in a termly well-being group where they share ideas of how we can improve pupil well-being throughout the school and also offer feedback on what is currently in place and how this is working across the school. So far this term, the well-being group has created worry boxes for all classes where children can post their worries in and these can either be named or nameless from children and class teachers check this regularly. We also have class well–being displays where children can indicate how they are feeling each day. If they indicate that they are feeling sad, scared or worried then this will be picked up by an adult to talk this through with them and to offer support. You may also be aware that children can access time with our resident dog, Arlo, as well as having listening ear, ELSA sessions or drawing and talking therapy with Miss Elms.
At Peninsula East, we have an active school council group who meet termly to discuss key issues and improvements that they would like to make about the school. So far this year, they have been keen on discussing how they can help the environment and support local charities. They are also arranging a competition for more signs around the local area / school area to help the environment. They will be asking children in the school to create posters that remind people to put their litter in the bin, pick up dog waste and recycle etc. We have both Head boys and girls with deputies in Year 6, who have a very active role within the school, such as supporting children in the lunch hall during lunchtime, leading our celebration assemblies and who are also part of the school council.
We try to give our children the best opportunity with our co-curricular clubs. Children can sign up for as many school clubs as they wish and these clubs run for 10 weeks, across two terms. This ensures that all children gain the most out of the clubs and can spend their time trying new skills or deepening their understanding. We are always trying to cater our clubs’ offer to the children’s interest and regularly speak to children about their wants for clubs. For example, we recognised that the children had a desire for a football club so we were able to provide that this term and have had great feedback as a response from that. We are hoping to provide more sports clubs throughout the year as the weather improves as we have seen that this is where most of our children’s interests lie. We always welcome more feedback from both parents and children in regards to clubs, please see Miss Brading if you would like to discuss clubs further.
At PEPA, we are committed to supporting every opportunity for our children to explore different career paths and vocations. We regularly discuss different career paths that link with our central idea as part of the PYP curriculum and also speak about them during assemblies throughout the year. We also hold a careers week for children where we have a careers fair. In our careers fair, we invite members of the community to come and speak about their job and the skills needed for the work. Our children really enjoy this and it helps them to have an idea of where they want their educational journey to lead them to in the future and the steps they need to take to be able to get there.
Our Curriculum – The PYP
In October 2021, we became an accredited IB World School, teaching the Primary Years Programme. The children are engaged in their immersive curriculum and are leaders of their own learning, with a strong focus on voice, choice and ownership. We have continued to hold open afternoons, as an opportunity for children to showcase their work and understanding, with our next one, for KS2, taking place on Tuesday 6th February.
Communicating with our families about curriculum is key. Firstly, we ensure that there are at least two features on the newsletter each week as a way to continuously share the learning that is taking place within our school. Secondly, on our school website there is a wealth of information about the PYP and our approach to education at PEPA, these include our curriculum maps and PYP Programme of Inquiry. You can find more information here:
Finally, each module, we also share the Knowledge Organisers so you can see what your children will be learning each module. These are displayed outside the office and shared on the Class Pages on the website.
Our IB learner attributes filter into school life here at PEPA. Each module, our learner attributes form part of our assemblies and the certificates from our celebration assemblies. This helps us to highlight the characteristics and behaviour associated with each learner profile. International mindedness helps us to contribute to the educational offer, exposing our children to the wider world and the variety of things to do and explore. With this approach and being an IB World School, we take pride in regularly discussing interesting learning opportunities around diversity through regular assemblies, PSHE lessons, learning Spanish, MFL clubs and other workshops, such as our incredible Diwali afternoon! Within our local community, we continue to foster the relationships we have built with Haven holiday park, the local church and Slough Fort as well as others in order to further benefit our children.
We have also been able to add further value to the children’s educational experiences by having specialist teachers from The Hundred of Hoo Academy and Medway Music Association to further support the delivery of both Music and PE. Key Stage 1 work with Mrs Ross on Music, and some of our Key Stage 2 pupils get to engage in keyboard and cello lessons too. Mr Ireland has worked with our Year 3 and Year 4 children on the steel drums too. There have been lots of co-curricular opportunities for Music too, with our Year 5 performing at Rochester Cathedral, individual singing lessons and KS2 and KS1 choir with Mrs Champ. We also work with Mr Paton who teaches our KS2 pupils their PE.
Parent calendar of events
Parents and carers have previously mentioned that they would like more notice in terms of any events that we may be holding at PEPA. We hope that you have been enjoying our termly calendars of events that are sent out at the beginning of each term to give you all of the events that you can attend ahead of time. We do also send out further information or details to book onto events on MCAS closer to the event taking place. It has been wonderful to see so many parents/carers wanting to attend our events and whilst we appreciate that it can be frustrating if you do not get a space, we will almost make our best effort to offer additional dates where possible as we are keen to continue parents/carers coming into school.
As you will be aware we were awarded an Area of Excellence from our Challenge Partners review at the end of last academic year for our digital innovation in education. We have a strong Computing curriculum which has enabled our children to be confident and proficient in using technology and it has been amazing to see what different programs on Google and beyond that our children are able to use to present their work on. Back in term 1, we held an open day for KS2 parents to experience how we use the 1:1 Chromebooks everyday as part of the children’s learning. The children presented their learning for the term in different ways on their Chromebooks and taught parents about keeping safe online. Parental feedback said how impressed parents were with how confident our children were in using them and how they were able to navigate around a variety of online resources. It is wonderful to see how our children can use Google classroom within their class learning but this can also be accessed at home and parents can see what their children are learning at school.
We look forward to inviting you all to our next parents evening which will be in person after the February half term and more information will follow in the coming weeks so you are able to book an appointment to meet with your child’s class teacher.
MCAS and Facebook
We hope that you are continuing to enjoy using the My Child At School app as this is a really quick and easy way for us to be able to send communications to you and for you to have the latest news and events at your fingertips. We do keep our Facebook page updated with recent news of events and reminders for parents so please do ensure that you join our page.
Mrs L Rimmer | Principal