Newsletter 13th February 2020

Article 3 All adults should do what is best for you. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children.

Activities and events so far this term.

January Attendance Winners

Attendance winners for January were 3/40 with a huge 99.09%! Keep up the excellent attendance children.

Congratulations

We would like to congratulate Miss Foxall on becoming our new After School Club Manager.  We wish her every success and look forward to new ideas being introduced for the children!

Viking Day

On 3rd February, Year 3/4 welcomed Humph’s Histories for a day as a Viking.  The children threw themselves into the experience, and there were some fantastic costumes on display.  During the morning, the children were immersed in chronology.  A human timeline was formed, with the visiting archaeologist helping the children to understand where the Vikings fit within history, and how they became such a big part of British history. They also found out what Vikings ate, the types of jobs they did and the myth about Vikings wearing horns was banished!   The children also had the opportunity to design and paint their own shields ready to invade a new land later in the day.

After lunch, the archaeologist left and a Viking Chief arrived.  He had brought a range of artefacts with him which the children were able to handle and investigate.  This included a huge metal sword, a spear, an axe and shield.  The children also completed a quiz where they had to find information.

The day culminated in each class becoming a group of warriors, with their own Chiefs in charge of the longboats! The children learnt how to form a single and double shield, and how to march at their opponents showing no fear.  The children all enjoyed the day consolidating what they have learnt so far this term, and providing opportunities for further discussion and continuing their learning through the rest of this half-term.

Viking day was fun because we got to learn about the Vikings and make shields. I loved marching like an army and making the shape of a Viking boat. Grace 3/4R

I liked learning lots of things about the Vikings and it was fun to look and hold all of the weapons that they used to use. Poppy 3/4R

Riley - I enjoyed looking at all the different weapons they used in battles. It was really interesting!

Lola - My favourite parts of the day were the horn blowing challenge and being able to design my own Viking shield to take home.

Summerhill - 'Little Shop of Horrors' performance

On Tuesday 4th February Year 6 pupils were invited to attend Summerhill School to watch their fantastic performance of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. 

‘Meek flower shop assistant Seymour pines for co-worker Audrey. During a total eclipse, he discovers an unusual plant he names Audrey II, which feeds only on human flesh and blood. The growing plant attracts a great deal of business for the previously struggling store. After Seymour feeds Audrey's boyfriend, Orin, to the plant after Orin's accidental death, he must come up with more bodies for the increasingly bloodthirsty plant.’

This is what the children said about the performance:

Melissa-May: “I really enjoyed the scenery and the setting for the performance.”

Ella-May: “I thought the dancing was great and enjoyed the features and detail on the set.”

Megan S: “I enjoyed the singing and the way that the plant grew to an enormous size and ate the people in the shop.”

Maths Competition

Year 3/4, Jack J, Elissa, Dexter, Lacie W, Lizzie V and Libby H competed against other schools in Dudley Inter schools Maths competition on Wednesday 5th February. During the afternoon the children worked through a number of maths challenges.  They had to work as a team to solve maths anagrams, problem solving and a Countdown style round. We are really proud of their effort, however, they were unsuccessful in getting through to the next round.

Year 5/6, Simar, Daniel, Lewis, Joshua, Isobel F and Iris – the reigning champions also took place in their heat of the competition on Tuesday 11th February.  They were successful in their heat and will be competing in the grand final in June!

This is the comment from Helen Owens, who runs the competition:

“Many congratulations!!!  Your pupils did so well today. I bet you are delighted and very proud. Congratulations on reaching the finals. See you at Belle Vue on the afternoon of 8th June.   Well done to Y5/6 and to all the staff for helping them get to this standard.” Helen

Safer Internet Day - Safeguarding children

This  week, Safer Internet Day 2020 was celebrated globally with the theme: Together for a better internet. 

The aim of Safer Internet Day is to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.

At Blanford Mere KS1 and KS2 assemblies were held, discussing when you should ask for permission online and when internet services may ask for your permission to use your personal data. The children then used this information in a follow up class activity to create their own information leaflets and posters in the form of a tablet screen.

This is what the children said:

REC-C:

Jamie H - We need to remember not to share our information

Joseph S - You have to tell someone if something goes wrong. That's when we flag it.

REC-J:

Cole W - Zip it, block it, flag it. If somebody was being naughty to you.

Everly F - It means block the naughty message and flag it means tell a grown up or the police.  

1B

Dylan- ' We have talked about keeping ourselves safe. I've made a poster to tell people the three rules.'

Jessica- 'Zip it, block it, flag it. They are the rules.'

1C

Daisy-Mae said, "All children need to stay safe on computers."

Daniel commented, "After you've learnt all the rules, you can enjoy the computer safely."

2B

Rayarn – “Internet Safety is important, I’ve learnt that you should always ask for permission before posting a photo of someone else”.

Darcey - “Make sure that you keep your password a secret”.

2P

Josh G – “Never post a picture in your uniform, or people will know what school you go to”.

Liam T – “We learnt about strong passwords, so that you can keep your information safe”.

3/4D

Olivia D - I have learnt that everyone needs to be safe on the internet because it can be very dangerous. You should never share your passwords with anyone.

Riley - I know what cyber bullying is now. It can happen to anyone and you need to be brave and talk to an adult you can trust about it.

3/4O

Archie H – “When I am playing online, never share information that is private”.

Molly F – “I think Safer Internet Day is good because you can learn how to protect yourself.  Think carefully!”

Lizzie – “I think Safer Internet Day is good because it teachers children and adults how to stay safe online.  You should keep your personal information away from strangers and people that you do not know.  You should never make friends with people online that you have never met!”

5/6C

"We've been told lots about Internet Safety and shown Internet Safety websites (Interland) which was a fun way to learn about safety. We also learnt about the impact of online reputation and how that could affect your job and life in the future."  Dominic P

"It's important to have lessons about Internet Safety so that you know how to keep safe online and hopefully you will all enter the poster competition so that we can help keep the school a safer place."  Ella-May P

5/6B

Kai J -  This week I learned about Internet Safety and how to stay safe. 

Lewis W - I have learned that we should respect others online and don't say upsetting things. 

Grace B - I know that when playing online you should remember Block it, Flag it, Zip it. 

For more information on this matter please click on the link:

Safeguarding

Parental advice to children and young people on staying safe online.

The results from Dudley’s most recent ‘cybersurvey’ indicate that not all children and young people are taught to stay safe online by their parents or carers. The research shows that parents are most likely to give online safety advice to eleven year olds, but after this age, their input falls away until fewer than half of fifteen year olds receive parental input, even though they are at the highest risk of experiencing online problems. The results also show that parents and carers deliver more online safety advice to daughters and considerably less to sons. Being able to turn to a parent or carer when things go wrong is vital for keeping children and young people safe. And with this in mind we have pulled together the below advice from children and young people in Dudley to help you get started in talking to your children about staying safe online. Advice to parents and carers from children and young people in Dudley:

  • Show an interest – ask them what apps, games and websites they use and learn about the safety features on them (these are usually in the settings tab )
  • Help them feel comfortable talking to you – make sure they know they can talk to you about anything – if you don’t know the answer you can research it online together
  • Tell them to show you any messages they don’t like
  • Tell them where else they can go if they don’t feel comfortable talking to you about stuff (another relative /school nurse / childline etc)
  • Respect your children’s privacy – do not ‘snoop’ in their phone / websites
  • If something bad happens to your child online, support them – don’t punish them by taking away their mobile / internet access – it’s not their fault
  • Watch out for any changes in your child if you see any, share your concerns with the school to see if they have noticed anything
  • ‘Clean’ your child’s friend lists with them to make sure they really know all of their friends and who they are talking to
  • Tell them to keep passwords and personal details safe
  • Get a good firewall and use parental blocks where appropriate (depending on their age and maturity)
  • Don’t feel like you have to know everything and don’t feel silly if you don’t – look it up or ask somebody – your child will probably be able to tell you!
  • Go to information sessions at school to learn the most up to date information.
  • The below websites will help you to do all of the above and know how to deal with things if they go wrong!

    Gymnastics competition Earls Gym Centre

    On Wednesday 12th February, 10 gymnasts – Libby H, Hannah B, Lacie W, Molly F, Zach R, Krishna P, Isobel F, Jessica B, Isabelle A and Gabriella F visited Earls Gymnastics in Oldbury for  a  gymnastics festival, where professional coaches led fun, exciting sessions on floor, vault, beam, bar, fast track and trampoline. The festival allowed pupils to showcase their gymnastic ability and experience Olympic training facilities and equipment only found in specialised gymnastics centres.

    The children said:

    Libby H “I really enjoyed trampolining and landing in the foam and I liked the spring board.”

    Hannah B “I liked our routine that we created on the floor – I learnt this at our school Gym Club.”

    Krishna P “I enjoy being part of Gym Club and learning new skills.”

    We are extremely proud to announce the results:

    Year 3/4 came first with Gold medals and 5/6 came third with Bronze medals.  The children will receive their medals after the holidays.

    Well done to our teams.  You have made us and Mrs Baker extremely proud.

    Pen Licences

    Well done to the following pupils who have worked hard on their handwriting and presentation to gain a pen licence:

    Lily-May P

    Jack J

    Tate J

    Tia J

    Magical Maths Club

    Magical Maths is a super fun club designed to boost children’s confidence and better engage them with maths.  If you would like your child to attend – click on the link below for dates, times and cost.  Contact www.magicalmathsclub.com or call 0121 392 7475.  School hosts the club, but all arrangements need to made with the directly with the provider. The club will take place every Tuesday after school, for 5 weeks from Tuesday 25th February 2020 – Tuesday 24th March 2020.

    Year 1 Katie Morag day: 10th February

    Year 1 spent a wonderful day visiting their new friend Katie Morag on the small Scottish Isle of Struay. Everyone dressed up as one of their favourite characters from the books. The children enjoyed many cross-curricular activities to include painting landscapes with The Lady Artist, cooking Scottish Shortbread with Mrs McColl, making their own tartan patterns with Grandma Mainland, helping out in the Post Office and shop, learning a Scottish Dance and eating Haggis.

    Rosie- 'I really liked the Scottish dancing we did on Katie Morag day.'

    Harry - 'I dressed up as Liam in a tiger onsie, I had lots of fun.'

    Jensen - "I enjoyed dressing up and when we closed our eyes and pretended to travel on a boat to Struay."

    Darcey - "I liked when we met The Lady Artist and painted landscapes of the Isle of Struay."

    Evie-Rose commented, "I really liked dressing up as Katie Morag and painting.  I was good at paper weaving to make tartan patterns."

    Visit from a Glassblowing Expert

    We would like to say a massive thank you to Luke’s grandad for coming in to share his experience of glassblowing with 5/6B.  The children increased their knowledge of the local area and their understanding of the impact that the glass industry had on the Black Country.  They saw lots of brilliant examples of his handiwork that brought our learning to life.  We all really enjoyed it - thank you!

    Thank you

    Thank you to those parents who attended Parents Evening; this is a valuable opportunity for us talk about your child’s progress – to celebrate their strengths and talk about next steps for learning. We appreciate your support and know how much the children enjoy sharing their learning with you. Feedback from parents regarding our online ‘signing up’ system for appointments was encouraging. Hopefully, now that more parents are using the School Life App, they will have greater access to newletters and messages sent from school.

    Thank you to parents who completed a questionnaire during their visit – we shall be analysing these and sending you feedback next half term.

    KS1 After School Sports Club

    Unfortunately, after the holiday there will be no Thursday KS1 After School sports club, due to the coach leaving Puresport company.  We hope to rectify this problem very soon.

    Hockey Club

    If any children in your school are interested in joining a hockey club then Kingswinford Hockey Club has a junior section ages 8-16 boys and girls. The club trains regularly at the Coseley Leisure Centre, Henne Drive, Coseley, WV14 9JW on Sundays 11am-12:30pm.

    Half term activities

    Please click on the link to see local activities that will entertain your children.

    School Council Used Uniform Sale: Friday 20th March 2020

    This year’s School Council fundraiser will be a used uniform sale. 

    A plea – could you please donate any unwanted/outgrown school uniform for our sale?

    Please send it into school after February half term where it will be sorted into type and size ready for the sale in March.

    Each item will then be sold for £1.

    Please make sure that it is good quality and that names have been removed.

    Thank you for your support. We hope that this event will be a success.

    Reminder Healthy Break Policy

    A reminder that Blanford Mere Primary School recognises the importance of a healthy, nutritious diet for all children. Therefore in line with guidance from Dudley Healthy Schools, we have adopted their recommended policy on break time snacks.

    The policy covers foods and drinks brought in from home for break and aims to support all pupils to consume a healthy, nutritious snack.

    The policy can be found on the school website and states that pupils can only bring in the following food and drink items for consumption at break-time.

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Water (not squash)
  • Food and drinks that do not comply with the policy will be taken from pupils and returned to them at the end of the day.

    The free fruit and vegetable scheme is available to KS2 pupils, where parents can pay on a half termly basis. Reception and Years 1 and 2 receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable every break-time. If you have any queries please contact your child’s class teacher.  We hope parents will support us with this.

    Many thanks for those parents who do.

    Forthcoming events

    School Photographs!

    The date for ‘The Photographer’ has been arranged for Tuesday 10th March 2020. 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 in writing by Monday 9th March. We ask that all children wear the correct winter uniform, to include shirts, ties, and jumpers/cardigans.   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 etc.) then they will not be included in the photograph.

    Future dates

    Monday 17th February – Friday 21st February – Half term break

    Monday 24th February - school re-opens at 8.50am

    Thursday 5th March – World Book Day

    World Book Day As part of the celebrations we would like your child to come to school dressed in their pyjamas, ready for a bedtime story! Please do not feel that you have to go out and spend lots of money on an expensive outfit for your child. www.worldbookday.com.

    We would like parents/guardians to be involved in the day by coming into school to read to small groups of children on Thursday 5th March from 2.45-3.15 pm (you can come dressed in your pyjamas if you wish!). If you are able to take part please complete the proforma (separate letter sent last week) and return to your child’s class teacher by Monday 2nd March 2020. Please arrive at the main reception at 2.40 pm ready to be taken to your child’s class

    Tuesday 10th March – School Photographer – see above

    Wednesday 1st April – Science Workshop for Year 5/6 and their parents – more details to follow

    Friday 3rd April – school closes at 3.15pm for Easter break

    Have a wonderful half term break.  I look forward to seeing the children on Monday 24th February 2020 at 8.50am.

    Mrs Miller

    Headteacher

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