Newsletter 19th May Issue 31
We are proud to say...
A message from Mr Barton
Our school has felt a little empty this week, as 18 of our Kingfisher pupils have been away on their residential trip to Liddington. I had the pleasure of visiting them yesterday, at the PGL centre where they have been taking part in a great range of challenging activities. A lot of these challenges involved ropes and great heights and I was so impressed with the children's confidence as I watched them pull on and tighten their harnesses and don their helmets for the High Swing challenge. In the pictures below, Anna and Georgina (top right) clearly enjoyed this one!
Abigael and I chose a 'medium' height for our first swing, but Abigael then bravely asked for the full height as we went for our second. Her choice typified the increased levels confidence in all the pupils that Mr Miller and Mrs Croucher told me about as they described the week so far. One highlight was a climb up a 30-foot pole onto a small ledge, followed by a leap off it to try to catch a trapeze. All climbed, many leapt and Anna succeeded in making the catch. Well done Anna! (Of course the ropes and harnesses were put to good use in that activity!)
I was very privileged to go and visit the group and hear about this as well as their typical excellent behaviour while they have been away. I would like to add that the Kingfisher pupils who have stayed in school have also been fantastic, learning alongside the other children and helping the younger ones so brilliantly.
It will be lovely to have everyone back in school next week, with many amazing memories now inside the minds of some of our older children.
Otter Class Athletics at Chew Valley School
Mrs Mullen was delighted with the class's effort and behaviour as they attended the Athletics event at Chew Valley School on Thursday. The children took part in a wide range of athletic events involving running, jumping and throwing and thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Mrs Mullen was particularly impressed with the team spirit shown as children cheered on those taking part in the energy-sapping 400m run. Well done to Otter for representing Pensford so well at this fun event.
Healthy Eating Week
As promised, we will be holding another Healthy Eating Week next week. This means that, if they choose to, children can earn some special Dojo points for making healthy choices about their lunches. Choosing a school dinner, or bringing a healthy packed lunch will earn them points, with extra points for actually eating it all! To make a packed lunch count as healthy, it should have at least 3 of these items: brown or wholemeal bread, salad, fruit, vegetables and water. It can also have one 'treat' item such as a packet of crisps or a biscuit but no more. We would like to remind parents that taking part is completely optional, as the aim is to encourage independence in making healthy choices.
Separately, though, we would like to set a standard for break time snacks. From next week, these should be limited to fruit, vegetables or cereal bars with a low sugar content. For example, children should not be eating bars containing chocolate. Thank-you to parents for co-operating with us keeping this healthy standard.
Next week's film will be Alvin and the Chipmonks. Please contact the office if you would like to book a place.
You will shortly be receiving letters with details of each year group's Forest School session for Term 6. The first of these will be for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 on the first day back (Tuesday, 6th June). Children will need to bring appropriate outdoor clothing on these days, of course, as well as their uniform. Details of what to wear to school, what to bring and the timing of the sessions will be in your letters.
You may be aware that school budgets are under severe pressure at the moment and, just like schools up and down the country, we at Pensford are having to look very carefully indeed at our finances. One area where we have been able to support parents up till now is by covering the cost of transport to and from swimming lessons. Unfortunately this is not something we will be able to continue to do from September. While schools must pay the costs of the lessons themselves (as swimming is part of the National Curriculum), the transport costs often need to fall to parents. This is already the case in a growing and very large number of schools, and Pensford now needs to fall into line.
We have worked hard to keep the costs down, and Mrs Millican has consulted with Mr Miller and Mrs Mullen before arranging a smaller number of lessons, while increasing the length of the lessons themselves. This will of course reduce the number of coach trips needed to deliver the curriculum and therefore keep costs to parents down as much as we can. Parents may well have noticed that we are also seeking to keep costs as low as possible in other ways, such as by sharing a coach with other schools when attending sports events at Chew Valley School.
If any parent is concerned about meeting these costs, please be aware that you can have a confidential conversation with us. You can arrange an appointment with Mr Barton, or speak to Mrs Millican or Mrs Patey by phoning the school office, and we can discuss a way forward.
End of Year Production - Alice in Wonderland
Kingfisher class will be busy again even though the Year 6 tests are over. Their next project is to put together their production for the end of the year - a performance of Alice in Wonderland. This will be on Tuesday, 18th July at 6pm in the Memorial Hall. Please save this date in your diary if you would like to come and enjoy the show.