Author Archive

Perseverance

Very little that is really worthwhile in life can be achieved without perseverance. An athlete may train for years before they are ready to compete at the highest level. A musician must practice every day, sometimes for hours at a time, if they are to really master their instrument.

“If at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again.”
W.E. Hickson

Lead        Encourage      Aspire      Respect      Nurture

Dear Parents/Carers,

Thank you for your help to make this term a successful one and to keep COVID-19 away as much as possible.  We are very grateful for your support in what has been a difficult year for all.  We have loved having all of the pupils back in school and have been able to provide a calm learning environment with high pupil engagement, a reflection of the efforts at home to support your child’s learning and wellbeing throughout this period, despite the challenges we have all faced. 

Within school we are enjoying the build up to Christmas, trying to continue with our traditional Christmas activities in a COVID-19 friendly manner.  As normal, the pupils are maintaining their academic learning as during this year more than ever, we all appreciate how precious the time in school is and how important it is for the future of our children.

Throughout terms 1 and 2 we have been engaging all of our pupils in a Covid safe, broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum. When the children first returned in September we conducted a baseline assessment to allow all staff to plan learning from the children’s start points as many of them we had not seen for several months. Recently we have conducted further summative assessments to see where we need to drive pupils next term in relation to their progress across the term. I am pleased to inform you that all the children have worked really hard throughout the autumn terms and are making good progress.

With the analysis of the information that we now have we are in the process of putting together some ‘catch-up’ work for those who need it. This work will begin during term 3 and will continue up until the end of the academic year. For some children, in some year groups, this work will be conducted during the normal school day but for others this may also represent some additional learning at school outside of the normal hours of the school day. Further information will be issued, relating to ‘catch-up’, at the start of next term.

I would certainly encourage all parents and carers to continue with the practice of listening to your child read at home. Reading is the most important skill that children need to learn in primary school, as without this necessary skill they will struggle to access the curriculum independently. We are continuing to run our reading for pleasure afternoons, on a fortnightly basis, which the children thoroughly love. Encouraging your children to pick up a book and read at home, on a regular basis, will significantly improve their ability to read fluently and gain a greater understanding of the vocabulary used in context. When listening to your children read it is also important to engage with the text by asking questions at appropriate moments to gauge their understanding. As their knowledge of vocabulary increases so to will their interest in the books they are reading.

Outside Activity and Learning

Ventilation within school has been maintained at a high level as part of our COVID-19 safety measures.  Pupils spend time outside as much as possible, whatever the weather, and this is having a positive effect on pupil’s physical health and mental wellbeing.  Pupils are more alert in class so the extra layers are worth it!

Having a class PE day has ensured that time (or clothing) is not lost changing and great fun has been had on the field in all weathers.  Class PE day will continue into term 3, with pupils coming to school in their PE kit.

We are extremely grateful to FOS who have supported the repair of our outside forest shelter.  The rotten decking boards have been replaced, when it was discovered that further work was also needed on the base structure.  This has been carried out and the roof made watertight and extended.  The work was delayed due to a shortage of supplies but all is now finished and able to be used by the pupils, providing a valuable outside learning space and shelter during break times.

Down Syndrome Awareness Day

Thank you to everyone who supported Down Syndrome Awareness Day and sent their child into school in non-school uniform.  A fantastic £245.49 was raised on the day and will be sent to the following two charities: Wouldn’t Change a Thing and Cotswold Downs Syndrome Group.

Governing Board

The Governing Board of the school has continued with their normal meeting schedule alongside additional meetings relating to the pandemic.  As in many other areas of life, these meetings have moved online.  We are very grateful to our group of governors who support the school in a voluntary capacity.  Details of our Governing Board can be found on the school website.

Remembrance Day 

Remembrance Day fell during lock down so plans were tailored to fit in with the latest guidelines.   All classes participated in a thought-provoking online assembly led by the Revd Dana Delap.  They had chance to remember and reflect on those that have fought and lost their lives for our freedom and had a moment of silence.  Class 1 discussed this topic at length and created a tuff tray poppy to help them remember the key phrase.

Class 2 visited the war memorial later in the term for a sketching session.  Class members were also able to share information, photos and memorabilia from family members who had served in the armed forces.

 

Collective worship

We continue with our online collective worship and assemblies.  These are delivered by Mr Pudifoot, staff members or Revd Dana Delap.  Collective worship has been focused on the value of Trust this term.  Pupils have looked at different Bible stories that relate to Trust.  This week we have looked at Mary and Joseph with the theme of ‘waiting’ also threaded in to the worship session.  We have discovered how Hezekial trusted God, another week we heard about David and Goliath.  Our value next term, after Christmas, will be perseverance.  As we continue to cope with the challenges brought by this pandemic, perseverance in life, whatever challenges may come our way, is an important skill for the pupils to learn which will help them on their academic journey.  We look forward to the Biblical stories that we can share that demonstrate this.

Christingle Services

We are a Church of England school and therefore enjoy strong links to our local church in Blockley, St Peter’s and St Paul’s.  We have been able to share with you details of the Living Advent Calendar that the Church are running.  A new window in the village will be illuminated on each day of advent and stay illuminated in the evening until 6th January.  We have strong links with the church and are normally able to visit the church for class group interactive, teaching sessions with members of the church community, alongside school worship for festivals such as Harvest, Remembrance and Christmas.  This year we are really pleased that we will be able to visit the church for separate class bubble Christingle services.  Children will visit the church on Tuesday or Wednesday next week (15th, 16th December 2020), in their individual class bubbles.  Each class has a time slot and will be joined by a socially distanced Revd Dana Delap to lead the Christingle Service.  Currently protocol means that each child will not receive a Christingle but they will have a class Christingle and instructions can be found online to make these at home and explain their meaning.

Save the Children

Save the Children have a yearly Christmas Jumper day which we always support as a school.  This year is no different in that respect!  Pupils and staff are encouraged to come to school in their Christmas Jumper – homemade additions to a normal jumper are fine with a suggested donation of £1 to be dropped into the collecting buckets at the entrance gates on the day (Wednesday 16th December).  We look forward to seeing a vast array of jumpers and fully entering into the Christmas spirit.  Christmas jumpers need to be worn on top of normal school uniform (PE kit for Class 4).

Christmas Lunch

On Christmas Jumper day we will also be enjoying our Christmas lunch.  Normally this would involve the whole school, pupils and staff sitting down to eat a Christmas meal together with much help from FOS.  However, we will have to run things differently this year to ensure pupils remain in their class bubbles.  Nevertheless, the pupils and the adults in their bubbles will sit down together in a decorated hall with their own cracker (suitably quarantined beforehand).  Thank you to FOS for the crackers and decorations.   Unless you have already contacted school to state that your child wishes to have a jacket potato, vegetarian or bring a packed lunch, then all pupils will have a Christmas turkey meal with chocolate brownie.

Father Christmas

Father Christmas is operating this year under COVID-19 rules and will still be able to make a visit to school on the afternoon of 16th December.  He will fly in and take a walk around the outside of the building so that he will be able to say hello to each class bubble through their open exterior door.  He may even be able to deliver a sack of previously quarantined presents!

Class 1 have been writing Christmas letters to Father Christmas and were able to take a walk to the post box to deliver them this week.

Class parties

Each class is planning their own class bubble party, complete with party food. Pupils can wear party clothes to school, if they wish, instead of school uniform.  However please ensure that these are still warm and suitable for outside play and activities on the school field. 

Class 1   Friday 18th           Wear warm party clothes to school (break times on the school field)

Class 2   Friday 18th          Wear warm party clothes to school

Class 3   Thursday 17th     Wear warm party clothes to school (suited to the outdoors)

Class 4   Thursday 17th     Wear warm party clothes to school

Class 5   Thursday 17th     Wear warm party clothes to school

Christmas Film

As part of the festivities each class will also have the opportunity to watch a Christmas film in their class group during the final week.  A sweet treat will be on offer during the film.  Class 5 are looking forward to watching ‘A Christmas Carol’ as they are reading this book in class.

Nativity and Carol Service

The nativity is a much-anticipated event of the year and a key milestone in the development of KS1 and Reception pupils as it allows the children a chance to perform in front of an audience, which provides the opportunity to develop their speaking, listening and acting skills.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to put on a performance which Blockley has become known for, however, Class 1 and Class 2 have been very busy practising and performing within their class bubble.  Class 1 completed a nativity and Class 2 sang carols.  These events were recorded for Class 1 and Class 2 parents.  We are really proud of how well all the children learned their lines and words and have performed them, despite some nerves! 

PE

Please can all children come to school in their PE clothes on their normal PE day next week (with the exception of Class 5 who have their party on Thursday).  Class 4 can bring an additional sweatshirt into school if they wish to change out of their Christmas Jumper for PE.

Class 5 wear warm party clothes on Thursday 17th.

Foodbank

This Christmas we are pleased to be able to support our local food bank. We have been informed that Christmas specific items would be appreciated – sweets, chocolates, cake, mince pies, puddings. A collection box will be located on the steps of St George’s Hall on Friday 18th December. Items will need to be left by 9.30am.

Gingerbread Trail

FOS, with the help of the community, have created a Festive Gingerbread Trail and Prize Draw which runs from 12th December until 2nd January 2020.  Further details can be found on the FOS page of the school website.  It is a fantastic activity to be able to do with the children over the festive period.

 

 

 

End of Term

Term finishes on Friday 18th December. 

Classes 1 and 2 – School ends at 2pm – please collect your children promptly.

Classes 3, 4 and 5 – School ends at 2.10pm – please collect your children promptly.

There is no After School Care on Friday 18th December.

COVID-19

If your child test’s positive for COVID-19 over the Christmas period please forward your child’s test result to head@blockleyschool.gloucs.sch.uk stating when they started to show symptoms.   

We wish you all a very happy Christmas and hope you manage to have an enjoyable break.  We look forward to welcoming pupils back to school on Tuesday 5th January.  Class bubbles entrance gates, staggered start and end times will remain the same.

With festive good wishes

Blockley School Staff

Trust is a really important value. It must be earned. If we do not trust someone it is very hard to build a good friendship with them.
Talk together about:
• people who you know that are trustworthy
• practical ways that we can show others that we are trustworthy
• why it is important to be able to trust others when working together as a team

Trust

Trust

“Trusting someone is like knowing you can jump and they will be there to catch you” Anon

Lead                     Encourage           Aspire                  Respect                Nurture

Thank you for all of your support over this first term.  We have all had to adapt to a number of changes in our lives, and cope with various challenges. We are extremely grateful that your children are arriving at school on time and are ready to learn.  The pupils have settled in well and demonstrate children’s adaptability by adjusting to new routines and procedures; indeed, these are now second nature.  We are all benefiting from the fresh air – spending time outside is a real positive in such a beautiful location.  Even the fresh air in the classrooms is keeping us more alert: staff and pupils alike!

Welcome

Once again, at the beginning of the school year, it is a joy to welcome a new reception group into the school.  We are all very proud of how quickly and confidently they have settled into our Blockley School community. Additionally, we have welcomed a number of pupils into other year groups and they have also made themselves part of our family very quickly.

Learning

Pupils are enjoying learning with their peers once again; collaborative learning broadens children’s thinking as they encounter others’ ideas and different approaches  As per the Government guidelines, pupils’ desks are in rows, but unlike their Victorian counterparts, they are benefiting from the wealth of electronic images and practical resources that enhance many lessons. It is wonderful to be able to offer the full breadth of the curriculum now pupils are back in school and to hear the happy, busy buzz of growing brains!

Assemblies

Although in a slightly different format , we are continuing with our school assemblies either on the field or using Teams(similar to Zoom).  On Mondays, the focus has been on the term’s value: thankfulness. We certainly have a great deal to be thankful for and we recognise that expressing gratitude develops positive mindsets. On Fridays we have continued with Merit Assembly celebrating achievements from all classes and enjoying applauding those who we cannot mix with directly. On Monday 19th October, we celebrated how difference enriches our lives. The breadth and diversity of humans is truly wonderful. Each of us is unique and something special to offer the world. This encompasses those who are disabled including those with Down’s Syndrome. On Friday, we raised money for two Down’s Syndrome charities by wearing bright clothes – Wouldn’t Change a Thing and the Cotswold Down’s Syndrome Group. It certainly made us all feel sunny despite the miserable weather. A very big thank you to the Peach family for organising this event which included guess how many or the weight of the jar of sweets.

Next term, our value will be ‘Trust’; to be a trustworthy person is a quality that we want to encourage all of our community to aspire to.

Harvest Festival

Thanks to dry weather, we were able to hold our Harvest Festival this year in a socially distanced manner by staying in our classroom bubbles on the school field.  With a PA system, Revd Dana Delap lead our harvest assembly; these occasions take on an even greater significance at the moment when being together can no longer be taken for granted. Following the theme of the assembly, we had bulbs kindly donated to the school and pupils have been able to plant these on the school field.  We look forward to a colourful display during spring.

Remembrance Service

We are looking forward to Revd Dana Delap leading our Remembrance Service on Wednesday 11th November hopefully on the school field.  

Outside Classroom

The outside decking area in the forest school area has now been repaired.  We had to wait for the decking boards to be delivered as stock replenishment and supply had been delayed due to lock down.  These finally arrived and have been fitted to the repaired base.  With concrete base posts under the structure, the longevity of the structure has been extended.  It remains for the roofing felt to be fitted to finish the structure and provide a valuable outside learning space.  Many thanks to all who have provided financial support through FOS to enable this work to be completed.  The contractors are due to come into school to finish the structure during the first week of Term 2 – weather and supplies permitting.

PE clothing – Wreal Sports

With the requirement for pupils to come in their PE kit one day a week, and the need for warm clothing as the weather gets colder, we have managed to link with a local supplier for a warmer PE kit.  If your child needs new PE items then please visit their website: 

https://wrealsports.co.uk/shop/my-school/blockley-c-of-e/

You can also order items through their shop at Bourton-on-the-Water.

Warm Clothing

In line with Government guidelines, school remains well ventilated.  It is therefore important that your child attends school in their school uniform with additional thermal layers underneath as suggested in previous communications. If possible, coats should be saved for out of doors times rather than being an ‘indoor layer’. This is even more important on wet days when coats need to dry off during lesson times.

Staff

We welcome two new members of staff to our team, Mrs Walker and Mrs Farrell, who are both providing support in school for part of the week.  We also say a fond farewell to Mrs Etheridge who has been a wonderful support across the school during 2020.

Governors

Mrs Hilary Thornburgh, our previous Chair of Governors, has finished her time as a Governor.  She remains a Member of the Academy (members are the custodians of the governance of the trust) and we thank her for many hours of service and support to the school, as well as the ongoing support she continues to provide.

Mrs Christine Moor has been elected by the Governors as our Chair of Governors for 2020-2021.  Mr Mark Chappell has been elected as our Vice-Chair of Governors.  The members have also appointed a new Governor to the board, Mr Roger Morris.  We thank all of those involved in the Governance of our school, a voluntary role.

Parents Evening

Thank you for working with us to ensure our first virtual staff/parent meetings have been able to take place.  We have managed to meet parents via Zoom or speak on the phone.  These times are a valuable opportunity to update you on how your child is settling back into school; their behaviours for learning; behaviour in general and learning and progress. Communicating takes on an even greater importance at the moment and we appreciate it when you inform us of any situations that might impact upon your child. Please do speak to your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns.

Dinner Menu – Term 2

Our school dinner menu for Term 2 will remain the same, we will start back on Week 1 using the current menu. 

No Nuts in School

To protect children in school with allergies, please do not send your children to school with any nuts or nut products for lunch or snack time.  Healthy snacks can be provided for break time, Reception and Key Stage 1 children have the opportunity to have a free piece of fruit/vegetable in school as part of the government scheme.

FOS

The FOS quiz went well on Friday 16th October and the winners were members of the wider community.  Better luck next time to parents and staff! FOS are holding the online Spooky Disco on the last evening of Term 1.  All the proceeds are going towards the outside classroom area.  Thank you, once again FOS for the support you give to the school. A big thank you to FOS is also needed for organising the creation of some wonderful Christmas cards designs in school which have now been sent home along with the details for ordering.

COVID19

Thank you for following the government guidelines with reference to any COVID-19 symptoms your child may show.  The guidance is listed below:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/coronavirus-in-children/

On the school website you can find the Gloucestershire county council risk assessment policy that we have adopted and personalised. https://blockleyprimaryschool.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/GCC-COVID-19-Risk-Assessment_Blockley-School_18-09-2020.pdf

Collection and Drop Off

We work very hard to ensure that your children are as safe as possible at school, following the latest government guidelines.  Please help ensure that we keep everyone safe by following the guidelines when dropping off and collecting your children: maintain social distancing (2 metres or more) and do not gather in groups larger than 6.  If you are able to move away from the area as soon as  possible, we will keep the risk level as low as we can. Thank you.

We hope you all enjoy the break, well-earned for children and staff!  We look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on Tuesday November 3rd (Monday is an INSET day for staff).

Dear Parents/Carers,

The staff at Blockley School would like to express our thanks to all parents and carers for the support that you have given to your children and the school during this lock down period.  It has been a difficult and challenging period for many reasons and we really appreciate all that you have done during this time. 

Once again, the bulletin cannot list all of the school news as many of the great activities that the pupils are engaging in are taking place at home but we have welcomed hearing about these through the class emails.

We are really looking forward to welcoming all the pupils back into school in September and helping everyone settle into school life once again.

Music

Children in the KWVE bubble took part in a BBC Ten Pieces: Connecting the dots, singing workshop on Tuesday, 7th July. Jess Gillingwater, a member of BBC Singers, explained to the children why she is an ‘alto’ singer.  The children were then guided through fun warm up activities before singing a simple song.  Jess then sang a range of songs in different languages demonstrating the full range of her voice.  One of the children commented; ‘her voice is amazing, I want to sing like that!’

Reception

Class One have had a fantastic term with lots of activities going on. The children have made paddling pools out of trays, created chalk paint, made a variety of boats to float on the water along with lots of daily outside fun. This term we have used the Forest area to explore our senses and to search for magical creatures. To celebrate the end of term the children have had a party where we played games and danced along to our favourite songs all in their party clothes. 

Year 6 Leavers

We have said a sad goodbye to our Year 6 group of pupils.  Despite the restrictions in place they managed to have Year 6 leavers photographs offsite and outside, with social distancing and a group Year 6 montage photo.  Leavers hoodies have been worn in school this week and t-shirts signed by all the staff with appropriate protocols followed.  They were able to choose their own menu for a leavers meal in school and have a leaving presentation.  Unfortunately, we could not invite parents to a leavers assembly but we have been able to create a leavers film that they could watch.

New Reception Pupils

We are looking forward to welcoming our new reception pupils to school in September.  Miss Overton-Short was able to meet with each child and parent over Zoom so that the staff could get to know the pupils before they enter school.  Normal taster days have not been able to take place but, in small groups, we have been able to welcome each child with a parent/carer to the school site to visit the outside area, meet the teacher and have a practice at hand washing in our outside sinks! They were then able to head onto the field to draw some wonderful pictures and get to know each other a bit before they start in September. 

FOS

As many of you are aware FOS have been busy during this period and are continuing to help school.  Currently they are fundraising to repair and refurbish the outside classroom area between the forest and playground.  This space will be a valuable resource in the next academic year as the virus is less easily spread outside.  We are grateful for all of your support during this economically challenging time.

Free School Meals

If you think that you may be eligible to apply for Free School Meals due to your financial circumstances please visit the Gloucestershire County Council Free School Meal Portal to register  www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals Registering will provide free meals at school and enable your child to be supported financially in school.

Pupils starting in Year 3

Unless you are registered for FSM, pupils moving from Year 2 to Year 3 will now need to pay for their school meals as they will no longer be eligible for Universal Free School Meals.  Meals will be logged onto Parentpay the week after they have been eaten the food and money owed accordingly but we ask that you pay in advance for your meals by placing money onto ParentPay.

ParentPay

Please ensure that all balances are cleared on ParentPay.  Meals eaten this week will be put onto ParentPay by the end of the week so log on next week to see the final balance.  We ask that ParentPay accounts are kept in credit at all times to ensure that school funds are not diverted to ParentPay.

Uniform

If your child needs new uniform prior to September please order this early.  Our suppliers are My Clothinghttps://myclothing.com/blockley-church-of-england-primary-school/6246.school and Brigade http://www.brigade.uk.com/direct/index.php

Like most other businesses, the COVID/Lockdown situation is having an effect on their lead times.  My Clothing state on their website that orders will be delivered in 14 working days.  For Brigade their current cut-off date for orders to be delivered before the new term (Sep 2020) is 7th Aug 2020.

September Snacks in School

We have been informed that the Government free fruit and vegetable scheme will start again in September for EYFS and KS1 pupils.  All pupils are welcome to bring a healthy snack into school to eat during break time.

Before and After School Care

Following current guidelines, we anticipate that these will run in September.  We will be asking parents/carers to book in advance so that appropriate plans can be made for the sessions.  If you wish to use these facilities in the first three days of the term please email the school office to book your child/ren in. 

Class Email

As we are now entering the summer holidays, and then all pupils are due to return to school in September, the class emails will become dormant.  In September please email queries to admin@blockleyschool.gloucs.sch.uk and they will be forwarded to the appropriate member of staff.

Governors

Our Governors have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that all Government guidelines and practices are followed.  We thank Hilary Thornburgh for leading the Governors for the past few years, for her time and commitment to the school.  She is due to step down from the role in September and we will inform you of the new Chair of Governors at the start of the new academic year.  Thank you, Hilary, for all that you have done.

Thank you again for all your support during this challenging time and we wish you all a happy and relaxing summer.   Blockley School Staff

Value

Perseverance

Very little that is really worthwhile in life can be achieved without perseverance. An athlete may train for years before they are ready to compete at the highest level. A musician must practice every day, sometimes for hours at a time, if they are to really master their instrument.

Thought of the Day

“If at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again.”
W.E. Hickson

Upcoming Events

Feb
12
Fri
all-day End of Term 3
End of Term 3
Feb 12 all-day
Last day of Term 3 for pupils and staff.
Feb
22
Mon
all-day Start of Term 4
Start of Term 4
Feb 22 all-day
First day of Term 4 for pupils and staff.
Apr
1
Thu
all-day INSET day – staff only
INSET day – staff only
Apr 1 all-day
Last day of Term 4 for staff.  No pupils.
Apr
19
Mon
all-day Start of Term 5
Start of Term 5
Apr 19 all-day
Start of Term 5 for pupils and staff.
May
28
Fri
all-day End of Term 5
End of Term 5
May 28 all-day
Last day of Term 5 for pupils and staff.

Contact us

Blockley C of E Primary School

Park Road
Blockley
Moreton-in-Marsh
GL56 9BY

01386 700 567

admin@blockleyschool.gloucs.sch.uk

New Parents - see School Life, Prospective Parents for more information or call 01386 700567. Children, if you don't feel safe call Childline 08001111 or click 'online SOS' below for more information.