Article 31

Every child has the right to rest and leisure and to engage in play and recreational activities.

Dear Parents/carers,

We have finally made it to the Easter break after a very long term for all of us!  From opening, to lockdown, to remote learning, full reopening, isolating... the list is endless!

However, we have had a very busy and productive time in school the past four weeks, it has been so amazing to have all of the children back in school.  The children have quickly re-established routines and are trying their best to follow the guidance to keep everybody safe.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the children for their engagement, resilience and hard work, we hope that this continues in the summer term - this has been a difficult time for everybody.

Thank you to our parents for not sending children to school who have had any of the three main symptoms and getting their child tested promptly.  Many parents have also been very vigilant in taking their child to be tested for the wider symptoms to keep everybody in school safe.  We are pleased to report that we have only had one positive case this term that had resulted from outside the setting. Due to the high prevalence of the new variants, Public Health England advised us to isolate two whole classes and their teachers for 10 days.  Thank you to the many children who fully engaged with remote learning during this period.

A reminder that if your child is asked to isolate by school because they have been identified as a close contact of a positive case, this is a requirement by law.  This means that children should not leave their home for any reason - for exercise, visiting friends and family, shopping or bringing other siblings to school as they may be asymptomatic and risk spreading the virus to others. If you are unable to ask another adult to bring the other siblings to school, please inform school and we will arrange for remote learning to be set.  You and the rest of your family can continue to go out into the community and siblings can attend school.  We would appreciate your support with this to keep everybody safe.

Finally, thank you to the staff for continuing to provide learning opportunities in school and for some pupils, remotely, whilst still offering a broad and balanced curriculum for everybody.

Activities that have happened in school recently

Comic Relief

Thank you! The money raised for Comic Relief amounted to £273.25 - the children have raised a huge amount for this wonderful charity and worthy cause both here in the UK and across Africa.

Drumming

Year 3/4C have had a wonderful time learning how to play the Samba drums - the other 3/4 classes will have this opportunity after the Easter break.

TT Rockstars Dress up day

Children have increased their recall of their times tables, as a result they were rewarded with being able to dress a rock hero.  Tables are the key to accessing the maths curriculum fully and being able to problem solve and reason.  Please encourage your child to access TTRS daily, to increase their recall.

Nursery, Reception and KS1 - Virtual Easter Bonnets

Nursery, Reception and KS1 children looked fantastic in their Easter bonnets - thank you for supporting this memorable occasion - in a 'virtual' way this year. The Easter bunny, was extremely busy preparing the eggs for Sunday.  Unfortunately he had to leave our Eggs with us in February, so that we could quarantine them, to keep everybody safe.  However, he arranged for the class teacher to deliver an egg to every child in school and nursery provided by school.

Morrisons

We would like to say a big thank you to Helen from Morrisons who brought some Haribo sweets (for the children) and chocolate biscuits (for the staff) to welcome everyone back. Morrisons have done a great job supporting our local community throughout lockdown and this kind gesture was certainly appreciated after our first week back with everyone back in school. The sweets have also been quarantined and they have been given out with the Easter eggs today.

Well done Luca - Year 2 - fundraising challenge for Birmingham Children's Hosptial

Luca M in Year 2, has been raising money for Birmingham Children's Hospital, as it is very special to his family. Luca's Dad was treated there as a child, for a heart condition. The operation enabled Luca's Daddy to enjoy as much sport as possible growing up. Throughout Lent, Luca has been running 1 mile a day and he is hoping to raise as much money as possible - he only has a few days left to finish his challenge! Well done Luca, we are very proud of you! 

NHS Test and Trace

NHS Test and Trace is reintroducing confirmatory PCR testing for positive LFD tests conducted at all assisted testing sites, including schools and colleges. This means that all staff, pupils and students who get a positive LFD test, whether at home or supervised at their school or college, should get a confirmatory PCR. The PCR test should be booked immediately either online or by calling 119 and should be undertaken within 2 days.

Staff, students and pupils who had a positive LFD test result, and their close contacts and other members of their household, should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance and while awaiting the PCR result. If the PCR test is negative, it overrides the LFD test and the staff member, pupil or student can return to school or college, and their close contacts can end their self-isolation.  A negative PCR or LFD result should not be read as a means to relax or ignore social distancing or other virus prevention measures intended to reduce transmission - rapid testing is an additional tool that contributes to reducing risk.

Birthdays

If it is your child's birthday they are able to come to school in their own clothes.  Unfortunately, we ask that you do not send sweets into school at the current time.  We are sure that you understand and support us with this decision.

Free school Meals - particularly children in Year 2

When our current Year 2 cohort move to Year 3 in September, they will no longer be entitled to Universal Infant Free School Meals. Free School Meals will then only apply to children where their parent's income satisfies the following conditions at the time of applying: If you get any of the following support payments your child may be entitled to receive free school meals:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you're not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit Run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit (you must have less than £616.67 a month net earned income (after tax - and not including any benefits)‚Äč

Children who receive a qualifying benefit in their own right are also allowed to receive free school meals. Children under the compulsory school age who are in full time education may also be entitled to receive free school meals.

If you meet the above criteria, then please complete the online form below.  You will be notified by Dudley Council if you are successful, they will also inform the school.  Parents can apply online. Click the link below.

 

Safeguarding

Blanford Mere Protection from extremism April 2021

You may have read or seen in the news that school’s have a responsibility to keep children safe from extremism, this is how we do this at Blanford Mere.

Action:

  • Engage and challenge pupils and provide experience to broaden their horizons.
  • Ensure pupils understand what it is to be an active citizen, with an understanding of the responsibility it brings.
  • Allow pupils to hear and debate different points of view and in that way develop their resilience.
  • Give pupils the mental agility, arguments and insight to see through and overcome the propaganda of extremist groups

What we do to support this:

  • Our school is a place that inspires and engages young minds. Our school believes in democracy and the laws of the country, where every individual has a voice that is heard and respected, no matter what their faith or belief. Our school values discussion, debate and learning from others. Our school believes that division belongs in mathematics, not the classroom. There is no place for extremism in our school.

For more information regarding this matter and resources to support at home visit:

http://educateagainsthate.com/

Safeguarding

We all have a responsibility for the welfare of our children. If something concerns you about the welfare of a child within school then please contact the class teacher in the first instance who will refer to the Schools Designated Safeguarding Leads within school. If you have concerns which are not school based you can: Call the children's services referral and advice service on 0300 555 0050 during office hours (9am - 5pm). Out of office hours contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0300 555 8574 or in an emergency call 999. Alternatively you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or email them by visiting https://www.childline.org.uk/

Summer Uniform from Monday 19th April

After Easter, if the weather stays warmer, children are welcome to wear Summer uniform or they can continue to wear their winter uniform. We leave it up to parents to decide when the time is right! 

Girls

  • Blanford Mere red polo shirt (or suitable alternative) and grey school skirt, pinafore or trousers.
  • Red and white checked/striped dress
  • Sensible black shoes and white socks

Boys

  • Blanford Mere red polo shirt or suitable alternative
  • Grey shorts or trousers
  • Sensible black shoes and grey socks (not black trainers)

Please remind children that they should not wear nail varnish or jewellery (other than a watch and/or stud earrings) for school.

Don’t forget that if your child wishes to have their ears pierced the best time is beginning of the summer holidays as it is a Dudley Council policy that children cannot wear any kind of earrings during PE lessons.

We hope you have a restful and safe Easter break,

We look forward to seeing the children back in school on Monday 19th April at their usual time and gate.

Regards

Mrs Miller and Miss Stanton

Forthcoming dates

  • Thursday 1st April – school closes at the usual time for Easter break
  • Friday 2nd April – Friday 16th April – Easter holidays
  • Monday 19th April – School reopens at usual times – Summer uniform can be worn
  • Monday 19th April – Year 2 Pirates Day. Year 2 staff, would like the children to come to school dressed as a pirate! There is no expectation for you to buy new costumes, be as creative as you wish! Please can we ask that children do not bring any props including swords, cutlasses or toy weapons as we are trying our best to limit objects coming into school.
  • Monday 3rd May – Bank Holiday – school closed
  • Thursday 6th MaySchools closed – Polling day – The Local Authority has asked the elections office to, where possible, not use schools this year as polling stations to minimise schools having to close for the day.  Unfortunately, the elections office has been in touch with us this week to inform us that they will be using Blanford Mere Primary School as a polling station on May 6th 2021.We will therefore be closed to pupils on that day. 
  • Tuesday 11th MayPhotographer - Individual photographs will be taken for those children in school who have no brothers/sisters at school. Where there are two or more children from a family in school, they will be photographed together. If you would like any other combination taken i.e. brothers and sisters taken separately as well as together, then please let us know by emailing the info@blanford.dudley.sch.uk by Monday 10th May 2021. Children can wear either their summer or winter uniform.  Winter uniform should include shirts, and ties.  Please send your child to school with a jumper/cardigan.   Children in Year 6 will have photographs taken for a group leaver’s photo. If your child is not in school on this date (illness, appointments, isolation etc.) then unfortunately they will not be included in the photograph, there is no opportunity for retakes or the photograher to return.
  • Thursday 27th May school closes to pupils for half term
  • Friday 28th May – INSET day – school closed to pupils
  • Monday 31st MayFriday 4th June – half term
  • Monday 7th June – School reopens to all pupils
  • Tuesday 20th July – School closes for the summer holidays
  • Wednesday 21st July – Staff Inset day- school closed to pupils

 

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