Barnes Primary School Newsletter #13
24th January 2017
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This week’s photographs show some of our writers whose latest writing is about to be displayed in one of the many planned new installations of high quality writing around the school. Take a look at the Year 4 writing based on the book ‘Krindlekrax’ by Philip Ridley, recently installed at the very far end of the Key Stage 2 building next to the door leading to the climbers playground. The children featured have recently completed their Ancient Mariner diaries.
News in Brief
Attendance last week was 94.8% - our lowest figure so far this year.
Congratulations to Nathan Mayers-Johnson who was 6th out of 173 competitors in the Richmond schools Cross Country Championship that was held shortly before Christmas.
St Michael's Church is having its first Family church service on 29th January at 10am.   It's a new idea of the new vicar, to have a monthly service aimed at children and families... and it has a very good speaker at it, Sarah Lenten, who's a cartoonist. 
Sports Events coming up:
Friday 27th January Year 5 Week 4 Swimming at Pools on the Park 12.45pm
Monday 30th January Netball Match vs Mary Magdalene’s School 2.45pm KS1 Playground
Tuesday 31st January Boys Football Match vs Mary Magdalene’s School 2.15pm Vine Road Park
Thursday 2nd February Tag Rugby Match vs Marshgate @ Christ’s 3.30pm
Friday 3rd February Year 5 Week 5 Swimming at Pools on the Park 12.45pm
Trips coming up
Thursday 26th January Year 2 to V&A Museum and Year 6 to Kew Gardens
Thursday 26th January – no Year 6 ‘Aiming Ever Higher’ Reading session
PTFA Quiz Night will be on Friday 3rd March starting at 7.30pm.  Tickets will go on sale via parentmail on Monday 6th February until Friday 24th February and cost £15.50.  Tables of a maximum of 10 only please.  The ticket price includes a meal.  As always, there will be a bar and raffle!
(Repeat article). Three afternoons/early evenings have been scheduled for parent consultation meetings this term. As last year, during the Spring Term, this will allow parents to have a slightly longer meeting with their child’s classteacher at the critical halfway point in the school year.
Tuesday 7th March - 4.20pm to 7pm and 8th March - 9am to 3pm (nursery closed all day).
Tuesday 7th March - 3.30pm to 6pm and Thursday 9th - 4.20pm to 7pm (10 minute appointments)
KS1 & KS2
Thursday 2nd March - 4.20pm to 7pm, Tuesday 7th March - 3.30pm to 6pm and Thursday 9th March - 4.20pm to 7pm (15 minute appointments)
(We will notify parents via the newsletter when the booking system will be open).

(Repeat article).  Are there any more volunteers for the Saturday Morning Year 11 GCSE maths classes at Richmond Park . . . please. On Saturday 43 highly motivated students turned up. They worked hard with the 7 volunteers who came along to support them. Sessions continue this coming Saturday and for 13 further weeks, right up until GCSE examinations take place in June. More volunteers would be greatly appreciated. Please see Jo Patience if you can come along – even if it’s just for one week.
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The Country We Live In – Key Stage 2 theme day: Friday 27th January


On Friday this week all Key Stage 2 pupils will have a special geography theme day: The Country We Live In.

Pupils will be enjoying a day investigating the landscape of the United Kingdom: its mountains, valleys, coasts, cliffs, caves, rivers and cities.  Each year group will look at a particular process, such as glaciation, or industrialisation, through hands-on. practical activities. There will also be plenty of map work.  In addition, there will be the results of the ​Mystery Location competition which has been running in the school over the last week. To enter this, please make sure your child looks at the large photographs posted outside Key Stage 2 classrooms.
Here is an outline of the focus for each year group:
Year 3 – coastal areas of the UK: how coastal caves, arches and stacks are formed through coastal erosion. Pupils will be looking at some of the prominent features of the Jurassic coast. They will be learning about:

  • ​coastal erosion (how an arch, stack or stump are formed)
  • a case study: Durdle Door in Dorset
  • the wider context: where else do these coastal processes take place in the UK? 
  • compass directions.  

    Year 4 – rivers of the United Kingdom: how rivers work – originating on higher ground and flowing to the sea. Key geographical features will be analysed: meandering; drainage basins; ox bow lakes; erosion, transportation and deposition.
    Classes will be looking at a mystery river in the UK.  They will find out how the river changes the shape of the landscape, and how meanders are formed.  There will be plenty of  hands-on river making in class!  
Year 5 – land use in the UK: the rise of cities - urbanisation and the growth of cities with the coming of the railways in the nineteenth century.
Year 5 will be looking at how land in the UK is used and how this has changed over time. In particular they will look at how our local area developed with the arrival of the railway. Children will learn about how our country has changed over time from an agricultural one to an industrial one.
Year 6 – hills and mountains of the UK: how were valleys formed? How powerful a force is a glacier and the role of glacial erosion in the formation of landscapes.
Year 6 will be studying the geographical process of glaciation. They will learn about the features caused by glacial erosion and look at the landscapes in the UK that have been shaped by this process. Children will be making their own glaciers and trying to understand why they have had such an impact on the country we live in.
Key Stage 1 pupils will be having their geography theme day during the Summer Term.


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Arts Week, one of the highlights of the academic year, is fast approaching: it’s now just two weeks away. Here’s what the children will be doing
Nursery pupils
The main two activities will be:
- exploring colour using fun experiments, for example rainbow slime
- watching a Whizz Bang science show at the end of the week.
Children will be involved in an artistic exploration of our forest school. They will find leaves and logs that can be pressed into clay to produce artefacts. Some large sized trees will be created: one will contain handprints; another will have pictures of the children hanging from it. In addition, there will be an opportunity to engage in some close observational drawings of local plants.
The theme for Key Stage 1 is ‘Up Close and Scientific’. Children will move, in a carousel arrangement, around classrooms, working with each of the teachers in Year 1 and Year 2. In Ms Huxley’s class children will be learning about reptiles and amphibians – they will create sculptures of them. In Mrs Leissle’s class they will be observing minibeasts and producing some observational drawings. In Mrs Will’s class the children will be exploring natural inks, creating some vegetable prints. Finally, in Ms Marshment’s class children will be exploring primary and secondary colours and producing insect paintings using them. All Year 1 and Year 2 children will be involved in each of these activities.

Year 3 pupils will be looking at taxonomy: the study of grouping and classifying organisms. They will be creating and classifying artworks to show species in plants (botany), animals (lepidoptera) and humans (dactylography).  The terms in brackets are all scientific names for leaves, butterflies and fingerprints! Working with wire, fabric, salt dough and sewing materials pupils will create display cases of a range of classified objects.
Year 4 - Prior to Arts week Year 4 will be investigating the Fibonacci sequence in mathematics and in nature. During Arts Week the focus will be on creating the Fibonaaci spiral using a range of media. The children will create different spirals using clay, watercolour and paint.

Year 5 pupils will be focusing on the work of the American engineer, artist and inventor of the mobile, Alexander Calder. Children will begin the week by learning about colour theory. Subsequently they will draw inspiration from his use of primary colours in abstract art to create their own ‘Calderesque’ abstract paintings. Following this, pupils will continue to immerse themselves in his work before engineering their own mobiles. 
Year 6 pupils will be making a link with the work of the famous scientist, Carl Linneaus. Having studied his work in science lessons (learning all about the way he classified the natural world) they will be using his artwork to complete their own close observational drawings of plants from around the British Isles. Year 6 pupils will also be focusing on the work of Marianne North, an English Victorian biologist and botanical artist. The children will be doing some close observational drawings of flowers using pencils and pastels.  On Thursday 9th February Year 6 will visit Holland Park School to watch the Merchant of Venice performed by Holland Park's leadership team.
Special music events during Arts Week 2017
  • Tuesday 7 February a whole day of singing with The Rodolphus Choir 
  • Morning – Key Stage 2 vocal workshops
  • Afternoon – Key Stage 1 assembly and Key Stage 2 assembly
  • BOP! will perform to Key Stage 1 
 Please don’t forget to make your £5 (£2.50 for nursery) contribution towards the cost of Arts Week.  You will find the charge on your parentmail account.

Arts Week Bake Off
The children are once again invited to participate in this term's bake off.  The theme this time is Art + Science = Wonder.  As always entry is purely optional.  Please bring your entry on Monday 6th February to the KS2 hall where they will be judged.  If your child does not wish to sell the cake at the end of the day, please mark this clearly on the name tag.  If any parents are able to set up a cake sale after school on Monday 6th, please let the KS2 office know.  All funds will go directly to Rwanda.

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  • Thank you to the vast majority of parents who drive to school who kindly and considerately park their cars a short distance from school. This has reduced traffic volume in the very tight area around our two sites. As a result, the immediate area around the school is much safer for the children at drop off and pick up times. A very small minority of parents continue to flout the previous requests that have been politely made. I appeal to them, and to any parents whose children have recently joined the school, to think again about the way in which their behaviour increases the level of risk for our children. I appeal again that nobody – apart from those transporting someone with a physical disability – drives beyond the point where Westfields Avenue intersects with Cross Street.
  • Polite reminder: scooters are not allowed in the school buildings. Children coming to school on one should dismount at the school gates and walk with their scooter to the designated parking spaces. The request to dismount originally came from parents concerned about the possibility of very small children being knocked down in the busy pedestrianised areas within the school sites. Younger children should not be encouraged to leave their scooters by the school entrance door. Some scooters have been left at school for an extended time frame (seemingly abandoned there). We will photograph all the scooter parking areas each day this week. Any scooters that are continually not picked up (and appear to have been abandoned) will be sold on e-bay, with the money made being used to buy learning resources.
  • Exiting the Key Stage 2 site – please can I politely remind parents about the agreed one way system that came into effect last academic year. Parents and children should enter by coming up the stairs, close to 4G’s classroom, and exit the site by walking down the ramp. This system has made human traffic flow much more smoothly, as well as reducing the propensity for an accident caused by overcrowding. The system is: children and parents should enter school via the ramp with parents exiting via the steps.  At the end of the day parents should come onto site via the steps and exit via the ramp with their children.  The simple way to remember this is that the children always use the ramp to either enter or exit the school building with parents using the steps when they are not with their child/children.
Your support with these three requests is greatly appreciated. Following each of them will make the school a safer place for all our children.
The six principles of acquisition:
1) Learning requires time effort and motivation
The necessary ingredients are: time; goal-orientation; supportive feedback; accumulated successful practice; frequent review.
2) Concentration spans are short
Most of us have a natural attention or concentration span of around 15-20 minutes before significant levels of mind wandering occur
3) Distributed practice is more effective than massed practice or cramming (the spacing effect). ‘A little and often’ works best with children.
4) Prior knowledge effects are powerful: the most important factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Meaningfulness, or relatedness, stems directly from prior knowledge.
5) Your mind responds well to multimedia input
Laboratory studies reveal that we all learn well when the inputs we experience are multi-modal, or conveyed through different media.
6) To learn your mind has to be active
This principle is simply that learning occurs effectively once the mind responds to a meaningful experience through making a meaningful response.
We would like to create a musical instrument bank to encourage more children to learn to play an instrument.
Flutes, clarinets, violins, guitars, trumpets - to name a few - would all be very welcome. If you have any unwanted instruments at home that are in good condition and would like a new home please contact Karen Warner who will put them to very good use.
( or clearly label and leave at the school office.
Alison Hawksley recently sent me the following e-mail.
Please see below some very encouraging news following the results of the Rwandan year 6 national tests taken in November 2016.
Based on figures Vincent, the Principal, has shared with me over the last few years, one can see a marked increase in both the number of students attending Year 6 and the number of students passing the national examinations. In addition, and even more importantly, there has been a huge rise in the number of students passing the boarding school exams (seen as the highest accolade of success). These schools are the government Schools of Excellence and are a key indicator as to how well an education organisation is performing.
2014    3/46 students passed the boarding school higher pass rate  (7% pass rate)
2015   13/45 as above     (29% pass rate)
2016    37/108 as above  (34% pass rate)
Most children, if not all, will not be able to afford the boarding schools so they will most likely stay at Rusuzumiro. Tuition fees of approximately £210 per annum are beyond most families. However, the significant increase in the Year 6 attendance rate (and hopefully the number of children who now continue on to Senior 3 - Year 9), in addition to an upward trend in the number of children passing national exams, is indeed reason to celebrate.
I’m sure you’ll agree it is nice to share in Rusuzumiro’s success and be a part of it in some small way. Thank you as always for your support with the school partnership - it means a lot to the community in Rusuzumiro. 

Mannequin Strut - fundraiser for Rwanda
Thank you to all those parents who have donated £5 having watched (and enjoyed!) the Mannequin Strut.  We have currently raised £505 - thank you very much for your generosity.


Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.
                From School Attendance, Department for Education, November 2016
The high average attendance of pupils at Barnes Primary School over an extended time frame is one of the factors that have resulted in the consistently high outcomes children have achieved here. Recently a couple of parents have not been happy about the fact that I have politely and respectfully questioned why their child has such a low level of attendance when compared to our school average. I have stated frequently that if a child is too unwell to attend school the child should be at home, in bed, resting. I appreciate that some children have underlying health conditions and that others have periods of plain bad luck, when they are unwell, suffering more than once with more than one condition. With that said, it’s worth pointing out that our school average is an impressive 97.4%.
The small number of children with an attendance figure of 90% are missing the equivalent of one school day every fortnight. For those with an average attendance of 85% the child concerned is missing the equivalent of one and a half days a fortnight. This may not sound much, but it has a huge significance in terms of a pupil’s ability to settle into a school routine. Pupils at this level of attendance are also missing work and become confused (and even disorientated) because there are gaps in their experience and they aren’t able to follow work as they have missed something important that preceded it.
The government has been very clear in its expectation of Headteachers in relation to this issue. Poor, or low, attendance should be politely and respectfully challenged. That is what I have always done and what I will continue to do.

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Recently a couple of requests have been made for term time holidays.
The Department for Education has given all schools a very clear steer regarding children taking holidays in term time. Their view is that children have 13 weeks a year designated holiday time (a quarter of the year) and that all holidays should be taken within school holiday periods. I have – and will continue to – authorise holidays that I would classify to be ‘unavoidable’. These usually relate to a serious illness, or worse, within an extended family. At all times I endeavour to exercise discretion, flexibility and a reasonable approach.
When I first joined Barnes as Headteacher in January 2006 my in-tray was full of letters from parents informing me (not requesting authorisation) about the fact that children would be absent as the family were going on a skiing trip in term time. I was informed how ‘educationally valuable’ such trips were. That was at a time when our school was a mediocre, unexceptional one, with average results and ‘little to shout about’. Our average attendance was 94%. Much has changed in 11 years: we now have a school to be proud of and part of the school’s and community’s success has been that children attend much more regularly (our average attendance is 97.4%). Requests for term time holidays have been rare.
Holiday authorised by the school
Headteachers should not grant leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances. The application must be made in advance and the head teacher must be satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances based on the individual facts and circumstances of the case which warrant the leave. Where a leave of absence is granted, the head teacher will determine the number of days a pupil can be away from school. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the head teacher’s discretion.
                  From School Attendance, Department for Education, November 2016
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If we were to write a script for the perfect tournament ending we could not do much better than to record what actually happened at the Jack Petchey London School’s Championships held at the UEA this Saturday.
Barnes boys’ team sailed through their semi-final against Chingford CE Primary School 8-0. The finals were something special - the standard of table tennis was magnificent and the sporting attitudes were equally commendable. Our boys - Ed, Trishton, Mohammed and Qais - took gold in a closely fought final with Ashburnham Primary School, Chelsea.
In the battle of the No 1’s, Harry Derecki proved just too strong for Ed Gooze-Zijl but both players were a credit to the game, offering up fast attacking but tactical games of table tennis that had all the parents and coaches cheering from the side-lines. Both Harry and Ed have the potential for glittering careers in table tennis and both will be hoping to advance to the National Schools Individual Championships later on this year. The battle between Trishton and William was equally hypnotic with Trishton finishing just a little stronger to take Barnes a step closer to the gold medal.
Another fascinating encounter developed between Qais and Zayne, the two No 4’s of their respective teams. Both players seemed to warm to the occasion and provided a level of competition that they had both hitherto yet to produce.  Both lads have now made a serious statement as to their right for a place in their respective teams for the forthcoming South of England team Championships.
Annie, Riva, Lauren, Hannah and Pippa dominated their opposition in the girls’ final. Special mention should go to Riva who showed huge improvement since last season. All the girls, from both finalists, put in impressive performances, and if these two highly motivated teams can get through their respective South of England qualification tournaments they may well get to face each other again in the National Finals.
Finally, the message to all our players who took part is: it’s time to get ready for the next stage of the championships and that can only mean training, training and more training. Please ensure you make every effort to attend the Friday evening community sessions at the Chelsea Academy 5pm to 7pm. Whiles others sleep, we train!
The dates for the South of England Championships at Bournemouth is 4th March.
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Ordering Uniform - click here.
Can I please ask if you would be so kind as to mention our website within your “communicator” or newsletter. We want to make as many parents and small children as possible aware of our popular Saturday morning football classes at Palewell Common, East Sheen. The website address is


Thames Foreshore
Dear resident

Please find attached the latest Information Sheet for Putney Embankment Foreshore.


If you have any questions about the attached Information Sheet or would like to speak to someone, please call our 24-hour Tideway Helpdesk on 08000 30 80 80.


Kind regards.




Follow us on Twitter @tidewaylondon



The Point, 37 North Wharf Road,
Paddington, London W2 1AF


With the February half term already a week closer, we are writing to let you know that Harlequins will be running rugby camps at a number of locations during this time.


Attached to this email is our camp flier detailing the locations, age ranges and prices of the camps.


If you could spread the word at your school and include our flier in your weekly news letter that would be fantastic and we hope to see as many of the schools pupils there as possible.


If you have any queries and/or questions then please don't hesitate to contact me.


Kind regards, 


Ross Doneghan

Community Schools Coordinator


Harlequin Football Club Ltd

Twickenham Stoop Stadium | Langhorn Drive | Twickenham | Middlesex | TW2 7SX
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Barnes Primary School Newsletter No 13- 24th January 2017
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Barnes Primary School · Cross Street · Barnes · London, Lnd SW13 0QQ · United Kingdom

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