Sunday, 27 November 2016

News Blog Term 2 Week 4

Hello All,

December has crept up on us in it's usual way and this week we begin the Christmas celebrations with the FOTF Christmas disco - tickets still for sale.  

In this weeks blog
  • Dates for your Diary
  • FOTF Children's Christmas Disco
  • Christmas Decorations
  • YR Nativity Performance
  • School:Home Communications
  • Junk Modelling Requests
  • Reminders - containers from cake sale; home learning showcase date YR/1/2
  • Forest School Autumn Walks

Dates for your diary
Updates in red.

Term 2  2016/17
Date
Time
Event
21/11 – 1/12

Foodbank Donations  - box available in main entrance – see last weeks blog for details
29/11
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Parent/Carer Workshop Programme - 2 - Supporting your child with maths - YN and YR 6:00 - 6:45; Y1 and Y2 6:45 - 7:30
2/12
YN and YR 2:30 – 3:20; Y1 and Y2 3:30 – 5:00
FOTF Children’s School Christmas Disco – tickets on sale before and after school by FOTF - information below

5/12 – 7/12



“Show me” sessions – for children in YR/1/2 - Monday 5/12 classrooms open 3:30 – 5:30; Tuesday 6/12 and Wednesday 7/12 classrooms open 3:30 – 4:30 – please note for children in YN times are 11:10 for those in morning session and 2:50 for those in afternoon session
8/12

2:30 pm dress rehearsal for Nativity themed performance by YR – grandparents and local community are invited 
6:00 pm actual performance for all YR parents - see below for information 
9/12
3:00 pm
Open invitation to all parents to join us for Friday Celebration Worship -there will be an opportunity to do this once a term in response to parental feedback
12/12
2:30 pm
Nativity tableau and songs by YN – all children and parents of YN children to be invited – more details nearer time
15/12
6:00 pm
Carols by Candlelight - led by Y1 and Y2 – the aim is for this to be outside unless weather really bad so all will be welcome
16/12

Last Day of Term and Christmas Jumper day – will include wearing own Christmas Jumper and making small donation to charity if you wish
17/12 – 2/1/17

Christmas holiday – school closed


FOTF Children's Christmas Disco

Please could all children attending the disco come to school in usual school uniform and bring their disco clothes in a named carrier bag - the children will get changed just before their disco time so that no disco time is wasted! They also need to bring their disco tickets with them on Friday morning in a named envelope to hand to their teacher - this is important as we do not have a list of which child has bought a ticket and only those with tickets will be taken along for the disco.
For Nursery and Reception, Please collect your child at normal pick up time from normal classrooms. For the Y1 and Y2 children, 5 pm pick up from normal classrooms so the children can collect their bags etc from the classrooms.
For any nursery child, who does not normally attend on Friday afternoons, please drop off at the school office at 2.30 pm and a member of the FOTF team will be there to welcome you.
Disco tickets will still be on sale until Wednesday school pick up time - please come and find the FOTF committee members by the main entrance.
The costs and times are - Nursery and Reception 2.30-3.20 £1.50 - Yr1 and Yr2 3.30-5.00 £3.50 inc snack.  Father Christmas will be making an appearance with a sack of goodies! All disco goers have a present included in the ticket price.

Christmas Decorations
We will soon be taking out those Christmas decorations, belonging to children who are with us last year, out of their boxes ready for putting on our tree but obviously we have many new children in school this year!  Each year we ask each child, who has joined the school since the previous Christmas, to bring in a Christmas decoration to go on the Christmas tree - 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 by the end of the 2nd December.
YR Nativity Performance
The afternoon performance is a dress rehearsal and grandparents and any parent/carer who can't attend evening performance are warmly invited to join us.  The evening performance is aimed at parents of YR children only and we ask that younger siblings do not come along to this performance if at all possible.  Older siblings in school will have seen the performance in the afternoon.
Tickets, which are free and are issued for keeping a check on numbers only, for both afternoon and evening will be available from Wednesday this week and are limited to 2 per family for the evening performance - though as usual we can be accommodating for family situations.
Children should be dropped off at office at 5.30 to put costumes on and should come to school wearing black joggers or leggings and a black or white short sleeve t-shirt (- please see note being sent home with your child tomorrow about with they need a black or a white t-shirt.  Costumes to come in by next Tuesday all named in a named carrier bag.
 
We expect all children to come back for the evening performance.  Last year we had some parents who, after coming to the afternoon performance, did not bring their child back for the evening performance and forgot to let us know - this does cause unnecessary stress for both teachers and other children - please let us know on Monday 28th November if your child is unable to attend the evening performance so we can reallocate their part. 

School:Home Communications
We will be sending home details of how to access Tapestry and Seesaw this week - please check your child's book bag for details. 
Some of you have been missing the text service that was part of our previous data system and we have been looking for alternatives that we can afford - I'm pleased to say we have now found one - it is app based, called 'Our School' and, once we have finished testing it out and setting it up we will let you know when it is live.  If you set it up to send notifications, it will remind you of swimming, trips, mufti days etc too, which I know is what some of you have been asking for.
The new website is being populated and will be launched before the end of this term.

Junk Modelling Requests
The Reception class would like to build an igloo next term, so can you please start saving any plastic milk containers (the four and two pint versions) and bringing them to school, washed out ready fro construction - maybe you use these at work too so could you start a collection there?!
Also Reception and the other classes are all collecting junk modelling items - boxes of any shape and size (not egg boxes), packaging (not polystyrene), cardboard rolls (not toilet rolls), plastic bottle tops all colours and sizes.


Reminders - containers from cake sale; home learning showcase date YR/1/2
Two quick reminders - unnamed cake sale containers are in the main entrance lobby for you to collect; this term's pick and mix home learning is due in on Friday 9th December for sharing.  

Forest School Autumn Walks
A great time was had be all the children - a big thank you to staff, volunteers and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust for creating these events and to you for washing the muddy clothes afterwards!
















Sunday, 20 November 2016

Newsblog Term 2 Week 3

Hello All,

It's been a reflective week to be involved in education in Swindon and our comments on this are below.  Also included in this week's blog:-

In this weeks blog:-

  • Dates for your diary
  • Reflection on the 'Swindon Schools' OFSTED letter
  • News on Fundraising and a BIG thank you
  • Road Safety week - parent information
  • Brief requests - all to read 
Dates for your diary
Updates in red.


Term 2  2016/17
Date
Time
Event
21/11 – 25/11


All week
Road Safety Week – children will be doing activities in school linked to this; parent information will be sent home also
Autumn Walks Week – YR – Y2 will be doing Autumn walks this this with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
21/11 – 1/12

Foodbank Donations  - box available in main entrance – see details below
24/11
3:30 – 7:30   pm
Stay and Play for Children – staff give time voluntarily to provide a stay and play opportunity for your children whilst you may choose to go Christmas shopping or just spend some leisure time together without your children – sign up closed
29/11
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Parent/Carer Workshop Programme - 2 - Supporting your child with maths - YN and YR 6:00 - 6:45; Y1 and Y2 6:45 - 7:30 sign up sheets available this week
2/12
Tbc
FOTF Children’s School Christmas Disco – details to follow

5/12 – 7/12



“Show me” sessions – for children in YR/1/2 - Monday 5/12 classrooms open 3:30 – 5:30; Tuesday 6/12 and Wednesday 7/12 classrooms open 3:30 – 4:30 – please note for children in YN times are 11:10 for those in morning session and 2:50 for those in afternoon session
8/12

2:30 pm dress rehearsal for Nativity themed performance by YR – grandparents and local community to be invited – more details nearer time
6:00 pm actual performance for all YR parents – more details nearer time
9/12
3:00 pm
Open invitation to all parents to join us for Friday Celebration Worship -there will be an opportunity to do this once a term in response to parental feedback
12/12
2:30 pm
Nativity tableau and songs by YN – all children and parents of YN children to be invited – more details nearer time
15/12
6:00 pm
Carols by Candlelight - led by Y1 and Y2 – the aim is for this to be outside unless weather really bad so all will be welcome
16/12

Last Day of Term and Christmas Jumper day – will include wearing own Christmas Jumper and making small donation to charity if you wish
17/12 – 2/1/17

Christmas holiday – school closed











































Reflection on the 'Swindon Schools' OFSTED letter
Thank you to the very many of you who have taken the time to verbally, or in writing, support our school, in light of the news items following the letter issued by Bradley Simmons, OFSTED HMI Inspector, about his concern that all schools in Swindon are failing all the children of Swindon. I know that there have been discussions on social media, emails sent to the local MP and we have had emails and verbal feedback of support - these are much appreciated by the staff team here, all of whom are dedicated educators and only ever have your child's best interests at heart.  
In terms of data quoted in Mr Simmon's press release, the only set of data we have is the Year 1 Phonics - 81% of Y1 children passed the Phonics test (Swindon average was 76%).  This year we will have our first set of Key Stage 1 data and the children and staff are on track to met or exceed the national/local averages.  I understand that statistics are a necessary part of life, but here at Tadpole Farm we focus on individuals and the learning paths that they are on - an able child who exceeds national age related expectations is no more or less valued than a child who, due to whatever personal reasons, suddenly learns to write their name when their peers may already be writing sentences.  We are here to journey with you and your children from age 3 to 11, supporting you and them with whatever life throws their way; engaging you and them in learning opportunities that will form lifelong memories and the building blocks for their future education; working with you to ensure that they achieve their full potential as members of a global community, understanding and respecting all those around them. 
The new opportunities for you to come in to school through the 'Show Me' sessions, along with the parents evenings and the open door policy we have, gives you the knowledge that you can track, question and observe how your child is progressing if you have any concerns.
We would very much appreciate you completing Parent View - an OFSTED data collection tool - and sharing your views about the school.  https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/login?destination=give-your-views


News on Fundraising and a BIG thank you
Thank you to all those of you who supported the FOTF Christmas Shopping Evening and Children in Need day.
The FOTF Christmas Shopping Evening raised a massive £533 - this will all go towards provision for your children - thank you.
Children in Need donations and the Cake sale raised a total of £434.55 - we have children in school who benefit from schemes supported by Children in Need and we see the positive effects of that on a daily basis - thank you.  
Road Safety week - parent information
The children will be learning about Road Safety this week and we know this is a hot topic with many of you, especially on the roads surrounding school.  The THINK! website http://think.direct.gov.uk/education/early-years-and-primary/parents/5-to-7s/  gives you lots of ideas about ways you can support learning about Road Safety at home and a clarification of guidelines about cycling and car safety.  Some things that come up regularly for families here are:-
1. Contractors parking and driving - I have a meeting with all the developers and Crest management this week on the issue and will share your views strongly.
2. Parents parking inconsiderately - I have asked that you do not park half on/half off pavements as it affects the safety of children on scooters/bikes and in buggies - please take notice of this request.
3.  Children on scooters/bikes - sometimes children zoom ahead of parents and can't be seen above hedges etc or can't stop at crossings of roads and drives - please ensure children can control their scooters and bikes and can stop safely when needed - keep them close to you when crossing drives and roads.
4.  Car seats and seatbelts - some people have noticed that a few families drive off without belting up the children... this is illegal and unsafe  so please double check that belts are done up before moving off.
Brief requests - all to read
Junk modelling - Y1 would appreciate boxes, tubes, packaging for a junk modelling activity - please send in with your child who can take it to Y1
YN Drop off time - the morning session starts at 8:40 but some children are not arriving until 9:05 - this means they miss the start of the session and children find this unsettling - please can all morning session children be at school for 8:40 - thank you.
Food bank Donations - a box is available in the main entrance for donations of the usual food bank requests as well as Christmas chocolates and goodies.  This time of year can be difficult for all families but those who need the food bank particularly need our help.
Money Coming in to School - a request from teachers and the office... can any money coming in to school be sent in envelope, named and explaining what it's for.
YR Entrance - could we ask that parents dropping off or picking up from YR stand back from the entrance, particularly with buggies, as some children are finding it hard to make their way through - thank you. 
Borrowed clothes - we are again running low on spare clothes, particularly pants - please could you wash and return any borrowed clothes as soon as possible - thank you.
YR Reading Books - now the children have reading books those books must come back in to school every day - we are unable to change books and move other children on due to some books not being returned - please ensure your YR child always brings their reading book in on a daily basis - thank you.
Illness - it's the season of fevers and vomit bugs - please ensure that you call school before 9:00 to let us know if your child is off ill - please give the specific reason for sickness as we have to monitor this.  Remember that no child should return to school until at least 48 hours after their last episode of vomiting or diarrhoea.
Lunchboxes - just a quick reminder that lunch boxes should be balanced and healthy and must not contain any nuts or nut products as we have some children with severe nut allergies in school who react even to proximity of nuts/nut products.
School Staff Car Park - please do not park in any of the spaces at the front of the school as these are needed for school staff - thank you.