Let the sun shine on your soul!
Head Teacher Newsletter 15th July 2022
Ofsted visit and impact on reports
I'd like to thank you all for your support during our two days with the Ofsted inspectors this week. Many of you took the time to speak with the inspectors at the school gate and we are delighted with the feedback you've given them, both in person and via Ofsted ParentView - particularly the 100% positive response to 'I would recommend this school to another parent'. The next stage of the process is for our leadership team and governors to receive and comment on the draft report. Due to the timing of the inspection with the school Summer holiday, the final report and grading will be available in September and will be circulated to parents and carers then.
What we can already say is that your children were incredible. They confidently told the inspectors how proud they are of their school and it was great to hear them talking enthusiastically and knowledgeably about their learning. We are incredibly proud of each and every one of them. We are planning to reward their efforts with a water filled afternoon next Tuesday - details are below.
We had planned to issue the annual reports for your child(ren) this week, but this has been delayed due to the inspection visit. We now plan to have the reports with you in hard copy next Wednesday. We will email a copy to parents that need an electronic version.
Thank you once again for your verbal, written and edible support this week, it has been gratefully received!
Any credits you have on Arbor will carry over to the next academic year.
- Friday 15th July - Y6 leavers' photograph in East Anglian Daily Times' Top Class supplement;
- Tuesday 19th July - Water Fun Day, old T shirt/shorts to be worn to school, full change of dry clothes including shoes and underwear to be brought in;
- Wednesday 20th July - 10.00am Leavers & Achievement Collective Worship in the Church, all families invited to attend. This will be followed by a family picnic on the Daisy Meadow. Please bring your own packed lunches for adults/siblings, pupils can order a school packed lunch or bring in one from home, no hot dinners;
- Thursday 21st July - last day of term;
- Friday 22nd July to Wednesday 31st August - Summer Holiday.
ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!
- Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd September - PD Days, no children in school. Staff will be in and uniform pickup possible by arrangement with the office staff;
- Monday 5th September - children return to school;
- 5th - 9th September - no After School Clubs;
- 14th/15th September - Bikeability for Y5 (current Y4) pupils and any current Y5s that have joined us during this year.
Note that if you have children in different classes at the school, you will receive more than one email.
Rowan Class - Katie & The Sunflowers
Hazel Class - Banham Zoo
Oak Class concert for parents/carers
On Wednesday afternoon, Oak Class held a geographical debate about 'Should Oil Companies be allowed to build another Trans-Alaskan PIpeline?' All the pupils had different roles (CEO of BP, environmentalists, representatives from the Alaskan Wildlife Reserve, State officials etc.) and we held the debate as a closed meeting. As well as taking the role of a state official, Levi was the resident sketch artist, much like you would have in a closed court session. This is the result and I am sure you'll agree, it's absolutely amazing! Well done, Levi.
A change to lunch choices
At registration, teachers will let pupils know what the two hot meals are and children will need to say whether they are having 'option 1' or 'option 2'.
We will no longer be offering a jacket potato, as there is very little take up of this option. The school packed lunch option will remain unchanged.
After School Club
From September, we are unable to use our Sports Premium to fund free After School Clubs. This means that we will return to charging for each ASC session. We understand this will be an adjustment for those who've enjoyed the free offer, and that it could have financial impact on those that need ASC for childcare. We would therefore like your feedback on our proposals, for the length/timing of the sessions and the fee we'd need to charge.
Please complete this survey even if you haven't used ASC or don't need it for childcare, so that we have a full range of views to help inform our decisions.
Please note that there will be no After School Clubs running in the first week of the new term (5th-9th September).
Thank you for your time.
Leavers' service and achievement assembly
There will not be a dry eye in the Church when the time comes for us to say goodbye to our incredible Year 6 cohort. Although we will be sad to say our farewells, we know that they are more than ready to flourish at their chosen secondary schools.
You and your family are invited to join us for the final Collective Worship of this year to say farewell to our Y6 pupils on 20th July at 10am, in Bardwell Church.
This is always a very special service and will include achievement awards for pupils from all year groups.
The service will be followed by a family picnic on the Daisy Meadow to which all families are invited. Please bring a packed lunch for all adults/siblings attending; pupils can order a school packed lunch or bring in one from home, there will be no hot dinners on this day. Children on income-related Free School Meals will be provided with a school packed lunch.
Please join us if you can.
Term Dates reminder
Hot weather warning and water fun day
The Met Office has extended an amber extreme heat warning for Sunday 17 July, Monday 18 July and Tuesday 19 July, as temperatures will build this weekend and early next week for much of England and Wales.
The amber warning highlights likely adverse health effects for the public, not just limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat. We will be keeping children in the shade or indoors during break times, if necessary. We will also limit the amount of physical activity the children take part in.
Please provide a summer hat or cap for your child to wear. Please also apply a 'once-a-day' sunscreen in the morning, and ensure that your child always has a full water bottle when they arrive at school.
On Tuesday 19th July, we will be having a Water Fun Day. All children will need to come to school in a lightweight, old T-shirt and shorts that you don’t mind getting wet and muddy. They will need to bring a waterproof bag (e.g carrier bag) to put wet things in and a full change of clothing/shoes including underwear, as well as a towel. Water pistols, water balloons, etc. are actively encouraged!
Suffolk Libraries Summer Reading Challenge
Gadgeteers get ready - the Summer Reading Challenge opens soon!
The Summer Reading Challenge is open to all children aged 4-11. The challenge is to read six books over the school holidays.
This year's theme is Gadgeteers and will focus on scientific innovation and creative thinking. Our friendly staff and volunteers will help children find books and get them started on their reading adventure.
For each of the six books they read, they can collect a prize from the library. If they complete the challenge, they'll also receive a special certificate!
Children can sign up in any of our libraries from 16 July.
The Week Junior - Summer Reading Competition
The Week Junior invites you to jump into a host of super adventures in our Summer of Reading challenge.
Reading can take you anywhere you can think of. You can be the hero of a thousand stories, and experience all kinds of amazing places - right from the comfort of your sofa!
It's easy to get involved - and there are some fantastic prizes up for grabs.
- Simply read, rate and review three books this summer. You can use our fantastic booklist for inspiration! Then submit your short review via our entry form before the closing deadline at midnight on Friday 26 August.
- One lucky winner will receive a book bundle worth £250 plus a Bookily card from National Book Tokens, loaded with £10 per month for 6 months to spend in their favourite bookshops and online.
- Three runners up will also each win a Bookily card loaded with £10 per month for 6 months.
Summer holiday activities
The activies are, mostly, open to all. Families in receipt of income-related Free School Meals will qualify for free places and should recently have received an e-voucher to allow you to book.
Year 2 going into Year 3
They hope this will help to boost our pupil premium income, as they know many parents/carers forget to apply for FSM at the beginning of Key Stage 2 due to having received Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM).
You can make an application for free school meals online at: www.suffolk.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals.
West Suffolk Council Local Plan - have your say on affordable housing in Bardwell
Deadline 26th July 2022
West Suffolk Council has recently opened its consultation on the Local Plan Preferred Options. The previous stage of consultation has identified part of the field adjacent to the School/Skinners Lane as a potential site for development of around 15 homes, see the attached plan.
We are pleased with the current number of pupils on roll at Bardwell, but we are aware from the County Council's roll forecast that the numbers of in-catchment pupils expected to join the school is low for the next few years. This presents us with a significant funding challenge and poses a long term risk for the viability of the school. There has been a school in Bardwell since 1855 and we believe it is an essential community asset that contributes hugely to the village’s character and atmosphere.
In our opinion, the roll forecast is due in part to the village's housing stock not being suitable/affordable for young families or those about to start a family, with other local villages being more attractive to this demographic. We have therefore expressed our support for this site being developed with a suitable mix of social and affordable housing in order to attract more young families/couples to the village - and we’d encourage you to do the same by commenting positively to West Suffolk Council about development on the School Lane/Skinners Lane site.
West Suffolk Council has arranged public exhibition events to find out more, further information is available here. You can comment on the Local Plan Preferred Options at an exhibition event or by creating an account and submitting your views online. Please note that the information relating to Bardwell is in Part 3: Site Allocations and that Bardwell is a Type A village.
If you are going to comment, we would encourage you to include:
that you are supportive of housing development on this land;
that you believe the village is in need of a supply of social and affordable housing;
any personal experience you have of trying to rent / buy in the village and what type of home you would like / can afford.
Thank you for your support on this important issue.
Mr Berry and Mr Francksen
Flu immunisation next term
This autumn term, all primary school-aged children in England (from reception class to year 6) will be offered a flu immunisation by the NHS school-aged immunisation service.
We will be sending out informtion about signing up to the programme in the Autumn Term. Bardwell's immunisation day will be Thursday 13th October.
Younger children (YR to Y2) have fruit or vegetables provided by the School Fruit & Veg Scheme.
We are an allergy aware school and would like to remind all families that there may be pupils in school with a peanut allergy. If a child with a peanut allergy comes into contact with peanuts, or with a pupil who has eaten peanuts, then this could lead to an anaphylactic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to a trigger such as an allergy.
Because of this the school cannot accept products containing peanuts to be provided in lunch boxes or for eating at other times.
Further information for families seeking financial help
Will Wright at West Suffolk Council has advised that, for families that are not in receipt of free school meals, but that are in financial hardship:
A) Have you also spoken to the Citizen Advice service in West Suffolk about any financial hardship funds available?
B) Suffolk Advice and Support Service
In addition, you may be able to apply for funding from the Bardwell Charities.
Schools Out Summer holiday activities
- Schools and local authorities to:
Promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence;
Ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled;
and act early to address patterns of absence.
- Parents to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age, who are registered at school, attend regularly.
- All pupils to be punctual to their lessons.
We ask that parents/carers inform us of any planned absences by completing an Application for Leave of Absence Form, at least 14 days before the planned absence. Note that we are very unlikely to authorise any family holiday requests unless it meets the 'exceptional' criteria as detailed in the policy. As a Church of England school, we are reluctant to penalise families financially, but a penalty notice can be applied for any unauthorised absence. Fines are applied at a fixed rate of £60 per pupil, per parent - please see Suffolk County Council's website for further information.
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: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/schools/school-meals-uniforms-and-trips/apply-for-free-school-meals/
Check if you're eligible
Your child will get free school meals if you receive any of the following:
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.
Summer Water Safety tips from the Royal Lifesaving Society
A free, online toolkit to discover skills to enjoy the water, safely.
Basic water skills can be life-changing. Not only will the Lifesaver • Lifechanger toolkit give you the skills and confidence to enjoy being around the water safely, but you could also one day save somebody's life.
Remember, we want you to enjoy the water and all its benefits, but, as it does come with risks, it is crucial to understand and manage these. Once you’ve completed the Lifesaver • Lifechanger toolkit, you will feel much more confident to enjoy the water and change lives.
Why did we launch the Lifesaver • Lifechanger Toolkit?
Every year, on average 402 UK and Irish citizens lose their lives in a water-related incident. Most of the incidents are completely avoidable. Did you know that 43% of people would jump into the water to save somebody? A completely natural instinct, but an instinct that without the correct knowledge and training is often risky and life-threatening.
We live on beautiful islands. Our coasts are surrounded by islets, and our land is punctuated by stunning waterways. Yet without the right education, these can all pose a threat to us – often with tragic consequences. Water is a part of our very fabric, as is our enjoyment of being near it without fear.
This short course will provide you and your family with the right education and skills for life, that will set you on your journey to become a lifesaver and gain the knowledge and confidence to enjoy the water, safely.
NSPCC Social Media advice
Children and young people use many different social media apps and sites. The most popular are Facebook and Instagram, with many others such as Snapchat, TikTok and Twitter.
There are lots of benefits to social networking. They can allow users to stay connected with friends and family. They can also learn many different things, from make-up or gaming tutorials to making slime, or how to create their own videos.
Like most things, there can be negatives too. For children and young people there are risks that you should be aware of, to help keep your child safe on social media.