21st December 2018 Newsletter

Article 2

All children have these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or a girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, whether they are rich or poor. No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.

Well, what a very busy term! This is my final newsletter of the term and of 2018.


An enormous thank you to Mrs Pearson, who has raised a stunning amount of money to provide the school with a defibrillator. This is in already in school and available for use should the need arise. Mrs Pearson, has also raised sufficient funds to have the defibrillator mounted in a protective case outside the school, so that it is available for the whole community to benefit from, if necessary. This needs to be wall mounted and correctly installed by an electrician, as the equipment needs to be kept at a constant temperature. Should you ever need to use the defibrillator, then call 999 and they will give you the correct code to open the case and guide you in how to use the equipment. This is a lifesaving piece of equipment should a cardiac arrest occur.

The National Young Mathematicians' Awards

On Wednesday 5th December, Yr 6 - Dominic, Ekam, Ethan and Lana took part in Round 2 of the maths competition against other schools throughout the region. The children needed to use their maths skills and knowledge to solve extremely challenging problems. Unfortunately, the team were unsuccessful to progressing to the final at Cambridge University! Explore Learning said:

“It was a delight to welcome Mrs. Hart and Blanford Mere’s pupils to our learning centre for Round 2 of our National Young Mathematicians Award. Please pass on to Dominic, Ethan, Ekam and Lana how proud they should feel for making it this far!

During the competition, we were impressed by the children logical approach to challenge 1 and their fearless attitude as they persevered with tricky questions. To improve further, we would like to see explaining their strategies more clearly and finding more solutions to challenge 2”.

The schools that did reach the final were the top 5% who entered the competition nationally. We are so proud of the children. They are a true credit to the school.

This is what the children said:

Lana –“In round 1 we had to use dice to make certain patterns and make the number of patterns that we were told to do. It was definitely challenging and we had to explain what we did and how. For round 2 we had to fold through a number on a number line and make certain totals. We found this one very difficult, but we completed challenge 1 and 2. I was proud to represent my school”.

Ekam – “In the first round we worked on dice problems and then had to explain our working to the judges. In the second round we were working on number lines. I felt very proud to be representing my school and I hoped we’d get through to the third round at Cambridge University”.

Dominic – “On Wednesday 5th of December, we went to the Explore Learning Centre to take part in round 2 of the Maths Competition. It was quite demanding but we persevered and carried on. I enjoyed it and felt proud to be representing Blanford Mere”.

Ethan – “For the first round, we had to use die. We linked the numbers on the die onto the same number on a different die and had to make a certain number. We had to present our findings to the judges. On the second round, we had a number line and we had to fold it on a number to make a sequence. We had to see what the numbers before the folded stacked onto and try and make a number”.

TT Rock Stars - KS2 competition

Following last year’s successful TT Rock Stars competition, we are running 2 more competitions for KS2.

Competition 1

From today until Thursday 14th February, the child with the most correct answers will win a £10 Amazon gift voucher. There will be 1 winner in each year group for Y3, Y4, Y5 and

Competition 2

From February half-term until 9am on Thursday July 11th, the child with the most correct answers will win an Amazon Kindle tablet. There will be 1 winner in each year group for Y3, Y4, Y5 and Y6.

TTRS dressing up days

When children can answer questions up to x12 and achieve Rock Star status, Rock Legend status, or Rock Hero status for the 1st time, they will be able to dress up. Any child who remains on Rock Hero status will always be able to dress up on TTRS days.

Please encourage your children to go on TT Rock Stars. All children can go on TT Rock Stars, but the competition is only open for children from Year 3 - Year 6. TT Rock Stars helps children improve their times tables when used regularly – it is recommended that children use it for at least 3 minutes per day. Please remember to use Mathletics too, as homework will continue to be set weekly on this. Thank you for your support.

There is no download needed and it works on PC and Mac, but there are free APPs available for Android, Apple and Amazon phones and tablets.

Multi skills - Ellowes Hall

Last Friday, children from Year 1 and 2 represented the school in a multi-sports competition at Ellowes Hall Sports College. The Blanford Mere team thoroughly enjoyed an energetic afternoon and demonstrated fine running, relay, balance and ball control skills. Mason in Year 2 loved the team relay and Rori in Year 1 said that she had so much fun and was given a certificate

Music Club

Music Club children have been extremely busy over the past few weeks. They have sung at Arise Church, Merry Hill, New Bradley Hall, the Christmas Breakfast and Morrison’s. Mr Baker said the children were all fantastic! I would like to thank the children and Mr Baker for their commitment and dedication. You were all superb! £126.76 was raised at Morrison’s, this will go to CLIC Sargent Charity.

“It was good to sing for the old people at New Bradley Hall. We made them happy.” Hannah B, Year 3.

“Singing at Arise Church was fun and we all got a Christmas chocolate!” Grace A, Year 4.

“I enjoyed singing at Merry Hill and it was nice to see everyone supporting us.” Issy G, Year 5.

“Morrison’s was really well supported. It was fun and we raised a lot of money for charity.” Mary-Kate, Year 6.

Science Stars

An amazing amount of science learning and experiences have been taking place this half term. Staff and children alike have been developing their Science Capital, working scientifically and questioning and thinking like scientists. Of course, science really is everywhere and at Blanford Mere, we take every opportunity to keep it alive! Mrs Woodley proudly presents the Science Stars for this half term.

Year 5/6O

Joshua S - Understanding the role of muscles and what they need to function well.

Megan S – Confidently offering answers; accurate details understood and also the functions of the blood and blood vessels

Lewis W – Positive attitude and fully engaged when dissecting a heart; using scientific vocabulary and identifying parts of the heart in our practical lesson.

Tighe W – Amazing effort wanting to answer every question; identifying heart functions and parts of the circulatory system

Dominic W – Extensive knowledge and understanding shared; completed extension questions and linking them to our Principles.

Year 5/6B

Zak H – Scientific vocabulary used; engaged thoroughly in the lesson; asking ‘numerous’, curious questions’ and answering questions superbly.

Kelsie L – Scientific vocabulary used and being totally engaged in your learning when dissecting a heart.

Lana W – Explaining results and drawing conclusions in detail; planning and carrying out an investigation; fair testing variables applied.

Abby W – Developing our Science Capital by sharing every day examples of how her swimming uses muscle groups.

Year 3/4R

Dominic P – Carrying out an investigation accurately

Leon H – Contributing to scientific discussion

Oliver W – Carrying out an investigation on his own.

Mason P – Asking a great ‘curious question’.

Joel H – Making a switch in an electrical circuit.

Year 3/4 AD

Daniel W - For answering ‘curious questions’.

Gabriella F - For working independently to investigate circuits.

Michael D - For identifying conductors and insulators.

James H - For asking and answering ‘curious questions’.

Year 2S

Grace E – good use of science vocabulary to explain changes in state.

Jack S– able to explain why certain materials are used for purposes because of their properties.

Dougie S – gave an example of how a solid could change into a liquid: rock to lava.

Harman S – explaining how he would group materials according to their properties.

Year 2C

Xavi S - for his wonderful scientific curiosity                                                                                                       Zach R was chosen for sharing his knowledge about liquid mercury in thermometers when answering a ‘curious question’ about liquid metal. 

Year 1H

Bobbie C - Understanding of natural and manmade materials.

Willow C- Lovely contributions to our discussion on fair testing.

Liam T - Fantastic ideas and predictions during investigation into stretching and bending materials.

Connor R - Fantastic description of what changes happen in autumn.

Year 1P

Annabelle D - for understanding and comparing the properties of materials.

Tommy A- for sharing his knowledge of suitable materials to build a shelter.

Harry J - for asking questions about why some materials are waterproof and some are not.

Heather P - for being able to explain why some materials can bend and stretch.

Fred P- for sharing his experiences about heating and cooling materials.

Rec J

Ruby W- For a great observation of what happens to trees in the winter.

Charlie H- For exploring and talking about what makes ice.

Rec C

Daisy-Mae -For a fantastic explanation about evergreen trees.

Oliver H- For a super explanation of what causes ice to melt.


Celina A - For using some wonderful language to describe the rainbow that had formed in the sky.

Abel W - Exploring and investigating the outdoor environment while going on a 'Bear Hunt'.

Maddison D - For noticing the change in weather outdoors. It started raining so she went to put on her wellies to splash in the puddles that were forming on the ground.

Enzo W - Describing the weather.

Today was Science Principle 1. Mind blowing! (Nathan)

A spectacular experience! Dissecting a heart was fun, but also strange. (Roxy)

It was crazy when Mrs. Woodley pushed her fingers through the aorta artery! (Ben H)

These were just some of the comments from Year 5-6’s recent practical experience of dissecting sheep hearts to support their learning of the human circulatory system. All of our Science Principles were supported in this fantastic learning experience. Well done everyone, from Mrs. Woodley. Here are a few more…

This experience will stay with me forever. I will tell my children but it when I’m older. (Tyler S)

I was stunned by the size of the aorta compared to other arteries and veins. Our Science Capital has been massively developed. (Amber & Mackenzie)

Looking inside a heart was amazing. I’ve never done this before. I thought the heart would be much larger as it has such a large job to do. (Morgan)

It was truly amazing. (Miley)

It was fabulous and a great experience. (Simar)

Amazing! Incredible! So cool! (Chloe)

Mind blowing! (Hannah)

Amazing! It’s spectacular to see what happens inside the heart. (Isabelle A)Cool to see the veins and arteries too. (Issy G)

The aorta is incredibly strong! (Jack & Tyler S)

The experience was really extraordinary – to be able to touch a real heart. (Aaron)

Once in a lifetime experience. (Thomas D)

The Big Battery Hunt.

Please can you help us to help make a real difference to our environment?

Earlier this year, so many of our families supported this worthy cause, as advertised by Duracell, by collecting old batteries in your collecting boxes and bringing them into school to add to our very large battery collection bin. We have since then, sent several batches of batteries to Duracell to be recycled.

The Big Battery Hunt gives pupils the exciting opportunity to be pioneers in an exciting recycling challenge to encourage everyone nationwide to recycle more batteries, rather than them ending up as landfill.

Christmas is inevitably the time of year when we tend to use rather a lot of batteries! Please can you collect up your used batteries and bring them to school when we return in January? Maybe you could also ask friends and neighbours too?

Remember, Science is everywhere… thank you for encouraging your child to develop their Science Capital… Mrs. Woodley.

Well Done!:

  • Many of you will have joined us at St. Mary’s Church last week for our Christmas Celebration. I do hope that you enjoyed the children’s singing and retelling of the Christmas story, just as much as I did! I would like to congratulate the children on their performances—they were great! The donations that you made were greatly appreciated. We raised a total of £312.12. We donated £62.12 to St Mary’s Church and the remainder £250 went to support our nominated charity 4Louis.
  • A big thank you for all your support for your children and the school in recent weeks. Families have supported a variety of fund-raising projects as well as our recent Christmas Film Night. It was lovely to see so many of you in church last week for our Christmas Celebration. The many positive comments that we have received mean a great deal to us and make all the hard work preparing for these events worthwhile.
  • This week Parents and carers enjoyed the Nursery and Reception Christmas Craft and sing-along – there was a wonderful atmosphere and the children’s performance was fantastic.
  • Thank you to our wonderful office team, Mrs Hunter, Mrs Needle and Mrs Alexander, for all their hard work with the Christmas activities. I would also like to thank Kim and the kitchen team for their support with the Christmas Breakfast.
  • Attendance winners for November were class 5/6B with 99.32% attendance.
  • Year 6 had the best attendance for the Autumn Term. They have been given some free tickets to a ‘Circus Starr’ performance at Dudley Town Hall. The show involves a variety of circus skills such as acrobatics, balancing and comedy and takes place on Tuesday 15th January 2019 @ 4.45pm. These will be given out in January.
  • December winners were Year 5/6B for the second month in a row with a huge 98.39%. Fantastic – well done!
  • Events that have happened in school:

  • Santa and his elves were extremely busy in his Christmas Grotto this week.
    • ‘Save the Children’ - Christmas jumper day – we raised £211.40.
    • Children were rewarded with a fun afternoon on Wednesday – they played games. This was treat for all the children who have been well behaved this term – Thank you to all of those children. It was fantastic to see that nobody in KS2 lost their end of term treat! Keep up the good work.
    • Year 1/2 – went to The Wyre Forest for an active day. They went on The Highway Rat trail and made Christmas decorations from natural materials.
    • Nursery and Reception enjoyed the brilliant pantomime at Arise Church this week – the staff said that they were extremely well behaved and represented the school so well. Alll of the children thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
    • Christmas Sing-along – thank you to those who were able to join us in our Christmas Sing-along in the playground today.
    • Congratulations to the Raffle Winners who were:

      Adults Raffle

      Christmas Cake — Mary-Kate

      Red Wine — Danny S

      White Wine – Merryn B

      Heroes Chocolates – Lola EW

      Foxes Biscuits – Rebecca H

      Bayliss and Harding Luxury hand wash – Arran H

      Children's Raffle

      Haribo sweets — Kian M

      Celebrations — Ben H

      Heroes – Liam T

      Pie Face Game – Jonty M

      Fidget Spinner – Seth D

      Fidget Spinner – Josh S

      The money will go towards activities for the children.

      Thank you to Mrs Brown who kindly made and donated the cake for the raffle.

      Good bye

      We say to Mrs P Brown, who has been with us for a short time supporting children in Year 2. We wish her the best of luck.


      As parts of the country have had snow, this is a reminder of our procedures.

      If a decision is made to close the school, it will be announced on local radio

      Free Radio BC- 97.2

      Free Radio—B’ham –96.4

      Black Country Radio

    • We will also update the school website and send out a group text.
    • To keep the school open we have to have enough staff in school to care for the children as well as premises that are safe enough to enter (gritted pathways etc.)
    • Please do not ring the school. We are unlikely to be able to make an early decision as many staff live a distance away and will be experiencing difficulty getting to school. As soon as a decision is made to close the radio stations will be informed.
    • As you know, where possible we do our best to stay open. However, if conditions are unsafe for either children or staff then we have no option but to close. We will do our best!
    • Holiday Dates:

      We close for the Christmas holidays at 3.15pm on Friday 21st December. School re-opens for both children and staff on Monday 7th January 2019 at 8.50am. Please note that there is no in-service training day in January - we are all straight back in! Can you ensure children have their PE kits and planners on the first day please.

      Inset Days

      As you are aware, all schools are required to have training days for staff. Our training days for the remainder of the academic year are as follows:

      Friday 22nd March 2019

      Polling Day Thursday 2nd May 2019

      Monday 22nd July 2019


      On behalf of the staff may I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a healthy New Year. We look forward to seeing the children again on Monday 7th January 2019.

      Mrs. Miller

      Head Teacher

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