Dear Parents and Carers
I wanted to let you all know that being involved in your children’s education over the past 5 years at Blockley Primary has been an enormous pleasure and a real privilege. They are all a wonderful group of children which I’m sure you are all very proud. I have thoroughly enjoyed leading the school along with the Governing Body and working with the children and staff on a daily basis. There are many things that I will miss including the children’s bright beaming smiles as they enter the school every day, their funny stories they tell you and the varied and unusual questions they ask. You will all remain with me as fond memories. I would also like to thank everyone for their kind words of appreciation, the lovely cards and your wonderful gifts.
During the past 18 months of Covid-19 restrictions the children have all shown us how adaptable and resilient they were to abrupt and continuous changes. These skills will support their lifelong learning development both now and into the future. The lack of normal continuous face to face schooling has undoubtedly caused issues for children both academically and socially. Originally the assumption from Government and the DfE was that when children returned to school last September they would ‘catch-up’ within this academic year but as the year progressed it became increasingly obvious that the children would actually need a lot more than one disrupted year and so all schools are in a recovery period which will last throughout the coming academic year, 2021-22.
Protocols inside school will still include regular hand washing by all staff, children and visitors, well ventilated classrooms, offices and hall, along with enhanced cleaning of touch surfaces on a twice daily basis. These measures are remaining in place to try and reduce the spread of infections in the autumn when children return to school. These DfE guidelines are due to be updated on the 16th August 2021 and if there are any changes then we will inform all parents and carers prior to re-opening on 6th September.
The school Governors have worked tirelessly to ensure that the school has the best leadership possible and this has been achieved by having an interim executive head in place ready for September. Mrs Barry from Temple Guiting Primary school will be the executive headteacher. Mrs Barry has been a colleague of mine within the North Cotswolds Headteachers cluster for the past four years and I can assure everyone that she does come very highly recommended and I am certain that she will be a huge asset to the school which will go from strength to strength in the future.
I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, safe and enjoyable summer break where you all can relax, rest and spend time with family and friends once again.
With kindest regards
With restrictions easing this term we have been able to participate in many enrichment activities which has been enjoyed by staff and pupils alike!
Following on from their stay and play sessions afterschool, and with so many birthday party opportunities missed in the past 18 months, the pupils in Class 1 were able to enjoy a special treat on Monday with a Class 1 party complete with bouncy castle!
Linked to their seaside topic with a wealth of cross curricula opportunities, Class 2 were able to visit the Cotswold Water Park. Armed with buckets and spades they created fantastic sand structures and enjoyed a cool off in the water.
Back in class they incorporated their knowledge of the day to create seaside pictures with a variety of materials, including paint, sand and glue.
Class 3 had a wonderful day at Greystones Farm, Bourton on the Water earlier this month. The children learnt how the history of this site stretches back 6,000 years to the Neolithic period and has strong links to the Iron Age. The children took part in activities which helped them gain a better understanding as to how Iron Age settlers would have lived on this site and how they relied on nature in order to survive. The children imagined they needed to make repairs to the walls of the roundhouse by making a section of a wattle and daub fence, getting very muddy in the process! They ground grain using a saddle stone and a quern stone to make flour, using some of this to make bread cakes which were cooked over an open fire. Class 3 were able to practise their bush-craft skills at creating a spark using a flint and steel in order to start a fire. The children played games to help them understand the benefits of farming animals as opposed to needing to hunt them and how this enabled Iron Age people to create settlements. A fun day was had by all and the children were complemented by Ros, our activity leader on their good manners and behaviour. Well done and thank you Class 3!
World War One had been studied by Class 4 last term so they started off the term with a visit to The Soldiers of Gloucester museum. They were privileged to have the venue to themselves and enjoyed an interactive session and a trail through the galleries. They gained deeper understanding of the time through handling real objects from the First World War, learning about ‘joining up’, going to War, being a soldier on the frontline, and how the lives of those left behind at home were affected. They spent time in the Regimental Boardroom – a very atmospheric space, previously used as Regimental Headquarters.
With Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, at Mary Arden’s Farm, Class 5 had Shakespeare brought to life through an all-day workshop that explored the major themes of Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, in a fun and interactive way. They worked as an ensemble and in small groups to devise and perform scenes from the play and stage an abridged performance using original text, movement and music. Understanding of the text was gained in a fun and inspiring way.
Following this workshop, the year 6 pupils were able to put their skills to the test during their leaver’s assembly.
Year 6 Leavers
Despite the COVID restrictions the year 6 pupils were able to enjoy a variety of end of primary school events to remember.
This year the leavers were able to share in a year 6 service from Gloucestershire Cathedral with many other primary schools in an online version. They were part of the event as prayers were written and submitted beforehand.
Class 5 were able to enjoy a day of adventure at Far Peaks. The day comprised of a circus of activities: climbing walls, bouldering, low ropes and indoor caving all led by Far Peaks instructors. The pupils all excelled by challenging themselves, learning new skills and confidence in their ability.
Year 6 pupils had the opportunity to think about moving on in a fun and interactive way with games in the churchyard, a time to talk about the future and information to reflect on afterwards.
The weather was kind for our leavers lunch when the year 6 pupils chose the menu and had a school takeaway al fresco!
On an equally fine day, the leavers performed their assembly outside to a restricted group of parents, remaining in permitted numbers. A memorable occasion when they received end of leaver mementoes and were able to obtain messages from staff and pupils to remember Blockley School by.
In a fantastically decorated hall, thanks to FOS, year 6 pupils had a night to remember. Games on the field, pizza, ice cream van, an early morning walk and a cooked breakfast. A wonderful end to a different year!
All pupils were able to visit church for an end of year service in their class bubbles this week. The Revd Canon Dana Delap took each class through the parable of The Lost Sheep. Class 5 were able to demonstrate their signing of The Lord’s Prayer.
Gloucestershire Young Photographer Competition
A total of 804 children entered from 15 Primary and 17 Secondary schools so competition was again fierce this year. Four children from the school entered the competition of which three were successful in having their photographs selected for display: Lilie – ‘Sweet Magnolia’; Thea – ‘A Passage Through Time’ and Perdy – ‘New Beginnings’. Well done to you all. Thanks also go to Seb for entering his photograph, ‘Busy Bee’. Selected entries from both primary and secondary schools can be viewed on Cheltenham Camera Club’s website https://cheltenhamcameraclub.uk/gyp/
It was wonderful to be able to bring all the pupils together on the field (in their class bubble groups) to have a day of sporting fun. The weather held (nearly) and there was a fantastic atmosphere to the day with all pupils supporting each other to achieve their best.
Two of our pupils, Harry and Christo were involved in tennis tournaments this summer. They took part in the Gloucestershire 8U Summer National League representing Moreton Aces, with the team winning the tournament and Christo winning all of his matches. Well done!
Mr Jones would love to hear about your sporting achievements outside of school, so please email the details through for celebration in September as well as throughout the year.
Lunchtime Busy Bee Boxes
Thank you to FOS for providing the break/lunch time busy bee boxes. The Busy Bee boxes were kindly organised and funded by FOS following a request from the SENDCO. They have created some very exciting activities for children to use during break/lunch times if they prefer doing something quieter. The boxes are filled with fantastic things including: masks and Harry Potter glasses, board games, quizzes, colouring activities, Top Trumps, brain teasers, etc. They have been a great success and the pupils love them!
Thank you to all those who volunteer with FOS to support our school. Despite the restrictions they have continued to fundraise and support events in school. Your work is appreciated.
If restrictions allow we are looking forward to welcoming our peripatetic music teachers back into school in the new academic year. We currently are able to give pupils the opportunity to learn the violin, woodwind instruments and brass instruments, if there is enough interest from pupils. These lessons are organised directly with the peripatetic music teacher as a private arrangement and are charged for accordingly. If your child is interested in playing an instrument, please get in touch with the school office and we can put you in touch with the appropriate teacher.
Volunteers in School
We are also hoping to be able to welcome volunteers back into school. If you are interested in volunteering please contact the school office with your availability and what you would be willing to help with. Please be aware that all volunteers in school are subject to the appropriate safeguarding checks and identity verification.
We have a school uniform based on the school colours of Royal blue and white. Details of our uniform can be found on the school website
Through necessity, during and following lock down, when items were harder to purchase, we have overlooked some clothing which doesn’t fit in with our school uniform. However, in September we expect all pupils to attend school in appropriate school uniform. This is all listed on our website and available through our suppliers. Please ensure that your child comes to school dressed smartly and ready to LEARN – Lead, Encourage, Aspire, Respect and Nurture.
We wish Mr Pudifoot well in his retirement, Ms Davies all the best as she moves onto pastures new and thank them for their time at Blockley School.
We also wish our year 6 leavers all the best at their secondary schools.
We currently have an INSET day booked for November, please be aware that this may be subject to change. This will be confirmed in September.
Once Government guidance is updated we will be in touch to inform parents of the drop off and collection arrangements for September.
We look forward to welcoming all pupils back into school 6th September 2021 rested and ready!
Have a wonderful summer.
Blockley School Staff