Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome back to you all and a special welcome to new parents to Ben Jonson whose children are starting school with us for the first time this term. I hope you all had a good summer and that the children are ready and excited for a new year at Ben Jonson.
It has been a busy time this summer. We have been carrying out works to make the building a better place for your children.
All the Year 1 and Reception classes now open out onto the same playground and we have invested in new construction blocks for the children to explore building with. All the Reception and Year 1 classrooms have new flooring that is more suitable for the needs of younger children. These classrooms have new carpets as well. We have also invested in new resources for the Year 1 classrooms to ensure there is a better transition for children from Reception into Year 1. As all the classrooms have access to the playground all the Year 1 children will have access to learning outside as well as inside.
The Inclusion Team has a new home. We have refurbished an old classroom so that we can bring together the Inclusion Team. The room is large enough to use for meetings such as multi-agency meetings, annual reviews and Team Around the Child meetings. The Inclusion Team includes the Assistant Head teacher for Inclusion, the SEND Team, the Learning Mentor Team and the Home/School team. The Inclusion Team room can be found near the hall.
We have moved the Design and Technology (DT) specialist room to the corridor near the hall; the room has been refurbished to facilitate whole classes having DT lessons.
When you next come into the main entrance you will notice that the front entrance and inside the office has been painted.
In the main playground the old decking has been removed and the area has been turfed. The fence around the woodland are has been moved so that is just around the pond area. This will mean that children will be allowed to use this area during play time and lunch time. During the first few weeks of the term the children will explore how they can use this area with their classteacher before we the children have free use of this space at break times.
There has not been enough time to carry out the works on the outside toilets for children during the summer so these have been scheduled for the autumn half term.
School Priorities for the year
We have much planned to improve the school this year. The School Improvement Plan contains the details of all the things we are working on to further improve the school. Here are the six main areas of work for the school this year:
New Staff and new pupils
I am really pleased to say we are fully staffed for this coming year. We had very few members of staff leaving at the end of the last academic year which is good news for the school. We do have some new members of staff that I would like to introduce to you:
Matt Lockett joins us as the Year 4 teacher in Persian class. He was a student teacher at Ben Jonson last year. Prior to this he worked as a teaching assistant in school
Meredith Dougherty joins us as the new teacher in Year 1 (Torres Class). Meredith is a very experienced teacher; she has worked for many years with five and six year old children. However she is new to teaching in the UK.
Vicky Badger joins us a new teaching student in Reception (Azure Class). She will be mentored by Anna Lindsay. Prior to coming to Ben Jonson Vicky has been the Community Lead manager of Chrisp Street Children’s Centre.
Katherine Calhoun joins us as a new teaching student in Year 2 (Caribbean Class). She will be mentored by Paul Cornall. Some of you will remember Katherine last year as she worked as a teaching assistant in the school.
I know that you will join me in welcoming these new members of staff in to their new roles at Ben Jonson school.
Communication with families
This term we are launching the new Ben Jonson newsletter for families. This will be a half termly newsletter in the first instance. This newsletter will contain:
We also encourage families to regularly visit the school website as there is additional information that is of use for families. I will still send the occasional letter home.
The school website can be found at www.benjonson.towerhamlets.sch.uk. We are working on making the website more mobile-friendly as many of you want to access the website using your phone.
The relationships between members of staff, children and parents are fundamental to the success of the school. Working together we can ensure that children flourish during their time at Ben Jonson. I would like to thank you for everything you do for your children and for the school.
If you have any questions regarding our school please contact Dee Dillon, our Attendance and Family Welfare Officer.