September 2019 Autumn Term Newsletter
You have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn’t harmful to others.
I hope you all had a good break over the summer – it’s hard to believe that it is the start of the autumn term already! The children all seem refreshed and ready for an exciting year’s work. Thank you to parents/guardians for sending them back to school looking smart and in correct uniform – remember children can wear either summer or winter uniform up until half term. However, if they are wearing winter uniform they should have a tie on.
A reminder that all PE kits should be in school as timetables start immediately. Although all classes have timetabled PE sessions, there are often additional opportunities for sporting activities as well as staff making the most of the last of the good weather for outdoor PE lessons.
We would like to welcome Miss Barclay, Mrs Cameron, Miss Dorricott and Mr Wade to our teaching team this year. They have already spent time in school getting to know their new classes and being part of the ‘handover’ of information to ensure continuity. We hope they will be happy with us. We are also pleased that Miss Edmonds and Mrs Gallagher are joining our team of teaching assistants. We hope that all of our new staff will be happy at Blanford Mere.
Congratulations to Miss Morris, on the safe arrival of a baby boy, weighing 9lb7oz on Monday 2nd September. Both mum and baby are well.
Dates for your diary
I know that parents find advance notice of forthcoming dates and events helpful to help when juggling family and work commitments. Further details will be sent nearer the time but known dates for this term are:
Dance Club Starts Monday 9th September
Gym club starts Tuesday 10th September
‘Meet the Teacher’ sessions Wednesday 11th September
Multisports Club (Yr 1,2 and 3) starts Wednesday 18th September
Football Club (Yr 4, 5 and 6) starts Thursday 19th September
Macmillan Coffee Morning Friday 27th September (details to follow)
Parents Evenings Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th October
Fun Night (Monster Mash) Thursday 24th October
Inset Day Friday 25th October
Half Term Holiday Monday 28th October—Friday 1st October
Christmas Film Night Thursday 5th December 3.15-5.15pm
Christmas Services at St Mary’s Wednesday 11th December at 9.30am and 1.30pm Christmas Breakfast Friday 13th December (am)
End of Term and Christmas Jumper Day Friday 20th December
Meet the Teacher Sessions - This is extremely important as it will provide information about the expectations for your child's learning this academic year. Please attend if you are able to.
We would like to invite you to a ‘Meet the Teacher’ session on Wednesday 11th September 2019 at 3.30pm.
These sessions are in addition to our usual Parent Consultation Evenings later in the term when you will have a chance to meet your child’s teacher and discuss your child’s progress. The purpose of this meeting is for your child’s new class teacher to introduce themselves, to tell you about the year ahead, expectations of the use of planners and also about our behaviour system. By the end of the session you will have received 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. Teachers will take this opportunity to clarify how parents can help to support their children and will answer any questions that you may have.
If you are able to attend then please write in your child’s planner as soon as possible, but by Monday 9th September at the latest, so that we have an idea of numbers. Please indicate how many adults will be attending. Sessions will take place in your child’s classroom (children will be looked after whilst you attend the sessions.)
We are aware that some parents will have children in more than one class and can only be in one place at a time! Can we suggest that it may be beneficial to attend the session for your oldest child as you will already have some knowledge of the routines and curriculum for previous year groups?
We appreciate that some parents will not be able to attend due to work commitments. After the sessions, we will post a brief outline on the website in the folder for each class so that you can see what was discussed; details of the behaviour system will be published in a newsletter.
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.
SAFE DISMISSAL OF CHILDREN
Could I remind parents to leave plenty of room at exits/gates please for the children to get in and out. Parents often express concern about adults either crowding around the gate or coming into the play-ground. This makes it difficult for parents who wait at the perimeter fencing, as requested, to meet their children safely.
The problem is also increased if parents/carers bring their dogs too close to the gates, as a number of children are afraid of dogs and are reluctant to pass close to them. A reminder that dogs should not be bought onto school premise (except for guide dogs). Apart from distressing children who are not confident around dogs, dog mess is unpleasant for all concerned when it comes into school.
The end of the school day is an extremely busy time. We aim to dismiss all children safely. Please help us by NOT walking between the KS1 to KS2 playgrounds. Children are using this area as an exit and it is also used for Breakfast and After School Club entrance. Therefore, we would appreciate parents using the pavement outside of the school building when collecting from one key stage and the other.
If you need to see your child’s class teacher after school, then please wait until the teacher has dismissed all of their class. The main priority for classteachers at that point is the safe dismissal of their children and they cannot talk to you properly.
Nuts in School
Please note that we have children in school with a severe nut allergy – a reminder please that we are a no nut/nut free school (including Nutella). We really appreciate your support with this as the matter is extremely serious.
It has become a tradition here for children to celebrate their birthday in school by wearing their own clothes. These still need to be appropriate for a normal school day but will help to mark their special day in a fun way. For children who are lucky enough to have their birthday on a Saturday, Sunday or in the school holidays, then they can wear their own clothes on the following Monday.
Collection arrangements at the end of the day. If your child attends our After School Club, Playbox or other provider on a regular basis please indicate this in your child's planner. This also applies if the routine changes or another relative is collecting. If the arrangements for collection change throughout the day, then please call the office on 01384818365. Thank you.
A reminder about our Healthy Tuck Policy at break times.
All schools are expected to adhere to the School Food Standards which include guidance for “school food other than lunch.” In addition, food provided in school will be inspected by Ofsted as part of the inspection framework. You will be aware from the media that the healthy eating agenda for children is extremely high profile and schools are expected to play an important part. The inspection framework clearly states that:
“Inspectors will look for evidence of a culture or ethos of exercise and healthy eating throughout their entire inspection visit, in classrooms as well as in the school canteen. They will look at the food on offer and visit the canteen to see the atmosphere and culture in the dining space and the effect this has on pupils’ behaviour. Inspectors will also speak to school leaders about how they help to ensure a healthy lifestyle for pupils by helping them gain knowledge of a good diet, physical exercise and mental and physical well being.”
We ask parents to help us by only sending in
- Water (plain)
from home for tuck.
Our tuck shop will sell
- plain milk
-toast or crumpet with low fat margarine (1 slice / crumpet per child)
Children can order daily fruit on a half termly basis when letters are sent out prior to each half term. Thank you to all those parents who have sent in healthy tuck.
As part of promoting good health, we encourage children to drink water during the day to stay hydrated. Can parents please remind children that plain water is allowed and not squash, juice etc. Children are welcome to include squashes, juices and juice drinks in lunch boxes.
Planners are an integral part of communications between home and school. The planner will be used daily to aid learning in school as they have valuable resources inside, messages can be written in the planner by parents, children and staff. All children in school have been given their own planner already. The planners have been carefully chosen to include a mixture of information—some specific to Blanford Mere, other more general information in the reference section. You will find a new reading record as well as a diary. Children will be encouraged to record spellings to learn and homework.
Teachers will sign planners weekly.
We would like parents to sign the planner every week to confirm that their child’s reading and homework have been completed.
Homework will be set from next week every Wednesday so that it can be completed by the following Tuesday. This is mainly set online, however paper work may be set occasionally too. Spellings will be checked every Tuesday. Please help your child by ensuring they complete homework set and read daily.
Please encourage your child to check their planner every day so that they don’t miss anything important. We would like the children to value their planners and look after them; we will be asking them not to graffiti or deface them in any way.
Children might like to include the following:
Planners and PE kits must be in school every day – as this means that children are ready to learn and have all resources to hand. This forms part of our behaviour system within school – this has been explained to the children and will be shared with parents at the ‘Meet the teacher’ sessions on Wednesday 11th September 3.30pm – 4.30pm.
In the front section of the planner (pg 5) – there is a home school agreement – we are asking all parents to sign and date this by Friday 14th September please. You may want your children to sign this alongside you, so that you can talk about this together or children and staff will sign them in school. Thanks.
Condover Hall Residential
Yr 6 children are at Condover Hall from Wednesday 4th until Friday 6th September. Updates will be put in the latest news section daily. Let’s hope the sun shines!
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.”
Looking forward to a productive term!
Mrs N Miller