Sunday, 2 December 2018

2018/19 Newsblog Term 2 Week 4

Hello All

December has arrived – I’ve been working in schools for 18 years now and it still surprises me how quickly December comes upon us – it seems only last week that the children were coming back to school after the summer holidays!  This week sees the start of our Christmas celebrations, with the YR Nativity – always a wonderful moment in the school year.  This week we also have our Show Me sessions as well as our first Parent’s Forum of the year – we’d very much welcome you joining us to shape the future of the school – see below for more details.

In the newsblog this week:

  • Dates for Term 2 plus term dates for 2019/20
  • No clubs for rest of term
  • Christmas Dinner in School
  • FOTF News – It’s Raffle Time J
  • Christmas Tree Decorations
  • Play Workshop – YN parents but others welcome
  • Message for Y3/4 Parents
  • Message for YN Parents
  • Message for YR Parents - Nativity News
  • Parent Forum Details
  • Things of interest in the community

Dates for Term 2
Any updates will be in red
Term 2  2018/19
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Parent Forum – all welcome – a chance to help shape the way the school supports all the children, families and the wider community  - see below for meeting details

3/12 – 4/12
“Show me” sessions; for children in YR-Y6 - Monday 3/12 classrooms open 3:30 – 5:00; Tuesday 4/12 classrooms open 3:30 – 4:30 – please note for children in YN there will be sessions from 3:20 – 4:00 on Tuesday 4/12 and Thursday 6/12
Parental access to Tapestry for YN and YR children and Seesaw for Y1/2/3/4/5/6 children until end of Christmas holiday.
2:00 pm dress rehearsal for Nativity themed performance by YR – grandparents and local community to be invited – see below
6:00 pm actual performance for all YR parents – see below
9:00 am
Open invitation to all parents to join us for   Friday Celebration Worship
Times to be confirmed
Nativity tableau and songs by YN – all children and parents of YN children to be invited see below
4:30 – 5:15 pm (Y1/2/3)
5:45 – 7:00 pm
FOTF Christmas Disco – tickets on sale  – see FOTF newsletter with last week’s newsblog
6:00 pm
Carols by Candlelight - all invited– the aim is for this to be outside unless weather really bad so all will be welcome
Last Day of Term and Christmas Jumper day – will include wearing own Christmas Jumper and making small donation to   charity if you wish
22/12 – 6/1/18
Christmas holiday – school closed
Term dates for 2019/20

Clubs finished for this term

Many apologies, there will be no staff run clubs this week and so no further staff run clubs this term.  I apologise for the late notice but we have staff out on training courses and have moved Show Me sessions to this week.  Staff cannot be involved in those events as well as run clubs  – sadly, I have yet to find a way to clone the staff, which would be very useful at times like these!  This does not apply to clubs run by external groups like football, drama or dance – those organisations set their own term dates.

Christmas Dinner in School

If your child would like Christmas dinner in school on Wednesday 12th December please log on to your parent pay account and it is bookable there. Deadline for orders as usual are Wednesday before.

FOTF News – It’s Raffle Time J
A huge thank you to the FOTF team (you know who you are:)) for all their hard work and enthusiasm for organising the Christmas Card and Christmas gift design and print project.  There were so many bags going home on Friday it looked like a real Santa's workshop - thank you FOTF Elves - your efforts are much appreciated. 

Coming up there is the FOTF School Disco - make sure you have your tickets.  This week's big announcement is ...

Christmas Tree Decorations

Crest Nicholson have been in already to put up a Christmas Tree for us and we have already put up those Christmas decorations, belonging to children who are with us last year, 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 in Year 6 their decoration will be returned to them as part of the leaving worship. The guidelines for the decoration are:
o   it must be named
o   it should fit a colour scheme of red/green/gold
o   it must be of a size that will hang on a branch
o   it must be strong enough to stand being hung each year for up to 7 years and being packed away repeatedly each year
o   it should be sent into school by the end of the first week in December.

Play Workshop – YN parents but others welcome

A reminder to all we will be holding a play workshop run by our Educational Psychologists on Wednesday 5th December at 5:30 pm. This was discussed at YN parents meetings in October and we will be discussing the themes parents suggested they would like to know more about. The workshop will focus on the importance of play and then on four key messages for play which are known to support the development of confidence and language in children and also support behaviour management. There is a sign-up sheet outside the nursery classroom if you would like to attend. If you have any questions please come and talk to a member of the nursery team.  If you do not currently have a child in YN but would be interested in coming along please talk to one of YN staff team.

Message for Y3/4 Parents

As an end to our term 2 enquiry, Years 3 and 4 would like to cordially invite all lower key stage two parents to our exhibition entitled ‘What makes Swindon special?’
The exhibition will take place in the school hall on Friday 7th December, 3.15-3.45pm and will include artwork, fact files, quizzes.
We hope to see you there to share your LKS2 children’s learning (this is in addition to this week’s Show Me sessions).

Message for YN Parents

This week you will have received a letter from the YN team about our Nursery Rhyme Nativity on Wednesday 12th December. Parents have been invited to an allocated time, if your child is not normally in a session that day please see the allocated time you have been given.  If you could support us by practising the nativity songs we’ve sent home with your child so they can do the best performance possible we’d really appreciate it! If you are unsure or have any questions please come and speak to a member of the nursery team

Could YN children please bring in some old mesh tights or pop socks that you don’t mind being cut up, as we are hoping to use them to make bird feeders next week  (Monday 3rd-Friday 7th December) to tie in with our vets and animals theme. Thank you! 

Also, please could you make sure all YN children have a labelled PE kit in school as they are now changing and doing weekly PE lessons and some children are still missing kit. If you are unsure what you need please speak to one of the nursery staff.

Message for YR Parents - Nativity News

The Reception team have asked me that all costumes need to be in school tomorrow in a named bag please.  The winners of the Front Row raffle will be announced on Tuesday.  For the evening performance, children to be back in school for 5:20pm (please drop at Main school entrance by the office and staff will be available to take them down to the classroom to get ready) and, if you are not staying for the performance, please return at 6:50 pm to collect them.

Parent Forum Details – Monday 3rd December 6:00 pm
What is Parent Forum?
The Parent Forum is a partnership between parents and the school. It is a valuable way to share ideas, views, concerns and make suggestions for improvement.  It will play an active role in influencing, supporting and enhancing the development and learning of all children at Tadpole Farm.
What are the aims of the Parent Forum?
The aims of the Parent Forum are to:
· Work closely with the Local Board (governing body) and school leadership team to ensure an open and beneficial dialogue exists,  so that we can work together to improve the education provided for the children
· Assist Local Board members and staff by commenting on new initiatives, drawing attention to areas of concern and contributing to solutions.
· Meet in a mutually supportive environment
· Develop and disseminate ideas that improve life at Tadpole Farm
What are the principles guiding the Forum?
Together, we aim to be:
• Collaborative: participating together for the benefit of the school community
• Constructive: helping to identify effective solutions
• Transparent: keeping everyone informed of meetings and their outcomes
• Encouraging: welcoming ideas and initiatives to foster a positive ethos
Who can be part of the Forum?
All parents and carers of children attending Tadpole Farm are welcome to be part of the Forum. In addition, a representative from the Local Board and the leadership team has committed to attend each meeting.
What will the Parent Forum not do?
The Parent Forum is not a decision-making body. It is a body which can feed in views and represent the parents and carers of issues surrounding the school. The Parent Forum is also not the place to discuss concerns or complaints involving individual children, families or members of staff.
How can parents & carers participate?
Parents and carers can participate in a number of ways:
•   All are warmly welcome to attend and participate at any Parent Forum meeting;
•   By taking a role to help promote the Forum and make it work;
•   By suggesting items to be discussed.
What will be the agenda on 3rdDecember?
  • Parent comments on the school’s vision and ethos. We’ll be working together to think about what you, as parents, want for the children our school – what is your vision for the skills, knowledge and personal attributes that they should have by the time they leave school in Year 6?  This will feed in to our renewed vision for education, which we will be launching in the Spring 2019.
  • Discussion of Health and Safety aspects – items from parents and carers
  • We would also like your thoughts about a document called Living Well Together.  Schools of the size that we are growing in to, will occasionally have times when school team members, parents and the wider community do not agree with each other and situations need to be discussed and talked through to reach an agreed resolution.  This document will give guidelines for how this should be done to fit in with the Christian values of our school.
  • Contributions and suggestions from parents on any aspect of school life

Things of interest in the community