This week at Bentley...
It would be fair to say that the dark, early mornings have been rather dark and with quite the range of weathers since half term! I hope that the frost and fog may abate by next week, but the beautiful sunny days would be welcome to stay!
Just a reminder that as it gets colder please ensure that all hats, scarves, gloves and any additional layers (jumpers, vest etc) are all LABELLED as these tend to get discarded throughout the school day as children exercise or the day gets warmer. Please also label ALL snack pots, as we have a couple of serial offenders leaving unnamed fruit pots about the playground, and we cannot return unnamed items to the right children.
A BIG thank you from the staff who feel much appreciated by everyone wearing their masks on the playground. I also thank each of you for your kindness towards the few parents and carers who are unable to wear a mask. It is not always easy to spot the medical exemptions tags and the list includes hidden conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders, autism, breathing difficulties, dementia, reduced vision or if you are with someone who relies on lip reading to communicate. It is at times like these where our School value of COMMUNITY comes shining through.
This is a final shout out for recipes for our Bentley cookery book. We would REALLY like one from every family so please email a favourite into the office with a picture or photo if you can this weekend.
Mrs Pinchess, Headteacher
As you are aware, we are now in national lockdown until December 2nd.
We have requested your help with some minor tweaks to keep to the new advice to try to stop the R from rising;
- Adults to wear face masks on the playground and to continue to collect children promptly; to keep moving across the playground at pick up (waiting for your child to come to you) to allow this to run smoothly for everyone.
- No snacks to be eaten until children get home; to continue the hand washing we follow and teach at school.
- No children to play together after school on the Rec in line with government expectations.
We have been reviewing the new guidance carefully in school and with governors, and will alert you when our updated Risk Assessment is posted on the website. At this time, we do not expect to make any other changes to our current practice, as our August plans were created ready for such a lockdown.
Afterschool clubs run by our teachers, and the CMSports childcare/coaches, are supporting our most vulnerable pupils and our working parents so will continue. We know the vast majority of outside swimming lessons and sports clubs have had to pause again for a month and are aware of the need for as much normality as possible for our pupils at this time to support mental health and physical well-being. Where possible, we will continue with local walks and school visits with all the usual risk assessments in place.
Should you prefer your child/ren to stop attending clubs or wish to collect them from school rather than use the school bus during this lockdown period when you may be at home again, then we quite understand. Please just email the office to let us know.
If your child is in the Extremely Vulnerable category then contact us via the School Office email to discuss this with Mrs Pinchess as soon as possible. You will be in receipt of a letter from a medical practitioner to confirm this and we do not currently expect this to apply to any children at school. If another member of the household is in this group and you would like to discuss any implications with the school then please also get in touch with Mrs Pinchess.
Should your child or a member of the household be in the clinically vulnerable category or have underlying health conditions then they are most likely to be able to remain in school at this time.
The government continues to prioritise the wellbeing and long-term futures of our children and young people and will not be closing early years settings, schools, further education (FE) colleges or universities. It remains very important for children and young people to attend, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians. Senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be, and so they should continue to go to school. Schools have implemented a range of protective measures to make them safe.
Childcare or education is one of the exceptions that children, young people and parents and carers can leave their home for. The full guidance published on Wednesday can be found at this link.
a huge THANK YOU TO…
… all the super children and staff who did a second speedy apple pick on a misty then glorious Thursday!
…all the fantastic PTFA members who have been picking apples at home and school. Special mentions to Mrs Mizen, Mrs Forbes, Mrs Proud and Miss Coombs. We are really excited to reap the benefits later in the term (apple vinegar and apple cider have been mentioned for the products from this final pick! Something for the grown-ups!)
…Mrs Proud for making her annual bonfire toffee apples to sell for the PTFA, and to Mrs Sarling for all her help too. We may not have been able to enjoy the bonfire or the fireworks as a community this year but we had MANY requests for this annual treat.
... William in Year 1, who baked cakes as part of his half term homework and then decided to sell them in aid of 5p Fridays. Both entrepreneurial and altruistic – great work William!
We have been very pleased to welcome two new permanent staff members to the team this week.
Mrs Carrie Mills is working with the Afterschool Wrap-around childcare team every afternoon. She is a dog walker in her day job but brings a wealth of experience from working in other schools, with particular expertise in art. She has already been introducing some lovely art activities to our pupils in the Junior bubble.
Miss Sarah Pidden has joined the Year R team. She also brings many years of expertise working with Infants. She is a great lover of all things Early Years and her passion for a child centred approach shines through. She is a teacher by training, but we are lucky that she is working in the support role alongside our teacher, Miss Smith.
We still have student teachers Miss Hunt in Year 1 and Miss Mead in Year 6 this month. Miss Martin has joined Year R as a student LSA for a two-week placement.
Madame Jones leads our ECO warriors at school and she has been overwhelmed by their amazing ideas and commitment already this term. This is a subject which we know most pupils feel very strongly about, and empowering the children to make small changes has had a very positive impact in reducing their anxiety about the planet, plastic waste and has allowed them to share their great ideas with the adults at home and school. Having met with the teams Madame Jones spoke to Mrs Pinchess about how the work could proceed and we are very excited to announce she will hold a once a term Environment lesson for each class.
We are also going to try to attend a Climate Summit through sessions being held for school pupils next week. You may want to talk about this at home too. Each day is themed:
Monday - Nature, Oceans and Water
Tuesday - Travel, Pollution and Waste
Wednesday - Food, Farming and Forests
Thursday - Fashion and Consumption
Friday - A Sustainable Future
Our ECO council would be happy to discuss further ideas from our pupils, parents and community so if you would like to raise a topic or have a great idea please click here and we will pass these to the ECO pupil team and Madame Jones. Expect to hear more from the children on this matter soon!
We will be observing a two-minute silence on Wednesday morning at 11am to remember all those who fought in the World Wars and other conflicts across the globe.
We will be running our super book fair again this year from Monday 16th November for three weeks. More details about how it will run will be in next week’s newsletter, but in the meantime take a look at the catalogues which will come home on Monday or check out their website by clicking here to see which books will be available to buy. As ever, Scholastic give back a percentage from all the books sold to us to purchase new, exciting books for the school library.
KS2 FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
Years 3, 4, 5, and 6 will be taking part in a football tournament on Tuesday, run by our super PE Leader, Miss Wiggins. The children will wear their usual PE kit and trainers, so please ensure all their kit is in school on Tuesday. Good luck teams!
The School Councillors have spent a LONG time today deciding what to buy and what they can afford from the PE equipment catalogues using the money from 5p Fridays. There was a huge amount of learning going on as they worded out costs and realised exactly how expensive school equipment can be! THANK YOU at home for saving up spare change and sending it in each Friday.
As the children have now worked out “EVERY 5p counts and together we can save it up!” They have also created wish lists and are going back to inspire the classes to save a little more before the end of term. It was very clear which classes were keen to save up for bigger items and which wanted to spend, spend, spend! If anyone has any spare BIG IKEA bags we are seeking some to keep their equipment in once it arrives in a couple of weeks.
So far our totals for money raised this term stands at;
Yr 3 = £73.01 Yr 1 = £71.58 Yr 2 = £45.19
Yr 4 = £44.74 Yr 5 = £40.30 Yr 6 = £27.43 Yr R = £24.80
Thank you to everyone who has sent recipes and pictures in. It’s not too late! We have extended the deadline to the end of the day on Monday, so please do get involved. We would love to include some more family meals, snacks and easy, quick tea recipes.
SPECIAL DAY – TEACH THE TEACHERS - FRIDAY 13 NOVEMBER
This is the next special event day chosen by our pupils for this academic year to raise funds for school (and to have a lot of fun!). The plan is to select something to teach the class and teacher. It costs £2 to take part and this needs to be paid for via www.scopay.com if your child wants to take part as a teacher. They need to;
- Plan their 5-10minute lesson and bring it into school on Thursday so the grown up teachers can plan the timetable for Friday
- Bring in any equipment they might need e.g a powerpoint on a memory stick; a Youtube/Bitesize clip link; or a worksheet master which can be photocopied at school as necessary.
They can choose to wear ‘teacher’ or sports coach clothes (if they want to)!
They can teach whatever they would like to within their allocated time of 5-10minutes. They might choose to teach;
- a sports skill
- share a clever maths strategy
- get the class to take part in a special art activity
- a song (this will have to be outside or in one of the halls so please warn us in advance!)
- share a fun family activity to inspire their friends
- a poem
…really they can teach ANYTHING they feel would be enjoyed by their class and teacher in a short lesson.
PTFA Birthday Parties
A big thank you to our super PTFA for suggesting the birthday parties. Year R to 3 are all having a special party in school this half term to make up for many cancelled/amended birthday plans.
Year 2 had their party this afternoon. The joy and excitement have been palpable all day and they had a great time. A BIG thank you to Mrs Proud for sorting 29 party bags, to Mrs P and Mrs Vogel for organising the games and getting the party fun underway (wine Fri-yay is hopefully looming afterwards!), and to all of you for supporting our PTFA fundraising with purchasing the party bags.