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.
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
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!
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
The school would welcome the following:
Games, puzzles and jigsaws
Bikes and Trikes for Nursery & Reception
Good quality books
Comics/games for wet playtimes
Thank you in advance for any donations.
Off By Heart
'Off by Heart' poetry recital competition took place before the
Each class voted for a class member to represent them in the
The final was preceded by some excellent choral speaking
recitals from both Reception classes before each class
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
you can offer help with this or know someone who can then please
refer them to the School Office - thanks!
The clothing bank is just inside the main gate. Any sort of
clothing/textile or footwear can be donated and in any
Just fill up a bag and deposit in the bank.
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
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.
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
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
Due to the administrative burden of checking attendance
and the inability to change the order daily unfortunately milk
money cannot be refunded for absence.
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.
starts at 10.30am so make a date in your diaries.
Organisers: Ann Brown, Susan Janulis, Julie Topping and Fiona
Our school choir will be performing at the Carnegie Theatre
along with choirs from other schools at 7pm on Wednesday 17th
Further details about this event and how to acquire tickets
will go home to the choir members in the near future.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Our sponsored event this year focuses on aerobic exercise.
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.
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
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.
'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
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
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
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!
As many of you will be aware there are some major concerns both
locally and nationally about the level of school funding.
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.
school is affected along with everyone else.
The school is
forecasted to lose over £150,000 by 2020 unless something
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
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
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.
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.
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
The Summer term menu is available to view
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).
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
Following on from the advert for this post in the last
newsletter the County have now received a number of
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.
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!
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
The site also has a parental information
In addition to the above the school has a
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
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
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
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
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
"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
Thank you for taking the time to read my
Chair of Governors
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
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!
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.
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
Of particular note are the 'Boot Camps' with daily
practice in Literacy and Maths.
access these click on the link in the 'Revision Zone' and log
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
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:
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!
Ensure your child has the best possible attendance at school.
Support your child with any homework tasks.
Reading, spelling and arithmetic (e.g. times tables) are
always good to practise.
Make good use of the web site - Revision Zone
Talk to your child about what they have learnt at school and
what book(s) they are reading (the character, the plot, their
Make sure your child has a good sleep and healthy breakfast
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.
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!
Children born between
1 September 2014 and
31 December 2014 can
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
.Children born between
1st January 2015 and
31st March 2015 can
free 15 hours a week from
Children born between
1st April 2015 and
31st December 2015 can
receive their free 15 hours
a week Nursery education from
Forms for applying for any of these intakes are available from
the School Office or just ring and we can post them out.
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
Each parent/carer or single parent/carer earns less then
£100,000 per annum
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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
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.
As some of you are aware we have a permanent Foodbank collection
point in school so donations can be made at any time.
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.
of foods that would be welcomed is below.
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.
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
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 -
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
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!!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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:
All pupils were also questioned on their views of the school in
the same week as parents.
The questionnaire was devised by the
The outcomes of the questionnaire will be shared
with you in the June newsletter.
For our coding beginners this month we are featuring ...
Design your own candy troll character and go on a multi-level
quest for candy to eventually help your character find its way
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:
Design your own custom dragon, then use programming to guide it
through fun puzzles on its quest for treasure and coins!
have to navigate through
complex castles, find power-ups, and conquer knights to get all
These programming challenges can also be easily accessed
clicking on the links in the 'Computing Zone' or using the QR
There are also many other coding challenges in this zone
that have featured in this newsletter over the last year and
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
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)
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:
Your child should be able to log on to Mathletics
and Times Tables Rockstars
Also there are many web sites that play
musical times tables to help children learn such as:
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
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.
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
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
She will be missed as a staff member however she will
remain in close contact with the school as Chair of 'Friends at