10 January 2020                                                                                                                                                Newsletter 16

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome back to everyone after the Christmas break.  We hope you all had a relaxing time.  Thank you for the generous gifts that were given to us at the end of term.  A new year gives us the opportunity to reflect and look forwards, which we have done this week, focussing on what it means to have a Growth Mindset.  Over the term we will be looking closely at the main principles of having a Growth Mindset and how we can change our thought processes and attitudes towards activities that we find challenging.

Stars of the week:

Class 1 – Oli

Class 2 – Loveleen

Playground – Zak

Top table – Table 6

Well done to all those children!

Curriculum News

Class 1: 

For our new topic of 'Space Crusaders,' Class 1 are beginning by thinking about our own planet.  Over the coming weeks, we will think about the weather in particular, and how our distance from the sun effects it.  We have studied current affairs to begin with and looked at the Australian bushfires. We decided to send postcards to the children in affected areas offering our empathy and support.  We've had a  lovely first week looking closely at planet Earth, particularly the difference and distance between countries.  Mrs Haroun, Mrs Bates and Miss H can't wait to delve deeper into this topic which the children chose themselves last term.

Class 2:  Class 2 have been immersing themselves in their new topic ‘Angry Earth’ by looking at the layers of the Earth, rocks and volcanoes.

Year 6 Guided Reading:  Please make sure your chocolate or sweet design is in school for Monday

James Carter, Children’s Poet:  We are delighted that James Carter will be visiting the school for the whole day on Monday to work with all year groups.  He will have books available to order (see attached form) and we would encourage pupils (and their parents!) to have a look at his website www.jamescarterpoet.co.uk over the weekend to sample some of his poetry.

Indoor Sports Hall Athletics:  Some Year 5 and 6 pupils will be going to an Indoor Sports Hall Athletics Event at Hanley Castle High School next Tuesday afternoon, 14th January.  We will be travelling to the high school by minibus but we are asking parents to arrange to collect their children from there at 4.00 pm.  If your child has been selected to go, a form will be attached; please sign and return this to confirm their attendance.

Trip to We The Curious Monday 27th January:  Thank you for your responses to the letter we sent out earlier this week.  On the basis of those responses we are planning to go ahead with this trip.  Please sign and return the attached permission slip.  Pupils will need to take a packed lunch, drinks, snacks and a small rucksack to carry them in.

Star Gazing Evening:  To support our current topics of Angry Earth and Space Crusaders, we would like to hold a star gazing evening for families on 28th February from 7.00 – 8.00 pm on the school grounds.  We will search for constellations, shooting stars and have some campfire treats.  Please register your interest with Ms Curnow in the office by 14/2 so we can ascertain whether we have enough numbers to proceed. Children will require parental accompaniment for the duration of their attendance of this event.

After School Clubs:  These are being finalised and sing up sheets will go out next week.

After School Care:  Please book any sessions required for the first half of this term on the form attached.

Forest School:  Counter to previous correspondence, children do not need a change of clothes for forest school. The overalls provided by us tend to be sufficient coverage and warmth. We have access to PE kits if water mysteriously penetrates coats and overalls. One less thing for you to remember!

Booster Seats:  Please can all Nursery pupils have a booster seat in school on Thursdays (for the swimming coach) and on any other occasions when we are going on a trip by minibus or coach.

A Few Reminders:  If pupils have long hair, they need to come to school with it tied back – this is both for safety and to inhibit the spread of any ‘little visitors’.  They need appropriate shoes (one pair for indoors, one pair for outdoors) a drinks bottle of water and a break time snack.  The snack should be fruit or vegetable for Monday to Thursday and on Friday we have ‘free choice.’  Please can every child also have a school PE kit in school.

Spare socks:  Please could all children have spare socks in their bag in the eventuality of soggy socks after play time.

Swimming:  Our swimming lessons will start again next Thursday.  Please make sure your child has their kit in school, including goggles if worn.  We asking for a £25 voluntary contribution per pupil towards the cost of transport.

Applications for September 2020 Reception Places:  A final reminder that the deadline for online applications is January 15th if your child will be 5 years old at any point during the year after 31st August 2020.  If you are resident in Gloucestershire you will need to apply via their website, but put Pendock as your first choice and they will liaise with Worcestershire Admissions team.  We are expecting a higher number of applications than usual this year, so please make sure you do not miss this deadline.

Breakfast Club:  A reminder that teaching staff who may be in school before the official school start time are present in order to plan and set up their lessons and are not available to supervise children.  Any pupils who arrive before 8.30 am will therefore need to be sent through to Breakfast Club and there will be a charge for registered childcare provided, regardless of whether breakfast is eaten.  We provide Breakfast Club food in accordance with national guidelines for the provision of food in schools and would appreciate it if children did not bring ‘extra’ food in with them for this.

Payments4Schools Website:  A reminder that all payments made to school need to go via this website now.  Letters are attached giving instructions and PINs for our new starters.  If you need to be reminded of your PIN or need another set of instructions please speak to Ms Curnow.

Statutory Assessments:  The Spring term brings with it the preparations for the statutory assessments which start in the Summer Term.  Statutory assessments affect Year 1 (Phonics screening), Year 2, Year 4 (Multiplication check) and Year 6 SATS.  Having reflected on previous years and having talked to the children we have found that there has been some level of anxiety around that the assessments actually mean, look like and require the children to do.  In order to support the children we will do some ‘mock’ papers with them so that they can see and experience what these assessments look like and the type of questions they ask.  This will hopefully enable pupils to feel more confident and lessen those anxieties.  If you have any questions or concerns about any of these assessments please do come and ask.

Members of Scouting Movement:  We have had a request from the local Scout leadership for pupils to be able to wear their uniforms for special dates during the year and for them to attend the Royal International Air Tattoo in July.  We are very happy as a school to support this.

Celebrations Assembly:  There will be no Celebrations Assembly next Thursday (16th January) as we will be having the NSPCC to visit for an assembly instead.

Cool Milk:  A reminder that pupils of any age can have milk in school.  For under 5s this is free.  To register your child please go to https://www.coolmilk.com/  School will distribute the milk each day but parents are responsible for ordering and paying for it, if their child is over 5.

Blackout Lining Request:  Class1 would very much like to borrow some lengths of blackout lining if anyone has any spare.  Please bring them in on Monday if you can.

Best wishes

Mrs Gilroy and the staff team

Future Dates for Your Diaries:

Deadline for Reception September 2020 Applications – Wednesday 15th January

Swimming Lessons Start – Thursday 16th January

FOPS Meeting – Tuesday 21st January 3.15 pm

Class 1 We The Curious Trip – Monday 27th January

Half Term – Monday 17th – Friday 21st February

Star Gazing Evening – Friday 28th February 7.00 – 8.00 pm

Parents’ Meeting re Yr 5 & 6 Residential – Wednesday 4th March 6.00 pm at Castlemorton

Yr 5 & 6 Residential Trip – 23rd – 25th March

Pendock Spring Chicken Run – Sunday 22nd March 2020 – Save the Date!!