Macmillan Coffee Morning

Please support us on Friday 28th September 2018 9.00am - 10.15am with our Macmillan Coffee morning - a great time to get together and join us for a coffee and cake - ask friends, relatives, neighbours etc. The more people we involve, the more proceeds go to support this worthy cause. Please support us to by sending cakes in to sell either home cooked or shop bought. Children will be singing at intervals throughout the morning. We ask for a minimum donation of £2 for a coffee and cake. We are asking children to support this worthy cause too - they can wear their own clothes and donate a minimum of £1 - if you do not wish your child to take part they should come to school in their uniform. Normal lessons will be taking place, so please ensure children are dressed appropriately. Thank you.

Parents Evenings Wednesday 10th October and Thursday 11th October 2018 (see change of date for Mrs Cartwright's Class)

We are holding our Parents Evenings this term on Wednesday 10th October, 3.20pm until late and Thursday 11th October 2018 from 3.20pm. Each class teacher will put up appointment lists indicating the times that they are available. Please note that these will vary slightly for each teacher. Mrs Cartwright will not be available on Thursday 11th October - therefore her parents evening will differ slightly and take place on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th October 2018.

This is a valuable opportunity for you to meet your son or daughter's class teacher, and to discuss how they have settled into their new class. We do encourage parents to bring their child for a "three way conversation".

Will you please enter and exit by the main entrance doors.

As usual there will be seating available in the hall or the library so that you can wait in comfort and browse through your child's books with them after seeing the teacher. I would be grateful if you would come to the hall during the evening to check that the contact details that we have for your child are correct and up to date. This will also be an opportunity for you check that you have the correct log in details for our website. If you need to speak to me about your child I will be available in the hall.

Appointments allow a maximum of 10 minutes per child. If you need additional discussion time you may need to make a further appointment on another day as we do try our best to ensure minimum waiting times for parents.

All teachers will put up appointment lists in the main foyer, at the end of the school day on Monday 24th September 2018 @ 3.00pm

To ensure safe dismissal of all children from the playgrounds the following arrangements apply:

All appointments lists will be put in the foyer/conservatory entrance from 3.00 p.m. onwards.

Please collect your child as usual and then make your way to the foyer.

If you wish to sign up before collecting your child then please go to the main entrance and return the same way to collect your son/daughter at the normal time.

I would be grateful if parents did not ring the office to make appointments - we simply do not have the capacity to make appointments on behalf of parents. Please feel free to send a short note to your child's class teacher if you are unable to sign up personally.

We would appreciate your help and co-operation to ensure the safety of your children.

Nursery 'Meet the Nursery Practitioner' session - Wednesday 3rd October 2018

We would like to invite all Nursery parents to meet their Nursery Practitioner's on Wednesday 3rd October after you have dropped your child at Nursery. This will last for approximately half an hour and will provide parents with information about the Nursery expectations and how parents can support their child's learning.

Nursery Parent Consultations

These will take place on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th October, throughout the day. Both Miss Porter and Mrs Parkes will be available to discuss how your child is progressing in Nursery. You can sign up for an appointment in the Nursery from Wednesday 3rd October.

Monster Mash Fun Night - Friday 19th October 2018

We would like to invite your child to a 'Monster Mash Disco' on Friday 19th October 2018.

We will be having a Monster/ghouls/witch/wizard/ghost/pumpkin etc themed fancy dress party or children can come in their own clothes, if they prefer.

There will be a DJ, as well as dancing and party games, a drink and choc ice provided too.

Entry is by ticket only. The tickets are £4.00. We require tickets to be purchased in advance, so we have accurate numbers for the disco. School staff will supervise the children at the event. You can purchase tickets at the school office from Tuesday 2nd am until Friday 19th October 3.15pm.

Please note you cannot pay on the door for this event - so please purchase a ticket in plenty of time!

The disco will start at 4.30pm and children must be collected by an adult at 6.00pm.

If you have further questions, please see your child's class teacher.

Harvest 1st October until 19th October 2018

In the weeks leading up to half term, we will be celebrating Harvest.

This year we have decided again to help the Black Country Foodbank who collect items to feed families in crisis in our community. The Foodbank would like to collect a range of items so that they don't have an abundance of some items and a shortfall of others. So, we are going to ask each class to donate particular items, so that we should manage to collect a selection across the school. If you feel able to support this appeal, then please send in the item asked for from your child's class on the list opposite, anytime from Monday 2nd October to Friday 19th October. We will be launching the appeal in assembly on 1st October, but thought you may like advance warning so that perhaps you can add an extra item into your shopping.

Please make sure that the foods are "in date", i.e. within their 'best before' dates as the Foodbank can't give away food that is past its best-before date and we don't want to waste any donations.

Year R - Miss Cleeton - Tinned meat or fish

Year R - Miss Jordan - Carton of U.H.T.(long life) milk, fruit squash/cordial

Year 1 - Mrs Hayward - Tinned Potatoes, tinned Vegetables

Year 1 - Miss Postings - Tinned fruit, cartons of orange juice

Year 2 - Mrs Cartwright - Hot chocolate, small jars of coffee, tea

Year 2 - Mr Swift - Sugar, biscuits

Year 3/4 - Mrs Austin -Soup, (tinned/carton/packet), instant noodles

Year 3/4 - Mr Raybould - Rice, dried pasta, couscous

Year 5/6 - Mr Baker Cereal (preferably non sugared)

Year 5/6 - Mrs Oliver Toiletries (soap, shower gel shampoo, baby toiletries, wipes etc)

Communication with Parents

Please make sure that you have given us your up to date email address. This will mean that all newsletters will be sent to you via your email. Our website has the facility to send notifications to your phone, laptop etc. so that you know to look on the website for new information.

Obviously, to receive the notification, you need to log in using the login details that you received either last academic year (or in your induction pack if your child is new to the school!). If you need help with your log in details then please contact the office.

Driving and Parking

We have already received complaints from extremely upset local residents regarding parents driving at speed along Balfour Road and parking. Balfour Road is particularly busy at the start and end of the day and it is vital that all road users drive cautiously and slowly as there are so many children being dropped off or collected from school. PLEASE help us to keep all of the children safe - no-one wants a child to be knocked over.

Can parents please be considerate of our neighbours and the local community by - not parking across driveways, turning around on residents' driveways or parking on the grass verges. We would greatly appreciate your co-operation with this. We regularly have irate neighbours contacting the office, furious when they cannot get on or off their drives because parents have blocked them in.

May we also remind parents that the school car park is meant for STAFF ONLY - we would appreciate your cooperation with this by parking on Balfour road and walking to the school - this helps us to keep children safe who may be leaving after school clubs, children arriving late, nursery children etc. This includes collecting children from Breakfast/After school clubs or other clubs such as football, gym etc.

Activities/events that have happened in school so far:

Condover Hall

Yr 6 children went on their Residential to Condover Hall in Shrewsbury (5th - 9th Sept) with Miss Stanton, Mrs Oliver and Mrs Barlow - they were joined by our Governors Mr Ackerman and Mr Hayes. The children had a wonderful time that was fun filled and challenging. They enjoyed a range of activities which included Laser Quest, Mini Olympics, Abseiling, Climbing Wall, Multi Vines, Zip wire, Sensory trail, tunnelling and other fun filled opportunities. The children were polite and well-mannered and really benefitted from the experience of being more independent and taking responsibility for themselves. The Instructors commented on how supportive the children were to each other. I would like to thank the children and particularly the staff and governors, who have given up their own family time to make the experience for the children possible.

Year 3/4 and 5/6 Cycling

Well done to those children who participated and passed their Bikeability - The National Standard for Cycle Training. This is training that KS2 receive on a two year cycle - we would like to see a lot more children participate in the programme in the future.

Meet the teacher

Thank you to those parents who gave up their time to meet with their child's class teacher. The session is extremely important and explains clearly the expectations of the child's curriculum and the importance of home and school working closely together to support your child's learning

Congratulations - Primary Quality Science Mark (PQSM)

We would like to congratulate Mrs Woodley, who has led the school to achieve the PQSM for the school. This is a nationally recognised award and benefits staff and children with the Science opportunities and curriculum taught throughout school. Mrs Woodley has worked relentlessly with Staff, children, governors, SLT and parents to develop the science curriculum further. We would like to thank Mrs Woodley for her passion, enthusiasm and commitment to the teaching and development of science at Blanford Mere - the children have fantastic science opportunities. She will continue her work to embed the opportunities further for children and staff - watch this space!

This is a comment from Dr Jenny Watson - PQSM hub leader:

"Many congratulations for the well-deserved achievement of your PSQM Gilt award. I know that amount of hard work you put into it and it was clear when I visited how much the children and teachers at Blanford Mere were benefitting from it. As your reviewer says this really was a 'super submission'.

Finally, thank you for sharing your journey last year improving Science at Blanford Mere. I've read your submission reviewer's comments and recommend you read these in details as they not only celebrate ALL THE FANTASTIC IMPACT YOU HAD last year, but also may give pointers to future ideas. Please keep in touch."

Bill Roffey -PQSM submission reviewer commented:

"What a super submission. You have worked so hard to move the science on and produce a submission of such high quality. I noted this comment on the final line of your final reflective question. After people had commented positively on your work in science "These rewarding and heart-warming attributes that will proudly stay with me forever." To be honest so they should. We as a profession are not always very good at acknowledging our own success and you should be rightly proud of what you have achieved here. Your hard work and commitment shine right through and I would quite like to be a pupil at your school doing science - it sounds so much fun!! This submission meets the criteria for PSQM GILT. Many congratulations on all you have achieved this year. You and your colleagues should be very proud. Great leadership. Well done!"

Goodbye

We say goodbye to Sandra Morris who has dedicated the past 34 years to Blanford Mere as part of our cleaning team. We would like to thank Sandra for her commitment to the school and the job - she will be greatly missed.

We wish her every happiness in her retirement and hope that she will keep us informed of all the exciting things she pursues. Good luck and thank you again Sandra!

Exciting News

New School Football kit

We are pleased to have received our sponsored football kit, from the Premier League Primary Stars Foundation. Training for the football team has begun and we are looking forward to our first fixture which will be announced shortly. Have a look how smart the new kit is! Mr Swift.

Outdoor Gym - KS2

The moment the children had all been waiting for finally arrived last Thursday when the School Council launched the new outdoor gym. The grand opening was watched eagerly by the whole school and a big countdown led to a red ribbon being cut by the councillors. The Express and Star were there to take photographs too, so look out in the newspaper for a forthcoming feature!

Isobel F said 'It's really amazing and much better than we could have ever imagined! We can't wait to use it!'

Many thanks once again for your fundraising support towards this project and to Mr. Hill for facilitating the installation and post-training session with staff. Thank you to Mrs. Miller and the governors for their large contribution (over £10,000!) in order to make this dream a reality.

Rights Respecting Schools Award - Going for Gold!

As you are all aware, we are a UNICEF Rights Respecting School and achieved our Silver Award in 2016. We are now in the process of working towards the Gold Award. Please look at the children's rights with your child at home. These can be found in the front of your child's planner. It is important for you and your child to know about these rights and discuss them when appropriate.

UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) is the organisation working specifically for children and their rights. Its mission is to campaign for the protection of children's rights in order to meet children's basic needs and empower them to realise their full potential.

UNICEF UK believes that these values should be embedded in the ethos and curriculum of our schools, and provides a framework in order to accomplish this. They learn that if they have rights, they need to respect the rights of others.

You may be wondering what this means for your child, so I have enclosed some frequently asked questions for your information.

Why are children learning about their rights at school?

In signing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child all Governments have a responsibility to make both children and adults aware of these rights. Schools are the best place to reach the vast majority of children. The RRS programme is based on teaching children about their rights and responsibilities through the UN Convention.

What is meant by 'rights'?

These are not the same as 'wants'. What are termed rights are the basic human needs and values that apply or should apply to everyone. The Unicef leaflet outlines them in more detail.

Does the Convention talk about responsibilities?

Yes. With rights come responsibilities. These include:

• For children: the responsibility to respect the rights of others.

• For parents: to respect and provide for the rights of their children.

• For governments: to support families and to respect and provide for the rights of children.

How does teaching about children's rights fit in with the aims of the school?

The aim of both RRS and the school is to help children in achieving their potential and become responsible citizens. What is taught in the RRS curriculum helps children learn respect for self, others, critical thinking skills, and informed decision-making

Will children take advantage of adults if they are taught about their rights?

It is made clear that children not only have rights, but also the responsibility to respect the rights of others. That includes respect for parents, their values and culture. The Convention recognises the central importance of parents. It says that the government must respect the responsibility of parents for providing appropriate guidance for their children, including how children shall exercise their rights

What about children's respect for the rights of others?

Research evidence shows that when children are taught in school about their rights and responsibilities under the UN Convention, they are more respecting of the rights of others.( see later) Children who have learnt about their rights show:

• a better understanding of what it means to have rights and responsibilities

• more positive attitudes to school

• Better relationships with their classmates and teachers higher self-esteem.

Can children still be expected to help their parents with jobs in the home?

Yes The Convention does not regulate the day-to-day details of home life. Its aim is to protect children from exploitation or work that is dangerous to their health or interferes with their other rights, such as to education, rest, leisure, play and recreation. There is nothing in the Convention which prevents parents from expecting that their children clean their rooms and help out at home as long as it is safe and appropriate to their age.

What does the Convention say about the ways parents discipline their children?

The UN Convention makes it clear that children should be protected from all forms of mental and physical violence. It does not specify what methods parents should use. It strongly supports parents providing guidance and direction to their children in non- violent ways, taking account of the age of the child and their best interest.

How can parents support what children are learning about the Convention at school?

· Take the time to ask your child what he/she has learned recently regarding children's rights.

· Discuss the ideas learned in class, and try to think of examples from your own experiences, or from the media, of rights being respected or denied.

· Ask your child's opinion on children's rights.

· Discuss how your child or your family can promote respect for rights, or help those whose rights have been taken away.

Some typical ways of using Rights Respecting language at home

• You have the right to play but you must respect this by tidying up your toys afterwards.

• You have the right to watch the TV but you must respect this by turning it off when it is time for tea

• You have the right to an opinion but you have to respect this by listening to the opinions of others

• You have the right to be healthy but you must respect this by eating healthy foods

• You have the rights to a clean world to live in and therefore you must respect this by putting your rubbish in the bin

Over the coming months we shall be talking to children a lot more about rights and how we can respect these in everything we do.

We will keep you updated on our progress.

Mrs Cartwright

Forthcoming events:

• Macmillan Coffee Morning Friday 28th September 2018 9.00am - 10.15am

Wednesday 3rd October - Meet the Nursery Practitioner session - 8.45-9.15 am

• Friday 5th and Monday 8th October - INSET days - school closed to children

Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th October - day time. Nursery Parent Consultations

• Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th October - Parents Evening

• Friday 19th October - Monster Mash - 4.30pm - 6.00pm

• Friday 26th October 3/4AD Class Assembly 9.00am

• Friday 26th October 3.15pm break for half term

• Monday 5th November - back to school 8.50am

Regards

Mrs Miller

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