Life is like riding a bicycle...!

Head Teacher Newsletter 29th April 2022

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Welcome back one and all,

I can't believe we've now entered the 5th term of the year. Summer is on the horizon and although it's another short 5-week term, we've got lots in store for the school and community of Bardwell.

Before we look too far ahead, it's always valuable to look back on the journey we've taken together alongside celebrating the progress made...

In March, we had pages and pages of fun immersing ourselves in World Book Day; once again, our focus was on the power and value of words. Children also created dioramas depicting their favourite book! This unveiled some incredibly impressive, well-thought-out, and creative designs. 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?!

The sorting hat also visited Bardwell as our houses were relaunched. 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.

We welcomed another OPAL addition in the 'Art Shack.' Following suggestions from pupils, the School Council set up OPAL art activities in the front playground shelter. This has proved to be immensely popular and is available for pupils to engage with every day!

Curriculum experiences were on order in late March and April as Silver Birch got to visit Audley End to bring their Victorian topic alive. Oak Class became printmakers as they worked with an authentic professional artist to design lino cuttings (based upon the 'Language of Flowers and the school's cogs). Hazel Class invited parents/carers for a presentation of their art learning and to take part in a family art portrait experience. This was a tremendous success and it was lovely to see the children engage with their families, proud of their achievements. And, Rowan Class collaborated beautifully by staging a presentation of learning and welcoming authentic customers to Harry's Cafe. The children made invitations, menus, the food out of playdoh, poured drinks, created a security team at the entrance to the cafe, made toys for the table, decided on music for the event, made place cards, took payment with paper money and even waved off their guests with a wonderful thank you and goodbye!

We mustn't forget our charity-focused Ukraine Day where children arrived at school dressed in blue and yellow; the colours of the Ukraine national flag. Oak Class also applied their printmaking skills to make beautiful cards for sale. We mustn't also forget that we raised £138 for this heartfelt cause. Furthermore, during Collective Worship children learned about refugees and then made a collaborative artwork of a sunflower, which is now on display in the reception area.

WOW, just writing and reading this is exhausting! But, what an impressive achievement in just 5 weeks. Now, I hope the half-term break allowed us all to re-learn the art of resting and relaxing because it's onwards and upwards for Bardwell Primary School.

“Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

Here's to an exciting term ahead.

Very best wishes,

Mr. Francksen

Diary reminders:

Monday 2nd May is the early Spring Bank Holiday. In addition, Bardwell will be taking its discretionary Bank Holiday for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee on Friday 27th May.

While you have your diary out, also note that class and whole school photographs (and Y6 Leavers' photos) will be taken on Wednesday 18th May. Please ensure your child(ren) are in smart school uniform that day and have their colourful sweatshirt with them.


We've had fabulous attendance this week - well done, it's great to see everyone back in school!

Our aim is for all pupils to achieve at least 95% attendance over the year. Whilst COVID has caused some unavoidable absences for a number of pupils, we would urge you to try to maximise your child's attendance for the remainder of this year and to not make medical/dental appointments in school hours please.

A plea for buttons from Miss Mansfield

If you have any buttons that you could donate to the school, please bring them in. We particularly need white/cream, silver and gold of any shade, please.
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Supporting young people's mental health - Parent/carer workshops April - July 2022

From Mrs Watson, our SENDCo:

These free virtual workshops from Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust are designed to provide up to date advice and guidance on how parents and carers can support the young people in their life. The workshops are 60-minutes long and will be recorded so anyone unable to attend can watch the workshop.

  • How to talk to your children about the war in Ukraine 25 April – 18:00.
  • Supporting young people with anxiety 26 April - 18:00, 24 May – 19:15, 21 June – 19:15.
  • Supporting our young people to manage uncertainty 24 May – 18:00.
  • Supporting our children / adolescents with sleep (11+ years of age) 21 June – 18:00.
  • Supporting young people with low mood 26 April – 19:15.
  • Building understanding and supporting your child with Tourette's / Tics 20 June – 13:00, 20 June – 18:00.
  • Supporting your child to attend or get back to school 23 May – 13:00, 23 May – 18:00.
  • Building resilience: Managing the next steps 4 July - 18:00.

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Photos from Silver Birch Class' Great Exhibition

Right at the end of last term, Silver Birch pupils welcomed their families into school to view their 'Great Exhibition'. They had created amazing portraits of Queen Victoria and urban artworks inspired by LS Lowry. Families also got the chance to see their printmaking skills.
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Michael Morpurgo book display

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New menu for School Lunches

Please see the new menus on the School Meals page of the website.

At Bardwell, our cook trials the new Vertas EATS menu for a couple of rotations and then may make changes to the menu based on pupil feedback. If she makes changes, we will circulate an amended menu in due course.

Please note that your child can opt for a jacket potato on any day - they just need to let their class teacher know at registration. You can also opt for your child to have sausages instead of fish on Fridays - if you'd like this, please let one of the office staff know.

Bardwell Church this month

Sunday 1st - Communion, 10.00

Wednesday 11th - Coffee Morning, 10.30

Sunday 15th - Morning Worship, 10.00

Sunday 28th - Tea Party, 15.00

Every Wednesday in term time - Bardwell School's Collective Worship - 10.05am, followed by coffee for parents/carers.

After School Club

It is with regret that we no longer run an After School club on Thursdays. Gipping Valley Sports Partnership have an ongoing shortage of suitable instructors and at present, they can't provide an instructor. We have looked into alternatives from a commercial provider but, given the usual numbers that attend, we would need to charge a high fee for each session, c. £15-20 per pupil.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The themes are now:

  • Monday - Forest Fun with Mr Hurkett
  • Tuesday - Football with Mr Hurkett
  • Wednesday - Summer Sports (e.g. athletics, rounders) with Gipping Valley & Thurston Sports Partnership.

As always, please book your place in advance via Arbor and let us know if you need to cancel so that we can free up the space for another pupil.

Thank you,

Mrs Allman

PTA - Sale Trail

Sale Trail - Saturday 30th April, 10am-2pm. Please come along to browse and buy at this event, funds raised benefit all pupils at the school. Pitches are located throughout the village, the trail map is a 50p minimum donation and is available from the school.

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Reading for Pleasure - newsletter 10

Here are this week’s recommended reads from me, with themes of inclusivity and diversity.

Miss Mansfield, Literacy Co-ordinator

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My Suffolk Story competition

If you have a keen storyteller in the family, how about entering the My Suffolk Story competition run by Suffolk Libraries?

The theme of the writing competition is Suffolk and the environment, with the prompt, 'What do you love about the outdoors in Suffolk?' to get children inspired. This could be the wonderful countryside, the beach, your local park, street or anywhere outside.

The My Suffolk Story writing competition is suitable for children aged 5-14, with three categories for Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 children. There will be a winner and a runner-up for each category.

Children have until 30 June to submit their entries. Entries can be short stories or essays.

Entries should be no longer than a single side of A4. Entries can be handwritten and submitted to your local library, or written electronically and emailed to

The prize for first place will be a tablet, with the first runner up receiving a £50 book token and the second runner up receiving a book token worth £25 for each age category.

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Baby & Toddler Group

It was great to welcome some parents to the Baby & Toddler Group at the end of the Spring Term and this week. Attending a social group like this can help extend/build social networks for all those who've had a baby during the pandemic and had limited opportunities to meet with other families. Also, it's a great way for any September YR starters to meet the little people that will become their classmates!

The group will meet in the School Hall on Thursdays from 1.30pm, so we'd love it if you came along with your pre-school age child.

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Swimming lessons (Y3 to Y6)

Oscar and Lily will report back more fully from the first school swimming lesson in next week's newsletter.

In the meantime, here is Oak Class as they got on the coach, full of excitement!

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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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Flying apostrophes

What better way to learn the tricky art of contracting words ('she will' to 'she'll') than becoming the letters and punctuation yourself? We dealt with some flying apostrophes, missing letters and removing finger gaps this week.

Silver Birch pupils this week in one of their English lessons.

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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.

Advance notice - Bardwell Fete

The PTA are involved in organising the Bardwell Fete, which takes place this year on Saturday 18th June, please make a note in your diary. All being well with weather, there will be a spectacular 'Battle of Britain' flypast!

If you are able to help out in any way, please contact Penny via the office staff.

Thank you.

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Village play area closure

Information from Bardwell Parish Council:

The Play Area at the Bardwell Community Field will be temporarily closed from 4th - 6th May, whilst work to level up the ground underneath the roundabout is being carried out. The play area will reopen during the afternoon of Friday 6th May, subject to the work progressing as planned.

Bardwell Parish Council apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Chairman: 01359 253525

Clerk: 01359 221934


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 (


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.

May Half Term - GVTSSP sport camp

Sports Camp: 30 May-1 June 2022

Mon 30 May: AM Ipswich Town Football OR Target Games / PM Ipswich Town Football or Summer sports or Parkour

Tue 31 May: AM Gymnastics / Pm -Dance OR Parkour

Wed 1 June: Am Nerf and Laser Tag OR BMX / PM Nerf and Laser Tag OR BMX

AGES: 5 – 12

Venue: Beyton, Thurston Sixth (IP30 9AA)

£10 per workshop

Go to for more information or see this flyer.

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Bardwell Cricket Club - All Stars and Junior Cricket

All Stars Cricket is returning to Bardwell Cricket Club on

Friday 6th May - 5.30pm-6.30pm

This is an 8 week course designed to introduce 5-8 year olds to cricket with an emphasis on having fun.

To sign up, please follow the link below or find us on the ECB website for more information. The cost is £40 for the 8 week course

ClubSpark / All Stars / Course

Training for the 5-7 year old age group will take place Fridays 5.30pm-6.30pm too starting 6th May.

Bardwell Junior cricket is back on ............

Saturday 23rd April 2022

Under 9's - 9.00am-10.00am

Under 11's – 10.00am-11.00am

Under 13's and Under 15's – 11.00am-12.30pm

We can't wait to see you all again and meet new friends as well

Junior’s £15 first child then £10 for siblings.

Add £20 for juniors unlimited adult match fees

More information here

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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.

Safeguarding, Online Safety & Wellbeing

Please use the links below to learn more about the safeguarding themes relevant to the co-education of our children.
A guide to DBS checks

Safeguarding children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

World's first online safety bill