Justice means more than making things ‘fair’. In order for people to live together well in a just community, it is important to have rules or laws that everybody sticks to.
Justice means more than making things ‘fair’. In order for people to live together well in a just community, it is important to have rules or laws that everybody sticks to.
With the right attitude to learning, following our principles of Lead, Encourage, Aspire, Respect and Nurture we can all ensure that pupils ‘be their best’ while at Blockley.
We have had a very positive start to 2019 with pupils demonstrating their excellent learning skills by following our value of the term and persevering with their work. With the right attitude to learning, following our principles of Lead, Encourage, Aspire, Respect and Nurture we can all ensure that pupils ‘be their best’ while at Blockley. Many pupils have been rewarded with value certificates in our merit assemblies when they have shown particular perseverance skills.
In addition to Friday merit assemblies the pupils have enjoyed showcasing their classwork during sharing assemblies and, despite the snow forcing a postponement of Class 3’s chance to shine until the last day of term, all pupils were able to demonstrate some of their skills to you.
We value a strong home school relationship to bring out the best in the pupils and thank you to all those who were able to attend parent/carers’ evening. This is a valuable chance to speak with your child’s teacher and have information regarding their learning passed on so that you are best equipped to support your child at home. Our thanks to the supportive Friends of the School and the volunteers who ran the crèche enabling many of you to attend the sessions without worrying about childcare.
The Friends of the School provide valuable financial support to the school enabling extended learning opportunities to be available to your children by paying for coaches for offsite visits and providing money for additional classroom resources. Following the purchase of the school reading scheme through FOS, donations and the provision of lockers through Northcot Bricks; our thoughts turned to the vacant cloakroom space. Once again, our thanks to the volunteers who decorated the room so beautifully. Donations for the locker project from Cotex paper allowed a carpet to be laid and the electrics to be altered. Exciting plans are in place for the area which begin with artwork which will be evident after half term.
We have said goodbyes to some pupils and staff at the end of the term and welcomed others. Paula Daley-Allen has moved to work in a school nearer to her home and we thank her for her years of hard work. Gloucestershire area finance team have been engaged while we recruit a suitably qualified candidate as our Finance Officer. We wish Miss Overton-Short all the best for the birth of her baby and her maternity leave and welcome Mrs Robins to the team. Pupils in class 4 will already have met Mrs Robins but please introduce yourselves to her when she is on duty in the mornings. Miss Overton-Short thanks all parents/carers for their best wishes for her birth and maternity leave. We have been in regular contact with Mr Pudifoot and are pleased to report that his recovery is progressing as planned.
We wish you all a happy, relaxing half term and look forward to the exciting events and activities planned for term 4.
The cloakroom is now a wonderful teaching space and the pupils will have the opportunity to name the area in due course. Artwork will be added to the walls during the break to make the room more inviting. Pupils will then have the opportunity to use the space. In addition; we also are excited to leak the news that we will have a therapy dog visiting school for a short time on a weekly basis. We are mindful that some pupils have allergies and therefore the visiting therapy dog has a hypoallergenic coat. Contact with the animal will be voluntary and fully supervised. Further details will be sent out after the break and parents/carers will be able to opt out of their children being in contact with the animal if they so wish. It has been shown that children can benefit both educationally and emotionally, increase their understanding of responsibility and develop empathy and nurturing skills through contact with a dog so we hope this will be a very positive experience.
Dogs on site
While we will have visits from our therapy dog we cannot allow parents/carers to bring dogs onto the school site. In school visits by dogs are risk assessed and are fully supervised in a controlled environment. Please ensure that you leave pets secured away from the school site. Unfortunately there have been a number of reports of dog poo being found on the grass areas adjacent to the car park and St George’s Hall.
As part of our rolling programme of training some members of staff have updated their first aid training this term to ensure that the maximum number of staff are available to deliver first aid. The trainer made a positive comment that Blockley School have a high number of staff who have undergone this training. Hopefully it will not be used but staff do know exactly what to do in an emergency.
Staff members have also refreshed safeguarding training and attended courses relating to safer recruitment. The Governors are also completing a programme of training modules.
Reception Open Mornings
Class 1 held reception open mornings for parents/carers of reception pupils to attend. The classroom was open for an hour each morning, on two consecutive days, one with a literacy focus and the other with a maths focus. It was a lovely opportunity for us to show the great work that the reception pupils are capable of.
Spirit of Dance Competition
Well done to the 13 children we took to the Spirit of the Dance Festival. Not only were they fantastic on the stage dancing but they showed great sportsmanship throughout and encouraged other schools. They were a delight and credit to our school.
Fly to the Line Competition
A team of pupils attended the Fly to the Line competition at RAF Kineton last week. Well done for fantastic effort and ability. The children came fourth, just missing out on the finals!
Both floorball teams continue to attend matches at Chipping Campden Secondary School on Tuesday evenings where they have the chance to play against other local primary schools and the year 7 pupils at CCS.
Well done to all who qualified and took part in the cross-country event held at Moreton-in-Marsh Fire College. Everyone should be proud of the effort they made and special congratulations to those who got through to be part of the North Cotswold team in this year’s Gloucestershire Primary Schools Cross Country Championships. They are to be held on Saturday 2nd March at St Edwards Prep School, Cheltenham.
We were pleased to welcome the Bishops Visitor to school on 7th February. She enjoyed having a tour of the school and speaking with staff and pupils. She was able to see various RE lessons happening in school covering different religions and see the Big Frieze in the corridor which is used for the Understanding Christianity section of the curriculum. She informed us that she had a very interesting and enjoyable visit.
We sell embroidered school uniform through two uniform suppliers one of which is Brigade. The other supplier could previously be found through Tesco Direct. Tesco Direct has now closed so the company now sells direct to its customers through their website My Clothing.
Gloucestershire Young Photographer of the Year Competition
Pupils are being given the opportunity to enter this competition again if they wish. Each pupil can submit one, unmounted photograph only, either in colour or monochrome: minimum 6″ x 4″ (150mm x 100mm) and maximum size A4 (210mm x 300mm). The whole picture must have been photographed by the entrant and therefore be their copyright. The photograph does not have to have been taken recently. Further details and competition rules are available from Ms Davies.
Entries must be handed to her by no later than Monday, 25th March – this allows sufficient time to get photographs to the organisers.
Class 3 will be going to Greystones Farm, Bourton on the Water on Monday, 25th March. The purpose of the visit is to take part in an Iron Age experience day and to learn what life was like in this area at the time of the Roman invasion. The class topic in the summer term will be Roman Britain so the visit makes the link between the Iron Age topic from the Autumn term to their summer work.
Black Country Living Museum
Class 1 will have the chance to visit the Black Country Living Museum next term. Earlier on in the year they had the chance to see historical artefacts held by Blockley Heritage Society relating to their topic on the home. They welcomed members of the society to tell them about this aspect of history and were able to visit the Jubilee Centre where the items could be viewed. They are continuing this work by a visit to the Black Country Living Museum in March.
Residential Meeting – Year 6 – Hooke Court
Mrs White will be visiting Hooke Court during this break to find out first-hand the experiences the pupils can have during their visit. She will then be able to inform year 6 parents during the residential meeting on 6th March, 6.30pm.
Governor in School Week
Governors attend many events in school and discuss areas of the curriculum with staff. Throughout the year we have a number of weeks where there is a Governor focus on coming into school and spending time in the classroom with the pupils. This allows Governors to gain a real understanding of the school and enable their decisions to be informed by first-hand experience. Our next governor in school week takes place in March.
We welcome our new Parent Governor, Mr Mark Chappell, to our Governing Body. Mr Chappell is a parent appointed by the Governors and will serve a four year term of office. We look forward to utilising the skills and expertise he will bring to the team.
Blockley School has links with an Anglican school in Ghana. The school serves a huge area of the poorest parts of the city, and we have in the past supported the buying of text books and uniforms. The current crisis is regarding classroom furniture and a lack of desks in reception, class one and class two rooms. About 240 children are being taught on the floor. We are working with the church community to sponsor desks for Tishigu School. Desks in Ghana cost £30 to make, provide employment for welders and joiners in the city and are robust enough to last for 30 years.
To teach the pupils about Ghana and raise money for this cause we are having a whole school African afternoon on 15th March – flag making, roof shaking, voices raising, food tasting, soul waking! At the beginning of term pupils will be issued with a fundraising card. Pupils will be encouraged to ask family and friends to donate, they may even be able to go without something for a week eg sweets and add the money to the card instead. Perhaps they could do some jobs around the house in exchange for fundraising money. If you are visiting family and friends over the break please encourage them to donate to this worthwhile cause. We will explain more to the children at the start of term.
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.
• Can you give an example of
something you have achieved by
• Is there a skill that you think you
could improve with perseverance?
“If at first you don’t succeed try,
try and try again.”
We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. We have had a long and busy term this year with a great deal of hard work completed by the pupils so well done to all and enjoy the well-earned break.
We are pleased that Mr Pudifoot has had his successful operation and is now beginning a steady recovery.
Last academic year we began a consultation process to reword our mission statement and create a strapline to best represent Blockley School. We are pleased that we are now able to announce our new school mission statement and strapline.
Blockley School Mission Statement
Blockley School creates a caring environment where everyone is encouraged to be the best they can, with each child supported to love learning, develop resilience, respect difference, celebrate success and value others within a Christian environment.
Strapline – LEARN
We hope you will agree that these words sum up the successful, caring environment that we aim to achieve here in school.
This success is only possible with the right attitude to learning from our pupils, supportive parents/carers and the correct resources.
As you will hear in the press National Funding of Schools is an ongoing problem and we are all feeling the financial squeeze. We are therefore very grateful for any financial support from the wider community. We are thankful for the support of parents and carers through the Friends of the School. Your donations make a real difference to the broad balance of education that we aim to give Blockley pupils. We are also very fortunate to have supportive businesses locally who understand the constraints we face at this time and are willing to give time and money to support the school.
We hope your KS2 children have been as excited as we are about the wonderful new range of books that we have been able to purchase thanks to the Friends of the School donations. Each KS2 child has been individually reassessed to ensure that they begin reading at the appropriate level and has had the opportunity to bring home a new book. Please ensure that you encourage your child to read these at home and record their reading. The books can be discussed as a family to establish understanding which supports their comprehension development. Thank you so much for the support of FOS without which we would not have this great resource which will help inspire and support literacy. Reading has been found to enhance connectivity in the brain and can increase our emotional intelligence, so good medicine for all!
Our corridor is looking bright, colourful and tidy thanks to the addition of metal lockers for every pupil in Classes 2, 3, 4 and 5. Coats and bags are easily found and pupils are enjoying having their own storage space. We are extremely grateful to Northcot Brick Ltd who donated the lockers to school. They were kind enough to send their employees to fit them in place and alter notice boards etc. They have done a fantastic job and we are sure you will join with us in thanking them for this donation. In addition we are thankful to Cotek Papers who donated money towards the project. We are now in the process of refurbishing the previous cloakroom area to provide a valuable additional space in school.
Due to continuing funding squeeze it is even more imperative that government funding is spent on the education of the pupils. We cannot loan money to parents/carers through ParentPay so please can you ensure that ParentPay accounts are kept in credit. This means that you put money onto your ParentPay account before school services such as Before School Care and After School Care are used and before school meals are taken. You will then see your balance decrease weekly as the services are used. The use of these services is entered manually on a weekly basis, normally on a Friday or Monday, so you will then be able to see what has been used.
If you think you may be eligible for free school meals then funds will be available to support your child in school even if your child is in reception or KS1 and receives universal free school meals.
The price of food has increased and our dinner money income hasn’t. Therefore, along with other Gloucestershire Schools, it is necessary to increase the cost of a school meal to cover our costs.
School meals will therefore increase to £2.40 per KS2 pupil beginning after Christmas in Term 3. Meals for those in reception and KS1 remain free to parents/carers under the current government scheme.
We are sure that you will agree that a freshly prepared hot meal at a cost of £2.40 remains good value for money. Many thanks for your support.
Christmas Shoe Boxes
Your generosity was evident earlier in the year when we had our Christmas Shoe Box Appeal for Operation Christmas Child. It is important to make our pupils aware of those less fortunate than themselves and how they may be able to help them. Filling a shoe box with gifts for another child is a great way to do this. We were thrilled to be able to send 36 shoe boxes off with those from Blockley Church to help children in need elsewhere in the world and for them to experience a little Christmas joy.
As per the letter that was issued to all parents via Parentpay earlier this week the Governing Body will have a vacancy for a Parent Governor at the end of this term. Governors are directors of the Academy and as such are registered at Companies House. If you have the skills, time and commitment to fulfil this role then please speak to the clerk, Jane Harwood, via the school office.
Maths evenings and Maths Clubs
Thank you to all the parents/carers that were able to attend the KS1 and KS2 Maths evenings earlier in the year. We hope you found them useful and that they gave you the knowledge to assist your child’s learning at home.
Thank you also for your support for those invited to our Maths Clubs. These are really helping boost your child’s learning in this area.
Class 4 enjoyed the experience of running Court Barn Museum at the beginning of November. They had fun using the till and were able to participate in an activity making a chocolate box linking in with their Charlie and the Chocolate Factory topic. They also were able to see the history of Chipping Campden when they all went for a walk around the town.
The results of the creative efforts of each class contributed to the wonderful display of poppies at Blockley Church for Remembrance this year. The chancel was covered in poppies made by the local community to remember those who fell in the wars. We hope you managed to see the display over Remembrance Weekend.
Sunday 11th November
Blockley School was well represented as a number of pupils attended the remembrance service at Blockley Church and laid wooden crosses to remember the dead. The Head Boy and Head Girl read beautifully during the service. Thank you to all those that attended and represented the school so excellently.
Our Floorball teams have participated in the Floorball Competitions held at Chipping Campden School. They play short, fast games against local schools and the Year 7 pupils at Chipping Campden. Games have been won and lost but all enter with a competitive spirit and a great deal of enthusiasm.
Children in Need
We loved seeing the variety of spotty attire in school on the 16th November. Thank you for your donations to Children in Need. A total of £163.70 was raised for the charity.
Our Year 4 and Year 5 residential visits to Viney Hill Christian Adventure Centre, in the Forest of Dean, took place at the end of November. The pupils had an amazing time, learnt new skills, challenged themselves and discovered hidden talents. They participated in activities such as bridge building, tunnels, bush craft, navigation, climbing wall and crate stacking.
We have provisionally booked the dates for 2018-2019 so we hope the current year 3 and year 4 pupils are keen to enjoy the experience.
Provisional dates for 2019
Current Year 3 pupils: 20th – 22nd November
Current Year 4 pupils: 27th – 29th November
Year 6 residential
Letters will be sent out in January regarding our plans for the Year 6 residential but in advance we would like to inform you of the dates: 10th July until 12th July 2019. We plan for this to be a group end of year celebration of each pupil’s time at Blockley School and good preparation for their transition to secondary school. We have booked for a visit to the activity centre, Hooke Court, in Dorset. Please take a look at their website to see what they have to offer and look out for the January communication from school via ParentPay.
Well done to all the reception and Key Stage 1 pupils for their fantastic performance in ‘It’s a Baby’ and for the FOS help.
We are looking forward to the end of term Christmas activities next week.
In particular please remember to send party clothes into school on Monday for Reception/KS1 and Tuesday for KS2. Pupils need to wear normal uniform into school. On Thursday they can wear a Christmas jumper on top of their normal uniform and enjoy the school Christmas dinner.
You are welcome to join us for our Church Christmas Service on Thursday 20th December 9.30am. This will be held in Blockley Church.
We finish at 2pm on Friday 21st December so please collect your children promptly as there is no After School Care.
Staff have been on literacy training this term. Miss Alcock went to a KS1 literacy training event and Mrs Furniss a KS2 event.
Paula Daley-Allan has been successful in gaining a position as a Financial Controller at a school that is closer to her home. We are sure you will join us in wishing Paula all the best in her new role and thank her for the fantastic work she has done at Blockley for the past 4 years. Recruitment for her replacement is already underway.
If the school is closed for any reason the closure will be displayed on the Gloucestershire Closed School Website. Where possible, we will place the information on our school website and send a message via ParentPay.
Term 3 – dates for the diary
Class 4 are swimming on the following dates next year:
16th January, 23rd January, 30th January, 6th February, 13th February.
We run a series of sharing assemblies where pupils have the opportunity to share their work with their peers and relatives. We encourage parent/carers of the pupils in the class running the assembly to come and watch. Please keep a note of these dates in your diary.
11th January – Class 4
18th January – Class 2
25th January – Class 1
1st February – Class 3
8th February – Class 5
We welcome Class 1 parents/carers to visit and work with their children during the following times.
28th January – Literacy open hour
29th January – Maths open hour
11th February – 3.30pm-6.30pm
12th February – 3.30pm-6.30pm
We look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on Monday 7th January at 8.40am.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Blockley School Staff
A huge thank you for the messages of get well for Mr Pudifoot. He is very grateful for all of your kind words. We look forward to welcoming him back to school in due course.
We have enjoyed a fun and interesting term with a variety of activities having taken place. The new reception children have settled in really well and it is lovely to welcome new families to Blockley School. As well as the younger pupils we have also been able to welcome pupils into our school in older year groups and they are quickly making new friends and feeling part of our community.
Thank you for your attendance at parents/carers evening this month. It is a valuable opportunity for teachers to share information so that you can support your child’s learning at home.
We hope the children enjoy a well-earned break and we look forward to the beginning of the new school term on the 29th October.
Blockley School Golden Rules
As mentioned in the previous bulletin we all expect high standards of behaviour from the pupils in school and ask everyone to respect our Golden Rules.
The pupils are enjoying our whole school Golden Time on a Friday afternoon. Pupils are participating in a range of fun activities as a reward for their good behaviour. Activities include dancing, outside games, construction, drawing, mosaics, origami, yoga and painting.
For excellent lunch hall behaviour pupils have a chance to sit on the Golden Table once a week. This is gold in colour and pupils can request a ‘friend’ to join them. Sharon Miles (Class 1 teaching assistant) was specially chosen this week and had the honour of eating her cooked lunch as a Golden Table guest.
Well done to all the year 6 pupils who demonstrated their cycling skills to the road safety instructors around Blockley. Their bikes were checked to ensure that they were road worthy before the pupils’ competence was assessed. Those that chose to take part in the training passed with flying colours.
Thank you for supporting our harvest service this year at Blockley church and for the donations of food to the food bank. This resource is a vital support for many in our community who struggle to make ends meet. All classes led a section of the service, Class 1 sang Cauliflowers Fluffy, Class 2 showed their art work, Class 3 shared their poetry, Class 4 did a harvest dance and Class 5 shared harvest maths.
The whole school participated in National Poetry Day on 4th October. Pupils and staff were able to share their poetic talents and the result of the pupils’ hard work is on display around the school. Class 5 have written poetry that links in with their geographical work on volcanoes and tectonic plates.
Drama and dance were used to inspire pupils’ literacy work. A professional actor led workshops for each class. The younger children were able to study The Gingerbread Man while older classes looked at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This was particularly appropriate for Class 4 as it is their current theme.
The school has a long history of inspiring and producing cross country runners. Our annual house cross country event took place on a fine day in October where all children, regardless of their ability, took part in a cross country run around the school site. A fantastic level of effort was on display alongside a competitive spirit. For the older year groups this event was the qualifying session for the inter-school cross county event at Chipping Campden School. Four qualifying races were run, year 3/4 boys, year 3/4 girls, year 5/6 boys and year 5/6 girls with the top 10 pupils being invited to run at Chipping Campden School.
The race at Chipping Campden was a little muddier, as it followed a few days of rain, but pupils came back to school having enjoyed the morning and all ran well. We came a proud third, so well done team!
Race For Life
Thank you for all the efforts gathering sponsorship for our Race for Life event to raise money for Cancer Research. We are sorry that the event could not be held as originally planned, with family and friend participation, but despite our best efforts to rearrange the day the weather was against us. However Mr Jones arranged a fantastic work out for the pupils throughout the morning with everyone completing their 15 minutes. Well done for all the money raised. All money raised needs to be back into school by 29th October 2018.
Class 4 Educational Visit
Class 4 have a chocolate related topic this term, looking at the history, culture and literacy related to this. They paid a visit to Cadbury World where they learnt how the Mayan people lived and their relationship to chocolate. They were taught about the ancient city of Chichen Itza and discovered the Mayan myths and legends about human creation. There was a definite smell of chocolate as they walked back into school and hopefully some was shared at home!
As part of the 100 year anniversary of WWI all pupils in school are making a poppy for remembrance. A variety of methods are being used to create these, linking in with curriculum work. Class 5 have been using chromatography to create their poppies, Class 1 used hand prints to formulate theirs and other craft ideas have been used throughout the school. These poppies will then be in church and pupils will have chance to see them in situ on 9th November.
Blockley Church is hosting a display of RAF banners in church and the pupils have been invited down to the church to view these and then discuss the topic in their classes.
The last day of term can be celebrated by the children by attending the disco run by the Friends of the School. This is a great way to support the school by raising well needed funds and having fun at the same time.
Our current reading books for KS2 have been in school for a significant length of time and are in need of updating. We are very grateful to the Friends of the School for supporting the purchase of a whole new reading plan for the older children. Teaching staff are very excited about the new range of books that will be on offer and we hope that they will inspire reading and literacy for the pupils.
Reading forms an important part of your child’s education and we encourage children to read at home either with parents/carers or independently, as much as possible. We also want to give pupils the opportunity to read to adults in school. We would welcome volunteer adults to come into school to hear pupils read. Any time you can give on a regular basis would be gratefully received. All volunteers in school have to undergo appropriate safeguarding checks but once this paperwork is complete you will be able to start.
As we renew the books and storage for these we have been looking at the provision for pupil bags and coats. It is easy for these to be knocked onto the floor with the current cloakroom situation. We are therefore researching locker provision within school to ensure pupil belongings can be stored neatly and safely. Watch this space!
Unfortunately we do get outbreaks of headlice within school. Please be vigilant and check your child’s hair regularly and treat as necessary according to the NHS guidelines. To reduce the risk of headlice passing from head to head we do ask that all long hair is tied up while in school. Thank you.
We have a team of dedicated Governors. New to the Governing Body this year are Mr Sampson, Mrs Riberzani and Mrs Davies.
Staff have been able to update their skills this term with more training due next term.
During the INSET day all staff were able to be inspired with a Maths Workshop that they attended along with teaching staff from other schools.
As Designated Safeguarding Lead Mrs White has completed her refresher safeguarding training and Mrs Furniss has attended a KS2 Science event.
Operation Christmas Child
If you are participating in our Christmas Shoebox Appeal, filling a shoe box with appropriate gifts, then please return these to school by 5th November 2018.
Class 4 are having a Knex Challenge workshop in school on 6th November. Those who come up with the best designs will have the opportunity to go on to participate in a competition against other schools.
Driving and parking
Please be always mindful of pedestrians when driving and parking your car. The car park does become very busy during pick up and drop off times but nobody wants an accident to occur so please take care.
Open Morning and New Parents Evening
Our Open Morning for all parents/carers of prospective new pupils will take place on 7th November 2018 from 10.30am until 12 noon. This will be followed by an Open Evening on 13th November at 6.30pm for all who are interested in reception children places for 2019.
Flu Immunisation Programme – NHS
This will take place in school on 12th November.
Menu change and packed lunch
Please be aware that we have a new menu for Term 2 that is on the website and will be sent out via ParentPay. We often have pupils in school that are allergic to nuts. We therefore ask that all packed lunches do not contain nuts to ensure the safety of all pupils. Many thanks for your help with this.
We will all be asked to wear spots to raise money for Children in Need on Friday 16th November. More details to follow.
Pupils and staff are looking forward to our residential visits to Viney Hill which are due to take place from 21st-23rd November for Year 4 and 28th – 30th November for Year 5 pupils.
Reception and KS1 will deliver their annual nativity to parents on the afternoon of 11th December and the evening of 12th December. Tickets will be limited per family but more details regarding this will be sent out nearer the time.
Looking ahead to Christmas events
The children will be treated to a cinema experience on Monday 17th December.
Father Christmas will pay a visit on the 18th December.
The whole school will watch the pantomime ‘Aladdin’ on 19th December – thank you to FOS for funding this.
Classes will have Christmas parties.
The kitchen (and FOS helpers) will treat the staff and pupils to our Christmas Lunch on 20th December.
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.
Have you used one to say thank you?
‘Count your blessings’ is an old saying, but it reminds us to be thankful and not take things for granted.
As a family you may like to talk about:
Welcome to a new academic year and a particular welcome to our new reception pupils and those that have started with us further up the school. We also welcome Mrs Furniss, as our Class five teacher, and Miss Hutt, teaching assistant. We are all looking forward to an exciting year of new opportunities and traditional Blockley Events. We are pleased to see all pupils in school with a positive and open outlook to learning following the summer break. Thank you for your support to ensure your children are coming to school ready to learn. Thankfulness is our value of the term. We will be looking at this through our whole school assemblies and asking pupils to focus on not taking things for granted but being thankful and how we can all show our gratitude to others.
We will be showing our gratitude to pupils in school for their good behaviour though our new Golden Time initiative, as explained in more detail below. In addition to Golden Time activities, Mr Jones commences the year as our ‘Sports Champion’ so he has a range of exciting events planned along with daily activities for all ages and abilities. We start 2018 with a great deal to be thankful for.
Please find below new information and reminders.
We keep parents/carers informed about events that have happened in school and celebrate successes through our school bulletin. For those that are new to our school, there are 7 bulletins issued a year. This one, at the start of the year, followed by one at the end of each term. These are placed on the school website and an email sent via ParentPay with the relevant link enclosed. Please keep an eye out for these publications. Dates of events happening within school are also placed upon our school website with letters regarding these events sent out via ParentPay nearer to the event.
As communications are sent out to parents/carers via ParentPay please could you ensure that your email address is kept up to date with ParentPay. If you have any difficulties please do not hesitate to contact the school office. Please remember to keep your account in credit or pay for items immediately.
Pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are eligible for Universal Free School Meals. From Year 3 pupils are required to pay £2.30 per meal. Please be aware if your child has moved into Year 3 that you will need to log onto ParentPay and pay for school meals. We ask that all parents keep their children’s school dinner accounts in credit so that school funds do not have to be redirected to fund lunches.
Our Drop-Off Club is available for all pupils. Pupils can be dropped off at the main entrance from 8am onwards. We ask that pupils are given breakfast before they arrive and they then have the opportunity to participate in crafts and fun activities until they are taken into the playground at 8.40am to be with their peers. Please pay the £2.50 via ParentPay and book via the sign in sheet in the main foyer.
After School Care
We have After-School Care available for all pupils to stay in school after the end of the school day. This is split into two sessions, the first until 4.15pm and the second until 5.30pm (or after a school club). Pupils can stay for one or both sessions. The Care is located in Class 1, where the pupils can engage in various activities and spend time outside as well as having a healthy snack. This is charged at £4 per pupil per session. Please book via the sign in sheet located in the main foyer. Pupils can be collected from the door to the Class 1 corridor located near the Class 4 exit door.
We are lucky that St George’s Hall has a spacious car park. The school has the use of the hall throughout the school day. On occasion the hall is booked by other users in the afternoon and the car park is used for their event. In these instances there can be congestion at the end of the school day. We understand that many people have to drive to get into school, including the school staff, so car parking can be an issue on these days. Please can all parents drive slowly with extra caution in the car park and along Park Road where children are walking to and from school.
To try and make the pick up on these days run as smoothly as possible the dates are listed below. Where possible please car share or park elsewhere in the village and walk to collect your children.
17th September, 15th October, 19th November, 3rd December, 18th February, 18th March, 15th April, 20th May, 17th June.
School finishes at 3.05pm for Class 1, 2 and at 3.10pm for Class 3, 4, 5. The school gates will be open from 3pm for you to wait by your child’s classroom. We ask that dogs are not bought onto the site but please tie them up well away from the school gates. If you wish your child to be picked up by someone not on your data collection sheet then please let the teacher or school office know before the end of the day. If this is someone that is not known to the class teachers then we use a password system and the relevant word can be passed onto the office staff/teacher for collection time.
To aid Year 6 pupils with transition to secondary school we do allow them to walk home on their own if you give written permission for this to take place.
We value home school engagement and sometimes it is necessary for parents/carers to pass information onto the class teacher regarding their child. In the first instance we have a message system in the main school entrance foyer. There are blank message forms for you to complete and a brown message box to file them in. The messages are collected and taken to the class teacher during the morning. This is a useful way to let the teacher know changes to who is collecting your child for instance.
Data Collection Sheets and Paperwork
All pupils have been issued with a brown envelope at the start of term containing their data collection sheet and other information. Please ensure all documents are signed and returned at the earliest opportunity so that we are able to contact you in an emergency.
Golden Time is an exciting initiative that will begin on Friday, 14th September. It is a whole school, weekly timetabled slot of 30 minutes which rewards good behaviour and celebrates those children who have followed the Golden Rules. The Golden Rules are displayed in each classroom and are:
At the beginning of the week, all children start with their full entitlement of golden time. Children who follow the golden rules all week keep their complete allowance. Should a child choose not to follow a golden rule, they are reminded of the rule, and given a warning. If they continue with the negative behaviour they lose increments of 10 minutes of their Golden Time. Children can earn back any lost time by showing that they are following the rule.
The children will be able to choose from eight different activities, details of which will be given in a forthcoming assembly. The children will be asked to sign up to one activity for half a term. This time scale provides sufficient time for children to develop their interest in a particular activity, develop new skills and complete projects. The activities on offer have been taken from the children’s suggestions and these will change every half term.
The new Reception children have had their initial starter days. All went very well and we are looking forward to a fun term in Class One. Class One parents are reminded to look out for our daily information board which will be outside class 1 at the end of each day.
Please wander down and have a look at the newly painted fence in our EYFS outdoor learning area. It has really brightened things up. Class One children and staff would like to send a big thank you to Dave Miles (Husband of Sharon) who has kindly built us a new table for our outside area which we intend to use as a wet area/mud kitchen.
Key Diary Dates for Class 1
Some advance notice of events happening for parents/carers of pupils in Class 1.
Class 1 Open Mornings
Monday 28th January – 9:00 – 10:00 – Literacy
Tuesday 29th January – 9:00 -10:00 – Numeracy
Information and sign-up sheets will be available nearer the time.
We are holding two information evenings to inform Parent/Carers of the Maths curriculum, how Maths is taught within school, and how you can help your child at home. Please keep the date/s free in your diary and attend if possible.
KS2 Maths Information Evening – Monday 29th October 2018 6:30pm
KS1 Maths Information Evening – Tuesday 30th October 6:30pm
After School Clubs
Our after school clubs are due to begin next week. A letter will follow to allow you to sign your child/ren up for appropriate clubs if they are interested. Mr Jones will also run lunchtime activities if you child is unable to participate in after school clubs.
Pupils in Key Stage 2 participate in swimming lessons offsite at Shipston-on-Stour swimming pool. For a number of years each class has had a group of 10 lessons. We are aware that many pupils already have swimming lessons outside of school so we have reformatted the lessons this year to ensure that those who can swim are challenged sufficiently and those who need additional support have time to strengthen their skills. Initially Classes 3, 4, 5 will all swim for five lessons in a row with further swimming opportunity for certain pupils being offered later in the year. Class 5 will start lessons 19th September. Payment will be made via ParentPay. Class 3 will swim from 7th November and Class 4 from 16th January.
Mr Jones, our Sports Champion, will be running activities before school and during lunchtimes to encourage all to engage in fun activities.
His morning timetable for Term 1 is below. Look out for Mr Jones on the school playground between 8.40am and 8.50am.
A really fun way to start the week – fun exercises and games.
Tell me Tuesday
Mr Jones is available to talk to the children/parents/carers about their sporting achievements inside and outside of school.
A range of high energy activities are available around the playground for children/parents/carers to enjoy. Follow the instruction cards to complete the activities safely.
Fun endurance and high energy activities to be done as a large group led by Mr Jones.
For half an hour during lunch time Mr Jones will be encouraging voluntary activities. The Term 1 lunchtime plan is shown below:
Year 1-2 Football
Year 5-6 Football
Year 3 Football
Year 4 Football
Reception Ball Skills Club
Reception Ball Skills Club
Dance and Book Workshops
On Friday 5th October we are welcoming a group of professionals into school to work with all classes combining literacy with dance. All pupils will have the opportunity to investigate a book through dance with class workshops. Classes 1 and 2 will look at The Gingerbread Man, Classes 3 and 5 are exploring Flat Stanley and Class 4 is studying Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A fun and informative day. Please ensure your child has their PE kit in school.
Our first parents evening of the year will take place in October. 10 minute slots will be available between 3.30pm – 6.30pm on Monday 8th October and Tuesday 9th October. Signing up letters will be issued nearer the time.
We have a range of peripatetic self-employed music teachers who offer lessons to our pupils during the school day. Woodwind, brass and violin are currently on offer and guitar lessons should be available shortly with a new teacher. These lessons are offered as a private arrangement between the parents/carers and the music teachers and vary in cost. If you are interested in your child having lessons please contact the school office.
Friends of the School (FOS)
We have a dedicated group of parents who give a great deal of their time to raise funds for the school to improve your child’s learning opportunities. Please support their events when they are advertised or join in and offer a helping hand. They are very friendly and would love the offer of further help and fundraising ideas. Please contact the Friends of School Chair to find out more:
The weather station, bought through FOS donations is now up and running. Have a look on the school website front page to see what the weather is like at the moment. The data collected from this machine will provide real and tangible data for the pupils to deal with and provide information for various areas of the curriculum. So, thank you FOS!
We have now reached the end of another busy and hectic academic year. Parents and children should now have received their annual reports which I’m sure you will have been pleased to read. Once again we have seen children working tremendously hard. It is wonderful seeing the children achieving their expected outcomes and equally rewarding seeing those who make substantial progress towards them.
During the summer break I’m sure there will be many opportunities to engage the children in family activities and for some a trip away somewhere nice as well. Alongside the enjoyment of play there may well be opportunities to learn at the same time such as playing board games. Making use of our local libraries and signing up for the ‘Summer Reading Challenge’ will certainly provide golden opportunities to read for pleasure. A visit to a National Trust property or a museum will certainly help to ‘feed the mind’ and help the children to recognise some of our cultural heritage.
I’m sure that many children would accept the chance to sit at a screen and play electronic games. However, striking a balance between playing on a screen and engaging in a range of other tasks would be ideal. A recent visit by PC Nick Westmacott highlighted some of the issues that the police are experiencing. They are recognising that children in Primary schools are playing games on the internet which are not age appropriate. They are also concerned that some of these games are being played with the safety settings either set to a minimum or turned off altogether. The development of the internet in recent years has been enormous. The potential for it to support learning and improve our lives is also immense. However, as parents we must be very mindful of the hidden dangers which are not obvious to children. The advice from the police is that we should always ensure that children only play age appropriate games, the computer and game settings are secured to ensure that their play is as safe as you can make it. They also advise that all parents monitor what the children are interacting with and insist that they never give any information to another person regarding their name and contact details. We all want our children to be safe and we can do so by applying some of the above mentioned suggestions.
During term 5 our Year 6 and Year 2 pupils were presented with the challenges that are placed upon them for their SATs tests. All of the children gave these tests their full attention and applied themselves to the full. Over the years these tests have become increasingly challenging and are certainly not taken lightly. I would like to say that all the children did their very best and worked extremely hard. In addition to these assessments the Year 1 pupils were tested on their ability to use and apply their knowledge of phonics as one measure of their skill at reading – well done to all the pupils for applying themselves and giving their very best.
A fantastic evening of music was held on 23rd May. Blockley pupils did the school proud performing in front of an enthusiastic audience. Well done to all those who look part and demonstrated their talents. The audience were also treated to performances from local musicians giving the pupils something to aspire to. Thank you to all those who attended. £120 was raised for Blockley Educational Trust. This money goes to support local young people with educational grants.
We have spent this term implementing some changes to our lunchtime routine as part of a whole school approach to high standards of behaviour that we expect from our pupils. The initial target for the lunch hall was ‘We speak quietly to those around us’ with the additional target of lining up calmly ready to leave the hall. The pupils have really taken this on board and are rewarded with golden tickets from the lunchtime supervisors. These are then entered into a prize draw, which is drawn during Monday assembly, with the successful pupil being allowed to sit on the Golden Table to eat their lunch at dinner time. The four chosen pupils are able to invite a friend or member of staff to join them at the Golden Table. Mr Jones was the lucky individual chosen for the first Golden Table. In addition to this reward each golden ticket earned by a pupil allows the class to place a ball into their ‘Jar of Good Choices’. When the class jar is full the whole class group are rewarded with a golden time activity.
This reward system is ensuring that the noise level in the hall is reduced, lunch time is a calmer experience and therefore more enjoyable for all.
Fly to the Line
A team from Blockley took part in a Fly to the Line competition to design, make and fly a model glider at MOD Kineton. They had a very successful race day and gained a place in the national finals at RAF Cosford. While not coming in the top three during the finals they represented the school fantastically. They also spent time exploring the museum at Cosford and sitting in a glider.
If you were able to visit school during our Open Afternoon you may well have seen the photo display from our visit to Blockley Church for Experience Church. After a welcome, the children split up into groups run by volunteers from the congregations at Blockley and Bourton on the Hill. They travelled around the church to see the ’stations’ that had been set up. These included the font as a place of welcome and commitment where a lot of water was splashed around! At the alter pupils drew around their hands to symbolize being welcome to share together. This work is displayed in the main foyer at school. At the prayer tree pupils learnt about the Lord’s Prayer and wrote their own prayers if they wanted to. By the pulpit they looked at the Bible and thought about Bible stories. The pupils talked about things that worry them as well as the natural world before making origami twirling birds that flew from the pulpit. The beautiful stained glass windows also provided reminders for favourite Bible stories. At the door to the church the pupils met to discuss taking our values out into the world. The children’s responses include reflections on faith and appreciation for Experience Church. Thank you to all the pupils and volunteers who witnessed the children’s exemplary behaviour and delightful attitude to the thought provoking work stations.
The weather was perfect for a great day of Sports at the Prince of Wales Stadium for our Sports Day this year. The pupils showed how talented they are, whether in the traditional sporting sense with some fast runners and powerful jumpers or talents in the wider sense, supporting others and building house teams. Perseverance and trying your best were demonstrated in abundance. Well done to all those who took part and thank you to Mr Jones for organising the event.
Class 3 have had tropical rainforests as their topic. This has been linked to many areas of the work that they are completing in class. As part of this work they went on a visit to the Living Rainforest where the pupils were able to see many rainforest plants and experience the heat and humidity of the rainforest.
The pupils in Class 1 have enjoyed a pirate themed term. They were able to showcase their work including their skills at preparing party food with a pirate themed celebration to which they invited their parents/carers. The room looked spectacular and the children were really excited to be able to share their work.
They then enjoyed a trip to Birdland at Bourton-on-the-Water where they were able to see parrots and other birdlife.
Class 2 have studied plants as part of their work this term. They were able to spend a day at Batsford Arboretum looking at a great variety of plant life and taking part in interactive workshops.
We were pleased to welcome the September reception children into school for two afternoons in July. They were able to spend time as a group to familiarise themselves with the setting and teaching staff.
All pupils have now had chance to move into the classrooms that they will be in next year. In larger schools, with 7 or more classrooms, each year group will have an individual class but in smaller schools such as ours, with a 5 classroom situation, year groups have to be mixed. Differentiated work is set by the teachers according to the ability of the children and their year group to ensure that all pupils reach their full potential. We were also pleased to welcome Mrs Furniss into school again giving her further opportunity to familiarise herself with the pupils that she will be teaching next year.
Year 6 Leavers
The year 6 leavers have had the opportunity to take part in various leaving events. They had a leaving service and picnic at the local vicarage, a year 6 party, leavers lunch and will have an assembly as a final ‘goodbye’. Their leaving events begun with a residential at Viney Hill Christian Adventure Centre in the Forest of Dean where pupils had the chance to create lasting memories of their final term at primary school and gain confidence for their move to secondary school. Activities that they were able to participate in included raft building, bush craft, a night hike, climbing wall, camp fire and games.
Autumn Residential 2018
The year 4 and 5 groups in November 2018 will be able to attend their own residential at Viney Hill and participate in outdoor activities. For those who attended last year they will be able to visit again and try out different challenges.
Internet Safety Talk
Our local police constable, PC Nick, visited the school recently to talk to the children about Internet Safety. He was also able to speak to some of the parents who attended the adult talk to explain about the current online dangers for our children.
Reading is always something that we encourage the pupils to participate in and the summer holidays are an ideal time to read with, read to or encourage independent reading. The local library service visited school to speak to the pupils about their summer reading challenge ‘Mischief Makers’. Visit your local library to find out more.
RAF 100 Street Party
Miss Overton-Short organised a fantastic street party to celebrate 100 years of the RAF. Thank you to all the Grandparents that attended and made the day a special occasion with a wonderful atmosphere. The pupils enjoyed their hot picnic thanks to the catering staff. A special thank you also goes to the Friends of the School for supporting the event and giving up their time for the school.
We are looking forward to welcoming the Bikeability trainers into school in September for the Year 6 pupils to learn how to ride their bikes safely on the roads. This is a national scheme and more details can be found on the Bikeability website.
We are excited that we continue to have links to a school in Ghana. Our pupils have been able to write letters to their contemporaries in Ghana and, in due course, hope to receive letters in reply. Pupils in Ghana have a very different school experience in terms of resources available to them and love to hear from pupils in England. We were also able to welcome the Bishop to our school assembly recently.
Class 1 are continuing with their popular Forest School sessions. Recently they have had fun using natural materials to make musical instruments and weaving pirate ship steering wheels.
Other classes have also been using the Forest Area to support their class work, looking at the natural world with quizzes and reflection time.
Mr Jones will be our Sports Champion for 2018-2019. Within this role he will be able to champion sports throughout the school, encouraging pupil involvement with activities on the playground during morning and lunch break. He will continue to run afterschool clubs and encourage all pupils to join in with some sporting activity. His role will include supporting Mrs White with Forest School as other pupil groups are given the opportunity to engage in Forest School activities.
Thank you for not bringing dogs onto the school site. Could we please ask that they are tied up well away from the school gates to ensure a clear access? Many thanks for your cooperation.
The number of nominations equalled the number of vacancies so our two new governors were elected unopposed. We are pleased to welcome Mr Sampson and Ms Riberzani to our Governing Body. They will have a four year term of office and will be registered as Directors of Blockley Educational Academy.
All the staff and governors would like to wish the Year 6 pupils the very best of luck in their secondary schools next year. We are certain that they will all enjoy all the opportunities that are on offer and will rise to the challenges that are presented to them.
The staff and governors would like to wish Mrs Dodgson-Hatto, Mrs Pettit and Miss Williams the very best of luck in their futures; as a new Headship, as a retiree and a new teaching post respectively. I know that they are all looking forward to the changes that they are embarking upon.
I would like to wish everyone a safe, happy and enjoyable summer holiday with your children. Let us hope that the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities and that farmers and growers will receive a reprieve from the very dry weather of late.
We are looking forward to the new term in September. Following two INSET days for staff only we welcome pupils back to school on Wednesday 5th September.
May we wish you all a restful summer and we hope you all have an enjoyable break. We look forward to seeing everyone in September.
Blockley School Staff
Well done to all the year 6 pupils that have completed their SATs exams. Thank you to the pupils for working so hard and for the support you have given at home. We hope that they had a well-deserved break this weekend. Most of the year 2 SATs are also completed and they have also worked very hard. Other pupils have also completed assessments in class to confirm the teacher’s knowledge about the pupil’s understanding on particular subjects. This information can then be used to target specific groups with support and consolidate learning during the last term.
We are all looking forward to a busy term 6, with various activities planned and interesting class topics it should be a great end to the school year. Please do take time to look on the school website for the Programme of Work for each Class to find out what the pupils are learning in school.
Try a New Sport Day
Pupils enjoyed a day of activity and fun last Friday during Try a New Sports Day. Pupils were in mixed age groups and completed a variety of different sports throughout the day including cheerleading and tennis.
We are fortunate to be enjoying beautiful weather at the moment enabling the pupils to be outside for break times, PE and some lessons. We encourage pupils to stick to the Sun Smart message:
S pend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
M ake sure you never burn
A im to cover up
R emember to take extra care with children
T hen use factor 15+ sunscreen
With this in mind please could you ensure that your child has a sun hat in school and sunscreen should be applied before school. Sunscreen (labelled with your child’s name) can also be brought into school for them to reapply.
In hot weather we also encourage pupils to drink plenty of water so please send your son/daughter to school with a named water bottle.
Could we remind all parents/carers of our uniform policy and ensure that pupils come to school in the correct uniform. All pupils should have their PE kit in school at all times. Many thanks.
White/blue blouse or polo shirt
White/blue blouse or polo shirt
School sweatshirt or cardigan
Sensible black shoes
Sensible black shoes
Navy/grey skirt or trousers
Blue gingham or striped cotton dress
Blue gingham blouse
White or blue shirt or polo shirt
Navy long line shorts
Black/Grey trousers/shorts (long line)
Sensible black shoes/sandals with toe
Sensible black shoes/sandals with toe
White or blue t-shirt
White or blue shorts
White or blue short socks
Swimming trunks/swimsuit and towel
(Classes 1, 2 and 3)
Long sleeved sports shirt
(Key Stage 2)
Long Sports socks
Non-fashion trainers/football boots
The school hall can be a very noisy place during lunchtime. In an effort to reduce the noise and make eating lunch a more pleasant experience for the pupils we are trialing a new lunchtime system. This will mean that pupils queuing for their cooked meal do not have to wait for as long and pupils leaving the hall can go out to play sooner. There is also a reward system in place for those that are quiet and polite. Instead of a whole class entering the hall at once, the pupils are going up in smaller groups meaning that they have less time to wait for their food and more time playing with their peers.
Many thanks to those who keep their ParentPay accounts in credit. It is very easy to run up a large debt on the system if your child has school meals daily and attends Before and After School Care. It is unfair on the pupils if school funds have to be used to cover debts before they are cleared. Please could you therefore ensure that your ParentPay account is in credit and meals are paid for in advance? We would really appreciate your help in this area. If you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be eligible for Free School Meal Status (from reception to year 6) please apply online through the Gloucestershire County Council website.
All pupils are taught about internet safety as they use the devices within school. We also ask that parents/carers enforce internet safety at home. Information is available on our school website and the local police support the school in offering advice and guidance to pupils. Class 4 recently watched a performance of the play ‘In the Net’ which informed pupils of internet safety in a child friendly way. Thanks to Friends of the School who supported this event.
Pupils will be updated with the latest in internet safety from the local police on 10th July. There is a talk for parents/carers to be held in St George’s Hall at 2.30pm on 10th July. This should last for 30 minutes and keep you informed about the latest dangers in the online world. Please add the date to your diary.
Fly to the Line
A group of pupils are visiting the MOD in Kineton at the beginning of next term as they qualified for a competition to fly their design of paper aeroplanes. Good luck for the race!
Pupils will walk down to St Peter and St Paul’s, Blockley, in class groups during the week beginning 11th June. They will then participate in interactive workstations informing them more about the church.
The school photographers will be in school on 14th and 15th June to take class photographs. These will then be available to purchase.
Following the success of last year’s sports day and feedback from pupils after the event we are holding this year’s sports day at the Prince of Wales Stadium. This will take place on 19th June and letters regarding this will be out this week. To cater for all pupils and families sports day next year will be in Blockley.
Many of us have to drive to school and therefore at busy times Park Road outside the school can be very congested. Please drive carefully and be respectful of the residents who live both on Park Road and along the Landgate and ensure that they retain access to their properties at all times.
Please keep an eye on our school website where dates of forthcoming events will be posted.
Every day during evensong at the Cathedral a particular part of the Diocese is remembered in the prayers. On Tuesday 12th June it is the turn of Blockley School when the school community will be prayed for. The service, sung by the Cathedral Choir, starts at 5.30pm and lasts for about 40 minutes.
We wish you an enjoyable and relaxing half term. Please remember that school starts for the pupils on Tuesday 5th June.
Blockley School Staff
Open Door Service
An Open Door Service is taking place at St Peter’s and St Paul’s Church, Blockley on Sunday 3rd June 2018, 9.30am. This is an all age service with breakfast. Please join us, everyone is welcome.