Spring B Newsletter 2024

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It’s been another short term here but we’ve still tried to squeeze as much in as possible! The Eisteddfods were fantastic and it was lovely to see so many children performing on the stage. Events like these really help to build children’s confidence. We also had World Book Day – we’re so conscious of the cost of costumes and hope that parents never feel under lots of pressure to get new costumes for each event. Some schools have scrapped the dressing up for book day due to the cost but there’s always a real buzz around the place when all the children and staff arrive dressed up as book characters. Please do let us know if you’re ever struggling and we’ll do our very best to help with things like costumes.

We also had a great Easter Assembly today, in which children paraded their Easter bonnets and Egg decorations! We also sang songs, gave out chocolate prizes and listened to the Easter story.

Enjoy reading through this half-term’s newsletter and be sure to read the blogs from each year group! Just a few things to draw your attention to…

  • Sports day dates are included – these are provisional and weather dependent but we know that some parents have to give their workplaces lots of notice.
  • I am delighted that we have achieved the Heart of the Community award – please do have a read about that
  • In addition, Miss Shepherd and the code club have won the regional round of a national coding competition – I am super proud of all involved!
  • I’m so grateful to members of the PTA – they’ve been organising some great events. See the dates below for upcoming discos.

Return to School

Children return after the Easter break on Tuesday 9th April 2024. 

Monday 8th is a Training Day for staff. As a reminder, our remaining staff training day dates can be found here.

Attendance and Punctuality

Our current Whole School Attendance is 93.0%. Schools have to agree an attendance target with the Local Authority. Our target for the end of the academic year is at least 93.5% attendance. Please continue to help us to reach this.

The graph below shows each class’ attendance since September…

Staff Changes

As you’ll know, Mrs Hill was appointed as the second deputy headteacher during the last term. She will work alongside Mr Jones, the existing Deputy Headteacher. To enable her to carry out her leadership responsibilities, Mrs Hill will be released from her class and Mrs Rue, who returns from her Maternity Leave, will take over for the Summer Term. Children and Parents in Class 4 have already been made aware of this and Mrs Rue is really excited to join the class! Miss Ali will continue working in the class.

In addition, Mrs O’Brien returns after the Easter Break, following her maternity leave. Mrs O’Brien will work Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings covering teachers’ planning, preparation and assessment time.

Mrs Yalland, who works in our Reception Class 8 has sadly moved on to a new job. We are so sorry to say goodbye to her and will miss her enormously. We welcome Mrs Shah to the team, who will take over from Mrs Yalland in Class 8. Mrs Shah has already met the children in Class and is really excited to get started after Easter.

New Spring Term Chartwells Dinner Menu

When we return after Easter, Chartwells will operate on Week 3 of the current menu. From the week commencing 15th April, they will introduce this new menu.

Chartwells Summer Term Menu

Visit from Children’s Laureate Wales

We had a great visit from Alex Wharton, Children’s Laureate Wales, who is a poet and a rapper! He delivered an assembly in the junior school and then held poetry writing workshops for children in Year 3. He was so engaging and inspiring for children, who clearly loved his visit! Children also had the chance to interview him on a podacast – have a listen!

Pupil Learning Review Meetings for Parents

Thanks so much for attending our Pupil Learning Review Meetings during the last half-term. We hope you found it really helpful to have time to meet with your child’s teacher to chat about the progress your child is making.

During those meetings, all teachers should have provided you with a list of the High Frequency Words that your child is able to read/spell, along with the words which they should practise next. Please do spend some time working through these with your children and we will also continue to practise them in school also.

Heart of the Community Award

We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the ‘Heart of the Community’ award by the Foundation of Community Engagement. Over the years, we’ve led the way with a lot of initiatives to support our families and our community, with lots of other schools visiting us to learn from all that we do. There are four stages to the Heart of the Community Award – Bronze, Silver, Gold and then the ‘Heart of the Community’ being the top level. Sue, from the Foundation of Community Engagement, came out to meet with us, governors, parents, staff and pupils, and  she was really impressed with all of the various initiatives we have – from being the first Big Bocs Bwyd onsite supermarket in Newport, to our Men Behaving Dadly programme, to our Christmas support hampers, to our ‘Cook with your Kids’ sessions, to the support our staff provide… The FCE have developed a framework to support schools with becoming more community focused and I am so pleased to say that we achieved the top level. We now have a nice plaque in the entrance to the school and will be expected to work alongside other schools to support them in developing their community support.

A huge thank you to Mrs Walshe, the children, governors and parents who spoke with Sue as part of our accreditation… and of course thanks to Sue from the FCE for your support.

Online Safety

We have had a number of issues with older children in the school using WhatsApp or SnapChat messaging groups outside of school. There has been some really concerning language used in these groups as well as inappropriate photographs shared. Please do speak with your children about what they are doing online and go through their phones/devices with them. We know that sometimes, it’s hard for adults to keep up with all the apps and platforms children use – f you want any further advice regarding this, please do contact us and we’d be happy to help.

This is a helpful guide for parents/carers – Hwb In the Know & UK Safer Internet Centre

Helping Hand Section

In our newsletters, we’ll include links to services who can offer a helping hand with various things…

  • Do check out these parenting support guides on our website
  • Barnardos Newport Family Support Team – there to support parents
  • If you’re having a clear out of toys, The ToyBox Project based in Caerphilly and aims to: Gift toys to those in need, Keep toys out of landfill & Provide an affordable a toy shop experience – ToyBox Project HQ (4a Swanbridge Court. CF83 8FW, next to Dance Unity) Tuesdays – 7pm to 9pm. You can donate any toys to them and they’ll re-home them for you.
  • Got something in need of repair? Visit the Repair Cafe for free – there are lots around Wales. At each repair café event, somewhere between 20 and 50 members of the public bring their damaged or broken household items for repair/advice. Typical items include electrical goods, technology, ornaments, clothes, bicycles for basic maintenance & guidance, jewellery and more! The repair café volunteers then attempt to repair the items. The visitors are encouraged to join in and learn how their item is being fixed so that they can attempt similar repair in the future.
  • Healthy Start – If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk. If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. They’ll add your benefit onto this card every 4 weeks. You can use your card to buy: ● plain liquid cow’s milk ● fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables ● fresh, dried, and tinned pulses ● infant formula milk based on cow’s milk ● You can also use your card to collect: ● Healthy Start vitamins – these support you during pregnancy and breastfeeding ● vitamin drops for babies and young children – these are suitable from birth to 4 years old.
  • If you claim certain benefits, you may be eligible for the School Essentials Grant £125 per learner – chat to us for more information
  • Welsh Government have created this map to show places which give out free period products
  • Don’t let numbers hold you back – Multiply is a new government-funded programme, offering free numeracy courses for anyone over the age of 19, to build your confidence with numbers and gain a qualification.
  • Our Big Bocs Bwyd is a pay as you feel supermarket located on the school site. It’s a pay as you feel shop, so you just give whatever you can towards your bag of food. Have a visit, we’re open after school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – located in the shipping containers in our carpark.
  • Join Newport Saracens for free Rugby sessions for children in Year 2,3 and 4 – every Saturday at 11am at John Frost High School

St David’s Day Eisteddfods

We had a great time celebrating St David’s Day with our annual Eisteddfods on 1st March. The main Eisteddfod took part throughout the whole day and was live-streamed for parents to watch at home [You can still watch it here]. The day involved singing, musical instruments, dancing, recitations and more.

Each child represents a house and the scores for the day were as follows…

Llwyelyn 662
Caradog 1044
Glyndwr 669
Hywel Dda 598

Congratulations to Esther, whose poem about Wales was chosen as the winner in the poetry competition, making her the Eisteddfod Bard. In line with tradition she was crowned and throned on our Eisteddfod chair!

The mini Eisteddfod took place in the infant building after lunch, involving year groups from Nursery to Year 2. The choir sang absolutely brilliantly and each year group also performed a Welsh song.

World Book Day

Thanks to everyone who came in dressed up as their favourite book character for our World Book Day celebrations. Everyone looked brilliant. All classes took part in a range of book/reading-related activities throughout the day and during the afternoon, all the teachers switched classes to read to another class.

After School Clubs – Summer Term

Clubs will resume the week commencing Monday 22nd April 2024.

Your child will come home with a ‘club acceptance’ letter in the first week back after Easter if they have been allocated a space in the club they’ve requested.

Summer Club Offer 2024 – https://shorturl.at/kBGM0

Club Registration form Summer 2024 – https://shorturl.at/rtBGU

Cook With Your Kids Club Registration Form Summer 2024 – https://shorturl.at/lMQR6

Welsh Government Film Crew

During the last week of term, we had a film crew visit. They were working with the Welsh Government to film a movie about a child’s life through a school in Wales. They filmed a Reception child taking part in various activities in our school and we understand that the rest of the video they produce will enact a child’s life as the move on from Reception into high school and beyond. We’re looking forward to seeing the final edit which is due to be produced around around August. The children and parents who took part in the filming were brilliant – thank you so much!

Reading Eggs

We’ve noticed that children’s use of the Bug Club onling reading platform was reducing. In an effort to continue to encourage children to read and enjoy reading, we’ve purchased licences for children from Year 1 to Year 6 for Reading Eggs. Reading Eggs is an online platform which will support children in improving their reading skills in a fun way. Teachers will have sent out letters will more information and children’s login details. If you want further information or need any help logging in, please contact your child’s teacher after the Easter break.

Half-Term Homework (Years 1-6)

Back by popular demand… we’ve decided to run our Half-term homework competition again! Details of all the assignments are on your child’s Class Dojo! The more assignments your child completes, the more points they’ll be awarded. Each assignment can earn up to 100 points.
Anyone who completes the homework challenges will get a special certificate. We will pick a winner in each year group who will get a special prize in our Celebration Assembly!
Tutorial videos are linked to each of the tasks to show you how to complete them!
We are looking forward to seeing your work!

Comic Relief

Thank you to everyone who donated for Red Nose Day – we raised around £300, which will be sent into Comic Relief.

Safe Cycling and Momentwm

We are so grateful to the Newport Live teams who have delivered safe-cycling sessions to our year 6 pupils and also come in to repair children’s bikes free of charge! We hope this will help keep children’s bikes safe and roadworthy as well as encouraging people to cycle more.

PTA Easter Egg Hunt

Our fabulous PTA have pulled off another great event – the Easter Egg Hunt! There was real egg-citement after school during the last week of term as families hunted for Easter Egg clues around the school site. When they had collected all of the clues, they could trade in the secret word for a chocolaty Easter treat! We raised just under £300 which will go into the PTA fund. The committee decide how to use all money raised for the benefit of our children. Any parent is welcome to join the PTA. We usually meet the second Thursday in every half-term in the Infant main hall (though due to the school discos, the day will change this half-term). Childcare is provided. Just turn up and you’ll get a warm welcome! I’m so grateful to our fantastic PTA who have been working really hard to organise these events for our children.

Shift in the Trailer

We purchased a catering trailer a couple of years ago and children have loved working in there, developing their maths and literacy skills. During the period of roofing works taking place, the trailer was fenced off and we were unable to use it. Also during this time, we opened the Big Bocs Bwyd and staff have focused their efforts in keeping the Big Bocs Bwyd running smoothly. But… we don’t want to neglect the trailer as children love working in it.

For the summer term, we plan to open the trailer on a Tuesday and Thursday. If you’re willing to do a shift with your child working in the catering trailer on the junior playground, then we’d love to hear from you! Please complete this form and we’ll contact you with further information. Essentially, the parent/guardian would arrive at school for 2:45pm, get their child out of class and one of our staff would take you over the trailer to get you set up and show you what to do (it’s really easy and straightforward!) 

You’d then work in the trailer until 3:30pm, clean up and head on your way – knowing that you’d helped us to raised valuable funds for resources.

If you have more than one child, you could have all children helping you although it would not be suitable for children below Year 3 due to the hot drinks machine.

Travel Tracker

We have a great initiative running for the summer term. We’ve chosen to be part of an exciting behaviour-change initiative to encourage more children and their families to walk to school. WOW – the walk to school challenge is delivered by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, to help as many children as possible experience the benefits of walking to school.

The pupil-led challenge enables children to self-report how they get to school every day. If they travel actively (walk/wheel, cycle, scoot or Park and Stride) at least once a week for a month, they get rewarded with a badge.

Please see the letter on Dojo for more information.

PTA Discos

Our PTA have arranged after-school discos for children in Reception, Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6.

  • The Year 1&2 disco will take place straight after school on Tuesday 16th April, in the main INFANT hall.
  • The Year 5&6 disco will also take place straight after school on Tuesday 16th April, in the main JUNIOR hall.
  • The Reception disco will take place straight after school on Thursday 18th April, in the main INFANT hall.
  • The Year 3&4 disco will also take place straight after school on Thursday 18th April, in the main JUNIOR hall.

Tickets will be available on ParentPay after the Easter break for £3.50. A drink and snack will be included in the cost of the ticket as well as prizes for winners – no other money will be required. Children can bring their disco clothes to school in a bag and can change into them at the end of the day. More information will be sent out after Easter.


Back in 2015, we built a link with a school, Busiu Primary, in Uganda and staff went out to visit the school, taking letters and gifts from children at St Julian’s Primary. Since then, Mr Mansfield has taken staff to visit Busiu Primary a number of times. We’ve also created links between other Newport Schools and other Ugandan schools. We recently applied for, and were successful, in getting a grant for Mr Mansfield to lead a trip of over fifteen teachers from across Newport to visit their Ugandan link schools, in June.

Since 2015, we have done a lot to support our link school. We purchased educational equipment for them, sports equipment, musical instruments, an iPad and Projector, a printer, painted some of their classrooms and our biggest accomplishment was installing electricity in the school (very few schools in Uganda have electricity). 

You can read about our previous Uganda visits by clicking this link and then clicking the ‘Uganda’ filter at the top of the page.

More information about how we want to support our link school this year will be sent out after Easter.

Sports Day Dates

During the summer term, we host our annual sports days for every year group. Before the pandemic, we used to group year groups to host join sports days but after the pandemic, we held separate year group sports days and feedback from both parents and children felt that these were better as it meant children got to take part in more sports events than they typically would have. Of course, the challenge of doing it this way is that we need to have more dry afternoons without any rain!

Below are the provisional dates for this year’s sports days but please also understand that we may have to postpone a sports day if the forecast says rain, or if the field is too waterlogged for it to go ahead safely.

  • AM Nursery – 9:30am – 8th May
  • PM Nursery – 1:30pm – 8th May
  • Reception – 1:30pm – 24th May
  • Year 1 – 1:30pm – 14th May
  • Year 2 – 1:30pm – 3rd May
  • Year 3 – 1:30pm – 10th June
  • Year 4 – 1:30pm – 12th June
  • Year 5 – 1:30pm – 18th June
  • Year 6 – 1:30pm – 20th June

Updates from Each Year Group

Nursery Spring B Update

We have had a fabulous Spring term, where we have been learning all about Spring! We have had so many special celebrations in this half term as well, so we…

Year 5 – Spring B Update

This term we have been exploring the theme, Secrets of the Deep. We have learned so much about the fascinating world that lies beneath the surface of the water. One…

Year 6 Spring B update

Year 6 pupils have really enjoyed discovering what it was like to live in Wales during World War Two and how everyone helped in the ‘war effort’ in one way…

Reception Spring B

What a busy half term we’ve had in reception! We started the term fully immersed in our Welsh fortnight, getting ourselves prepared for our eisteddfod. We did some brilliant country…

Year 1 Spring Term B Update

We have had a fantastic half term continuing our focus on ‘Julia Donaldson’ and her fantastic books. This half term, we have been reading and using ‘The Gruffalo’, ‘Room On…

Year 2 Spring Term B Update

What a fantastic half term we have had with our theme ‘Soaring High and Diving Deep.’ We started our half term off with a ‘Discover and do’ afternoon all about…

Year 3 Spring B

It might have been a short half term but it’s been a jam-packed one! The first week back saw us embarking on a captivating journey to Raglan Castle. Nestled amidst...

Year 4 Spring B update

What a brilliant half term we have had! We have continued learning about famous explorers and their expeditions around the world in our theme, ‘Adventurers and Explorers’.  The children took…

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