Beckstone Primary Newsletter
           Academic Year  2016/2017 ● Issue 9 ● May 2017

Larger versions of this newsletter are available on request from the school office or use "zoom" on website version.
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Dear Parents,

I hope and trust you all had a lovely Easter holiday and enjoyed the Bank Holiday yesterday.

We are already a week into the Summer term and this is a very short half term followed by a much longer one.

The next 3 weeks are a very busy time in the school calendar and also very important ones with end of Key Stage assessments/tests taking place in Year 2 and Year 6. If these involve your children please give them every encouragement, ensure they are well rested and well fed in the mornings of their tests! Further information on these is in an article later in this newsletter.

The rest of this half term also sees class photographs, a Superhero Non Uniform day, the Choir performing, first aid training for Year 6, the Governors' Challenge Day and the school swimming gala! Please take note of the dates on the back page so you are up to speed with all that is going on.

Best wishes

Mr Warbrick


Egg Dumping



All the pupils took part in an egg dumping competition that ran over the last week of last term.

The finals took place on the Friday the school broke up for Easter and Lewis from Year 1 was the eventual winner. He is pictured below with his trophy that he can keep.

Running alongside the pupil competition was a staff one and this was won by Mrs Walker who is also pictured below.

All in all it was an eggciting competition and that's no yolk!


Easter Competitions



The eggs and bonnets this year were of an amazing standard and a wonder to behold.

There is a gallery of all the designs on our web site; it is well worth a look.

Simply click on the film and photo gallery or follow the QR code below.

There is also a section showing the winners in each category although all were worthy winners and the judge, the cook Susan Armstrong, had an almost impossible job.


Sporting Success



Our gymnastics team took part in the County finals at Penrith towards the end of last term and they came 5th out of schools from all across the County.

We are very proud of them as they have worked really hard for the competition.

Well done to all and to Ms Gorman and Ms Fawkes who trained them before and after school.

Also, in the last week of term our tennis teams took part in an inter school tournament.

Whilst the teams didn't win they played very well and the organiser of the event emailed the school afterwards to specifically say how the children from this school were so well behaved and a credit to us.

We are also very proud of them.


Sporting Achievement



The school awards trophies for sporting behaviour on a termly basis. This term's winners (as well as previous winners) can be seen in the Sporting zone of our web site.

Please do have a look at the sporting zone as it is packed with information on sports and clubs at the school.

The winners for this term are also shown below and they were awarded the trophies in assembly last Friday.

Their trophies are kept with them in class for the term. Trophies will be re-awarded at the start of the autumn term.

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2


Behaviour Award



The school has been awarded the national 'BIG' Award for all of its work on anti-bullying.

The 'BIG' group, which consists of pupils, parents, staff and community members, meet regularly to review policies and procedures to ensure the school tackles any incidents of bullying in a prompt, fair and resolvable manner.

The school is only one of a few in the north of England to receive such recognition.

Congratulations to Mrs Pike (BIG Chair) and all the team!


Give Blood - Help save a Life!



The next donor sessions are from 3 to 7pm at the Bridge Centre in town on Tuesday 9th May.

The more people that attend the sessions the safer we all are if ever ourselves or our loved ones are involved in major traumas.

Further details can be found at www.blood.co.uk


Non Uniform Day



The next non-uniform day is THIS Friday, 5th May and this is a 'Superhero' day with the school supporting CfM's Cash for Kids appeal.

Children can come dressed as superheroes (pyjamas, onesies, costumes etc) to join in the fun or simply just not in uniform for a donation to the cause.


School Savings Account

Encourage your child to start saving towards Christmas 2017(!!) or a nest egg for something special they would like and make use of our school savings account facility. Simply call in at the School Office to open an account if your child does not already have one. There are rewards for regular savers! Again just ask at the School Office.


Class Photographs



The school photographer will be in school on Thursday morning this week. The visit this time is not for individual photographs (these take place in the Autumn term) but for class photographs. Proofs will be sent home for orders in the near future.




This increasingly popular club runs every Wednesday afternoon from 1.30 to 3pm.

There is no cost to join but a £1.50 levy is charged to cover the cost of refreshments etc.


Attendance Cup



The class with the highest attendance of 97.05% for the second half of the Spring term was 6JM and they are pictured below with their certificate and the trophy.

Consistent attendance is vital for success at school and it is the statutory duty of every family to ensure their children attend consistently and punctually.



Attendance matters!


Donations



The school would welcome the following:

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Games, puzzles and jigsaws

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Construction Equipment

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Bikes and Trikes for Nursery & Reception

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Good quality books

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Comics/games for wet playtimes

Thank you in advance for any donations.


Off By Heart



The 'Off by Heart' poetry recital competition took place before the Easter holidays.

Each class voted for a class member to represent them in the school final.

The final was preceded by some excellent choral speaking recitals from both Reception classes before each class representative performed.

All were excellent and were impressive as they had the self-confidence to perform solo in front of a large audience of children and adults.

All the children then had a vote and it was very close between all of them.

Shara from Year 4, however, was the overall winner and was awarded a £10 book voucher in assembly. She is pictured below.


PE Kit



It has been noted recently that there are a minority of children attending PE lessons in PE Kit that does not follow policy. The school has a clear policy to avoid items such as football shirts in order that parents are not pressurised into buying the latest kit at great expense.

This therefore is a reminder that the
PE Kit is light blue T shirts and black shorts plus appropriate socks and footwear (trainers). Ear-rings have to either be removed or taped over if families provide the tape for safety reasons.



Full details on the school uniform are available on page 14 of our Prospectus which can be found on our web site.

Simply click on the Prospectus and then find Uniform in the contents and click on that. Alternatively you can follow the QR Code.

Incidentally the Prospectus is packed full of information about all aspects of school life and is easy to find your way round by clicking on the links in the contents page.


Earrings



Whilst on the subject of ear-rings please note that the only jewellery allowed in school apart from watches are stud earrings.

If you are planning on having your child's ears pierced then the start of the summer holidays is an ideal time so that there is the necessary healing time when they can't be removed prior
to re-starting school.


Sports Sponsor Wanted!



Whilst on the subject of PE and kits (!) the school is looking for a local business to sponsor its competitive sports kits as some are in need of renewal.

Sponsorship will result in free advertising in this newsletter and on our web site and will also result in smart, happy and eager teams ready for sport!

If you can offer help with this or know someone who can then please refer them to the School Office - thanks!


Clothing Bank



The clothing bank is just inside the main gate. Any sort of clothing/textile or footwear can be donated and in any condition.

Just fill up a bag and deposit in the bank.

The school will benefit from profits made from this recycling opportunity so please don't throw out any clothes, just use the bank and help the children at the school!

The bank is open from early morning until the evening but is locked at night and weekends.

If you are bringing bags by car please come any time before 8.45am or after 9.15am (not at the end of the school day when there are children around) or in the evening up until 7pm.


School Milk



Milk is vital for growing children as it strengthens bones and teeth. Children in Reception and Nursery are entitled to free milk as are children who are eligible for free school meals and clothing vouchers (not the universal free meal for all FS & KS1 children).

Milk for this half term should have been paid by last Friday, please contact the School Office if you have missed this deadline and would like your child to have milk.

The cost of milk for the second half term of this term is £7.50 and needs to be paid for by the first Friday after half term (Friday 9th June).

Due to the administrative burden of checking attendance and the inability to change the order daily unfortunately milk money cannot be refunded for absence.


Go4it!

The next 'Go4it' club will meet in the Church Hall on the 4th Sunday of the month (28th May) and will consist of games, stories, music, cooking, competitions and fun for all.

The club starts at 10.30am so make a date in your diaries.

Organisers: Ann Brown, Susan Janulis, Julie Topping and Fiona Woodward


Choir Performance

Our school choir will be performing at the Carnegie Theatre along with choirs from other schools at 7pm on Wednesday 17th May.

Further details about this event and how to acquire tickets will go home to the choir members in the near future.

If other parents would like to attend then we can add you to the mailing list, just let the School Office know.

The lyrics of the songs they will be singing are on the 'Choir' zone of our web site.


Special Visitor

Pudsey Bear returned to the school in the week before the Easter holidays to say 'Hello' to the children and to personally thank us again for all the money raised for 'Children in Need' and the school's ongoing great work for charities locally, nationally and internationally.

Pudsey was welcomed warmly by all the classes and by staff.

He is pictured below with some of the Nursery children and with Mrs Rosser.

 

There are further pictures in the film and photo gallery of our web site.


School Swimming Gala



The school swimming gala takes place a week on Thursday, 25th May from 10am.

This will be the first gala in the new Leisure Centre. The school house teams will be competing against each other for the school trophy .

Children from Key Stage 2 will be watching the event. Parents/families are welcome but please note that the children from Key Stage 2 attending have priority over seating - there should be spare seats though at the back.

Last year's winners were Blue House who retained the trophy from the previous year.


BINGO NIGHTS



Thank you to all who attended the recent Bingo nights and to all who donated chocolate for prizes. Feedback from these events was very positive and hopefully everyone who came enjoyed themselves FAB/PTA made an astonishing £990 to support the school over the 2 nights.

All of the money raised will be used to support the children at the school and will also contribute to a subsidy to the cost of the summer trips.


Sponsored Aerobic Exercise

   

Our sponsored event this year focuses on aerobic exercise.

The mission will be to complete a circuit of 10 aerobic activities appropriate to the child's age.

Every child will bring home a sponsor form before half term.

Please help them collect sponsors from family &/or friends for the event that will be held on the first Thursday after half term.


Islamic Awareness Day



Recent national and international events have led to many misconceptions surrounding Islam which is in fact the second largest faith group in the UK.

The actions of extremists should not be taken as a reflection of a whole religion, for example if English football hooligans are Christian, does that mean all Christians are violent?

If we are to see the progressive development of a Britain at ease with its diversity then it is important to come together and address the threats posed by misunderstanding and learn about and celebrate our differences.

There is little ethnic diversity in our region so we have arranged an 'Islamic Awareness Day' on Wednesday 7th June to help with this process.

The pupils will learn about Islamic beliefs, customs and traditions during the day and the staff will receive training at the end of the day.

We have arranged for a parents' session from 2.45pm in the Sports Hall.

This session is open to all to learn more about Islam and to answer any questions you may have.

Please make a date in your diary and attend if you can.


Police 'Drop in Advice' Session



The school will now host a 'drop in' confidential advice and concern raising session with the local PSCO, Lauren McCurrie, at 2.45pm on Friday 26th May in the Rainbow Room.

You can call in before you collect your children if you would like to use this service.

In addition Harrington Youth Club have arranged for our Harrington area PCSO Lauren McCurrie to host local resident monthly 'drop in' information and advice sessions.

The date for the session this month is Saturday 27th May between 3 and 4pm.

It is hoped that this service will prove popular and will be used by residents.

Help and advice on a number of issues will be offered and residents can express any concerns they have in complete privacy and in confidence.


Be Sun Wise

As the days get hotter (hopefully!!) it is important that thoughts go to protecting children from the sun.

The children at the school spend a lot of time outdoors during the school day and lunch times in particular are times when the sun is at its hottest.

We shall be holding assemblies stressing the need for protection against the sun.

Please help your child by applying sun screen before they get dressed in the morning (it should last for the school day so children don't need to be applying it at school), ensure they have the minimum of skin showing and provide them with a hat to wear outside to protect their heads ... remember

'Wrap, Splat and Hat!


www.wrapsplathat.co.uk


School Funding



As many of you will be aware there are some major concerns both locally and nationally about the level of school funding.

The move to a national funding formula plus increased national insurance, pension contributions, rising costs etc are resulting in many schools facing reductions in their budgets.

Sadly our school is affected along with everyone else.

The school is forecasted to lose over £150,000 by 2020 unless something changes.

Full details on the potential cuts can be found at www.schoolcuts.org.uk or follow this QR code.



We need your support as this year's budget is already much less than last year's.

There is an open public meeting THIS Thursday at West Lakes Academy - see flyer below.

If you cannot make that meeting please either contact your MP to make your concerns known:

Sue Hayman MP
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4554
Email: sue.hayman.mp@parliament.uk


Or ask the party representatives who come canvassing for your vote for the General election what their policy is on the cuts to school funding.

The school has been working hard to ensure that the cuts will have the least impact on the quality and standards of education we can provide for your children and will go on doing so.

The concern that is shared across many schools is that with the severity of the funding crisis this may become impossible if something doesn't change.

Finally please be aware that if there is no change to the funding cuts and the new government is not intending to change it then there may be teacher strikes in the near future.


Packed Lunches



Linking to the above, as a result of the way school meal funding now works it helps the school budget for as many children as possible to have a school meal.

If your child has a packed lunch please re-consider and choose a school meal.

As well as being nutritionally balanced and checked the meals are of a high quality (as many of you tasted at the Parents' Meetings) and there is a vast array of choices.

If you do continue with packed lunches please ensure you abide by the school's Packed Lunch Policy as displayed above.

We have noted that some inappropriate items such as chocolate biscuits, chocolate yoghurts etc have been present in some packed lunches.

Please ensure that this does not happen!

Also please note we have no facilities to keep lunchboxes cool on hot summer days ... again a school meal is probably the better option.

The Summer term menu is available to view here.


Health



NHS Cumbria have developed a great website for parents that gives them a 'pathway' to diagnose what could be medically wrong with their child (e.g. if they have a high temperature).

There is a link to this site on our web site in the health area of our Parenting Information & Guidance Zone. It really is worth a look.

http://www.northcumbriaccg.nhs.uk/childadvice


Road Crossing Vacancy



Following on from the advert for this post in the last newsletter the County have now received a number of applications.

The recruitment process is now in its second stage and we hope for good news about an appointment to enhance the children's safety at the A597 crossing soon.


Half Term Activities



Any information the school receives about local activities for half term we will upload into the holiday activity zone of our school web site so do keep a look out!


Safeguarding/Child Protection

Full details on the county's policies, procedures and processes with regard to safeguarding plus analysis of outcomes of serious case reviews can be accessed through the Cumbria LSCB Web Site at www.cumbrialscb.com

The site also has a parental information zone.

In addition to the above the school has a 'Safeguarding Zone' on its web site which contains the above link as well as relevant school policies, further information and a diagram showing how we keep your child safe in school.

It is well worth a look.


 



If you ever have any concerns about the safety or well-being of a child then you can ring your concerns through to the County's 24 hour 'Safeguarding Hub' number and you can remain anonymous if you wish.

Callers can outline their concerns and the Safeguarding Hub will give advice (consultation) and if necessary undertake an assessment of need.

There is now also an adult NSPCC helpline where any concerned adult can seek advice if they are concerned about a child and would like advice on whether to make a referral.

The number to call is:


Domestic Violence



Debbie Cook, our Educational Support Manager has trained to be a 'Domestic Violence Champion' and is a resource available to any adult who would like to confidentially share incidents with her and is a very good source of advice.

Just contact the School Office to get in touch with her.

Domestic violence is on the increase and causes terrible harm to victims and the associated children.

It is everyone's responsibility to ensure it is eradicated. We are working closely with the Police and the school will learn of any incidents in order to support any children whose lives are affected by any incidents.


Welcome to the first Governors blog for Beckstone Primary School! I have recently taken over the role as Chair of Governors; however I have been a member of the Governing Body for over 11 years and Vice Chair for a number of these years.

I would firstly like to tell you a little bit about myself. I am a forty something (for those who know the actual figure please do not divulge!), full time working mum of two children and a step-child. I am married and live in High Harrington. Both my children have had a very happy primary education in Beckstone's care. My daughter is almost 18 now and my son is 12. My son is now in Year 7 so was a Beckstone 2016 leaver.

I applied to be a parent governor when my daughter was in Year 2. Three local schools (Harrington Infants, Harrington Juniors and Garth School) had recently amalgamated to become what we now know and love as Beckstone Primary School. I felt I wanted to give something back to the school and the community in which it resides. When I knew my son was due to leave a co-opted Governor position became available so I transferred to a co-opted Governor so I could continue to support the school when both my children had left.

So on to the Governing Body and what we do. The role of a school Governor is to provide strategic support and accountability to the school. The National Governors' Association describes the role of a governor as that of a "critical friend", which I believe is a very good analogy. That means we're there to ask questions, to check facts and figures, but not to act in an operational capacity and get involved in "doing". It is important that the Governing Body is made up of a variety of people, including parents. However, Parent Governors must also be able to step back from the role as parent and see things objectively, setting aside any personal feelings.

"Bridging communities ... promoting learning and excellence ... shaping the future" is Beckstone's school motto and during my time as a Governor I have seen this demonstrated by all involved with the school. All at Beckstone are on this journey together: the pupils of course; also the teachers and support staff, who are regularly taking part in training sessions and exploring new methods of teaching; parents who are attending workshops and parent evenings learning about how best to support their children's learning, and Governors, like me who are not only undertaking formal training, but also learning about all areas of school life and the education system with each visit to the school.

Apologies for the first blog being a little long but in the forthcoming newsletters I will ask each Governor to tell you a little about themselves and their journey as a Governor at Beckstone.

Coming soon are the SATs and I am sure you will all get behind the children undertaking the KS1 and KS2 assessments and I for one will be in school wishing them the best of luck!

Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog.

Angela Johnston
Chair of Governors
 

Governor Challenge Day

The School Governors will be in school all day on Tuesday 23rd May. They will be visiting classes and talking to the children about their work and their learning behaviours.

It is very positive to have pro-active Governors who can see the school at work first hand as it brings to life the reports and survey outcomes they receive. They will be able to witness the motivated and exceptionally behaved children we have at work as they push the boundaries of their progress. At the end of the day the Governors will then meet to review the day and will also hold their half termly
meeting to enable them all to attend training that evening on Governor effectiveness at Hunday Manor.

 

Parent Governor Vacancy

We have had a good response from parents who wish to become Parent Governors which is very pleasing. As a result there will be an 'election' booklet with a voting slip sent home in the near future which will include details of how to vote.

With the Council elections on Thursday, the General Election in June and now a Parent Governor election then things have come in 3s!
A good few weeks for democracy!

 


School Fund



At a time of financial pressure on school budgets we are in need of donations to this fund more than ever.

The fund is donation based (for example the businesses advertising in this newsletter provide donations to this fund) and is used to fund the coaches for sporting events, buy many consumable items and fun activities for the pupils as well as many other things for school that enable us to provide services free of charge.

Please help if you can by donating to this fund. Any donation, however small, would be greatly appreciated!

Regular donations are greatly welcomed.


Revision



The 'revision' zone for pupils to use on the web site is growing all the time with revision materials for children at the end of Year 1 (phonics - this also applies to Year 2 children who did not achieve the pass mark of 32 out of 40 last time and will be sitting it again), and also for all the children at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2.

To access the area you will need to use the user name and password supplied by school.

Do have a look and encourage your children to use it.

The zone contains many revision materials and also past papers.

Of particular note is the Year 6 Revision Zone as their tests are really close now. There are a lot of resources to help them revise.

Of particular note are the 'Boot Camps' with daily practice in Literacy and Maths.

To access these click on the link in the 'Revision Zone' and log in.


May - The school testing month!



The timetable for the Year 6 SATs are in the revision zone as described above and are also reproduced on the back page.

The SATs take place in the week beginning the 8th May i.e. NEXT WEEK!!

The Year 2 SATs take place the following week. Again the timetable is in the revision zone and is reproduced on the back page. The Year 2 tests are in the following form:



Supporting Your Child during their SATs week:

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First and foremost, support and reassure your child that there is nothing to worry about and that they should always just try their best. Praise and encourage!

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Ensure your child has the best possible attendance at school.

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Support your child with any homework tasks.

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Reading, spelling and arithmetic (e.g. times tables) are always good to practise.

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Make good use of the web site - Revision Zone

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Talk to your child about what they have learnt at school and what book(s) they are reading (the character, the plot, their opinion).

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Make sure your child has a good sleep and healthy breakfast every morning




Free revision classes for Year 6 children which take place on a Wednesday and a Thursday from 8.20 to 8.50am run on into SATs week, that is until the end of next week.

Revisewise classes will then be offered to Year 5 children from the week beginning the 15th May.

These sessions provide a great opportunity for your child to hone their skills in readiness for their tests next year.

A separate letter about this was sent home to Year 5 children last week.


Herbs



Don't forget you are welcome to help yourself to a pinch of herbs to brighten up your home cooking.

The sign above the herbs (in front of Ms Ollett's class, to the left of the front door as you look at it) gives ideas as to how you can use them to add flavour to your cooking and is reproduced below.

You only need little sprigs to add bags of flavour!


Nursery Intakes



Children born between
1 September 2014 and 31 December 2014 can receive their free 15 hours a week from January 2018 and should be applying for Nursery now!

If you know of any children with birth dates between these times and would like their child to come to this school then please ask them to get in touch with the School Office as soon as possible.

.Children born between
1st January 2015 and 31st March 2015 can receive their free 15 hours a week from April 2018.

Children born between
1st April 2015 and 31st December 2015 can receive their free 15 hours a week Nursery education from September 2018.

Forms for applying for any of these intakes are available from the School Office or just ring and we can post them out.


Salterbeck Youth Club



The Salterbeck Youth Club meets every Thursday from 5 to 6pm at the Oval Centre. New members are always welcome so please encourage your child to be active and join in at the club!


30 Hours Update



The Governors are looking into how the new '30 hour' offer will work at the school (the extra 15 hours can be used for Educare, Breakfast Club or Beckstone Xtra).

Parents of children of January or April starters will be contacted soon and also will hear about their eligibility for this offer from the County.

To be eligible you must have a Nursery aged child and the following must apply:

  • Both parents/carers or single parent/carer are working
     

  • Each parent/carer or single parent/carer earns weekly equivalent to 16 hours at the National Minimum Wage (for those 20 and under £89.60 from April 2017 or for those 21-24 years old, £112.80 from April 2017 or National Living Wage or for those over 25 the National Living Wage equivalent of £120 after April 2017)
     

  • Each parent/carer or single parent/carer earns less then £100,000 per annum


Notes:

  • If eligible parents are on parental, maternity, paternity, adoption, or statutory sick pay then the above continue to apply
     

  • If one parent is employed and fulfills the above conditions and the other parent has substantial caring responsibilities or is disabled or incapacitated and are on specific benefits.

The 30 hours offer extends the 15 hour Nursery teaching session over a week. These hours are optional and can be used across 2 providers and can be 'banked; for holiday care at another provider if wished. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure they use their hours accordingly (they don't have to be used at all).

The 'extra' 15 hours a week can be used for FREE Educare sessions or for our extended services e.g. a child could stay for a number of full working days in a week.

There is likely to be a high demand for places so additional hours need to be booked well in advance as once a service at the school is full there will be no further places. In addition priority for places will go to any new starters in January and April for their 15 hour entitlements.

How all this will work will be a learning curve for school and for families as it is a new initiative that starts from September. Indeed the school may be able to offer additional places in the near future as we have just learnt that we are one of only 3 schools in Cumbria that has been chosen by the Department for Education for capital funding for an additional new building to help support this offer. We will of course keep you updated about this exciting development once we know more.


Additional Child Care Support



As well as the 30 hour offer for Nursery aged children the Government is also introducing tax free childcare for children of all ages.

For example all working families of primary aged children can sign up to a scheme whereby for every £8 of childcare costs (e.g. Breakfast Club and Beckstone Xtra) the government will add an extra £2 up to £2,000 per child in any one year.

In addition for families with children from 0 to 15 there are also offers coming soon where the Government would meet up to 70% of childcare costs or 85% if claiming Universal Credit.

For further information on these developments which could greatly enhance household budgets see the poster below or visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk where you can register your interest and you will be emailed updates.


Walk to School



All children who walk to school at least once a week this term will receive their final set of stickers for their puzzle books. Please support your child with this.


QR Codes



QR stands for 'quick response'. QR Codes, if you don't know, are those funny black and white boxes you see in newspapers and magazines such as the image alongside.

These are placed within this newsletter at relevant points to give you quick access to websites mentioned.

All you have to do is 'Install a free QR code reader' to your phone/tablet, just search the App/Play store using 'QR', and simply scan the code.

Why not try downloading it and scan this code and see if it works. It should take you directly to our school web site.

So, sit back with a cup of tea, your phone, this newsletter (or indeed if reading it online on our web site next to a pc) and scan around all the very useful web sites mentioned.


Foodbank



As some of you are aware we have a permanent Foodbank collection point in school so donations can be made at any time.

The collection bin can be found near the door that leads into the front playground by the Reception classes.

There are around 600 families in the area that regularly have needed to use the Foodbank so any donations would be greatly appreciated.

A list of foods that would be welcomed is below.


Reading Books



There are high quality texts on book stands across school.

Children are welcome to borrow them as long as they complete the signing out card and then sign them back in again.

We are hoping to instil a love of reading so please encourage them to do this.

We will be adding to stock over time and donations of money towards new books would be welcomed.

We will write 'Donated by ...' Or any other message the donor would like to add inside the front cover. inside the front cover.


Beckstone's Extended Services

Our extended services include:

the Breakfast Club (£3.50 from 7.30am, £3.00 from 8am);

Educare (our popular afternoon child care provision for morning Nursery children priced at £3.00 an hour (£4.20 however for the first hour including lunch) until 3.00pm

and Beckstone Xtra (again £3.00 an hour) from the end of the school day until 5.15pm.

Please can Breakfast Club users note the new door which also has an electronic lock to enhance security.
Please press the bell for attention and don't try to forcefully pull the door open - thanks.

All of our extended services provide extremely competitively priced child care (the price per hour is £3) at either end of the school day and are very popular.

New children are always welcome.


Shopping Gateway



We are in partnership with a charity called 'School Angel' to raise money for the school.

This is really simple to use and you can visit via our web site by clicking on the 'Shopping Gateway'.

Once on the page all you need to do is click on the logo for whatever shop/service you would like to visit.

The school will receive commission from these firms at no extra cost to you; it is just a gateway to access websites.



PLEASE DO TRY TO SUPPORT THE SCHOOL WHEN YOU SHOP ONLINE ...
PARTICULARLY IF BOOKING SUMMER HOLIDAYS!!


Moving online!

The school is aiming to shortly have a Facebook presence that will allow Facebook users to receive news feeds about the school if they so wish.

The Facebook page will be open and will consist of updates about the school and links to updates on our web site.

As a result any photos etc will only appear from our web site following clicking on a link.

It is hoped this will dissuade children who are under 13 using Facebook but will allow adults to receive updates about the school.

We will let you know further details and then after a while we will be contacting you to ask whether you would prefer a Facebook news feed or a text message about school events/issues rather than receiving 2 separate messages.

This newsletter is always available online on our web site and we will also be contacting you about options for future newsletters with regards to moving it online or maintaining a paper version.


Phonics



With the Phonics screening checks for Year 1 and some Year 2 pupils next month it is perhaps timely for all parents to be reminded of the Phonics Phases and Phonics work in school and the following 2 pages have been devoted to this. Learning sounds phonetically and how they blend together and are represented in writing are important skills for all children so please do try to support your children with their learning at whatever age. There is a checklist to help you understand what 'Phase' of Phonics your child is operating in.

In addition the Government have issued a booklet called 'Learning to Read Through Phonics'. This is a very useful parents' guide and can be accessed through our 'Parenting & Information Zone' on our web site



There is a very useful booklet entitled 'Letters and Sounds - Phonics Information for Parents and Carers' which can be downloaded from our web site. Simply visit the 'Parenting Information and Guidance Zone' and click on 'Phonics Information for Parents'. With the increased emphasis on phonics teaching from the Government as the vehicle to ensure children are reading by the end of Year 1 it is well worth re-reading this booklet.



The purpose of the following section is to summarise parts of that booklet and enable you to check your child's phonetic knowledge at home and support them in their phonics learning. Children in Year 1 and those in Year 2 who didn't pass last year will be tested with 'real words' and 'nonsense' words. A sample of the test which you may wish to try on your children is in the revision zone on the web site (use the name 'bps' and password 'home'). The check will be in the form of flashcards ... the plain ones are 'real' words and the ones with alien pictures are the 'nonsense' words that have to be pronounced phonetically correct.



The teaching structure for phonics runs over 6 phases ...  these are summarised below with approximate timings and age expectations. Please note that a '
phoneme' is the sound of the letters and a 'grapheme' is what  they look like written down.

On the following page are assessment sheets that can be used to support your child. They are assessed at school and work is targeted to help them develop their phonetic knowledge. This work may be ongoing well into the upper end of Key Stage 2 for some children so don't worry too much if your child is not at the stage you think they should be yet as children develop their reading at different speeds.



We have added some resources to help you support your child at home to the 'Parenting Information and Guidance Zone' including some posters and a link to Mr Thorne's phonics site - this is excellent and you and your child can watch videos for the appropriate phase (use the menus on the black bar across the page) and watch Mr Thorne pronounce them correctly

With all the increased focus on phonics and at such a fast pace it is important to also understand that
children will only read when they are ready and that their phonics alone will not produce fluent readers. There are many other strategies to help children read that we deploy in school and that you can do at home such as sharing reading every day. It is of the utmost importance that children do not feel pressurised or stressed if they cannot grasp these aspects of reading straight away - to become a lifelong reader that gains great enjoyment from reading then reading needs to be seen as a pleasure not a chore.






Jaydn's Charity Hair Cut



Jaydn from 3/4DP will be getting her hair cut short for charity on the 1st June.

All money raised is going to the Alzheimer's Society.

If you would like to help her in her very worthwhile challenge there is a donations tin in the School Office all through the month of May.


High Harrington Community Centre



The Community Centre is in Crook lands in High Harrington and is colloquially known as the 'Green Hut'.

It is a very competitively priced and useful resource for all in the community to use.

To hire this facility for any event then please contact Marjorie Rae on 01946 831004.

The venue can be used for children or adult parties, meetings etc. and hire rates are very reasonable indeed.

If you do hire this venue please let Marjorie know you read about it in this newsletter.

Also please pass on the following details to anyone you think may be interested:


 Pupil Questionnaire Outcomes



All pupils were also questioned on their views of the school in the same week as parents.

The questionnaire was devised by the School Council.

The outcomes of the questionnaire will be shared with you in the June newsletter.


Computing



For our coding beginners this month we are featuring ...

https://www.tynker.com/hour-of-code/candy-quest

Design your own candy troll character and go on a multi-level quest for candy to eventually help your character find its way home.

You'll solve coding puzzles to navigate your character through the human world, while avoiding obstacles and collecting gumdrops and mints.

More advanced users might like to try:



https://www.tynker.com/hour-of-code/dragon-dash


Design your own custom dragon, then use programming to guide it through fun puzzles on its quest for treasure and coins!

You'll have to navigate through complex castles, find power-ups, and conquer knights to get all the treasure.

These programming challenges can also be easily accessed clicking on the links in the 'Computing Zone' or using the QR code.

There are also many other coding challenges in this zone that have featured in this newsletter over the last year and more.


Homework



Your child will receive homework at different levels and times depending on their school year.

Please try to ensure your child completes the homework set as it will help them with their studies.

We are currently completing a homework review following comments on the parent questionnaire and will be reviewing our policy over the next few weeks to ensure consistency, quality and manageability as best as we can.



The most important homework is to ensure your child reads often, at least once a day for 20 minutes. Reading and understanding what is read is the key to being an effective learner.

The other key homework we want to stress this month is the importance of learning the
Times Tables!!

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Children by the end of Year 2 should know their 2, 5 & 10 X tables by heart and know how to divide by these numbers (i.e. the times table in reverse)
 

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By the end of Year 4 (!!) in the new Curriculum the children should be able recall multiplication facts to 12 X 12 and use them to derive quickly the corresponding division facts

Ongoing assessments are showing that times tables recall is not as good as we would like it to be. As a consequence we are URGING you to help your child learn these.

The times tables are in the back of the reading journals and reproduced for display at home on the next page.


 

Printable worksheets are available here:


http://www.timestables.me.uk/printable-pdf-quiz-generator.htm


Your child should be able to log on to Mathletics


http://uk.mathletics.com/


and Times Tables Rockstars


https://ttrockstars.com/login


Also there are many web sites that play
FREE musical times tables to help children learn such as:


http://www.songsforteaching.com/math/multiplicationsongs.htm but there are many more.


Alternatively there are many great videos on YouTube such as Mr DeMaio's covers of recent pop hits but with times table lyrics (Mr DeMaio is an American maths teacher who has made some excellent videos simply search DeMaio Times Table Songs e.g. the 3X table video is a remake of Uptown Funk!).

CDs are easily available through Amazon etc. to play in the car when travelling etc.

Links to the worksheets and songs can be found in the 'Parenting Information Zone' on the web site.

Please support us in PRIORITISING the learning of times tables.

Children from year 1 upwards will be having regular times tables tests/quizzes to check on learning.


Staffing News



Ms Fawkes will be off for most of this half term following an operation on her knee last week.



Mrs Moore has recently begun her maternity leave and we wish her all the very best for the birth of her second child.

As one goes another returns!



We will welcome back Mrs Needham from her maternity leave next week and we are all looking forward to her re-joining the team. She will be teaching 3HF for 4 days a week with Mrs Yoxall teaching the other day.

The above news means that we will be saying goodbye to Mrs Finlay.



Mrs Finlay has been teaching 3HF this year and has been covering Mrs Needham's maternity leave.

Mrs Finlay joined the teaching staff of the school (after many years as a senior teaching assistant) last year.

She started as a 'Newly Qualified Teacher' (NQT) and we are delighted to inform you that she was fast tracked through her probationary year and has achieved qualified teacher status early.

We wish her every success in the future and are secure in the knowledge she is an effective teacher.

She will be missed as a staff member however she will remain in close contact with the school as Chair of 'Friends at Beckstone'
 



This newsletter has been sponsored by the following local businesses.
Please look out for their advert and support them when you can.
Please mention that you have seen their advert in the school's newsletter!

> Beckstone Services <
> Councillor Marjorie Rae <
> Harrington Pharmacy <
> High Harrington Community Centre <
> M Graham Roofing Contractor <
> PBA Windows <
> Robinsons & Co <
> S&H Flooring <
> Step by Step <
> The Wobbly Wand <
> Tracy Cunningham Nail & Beauty Clinic <