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Newsletter 2nd October 2020

Article 31 Every child has the right to rest and leisure and to engage in play and recreational activities.

Activities/events that have happened in school so far:

Macmillan Coffee Morning

Wow!  We had an absolutely fantastic response to our Macmillan Coffee Morning raising a staggering £711! Thank you to all those who supported this amazing charity, that is so dear to many of us. We appreciated your support and I know the money will be well used by Macmillan to help families who are going through an extremely difficult time.

School Council

Congratulations and well done to all of the children who campaigned to be our School Councillors.  There were some excellent presentations.

The successful School Councillors this year are as follows:

 

2P Ava C and Luca M.

2B Siyanna K and Enqi X

3/4D Jaiya U and Ghulam B

3/4O Seth D and Annabelle D

3/4C Elissa W and Mason D

5/6B Priya T and Adam D

5/6R Lily C and Dexter P

 

Our Rights Respecting Champions for this year are:

 

RJ Leo C and Kayla B 

RC Marni P and Jenson N

1W  Eesha U and Balraj S

1C Abigail R and Kian S

2B Dylan Rand Ellie J

2P Rose M and Samuel H

3/4O Mylo B and Chloe P

3/4C Freya S and Leonie J

3/4D Rori A and Clay W

5/6B Mikey D and Libby H

5/6R Bella W and Owen S

 

Pen Licences

 

Congratulations to the following children for achieving new pen licences:

Year 5/6:  Lily B, Libby H, Daniel W, Lacie W, Mason P, Adam D, Priya T, Grace A, Caitlin F, Lily C, Olivia M, Iris R R and Tate J

Year 3/4: Lily-May P, Olivia D and Elissa W

Well done all of you; a great start!

 

Attendance Winners September

Well done to Miss Cleeton’s Reception class, who won the attendance award for September with an amazing 98.85% attendance! They were able to wear their own clothes to school today!

Year Rec Balanceability

From 7th September, Reception classes have been taking part in a 40 minute ‘Balanceability’ class each Monday afternoon. These classes teach the early balance skills needed to ride a bicycle. They develop coordination and core strength and have been linked to improvements in writing.

The programme is being delivered by our Sports partners, RB Sports, and will be funded from the school’s Sports Premium budget. Classes will take place in the playground unless it is pouring with rain. Please ensure that your child brings a warm, showerproof coat and wears school trousers on Mondays. Girls should avoid wearing skirts or dresses as these may get caught up in the equipment. If required, jogging bottoms may be worn for the sessions but children will be required to change back into school uniform after the activity.

Year R - Phonics Meeting

We would usually invite Reception Parents to a short ‘Phonics Meeting’ in school to show you how we deliver phonics in our school and how you can help support your child’s learning at home.  Phonics is an extremely important part of the EYFS curriculum.  This helps to enable your child to read, spell and write.

Unfortunately, this year due to Covid 19 restrictions and the Government guidance, we were unable to hold a face to face meeting in school.  Therefore, we have produced a PowerPoint explaining our phonics programme, to enable you to have a better understanding so that you can encourage and help your child at home to learn their sounds.

The PowerPoint can be found on the school website, in the ‘pale blue’ pencil, ‘Reception new intake’, Parents Jolly Phonics Presentation 2020 or in the ‘pale blue’ ‘Class info’ pencil and select your child’s class teacher.

Meet the Teacher PowerPoint

We would usually hold a 'face to face' Parent Meeting in September, to enable Parents to meet your child's teacher and know the expectations for the academic year.  Unfortunately, due to Government guidance we are unable to hold the meetings this year.  

The purpose of the PowerPoint, is to tell you about the year ahead, expectations of the use of planners and also about our behaviour system. The PowerPoint will also give you information about the curriculum that will be taught as well as the standards that children are expected to achieve by the end of the year. 

We hope that this will provide a positive start to the year and help to establish a good working relationship between you and your child’s teacher.

These can be found in the ‘Newsletter’ pencil on the school website.

Harvest 5th October 2020 until 19th October 2020

In the weeks leading up to half term, we will be celebrating Harvest.

This year we have decided again to help the Black Country Foodbank who collect items to feed families in crisis in our community. Black Country Foodbank helps vulnerable individuals and families in crisis through the provision of 3 days emergency food supplies while a longer-term solution is developed. The services that they provide have an enormous impact on the people who use them, giving them an important breathing space at a time of great need.

The Foodbank would like to collect a range of items so that they don’t have an abundance of some items and a shortfall of others. So, we are going to ask each class to donate particular items, so that we should manage to collect a selection across the school. We will be launching the appeal in classroom assemblies next week, but thought you may like advance warning so that perhaps you can add an extra item into your shopping. Please make sure that the foods are “in date”, i.e. within their ‘best before’ dates as the Foodbank can’t give away food that is past its best—before date and we don’t want to waste any donations.

In these uncertain times, many parents are turning to Foodbanks for help.  I know that they will greatly appreciate your donations.

If you feel able to support this appeal, then please bring the item asked from your child’s class on the list below, anytime from Monday 5th October to Monday 19th October 2020 to the main Reception foyer and leave the items in the conservatory.  The items will then be sanitised before being bought into the building.

 

Nursery - Any items from the lists below.

Year R  - Miss Cleeton - Tinned meat or fish

Year R - Miss Jordan - Carton of U.H.T.(long life) milk

Year 1 - Mrs Cartwright - Tinned Potatoes, tinned Vegetables

Year 1 - Mr Wade - Tinned fruit, cartons of orange juice

Year 2 - Miss Barclay - Sugar, biscuits

Year 2 - Miss Postings - Hot chocolate, small jars of coffee, tea

Year 3/4 - Mrs Oliver -Soup, (tinned/carton/packet), instant noodles

Year 3/4 - Mrs Cameron - Rice, dried pasta, couscous

Year 3/4 - Miss Dorricott - fruit squash/cordial

 

Year 5/6 - Mr Baker Cereal (preferably non sugared)

Year 5/6 - Mr Raybould Toiletries (soap, shower gel shampoo, baby toiletries, wipes  etc) 

Social distancing before and after school

Thank you to those parents who followed Dudley's advice by wearing a mask to drop off/collect children. This is not compulsory, but was suggested to reduce transmission in larger crowds. Children are welcome to wear a mask when travelling to and from school however, these should be removed and taken home with the adult before entering the school building,

Can we remind parents of the importance of maintaining social distancing when dropping off and collecting children.  This is a particular issue before school along the footpath by the Yr1, 3/4 and 5/6 entrances.  We are asking you to keep your child by your side at all times and not let them play in groups along the pathway. We have had both parents and local residents express their concern about access and safety.  To avoid this please ensure that you arrive at the exact allocated time and leave promptly please.

Secondary Transfer

Many of our Year 6 children and their parents are busy trying to decide on a local secondary school to help them complete their application forms.  We know that, because of Coronavirus, many schools are offering virtual tours.  Please contact the local secondary school or check their website for more information.

Can I remind parents that, if you live in Dudley Borough, the closing date for applications this year is 31st October 2020 (during the half term holiday). It is really important that this deadline is met; failure to do so will jeopardise your preferences for your child.  Please click on the link below for more information.

https://www.dudley.gov.uk/residents/learning-and-school/school-information/school-admissions/

Primary Reception Intake

In Dudley, children start primary school the September after their 4th birthday. The law states all children must start school by the beginning of the term after their 5th birthday.  

Please click on the link below for more information on how to apply:

https://www.dudley.gov.uk/residents/learning-and-school/school-information/school-admissions/primary-reception-intake/

Important dates for Reception Intake 2021

  • Online application available - 1 October 2020
  • Return date for paper application forms - 15 January 2021 by 5pm*
  • Return date for online applications - 15 January 2021 by midnight*
  • Decision emails to parents - 16 April 2021 after 2pm
  • Decision letters to parents - 16 April 2021 by 2nd class post
  • Appeals to be heard - June/July 2021

* Failure to return your form/apply by this date may affect the outcome of your application.

Attendance at a nursery attached to a primary school will not guarantee admission to that particular primary school or give any advantage to the pupil in the admissions process.

Absent children

In the last couple of weeks we have had several poorly children. The majority of parents are great at keeping us up to date and letting us know if their child will not be attending school and why. This is really helpful as we have to annotate our registers giving reasons for children’s absence. Can I remind parents of the procedure for ill children?

If you feel that your child has an illness which may warrant them remaining at home then you must:

Consider first of all whether you feel that your child would still be able to take part in the majority if not all of the school’s activities. In this case, you should still send your child to school. Should your child become unwell during the day and/or where the school feels that the child is no longer able to participate in school activities, the school will contact you to collect your child.

If you feel that your child cannot take part in the school’s activities and would be better remaining at home then you must contact the school as soon as possible on the first/each day of absence before 9:05am. When parents do not contact us by 9.05am the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.

How to log on to Schoollife app.

To access our website enter the following web address: https://blanford.sch.life/               

‘School Life’ enables us to communicate more efficiently to the people that matter, you the parents and guardians of our children!  You will receive push notifications, text messages, newsletters etc.  to a number of devices.  You would also be able to download the app and have constant access to any messages we are sending out!

You will need to download the school life app from either the Google Play store (for Android smartphones and tablets) or the Apple App Store (for iPhones, iPods and iPads). Search for ‘schoollife’ (all one word) and then look for the School Life logo;

 Once downloaded and installed, open the app up and accept the notifications, when asked.

Finally, login with your personal login details below and start receiving all the important notifications.

If you do not have an Apple IOS or Google Android device, you can use your logon details on our school website to get all of the same content.

Social media and the safety of our children

We understand that parents want to record events and activities that their children are involved with in school. Memories of happy times are precious and we have no wish to stop parents from celebrating their children’s achievements. However, whilst many parents ‘share’ photos of their children freely on social media platforms, there are also many parents who, for extremely good reasons, do not want their children to appear on Facebook, Twitter, What’s App etc.

The post below has been brought to our attention and explains the position extremely well. Please take time to read it and to reflect on the views in it. Can I remind parents that photos taken in school where other children can be clearly identified MUST NOT be uploaded onto social media – this is to protect the wellbeing of all of our children.

Thank you for supporting us in keeping children safe.

“When your school asks you not to take photos of your children when they are in groups I can’t stress enough how important this is.

Children that attend your child’s school may be in care and or need safeguarding from their family. Your photo could give away that child’s location.
Children may have moved with mums/dads to escape domestic violence etc...and do not want to be found.

Many parents safeguard their children by not putting them on the internet/social media etc and I’m sure they will not want them sneaking in the background of a photo you have taken.  

Unfortunately, not all children have had loving safe family environments and many are being protected for one reason or another.  Please support your school in safeguarding the children that attend.” 

Parking around the school site

Across the borough, parking around schools is often a contentious issue for local residents and Blanford Mere is no exception. In many previous newsletters we have raised this issue and asked parents to park with consideration to our local residents – not blocking drives or parking in a way that endangers the safety of children and their families. 

We are receiving complaints from our local residents on a regular basis.  There have been several occasions when emergency services needed to access our building or Mimosa Walk would have been unable to do so – this could be life threatening!

We are now using a number of new entrances to the school which adds further congestion to the local neighbours.  Can parents please be considerate of our neighbours and the local community by not parking across driveways, turning around on residents’ driveways or parking on the grass verges. 

WE ARE ASKING PARENTS NOT TO PARK ON MIMOSA WALK AT ALL PLEASE (the entrance or cul de sac outside the main entrance to the school). Local residents have already informed the police –the police are patrolling and fines are being issued).

We know that it is only a minority of parents causing parking problems and congestion.  A big thank you to all those parents who have supported us by parking thoughtfully and correctly.  Your cooperation is very much appreciated.

Forthcoming dates

Inset Day Friday 23rd October 2020

Half Term Holiday Monday 26th Friday 30th 2020

Children return to school Monday 2nd November 2020

 

Have a lovely weekend!

 

Mrs Miller and Miss Stanton

 

Headteacher and Deputy Head

 

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