Headteachers Blog

Website difficulties

Unfortunately we are experiencing difficulties uploading documents to our school website, this includes school meals menus and newsletters. We are working really hard to resolve this, in the meantime if you are a parent of a child in school everything will be shared via Class Dojo; if you’re just visiting we apologies and hope to be up and running very soon!

Vacancy for new Chair of Local Governing Board

As many of you will already know, this year will see us becoming an academy and joining with other local schools as part of PEAK Multi-Academy Trust. As a result of this change, some of our Governors will be moving into Academy Board Trustee roles and will eventually be relinquishing their roles on our Local Governing Board. Our current Chair of Governors, Mr Brad Ames, once formally in his new role as a Trustee, must step down as Chair. It therefore leaves us with an opportunity to recruit a new Chair of Governors who will transition into the role with the support of Brad and the existing Governors. The new Chair of Governors will lead us, along with the School Leadership Team (SLT) through our academisation, our first steps as a new multi-academy trust and be involved in establishing the important role of the Local Governing Boards as part of the PEAK Multi-Academy Trust. We are therefore seeking a Chair who has the capacity to be committed to working alongside the SLT in taking us on the next stages of our school’s journey. A role description is available here. Mr Ames, or our Vice Chair, Emma Baker are also happy to answer any questions should you be interested in this exciting opportunity; they can be contacted via the school office or email Brad, or Emma, .

Snow update

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your patience and understanding regarding today’s school closure. It is never a decision taken lightly to close school. I’m also sure that you’ll appreciate that it takes a while to collate the key information that informs the decision making process.

Those things considered being:

  • Is there a fundamental reason to close school? e.g. do we have sufficient heating/running water in school?
  • Do we have food provision? e.g. can we provide meals for more than 300 children over lunchtime? The closure of CJS is fundamental in this.
  • Do we have enough staff to keep the children safe over lunchtime while other members of staff have breaks?
  • Do we have adequate staffing for children to be safe in school? This being the most complex, not only do we need a member of staff in every classroom, we need 2 in FS2 plus our SEND pupils need their one to one support in order for everyone to be safe.
  • Do the staff we have available have the necessary skills we need? – whilst we have an amazing team and everyone is very capable, some children / classes have very particular needs and are more impacted by unfamiliar adults being with them.
  • Are we compromising staff, children and parents safety in encouraging them to travel to school? Nobody would want the responsibility of an accident on their conscience.
  • Can our school site be made safe for staff, children and parents to move around? Being a ‘split site’ is a particular factor for our school. Children and staff frequently move between the portacabins and the main school.

We have a significant number of staff who live locally but only 3 teachers, not enough to run a school for 360 children.

I can understand the frustration around not knowing what may happen tomorrow but to lose two days of learning time is a significant decision; it’s 1% of the year. The forecast may improve or the travel conditions may ease with more gritters out and traffic using the roads.

It is likely that, if the weather continues as it is, we will make a decision this evening to close in order to enable parents to make contingency plans for tomorrow. If, by chance, we open in the morning, any child unable to attend as childcare has been pre-arranged will have their absence authorised.

Many thanks for your understanding,

Mrs Galley

PS. The chicks are fine, Miss Clark and Mr Archer are looking after them… we have 5 so far, I think!

Academisation Consultation Document

As you are aware we have been exploring the benefits of converting to a Multi Academy Trust alongside ; Chellaston Juniors, Homefields Primary School and Chellaston Academy.

Please find here the consultation document for your information. Please note the time line and the procedure for giving feedback.

Thank you


For parents;

Dear Parents,

You may have seen a report in the Derby Telegraph regarding a safeguarding incident that took place in Swarkestone, where some children from Chellaston Academy were approached by someone posing as a police officer.

We want to reassure you that we will revisit ‘stranger danger’ with all children in assembly, and continue to uphold our safeguarding procedures.

Many Thanks,

Keeping our children safe

Please visit our new webpage covering all aspects of Child Protection and Safeguarding; there are lots of links to topics of interest for parents about keeping your child safe from the NSPCC.

140th Anniversary – Memories of our school

As you will know, as our longest serving member of staff, Mrs Falevina kicked off our year of anniversary items on the July newsletter and over the next year you’ll hear from some other familiar faces along with some ‘voices from the past’ as we delve into our schools first 35 years worth of Headteacher log books. Having received the log book from the records office our first discovery was our actual anniversary date which is confirmed as April 2nd 1878.

You can read Memories (1) here:

Distinction from AfPE!

We’re pleased to announce that we have, after 3 years, retained our Association of PE (AfPE) P.E. award at distinction level. Our assessors feedback noted how hard it was for schools to retain distinctions with everyone improving overall. Well done to our Healthy Living Team in school who keep us moving … Mrs P for her daily aerobics sessions … our Gym Team … our Dance Team … our teachers for their fantastic PE teaching and our children for their enthusiasm for PE and healthy living!

Look what one of our “Little Princesses” has done…

You can do amazing things whether you’re big or small.

Over the weekend one of our Year 1 pupils has donated 12 inches of her hair to the Little Princess Trust, who turn the donated hair into wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy.  Lots of generous people sponsored her and she’s raised over £800. Her family and school are so proud of her!

When she first heard about the trust, she immediately wanted to help – her parents say “we’re so proud of her for making that decision all by herself”.  Here’s a photo of before, during and after her cut ;


Annual General Meeting of the PTFA

Last week saw the AGM of our PTFA which was well attended. Thank you all who were there.

During the meeting our 2016/17 Committee of Mrs Tricia Clifton (Chair), Mrs Jane Leyland (Vice Chair/Secretary) and Mrs Claire Palmer (Treasurer) stepped down. Firstly, on behalf of myself, the children and their parents, and our school staff we thank the ladies for their tireless commitment to our school, all have been members in various capacities throughout their time with us and been part of a hugely successful fund-raising drive, seeing both large scale and smaller scale projects to fruition.

We were thrilled to appoint a new 4 person committee of:

Kieran Howell – Chairman
Jenny Burton – Treasurer
Chloe Adams – Secretary
Rhiann Andrews /  Catherine Cheung – Vice Chairpersons

to carry on the fantastic work and in doing so ensuring that our/your children still have access to PTFA activities such as school discos, fairs and other special events.

The children have asked that you, along with the new committee, established and new PTFA members help raise money now for a bouldering wall and a stage in the main playground.

Mrs Clifton’s Chairperson’s annual report to parents can be read below.

Chair’s Report to Parents