School Newsletter : 22 December 2023

| Issue 13 | Autumn 2 | Week 14 |

Festive Wishes

A HUGE thank you to everyone in the Burdett-Coutts School family and community! Your support, kindness, understanding and collective spirit over the autumn term has been wonderful. We’ve had many new pupils and families join us across the term, and it has been lovely welcoming all our Preschoolers and their families to our school.

We’re also VERY excited to announce that in the recently published Government School League tables, our school is ranked 8th overall in Westminster for outcomes for all pupils and 1st overall for disadvantaged pupils.

We are extremely proud of this achievement, which is a culmination of school, pupils and parents working successfully together in collaboration, and a testament to the continued hard work of all those involved in the teaching and learning of our children.

We are also deeply grateful to the parent volunteers, staff and everyone who came together to realise our PSA Friends Of Burdett-Coutts’ Xmas Fair on 7th December. It was a lovely festive afternoon full of fun & entertainment for all the family, and especially the children who enjoyed it tremendously.

Thank you to everyone involved, especially the organising committee made up of parents & staff. The much-needed funds raised will be for the benefit of all the children at our school.

In closing, there have been many wonderful trips, visits and performances for all classes this which have provided everyone with many lifelong memories. After the break, we’ll launch into a busy Spring term with trips, visits and other events planned across the term, so please make the most these holidays to recharge your batteries.

From all the staff, governors and trustees we would like to wish our Burdett-Coutts families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope you have happy and safe holiday and look forward to seeing you all on the 9th of January!

Christingle Service

Our school came together to celebrate the end of term with a wonderful Christingle Service in St Stephens Church on Friday. It was made even more memorable by having children from our Choir Club wearing the special children’s white surplices borrowed from Mr Carden’s church (St Luke’s). Thank you Mr Carden!

The service began with the lighting of the fourth candle on the Advent Wreath, followed by a festive songs, readings and prayers. We heard about the story of Jesus’ birth from Luke’s gospel with the reading from chapter 2 verses 1-16. At the end of the service the lights were dimmed and we lit our Christingles (being very careful of those around us!) saying the following special prayer:

As you have received this light, so remember that Christ is the Light of the World. Whoever follows Him will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. May these Christingles remind us to shine as lights in the world, bringing light to those who walk in darkness.

If you are not sure what a Christingle is, and what each element represents, ask your child/ren – they should be able to tell you all about it!

School Christmas Lunch (it was a feast!)

The children were delighted as they entered the dining hall to a festive scene of crackers, popcorn and the aroma of the Christmas dinner! A huge thanks to our catering team for an outstanding meal, that was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. For many, there was no dinner required that night!

Disney Poster Competition

Friends of Burdett-Coutts

Thank you to all the parents, friends & school staff who turned out on 7th December to help make the Friends of Burdett-Coutts Xmas Fair a success. It was a frenzy of planning, setting up, baking & present wrapping but together we got there in the end. The children had a fabulous time and we raised much needed funds for our school.

Our next event is the Easter Fair on 15th March. Please come to our meetings if you can, it’d be lovely to meet new parents and it’d be great to have you onboard.

Provisionally, our meetings will be on Thursdays in the Ground Floor Hall from 9 – 10am on the following dates: 11th Jan, 25th Jan, 8th Feb, 22nd Feb, 7th March & 14th March.

Speech Writing Competition

Mrs Lee set a speech-writing competition a few weeks ago and on Thursday we heard speeches from 8 children from Years 2-6 during assembly.

The topics of the speeches ranged from hobbies such as skateboarding and reading to favourite animals (cats and big cats) and important issues: women’s rights, bullying, autism and the rise of AI.

A huge well done to the children who took the time to research and write their speeches, to then stand in front of the whole school to read them out.

We are going to have a big focus on oracy throughout the year, so it was lovely to hear these children giving us such good examples of how to speak in public, with good enunciation, volume, speed and looking at the audience. Well done everyone!

The winners are:

  • Ella
  • Sara
  • Sarina
  • Nina

New Year Holiday Camp

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, Year 4 (session 1)
  • Tuesday: Year 5
  • Wednesday: Early Years & Year 4 (session 2) & Year 6
  • Thursday: Year 3
  • Friday:  Year 2

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


  • Tuesday 9th: School resumes for all pupils
  • Tuesday 9th: Breakfast Club and After School Clubs begin
  • Tuesday 9th:  Enrolment slips go home for Extended School Day sign up
  • Tuesday 9th: Proms Praise for School Workshop: 10:00 – 11:00 in school with Year 6 and the Choir
  • Wednesday 10th: Signing up for Extended School Clubs from 08:00 – 09:30 (Please ensure the correct fee)
  • Thursday 11th: Last day to sign up for Extended School Clubs from 08:00 – 09:30 (Please ensure the correct fee)
  • Friday 12th: TFL Citizenship Workshop: 11:00 – 15:00


  • Monday 5th – 8th: Scholastic Book Fair in the Ground Floor Hall @ 15:00 – 15:30
  • Monday 12th – Friday 16th: February Half Term Break
  • Thursday 22nd: Year 1 Trip to Hyde Park Lookout Centre
  • Thursday 29th: Y6 Thames Explorer Trip

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

Services at St Stephen’s

The flyer below lists all the St Stephen’s services taking place over Christmas, from their Carol Service on Sunday 17th December through to the Eucharist on Boxing Day. The Family Crib Service at 5pm on Christmas Eve is always worth going to – the children will enjoy it.

Spring Term Class Assembly Dates:

  • 2nd February  – Year 6
  • 9th February  – Year 2
  • 1st March – Year 1
  • 15th March – Year 3

Children & Young People’s Newsletter

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 this academic year. 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.


Last week preschool were very busy making lots of Christmassy gifts for our grownups and listening to the nativity story. This week, there’s been MORE Christmas fun and we’ve finished making presents for our grownups. We’ve also enjoyed listening to lots of Christmas stories and songs and are very excited Santa is coming soon.


Creativity blossomed as Nursery embarked on a festive adventure crafting tear-and-stick Christmas trees. This tactile activity not only sparked artistic expression but also provided a valuable developmental boost. The act of tearing and sticking materials engaged fine motor skills, enhancing hand-eye coordination and precision. Beyond the charming result of individually adorned trees, the process itself was a journey of sensory exploration and skill refinement. Through this joyful activity, our little learners not only embraced the magic of the season but also experienced the educational benefits of hands-on, tear-and-stick crafting.

Our budding learners are discovering the magical connection between sounds and letters, and what better way to explore than by incorporating their very own names? Using specially crafted phonics logs, our youngsters are piecing together the puzzle of language, arranging letters to spell their names with glee. This engaging activity not only fosters a love for learning but also lays a strong foundation for literacy. By combining play and education, we’re nurturing essential pre-reading skills, setting the stage for a lifelong love affair with language. Watch as the joy of phonics unfolds, paving the way for confident communicators and avid readers!


To celebrate the holidays approaching Reception decorated their own Christmas cookies! They took care and time choosing their decorations before enjoying a delicious Christmas snack.

Year 1:

This week we had a special visitor in our class for phonics. He even sneaked into our room and made a mess of our reading books and pencils! We have been on the lookout in our neighbour classes too to see if there is anything suspicious.

During the term in PSHE, we have been focusing on the differences and similarities of people. We have talked about how it is OK to look and be different from one another and how we can still have things in common despite being different. We talked a lot about what bullying is and things we could do to prevent it and who we could talk to. We created these people over the term to remind us of friends in our class who are similar and different to us.

Year 2:

Year 2 had a special visitor in their classroom: the mischievous Elf on the Shelf! He came from the North Pole and has been roaming around the school, keeping an eye on the children’s behaviour and reporting it to Santa each night. The children discovered him early in the morning, seated at one of their tables. Surprisingly, he had been quite kind and brought them a snowman from the North Pole. However, there was a little problem – he had melted!

The Elf spent the morning with the children as they wrote poems about sounds and counted faces and edges on 3D shapes during their math lesson. After lunch, they noticed that he’d climbed to the top of the screen, and awarded 30 dojo points to each child. Not only that, he distributed chocolates to everyone, which he had taken from Miss Jorquera’s cupboard!

Also as writers this term, Year 2 have been reading ‘Poems to Perform‘ by Julia Donaldson. They also read a poem called ‘The Rhythm of Life‘ by Michael Rosen. They discussed and identified the rhyme and patterns within the performed poem, and explored the beat and rhythm, connecting this understanding to their existing knowledge of music. The children then brainstormed other things that exhibit rhythm and created their own version of the poem, following Rosen’s repeated structure: ‘Hand … feel the rhythm of …‘.

Year 3:

Wow have Year 3 been all go this week! We started with our assessment week tasks and then moved on to making sure all our Autumn term projects were completed, so that we are ready we return to school after the Christmas break. We have also made our Christingles which we used in our church service today. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Year 4:

Year 4 have had a BUSY final week! We have been finishing off work in our History, Science and RE learning and have also had a little class sort out. WOW we accumulated a lot over the term! Our classroom is now already for a new term of learning when we return. We are excited about the holidays and having lots of time to see friends and be with our families. Merry Christmas everyone.

Year 5:

This week we have been busy making Christingles which we used in our church service today. We have been completing all our end of term tasks and are ready for the holidays! We have missed Ms McCormack this week, and we hope she is feeling better and that her wrist is beginning to heal. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Year 6:

This week in Guided Reading, we have finished reading our class text ‘The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas‘. We were saddened by the events which unfolded but discussed how ironic it was that the father’s job led to the dreadful outcome of the death of his only son, Bruno. At the end of the book, we imagined that we were the father and wrote about the regrets that we thought that he might have felt about his role in his son’s death. In English, we have been creating information leaflets about Auschwitz, which we have been learning about in our History lessons this term. We looked at a modelled example of a leaflet based around Auschwitz and then used these subheadings to carry out our own research. We have tried hard to use our grammar focus to include semi colons, dashes and colons and our top ticks which included: subheadings, diagrams and bullet points.