Barnes Primary School Newsletter #2
14th September 2016
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This week’s photographs show some favourite photographs from 2015-16.

News in Brief

Attendance last week was 97.6%
Streamlining after school clubs and booster sessions: we apologise for the fact that clubs are signed up for before pupils are invited to additional, booster sessions. We are aware of this and will now streamline our procedures going forward to prevent this from happening
Standardised reading test – all Year 5 and Year 6 pupils will sit a computerised standardised reading test over the next two weeks. Outcomes will be reported to parents. This baseline will assist teachers, informing lesson provision and the allocation and type of additional support
Enrichment provision – invitations to pupils will be issued shortly
Year 6 residential school journey to PGL, Liddington – this will be taking place next week

House events - Vine Road Park Relay, Friday 16th September for Years 1 to 6.  Timings below.  Please ensure children have their house t shirts.  Parents are warmly invited to come and support.
Years 4 to 6 - 9.15am to 9.45am
Years 1 to 3 - 9.50am to 10.20am

School Lunch - accounts will be updated for the half term next week.
Gill Hines - will be running a variety of parenting courses throughout the year.  Please visit  Her first workshop of the year is aimed at reception parents.  Please click here for further information.
Aid for Syrian Refugees - is once again collecting winter coats, jackets, ski suits and other warm items.  Please click here for further information.

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Compelling and abundant research reveals that children’s learning is not a linear process. All children develop differently. They make progress at different speeds, at different times and in different ways. There are periods of rapid progress and others of seemingly slower progress, when consolidation takes place. There may be times when learning plateaus, with children seemingly not making any additional progress. These may be followed by periods of rapid improvement and fast progress. For these reasons it is vitally important that parents and teachers avoid making hasty judgements about how capable a child is – especially early on, in the first years of schooling. Some children take longer than others to develop confidence and achieve success – and that’s perfectly normal. They need more time. Conversely, some children get off to a flying start, then their rate of learning slows down. This is also perfectly normal.
At our school teachers do not use the labels ‘low ability’, ‘middle ability’ or ‘high ability’ as these terms can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Put simply, if an adult continually tells a child they are ‘low ability’ the child is likely to respond accordingly. Instead staff at Barnes use the terms ‘high attaining’, ‘middle attainer’ and ‘lower attainer’ followed by the key phrase ‘at this time’. Research shows conclusively that all children perform better when their parents and teacher consistently give them the message that they can and will succeed. This message is communicated in what they say, what they do, even how they look at a child. The message is that every child can and will succeed – for some it may take longer, but it is just a matter of time . . . and effort. This approach works as the consistently very high outcomes for all our children demonstrate.  
The optimum learning state is one of relaxed alertness. Children learn best when they feel calm, safe, awake and alive. If children feel anxious, pressurised, or emotionally distressed, it is significantly harder for them to learn. It is important that teachers, parents and all others who come into contact with children instill a sense of belief: you can do it, or you might not be able to do it just yet, but you soon will! Children pick up on non-verbal communication, as well as what is said. A look, a sigh, an eye movement – everything is registered. Emotional leakage can have a negative impact on children’s belief and motivation. This refers to aspects of communication that a sender is attempting to disguise, suppress, or otherwise hide. But such aspects are still detected by a child.

The brain could be seen as a ‘belief machine’: we form beliefs through social learning factors. Learners need a trusting, fair and safe environment, both at school and at home. It needs to be safe and comfortable to acknowledge ‘I do not know’ and to make errors. Mistakes are simply stepping stones on the journey to success. Learning for many children is a risky business. The positive teacher-pupil relationship is thus important, not so much because this is worthwhile in itself, but because it helps build the trust to make mistakes, to ask for help, to build confidence to try again, and for pupils to know they will not look silly when they don’t get it first time. Similarly, parents must ensure that a learning atmosphere is created at home where mistakes are accepted and seen as part of the learning process.
As stated in the previous article, some children need longer to secure progress. Some struggle and experience feelings of doubt, or even inferiority. Most children naturally compare themselves with their peers. They notice who finds the learning challenge easier, who can answer the maths questions quickly, who can read faster and write more. All children need to be assisted by adults to develop a mindset that focuses on trying to improve their personal best and not worrying about how their friends are doing. That is of course easier said than done.
Historically pupils with an Education Health and Care plan (formerly referred to as an educational statement) make strong progress at our school, despite their significant needs. There are currently 15 pupils at the school in this category – a high number and 3.4% of our school roll (the national average in January 2016 was 1.3%). Pupils who are on the Special Educational Needs register under the category of School Action (a lower level of need than pupils with an EHCP) also do extremely well. There are 36 pupils (8.2% of our school roll) in this category. These pupils may struggle at times; they may ‘get stuck’; their self-efficacy may reduce. It is important that all the adults involved with them, at school and at home, reassure them, convince them that ‘they can do it’ and assist them to develop resilience so that they become more robust. Often they need support to appreciate that it is okay to be wrong: making mistakes is an essential part of the learning process.  
Over the extended summer break I analyse all the pupil performance data – I literally look at how every single child across the school is doing. Subsequently I make decisions regarding which pupils require additional support. That may be in the form of in-class support from a teaching assistant; out of class support from a teaching assistant; teaching input from Anna Freeland, the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo), or daily reading support. My decisions regarding the allocation of this support are fair and equitable ones: the pupils with the greatest need receive the most support. For many of these pupils improvements take time – there are no fast, ‘quick fix’ solutions.  
Our goal is to ensure that virtually every pupil at our school reaches, or surpasses, the elevated national performance expectation for an 11 year old that is set by the government. The data below shows the performance of all the 2015-16 cohort of Year 6 pupils who were identified as having some difficulty with learning.  In May 2016 these pupils took tests in reading, grammar, punctuation and spelling and mathematics. The first percentage relates to the number of questions on the test that pupils got right; the second is a standardised score - on a scale of 120, with 100 being the national standard.

Pupil Reading GPS Maths
J 54%        104 91%        113 69%         103
T 48%        102 74%        104 75%        105
M 50%        103 50%        96 72%        104
S 38%        98 87%        110 75%        105
L1 54%        104 44%        94 65%        102
L2 48%        102 70%        102 65%        102
R 58%        106 74%        104 55%        100
E 66%        109 81%        107 75%        105
M2 50%        103 91%        113 97%        116
P 60%        107 76%        104 77%        105
M3 52%        104 87%         110 76%        105
B 44%        100 81%        107 88%        109
M4 46%        101 81%        107 71%        104
J2 48%        102 60%         99 70%        103
R2 10%         83 33%         91 X              X
L3 26%         92 51%         96 30%         93
S 38%         98 29%         89 X              X
H 54%        104 70%         102 67%        103
M5 58%        106 73%        103 81%        106
GPS: Grammar, punctuation and spelling
X: the test was not sat as the pupils’ was assessed as working below the demands of the test.
These pupils were the lowest 19 performers (32%) out of a cohort of 59. Whilst some pupils did not reach the national performance standard for their age, all made strong progress and out of 57 tests entries (19 x 3) only 13 (23%) resulted in a scaled score of less than 100. I would reiterate that these are the lowest performers.
There is always more to do and we don’t want any pupil failing to reach the nationally expected standard for their age. So, we will continually strive to offer even better provision and the very highest quality of additional support.
Next week I will write to you about the performance of middle attaining pupils. Please note that this term refers to ‘middle attaining relative to other pupils at Barnes’.
We have received the great news that Barnes Primary has been successful in its application for the Primary Science Quality Mark at a gold level. This project involved the whole staff - led by our Science Leader, Rachel Wilson - evaluating and developing the teaching and learning of science.
Successes included:
  • Developing a school wide programme of science related trips and visitors
  • Purchasing resources to allow the children more hands-on practical experiences
  • Providing high quality training for staff
  • Taking part in national initiatives
Our assessors commented:
“The school fully embraces its own need to continue to develop and has open doors to sharing and reflection.”
“Pupil enjoyment oozes throughout this submission.”
Science will continue to have a high profile at Barnes as we look to consolidate our success and strengthen our provision.  Look out for our new award logo!
The money raised by our PTFA has been a critical factor in our school’s success. Our school is ‘a financially poor school situated in a very affluent area’.  With only 16 pupils (3.6% of our roll) entitled to a free school meal, the school receives very little from the pupil Premium grant (£1,320 per pupil) when compared to schools in poorer parts of London.
Last year the PTFA funded us to the tune of just under £40,000 (and a number of additional projects that they have kindly agreed to pay for took place over the summer which will raise that sum further)
  • additional teaching assistant capacity – more support for lower attaining pupils
  • an artist in residence: a specialist art teacher working closely with small groups of pupils
  • a linguist in residence: a specialist French teacher who has enabled pupils to reach significantly higher standards  
  • the refurbishment of the Key Stage 1 toilets
  • specialist computer classes at the Clapham Community Learning Centre (CLC) – much loved by the children
  • theatre visits at school and off site
  • all the artificial grass on both sites
  • and much, much more.
We urgently need a new PTFA committee who are prepared to organise our community events:
  • The Barn Dance
  • The Christmas Fayre
  • The Quiz Night
  • The Arts Week exhibition at the Old Sorting Office
  • The Summer Barbeque 
In addition, if 90% of our parents – those that can – could set up a standing order for £5 a month per child (£60 a year for one child) and Gift Aid it, we would be most grateful.  There is a mandate below.  That would raise £28,080 a year – so simple!’

Mandate please click here

Please can we have some volunteers, prepared to work together in a committee for a two year period. Please contact Jo Patience – come on: this is for the children!  Without PTFA funding provision will have to be cut – we have no other choice. To match this significant financial contribution I brought £52,000 into the school last year through my consultancy work. This combined additional contribution allows us to offer the children so much more than many other schools provide.
Our outgoing committee did a sterling job for two years. Different people took lead responsibility for different events.  I am aware that the PTFA is run on a purely voluntary basis; therefore all of the above events can be adjusted to the commitment of the new committee.  There is no fixed way to run these events, although a tried and tested template exists for all. 

Please consider becoming involved regardless of whether your child is in Reception or Year 6, it really is a great deal of fun!
This year our Barnes school community have raised £4438.46 from the sponsored event 'Run for Rusuzumiro'. The money raised will go towards building wash room facilities for the pupils at Rusuzumiro. The total cost for this project is £6700 so we have decided to continue fundraising for this project and send the money once we have raised the full amount. We hope to do this by December 2016. Thank you to everyone who participated in this worthwhile event. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
Cake Sales continue...
Earlier this year Adam Barnsley and Matt Edwards (both Year 4M) held a cake sale for our link school.  They enjoyed it so much that they decided they wanted to do it once more before the end of term.
They spent Saturday afternoon baking Rocky Roads, Lemon cakes, Chocolate Cupcakes and Cheesy muffins and then held a cake sale, first at the church and then on the streets of Barnes.  They made £55.50 for Rwanda. Thank you to Adam and Matt for their hard work and efforts.
Since we began supporting our link school approximately £25,000 has been raised . . . and put to excellent use! Thank you.

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For the school’s sixth annual competition, entries are now open for your summer holiday adventures on camera.
Children in Year 3 - 6 are invited to enter photographs into these 6 categories:
A. My Holiday
B. Portrait
C. Celebration and Sport
D. Pattern, Shape and Colour
E. The Unusual
F: The Natural World
This year we have added a science theme in the final category.
Instructions for entering:
-  A maximum of (no more than) 3 images, either in one category or across all 5 categories
-  Name each image with your name and the category letter ( joebloggs-A.jpg )
-  Email photographs to, by Sunday 9th October 2016
Rules for photographers:
1.  The person entering was the photographer 2.  It is suitable for others to see 3.  Any people included have given their permission to have their picture included in the competition.
As mentioned last week, Mark Hartley will offer two opportunities this week for parents of pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6. The first meeting is at 3.30pm and the second is at 5.15pm (please note a change of time for the second session: a 5.15 pm start.)

Both meetings will take place in 6R's classroom, upstairs in KS2.

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Events Calendar
Date Event
Monday 12th September Week 1 (of 10) of after school and before school clubs
Thursday 15th September Secondary transfer meeting – parents of pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6: 3.30 pm and again at 5.15 pm
Friday 16th September House event: The Vine Park Relay: Years 4-6: 9.15 a.m start; Years 1-3: 9.50 a.m. start
Friday 16th September Year 4 swimming begins
Monday 19th September Year 6 School Journey (residential) all week
Monday 26th September Reception class pupils stay all day
Tuesday 27th September 3C to the Clapham City Learning Centre (computing)
Thursday 29th September Year 3 and 4 Local Schools Sports day - afternoon (no parents please)
Thursday 29th September Meeting of the full governing body
Friday 30th September Autumn Term Sports Day for Key Stage 2 pupils, Vine Park
Friday 30th September 2B visit to the National Archives at Kew
Tuesday 4th October Reception parents curriculum evening, 6.30 pm
Tuesday 11th October Year 5 – working with St John’s Ambulance volunteers
Tuesday 11th October Nursery parents curriculum evening, 6.30 pm
Wednesday 12th October Year 5 and 6 tag rugby event
Monday 17th October Solve a Problem theme week (design technology focus)
Tuesday 18th October Harvest Festival, 9.30, St Michael’s – parents of pupils in Years 1, 3 and 5
Wednesday 19th October Harvest Festival, 9.30, St Michael’s – parents of pupils in Years 2, 4 and 6
Thursday 20th October House event: Tugging in the Park – Years 3-6, Vine Park
Friday 21st October Last day of half term.  School closes at 2.30pm.
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Community Notice
Wild Ventures events are designed as a detox from modern life and a chance to invest in family relationships. Only an hour away from Barnes in a beautiful private forest, you and your children can do a range of bushcraft activities that won't fit in your garden and aren't allowed in public spaces!

If you have children in years 5 & 6 at Barnes Primary and would like some wild space, please click here for details:
As a parent with 3 children at Barnes, Nathan Beard is delighted to donate £10 to Barnes Primary PTFA for each ticket purchased by Barnes Parents. 
Community Notice
These days the study of philosophy has become très hip with places like the School of Life – co-founded by Philosopher Alain de Botton - popping up all over London (see their very entertaining video on what Philosophy is about here).
Barnes of course is also très hip and has its own very successful philosophy club which is about to launch a new off-shoot - a junior club for budding philosophers.
The idea of children studying philosophy at an early age is now gaining lots of currency. Children who have been exposed to the concept of thinking critically perform better in exams and tests but more importantly can perform better in life. Philosophy teacher Michele Sowey who teaches primary school children says she’s seen children start to interact in more fair-minded and collaborative ways after being introduced to philosophical study.
So, what’s to stop you enrolling your budding Wittgenstein in one of the junior philosophy club’s entertaining and thought-provoking sessions?
All you need to do is email organiser Dr Barbara Underwood ( to secure your place. The club is recommended for children aged between 8 and 11 and will be held between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm on the afternoon of Saturday 8 October at Rose House on Barnes High Street.
Please click here for flyer
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Community Notice

Want to feel great? Want to live longer?!
Studies have shown that choral singing not only reduces stress levels, it increases life expectancy.
What’s not to love?
Come and get singing with Barnes Community Choir
There is no audition. You don’t need to have any previous experience. We welcome people of all ages, genders, and ability levels. All that is required is YOU (and your sense of humour).
When? Every Thursday (during term time), 7.30-9pm
Where? Lowther Primary School, Stillingfleet Road, Barnes SW13 9AE
Our next session is Thursday 15th September 2016, and your first session is completely free, so come along and give us a try!
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Barnes Primary School Newsletter No 2 - 14th September 2016

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Barnes Primary School · Cross Street · Barnes · London, Lnd SW13 0QQ · United Kingdom

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