Newsletter 24th February - Issue 21
We are proud to say...
A message from Mr Barton
Welcome back to all our families, and a particular welcome back to Bonnie in Reception and to two new pupils (Mr Miller's children) Max and Ellis. I hope you enjoyed the half-term week with your children. Perhaps you were one of the families who attended the 'Nutty Noah' event organised by our hard-working PTA. If you were, then I would like to say a huge thank-you for your support for this event. We are delighted that it raised £565.20 for the PTA funds, which this year will go towards development of our playgrounds. The next main PTA event will be on Sunday, 30th April when the Pensford 10k and fun runs will take place. These have been well supported in the past and helped the PTA to raise the money for our highly successful library. Please do support the 2017 event if you possibly can.
This term we have introduced a new certificate to celebrate all those pupils whose attendance has been 100% in the previous term. Many of your children will be coming home with this today. While we have been diligent in reminding parents through letters and this newsletter if attendance rates are slipping, we are also mindful that there are some extremely good rates of attendance for lots of our pupils and the good news is that our overall attendance rate is on the rise again. It's common sense that the more children come to school the more they learn, but there is also some good research evidence of this that you can read about here.
There are lots of events planned for this term already, for which details have either already been sent out to the relevant parent groups, or will be coming shortly. These include: A Year 5 Maths Challenge at the Paragon School in Bath, Reception's Forest School trip, Kingfisher's visit to Bath Abbey, Road Safety week (for which we have been awarded some brand new free scooters for use in the playground), Red Nose Day, Dragonfly's class assembly, a football tournament, greater use of Mathletics following some training for staff, the visit to the Apple Store for Y1 and Y2, and parents' evenings in the last week of term.
So it will be a busy term again, and particularly so for Year 6 as they prepare for their final primary school assessments in May and June. I wish all our children and families well for the rest of Term 4.
This club is proving to be very enjoyable for the pupils who come, and we are able to access a good range of films having registered with 'Into Film'. We would now like to extend our after school offer to parents by allowing children to attend 'one-off' films rather than needing to sign up for the whole term. The film to be shown the following Thursday will be publicised here in the newsletter and on posters in the school. If you would like your child to stay on the Thursday till 5pm to see the film, you can let the office know by the Tuesday of that week. Each ticket is £5 per child, which includes a snack and drink. Those who sign up for the whole term effectively get a 20% discount as they pay £4 per session.
The film for next Thursday, 2nd March will be Ice Age 3 - Dawn of the Dinosaurs. So do let the school office know if you would like your child to stay.
Healthy Eating Challenge
Having trialed our new Dojo rewards for healthy eating, a large number of children are building up their points. We will continue the trial for another week to see how effective it is and whether the logistics of keeping the points up to date are fully manageable over the long term. In order to track the points as a parent you will need an additional Dojo code. This will allow those of you whose children have school dinners to know when they have eaten it all! Please do drop in or email the school office if you would like your code.
Important safety information for those with packed lunches
We are of course very much encouraging the inclusion of fruits and vegetables as part of the healthy eating initiative. At the same time, we want to pass on this important safety information that we received this week from Claire Davies, health improvement officer.
"Doctors have issued a stark warning that young children can choke to death on whole grapes, following the recent tragedy of a young boy who choked whilst eating grapes at an after-school club. Despite first aid, the grape could not be dislodged and the child had a heart attack and tragically died.
Why are some foods so dangerous?
The size and shape of grapes & cherry/plum tomatoes means they can completely plug a child’s airway. The tight seal produced by the foods smooth surface makes them difficult to dislodge with standard first aid techniques. Young children are particularly vulnerable to choking on grapes/ tomatoes because:
- Their swallow reflex is still developing.
- Their airway is very small.
- They don’t have a full set of teeth and are still learning to chew properly.
We advise that grapes and tomatoes are cut in half lengthways and ideally in quarters."
Netball Club and Football Club
Parents whose children are signed up for Netball Club will have received an email this week regarding the dates. Because of staff training taking place this term, Mrs Mullen needs to move the club to Tuesdays in the weeks commencing 6th and 20th March. It is also worth noting that, due to their time commitment to parents' evenings, both Mr Miller and Mrs Mullen will not be able to run their respective football and netball clubs in the last week of term.
Parents' Evenings 4th and 5th April
Time slots will be available by in the folders by the piano in the hall from Monday, for parents and carers to sign up for parents' evenings on these dates. The later evening (until 7pm) will be on Tuesday 4th April and the appointment times run up to 5:30pm on Wednesday 5th.
Is your child a prince or a princess at heart?
We would like to pass on the following information from Clare Broad, an organiser of the Witchurch Village Fete:
Every year we invite a local school to open the Fete on the main Fete day, which this year is Monday 28th August 2017. This year we would be delighted to invite pupils from Pensford. To do this, we ask the school to select two children, generally from KS2, to be the Fete princes or princesses. We can of course have one prince and once princess.
As a reward for being the princess the children are given a set amount of money to buy an outfit and a small thank you after the event. Often their picture is in local newspapers too.
This is a special year for us too as it is our 40th anniversary so we are hoping to organise an very memorable event.
If your child is interested, please contact the school office and we will put their name forward to the event organisers. Thank-you.
Shrove Tuesday - 28th February in the Parish Rooms 6-8:30pm. Rev Denise Calverley and her family are hosting a Pancake Night Open House! All are invited, bring your family, neighbours and friends for a fun time of pancake munching. Traditional butter, maple syrup, lemon and sugar will be supplied. Or bring your own favourite sweet or savoury topping or a drink to share. Let’s see who can devour the most yummy pancakes. See you there!
The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16 Queen Square Bath. BA1 2HN. will be advertising and opening bookings on March 1st for the Summer Term Programme of Saturday afternoon hands on science workshops. They are open to all children 8 and over. £6 per workshop. The workshops will include Chemistry, Geology, Astronomy and Hydrology. Go to www.brlsi.org/youthactivitiesgallery for more details. Booking at firstname.lastname@example.org