Christmas Newsletter 

December 2023

Dear Howley families,

Welcome to our final newsletter of 2023, with only 4 more sleeps to go until Christmas! I think it is more than fair to say that our children have definitely reached fever pitch excitement levels with staff (and probably a few of our parents and carers) reaching similar levels of exhaustion!

We have, once again, been completely humbled by the support we have had at our recent Christmas celebrations. Our singalong on the playground was so well attended and the audiences for our nativities have also been brilliant too - thank you all for your time.

It is not just in the past few weeks that you have shown such tremendous support for our school, it has been throughout the whole of 2023. I really do hope you all know just how much it is appreciated. It is an absolute honour and privilege to serve such a strong, spirited community full of the most fantastic children, staff and families. Looking back, I am so very proud of all Howley has achieved in 2023 and know that we will all continue to work together to ensure our amazing children receive the very best care and education as they deserve nothing less. 

As we near the end of this year, I would just like to take a moment to thank our superb team of staff. They have yet again, worked tirelessly throughout the year and I send my thanks to each and every one of them, including the many ‘unsung heroes’ like our cleaning team, who make such a difference to our children each and every day.

In their nativity earlier this week, our Reception children perfectly delivered their message of this being a time for peace, joy, love and kindness to all. This certainly resonated with me and acted as a reminder of the importance of taking time out of our busy schedules to stop and enjoy the important things in life, especially making lovely memories with those we hold most dear. I wish all our children, families and staff the most wonderful Christmas break, may your homes be full of love, happiness and cheer. We will see you all again on the 8th January, rested and ready for a fantastic 2024.

Sending my very best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all,

Miss Lewis

Reading around Howley

No Shelf Control

The Christmas issue of No Shelf Control is now available on our website here.   There are so many great ideas for new books to read over the Christmas period.

There are previous issues of No Shelf Control on our school website too if you are looking for ideas to encourage your child to read at home.

After School Clubs

There are still places available in our after school clubs which begin in January.

To book a place for your child you will need to log in to School Life and reserve a place (We have changed the booking process, please see instructions below). After you have reserved a place, we will make the payment available to you on teachers2parents with payment being due before the club's first session.

There are limited places available, this can be seen on the School Life app.

To book a place:

  • Open your School Life app and ensure you are logged in
  • Click the three lines in the top left corner to open the menu, then click 'Clubs and Bookings'
  • Your child should be named at the top (if you have more than one child, use the drop down list to select the correct child)
  • Select January 2024 from the month drop down list and you should be able to see clubs available for you to book
  • If you are interested in a club, select “book” and you will see all of the information regarding this club
  • Should you wish to proceed please select “Book this date”.

An email with a payment link will be sent to you in due course, although this won’t happen immediately. Payment can be made through Teachers2Parent.

If you would like any further help or support regarding the clubs, or the booking process: please don’t hesitate to contact the office.

Music Lessons with Dudley Performing Arts 

We are working with Dudley Performing Arts (DPA) to provide music lessons in school and now is the time to start! The team at DPA have decades of experience and are the biggest provider of music education in our area. Students can start for as little as £8 a session and if you would like your child to start simply click on the link below to find out how it works. 

Learning a musical instrument is a great thing for young people to do. It can help in all sorts of ways and research suggests that it can help children develop academically and socially.  Lessons take place in school making it easy to fit in around your busy family lives and we hope that you will take up this amazing offer. 

Wellbeing Warriors

Click on this link to see our Autumn Term newsletter:

Flu Vaccine Catch Up Sessions in January

Vaccination UK have asked us to let you know that the opportunity for your child to receive the flu vaccine has been extended into January 2024. 

Dudley MBC are looking to recruit foster carers across the Dudley Borough. Foster care plays a vital part in so many children’s and young people’s lives. In Dudley, the need for foster carers is greater than ever. Please see the information below regarding taking the first steps into becoming a foster carer.

Free Swimming At Crystal, Duncan Edwards and Halesowen leisure centres

Free swimming is returning for children in the borough over the school holidays – but youngsters will now have to be accompanied by an adult aged 18 years or above.
The offer will be available at all of our leisure centres - the new Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre in Dudley, Crystal Leisure Centre in Stourbridge and Halesowen Leisure Centre. 

Free swimming will run from Saturday 23 December to Sunday 7 January inclusive and any child aged 16 or under living in the borough can sign up.

Duncan Edwards pool opening times.
Crystal pool opening times.
Halesowen pool opening times.

Young people taking advantage of the free swimming offer must be supervised by a responsible adult aged 18 or over. They do not have to accompany children over the age of eight into the swimming pool but must remain in the leisure centre and be contactable should any issues arise.

Children under the age of eight must be accompanied into the water by an adult or responsible person over 18 years of age. One adult must accompany no more than two children under the age of eight into the swimming pool.

Children aged 16 and under who turn up unaccompanied will be charged the normal admission price.

People who are not previously registered for free swimming must do so at in advance of their swim.

Family Fun Disability Swims

Family fun disability swims, which are designed for people with disabilities, special educational needs and ASD, will be held at Crystal Leisure Centre, Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre and Halesowen Leisure Centre. Children can use the free-swimming offer for these sessions. 
Crystal Leisure Centre: Friday 29 December, 2pm - 4pm and Friday 5 January, 2pm - 4pm
Duncan Edwards Leisure Centre: Details available shortly
Halesowen Leisure Centre: Saturday 23 December 2.30pm - 3.45pm, Saturday 30 December 2.30pm - 3.45pm and Saturday 6 January, 2.30pm - 3.45pm
Please be aware that this is not a coached session and children under the age of eight must be accompanied in and out of the water by a responsible person aged at least 16 years old.

From 27th November to 8th January, children are invited to design a mascot for The Dudley Group NHS Charity.

The challenge, which is open to children aged 7-11, has been created to help our charity find a Mascot to feature in our content and events.

The challenge involves designing a character which best represents the Dudley Group NHS Charity and the work we do, with the winning design becoming the brand-new charity mascot.

NHS staff, schools, teachers, and parents are being encouraged to get their children and classes involved in the challenge.

The mascot will feature on the charity’s flyers, posters, and websites, for many years to come and represent Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, it is scheduled to go into physical production ready for a season of events from spring next year!

All resources and information on how to enter can be downloaded from here - Charity mascot design challenge - The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust (
Entries close on 8th January 2024.

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