School Newsletter : 24 November 2023

| Issue 10 | Autumn 2 | Week 10 |

Friends of Burdett-Coutts Christmas Fair

Science Projects

The theme for this half term’s Science home learning task is Connections. Below are some of the activities which you can chose from, or you may wish to come up with an idea of your own.

  • Model Neuron: Make a model neuron, to learn about connections between nerve cells.
  • Chain Reactions: Set up a chain reaction with outdoor items or small indoor items like dominoes, thinking carefully about the connections between each part of the chain.
  • Life cycle: Create an edible life cycle to discover how each stage is connected.
  • Polar habitat: Make a model of a Polar habitat, this is a great way to learn about how animals adapt to their surroundings.
  • Ice caps: Another easy investigation for younger children is to model melting polar ice caps.

Entries will be shared in a celebration assembly at the end of this half term. Good luck everyone!

Out and About…..

Year 4 Trip to the British Museum:

On Thursday, Al-Khalili class visited the British Museum where we participated in a history workshop led by one of their archaeologists. We learnt about life at the time of the ancient Mayan and how artefacts helped us discover what food they would have eaten, what clothes they would have worn, what rituals they took part in and who they worshipped. We then visited the Mexico gallery and saw lots of statues and stone carvings. We spent time observing and drawing what we saw. Miss Mattey and Miss Lavinia were very impressed with our drawings.

Year 6: Trips to the Westminster Archives (part of The Never Forgotten Project):

This week, we were lucky enough to take part in ‘The Never Forgotten Project‘ run by the historian Peter Daniel. On our first trip, we spent a morning at the Westminster Archives learning about the history of the soldiers and people who lived within the local area during WW1. Later that afternoon, we learnt about the key events that happened in the life of Walter Tull and performed a section of his life at the Abbey Centre the next day.

Walter Tull experienced a lot of highs and lows in his life, but proved to be very resilient and his determination shone through. He was one of Britain’s first black professional footballers but gave up his career as a footballer to become a WWI soldier. He was one of the first black Officers in the British Army.

Then on Thursday 23rd November, we attended a performance of ‘Not Forgotten’, a play highlighting the sacrifices made by our armed forces during the 1914 – 1918 World War. These performances are staged by Mr. Peter Daniel, the City of Westminster Archives Centre’s Education Officer.

We were extremely proud when, at the climax of the play, two of our pupils played the evocative The Last Post, using our synthesizer with a Trumpet sound, utterly faultlessly. They played at two separate performances to audiences of teachers and children from a dozen other schools, at the Abbey Community Centre in Great Smith Street.

PE Lessons

Please ensure that your child is wearing the correct PE kit to school each week.

Pupils who are not wearing their full PE kit will not be able to participate in lessons, and a note will be sent home indicating why they were not able to participate.

The full PE kit for the Autumn/Winter term is as follows:

  • Plain navy blue leggings or tracksuit bottoms
  • School navy blue PE t-shirt
  • School navy blue sweatshirt (all year groups).
  • Pupils in KS2 (Years 3 – 6) must wear a school navy sweatshirt for PE and NOT their school jumper.
  • Plain black trainers (velcro if your child struggles with shoe laces)
  • Please ensure all items of uniform are clearly labelled (with a permanent pen or label)

PE lessons are on:

  • Monday: Year 1
  • Tuesday: Year 5
  • Wednesday: Early Years & Year 3
  • Thursday: Year 6
  • Friday: Year 4 & Year 2
  • Please note change of day for Year 1 & Year 6

School Communication

We have now moved to email updates and notifications, and only using text messaging when reminders are urgently needed.

Please check your Spam folders and if you haven’t seen any emails from us, please contact the school office so that we can check that we have the correct email address for you.

School Meals

If you would like your child to move from bringing a packed lunch to having a school meal, you must inform the office at least a week in advance of this change being made. Kindly note pupils are not allowed to alternate between having packed lunches and/or school meals on a daily or weekly basis. If you have any questions, please see a member of the school admin staff at the school office.

You can find the current school lunch menu here >

If you require a printed copy, please ask at the school office. Should you have any questions about the menu, kindly make an appointment to speak with Miss Barnett.

Are you getting to school on time?

Why good school attendance matters: Missing a few days of school here and there may not seem a big deal, but research shows that it can have a significant impact on children’s learning.

Children who miss a substantial amount of school fall behind their peers, and struggle to catch up. Most of the work they miss is never made up, which can lead to big gaps in their learning.

  • Poor attendance often starts at primary school and children who fall into this pattern are likely to under-achieve at secondary school.
  • Pupils who miss between 10 and 20% of school (that’s 19 – 38 days per year) stand only a 35% chance of achieving five or more good GCSEs, compared to 73% of those who miss fewer than 5% of school days.
  • An attendance rate of 95% is generally considered good; this allows for children to miss 9.5 days across the school year.
  • Persistent absence (PA) is defined as an attendance rate of 90% or below.
  • All pupils are expected to have an attendance rate of 95% or higher.

Attendance class of the week: Each week we will be celebrating the class with the highest attendance levels.

Did you know?!

  • 10 minutes late every day = 33 hours lost learning each year!
  • Lateness and absence has a significant impact not only on your child’s learning, but also others, as teachers may have to re-teach late arrivals to ensure they can participate in the lesson.
  • Remember pupils need to be in school by 08:55.
  • The pupil entrance gates open at 08:40.

Upcoming Events


  • Friday 1st: INSET Day (no school for pupils)
  • Wednesday 6th: 9 Lessons Christmas Service @ St. John Smith Square 09:30 – 10:15. All parents and carers are welcome to attend this special annual servers in a beautiful concert hall. Please be seated by 09:25 and ensure that your mobile phones are on silent or turned off.
  • Thursday 7th: Christmas Jumper Day
  • Thursday 7th from 3.30pm: Friends of Burdett-Coutts Christmas Fair
  • Friday 8th @ 14:00: EYFS & KS1 Nativity @ St. Stephens Church. Doors from 13:45
  • Friday 15th: End of Extended School Day Clubs (15:30 – 16:30)
  • Friday 15th @ 14:15: KS2 Nativity @ St. Stephens Church. Doors from 14:00

December (cont):

  • Thursday 21st:  Childrens Christmas Lunch in school
  • Friday 22nd @ 10:30: Christingle Service @ St.Stephens Church. Parents & carers invited. Details to follow.
  • Friday 22nd December: School finishes at 13:30 for the Christmas Holidays.

Term Dates 2023-2024

Please find here the agreed term dates set by our school’s Governing Body for the upcoming academic year, starting September 2023.

Please remember that holidays will not be authorised during the school term, and that all children should be in school (on time) every day.

Please refer to the table below for the term dates, including INSET days and Bank Holidays when the school will be closed to pupils.

Alternatively, you can click on the image thumbnail on the right to view the PDF (please note this will open in a new window) or you can click on the link below:



Start of Term (for Years 1-6)


05 September 2023



20 October 2023

Half Term


23 October 2023



27 October 2023

Return on


30 October 2023

End of Term


22 December 2023



Start of Term


09 January 2024



09 February 2024

Half Term


12 February 2024



16 February 2024

Return on


19 February 2024

End of Term


28 March 2024



Start of Term


15 April 2024



24 May 2024

Half Term


27 May 2024



31 May 2024

Return on


03 June 2024

End of Term


24 July 2024


Teaching & Learning: Curriculum & Safeguarding


04 September 2023

Assessment & Pupil Progress


01 December 2023

Teaching & Learning TBC


08 January 2024

Teaching & Learning: Curriculum Map Autumn/Spring


22 March 2024

Teaching & Learning: Curriculum, Assessment & Pupil Progress


28 June 2024

BANK HOLIDAYS (school closed)
May Bank Holiday


06 May 2024

Community Corner

At St Stephen’s we’ve been celebrating Christ the King, and also thinking about how we use the talents that God has given us for the good of others. We listened to the reading from Matthew 25:31-46 and sang the song ‘Let there be love shared among us’.

Artist in Church

Visitors to St Stephen’s Church will have noticed a number of amazing artworks displayed around the church. These are by an artist called Anne Grebby, and the artworks have been on display in Canterbury and Chichester Cathedrals over this year.

Our pupils are lucky enough to have seen these pieces of art every Wednesday for the last few weeks, but our Burdett-Coutts families and community are always welcome to pop into the church, especially when there installations such as these to look at.

The artist herself will also be visiting St Stephen’s on Monday 4th December, and our Year 6 class have been invited to spend time with her during the school day so she can talk about her artwork and answer any questions the children may have. Lucky Year 6!


Please see the flyer for a Drop-In event in run by Westminster’s Make It Happen organisation on Thursday 30th November 10:30-2:30. This is an information and support day for families with disabled children.

Community Questions:

  • What talents do you have?
  • How could you use them to help others?
  • Challenge: Encourage someone, help them to see the talents God has given them.


Thank you, God, for the talents you have given me.
Help me to use them for good and to bless others.

Class Assembly:

Please make sure your child arrives at school promptly on their assembly day. Parents & families all welcome to attend, kindly be seated in the First Floor Hall by 9:00am.

  • 6th December @ 9:30am: 9 Lessons Carol Service @ St John’s Smith Square.
  • 7th December: Christmas Jumper Day and Christmas Lunch Day (pupils only)
  • 8th December @ 2pm: EYFS & KS1 Nativity @ St Stephen’s Church.
  • 15th December @ 2.15pm: KS2 Carol Concert @ St Stephen’s Church.

Online Safety

Did you know that not all apps are safe for children, with many popular ones having certain age restrictions. For example, WhatsApp, Tik Tok, Instagram and Facebook operate a minimum age of 13+ years, and therefore primary school children should not have their own, nor access to, such apps or accounts.

As parents, you can help safeguard your children online by researching these apps and their purposes, as well as their age restrictions, BEFORE agreeing to download them. If you do choose to download them, remember that parental controls such as password protection, can be set up so that in-app downloads or purchases, cannot be completed by the children themselves.

For example, to prevent iTunes, Apple App Store purchases or downloads, all you need to do is:

  1. Go to Settings and tap Screen Time.
  2. Tap Content & App Privacy Restrictions. If asked, enter your passcode.
  3. Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases.
  4. Select a setting and set to Don’t Allow.

Tips on how to install parental controls on other apps and devices (Android or Apple) can easily be found online, or even from the app developers themselves.

Last few places for Preschool, Nursery & Reception

We only have a few places remaining in our early years provision for September 2023. Currently we have:

  • 2 full-time Preschool (2-year olds) places
  • 3 full-time Nursery (3-year olds) place available, and 1 part-time place (afternoon)
  • 4 Reception class places

If you are looking for a Preschool, Nursery or Reception place for your child from January 2024 or September 2024, we’d love to have you join us for a 30-minute bespoke EYFS tour.

Here, you’ll have the chance explore our Early Years setting, speak to key staff and ask any questions regarding admissions and your child starting with us at Burdett-Coutts.

Contact us to register for our tours which take place every Thursday, with times available from 09:30 – 14:30 during term time.

Funding eligibility letter for Pupil Premium, Early Years Funding & Free School Meals

Due to changes in the eligibility criteria for Pupil Premium, Free School Meals and qualifying for 30 hours of funding for Nursery provision, many pupils currently enrolled at our school may now be entitled to one of these funding allocations.

We will be issuing letters to families who are currently not in receipt of the above, asking you to complete the registration for the identified funding option your child/ren maybe eligible for. Thank you so much in advance for your help in completing this.

This funding allows us to increase additional staffing hours to run booster groups, and an exciting range of extended day activities, that benefit our school and your child, and your cooperation is greatly appreciated at this difficult time for school budgets.

  • If you should have any queries with regards to the letter sent to you, please contact Mrs Deary or the school office.


Preschool have started reading a new book, ‘Brown Bear Brown Bear’ and have been doing many fun activities whilst learning about bears. We have made bubble wrap paintings, telescopes and even been on a colour treasure hunt!


Nursery are learning about shapes this week, and they’ve embarked on a creative and artistic journey, armed with straws and watered-down paint. Their bubbly adventure wasn’t just about the joy of painting; it’s a multi-faceted experience tailored for our imaginative explorers. The act of blowing bubbles not only sparked artistic expression but also worked wonders for strengthening our oral motor skills. These newfound abilities play a crucial role in speech development, setting the stage for clear communication as they grow.


This week in Maths, Reception has been learning about the number after (one more). Using a number line for support, pupils were asked to show ‘one more’ using counting bears (eg: what is one more than 5? Can you show me 6 counting bears?).

Year 1:

Year 1 had an exciting adventure at The National Portrait Gallery this week to learn more about Mary Seacole. They learnt all about the different types of portraits on display and the variety of media used, including paintings, photographs and statues. They also went on a hunt around the gallery looking for the portraits of Mary Seacole.

Year 2:

As Scientists this week, Year 2 investigated how shapes of certain objects made from different materials can be changed and identified which material was the most changeable. They worked with objects made from a variety of materials; a drink can, pipe cleaners, a sock, a drinking straw, playdough, a towel, a sponge and an elastic band. They tested whether the objects would change shape by stretching, squashing, twisting and bending them, and then recording their findings in a table. In this way, the children were able to determine the most, and least, changeable material.

Year 3:

In Science this week we have investigated how different liquids affect the calcium in our bones. We used vinegar, water and milk and let chicken bones soak in them for a week. Most of the class predicted that the bone soaked in milk would become stronger. The results showed that nothing happened to the bones in milk and water however the bone in vinegar became bendy. This is because the acid in the vinegar dissolved the calcium carbonate in the bone.

Year 4:

In Year 4 we had a very special visitor this week: Professor Jim Al-Khalili, who our class is named after. He is a professor at Surrey University and has written many books about physics. We have listened to his radio shows on BBC radio and we enjoyed his talks about space and the universe. Everyone was really excited to meet him and we all wrote and asked excellent questions. Miss Mattey was very proud of us.

Year 5:

We are all thoroughly enjoying our class book Odysseus, which is based on Homer’s epic poem. There are many adventures and trials to read about which impacts positively on our writing. Recently, we wrote diary entries as an ancient Greek and practised using brackets to add extra information to our sentences. Currently, we are re-telling a narrative from the perspective of a character using noun phrases and relative clauses to enhance our writing and make it appealing to an audience. This wonderful book has curriculum links with our history topic of the Ancient Greeks and is full of inspiring artwork.

Year 6:

This week as Mathematicians, we have been adding and subtracting mixed fractions and then applying this knowledge to solving reasons questions. We are now more confident at finding the common denominator and turning our fractions from mixed to improper when we cannot subtract the denominators.