Pages and Pages of Fun

Head Teacher Newsletter 7th March 2022

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For the first time in quite a number of weeks, we had 100% attendance at school for some of last week and it's wonderful to have a full house! Obviously, COVID related absences are unavoidable and may continue for some time, but we hope that they are absolutely minimal from now on.

Please do everything you can to ensure fantastic attendance for your child for the remainder of this academic year.

Despite all the challenges, we do have some children who have 99+% attendance so far this year: Harry A, Harry P, Constance, Florence, Sidney and Alexa.

World Book Day 2022

Well done to everyone that made a diorama depicting their favourite book, we were really impressed with all the thought, time and creativity that had gone into every single one. It was a lovely change from dressing up and we hope that you had discussions about your favourite reads as you helped your child make their diorama.

I'm sure you've heard that we had a fun packed day, we've included just a small selection of photos below.

Our Press Officer, Lily, has written an amazing article, Bardwell Book Day Bash! This is all her own work with no edits required! We will send it to the Bury Free Press, with some photos, in the hope that they'd like to include it.

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Search for a Golden Ticket & some lucky winners

No stone or blade of grass was left unturned as the children sought a Golden Ticket. Our lucky winners now have a book token to spend in their favourite book shop. Well done to all of you and make sure you let your teachers know all about your purchase when you've read it.
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The Sorting Hat comes to Bardwell

Patient and Pragmatic Earth?

Logical and Loquacious Air?

Creative and Confident Fire?

Imaginative and Intuitive Water?

The evocative music of Harry Potter films filled the front playground as Mrs Boyd and Mrs Box attempted to control the sorting hat whilst it wove its magic. Children are all now placed in new Houses - Earth, Air, Fire, Water.

Your child's House is viewable on their Arbor record.

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Reading for Pleasure - newsletter 5

Here are this week’s recommended reads from me.

Miss Mansfield, Literacy Co-ordinator

Y6 Voicemail Superstar

Our current Y6 voicemail superstar is Pippa, so if you need to leave a message, it's Pippa's voice you'll hear.

Feedback from our new Breakfast Club leader

This week saw Harry join us from the Gipping Valley Sports Partnership, he will be running Breakfast Club on a couple of days per week this term.

As he left on Wednesday 2nd March, he said (unprompted!), "They are the politest children I've ever worked with, their manners are excellent. So many pleases and thank yous".

Great Bardwell Cogs in action there - well done to those Kind Communicators who attended.

Ash Wednesday Service

We had a special Ash Wednesday Collective Worship service in the Church this week. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the placing of ashes on the foreheads of participants whilst inviting them to think about the things they are sorry for. The ashes are prepared by burning palm leaves from the previous year's Palm Sunday celebrations.

COVID-19 update (copy of letter sent 01/03/22)

During the half term holiday the government published its ‘Living with Covid-19’ strategy and as a result removed many of the legal restrictions formerly in place. Additionally, Suffolk Public Health has issued an updated guidance document for schools which we are now using to manage COVID-19 in line with national guidance about preventing and controlling infections.

In summary:

1. There will be no locally defined ‘levels’ used to define COVID-19 caseloads in Suffolk and we will no longer be asking you to regularly test using LFDs;

2. If your child has any of the main COVID-19 symptoms you should keep them at home and take a LFD or order a PCR test;

3.If you have a positive Lateral Flow or PCR test result the legal requirement to isolate has ended. However, adults and children who test positive are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days then follow the guidance until they have received two negative test results on consecutive days or 10 days has passed.

If a pupil in school has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, we may take the decision to send them home and request that they self isolate if, in our reasonable judgement, it is necessary to protect other students and staff from possible infection.

4. Contact tracing has ended and close contacts are no longer required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests;

5. We are required to continue baseline infection prevention and control measures including: encouraging good hygiene, maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes and ensuring occupied spaces are well- ventilated. Please see our updated Risk Assessment for further information.

From Friday 1st April

  • Free mass testing will end;

  • People with Covid symptoms will be asked to exercise personal responsibility when deciding whether to stay at home.

COVID-19 is still with us and it seems likely that we will be living with it for years to come. Throughout the pandemic we have always put the health and safety of the Bardwell School community at the heart of all decisions made. Whilst our experience as a community supports the government assertion that the risk of severe illness (hospitalisation) to children and fully vaccinated adults remains low, we want to continue to exercise a degree of caution and we encourage you to do the same. Therefore, any positive cases will be expected to self isolate for at least 5 full days and until they have received 2 negative test results up to the tenth day.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you of our usual absence reporting procedure as described in our Attendance Policy. If your child is absent, for any reason, please ring (rather than email) into the school prior to 9 am and give the reason for absence, including any symptoms, if the child is unwell. If necessary, please leave a short voicemail message.

Thank you in advance for your continued support.

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Swimming lessons (Y3-Y6) - advance notice

We are pleased to let you know that we have had confirmation of a weekly swimming lesson for ALL pupils in Y3, Y4, Y5 and Y6. These will take place in Bury St Edmunds in the Summer Term.

By the time they leave primary school, each pupil is required to be able to do the following:

  • Perform safe self-rescue in different water based situations
  • Swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
  • Use a range of strokes effectively, for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke.

We will contact the families of Y3-Y6 pupils with further information in due course.

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What's on in Bardwell Church & Blackbourne Ministry Team - March

Wednesday 9th - Explore a Journey through Lent (by Zoom)

Tuesday 15th - Coffee Morning at the Church, 10.30-midday

Sunday 20th - Morning Worship, 10am

Saturday 26th - Soup Lunch, midday-2pm

Sunday 27th - Cafe Church celebrating Mothering Sunday, 10am

Every Wednesday - parents and carers are invited to join Bardwell School pupils in Church for Collective Worship at 10.05am.

Or find us on Facebook.

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Let's Get Creative - Suffolk Libraries

Suffolk Libraries have recently launched their new web directory for free and low-cost creative activities happening in and around Suffolk.

Expanding on the wide array of activities currently offered by Suffolk Libraries, we have now launched a new directory of arts and cultural activities for people across Suffolk to enjoy.

The project ‘Let’s Get Creative’ works with over 40 organisations all over Suffolk. This new directory offers a mix of live and digital activities, which means whether you’re out-and-about or at home, there’s something for you.

Expand your creative outlet with a range of arts and culture activities including crafts, live music, drama, and ideas for fun family days out.

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SEND Family Newsletter - from Suffolk County Council

Following the Independent SEND Review and as part of our efforts to communicate more widely with families, we have launched a new Local Offer Newsletter. With introduction from Assistant Director Ros Somerville, it contains strategic updates from Education, Health and Care, and other SEND news and resources. Please do promote it to any families who might find it useful.

East Anglian Game and Country Fair

From the organiser:

The 2022 East Anglian Game & Country Fair will take place on Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th April at Euston Estate, near Thetford, by kind permission of The Duke and Duchess of Grafton.

I’m sure the children will love the opportunity to get involved with many of the activities that are performed with expert tuition such as learning how to fish or to ‘have a go’ at archery or axe throwing. There will also be opportunities to learn about a wide range of animals, take part in the pet dog show, race ferrets, borrow a dog to take around the agility course, ride a donkey or simply to enjoy watching the fun and educational arena displays.

This year we are absolutely thrilled to welcome back the World Famous JCB Dancing Digger Team who will wow crowds with their spectacular choreographed display AND returning due to popular demand, the Horseboarding UK Championships where speed, agility and bravery are all required! We also welcome The Lowestoft Dog Agility Display Team who produce a professional highly entertaining, action packed and informative display as well as lots more well-loved ring displays.

We have lots to entertain older siblings too such as the fun fair, junior competitions with prizes and several arenas with displays running throughout the weekend, not to mention the 350 shopping stands and top chefs teaching us how to prepare healthy meals with seasonal produce in the Game Fair Country Kitchen.

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Breakfast and After School Clubs

The Clubs timetable is now online, please note the change to schedule for the after school session. It will now start with OPAL time, followed by a snack break and then the main activity.

After School:

Monday - Football with Mr Hurkett;

Tuesday - LEGO with Mr Hurkett;

Wednesday - Tag Rugby with GVTSSP;

Thursday - Basketball with GVTSSP.

Clubs have all restarted and are bookable on Arbor. Please ensure you pack a healthy snack for your child to have during After School Club and - as ever - let the office staff know if you don't need your place so they can free it up for someone else.

Free School Meals - could you be eligible?

Your child may be eligible for free school meals throughout primary school. This could save you approximately £437 per year.

To check or apply online, visit:

Check if you're eligible

Your child will get free school meals if you receive any of the following:

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit

  • Child Tax Credit but no element of Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenues & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190

  • If you are supported under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • Working Tax Credit during the four-week period immediately after your employment finishes or after you start to work fewer hours per week

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400 (£616.67 per month), as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods).

To check if your child is eligible, apply online for an immediate response or call 01473 260989.

We encourage you to apply, because the school receives additional funding (Pupil Premium) for all children on income-related Free School Meals.