Newsletter 28th April Issue 28
We are proud to say...
A message from Mr Barton
As ever, it has been a busy week and we have lots to tell you about. In fact, it could be difficult to know where to start if one piece of information didn't stand out as being particularly important. We are delighted for Mrs Mullen and her family, as she told me on Tuesday that she is expecting another baby! I know that parents will want to join me in congratulating her on this very happy news.
Mrs Mullen has been particularly clever in timing the birth for the start of the next academic year! She is intending to take her maternity leave from the very beginning of September, and to return to work next July. This will allow me and the school governors to put maternity cover arrangements in place that provide the class with a single teaching arrangement for very nearly the full academic year. As soon as we have finalised arrangements, we will of course be letting parents know.
Meanwhile some parents, particularly those with children in Dragonfly, may have noticed a new face in school this term. We are delighted that Mr Lee Gawler has joined us from Bath Spa University. He is currently in the middle of his Post Graduate Certificate in Education training to become a teacher. Mr Gawler has made an excellent impression on the children and other staff in his first week. I am very pleased that we can not only support him through his training but that his work with the class is already allowing Mrs Rawlinson and Miss Cowin to spend even more time focusing on the children as individuals. I have already been approached by Bath Spa to take in other students and because of the extra capacity this gives us for attending to children's learning needs, I have agreed in principle to doing so. Having worked with Bath Spa in my previous roles, and being well aware of the high caliber of students they admit, I look forward to building a strong relationship between Pensford and the university over the coming months and years. We need look no further than Mrs Rawlinson herself for proof that Bath Spa train some excellent teachers!
Finally, I would like to answer the several queries I have had about when the Ofsted report from our inspection back in March might be published. The Easter holiday has delayed this a little, but I was at last sent the draft report on Monday. I am not allowed to share its contents yet, but have completed the process of checking for factual errors and fully expect that it will be published next week. We will of course let parents know as soon as we are told it has been published.
I hope that you enjoy reading the rest of the newsletter and that you will attend the highlight of the Bank Holiday weekend, which is of course the Pensford Fun Run! More of that below...
Fun Run this Sunday
As penance for double-booking himself for the fun run with his son's birthday party, Mr Barton has completed 80 laps of the school across lunchtimes this week - a total of 8km. While this is nothing compared to his original intention of completing the grueling Pensford 10k, we hope that this has inspired many of the children to take part in the Fun Run. Each day, a different year group has been invited to join Mr Barton in this run and many children have already proved to themselves that they are capable of running the 2k distance. In fact, many have gone beyond this and Year 6 were invited to join Mr Barton every day, giving them the chance to run 10k across the week. It has been very impressive to see how many children have stepped up to this challenge. Indeed, if you had been in the playground at lunchtime on Thursday you would have glimpsed the rare sight of one or two Year 6 boys choosing not to play football as they took up the running challenge instead!
Congratulations to Niall (above) who ran 20k across the week by completing 200 laps of the school!
And Nathaneal (left) takes the prize for the biggest smile while running!
Mr Barton is also grateful to Mr Gawler who, a keen runner himself, took charge of this running club on Wednesday when Mr Barton was unavailable.
In advance of the Fun Run itself, we would like to extend enormous thanks to Mrs Spicer and her extensive team of parent supporters who have put in so many hours of voluntary work in preparing for the event. We hope that a large number of families will be able to join the PTA team, Mrs Mullen and our Vice Chair of Governors, Nigel Chambers on the day. Mr Chambers will in fact be starting the race for us too.
Here is one more reminder of the details:
Forest School Consultation
Many thanks to all the parents who contributed to this consultation about how often they would be prepared to pay for forest school trips to Hidden Valley so that we can make this a regular part of our curriculum. The response was extremely positive, with 100% of parents saying that they would be happy to pay for the trips. 75% were prepared to pay six times a year or even more for this worthwhile addition to the curriculum, with the other 25% going for the three times a year option. We have decided to go with this less frequent option in the end, as this will allow us to continue to offer a wide range of trips throughout the year without the financial burden on parents becoming too great. Louise and Nick at Hidden Valley have been able to confirm that they have the capacity for every Pensford pupil to take part in a 2-hour session in terms 2, 4 and 6 (1 1/2 hours for Reception pupils). This will start next term, and details will be coming out to parents soon.
You should have received an email about this already, to confirm that this term Scooter Club will be open to Otter class on Thursdays, starting next week. Kingfisher will get their opportunity next term. Could parents please remember to ensure that their children do not use their scooters in the playground before or after school, in order to keep the playground safe for everyone at these busy times.
Healthy Eating Week - 22nd to 26th May
You may remember that we used some extra Dojo rewards to recognise children who wanted to make extra healthy choices with either their packed lunches or school meals last term. The result of this trial was that we would continue to hold a healthy eating week each term in which these choices would be rewarded through this system. This term that week will be the last one - the week beginning 22nd May. A reminder of how the healthy eating week works will be in the newsletter nearer the time.
This is still proving very popular. Don't forget that even if you haven't paid for the full term, you can buy as many one-off weeks as you like. The price remains at £5.00 for over 1 1/2 hours of childcare while the children enjoy a film, a snack and a drink. Next week's film will be:
Thank-you to the parents who came along to find out more about the potential for Pensford to be part of a proposed Chew Valley Hub of Academies as part of the Lighthouse Multi-Academy Trust. The Hub is still in its infancy but our school is very well placed at the heart of the team of governors and staff that is designing how it could work very well for the pupils in the Chew Valley. The governors would like you to know that if you have any questions you are more than welcome to pass them on through the school office or through Mr Barton. Meanwhile, we will keep you up to date with any significant developments.
Term 5 PE Change of Day for Otter Class
Otter Class will have a change of PE days for Term 5 only so will be doing PE on Thursdays and Fridays. Normal PE days for Otter Class will resume in Term 6.
- The Local Authority's Waste Services Team will be running an information stand about recycling and other services on Tuesday, 10th May after school in the playground.
- Somerset Cricket Club are offering a cricket programme for 5-8 year olds. You can click the banner below to find out more.