Saturday, 20 June 2015

News Update 19th June 2015

News Update 19th June 2015

Thank you to all those of you who have completed the parent questionnaires - I have taken account of your views and have summarised the feedback and actions below.
This blog gives news on the following:- 

  • Dates for this term
  • Parent Questionnaires 
  • Update on new school
  • School Uniform
  • News from FOTF
  • News from Lily Pad
  • News from Classes

Dates for this term:-

Tuesday 23rd June
·      2:00 pm all parents and carers invited to school for Fun Sports Event – see note below
·      Last art club of this term
Wednesday 24th June
·      Last multiskills club of this term
·      Class photographs
·      6:00 pm Information evening for those parents whose children are starting in Reception in September 2015
Week beginning 29th June
No clubs this week – new clubs will begin from mid-September
Tuesday 30th June
6:00 pm Information Evening for those parents whose children will be in Year 1 from September 2015
Friday 3rd July
6:00 pm FOTF present… A First Taste – a chance to see the new school building, taste samples of the school lunches that we’ll be offering next year, share drinks and nibbles and enjoy some great music – look out for posters and ticket details
Wednesday 8th July
6:00 pm An evening of music and fun performed by your children – more details to follow

Nursery closed today and tomorrow due to trips to Farmer Gow's. 
Tuesday 14th July
3:30 – 5:00 Open Evening – come along and share with your children the ways they have been learning this year.
Wednesday 15th July
Afternoon visit to new site for the children – all joining us in September also welcome – pick up will be from new school – children attending Lily Pad will walk back to our current site at 3:30 pm – more details will follow once we have clarified route – see below
Friday 17th July
2:30 pm End of Year Service at current site – please join us for a service of celebration and thanks – school finishes at usual time, Lily Pad will be open as usual.
Wednesday 2nd September
Please note Tuesday 1st September is INSET day. Wednesday 2nd September will be first day for children – new Reception and Nursery children will be notified of their days/times separately.  We will be having an afternoon first day back party that day – all are welcome to come along – more details on theme nearer the time.

Parent Questionnaires 

Thank you to all those of you who have completed the parent questionnaires - if you haven't done so and would like to then it's not too late we are still open to returns.  There was lots of supportive, positive feedback from the questionnaires and a full analysis will be shared with you next term.  However, I did want to feedback on some of the points that have been raised.  Some of the responses mentioned about the inconsistent communications in terms of method and timing and that is something we, as a staff, have highlighted too. From September, there will be a weekly update to the blog and, as a few people requested, we will also send this by email and put it on display on the school noticeboard which all parents will pass on drop off or pick up. 
Specifically I want to apologise about the late notification of Sports afternoon - we had been trying to get a venue where running would be safe and fitted with the days we could do but it proved impossible.  I do appreciate that many of you will have work commitments and so would miss this event - because of this we are making it a low key, fun event that all can join in - more a sports experience than a sit by a track watching races type event.  Next year will be better planned and in our own field I promise! 
Many of you kindly mentioned that you appreciated that we are still in the set up phase and that communications were getting better - thank you.  It is a constant focus area for all schools and I can't promise we will get it right for each of you 100% of the time but if you feel we have not communicated in a timely or appropriate fashion then please do get in touch and we will do all we can to prevent that happening again.  Thank you also for your suggestions about clubs which we will be looking at in the run up to next term - clubs will run for Year 1 from mid September; Reception children may join in from term 4 (following the Easter holidays).  

Update on New School

I realise that some of you may be feeling a little anxious about the new school and have been holding back from doing a blog because I wanted to tell you that we had the keys... we almost have them - the building now has all services connected and tested and we are just waiting for the legal right to occupy to be signed then the keys will be ours!  It is a moment of celebration before the next job of turning the empty shell into a place that will provide a stimulating environment in which to learn and grow.  You will get a chance to see the building for the first time on Friday 3rd July at the FOTF A First Taste of... evening (look out for posters and ticket details).  
The route to school is still being discussed by Swindon and I am awaiting notification of support for a walking bus and crossing patrol - I will update you when I have more information.  
We have recruited two new Teaching Assistants this week - Myrium Philipon, who will be working in Year 1, and Charlotte Prosser, who will be working in Reception - and five new Playleaders - Chevillie Morris, Catherine Skuse, Dawn Beasley, Joanne Kilby, Rebecca Hacker - who will be working in various shift patterns providing LilyPad and lunch time care for your children.
We have many items on order already and you will be able to see the school set up in all it's glory when you join us for the opening party afternoon on Wednesday 2nd September (details to follow nearer the time).  One of the respondents to the parent questionnaire suggested parents regularly coming along to celebration worship and that will be practical and possible to do from September given the huge school hall and many more adult sized chairs we will have.  There are many opportunities coming along but it will take time to get things in place so please bear with us over the next few months.  I am more than happy to discuss any specific concerns you have and will try and be available for this at the start and end of each school day, whenever I can, over the next few weeks.

School Uniform

A parent fed back to us concerns over stock issues at the uniform supplier and I have contacted them to find out more.  Their response is as follows:-
As per phone call today I can confirm that we are only out of stock currently of the 5/6 Crew Sweatshirts and Cardigans. All our back to school stock is due in within the next two weeks except the 2/3 hoody which is due middle of July as this size is a special order. 
Any problems please feel free to contact us. 
Kind Regards 
Dan Hillier
If you have any difficulties please let me know and I will follow up with the supplier again.

News from FOTF

A huge thank you to all those who donated and purchased at the Cake Sale - you raised just under £250.  The next big event is the A First Taste... evening at the new school site on Friday 3rd July.  Not only will you have the chance to look around the new building before any furniture or decoration is done but you will also be able to meet and taste food from our new caterers, Edward and Ward, who will be providing canapĂ© versions of the school lunches they will be serving to your children next term.  In addition to this there will be drinks and snacks and some excellent music from a live band.  Look out for details and ticket sales.

News from Lily Pad

I know that some of you, who have requested places at LilyPad for September, are still awaiting confirmation and I apologise for this.  The interviews for new Teaching Assistants and Playleaders took place this week and were successful, so we now know how much cover we have for Lily Pad and you will be getting confirmation of your places this week.  Our aim is that the Lily Pad provides for all those who want a place, as a service to the parents and carers in our school community.  You can imagine that this takes some planning and organising and the numbers have risen sharply over the past few weeks so we have increased staffing to cover this - it does mean we do now have some spare places so, if you have not yet requested a place and would like one please contact the School Office as soon as possible.

News from the Classes

We have had a fantastic start to the children’s last term as Hedgehogs.We have been learning all about insects. We have built insect houses outside and have been on insect hunts to see if we have any residents! We read the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar and sequenced events that happened in the story. The children have been learning to represent numbers through mark making and pictures. We have also been developing early writing skills through lots of name writing and giving meaning to the marks they make through chalk, paints, whiteboard work and pencils on paper.

This week we have been learning about jungle animals. We have read lots of different Elmer the Patchwork Elephant stories and  have had discussions as a class about the ways we are unique and special. We have been looking at shapes in detail and discussing what they look like and how they are different. We have been drawing pictures using shapes and creating patterns on the carpet using shapes.
In PE we went for a walk through the jungle - we marched around the playground moving to the beat of a drum and chose different animals to pretend to be. The children really enjoyed moving like tigers and gorillas!

Also this week, we have been joined by Rachel from the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. She will be coming into school once a week over the next few weeks for the children to take part in Forest School activities. This week the children enjoyed making hedgehog houses.

Please remember to bring in your permission slip and contribution for our class trip to the farm. We understand that some of you may find this first trip daunting but we can assure you that your child will have a fantastic time. If you have any concerns please come and talk to Mrs Smith or a member of the nursery team.

Owls and Squirrels

What a busy start to the final term we have had in Owls and Squirrels. We kicked things off “Down on the Farm” learning all about the animals, food produced on the farm and read lots of stories about different farm yard animals. We also helped Farmer Duck do all the jobs on the farm when he hurt his leg. We made sure the animals were fed, the fields were ploughed and the fruit and veg was collected. We also worked in the farm shop selling all the produce from the farm! Its hard work being a farmer!!
We then read the story What the Ladybird Heard and learnt that the robbers were trying to steal our fine prize cow. We made maps to trick the robbers, so that they got lost and the police were able to catch them. We then helped the robbers write sorry letter to the farmer...they have promised they will not do it again!

You might have heard we have had some visitors join Owls and Squirrels this week. We have got 5 tiny and very hungry little caterpillars. We are watching them as they grow into big caterpillars before they each make their own chrysalis and we watch them magically transform into butterflies!! All the children are fascinated by the caterpillars and check on their progress every morning when they come into class. Our little visitors are part of our last topic this year of minibeasts (eeek are we really at the end of the year!!). We will be exploring all sorts of creepy crawlies, making observations and exploring their habitats and features.

You may have also heard that the children have been “practising” being Foxes and Badgers over the last few weeks during our  new class shuffles. The children are really excited to be grown up Year 1’s and have been helping Mrs Flynn plan what their learning space will look like in the new school!

Even though we are coming to the end of the year don’t forget to keep reading and practising the key words and phonics so that they can continue their development!

We are so proud of the amazing progress all the children have made this year and it has incredible to see them turn into such independent and enthusiastic learners!!