Dear Parents and Carers
I am delighted to be able to welcome everyone back to a new academic year. We now have all of our wonderful Reception pupils in full time and they are all settled and getting use to their new environment. In addition to these 19 new Reception children we also have 6 other children in Key Stage 2 who have started Blockley School this academic year. This means that we are starting the school year with 145 pupils on roll.
The school summer holidays are now a distant memory. This year autumn seems to have caught us all by surprise! Cooler temperatures, windy days and a number of wet play times have set a more traditional autumnal scene. Who knows what the remainder of the calendar year will bring us! Class 3 made a lovely autumn display, in the corridor outside their classroom earlier this term, which was full of rich, warm colours.
I am pleased with the sensible and considerate manner in which the children have returned to school. They have returned with the right attitude towards learning and accepting greater responsibility. Both of these traits are essential for the children to understand as they become increasingly more independent as a learner.
We are all very excited by the prospect of a new school year ahead of us. For the children there will be plenty of new knowledge to learn and digest. At the same time new and existing skills will be understood, developed and enhanced. As well as academic progress each child will be developing their ability to socialise through formal classroom settings and more in-formal playground experiences.
Each term we focus on one individual value which we spend time elaborating upon during collective worship and within class lessons. This term our focus is to understand the value of generosity. We have considered how we can be generous in many different ways including being generous with our comments, consideration and support for each other. The children have access to our values board in school which helps to visualise the meaning of the word.
In the school foyer we have set up a new prayer tree for the children to hang their thoughts and prayers upon. The tree was donated to the school by St Peter and St Paul’s Church in the village. In the short space of time that we have had the tree, we have already received a number of prayers from children who have placed their own words upon the branches. I hope that this is another way that the children can feel supported whilst at school.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for joining us at the church this year for our Harvest Festival celebrations. The children from the Harvest Club thoroughly enjoyed harvesting Rev. Dana Delap’s vegetable garden this year! Similarly we were very grateful for all the non-perishable food items that parents donated. They have all been sent off to our local food banks to help support those within our wider community.
All of the children worked hard with their songs, artwork, and plays. It was a great occasion for us all to be together, as a school community, to reflect upon all that we have access to in terms of; food variety, quality and quantity. We all need these moments in time to just ‘stop’ and remind ourselves just how lucky we all are to live in a civilised, well organised society that has the potential resources to help and support those in greatest need.
West End Schools:
The whole school enjoyed an inspirational day of dance and drama led by West End in Schools where they learnt about the poem Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, for National Poetry Day. The pupils enjoyed class workshops before coming today to perform their dances to each other in a whole school assembly. A great opportunity for inspirational writing – “Twas brillig”!
We have had a very active start to the new school year. Recently we took a team of Year 3/4 to Stow Rugby Club to compete in a festival of tag rugby. With both experienced rugby players and some children completely new to the game it was great to see our team gel and win 5, draw 1 and not lose a single game!
Young Sport Leader Training:
Looking forward we have Helen Pauling from Kingshill School, Cirencester, coming in to work with our year 6 children providing them with young sports leader training. Helen is the Sainsbury School Games organiser for our area so we are very lucky to have her come in and work with our children. She will be teaching them a host of skills including team and leadership skills as well as showing the children how to run sporting events within our school.
We have both our intra and inter school cross country competitions coming up before half term. All children will compete in a house cross country competition on Wednesday 11th of October. House points will be awarded to all those who compete. On an individual level year 3/4 and 5/6 children that finish in the top ten will qualify for the school team that will compete in Chipping Campden on Tuesday the 17th of October.
On Wednesday 18th October we will be holding our annual football day, this will involve the children taking part in a skills session and also doing maths and literacy based around the sport of football. We will also be having our football house matches for the older children in the school.
Premier League Primary Stars:
On a football theme you may hear the children come home and talk about Premier League Primary Stars, here is a little more information for you;
Premier League Primary Stars uses the appeal of the Premier League and professional football clubs to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills. Premier League values underpin everything on offer, encouraging children to:
- Be ambitious – work hard and never give up on their goals
- Be inspiring – set a great example to others
- Be connected –work well with others and in a team
- Be fair – treat people equally and think of others
Competitions range from national football tournaments, to creative writing and reading challenges for reluctant readers. Our current competition is Premier League Writing Stars – a poetry competition where we are asking pupils to write poems on the theme of resilience.
We are asking the children to take part in this poetry writing competition, they have had a whole assembly about this and should feel inspired to write an amazing poem! We are lucky as a school to have received lots of equipment from the Primary Stars, including 25 Nike Footballs, Bibs, Cones, 4 ‘Pop up’ Goals and even a captains armband! It is an exciting scheme that we are sure will inspire the children.
Race 4 Life:
On Friday the whole school, children, staff and parents all joined together to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Unfortunately everyone knows someone who has suffered with or is recovering from Cancer. It makes sense that we all work together to raise money and support each other in the hope that the medical teams will be able to gain greater control of this complex disease.
It was a joy to see all of our children out in the fresh air being active and promoting the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle. With information about health and wellbeing being readily available to us, we should all be fit and well! However, there are many factors which get in the way of us all being able to lead the ideal healthy life style. It is important however, that whenever possible, we all promote the benefits of leading an active healthy life style.
As a Healthy School, which provides high quality healthy lunches, we must remind our children to choose to eat healthily between meals too. Since returning this academic year we have noticed that there is an increasing proportion of pupils which are bringing snacks to school which would not be deemed to be very healthy. We know this because of the high proportion of empty crisp packets and chocolate based wrappers that are forming the litter around the margins of the school. Every day in school we have fresh fruit available for the Reception and KS1 children to enjoy. For this there is no charge and the food is of a healthy nature. May I ask all parents to be very mindful about the snacks that your children bring to school.
We have set aside two parent’s evenings for you to come into school and discuss with the class teachers how your child is settling in to their new school year. These parent consultations are for a maximum of 10 minutes only. If you overrun on time it has a knock on effect to all the other timings across the school. Can I please therefore ask that all parents are mindful of the 10 minute allocation and give consideration to other parents. Dates for Parent’s Evenings are; Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th October between 3.30 and 6.30pm.
Since our return you will have noticed that St George’s Hall car park has had some repairs and maintenance done to the tarmac surface. More ‘T’ markings have been painted and a new gravel pathway has been made. When parking cars next to this pathway please be extra mindful of the children using it. We are very pleased that St George’s Hall Committee have managed to do these jobs to support the school’s safe use of the car parking facilities.
Height and weight measurements will take place for Reception and Year 6 pupils on Tuesday 10th October by the School Nurse Team. There will be a X-Country trial in school, on Wednesday 11th to select children for the Chipping Campden X-Country race which occurs on Tuesday 17th October. FOS is putting on a Spooky Disco for Key Stage 1 and 2 on Friday 13th October. Class 1 and 2 disco is between 5.30 – 6.15pm and Class 3, 4, 5 is between 6.30 – 7.30pm. Tickets will be available from the School Office during week beginning Monday 9th October. House football matches will take place in school on Wednesday 18th October. On Thursday 19th October individual and sibling photographs will be taken of all pupils during the school day.
On Wednesday 18th October at 6.30pm FOS will hold its AGM. All parents/carers are warmly welcome. FOS are a wonderful committed group of parents who help raise funds to support your children. If you would like to be involved, do come along and find out more about what they do.
We are pleased to announce that our latest Environmental Health inspection of the school Catering Department awarded the school a 5* rating. This maintained our rating at the highest level.
Thanks to the kitchen staff for maintaining their high standards.
Please can I remind all parents of our school website which contains lots of useful information regarding your child’s education whilst at Blockley Primary School.
Best wishes and kind regards
All are most welcome to our Open Door Service, a service for all ages, where all are welcome to eat something, learn something, pray something and sing something. These take place on the first Sunday of the Month at 9.30am and our next one is on Sunday 5th November when we will be making bells in preparation for the return of Blockley Church Bells.
Following this, on Friday 10th November, we have a service of thanksgiving and dedication for the bells.
On Sunday 12th November Blockley School Children are welcome to join us at 10am for the Church service of Remembrance which concludes at 10.45am at the War Memorial where the children will place crosses.
Revd Dana Delap