Friday, 18 December 2015

Happy Christmas from all at Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy

Hello All,

Our last news blog of term two and it comes with many good wishes for a Happy Christmas and a joyful New Year.  All the staff would like to say a big thank you for the many thoughtful and kind gifts and cards you have given us - it's lovely to hear how much you value the work that they all do.

In this news blog:-

  • Dates for your diary 
  • Clubs for Term 3 and 4 update
  • Water bottles and lunch boxes

Dates for your diary


Friday 18th December
Last Day of Term and Christmas Jumper Day – 
School finishes at normal time, 3:30pm, and Lilypad is open until 6:00 pm as usual.
Monday 4th January 2016
INSET Day school closed to children
Tuesday 5th January
First day of term 3 for children - sign up sheets for clubs can be handed in from today (or email in over the holidays) - see email sent today - closing date for handing in sign up sheets is Friday a.m. 
Monday 11th January
Lilypad closed for staff training – if you are unable to find alternative provision for your child please come to the office as we may be able to provide a very limited number of places.
Monday 25th January
Lilypad closed for staff training – if you are unable to find alternative provision for your child please come to the office as we may be able to provide a very limited number of places.
Clubs Update for term 3 and 4

The following has gone out by email:-

Term 3 and 4 - Club Sign Up Sheet

Clubs will take place only week beginning 11/1, 18/1, 25/1, 1/ 2, 8/2, 22/2, not week of 29/2 due to parents meetings, 7/3, 14/3, not week of 21/3 - 8 sessions
  1. Tuesday
    1. Football -max 20
    2. Construction Club- max 12
    3. Cooking Club - max 10
  2. Wednesday
    1. Star Wars Club - max 16
    2. Story Club - max 12
    3. Craft and Making Club - max 12
    4. Playdough Club - max 12
  3. Thursday -
    1. Film Club - max 25
  4. Friday
    1. Dance club - max 12

Please indicate your child’s club preferences below and hand in the form by Friday 8th January - paper copies will be available in school or you can email your preferences.  To make things as fair as possible please indicate your child’s first, second and third choices in the categories listed below:

Child’s name:_________________________________________________________


Please rank Tuesdays clubs 1 - 3
- 1 = most preferred

Wednesday Clubs
Star Wars
Craft and Making
Please rank these 1 - 4
- 1 = most preferred

Thursday Club
Film Club

Friday Club
Please write yes if your child would like to come to Film Club

Please write yes if your child would like to come to Dance Club

Over-subscribed clubs will be allocated by names from hat.  Parents will be informed by Friday p.m. of the clubs their child can attend.

Water bottles and lunch boxes
I expect that Father Christmas may well bring new water bottles or lunch boxes to some lucky children. Could I ask that you only send in water bottles with water in them - not squash or any other liquid - from next term. I think I've had a chat with most parents whose children have been bringing in squash and we've given them these first two terms to be having weaker and weaker dilutions. Water is better for them than squash and also is less likely to end up with sticky tops and counters.
Lunch boxes are so much better these past few weeks thank you - could I ask that no nut products are sent into school at all including peanut butter, chocolate nut spreads etc. Thank you for your help with these two items, it's much appreciated.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Last Week of Term 2

Hello All,

What a busy few weeks we have had.  Thank you to all those of you who came along to support the Christmas Fayre - final total out soon; the nativity performances - the children were great and made us all feel very Christmassy; the band night - enjoyed by all who came - a big thank you to all of you who have helped out over the last two terms and particularly in these last few weeks - without your support we wouldn't be able to provide as enriching and exciting experience as we do.

In this newsblog:-
  • Dates for your diary
  • Safety on the way to and from school
  • Reminders re contact details; lunch boxes; PE kits; illness; September 2016 Reception class applications
  • Clubs for term 3 and 4
  • Competitions and Awards

Dates for your diary

Monday 14th December
Reception classes – Height and Weight monitoring by school nurse
Wednesday 16th December
Christmas Lunch day for children
Christmas Party Day
Nursery children will have a party in either the morning or the afternoon session, depending on which session they are in – they may come wearing party clothes.
Reception and Year 1 – will have a party in the afternoon and may bring party clothes to change in to at lunchtime.
Friday 18th December
Last Day of Term and Christmas Jumper Day – your child may come in, in their Christmas jumper and their own choice of bottoms (jeans are acceptable too) – this is in aid of the Text Santa, which is supporting Make a Wish, Save the Children so please bring in a donation to support these good causes if you can.
School finishes at normal time, 3:30pm, and Lilypad is open until 6:00pm as usual.
Monday 4th January 2016
INSET Day school closed to children
Tuesday 5th January
First day of term 3 for children
Monday 11th January
Lilypad closed for staff training – if you are unable to find alternative provision for your child please come to the office as we may be able to provide a very limited number of places.
Monday 25th January
Lilypad closed for staff training – if you are unable to find alternative provision for your child please come to the office as we may be able to provide a very limited number of places.
Safety on way to/from school
We have had a number of close incidents with scooters and traffic and messages from concerned parents.  If possible, it would be safer if children stayed close by you when walking to/from school - I know they are very quick on their scooters but it will feel very safe to them at the moment.  The site is getting busier and developing good habits now will help as time passes.  It's lovely to see so many of them wearing their fluorescent waistcoats - this helps them stand out and be seen.  
Thank you to all those of you who park sensibly in the lay-bys and the side car park at school.  We would be grateful if (apart from those who use the disabled parking bays, of course) you could avoid the car park spaces directly in front of school, as this is a very busy area in the mornings and afternoons and parking half on/half off the pavement outside the school to help keep everyone safe.

Contact details -  have you got a new phone number lately; moved workplace; moved house; changed email... ? please make sure we have your up to date contact details for yourself and any other emergency contacts
Lunchboxes - along with the guidelines we follow for healthy lunches provided by our caterers, we ask that you follow similar guidelines for the content of lunch boxes and to avoid sending in any sweets, chocolate bars, fizzy drinks (water is preferred) and nut products, including chocolate spreads - thank you.
PE Kits and wellies - these will go home over Christmas - please check everything still fits as the children grow so fast at this age and squashed toes make for uncomfortable learning.
Illness - we seem to have a lot of this at the moment again; it's an occupational hazard of being in a school full of small people!  We encourage you to keep them at home if they seem unwell this week, so they can get better in time for Christmas and we may reduce the risk of passing bugs around if we can.
Reception Places for 2016 - the closing date for applying for Reception places for 2016 is January 15th.  Please remember that even if you have a Nursery place at a school there is no guaranteed place in the Reception class of that school and that you still need to put in an application for a Reception place.

Clubs for Term 3 and 4
This is just advance notice that the club sign up sheets will be available during the first week back and a confirmed clubs list will be in the newsblog at the end of term.  The children have been asked for ideas of the clubs they would like and so far it looks like we will have at least a Star Wars club; Football club; Play Dough club; Craft and Make-it club; Construction club; Dance club; Film club and a Story club!

Competitions and Awards
Evie (YR) won the Road Safety competition and David Wilson Homes will be turning Evie's picture into a poster to be displayed around the site.  Emmanuella (Y1) won the cinema tickets in the competition put on by our caterers, Edwards and Ward.  Edwards and Ward themselves, particularly Sarah our chef, need to be congratulated too as our school kitchen has been awarded a 5 star rating by the Environmental Health Inspector - the highest award that can be gained.  Well done all!

Friday, 20 November 2015

News update 20th November 2015

Almost the end of November and the nights are drawing in as Road Safety week starts and our thoughts turn to the Christmas celebrations.  In this week's blog:-
  • Dates for Term 2
  • Thank you for your generosity
  • Admissions
  • Snow Procedures
  • Lost property & spare clothes
  • Health and Safety news
  • Christmas events including FOTF news, nativities, stay and play and christmas decorations
  • Cinema Tickets
  • News from Forest School
Dates for Term 2:

Week beginning 23rd November
Road Safety Week - details below
Thursday 26th November
3:30 - 7:30pm Christmas Stay and Play event - details below
Friday 27th November
Last day of clubs for this term - note no film club on Thursday 26th November due to Christmas Stay and Play event
Dress down day for FOTF - details sent out in email from FOTF
Thursday 3rd December
3:30 FOTF Christmas Fayre - email sent out earlier this week from FOTF
Tuesday 8th December
2:15pm YR and Y1 Dress rehearsal for Nativity Performance - more details below
Wednesday 9th December
2:30pm YN Hedgehogs Nativity Performance - more details below
6:00pm YR and Y1 Nativity Performance - more details below
Thursday 10th December
Big Band Night - confirmed timings of 3:30 - 6:00 - please sign up in school office from Monday 23rd November.
Wednesday 16th December
School Christmas Lunch - details below
Friday 18th December
Last day of term and Christmas Jumper for Text Santa, which is supporting Make a Wish, Save the Children

Thank you for your generosity
Your generous Harvest donations were given to the Women's Refuge in Swindon and the cash donations of £30.50 were given to Swindon Foodbank.  The Children in Need day raised £133.40 and this has been sent in to support the many charities that Children in Need ensure provide help to those in need.  Our next charity event is the Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 18th December.


A reminder that applications for Reception places for 2016 are now open - if your child is in our Nursery class you will still need to apply as normal for a Reception place.  We are already receiving applications for Nursery places for September 2016 and forms are available if you would like to apply for a place.

Snow Procedures

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. 

Lost property & spare clothes

If your child mislays an item of clothing in school could we ask, in the first instance, that you mention it to the teachers, who will help your child look for it, and check whether it has been handed in to the lost property box which is now in the School Office.  This usually results in items being found.
We are running short of spare clothes - if your child has come home in school spares could we ask that you return them, washed, within a couple of days.  If you have any spare school uniform that your child has outgrown we would be grateful for donations. 

Health and Safety news
Thank you for your understanding whilst we have been unable to use the rear of the school due to the instability of the sheets on the canopy roof.  The building contractors are involved on a daily basis and we would like to reassure you that the children have not been playing in that area - their safety and the safety of the staff and yourselves is obviously a high priority for me.  Until we have seen that remedial work is effective we will continue to use the entrances at the front of school.
Another appeal for coats to be in every day please - the children are in and out in all weathers so need warm coats.  Also could any children with long hair please have their hair tied back each day as this helps with health and safety.
A reminder that we have a no nut policy in school - this includes peanut butter and nutella/nut chocolate spread.  Young children may not yet have had nut allergy identified and this just protects them all. 
Road safety week, next week, will see the children learning about keeping safe when out and about; the usefulness of high visibility waistcoats, which have been provided for each child by Crest Nicholson and will be sent home with your child next week and then can be used for the journey to and from school; some classes will have safety talks from the police and road safety will be part of each classes learning next week.  
Competition Time: As part of road safety week we have been asked by the developers to invite the children to create road safety posters asking people to drive carefully near the school and through Tadpole Garden Village.  If you child would like to enter please draw an A4 poster with them that would be suitable for encouraging safe driving/walking around the site.  The posters will be given to the developers who will choose winners and turn the winning entries in to posters to be used along Greene Street.
If you would like to do activities with your child at home there are lots of ideas at 
The speed bumps have been adjusted in height though the signage is still missing - we will keep you updated about this.  we have been told that the speed bumps are a temporary, though long term, measure to reduce the speed of contractors through the site.

Christmas events including FOTF news, nativities, stay and play and christmas decorations

You should have all received an email from the FOTF about the Christmas Fayre on Thursday 3rd December - if you didn't please get in touch with the School Office to check we have your correct email address recorded.  The email included details of the Dress Down Day on Friday 27th November so please check this out to see what your child's class has been asked to contribute to the Fayre.
Nativities details of the role your child will play and any costume needed will be sent home next week in your child's book bag.  An email will be sent out about tickets etc early next week.
Christmas Stay and Play - those of you who were with us last year may remember that we offered to do a Christmas Stay and Play for your children so that you could go late night shopping or meet friends for Christmas coffee.  It seemed to be well received and so we would like to offer you that opportunity again.  The details are as follows:-
Date: Thursday 26th November end of school to 7:30 pm (you can pick up earlier if you wish)
Cost: £5 per child
Places available: 80 (LilyPad users will have priority - rest on First come First Served basis)
LilyPad: will be closed that day (if your child would be at Lilypad you will need to book a place at Stay and Play and your child will be given priority for this - you will be refund the £7.50 cost of LilyPad in your next bill but will need to pay the £5 for the Stay and Play)
Sign-up: available from Monday morning - sheets will be at LilyPad and then the school office - sign up can only be done along with £5 in named envelope.
The £5 covers food, craft etc; staff give their time on a voluntary basis.  Children can bring along their pyjamas to change in to so they'll be ready for bed when you get home.  The stay and play is open to all year groups, including Nursery.
Christmas Decorations: Last year we asked each child who was with us to bring in a Christmas decoration to go on the Christmas tree.  We will be taking these out ready for putting on the tree but obviously we have many new children in school this year!  If your child was not in school here last year please could they bring in a decoration, details as follows:-
  • 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

Cinema Tickets

Our caterers, Edwards and Ward, are sponsoring a competition next week for your child to win cinema tickets - we'll let you know about any winners we have in school.

News from Forest School

Over the last two weeks both Reception class and Year one have been out for a wet and windy Autumnal walk to our local woods Shepherds Copse.

The abundance of rain had left us with a multitude of muddy puddles, big and small, squelchy and squishy, all were perfect for splashing in. We also found a few animals tracks left in the mud, we identified deer, dog and people prints, although we weren’t quite so sure about the ones that looked like dinosaurs, bears and Gruffalos.
We made our way around the farmers field where the long grass was swishing in the wind and found some great spots to play hide and seek from the teachers at the back.
On arriving at the woods the children noticed how few of the trees had leaves on and the rainbow carpet of leaves that covered the woodland floor. We explored the woodland to find as many different colours and textures we could to make our own autumn colour palettes on stick cards.

We then used our detective skills and tools to see what creatures we could find in the woods, there were many woodlice, snails, slugs, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, a lacewing and even a few ladybirds.
We then used clay and natural materials to make our own super spikey hedgehogs, we talked about hibernation and then made some cosy homes for them from sticks and leaves.
After a game or two of countdown hide and seek to warm up, we ventured back through the swishy grass and squelchy puddles back to the warmth of our cosy school.
What a wonderfully windy and wet few weeks!  

Apologies for lack of photos this week - for some reason Google Chrome and Blogger did not get on well today!