School Newsletter

A week of sunshine, investigation and visitors.

Its been a week of discovery as the children have explored an aquarium, newt skeletons, an array of forest school activities, and some really great classroom learning as well. Our reception children kicked off the week with a visit to the Blue Reef Aquarium and the aquarium staff were amazed when one child not only stood up to address them about their knowledge, but was also able to name Angler fish, seahorses, and cite micro plastic pollution causes.

The children had a whale of a time (excuse the pun) and came home exhausted but inspired by what they learned and experienced. Huge thank you to our new early years team who organised this so well. There are some great photos at the end of the newsletter.

Then we welcomed a number of visitors into school including basketball coaches and the Northumberland Inland Fisheries and Conservation Authority from Blyth who spent time in Y1, 2 and 6. Children learned about pollution and how to protect our marine life. They got to see live lobsters and hear about how our marine life is threatened by the thoughtless things we do with our rubbish.
In our maths lessons we have been inspired by a slightly different approach increasing the use of practical resources to underpin teaching new concepts.

These practical resources are used alongside pictorial representations (pictures!) as well as abstract use of numbers and symbols. Our focus on mathematics continues to support the gaps left by 15 months of being in and out of lockdown, mirroring the national picture. We are pleased that the children have responded really well to this slightly adapted approach as we see a number of those much sought-after ‘lightbulb’ moments.


Covid Update

Like you, we are really fed up with what appears to be a new wave of Covid infections that are doing the rounds.

We have had a lot more children off throughout school and we would just ask that if your child has any of the usual symptoms such as headache, sore throat, fatigue and a cough please use a lateral flow test to discount Covid so that they can return to school.

We have a limited supply of lateral flow devices that we can use in school with your consent when symptoms occur during the day. We are campaigning to push for the government to make these available free of charge to children at school. Thankfully too the more recent nasal swab tests are a lot less intrusive.

Local Covid rates in Northumberland have risen in just one week, from 600 per 100000 to 900 per 100000. And that’s of those cases that have been registered. With admissions to hospitals rising too for those who are more vulnerable, we thank so many of you who continue to be respectful of the national guidance to self isolate when positive.

Next half term’s overarching question will be…

What Happens When We Win?

We are so excited to be able to confirm that we have booked the Phoenix Theatre for Weds 6th July for children from Y1 to Y6 to perform, and we are planning over the next few days what sort of plays. Romeo and Juliet is looking likely for Y5/6 launching on the 25th April with an actor from The Royal Shakespeare Company leading a workshop…..we’re all feeling very excited!

Paul’s Outdoor Idea:
Shapes in Nature:

This week is the official start of Spring and the weather is lovely – so again we are encouraging you to go

out and about. This time our focus is on shape in nature. Can you see shapes in nature? Shapes on trees or in leaf patterns? Can you create your own shapes? (I love this picture of a cube made out of sticks)

Challenge: Look up the Fibonacci sequence and its link to nature (for the older children and parents) The order is 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 to infinity but it shows itself in natural patterns.


Family Support Worker Amy’s Update

Attendance has taken a bit of a beating this week due to the return of Covid and sickness bugs. The children that have had to isolate have done a great job logging on to their online learning. If you do have to isolate and need a device to complete online learning then let us know. We are able to lend Chromebooks to families that need it. Well done Y6 for 98% attendance – keep up the good work.

I need your help! I’ve got a big empty display board in my office that I would like to use for attendance. I wonder if the children could create some posters, leaflets or any type of artwork about attendance or punctuality. Maybe the children have some good advice they would like to share. If anyone has anything they would like to share with me and are happy for me to display then come and see me during the week. I’m excited to see the creations!


Achievement Awards

Kindness champion – James Dunning    Swimmer of the week – Kevin Kilpatrick

Gold celebrations – Y2 – Caileigh Rutherford and Lily Geddes, Y4 – Ryan Wells and Maddison Fyfe, Y5 – Eeva Tudor, Y6 – Aaron Hall, Jayden Thirlwell, Zack Thompson, Ashveer Singh, Charlotte Murray and Miles Straker


Dates for your Diary


School Newsletter

Comic Relief Dressing Up goes down a treat!

Y6 pupils have done a great job of practising for their SATs tests this week, which kicked off with bacon butty breakfasts back in the hall. What a way to start the morning – sitting with friends and munching on a treat!

Wednesday saw the busiest session with nearly the whole of the Y6 class enjoying time together.
Many families have switched incredibly smoothly into remote learning as have staff. Huge thank you to everyone for keeping up with sessions from home – both staff and children! It really helps the children to swiftly evolve back into school on their return – a week away misses a lot of learning so any contact with the class helps minimise so called ‘lost learning’!

Covid Update

It’s back!
We have had a number of Covid infections again throughout school after only one or two children developed it. Symptoms with some have included diarrhoea, night time coughing, sore throats and headaches. Please be vigilant.

We are very frustrated having to send children home, but are obliged to minimise the transmission of the virus in line with current government guidance. If your child has any of the symptoms listed above please test with a lateral flow test kit. We have plenty at school if you need them.
If you send your child to school and know they are unwell you will only be asked to collect them, so a quick test at home saves a lot of disruption all round.

Huge thanks to all families who work so closely with us and follow the rules well – it really is much appreciated. Prompt collections are really appreciated as the provision of 1:1 cover for children awaiting collection takes valuable learning time away from children in school.

We continue to monitor school systems carefully, but in line with government guidance we have prioritised education and so do not have plans yet to change class grouping arrangements, or lunch times which take place to regularise the afternoon session. start times.


Just a normal day…?

It’s been delightful to have visited every class this week as part of our usual performance management visits – and the quality of input the children are receiving is phenomenal. Children are so engaged with topics and themes, such as Captain Green and the plastic scene, Greta Thunberg

‘She’s my neighbour you know!’ in Y5 and Y2, and topics like Rama and Sita in Hinduism in Y4. We are now benefiting closely from specialist input from our academic mentor for mathematics with a ratio of three adults per maths lesson for three of our classes which are seeing accelerated progress – lovely to see.
Underpinning everything is our ambition for all children at CVPS to be happy – they will only thrive in their learning when that’s the case and it’s incredibly reassuring to see happy children in every class.

Yes, not all the time – sometimes some children prefer to do their own thing rather than what the teacher’s asked them to do – but children’s understanding of why they’re asked to do things is really strong. It was particularly inspiring to see Y2 children’s understanding of Greta Thunberg, climate change and how we have freedom of speech to be able to influence big things. Every session gives something to be proud of, and it’s a privilege to be a fly on the wall to see this.

I loved the EYFS children’s knowledge of why it’s dark at the bottom of the sea. Because if the dark was at the top of the sea you wouldn’t see where to go! Creating some of these deep level thinking skills really gives the children strong ownership of their learning and helps their voyage of discovery.


Update on last week’s World Book Day fundraiser

Zambia fundraising for books has raised an amazing £78 – thank you so much to everyone who donated on ParentPay – it’s not too late if you want to add something on! The Y5 class will be speaking to the children at the Linda Community School at the end of this month about the books they read and a bit about climate change.


Dr Bike returns…

Dr Bike has set April 7th as the next visit day when he’ll come along to school to support a review of those bikes he didn’t manage to see last time. If your bike wasn’t seen last time please bring them along to the front of school that morning.


Paul’s Outdoor Idea

Thanks so much for the journey sticks – they were great and it was a treat to see some of them brought in on forest school days!

This week we are going to look at two areas of the calendar:
17th March (Thursday) was St. Patrick’s Day but also the ‘equilux’ which means equal light and dark – so going forward until the Autumn we will get more light than dark in a day – which is perfect for getting out and about more.

The other date is Monday 21st March – National Poetry Day.

This week’s task is to celebrate the longer light, poetry day and to get out and about with your family. Enjoying the outdoors and then writing a poem about what you see.
Here are some nice examples (could you decorate it?)

Spring (Author unknown)

Open the windows and open the door
And let the fresh breezes blow in, blow in
Jack Frost has gone to his home in the north
And all of a sudden it’s Spring!

Spring (Author unknown)

I love Spring
Spring is new
It’s new blades of grass
It’s rain on glass
It’s violets and rain
It’s a wood scented lane
It’s a new bird song
It’s days growing long
It’s a tree in bud and puddles of mud
It’s birds in a tree and a buzz from a bee
It’s kites in the sky
It’s Spring. That’s why.
I love Spring.


Family Support Worker Amy’s Update

Woohoo! 100% attendance in Y6 this week. It has been a super important week for Y6 with SATs practice going on, so I am really pleased to see 100% attendance. It shows great dedication to your learning! A tough week for Y5 with attendance, but NO lates! Well done!

Lates are quite high in Reception. Alice, Rachael, Sue and Ashleigh are ready to welcome in the little ones from 8.20am so that learning can begin at 8.30am. We are half way through this half term now – only 3 weeks to go! Three weeks left until our next attendance awards. Keep up the good work!

Kindness champion – Carter Merrett

Swimmer of the week – Reece Hopkinson

Gold celebrations – YR – Heidi Ord and Eliza Lister, Y4 – Mohammad Al Haj Moussa, Matteo Trevisan, Maddison Fyfe, Megan Finlay, Maddy Dickinson, Daisy Bushby and Ava Skidmore


Achievement Awards


Dates for your Diary

School Newsletter

We’re back to school with a bang!

Welcome Back!

It’s been great to see the children settle back into school so well. We have enjoyed a number of great things this week with Y3 hosting Kielder Observatory team to discuss rocks, and our World Book Day book swap, as well as being back in the hall for lunches in key stage sittings rather than staggered. We are continuing with the same key question, ‘Is there time to save the world?’ linking with our investigation about climate change, sustainability and pollution.

The staff teams moderated writing and talked about their children’s writing achievements and we are hoping to get a date in the diary for the much missed ‘book look’ for families that have not taken place since the start of the pandemic. I am really proud of the children’s writing and how it has come on since the start of the year and I know that you will love coming in to see their books again. Y3 and Y4 feature heavily in the photos this week including one from Joshua Mitchell’s martial arts expertise which was shared from home. Please share any photos of clubs or special achievements the children have outside of school so we can share in the celebrations! We loved Allison’s photo with her family visit to the Discovery Museum – she was so excited that the museum is still exhibiting the Y4 fairground creations from last summer’s learning!

It’s been especially great to welcome Sarah Koratzitis this week back to CVPS as a Vice Principal leading English. The children and staff team have been delighted to have her back and the additional support for the whole team, including myself has brought some much needed capacity back into school.

Parent Survey

A huge thank you to the families who responded to the online parent survey which has now closed. There have been some lovely comments and feedback and we have analysed these and actioned some of the really constructive comments. It is encouraging and reassuring to hear that 88% of respondents would recommend CVPS to other

parents and that 80% of children feel happy to come to school. We have already contacted most of the small number of families who chose to use the survey to indicate any issues which has allowed us to have conversations about their circumstances. Please don’t hesitate to speak to your child’s teacher if you have any concerns, and if you feel things haven’t improved you can speak to a senior leader in school. I am happy to discuss any issues with parents individually if things have not resolved. I would like to reassure everyone that our school aim is that all children thrive so if your child is not thriving in your opinion, we want to know so we can work in partnership to move things forward. The hard and fast results are included on the newsletter email as an attachment. Some of the useful comments included ideas about more after school clubs, more opportunities for music tuition (this was tried a few years ago but did not have the uptake to be viable) and more information about the curriculum the children cover in school.

Please try and use the school website to ensure that you are up to date with the curriculum as our planning is uploaded every term.


COVID Update

We all know that on Feb 24th the legal requirements for isolating and testing became advisory.

However as a government funded school this means that we are still required to follow the same expectations as we did previously. The only real difference AT THE MOMENT is that isolating if you test positive is no longer legally enforceable. However at school there has been an expectation in guidance documents that we continue to expect children with Covid symptoms and positive test results to isolate. With rates still high in the community we are continuing with this.

We hope this will be reviewed when Lateral Flow Tests are no longer free of charge, but for now we will continue with the same notification and isolation expectations as is on our previous risk assessments.

School Covid Restrictions

We have been very conscious in school that our children have sacrificed an awful lot in terms of learning and socialisation as a result of our Covid restrictions. We are no longer operating under our contingency framework but have started to sensibly relax some of the previous restrictions. Lunch times in the hall as a whole key stage have been very welcome this week!



We need your help!

If you have green fingers our greenhouse needs you! We are looking for a gardening volunteer to help plant it up with some help from the children in the gardening team (plants, tools and soil are all available). If you have a few hours a week that you can spare to come to school around lunchtimes when the children are free – it would be great to hear from you. Let the staff know or drop an email into as soon as you can…spring is just around the corner.


Covid consistencies….?

Some of the more constructive comments on our parent survey related to the face to face access given to teachers and called out perceptions of inconsistencies during lockdowns and the recent easing of restrictions. I’m keen to put the record straight with this so there is clarity with all of us about the rationale we applied.

At all times we have worked within the parameters of our carefully considered and consulted Covid risk assessments. There have been occasions when we have tried to welcome parents back in to school, for example for the Christmas dinner and to the church at Christmas – to create some sense of school community. During these occasions contact between adults and school staff was kept to a minimum, and we tried really hard to ensure that any prolonged time spent by staff with other adults was minimised. Many staff have done this at home too, isolating themselves from Covid cases in their family home to be able to continue to attend school (when it was permitted) making significant sacrifices. I feel it’s important to set the record straight about this publicly in the newsletter.

We have tried throughout Covid at every stage to ensure that we minimise disruption to the children and transmission in the school and wider community by protecting staff attendance at school as much as possible. I am exceptionally proud that on the whole our staff attendance rates have been outstanding throughout the pandemic due to the success of our approach and the commitment and dedication of the team. A huge thank you to those families who recognised this in their comments, with 85% of respondents in the survey stating we dealt well with Covid. We really appreciated the many families who have supported and respected the school’s communication and decisions about this. It has not been easy for any of us.


Weds 9th March Parent Consultations

By now you will have received the link for the online parent consultations which will take place next week on Weds 9th March. Parents asked for a slightly longer time slot which we have been able to facilitate. Please be on time for your slot as it automatically cuts off at the end of the time slot allocated.


Paul’s Outdoor Idea

Thank you (Gratitude) Tree

It is excellent to see the sun shining and the feel of Spring in the air, a lot of children have spoken to me about the signs of Spring.

This week’s idea is to combine the outside with a nice craft. I have been grateful for lots of things this week: friends, family, colleagues, the Spring and lots of other things. To celebrate, this

week’s activity is a ‘Thank you’ or Gratitude tree.


Basic instructions

First, go for a nature walk to find the perfect tree branch that has multiple limbs. Next, make and decorate different colour leaves to adorn the branch with messages about thankfulness. Once the leaves are attached, place the branch in a vase or jar.

It would make a beautiful gift for someone you are thankful for.

More detailed instructions

  1. 1. Go on a nature walk to find a special tree You want to make sure that the branch is fairly large and has multiple limbs.
  2. 2. Bring the branch inside and set it on your
  3. 3. Brainstorm some things that you are thankful for in your family (e.g. food, water, shelter, love, family, friends, your dog, )
  4. 4. (Optional) Paint the tree branch.
  5. 5. Draw leaves, make the leaves fairly big, about two leaves per page. Cut out the leaves, aiming for about 10 finished leaves.
  6. 6. Use a hole puncher to create a hole at the top of each leaf.
  7. 7. Write down the things you are grateful for on the leaves.
  8. 8. Put string or wool through the holes of each leaf and tie the leaves to the branch.
  9. Don’t forget to share photos of your tree on the class Facebook pages!


Family Support Worker Amy’s Update

Great first week back at school! Remember, to be an Attendance Hero at the end of this half term you must be Here, Everyday, Ready, On time. We will be holding our attendance awards at the end of the Spring term again. Last time, our hero’s got to wear a special attendance hero mask. I have already started to think about what special item the children will receive this time!

It is amazing to see 3 classes with 99% this week! I am sure we could see at least one class with 100% next week. Well done to Year 5 and Year 6 for significantly lower lates our first week back. Remember, the gates close at 8.30am. After this time children will need to go through the office and will be marked as late on the register.


Achievement Awards

Kindness champions

Ayman Alwendi, Jaxon Gunnell, Caileigh Rutherford, Avraj Singh and Anabelle Lister

Swimmer of the week – AJ Jefferson


Gold celebrations

Y1 – Jaxon Gunnell (twice), Alexis Simm, Freya Brady, Matilda Charlton, Abbie Griffiths and Nadia Al Haj Moussa, Y2 – Lily Morgan-Derby, Y3 – Elliot Page, Y4 – Ryan Wells, Brian Campbell, Jessica Gorton, Aysha Kaur, Megan Finlay, Masie Morrison, Delilah Piriz and Daisy Bushby


Dates for your Diary


School Newsletter

A mixture of emotions in this last week before half term.

It’s been a rather busy half term and we are now (both staff and children) all ready for a break from school. The children worked really hard throughout term and all now know a lot more about whether there is time to save the world! We will continue to learn more about this important topic next half term when Sarah Koratzitis will rejoin our team. From Monday the 28th February Sarah will become our English coordinator as Vice Principal for the Quality of Education, and she will spend time across all classes in the mornings.


Final Farewells to Lyla

Monday this week was a sad day in school as we shared a celebration of everything Lyla Ives meant to so many people at her funeral. The horse and carriage carrying her coffin brought Lyla past the front of school for one last time. The children from Y4 and Y5 and staff from throughout school, came to the front of the school to pay their last respects. We appreciated the kind words from parents who joined us on Bowmont Drive about the respectful way that children conducted themselves. They were silent when Lyla came past – entirely unprompted and without being asked. Kind words were written on notes, flowers and other tributes that were left on the bench at the front of schoolwhich have been taken away for Lyla’s family. The flowers are being taken to Lyla’s final resting place in Mayfield cemetery. We will always remember the special little girl that Lyla was, and we will work with Lyla’s family over coming weeks to create a special memory garden in the school grounds. Huge thank you to everyone for sharing their condolences, and for the kindest words of encouragement given to myself, Melissa and Michael who spoke at the funeral. It was an honour and a privilege despite being incredibly difficult. But Lyla deserved a fantastic send off and we believe that’s what she had. The church was awash with blazing yellow as everyone wore an item of clothing in Lyla’s favourite colour. Memories of Lyla will always burn as bright for us too.


COVID Update

Following the recent changes and de-escalation of Covid restrictions nationally, we have reviewed some of the in school restrictions returning to the following practices in school that the children tell us they have missed:

  • • Lunchtimes no longer staggered in the hall – reverting to two sittings
  • • Opportunities for children to play with other classes at playtimes
  • • Re introducing the re-grouping of children in class so teaching can target groups fluidly and adapt to meet children’s learning needs.
  • • Whole school assemblies to take place in the hall again.
  • • Reception children to start school at the same time as the rest of school so they can be dropped into school into the classrooms from 8.20 to 8.30am. Gates will close at 8.30am in line with the rest of school.

From next half term we will no longer expect families to wear masks when they drop the children off, unless they come into the school building.


Covid review

In line with government guidance we continue with our Covid Contingency Plan which allows us to respond promptly to any potential Covid outbreaks. This means that while isolation guidance remains the same, we retain the option to review our systems and implement any necessary restrictions as and when required. We are crossing our fingers and toes hoping this won’t be the case! With local rates reducing nicely, and symptoms for those infected being very mild now – we are hopeful that we can be cautiously optimistic about next half term.


Oracy speeches in Y6 this week and so much more.

It was Y6’s turn this week to deliver their speeches about climate change. Inspired by Greta Thunberg the Y6 children stood at their podiums and stated their case for change. The energy, enthusiasm and expertise they used when they spoke was phenomenal – well done Y6! While it was great to hear from those who showed an aptitude for public speaking it was also a delight to see those who were not looking forward to the task, play their part too.

Both Y5 and Y6 are hoping to lead a local debate that we are coordinating with other local schools in April next half term!

Our new playground leaders have made an excellent start to their new roles. And school council continues to be active having created and responded to a pupil science questionnaire that has been used this week. I’ll ask them to share the results on our next newsletter.


‘Catch up’ progress

The mid year pupil progress reviews have taken place this week and my meetings with every teacher showed once again how well our teachers know the children – not only academically but socially and emotionally too. I’m so proud of the focused teaching, and loving care that each child experiences from the teaching teams at CVPS. Every individual child’s progress and attainment is discussed and reviewed and I chat with teachers about what the current teaching is and how we can continue to inspire the children to make positive progress in their learning. It’s really important to us all that we can support any individual children’s interests, excitements, anxieties or home issues and we value families communicating with us when there are any issues. Many professional visitors to school regularly comment on how well the staff really know and genuinely care about the children. We take this for granted in some ways but such an embedded culture of care has been hard earned over the years and recognised especially by parents of children new to CVPS. Only this week once again a new family commented on how positive their experience has been at CVPS, reflecting how distinctively different our care and support for CVPS children is. We hope you take the opportunity to let us know when this has been your experience on the school survey – and also if that’s not your experience too so we can address any potential issues!

Parent survey reminder…please take a few minutes to share your experiences for your child at CVPS on the link


Paul’s Outdoor Ideas

This week there are a few ideas for over the half term – but let’s use the time to get outside and breathe the fresh air.

February 14h (Valentines Day): Look outside for inspiration for the joy of friendship and family. Make collages, cards and pictures with a heart or just something that you ‘love’ to do. Most importantly get outside and feel the fresh air.

Look for signs of spring: While outside – challenge yourself to find as many signs of spring as possible. From new leaves and buds, bulbs that are coming up. Is there a new bird song or signs of animal activity?

North Tyneside Art Trail – During the holidays I will be off to see all 20 of the Morph characters. They are spread all around the North Tyneside area. A nice reason to get outside and see how many you can find.


Family Support Worker Amy’s Update

It is fantastic to be able to give out our attendance awards for this half-term. We have our Attendance Heroes who have 100% attendance and no lates for this whole half-term, which is phenomenal! We have also celebrated out children who have received 97% attendance or above. I know we have been unfortunate with COVID isolations this year, but we should be seeing a lot less of this in the next half-term. So those children that haven’t achieved Attendance Hero status yet will still get the opportunity to get there. I will be starting my Hero workshops the first week back so that we can make a plan to work towards achieving Hero status. Remember, you can only get to HERO status if you are Here, Everyday, Ready, On time.

Well done to Year 2 this week – 100% attendance and NO lates! Year 5 have also had an amazing week with 98% and only 2 lates. Year 3 definitely have some competition now, I’m sure Mr Watson will be pushing to get back onto that gold trophy! I can’t wait to see you all in school on the 28th February ready to start school at 8.30am. Enjoy the holidays!

We are delighted to welcome Dr Bike into school on Thursday the 10th March. You will receive a letter about this after half term – but Dr Bike will fix anyone who brings their bike into school, and give your bikes a really good MOT!


Achievement Awards

Kindness champions – Maxwel Wren, Heidi Ord, Jaxon Gunnell, Lockie O’Brien, Amelia Nicholson, Zara Wallace and Ellah Parker

Swimmer of the week – Miah Taylor

Gold celebrations

YR – Ayman Alwendi, Mia Younger, Noah Brown and Polly Ross, Y1 – Joseph Shipley, Ralph Shipley, Francesca Duffy, Millie Mitchinson, Sofia Atzeni, Safiya Kodirova and Jaxon Gunnell, Y2 – Annabelle Lister and Lockie O’Brien


Dates for your Diary


School Newsletter

Assessment week shows fantastic efforts all round!

Assessment week and other learning news

The children have excelled this week at sheer hard work as our assessments took place in classes from Y1 to Y5. We look forward to sharing the results with you at the March parent consultations. Well done one and all for the effort and commitment you have all shown to your learning this week.

Alongside this there has been lots of learning continuing – with Y6 reviewing puberty and the lungs (not at the same time!). We were in for a real treat from Y5 who took to the hall to present their projects about climate change to another class. This showed some excellent presentation skills. I loved their ideas for audience participation as they adopted some of the teaching strategies we use regularly in school. Well done Y5 for some excellent oracy work – we’re proud of you!

And around the rest of school there have been fossils created in Y3, crafting in early years, and Y4 have been reviewing pollution. The highlight of the week was definitely the special lunch Chef Lynn made for us on Tuesday – for the Chinese, or Lunar New Year as it’s now known.

COVID Update

Our risk assessment is now under review ready for the new half term. We intend to review lunchtimes, the use of the hall, outdoor playtime restrictions and arrival and departure arrangements. With Covid rates reducing we are hopeful that we can ease some of the current limitations. We were so excited this week that on one day there were only two children absent with Covid and no staff! We hope this continues.

Kindness Awards for volunteers!

A huge thank you to the volunteers who ably care for our pig and chickens at the weekend. This weekend we were once again visited by stormy, gale force winds and Kara Page and Jo Ross took extra care and attention to get things in place. We couldn’t believe you were on the rota again – as you managed to be on when Storm Arwen visited in November as well. Thank you so much for caring for our animals and helping to repair the mess left from the storm.



Our assemblies so far this half term have been taking place remotely as you can see from the photo in the middle. Now that we have far less Covid in our school community we are returning to the school hall for assemblies. The nature of coming together as a school community is a really big part of CVPS life and so we are looking forward to this. We do continue to maintain good airflow in the hall and we seat classes well apart from one another.

Attendance Policy

Our regular review of the school attendance policy has taken place and a copy has been sent out to families with this newsletter and will be posted onto the school website. Amy and the team are doing a great job of overseeing attendance and offering support when it’s needed. Please let Amy know if you would like a hand to support your child’s routines in the mornings – children often take reminders more readily from those who aren’t their parents and we want to celebrate the positive messages about the many successful attendees we have in school! We are looking forward to more opportunities for celebrating regular attendance and punctuality throughout the year so that great attendees don’t miss out as a result of necessary appointments for example.

Playground Leaders

This week we have appointed some playground leaders in each class to promote fun and active games at playtimes. The leaders will work together to organise playground games and activities for children in their class to participate in and encourage inclusion. They will also ensure all equipment is looked after and distributed / collected at playtimes. Staff will support leaders with their developing skills such as communication, fair play, organising groups / teams and the STEP principle (Space, Task, Equipment, People) We are excited to launch this initiative from Year 2 up to Year 6.

Our playground leaders are:
Year 2 – Henry Taylor, Anabelle Lister and Max Morrison
Year 3 – Lily Norman, Joshua Mitchell and Avraj Singh
Year 4 – Eden Makavu, Ryan Wells, Maddison Fyfe and Amelia Nicholson
Year 5 – Lucy Manson, Zara Wallace and Max Pearson
Year 6 – Fearne Piriz and Katie Russell


Paul’s Outdoor Idea

Last Wednesday we had the date 2.2.22 which mathematically is a palindromic number. The next won’t be until ……… well actually 22.2.22 is just around the corner!

This week I would like you to get out and about and spot pairs of things. Two pine cones, two birds, two hills, two squirrels or anything in pairs. Alternatively, you could make the number 2 out of leaves or twigs or anything natural you like.

Family Support Worker Amy’s Update

Are you an attendance HERO?

At CVPS, we love to celebrate the children that are Here, Everyday, Ready and On Time. We only have one more week at school before the half term holidays. So make sure you are here, everyday and ready on time to be celebrated during our achievement assembly. We would also like to support children to work towards their Attendance Hero status. I will be running Attendance Hero sessions for children to help encourage amazing attendance and perfect punctuality.

Since Year 3 have been doing an outstanding job with their attendance and punctuality this half term, I  asked Lily and James to share some of their top tips with me. Lily said that she has an early alarm to get  her up, she gets dressed straight away and has her breakfast. She has a super good routine that means she even has time to practise her times tables before school! James said he has a good routine too. He has an  alarm at 7.15 am that plays one of his favourite songs. He shared that having a song he likes as his alarm  makes it seem much easier to get up. Great tip!

Lyla’s funeral Monday the 7th February at 10am

We would like to offer the opportunity for our school community to bring in some flowers, a card or small teddy tributes to the bench at the front of school when they arrive on Monday morning. These will be taken to Lyla’s final resting place in the coming days and we will take a photograph of it for Lyla’s family. Lyla will come past the school gates around 10am on Monday morning and we will be there as a school team alongside the children in Y4 and Y5. Melissa Costello, Michael Mullaghan and myself will attend the funeral to represent the school and share some of our memories of this special little girl who we all miss so much. We have a bereavement counsellor on site to support the teaching teams across school on Monday but to be particularly on hand for those children in Y4 and Y5 who will undoubtedly feel emotional. We talked about the many different ways people grieve and how it’s fine to get on with things as normal and equally fine to be upset. We are expecting this to be a difficult day for the staff and children across Y3 to Y6 and we will be adapting our teaching input to accommodate appropriate activities in these classes. Please let us know if you feel your child may need extra support.

Achievement Awards

Kindness champions – Tilly Merrett, Freya Brady, Millie Mitchinson,
Oakley Taylor, Masie Morrison, Antonio Atzeni and Kevin Kilpatrick
AND the Ross and Page families
Swimmer of the week – Emily Taws-Bertram
Gold celebrationsYR – Amie Kaur, Y1 – Nadia Al Haj Moussa


Dates for your Diary


School Newsletter

Learning at CVPS the fun way!

We have been so impressed by the exciting things taking place around school this week with pilates in early years and Y1 and some amazingly creative artwork in Y4 when learning about the Kapok Tree and in Y2 using recycled materials. It was a coincidence that the first heart transplant used a genetically modified pig’s heart this week, while Y6 dissected pigs’ hearts as part of their science topic. While some of our older classes remain slightly subdued compared to normal after last week’s sad news, the children have been throwing themselves into what’s been offered, with staff ensuring there is the full offer available. I’m very proud of them all, and of the staff for offering such great opportunities.

As part of our usual monitoring programme, this week and next I’m spending time visiting classes first hand to see what’s been going on, reviewing children’s learning and engagement. It’s always a privilege to see the fantastic care and education on offer and lovely to see the positive relationships throughout school between the staff and children.

Please don’t hesitate to ask to speak to your child’s class teacher if there is anything that causes you concern particularly while we continue to grieve as a school. Your children’s wellbeing is important to us, and we are passionate about getting it right for every child. I wish families could join me in my unannounced visits to see the fantastic things happening in classrooms, as I know some children might not remember to let you all know!

COVID Update

A huge thank you to all families who are testing using the lateral flow tests. This has been really helpful to stem the spread of Covid this past week. We are pleased to hear that the isolation period reduces next week. The office team will keep you updated with the latest legislation to update you when your child can return to school and we have been coordinating transport and one to one escorts to school for children who test negative when a family member is positive. Please keep us updated. Lateral flow test kits are readily available for those who need it at local pharmacies and can be ordered online to be sent to you too.

We are aware that rates of Covid in the community continue to soar and we would advise all families to take part in regular lateral flow tests as the current variant has relatively light symptoms and is often asymptomatic. Our Y1 class currently has an outbreak so please be watchful.


Paul’s Outdoor Idea

This week’s idea links to the RSPB Big Garden Watch between 28th and 30th January (more information can be found here )

Over the next few weeks in Year 1 we will be repurposing some plastic bottles and other material to make bird feeders. I thought would be a nice activity for us all to take part in across School. There are a few options for you, but here is a basic one from a bottle.

You will need a plastic bottle, clean milk bottles and yoghurt pots, wire and string, bird seed and scissors.


Step by step guide:

1. Cut a hole in the side of the bottle large enough to allow a free flow of seeds, but in such a way that it won’t all fall out on the ground in the slightest puff of wind and won’t get wet if it rains.
2. Make a few small holes in the bottom of your feeder to allow any rainwater to drain away.
3. Hang it with wire, or even strong string from a tree or your washing line.
4. If your feeder stats to wear out or the food goes mouldy, recycle it and make another one!


Achievement Awards

Kindness champion – Luke Russell
Swimmer of the week – Jacob Roper
Gold celebration – Lacey Fyfe


Dates for your Diary

School Newsletter

The Saddest Day

We restarted the term with some lovely things happening during the week at school, and I have shared lots of photos here below and on the class facebook pages. There’s been great joy shared from the children as they came together again after the festive break. KS1 visited the beach and the Aquarium and Y5/6 welcomed OASES (Outdoor And Sustainability Education Specialists). This team inspired the children about how to save the world by being kinder to our natural environment. And early years children now know about ‘Sprout’s Celebration’ as they learn how to recycle.

However a shock wave went through school at the end of the week as we learned on Thursday about the untimely and sudden death of our lovely Y4 pupil Lyla Ives. As I shared in my letter on Thursday, Lyla was kind, compassionate, considerate and popular in the local community as she played out with friends across lots of year groups. She was happy go lucky, always liked to do the right thing and she has left an indelible print on our hearts.

At CVPS we feel the school is an extended family to us all and we are so devastated to lose one of our own – we ask that families let us know if their child needs additional bereavement support over and above what is offered particularly for those children in Y4. The Y4 class will be supported and monitored closely in terms of their social and emotional needs over coming weeks and Gemma as our Thrive Coordinator will visit regularly and stay in close contact with staff.

We plan to make sure that the children continue to receive as much normality as possible, and at the right time we will talk to Lyla’s family and ask our children to plan some ideas of how we can best remember this special little girl who we will miss so much.

We have collated a batch of useful website links here where you can find out more about how to support your child at home with the most difficult conversations about the loss of a close friend or loved one.

COVID Update

New Isolation rules

Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR
test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason. Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of selfisolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours
apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion.

If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education or childcare setting from day 7.


Padlet: Managing Bereavements and Loss in Northumberland Schools (
Winston’s Wish: Winston’s Wish – giving hope to grieving children
Anna Freud: Dealing with loss and bereavement | Grief and Loss guide for young
people | Anna Freud Centre
Cruz Bereavement: Supporting children and young people – Cruse Bereavement

Paul’s Outdoor Idea

Happy New Year to you all. This week’s activity involves our senses and looking around our environment. On your travels, to and from school this week, I would love you to record what you can see, hear, smell, touch and taste (be careful with taste!)

Examples, tree, leaves, sun, apples

As always we would love to see your efforts on Facebook or feel free to bring into school too
– thank you.


Achievement Awards

Kindness champion – Ryan Wells (Y4)
Gold celebration: Anabelle Lister


Dates for your Diary

School Newsletter

Merry Christmas!

As a school we were delighted to come together once again this Christmas for our traditional Carol Service at St Nicholas Church. The children sang their hearts out whether it was about Rudolph, Jingle Bells or Silent Night.

Tuned instruments are really difficult to play but the children were amazing – with their trumpets in Y4, recorders in Y5, ukuleles in Y6 and keyboards in Y3. Each of these instruments presents its own challenges, we were so grateful that the children entered into it with such enthusiasm, despite some of their nerves.

Thank you so much for your support, especially with regard to the Covid controls, we all look forward to a time when things are in a better place but were proud of the school community and grateful to the church for hosting us!

COVID Update

We enjoyed a wonderful time at St Nicholas Church this week with traditional carols as well as seeing and hearing a bit of what the children have learned this term.

Thank you so much for the support and patience shown – as we were able to implement all the Covid guidelines linked to our risk assessment. We have worked closely with the local Health Protection Team throughout the pandemic and they praised the thorough manner in which we had implemented control measures at this event – similar to previous feedback from them.

While we’re sad as a staff team that we couldn’t have the whole school together, we were so pleased that we were able to visit the church and offer it as an opportunity for our children.

We have reviewed the risk assessment for January 2022 and we are watchful of the national and local position. Messages are clear that challenges will continue next year. The CVPS team will meet those challenges with sensible common sense responses that balance the need for our children to have regularity and high quality learning experiences alongside a responsible attitude that protects those in school and the wider community.


We partied on down…

Children’s parties in school saw an array of different games, special lunchtime ‘party’ food and lots of Christmas jumpers from those who wanted to wear them!

The yelps of excitement as they disco danced were great to hear – and once again – we separated the hall so that classes weren’t mixing! The school funds always support Santa to be able to gift something special – and individual or class presents are chosen by staff.

This year class hamsters – went to two of the classes! We’re hoping they are same sex hamsters!

Panto extravaganza

The children’s faces were a picture of joy – when they visited the Theatre Royal in Newcastle this week for the Snow White Pantomime. They were so excited (and tired) when they returned but had a brilliant time!

‘Is there time to save the world in 2022?’

We’re delighted to be able to let you know that our theme/topic next term throughout school is led by the overarching question, “Is there time to Save the World?’ The children have shared a lot of interest about the recent COP26 and their deep connection with nature as part of our forest school delivery means they are all very passionate about climate change and what they can do to impact on it. We’re excited about our learning plan for next half term, that involves the following:

EYFS What is pollution and recycling? What happens at home and who is ‘Recycle Michael’ before moving onto pollution in the seas.

Y1/2 Is there time to save our seas? A focus on the effects of pollution in our local sea life with a visit to the Aquarium at Tynemouth, key stories: Captain Green and the Plastic Scene and Alba the Hundred Year Old Fish.

Y3/4 are embarking on the nationally recognised Eco Award and pollution and climate change in Cramlington as a focus with a visit to the Local Wetlands and the Cramlington Nature Reserve.

Y5/6 are looking at natural disasters and the global impact of pollution and climate change – finishing with an inter-school debate about it in April at the end of the term.

Christmas wishes…

2022 will be a new start to a new year and we look forward to continuing the CVPS learning journey with you as our family partners. I wish you all a peaceful and safe festive break and look forward to hearing the children’s holiday news when we return to school on Tuesday the 4th January at 8.30am.

Happy Christmas everyone!


Paul’s outdoor idea

With Christmas around the corner it is important to make sure that you still get yourself outside and enjoy the benefits of the outdoors. Over the holidays we would love to see you out and about enjoying yourselves. Inspired by the Wildlife Trust’s 12 days wild you could:

1. Watch the sunrise and / or sunset
2. Take your breakfast and sit outside to eat
3. Hug a tree – it is amazing the benefits of connecting with nature
4. Read an outdoor book, poem or magazine
5. Sign up to #12dayswild – have a go at some of the more exciting activities


Achievement Awards

Gold celebration children: Y5 – Jessica Dack

Kindness champions – Theia Black and Jake Younger


Dates for your Diary


School Newsletter

More music for Y5/6, in Edinburgh this time!

After 18 months of restrictions we have missed the usual inspiration from the engaging learning expeditions we have enjoyed previously. So it was with great excitement that we took the Y5/Y6 children away to Edinburgh. We visited the National Museum (‘This is incredible!’) followed by a theatre visit to see a live performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite by the Scottish National Ballet. ‘Magical, phenomenal
and spectacular!’ were the words the children used to describe the full sensory experience it offered. To be able to see and hear a live orchestra is a fantastic experience with the different dynamics of sound – the crescendo of music impacted on us all and the crash of the cymbals just before the glitter confetti was released gave everyone a fright that they’ll remember forever! Combining orchestral music with the beauty of the story, the costumes and the skill and strength of both male and female ballet dancers all contributed to the children (and adults) being mesmerised.

Around the rest of school Christmas has definitely started – with classes learning about the Christmas  story, creating Christmas wreaths in forest school and continuing their singing practice for our forthcoming carol service.

COVID Update

Changes to reception start and finish times

As mentioned last week we really appreciate the reception class joining our whole school assemblies by starting earlier at the usual non-Covid school times. Please wait at the gate outside school until 8.30 am when the reception doors open. They will close at 8.40am promptly to start the school day.

We are continuing with the plan for our Carol Services on 14th December with control measures already incorporated as part of our usual risk assessments. 

Reception class, Y1 and Y2 will welcome families from 1.15pm at St Nicholas Church.

For those families with siblings who stay for the KS2 service, the younger siblings will sit with school staff until the end to allow families the opportunity to give the older siblings their full attention!
KS2 parents will be invited in from 2.15pm for the 2.30 starting time.

Please remember, only one family member per family per service. Unfortunately due to Covid control  measures we cannot accommodate siblings under school age on this occasion.

Early Reading audit

We were delighted to welcome in a team of reading experts from the Regional English Hub who were
able to affirm our early reading and phonics teaching, giving us a few additional pointers to refine it even further. Nationally there has been a huge move towards strengthening a love of reading, focusing predominantly on allocating books that all children can read. This means that developing ‘fluency’ of reading text in books is valued to give children a real sense of achievement as well as understanding. For this reason the national approach is to read and re-read the same text so children understand the story inside out and are successful in reading it. Please let your class teacher know if you need additional ideas to be able to support this approach at home.


Family Christmas lunches

Mon 6th Dec 11.30-12.30 Nursery, Reception
Tues 7th Dec 11.30 – 12.30 Y3 and Y4
Weds 8th Dec 11.30 – 12.30 Y1 and Y2
Thurs 9th Dec 11.45 – 12.45 Y5 and Y6

We’re really excited to be able to welcome families into school for the highly popular Family Christmas Lunches next week. Please arrive at school at 11.30am in time for your lunch so we can seat you all and start the festive fun. If you can save any embarrassment by paying in advance on Parent Pay this will ensure the school office let you past into the hall without chasing you for money! These events have attracted a visiting adult for every child, be it a parent, grandparent or family friend. Please remember that in the event of the adult having any Covid symptoms please let us know and we will make sure there is a member of the school team to sit with your child if you cannot find a replacement at short notice.

Family Support Worker Amy’s Update

A special well done to Year 5 and Year 6 this week for getting to school so promptly for the Edinburgh visit yesterday.
Punctuality across school has been poor this week, with three classes into double figures for the number of late instances. I have also had a few children tell me that they haven’t gone to bed until 1am! A good nights sleep before school is so important and enables the children to have a better start to the day. At the moment we aren’t expecting any snow next week, but it is set to be very cold so please make sure the children are wearing warm coats with hats and gloves as necessary.

I would like the children to think of one thing they will do for the next two weeks that will help them to be at school on time everyday. It could be something like setting an alarm for the time you need to leave the house or making sure they are in bed at a certain time each night.

Paul’s outdoor idea

Frozen decorations. As the weather is definitely turning wintery and the frost and freezing temperatures are here – I thought this week we could go outside and collect leaves and twigs and remaining flowers and make some frozen decorations.

You will need an old container or baking tray (6 hole). You place your outside items in it and then place water into the tray. You will also need to place a ribbon or string in the water to hang the decoration. If there is cold weather due leave them out overnight or you can pop them in your freezer. The frozen decoration will be ready and can be hung out until the weather warms it through. Don’t forget to post a picture on your class Facebook page too.

Achievement Awards

Children achieving gold this week – Y2 Avie Morrow Y3 Carter Merrett and Sienna
Thirlwell, Y6 Carl Vallance
Swimmer of the week – Kieran Leck
Kindness champions – Leon Redshaw and Eden Makavu

Dates for your Diary

School Newsletter

Our Fantastic musical journey to The Sage!

Thursday saw us taking 150 children into Newcastle to enjoy seeing Fenwick’s window (Shaun the Sheep) and to take in the sights of the Quayside bridges before going to The Sage, Gateshead for a guided tour. The children once again received compliments about their outstanding behaviour, and they were all very excited to be out and about on one of our learning expeditions again.

Y3 and Y4 were bowled over by the ‘Music through the Ages’ exhibition, before joining Y1, Y2 and Y5 at The Sage.

Susan and Stephen from The Sage’s school visit team hosted us brilliantly (despite us being the first school in since restrictions eased). She was adept at describing the acoustics, the costs, the design and the experiences of musicians and performers. The children visited two of the performance halls, and went back stage, visited the green room, saw the ‘decagon’ shaped Hall 2 and sat in the auditorium as well as standing on the stage. The Northern Sinfonia’s music was really moving and we were so impressed with their playing.

There were some tired little ones on the bus on the way home and I know some tired big ones will have slept well last night too! Well done Team CVPS – it was a great day all round!

COVID Update

Covid rates continue to be scarce in school and thankfully this has meant that our attendance figures are starting to become more positive.

We have had notice of two positive cases from children in school and both cases were not likely to have been caught from within school. Please continue to be vigilant – we really appreciate it.

School opening times for Reception

At long last we feel the time has come to normalise the start time for the reception class back to 8.30am. We will call families forward to the gate once the older children are all in, to minimise congestion. We hope this will allow all families with more than one sibling at CVPS to be able to now drop off both children simultaneously. Thank you all so so much for accommodating the staggered start times. It has significantly reduced the congestion in school.

Reception children will be finishing at 2.30 now they are starting at 8.30 daily. They will also now be able to regularly join our whole school assemblies.









And back at school Y6 whittled in forest school and there were exciting things with snow and Christmas themes starting to emerge in early years this week…yes the C preparations are definitely fully in flow now. We even have the school Christmas trees up on Friday!

Early reading changes in EYFS and KS1

We launched some exciting new changes to the early reading plans at CVPS on Friday in assembly with the children. There was a huge new order of reading books that arrived this week which we were able to show them. We have revised our reading for the youngest children in school and parents will receive a separate letter outlining the new approaches. The aim is not for the children to race through the schemes, but to explore the pictures, vocabulary, words and understand the books they have at home, at a different depth to what we are seeing currently. We look forward to working with families on this journey and will be sending out some regular updates over the first few weeks with hints and tips about how to support this new reading approach.

Staffing update

We are excited to be able to let you know that Sarah Koratzitis will return to us in a promoted position of Vice Principal and English Coordinator after February half term in 2022. Sarah will be non class based this year but will work in all classes. The team are very excited to welcome her back and staff and children were over the moon when we shared the news with them.

Parent governor roles

We have three parents who have expressed an interest in the parent governor roles. We will share information with all families next week about their skills and interests and why they wish to be a parent governor at CVPS to allow candidates to be offered out for parents to elect. The closing date for the election will be Friday the 3rd December.

DfE Uniform guidance

All schools have received updates about the merits of keeping uniform costs reasonable to families. This is something at CVPS that we have always borne in mind when making decisions about uniform. Some schools rack up a whopping £900 worth of uniform for pupils. At CVPS we do expect all pupils to wear a logo for their sweatshirt or school blazers and to purchase a forest school hoodie, book bag and water bottle. This is to promote a sense of belonging to the school and to help with the practicalities of managing hygiene related issues for water bottles. While we do not have an expectation for branding for other items in school the school funds do receive a slight commission from the branded items you buy (such as polo shirts and PE kit) but this subsidises the many learning expeditions we undertake meaning that everyone gets some of that back in a small way throughout the year.

Make up and nail varnish

As a general reminder we have explained to the children that make up is not permissible in school including nail varnish and for safety reasons we ask that you always have ‘spacers’ for any children with pierced ears. As a general rule all our children are very well presented – again – we received compliments from members of the public today about our children’s presentation. (When they didn’t have their high vis jackets on!) A huge thank you for supporting our uniform policy.

Family Support Worker Amy’s Update

The holiday season is upon us! With visits to Fenwicks window this week and the exciting addition of some decorations in School, the children (and staff!) have really started to get into the spirit. Although I’m sure that some Christmas lists have already started to be written, spending time with loved ones and spreading joy is just as important.

Here are some ideas to spend time with loved ones whilst getting into the Christmas spirit.

Watch a Christmas movie, sing carols, visit family members, go and see some Christmas lights, play some family games, make your own Christmas cards.

Paul’s outdoor idea

This week I would like you to make a teepee using sticks, wool, cardboard, a glue gun, scissors, pen or pencil and battery tea lights. First take five sticks roughly the same length and some small balls of coloured wool. Tie three sticks together and spread them out around a circle shape to work out the size of cardboard base you need, a cup or a glass might help. Cut out your cardboard circle and cut five notches around the edges making sure to leave a wider gap between two of them for the entrance (wide enough to get a battery operated tea light inside) using a glue gun glue the three sticks not the notches you cut out of the circle. Glue the remaining sticks in place before tying the wool around them. Keep tying the wool tightly around the sticks until you are just below the join of the two sticks that form the opening of the teepee. Keep going until you have wrapped the whole teepee.

Achievement Awards

Children achieving gold this week
YR – Will Allen, Eleanor Aplin, Charlie Thirlwell and Theia Black, Y3 – Avraj Singh and Oakley Taylor

Swimmer of the week – Lola Welford
Kindness champions – Miles Straker, Archie Chambers, Megan Finlay and Maryam Kodirova


Dates for your Diary