Sunday, 11 March 2018

2017/18 Newsblog Term 4 Week 3

Hello All

Happy Mothers Day to all of you who fulfil a motherly role for all the children in our school community and beyond! It was lovely to have Jeremy Strong, children’s author, visit the school this week and share his wisdom with the children about how to create exciting stories.  Many of the children had ordered a signed copy of his books – he spent the whole lunchtime signing each one himself; lucky children.  We do have a few spare signed copies of his books if you would like one – they are available from the office for £3 – please bring correct cash of you wish to buy one. 

In this week's blog:-

  • Dates for the Term 3 and 4
  • News from St Andrew’s Church
  • Book Fayre
  • Donations of Books
  • Nursery for Two Year Olds
  • Friends of Tadpole Farm
  • Local Board News
  • Opportunities in School
  • Sports Relief Week
  • Things of Interest in the Local Community

Dates for Term 3/4
Any updates will be added in red.

Term 3/4 - 2017/18
18:30 – 20:30
FOTF Committee Meeting – re-scheduled because of snow – see below
20/3 – 23/3
After school each day
Book Fayre in school – see below
3:00 pm

Y3 will be leading worship on value of Justice – parents of children in that year group welcome to join us for worship – please note all classes will do this during year
Junior Music Festival – singing club have been sent details for this.
4:00 pm
Church@Tadpole Garden Village – see below
19 – 23/3

Sports Relief Week – see below
Wild Spring Week  - more details to follow
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Parent/Carer Workshop Programme – 4 – Given recent concerns over children’s safety when using IT and in response to parental queries and requests for advice, we have re-scheduled this workshop to be focused on E-Safety for Parents – how to keep your child safe in the on-line world.
9:00 – 12:30
First Aid Training by St Johns Ambulance for parents organised by FOTF – see below.
3:00 pm
Open invitation to all parents to join us for Friday Celebration Worship

26/3 - 27/3

“Show me” sessions – see note below; Monday 26/3 classrooms open 3:30 – 5:30; Tuesday 27/3 classrooms open 3:30 – 4:30 – for children in YN times to be confirmed.  Parental access to Tapestry for YN and YR children and Seesaw for Y1/2/3/4/5 children until end of Easter holiday.
Re-organised trips for Bristol Zoo (cancelled earlier dates because of snow) Monday 26th – Y2; Tuesday 27th Y1 – please note these classes will not have Show Me sessions on the trip days.


FOTF Easter Disco events
9:15 am
All invited to join us for our Easter Service

Last day of term 4 – school finishes normal time
10:00 – 12:00
Easter Saturday Craft Morning for children and accompanying adults as part of Church@Tadpole Garden Village – see below
30/3 - 15/4

School Closed - Easter holiday

News from St Andrew’s Church
Next Sunday – the 18th March – will be our monthly ‘Church @ Tadpole Garden Village’ Service at 4pm at school.  As always, there’ll be light refreshments, a craft for children and a time of worship for everyone together.  Everyone is very welcome to join us.  
It won’t be long til Easter weekend, so here is our full list of services – all at St Andrew’s Church Tadpole Lane SN25 2DW between Blunsdon Abbey Caravan Park and Lyall Close, apart from the craft morning at school.
Maundy Thursday 29 March
6:30pm An informal meal of bread and cheese for all ages to commemorate the Last Supper
7:30pm Holy Communion and Stripping the Altar
Followed by Watch of Prayer concluding with Night Prayer at 10pm

Good Friday 30 March
10am-12noon Craft Morning for children and accompanying adults at Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy
2-3pm A Reflective service focussing on Jesus’ final hour on the cross

Easter Sunday 1 April
10am Holy Communion with Renewal of Baptism Vows and Easter Egg Hunt for children
6:30pm Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion

Children are very welcome at all our services, but the informal meal on Maundy Thursday (please email me if you are intending to join us for catering purposes), the Craft morning at Tadpole Farm Academy and Easter Sunday Holy Communion will be the most child friendly services.
We look forward to welcoming you to one or more of these events.
Revd. Sally Robertson
07588 594410
Book Fayre

The Book Fayre will be in school from Tuesday to Friday this week.  Book Tokens, from World Book Day, will be given out Tuesday and we can accept correct cash or card payments at the Book Fayre. We would really appreciate some help running the Book Fayre so anyone free to help or if you are happy for older children (Y4/5) to stay and help for half an hour after school on any of those days then please let the office know.
Last time we had the Book Fayre at school you raised enough for school to benefit from over £500 of books - events like this make a big difference to the variety of books we can offer your children.

Donations of Books
Thank you for the donations of books we have had so far.  We are aiming to build up a rich variety of books for the children to use, both within school and within LilyPad - we haven't had enough yet to put on a book sale but more on this in the future.  A particular thank you to Mrs Kelly who donated a significant number of books, including some that are specifically dyslexia friendly - we are very grateful for each and every donation.

Nursery for Two Year Olds 
Some of you may be aware that we have been looking at a project for nursery provision for two year olds.  It will entail a new building and specialist area and such a project needs to show that it can sustain itself and be financially viable as well as benefitting the wider community.  We think, from discussions we have had with Swindon Borough Council, that the demand for such a provision is there but we would be grateful if you could take the time to complete our survey to provide further data for the project.  Keep an eye out in your emails for the link to a Survey Monkey Survey - will be coming out this week. 

Friends of Tadpole Farm 
The committee meeting will hopefully be going ahead on Tuesday 13th March at 6:30pm at the school - we'll be finalising plans for the Easter discos and will be letting you know how to buy tickets soon after Tuesday.
We have organised an essential First Aid for All Ages course for our members and we have a few spaces left if anyone would be interested in attending. The course is run by St Johns Ambulance and will be held in school on Wednesday 21st March, 9-12.30. The Friends group are part funding the course, as we need qualified first aiders at events as part of our risk assessments for Health and Safety good practice guidelines, so it will only be £10 each. Spaces are limited so please let FOTF know immediately if you would like to attend.

Local Board News

The Local Board discussed the results of the recent Parent Questionnaire and were very pleased with the number of responses (120) and the very positive and supportive feedback that you gave.  For example of those that responded, 99.2% of you felt that your child enjoys coming to school and 100% of you feel your child is well-looked after here. In terms of progress, 98.3% of those that responded felt that their child was well taught and made good progress.  The comments about homework, which were largely positive but had a wide variety of viewpoints, will be added in to the annual review that the Senior Leadership Team do for homework provision later in the school year. It was pleasing to hear that parents overwhelmingly felt that communication with the school was good and that they felt welcomed as part of the school community.  The Local Board noted that a small number, less than 8% of those that responded, felt communication was still an area that needed improvement and would ask that any of you that felt this way get in touch with the Principal or your child's class teacher as the school aims to be an open, listening school and we all want you to feel a part of that. For those that use LilyPad, about half of the respondents, the Local Board were extremely pleased to note how happy you were with the provision, 98.2%, and have taken on board your desire for holiday provision, which will be looked in to for 2018/19 academic year. 

In terms of leadership, 99.2% of you feel that school is well led and managed but many of you are unaware of who the Local Board is and what they do - the Local Board will be putting regular updates in the newsblogs at least once a term from now on so you can be aware of their role and who they are. 
The additional individual comments have been shared with the Senior Leadership team and actions taken where possible.  For example, there were some comments about parking and, though the school leadership team can't solve this totally work has been done with Crest to provide additional marshals which do seem to be easing the traffic flow at times. 
At our next meeting of the Local Board we will have a new Parent Local Board Member - Jackie Fitzgerald (mum of Paris Y2), who submitted her completed nomination on time and, as no other nominations were received within the time period, Jackie was duly elected.  Jackie joins our other Parent Local Board member, Anne-Marie Young (mum of Sarah-Rose Y1), on the Local Board. 
The Local Board, made up of different members of the school and local community, has the role of making sure that the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the academy is clear; holding the leadership team to account for the educational performance of the academy and ensuring that the finances the school receives are well spent.  All members are volunteers and give their time freely to help support your child's education.

Opportunities in School
There are many ways to get involved in the life of the school - being a Local Board member is one way but we also have many other roles available.
Currently we have paid vacancies advertised on Eteach - click here - we are looking for a Clerk for our Local Board; a Teaching Assistant and some Play Leaders.  If you are thinking that a career in school might be for you but want to get a taster for it first then the role of Play Leader is a great place to start.  Many of our Teaching Assistants started out as Play Leaders and, with support and training, have gone on to take a more learning based role within the school. 
If you want to get involved a a volunteer then we can help you with the specific checks you need before working with children.  A few hours a week on a regular basis will really help us out and may open the doors to a whole new world. Please get in touch if you would like to do that.  It may be that you can only help occasionally and that's great too - just let us know and we can get you ready to be part of the volunteer team.
It may be that you would like to help out but don't want to work directly with the children - we have many one-off jobs that need doing... painting, gardening, putting up shelves etc - we are always appreciative of any help offered. 

Sports Relief Week
The week of 19-23 March is Sports Relief Week in school.  The children will be coming home with some Sports Relief Sponsorship Forms this week - you have been very generous in the past with fundraising and your child will be able to take part in all activities whether they are sponsored or not. 
Our theme for Sports Relief this year is running/jogging or walking a mile... every day of the week... for the whole week... it will take some of us longer than others... some younger children will be working in teams... but all of us will be moving, staff included!
Our Y4/5 children will also be taking part in a Swindon wide relay with other local schools on Thursday 22nd March.  Our 'leg' of the relay will see us welcoming a group of students who have run over from Abbey Park.  Our Y4/5 class, along with staff, will then run/jog/walk some of the way back with them before completing a circuit back through Tadpole Garden Village.  Once we have timings confirmed we will let you know as I'm sure the children would love some supporters on the route back. 
A smaller group of 6 Y3/4/5 children, selected at random from those whose parents have returned permission slips (latest time to get these back is Monday 12th March), will be going to the County Ground to take part in a Swindon Schools celebration for Sports Relief.  Mrs Philpott will be randomly selecting the six children on Tuesday and a letter will go home with them confirming their place. 

Things of Interest in the Local Community 

A message from Persimmon Homes, they need our help... 
Our company have been supporting sport in our community over the last year and we are entering Swindon Dolphins as our nominated local sports club into a competition.  The winner of the competition will win £200,000 for their club.  There are 30 finalists and it is now up to the public vote as to which club wins.  Clearly we would love Swindon Dolphins to win and to be able to use the funds to help to re open Milton Road Hydro Pool.
We need as many public votes to do this and I would really appreciate it if your pupils, parents and staff could help Swindon Dolphins to achieve this.  I have enclosed some links that people can use for which ever social medium they are familiar with.  I hope that you will support this very good cause.  There are only 7 voting days remaining.

We are delighted to be supporting Swindon Dolphin ASC as part of our Healthy Communities initiative. Through a public vote the swimming club now has a chance to win £200,000. Can we please ask you to place a vote to help them scoop the prize.  
If the swimming club was to win the funding will help give children the most important life skill – to learn to swim. The club plans to use the prize money to  try and help to re-open the Health Hydro teaching pool in Swindon. Alternatively the club will launch numerous swimming camps and train new teachers as well as rebrand the squad with new kit.
Votes can be placed every 24 hours from a single IP address.