Article 15 You have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn't harmful to others.

Welcome back

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.

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:

Gym club starts Tuesday 4th September

Dance Club Starts Monday 10th September

'Meet the Teacher' sessions Wednesday 12th September

Ultimate Frisbee Club (Yr 1,2 and 3) starts Wednesday 12th September

Football Club (Yr 4, 5 and 6) starts Thursday 13th September

Macmillan Coffee Morning Friday 28th September (details to follow)

Parents Evenings Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th October

Inset Days Friday 5th October and Monday 8th October

Fun Night (Monster Mash) Friday 19th October

Half Term Holiday Monday 29th October-Friday 2nd October

Christmas Film Night Thursday 6th December 3.15-5.15pm

Christmas Presentations at

St Mary's Church Wednesday 12th December at 9.30am and 1.30pm

Christmas Breakfast Friday 14th December (am)

End of Term and Christmas Jumper Day Friday 21st December

Meet the Teacher Sessions

We would like to invite you to a 'Meet the Teacher' session on Wednesday 12th September 2018 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 new 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 10th 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.

Outdoor Gym

I am sure that you will have seen our great new outdoor gym. Hopefully, your children will also have told you about it! For some time, we have been planning to replace the existing seating area in the KS2 playground. Although it had been well used it was looking 'tired' and in need of replacement. School council, together with lots of support and guidance from Mrs Cartwright, organised and led two sponsored events to start the fundraising process. They also met with a range of providers to obtain 3 quotes to obtain best value for money and secure provision that can be used and enjoyed for many years to come. To enable the project to be accomplished as soon as possible, we also used some of the PE and Sports Premium funding. The gym is part of our drive to increase children's fitness and physical activity, as well as providing a range of activities to ensure that playtimes are productive and happy.

A risk assessment is being carried out as part of routine health and safety procedures. Children will be shown how to use the equipment safely and correctly before we open the gym.

The photos below show the transformation from seating area to smart outdoor gym.

A big thank you to:

• School Council and Mrs Cartwright for their hard work making the project a reality

• Mr Hill for helping us to obtain 'best value' and making our money stretch as far as possible

• Mr Davies, our Site Manager and Mr Robinson, one of our parents, for coming in on the first Saturday of the holiday to dismantle the old seating area and prepare the site for work to start.

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.

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 a child 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.

Birthdays

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.

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

- Fruit

- Vegetables

- Water (plain)

from home for tuck.

Our tuck shop will sell

- plain milk

-water

-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

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.

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:

· Homework

· Reminders of things you need to bring to school

· Who is collecting you from school if different from usual

· Team practices

· Rehearsals

· Music Lessons

· Swimming lessons etc

· Other after-school activities

· Going home with a friend

· Parties

· Holidays

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 12th 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 5th until Friday 7th September. Updates will be put in the latest information (mint green pencil) 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 Facebook 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."

Thank you

A big thank you to Mr Davies and our cleaning team - Mrs Morris, Mrs Waterfield and Mrs Gerrard. During the holiday there has been considerable internal restructuring of some classrooms and other minor building projects. All of these have caused dust, mess and general upheaval. The team has worked really hard to make sure that the school was clean and prepared for the new school term. Their flexibility and dedication is very much appreciated.

Looking forward to a productive term!

Mrs N Miller

Headteacher

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