Friday, 19 December 2014

Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year from all at Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy

This blog comes with warmest wishes for a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year from all of us at Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy. 
This blog has details of:-
  • Nativity services
  • Updated allergy information
  • Snow closure procedures
  • Parent helpers
  • Message for Nursery Parents - School admissions and snack money for term 3
  • Thank you for supporting various charity giving events
  • Looking forward to next term
  • Term 3 dates

Nativity Services

Thank you to all those of you who came along to the nativity services this week.  Christmas is a special time of year in a Church school and to be able to have these services in church added to the sense of the school being part of the wider Christian community.  A huge thank you goes to Laura (mum of Ella YR), Denise (gran of Ella YR), Kerry (mum of Annabel YR), Sara (mum of Lucas YR) and Lisa (mum of Grayson YN and Rheya YR) for all their marvellous costume making.  The costumes are beautiful and will last us for many years to come. 

Updated allergen information

Following changes in government policy, our menus for nursery snack and Lily pad breakfast/snack now contain more detailed allergen information.  If you would like to know more this link will take you to the poster displayed in school
There are links from that document to further web based information from the DFE.

Snow Closure Procedure

Hopefully we won't need to close for any reason, snow or otherwise, but it would seem sensible to let you know where you can find out what we will be doing should the weather turn snowy.  If at all possible, in terms of safety, we will open so that those of you who work can still get to work.  The teaching staff live at various long distances from school so their ability to get in to Swindon will have a major impact on whether we open or not.  
A decision on opening or not will be made by 6:30 a.m. on the day of any snow difficulty.  Regardless of what happens after that time, the school will open or close for the whole of that day - so if, for example, the decision is to open and then the snow gets worse we will stay open until 3:30, though you would be welcome to collect your child early if you were worried about travelling in the snow; on the other hand, if the decision was to close for the day, we would remain closed for the whole of that day even if the snow all suddenly melts and the roads clear.  
We will put a message on the website via blog; will send out a text and will send out an email.  The Friends Of Tadpole Farm facebook page will also be updated. 

Parent Helpers

Would you be interested in coming in to school on a regular basis to help support reading in Reception? Maybe you are someone who is great at music, art and crafts and could offer your time on a one off basis? The children in Reception are now well settled and we think they would cope with parents coming in to help from term 3 onwards.  Please let Miss Leach or Mrs Flynn know that you are interested in finding out more and your availability in terms of day/time.

Nursery Parents

School Admissions - If your child is 4 before the 31st August 2015 then the deadline for applying for your school place is 15th January 2015.  You may have already completed your application but, if not, you can apply online at 
If you would like to discuss applying for a school place or would like any help with the process please pop in and see us at the start of term 3.
Snack Money - The snack money for next term is £6.  Please send in by Friday 9th January.

Charity Update

Thank you for your donations to various charity giving events we have held.  A box full of Christmas gifts has gone to the Swindon Foodbank, along with a cash donation of £75.00 to help support the work they do.  We have sent £59.00 to Children-in-need from our super hero day.  The Christmas themed day raised £41.90 and this has been donated to Save the Children.  A really valuable part of the learning the children do here is about how they can impact positively on the world around them; how those who have need to think of ways to help those who are in need.  Your support in this important area of their learning is much appreciated.

Looking forward to next term

Values - the values the children will be learning about next term will be truthfulness and perseverance. We'll be thinking about why it's good to tell the truth and what to do if you make a wrong choice; how do you sort it out with your friends and family.  The New Year is always a good time to focus on perseverance - those new leaves we all like to turn over and resolutions we make... we'll be talking about why it's good to keep trying, even when we find something hard.
Owls and Squirrels - PE kits have been sent home for washing; we noticed some were not named yet and some of the daps/trainers are getting a little small so you may want to check this.  Please could they come back on the first day of term.  Next term we'll be learning through investigating traditional tales, experimenting with ice and spending lots of time outdoors making dens and studying woodlands.
Hedgehogs - PE kits have been sent home for washing; we noticed some were not named yet and some of the daps/trainers are getting a little small so you may want to check this.  Please could they come back on the first day of term.  Already planned for next term is learning about and through nursery rhymes; we will be investigating and exploring how things change and why things happen. 
Lily Pad - still have spaces so if you need time at the beginning or end of each day then your children would be welcome to come along - please see Niki in the office to sign up for these - one off sessions can be accommodated with a weeks notice.  Thank you for donating toys and games to the Lily Pad, your generosity is much appreciated.

Term 3 dates

We look forward to seeing you on Monday 5th January 2015 for the start of another exciting term and the beginning of the year that will see us move in to our real school building.
As the term begins, we will be welcoming new children and families to school in our nursery class and we know you will make them all feel welcome and help them to settle in to our community.

On a personal note, may I wish all of you a Happy Christmas.  Thank you for all of your support in this first part of our life as the community of Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy.  At this time of year we are reminded of the humility of the shepherds; the faith of the wise men; the joy that the angels bring and the peace of the birth of Jesus - these values run through the school community we are building and I look forward to sharing more of this exciting journey with you in 2015.
Best wishes,
Jane Leo


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Christmas is coming ....

In this week's blog:-

Christmas update with dates etc

Emails from school
Water bottle requests
Lost and borrowed clothes request

The first Advent Sunday this year was last Sunday, 30th November, which, in the Christian calendar, begins the build up to Christmas. The staff and children are getting excited about setting up those Christmas traditions that will stay with us as the school grows.

The next two weeks...

Week beginning Monday 8th December:-

  • Christmas tree decorations - the tree is up and looking beautiful - if your child is yet to bring in a named Christmas tree decoration then now is the time...
    • the decoration needs to be robust enough to stand the test of time as we will hang the same decoration on the tree every year that your child is in our school.  When your child leaves the school their decoration will be returned to them as part of the leaving worship. The guidelines for the decoration are:
      • it must be named
      • it should fit a colour scheme of red/green/gold
      • it must be of a size that will hang on a branch
      • it must be strong enough to stand being hung each year for up to 7 years and being packed away repeatedly each year
      • it should be sent into school in the last week of November
  • Food bank donations - there is a box under the tree for the donations you are kindly giving to Foodbank - the box will be there all of this week.
  • Friday 12th December - the staff are taking part in 'Wear your Christmas Jumper to Work' day so we thought we would invite the children to come in on Friday in any Christmas themed items they have - maybe a Christmas jumper; maybe Christmas hair bands; maybe Christmas leggings - anything that is not Christmas themed item should be school uniform though - if your child would prefer not to then that's fine too.

Week beginning 15th December

  • Tuesday 16th December - Nursery nativity at St Andrews church - there will be no afternoon nursery session on this day - all Nursery children taking part in the nativity will need to be taken to St Andrews Church for 1:40 pm ready for a service at 2:00pm.  If your child is in Nursery and you haven't let Mrs Smith know whether or not your child is coming to the service please do so asap so she ca plan parts etc.  The church has no toilet and can be cold - children should wear long sleeved tops and joggers/leggings and their costume will be put on top of that.  Siblings, who are in Reception, may come along to the service - please collect them from school at lunchtime.  There will be a money collection to help support Swindon Foodbank.  Due to the size of the church we ask that no more than 3 adults come along per family.
  • Wednesday 17th December -  The children will be having their school Christmas dinner on Wednesday 17th of December and the Reception children will be having their Christmas party on the same day, in the afternoon.  They should wear school uniform to school, but may bring party clothes in to school to change into after lunch.  
    • Christmas hat competition on the 17th of December - homemade Christmas hats should be bought in to school in the morning - prizes for the best three hats will be awarded.
  • Wednesday 17th again - The Nursery children will be having their party, in their normal session, on the same day too  - they may come to Nursery in their party clothes and will be having party games and Christmas themed snacks.  If your child does not normally attend Nursery on a Wednesday and you would like them to come along on the 17th December for the party please talk to Mrs Smith, who will advise you of timings etc.
  • Thursday 18th December - Reception children - Nativity Service at St Andrew's Church.  Children should arrive at church at 4:40 pm for 5:00 pm start.  The church has no toilet and can be cold - children should wear long sleeved tops and joggers/leggings and their costume will be put on top of that. There will be a money collection to help support Swindon Foodbank.  Due to the size of the church we ask that no more than 3 adults come along per family.  Parking is tricky too so car sharing and a torch might be useful as the lane can be dark.
  • Friday 19th December - last day of term.  We will finish at normal finishing times and the Lily Pad will run on that day as usual.

St Andrew's Church 
Children brought home "an introduction to St. Andrew's Church" leaflet, our partner church. There was also a list of specific Christmas services too. Rev Caroline and Rev Anne are always on hand at school on a Wednesday morning for a chat, or to discuss anything that is worrying or troubling you about anything at all.

Email from school
Some people have been reporting problems with not getting our emails and have found the email in their junk box.  Please alter your mailbox settings so that you don't miss any information from us. Invoices for Lily Pad are sent out from directly to your mailbox.

Water bottle requests
It's really important to keep the brain hydrated during they day. Lots of important research has been done linking effective learning and drinking water regularly. Please  provide a clearly named water bottle for school use. The bottle should only contain water, no squash or other drinks please.

Lost and borrowed clothes request
The children are showing great independence skills by changing their clothes for PE sessions - even the nursery children. But sometime they forget to put the right items in the correct PE bags - they are still little, and learning. When the washing gets done, can you please check that the items that come home are yours. If not, please return as soon as possible so that they can be returned to the rightful owner. Thank you for your understanding.   
If your child has had an accident at school and comes home in clothes borrowed from our supply please wash and return asap... we are running out of pants!!!