A Vision For The Future

Head Teacher Newsletter 28th June 2022

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A Vision For The Future - Thursday 30th June 3.20pm

As we rush headlong towards our summer break it seems a strange time to be discussing new beginnings. However, we are inviting everyone to discuss, 'The Bardwell Vision' so that the school can continue to develop and improve with an ethos generated by the whole school community. We'd like to start this process by gathering everyone's thoughts and opinions on our unique and very special little school. Working together with parents, children, governors, the church and staff we want to create a vision that reflects the true individuality and spirit of our school. We want to hear what's important to you. What do you want your children's school to be? - everyone's views are needed and welcome. There will of course, be cake!

Have a super week and I look forward to seeing you on Thursday at 3.20pm.

Mich B x

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“All of us have our opinions, and these opinions can change. Sometimes we put all opinions together and then extract from them a single point of view. This is our democracy.”

His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan.

Diary reminders

  • 28th and 29th June - SET Ixworth transition days (specific Y6 pupils only)
  • Wednesday 29th June - Oak Class WCET Concert, Ashlar House;
  • Thursday 30th June - Vision For The Future, 3.20pm
  • 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.

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.

Please join us if you can.

Sports Day parent/carer feedback

Thank you to everyone that has given feedback so far. You can still complete our questionnaire if you have anything you'd like to say. It's really important to us to have your views and suggestions so that we can continue to develop and enrich our school events.

Here are just a few of your comments so far:

Well organised and thought out. Very easy going too, not rigid like other sports days I've experienced. I love how some of the older children are given responsibilities with opportunities to shine and they certainly rise to the challenge.

I would like to see a relay race, seeing the kids working as a team and supporting each other.

My children were gutted that they couldn't get Mr Hurkett soaking wet at the end! Bring in the stocks next year!!

Just smashing! Nothing else. The teachers and kids enthusiasm was contagious and my daughter was still excitedly talking about it and everyone's participation days later! Well done Bardwell

Rowan Class trip to Jimmy's Farm

Please ensure you read and respond to the recent letter about the Rowan Class trip to Jimmy's Farm on 12th July. Please give your permission/make your contribution on Arbor by 30th June.

Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) vouchers

Suffolk County Council has again arranged for HAF vouchers for eligible families for summer holiday activities. These were distributed at the end of last week so all families on income-related Free School Meals should, by now, have received an email voucher. This can be redeemed at a range of summer holiday activity providers.

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 16

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

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

Children will be ready for pick up at the end of After School Club (ASC) by 16.55 each afternoon and will be waiting for you in the hall or on the front playground at that time.

If you need to pick up your child(ren) before ASC finishes, please ring the main front doorbell and await a response. If no one answers the door, the ASC group is likely to be on the back field or in the Forest, so please make your way around to the rear of the school via Skinners Lane, not via the Early Years play area.

Mr Hurkett would like to remind all parents and carers to provide a snack for children attending any After School Club please.

Oak Class parents & carers

If you've not already done so, please complete the Google form to give permission for your child to take part in the WCET concert on Wednesday 29th June.

West Suffolk Council Local Plan - have your say on affordable housing in Bardwell

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.

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Bardwell Church - June/July

Every Wednesday parents/carers are invited to the School's Collective Worship in the Church at 10.05am

Save the Date - July Messy Church, 9th July 2.30pm. Please note the change of date from that which was previously communicated.

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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, 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