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Penshurst Primary School

WEEK 20 - Friday 11 February 2022

This week I would like to focus on the healthy schools agenda. We are incredibly proud that we have the healthy schools accreditation which looks closely at how we map our curriculum to encourage both healthy minds and bodies. All of the work that Mrs Smith does with bike ability and road safety also contribute to maintaining a healthy school. We have taken steps to ensure that we are sending any birthday sweets/cakes that are bought in to  you to make a decision around your own child’s diet and whenever we have food tasting in school, we aim to have healthy alternatives where possible and appropriate. We also provide fruit every day for children in EYFS and KS1 to help towards the ‘five a day’ agenda.

In the last few weeks however we have become concerned over the packed lunches and we have a duty as a school to address this. I must remind you that carbonated drinks, sweets and whole family bars of chocolate are not allowed in school (this includes items such as Winders which have as much sugar as a Mars bar and are classed as sweets). A healthy lunch really does help children learn better in the afternoon.

The school’s ‘Food in the Academy’ policy states the following regarding lunch boxes from home:

the school request that parents do not include the following items in packed lunches: 

• sweets, chocolate etc.

• fizzy/sugary drinks

• sweet cakes e.g. sugary cakes, doughnuts

• Sweet nut bars

• Foods containing salted nuts 

• Packets of salted nuts

As we continue to evaluate our curriculum, we are reviewing all of the elements required in our relationships, sex education and health lessons. In July 2020, I sent you a brief parent overview of the changes being made to the content and delivery of this subject. In all honesty, it has not really changed what we teach in schools as we were already covering all of the topics. I am just re-sending you the government document again to remind you of our obligations. Please click here for the RSE Guide for Parents.

In primary school, as part of Relationships Education, all pupils will have been taught content on:

  • Families and people who care for me
  • Caring friendships
  • Respectful relationships
  • Online relationships
  • Being safe 

In addition, under Health education, they will have knowledge of:

  • Mental wellbeing
  • Internet safety and harms
  • Physical health and fitness
  • Healthy eating
  • Health and prevention
  • Basic first aid
  • Changing adolescent body

As a parent you cannot withdraw your child from Relationships Education, however you can remove them from Sex Education. To do so, you would need to fill in a removal form, clearly stating the reasons why, for the Head of School to authorise. At Penshurst, we collaborate with the school nurse to hold sessions in Year 6 around puberty and where babies come from. We have never had any issues from these sessions and to my knowledge we have never had anyone not take part. If you wish to talk further about RSE, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Preston who is in charge of all things curriculum.

Another item that falls under the healthy school agenda is e safety. We have had a number of issues on social media outside school in the last few weeks involving mainly Year 5 and 6 children. This continues to be a real problem and I ask that you check your children’s phones and reiterate to them the importance of being kind. We have had  the PCSO and the Anti-Social Behaviour Lead into school again this week to reinforce how dangerous cyber bullying is and the impact it can have on individuals and families. The children involved in these sessions were a credit to the school and I hope are beginning to have a better understanding of their responsibility when on social media forums.

I do have a big ask….. in the Early Years Foundation stage we would really like to invite as many visitors in as possible to talk to the children about their jobs. The children are excited when we have visiting adults and we would really like to have one person per week to explain what they do. This could be any job. If you have a spare hour some time during the school day, we would love to hear from you!

Finally, on Red Nose Day we are inviting the children to wear red and we have a link for a Just Giving page for you to donate to the Comic Relief Charity. Otherwise you can drop some change in one of the buckets at the gates at either end of the day.

Enjoy your weekend.

Mrs J Spencer

Head of School

Dates to remember:  

World Book Day                                                     Thursday 3 March

Red Nose Day (wear red)                                      Friday 11 March     

Parents Evening                                                     Monday 21 Wednesday 23 March