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Newsletter - July 2011
All of the sports days finally went ahead, thank goodness. Your support was brilliant and the children love it when you come along and cheer them on – thank you.
Thank you also for the questionnaires that have been returned. As I said we will be getting in touch with people at the beginning of next term to see if they want to be part of a focus group. We will have an initial meeting and then probably meet once per half term to monitor the issue.
The Leavers’ concert and disco went really well and everyone who attended from other schools and agencies agreed that ‘Meadow Farm has got Talent’. We wish all of the Year 6 the very, very best as they move to their respected senior schools.
The next six weeks are going to be really hectic in school. For the first two weeks controlled removal of asbestos is being undertaken. Licences have been issued and sealed units will be used to ensure no fibres can be released into the air. No one is allowed to enter the premises, particularly in these first two weeks so please ensure the children stay away.
When we return in September we should have a new kitchen and ventilation system, a new boiler, a new fire alarm system and all of the asbestos sorted. We are keeping our fingers crossed that all goes well.
If it doesn’t go well, and it is looking as if there is any doubt about finishing the work on time, we will be calling as many people as possible and also announcing decisions on the radio. We will do this as soon as any decisions have been made. There shouldn’t be a problem and if there is, it will more than likely just involve the kitchen. If this is the case we will be asking for people to be providing their children with sandwiches for a couple of days. As I’ve said – fingers crossed and we will let everyone know as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
The children have been allowed to wear different shoes for the last few weeks as we understand that it is not worth buying new ones that the children will grow out of during the holidays. Please however ensure the children have black shoes for the start of the new school year.
Last year we had 72 coats and endless jumpers, cardigans, shoes and PE equipment, apparently lost and left in school. Despite always saving this and displaying it on the evening of the parents’ meetings happen much of it remains unclaimed. If your child has lost something then please look in your child’s classroom or lost property.
The children return to school on Wednesday September 7th.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday.
Teddy Bear’s Picnic
Our annual TBP is this Friday (1st July). We will all be taking our picnics and teddies on the field and eating our lunch together. Following the picnic lunch those children who wish to can join in with a game of rounders. All the staff will be joining in!
Either bring your own picnic or ham, tuna, turkey, cheese, cream cheese or egg sandwiches are available from the school kitchen. If you have already paid for a school dinner for Friday and do not want us to provide sandwiches please send your child with a packed lunch and the money will be credited to next week. Fingers crossed for good weather.
Just a reminder that this is on Friday 1st July after school.
There was a general consensus to go for the more formal photographs this year. We will alternate this with the more ‘casual’ poses that we had last year, as this seems the fairest way to do it. Year 6 will always have both types of photographs taken so that parents/carers have a choice.
We are sending a questionnaire out to you next week. Please fill this in and return it to school, as your views are very important to us. If there are areas that appear several times we want to set up a working party to look at it in more detail. Please can you indicate on the form if you would be willing to be part of this group? We will meet once every half term at an agreed time during the school day or immediately after school.
Weather permitting these will be on.
The Junior sports will be all day on Friday (8th). We will be having a circus of events in the morning. These are the skills the children have been working on all year in their PE lessons. The competitive races will then be run in the afternoon.
The Foundation sports (Mrs Blanchenot, Mrs Beck, and Mrs Merchant’s classes) will be held on Thursday (7th at 9.30 am and the Infant sports (Miss Wood, Miss Small and Mrs Moncaster’s classes) will follow immediately after this (approximately 10.30 am). Thank you.
Activities in and out of school
The children have had some super experiences this term in addition to their educational visits. All of the children enjoyed a performance of the Railway Children, which was performed by professional actors. We have also had a professional dancer in school who worked with each class. The Year 4 children were invited to attend a concert at the Assembly Rooms in recognition of their excellent behaviour during the time they have been learning to play the clarinet. Year 2 attended a performance by the Togo Nogo team again in recognition of their behaviour and attitude to learning displayed by them during their road safety training. Finally towards the end of term all of the junior children are to be trained in First aid.
Important information – School Meals ServiceFrom 1st April we will be in charge of the school meals service ourselves. This was decided upon as it was agreed that we couldn’t stay with a service that was going to provide our children with reheated food from a warmer plate.
Things will be brilliant in the future but we need to ask for your continued patience for the time being. We have got to pay for the kitchen to be brought up to an acceptable standard from buildings money which we currently have. This money can only be spent on maintenance and improvements to buildings and no other area such as resources and staffing. As the Nursery was originally taken off us, and there wasn’t a need for a new building, the city are using the money to make the very necessary improvements to our Foundation unit and also to build us a new ICT suite. This work will be commencing in August (when a new boiler is being installed) and will continue until next April. We can therefore use our money to upgrade the kitchen. Although this was agreed with the city last Autumn it has taken until now for feasibility studies and tenders to be issued and we still haven’t got a definite date for the work to be completed by, although it is anticipated that it will be no later than the end of May.
We are therefore in the difficult position of coming out of the service on 31st March and then not being able to provide food for the children. However, we have come up with the best solution we can. The city has agreed to do some enabling work and will reconnect one of our ovens and then connect it to a fan in the ceiling. Mrs Bint and the kitchen staff can therefore provide dinners for the children which can be cooked in an oven. So jacket potatoes, pizza, flans and pies can be made and served but we will be limited in the vegetable department (there is salad of course). As I said at the beginning everyone will need to be patient but at least it will be better for our children in the long run.
The cost of a school meal will remain at £2 per day (free school meals continue in exactly the same way) but we must have the money for a meal in advance or at the latest on the same day.
If people want to pay by cheque for longer than aweek that is fine, but again this must be in advance of the children having a school meal as we have got to order and pay for produce in advance too. We can’t afford any debt ourselves as our budget is extremely tight.
Thank you for your understanding in all matters relating to school meals. We know it is the right thing to do for the children.
As the Royal wedding is taking place during the school Easter Holidays we have been given an additional day. We will therefore break up for the Easter holidays on Thursday 14th April. It is a long Easter break this year as it takes in the May Day holiday as well. We therefore return to school on Tuesday 3rd May.
Spring bank half term – We break up on Thursday 26th May (INSET DAY on the 27th) and return to school on Monday 6th June. Thank you.We will send another Newsletter out before Easter but thought you would want to have the full picture about the school meals provision.
Newsletter No 4 - February 2011
Brilliant news - Our kitchen should be open again by Easter and Alison Bint will return as our ‘cook in charge’. The Governors have decided, in principle, for our school to take on the catering service. This will mean that we can provide beautifully cooked (on our own site) and nutritional meals that the children will want to eat.
Our only problem is timing. We have to come out of the service on 31st March and because the Easter holidays are so late this year we have two weeks without an operational kitchen. We are currently looking at options to overcome this problem.
The problems with the kitchen have been a real headache for everyone involved and your continued help and support is very much appreciated.
A reminder please that those who are still having a cooked lunch need to pay for these on a Monday morning. The money should be placed in a named envelope with the child’s name and the days they are staying written on it. This should then be given to your child who will then place it in the ‘money bag’ during register. Thank you.
The PTA family disco is on Friday 11th February at the Jubilee club in Chaddesden. You have received an additional flyer about this already. It was a tremendous success last year and family tickets are a bargain.
As the Royal wedding is taking place during the school Easter Holidays we have been given an additional day. We will therefore break up for the Easter holidays on Thursday 14th April and not the Friday as originally planned.
You donated the sum of £289.44 at the end of the Christmas concerts. This really is very kind and much appreciated by all of the recipient charities. Your kindness really will help Ben to get his wheelchair more quickly. Again – thank you.
What a waste of money and resources! Our Nursery building is taken off us and ridiculous amounts of money are then used to turn it in to a Children’s Centre and now……………….
I’m sure you will be aware that it has been proposed that six out of the eighteen Children’s Centres in the local authority have been earmarked for closure. Ours is one of them. Since been fully opened (September last year) it has provided a valuable place for lots of our families who have children under five years of age and also their siblings.
We have just received copies of the consultation and if you would like to fill one of these in they are available at the office.
Newsletter No 3 - December 2010
School meals service
We are still unsure of the situation regarding the kitchen. Whilst it is being sorted we will continue to receive our ‘hot’ meals from another school.
Even though we have this difficult situation to deal with we need to move forward and make decisions about what we want the school meals service to look like when and if the kitchen is operational again. The Governing body have met and in principle agreed that, as a school, we want, in the future, to be responsible for providing our own meals at lunch time and not the local authority. This is because with the changes the city is going to be making we don’t think they will provide nutritional well cooked meals for the children that both we and you expect.
We really would appreciate your views on this so please let us know if you have any thoughts or have questions or queries regarding this.
These were really successful and the children were wonderful. Thank you for coming along and supporting the children, they really do appreciate it. Thanks to the staff for all their hard work. It was very much appreciated too.
Thank you for your generosity during the collections. We will let you know the exact amounts that have gone to each charity in the next newsletter as money is still being collected.
Thank you again.
This really did make a difference and will be used for many years to come. There were a few anxious moments when children saw their grown ups and forgot where they were but no one actually fell off it during the practices or the real thing, which we were very grateful for.
They have asked us to pass on their thanks to you for the donations of food which you made for this appeal. Due to difficult times they have been receiving fewer parcels (but it wasn’t the case here) at a time when there are more needy people than ever.
Singing competition at the Westfield Shopping Centre
The choir were tremendous and we got through to the finals, which were held last Wednesday. We sadly didn’t win but were worthy runners up and will receive a £100. With the winnings the children in the choir will be choosing music to play in school.
The children sang beautifully and were a credit to themselves and our school. A big well done to you all.
A reminder that we break up tomorrow (21st) and the children return to school on Wednesday 5th January.
Staff will be in school on Tuesday 4th having training on using lyrics and singing during Literacy.
Attached to this newsletter you have got a plan of the proposed building work that will be taking place during the next 18 months (It has been much delayed). This is to make the Nursery and Reception classes in to an up to date foundation stage and also to provide us with a decent sized ICT suite. We want to make it clear that residual money from the building of the Children’s Centre is being used for this and not any money from school funds.
Please look at the plan and if you have any thoughts, questions or queries please don’t hesitate to ask.
Everyone at Meadow Farm hopes that you all have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Newsletter No 2 - November 2010
School meals service
I’m sure you will have read in the press about the intended changes to schools meals. One of the suggestions is that there will be a central kitchen where meals are made. These would then be transported to school kitchens to be heated up and augmented with fresh produce. We don’t think this will provide the standard of meal you expect and pay for.
As we now have such a good standard of staff in the kitchen and the expertise to run a really good meals service, which will provide high quality, nutritional meals, that the children will love to eat, we were already thinking of coming out of the current service provided by the city. With the current uncertainties this is now a serious consideration and Governors will be looking at proposals and making a decision before Christmas.
I know lots of you are concerned about the planned changes and have already spoken to myself and the kitchen staff about this. If you wish to add to this debate then please do. We are sending a form to you to fill in. It simply asks whether you think we should stay with the current service or provide our own meals and there is also room for you to add comments if you wish to. Thank you in anticipation for your response to this.
It has arrived and looks very swish. The children will love performing on it and you should have a much better view of the children.
It is the turn of the Foundation Stage and Infants to do their performance this year and they are doing a production called Christmas Recipe. There will be two performances. The afternoon one is on Tuesday 14th December and the morning one is on Wednesday 15th December. The Juniors are singing a selection of Christmas songs and traditional carols on the morning of Tuesday 14th December. Letters with further information on and a request for tickets will be with you by the end of the month.
We have entered the Westfield carol singing competition again this year. We entered two years ago and were a brilliant second. Fingers crossed for equal if not better this year. The singing in the auditions would suggest better.
We have had cards of thanks for the gifts of produce received by our elderly neighbours again this year. A large amount of produce was also collected by the Padley centre, for which they were extremely grateful. The church looked lovely and the children were brilliant during the service and they sang beautifully.
Thank you for your generosity.
This is on Wednesday 8th December. To have a dinner on this day it must be ordered and paid for before hand in order for the kitchen staff to cater for the correct numbers. If you wish your child to have a Christmas dinner please can it be ordered and paid for by Wednesday 24th November. Unfortunately we will not be able to provide a Christmas dinner to children who order a meal after this date. Please use the order form at the end of this newsletter. Thank you.
Congratulations to Wendy Brett who has been appointed as one of your Parent Governors. She has a son Ryan, who is in Mrs Moncaster’s class.
These will be going around school each afternoon this week. We are suggesting a minimum of a 20p donation. Thank you.
An increasing amount of people are going to the office to pay for dinner money. Could it please be given by your child to their class teacher on a Monday morning? Please put it in an envelope with your child’s name, the days they are staying for dinners and the amount being paid printed on it. This will ensure that each classes dinner money is kept together and then banked accordingly. Thank you.
A reminder too that dinners need to be paid for in advance of your child having a lunch. Arrears have amounted to nearly £900 again and despite asking and having several reminders people are not paying what they owe. We don’t want to take further action but I’m afraid we will need to if the situation doesn’t improve. School has to pay for these arrears and whilst the Government in its spending review stated that school budgets would be safe – they are not. The base budget is safe but we stand to loose £112,000 in grants from April next year. That is the equivalent of the whole of our teaching assistant budget. We don’t have any money to spare in school now, so this will obviously hit us hard.
This is being held on Friday 3rd December. You will shortly be receiving a flyer for this.
The hugely successful Valentines’ dance at the Jubilee is to be repeated on Friday 11th February. This is a diary reminder and tickets will be on sale in the New Year.
Derby Lions appeal
We have a box in the entrance hall where we are collecting for this appeal again this year. They kindly ask for a donation of a tin of food or a packet of non-perishable food or drink which they distribute to the needy and lonely at Christmas. They have thanked us for our anticipated support.
Recently a lead OFSTED inspector came to our school for two days to do joint lesson observations with myself. We observed all the teachers over the two days and agreed on all the judgements made. He was overwhelmingly positive about all aspects of our school and commented that he had not seen such a good standard of teaching and learning in any school for a long time. He particularly liked how the children were relaxed and happy whilst at the same time working extremely hard. He also liked how the children are active learners and involved and engaged in their learning. He said that relationships between the adults and the adults, adults and the children and between children and children are outstanding across school the whole school.
I’ve already said a great big well done to the children and staff and need to say thank you to you too. We all know in school what a special place it is here but it’s good to have all our hard work recognised by an outsider as well.
Newsletter No 1 – September 2010
Welcome back everyone
A big welcome to Miss Pilkington who is covering Mrs Kay’s maternity leave until Christmas, Mrs Blanchenot who is now working part time in the Nursery, Miss Mills who is now working for us full time and all of the new children who have joined us this year. There is a real ‘buzz’ in school and the children have made an excellent start. All the hard work in school has already been recognised by an important person from the city who visited us last week. They said that the children were enjoying their learning which was at an excellent standard. They are a very experienced School Improvement Partner and could tell that the children are used to being on task and working in a variety of ways and that the ethos of the school oozed out of every pore. They were also impressed that the children work so considerately together and that the behaviour in class is exceptional.
Playing roughly at break times
This was banned in school at the end of last term as a very small proportion of children were finding it difficult to control themselves when playing more boisterous games and were ending up either hurting themselves and/or other children. These games always start off nicely but then get out of hand. I can hear myself at home, as I’m sure many of you do, saying, “It will end in tears”, and of course it often does. If children are playing rough they are asked to play something else and reminded that we don’t need to be playing roughly in our school. If they persist they are then told to stop playing the game and given a warning. If they still carry on then they stand on the terrace for the remainder of playtime. Persistent offenders will receive a further sanction but it is hoped that these children will quickly realise that playing roughly, which ends up with people getting hurt, will not be tolerated. Thank you for your support with this.
The catering service at the city council need to save money and are therefore trialling only offering two choices of meal at lunch time (meat/fish or vegetarian). This has caused difficulties with planning menus as the kitchen needed at least a month to find out
which meals are successful and which are not as we can substitute the least favourite with one of similar nutritional value. We can then provide the most popular meals that the children want to eat as well as cut down on waste. This is the reason why we have had to wait to send out the new menus to you. (You should receive yours along with this newsletter). Thank you for being patient.
PE kits, earrings and hair
Please ensure your child has their PE kit in school at the beginning of every week. Some children are not taking part in this important element of the curriculum as they are not adequately equipped. If your child’s hair is long enough to be tied back then they will be asked to do so and provided with a hair bobble for this.
One pair of small studs are allowed and these have to be taken out for PE or taped up for the first six weeks after the ears have been pierced. There is an increasing fashion of large colourful plastic ones and they can be dangerous. A child last week had the rubber end of one of these lodged in the back of their ears and it was extremely painful for them when the puss was oozing out of the back.
Dates for your diary
Our remaining INSET days this year will be –
Monday 1st November
Tuesday 4th January
Friday 27th May
We break up for half term on Friday 22nd of October and for Christmas on Tuesday 21st December (sorry to mention it so early).
The Christmas Fayre is on Friday 3rd December.
The staging will be here in time for the Infant production this year.