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Events and activities

Science 3/4

Guy de Szathmary, from the Ezone visited year 3/4 on 5th March to support their science work on 'Plants'. The children learnt a lot!

Alex F said "I enjoyed making sewage soup. I learnt that sewage water is filtered and cleaned so that we have clean water to drink. We found out about the water cycle."

Caitlin F commented "I also learnt how seeds are spread to make new plants when animals pick them up or the wind blows them away. I thought it was really interesting."

Year 1 Trip - The Black Country Museum

Year One had a busy, informative and very hands on trip to The Black Country Living museum on Wednesday. They experienced what houses and homes were like in the past by visiting both rich and poor homes and using their five senses to explore the differences.

Their guides, Nigel and Bev also arranged for them to take part in interactive workshops and talks in the school, cinema, general store, chemist, sweet shop, bakery, hardware store and the titled cottage, where they saw how general, everyday jobs were carried out without electricity and gas.

The school teacher, Mrs Smith commented on their excellent handwriting and awarded the year group with an honorary certificate to celebrate their work.

Luke said 'I really enjoyed ringing the school bell but it was very heavy'.

Henry W said 'I liked learning about the past and smelling all the different things but I wouldn't have liked going to the toilet'.

Jack B said 'I would like to do some of the jobs the boys were made to do like finding the coal and making newspaper toilet paper and cleaning the big bread ovens but I didn't like that the girls always went first and I wouldn't like sharing my bed or bath with six people'.

Archie said 'The cinema was so funny and even though there was no one talking you could still see what was going on and it really made me laugh'.

Lily P said 'I couldn't believe what was in the sweets in the olden days but the sweets Mrs Wilkes and Miss Postings bought us to try were delicious and I'm glad there was no poison or beetle blood in them'.

The Year One staff would also like to say how well behaved, polite and inquisitive the children were, they were a credit to the school and a number of museum staff and visitors passed on some very positive comments to the staff. Well done Year One!

School Council Visit to Brook Primary School

The School Council and Mrs Cartwright had a great time at Brook Primary school on Wednesday afternoon. The children went to see and discuss the way their School Council had raised funds to provide an outdoor gym at their school.

Mrs Cartwright and the School Council will provide you with more details in their newsletter - which will be circulated before the Easter break.

Pupil voice:

Isobel F said 'It was really good to look at the outdoor gym and try it out. It was fun!'

Anna D said 'We enjoyed looking around the school and getting ideas of things to do at Blanford Mere.'

Cara C said 'It was useful and interesting to find out about how they worked on their project.'

Would you like to learn a musical instrument?

You are invited to an open evening on Tuesday 20th March (drop in any time between 18:30 - 20:00) for students interested in learning a musical instrument. By going along you can try a range of instruments, find out about singing lessons, meet the teachers and ask any questions you have. Learning a musical instrument is a great thing to do and will open up all sorts of opportunities for children. Our school is committed to providing opportunities for children to get involved in music and we hope that you are able to go along. The evening will take place at Netherton Arts Centre, Northfield Road, Netherton DY2 9ER.

National Science Week

Throughout the week commencing 12th March-National Science week-lots of exciting learning has taken place throughout the school.

Science is well and truly alive at Blanford Mere! 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. Read about the successes of Science week... Mrs. Woodley.

Year 5-6:

'The best day of my life', 'I was speechless and wowed', 'Amazing', ... just some of the thoughts from our Year 5-6 children at the end of our parent workshop in Science Week.

The children realised that anyone can discover a great scientific theory. Would you believe us that a woman without a college education discovered such a theory while washing dishes in the kitchen sink? She was Agnes Pockels! This German Scientist discovered that the shape of bubbles is because of a phenomenon called surface tension, which happens where water meets air. The soap in the bubble reduces the surface tension, allowing the water bubble to last for sometime without breaking. The children investigated this by writing a biography and with three experiments and: Milktastic Fun, Soap-powered Boats and Bubble inside a Bubble.

The children developed their Science Capital by thinking about possible science-realted future careers, what type of scientists they would like to be and how they could investigate their research question.

Year 5-6 children were treated to a fun-packed science experience on Thursday: Scientastic Sherbet, Floating Eggs in Water, Impossible Balloon Experiment, Indestructible Sandwich Bag and Magical Movement wowed the children and parents.

One parent commented: 'I wished we did science like this when I went to school.' Another said: My child found it far easier to engage in the subject by using the practical side. The explanations given also made it easy to understand.'

Wow comments from the children included:

Ava: "It was really cool when we rubbed the balloon on our head: the balloon was then able to drag the tin can across the table because of the static energy."

Katie: "When we put the pencils through the bag of water, it was incredible because the pencils stopped the water coming out of the bag."

Laura: "I think it was amazing when the egg was floating on the water! It floated because of the salt changing the density of the water."

Sienna: "I found the sherbet experiment really fascinating because it showed how fizzy it was."

Mackenzie: "It was really amazing when we filled a sandwich bag with water and it didn't pop when we put pencils through the bag!"

Brandon: "I was amazed when the water didn't come out of the bag and burst it."

Evie: "I was amazed that such a flimsy bag could hold so much water with the pencils through it."

Nathan: "Who knew water was so heavy?!"

Thomas D: "It was mind-blowing how the pencil went through the plastic bag but the water didn't come out!"

Thomas D: "How does your hair go so wild when you rub a balloon on it?!"

Roxy: "It's surprising how the more water you put in the plastic bag, the easier it is to push the pencil through it!"

Lennon: "Indestructible sandwich bags are miraculous!"

Dominic: "I was fascinated learning about the chemistry of Scientastic Sherbet. Chemical reactions are the best!"

Year 5:

Having been inspired by their Mission X project, back at school on Tuesday Year 5 investigated how rockets break through gravity and are able to leave the ground. They discussed forces and chemical reactions before setting the challenge to create a rocket to test using only one piece of paper, a pencil, a straw and sellotape.

With a few hints and a little bit of guidance Year 5 worked it out and made rockets to test. They tested how far they travelled and will write up their results next week.

Pupil voice:

"I have learnt about to make a rocket and it was great fun." (Archie D.)

"We were learning about what power rockets needs and how they fly." (Aaron E)

"I really enjoyed making rockets and thought the science of forces behind it was amazing." (Mia T)

"I really enjoyed making rockets and seeing how they worked." (Nathan S.)

"I enjoyed Tuesday afternoon because I learnt how a rocket works and it was really fun." (Tyler R)

Year 3-4:

During Science Week, the children looked at 'Smart Pickings' and discussed their potential careers when they are older. They included follow up work from Guy, from the Environment Zone, about Sewage Soup! They completed a class science quiz in teams, carried out the 'Lemon Volcano' investigation and investigated Joseph Banks-an English naturalist and botanist- linked to their study of plants- and made a fact file about him.

Year 2:

This week, Year 2 have investigated freezing and melting by trapping Lego characters - Scott of the Antarctic- in ice then exploring different ways to release the character. They have investigated the most absorbent materials to be used by astronauts in space nappies and launched alka-seltzer powered rockets. They have learned about Isaac Newton's discovery of gravity. Year 2 have also explored jobs in science and thought about things that they would like to discover or invent in the future.

Year 1:

Year One have had an exciting week celebrating National Science week. They started the week by thinking about the many science based jobs they could choose from and explored what it would be like and what the job might entail.

Olivia D wanted to be a biologist and investigate living things especially animals, Holly wanted to be a marine biologist because she loves the ocean and Danny-Lee wanted to be a meteorologist and chase tornados and hurricanes.

The children also learnt about some famous scientists to include Alexander Graham Bell and Isaac Newton and carried out investigations based around gravity and the telephones they made with paper cups and string. The highlight of their week though was visiting and taking part in a Science show during their trip to the Black Country Living Museum. The children amazed Dr Grenson with their scientific knowledge, vocabulary and questions. Science stars included Lola for using some very scientific language, Xavi for explaining how he thought some of the experiments and investigations worked and Olivia D for naming oxygen as a gas. Harrison G could also explain that hot air rises and Jack J observed what happened when the flame was given a boost of oxygen.

Pupil voice reported:

Lola: 'Subsidence made the cottage tilt I know that word from Science week'.

Olivia D: 'Science week has been very exciting and I know when I grow up I want to be one'.

Xavi: 'Alexander Bell invented the telephone and I would like to invent something new too.'

Henry Mc: 'The best part about science week was the science show we saw at the Black Country Museum. It was super exciting and scary but Dr Godman the scientist knew how to keep us all safe.'

Ben: 'Science is now my favourite lesson'.

All of the children reported back on how much they had enjoyed Science week and many are excited about becoming our future scientists.

Science Parent Workshop

On Thursday afternoon Mrs Woodley had planned and organised a Science Interactive workshop which so many parents turned up to and participated in. There was awe and wonder happening in the hall. Mr Weaver - Our Chair of Governors was there to gather parental views and observe the events that unfolded before his eyes!

Mr Weaver spoke to many parents:

One parent commented "I wish they had delivered science like this when I was at school".

Some of the others commented "That looking at science practically, was a lot easier to learn, than reading from a text book.

Mr Weaver would like to thank Mrs Woodley on behalf of himself and the Governors for her time, effort and commitment to both Blanford Mere and the Science curriculum - it was a joy to experience. A lot of extra work was involved in setting up such a practical workshop!

Science Quiz

On Thursday a team of 4 year 6 children - Cara C, Lennon P, Dylan B and Ethan T competing against eight other local primary schools in a science competition at Kingswinford School. I am pleased to say that the children came 2nd, they worked really well as a team and represented the school extremely well. We are so proud of them and their scientific knowledge!

A huge thank you from Mrs Miller!

I would personally like to say a huge thank you to Mrs Woodley for her sterling efforts to make science week memorable for all of our children and Year 5/6 parents! Mrs Woodley works tirelessly, both at school and at home, to bring science to life for our children every week and to inspire their curiosity about the world around them. As you know, Mrs Woodley is leading our work throughout school towards the Primary Science Quality Mark to acknowledge the varied and exciting scientific opportunities that are provided for children at Blanford Mere. Pupil voice tell us, how much the children gain from the hands on experiences provided throughout the school - rather than only learning from a text book. During science week, Mrs Woodley has especially brought science to life throughout the school and we were delighted to see the awe and wonder on so many parents faces! Thank you again.

Pen licences

Congratulations to the following children on gaining their pen licence this week.

Year 3 = Adam D, Grace A

Year 4 = Daniel H, Simar S,

Year 5 = Ekam S, Jessica S

Year 6 = Katie H, Lily C

Staffing News

Mrs Wilkes, has recently returned from her maternity leave. It is with regret, that she has made a decision to spend more quality time at home with her young family. Mrs Wilkes will be leaving Blanford Mere in July 2018. Mrs Wilkes has agreed that she will work part-time from Monday 30th April 2018 until the end of the summer term. We are also pleased that Mrs Cope, who is studying for her Masters degree, is able to work on a part-time basis for the other part of the week to ensure consistency for the class of children until the end of the academic year. The children will benefit from two experienced and knowledgeable teachers, who are both familiar and understand the needs of the children within the class.

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

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.

Diary Dates

• Year 1 Phonics Check Parent meeting 9.00am - please send your reply slip back, so we can accommodate all who wish to attend.

• Friday 23rd March 2018-Sports Relief - children can come to school in their sportswear for a donation of £1 to support this worthy cause.

• Easter 'Eggstravganza'-Thursday 29th March. Nursery, Reception and KS1 have a wonderful day of Easter activities planned. Please remember to send your child in with their Easter bonnet/hat on Thursday (if they wish to take part). Children still need to wear their school uniform. We are hoping the Easter bunny will pay a visit throughout the day!!!

• Lucky Tray Day - Thursday 29th March. Children who purchase a hot lunch may be in with a chance of winning an Easter themed prize! The kitchen team will be dressed in yellow as our Easter chicks - KS1 and Reception can wear their Easter bonnet to join in with the fun themed day.

• Thursday 29th March - school closes at 3.15pm for the Easter break. School re-opens on Monday 16th April at 8.50am.

Mrs Miller Headteacher

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