ARNOLD MIDDLE SCHOOL
Dear Parents/ Carers Your thoughts and ideas do count: we have passed your thoughts and concerns on to the Local Authority about the present state of the School Transport. Our governors met with representatives from the LA Transport Team and Procurement Officer on Thursday 18thMarch and I have summarised the answers to our questions in this newsletter. I believe that further actions will arise from these meetings and will keep you fully informed. One particular concern was about the gritting of Harlington Hill in snow and ice conditions and I have been in communication with a Westoning Parish Councillor and a Central Bedforshire Councillor (with responsibility for road gritting) to get this sorted out once and for all. All our children are very precious to us and we need to look after them all. At the Parents’ Forum Meeting at the beginning of the year some parents asked for us to release the April Reports in March (before the Easter Holiday) so that you got a real opportunity to read them with your child. This we have done, along with the Reporting Days appointments so that parents can book the slots with the teachers well before the end of term. We would very much appreciate your co-operation in attending one of the two Form Tutor Learning Review days. We have provided a range of times, including some early evening ones for those who struggle to get to us during the day. Monday 19th April is a Closure Day anyway for schools, so all children would be with parents that day. We ask that children attend school in their uniforms to ‘set the tone for the meeting’. We want each child and his/her parent(s) to review what has been achieved but also prepare for further learning. All Form Tutors will have reviewed their class’s individual progress in all subject areas and will have talked to colleagues where progress has not been as good as we would have liked. Intervention, in the form of Subject Teacher’s support and targets for the child will be put in place. Special thanks to the parent who attended our last Parents’ Forum. This was to discuss and review our Rewards and Behaviour Policy. We very much appreciate your feedback in all areas of school and in respect of reports, we will add an information section for new parents about what the levels mean! Hopefully, this will help when it comes to understanding the reports. It should be pointed out
PAGE 3 that children should understand the levels anyway. We put the individual levels that the children are working at and their targets into their Pupil Planners at the start of each academic year. Most subjects also record individual targets in work books and the children should be made aware of the progress they make during the year. I would also like to thank the parents who continue to express a real interest in their childâ€™s work when we send the books home. I was impressed with the parents of children I teach history to, as many have not only signed to say that the books have been seen but also write a comment. These comments are much appreciated by their child and by me as their teacher! I have been very pleased to reward many children with the stars in the Pupil Planners this year â€“ such an improvement on the often lost merit paper. Hurray: the Year Five Block is back in full action! Extra special thanks to Mrs Vicky Wright and Mrs Alison Wood and their classes for putting up with the disruption to their lessons over the Spring Term. The repairs to the rooms have taken an interminable amount of time but I think it has finally finished. We will be back in the rooms for the start of the Summer Term and, therefore, the Reports Days Meetings on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th April will be held in the year 5 block. The canopy will not be returning in its original form as the design was clearly faulty (not our responsibility but, thank goodness, no one was injured when it fell). Central Bedfordshire Council and the Building Inspectors will be ensuring that the replacement meets all stringent quality controls before installation and meet the requirements of our school. We had it installed in the first place as a means of deflecting the sunlight and heat from the two classrooms (other rooms facing this way have light reflected glass panels) and to shelter the children from the sun at break and lunch times. The children enjoy sitting at the picnic benches (that are so sturdy that even a canopy collapse did not budge or damage them) away from the bustle of the two main playgrounds. GREAT NEWS! Two weeks ago, I was informed that our Phase Three building work on the Administration Block will go ahead. There are a number of reasons why we have managed to get this successfully through the current budgetary storms: firstly, the building was already agreed in 2003/4 as part of an increase in capacity for the school; it is necessary to meet the considerably increased workload of administrators at our school to provide support services to our children and teaching staff; we need to meet the disability discrimination requirements to provide access to the three-storey building (the older part of our school) so that
PAGE 4 all will be near to our Lead First Aider’s office; we get to the ten classrooms and most specifically the ‘fixed base’ ICT rooms on the second and third floors. In essence the build will provide a better facility for administration, finance and the well-being of staff and pupils: we will have improved and enlarged facilities for the laboratory technician to support our science specialism and the music department will get overdue (recognised in Ofsted Inspection Report 2004 as inadequate facilities for an outstanding department) additional music practice rooms. To say I am thrilled would be an understatement! I hope you enjoy seeing the plans and a view of what it will look like in this issue as our architects have very kindly submitted an article for you to view. On our school website we have a plethora of information for you to view. You can look up past issues of the half-termly newsletter; download policies of our school; read letters that have been sent out; find out what your child is studying in each subject and what the calendar of fixtures are for this year. We regularly update the sections with information (e.g. the front page with the Values of the week and when there is a meeting coming up) so do take a look. We have had many compliments from a wide variety of people (from officers at the Local Authority to people in Australia ‘visiting’ the website through our values link; from other schools’ head teachers to pupils). We try very hard to keep you informed! You will be able to read more about the numerous activities that have been taking place during the half term and especially about our Learning Futures work, in conjunction with Harlington Upper, Toddington St. George and Sundon Lower and Parkfields Middle Schools (part of or Harlington Area Schools Trust) that has led to some very successful cross-school learning. We have seen a number of successes in our sporting activities, despite the slightly poor weather in January. Our Year Seven children went to France for a week – very special thanks to the staff who looked after the large group for five days. Despite the slight hick-up with a short sickness bug; a great time was had by all. Finally, I have to inform you that our Admissions Policy for 2011 is now available on our school website. It is available to download in our ‘Policies’ section. We look forward to working with Mrs Alex Freaks, the new head teacher at Ramsey Manor Lower School from Easter 2010.
ARNOLD MIDDLE SCHOOL
She has already been in touch with me and we hope that she will fit in a visit to see our school in action very soon. It was lovely to renew contacts with our Year four colleagues from partner lower schools this month and look forward to visiting their Year four children to start the preparations for our transfer programme in the Summer Term. It hardly seems more than five minutes since the last cohort arrived. Best wishes Ann Payne
School Council News School Council have continued to work hard this term, raising money for our new trim trail, taking part in pupil led learning walks, tours for prospective parents and attending both staff and governors meetings. We have recently completed a ‘pupil-led’ learning walk looking at the accessibility of our school for people with additional needs. The overall picture was positive and School Council have identified the area of keeping corridors and walk ways clear as their key priority Recently, School Council were asked to help raise money for the DEC appeal for Haiti. They responded with planning a cake sale which took place the Friday before half term. We are very pleased to report that we raised over £100 for the DEC appeal. Thank you to all the parents, pupils and staff who baked (and brought) cakes.
History Appeal Do you have any old photos or artefacts that you would be willing to donate to the History department? We are always looking to expand our extensive range of primary artefacts and would welcome any donations you may have. We study a range of periods of history from the Aztecs all the way through to the 20th Century. If you think you could help, please call Miss Truscott on the school number or send any donated items directly. Many thanks. Miss R Truscott Leader of History
PAGE 6 Fund Raising for the New Guide & Scout Building By Charlotte Cox 8CC A local organisation called “Streetcred” were given money from the local authorities to spend on different community projects that felt would benefit young people. Charlotte and two other local Young Leaders represented Barton-Le-Clay Guide & Scouts in putting forward a bid for £40,000.00 to help complete the new Guide & Scout building which is currently under construction on land to the side of Barton Rovers Football Club. Local groups had been fund raising for a number of years and had raised the money needed to build the main building but money was still needed to complete all of the internal works. Charlotte and the other girls had to explain to a panel of young people why they felt that Barton-Le-Clay was worthy of this money and how it would help the local and wider community. They talked about who would benefit from the building which would be available for use by other organisations to camp and spend weekends in Barton experiencing village life. After consideration Barton-Le-Clay was successful and were awarded £44,264.89.
FANTASTIC NEWS! WELL DONE CHARLOTTE!
Westoning Disco Friday 23rd April Westoning Village Hall 7-9pm Entry £3.50 Refreshments available
PAGE 7 Learning Futures - A Campaign In December, Year 7 pupils experienced an enrichment task using English and geography skills. Some pupils made a trip to Harlington Upper School to campaign about their chosen wonder of the world. Pupils had approximately 3 weeks to prepare for this enrichment task. 7JCK and 7LGK were chosen to go to Harlington whilst the other year 7 forms stayed at Arnold. Pupils from Harlington also came to visit us at Arnold. At the Upper School Year 7’s had to explain to other students about their wonder of the world whilst persuading Year 9’s and Year 3’s to vote for them. This meant that they had to show their skills in both geography and English. Other children from different schools were campaigning about things such as, not using knives; a muga in the school and many other things. As some of the children were presenting their hard work others had a worksheet that they used to evaluate persuasion skills, speech ability and good eye contact. At Harlington Upper School, Aimee Dimmock and myself, Holly, were trying to persuade people that Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany should be the top wonder of the world. It was a great experience because it was interesting talking to other students who I didn’t know and persuading them about mine and Aimee’s wonder. In going to Harlington and taking this opportunity, my confidence has boosted in speaking to a larger or smaller groups of people. I would definitely do something like this again, both for the enjoyment out of it and the benefits it gives. At Harlington Upper School, Anna Treacher and myself, Ruth, were trying to persuade other people that the Coliseum is one of the top wonders of the world. I found it interesting when I went to Harlington because I spoke to people that I have never met before, except for my brother Josh. My confidence has improved because I am sometimes nervous with others but after I went to Harlington I am not afraid to speak to people I do not know. I now hope that we will still go on with this enrichment project because lots of children found it interesting and boosted their confidence. The trip to Harlington Upper School was useful because in future it will help in sales and marketing. This has given many children a great experience that they have probably not had before and will never be forgotten. It is a fact that children would take up this opportunity again for their education, excitement and enjoyment. Reported By: Ruth Linney and Holly Thompson – 7JCK
PAGE 8 MEET THE GOVERNORS I am delighted to have joined the Governing Body of AMS and can already feel and see the enthusiasm, dedication and determination of children, staff and my fellow Governors who are involved in making AMS such a good place to be. My own background, features nearly 30 years in customer focussed organisations, newspapers, travel, and aviation. My working life as a Chief Executive (4years) has meant extensive use of my strategy, planning and financial skills, but for me especially. it has always been the people, their personalities and their development that make any business what it is â€“ and that is why early education on the right track is vital. Recruiting and training within the working environment must have applications from smart switched on young adults who have had the opportunities within their school to open their eyes wide to see how the world operates and the vocational nature of future education. I now feel privileged to have the opportunity to be involved in some way with the development of young people during this stage of their education. I have always lived within a 30 mile radius of AMS going to schools in Harpenden, and St Albans followed by college in London to study English. First job in the hard working world many years ago was as a graduate trainee reporter on local newspapers! I have a married son, who now manages our family livestock farm along with his own agricultural business. Over the coming months I look forward to meeting many of you, particularly at the events and activities. Arnold School at present, along with Ann and the staff seems to me to be a good place to be growing up. Tina Barbour
Thursday 1st April Non-school Uniform Day ÂŁ2.00 per pupil You may dress in fancy dress or just come in normal non-school uniform, the choice is yours!
PAGE 9 Parent Awareness Evening 23rd February We had an excellent response to our invite to our awareness evening for the VLE. Attendance exceeded our expectations demonstrating that parents are keen to know more about developments with our Virtual Learning Environment. There are clear benefits for both parents and the school using the VLE as a channel for communication. We have been conducting a trial for Year 5 and 7 pupils to access their homework/ enrichment activities through our VLE. Parents were able to raise issues which we are addressing. If any pupils are still experiencing any difficulty accessing the VLE, please let us know so that the problem can be resolved. Thank you to all parents who expressed a wish and sent details to be involved with a trial of a parent portal for Central Bedfordshire. It has been agreed by Central Bedfordshire that a group of Arnold Middle School parents will be involved with the trial. We are awaiting further details from Central Bedfordshire. S Dye Leader of ICT
SCHOOL DINNERS “My favourite meal is the homemade pizza and chips” Year 6 pupil
“You get a choice of hot main, pasta king, jacket potato or sandwiches” Year 5 pupil
“Theme days are great!” Year 5 pupil
Come & try our school dinners only £1.90!
“we have new menus and new foods—the food is really nice” Year 8 pupil
“I like the muffins for dessert” Year 5 pupil
PAGE 10 Cub Scouts â€“ Science badge Since 25th February, the cub scouts have been coming to Arnold Middle School every Thursday evening in order to obtain their science badge. We have completed some exciting experiments which include: building wormeries, building electrical circuits, making periscopes, growing crystals and growing our own cress. The children have enjoyed coming along and doing these fun activities, especially as it is usually very difficult to obtain a science badge due to resources. It has been a pleasure working with the cub group and I am proud to say that before Easter arrives every child will be able to obtain their science badge. Miss Robinson
Science club In the words of our members I like science club because we are not sitting down doing work, we are doing exciting experiments, like exploding volcanoes, cars powered by elastic bands and other fun stuff. Emma Keight 7CMC I love science club because we donâ€™t do work and we get to do exciting experiments. Jessica Loyal 7JCK I love science club because it is fun and helps me to get higher levels. Liam Abrahams 7 Chiltern I love science club because it is fun and we get to do experiments. Samantha Hewitt 6CH I come to science club because I need to do something with my hands and I learn best with my hands, and science club is fun. Kian Gillett 7LGK I come to science club because I like doing practicals and getting dirty and it helps me in my science work, it is also fun. Robbie Suttle 6KM
PAGE 11 Maths Challenges Pupils from Arnold have taken part in some exciting maths challenges this year. Earlier, you may recall, some year 6 pupils took part in the Primary Maths Challenge. Recently it was the turn of our year 8s to test their mathematical knowledge. After some in-house trials, some year 8 pupils were selected to take part in the regional finals of the UKMT Maths Team Challenge. This was a great dayâ€™s event and the four boys from Arnold represented our school admirably. Well done to Josh Fred McMenamy.
Our boys formed teams with pupils from Harlington Upper and Parkfields Middle. Please read their account of the event below. Mrs J Hawkins Subject Leader of Mathematics.
Friday 26th February UK Maths Team Challenge We got to school at 8 am and then had a 1 hour bus journey to Ashlyn Upper School in Berkhampsted, Hertfordshire. When we got there, we undertook a series of maths challenges, designed to challenge our maths ability, that decided our position in the overall standings of the UKMT. At the end, the leader read out the standings and we found out that Aylesbury were the best at maths! There were four rounds, which consisted of a series of brain bulgers. In the first round we had to solve ten questions including codes, area, time and algebra. In the second round we split into two mini-teams and attempted to complete a cross-number. It was harder than it sounds, as we werenâ€™t allowed to talk to the other people. In the third round, we moved around the tables for head-to-head matches against the other teams. We were split into two groups again and were given four questions to complete, with one part of the question dependant on the answer before.
ARNOLD MIDDLE SCHOOL
In the last round it was a relay where we took turns to answer questions on sheets. One pair would answer a question, run to the teacher and if they got it right they would be handed the next question for the other pair if they didn’t get the question right they would get another chance to get it right. If they didn’t get it right second time they would just get the question for the second pair and would not get any points. Then they read out the standings and then we went home. It was a good day and we all enjoyed it. We all look forward to competing next year as year 9’s at Harlington. By Joel Riddaway, Aaron Attard, Fred McMenamy and Conor Steele
CommencingWednesday, 28th April. Places are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Call Sally Marsh on 01525 406634
On Friday 26th March Arnold Middle School took part in Earth Hour. Many teachers focussed their lessons on activities around the Earth Hour such as comprehension work in English at KS2; designing lights pulls to highlight the need to cut carbon emissions and all children were invited to make class or group pledges and put them onto a board in the entrance hall. 1400 schools registered to take part in Earth Hour and we were one of the very few local middle schools taking part.
We CAN make a difference if we learn about and understand the importance of changing the way we use electricity and other resources sensibly. Further information can be found on wwf.org.uk/earthhour
PAGE 14 100% ATTENDANCE Congratulations to the following pupils who have 100% attendance since the start of the academic year.
Allen, Nadia 6DD Anstee, Isaac 8GD Anstee, Millie 7JCK Barton, Georgina 5AW Bavister, James 7PS Brown, Alysa 6SR Bulmer, Elena 5JS Busby, Kate 6CH Carter, Emily 5VW Cook, Lauren 7JCK Edmunds, Samuel 5NP Fitzgerald, Lara 7KT Flack, Lydia 6SR Forder, Rachel 7LGK Frost, Harry 6CH Giles, Callum 8MW Giles, Leah 6KM Hart, Will 8CHIL Higgs, Billy 8SD Howard, Cara 6KM Jefcoate, Lana 5ST Kehoe, Emily 6KM Kilby, Sarah 5ST King, Ellie 5ST Lugg, Abigail 6KM Mackey, James 8GD
Marney, Joe McKenna, Alana Miller, Amber Mott, Rowan Murphy, Amber Naylor, Conor Neill, Chloe Nicholls, George Norman, Kieran O'Rourke, Megan Osborn, Adam Percival, Jessica Pointing, Samuel Randall, Oliver Roe, Ashley Round, Andrew Silk, Carl Skerman, Ted Smith, Rebekah Sun, Samuel Swain, Gabriel Tredwell, Joshua Wildey, James Wildey, Katherine
5NP 7LGK 6DP 5VW 7LGK 6DP 7PS 5AW 6SR 5JS 8GD 8GD 7KT 5AW 5AW 6KM 5NP 5NP 6KM 8LB 5ST 5JS 8SD 8MW
PAGE 15 SCHOOL TRANSPORT The following summary report and questions was sent to the Transport Client Team Manager two weeks before the meeting. We were determined to keep the meeting focussed on finding solutions to concerns. The ‘A’ after each ‘Q’ (question) stands for the answers provided by the Manager at Central Bedfordshire Council. Following a growing number of complaints about the school transport service provided by Central Bedfordshire Council and concerns raised by parents about the safety of their children, the school newsletter invited parents and guardians to give their feedback on the service in readiness for a meeting between the School’s Governors and the Local Authority representative for School Transport. Feedback fell logically into three areas: Suppliers’ performance • Safety of the children • Communication •
The feedback received in response to the school newsletter item has been used to generate questions on each area to be discussed at the meeting.
Suppliers’ Performance Parents were concerned that buses frequently arrived late, sometimes failed to reach the school at all. At least one bus leaks rain water and renders parts of the upper deck unusable on rainy days. Complaints made to both the bus companies and the Local Authority are either ignored or not taken seriously.
Q: How does the Local Authority measure the performance of their contractors to ensure the council is receiving best value for money? [SP1]
A: Under the terms of the Passenger Transport Contract a penalty point system is operated whereby contractors are awarded penalty points for certain specified breaches of contract. Central Bedfordshire also employs a route monitor who oversees operational problems.
PAGE 16 Q: Do the contracts require the suppliers to maintain a formal complaints register, so that the Local Authority Transport Team can view the nature and number of complaints and be assured that complaints are adequately recorded and answered? [SP2]
A: A database of all complaints is held, recorded and answered. There is also a formal complaints procedure for Central Bedfordshire. With regard to the specific problem with Red Kite and the irresponsible behaviour of their driver when he returned our pupils to a bus stop in Westoning on Monday 22nd February 2010:-
Q: What in the Local Authority's opinion should happen when a bus is forced to abandon its journey? [SP3]
A: The process states that driver should notify his office, the school, or the transport office and seek guidance before he turns round and returns to the pick up point with the children.
Q: Why did this process not happen on the K22 recently? [SP4] A: Having met with Red Kite to investigate this incident we have established that the driver attempted several times to contact the [LA] office before turning around but was unable to get through. The office phones were extremely busy on that day and Red Kite had a number of vehicles stuck which were all trying to contact their base at the same time. However it has been made extremely clear that the driver should still have made contact with the office before turning around.
Q: What actions have been put in place to prevent this happening again? [SP5]
A: Drivers have once again been reminded that they must contact the office, CBC Transport or the school before they turn around to return children to their pick up point In addition to their office number all Drivers will be issued with 2 contact numbers for the CBC transport team and the school office.
ARNOLD MIDDLE SCHOOL
We propose that a winter planning meeting is held at the school in November to confirm the processes and procedures.
Q: How confident are the LA that these actions will ensure it is never repeated? [SP6]
A: We are very confident that these measures will ensure a similar incident does not reoccur.
Q: Who at the Local Authority is accountable for any future similar incident? [SP7]
A: Karl Arato â€“ Head of Passenger Transport Safety of Children Parents are concerned about the age of some of the buses being used and the fact that they do not have seatbelts. They are concerned that so many buses use routes that are not treated in adverse weather conditions. Given the unreliability of the service in any weather, there is concern about the inability of drivers to adequately supervise the dispersal of children when journeys are abandoned and there is no consistent contingency plan followed by drivers in such circumstances.
Is the provision of seatbelts a weighted factor in the contract adjudication process and what additional cost would such facilities be over the life of the contract as a whole? [SC1]
A: No it is not a requirement â€“ Children Families and Learning are responsible for contract conditions and the question needs to be addressed to the LA Procurement Team.
Q: What measures do the bus companies, who are awarded these contracts, have to produce for maintaining the safety of the children in the event of a breakdown or failure to reach the school (e.g. their contingency plans)? [SC2]
A: Contractors have been informed of the correct procedures in these events; unfortunately the correct procedure was not followed on this occasion. The company have been reminded of their responsibilities.
PAGE 18 Q: When Central Bedfordshire Council categorised the road between Harlington and Barton as a ‘Category C road’ not worthy of any ice treatment measures, did the person responsible for the categorisation take into account that six double-decker buses full of children use the route in both directions each school day and how can the individual responsible for the decision be influenced to change it? [SC3]
A: We have requested Harlington Hill is made a priority for gritting – We are hopeful that it will be. – This is a question for the Head of Highways. [HT note: I have had assurances from Councillor McVicar, who is the portfolio holder for Safer and Stronger Communities with Central Bedfordshire Council including responsibility for gritting of roads].
Communications Parents are concerned about buses arriving late, or not at all; methods by which they can obtain information; drivers ignoring children who have followed procedures by taking refuge at Silsoe Lower School while awaiting the late arrival of their bus. Several parents reported that they had either written letters or phoned the School Transport Team to register complaints or concerns but were often: (a) not responded to or (b) told that ‘no other complaints have been received on that route’. From the correspondence seen by the school and from notes received by our Administration Office of calls over a period of time; this would appear not to be a true picture of the situation.
Q: What measures are the bus companies contractually obliged to provide (e.g. a manned telephone contact number for parents and schools to ring in the event of the late or non arrival of a bus) to ensure smooth communication between clients (CBC) and service users (pupils/parents)? [C1]
A. The contractor is expected to have a company phone operational throughout the school day to deal with any emergencies.
PAGE 19 Q: Are the drivers supplied with company mobile phones to enable them to call or text their offices (or the schools) of any difficulties they have encountered and the whereabouts of the children in their charge? [C2]
A: All drivers must have mobile phones or an operational radio system with relevant contact numbers held on it. We will remind operators that the number for the contractors office, CBC Transport and the school office are all held on drivers mobile phones.
Q: What are the performance measures/indicators that form part of the procurement process for individual bus companies with Central Bedfordshire Council? [C3]
A: There are no quality measures/indicators that form part of the procurement process. Children Families and Learning are responsible for contract conditions and questions relating to the contract need to be addressed to the Procurement Team.
Q: What communication can Central Bedfordshire Council issue on a regular basis for schools to forward to parents about the reliability measures of the services and any improvement plans the Council has agreed with the service providers where the service fails to meet the performance measures demanded within the contract? [C4]
A: Requirements for the contract are limited to running times; there are no specific quality requirements in the contract. The quality issue needs to be addressed to the LA Procurement Team so that a communication system could be introduced. There then needs to be a meeting with the school to determine the content of the communication.
Q: What methods of analysis are used to monitor the complaints received about the service delivery at Central Bedfordshire Council? How are these reported to elected members? [C5]
A: Complaints received and penalty points awarded are recorded on a data base: these are not and never have been reported to elected members. Sarah Lilly Client Transport Manager
PAGE 20 Meeting with Governors - Feedback The meeting with Local Authority representatives took place on Thursday 18th March at our joint Governing Body Committee Meetings. A member of the School Transport Team and the Central Bedfordshire Procurement Team spoke at the meeting. After an hourâ€™s discussion it was agreed that the highest priorities for improvements to the School Transport for Arnold School pupils: 1. Reliability of routes with particular reference to buses arriving to collect children from villages to get to school on time and following agreed procedures (especially in the case of snow delaying collection). Currently, we are beholden to the buses sticking to schedules for the Harlington Upper School runs. Severe penalties need to be put in place and reported for non compliance; 2. Seat belts to be a pre-requisite of tendering process when contracts are up for renewal (I will need to inform the parents of the date that the Arnold School Transport Contract is to be reviewed - you stated last night that you would let me know of this as soon as possible). With respect to new contracts: clear quality measures should be instigated; 3. Contingency plans for bad weather need to be reviewed and form part of the agreement with the contractors so that alternative safer routes are used when the normal country lanes are not available, if appropriate (i.e. the Harlington Hill when shut for resurfacing led to the alternative route being used successfully for Westoning pupils). 4. Every avenue will be explored to ensure that Amey grit (or snow plough - Clare's idea) the Harlington Hill in all poor weather conditions (e.g. ice or snow); 5. That every effort be taken to improve the arrangements for the bus stop in Westoning (opposite the pub near the Lower School) so that children can wait safely. This to be in conjunction with the Westoning Parish Councillor, Mrs Luff. Councillor Rita Drinkwater had already been approached by Mrs Luff about this issue.
PAGE 21 Before going to publication, I gave both the Client Transport Manager and Procurement Team representatives at the meeting an opportunity to respond to this article. The following response to my email about the content of this question and answer session (above) was received from Joint Commissioning Services: The three issues that you raise in terms of supplier performance, safety of children and communication in relation to home to school transport are all issues that are now being addressed as part of a transport review within Central Bedfordshire. Children's Services are working closely on this with the Sustainable Communities Directorate and the review and recommendations covering each of these areas should be complete during the summer term. I am sorry therefore that at the moment we do not have a definitive schedule for re-tendering of routes but please be assured that all the concerns raised in feedback from parents and at the meeting on Thursday are being addressed. I will keep you up to date with developments in each of these areas. In the meantime if you have any concerns about the service being provided please do not hesitate to contact me. Carol Wooding Joint Commissioning Team
PETER RABBIT DRAWN BY JESSICA DALGLISH 7KT I have been drawing since the age of 2. I take after my uncle who is an artist. I was drawing whilst I was ill and I drew 17 pictures from Peter Rabbit.
For many years our uniform has been available from school as we have had wonderful support in the provision and selling of uniform. This as you can imagine has been an enormous task which has been undertaken voluntarily by parents, of which we are extremely grateful. Since September however, Mrs Jones in the school office has been dong this task along with her already extremely busy working schedule. A decision has had to be made due to volume of work that as from today school uniform will no longer be available from Arnold Middle School office. All orders already received will be completed by the school. The school uniform and sports providers, known formerly as ‘Kick Off’ in Flitwick, who are now under new ownership - ‘TRUTEX’ will be the sole providers of our uniform. Trutex also have a store in Luton where they can take orders but will not stock our uniform, all uniform will need to be purchased and collected from 46 – 48 High Street, Flitwick. All standard items of uniform are available, our uniform policy has not changed and the school logo is embroidered on our jumper, cardigan and yellow polo shirt (Summer term only). We will continue to carry a limited stock of ties in school for emergency purchase.
PAGE 23 An Olympic Challenge! The year 8 textile project asked pupils to either design a commemorative cushion or a waistcoat for team GB. Well done to Sam Sun, Seb Jenkins, Frances Brown and Conor Dimmock for designing and creating exciting waistcoats. Great results were also achieved by those who made cushions in particular by Tom Silk, Brad Wishart, Megan Burns and Samira Ahmed well done!
Love your leftovers! The year 8s are discovering the joy of saving the environment through reducing food wastage. With great results achieved with the Potato Bake recipe pupils are hopefully realising that interesting dishes can be created from food usually thrown away. Miss D Douglas
PAGE 24 From the Chair of Governor’s Pen: With the wintery conditions of late February and early March now feeling like a distant memory and Easter now almost upon us, it must of course be time for the school newsletter. I wanted to start by recognising the hard work of all the members of staff be that in supporting residential trips, to organising performances or simply helping the school function effectively while the repairs to the canopies are carried out. Thank you for all your efforts. I also wanted to say a special thank you to Mrs Payne for all her personal efforts over and above the call of duty in getting our planned improvements to the school site through the preliminary planning process. Some of the feedback we have received from parents and pupils over the last year is that they aren't sure what the Governing Body actually does. So to help understand our work I thought it might be helpful to give a flavour of what some of us have been doing over the last half term. Issues we have been involved with include: Monitoring the progress of the school in delivering the priorities set out in the School Development Plan;
Working with our Trust Partners to explore new ways of working (such as supporting some of the vulnerable families across the area) or how we might pool some of the administrative functions to work more efficiently and effectively;
Visiting the school to find out more about what's happening on a daily basis or to carry out Health and Safety audits; •
Participating in school trips (such as the recent France trip) to get first hand knowledge of the range of experiences the school provides;
Meeting with the Local Authority Transport team to set out the concerns and frustrations with the current service and challenge them to do better;
Making some early decisions on budget priorities for next year particularly around ICT investment and further improvements to the school site.
ARNOLD MIDDLE SCHOOL
A key part of our role is listening and acting on the views of parents and pupils. As part of that â€˜listening earâ€™, a number of governors will be around during the two reports days in April. We are really keen to know what you think works well and where further work is needed. So please spare a few minutes while you are waiting for your appointment to speak to one of us or failing that come and grab our attention and let us know what you really think. Happy Easter Rhys Chesters-Lewis
ARNOLD SWIMMING POOL CLOSURE After much deliberation the Governors have regretfully decided to close the swimming pool. We are sure you will understand the high costs involved of running a pool and it has sadly been deemed no longer financially viable. This means there will not be any swimming lessons in the final term of this academic year.
On Monday, 15th March, 9 children from AMS Kitchen Garden Club went to plant trees with the Woodland Trust and helped create a new wood called Heartwood Forest. The event was part of the Trust’s five year campaign called Tree for All, designed to involve as many children as possible across the UK. The children were able to plant young trees, guided by experts experienced in outdoor learning, while having fun at the same time. Over the next few years they will see the field turn into a young wood and feel pride in the contribution they made.
Find out more about the “Tree for All” campaign by visiting www.treeforall.org.uk
PAGE 27 OUT of SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENTS Has your daughter or son a talent that is further developed out of school? if so we would like to hear from you so we can celebrate their achievements in one of our regular newsletters. Please send a summary report and a photo so that we may share their accomplishments with our community to Mrs Sides.
PALM CENTRE UPDATE This has been a busy term at PALM, it is hard to believe that during the Christmas holiday we were busy handing over our much cherished PALM centre to help ease the burden created by the collapse of the canopy. We wondered how we would manage to re-establish the ambience and atmosphere in the small ‘office’ from which we were to continue to work. As it was there was no need to worry, the ethos of the PALM centre has continued to thrive; thanks must go to our two Learning Mentors Mr Will Sides and Mrs Sarah Yates who managed under difficult conditions to provide so much pupil support. Our new Self – Esteem pilot programme for girls is under way and the boys work will start in April. Mrs Chesters-Lewis will return on a part-time basis after the holiday and will focus on transition work with all years and I am delighted to report that Mr Sides and Mrs Yates will continue to be active Learning mentors. We appreciate and recognise the value of parental views on the strengths of PALM and areas you would like us to develop further. To this end we will be inviting parents of those pupils who have already been engaged with the PALM centre to complete a short questionnaire. Many parents already tell us verbally how much the PALM centre has benefited their child; we really do appreciate your kind words and look forward to receiving your feedback.
PAGE 28 National Science Week at Arnold This year the science team at Arnold chose to identify a theme to provide a focused approach to Science week. The choice was, as you can imagine vast as there are so many topical areas currently in the news, however it was decided to explore the science surrounding an everyday household name – Coca Cola – or canned science. Not only were we going to explore scientific aspects of Coke but we were also envisaging a community exploration of the Coca Cola Corporation across the full curriculum. Ideas include in PSHCE exploring the ethics of the corporation, Maths were producing scale models of cans of coke and creating a ‘net’ for a coke inspired Easter egg, Art enjoyed the history of the logo and the art behind the logo, these are just to name a few of the ideas in place to support science week. All pupils in science continued with the curriculum teaching skills and content appropriate to their curriculum. Year 5 - Myth or Reality – Coca Cola is a cleaning agent? Activity – through planning and investigation deliver a report to the . ‘CEO’ of the Coca Cola Corporation on your findings. Skills: Literary, effective communication, planning and experimentation, teamwork, research, problem solving, ICT, empathy, listening and self confidence. ECM elements: Achieve and Enjoy, Be Healthy, Make a Positive Contribution. Year 6—Myth or Reality – Coke tastes better cold? Activity – survey pupil opinions then plan and carry out an investigation to find the most effective insulation for a can of Coca Cola (because we all know it tastes better cold!) and present your work to the class. Skills: Literary, numeracy, ICT and data analysis, effective communication, evaluation, planning and experimentation, working with others, problem solving, empathy, listening and self confidence. ECM elements: Achieve and Enjoy, Be Healthy, Make a Positive Contribution.
PAGE 29 KS3 Myth or Reality – Coca Cola can be used as a fuel for rockets? Activity based work – Investigate forces that apply in various contexts to a can of Coca Cola. • •
Can we use air pressure to collapse a can? Why does a can of diet coke float and regular coke sink? Investigate ways for coke to release its gas (the Mentos experiment).
Skills: Literary, effective communication, planning and experimentation, teamwork, interpreting information research, problem solving, ICT, empathy, listening and self confidence. ECM elements: Achieve and Enjoy, Be Safe, Be Healthy, Make a Positive Contribution. We will be evaluating the success of the week through pupil feedback and I will report back on their thoughts in the May newsletter. AND FINALLY…………… I would like to express my grateful thanks for the support of Mr Cayzer for the fantastic gift of 4 rather large Coca Cola recycling bins. These are not only great for visual display but more importantly the sustainability element enabling us to increase the amount of materials we recycle.
PAGE 30 What is SEAL and what role does it have in learning? At Arnold we are focussing on developing the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) as we strongly support the view that these skills underpin effective learning. Having embedded SEAL skills enables pupils to achieve the following. Manage their impulses, helping them settle quickly, concentrate and not disrupt others.
Build warm relationships, which help them to care what others (e.g. staff and peers) think and to respond positively to them. •
Manage strong and uncomfortable emotions such as anger and frustration, and become more resilient, which helps them rise to the challenges of the learning process and stick at it if things get tough. •
Learn to feel good about themselves, which reduces the likelihood of disruptive behaviour and increases capacity for independent learning. •
Manage anxiety and stress, including being prepared for tests and examinations. •
Learn to empathise with other pupils' desire to learn, helping them contribute to a positive learning environment. •
Reflect on longer term goals, raise their aspirations and become more able to resist negative pressure from others. •
Feel optimistic about themselves and their ability to learn, which improves their motivation to work hard and attend regularly. Class activity Activities in class often overtly explore SEAL and one popular example is attached in the form of a Blob tree. Pupils identify with characters on the tree and consider whether the character has strengths in a particular aspect that they relate to. This can lead to further exploration of other blob people on the tree that they aspire to be like. The beauty of these blob people is that they are non gender, simplistic representations of different individuals who all pupils and staff can relate to. Some of our pupils are even starting to design their own blob people trees and exploring the internet to find out more.
Old, cold and dying They asked for help but no-one came They lived in an ordinary home They lived together all alone Old, cold and dying They asked for help but no-one came They couldnâ€™t afford to pay for heat They couldnâ€™t afford to pay to eat Old, cold and dying They asked for help but no-one came The weather got very cold Age concern they phoned and told Old, cold and dying They asked for help but no-one came They were ignored, they got no help Their family dog started to yelp Old, cold and dying They asked for help but no-one came A neighbour rang the police one day In their bed the couple lay Old, cold and dying They asked for help but no-one came Six days they had been lying dead This is the ballad of Noreen and Ned
BY CURTIS HORVAT, LUKE HORVAT, IMOGENE PLATER AND JOLENE SMITH
CRASH BANG BOOM!!! I wish it would STOP!! Each and every day the bombs always DROP!! CRASH BANG BOOM!!! I wish it would STOP!! The guns keep on firing and a poor boy’s been SHOT!! CRASH BANG BOOM!!! I wish it would STOP!! I really can’t believe it they’ve blown up the SHOP!! Everything inside is going POP POP POP!! CRASH BANG BOOM!! I wish it would STOP!! The war is an eternal torture will it stop? I think NOT!!
By Thomas Hutchins and James Bavister
Congratulations! As a result of your fund raising we have raised the money to have our trim trail! It will be installed during the Easter holidays!
PAGE 37 Friends of Arnold School Association Charity No. 1037814
The new committee has had several meetings so far this year and we are now looking forward to supporting our first events at Arnold on 24th and 25th March at the Arts performances. We are also supporting the Spring Concert on 31st March. We are very grateful to Homebase, Kroppes and Bobbers, FairMaiden, Angel Hair and C & H Chemists who have generously donated raffle prizes. At the moment we are keen to seek the assistance of an Arnold parent who is willing to help us with the administration of the 10K Barton Run which will be held on 13th June. This would involve entering runners’ information into a database and sending out race packs. If anyone feels they could help us with this, please contact us at our email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to a committee member as soon as possible. So far, we already have 10 volunteers to help on the day with refreshments and marshalling – more volunteers are very welcome, just let us know. Also, if you can help us at any other event, even if it is just a ‘one-off’, we are always grateful for extra support. As the Spring term draws to a close, the FASA Committee wish you all a very Happy Easter.
Forthcoming Events 25th-28th May – Music and Drama (Blast Off) Production 13th June – Barton 10K and 5K Run 9th July – Year 8 Leavers Disco 16th and 19th July – Multi Sports Event
PAGE 38 YEAR 5 TRIP TO THE ROALD DAHL MUSEUM “At
the Roald Dahl Gallery we went into a room which had Fantastic Mr Foxes tunnel. We also went into Matilda’s library and James’ Giant Peach. We did a play of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After that we went upstairs and looked up and saw Mr & Mrs Twits room on the ceiling. There was a green wall where you pressed a button and your back was against the wall , there was a flash and it captured your shadow.” Phoebe Jeffery 5AW
“It was the best trip I have ever taken at Arnold. I learned lots of information about Roald Dahl I never knew before. My favourite was the tunnel in the exhibit and the green screen.” Joe Noonan 5AW
“The Roald Dahl gallery was great. We had a fabulous day. I especially loved the microscope where we saw the germs on our fingers. We had two ladies showing us around they were excellent. Their names were Trish & Ashley. I also loved the green screen—I shrunk! I would definitely go again.” Kelsey Martin 5AW
ARNOLD MIDDLE SCHOOL
PE News This spring term has been a hugely eventful term for the Arnold Middle School PE Department. With the football league beginning and the county netball and basketball taking place, as well as preparation for our gym and dance display in full swing, this term has seen an extremely hectic schedule of extra-curricular sporting activities. The year 6 Boys Football team who continued their amazing unbeaten run since being at school. Having won the league and county cup last season the boys have continued to build on their previous success and have so far won both of their league fixtures against Marston Vale (10-0) and Henlow (5-2). The boys have continued their county cup run and recently faced Ashton Middle School in the semi-final. Despite having the majority of the ball and the attacking play we found ourselves 1-0 down. We bounced back with goals from Conner Penning and Darien Graham before a short spell which saw us concede 2 goals. The scoreline remained this way for some time despite us pressuring the home team for most of the second half. With minutes to spare Ashton had a penalty which would have made it 4-2 and very difficult for us to recover Sonny Foulkes however produced an excellent save to give us a glimmer of hope for the final few minutes before a dramatic amazing late equalizer from Conner Penning levelled the scores. The boys however did not stop there and Darien Graham crashed in a winner in the dying seconds to complete an amazing comeback. The boys â€˜never give up attitudeâ€™ was hugely evident throughout. Well done to you all and good luck in your upcoming final. Year 6 Boys Football Squad Sonny Foulkes Jack Keenan David Harley Conner Penning Peter Shrive
Sam McClelland (captain) George Goodall Niall Palmer Darien Graham
Chetan Rayat Niall Abraham Andrew Round Matthew Vale
PAGE 40 The year 7 boys football team have begun their season. So far the boys have played 2 matches beating Marston Vale 2-0, then losing 6-2 to Etonbury. The boys have however played some good football and will be looking forward to getting back on track in their remaining 2 league matches. The Year 8 team also started their season in an unbeaten fashion beating Marston Vale 5-2 in their first fixture, Alexander Bailey starred with an impressive hat-trick and 2 assists. All the team impressed on this occasion and continued to take this newly found self-belief into their next game which was a friendly at home to Parkfields. Finding ourselves 1-0 down, the boys responded with a second-half equalizer from Conner Clifton. With no further goals the match finished at 1-1 and acted as good preparation for our remaining 3 league games where the boys will look to continue their unbeaten run. Meanwhile, the year 5 and 6 girls had their annual 7-a-side football festival at Etonbury Middle School. The girls did well and played some nice football. Despite being on the wrong end of some score lines the girls gained valuable football experience which we are sure will benefit them in their football in the future. This term has also seen the Bedfordia Cross Country held at Lincroft Middle School. An annual competition, we had participants from all age groups, with our 5 and 6 entrants taking part in the team competition and the 7 and 8 teams as individual runners. All runners gave their best and completed a demanding route, we had some fantastic finishes on the day, so well done to you all.
Bedfordia Cross Country Squad 2010 Harrison Wright Sam McClelland Matthew Vale Hannah Underwood Michaela Finn Aaron Bean Frances Brown
Niall Abraham Andrew Round Jessica Jones Freya Green Alliah Edwards James Wildey
Conner Penning Darien Graham Jessica Pitts Shannon Ewen Sam Pointing James Mackey
PAGE 41 County Tournaments have been a massive focus of this terms extra curricular events, particularly for girls Basketball and Netball. Starting with the Basketball, both the year 7 & 8 girls teams qualified for the county finals. The year 7 tournament took place on Friday 28th February. The girls played 3 games against different schools from across the county with each game resulting in a draw. The girls finished in 2nd position overall, narrowly missing out on the title of county champions. On the day the girls played fantastically and worked extremely well as a team. The year 8 county tournament came a week later and again the girls played 3 different games against various schools around the county. They won all their games with some amazing performances. The whole team showed excellent determination and desire to score baskets and win games. After finishing top of their pool they made it through to the finals in which they played Caddington Middle School. The team went into the lead and the game remained tight until the final whistle. The Arnold team had possession of the ball for the majority of the game and had many attempts on target, with the ball remaining predominantly in the opponents half. Unfortunately our shots missed the targets and the rare shots that Caddington made were successful, resulting in a win for them. The year 8 team also finished in second place and once again narrowly missed out on being crowned county champions. A big congratulations goes to all the players, well done girls. Year 7 Anna Savage Lisa Purdue Alex Robins Olivia Barton Debbie Bolland Vicki Reid Kelsie Cummins Melissa Humphrey
Year 8 Kelsey Bassett Megan McDonagh Chloe Malvern Amy Govier Henny Horsler Alice Double Goldie Taylor Sarah Tilleray Annalise Pickering
PAGE 42 Moving onto the Netball all the teams have been in action this term in the county competitions. The year 7 & 8 teams played their county tournament at the Bunyan Centre. The year 7â€™s won all of their round games and progressed through to the semi-finals they then went onto successfully progress to the finals. They played against Lincroft, having already beaten them in the league final previously this year. The game started off tight to begin with, with some lovely Netball being played, unfortunately the girls were unable to maintain there impeccable record of not losing a game all season and finished runners up in the tournament. The year 8 team also had a successful tournament, winning the majority of their games in the round stages; they also progressed through to the semi finals in which they were unfortunately defeated by Holywell. The year 6 team were also in action in a county Netball tournament. They played some great Netball but were unable to make it through to the finals, after narrowly losing their games. The team enjoyed playing and also had some friendly games at the end of the tournament. The experience will set the team in good preparation for next yearâ€™s competitive Netball league. Year 8
Megan McDonagh Chloe Malvern Ellis Orsborn Henny Horsler Gemma Colclough Kelsey Bassett Charlotte Moore Charlotte Cox Katherine Wildey
Anna Savage Evie Newton Kelsie Cummins Debbie Boland Lauren Eagles Lucy Wolfe Alliah Edwards Charlotte Morriss Anna Treacher Amy Gillard
Jessica Jones Jessica Pitts Sarah Marshall Ria Pachnanda Joanna Saunders
Year 5 Lucy Treacher
Again a big congratulations to all the girls involved. Miss J Cooke & Mr K Tfifha
ARNOLD SCHOOL DIARY 2009-2010 Monday 15th February Tuesday 23rd February Monday 8th – Friday 12th March Thursday 11th March Monday 15th – Friday 19th March Wednesday 24th March Thursday 25th March Tuesday 30th March Tuesday 30th March Wednesday 31st March Thursday 1st April Friday 2nd – Saturday 10th April Monday 19th April
Half term week – return Monday 22nd February Parents’ Awareness Raising Evening (2) Year 7 French PGL visit Parents’ Forum Evening (2) National Science Week – whole school enrichment events Arts Performances (gymnastics, dance and drama) Arts Performances (gymnastics, dance and drama) Year 8 group and individual photos + music groups FASA Disco SPRING CONCERT Spring Term Ends Ski Trip Training Day/Reports Day } Pupils not in school – appointment times will be th Tuesday 20 April Reports Day } issued to meet with Form Tutors on both days st Wednesday 21 April Summer Term Commences th Wednesday 28 April Yr 3 / 4 Parents of Children with Additional Needs Meeting th Thursday 29 April Junior Maths Challenge Day rd Monday 3 May May Day Bank Holiday – school closed th th Monday 10 – Friday 14 May Key Stage 2 SATs Week Year 6 PGL Activity Week Monday 17th – Friday 21st May Monday 17th – Friday 21st May Enrichment Week th Week commencing Monday 24 May MUSICAL PRODUCTION th Parents’ Forum Evening (3) Tuesday 25 May st th Monday 31 May – Friday 4 June Half Term Week – return Monday 7th June Tuesday 8th June Parents’ Awareness Raising Evening (3) th Tuesday 15 June Year 4 Maths & Rounders Day rd Wednesday 23 June DT G&T Afternoon for Year 4 pupils th Summer Concert Wednesday 7 July th Thursday 8 July Year 8 Curriculum Induction Day (Harlington Upper School) th Friday 9 July All Pupils’ Induction Day (including partner lower schools) th Friday 9 July Year Eight Leavers’ Disco th Friday 16 July Sports Events (athletics, swimming and team events)* further details to follow. th Monday 19 July Year 5 Intake Evening for parents (with children) th Sports Events (athletics, swimming and team events)* Monday 19 July th Tuesday 20 July Year Five French Day th Tuesday 20 July Leavers’ Celebration Assembly (evening with parents) st Wednesday 21 July Year 8 Day Trip - Summer Term Ends.
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