End of July newsletter 2019

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.

My final newsletter of this academic year. The last few weeks have been busy, as usual, but productive. It has been lovely to be back in school, sharing the children’s achievements this academic year.  Can I take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Miss Stanton for her hard work and energy, ensuring that the school has run so smoothly during my absence.  I am delighted to be back on two feet and look forward to being back to normal in September!

  • There will be a few staff changes at the end of this term, due to exciting new opportunities for staff members. We have also created an additional 3/4 class due to our rising pupil numbers.
  • We are pleased to welcome Miss Barclay, Miss Dorricott and Mrs Cameron –class teachers and Mrs Gallagher and Miss Edmonds – teaching assistants.
  • Mr Wade will join us as the KS1 Strategic Leader.
  • Miss Stanton will continue as the acting Strategic Leader for the Foundation Stage.
  • We say goodbye to Mrs Austin who will be starting an exciting teaching role with SEN children. We would like to thank her for her commitment and contribution to Blanford Mere.  We are delighted that her hard work in gaining a Masters Degree has enabled her to work in this specialist area.
  • We say goodbye and good luck to Mr Swift who is beginning a new life ‘down under’ in Australia. We would like to thank him for all of his hard work over the past two years.  We wish Mr Swift and his family every happiness in their exciting new life.
  • Mrs Hayward, who has decided to take up a new career in HR, will be leaving us at the end of the summer. We thank her for being part of our team and wish her every success in her new career.
  • Mrs McNaney will be leaving us to pursue a new challenge, working in a nurture unit at a local Primary school. We would like to thank Mrs McNaney for her fantastic work over the years – she will be missed.  I would like to wish her the very best of luck in her new role.
  • Miss Bradley will also be leaving us to begin her teacher training degree, we wish her every success in this new challenge.
  • As you can see, staff are all moving onto new challenges in their career.  We wish all of these staff well in the future and thank them for being part of our team and their contribution to our school community

    We look forward to welcoming the new staff to our teaching team in September. They have already spent time in school getting to know their new classes and being part of the ‘handover’ of information to ensure continuity and a swift start to the new academic year. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our staff team who have worked hard this year in their various roles, to make this academic year a happy, successful and productive one for the children.

    Recent events and activities in school

    Gamervan Prize

    Our Maths Champion winners enjoyed a fabulous afternoon on Monday 1st July in the ‘Gamervan’. They had fun playing a variety of electronic games during the afternoon.  We would like to thank Jules from Gamervan for donating such a wonderful prize.

    Well done to Mr Swift!

    We are pleased to announce that the school has achieved the Bronze School Games Mark Award 2018-2019.

    Sam Ayris – Ellowes Hall Sports College said:

    “CONGRATULATIONS! Blanford Mere has achieved a Bronze School Games Mark Award for 2018/2019. I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication Mr Swift has put in to ensure your children have an enriching extra-curricular programme and a vast array of opportunities. I am aware of the time commitment involved in selecting children, preparing them and bringing them to competitions and events and I am pleased you can receive recognition for this in the form of a bronze award. 

    Also a big thank you to all staff who have contributed to physical activity, PE and sport this year.  I look forward to working with Blanford Mere next year.”

    3/4 Botanical Gardens

    Year 3- 4 enjoyed a great day out at Botanical Gardens on Friday 5th July.  The weather was fantastic and they were all well behaved and represented the school well.  They took part in a rainforest workshop, learnt lots of new facts and were able to see and feel items that were made in the rainforest.  They learnt lots of new facts, as well as exploring the beautiful grounds and also playing on the fab adventure playground!

    'It was amazing to see so many different plants' James H

    'The smells were really varied' Tyler H

    'We saw lots of butterflies, one landed on my head!' Owen S

    'The higher the tree, the smaller the animal'. Kamran DR

    'The snake camouflages to stop him from being eaten'. Emily C

    'We held a stick insect, a really big snail and then a long snake!' Grace H

    'Bamboo takes a day and a half to grow as tall as me'. Josh T

    Reception Class Visit

    On Friday 5th July, Reception visited the Environment Zone and they all had a fantastic day! The children had opportunities to explore the outdoors through a range of activities including; pond dipping, nature scavenger hunt and building dens.

    Joshua M commented "I can’t believe I caught a newt, how amazing!!"

    Darcey M said "I really enjoyed building the dens for the animals to live in".

    The children used their senses, especially during the 'smelling hunt' in the herb garden where Archie C commented "Lavender is my favourite, it smells nice".

    Attendance Winners Julyl

    Well done to Year 2S, who won the attendance award for July with 97.86%.  Fantastic! Well done to Year 2S, who won the attendance award for July with 97.86%. 

    Foundation Stage Treat!

    Nursery enjoyed a treat from the ice cream man!

    Seaside Day

    As part of their topic work, Year 1 made the most of the summer weather with a Seaside day in school!

    Year 6 News

    Year 6 have completed their transition in preparation for starting their secondary education.

    Year 6 Leaver’s assembly ‘Alice – The Musical’ was an excellent performance and greatly appreciated by their families.  Well done to all the staff involved.

    Year 6 Leavers Treat Day

    On Thursday, Year 6 enjoyed their Year 6 Leavers Day, as a gift from school, with an action packed day at Woodfield House, this included tubing, archery, bouldering and a challenge course!  This was truly enjoyed by staff and children, as you can see from their comments.

    Rhys 5/6O - Archery was fantastic. I managed to hit the gold circle each time! 

    Kyle 5/6O - Climbing was fun, but quite tricky. It was fun though!

    Mia 5/6B - All of it was really good.

    Abigail 5/6B - Tubing was great fun, it was the best part of the day. I really enjoyed it. We got wet and everything.

    Riley 5/6O - It was fun. I enjoyed the tubing. Ben wet me really badly!

    End of term Reward

    The whole school enjoyed and end of term treat with fun on the bouncy castles!  They also enjoyed the rest of the morning or afternoon as a reward for their good behaviour over the past term. Very few children lost their end of term treat, which was fantastic to see.

    Music Club

    On Friday 12th July, Year 5-6 Music Club represented the school superbly at Morrisons raising £109.70 for charity.  Everyone enjoyed the singing which was for a great cause – CLIC Sargent, a children’s cancer charity. Well done to all involved.

    RRSA ...GOLD!!

    Well done to Mrs Cartwright for leading the school to RRSA Gold!  Thank you to Mrs Cartwright, The RRSA Champions, staff, parents and Governors for the hard work and commitment in achieving this prestigious award.  Please read the report attached.

    TT Rock Stars Competition

    Congratulations to our winners of our TT Rock Stars competition, who all won an Amazon Kindle for answering the most correct questions on times tables since February.  The winners were:

    Year 3: Emily C,

    Year 4: Josh T,

    Year 5: Daniel H,

    Year 6: Dominic W.

    Congratulations to Year 2 for a fantastic effort too – Jack J was once again the top scorer.

    TT Rock Star Wrangle winner: Thomas D.

    We also had our first TT Rock Stars ‘Wrangle’ to see who was the fastest TT Rock Star in our school.  After some brilliant performances in the heats and semi-finals, Thomas D (Y6) and Daniel H (Y5) made it through to the final in front of a live audience – the whole school!  It was very close, with both boys performing superbly under the pressure of being watched by all the other children (answering over 100 questions correctly in 60 seconds) and Thomas D was the eventual winner.  Well done Thomas!  Thank you to everyone who participated.  Keep learning your times tables and remember to go on TT Rock Stars over the summer to improve your rock speed!  Who will be our next TTRS winner?

    School lunch price increase

    School Meals will increase in price from September to £2.40. Dudley council are continuing to work towards their pledge to remove all single use plastic by April 2020.  From September, we will not be selling drinks at lunchtime, instead we will be offering a drink of squash in reusable cups, which will be part of the £2.40 per meal cost. Children in Reception and KS1 will still benefit from universal free school meals. Milk will still be available to purchase at break time at a cost of 15p for KS2.  Please ensure your child comes to school every day with a refillable drinks bottle.  Thank you.

    Water Safety

    With the summer break fast approaching, I would like to make you aware of the RNLI campaign at the link below:

    What is the Summer Reading Challenge?

    The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays. You can sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice to complete the Challenge. There are exclusive rewards to collect along the way, and it’s FREE to take part!

    The Summer Reading Challenge website helps you keep track of your reading all year round: find new books to read, take part in competitions and play games.

    Holiday ideas

    Are you wondering how to keep the children busy throughout the holiday? If so, please click on the links below for local activities that your child might like to join in with.

    Also, the kids swim free in Dudley scheme is back for the summer holidays and I have attached the link where parents can register their child for this. Registration is now open and the free swim commences from Tuesday 23 July.


    All inhalers and epi-pens MUST be in school on the first day of term. Can I remind parents that although we do our best to look out for expiry dates, it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that these items are in date. If your child is registered as asthmatic, they will bring home a letter and forms for you to complete, that must be with your child inhalers on Tuesday 3rd September 2019.

    Children are not allowed to take part in PE unless all jewellery/earrings have been removed. If you wish your child to have their ears pierced, can I suggest that you have this done at the very beginning of the of the summer holiday so that their ears have the full six weeks to heal.

    Hairstyles: it is not suitable to return to school in September with shaven heads, tramlines or extreme colours.  Please remind your children of the rules. Children who have long hair must tie it up.

    Could you please make sure that your child has all of their PE kit available in school every day from the first day of term as our timetable starts immediately. Although staff will let you know when the planned PE sessions are, there are often times when we have PE/dance workshops for classes or when teachers take advantage of good weather to do PE.

    Dogs are not allowed on the school premises at any time, and if you have a dog please do not obstruct the pathway/gate as a number of children, who are frightened of dogs, find this intimidating.

    In September, children may return in either summer or winter uniform depending upon both the weather and your preference.

    Children should have their dinner money in a named purse or wallet or in a named sealed envelope. Dinner money MUST NOT be handed in at the school office.

    All children in Reception Class and KS1 receive free fruit each day for tuck and therefore do not need to bring any food from home. A reminder that all children in Year R, 1 and 2 will be entitled to a free school meal. Please remember to apply for free school meals if you are eligible as some of school funding depends on it.

    KS2 children: May we remind you that we operate a ‘healthy tuck’ policy.  Since schools are now subject to strict guidelines about the type of food that is allowed/ available during the school day, we hope that parents will support our efforts to encourage children to make healthy choices. For parents of current Year 2 in particular, this is a real opportunity to continue the good habits established in KS1 where fruit has always been offered as the only choice at playtime. We also encourage children to bring in healthy lunchboxes.

    Macmillan Coffee Morning:

    Following the success of last year’s venture, we will be joining in again with “The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning” to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support on Friday 27th September 2019. More details to follow nearer the time.

    Attendance/Absence and Holidays in Term Time:

    Don’t forget that our policy on attendance, reporting children’s absences and holidays in term time is on the school website. If children are too ill to attend school then parents must phone the school office by 9.05a.m. to let us know the reason why children are not in school—unexplained absences are recorded as “unauthorised”. It is then your responsibility to ring school before 9.05am on any future days of illness, so our registers are keep up to date.  Our policy reflects the government’s stance on holidays in term time.

    We have been informed by Dudley Investigation Service that, are issuing Fixed Penatly Notices (fines) for a leave of absence in term time which is for a period of 5 days (10 sessions) or more.

    Please can parents be aware of this information when booking any holidays, trips etc.

    Pencil Cases and Bags:

    Please don’t let your child persuade you to buy new pencil cases or other items of stationary for September. The children have been told that everything they need for school will be provided. Pencil cases will, of course, be ideal for homework! As there is limited space in cloak spaces, please encourage your children to bring sensible sized bags—there just isn’t room for large ones! KS1 should ONLY bring their small red book bag – these can purchased at the school office.

    Holiday Dates:

    A reminder that we break up for the summer holidays at the usual time on Friday 19th July at 3.15pm. School re-opens for the children on Tuesday 3rd September 2019 at 8:50am.

    Save the date

    On Wednesday 11th September 3.30pm – 4.30pm – we will be holding a ‘Meet the Teacher’ session to explain the expectations for the year.  We hope you can make it and support your child’s future learning.

    Dates for next year

    Autumn 2019

    Term starts – Monday 2nd September 2019

    Half term – Monday 28th October – Friday 1st November

    Term Ends – Friday 20th December

    Spring 2020

    Term starts – Monday 6th January 2020

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

    Term Ends – Friday 3rd April

    Summer 2020

    Term starts – Monday 20th April 2020

    Half term – Monday 25th May – Friday 29th May

    Term Ends – Friday 17th July

    INSET Days 2019/2020

    Monday 2nd September 2019

    Friday 25th October 2019

    Friday 14th February 2020

    Friday 22nd May 2020

    Monday 20th July 2020

    Polling Day – Thursday 7th May – to be confirmed

    Change of date.  Next year's early May bank holiday (Mon 4th May) will be moved back by four days for the whole of the UK to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

    May Day is traditionally held on a Monday but will be put back to Friday 8 May 2020.

    VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, marks the day towards the end of World War Two when fighting against Nazi Germany came to an end in Europe.

    The holiday will form part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events.

    We would like to wish our Year 6 children every happiness and success in their new schools.  We look forward to hearing how they are settling in.

    A great big thank you for your support this year.  We value the partnerships between Home and School, which makes sure that children make the most of their learning opportunities.  Have a restful holiday.

    We look forward to seeing you in September.

    Best wishes,

    Mrs Miller and Miss Stanton

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