School Newsletter : 09 February 2024

| Issue 19 | Spring 1 | Week 5 |

New Signing-in System: Maximising Learning Time

We have installed a new school office security and monitoring system (InVentry) to record all comings & goings made by staff, visitors, parents, pupils, contractors etc. We will also be using this system to record late arrivals as well as early pickups (for example for a dentist appointment).

This will help us monitor patterns of lateness and punctuality, so that we can work closely with those requiring additional support to ensure that every child’s school learning time is maximised.

After the February half term break, if your child is late, you will need to come into the office and register their arrival. On the touch screen, you will need to select the ‘Sign In’ tab, your To do this you need to select the sign in tab on the touch screen, your child’s year group and their name. You will also be asked to register the reason for your late arrival eg: appointment (medical/dentist), left late, traffic etc.

Conversely, if your child needs to be collected before the end of the school day, you will need to sign them out. Once again, you will need to select the ‘Sign Out’ tab, your child’s year group and select their name. You will also be asked to register the reason for leaving early eg: appointment (medical/dentist) or illness etc.

Acknowledging and Celebrating Behaviour

Dear Parents and Pupils,

Opportunities for Acknowledging and Celebrating Behaviour

As shared in the school newsletter last Friday, we have been reviewing ways in which we celebrate behaviour at Burdett-Coutts over the past week or so.

When we talk about behaviour this covers many types seen across the school day and includes examples such as:

  • learning (academic)
  • cooperative learning (how well we work with others)
  • playground: sharing, turn taking, inclusiveness, resilience
  • manners: being polite, helping others, showing care (for others and the environment), respecting others (teachers and pupils)
  • kindness: to others, self and school environment, showing kindness to help someone feeling sad, sharing a smile, asking how you are, including you in games and discussions.

At Burdett-Coutts we are fortunate and blessed to see so many wonderful daily and weekly ways to celebrate the behaviours observed in school.

Therefore, following the half term break, as well as continuing to celebrate these children during the Thursday Celebration Assembly, we will also be naming and celebrating all pupils who are awarded a Gold Certificate in the newsletter and introducing the following additional forms of celebration:

Each week teachers will select up to 2 pupils who will have a postcard sent home, acknowledging a particular behaviour noted in school. This has been trialled in several classes over the past few weeks, with positive feedback from parents and pupils!

BC Tea
Each week teachers will present invitations to two pupils in each year group that invites them to attend an Afternoon Tea with a member of school staff.

Staff will take turns hosting Afternoon Tea with pupils, which will be a wonderful opportunity for children to share and celebrate their reason for attending, whilst enjoying a yummy Afternoon Tea! Those who are selected will also have their names published in the school newsletter each week.

We look forward to sharing and celebrating our pupils’ continued successes within their school day with you. A copy of our Behaviour Strategy, “Stay on Green”, is included with this letter as a reminder of all the steps used for managing behaviour in school.

Thank you for your continued support,

Burdett-Coutts Staff

Numeracy Program @ St Stephen’s

In conjunction with Capital City College and supported by the Mayor of London, there will be a free numeracy programme held at St. Stephen’s Church. Open to any adults over 19 years old, the program will run every Monday morning @ 11.30am, for six weeks beginning on Monday 19th February 2024.

Please see the information leaflet and the enrolment letter below for more information. If you require paper copies of these documents, please ask at the school office.

Friends of Burdett-Coutts

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. Our meetings will be on Thursdays in the Ground Floor Hall from 9 – 10am on the following dates:

  • 22nd Feb
  • 7th March
  • 14th March

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

Cashless Payments: Parent Portal on Arbor

On Monday 8th January, parents were sent a welcome email from Arbor via the school office email account. Please read this carefully, as it contains vital information of the steps required to download the Arbor app, which is now live and ready to use for our school.

Once you have downloaded the app and followed the setup steps, you will be able to pay online for the following:

  • Breakfast Club
  • After School Club (6 o’clock club)
  • School Trips and Visits
  • Nursery Extended Day Fees
  • Preschool Fees

You will also be able to view your child’s details held by the school, such as their attendance record  and the named adults allowed to collect them from school.  After the Easter Break, you will also be able to sign up and pay for Extended School Day (Enrichment) Clubs.

We understand that while paying online is the preferred option for many of our families, those wishing to continue paying by cash will still be able to do via the school office.

  • If you’re unable to download or log into the Arbor App, please contact the school office.
  • We hope that this will be a smooth transition, but as is often the case with new technology, there may be some disruptions so please bear with us during this process.

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.

February 2024 half term vouchers for pupils eligible for FSM are available for collection from the school office.

Are you getting to school on time?

We have noticed several pupils are consistently late to school each day. It is essential that every child arrives at school by 08:45 o that they are in class and ready to learn at 09:00. If your punctuality has slipped recently, please ensure that you take steps to arrive in school on time after the February half term break.

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


  • 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 (1/2 sessions)
  • Thursday 29th: Y6 Thames Explorer Trip


  • Friday 1st: Year 6 Visit to Stamford Bridge
  • Thursday 7th: World Book Day. Pupils are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite book character.
  • Friday 8th: Mother’s Day Service 10:30 – 11:30 @ St. Stephens Church. Mothers, Grandmothers and those caring for others in this role are kindly invited to attend this service of thanks. Church doors will open at 10:20, please be seated by 10:30 and ensure that all mobile phones are on silent or off.
  • Tuesday 12th March: Proms Praise Concert at the Royal Albert Hall for Year 6 and the School Choir. Separate information with times etc has been sent to all pupils attending.
  • Wednesday 20th March: Last Day of Extended School Day Clubs @ 15:30 – 16:30.
  • Wednesday 20th March: Year 1 Trip to Hyde Park Lookout Centre (2/2 sessions)


  • Thursday 21st March: Spring Term Parent/Pupil Information Evening. Information on how you can sign up for these via the Arbor App will be sent out after the February half term break.
  • Friday 22nd March: INSET Day (school closed for all pupils)
  • Monday 25th March: Year 4 & 5 showcase performance of the Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre!
  • Thursday 28th March: Early school finish @ 13:30 for the Easter Holidays
  • Friday 29th March – Friday 12th April: Easter 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

This week we are considering ‘new beginnings’ as we approach the Christian period of Lent.

We heard the reading from the start of John’s gospel, which Helena explained is like an introduction of things to come. Beginnings are incredibly important, and we celebrate many new starts throughout the year and throughout our lives: New Year, new schools, new classes, new births.

At this time Christians think about new beginnings and how they will prepare themselves for Lent and Easter. It is known to be the time when Jesus stopped being a carpenter and embarked on his ministry. Christians use this period to put aside other activities and focus on who God is.

  • Can you think of any other new beginnings?
  • What can you do over the next few weeks to prepare and come to know God better?

During half term, on Tuesday 13th February, many families will be making and eating pancakes as Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) marks the start of Lent.

Shrove Tuesday is historically the day that falls before Ash Wednesday and is the day that people use up all of their eggs and fats before starting their Lenten fast. Pancakes have a long history and appear in cookery books as far back as 1439!

St Stephen’s Church will be hosting a Pancake Party on Tuesday 13th February at 6:30pm, and everyone is welcome.

Class Assemblies:

  • 1st March: Year 1
  • 15th March: Year 3

Community Questions:

  • As we take this time to consider who Jesus was and the nature of God, what three words would you like someone to use to describe you?
  • Who do you believe Jesus was? Why?


  • Read a story about the life of Jesus (you could read something from Mark’s Gospel). What do you notice about what Jesus is like?


Lord God, you know what it is like to live on Earth. Thank you that you are not far away but understand all that we go through in our lives and that you care for us. Amen

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.

Preschool, Nursery & Reception Admissions

1We only have a few places remaining in our early years provision for this academic year. Currently we have:

  • 1 full-time Preschool and 1 part-time afternoon places available (2-year olds)
  • 2 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 been learning all about the different modes of transport we see in and around our school. We completed many fun activities including painting cars, listening to fun stories, singing songs (we love The Wheels on the Bus) and we even created our own boat out of fruit for snack one day. What a fun and busy week!


This week, Nursery have been learning about patterns. They’ve been using linking cubes to explore and create different types of patterns, helping them develop their understanding of sequencing and mathematical concepts.


Love is in the air in Reception! This week, our creative pupils have been busy crafting Valentine’s Day cards and adorable salt dough hearts for their chosen valentines. With glitter, glue, and plenty of heartfelt messages, they’ve spread joy and warmth throughout our classroom. Here’s to celebrating friendship, kindness, and the joy of sharing love with those who matter most.

Year 1:

Year 1 have been busy learning all about Chinese New Year this week. We read a story that explained the origin of where the animals came from e.g Year of the Rooster. We learnt all about lanterns and looked at the many different patterns, which we then used as inspiration when making our own Chinese lantern art.

Year 2:

As Geographers, Year 2 have been learning all about the world we live in. The pupils have been enthusiastically using atlases, a world map, a globe and digital tools like Google Earth to locate and name the different continents and oceans of the world. They investigated the Caribbean’s climate and physical geography, looking closely at St. Lucia. They researched and gathered information to craft informative fact files, comparing and contrasting St Lucia with England to enchance their understanding of diverse geographical environments.

Year 3:

This week we have been learning all about Chinese New Year, which happens every year at the end of January or early February. The date changes because it is based on the lunar year. We learnt all about the story of the Animals and the Jade Emperor’s Daughter. Come and ask us about the story. We then looked at examples of Chinese writing and chose an animal symbol to copy. It was really tricky! We spoke about how different their writing system is to ours! Gong hei fat choy (恭喜发财) means Happy New Year.

Year 4:

We have been very busy writing persuasive speeches over the last couple of weeks. After writing a persuasive speech about deforestation, we wrote a persuasive speech about which sport we think is the best. This resulted in lots of lively discussion and debate between everyone, with speeches being shared. In Reading, we have begun reading the first few chapters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and discussing the key characters of Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka. We are looking forward to reading more of this book during the next half term as Roald Dahl is one of our favourite authors.

Year 5:

This week in our Writing, we have been learning to write instructions using the imperative for commands. We also designed a menu that meets the needs of a Boy and a Bear (based on our class novel ‘A Boy and a Bear in a Boat‘). We wrote instructions on how to make a sandwich and a drink, in the style of a recipe book.

Year 6:

This week in Religious Studies, we have been exploring unconditional love and how Jesus demonstrated love in the Bible. We then related this to our own lives, and how we can show love towards others. We discussed what heaven and hell meant to us, and drew comparisons between Christianity and Islam. It was a very reflective and thought provoking lesson, one where we were able to build upon our peers’ ideas, and show respect towards different perspectives.