See latest news for updates on Oak Class' Residential trip

Newsletter 17th November 2023

Newsletter 17th November 2023
November 24, 2023 Sandy Pike

Dear Parents and Carers,

A rather shorter newsletter this week than the average – hurray I hear you all cry!  This newsletter includes a few reminders about Free Used Coats and the Local food links Christmas card competition nearly coming to a close, so get those entries in soon; as well as a revised nativity performance date and more!


Due to unforeseen circumstances, and a window survey now due to be carried out, we are having to change one of our Nativity performance dates, to 7th December at 16.00, this replaces the 6th December performance. My sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.


This week a number of pupils from Oak Class represented the school in the Gillingham Family Primary School Year 5/6 Tag Rugby festival, which was played at North Dorset Rugby Club.  All pupils gave their all on a very wet and windy afternoon which resulted in a lot of mud! Great sportsmanship was shown by all throughout the afternoon, with PG winning a medal for their great team work and for always encouraging and supporting the team. My thanks to parents for transporting and Mrs Smeeton for escorting the team.

Ready Respectful Safe

This week we reminded children about an important part of our Behaviour Policy. As you know, we adopted a Restorative Practice approach some time ago, which emphasises the importance of both parties in a dispute having their say in order to help children become more empowered and aassertive. Further to this, we use Ready Respectful Safe as a motto to help our children make the right behaviour choices quickly and with confidence – particularly when they are doing any unstructured activities. We are having a poster competition to put these words into a bold, eye-catching format for Mrs Clasby and the School Council to judge. Please could the children NOT put their names on their posters – there will be a prize for the neatest and most effective one in each class. Entries to Mrs Pike or Mrs Clasby by 24th November please.

Free Used Coats

Over the past few weeks, Dorset Council Children’s Centres in Blandford and Shaftesbury           have been asking the public to donate coats for children aged 0 – 16 to support families in the area struggling with the cost of living.

There has been a fantastic response to the appeal and thanks to the Dorset public’s kind donations both Children’s Centres now have a great range of good quality free coats and jackets available for parents and carers to choose from.

If you would like to see what’s available, try on for size and take home, just drop in on Tuesday (term time only) at the following locations/times: Blandford Children’s Centre, Black Lane, DT11 8SW Between 9am – midday.

Shaftesbury Children’s Centre, Wincombe Lane, SP7 8PZ  Between 9am and 4pm.

For more information, including visiting at a different time, please contact Dorset Council North Locality


 Coming up this month

Local food links Christmas card competition

Our school food provider, Food Links, are looking for a Picasso to design their Christmas card. They will choose 2 winners, representing Foundation/Key Stage 1 & Key Stage 2/Key Stage 3. Children are encouraged to take part in this competition, perhaps creating an entry over the half term. The closing date is Tuesday 28th November, with A4 entries emailed to  Please see the attached document for further information.

Class news


This week, we have been making music with a Three Note Bossa. A Bossa is a type of Samba-style music which we listened to, appraised and began to play. In geography, we have been researching the different biomes of the globe, and sorting them by their characteristics. In science, after our fabulous talk by Mr Whitfield last week, we have begun our space topic with a recreation of the inner solar system (up to Neptune) on the field. Neptune was almost in the pond area – goodness knows where the Voyagers and the Oort Cloud will be next time! In maths we have been looking at short division and factors of numbers. Next week, we are looking forward to making our own models of parts of the solar system – thanks to Mrs Hillam who kindly gives her time and expertise to Oak class science every Monday afternoon!


This week, Chestnut class have finished their core text and will be moving onto the sequel – The Whispering Stone – next week. The children will begin writing their own historical narrative using both texts as inspiration. The children have also finished their learning on the Bronze Age and they have continued learning key geography skills within their topic – One Planet, Our World. In Design and Technology the children have been learning about the different methods of cooking potatoes, and this week peeled and prepared potatoes which were then boiled, steamed, microwaved, roasted, fried and backed potatoes. All pupils had the opportunity to see and taste the difference between each method of cooking. My favourite comment from one child was, ‘These fried potatoes are better than MacDonald’s ones, and I now know how to do them!’


This week, Beech class finished writing their Newspaper Reports about Neil Armstrong’s moon landing. The children have been very proud of their work and how much knowledge they have accumulated about it. In maths this week, the children have finished their topic of addition and subtraction of two two digit numbers and moved onto shape.

We have started by recognising 2D and 3D shapes.

For DT, the children have baked shortbread and brownies to be able to demonstrate how to follow a recipe. This has been a very exciting experience for them. The children have also finished looking at different explorers and have been able to identify differences between explorations based on when they happened.


This week the children have been creating funny face collages in art, and investigating where we live using aerial photos and Google Earth in Geography. The EYFS children have been learning about four sided shapes and how to make shapes out of shapes (for example, a folded square makes a rectangle). Year 1 have been learning about addition and subtraction fact families, and how to write the different number facts down. In Science, the children investigated man made materials and went on a hunt around the school looking at different man-made materials and what natural materials the things were made of.

Diary dates  (dates in red have been added this week)


28th Nov Last entry date Local Food Links Christmas Card competition – last entry date
4th Dec 18.30 – 20.00 Friends Event – Wreath Making
5th Dec 14.00 School nativity – KS1 and Reception on stage, KS2 singing
5th Dec 18.30 – 20.00 Friends Event – Wreath Making
6th Dec 16.00 School nativity – KS1 and Reception on stage, KS2 singing
7th Dec All Day Christmas jumper day
7th Dec 16.00 School nativity – KS1 and Reception on stage, KS2 singing
8th Dec 15.30 – 17.00 Christmas Bizarre
13th Dec 12.05 – 12.30 Local Food Links Christmas Lunch
14th Dec 15.30 – 17.00 Christmas Disco
2nd Jan   INSET DAY
3rd Jan 08.40 Spring Term starts
22nd July 2024   INSET DAY
23rd July 2024   INSET DAY


Best wishes,


Mrs B