Saturday, 30 August 2014

Counting Down - Almost there!

This week has been a very exciting week in school - lots of cardboard boxes, exciting contents, tradespeople finishing off things, parents in helping and bringing cakes and all the staff enjoying themselves as they set up the classrooms for your children.  The pictures above give some clues to some of the things in school now - I wonder if you will be able to spot them next week?

Wednesday 3rd September - Opening party

The Reception and Nursery morning children are in during the morning - the Nursery morning session finishes at 11:40; Nursery children who have been signed up for lunch club finish at 12:20; morning group Reception children finish at 12:30.
In the afternoon, between 2 and 3 pm, you are all invited to an opening party - so you can have a good look around at all the lovely things the children will be using in their learning, we can say thank you for all your support and you can begin to get to know each other.  The theme for the party is the woodlands, the children (and you if you wish!) can come dressed up as something you might find in the woods or ponds - pond creatures, woodland creatures, woodland folk, insects, people who work in the woods...   
There will be some treats in store too - and plenty of opportunities to play with the wonderful resources we have.

Before and After School Club - now known as the Lily Pad!

The Lily Pad will be open from Wednesday 3rd September (morning only) then from Thursday 4th September morning and after school.  There are a number of spaces available in these sessions so if you are interested in your child attending, and they are not yet signed up, please let us know.  We may be able to be flexible with attendance provided we have sufficient notice. Remember there is also the option to extend the Nursery class session by adding in lunch (morning session plus lunch would mean a pick up time of 12:20 rather than 11:40; afternoon session plus lunch would mean a drop off time of 11:40 rather than 12:20 - children will need to bring a packed lunch at least for term 1, though we are looking at the option of dinners being able to be purchased for the Nursery children.
Payment for these session will normally be done a month in advance but we will be letting you know about September's costs next week and ways of payment - currently the school bank account is being finalised, as is the official school numbers and both are only able to be used from next week when we are officially open.  Payment methods will eventually be available on line, though these systems are still being set up so we would ask you to bear with us for the first term.  Our registration to accept childcare vouchers can only happen once we are officially open (and the Department of Education have changed our status from 'proposed' to 'open' on their data base) and that will be from 1st September.
The staff running the Lily Pad have some great ideas about what they will do with the children and I am sure your children will have a lovely time in these sessions.

Things which you'll need to bring in week 1

Please remember we will need to see proof of your child's date of birth - either birth certificate or passport - please bring in in week 1.  We'll be asking for details of doctors, contact details, allergies, any medical conditions, collection details - it's always useful to make notes of these so that filling in the forms is easier.

Getting to School

To help keep our neighbours happy it would be great if you and your children could walk to school.  If you do need to come by car please can you park at the rear of the school, Greenwood Place (accessed via the road opposite the entrance to Isambard School (Vaughan Williams Way), where our temporary shop unit was) and then walk up the path at the side of school.  Please avoid using the cut through from Alwyn Court and avoid parking at the front of the school as the Frankel Avenue oval parking area can be very busy with delivery lorries and reversing cars.


... have you registered with Cool Milk?  See last blog post for more details.

Have a lovely last holiday weekend and we're very much looking forward to seeing you next week.

Jane Leo

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Counting Down - 2 weeks to go!

Thank you for being patient waiting for news or answers to your questions - things have, as you can imagine, been very busy as we count down to the opening of Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy.

The building: 

Wilmott Dixon, the builders, have done an amazing job on the Community Centre building and we will be handed the keys this Friday, 15th August, a whole two weeks earlier than expected.  There are a couple of things which will be done after that date - the 'Shed' which is where we'll have the before and after school club (temporarily it will be in a portacabin on the playground); the canopy over the Reception class outdoor space - both will be with us mid-September.  In terms of help with unpacking we now have a longer window - if you are free in week beginning Tuesday 26th August please let me know your availability by email to (note updated email address).


Many of you have already ordered the uniform but just in case you haven't you can purchase it from Trutex, Swindon - they have a shop in Sandford Street SN1 1HE
01793 520843 or order on line here.  

Just to remind you, uniform is:-

  • Grey trousers, skirt, pinafore dress
  • White Polo shirt 
  • School logo sweatshirt/cardigan
  • Black shoes
  • White, grey or black socks/tights
  • Black leggings or joggers
  • White round neck t-shirt
  • School logo hoodie
  • Trainers/comfortable shoes
PE Kit - for Nursery and Reception
  • Black shorts
  • White round neck t-shirt
  • Daps
  • School logo hoodie or black non-logo tracksuit top
  • Black non-logo tracksuit bottoms or joggers
You will also need:

  • a logo book bag (Reception only)
  • a logo PE bag
  • a pair of wellies
  • a waterproof coat
I've added in some extra detail re shoes for Nursery and PE kit following questions from parents.

The First Weeks

Term, for the children, starts on Wednesday 3rd September.  Those children who are signed up for morning sessions of the Nursery class and those Reception children who are doing mornings plus lunch to begin with (see list below) will start on the Wednesday.  

There are no afternoon sessions that day due to our opening party (see below), so if your child is signed up for afternoon Nursery class sessions or is in Reception and is doing afternoons to begin with (see list below) they will start school sessions on Thursday 4th September.

Reception Induction lists (please note all Reception children will be in full-time from and including Friday 12th September):
  1. Morning Group - 3/9 - 11/9 - 8:50 - 12:30 (including lunch) 
Miss Leach's Owl Class
  • John R McC
  • Sarah S
  • Dexter H
  • Jacob G
  • Isabel H
  • Dominik B
  • Olivia P
  • Areanna S
  • Lucas C
  • Zachary C

Mrs Flynn's Squirrel Class

  • Briel Da C
  • Rheya M
  • Zack J
  • Annabel B
  • Filip N
  • Amy H
  • Sophie W
  • Jessica R
2. Afternoon Group - 4/9 and 5/9 - 1:00 - 3:30; 8/9 - 11/9 -12:00 - 3:30 (including lunch)

Miss Leach's Owl Class

  • Parishay J
  • Charlie U
  • Amber W
  • Evan G
  • Ella H
  • Shania W
Mrs Flynn's Squirrel Class
  • Mia W
  • Maxwell P
  • Gelsomina P
  • Nevaeh G B
  • Isabelle E
  • Lucas V
  • Aaron L
For those children that are in school in the mornings and that are signed up for Breakfast Club, you may drop your child off from 7:30am at the Breakfast Club from and including the 3rd September. For those children who are in school in the afternoons and are signed up for after school club, you may pick your child up any time up to 6:00pm from and including the 4th September. Lunch club for Nursery children staying all day will run from and including Thursday 4th September.

School Lunches

We are having our lunches supplied by Cheeky Pea catering, who supply about 7 schools in the Swindon area. We have met with Chef Shore, who seems to really understand the need to balance what the children will eat with the nutritional guidelines given by the government and the need to use fresh ingredients to encourage healthy eating. Menus will be sent shortly to those parents whose children are in Reception so you can select a lunch for each day. The choices are noted by Chef Shore and his staff will be bringing those choices along to our school from the kitchens at St Francis Primary.

School Milk

If you haven't already done so, please register your child for free school milk at - this needs doing before21st August to make sure the right amount of milk is delivered for the children.

School Fruit

We have signed up for free school fruit for the children. The Nursery class will be having snacks mid-session. For Term 1 these will be funded by the school so we can work out a fair cost based on what the children like and what is practical to give them. After term 1 we will be asking for a contribution from parents of the Nursery children to cover this cost - more on this in October.

Absences in term time

I will be sharing the attendance Policy with you but just in case you have late summer holidays booked, please be aware that the school is unable to authorise holidays in term time. If there are exceptional reasons that your child needs to be away from school (other than illness) you must write to the Governors of the school to request permission for the absence.

Opening Celebrations

On the afternoon of 3rd September, from 2:00 - 3:00 pm, we would like to invite you and your family to visit the school and celebrate with us this first stage in our exciting journey of Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy.
The following Monday, 8th September, the school will be officially opened by the Bishop of Swindon and you are warmly invited to attend then too. The timings are not yet firmly fixed but will be between 1:00 and 2:00 pm.

Form Filling

Advanced warning ... there will be some forms given to you during week 1, that you will need to sign and return, just confirming contact details, medical needs, permissions for photos etc. We will also need to see your child's birth certificate or passport to evidence proof of date of birth.


We now have a live web site (note of caution: it still has test data on it which we are sorting out this week - but keep an eye for calendar info etc); a web blog - you'll know that because you're reading this one!; and a Twitter feed @tadpolefarmcepa.


A big thank you for your patience and support. All of the staff and I are really looking forward to sharing your child's journey through the school with you.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Tadpole website, blog and Twitter go live!

Tadpole is now alive and kicking on the web!  Keep up-to-date with everything that's happening in our school on our website (, blog ( and Twitter feed (@tadpolefarmcepa).