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ISSUE 69 • February 2019

being a step-parent


celebrating your school news

prizes to be won!

WELCOME Hello, we hope you had a good break over the Christmas holidays and are ready and raring to go with this new year. It’s an exciting time of year, not only can you see the evenings get lighter, watch the trees changing and spot the new lambs in the fields, but this is also the first Family Matters of 2019! This issue has advice on choosing a nursery, some fun facts about pancake day, some words of wisdom from step parents and people with step parents on easing into a new family and of course, all of the usual news and reviews from your school! We’ve been amazed at how much you all managed to fit into last term and all the things you managed to achieve, we’re excited to see where 2019 will take you all! You’ll also find plenty of events and ideas to keep you busy during the upcoming half term holiday, so be sure to add them to your plans and have a good time!

p7 finding the right nursery

p11 who loves pancakes?! p17 world book day

p12 how to handle those toddler tantrums

Published by Ignyte Media Ltd - email: call: 01761 410141 While every care has been taken to ensure the data contained in the publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Ignyte do not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All right reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system in any form without the prior permission of the publisher.

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being a step parent B

ecoming a step parent is a massive change, whether you have been with the child’s parent for a long time or this is a recent development, you’ll find that this role comes with a range of new challenges, but don’t fret, we’re here to help you!

Choosing to become a step parent is an amazing thing to do, you’ve entered into a role as an extra care giver, someone who can bestow as much love and respect into the family unit as possible. That’s a wonderful thing! We’ve spoken to a couple of people with step parents or who are step parents themselves to help dispel the myth of the evil step parent and to share their stories of loving and wonderful family experiences.

The first thing our contributors agree on is that being a step parent is no mean feat. Melanie: “Nothing can prepare you for being presented with a ready-made family and it is equally as strange for the kids in the family. Whether you’ve been in their lives for a while or not, the moment you become a permanent fixture it can create a lot of feelings of guilt and being disloyal to your biological parent. It’s important to remember that it is a strange situation for everyone and to just be patient and work through it.”

You know the ‘Expectations vs Reality’ scene in 500 Days of Summer? Well... Tom: “Relationships need time to grow, you might think that you can walk into the family and everything will be perfect immediately, but it won’t. You need to work together to get to know each other, to come up with a new family dynamic and that can take time. Don’t be put off though, the reality will become the perfect expectation eventually.”

Want to share your stories of being a step parent or having one? Get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter at UKFamilyMatters.

Don’t forget to know your role... Becki: “You might be tempted to go straight in and establish yourself as a parent, but a lot of the time, children don’t need another parent, they need someone they can trust, someone who can bring stability to their lives and stepping into that role can bring some really beautiful moments.” Avoid competition. We know, when you’ve entered into a new relationship and there are kids and exes it can be difficult to navigate, you might feel like you’re in between the kids and their parent or that the ex assumes that you are competition. Just know that none of this is personal, it is all family politics and though it might be tough, just do as Elsa says and "Let it Go". Joining this family is an amazing thing and you should never forget that. Noah: “For me, I always felt like I was being disloyal by not hating my step dad, now though I know that it is ok to care about him and that it doesn’t take anything away from how I feel about my actual dad. It isn’t a popularity contest!”

How you establish yourself in the family is something everyone seems to agree on. Tom: “You might feel a pressure to become a parent straight away and to have authority, a need to discipline and you might feel guilty if you find it difficult to bond with the rest of the family, especially if the children are a little older. Take your time to find your feet and make sure that you act in a loving, respectful and sure way, even if you don’t feel that to start with.” Melanie: “As someone who had a step mum and is now a step mum, I think the best thing to do is to brace yourself for resistance, I was very against the idea of having a step mother when we were first introduced, but she was very patient with me and we ended up becoming great friends, I used the same approach when I found myself in the same situation and becoming my step son’s friend has been so rewarding.”

One thing to take away from joining a new family is that the relationship you have with your partner’s children is special and gives you the opportunity to create something beautiful and unique. By taking your time and being patient, you can become an important person in the children’s lives, it can be hard work, but working on the relationship and being true to yourself will pay off. You won’t be perfect and it won’t be easy, but it’s an adventure that you, your partner and your new family can take together. ukfamilymatters |

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have you found the

right nursery yet?

There is a lot to think about when choosing the right nursery for your little ones: is it convenient for the school run/work commute? Can they cater for all my child’s needs? Does it have a welcoming atmosphere? Are the other children happy there? Not only is the amount of questions and concerns overwhelming, but so is the amount of choice you have. There are nursery schools all over the region some offer additional support to children with extra needs, some focus on outdoor learning, some have large classes with lots of staff and others are small and intimate. We always recommend visiting nursery open days and, if it is an option, going along when the nursery is in session so you can get a good idea of how the staff interact with the children and what facilities are on offer. Using the internet and chatting with other local mums is also a great way to get feedback on the nurseries in your area. With so much to consider, we’ve put together a little check list to spot the signs of a good day nursery when at open days:

• Keep your eyes peeled for their registration certificate – they’re usually on display, but if not, don’t be afraid to ask to see it. • While scanning the walls for awards, take in the décor, if there is a focus on drawings and paintings done by the children, it’s a good indication that your child’s creativity will be encouraged. • Talk to the staff about your routine and your child’s care and health, a good nursery will always be interested in how they can help settle your child and you’ll know whether it is a good fit for your schedule. • Make sure to check the grounds, security should be a high priority, it is important that no one can get in and out of the building without being noticed – especially if your child is a curious soul that likes exploring. • Does the nursery serve food? If so, can they cater for your child if they have any special dietary needs? It is also important to check if they are able to accommodate children with additional needs or allergies to make sure that your child will be safe and happy there.

Because nursery places are so high in demand, we would recommend making a short list and applying for places at more than one of them, depending on your route to work or the need for certain facilities, your options might be slightly narrower, so it is good to have a back up in case your first choice is over subscribed. Got any other advice for mums choosing a nursery for the first time? Share your tips online at www. or St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School Charlton Road, Midsomer Norton BA3 4BD ‘Growing Together Through Christ’

Where every day is an OPEN DAY We are a smaller than average school and pride ourselves on our caring approach and our ability to meet every child’s needs, helping them develop and ensure they reach their full potential, whilst growing in the love of Christ. We welcome children of all faiths. We also offer wrap-around care as well as an independent on-site Nursery. Come and see for yourselves what the St Benedict’s experience can do for your child.

Please call 01761 418594 to make an appointment Email:

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A warm, loving and caring nursery rated ‘Good’ in all areas by Ofsted in October 2017 With over 30 years experience as a setting, it is our aim to make your child’s nursery experience as happy as possible and provide a homely, loving and caring environment for them to learn and grow to their full potential. Please feel free to contact us for more details or to arrange a visit, our books are now open for September 2019.

T: 01761 418100 E: teddybearnurserywestfield

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February half term to Add some colour activities at Tyntesfield your weekend this 18 - 21 February 2019, 11am - 3pm

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Warm up this winter with a herbal tea making session at Tyntesfield and learn all about the amazing properties of herbs. You can even take a piece of Tyntesfield Go crunching through fallen leaves and discover home a forest teeming withby wildlife and autumn with walking with you creating yourcolours, own Victorian routes for all ages and abilities. pomander. £4.00 per child.

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Where does Pancake Day come from? We don’t know about you but Shrove Tuesday, better known as Pancake Day, is one of the Family Matters Team’s favourite holidays. It’s a day where we get to eat pancakes, both sweet and savoury with a whole host of fun toppings and when it comes to pancakes, anything goes! They are super simple to make and you can flavour them however you want, all you need is milk, eggs and flour, or if you’re dairy free, you can use egg substitutes and plant based milks. Supermarkets even sell free-from batter mixes now so everyone can join in with the celebrations.

But, where did Pancake Day come from? Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent (which begins on Ash Wednesday). Traditionally, Christians would use Lent as a time of fasting, they would go to confession and be shriven (absolved from their sins), a bell would be rung to call people to come along to confession which is still known as the Pancake Bell. Shrove Tuesday became the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before the fast, so pancakes are a good way of using up these ingredients. Pancake races also take place on this day, the most famous one takes place in Buckinghamshire, apparently in 1445, a woman ran to church with frying pan after hearing the bell which sparked the tradition!

Here are the top pancake toppings for you to choose from: Lemon and sugar


Maple syrup

Golden Syrup

Chocolate chips Fruit


TOP TIPS FOR TODDLER We’ve all been there. We’re in public, having a lovely time and suddenly your child spots something colourful or sugary, they ask the dreaded question, you tell them no and then the screaming starts. Maybe you’re in the supermarket, maybe you’re in a department store, maybe you’re just walking down the street. Perhaps you’re trying to drop them off at school/nursery/their best friends house. Wherever you are at that moment it is never easy. You feel like the entire world is staring at you and of course, your child is clearly distressed – so what do you do? Some people laugh it off, others find it hard to keep their cool, some roll their eyes and through gritted teeth try to be the voice of reason, whatever your reaction, we sought out some top tips with dealing with tantrums to help you out. Firstly, what is a tantrum and why do they happen? Well, according to the experts, young children particularly throw tantrums purely because they haven’t learned other coping skills yet and it’s the only way they know to express themselves. It all stems from trying to communicate that they want something, whether that’s more food, to take their shoes off, a new toy… All that red faced screaming just comes from wanting something, not having it and getting frustrated by not being able to express that in a way that gets them the thing. When older children throw a tantrum it’s usually more of a power struggle, they want something and they try to assert themselves. Only when their parents or supervisor says no they have an outburst as a way of getting you to comply. Basically, until they grow out of it, it’s something you’re going to have to deal with, so we took to the internet to find out what you guys think is the best way to deal with a tempermental child.

• PAY ATTENTION TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES of the tantrums, if they tend to happen because your child is hungry, make sure to keep snacks on your person at all times, if it’s because they get tired, make sure to prioritise having naps during the day. That way, when you spot that they’re getting grouchy you can prevent a tantrum before it really gets going. • ENFORCE POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR. Make sure to praise them for even small good behaviours, they’ll learn that being calm and happy is more likely to gain your attention than screaming. • IF YOUR CHILD IS HAVING A TANTRUM at home, ignore them unless they’re actually in danger of hurting themselves or others, by taking away your attention you won’t reinforce this kind of behaviour. If you can, walk out of the room and stand the other side of the door where you can keep a check on them without them seeing you. When they realise they can’t get you to do what they want when they scream, it’ll happen less and less often. • THE LOUDER THEY YELL, the softer you should talk to them. Because kids are trying to engage with you when they’re having a tantrum they’ll try to make themselves as loud as possible, so the softer you speak to them they will lower their volume too. If you’re in public, take them aside and give them a space where they can quiet down, some kids throw tantrums because they feel a lack of control, so having a choice to go somewhere else will give them a chance to retake that control and calm down. Just make sure you don’t give in to the original demand once they’re calm and continue to only reward positive behaviour. • CREATE A DIVERSION. If your child starts throwing a tantrum because they’ve seen something they want, be sure to have a toy or snack that you can whip out and offer them as a distraction, some parents swear by this method saying it can even help stop a melt down before it even really begins.

There was one thing that everyone had in common, don’t give in, no matter how tempting, sometimes kids just need to vent, but it is important to keep your cool, you can work on getting your own rage out later. For some kids, they snap out of a tantrum as quickly as they went into it, as they start to calm down don’t dwell on it, focussing on negative behaviour causes them to inadvertently reinforce them in their minds.


what’s on

7th February – 19th May Why Museums Matter at Holburne Museum Bath An exciting exhibition of over 1,000 ideas and comments about why museums matter 01225 388569

9th February Puxton Park is hosting a funky dance party! Free with park admission, or 01934 523500. 10th February Over the Moon at the Egg Theatre Bath Box office: 01225 448844

14th February Show your love one how special they really are this Valentine's Day. Treat them to an afternoon in our fully restored static carriage Rose and enjoy a High Tea. Menu includes: finger sandwiches, homemade scones, dainty cakes. All served with a glass Presecco. Avon Valley Railway. 14:30 to 16:30. 16th – 23rd February Here Be Dragons Follow the Dragon Trail. See one of the Sea Dragons, make a dragon shoe and find out more about Chinese Dragons. The Shoe Museum, Street. 16th - 24th February Family Skating Fun Visit Farrington’s this Half Term for a skating fun for all the

family! We will have a 140-square-metre synthetic skating rink, under the cover of our barn, open between 10am-6pm daily. Tickets cost £5.95 per person per session. Each session lasts for approximately 25 minutes. 16th - 24th February Half Term fun at Glenda Spooner Come and meet the ponies, enjoy a walk around the farm, follow the trails, join in activities and learn more about horses. 11am – 4pm Glenda Spooner Farm, Somerset 16-24th February Children’s bird feed making at Whitehall Garden Centres in Lacock, Whitehall and Woodborough. Make your own suet balls & get a bird feeder for your garden, all equipment provided. 18th February For February half term love is in the air at Puxton Park! Join them for Valentine’s Crafts, magic, comedy and much more! 01934 523500. 18th – 20th February The Ladybird Detective Agency at the Egg Theatre As they flit and patter the paths and undergrowth of our gardens, many argue The Ladybird Detective Agency are style over substance... that’s actually a fair point. Join them as they go on the trail of their most daring detective duty ever! Box office: 01225 448844. 18th – 21st February February half term at Tyntesfield Try your hand at herbal tea and pomander making at Tyntesfield this February half term. 11am until 3pm. or phone 01275 461900 for more information.

For further information about each event

February half term at Bishop’s Palace, Wells The family activities will be based around an Outer Space theme with a children’s space themed trail running throughout the holiday week leading little ones on a journey around the Palace and Gardens. 01749 988111. 19th February Crafty Cats at Bishop’s Palace, Wells Making all things space related with alien masks, constellation lanterns and flying rockets amongst the activities on offer. 10.30-3pm. 01749 988111. 19th - 22nd February Making Tracks: Half Term Activities Have a go on our soldier led assault course. Plus extra tank themed fun family activities in the Museum. Drop in from 11am to 3pm. Our special soldier run kids assault course will be running plus we will have fun tank based kid's trails, activities and craft in the museum. REME Museum, Lyneham, SN15 4XX. 20th - 21st February Free Family Holiday Drop ins: Do not disturb! Holburne Museum, various times. Make your own unique sign for your bedroom inspired by the Georgian doors of Bath. 01225 388568. 20th - 23rd February Hansel and Gretal at the Egg Theatre Box office: 01225 448844. 21st February Children's Bushcraft Taster The camp paints will be out and you will learn to make your own bow and arrows, and how to build a survival shelter. Led by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. Maximum of 15 children per event. Booking essential. £5 per child. 21st February Nature Ninjas at Bishop’s Palace, Wells Give children the chance to get up close with a range of nature experiences such as pond dipping. 11am – 3pm. 01749 988111. 21st February - Sing along to THE GREATEST SHOWMAN Join us as we sing along to this smash it musical! A perfect half term treat for all the family. 2pm at the Merlin Theatre, Frome.

22nd – 24th February The Singing Mermaid at Bristol Old Vic. Through beautiful puppetry and performance, Little Angel Theatre bring Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monk’s enormously popular story to life. Box office on 0117 9877877.

27th – 28th February Tyntetots: Thumbelina Story telling, crafts and games for 2-5 year olds and their families inspired by the classic story of Thumbelina at Tyntesfield House., 01275 461961. 28th February Muckers at the Egg Theatre, Bath An audio performance will take place on Saturday 2nd March. Box office: 01225 448844. 1st March Frome Window Wanderland 2019 We are delighted to be bringing this fantastic event back to Frome for a second year and with your help we will transform the streets into a magical outdoor gallery again for all to enjoy! Taking part as a Windowmaker is FREE and everyone is welcome. You can make a display in the windows of your flat, house, business, school, nursery, car, campervan, shop – or in your front garden! for more information. 7th March Family Felting Make a wet felt bookmark for World Book Day – £5 per person; Minimum age 7 years old. 4:30pm to 6:00pm, Trowbridge Museum. Until 1st April Arty Babies at Holburne Museum, Bath A relaxed, creative space for mums to meet and chat while their babies enjoy safe and sensory play. Mondays 1-2.30pm, call 01225 388568.

please visit

y pp a H National PI Day! Pi Day is celebrated on 14th March all over the world as a way to help students remember the mathematical phenomenom known as Pi. Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter which is approximately 3.14159. It’s an opportunity for maths and pie enthusiasts to encourage learning about maths and also to eat pie. So, in the name of puns, we’ve put together some of our favourite pie recipes to make on our website

You can try the delicious Korma pie below to start with and then cut it up using your knowledge of fractions to help celebrate March 14th! One of the beautiful things about pie is that it is a dish that can be sweet or savoury, so whether you’ve got a sweet tooth or you’re looking for something to have for dinner, we’ve got you covered.

Korma Pie

This warm pie is full of Indian flavours and can be made vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or adapted any other way you fancy!

Ingredients: ∞ 1 tbsp olive oil or cooking spray ∞ 1 chopped onion ∞ 2 garlic cloves ∞ Grated ginger ∞ Korma curry powder (or the equivelant if you want something spicier, milder or in between!) ∞ Chopped tomatos ∞ 2 diced carrots ∞ 250g cubed butternut squash ∞ 300ml stock ∞ 250ml coconut milk ∞ 250g cauliflower and broccoli florets ∞ 320g rolled puff pastry (many ready made pastries offer dairy and gluten free options) ∞ Optional: diced chicken, 1 egg for glazing the pastry.

Method: Coat a frying pan with oil or spray and add the onion, garlic and ginger, cook until browned and then add the curry powder and chopped tomatoes. If you want to add meat to your pies, you can do so here. After a few minutes add the rest of the veg and the stock and simmer for 10 mins before adding the coconut milk. You will need to cook a little longer for meat pies and check that your meat is cooked all the way through before taking it off the heat. For vegetarian pies, cook for a further 10 minutes to reduce the sauce and then remove from the heat to let it cool. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and roll your pastry out. You can either make one large pie and serve slices or create individual pies. For a golden brown pastry, brush the top of the pie with the egg and cook for 10-12 minutes.

WHAT ARE YOU P LANNING FOR WORLD BOOK DAY 2019? This year on the 7th March 2019 marks the 22nd World Book Day! Children around the world come together to appreciate reading by taking part in bookish activities at school, dressing up as their favourite characters and picking up the limited edition £1 books released every year! To celebrate, the Family Matters Team have been thinking back to their favourite books when they were at school...

The Worst Witch – Jill Murphy

Anything with a princess!

Leah said: “Hermione Granger might get all the publicity but Mildred Hubble was the OG! I’m very accident prone so I related to Mildred even if she was a witch!”

Michelle said: “I just really wanted to be a princess when I was younger so anything with a princess in was my favourite!”

The Tiger that came to tea – Judith Kerr

The Roger Redhat books Sheila K. McCullagh

The Famous Five – Enid Blyton

Ruby the Red Fairy – Daisy Meadows

Beth said: “It was such a comforting and cute story to sit down to and as I loved animals it was my favourite book!”

Carmen said: “I used to love the adventures they got up to! The Secret Seven were also firm favourites!”

Zoe said: “These were my favourite when I was at primary school! They were just so fun!”

Kerrera said: “I was really into fairies when I was little, there was a whole series and I collected them all!”

What are your favourite books to read? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter! @ukfamilymatters

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News and Reviews JONNY G ENTERTAINS AT STANTON DREW! Meerkat class were entertained by Jonny G before breaking up for Christmas. He was so funny, the children loved his magic, especially the Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer trick to find the right coloured nose! He made animals out of balloons, told funny jokes and had some great puppets. Many thanks to the Friends for organising this for Meerkats and to Mrs Hahn for coming in and helping with the party snacks.

HELICOPTER VISIT St Vigor and St John Church School had a flying visit from a Wildcat helicopter from RNAS Yeovilton during last term. The children were excited to see it circle a few times over the school and then land on the playing field. Two of the crew came to speak before taking off again.

ECO FOCUS WEEK AT ST VIGOR AND ST JOHN The pupils at St Vigor and St John had a very successful Eco Focus Week in December when they engaged with some of the ten national Eco School themes, there were lots of wonderful visitors who worked with the children to share their experiences. The children created a Plastic Ocean from waste plastic, it was sad to see quite how much plastic is thrown away in one weekend, but it was good that the children were talking about what they can do about that. The school also had a visit from Rob who talked about his sustainable way of life, he grows nearly all his own food and makes the most of his energy. They were also visited by Gary from Carymoor Environmental Centre who talked about recycling and what happens to waste. Each class made things by reusing unwanted materials, including Christmas decorations out of old uniforms, and toys out of old pencil stubs. Many of the families also supported a Walk to School Wednesday which was so successful it is likely that it will be repeated frequently. As part of the week, each class explored one focus area from the national Eco School themes. These included water, waste, litter, biodiversity, healthy living, transport and marine. At the end of the week, the children thought about what they could do next as a school, their ideas included not using so much water when washing hands, collecting bottle tops and pens to recycle, making a wildflower meadow, walking to school once a week, stop using plastic wrap in lunchboxes and replacing the small milk cartons with straws that they get their milk in with larger containers and cups.

FIRE SAFETY LESSONS AT ST BENEDICT’S Sprite and Unicorn class at St Benedict’s School had a visit from the Fire Service last term which was very exciting! They learned how to stay safe at home and when out and about and that they need to know their address if making a 999 call. They also saw how the uniforms worn by firemen protect them. Some of the children were able to squirt water on the playground and when the firemen were called away to attend a real emergency they left with their lights flashing and sirens calling!

SCHOOL CHOIR PERFORMS AT MUSEUM During one of the final weekends of term, before Christmas, Farrington Gurney Church of England Primary School’s choir, along with Mr Marvin, attended the Christmas Fayre at Radstock Museum. They sang a variety of seasonal songs and carols. Well done to all the children who went along and thank you to their parents and families for attending.

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FARMBOROUGH AT B&NES’ CHRISTMAS CAROL CONCERT Key Stage 2 at Farmbrough Church School took part in the B&NES Christmas Carol Concert last term. It was held at Bathwick St Mary Church and was organised by Mr Parker on behalf of the music service. Mr Parker is a very welcome visitor to the school each week where he does singing sessions with KS2. Farmborough were the only school chosen to sing a special song to everyone and the children should all be very proud of their performance of Christmas Bells in front of the whole congregation. Dylan was also given the honour of holding the advent candle! @UkFamilyMatters | | 19

FARRINGTON TRIP TO RURAL LIFE MUSEUM Before the end of term, Years 4, 5 and 6 at Farrington Gurney Primary School visited the Somerset Rural Life Museum. They had three activities to complete, making willow stars, a sight seeing quiz and differences in Glastonbury from 1884 to 2018. After lunch, they had a roam around the museum. There was a real life horse called Prince, which had been stuffed because the family loved him so much and a staircase covered in glass. There was also an old fashioned kitchen, a school room, a short movie room and a handy work room. They also had a quiz to complete while walking around the museum. All the children want to go back again soon!


MIDSOMER NORTON PRIMARY SCHOOL AND NURSERY CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY In November 2017, Midsomer Norton Primary School opened a new nursery class for 2-3 year olds in what had previously been the town’s children’s centre, complementing the school’s long established nursery for 3-4 year olds. The centre was closed in March 2018 after the local authority decided that it was no longer able to support the centre financially. “After being approached by the local authority to see if the school could provide extended nursery provision out of the facility, we felt we had a moral duty to provide high quality nursery provision for families with 2-3 year olds in the local area,” says Alun Randell, head teacher. “A fantastic team of staff volunteered their time to renovate the building and make it into, Sunbeams, the wonderful learning environment we have today. As we celebrate our first anniversary, I would like to once again thank everybody who was involved for their dedication and commitment. It has been great to see our children flourish in Sunbeams, developing the confidence and practising those all important social skills."

Squirrel and Badger class at Farmborough Church Primary School were delighted to welcome one of the school’s parents, Hannah West, to talk about the role of women in the services and also in war time throughout history. Their topic last term was WW1 and she told them some fascinating facts about the roles that women played during that time. The children were also interested to find out just how recently that women have been able to play a completely equal role in conflicts. Hannah was a helicopter engineer and the children enjoyed trying on the helmet that she wore in Afghanistan and also her more formal headwear from her time in the Royal Navy.

NATIVITY AT ST NICHOLAS Before the Christmas break, the reception children of St Nicholas’ Frome and Tone classes did a fantastic job of performing their Christmas Nativity, We Three Kings. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

KILMERSON CAROLERS ENTERTAIN IN BATH Just before the end of Bath’s Christmas market, a group from Kilmersdon School headed into the Southgate area of Bath to sing carols to shoppers. It is an event they’ve done several times over the years and the children have always found it to be a fun way to raise money for the school.

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Chairwoman of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Cllr Karen Walker, was officially invited to visit Shoscombe School to open the new play space. Cllr Walker said: “Well done to all the staff and governors at Shoscombe Church School that have worked so hard to create this new outdoor play space. Providing an enhanced and fulfilling education is the best start in life that every child needs! It was an honour to visit the school and see how well this £25,000 pot of money has been spent.” The new outside area is part of a whole school development plan which includes employing an Early Years Leader and putting plans together for the opening of a nursery on school site. Headteacher Ruth Noall commented: “The governors and the Trustees are currently consulting on opening a nursery at Shoscombe so we can run an Early Years unit within the school. We are hoping that we will be able to take nursery aged children (3 years plus) from September 2019. This will enable us to deliver an excellent early years education to pupils from an earlier age, benefiting the pupils and the local area as Shoscombe village currently does not have a nursery. Shoscombe School’s Early Year’s results, along with our phonic targets have continued to go up. We’re proud of all our children, and staff, who have worked so hard over the past year. Developing a holistic early year’s experience for all young children that come to Shoscombe School is important to us.” The EYFS results have risen significantly from 56% of children reaching a Good Level of Development in 2016, 64% in 2017 and then 79% in 2018. Phonics (an area of learning that starts in the early years) has risen from 60% in 2016, to 63% in 2017 and then 85% in 2018. Ruth added: “We want to continue to develop this outside area with more vegetable planting in the spring and then an extension of our forest school area into the early years area.” St Julian’s School, Wellow has also had a £25,000 sum of money invested on a similar project.

Leigh on Mendip First School, Shoscombe, St Julian’s and St John’s are the latest schools to join the Midsomer Norton School’s Partnership Multi-Academy Trust. Approved by the Secretary of State for Education, this conversion will allow each school to have more control over their day-to-day operations within the network offered by the multi-academy trust. The partnership now operates one First School, thirteen primary schools and three secondary schools.

WELL DONE KEY STAGE 1! Everyone at St Nicholas C of E Primary School would like to say a huge well done to Year One and Year Two who put on two fantastic shows of the Inn – Spectors in the last week of term. They worked really hard learning their lines, practising the songs and choreographing the dances.

NEW PLAY SESSIONS FOR PEASEDOWN! A new play scheme facilitated by the Wansdyke Play Association has begun in Peasedown St John. The new stay and play sessions are for pre-school children and are free to attend, they will be held during term time and will run for a total of 10 sessions at the St John’s Close Community Centre. The play sessions are being funded by the Chair of B&NES Council’s fund.

WESTFIELD ONE OF THE TOP 3 IN B&NES! Everyone at Westfield Primary School are super proud of where they placed on the recent Primary School League Tables. Out of 87 B&NES Schools, Westfield School showed that above average progress was being made by pupils and they were the only school in the Top 4 for all three subjects! Well done everyone!

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WHAT AN ACHIEVEMENT Name: Edward Age: 7 Achievement: Cricket award.

Name: Samuel Tiley Age: 11 Achievement: Medals for swimming gala.

Name: Milo Bailey Age: 9 Achievement: Gained a Distinction in ABRSM Piano Grade 1 exam.

Name: Bethany Wall Age: 10 Achievement: Passed her 800m badge in swimming and competed in a swimming gala for her school.

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Name: William Lake Age: 8 Achievement: Stage 3 Swimming.

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