Friday, 27 March 2015

Happy Easter Update

Happy Easter everyone!  Those of you who could come along to our Easter service would have heard the children's interpretation of the Easter story and the hope of new life and renewal that this time of year brings. Lots of fun has been had with Easter Egg hunts, Easter fayre and other Easter preparations.  The new school is continuing to make excellent progress and we are already planning the move and the staffing for next year - more news below.

In this blog:-
  • dates for your diary
  • staffing news and opportunities
  • reminders for next term
  • activity clubs
  • new building update
  • parent questionnaire
  • FOTF news
  • community news
  • news from the classes

Dates for your diary:

Fri 27/3
Last day term 4
Mon 13/4
INSET day - school closed to children
Tues 14/4
First day of term 5
Tues 14/4 - Thurs 16/4
Sign up sheets for activity clubs available - see details in blog
Mon 4/5
Bank holiday - school closed
Thurs 7/5
Election Day - school is being used as polling station so closed to children
Fri 22/5
Last day of term 5
Mon 1/6
First day term 6
Wk beginning 22/6
Last week of activity clubs
22/6 - 26/6
Sports Week - will include sports day but can’t confirm date yet - more details next term
Wk beginning 29/6
No activity clubs from this week - new clubs will be set up in September.
Wk beginning 6/7
End of year reports will be out during this week
Wed 8/7
Drama Production 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm - more details to follow
Tues 14/7
Open Evening for current parents 3:30 - 5:00 pm
Fri 17/7
End of Year Service 2:30pm; school finishes at 3:30 pm as usual; last day term 6
Mon- Wed 20/7 - 22/7
School Closed for move to new building :)
Thursday 23/7 - Monday 31/8
School closed for summer holidays
Tuesday 1/9
INSET day - school closed to children
Wednesday 2/9
First day of term 1 of new school year

Staffing News and Updates
I am delighted to share with you all the news that we will have a new member of staff after the holidays, Mrs Emma Holt... she looks exactly like Miss Emma Leach... she sounds exactly like her too... in fact she is just a newly married version of her!  That's right, Miss Leach is getting married this holiday and will return to us as Mrs Holt.  We know you all join with us in wishing her and Ed all the very best at this exciting time - I'm sure there will be photographs for those of you that would like to see them.
I am also delighted to tell you that we have just appointed our two new teachers for September - Miss Victoria Davidson and Miss Samantha Grindley.  They are both very excited about joining our school community and I know will be an asset to us as we grow.
There will be more details about exact class arrangements over the next term, so keep an eye out for those.
We will shortly be advertising for teaching assistants and play leaders - we use Eteach for adverts and have a talent pool on there too so if you are interested then sign up for the talent pool and you will automatically be notified when our adverts are put on the site.

Reminders for Next Term 
Dinners - I know that the ordering system can be temperamental and we have a solution just being negotiated from September however, for the remainder of this school year, please try and order by 12:00 on the Friday of the week before to ensure your child's order is noted.  Any problems please pop in to the office and ask for help.
Parking - Whilst there is no legal reason why you cannot park kerbside on any of the roads around our current building, could I ask that, where possible, you try and park in one of the parking bays (to the rear of school if empty) or directly in front of the fence/gates outside our current building.  Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Monies - nursery snack is still just £1 a week - for term 5 that is £6; term 6 is £7 or if you want to pay both at the same time then it's £13.  Please send in during first week back.
Magnificent Moments At Home -  it's lovely for us to know what the children learn and achieve at home.  We have created some Magnificent Moments At Home notes for you to use to let us know of things the children are proud of doing or have done for the first time.  We'd love to have a display of these in school so photographs would be great too. 

Activity Clubs
As promised we have set up two activity clubs to run after school for term 5 and 6 for Reception children only.  The clubs will be free and will be run on a voluntary basis by staff at school.  There will be sign-up sheets available for the clubs from Tuesday 14th April to Thursday 16th April.  To be as fair as possible, if more children are signed up than the number of places available then names will be drawn out of a 'hat' - you will be notified whether or not your child has got a place in the club on Friday 17th April.  If your child normally attends the Lilypad after school, they can still sign up for a club and will then go to Lily pad after the club has finished - please make sure you indicate this on the sign up sheet; you would still pay the same price for a Lilypad session.

Activity Club
Led by
Number of places
Day and time
Dates club will run on
Art Club
Mrs Smith
16 - Reception children only
Tuesday 3:30 - 4:30 pm
21/4, 28/4, 5/5, 12/5, 19/5, 2/6, 9/6, 16/6, 23/6
Multi-sports Club
(must have PE kit in school)
Mrs Flynn
20 - Reception children only
Wednesday 3:30 - 4:30 pm
22/4, 29/4, 6/5, 13/5, 20/5, 3/6, 10/6, 17/6, 24/6

New Building Update
Things are coming on apace with the new building and we expect to have more photographs for you as next term progresses.  We are also arranging visit dates, which are likely to be in early June, for you and the children to see the new building as we know that you are as excited as we are to see what our real school will be like.  As with any new build, we are not expecting perfection at day 1 and it will be a growing process but we know you will support us with that too.  One aspect of the new school that people have been asking about is how to get there.  I am meeting with a representative from Swindon Borough Council to prepare a School Travel Plan and will share that with you once it is finalised. We would like to gather your views about this too, so have included in the parent questionnaire - see below for details.

Parent Questionnaire
Look out for a Parent Questionnaire which will be coming to you at the beginning of term 5.  We value your opinion about how we are doing as a school and would like to gather your thoughts about how you would like the school community to develop.

Friends of Tadpole Farm would like to say thank you to all those who helped out at our recent Easter Fayre. A big thanks to the teachers and school staff, Mrs Leo for selling tokens and doing a fantastic job with raffle calling and the FOTF committee who organised and ran a great event. We are very fortunate to have such amazing parents who donated and supported us on the day. We raised a grand total of £620! This has enabled us to provide eggs for the children's Easter egg hunt and the rest of the money will go towards our goal of a playground at the new school.

Friends of Tadpole Farm have some great ideas for more events moving forwards. Unfortunately we were a little short of helpers at the Easter Fayre, resulting in long queues, so if you think you can help out at any future events either in organising or on the day please let us know. All help is hugely appreciated. 
Community News 
We often get asked to promote community events and you would be inundated with paper if we sent every one of these home.  As a school we cannot endorse or recommend events or clubs (as we have not checked them out from a safeguarding point of view) but we will put up a poster on a community notice board (currently in one of the windows by the front door).  If you decide to take your child along to an event or club then please check they have proper checks and safety procedures in place.  

News from Owls and Squirrels
In Owl and Squirrel classes, we have had an amazing journey through Fantasy Land this term. First, we travelled through time to a land of castles, dragons and princesses where we armed ourselves with medieval weapons and built huge castles to protect ourselves from evil dragons. Then, we discovered dinosaur bones in our garden which led to a dig for fossils, a dinosaur dance and a class book full of dinosaur facts. We left the dinosaurs behind and started moving like robots, programming each other with directional instructions. The children planned their own activities and designed their own robots. The following week, we flew with our robots into Space, using the story book, ‘Whatever Next?’ as inspiration. The children wrote packing lists for the bear, created aliens with sparkly space dough and explored a lunar landscape. Finally, we came back down to Earth and landed on the High Seas with our pirate topics. We have learnt pirate songs and poems, have labelled pirate ships and had a hunt for the treasure stolen by a sneaky, cheeky pirate captain. Our term culminated, of course, with our first ever school trip to visit Bristol Aquarium and their pirate displays.

We will continue our travels next term by journeying across the world. We aim to develop the children’s understanding of other cultures and give them the opportunity to celebrate and share their own heritage. We invite you to visit us and share your cultural experiences with the classes, maybe with food, clothes, rituals or artefacts. We plan to ‘visit’ Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica so all contributions would be much appreciated. Please let us know if you would like to help and we will book you in!

It is fantastic to see how much the children have progressed this term and how much learning has taken place. It is astonishing to think that we are two- thirds through the year, time has passed so quickly. Thank you for your on- going support, it makes a huge difference to your child’s development in all areas of learning. Please continue to share their reading books and practise the phonic sounds and word webs at home, and above all have an Eggciting Easter holiday!

News from Hedgehogs

We have had a fun filled term in Hedgehogs, the children have really engaged with our explorers topic and have used their imaginations to explore different fantasy worlds. We found huge bones in the garden and decided they must belong to dinosaurs! We learnt about different dinosaurs from books and also described what the dinosaurs looked like. The children showed control and coordination in our dinosaur obstacle course, they balanced and weaved between the obstacles and also stomped like dinosaurs on stilts.

The children enjoyed moving like robots and investigating magnets. We have been playing lots of counting games and built robots together as a group. The children enjoyed creating shape robots using the Smart board.

Our role play area was transformed into a space ship for us to explore outer space! The children all put on their space suits and went to astronaut school. We journeyed through space to different planets, listening carefully to instructions and moving in different ways. The children have been developing early writing skills with lots of exciting mark making in space dust and on long lengths of paper.

This week we have read lots of different stories about monsters and talked about what monsters like to eat and things they like to do. They have also been getting very messy using tools and mixing colours to make monster sandwiches and writing disgusting monster recipes!

Next term we will be thinking about our own adventures and talking about things that we have enjoyed and are good at. To help the children talk about things they are really proud of please bring in a photo, drawing or fill in a Magnificent Moment slip of anything they have done that they are really proud of. Magnificent Moments can be brought in anytime over the next term, we will be creating a board for the children to celebrate  and share their special moments.