Lead Encourage Aspire Respect Nurture
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
If your child test’s positive for COVID-19 over the Christmas period please forward your child’s test result to email@example.com 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
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
We are looking forward to Revd Dana Delap leading our Remembrance Service on Wednesday 11th November hopefully on the school field.
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:
You can also order items through their shop at Bourton-on-the-Water.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you for following the government guidelines with reference to any COVID-19 symptoms your child may show. The guidance is listed below:
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).
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.
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!’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be forwarded to the appropriate member of staff.
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
Lead Encourage Aspire Respect Nurture
Thank you for your support this week during our Ofsted visit. A report on the school will follow and we will send this out as soon as we are able to. Apologies for the inconvenience of postponing parents/carers evening but the teaching staff look forward to meeting with you on 2nd/3rd March 2020.
While teachers in school teach all subjects to the pupils, individual teachers have specific responsibilities for subject areas and have an overview of this subject across the whole school. This term subject lead teachers have been able to attend training related to their subject to help enhance the way they can co-ordinate their curriculum area.
The mental health of our pupils and staff is very important to us. We want all of our pupils to reach their full potential and to be happy while at school. Staff have completed training in the area of mental health so that they can support the pupils and each other to ensure that we all remain healthy and in a good place mentally.
Staff have also received annual update training on asthma, anaphylaxis and epilepsy.
We have enjoyed wonderful sharing assemblies this term. These are a real opportunity for the pupils to be able to showcase their work and gain confidence speaking in front of an audience. This illustrates the broad curriculum that the pupils experience gaining incremental knowledge and skills throughout their Blockley Learning Journey.
We have linked with the church this term in setting up a wildlife project in the churchyard. Initially this has involved siting bird boxes, bug houses and hedgehog boxes. The pupils will be involved in monitoring the wildlife and ensuring the boxes remain habitable.
We enjoyed welcoming the Bishops Visitor to school and showing what has been happening in the school since she last visited. She enjoyed watching an Open the Book assembly and speaking to pupils about their time in school. She was pleased to be able to go into the classrooms and see the pupils at work from designing and constructing hedgehog refuges to investigating homophones.
Governors in School
We held our Governor in School week this term. This is an opportunity for Governors to come into school to gain a complete picture of the school how it works so that they can govern effectively. Governors visited different classrooms and lessons and enjoyed speaking with the pupils regarding their work.
We are pleased to welcome Anna Stanley to our Governing Board. She has volunteered in the school previously so is already familiar with the staff and pupils.
38 pupils were able to attend the cross-country event at the Fire College in Moreton-in-Marsh this year. This was against other schools and our pupils ran very well with maximum effort. Well done to all who took part.
We are looking forward to the Floorball final in the early part of next term. Well done to Team A for getting this far in the competition.
The Daily Mile has become an embedded part of our curriculum designed to prepare the pupils for their afternoon of learning. The success of this event was celebrated when the Daily Mile representative visited school and was impressed with the way this has been implemented within the school and the positive impact it has had on learning.
The pupils were able to learn more about keeping themselves safe around dogs and being a responsible dog owner during a whole school assembly this week. No real dogs in sight but a full-sized soft toy Labrador was present for the assembly!
We have just received another box of maths resources that were on back order which completes the purchases made by FOS donations. These are really aiding the pupils with their understanding of mathematical concepts and form a vital part of our teaching materials. Thank you again.
Please continue to support FOS by attending the cake sale on Friday after school.
Big Pancake Day
We are looking forward to supporting the Church Urban Fund by having a Big Pancake Party! During the afternoon of 25th February 2020, on Shrove Tuesday, pupils will be participating in various activities followed by a pancake treat. Money donated will help reach more families experiencing food poverty through hundreds of projects, supported by the Church Urban Fund, that are working to tackle hunger in Britain. Your donation will help those struggling to put food on the table.
American Museum Visit
On Thursday 27th February we shall be welcoming a member of the American Museum of Bath’s outreach team into Class 5. There will be a range of activities relating to their topic of The Americas focusing on Native Americans. They are looking forward to furthering their understanding in this interactive way.
These will now be held on 2nd and 3rd March. The time slots previously arranged will remain the same. If you now have difficulty with the time arranged please speak to the office.
School Nurse Visit
Each year in England, school children in Reception and Year 6 have their height and weight checked at school as part of the National Child Measurement Programme. This is due to take place by trained NHS staff on Thursday March 5th 2020. At the same time the reception pupils have their vision checked to ensure that any problems can be picked up early in their school life.
World Book Day
We will be celebrating World Book Day on Thursday 5th March. Please help your child to dress up as a character from a book. As it is a literacy celebration no film/TV characters please – unless the book came first!
Safety in the Car Park
We all want the pupils to be kept safe. It is therefore vital that we all drive safely when arriving, leaving and parking at school. Please drive very slowly near the school and in the car park to ensure that accidents do not happen. All pedestrians need to use the paths were possible and keep your children close by. Thank you.
A reminder that we will start back on week 1 of the current menu.
Packed Lunches and Break Time Snacks
We have a number of pupils in school with nut and seed allergies. To keep the children safe we ask that nut and seed products are not brought into school. Please no peanut butter, nutty chocolate spread, nut/seed bars or any other products containing seeds/nuts. All of the school lunches are nut and seed free. Thank you for your understanding.
Term 3 and 4
Term 3 ends on Friday 14th February at 3.05pm/3.10pm. Term 4 begins on 24th February.
We look forward to seeing you all again at the start of term 4 refreshed and ready to LEARN.
Blockley School Staff
Thank you for all of your support since the start of this academic year. Pupils are arriving at school dressed in appropriate school uniform, ready to learn, with a positive attitude.
We have now reached the end of two really enjoyable but hard-working terms. Across the school staff have been ensuring that children have the opportunity to improve and further develop their mental arithmetic skills. These maths sessions are happening four times a week and are helping to develop children’s fluency in mathematics. In parallel to this we are actively encouraging children to learn their age appropriate multiplication tables. A secure knowledge and understanding of these times tables will greatly assist children’s speed and accuracy in mathematics, enabling them to reach higher order tasks which ultimately require a greater amount of thinking. Similar to asking parents and carers to support their children with reading at home on a regular and often basis we would also ask that you support your children in the process of remembering their multiplication tables. Doing so will certainly help to secure their knowledge which they can then more readily use within their maths sessions at school. As you can see we are having a really big push at developing children’s understanding of ‘number’ so that it is less abstract and is related to real life whenever possible. We are very pleased to announce that FOS have kindly agreed to fund a range of maths resources which will help support children’s understanding of ‘number’ in mathematics.
We are also in the process of adapting our school curriculum so that it is both subject specific and cross curricular. To do this we are looking for all the links that we want to make explicit to the children so that this helps to make learning connections for the pupils. At the same time, we are developing our curriculum so that children truly become secure in the Programmes of Study as set out in the 2014 National Curriculum. Whilst doing this we are also utilising our own locality so that we can make the learning as meaningful as possible.
May I take this opportunity to thank all parents and carers for supporting your children’s continued development and progress at home. Ensuring that your child completes their homework on time and to a high standard is really important. All parents and carers know that time is a precious commodity. Whenever possible use these treasured moments to listen to and support your child with their reading as this is certainly be one of the greatest gifts that you can give them.
Friends of the School
Thank you very much to all those involved with the Friends of the School. They work hard all year but it is particularly noticeable at this time of year, when everyone is already busy, how much time and effort has been put into activities to raise money for the school. From elves wrapping presents to organising raffles, refreshments at nativity and Christmas lunch preparation, FOS help the Christmas period to be a special one for all pupils. As FOS have reported, the effort has paid off with almost £2500 being raised for the school. Thank you very much.
We have already purchased maths teaching resources which will be used by pupils in January.
Pupils and staff really appreciate your help.
The pupils all enjoyed a cinema experience, watching Abominable with a popcorn snack at the interval. The film was enjoyed by pupils and the staff who were supervising! Thank you to Cotswold Home Cinema for this Christmas treat.
Operation Christmas Child
As well as donations for our school we teach our pupils to show compassion to those less fortunate than ourselves. Our campaign, to fill shoeboxes with gifts for children in other countries who may not have presents at Christmas, was successful in filling 36 boxes. These were sent elsewhere through the charity Samaritans Purse.
Race for Life
Our value of the term, compassion, has again been taught to the pupils through our fundraising. The Race for Life event, adapted on the day due to the weather, still managed to raise over £1100. Thank you.
Children in Need
Spots galore instead of normal school uniform succeeded in raising £136.05 for Children in Need.
Peripatetic Music Lessons
We are able to accommodate peripatetic music teachers in school. If your child is interested in playing an instrument please contact the school office and we can let you know further details. Currently we have a woodwind and brass teacher visiting but if we have enough interest from pupils we can also organise for guitar and violin lessons.
Children from Gardening Club have transformed the sandpit between Classes 2 and 3 into a container full of sensory plants. Compost, plants, seeds and gardening gloves were very kindly donated by Fosseway Garden Centre who also came to help the children with the planting. Thank you to parents /carers for emptying the sand pit and to Claire Turner from the Friends of the School for organising this event
On Tuesday, 12th November a group of 7 musicians from Classes 3 and 5, visited Orchard Bank to play the piano, flute and baritone for the residents. The children played a number of pieces and finished off with singing ‘Jingle Bells’ accompanied by one of the pianists. The children then sat down to a delicious afternoon tea and chatted with the residents. Thank you very much to those children who took part.
Our Year 4 and Year 5 pupils enjoyed a 3 day, 2 night stay at Viney Hill Christian Adventure Centre in the Forest of Dean. They participated in a range of outdoor activities including tunnels, archery, a night hike, climbing wall, crate stake, team building, low ropes, camp fire, introduction to bush craft and navigation. The year groups went separately and had the accommodation to themselves. They stayed in the main building where there are dormitory style bedrooms with a lounge/dining room. Hot food is provided on site which was well received after the outside sessions!
We are proud to report that the staff at the centre commented on how polite and well behaved our pupils were.
Well done to all the pupils who play Floorball. Their skills and knowledge of the game has improved throughout the season with some great results. Practise takes place at Blockley school as an after school club and matches are played against local schools at Chipping Campden Secondary School on Tuesday after school. The hard work paid off with the A team winning the league. Congratulations! The B team and girls team have ongoing matches but they have both made a good start.
We have a strong history of keen cross-country runners at Blockley as demonstrated during our in-house cross-country event every year. This year we had pupils achieve third place at the cross-county cluster event held at Chipping Campden School.
Staff are keeping up to date with the latest recommendations for the teaching of maths and English by attending subject leader training. Best practice can then be shared and implemented across the whole school.
The whole school enjoyed visiting the pantomime at Chipping Norton Theatre at the beginning of December to watch Puss in Boots. A lovely start to the Christmas season.
Classes 1 and 2 enjoyed a visit to Smart Trees in the Vale of Evesham. A magical Christmas experience in the heart of the Vale of Evesham. The pupils were able to see a herd of reindeer, visit the magical Christmas grotto and see Father Christmas.
The Inn Spectors was performed by Class 1 and 2 to an appreciative audience of parents/carers and relatives. The pupils were amazing, remember lines, singing enthusiastically and acting appropriately. There were many special moments to remember.
Father Christmas was in the area and able to pay Blockley School a visit. The elves had been busy and all pupils received a gift.
Thank you to all the lunchtime staff especially Andrea and Sally for producing a wonderful Christmas Lunch for us all. Once again, we also thank FOS for all their support with this event.
You are welcome to join us at the church on Thursday morning, 9.30am for our Christmas Service to celebrate the Christian meaning of Christmas.
Carols around the Tree
Staff and pupils will gather around the tree on Friday for our end of year tradition.
The school will then close at 2pm. Please collect your children promptly.
We have been advised of parenting courses that are being run specifically to help those parents who have separated. These are called Family Transitions Triple P and you can book on 01452 427362. Courses are currently being run in Gloucester but please call for more details.
Car parking reminder
St George’s Hall car park is a busy place with a great deal of movement. Please always be mindful of other users on foot and in vehicles, remembering to park appropriately and drive slowly. If everyone drives sensibly we can ensure accidents don’t happen and children remain safe.
As you are all aware the morning bell rings at 8.50am allowing all the pupils to line up with their peers ready to begin school together. If your child arrives at school after this time you will be asked to sign the late book as a record of your child’s late entry into school. All children find it much easier to start the day alongside their friends rather than having to enter the classroom after everyone else. For this reason and the fact that we do not want your child to miss vital information first thing, could I please ask that parents and carers make a special effort to ensure that your children arrive at school on time.
We start Term 3 on Tuesday 7th January at 8.40am. The term will be focusing on the value of courage.
We are very grateful to all parents and carers for their support and contributions that you make towards school. It really does help to make this a very happy learning community for all the children.
We wish everyone a peaceful and restful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Blockley School Staff
Lead Encourage Aspire Respect Nurture
As we reach the end of Term 1 we are pleased to see how pupils have embraced the value of the term and demonstrated generosity in their behaviour as part of the mutual respect that British citizens should show to one another. Pupils have received awards relating to generosity with their knowledge and helping others, generosity with their friendships and involving others, and generosity by putting others before themselves. We have high aspirations of all of the pupils in school and we all lead and encourage pupils to show respect to others in a nurturing environment. Hence our school strapline of LEARN – Lead, Encourage, Aspire, Respect, Nurture. To achieve success pupils need to feel happy in their learning environment and we welcome the opportunity that parents evening brings to have the chance to discuss your children’s successes with you directly and for you to share information about your children.
We are proud of our pupils good behaviour and the fact that this is demonstrated when we have school visits. In term 2 we are looking forward to different off-site events from sporting fixtures to residential visits and a whole school visit to the pantomime. We are sure that pupils will continue to feel proud of representing their school and we hope to receive positive feedback as we have in the past. Positive behaviour enables pupils to concentrate on their learning and is reflected in the results from the end of last academic year. Some areas to highlight include:
- 73% pupils reached a Good Level of Development at EYFS;
- 80% pupils passed Year 1 phonics;
- End Key Stage 1 SAT’s at or above Age Related Expectations: Reading 70%, Writing 65%, Mathematics 70%;
- End Key Stage 2 SAT’s at or above Age Related Expectations: Reading 83%, Writing 83% Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling 83% and Mathematics 74%. For each of these curriculum areas the school had a high number of pupils achieving Greater Depth Standard – Reading 35%, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling 26% and Mathematics 13%
Well done to all those who took part in Bikeability training. Pupils in Year 6 brought their bikes into school and had to undertake various training sessions and assessments both on and off the road in order to be deemed sufficiently safe on the road to pass their level 2 test.
We enjoyed our harvest festival service in church with all classes contributing to the service from singing Cauliflowers Fluffy to art work, poems and prayers. Thank you for all the donations of non-perishable food items for the Food Bank. School donations, combined with the church harvest collection, totalled a massive 135.58kg. They asked to pass on the following message:
‘Your support means that we are able to continue to provide vital food and supplies to people in crisis over the coming months.
The change in the seasons is a time when food banks see a demand in their services. The Harvest period is the perfect opportunity for us to stock up on a range of items, ensuring that we can continue to provide food parcels to people struggling during these busier months.
The majority of our clients are low-income working families. All of them are deeply grateful that others would help them in their time of need. Many of them ask us to pass on thanks to all those who have helped to enable this provision. On their behalf, and on behalf of all the Foodbank volunteers, may I express thanks for your support.’
Modern Foreign Languages Day
We all enjoyed a foreign flavour to the day at the end of September with French as the theme. Pupils were able to experience elements of a different culture and language as well as some tasty French food.
We were able to welcome existing parents/carers and potential new families to the school at the beginning of October. It was lovely to be able to show Blockley School to others and for people to see at first hand the teaching and learning environment.
National Poetry Day
All pupils were able to participate in National Poetry Day in their classrooms with poems relating to the theme of Truth. Class 5 completed some very clever reverse poetry which is displayed on the wall outside their classroom. Pupils were also given the opportunity to enter a poetry competition.
House Cross County
Well done to everyone for running our cross-country course and competing for house points. A great deal of effort was demonstrated by those taking part. Those that came in the top ranks have been put forward to the cross-country event at Chipping Campden Secondary School after the holiday.
Staff have attended training events at the start of term to ensure that they are up to date with the latest developments in the curriculum and teaching techniques. This included maths and history events as well as safeguarding training and first aid.
We are pleased to be able to support Operation Christmas Child this year through the charity Samaritan’s Purse. If you are able to fill a shoebox with appropriate gifts and useful items they will be very gratefully received by a child elsewhere in the world. Your child will have been given an information leaflet but we do have further copies in the office if it has been mislaid or if you want to send more than one shoe box. The boxes need to be returned to school after the holiday and by Friday 8th November at the latest.
Class 4 were able to participate in the Knex challenge this year with two female pupils having overall success and being able to move onto the next stage in the competition. Well done!
Race for Life
The weather was not in our favour on Race for Life day so unfortunately, we could not include family members in our event. Nevertheless, pupils all participated in Race for Life activities in the hall as witnessed by our local Race for Life representative who visited the school. Remember that sponsorship money needs to be returned to school after the holiday.
The Friends of the School are putting on a disco for the pupils on Friday evening (25th October). Please remember to purchase your tickets at the school office. They are serving hot dogs to each pupil so let the office know of any dietary requirements or allergies when you purchase your ticket.
Term 1 ends on 25th October and Term 2 begins on Monday 4th November. The value of the term will be compassion. We will be letting the pupils know that compassion is about ‘standing in someone else’s shoes’ when they are having a hard time. In other words, trying to understand how they might be feeling and doing our best to try to help.
Closed School Procedure
If the school has to close for any reason this will be published on Gloucestershire School Closure website:
We also plan to list this on our own school website https://blockleyprimaryschool.co.uk/ and send a message out via ParentPay.
Food in School
We encourage healthy eating in school so if you wish to send your child to school with a snack at break time ensure this is a healthy option such as a piece of fruit or plain biscuit not crisps, sweets or chocolate bars. We also have pupils in school with allergies so no nuts or seeds in school.
Our school therapy dog continues to visit school every week. Many children enjoy dropping in to say hello to Margot when she visits. Please let the office know if your child is unable to come into contact with dogs.
September 2020 intake
If your child is due to start school in September 2020 then please attend the information evening on Wednesday 6th November 6.30pm. If you are aware of other families that do not currently have pupils in the school but have a child due to start school in Reception 2020 then please let them know about this meeting.
Individual pupil photos
We have new school photographers this year – Timelock Photography. They are due to come into school on Friday 8th November to take individual photos of each pupil. These will be available to purchase in time for Christmas.
NHS Flu Immunisation
The NHS are due to carry out their Flu Immunisation in school on 13th November. Please complete a form to let them know of your wishes regarding vaccinating your child. There are options on the form for accepting and declining the free vaccination. Please ask in the office for an information leaflet or look on the NHS website for further details.
Year 4 – 20th November – 22nd November
Year 5 – 27th November – 29th November
We are all looking forward to the residential visit to Viney Hill later on in the term. Pupils will have the opportunity to build their confidence away from home and challenge themselves in a safe environment. Activities to look forward to include: archery, tunnels, crate stacking, climbing wall, camp fire, night hike, bush craft and navigation. If your child is due to attend the residential please remember that the balance is due by 1st November.
The school cannot subsidise parents/carers in relation to school lunches, before-school care and after-school care. We therefore ask that ParentPay accounts are kept in credit to ensure that school funds are not directed away from the education of the pupils. If you are due to use these facilities please pay in advance whenever possible. Mrs Meads loads school dinners and attendance for before and after school care onto the system on a Monday morning. In addition, there are currently a number of payment items due in Term 2 including the pantomime and residential visit. Please log on during half term to clear these balances. Be aware that although some payments are voluntary educational visits will not be able to go ahead if sufficient funds aren’t received.
We are looking forward to seeing the reception pupils and KS1 pupils perform their nativity on 10th December 1.30pm and 11th December 6.30pm.
Term 2 ends
Term 2 ends at 2pm on Friday 20th December 2019.
The school holiday is a great opportunity for pupils to have life experience that develops their life skills and understanding of the wider world, something that they can use to inform their work in the classroom. From walks in the local countryside looking at nature and geographical features to help shop for food and planning what to eat. All can help support their academic learning so we wish you all a happy and relaxing break and look forward to seeing pupils on 4th November.
Lead Encourage Aspire Respect Nurture
We are pleased to see that all of the pupils have settled into the new term and are fully engaged with learning. May we take this opportunity to offer new families a warm welcome to Blockley School. The support of families forms a vital part of a child’s education and we look forward to working with you to ensure your child reaches their potential. The Friends of the School (FOS) also provide vital practical and monetary assistance to the school so please support them and their events where possible. At the start of the year may we take this opportunity to pass on some reminders and relevant dates? Dates are also listed on our website.
Thank you for providing suitable uniform and school shoes for your children. We do expect pupils to come to school wearing the correct uniform as this enables the pupils to feel part of our school, which we are proud of, and ensues that they are sensibly dressed for learning. If you are unable to send your child to school in the correct uniform please let the school know in writing. We also have second hand uniform available that FOS often sell at their events.
Food in School
We want to encourage the pupils in school to grow up into healthy adults and we therefore encourage healthy eating. Pupils in reception and Key Stage 1 are offered a healthy snack during morning break under the government scheme but all children can bring their own snack in if they wish. Snacks should be healthy such as a piece of fruit or a plain biscuit. Please no crisps, nuts, sweets or chocolate bars for snacks.
A healthy, hot meal is provided by school for every child that chooses this option. Reception and KS1 meals remain free under the Government Scheme. KS2 meals are offered at a very reasonable £2.40 per meal. Please ensure that your ParentPay account is in credit as school needs to use it funds to educate the children. We had a Food safety inspection during lunch time earlier this week and we are pleased to announce that we were awarded 5 stars under the Food Standards Agency Hygiene Rating Scheme, which is the highest award.
The Daily Mile
Pupils and staff are enjoying the opportunity to participate in the Daily Mile three times a week and enjoy the benefit that the exercise brings. Pupils are able to wear trainers for this activity if they wish.
Data Collection Sheets and ParentPay
If you have not already done so please could you ensure that you return the pink data collection sheets and the Home School Agreement forms as soon as possible.
The main form of communication between school and parents/carers is through ParentPay. Please ensure that you have signed up to this or you many miss vital communications. If you have any difficulty please speak with the school office.
On Saturday 21.09.09 and Sunday 22.09.19 Blockley Church are holding an Eco Flower Festival in the church building and grounds.
The whole school will participate in a Harvest Festival at Blockley Church on Tuesday 24th September. Parents/carers are welcome to join us in church. This will start at 9.15am. We are supporting the Food Bank so we are asking all pupils to bring a non-perishable item of food to school. The pupils will be carrying this to the church so no glass containers or breakable items.
Year 6 pupils will participate in Bikeability Training next week. This is now going to start on Tuesday 24th September as the trainers are unable to attend on Monday.
Please be mindful of pedestrians and other road users when driving to and from school and parking. We all want to keep safe and prevent accidents.
European Languages Day
Thursday 26th September marks European Languages Day and we are celebrating this during the afternoon. Pupils will experience a range of activities linked to Europe with a particular focus on France along with the opportunity to taste a selection of French foods. We would appreciate a voluntary contribution of 50p.
We are holding an Open Morning on Wednesday 2nd October 2019 for existing and potential new parents. This is from 10.30am until 11.45am. Please feel free to call into school during this time.
On 4th October our annual house cross-country event will take place during the school day. Please ensure that your child has suitable PE kit in school. Pupils will run at their own pace around the school site.
Parents evening will take place on Tuesday 22nd October and Wednesday 23rd October from 3.30pm until 6.30pm. Parents will be asked to sign up for time slots nearer the time.
As we start this year it is already time for parents/carers of children ready to start school in September 2020 to look at school places. We have an open evening for Reception parents Sept 2020 on Wednesday 6th November 2019 at 6.30pm. Please let the office know if you or someone you know may be interested in attending this event.
Operation Christmas Child
We will be speaking to the children regarding the Christmas charity collection run by Operation Christmas Child and issuing information leaflets regarding this. If you are able to fill a shoe box we would love to be able to gather as many as possible. More details can be found on their website: https://www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/.
Filled shoe boxes need to be returned to school by Friday 8th November 2019 at the latest.
An information meeting regarding the Year 4 and Year 5 residential to Viney Hill Christian Adventure Centre will take place on Tuesday 1st October at 6pm.
We are collecting supermarket vouchers. Please drop these into the school office.
Blockley School Staff
As we enjoy our final week in school for 2019-2020 we look back on a busy term and look forward to a fresh start in September. Thank you for all of your support for this year. We are pleased that Mr Pudifoot has recovered from his operation and has been able to resume his role as full time Head Teacher. We thank Mrs White for her leadership during the year and value the pastoral support that she continues to provide. September will bring exciting new learning opportunities so we look forward to welcoming you back and wish those moving on future success.
We have welcomed our new reception pupils and their parents into school this term. It is lovely to see siblings in school and new faces. Parents and carers were able to spend an evening in school to understand how we welcome pupils into school in Reception and pupils attended two taster afternoons. All pupils were able to familiarise themselves with the classroom and staff in preparation for September. Teaching staff visited new pupils individually to further understand their needs in time for the new start.
All classes were able to visit the Lifespace Caravan or tent. The tent was new to our school this year and provided a calm and interesting space for the pupils to learn. The sessions use effective strategies to help teach children how to keep themselves healthy and safe. Governors were able to view the sessions to see interactive and engaging lessons first hand.
Thank you to FOS for organising a summer disco for the pupils. This is a lovely opportunity for the pupils to socialise outside of school. Please look out for future, similar events and support the school in this way. FOS provides a great deal of funding to the school which is invaluable especially with current funding levels.
Longborough Opera Workshop
Class 5 pupils were able to gain an understanding of Opera through an Anna Bolena workshop where they were able to get to know the story and characters in this production that was staged during Longborough Opera Festival .
Despite the threat of rain from the day before the sun appeared and a fantastic, family fun, Sports Day was held on the school field. Thank you to Mr Jones for organising the day. It was wonderful to be able to share a day of pupil achievement with family members and enjoy a shared picnic. There was a definite holiday atmosphere despite there being four weeks of term to go!
Both Sports Day on the field and Sports Day at the Prince of Wales Stadium (whole school attending the Sports Stadium in Cheltenham for our Sports Day) will be fixtures in the future.
Year 6 Leavers
The end of the year always brings mixed feelings as we say goodbye to valued members of our school community. However it is wonderful to see the young people that they have grown into and their future potential. All have worked very hard this year to achieve their best and we wish them all the best with their future learning.
Transition and farewell events have taken place this term. This included an event at the Vicarage in the village with a picnic and games when moving on was discussed.
The Year 6 group went on residential to Hooke Court in Dorset last week and spent two nights and three days participating in outdoor activities and looking at coastal defences. All came back with a healthy glow and lasting memories.
As is traditional in Blockley the Year 6 pupils enjoyed their Leavers Meal this week, choosing a menu of burger in a bun or mozzarella cheese sticks with herby diced potatoes and sweetcorn or salad followed by double chocolate brownie. This seemed to be popular with the whole school!
The final goodbye was the Leavers Assembly where the Year 6 pupils entertained parents, pupils and teachers alike with songs, sketches and memories.
Key Stage 2 Performance – Pirates of the Curry Bean
What an amazing two nights of entertainment. Well done to all involved. A great deal of hard work went in to producing a roof raising performance of Pirates of the Curry Bean. A great deal of talent was evident and fun was had by all. Thank you to all the staff involved, in particular Mrs Furniss.
We were pleased to be able to share the pupil results with you in your child’s report. Pupils made fantastic progress and the results were very pleasing with 83% the pupils achieving the expected standards in reading, writing and grammar, punctuation & spelling and 74% achieving the standards in maths. This is all credit to the very hard work that the children in year 6 put in – well done everyone.
We say a fond farewell to Miss Alcock this term as she is moving out of the area and welcome Mr Parsons to Class 2. Many of you will have been able to meet Mr Parsons during ‘moving on’ morning earlier this week. We wish Miss Alcock all the best in her new job.
Mrs Robins was with us to cover Miss Overton-Short’s maternity leave. Miss Overton-Short has returned to work and we are saying goodbye and thank you to Mrs Robins who is leaving some amazing artwork, completed by Class 4, as a wonderful memory of her time here.
Miss Overton-Short returns as a part time teacher and will be teaching in Class 1 in addition to supporting teaching in other classrooms. We welcome Miss Stewart into Class 4 who has already met many parents and carers and has spent time this week getting to know the pupils.
Head Boy and Head Girl
Alice and Harrison have been selected by the staff as our new Head Boy and Head Girl. They were informed during the Leavers Assembly and we are sure that they will be great ambassadors.
End of Term 2018-2019
Term finishes at 2pm on Friday 19th July. Please collect your children promptly at 2pm as there is no After School Care.
Parent Support Advisor
Please be aware that Tracey Baker, our parent support advisor works term time only and will therefore not be available during the summer holiday.
For safety advice during the summer break please visit the child accident prevention trust www.capt.org.uk/News/focus-on-summer-safety or the NSPCC website https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/
We are proud of our school and want our pupils to reflect this. Our uniform is designed to help pupils to feel part of the school and ensure that they are sensibly dressed for learning. It also ensures that there is not competition to adhere to new fashion trends, thus ensuring equality and economy for parents/carers.
We require all pupils to come to school dressed to learn in Blockley School uniform. The details of this can be found on our website. Shoes should be sensible in black or blue and cover the toes. Trainers and boots are not permitted. We look forward to all pupils returning to school in September dressed smartly and ready to learn.
Transporting your child to school
We understand that many pupils live some distance from school and have to be transported by car. It can be very congested at drop off and pick up times and accidents can easily happen. Please be mindful of others, in cars, on foot and those who live nearby, particularly ensuring that residents driveways and house access remain clear at all times. Thank you.
Data Collection forms will be sent out in September. Please ensure that these are returned at the earliest opportunity. To keep your children safe it is vital that we hold accurate medical and emergency contact details for them. If your circumstances or contact information alters at any time during the school year please let the office know.
As in previous years the Year 4 and Year 5 pupils will be able to visit Viney Hill Christian Adventure Centre, nestling between the River Severn and River Wye in the beautiful Royal Forest of Dean, during Term 2. They will be able to discover the great outdoors through adventurous and challenging activities in a supportive and nurturing environment. We are looking forward to going with the Year 4 group from 20th – 22nd November and the Year 5 group from 27th – 29th November.
Operation Christmas Child
We will once again be supporting Operation Christmas Child Shoebox appeal this year. This is a chance to help children around the world to experience joy at Christmas. Leaflets will be given out in the new academic year but the summer holiday may provide opportunity to purchase appropriate items. Please visit their website for more details www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/
Bikeability is the national cycle training programme supported and funded by the Department for Transport. The course builds the skills and confidence of children who can already ride a bike.
The Year 6 pupils will have the opportunity to be trained to ride their bike safely on the roads in September. Letters regarding this will be issued to parents/carers. More information can be found on the Bikeability website www.bikeability.org.uk . Pupils will need to have a roadworthy bike and to be able to ride without stabilisers. Bikes will need to be brought into school daily from 23rd September (for up to one week).
We have peripatetic music teachers visiting school. If your KS2 child may be interested in learning an instrument please contact the school office in September.
Term 1 September 2019
We hope you all have a wonderful summer and keep safe during the break. We look forward to welcoming all pupils back into school at 8.40am on Wednesday 4th September 2019.
Lead Encourage Aspire Respect Nurture
The staff and governors have been pleased to welcome Mr Pudifoot back to school as the Full Time Head Teacher following his successful heart operation. Mrs White returns to her position as the Deputy Head Teacher and will also continue to be available to speak with parents/carers as necessary.
Thank you for all your support this term, especially the Year 6 parents/carers. Your children have worked really hard and it was amazing to see how they were able to focus and apply their knowledge. We are very proud of them. The hard work continues into term 6 as we look at other aspects of the curriculum. Hopefully we will experience some good weather for summer sport and learning outside.
We are looking forward to a busy summer term with plenty of additional learning opportunities; class visit, residential, sports day, life learning and the KS2 play. We will be focusing on the value of truthfulness which underpins everything we do and is fundamental to creating a happy learning and working environment.
We are enjoying seeing Margo when she visits on a Thursday morning. She brings an important dimension to our learning environment and allows pupils to express themselves more easily. A very popular addition but we are also mindful of those who are not comfortable around dogs so she is based in a room away from the pupils. This room is currently decorated with a fantastic image of ‘The Cat in the Hat’ and ‘Matilda’ is in progress with more mural work planned.
The Dogs Trust
We had a visit from a lady employed by the Dogs Trust at the beginning of the term. She was able to show how we should behave safely around dogs and how to be a responsible dog owner.
We hope you have all enjoyed seeing a snapshot of your children’s work during the sharing assemblies. The growing confidence of the pupils is evident as they progress through the year and we value this opportunity to share the excellent work they produce. We are looking forward to the opportunity Class 1 will have this coming Friday.
Staff have been on moderation training this term to ensure work is marked consistently across schools and attended sessions relating to the new Ofsted Framework.
Governors are looking forward to a further Governor in School week next term when they can see how the school has developed throughout the year.
Gloucestershire Young Photographer Competition
Congratulations to Amelie, Thea and Alice for their photographs being selected as part of Gloucestershire Young Photographer and Cheltenham Camera Club’s annual exhibition. There were 330 entries from 21 Primary Schools this year, 17 of which were from Blockley. The 3 judges were greatly impressed with our entries and would like to thank those children for taking part. Entries can be of any subject and must be the child’s own work should your child be interested in entering the competition next year.
Chedworth Roman Villa
As part of their topic work, Class 3 will be visiting Chedworth Roman Villa on Monday 10th June. They are all looking forward to their topic work being bought to life. More details to follow. Thank you to FOS for paying for the coach for this visit.
Panathlon Games Final
The Panathlon Games final will be held on Thursday 13th June at Hartbury College. We will be taking our gold medal-winning team of Blockley Pupils in an attempt to try and return triumphant once again. The team comprises: Bea, Reece, Finley, Charlotte, Vinnie, Alfie, Tommy, Seb, Emma and Oscar.
We will have another visit from the Life Caravan in the middle of June. This is a mobile classroom run through Coram Education that runs life skills sessions in an age appropriate, interesting and accessible way. The programme is aligned with the National Curriculum and covers all of the Key Stages. Children’s experience of Coram Life Education’s sessions is fun, engaging and memorable. Children meet Harold the Giraffe puppet (‘Healthy Harold’), and friends, have discussions and watch short films about personal behaviour, development and welfare and how choices and behaviours can affect dreams and aspirations. Parents will also have the opportunity to visit the classroom and speak with the staff member.
We are looking forward to welcoming our new reception pupils and their families during term 6. We have a new reception parent evening booked for 11th June (6.30pm) which we encourage all reception 2019 parents/carers to attend. They will be able to find out more information about starting school at Blockley. Home visits will be booked during this meeting and the reception pupils will be invited to taster days in July.
Parents/carers with young children may find the following website helpful relating to aiding language development in Early Years children.
Longborough Opera’s education team will be visiting school to work with Class 5 on 19th June. A fun and inspiring workshop that brings opera to life.
This year our Sports Day will be held on the school field. It is proposed that this will be held on Friday 21st June (weather permitting). It will be rolled over to the following week (28th June) if the weather is not favourable. More details to follow but please plan to watch some traditional races and have a picnic lunch on the field (between 10am and 2pm).
Key Stage 2 Play
Key Stage 2 pupils (year 3, 4, 5, 6) will have the opportunity to demonstrate their dramatic prowess during the production this year. This will take place at the beginning of July with evening performances to parents/carers on 3rd and 4th July (from 6.30pm). Further details will follow but family admission numbers will be limited due to the size of the school hall. Get ready to set sail for swashbuckling pirate adventure on the high seas with the ‘Pirates of the Curry Bean’. Pupils can choose to audition for parts in the play during lunchtime on 5th and 6th June. They will be asked to sing ‘Life is a Wonderful Thing’ and read a short extract from the play. Good luck!
Our year 6 pupils are looking forward to finishing their time at Blockley School by visiting Hooke Court in Dorset in July (10th -12th July). They will have plenty of learning opportunities outside of the classroom, be able to build their confidence in readiness for their transition to secondary school and have a lasting memory of time with their primary school friends. We are sure it will be a special end to the year.
Year 6 events
To celebrate the end of their time at school the year 6 pupils will be also be having a leavers assembly and a rounders match after school. There are also plans to visit the church and vicarage for a transition to secondary school session. More details regarding these events will follow in term 6.
Beginning the School Day
Please remember that pupils file into school promptly at 8.50am. Unless pupils are booked into Morning Drop off Club (which begins at 8am) pupils should not be dropped off before 8.40am as there is no staff supervision in the playground prior to this time.
During the nice weather pupils in Morning Club may be enjoying the fresh air so if there is no answer at reception please be aware that they may be found on the playground or school field.
We will be pleased to welcome current parents/carers into school on Tuesday 16th July when you will be able to see your child’s work and look around the school. The school will be open from 2.30pm until 5.30pm.
We are pleased to announce that Mrs Yuhong Meads will be joining the school team at the beginning of June to run the Academy finances. Although she will be a back office member of staff and therefore not deal with parents/carers directly she will still be located in the main office. Jane Harwood will continue to deal with reception matters and parental enquiries. We are looking forward to welcoming her and the expertise that she will bring.
We hope you have an enjoyable break and we look forward to welcoming pupils back to school on Tuesday 4th June. Term 6 will end at 2pm on Friday 19th July and a reminder that clubs will finish on Tuesday 9th July.
Blockley School Staff
Lead Encourage Aspire Respect Nurture
We wish you all a very Happy Easter as term 4 draws to a close. Thank you to the pupils for working so hard this term. We have seen some excellent reports with pupils making fantastic progress from the beginning of the academic year. The pupils have worked really hard to achieve and develop their understanding and it really helps when they are supported well at home, so thank you for your guidance and support. We move into SATs exams next term and are confident that the hard work will pay off.
Following Mr Pudifoot’s successful surgery and recovery it has been lovely to welcome him back to school this week. He is on a phased return so will be familiarising himself with school matters and liaising with Mrs White to ensure continuity. She remains available during this time and will be able to deal with pastoral matters moving forward.
We have been able to remove the posts in the playground and neaten the area with a low climbing wall this term. The pupils are enjoying the play equipment and the opening up of this area.
Friends of the School
It has been lovely to welcome the Friends of the School for their meeting during the school day. We hope this will allow some parents/carers who struggle with evening childcare to join in with meetings and provide this valuable support to the school.
You may have seen the ‘Design a Thank You Card’ competition that FOS have sent home in book bags this week. This will enable FOS to send personalised thank you cards to the many local businesses and individuals who donate in support of the school. Please encourage your child to enter and return their design to the school office by Wednesday 24th April. Spare forms are available in the office.
World Book Day
Once again we saw the school filled with a diverse selection of characters. It was great to see the creativity inspired by reading. The popularity of certain books was in evidence alongside less well known novels. A lovely way to demonstrate our love of reading.
Staff have attended training related to maths and literacy as well updating knowledge about Asthma and Autism this term.
Governor in School week
We welcomed Governors into school during the week beginning 11th March. Governors are very involved in the life of the school and visit classrooms and events while the school is in action to ensure that they have a full understanding and can make informed decisions during meetings. Governors were able to help with science activities from looking at fruit to learning about the heart as well as watching inspiring and complex maths and English lessons.
The year 6 pupils had a visit from the local police constable to teach them about being safe on the internet. There is so much information available for all to see that we need to ensure our pupils learn how to manage its use alongside guidance and control from parents/carers. The police are able to give up to date advice. If you want to know more about keeping your child safe online please visit the Think You Know website https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/
In line with their work on the heart Class 5 pupils were able to learn about basic first aid in relation to the heart with a visit from the provider of our school first aid trainer. A really fun, informative and interesting session.
Well done to the two pupils who represented Blockley School for the recent ‘Youth Speaks’ competition held in Chipping Campden. They competed against pupils from other local schools and demonstrated Blockley talent very well speaking on the topic ‘If only I could…’.
Alice in Wonderland Competition
Thank you to all those who entered the competition run by Blockley Amateur Dramatic Company who are performing a play of Alice in Wonderland in St George’s Hall during the Easter holidays. The judges had a hard time to choose the best from a strong field of over 30 entries. After much deliberation, congratulations go to Emma who won the competition with her fantastic entry of the White Rabbit. A close runner up was Alex’s line drawing of the White Rabbit. With so many strong candidates they chose four pictures to have Special Commendations and four further pictures to be displayed in their programme in addition to the winners. The programmes can be obtained on performance nights April 9th– 11th or at the Matinee (2pm) on Thursday 11th April. Tickets for the performance are on sale at Blockley Village Shop.
Big Questions Service
The pupils have been to church this week for an end of term service. This was a less formal event with pupils and staff thinking about Big Questions. With Easter happening at the end of the holidays we will have an Easter themed assembly at the start of term.
Easter Bonnet Parade
We are looking forward to seeing the wonderful creations on Friday afternoon as our reception and Key Stage 1 pupils parade their Easter Bonnets around school. A Blockley tradition!
Well done to the floorball teams who have been demonstrating Blockley School values and shown great team work throughout the floorball season. Thank you to the parents/carers who have transported them to and from competitions.
Black Country Living Museum
Class 1 had a brilliant day out at the Black Country Living Museum. They were able to see history come alive and continue the work they started earlier in the year relating to the home.
SATs exams take place for Year 2 and Year 6 pupils in May and all are working hard so that they can demonstrate their knowledge and understanding during the tests. Well done for all of the hard work – parents/carers and pupils. We have high aspirations for the pupils to ensure that they strive to be the best that they can while enjoying a well-rounded education. Year 6 SATs take place during the week beginning 13th May and Year 2 SATs take place during the month of May. Plenty of good quality sleep during this time will aid these pupils ability to think clearly and quickly.
We all had a very informative and enjoyable day learning about all things Ghanaian. Sprits were lifted with the wonderful display of colourful clothing. In the afternoon pupils enjoyed a variety of workshops; dance, craft, hair braids and trying Jollof rice. The rice was very popular, especially as it was eaten with our fingers while sitting on the floor. As well as learning about another country and culture the day was also arranged to raise money for metal desks for the pupils at Tishigu School in Ghana. Desks are made locally and cost £30. We managed to raise just over £406 so thank you for your generosity.
Class 3 Iron Age Experience Day
On Monday, 25th March, Class 3 visited Greystones Farm, Bourton on the Water to take part in an Iron Age Experience Day. The children learnt how people lived in the late Iron Age settlement at Greystones, known as Salmonsbury Camp, 2,000 years ago. After dressing up as Iron Age people, Class 3 spent the morning completing some of the chores people living in the camp would have done. They used a saddle stone and a quern stone for grinding flour for bread and cooked it on the fire in the roundhouse. The children also learnt how to use a fire steel in order to light a fire and thoroughly enjoyed mixing daub with their hands using it to repair a wattle panel to restore the wall of the roundhouse. In the afternoon, children had an opportunity to handle Iron Age and Roman artefacts found on the site and found out how these are used to help us learn more about the past. A fun day was had by all in glorious spring sunshine!
Gloucestershire Young Photographer Competition.
Thank you to the 17 children who have entered the competition. We now await to hear how our entrants have fared. The school will be notified of winning entries and any other photographs selected by the judges for exhibition in April. Good luck to our budding young photographers.
Congratulations to the Panathlon Games Gold Winners: Blockley School! The event was organised by the charity St James Place. Blockley competed against nine teams from other local primary schools at Chipping Campden Secondary School. The children took part in a range of sporting activities including curling, parachute games, target practice and skittles. The emphasis was on working together to score maximum points for their team. The children performed well together, encouraging and supporting one another. The team consisted of pupils from Year 2 up to Year 5. They will now be invited to take part in the finals in Stroud.
We are looking forward to Mr Pudifoot increasing his time in school during Term 5. We are saying goodbye to Mrs Dean and continue to wish Miss Overton-Short, Mr Jones and their son well.
We have a number of events to look forward to after Easter. The Dogs Trust are visiting to talk about safety around dogs during the first week back. The winners of the Knex Challenge will attend the next stage of the competition and sharing assemblies take place to which parents/carers are invited. Class 5 will have a leaving event at the end of term 6.
Sharing assemblies are booked as below:
3rd May Class 3
10th May Class 4
17th May Class 2
24th May Class 1
We will have ‘service’ as our value in Term 5, remembering those that serve us and how we can serve others. Merit awards will be issued to those who demonstrate service to others while in school. We will look together at how serving others can bring a great deal of personal happiness to those who serve.
Finally we wish you all a very Happy Easter.
Blockley School Staff