A Vision For Bardwell

Head Teacher Newsletter - 7th July 2022

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Our vision for Bardwell

Thank you to everyone who came along and shared their opinions on our new school vision. Vicar Karen, Dinkie and Vicar Leslie have been busily collating all of your views and are very excited by the responses. They'll be sharing their findings this week and suggesting how we can incorporate these into the school's new vision.

The children are still working incredibly hard as we strive to finish our writing and maths units before the end of a very busy Summer term. They have been incredibly resilient throughout Year 6 and Key Stage 1 SATs, Times Tables Tests for Year 4 and Phonics Screening for Y2. We have marvelled at their courage and are proud of their efforts. Will will be sharing these assessment results with parents, together with the end of year reports, in the final week of term.

Mrs Boyd

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Class structure next year

A reminder of the recent letter explaining the class structure from September.

Rowan - Year R and 1 - Mr Boyd and Mrs Boyd

Silver Birch - Year 2 and 3 - Mrs Pratt

Hazel - Year 4 - Mrs Box

Oak - Year 5 and 6 - Miss Mansfield

Diary reminders

  • 12th and 13th July - Thurston Community College transition days (specific Y6 pupils only)
  • 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.
  • Thursday 21st July - last day of term;
  • Friday 22nd July to Wednesday 31st August - Summer Holiday.

  • Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd September - PD Days, no children in school
  • Monday 5th September - children return to school.
  • 14th/15th September - Bikeability for Y5 (current Y4) pupils and any current Y5s that have joined us during this year.

Trophy/award return

If your child was awarded one of our cups or trophies last year, please return this to the school office this week. Families of pupils with the awards have been emailed.

Thank you.

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.

All parents and carers 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.

Please join us if you can.

Oak Class parents/carers - concert reminder

Dear parents and carers of Oak Class pupils,

Mr Peck has arranged for your children to perform a short concert in Oak Classroom on Thursday 7th July. Please arrive and sign in at reception at 2.45pm, the concert will start in the classroom at 2.55pm and finish just before the end of the school day.

Thank you,

Mrs Boyd

Uniform reminder - transition year finished

Around this time last year, we were excitedly sharing the details of our new 'Active Uniform'. We allowed a transitional year for pupils to wear out their older style uniforms - that year has now ended.

Therefore, from September, please ensure your child has all the items they need for active, outdoor learning at Bardwell - further details are on our website.

- Colour* sweatshirt (school logo is compulsory) available from our uniform supplier, Gooddies;

- Non-branded jogging bottoms or leggings (black);
- White polo shirt (school logo is optional);
- School shoes or trainers (trainers will be required for PE if shoes are the preferred option);
- ‘Book bag’ for reading books/phonics resources.

* Sweatshirts can be ordered in one of the 6 Bardwell Cog colours (red, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue or purple).
This ‘Active School’ uniform is also worn for PE. In addition, PE shorts (black) can be worn for hot weather/indoor PE.

Our Active Uniform was introduced to promote physical activity whilst protecting knees and bottoms from cuts and grazes. However, we do understand there's nothing quite so cute as a gingham dress! Therefore, if you wish your child to wear a dress, rather than the active uniform and feel that their physical play will not be affected please feel free to purchase. This is NOT a requirement. The active uniform is our core uniform but we recognise and appreciate that some parents might like a summer dress option. Dresses can be any of the 6 COG colours (yellow, red, dark green, dark blue, royal blue, purple).


Voicemail superstar

Our latest voicemail superstar is Henry P, his greeting will be on the voicemail recording until September. Thank you to all of this year's Y6 pupils who have recorded a greeting for the school this academic year.

Holiday requests

As we approach the summer holidays, we'd like to remind all parents and carers of the Tilian MAT's Attendance Policy, which notes that the government expects:

- 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.

Reading for Pleasure - newsletter 17

Here are this week's recommended reads from me.

Miss Mansfield, Literacy Co-ordinator

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Greenhouse repair project

We are looking for large plastic drinks bottles (2 litre), cleaned, to be used to repair our greenhouse. If you have any, please bring them to the office or give to your child's class teacher.

Thank you.

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Year 2 going into Year 3

Suffolk County Council have asked us to remind you to apply for income related for Free School Meals (FSM) if you think you might be eligible.

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.

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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.

Thank you for your time.

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

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SCC Discretionary Grant

Suffolk County Council is pleased to confirm a discretionary grant is available to support low-income families over the 6-week summer holiday. The grant will be issued as a £90 (£15 x 6 weeks) Edenred supermarket voucher for each eligible child (those on income related Free School Meals) and is designed to help families with their essential living costs during the holiday. The grant is provided from the Household Support funding the council has received from the government and will be issued by the school to their eligible families.

At Bardwell, we will be applying for the vouchers on 11th July for delivery to families on or just after 22nd July.

Suffolk Activities for the Summer Holiday

Please see collated flyers for summer holiday activities being provided around the county. These come to us from Will Wright, of the West Suffolk Council Families and Communities Team, who has also provided this timetable of available 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.

Thetford Voices summer programme

Please see Thetford Voices' singing workshops poster and booking form, which we are circulating on their behalf.

BSE Rugby Club summer programme

Please see Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club's summer programme information.
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Bardwell Church - July

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Healthy Snacks

Please ensure your child has a healthy snack in school to have at break time - e.g., a piece of fruit, carrot sticks, muesli bar, yogurt tube. No chocolate bars or crisps please, and nothing containing peanuts.

Younger children (YR to Y2) have fruit or vegetables provided by the School Fruit & Veg Scheme.

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Allergy Awareness

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?

Citizens Advice West Suffolk | Free, confidential, independent advice (suffolkwestcab.org.uk)


B) Suffolk Advice and Support Service

Suffolk Advice and Support Service Helpline (SASS) 0800 068 3131 | Community Directory


In addition, you may be able to apply for funding from the Bardwell Charities.

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 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.

Safeguarding children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)