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ISSUE 54 • MAY 2019

what is the 11 plus?

prizes to be won!

what's on

for tree climbing 29 May, 1 June & Saturdays in July 10am-4pm Get closer to nature when you experience a thrilling tree climb run by the Great Big Tree Climbing Company. £20 per participant, plus a 5% booking fee. Full details and booking information can be found online.

© National Trust 2019 . Registered charity, No. 205846. © National Trust Images \the Great Big Tree Climbing Company.

Join us at Stourhead

WELCOME It feels like the Easter holidays have only just finished and here we are preparing for the May half term! I’m sure we’re not the only ones that are excited about having more free time to enjoy the lighter evenings and warmer weather. This issue is full of great ideas to keep you entertained during Whit Week and the Bank Holidays, as well as offering advice for all of you getting ready for exam season. Make sure to have a flick through our What’s On section to see what is happening in the area to keep you and the kids entertained during the holidays and some great ideas to help you celebrate Father’s Day together. There are also a whole host of your achievements and news from all our local schools, we love seeing what you guys have been up to over the past term and seeing all your photos from special events like World Book Day! So, get yourself comfy and enjoy!

p4 preparing for sats


p12 be ready for hay fever season

p16 make lunchboxes more exciting

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Help them prepare for


While we’re all getting excited for May half term, Year 6 children might be feeling a little anxious about SATs, which will be dominating their school days once the holidays are over. They should of course use the half term to relax and have fun, but to make sure they are fully prepared for exams when they get back to school, here are some revision tips to help you all feel a little more relaxed about the whole thing. It’s important that they feel confident about going into the SATs, whatever their ability, hopefully, these will make the experience go more smoothly.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT Pens and pencils are a must, but making sure that they have compasses, rulers, calculators, highlighters and anything else that they might need will take the stress out of revision and the actual exams.

CREATE THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT Make sure that your living space is conductive to revision, revising subjects for exams are different to doing homework. Other siblings need to understand that they mustn’t interrupt studying and TVs and music should be at a minimum volume. Not everyone is able to study in silence, but having too much volume can be distracting.

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Schools are always happy to help with resources to help with getting prepared for tests, so be sure to speak to the class teacher to see if there are any additional resources you can use. Getting involved in studying is also helpful as you can use flash cards or practice papers to help them get used to the test environments and the kinds of questions they’ll be asked.

Life is busy and it can be difficult to set aside time for them to study, but if you can schedule some revision time into the routine, this will help them get to grips with the information.

BE ENCOURAGING Any tests are stressful and your child may lack confidence in their ability, especially if they are more of a practical learner. Make sure you are calm, positive, encouraging, kind and compassionate. Let your child know that you love and respect them regardless of their results and that you are happy to help them. It’s important to be patient with them, stress can make your child irritable and they can get frustrated, so make allowances for their moods during these times.

MAKE TIME FOR FUN Remember that it is still half term and they are still children, so having fun together as a family and allowing for play and relaxation time are still important.

Do you have any tips for seeing your child through exams? Get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter (@ukfamilymatters) with your suggestions!

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Celebrate Father’s Day at Whitehall Garden Centres

Sat 15th & Sun 16th June Events & activities for all the family including: Father’s Day Card Making BBQ Tastings & Demonstrations Children’s Pizza Making

FATHER'S DAY ISN'T JUST FOR KIDS! This year, Father’s Day falls on 16th June in the UK, so make sure you’re prepared to celebrate the father figures in your life, whether they are your biological father, adoptive father, step father, an uncle, a grandfather or an older brother – essentially father’s day is a way of honouring men who have been there for you, or your children, throughout your life. Don’t get confused with when Father’s Day is celebrated in other countries, as this differs throughout the year, unless of course, you want to celebrate your father multiple times through the year! The UK, Ireland, USA, France, Cyprus, South Africa, the Netherlands, Greece, Japan, Canada and Saudi Arabia are all reported to celebrate Father’s Day in June. If you have Australian roots or are from Fiji, Papua New Guinea or New Zealand, Father’s Day is in September, while in Europe it is celebrated in March, November or December, depending on where you are. It’s a great opportunity to spend some time with your dad, so we thought we’d put together a few ideas of ways you can spend the day together.

Get out and enjoy nature

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good day out for Father’s Day. Why not just go for a walk in the park or take a trip to the countryside for a few hours? As Father’s Day falls in June, the weather should be pretty good.

Take him to a gig

Live music performances are a great way to have a fun night with your dad, especially if you have a similar taste in music or comedy performances. Besides, it’s always worth it to watch him let his hair down. If there is a local festival or live show going on, these can be great for the whole family.

Take a class together

If you’re anything like me, you’ll rely on your dad for help with stuff all the time, whether it’s putting together

something that arrived flatpacked or advice on how long to cook an egg, so why not learn something together? There are classes all over the place offering lessons in everything from mixology to cookery to carpentry. Younger kids will love getting to bake cakes and pastries with their dad or watching while he shows them how to put something together, while the older ones will like sampling the results.

A spa day

Look, spa days aren’t just a Mother’s Day option, skin care and relaxation are important for everyone, so why not book your dad in for some tlc? There are plenty of spa treatments that are advertised with men in mind, but if you’re more liberal about gender roles, then any of the treatments at your local spa will help him feel relaxed and pampered.

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what is the 11-plus and how do i prepare my child? If you have chosen a grammar or independent school for your child’s further education, you’ll have already done your research into the admissions policies, but for those of you considering your choice of secondary school you’ll need to know how the application process works, how to prepare for the entrance exams and when to start the process, luckily, we’re here for you! If you have a local grammar or independent school in mind, you should start your school visits and research as early as possible. By the time your child is in Year 4, you will need to make the decision about whether you want them to attend a grammar or independent school. This will give you adequate time to find the right school and to work with your child’s teacher to develop their English and Maths skills ready for the entrance exams. Be aware though, not every state funded grammar school will have the word ‘grammar’ in the name and many that do are of the fee paying variety. As with all things, make sure you research the schools carefully to check it is the kind of school you want to send your child. Year 5 is when you should start visiting potential schools during open days and towards the end of the school year, you’ll need to start getting them ready for the 11 plus, which is taken at the beginning of Year 6. The results are then released in the October, which is when you will need to complete your application form. If your child is older and you’ve decided you want to go for a grammar school, some schools offer entry at 13+ and many reopen their books at 16+. Entry is also possible at other times so check with the school for their individual admission policies.

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So, what exactly is the 11-plus? The 11-plus is the name of the entrance exams for certain secondary schools, including grammar and selective independent schools. The content varies depending on the county, but generally focuses on English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Spatial Awareness. There are also variations depending on the exam boards, but either way, there is a strong emphasis on English and Maths core skills. Tests that include a spatial awareness element will test reasoning and logical skills. The exam is based around testing your child’s natural aptitude as well as their skills in certain subjects. If you want to help prepare your child, make sure they read widely and develop their maths skills to a high standard.

How can I help my child? 1. Find out what exams they are sitting as the exam board, subjects, format and length among other variations exist. Some of the exam boards have past papers and practice tests available, so making sure if your child has access to these and using them will help. 2. Read widely with your child from a young age, this will help widen their vocabulary 3. Make sure your child is able to manage their time, being able to revise in exam conditions will make the real thing less intimidating, but also being able to juggle their social lives and their work loads will help for preparing them for secondary school. 4. Get a tutor, if you have the means, getting a tutor to give your child additional support in the run up to their exams offers them a good shot of feeling confident and fully prepared for the real thing.

Do you have any additional advice for parents choosing a grammar school? Get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter @UKFamilyMatters ukfamilymatters |

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Sat 29th June - Sun 30th June 2019 Trowbridge Park, BA14 8AH - Open from 10am Displays - Choirs - Bands - Flypasts Stalls - Reenactment - Vehicles WW1 Tank from Norfolk Tank Museum Sunday 2pm - Parade followed by Drumhead Service


Enter now at

Win Prizes

Win a family ticket for four to Larmer Tree Festival!

Win a Family Day Ticket for 2 Adults and 2 Children to Longleat For the first time ever at Longleat, discover Koala Creek. It is home to the Safari Park’s furthest travelled residents; Southern koalas, hairy nosed wombats and a mob of long-nosed potoroos. Longleat, nestled on the county line between Somerset and Wiltshire, is the only animal collection in England exhibiting koalas and the only animal collection in Europe exhibiting Southern koalas. At Koala Creek you can to come eye to eye and within almost touching distance of the mesmerising koalas, all as part of your adventure at the astonishing kingdom of Longleat.

Larmer Tree Festival returns 18 - 21 July 2019. Offering an unmissable line-up of music, comedy, theatre, talks, workshops and much more, Larmer Tree is the ultimate summer party for all ages. This year's Festival includes Kate Tempest, Jack Savoretti, The Cat Empire, Gomez, The Shires and KT Tunstall, as well as comedians Josie Long and Nish Kumar, and children's TV favourite Andy Day with his band Andy and the Odd Socks.

Win complimentary entry for 5 guests at Crealy Theme Park Resort. Set in 100 acres of glorious Devon countryside, with over 60 rides and attractions and over 75,000 sq ft of indoor fun, there is something for the whole family to enjoy whatever the weather.

Win a family ticket to Haynes International Motor Museum As well as being the motoring mecca for the die hard enthusiast, the Haynes International Motor Museum also takes family fun very seriously indeed!

TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE OF WINNING THESE FANTASTIC PRIZES, simply visit, click on the Competitions button and complete the form. It couldn’t be easier! Closing date for entries: 1st July 2019

While the warmer weather, blooming plants and blue skies are a welcome change to cold, dreary days, for those of us with seasonal allergic rhinitis, aka hayfever, the spring and summer months can be a nightmare. Those with an allergy to tree pollen will find their symptoms start in early spring, while grass pollen triggers issues in the late spring and into the summer and pollen from weeds affects people into late autumn. Some hayfever symptoms can even last into November for those with allergies to mould spores which can be found from spring onwards. So, though the cloudless skies and beautiful greenery might have us longingly staring out of windows, actually being in the midst of it can be challenging.




h o e l l yf s ever sea

Hayfever is one of the UK’s most common allergies and affects 1 in every 5 people at some point in the year. People who suffer from hayfever will often find that they are allergic to more than one type of pollen and that their symptoms will be triggered at different times of year and by different plants. Some people are unlucky enough to have perennial rather than seasonal rhinitis meaning that they suffer all year around. Non-suffers will never know the trauma of trying to enjoy a picnic on a hot summer’s day while your eyes are burning, your mouth is itching and a rash is developing, which is why we thought we’d answer some of the most asked questions on the subject.

Why do only some people get hayfever? Honestly? No one seems to know. There is some evidence to suggest that hayfever and other types of allergies are hereditary and that people who already suffer from asthma or eczema are predisposed to develop either seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis.

Why are allergies worse on some days? The weather plays a huge role in the level of pollen that is in the area, so even in the same season, you’ll find the severity of your symptoms will differ from day to day depending on the weather. Where you are also plays a part, as some pollens are more prevalent in some geographical areas than others.

So, if people are more affected by one type of pollen than the other, how do they know what they are allergic to? The season that allergies get triggered in will help narrow down which plants are the cause, it is possible to have an allergen test, but generally, if you start getting symptoms in the spring it is likely to be trees and then grass in the summer and weeds towards autumn.

What are the symptoms? Well, while non-suffers might just think hayfever is a bit of a sniffle and that you shouldn’t be causing such a fuss, it is so much more than that. People with hayfever will have puffy, itchy eyes, a runny nose, a sore or itchy throat, sudden sneezing, congestion, a rash, fatigue, headaches and perhaps even a combination of all these things. The pollen causes a reaction within the body which leads to inflammation of the sinuses, nose and eyes depending on how much pollen you’ve been exposed to or how severe the allergy is. Hayfever symptoms often start during childhood or teens, but can develop at any age, so the next time you hear someone complaining about their hayfever, make sure you’re a bit more sympathetic!

what’s on 25th May - 2nd June Paint a Springtime Wooden Decoration A fun art activity for all the family with a selection of springtime-themed wooden decorations for you to choose from. Barrington Court, National Trust. 25th May Visit the Beach at Lacock! Come along and build your very own Sand Castle or laze by the sand on our deck chairs. Our Whitehall Beach is here from Saturday 25th May open daily through to Sunday 8th September. Whitehall Garden Centre, Lacock. 25th May Mindful Moments Trail Pause, breathe and take a mindful moment with us this summer. A fun family trail with activities to make you aware of your thoughts and feelings in nature’s surroundings. Lacock, National Trust. 28th May Crafty Cats - Tales and Legends Crafty Cats session will use a range of craft activities to transform younger visitors into fire-breathing dragons or Kings & Queens, and they will also have the chance to create a medieval regal banner to fly as they march into battle! Undercroft of The Bishop’s Palace. Included in admission. Palace Members free.

28th May - Donkey Day The donkeys are visiting from Mike’s Donkeys. You can get to know the donkeys and give them a pet! There’ll also be time to get creative and make your own donkey crafts – and who will be able to spot all of the cuddly donkeys hidden around the Museum in our Donkey Trail? 28th - 30th May Wildlife Days Join us for our wildlife days - lots of outdoor fun for all the family. There will be wildlife crafts and a variety of hands-on activities with our friends from local wildlife charities. Barrington Court, National Trust. 30th May Nature Ninjas - Tales and Legends Join the team at The Bishop’s Palace on a quest to explore the tales and legends of medieval times over May Half Term! Nature Ninjas family gardening session will focus on fun plants from history! Community Garden. Included in admission, 11am 3pm. 30th May Family Fun: Victorian Day Come and experience rural Victorian life this half-term. Imagine life in a Victorian farmhouse, see drop scones cooking on the range and discover what it was like living in Victorian times by trying out our laundry mangle in the Museum courtyard.

For further information about each event

2nd June Brick Express at Avon Valley Railway Jump onboard the Brick Express and enjoy our building workshops with Lego® bricks whilst you travel the line. What will you be inspired to build? There’ll be plenty of inspiration from our onboard workshop leaders as well as the scenery, station buildings and locomotives that you’ll pass by.

hot beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

7th - 9th June Home Farm Fest 14 3 Days, 8 stages, 150+ bands, silent disco, play art children's area, funfair, village green, kid's cinema, tea and cake tents, group camping, family camping area and so much more. Book NOW!

22nd June Charity Open Day at HorseWorld A great opportunity to see what goes on and talk to the grooms and trainers who rescue, nurse back to health, train and then find suitable homes for these wonderful animals. There will be hot food, teas, coffees and cakes as well as HorseWorld merchandise available. Entry is free! HorseWorld, Staunton Lane,Whitchurch

8th - 9th June Make a Flower Bomb Create your very own Flower Bomb to take home from 10:30am until 4:00pm. Please note your ticket is valid all day from 10:30am until 4:00pm. Whitehall Garden Centre, Lacock. 10th June LEAF Open Farm Sunday at Farrington Farm 14th - 16th June The Country Garden Festival Nurseries selling a range of rare and specialist plants, to food and drink, garden gadgets and tools, sculpture, outdoor seating and paints, as well as hands-on demonstrations, all designed to inspire you to love and use your garden. www.bishopspalace. 15th June Make a Father's Day Card Join us to decorate your very own Father’s Day Card to take home on Saturday 15th June. All equipment is provided. Whitehall Garden Centres, Whitchurch and Lacock 16th June Fish and Chip Special on the West Somerset Railway Join us for a lunchtime steam train excursion from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead return. Sit back and relax whilst enjoying your Fish & Chips. The Buffet Car and Bar will be open, serving

22nd June from 12 noon Alhampton Summer Fete Join us for a fun-filled afternoon of activities; take a ride on the miniature railway, meet the birds of prey, enter the duck race and much more... something for all the family.

29th & 30th June Teddy Bears Picnic FREE train travel for children who bring their Teddy Bear! Come and join us for this special day with lots of activities for children. Enjoy a family teddy bear trail around the station. Enjoy Punch & Judy shows. Be amazed at our balloon modeller. 13th July Royal Navy International Air Day RNAS Yeovilton will open their gates to up to 40,000 visitors to enjoy the magnificent five hour flying display, meet our Armed Forces personnel and see their equipment up close. There will also be a huge array of educational ground attractions. Families will also be able to enjoy trade stalls, arena displays, helicopter pleasure flights, simulators and fairground rides. 18th - 21st July Larmer Tree Festival Get ready to enjoy top-notch local, national and international artists in music, outdoor theatre, live performances, arts and comedy, as well as blissful retreats and legendary international cuisine to fill your belly and nourish the soul.

please visit

make lunchboxes If your child takes their own lunch to school and is starting to get a bit bored of the same old sandwiches, why not give a few of these suggestions a whirl?

forget the brand names It’s easy enough to make your own cheese pots or dips. Store these in little containers and slice up carrots, cucumber or pop in a few bread sticks to cut down on the cost of the brand name lunchbox ideas. Present your child with a few different options and let them build their own lunch, they won’t be bored of it then!

variety is the spice of life Remember, bread isn’t the only lunch option, why not use pittas, tortillas or crackers with a variety of fillings for a healthy, filling lunch without the traditional sandwiches.

make shapes Having fun with cutters, either with fruit and veg or with ham, cheese or even sandwiches helps to make lunch more interesting.

more exciting make extra when doing

your own

leftovers are your friend

You don’t have to think of your lunch and your child’s lunch as being separate, if you’re making pasta pots or salads for your lunch, make a little extra and give your child a smaller portion.

If you have leftovers, such as pasta, sausages, chicken or small pastries, these are a great option for anyone who doesn’t want a sandwich. Plus it can feel more like a meal so they’re less likely to get hungry during the afternoon. Why not use up leftover chicken and add some salad and cous cous for a healthy meal?

let the kids help out

leave a note

Get your kids to help with preparing items for their lunchbox, whether it’s baking on the weekend or helping chop fruit and veg in the morning, either way, it is a fun activity and it also helps get stuff done.

You can buy prewritten lunchnotes that go in the lunchbox and mean that the kids get a little message from you, or you can write your own. Also you can try writing on bananas and it looks really cute! You can even draw pictures.

Do you have any good lunch suggestions? Get in touch on Twitter and Facebook and let us know! @ukfamilymatters



18TH - 21ST July 2019



AT THE ROYAL NAVY’S SPECTACULAR AIRSHOW! SAVE WITH ADVANCE TICKETS: Adult £28, Child (5-15yrs) £5, Under 5s FREE! Tickets also available from Local Tourist Information Centres

made at Tyntesfield Follow tales of Hispanic explorers, complete a very Victorian trail, run riot in one of the four play areas and explore the estate as you spring into summer.

These are the places that make us.

© National Trust 2019 . Registered charity, No. 205846. © National Trust Images \National Trust/Anna Kilcooley.

Intrepid explorers

get a good night’s sleep, say

goodbye to your phone! We’ve all seen the news stories imploring us to put down the smart phone and leave laptops out of the bedroom but more and more us are turning to social media, YouTube and games before bed. According to studies, playing with a smartphone, working on a computer or even watching TV will all trick your body into still thinking its daytime. The artificial light that is emitted from the screen sends messages to your brain that it is time to wake up and activates the body, resetting your internal clock and causing disruption to your sleep pattern. It’s been shown that even using a screen for four hours before bedtime will reduce the hormone that makes you tired which can lead to disorders like insomnia. This is all well and good, but some of us use our phones as an alarm clock or have relatives or neighbours that use us as emergency contacts. If you have the option, it is recommended putting your phone into do not disturb mode and only have those emergency numbers selected to come through to you. Also, if you put your phone on the other side of the room where you can’t reach it, you’ll have peace of mind without distractions. In the long run, problems sleeping at night can impact how you function during the day, so getting a good rest will help you feel more alert, healthier and less stressed.

So, what can you do to unwind before bed? It is recommended to get 7-9 hou rs of quality sleep a night, which isn’t always possibl e between kids, jobs and our busy lifestyles. The re are a few things you can do to get a better night’s sleep, even if you do have tonnes of other things to do, like:

Spend at least half an hour tech free before you head to bed. Read a book instead of using an electronic device to help you unwind. Try to keep your bedroom as tech free as possible so you aren’t tempted to check Twitter or switch on Towie whi le you’re in bed. Use your bed for sleep only, don ’t sit in/on your bed to do work, answer ema ils – that way your mind will connect you r bed and sleep and help you to have an und isturbed night. Try to keep your pets out of the bedroom, they often work on a differen t cycle to us and can get you up early/keep you up late. Try to stay away from drinking alco hol before bed – yes, alcohol will make you drowsy, but when it starts to leave your syst em, it will wake up the brain and the body which will interrupt your sleep cycle. Also try to avoid drinking caffeine or any sugary drinks within four hours of going to bed as thes e will also wake you up and make it difficult to sleep.

Do you have any tips for getting a good night’s sleep? Let us know! You can get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter, @UKFamilyMatters. ukfamilymatters |

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mily Matters Quarter Page 1.indd 1


30/04/2019 16:50:17

How to spend less without cutting back The first quarter of the year can be a stressful time when it comes to bills. All those gifts put on credit cards, all that extra food, heating and lighting, it all adds up and you could find that you end up with some scary looking bills. To help you spend less without having to cut out your weekly staples, whether it’s your food shop, school supplies or gadgets, we have compiled some top money saving tips.

Make a list of everything you buy in a month, this can help you come up with a plan to see where you can make savings by swapping to different products or shops.

Check out other brands – the competition can sometimes be cheaper and going for own brand products can help cut the cost while not cutting out altogether.

Always read special offers carefully, we’re all tempted by a special offer, but vouchers, cash back deals and buy one get one free offers have one aim – to get you to spend money. Don’t buy something just because it’s on special offer, especially if you don’t need it or usually have it.

Check reviews, if you’re considering a big purchase like a new gadget or you need to replace something like a fridge, that way you can make sure you’re getting the best product at the best price.

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News and Reviews HOLA OAKFIELD!


Students from Oakfield Academy recently enjoyed a 5 day visit to Barcelona. Organised by the Modern Languages Department, pupils enjoyed a 5 day trip to Spain visiting many of the local tourist attractions including the famous football stadium, Girona and Montserrat.

49 Oakfield Academy students visited the Field to Fork exhibition in Shepton Mallet recently. This was the third year in a row the academy have attended this fabulous show, and the day was full of activities with curriculum messages targeting ‘plough to plate’ education; livestock; arable farming; horticulture; food plus some hands-on demonstrations and machinery exhibit activities. The Royal Bath & West Society contributed money towards the cost of the coach. Pupils found the visit very valuable and interesting, with a number of the pupils commenting how informative the day had been.

BERKELEY PUPILS LEARN ABOUT ETHIOPIAN CUSTOMS To help the children learn about Berkeley School’s new sponsor child, Kalkidan, they held a WOW day where the pupils learned about schooling, music, food and the flags of Africa. The children enjoyed working in mixed class groups and now know a lot about Ethiopian customs.

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A group of Year 7 & 8 pupils from Oakfield Academy have visited Isambard Kingdom Brunel's SS Gt Britain. As well as a guided tour of the ship, they took part in an interactive workshop, where they had the opportunity to dress as characters who sailed on the ship.

St John’s First School has a new teacher’s pet on their registers in the form of a well-being dog called Leo. Leo was introduced to the school last summer and is in school most days to help calm and support pupils who are anxious or upset. Leo is a one year old Kokoni who was rescued in Cyprus and brought over to the UK by Paws 4 Homes. Well-being dogs being introduced into schools is becoming much more popular. The BBC reported on the phenomenon, praising the work of wellbeing dogs on school, stating that all schools should have an animal on hand to reduce stress in the classroom. Having pets in schools are said to be a cost effective way of helping children feel more secure.

© National Trust 2019 . Registered charity, No. 205846. © National Trust Images \Conner Sheppard.

A breath of fresh air made at Lacock Abbey Visit Lacock Abbey this May half-term for messy workshops in the Botanic Garden with Nettie Edwards, and peaceful walks foraging for wild garlic in the woodland. These are the places that make us.

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OFFICIAL OPENING OF NEW CNRB AT WESTBURY CE JUNIOR SCHOOL The new CNRB (Complex Needs Resource Base) and spiritual garden at Westbury CE Junior School has now opened. The launch event was attended by guests who helped design and build the two new facilities and was presided over by Reverend Dr Andrew Rumsey, Bishop of Ramsbury. Visitors had a tour of the fantastic building and garden, alongside talking to some of the pupils who use this wonderful resource to access their learning. The unveiling of the plaque was carried out by Sam who has used the resource base to support his education since he joined Westbury Juniors nearly four years ago. AnneMarie Sweet, the CNRB manager, commented: ‘We are delighted to have moved into our purpose built Complex Needs Resource Base. We now have all the facilities we need to help the children reach their full potential. Thank you to all who made it possible!’.

BIKEABILITY AT OAKFIELD Despite some dreadful weather, another very successful Bikeability Course took place at Oakfield Academy at the end of the Spring Term. A group of 11 pupils from across the school braved the weather to complete the course. Special thanks to parent helpers, Mr Bourne, Mrs Norris and Mrs Francis for giving up their time enabling the course to happen, and of course to members of the Somerset Road Safety Team for leading the training.

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JOFFRE WHITE VISITS OAKFIELD Oakfield Academy were delighted to welcome author, Joffre White, (author of 'Earthland', 'Frog' and 'Frog and the Sandspiders of Aridian') on Tuesday 19th March. He spoke to Years 5 and 6 in an assembly describing what inspired him to become a writer, and then held creative writing workshops with individual classes. All pupils thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

PUPILS PERFORM AT THE CHEESE AND GRAIN In March, four pupils from Oakfield Academy represented the school in a splendid concert at the Cheese and Grain in Frome to celebrate the Year of the Flute 2019. The concert was the result of months of rehearsing and featured performances from many pupils from local schools on a variety of instruments, including raps! The project was organised by Jackdaws and featured professional flute trio, the Tempest who were truly inspirational. Well done to Tara, Willow, Ann and Jessie who were outstanding in their performances.

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Silver Crow, the innovative imprint launched by Frome Writers’ Collective two years ago, took flight at the Merlin Theatre in front of an enthusiastic audience on Thursday March 28th. The event featured extracts from the ten books published so far by Silver Crow, with nine writers participating. Sadly, the tenth writer, Alan Somerville, died shortly after his book was published and the evening was dedicated to his memory. UK Patron of Reading, local children’s author Joffre White (pictured) introduced each of the writers and their books, and read an excerpt from Alan’s book himself. Crysse Morrison, the Merlin Theatre’s Live Literature Coordinator, said: ‘Wide diversity and strong writing made this a fascinating evening, ably compered by Joffre White … Massive congratulations to all the authors and to the Silver Crow Team.’ More information about Silver Crow Books is available from and about Frome Writers’ Collective from

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Oakfield Academy recently held a Blues Night and stunned an audience of friends and family with a wonderful variety of musical performances. From solo acts to duets and the Oakfield Academy Choir, there were even special performances by Deputy Head, David McGrath joined by Maths Teacher, Liam Oates - unforgettable! The evening concluded with a fabulous rendition of ‘Shotgun’ where the Choir were joined by Sam Sandy on drums, Jessie Angeloro on keyboards, Willow Pincombe on Ukulele and Harvey Lamb on lead vocals. Special mentions too to the Technical Team, supported by the Premises and Administration Teams, and of course Oakfield's very own Ms Parsons and Mrs Pinches for all their efforts making this a super evening for everybody who attended.

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OAKFIELD WORK EXPERIENCE Oakfield Academy offered pupils a new opportunity during the recent school holidays - gaining work experience with their Premises Team! Prefects and School Council members volunteered some of their holiday time to help with Oakfield’s Quad improvement project. The old mural was painted over, and wood chips made from a damaged tree that was on the school field were spread over the old flower beds. Each pupil received a ‘Work Experience’ certificate and enjoyed pizza during their lunch break. They all agreed it had been a very valuable experience.

WESTBURY LEIGH ARCHAEOLOGISTS Year 4 children at Westbury Leigh have ‘dug’ their way into a new term by becoming young archaeologists. To launch their new topic on the Anglo – Saxons, they wanted to find out the history of these invaders through the exploration and study of a range of arte facts. Local Wiltshire Young Archaeologist Club Leader, Louise Mansbridge, taught the children how to use specific tools and techniques to uncover a range of artefacts dating back to different time periods. Through discussion and examination, they predicted what the artefacts might have once been and when they dated back. Year 4 teacher Mrs Atwill said: “It was great to see such enthusiasm from all children. They were using their oral skills in their discussions about the artefacts and particularly enjoyed estimating when they thought the artefacts dated back to. We certainly have some young archaeologists in the making!” History enthusiast Harvey, aged 9, said: “I really enjoyed the uncovering of different time periods. I found an upper jaw of a young pre historic hippo and I thought it was from the Cambrian period. This is going to help me on my journey to my dream job which is to be a palaeontologist and following in David Attenborough’s footsteps.”

BATH SPA UNIVERSITY VISIT TO WESTBURY JUNIOR SCHOOL On Thursday 7th March, as well as enjoying dressing up to celebrate World Book Day, the Year 6 children at Westbury Junior School spent the morning with students from Bath Spa University to learn all about life at university. The Year 6s looked in a prospectus to see which courses matched their areas of interest then each created a tote bag showing our future career. Class teacher Vicky Heslop said, “This was a really fun and informative visit which gave our children a chance to think about their future career path.” 26 |

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WHAT AN ACHIEVEMENT Bethany, aged 11, passed her stage 8 in swimming. Congratulations!

Wilf, aged 10. Amazing origami making - his inspiration was an origami model making lesson at school, total count of origami models is 564! Well done Wilf!

Chloe, aged 6, achieved her level 5 in the British Gymnastics Proficiency Award, Well done Chloe!

Charlotte, in Yr 6, gained 1st place for Solo Acting at the Mid Somerset Festival, amazing work Charlotte!

Freya, in Yr 6, won 1st Place at the Mid Somerset Festival in the Solo Shakespeare category, congratulations!

Callum, Yr 6, achieved his Grade 5 Piano Recital – well done Callum!

Samuel, Yr 6, achieved a Gold Medal for coming first in the Year 6 Cross Country event held at Somervale School – amazing achievement, Samuel!

Lewis, who is only two, won an award for dancer of the month and most improved dancer! Well done Lewis!

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