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Weekly Update 27

14 May 2023 (by admin)

Dear parents and carers,

It has been another eventful week with the Year 6 pupils taking part in the tests. Well done to them all for being so focused and for applying all their learning to some tricky papers. The results of the tests will be sent to school mid-July and these will be shared with the school community.   

Fairfields Fame 

Well done to our school for featuring on the BBC broadcast on the day of the Coronation. This is also available to view on BBC iPlayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-hampshire-65509365 

Our Eco Committee also feature on the Festival Place website when they took part in the community gardening project:  https://www.festivalplace.co.uk/ 

Increase in School Meal prices 


The current economic climate continues to be a challenge for all and HC3S (our school catering company)  is also facing significant increases in food and pay costs, with further escalation in food prices anticipated. Unfortunately, the Government's 7p increase for Universal Infant Free School Meals in the funding settlement is not sufficient to cover these rising prices.  


HC3S is committed to pricing meals solely to cover costs, without making a profit. Despite efforts and negotiations with suppliers, food prices have exceeded budgeted levels, and reducing the nutritional content or portion sizes of meals is not considered an appropriate option.   


Consequently, HC3S must increase the school meal price by 20p, from £2.80 to £3, for all meal types from 5 June 2023.  


These are challenging times for everyone, and this decision was not made lightly.  


The current funding for Universal Infant Free School Meals is £2.41 per meal, which will only provide around £0.48 for food after the proposed national pay award is applied. This is less than the cost of food provided a decade ago and is insufficient to meet the required standards for feeding children under the School Food Plan and Food in School legislation.   


However, the service remains dedicated to providing high-quality meals that support the learning of Hampshire's young people, including those from low-income households who rely on our hot meals. Schools are encouraged to continue to signpost families to the free school meal eligibility checker online: www.hants.gov.uk/educationandlearning/freeschoolmeals    


Efforts to promote affordable school meals and support families in need  


Hampshire County Council is taking an active role in advocating for fair and affordable school meal prices and is working closely with local MPs to raise the profile of this issue. This follows previous communication with the Secretary of State for Education, outlining the need for adequate funding to support the provision of healthy school meals, and schools are encouraged to do the same.  


On 11 May, the Local Authority will put forward its latest set of proposed initiatives to be funded from the new Household Support Fund (April 2023 to March 2024) – the scheme which supports families and individuals struggling with the cost of food and fuel. This will include discretionary funding available for schools, colleges and early years settings to provide direct food or fuel support for families in need. These will be presented for approval by the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services and include a number of different schemes to help families with the rising cost of living. For more information visit the County Council website (www.hants.gov.uk).  


Parenting Top Tip – Coping with Conflict 


We have noticed that more of our children are struggling during playtime despite us investing in activities and zones in the playground. This could be due to the pandemic and the lack of social interaction during this period. We recognise that children have spent several years with their families and close friends and perhaps haven’t physically mixed with other peers who do not know them as well.  


In school, we have sometimes seen small arguments in the playground, escalate to physical aggression. This is more frequent than in the past. When we investigate, it is normally due to a lack of skills (in both the victim and the aggressor) in conflict resolution. 


Conflict can be and is not limited to: 

  • Someone says something unkind to you, 
  • getting knocked into by accident. 
  • not getting the position you wanted in a game, 
  • your ideas for games are not agreed upon, 
  • friends not wanting to have lunch with you as they want to eat with someone else, 
  • not having a turn in a game 
  • someone shouting at you because they are upset 
  • someone ignoring you because they are upset or angry. 


Although we do not condone this behaviour as acceptable, we recognise it as part of the developmental process children go through when learning how to be in a relationship with someone not in their family. Children who can share their feelings when this happen (and choose a response) are more successful in resolving conflict and are able to form healthy friendships. This behaviour is then rarely repeated between them and their friends.  


We will now begin to teach these skills explicitly to children in the school and would ask for your support in doing so at home. We will focus on the choices a person has when conflict arises.  

We will use the Problem Solving Wheel to help visually show children what their options are: https://www.speechtherapystore.com/problem-solving-wheel/ 


For more information visit: https://childmind.org/article/teaching-kids-how-to-deal-with-conflict/ 


Have a great rest of your weekend! 



Miss Kelly Dillon