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Lawford C of E Primary School

High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging Christian environment.

Letters from the Head Teacher


Lawford C of E Primary School HT Newsletter Thursday 19th July 2018


Mission Statement:


'High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging Christian environment.'


Final Message from the Head teacher:


I have composed this final newsletter many times in my head and I cannot quite believe it is the time to put it to paper. I am going to reflect on what I hold dear about Lawford C of E Primary School. In no particular order…


Our School Mission Statement

When I took on the role as head teacher, I knew that the mission statement would not change. I knew what I was taking on and to me this captured the heart and soul of the school. It is used to give us all a common purpose whether we work, visit or are educated at the school. It is also what is referred to when actions or words need to be challenged.


Our School Values

Having agreed values has been a central part to life at Lawford. They are used as a basis for Monday whole school worship assemblies and are embedded in everything we do, underpinning our school mission statement. Children talk confidently about values such as respect and responsibility and are happy to challenge each other when values are not being modelled.


Our Children

I have also said that the children at Lawford C of E Primary School are amazing because they never cease to amaze us. They reflect our values and mission statement in their actions and are a credit to the school and of course, their families. They are eager to learn, are respectful and thankful for the education they receive here at Lawford. They are hard working and persevere to overcome their individual difficulties. They are inclusive of others and accept each and every child within our school. Different children teach you different things as an adult. Their different challenges become your challenges as an educator and it is not until you look back that you see just how far we have all come – children and staff. It is true that not all children model the values all of the time, however as a Church of England school it is accepted that these occasions are also learning experiences and it is our job to guide them, support them and encourage other children to do so. I will miss each and every child both past and present.


Our Staff

Without staff there would be no school. Staff do come and go and although this is difficult, it is also something to feel proud of. I know that they will leave with a little bit of the ‘Lawford Way’ which will influence their work with other children and schools in the future. We have had teachers who have been a big part of Lawford and who have grown professionally and have been promoted to posts in other schools. You have an amazing team at Lawford – cherish it! Thank you to every person who makes up ‘Team Lawford.’ I could not have done it without you. I know you will join me in taking this opportunity to wish Mrs Gaffney the very best for the future as she leaves to take up a headship role herself.


Our Curriculum

With the new curriculum arriving in 2014, it gave us an opportunity to look at what we were teaching and develop our curriculum in a more creative way arriving at an enquiry based approach to learning. Termly themes were planned around a core question and children have the opportunity to present their findings at the end of term either as a sharing assembly or sharing afternoon. The richness of this curriculum is evident in the children’s outcomes, their talk and is something that we are very proud of as a school.


Our Visitors and Educational Visits

As part of remodeling the curriculum, we reviewed our visits and visitors and worked hard to provide a wealth of experiences inside and outside of school for our children. We are very proud of this. Of course, some of the old favourites had to stay: our Year 4 one night residential to Flatford in Year 4 and our Year 6 residential to Mersea Outdoor Centre. Both I have had the pleasure of accompanying seven years running and have experienced some of the best times with children at our school. We have laughed, seen each other in a different light and sometimes even shared some tears together.


Our Church of England School Status

On taking on the headship in September 2011, I was very aware that I was not only taking on an outstanding school, of which it still is, but also a Church of England school. It mattered to me deeply that this aspect would remain high profile and would continue to provide the strong foundation for the school it is today – a school based on strong Christian values and a school which does teach about God. Attending family services, making the school high profile through the display of children’s work in the church and writing a monthly contribution for the parish magazine to promote the school within the church and local communities, are all aspects of this vital link with St Mary’s. Although the school has not received an Ofsted inspection during the time I have been here, the school has been inspected twice under the SIAMs inspection and both times was judged to be outstanding. That is something for us all to be very proud of and we are.


Our School Partnerships

Working in isolation is never healthy and I have been proud of the partnerships we have made. Our African links are strong, firstly with Mompanteng Primary in Ghana and this year with Kiburu Primary in Kenya. I have had the privilege to visit both of our partnership schools along with other members of staff, using this to enrich our own curriculum whilst supporting both schools in their journey to develop their own curriculums in very different settings.


Nearer to home, I am proud of our partnership with two local primary schools under the ‘Constable Collaborative Partnership’ (CCP). Working with Highfields Primary School and Hilary Cook and Dedham Primary School and James Aylott has again been a great privilege. We have worked as equal colleagues and shared our experiences and best practice across the three schools. All of us have benefited greatly which has meant that our schools and children have too. This is an achievement that we are all proud of – working together for all of the children in the communities we serve.


We have continued to work with our feeder secondary school and value the close partnership we have with Manningtree High School. We were delighted this year to welcome Sally Morris, head teacher, to our Governing Body. Thank you for continuing to strengthen these links.


Our Governing Body

The Governing Body work diligently and in an unpaid capacity to ensure that that our policies and practices are adhered to. They are a central part of the Lawford Primary School and care about maintaining the high expectations and standards. They are there to oversee what the head teacher and staff are doing and provide both support and challenge. Lawford Primary School is very lucky to have such a wide range of skills within its Governing Body. I am ever grateful to our governor colleagues, thank you.


Our Parents

Last but not least, our parents. Thank you for your support over the time your children have been at Lawford School. I have enjoyed meeting and greeting on the gate on a Friday morning and saying hello to those parents and families who drop their children off at school. It is also a time when I hear positive feedback about what we are doing; that is precious and motivating and should not be underestimated.


I have been amazed by the PTA over the years and their unpaid time and hard work they have given on behalf of the school. Thank you PTA and to the parents and families for supporting the PTA events – they are second to none.


There have been challenges and I am aware that we do not always get everything right. I hope that you feel that we listen and act where we can and it is appropriate to do so. Our main aim as educators is to continue to maintain the high standards and expectations of an outstanding school and that is what we work hard to do. We work relentlessly and passionately to enable that to happen and we do care about every single child and making their time at the school an enjoyable experience with memories of their time with us.


We do listen and a great deal happens behind the scenes which you may not be aware of; we have one shared goal in making the school the best it can be. Please remember that staff are human too and need to be cherished as well as the children. Teachers are a precious commodity and are getting more difficult to find and recruit. In this job it is hard not to take complaints personally because people care so much. The time is right for me to step away from the huge emotional responsibility of leading a school and to take some time to re-evaluate life and remember just how much Lawford Primary School has played in my life. For that I am ever grateful.


Look after Miss Fairbairn and give her a chance to make her mark and settle in to her headship role.



Thank you so much for all of your good wishes and kind words. I really do appreciate how generous you are with your thanks and best wishes. I will not get a chance to thank you individually but will leave a message on the home page of the website.


I was very touched by a card I received this week from Mrs Hazel Hindle who was the head teacher at Lawford Primary School when I was a pupil here; how amazing is that? The message on the card reads:


You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream’ and it is with this message I say my final goodbye and leave to spend some time setting another goal and dreaming another dream.


Donna Wenden


Head teacher September 2011- August 2018



Lawford C of E Primary School HT Newsletter Friday 11th May 2018


Mission Statement:


'High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging Christian environment.'


Message from the Head teacher:

It is our fourth week in to the final term and we have been so glad of the fine weather. Staff are making the most of this in terms of sessions outside for both PE and other areas of the curriculum. Looking back on the four weeks, there is certainly a great deal to celebrate. A big thank you to staff and parents who have helped ensure that we can continue to take part in a range of events.



This half term, Years 1 and 2 have enjoyed tennis sessions with an experienced tennis coach. The same coach has also started a new tennis club before school for children in Years 2 and 3, which was very well attended. As a school, we have purchased tennis nets and equipment and Year 4 have already been using these in their PE lessons.


Essex Cross Country Finals :

Our Year 6 girls cross country team qualified as the fastest Y6 girls’ team at the Colchester Blackwater event. As a result they travelled to Hadleigh Park to compete against 13 other teams from across Essex in the cross country finals. The girls did extremely well, finishing mid table in a high class event. Additionally, nine other children competed in the Essex Games Cross Country individual finals, having qualified as a top 10 runner in their respective year groups at the Colchester Blackwater event in March. On a day of extreme heat and nerves, the children lined up with 130 - 140 runners in each year. Please see the report on ‘Sports News’ for the outcomes and achievements of these children.


Y2 Cricket

On Monday 23rd April, Lawford took a team of eight children from Year 2 to the ‘3 Tees Cricket Competition’ at Colchester Cricket Club. We are very proud of this young team who demonstrated excellent sportsmanship throughout the day. They came first, which is always a bonus!


Pirate Day in Foundation Stage

Being on the school gate this morning was a little unusual with an invasion of thirty colourful young pirates! The scene is set in the Foundation Stage classroom for a day of fun pirate activities. Thank you to Foundation Stage parents for your engagement with this. There were some wistful looks from older children who remembered this day from when they were in Foundation Stage.


What’s New on the Website?

Latest News: Did you know that Stars of the Week and Class of the Week are posted here weekly?

Recent Events: Read about our visit from Maggie, a medical detection dog

Sports News: Up and coming sports fixtures and reports on events which have taken place, including those mentioned above.


Forthcoming Dates:

Monday 14th May - National Key Stage 2 SATs for Year 6 children begin


Tuesday 15th May - Year 3 visit to Colchester Castle as part of their Roman topic


Friday 18th May - Outdoor Classroom Day – whole school event


Tuesday 22nd May - Y6 London Theatre visit


Thursday 24th May - Class photos


  1. 25th May - Non-Uniform Day for PTA, letter from the PTA to follow. Y1 Sharing Afternoon. Children break up for half term.


Tuesday 5th June - Children return to school. Please note that Monday 4th June is a non-pupil day.


General Reminders and Information:

Outdoor Classroom Day

Children need to come in appropriate outdoor clothes please (not school uniform) and be prepared for the weather. In order for children to take part in the Forest School session, children need legs and arms covered and sensible footwear. No sandals please.


We are still in need a lot of natural materials to use on this day, for example, shells, fir cones and twigs. We can never have too much so please take your bags on any seaside or woodland visits this weekend. I f every child brought just five objects each we would have all we need.


Lawned Area at Front of School

Thank you for keeping your children off the grassed area near the front of the school. The grass has grown back as we had hoped and the bulbs planted by Mrs Smith and Mrs Oakes have been magnificent as they have flowered and provided much needed colour to this area.


School Gate

A polite reminder about not driving down the school drive. We try to ensure the gate is always closed. Unfortunately sometimes this is left open and as a result this is then seen as an invitation for people to drive down. Open or closed, please do not use the drive, even out of school hours. Extended school does not finish until 6.00pm and there are still children on the premises.


Year 6

Well done for the mature way Year 6 have prepared themselves for the forthcoming national tests. They are very ready and remain positive and upbeat. We wish them well and hope that they enjoy their daily school breakfast which will be provided by Mrs Turtle and Mrs Miller in our school kitchen. I would like to thank the staff and governors of the school for their hard work this term and thank you for your support as parents.



Donna Wenden

Head teacher.



Lawford C of E Primary School HT Newsletter Thursday 29th March 2018


Mission Statement:


'High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging Christian environment.'


Message from the Head teacher:

This is the final newsletter of the spring term. It is hard to believe that our Foundation Stage children are soon entering their final term in the Early Years and our Year 6 their final term at the school. It is also my final term as headteacher so quite a term ahead.

As we head towards our Easter break, we have a great deal to celebrate:


  • Our very positive parental questionnaires which were filled out on the parent consultation evenings. Thank you for your lovely comments and also suggestions for areas we could improve on. Teachers enjoyed reading the feedback for their class and felt appreciated for all their hard work. We were pleased to see 100% of parents who responded to the question stating that they would recommend Lawford Primary School to other parents. This means a great deal to us all. Please remember, if you are not happy about something, then do come and see us. In addition, I am available on the gate on a Friday morning, as is also a governor, usually, and we are happy to speak to you. More detailed results will be sent in a separate email as soon as possible.



  • PTA sponsored Shakespeare event where the whole school experienced saying and performing the words from ‘The Tempest.’ This was a very successful enrichment day and was enjoyed by children and adults alike.


  • Sports Relief was another whole school event which was supported by our parent body. We had 100% of children in their sportswear and all took part in an obstacle race. We enjoyed Sports Relief biscuits made by our kitchen staff. Thank you for your generous donations which meant that we raised £385 for this charity.


  • Year 5 performed their interpretation of the Easter Story yesterday at St. Mary’s Church. The whole school, apart from Year 1 who were at a musical festival, walked to the church - a little rain never stops play. I was able to see this with the parents in the afternoon and what a moving portrayal it was. Year 5 you delivered this with a great deal of thought and respect and reminded us of this very important event in the Christian calendar, bringing it alive for us all, especially our younger children.


  • The purple crocuses which were donated to support Polio awareness are beginning to pop their heads through. Thank you to our parents Mrs Smith and Mrs Oakes for their hard work earlier in the year in getting these planted. It was worth the wait!


  • Sporting events - we have been really busy this term taking part in a range of sporting events including football, athletics, cricket and squash. In addition children had a badminton taster day in school which they enjoyed. Mrs Mann led a training session for teachers too to ensure that we are all able to teach it. I hadn’t realised just how competitive staff were! More information can be found on the sports pages of our website.


  • The second Spelling Bee took place at East Bergholt High School. Well done to our Year 6 team who took part in this challenging and nerve wracking event. They held their nerve well and gave their best. It’s a shame I got my spelling wrong which would have seen a member of our team reinstated if I had been successful. The word was ‘variegated’ - a clumsy ‘ve’ at the beginning meant that I felt the wrath of the buzzer too. Sorry Lawford Leopards!


  • A team of more able Y6 mathematicians entered the local authority maths competition and showed excellent teamwork in working together to solve a range of maths problems.


  • Excellent feedback from visitors to the school about the behaviour and respect that our children show. Our ‘spaceman’ took the time to email a lovely message to the school which you can read on the school website. Sporting coaches too have made a point of saying how amazing Lawford children are.


  • Sharing Assemblies – we hope that you enjoyed the Y1, Y2, Y3 and Y4 sharing assemblies this half term and went away with some amazing facts as well as a good overview of the breadth of the curriculum across the school. Thank you to children and staff for making these such a rich experience.


What’s New on the Website?

Please see photos of Sports Relief, Lawford Leopards at the Spelling Bee, the Shakespeare workshop and National Science Week. These are under ‘Recent Events’ which we try to update with school events as well as the class pages. Sports events can be seen under the ‘Sport News’ tab.

Forthcoming Dates:

Thursday 29th March - The last day of the spring term.


Monday 16th April - Children return to school for the summer term. Please remember planners, reading books and PE kits to ensure a smooth start to the new term.


General Reminders and Information:

Gate Times

We have noted on some of the questionnaires that there is confusion with the time that the gate opens in the morning. Please note, as stated in the prospectus and on our website, the gate to the playgrounds opens at 8.40am and is locked at 8.50am. Please come to the office to sign your child in if arriving after this time.


Nut Free School

Please can we remind you that we are a nut free school. This is to protect children with allergies. This includes Nutella in all forms including in sandwiches.


Safety at the School Gate

It has been brought to our attention that some parents are letting their children get out of the car on to the roadside. Please consider this when you are dropping your children off.


A polite reminder about being sensitive to our neighbours who have reported Lawford School parents parking in front of their drives.


And finally, another polite reminder that scooters and bicycles must not be ridden inside the school gates by children or adults. This is for the safety of all.


I would like to thank the staff and governors of the school for their hard work this term. Although a short one, it has been a very busy one.


On behalf of everyone at Lawford C of E Primary School, we wish you an enjoyable and safe Easter break. Thank you for your continued support.


Donna Wenden

Head teacher



Lawford C of E Primary School HT Newsletter - Tuesday 6th February 2018


Mission Statement:


'High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging Christian environment.'


Message from the Head teacher:

As we head to spring half term, we have a great deal to celebrate:


  • Through your generosity, National Christmas Jumper Day at Lawford School raised £152 for the Save the Children charity – thank you! We have just received our certificate.
  • The PTA is funding another Shakespeare Day (The Tempest) and this has been booked for World Book Day – this is for the whole school and culminates in all classes coming together at the end of the day to perform their own version
  • In preparation for our Peer to Peer Review with our partnership schools Highfields and Dedham Primary Schools, our senior leadership team observed all of our support staff. They saw high quality teaching and we are very lucky to have such able staff. If you would like to read more about the Peer to Peer Review, you can find this on the website under ‘Partnership Working.’
  • In the Roman Cup squash finals, our Y5 team took second place and our Y6 team took fourth place. As ever, sportsmanship and behaviour was excellent throughout.
  • We have received a grant from the British Council to support a trip to Kenya during half term to meet and work with a new partnership school. Mrs Woods and I will be undertaking this visit and leave on Friday to fly out to Kiburu Primary School. As part of the preparation, we had a ‘Connecting Classrooms Day’ where children across the day focused on world problems such as hunger and the importance of water. We will be taking the children’s work with us and will carry out a similar project in the school in Kenya focusing on critical thinking skills as part of this working together.
  • Year 5 took part in music workshops at Manningtree High School which they enjoyed and we continue to take advantage of this cross school working to support the teaching of different subjects with subject specific teachers at the school.
  • Y4 did themselves proud during their residential at Flatford. An excellent time was had by all, including myself. Thank you to Miss Dadd and Mrs Glasgow for giving up their own time to facilitate an overnight stay. Thank you to the Y4 parents who joined us for this trip and helped out with the children.
  • And last but not least, our Young Voices Choir consisting of 54 children performed at a concert with nearly 8000 other children at the O2. Once again this was an amazing opportunity for the children and is something they will always remember. A big thank you to Mrs Woods and Mrs Beard for giving up their own time to teach the children the songs and dance moves and for accompanying the children to London on a Friday night returning at midnight! Also thank you to the parents who helped and others who acknowledged this with their ‘thank yous’ – this goes a long way to making it feel even more worthwhile.


Update on Staff Name Changes:

After half term Mrs Beard will be Miss Milne, and as some of you may already know, Mrs Black is now Ms Rose.


What’s New on the Website?

Please see photos of Connecting Classrooms, Flatford and the Young Voices O2 visit under ‘Recent Events’


Forthcoming Dates:

Tuesday 6th  February

Today is Safer Internet Day and children will be talking about this in school. There has been a great deal of publicity around the dangers associated with the online game Roblox, including young children receiving inappropriate messages from strangers. Children have also reported that they have seen naked characters doing adult things. Advice is to check your children’s accounts for friends they have on the game and also to check the inbox on the game for inappropriate messages

Thursday 8th  February

Foundation Stage Sharing Afternoon, 2.45pm in the FS classroom

Friday 9th February

This is a non-pupil day and the beginning of the half term and the school will be closed for pupils.

Monday 19th February

Children return to school for the second half of the spring term.

Friday 23rd February

Year 4 Flatford sharing afternoon at 2.45pm

Friday 2nd March

PTA Quiz – More information to follow


General Reminders and Information:

Nut Free School


Please can we remind you that we are a nut free school. This is to protect children with allergies. A Nutella wrapper was found in the dining hall recently which is a concern. Please also think about products and ingredients which may contain nuts such as cereal bars, marzipan (eg on battenburg cake), bakewell slices etc.

Thank you for your support with helping us to keep all pupils safe.


Party Invitations and Birthday Cakes


This information is particularly for our new Foundation Stage parents who we apologise to as we may have failed to notify before now, but does apply to all. Being a Healthy School, and in addition to the risk of allergies, we cannot give out birthday cakes or sweets on behalf of parent when it is a child’s birthday or other occasion. Although this is a very kind thought, it is something that we cannot support. This may have happened previously due to a lack of clarity of communication.


Likewise, children giving out invitations in school time can cause a great deal of upset when others are not invited. This also takes the time of a member of staff. We have had a situation where two parents have fallen out over this very subject, causing a great deal of problems for the school and members of staff.


Please accept this position and do not ask staff to give out invitations/cakes/sweets etc on behalf of your child, likewise, children should not give out party invitations during the school day.



On behalf of everyone at Lawford C of E Primary School, we wish you an enjoyable and safe half term break with time for us all to refresh our batteries! Thank you for your continued support.



Donna Wenden

Head teacher




Lawford C of E Primary School HT Newsletter Monday 18th December 2017


Mission Statement:


'High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging Christian environment.'


Message from the Head teacher:


This is my final newsletter of the autumn term and we have so much to celebrate too!

  • The fantastic PTA Christmas Fair raised £2200 this year - an amazing amount and all in two hours which is quite an achievement. Thank you to the PTA for their organisation and giving their time so freely; thank you again for supporting this event.
  • The ‘Children of the World’ Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 nativity which was not only the most colourful but also one of the best we have seen. It had a lovely balance of culture alongside the true meaning of Christmas with the birth of Jesus. Thank you for your kind donations too which raised £245 and will be used to support our new partnership school in Kenya. More about that next term.
  • The Y3 and Y4 Christmas Concert which took place in the school rather than St. Mary’s Church due to extreme weather conditions. However, this did not detract from the concert itself which was delivered with confidence and again reminded us about the true reason for celebrating Christmas as a Church of England School. The whole school will see this tomorrow on our visit the church in the morning before our Christmas lunch.
  • The Magic of Christmas Music and Young Voices at Mistley Manor – If you were lucky enough to attend Mistley Church, you will know what a treat this was. Our two choirs sang like angels and the concert really was first class. Lawford joined choirs from Highfields and Mistley Norman Primary School and presented an evening to remember. Thank you to Mrs Woods and to Susie Hyman for their contributions to both choirs. Representatives from the Young Voices Choir also sang to the residents at Mistley Manor last week who very much enjoyed having them visit.
  • The Adventure Run – Years 5 and 6 took part in an Adventure Run with 5 out of the 10 pairs reaching the finals. This took place on a very cold Saturday morning. As ever, the children were brilliant, modelling resilience and a positive mindset. Particular congratulations go to Bobby and Orkney from Year 6 who were placed third of all the pairs.
  • The planting of 1000 crocus bulbs and other spring bulbs has been completed and was quite a feat, especially as the ground continued to harden. We will all really appreciate this activity in the spring when the flowers begin to shoot up around the school. Thank you to Mrs Smith and Mrs Oakes for their valiant efforts with this.


Update on the Kitchen Staff:


Ms Henderson has left and taken up a post in another school. Mrs Turtle and Mrs Miller have stepped up to the challenge in the interim. We have members of staff from the relief team who are supporting them too. We are very confident that we have a secure staffing structure in place and we are all looking forward to our whole school Christmas dinner tomorrow after our visit to the church!


What’s New on the Website?

Please see photos of the Magic of Christmas Music and Children of the World nativity under the ‘Recent Events’ tab.

Forthcoming Dates:


Tuesday 19th December

  • National Jumper Day – although this was on Friday, we thought it apt to celebrate this today to match Years 3 and 4 wearing theirs at their concert. Please can children wear their school uniform and their Christmas jumpers in place of their school jumpers. As this day is in aid of ‘Save the Children’ donations towards this charity will be gratefully received and we will announce the total on our website before the end of term.
  • Whole school walking to the church. Please ensure children have sensible footwear and warm outer clothes as we will be going whatever the weather.
  • Christmas dinner complete with Christmas jumpers (and hats made in school.)


Wednesday 20th December

  • It really is the last day of the autumn term and I think we all deserve a well-earned rest! Staff return to school on Tuesday 2nd January and will receive first aid training as part of this day. Children return to school on Wednesday 3rd January 2018.


General Reminders and Information:

Keeping to Paths


Please can you ensure that you and your children keep to the school paths, including the one between the school gate and the playground. We need your help with this please because despite reminding children in assembly, we still have some offenders who are not keeping to this.


Spring Term – 3rd January 2018

As requested before and as Christmas approaches, please ensure school bags are not too big as to cause a safety problem in our very small cloakroom areas.


Please ensure that children return with the appropriate named kit for PE on the first day. We do have a large amount of lost property which is situated outside of the reception in a steel bin. Any unclaimed uniform will be given to the PTA for their pre loved uniform sale.




On behalf of everyone at Lawford C of E Primary School, we wish you a very Happy Christmas. Have a peaceful and safe Christmas break and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.


Thank you for your continued support.



Donna Wenden


Head teacher

22nd November 2017



Lawford C of E Primary School HT Newsletter 22nd November 2017


Mission Statement:


'High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging Christian environment.'


Message from the Head teacher:


I would like to start this newsletter thanking you as parents this term for the following:


  • Returning the parental questionnaires which fed in to our successful SIAMs inspection. Some of your comments were used in the actual report and also helped evidence our self-evaluation.
  • The high percentage of parents who turned out for the parent consultations.
  • Your generous contributions towards the Christmas Fair in exchange for your children wearing non-uniform.
  • Helping out with transport for sporting events and also accompanying children on the Year 3 trip to Walton-on-the-Naze.
  • Your generosity in terms of donations in return for children wearing odd socks. This raised £279.75 for Children in Need.
  • Thank you to our two volunteers who are in the process of planting 1000 crocus bulbs around the school grounds. See below for the significance of this.


We are very lucky to have a parent body who support the school and we do appreciate this even though we may not say it enough.


Congratulations to children who took part in sporting events:


Congratulations to the children in the Year 5 and 6 Boys’ Football Tournament finals. They worked hard as a team and came a credible third. Also congratulations to the Year 5 and 6 Girls’ Football Team. This was the first time we were able to enter a girls’ team in a tournament due to the increased number attending football club. They performed really well and were a credit to the school. Please see photos on the sports news page of the website.


What’s New on the Website?


We were very pleased to receive a congratulatory letter from the Chelmsford Diocese regarding our outstanding SIAMs church school inspection. This can be found on our website under ‘About Us’ tab and then ‘We are a Church School’ tab.


Forthcoming Dates:


Friday 24th November – Y5 sharing afternoon where they will take you on a journey around the Amazon (2.45pm in school hall)

Monday 27th November – Our Christmas tree is being delivered! J

Tuesday 28th Novemberat 7pm, our annual evening for parents of prospective pupils who start school in September 2018

Wednesday 29th November – Foundation Stage taster sessions for prospective pupils

Friday 1st December – Y4 sharing afternoon where they will be taking you on a trip around London. Please note new time of 2.45pm


**Friday 1st December, 6-8pm PTA Christmas Fair**

We look forward to seeing you for this lovely festive event.

General Reminders and Information:


Supplementary Information Forms (SIF)

If you have a child already at the school and they have a sibling who starts school in September 2018, please ensure that you complete a SIF. This is available from the school office or on our website.


Pupils’ School Bags

Please can you ensure that any bags brought to school are of a sensible size. The size of these has increased over time, despite pleas in previous newsletters for parents to purchase small bags. Unfortunately, our cloak rooms have not increased in size; there is only room for a PE bag and a coat and at the most, a small bag, which traditionally has always been the school book bag.


The amount and size of bags is now creating a hazard in terms of blocking entrances and children tripping. Please help us to keep our children and staff safe.


PE Kits – Fit for Purpose

This is a polite reminder about children having the correct PE kit in school at all times. Please refer to our uniform policy which states: white t-shirt and blue shorts, trainers (or plimsolls) with tracksuits for colder days. Football kits should not be worn for PE. Tights are not permitted and socks will need to be available in your child’s PE bag for the days when they are wearing tights.


Children staying for football club need the appropriate kit for the weather conditions and a pair of football boots and shin pads.


School Christmas Lunch

A paper copy of the letter about the Christmas lunch will be coming home in children’s bags this week. Please look out for this and return as soon as possible, whether you intend your child to have a school dinner or not. This will enable kitchen staff to know the numbers to cater for in good time.


Rotary Club – Purple4Polio Campaign

Two representatives from the local Rotary Club came to talk to the whole school about the Purple4Polio campaign. Our visitors left 1000 purple crocus corms for the school to plant. The purple crocus is a symbol of Rotary’s worldwide campaign to eradicate polio, with its colour representing the purple dye used to mark the finger of a child to indicate they have received their life saving oral polio vaccine.

They also left a teddy bear for the school to decide how to use to raise money for this campaign. School Council members are deciding how best to do this and we will update you when they have reached a decision.



We look forward to seeing you at the many events organised between now and the end of term. Please look at the Events Calendar on the school website if you are unsure about an event and the timing for this.


Thank you for your continued support.



Donna Wenden


Head teacher

21st September 2017


Lawford C of E Primary School HT Newsletter 21st September 2017


Mission Statement:


'High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging Christian environment.'


Message from the Head teacher:


We are nearly at the end of our first full week for our youngest children in Foundation Stage and they have settled into Lawford very quickly. Some are looking tired at the end of the day however they are full of engagement throughout their learning time and certainly have lots to tell me when I do my classroom visits. The rest of the school have been a credit to you in that they too have settled in and have a positive mindset towards their learning. They are enjoying their quick bursts of activity to increase their fitness and this is something I have seen around the school from all year groups. We will have super fit children by the time sports day arrives in the summer term!


**We need your help please**


Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) Church School Inspection


As a church school, as well as an Ofsted inspection, we also have a church school inspection. Our last one was in October 2012 when the school was judged outstanding. We have just been informed that our next church school inspection will be on Thursday 28th September led by Caroline L’Estrange.


During this inspection a number of activities will be carried out:

  • Talking to group of children and being taken round on an environmental walk
  • Talking to a group of parents about their views
  • Talking to Governors about their role in a church school
  • Observing the teaching of Religious Education (RE) and looking at the children’s outcomes in books and folders from last year and this term
  • Observing a whole school worship assembly - this is our Harvest Festival from 11.00 -11.30am led by Reverend Simon Heron. Foundation Stage families are invited to join us for this and to see their little ‘scarecrows’
  • Talking to senior leaders about school standards and the distinctiveness and effectiveness of Lawford C of E Primary School as a church school


Before our last SIAMs inspection we sent out a parental questionnaire to evaluate parents’ views on the church school aspect and received an impressive amount of replies which were fed in to the inspection. Please take a few moments to fill in the questionnaire your child/ren bring home today and return to school by Monday. We are very grateful for your views in terms of what is working well and any pointers for improving further as a church school.


Harvest Festival - Thursday 28th September


We are always grateful to receive tinned and/or dry food items from children in all classes. All donations will be collected by the Salvation Army after the assembly. This year we would ask if children could bring in their contributions the day before, on Wednesday 27th September. This will allow us to have the display ready in advance of a very busy morning! The children take their contributions with them into the playground and there is no need to hand these to the school office.


As stated above, parents with children in Foundation Stage have been invited to attend this assembly where the children will be performing in front of an audience for the first time. The assembly will be from 11.00 - 11.30am and lead by Reverend Simon Heron.




Annual Sunflower Morning

The PTA held a very successful sunflower morning on Saturday and it was lovely to see so many faces, including our new Foundation Stage families. We had a diverse selection of sunflowers with lots of winners across the school. If you would like to see some photos of this occasion then please go to our website at and look under the ‘Recent Events’ tab.


Although this is more of a community event than a fundraiser, the PTA still managed to raise £130 towards PTA funds so we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who contributed to this - both our PTA helpers and you for attending.

Additionally we held our Book Fair which gives a very healthy percentage back to the school in the form of books. You spent £1112 and that has raised £667 worth of book stock for the school. Thank you very much indeed.


PTA Annual General Meeting

You should have received an email today with the details on of tonight’s meeting. Please come along and join us. We currently have a small band of PTA helpers who do a great deal and would welcome the load being shared. Come along and see if it is for you, we won’t put any pressure on you, we promise.




We are always looking for better ways to do things. Club registration has taken up a great deal of teachers’ time in the past and that is the reason for trialling a different format this term. In addition to this, because of ever increasing workloads for teachers, we have lightened the load by agreeing that not all teachers need to run a club every term.


As a result of this change, we have an overwhelming number of children who have requested to join the clubs on offer, in particular football and netball. Whilst it is never our intention to turn children away from sport, we have to be able to manage numbers safely and provide children quality coaching in order for them to further develop their skills. Volunteers (who are qualified referees and coaches) are giving up their time to ensure we can accommodate more children; however it is just not possible to offer a place for all those who have shown an interest.


We thank you for your feedback and recognise that some children are disappointed. We will continue to look at our after school club provision in the future.


European Day of Languages:


This is officially on Tuesday 26th September but we are celebrating it on Wednesday 27th September as Mrs Reed and Mrs Henderson are both in to support us that day. Each class is taking a different country and learning about their culture and customs.


Thank You in Advance:


We look forward to reading your questionnaires and will let you know the outcome of our SIAMs inspection as soon as it is officially made available to us. We are looking forward to welcoming Caroline L’Estrange to our school and proudly sharing with her what makes Lawford C of E Primary School so special.


Donna Wenden

Head teacher

12th September 2017

Lawford C of E Primary School HT Newsletter September 2017

Mission Statement:


'High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging Christian environment.'


Message from the Head teacher:


We would like to wish you all a very warm welcome back, especially to our new Foundation Stage parents and children. We have made a very positive start to the new school year. Children look very smart in their school uniform and have returned with a very positive attitude and willingness to start the new year. There is one thing the children all have in common - they have grown! It always surprises me how they adapt so quickly to their new year group and how they suddenly mature. Thank you for helping us to make the start an easy one; it is very much appreciated by all members of staff.


Important Dates to Remember:




Our first PTA event of the year takes place on Saturday 16th September from 10.00m until 12.00pm. This is a lovely community event where you can enter your sunflowers in different categories. Even if you do not have a sunflower, there is still plenty to do.


Children in Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 2 have been busy painting pictures of sunflowers for the class competitions. Do come and see their work and find out who the lucky winners are.


There will be free activities for your children to take part in and our usual Book Fair where you will be able to purchase books, with a generous percentage of the profits going to the school. Please note that there is no facility for the books to be paid for by credit card, only cash or cheque.


We may not be able to promise you flapjacks made by Mrs Edwards but please come and join us for coffee and biscuits.


We look forward to seeing you and your families at this event.


Book Fair

This will also be available after school in the school hall on Monday 18th September and Tuesday 19th September from 3.20 - 4.00pm. The children will be able to look at the books with their class this Friday afternoon so that they know what will be available.


PTA News:


After four years Gillie Healy is stepping down from her PTA treasurer role.


Gillie says “I have enjoyed the role but feel it is time for me to step down due to increase in work & family commitments. I will continue to support the role until the end of the financial year and the PTA AGM in September 2017 to provide the treasurers report.


As a registered charity and our constitution we need to ensure we have registered positions.



If you are interested in taking up the role please contact me at

I am more than happy to answer any questions.”


The PTA treasurer is responsible for:

  • Monies and accounts for PTA events (approx. four main events a year) including floats & banking
  • Ensuring that signatories on the PTA accounts are up to date
  • Ensuring:
    • TENS licences are in place for appropriate PTA events
    • Annual PTA lottery Licence is held & paid (annual invoice)
    • Annual Membership to PTA is held & paid (direct debit)
  • That PTA Accounts are:
    • completed end of financial year (Sep to Aug)
    • Treasurer financial report submitted to PTA AGM
    • Submitted to the Charity commission


What’s New on the Website?


  • Please remember to check our website regularly, especially our new parent members. Your child’s class page will give you a weekly overview of what they are learning and will also be updated with photographs of some of the activities from different areas of the curriculum.
  • Did you know that the ‘Stars of the Week’, ‘Class of the Week’ and Rainbow Rewards (KS2) are also put on to the home page under ‘Latest News’? Any notices such as when children return to school are also put on for quick access should you need to find out.
  • Head teacher letters and the events calendar (current term’s attached to this email) are also posted should you misplace these.
  • The new 2017-2018 School Improvement Plan (SIP) has been added and I will highlight the main priorities for improvement in my next newsletter.


General Reminders and Information:


  • If you have a concern about your child or school, please come and talk to us. Sometimes worries and issues can get bigger if they are not dealt with. Your first port of call is your child’s class teacher, then the Key Stage Leaders - Mrs Beard (FS and KS1) and Mrs Gaffney (KS2 and Deputy Head teacher). I am also available should you exhaust these avenues or if the issue is confidential or a safeguarding matter.
  • In order to help keep the children safe, please under no circumstances drive up the school drive, even if the gate has been left open.
  • Please ensure that your child has their PE kit in school every day and have the appropriate warm clothing should the weather become colder. In addition to PE sessions we are also increasing the opportunities for fitness across the school, ensuring that children get more opportunity to be more active and raise their pulse more frequently.


Thank You


Thank you for continuing to support us here at Lawford C of E Primary School. We are very lucky to have such a good team of parents who help us to be the best we can be. We do listen to you - even if we cannot always grant your request. We hope to see you on Saturday.


Donna Wenden


Head teacher


3rd July 2017

Lawford C of E Primary School HT Newsletter 3rd July 2017

Mission Statement:

'High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging Christian environment.'

Message from the Head teacher:


We have three busy weeks to go before we break up for the summer holidays and are looking forward to seeing you at a number of events during this time. The children have been out on a variety of trips and sporting events and we have had nothing but praise about their conduct and attitude which makes it all worthwhile. Thank you for your support in everything we do. We do have an amazing set of parents and families who work hard to ensure that we give our children the best we can. Additionally I am very happy to report back on the successful year the PTA has had raising money for extras for the school. A huge thank you to all.


Donna Wenden

Celebrations and What is Working Well:

  • Being able to use MHS outdoor swimming pool for our Y3 swimming lessons
  • Non-uniform day and PTA Summer Fair (more of that later!)
  • NSPCC ‘Speak Out Stay Safe’ assemblies and workshops
  • Two new Interactive Touchscreens purchased for Y1 and Y5 – these are now in every class
  • Y1 visit to Hedingham Castle and their very confident and informative sharing assembly
  • FS visit to Fingringhoe Wick and their excellent conduct and engagement in activities
  • Continuing partnership with Highfields and Dedham Primary School, for example, teachers joint moderation of writing, governors training on effective monitoring
  • Musical Drama Club performance of ‘The Peace Child’ – thank you to Mrs Woods for running this club and for the excellent outcome
  • Year 5 science day at Manningtree High School
  • Sharing assemblies in Y5 and Y2 highlighting their creative curriculums


Congratulations to children who took part in:

  • Y5 cricket friendly against Highfields Primary
  • Cricket match against Ardleigh Primary School
  • Cricket tournament at Mistley Cricket Club resulting in winning a silver bowl trophy
  • Netball county finals in Basildon
  • Football Festival at Great Bentley. Y5/6 team brought back a cup and medals for all of those who took part


We have our annual School Improvement Planning (SIP) meeting on Wednesday 5th July where children, staff and governors review the year and plan for the year ahead. This will be available on the school website after the event.


What’s New on the Website?

  • You can find photos of the PTA Summer Fair under the ‘Recent Events’ tab. There are also photos on the screen in the school foyer which give a good overview of the day.
  • The HRSE Policy has been uploaded under the policy section.
  • There are photos of the Holy Communion assembly led by Simon Heron under the ‘We are a Church School’ tab

We are a Church School:

  • The whole school is currently learning about the Islamic faith. This follows advice from Mrs Gaffney’s latest training in RE which ensures progression and in-depth learning.


Forthcoming Dates:

Thursday 6th July

  • The ‘Sound of Lawford’ summer concerts at 2pm and 7pm which will showcase the range of instrumental and vocal talent across the school

Friday 7th July

  • Sports day – KS2 in the morning and FS and KS1 in the afternoon. The PTA will be selling ice cream at the end of the day (£1)

Monday 10th July

  • Manningtree Library will be leading an assembly on the Summer Reading Challenge. Please encourage your children to sign up for this challenge to keep them reading over the holidays

Wednesday 12th July

  • School picnic with our new intake children and their parents visiting. The PTA will be selling ice creams at lunchtime (£1)
  • Y6 summer performance at 7pm.

Friday 14th July

  • ‘Five Alive’ five piece orchestra in assembly and workshops for KS2.


General Reminders and Information:

New Staff

  • Miss Petty who will be Y5 class teacher next year (current Y4 class) will be in school week beginning the 10th July. Please do come and say hello
  • Miss Davey will be joining the Y2 team two days a week as a 1-1 LSA and will be in once a week in preparation


PTA Successes…


Many thanks to Gillie, treasurer of the PTA, who has been busily counting money. We are in a position to release totals which are fantastic and shows just what teamwork can do:


£200 – donation from the Co-op towards purchasing a friendship bench

£464 – KS1 party and KS2 disco in spring term

£95 – preloved uniform sale in spring term

£73 – preloved uniform sale at incoming parents’ evening in summer term

£2,299.11 – total profit at Summer fair

Grand Total: £3131.11


A big thank you to all the people who made this possible and for the hard work and dedication of a group of people who continue to give their time and energy. Thank you to everyone who attended and supported these events, including the bottles and donations for the fair on the non-uniform day. Many thanks to our Events Co-ordinator Becky Jones for her role in this too. We do need more active members and a new treasurer so please think how you can support the PTA further and let us know. Your help will be greatly appreciated.


A message from Gillie Evans, Treasurer:

The last day of term is the ideal opportunity to make sure you are ready & kitted out for September 2017! There will be a preloved uniform on sale on Friday 21 July from 2.45pm for ~1hour, outside by the school gate if the weather is fine, or in the school hall if raining. A donation of clean, outgrown uniform is very much appreciated. Please try to remove name labels prior to donating. Thank you.


School Path

A polite reminder that scooters or bicycles should not be ridden on the school path. This is a very busy part of the school and parents have been concerned that they may be knocked in to. Children have also been reminded in assembly today under the theme of trust.


As you can see we still have a very busy time ahead before we say our goodbyes which I will do in my final newsletter.


I look forward to seeing you at some of the events and sharing with you the many talents of your children.


Donna Wenden

Head teacher

22nd May 2017


Lawford C of E Primary School HT Newsletter May 2017

Mission Statement:

'High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging Christian environment.'

Message from the Head teacher:


It is hard to believe that we are coming to the end of the first half of the summer term and on their return, children will be completing their final term in their current year group. We have a busy half term ahead of us, as usual, with lots to look forward to. Thank you for your ongoing support and I wish you a safe and restful half-term break when it comes


Donna Wenden

Celebrations and What is Working Well:

  • Year 6 children’s conduct during the SATs, starting each day with a time with friends over a breakfast provided by Mrs Edwards
  • Successful and enjoyable trip to see ‘The School of Rock’ in the West End giving our Year 6 food for thought in preparing for their own end of term production
  • Our whole school Outdoor Classroom Day which this year included lunch and assembly outdoors. We had very positive feedback from the children and staff
  • Continuing success at sporting events, netball match against Dedham where we saw excellent teamwork which ended in a win for our Lawford team
  • Class trips to Colchester Castle and Sutton Hoo have helped to bring history alive for our Key Stage 2 children and thank you to the parents who helped us on these educational visits
  • Response to the HRSE (Healthy Relationships and Sex Education) letter and questionnaire which 63 parents kindly filled in. This will help to inform our policy and practice.
  • Sports provision - thank you for the feedback by some parents recognising how much provision has increased across the school. We are very lucky to have committed staff (teaching assistants and teachers) who have eagerly taken on clubs and arranged matches resulting in more choice for children in all key stages.

Congratulations to:

  • Adam, Toby and Alasdair Loudon for their rugby sporting achievements at Mistley Rugby Club, winning player of the year in their selected age groups. Wow!
  • Additionally well done to Zac Morsley (Y6) and Aaron Soames (Y3) for being awarded most improved players of the year in their respective age groups.
  • Leah Brooke who is entered in the Lee on Solent, last Silver of the squash season, on 16th 17th & 18th June

What’s New on the Website?

  • You can find photos of our ‘Outdoor Learning Day’ under the ‘Recent Events’ tab. There are also photos on the screen in the school foyer which give a good overview of the day.
  • Class pages have photos of this day too – children worked in their sports teams and may be on different class pages

We are a Church School:

  • Did you know that there is a 10.00am Family Service at St. Mary’s Church, Lawford on the second Sunday of every month? It was lovely to see some different school families at the service last week. If you have not been fortunate to see Monty Mouse in action, you are missing a treat!

Forthcoming Dates:

Thursday 25th May

  • Class photos will be taken. Please ensure children are prepared for this

Friday 26th May

  • Year 3 Roman Day – children will be exploring this history period and sharing what they have learned with their parents at 2.45pm in their Sharing Assembly
  • No Catch Up Cuppa however you are welcome to come and join Mrs Harding and Mrs Howes (SEN linked governor) for a SEND coffee morning. Please note 9.30am start.
  • The school breaks up today for half term.


Monday 5th June - non-pupil day

Tuesday 6th June

  • Children return to school
  • Y3 swimming begins (and KS2 non-swimmers)

Friday 9th June

  • Non-uniform day in aid of the PTA Summer Fair. FS, Years 1 & 2 to bring in bags of (preferably wrapped) sweets not chocolate. Years 3,4,5 & 6 to bring in bottles of wine. The PTA would also be grateful of any unwanted items / presents suitable for a tombola (new or as good as) and any unwanted teddies / cuddly toys. Of course as many volunteers are needed as possible – please speak to a member of the PTA if you are happy to do this.

Saturday 17th June 11am – 2:00pm (please note slight change of time)

  • PTA Summer Fair – please come along and support this event. We look forward to seeing you.

General Reminders and Information:

Late Arrivals

  • Punctuality at school is very important to the smooth running of the day; it is a life skill which we try to instil in all children. Did you know that the register and reasons for children who are late is discussed weekly at staff briefings and referred to by the school governors?

NCPCC Assembly and Workshops

  • On Friday 9th June, the NSPCC will be visiting us to deliver their ‘Speak Out. Stay Safe.’ assembly to the whole school. This will be followed by workshops for Years 5 and 6 where the subject will be discussed in more depth. More information to follow.

Events at Manningtree Library

  • Saturday 27th May – Elmer Day with activities within the library
  • Saturday 27th May to the 3rd June – ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ where children will be invited to look for different books in 10 different locations within Manningtree High Street using clues. There will be prizes.

Outdoor Learning

  • Following the recent success of our outdoor learning day, and our vision to become an all-weather school, we are considering making a waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers part of our school kit list. This would mean more lessons could take place outdoors for all children in all weathers. More information to follow.


  • The forecast for the week ahead looks very sunny and warm. Please make sure children bring sun hats to school and have suntan lotion applied. There is always a risk of showers so please ensure that they are prepared for a change in weather too.

28th April 2017

Lawford C of E Primary School HT Newsletter



'High quality learning and caring together in an encouraging Christian environment.'


Mission Statement:


Our mission statement is very important to us as a school and is central to how we go about our daily business. Children understand the significance of it and expect to be challenged if it is not adhered to. We ask this of any adult working in the school, visiting the school or on school grounds. We ask all adults to behave in a way that reflects our mission statement at all times. We will not tolerate threatening or aggressive behaviour to any members of our school community.


Celebrations and What is Working Well :

  • The children returned to school looking smart and with the correct resources and equipment Thank you for supporting us with this
  • Year 6 ‘Lawford Lions’ won the East Bergholt High School first Spelling Bee coming first out of 16 schools. Further information on this can be found on the link provided on our website. Well done team – you were amazing!
  • Squash coaching has started in Year 2 enabling this class to be ready for the focus on squash in Key Stage 2
  • Club enrolment was well supported and new clubs, for example, karate, proved popular
  • Miss Cordery has joined us as part of the Year 1 team and we warmly welcome her
  • Some very positive feedback from the SEN newsletter and poem which went out at the end of last term. Please see below for an extract from the newsletter in case you missed it.


Congratulations to:

  • Mason Gentry-Brown in Year 6 who took part in roller hockey in Portugal during the holidays for Visiona 20/20 project
  • Leah Brooke in Year 6 for getting through to Nottingham Silver Junior Open in squash, we wish her luck
  • Amelia Whiteley in Year 6 for gaining Level 1 Award in Communication (Grade 3 with Distinction) in Speaking Verse and Prose
  • Y5 and Y6 football team in their match against Great Bromley Primary School with a 10-0 win


What’s New on the Website?


  • Did you know that we post our ‘Stars of the Week’ and children who have received ‘Rainbow Rewards’ on the ‘Latest News’ tab every Friday?
  • ‘Recent Events’ has photographs of the ‘Spelling Bee‘ competition




HRSE Questionnaire

Thank you. We have had 30 responses and there is still time to send in your responses.


SEND Newsletter

It has been suggested that we copy a paragraph from the recent SEND newsletter from our SENCo, Mrs Harding, which may have been missed by parents of children without SEND:


‘Finally, I would like to share a poem with you called ‘That Child’. This has been shared with all staff as well as some parents I have worked closely with this term. We all agreed that it is so powerful, it was worth sharing with everyone. Recently the media asked the question ‘What if your child was ‘that’ SEND Child?’ My role is to support everyone who works with a child with additional needs. ' (The full newsletter and poem are on our website on the SEND page in Key Information)


Being a parent of a child with any form of special needs can be extremely difficult at times, especially in a world where other people sometimes judge without knowing the full details. There have been a couple of inappropriate and upsetting postings in the form of comments on social media recently, concerning parents from our school. These have been brought to our attention and comprise of comments alluding to children from our school. We are a Church of England School and take our mission statement very seriously. We ask that all parents and children who sign up to be part of our school, do so too.


Forthcoming Dates:


Monday 1 May – Public Holiday, school closed

Friday 5 May – no Catch Up Cuppa in the Leveridge Hall

Monday 8 to Thursday 11th May – National Key Stage 2 SATs



Enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend and we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 2 May.


Donna Wenden

Head teacher

31st March 2017

Lawford C of E Primary School HT Newsletter


In an effort to make newsletters more readable, information has been put in different sections as modelled by a parent on a recent questionnaire!


Celebrations (Please see our school website for photos of some of these occasions):

  • Firstly, thank you for your support and help in making our school what it is – we could not do it without you!
  • Secondly thank you to all the staff who work hard to make the school a happy and successful place to be
  • PTA KS1 party and KS2 disco – thank you to the PTA for arranging and helping out with this and to the families for supporting it
  • Y5 team won the cup at MHS maths competition - well done to all involved
  • Red Nose Day was a very successful day and raised £134 for this charity
  • Y5 Easter portrayal at St Mary’s Church Lawford was a very special and somewhat emotional event. Well done to the class and Miss Dadd and Mrs Collyer
  • £492.50 raised towards a school reading shed through the School Council project – thank you for your contributions. The School Council would like to continue this into the summer term
  • Y1 participation and engagement in music festival
  • Continuing Roman Cup squash successes with Y4 winners and Y3 runners up and Y6 netball achievements with team coming runners up
  • Miss Ansell has had a baby boy called Bruin – we are very pleased that she and baby Bruin are doing so well

School Questionnaire

Thank you to the 182 parents (86%) who filled in the school questionnaire – this was an amazing total and has given us a clear picture of what you think of different aspects of the school.



98% of parents would recommend our school to another parent.

99% believe the school has a happy atmosphere.

What are we doing well?

  • ‘Nurturing the whole child’
  • Increase in sports at KS1and sports provision in general
  • Happy children and encouraging and caring environment (Reflecting Mission Statement)
  • Brilliant topics
  • Opportunities for parents to come in
  • Catering for all abilities
  • Interesting visits and visitors in
  • Great new range of reading books
  • Expecting the best from our children and ensuring children reach their true potential
  • Instilling school values in class and assemblies and seeing these reflected at home
  • Combining fun with learning
  • Resolving behavioural issues before they get to bullying
  • Lots of opportunities with clubs at lunch time and after school
  • Homework challenges in terms of variety and interesting activities

What could we do better?

  • More outdoor learning and Forest School
  • Consider length and structure of newsletter and less emails (or combining)
  • In spring parents evening, progress measures as well as where children are against national benchmarks
  • Ensure a few are not disrupting learning for the many
  • Children attending parents evenings
  • Look at homework (various responses, e.g. some need too much adult support)
  • More fancy dress and fun days
  • Group children according to ability – look at learning partners again
  • Encouraging quieter children to be involved
  • More notice given for activities such as sports events
  • Payment for all things on SchoolGateway
  • Better sex education in upper Key Stage 2
  • Promote more independence for children in transition to secondary school


The full analysis with percentages in each area, is available on our website under the ‘Parents’ tab



HRSE Questionnaire

Today your child will be coming home with a paper questionnaire in an envelope which we would really appreciate you filling in. We are currently reviewing our Healthy Relationships and Sex Education (HRSE) Policy and want to seek views from different stakeholders. Please return this after the Easter break.


SEND Newsletter

We have had some very positive feedback from parents about the SEND newsletter and ‘That Child’ poem which went out yesterday. Please have a look at this if you have not yet had time

Summer Term – we return on Tuesday 18th April

We are in the process of confirming the summer events calendar and will get this to you as soon as possible.


We look forward to the children returning in the summer uniforms. Please can we remind you of the following:

  • Children need PE kits and planners every day from the first day back
  • Please ensure all items of clothes are named. We continue to have items of clothing in lost property
  • Please remember that school shoes should be traditional in style and fit for purpose. Trainers or trainer style shoes are not acceptable. .Please visit our website if you are unsure about any item of the uniform
  • Children, whether male or female, have their hair tied back as part of the school uniform. If hair is touching the shoulders, please ensure it is tied back fully. This is partly to avoid the spread of head lice and also because it adds to the smart appearance of the children

Forthcoming Dates:

Thursday 20th April – Club enrolment

Week beginning 8th May – Key Stage 2 SATs


Please note, no ‘Catch up Cuppa’ on the first three Fridays back due to the school needing to use the room.


It just leaves me to say have a very happy Easter holiday and stay safe. We look forward to seeing you and your children on Tuesday 18th April refreshed and ready for a busy summer term


Donna Wenden

Head teacher

Headteacher's Newsletter - 2nd March 2017


Dear Parents


February has flown by and we are heading very quickly to the Easter holidays! There are a number of messages to go out and it seemed better to put these in one document rather than lots of different emails.


World Book Day

We have had a really good response to children bringing in non-fiction books as part of this event. I have walked around the school and learnt a number of interesting facts from your children. My chosen book was Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course. My fact to children was that if you want to boil an egg perfectly, you need to sing three verses of Onward Christian Soldiers and you will have a beautiful runny yolk to dip your soldiers in!


Constable Collaborative Partnership (CCP) Peer to Peer Review

Just before half term, head teachers from Dedham Primary and Highfields Primary spent the day at our school carrying out a review of one of the priorities on our school improvement plan (SIP). The focus was looking at the provision for our academically more able children (AMA). Hilary Cook and James Aylott spoke to a selection of parents, visited all classrooms, looked at the data and spoke to children.


The findings are very positive as are the next steps forward. The final report is available on our school website under the ‘School Partnership’ tab. Peer reviews are taking place in both of the other schools this term and I am looking forward to spending time reviewing an aspect of their school improvement plans. We can all learn from each other and share our experiences to ensure that we continue to progress and make our schools the best that they can be.



Gill and Simon Heron will be coming into school next week on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th to set up iSpace in the hall. iSpace is a prayer space with interactive stations where children can explore life questions, spirituality and faith in a safe, creative and interactive way. It purposely allows children the opportunity to make their own meaning and to draw their own conclusions. Each class will have an opportunity to spend time in the iSpace. Foundation Stage children will visit with their Year 6 Buddies ensuring that they can access the task.


The iSpace will be open to parents and children after school next Tuesday to explore the space together or to just come in and see how it is set up and learn more about it. We look forward to seeing you if you can make it.


Space Day (Y1 and Y5) Friday 10th March

As part of their class topics this term, Year 1 and Year 5 have a ‘spaceman’ visiting. This is a new venture for us and we are looking forward to seeing how this enriches the knowledge of the children in a very popular theme in both classes.


British Science Week (Week beginning 13thMarch)

As part of British Science Week we have ‘Science Boffins’ back in school. They will be running practical sessions demonstrating science experiments and the wonders of this subject.


Comic Relief Day Friday 24th March

As a staff we have decided to mark this occasion with asking children to wear a red accessory as part of their school uniform. For example this might be a red hairband, socks, tights or shoelaces. Red noses can be worn although we will not be selling these in school. Mrs Edwards and her team will be baking her legendary Red Nose biscuits which the children can enjoy for a minimum 50p donation which will be sent to Comic Relief.


Mrs Edwards

Did you know that Mrs Edwards has been the cook at Lawford Primary School for 28 years? Think about how many school lunches she has cooked in this time! We are very sad for the school, but very happy for Mrs Edwards, that she has decided to retire at the end of the academic year. She will have time to spend with her family and especially enjoy her grandchildren. We won’t be saying our goodbyes just yet but we wanted to let you know. Governors are already asking for the secret flapjack recipe to ensure that they still receive their favourite snack at their meetings.


Bibles for Year 3 Children

Reverend Heron brought two visitors to school to meet with children in Year 3. Julie Tull and Karen Deed are past pupils of Lawford Primary School and their Mum, Mrs Doris Stringer, worked as part of the school administrative team for many years at the school. Mrs Stringer bequeathed some money to St. Mary's Church and it was decided that the purchase of Bibles for a class at Lawford C of E Primary School would be a fitting gesture.


All thirty one Year 3 children were presented a Bible by Mrs Tull and Mrs Deed and will use these in lessons throughout their time in Key Stage 2, taking them with them when they leave in Year 6. Traditionally the church has presented Year 6 children with Bibles when they have left at the end of their time with us. We think that this idea of the children having them earlier in their schooling will have greater meaning to the children and they will become more familiar with the content as they use them in RE lessons. It was lovely to see the children engrossed in exploring their Bible as soon as the presentations were over.


Understanding Christianity Resource in School

Did you know that as a voluntary aided church school, the teaching of RE takes place weekly and is a very important part of the curriculum? Currently teachers have been trained on a new document which will support us in teaching Christianity. The new resource called 'Understanding Christianity' is an enquiry based resource which poses questions to children to consider. It is also built around big ideas such as God, Creation, Salvation, Incarnation and People of God. The key purpose of the resource is to help all teachers support pupils in developing their own thinking and their understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to their understanding of the world and their own experience within it.


One part of the resource which you will see in every classroom and around the school, is a frieze created by Emma Yarlett depicting seven of the core concepts explored in the 'Understanding Christianity' materials, and giving a view of the ‘big story’ of the Bible. If you are interested in finding out more, you can visit the Understanding Christianity website: Teachers have already started to plan their first unit which is based on the salvation concept and they have been impressed with the suggested ideas to engage and encourage children to follow an enquiry based method of learning. Children around the school this week have been exploring the frieze and have wowed us with their knowledge of the Bible and the stories and concepts within it.


Sex and Relations Education (SRE) Policy

There has been much debate in the news about schools teaching (or not!) sex and relations education in schools. We have been reviewing our policy for some time and intend to get this out to you for consultation in the near future. We are calling it our Healthy Relationships and Sex Education Policy. We are waiting for a final decision from the government about the content and expectations for teaching this subject. Whilst it is very important to update this as it is overdue, we want to get it right and spend time doing so before we finalise this. We will continue to teach to our current policy and curriculum in the meantime.


Thank you for your continued support and please remember, if you have an issue or concern please come and see us.


Donna Wenden

Head teacher

Headteacher's Newsletter - 16th January 2017


Dear Parents

I wish you a belated Happy New Year and welcome you and your children back to the new term. We have had a very positive start to the term with all year groups settling back in quickly. Thank you for ensuring that your children were adequately equipped with PE kits, planners and homework books. This certainly made for a smooth start to the new term and meant that children were well prepared from the beginning of the week.


Professional Development

The staff had two very fruitful professional development days before the children came back last Monday. We shared our first training session with the staff at Friars Grove Primary School in Colchester where a whole day was spent on gaining de-escalation skills through a programme called 'Step-on.' This is training which all staff in schools are required to have and was very useful in helping us to deal with difficult situations. It ensures that strategies are put into place so that challenging situations do not escalate further.


On the second day we looked at further developing our focus on Growth Mindset in terms of explicit teaching sessions in each year group. Some of these have already started and it has been fascinating to hear children talk about how they perceive themselves as learners and what they think about intelligence, that is, do they believe it is fixed from birth or that it can be improved by effort and practice. Teachers have been sharing their own experiences of themselves as learners too and children have enjoyed finding out interesting facts about how they have used resilience and practice to overcome different challenges in their lives.


If you would like to learn more about Growth Mindset, please look on our website under the ‘Parents’ tab. There are three PowerPoints based on the learning to learn agenda. Interestingly, research shows that ‘87% of parents believe most of their child’s academic success is based on their child’s natural ability’ therefore fixed from birth. If this is the case, children are coming to school already with a sense that their path is set. A key phrase at school is to add the word 'yet' on the end of a sentence starting with the words, 'I can't...' We also had professional development sessions on academically more able children, assessment for learning and our SEND action plan and priorities, sessions which were all led by different teachers within the school.


New Year’s Resolution

To start off the new term we made two whole school resolutions in assembly and additionally each class made their own resolutions which are as follows:


Whole school:

  1. To take responsibility and to keep our outdoor equipment tidy and safe at all times.

  2. To work hard to further develop a Growth Mindset and continue to ‘grow our brains.’


    Foundation Stage: Not to run in our outdoor classroom

    Year 1: Don’t give up! Develop a Growth Mindset.

    Year 2: Don’t stress! You can do something. If not, you are hiding your talent.

    Year 3: To be independent learners and support our Learning Partners more.

    Year 4: Believe that you can be successful at any age.

    Year 5: To always try our hardest to achieve our goals, however challenging.

    Year 6: To always aspire to work confidently, with a Growth Mindset and enjoy our final year at Lawford Primary School.


    Upcoming Events

    As always, we have a great deal to pack into a very short half term. I am looking forward to joining our Young Voices choir of 42 children on their annual concert to the O2 in London tomorrow. This is always an amazing experience for the children and we are always well represented by our parent body too who enjoy watching their children perform at this venue. It is something that the children will always remember.


    Year 4 have their overnight residential coming up too and will be following in the footsteps of John Constable at Flatford. This is another annual event which is a highlight of the year and one that they will enjoy very much. In addition, all classes will have either a sharing afternoon or assembly where you will get the opportunity to share your children's work. Year 5 will be performing the Easter story at St. Mary's Church, Lawford at the end of term and this is always a thought provoking performance and another opportunity for all children in the school to visit the church.


    An Open Door Policy

    We have been busy showing prospective parents around the school, especially as the deadline for applications for September 2017 has just passed. Our visitors have been very complimentary about the school and especially the children and how polite and confident they are. They have commented on our 'Meeters and Greeters' who have done a sterling job talking about their learning and what they like about Lawford Primary School. As always they are our best ambassadors.


    As a school we endeavour to do our best and be the best. However, we may not always get it right and if this is the case, please ensure that you come and talk to us. There has been some activity on ParentView where a few parents have indicated that they would not recommend Lawford Primary School to other parents which is very concerning and very disappointing. It is also something as a staff we find disheartening. This negative view of our school is also mirrored in the question asking about whether the school listens and responds to concerns. Please can I remind you that our door is always open and we are prepared to listen at any time. We cannot always grant your request depending on what it is but we do pride ourselves on being a listening school and willing to sort out issues and concerns as best we can.


    E-Safety Evening for Parents

    Finally, please can I remind you of a very important date for your diary - Tuesday 31st January from 7-9pm. Last time we had an e-safety event for parents we had a record number of parents attend and it was agreed what a useful evening it was. There have been requests for us to repeat an evening, especially in light of how quickly technology and the internet changes. Teachers and governors will be there as part of their professional development.


    Please put the date in your diary, if it is not there already. We have two policemen (known as 'The 2 Johns') who are leading this event. Children across the school are completing a persuasive leaflet to persuade parents to attend to help keep them safe online. If these two facts have not convinced you, then hopefully the fact that Mrs Edwards will be providing refreshments and her legendary flapjacks might!


    I look forward to seeing you there if you are able to make it. Thank you for your ongoing support.