11th April 2019 Easter Newsletter

Article 14

You have the right to choose your own religious and beliefs. Your parents should help you decide what is right and wrong, and what is best for you.

Well, we are at the end of yet another busy term! The children have had a lot of extracurricular learning opportunities over the spring term.

Attendance winners

Attendance winners for March were both 5/6 classes with an outstanding 98.13% - well done!

KS1 and KS2 End of term treat for good behaviour

Children who have not lost 25 minutes or more Golden Time were treated to an afternoon of physical activities today both indoors and outdoors on Tuesday. We are proud to announce the overwhelming majority of pupils were able to take part this term. Keep up the good behaviour! We hope those very few who lost their end of term treat, will reflect on their behaviour and improve it throughout the summer term – so they do not miss out on the fun!

Easter Egg Competition winners

Many thanks for all of the super entries we had for our eggciting Spring Egg Decorating Competition.

We had everything from Star Wars eggs and Rapunzel to a wonderful egg zoo and a bee hive!

The winners from each key stage are as follows:

Nurs/Rec  

Thomas B

Yr 1/2

Destiny S

Yr 3/4

Lily B

Yr 5/6

Jessica S

Many thanks to Morrison's for donating the chocolate Easter egg prizes and very well done to everyone who took part.

Some eggs will remain in school to be displayed on our Spring display and will be returned to children in the Summer Term.

Here are a few of the entries.

Reception 'Eggcitement'!

Reception have some egg-citing news! On Monday 1st April, Reception had 10 eggs delivered to the classroom, as they are learning about life cycles and changes over time. On Tuesday afternoon, the first chick hatched! We were lucky enough to watch this happen and Charlie H said in excitement "I can see his beak!". Then on Wednesday morning, when the children arrived to school, they found out that 6 more eggs had hatched! The children were very excited! Leo F-C said "I can't believe there are now 7 chicks, it's so awesome!" Throughout Wednesday morning, two more chicks hatched and the final one hatched late afternoon. The children have all had the experience of observing new life and we look forward to watching them grow over the next week!"

Nursery, Reception and KS1 - Easter 'Eggstravaganza'

Nursery, Reception and KS1 had a wonderful day of Easter activities. The children looked fantastic in their Easter bonnets – thank you for supporting this memorable occasion. The Easter bunny, was extremely busy preparing the eggs for next Sunday, so unfortunately was unable to visit. However, he arranged for two of his helpers to visit every class to make a special ‘egg’ delivery to every child in school and nursery provided by school.

Easter Activities

If you are stuck for ideas over the Easter break, then click on the links below for lots of activities and events throughout the borough.

RRSA Display in Kingswinford Library

As part of our ongoing work on children’s rights, we have displayed a small selection of children’s work from Reception class through to Year 6 in order to share with the local community what we are learning about.  The display is situated in the Learning Space by the computers at the back of the library, if you would like to go in and see if your child’s work is there!  It will be there for a few weeks, so please enjoy and share with others.

Year 6 SATs

I’m sure you and your Year 6 child are well aware that the SATs tests are quickly approaching (4 weeks after the Easter break). We are asking you to support school and your children in the following ways over the holidays, so that children have regular practice with concepts that have been taught throughout the year.

Over Easter -Things the children can do to help be prepared:

  • Use their SATs folder and look at old papers that have been completed.
  • Mathletics.
  • TT Rockstars.
    • Rising Stars SATs online.
    • Revise spelling lists in green spelling book (including Year 3/4 and 5/6 lists).
    • Read daily.
    • CGP books.
    • Have a rest!
    • Little and often is best – don’t cram the week before! Please remind them and encourage them.
    • Parking

      Parking around the school remains an issue and damages the relationship between school and the local community. We regularly receive complaints from our neighbours about the inconsiderate actions of a small number of parents.

      Unfortunately, despite regular reminders in newsletters, very little changes and some parents continue to park in a way that presents a health and safety risk to children arriving at and leaving school. Please see the email below received this week which clearly demonstrates the frustration felt by people living in the local roads:

      “I feel the need to contact you again, due to constantly being blocked in on my own driveway by parents being too lazy to walk a few extra feet to collect their children on Beech Tree Close, Kingswinford.

      Also can you advise them that we don't want to listen to their loud music, whilst they are parked up? They have no regard for their surroundings and it's disgusting that they think it's acceptable.” 

      We would really appreciate parents parking and driving with consideration. Thank you to the overwhelming majority of parents who make the effort to park a little further away and walk the last part to relieve the congestion.

      Recent Science Events

      Science is well and truly alive at Blanford Mere!

      Science Principles 1, 2 and 3 have magnificently been in action this term: children have been engaged and wowed; teachers have asked challenging questions to deepen their knowledge and understanding and it has been a joy for me to listen to how expertly even our youngest children could talk about the Science behind their learning using scientific vocabulary during our Celebration Assembly.

      This was splendidly showcased during our Science Week. Our aim was to foster your child’s curiosity and develop their love of Science through our enthusiasm and science curriculum, which offers enhanced learning experiences. I think we certainly achieved this!

      My very grateful thanks go to Mr. Weaver and Mr. Woodley for sharing their scientific knowledge, enthusiasm and time to support my Year 3-4 Parent Science Workshop.   Please read on… Mrs. Woodley.

      Pupil Voice for Science Week in Year 5/6 showed that the work was extremely enjoyable:

      We learnt about a range of Science Journeys and investigated flight. The children were also posed with the question ‘How black is the colour black?’

      To investigate this question we used chromatography.  In English this week we wrote a biography on Gerald Durrell (a famous scientist). We were learning and having fun at the same time! - Ekam S, 5/6

      I really liked the chromatography because it was cool to see the colours travel. Some even turned a different colour! This Science Week is my last, but it has been quite interesting. When we did the ‘Bubble in the Bubble’, my highest was about five. I also did two on my hand.  I never knew that black wasn't just black - it was made from all kinds of colours! - Jessica S, 5/6

      I have never experienced chromatography before. It was really interesting to see the colours spread. WOW! - Max K, 5/6

      With Mrs Woodley’s special ingredient, blowing a ‘Bubble in a Bubble in a Bubble’ is my firm favourite! Every time I blew a bubble into a bubble, the outer bubble expanded. I managed to blow 5. It’s fascinating! Dominic, 5-6

      The highlight for Year 3-4 was their Parent Science Workshop!

      “All the children and parents thoroughly enjoyed carrying out the exciting experiments which captured their imagination, encouraging them to think inquisitively to develop their science capital,” Mr Raybould.

      Kai’s aunty- “Demonstrating density with salt water was brilliant! He’s been excited all week and has been really engaged through the session.

      Another mom said that the engagement of the staff with children was so enjoyable to see. The experiments were fun and engaging, which meant the children asked some fabulous questions! Her son has asked for a range of science equipment because he’s been inspired to develop his Science Capital at home too.

      Dexter’s aunty agreed that she and Dexter particularly enjoyed the scientific Sherbet experiment.

      Lily Bant’s mom particularly enjoyed learning new things herself, working with Lily who discovered new things for herself, such as the Indestructible Food Bag and watching the children’s faces when taking part in the experiments.

      Lacie’s nanny strongly agreed that Lacie loves science and discovering things and she really enjoyed making a can roll along due to static electricity.

      Libby and her mom strongly agreed that they enjoyed the workshop and learning new things together, especially about acids and alkalis.

      Poppy’s mom strongly agreed that the workshop has made an impact on her child’s learning and interest in Science; they particularly found learning the chemical equation for citric acid rather fun!!

      Evelyn’s mom commented that Evelyn “can’t wait to do more Science at big school” and “being able to change the density of water so the egg floated fascinated her!”

      Oliver C’s granddad shared: “He loves to experiment. The involvement with the children is something I’ve really enjoyed doing. It’s made him understand about scientific experiments, in particular, how to stop water running through holes and how to make static electricity.”

      Mason P’s mom strongly agrees that he loves science and they take part in a range of Science based experiences at home. They learnt that static electricity can make things move.

      Grace B’s mom enjoyed taking part and sharing this experience with Grace. They especially enjoyed blowing up a balloon using a bottle and floating an egg by changing the water density.

      Araya – My favourite was Scientific Sherbet. We had to mix three chemicals together then put it on our tongue. The person next to me could see bubbles because this is a chemical reaction and it’s a gas.

      Joel – The Bubble in a Bubble was great. The science behind it is that using glycerine in a mixture can help make good bubbles.

      Jack C – My favourite experiment was The Magical Movement because we made static and etested it to see if it could move a can.

      Harry – My favourite was the Floating Egg by changing the density of the water. The science behind it is that the salt makes the water heavier so the egg floats.

      Pupil voice is as follows for Year 2:

      Tom M said, “I really enjoyed learning about Isaac Newton because I like finding out about famous Scientists”.

      Zach R said, “I enjoyed rescuing Captain Scott from the ice because it was challenging!”

      Jaiya U commented, “I enjoyed rescuing Captain Scott from the ice because it was hard.  I tested materials for an astronaut’s nappy and liked using the pipettes.”

      Danny D stated, “I liked rescuing Scott from the ice because it was interesting how it melted when we scraped the ice on the floor!”

      Dana S said, “My favourite thing to do was rescuing Scott from the ice because we went outside and the sun melted it!”

      Demi F said, “I liked counting the drops of water when we tested the materials for an astronaut’s nappy.”

      Year 2 had a super time exploring and investigating Science through their ‘World Explorers’ topic.  We made a Lego Captain Scott and froze him inside a cup of water.  Our task was to rescue him by melting/breaking the ice.  We also tested materials that could be used for an astronaut’s nappy by finding out which material was the most absorbent.  We learnt about Sir Isaac Newton and his discovery of gravity.

      Jack J – In Science Week I really liked rescuing Scott from the ice because we got to smash him on the playground floor.

      Jack B – In Science Week I really liked the astro-nappy investigation.

      Year 1 had the most amazing time learning about animal anthropologist and behaviourist, Dr Jane Goodall and her conservation work to investigate, learn about and protect chimpanzees.

      The classroom was literally overrun with chimpanzees and gorillas… sadly, only toy ones – as the children became experts themselves. The children were so inspired that Mrs Hayward and Mrs Woodley arranged a Live Skype Q & A Session with Jane Goodall on Tuesday 9th April.

      Frankie – I liked learning what ants like to eat the best.

      Chloe – I liked learning about Jane Goodall because I love chimpanzees.

      Myla – I thought it was cool seeing ants eat the sugar and bread!

      Harry – Going on a safari walk was cool. We found lots of mini-beasts!

      Connor – My favourite part of Science Week was going outside to find bugs.

      Alex – I liked it when we found out where Tanzania was.

      Layla, Liam, Alby, Isabella, Liam H – My favourite part was investigating about Jane Goodall.

      Bobbie – My favourite part of Science Week was when we were talking about Science jobs!

      Reception explored the wonders of chemical reactions.

      They observed oxygen bubbles with raisins in lemonade and carbon dioxide with bicarbonate of soda.

      Rose - I enjoyed the raisin experiment because I liked watching the bubbles.

      Darcy – I liked how the flowers changed colour.

      Luca – I loved it when the experiment exploded.

      Jonty – The raisins were dancing because they were floating up and down because of the bubbles.

      Eden - I enjoyed watching the colours change in the flowers.

      Leo – I liked seeing the coke challenge explode!

      Nursery worked scientifically.

      They investigated floating and sinking with a range of objects made from different materials and used magnets to test for magnetic materials.

      Easter Science Stars:

      The following children have been proudly wearing their Science lanyards and displaying the Science Trophies on their tables.

      Year 5/6O

      Jack G, Morgan G, Ella H & Dominic W – for terrific teamwork and winning the ‘2019 Science Quiz’ at Kingswinford School whilst competing against local primary schools!

      Jessica B - Looking for patterns in data from our investigation, explaining results and drawing conclusions about effective conductors of heat.

      Luke A - Working scientifically to describe patterns in data and draw conclusions based on our thermal conductor and insulator investigation; answering challenging questions by applying the correct knowledge. Fully engaged in the lesson. You did it!

      Melissa-May B - Continuously answering challenging questions with accurate and detailed answers using scientific vocabulary showing a secure understanding of solutes, solvents, saturated solutions and separation techniques of materials.

      Sophia C - Explanations of chemical reactions of irreversible changes.

      Daniel H - Controlling variables, practically investigating and recording results carefully during a Thermal Insulation investigation.

      Mia D - Answering challenging questions using scientific vocabulary about thermal insulators and starting to find patterns in our results.

      Riley F – Challenging yourself to complete an Investigation Report: looking for patterns in data and drawing conclusions.

      Kyle T – Challenging yourself to complete an Investigation Report: looking for patterns in data and drawing conclusions.

      Mackenzie W - Challenging yourself to complete an Investigation Report: looking for patterns in data and drawing conclusions.

      Year 5/6B

      Ben C – Accurate understanding, scientific vocabulary used, linking examples to everyday life through your understanding of heat changes in reversible and irreversible changes of materials.

      Simar S – Scientific explanations given and applying learning to explain chemical reactions and Chromatography.

      Kristof P - Controlling variables, practically investigating and recording results carefully during a Thermal Insulation investigation. An excellent investigation report and graph showing temperature drop!

      Oliver B – Calculating temperature drop and recording/explaining results from our thermal insulating investigation.

      Mia T - Working scientifically to describe patterns in data and draw conclusions in detail, based on our thermal conductor and insulator investigation.

      Thomas D - Working scientifically to describe patterns in data and draw conclusions in detail, based on our thermal conductor and insulator investigation.

      Thomas P - Challenging yourself to complete an investigation report: looking for patterns in data and drawing simple conclusions.

      Mary-Kate P - Challenging yourself to complete an investigation report: looking for patterns in data and drawing simple conclusions.

      Josh T - Challenging yourself to complete an investigation report: looking for patterns in data and drawing conclusions based on our thermal conductor and insulator investigation. Presenting results on a bar and line graph to show temperature drop – fantastic!

      Year 3/4R

      Ethan – Asking a range of curious questions.

      Tia – Explaining how to carry out an investigation into solids, liquids and gasses.

      Michelle Miller – Suggesting how to make a test fair.

      Dominic – Explaining the scientific theory behind the Science Workshop investigations.

      Max – Asking curious questions.

      Harry Franklin – Explaining how molecules are arranged in solids, liquids and gasses.

      Year 3/4AD

      Finley - Using thermometers accurately to measure temperature.

      Ethan - For asking and answering questions to further his scientific understanding.

      Emily-Rose - For using scientific vocabulary when writing up a science experiment.

      Tate - an excellent explanation of condensation and evaporation.

      Grace - For an excellent explanation of the water cycle.

      Year 2C

      Henry M for his super knowledge about materials.

      Leo S for fabulous investigative work testing materials for absorbency!

      Danny Lee D for answering curious questions with thoughtful answers.

      Demi F for trying her best in every lesson.

      Yasmin D for telling me all about healthy foods!

      Year 2S

      Jack B – knowledge of animals and explaining reasons for grouping.

      Lily-May P – accurate recording and interpretation of results on the effects of exercise experiment.

      Archie H – explaining what is needed for humans to have a healthy diet.

      Leonie J/Jack J – keeping an accurate food diary and beginning to understand how to improve diets.

      Year 1H

      Alby B-C - for fantastic knowledge about Jane Goodall in Science Week.

      Amber H - great work on lifecycles of animals, matching mummy animals to their babies.

      Autumn S - super effort making a habitat model in class.

      Joseph W - amazing knowledge about changes that happen in Spring.

      Year 1P

      Annabelle D - for asking great curious questions about animals!

      Jack H - for matching adult animals with their baby animals and being able to discuss how they are similar.

      William S - for continuing to share his knowledge about animals and being able to 'Wow' Miss Postings!

      Freya S - for being able to discuss the signs of Spring and knowing the hours of daylight become longer.

      Harry J - for sharing great answers and always being engaged during our curious question discussions.

      Merryn B - for sharing her enthusiasm by bringing in books from home about animals - the lifecycle of a butterfly.

      Rec C

      Jensen J - For showing a great understanding during Science Week of the Racing Raisins experiment and remembering the term 'carbon dioxide'.

      Kaci B- For showing a good understanding of what happens in Spring.

      Rec J

      Jenson B - For showing a good understanding during Science Week of the changes he observed of the Rainbow Flower Experiment.

      Ava C- For showing curiosity when learning about Spring.

      Nursery

      Willow B, Cole W, Olivia-F P-for their fantastic observation skills during science week investigating magnetic materials.

      Charlie D W-Charlie has been interested in 'light' this term and has used some lovely language around day/night and enjoyed investigating the torches.

      Jamie H, Joseph S, Samuel J- have spent a lot of time in the 'dig pit' outdoors this term digging for worms and observing how they move and building 'houses' for them showing care and concern for living things.

      The Big Battery Hunt 2019 Challenge.

      Did you know that each year we throw away about 600 million batteries? Yes, I know… I was amazed at that amount too! Over 20,000 batteries end up in landfill sites, causing damage to the environment and diminishing our enjoyment of our surroundings. During my Science assembly last week, I shared this latest challenge with the children. Please encourage your child to collect used batteries and return them to school as frequently as you can.

      RRS Article 24: Children have the right to live in a clean environment.

      Live Skype Q & A Session with Dr. Jane Goodall.

      Following an inspiring Science Week where the children in year 1 learnt about the scientist Jane Goodall, we arranged a live Q & A Session via Skype. What a fun-packed afternoon Key Stage 1 enjoyed on Tuesday.

      Pupil Voice:

      Henry C Yr1: I liked learning about what Jane Goodall did in the forest.

      Olivia D Y2: It was really amazing to meet a real scientist and ask live questions.

      Jaiya Y2: Jane Goodall discovered chimpanzee behaviour when she lived in the wild with them! It was fascinating!

      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: 

    • Universal Credit (provided monthly net earned income of less than £616.66, after tax and not including any benefits)
    • Income Support
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
    • The guarantee element of 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 CreditIf 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 via 
    • Please note however this procedure will only currently work via a PC or laptop, not via a phone or tablet device.

      Safeguarding

      Blanford Mere Protection from extremism April 2019

      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:

      Attendance - illness and late arrivals

      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. Failure to do so constitutes a breach of this policy. The person ringing will be asked to identify themselves and clearly give the reason for the absence. This information will be recorded on the register.If your child has a medical appointment then you must:
    • Contact the school prior to the appointment to ask for approved arrangements for your child to be collected/returned to school as close to the appointment time as possible. The school will ask to see a copy of the appointment time/letter. The school will not authorise the absence unless they have seen a copy of the letter/appointment card before the appointment.If you need to request ‘leave’ for a specific reason, then you must:
    • Follow the school guidelines regarding an application for leave e.g. holiday. (See, ‘Leave of Absence’).If you know that your child will be late for school you must:
    • Contact the school as soon as possible to tell them that your child will arrive late. Make every effort to get your child to school as soon as possible.If you are having difficulty getting your child to attend school you must:
    • Notify the school immediately (school office, class teacher) about your concerns. The school will make every effort to meet with you and attempt to rectify the problem.
    • Summer Uniform from Monday 29th 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.

      Children with long hair, should tie their hair back everyday for school please.

      Forthcoming dates:

    • Monday 29th April – school reopens at 8.50am
    • KS1 Yr 2 Testing from 1st May until Friday 24th May – please do not to book any holidays during this time please.
    • Thursday 2nd May – Polling Day – School closed to pupils
    • Monday 6th May – Bank Holiday
    • KS2 SATs Testing week – Monday 13th – Friday 17th May – Please inform the school immediately if your child is unable to attend due to illness. Do not book any holidays during this time please.
    • Friday 24th May – Sports Day – weather permitting. More details nearer the time.
    • Friday 24th May – Half term – school closes at 3.15pm
    • Finally, I would like to wish you all a very happy holiday and I look forward to seeing you all on Monday 29th April.

      Mrs N Miller

      Headteacher

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