Contacts and Communications

We’re ironing out the bugs in our new SchoolComms system that, as well as providing an email and messaging service to parents, will also provide our online payment system after Christmas.

At the moment we are using it to email and test message parents. If you have given us your email address, you should have received a copy of this newsletter by email.

If you did not receive it by email, please check with the school office that we’ve got your contact details right.

The email with this newsletter attached was sent from our SchoolComms account and, if you didn’t receive it then it could also be that your email provider is filtering the address out as spam. It’s worth adding the email address to your whitelist to make sure it’s not being discarded. The address is:

sc2133520@schoolcomms.com

so you can see why it might be treated as spam!

We’re also using an app in Foundation Stage to record our observations of your children, rather than taking photos, sticking the photo into a book and copying observation notes down. This system also allows us to email observations directly to parents. About half of the parents in F1/F2 have opted in to this, but all Foundation Stage parents with an email address will have had an email with a link sent to them. If this hasn’t arrived and you would like to opt in, please let us know and we’ll try to track down the problem.

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Foundation Stage Nativity Play Last Friday

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Can You Help?

The Friends would like to auction a couple of items on Ebay: there are a some ‘Skyfall’ posters and a three legged folding stool, signed ‘Daniel’ by Daniel Craig (sadly, not signed ‘Daniel Craig!’). Our Friends Association are looking for someone who knows their way around Ebay to sell these on their behalf.

If you can help, please let us know in the school office and we’ll pass your details on to the Friends.

We’re also looking for a couple of 4th Generation ipod Touches in good condition to use in the Foundation Stage. If you’ve got a new iphone and have no need of your ipod Touch, we’d love to give it a good home!

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Netball Tournament

Our Year5/6 netballers came 3rd in the tournament at Regent’s Park last week and only beaten 3-2 in the semi-final. It was a thrilling game: 2-2 at full time and still 2-2 after extra time. We were only beaten by a late ‘Golden Point.’

Mr Carroll said that the children’s attitude and sportsmanship was first class and he was very proud of them all.

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Lloyd’s Bank Community Fund

You may remember that we were making a bid to this fund in November. Our school came third in Westminster North. 6,360 votes were cast altogether and St Mary’s received 23.63% of this vote. The winning bid received 29.8% of the vote. This does mean that we have been awarded £300 from the Fund and we’re very pleased for that. Thank you to everyone who voted for us.

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Online Payments

Since last term, when a survey of parents showed that an overwhelming majority of our families would make use of an online payment system, we have been busy working to make this happen.

We have had a trial of a system called ‘SchoolComms’ and have now committed to buying this in for next year.

In order to install all of the software, we need to upgrade our school server, and this is in progress.

Hopefully, all of the hardware will be in place before the Christmas holiday. Ideally, we would like all of the software installed before the holiday too, so that we can use the payment gateway at the start of the January Term, but I think this may be a little ambitious. However, everything is coming together and it should all be working soon.

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Christmas Fair

The Friends Association are busy planning this year’s Christmas Fair (Wednesday, 18th December) and are asking for donations and help, please.

· Good quality second-hand toys and books in good condition

· Any new items that could be used as raffle or tombola prizes

They are also looking for some help with photographs. Every year the children can pay for a photo taken with Santa in his grotto and this year we need someone with some confidence and skills with photography to take the photos. You don’t have to be David Bailey, but you do need to be confident using your camera.

We’ve also got a couple of things the Friends would like to auction on Ebay: there are a couple of ‘Skyfall’ posters and a three legged folding stool, signed ‘Daniel’ by Daniel Craig (sadly, not signed ‘Daniel Craig’!). Our Friends Association are looking for someone who knows their way around Ebay to sell these on their behalf.

If you can help with photography or Ebay, please let us know in the school office and we’ll pass your details on to the Friends.

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