MIDSOMER NORTON PRIMARY SCHOOL
Head Teacher: Mr Damian Knollys LLB (Hons) NPQH
www.midsomernortonprimaryschool.com 01761 412289
Dear Parents, Carers and Friends, Term 1 Autumn 2010 24 September 2009
Mon 27 Sept CLUBS START THIS WEEK – please see notes about exits on page 2
Thur 30 Sept PSG AGM 3.30pm (in school – venue t.b.c.)
Thur 23 Sept Norton Hill Open evening
Thur/Fri 14/15 Oct School Photographs
Fri 15 Oct 1.30pm Harvest Festival service in Church
Every school has its landmark events: the opening of a new building, a change of leadership, an
inspection. We learned this week that we face one such landmark in our history, namely the
retirement of Mr Brown, our caretaker, later this autumn. It is no exaggeration to say that the
school will not be the same without him. He has been a pillar of our school community, a great
role-model for our children and a wonderful colleague. He was himself a pupil here in its
Somervale days and knows the place like the back of his hand. I know that parents and carers
will want to join me in wishing him a happy and well-earned retirement when it comes.
Expectations and Behaviour I don’t know how many of you saw John Humphrys’ excellent programme
on Monday, Unequal Opportunities, about the attainment gap between children from families with different incomes. If
you missed it, here’s a link to a summary: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11331574
One of the strongest themes was how schools in some of the most challenging circumstances are providing
an outstanding education for their children. The common themes in all these schools were high expectations, rock-
solid discipline and outstanding leadership at all levels. If we aspire to the same quality at Midsomer Norton Primary
School, then we have to deliver all three of these. We don’t have a significant behaviour problem, but we cannot be
complacent. Staff have raised concerns about attitudes to learning. Close observation of lessons, plus recent
educational visits off-site, raise issues around listening skills, levels of effort and independence.
In order to address these issues, staff agreed last week to trial a new behaviour system, which will deliver
greater clarity and consistency for everyone concerned. This system, which was at the heart of the work Ms Biss and I
did at Moorlands, will underpin our expectations of children’s behaviour and the effort they put into their learning. For it
to work, it requires the commitment of everyone involved: the pupils, parents, carers, staff and governors. That means
that you, too, need to be uncompromising in your expectations of your children, in terms of conduct and attitudes to
In Assembly this week the children were introduced to the Respect Rules:
Remember we are all equal
Everyone works hard
Stay cool when things go wrong
People listen to each other
Enjoy playing fairly and safely
Care for your school
Take responsibility for your actions
Please take time to talk through each of these with your child this weekend. For our part, we are looking closely at
what we need to do to raise our game, in response to the parents’ survey and the data coming from assessments and
lesson observations. We can achieve an outstanding education for your children only if you expect your children to be
outstanding, too. Listening, independence and effort are a good place to start.
Parents’ Survey The Chair of Governors, David Evans, will be writing to you about the outcomes of the
summer survey, once they have been presented to the Full Governing Body next week.
Mrs Webb We are pleased to announce that Mrs Webb is expecting her first baby in the spring. I
am sure you would wish to join me in congratulating her and her husband on this excellent news. Preparations
are already under way to employ a high quality teacher during her absence.
Meurig says: “Y6 Camp was fabulous. 10 out of 10. It helped me overcome my fear of heights.”
CLUBS START next week: please collect your child from the Year 1/2 cloakroom exit on the church side of the
school … except Glee-Choir-Dance on Thursdays, who will exit from the Sainsbury’s side Y1/2 cloakroom.
Last week’s Top House were CORVUS!
House Points so far this year:
Corvus 179 Aquila 193 Phoenix 137 Pegasus 195
Calling all Nursery parents Your child may have only just worked out where everything is in our temporary
Nursery, but it is time to start thinking about Reception places for September 2011. Having a place in our
Nursery does NOT mean pupils automatically come to our school. After all, we have far more places in Nursery
than we do in Reception. B&NES will very shortly be sending letters to parents of children who will be 4 by 31
August next year, to ask you to apply for reception places. You can do this on line or on a paper application. If
your child attends our Nursery and you have not had chance to look around the rest of the school, we have an
OPEN DAY for prospective parents on Tuesday 28 September – from 9.30 to 11.30 and from 1.30 to 2.30. No
appointment is necessary – just come along to the school office between those times.
Y6 parents Similarly, your children are no sooner back from Osmington Bay with heroic tales of their Camp,
than you have to start on the secondary school open evening season. Letters from B&NES were posted first
class on 17 September with instructions on how to apply for your secondary place. Families who pay their
council tax to an authority other than B&NES (e.g. Somerset) should hear direct from that council.
Health and Safety This often gets a bad press with annoying little forms and extra procedures, but it has
never been more important to us at school than right now. We had a potential incident last week when a small
child almost slipped out into the Sainsbury’s slip road. This was because someone had moved the bottom
section of the red/white ‘Lego’ barrier at the new entrance to the school playground. This totally negates the
whole point of having the safety walkway between our entrances. Please ensure that you obey all the health
and safety notices on and around our site, and do not move any barriers without checking with the school office.
Remember, you can be held personally liable if someone gets hurt.
Forms and Agreements We have now issued Home School Agreements and Consent for School Visits to all
classes. Please return them as soon as possible to avoid the office having to send reminders! People who
create extra work for the admin of the school are creating extra costs for the school, and that directly affects
what we can spend on the children.
Annual Data Audit We shall shortly be issuing the Individual Data Sheets for parents to check telephone
numbers, contact details etc. If you have a new phone or email to tell us about, it would be helpful to have
these over the next week, then you will be checking our updated records. Please send notes to the office.
Head Teacher’s Awards
were given out in last week’s Friday Assembly to the following pupils for the excellent example they set in the school
Megan Harvey Joshua Jason
Carys Curtis Atley
Scooters/Bikes on premises As part of our School Travel Plan, we are happy for children to use scooters to
come to school. We have nowhere for bikes to be stored, but scooters can be kept outside next to the Year 1/2
cloakroom door at the foot of the wall by Mr Kaye’s fire exit. Scooters are left at their owners’ risk. Please note
that scooters and bikes should never be used on the school premises and should be wheeled on foot to their
New Build update All the first phase of demolition has taken place. To keep up-to-date with developments,
have a look at the new building page on our website:
Carnival Royalty We are delighted to report that Miss Carnival for Midsomer Norton this year is one of our
own pupils. Georgia was successful in the contest and was up against some impressive opposition … a lot of it
from among our pupils. Well done to all who took part and we wish Georgia a very happy term of office.
Kilve Court is offering the following Enrichment Courses for Autumn 2010. Courses cost in the region of £135
but financial support is sometimes available in the form of a grant if you contact Kilve Court (01278 741270).
Please call into the school office to pick up a leaflet. (Pupils on free school meals may be able to apply for “Your
Time” funding to part fund a course).
Dragons and Saints Yrs 5/6 Living in a Material World Yrs 3/4
Planetary Science & Exploration Yrs 5/6 Make a Play ‘The Arabian Nights’ Yrs 6/7/8
Charterhouse History Mysteries Yrs 5/6 Vikings in Somerset Yrs 5/6
Go: The Ancient Strategic Game Yrs 6/7/8 Wacky Races Yrs 6/7/8
Santa’s Workshop Yrs 3/4/5 Christmas Science Challenges Yrs 3/4/5
Funtastic Fairies Yrs 4/5/6 Christmas Clay Yrs 4/5/6
Music is Magic Yrs 6/7/8
Bottle Top Collection This collection has now ended but was a great success! We probably collected over 6
black sacks in total and we thank all of you who contributed.
What does ‘respect’ mean? Why is it important? Who deserves respect? How can we show respect to other
Talking Point is a prompt for conversation with children at home. The idea is to get children talking, to get them thinking, developing
their understanding of the world and their skills as learners. You can adapt the ideas for younger children.
Lost property The office has become the resting place to one homeless teddy. He moved in at the end of
term and has still not been claimed. He is a light brown, about 2ft 6” tall, with a pale blue ribbon. Someone’s
bedtimes must be the poorer without him. Please come and take him home. We also have a lady’s gilet, black
with a furry dark grey lining.
Community News An update on things going on in and around the area. Please feel free to notify us (by
Wednesday) of any items to go in. The school does not actively endorse or vouch for any event publicised here.
Half term holiday cycle training for 8-11 year olds There is a Bikeability level 2 course at Widcombe Junior School in the October half
term. 27, 28, 29 October either 10am to midday or 1pm to 3pm over the three days. £20 per place.
Bath Festival Of Children’s Literature
Dr Who, Time Riders, Tyrannosaurus Wrecks, Horrid Henry, Rabbit Rescues, Hamster Massacres, Award Winning Children’s Writers, Horrible
Histories, Ben 10 and celebrate Spot’s 30th Birthday are just some of the attractions at the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature running from
Friday 24th Sept to Sunday 3rd October. email: firstname.lastname@example.org. website: www.bathkidslitfest.co.uk.
Many Happy Returns
Pupils with birthdays between the 24 and 30 September are included in our list this week
Erin Georgia Ross Sam Ellie
Ollie Attwood Erin Pike Faye
We also apologise to Keira who was accidently missed off last week’s list!
From all of us at Midsomer Norton Primary School, have a good weekend!
SPARE COPIES OF THIS NEWSLETTER ARE AVAILABLE IN THE OFFICE. ALSO UNDER ‘NEWS’ ON OUR WEBSITE