Dear Parents and Carers
I wanted to let you all know that being involved in your children’s education over the past 5 years at Blockley Primary has been an enormous pleasure and a real privilege. They are all a wonderful group of children which I’m sure you are all very proud. I have thoroughly enjoyed leading the school along with the Governing Body and working with the children and staff on a daily basis. There are many things that I will miss including the children’s bright beaming smiles as they enter the school every day, their funny stories they tell you and the varied and unusual questions they ask. You will all remain with me as fond memories. I would also like to thank everyone for their kind words of appreciation, the lovely cards and your wonderful gifts.
During the past 18 months of Covid-19 restrictions the children have all shown us how adaptable and resilient they were to abrupt and continuous changes. These skills will support their lifelong learning development both now and into the future. The lack of normal continuous face to face schooling has undoubtedly caused issues for children both academically and socially. Originally the assumption from Government and the DfE was that when children returned to school last September they would ‘catch-up’ within this academic year but as the year progressed it became increasingly obvious that the children would actually need a lot more than one disrupted year and so all schools are in a recovery period which will last throughout the coming academic year, 2021-22.
Protocols inside school will still include regular hand washing by all staff, children and visitors, well ventilated classrooms, offices and hall, along with enhanced cleaning of touch surfaces on a twice daily basis. These measures are remaining in place to try and reduce the spread of infections in the autumn when children return to school. These DfE guidelines are due to be updated on the 16th August 2021 and if there are any changes then we will inform all parents and carers prior to re-opening on 6th September.
The school Governors have worked tirelessly to ensure that the school has the best leadership possible and this has been achieved by having an interim executive head in place ready for September. Mrs Barry from Temple Guiting Primary school will be the executive headteacher. Mrs Barry has been a colleague of mine within the North Cotswolds Headteachers cluster for the past four years and I can assure everyone that she does come very highly recommended and I am certain that she will be a huge asset to the school which will go from strength to strength in the future.
I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, safe and enjoyable summer break where you all can relax, rest and spend time with family and friends once again.
With kindest regards
With restrictions easing this term we have been able to participate in many enrichment activities which has been enjoyed by staff and pupils alike!
Following on from their stay and play sessions afterschool, and with so many birthday party opportunities missed in the past 18 months, the pupils in Class 1 were able to enjoy a special treat on Monday with a Class 1 party complete with bouncy castle!
Linked to their seaside topic with a wealth of cross curricula opportunities, Class 2 were able to visit the Cotswold Water Park. Armed with buckets and spades they created fantastic sand structures and enjoyed a cool off in the water.
Back in class they incorporated their knowledge of the day to create seaside pictures with a variety of materials, including paint, sand and glue.
Class 3 had a wonderful day at Greystones Farm, Bourton on the Water earlier this month. The children learnt how the history of this site stretches back 6,000 years to the Neolithic period and has strong links to the Iron Age. The children took part in activities which helped them gain a better understanding as to how Iron Age settlers would have lived on this site and how they relied on nature in order to survive. The children imagined they needed to make repairs to the walls of the roundhouse by making a section of a wattle and daub fence, getting very muddy in the process! They ground grain using a saddle stone and a quern stone to make flour, using some of this to make bread cakes which were cooked over an open fire. Class 3 were able to practise their bush-craft skills at creating a spark using a flint and steel in order to start a fire. The children played games to help them understand the benefits of farming animals as opposed to needing to hunt them and how this enabled Iron Age people to create settlements. A fun day was had by all and the children were complemented by Ros, our activity leader on their good manners and behaviour. Well done and thank you Class 3!
World War One had been studied by Class 4 last term so they started off the term with a visit to The Soldiers of Gloucester museum. They were privileged to have the venue to themselves and enjoyed an interactive session and a trail through the galleries. They gained deeper understanding of the time through handling real objects from the First World War, learning about ‘joining up’, going to War, being a soldier on the frontline, and how the lives of those left behind at home were affected. They spent time in the Regimental Boardroom – a very atmospheric space, previously used as Regimental Headquarters.
With Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, at Mary Arden’s Farm, Class 5 had Shakespeare brought to life through an all-day workshop that explored the major themes of Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, in a fun and interactive way. They worked as an ensemble and in small groups to devise and perform scenes from the play and stage an abridged performance using original text, movement and music. Understanding of the text was gained in a fun and inspiring way.
Following this workshop, the year 6 pupils were able to put their skills to the test during their leaver’s assembly.
Year 6 Leavers
Despite the COVID restrictions the year 6 pupils were able to enjoy a variety of end of primary school events to remember.
This year the leavers were able to share in a year 6 service from Gloucestershire Cathedral with many other primary schools in an online version. They were part of the event as prayers were written and submitted beforehand.
Class 5 were able to enjoy a day of adventure at Far Peaks. The day comprised of a circus of activities: climbing walls, bouldering, low ropes and indoor caving all led by Far Peaks instructors. The pupils all excelled by challenging themselves, learning new skills and confidence in their ability.
Year 6 pupils had the opportunity to think about moving on in a fun and interactive way with games in the churchyard, a time to talk about the future and information to reflect on afterwards.
The weather was kind for our leavers lunch when the year 6 pupils chose the menu and had a school takeaway al fresco!
On an equally fine day, the leavers performed their assembly outside to a restricted group of parents, remaining in permitted numbers. A memorable occasion when they received end of leaver mementoes and were able to obtain messages from staff and pupils to remember Blockley School by.
In a fantastically decorated hall, thanks to FOS, year 6 pupils had a night to remember. Games on the field, pizza, ice cream van, an early morning walk and a cooked breakfast. A wonderful end to a different year!
All pupils were able to visit church for an end of year service in their class bubbles this week. The Revd Canon Dana Delap took each class through the parable of The Lost Sheep. Class 5 were able to demonstrate their signing of The Lord’s Prayer.
Gloucestershire Young Photographer Competition
A total of 804 children entered from 15 Primary and 17 Secondary schools so competition was again fierce this year. Four children from the school entered the competition of which three were successful in having their photographs selected for display: Lilie – ‘Sweet Magnolia’; Thea – ‘A Passage Through Time’ and Perdy – ‘New Beginnings’. Well done to you all. Thanks also go to Seb for entering his photograph, ‘Busy Bee’. Selected entries from both primary and secondary schools can be viewed on Cheltenham Camera Club’s website https://cheltenhamcameraclub.uk/gyp/
It was wonderful to be able to bring all the pupils together on the field (in their class bubble groups) to have a day of sporting fun. The weather held (nearly) and there was a fantastic atmosphere to the day with all pupils supporting each other to achieve their best.
Two of our pupils, Harry and Christo were involved in tennis tournaments this summer. They took part in the Gloucestershire 8U Summer National League representing Moreton Aces, with the team winning the tournament and Christo winning all of his matches. Well done!
Mr Jones would love to hear about your sporting achievements outside of school, so please email the details through for celebration in September as well as throughout the year.
Lunchtime Busy Bee Boxes
Thank you to FOS for providing the break/lunch time busy bee boxes. The Busy Bee boxes were kindly organised and funded by FOS following a request from the SENDCO. They have created some very exciting activities for children to use during break/lunch times if they prefer doing something quieter. The boxes are filled with fantastic things including: masks and Harry Potter glasses, board games, quizzes, colouring activities, Top Trumps, brain teasers, etc. They have been a great success and the pupils love them!
Thank you to all those who volunteer with FOS to support our school. Despite the restrictions they have continued to fundraise and support events in school. Your work is appreciated.
If restrictions allow we are looking forward to welcoming our peripatetic music teachers back into school in the new academic year. We currently are able to give pupils the opportunity to learn the violin, woodwind instruments and brass instruments, if there is enough interest from pupils. These lessons are organised directly with the peripatetic music teacher as a private arrangement and are charged for accordingly. If your child is interested in playing an instrument, please get in touch with the school office and we can put you in touch with the appropriate teacher.
Volunteers in School
We are also hoping to be able to welcome volunteers back into school. If you are interested in volunteering please contact the school office with your availability and what you would be willing to help with. Please be aware that all volunteers in school are subject to the appropriate safeguarding checks and identity verification.
We have a school uniform based on the school colours of Royal blue and white. Details of our uniform can be found on the school website
Through necessity, during and following lock down, when items were harder to purchase, we have overlooked some clothing which doesn’t fit in with our school uniform. However, in September we expect all pupils to attend school in appropriate school uniform. This is all listed on our website and available through our suppliers. Please ensure that your child comes to school dressed smartly and ready to LEARN – Lead, Encourage, Aspire, Respect and Nurture.
We wish Mr Pudifoot well in his retirement, Ms Davies all the best as she moves onto pastures new and thank them for their time at Blockley School.
We also wish our year 6 leavers all the best at their secondary schools.
We currently have an INSET day booked for November, please be aware that this may be subject to change. This will be confirmed in September.
Once Government guidance is updated we will be in touch to inform parents of the drop off and collection arrangements for September.
We look forward to welcoming all pupils back into school 6th September 2021 rested and ready!
Have a wonderful summer.
Blockley School Staff
We are looking forward to the prospect of a slightly sunnier week and the chance to enjoy some time relaxing with the opportunity to meet with family and friends once again. We have enjoyed having the pupils in school for the whole of the term enabling some really interesting topic based, cross curricula learning to take place. Our value of service has been clearly demonstrated by a number of our pupils this term with some being awarded Merit Certificates in school for their noticeable service to others. As indicated by the recent communication in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council, schools are required to maintain their bubble system and COVID safety measures so pupils will return after half term with the same practices in place, staggered start/end times and classes separated.
We will welcome pupils back into school on 7th June.
Class 1 have had a very busy term learning all about Space. We loved learning about Mae .C. Jemison and even sent her a tweet to ask about her time in Space.
We have also been very busy learning about Plants and Growing, this term we had 5 caterpillars to look after, 3 of them turned into beautiful Red Painted Butterflies and when we released them they flew straight into the flower bush to watch our P.E.
We would like to thank the parents of Blockley for all the donations of toys and clothes we have received, we very much appreciate it.
Class 2 pupils and staff have been busy growing their sunflower seeds, with some thriving more than others which is providing a valuable learning opportunity. Growth has been measured and the conditions needed for our plant’s survival discussed. Well done for all your efforts and we can’t wait to see the flowers, however tall they are.
Pupils have been busy designing a fruit/vegetable salad which they are going to try and recreate over the holiday. We hope they are tasty and we are looking forward to hearing about the finished product.
We have been studying electricity this term with the opportunity to create our own circuits, considering what conducts electricity and how a switch works.
The human body has been another topic, looking at our body parts, how we function and what we need to survive. We have been able to use our bodies to good effect through our PE sessions when we have been learning to play Rounders.
Class Four have had a busy and productive term. Our history topic of World War One has been an emotional rollercoaster with the children exploring a range of sources including photographs, video footage and letters from the front line.
We have furthered our knowledge of the topic through the story War Horse and are looking forward to a visit to a local war museum in the new term.
This term the children in Class Four also took part in the KNex challenge. Our winners were Noelia and Mali (both Y4 pupils). The girls are looking forward to creating a piece of work to be judged in the regional finals next term.
Class 5 – as ever – has been very busy and engaged with a breadth of learning. Much of this term’s learning has centered around the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the African American Civil Rights Movement. As part of our learning, we have discovered that not only was Bristol very involved in the trade triangle but its influence was as close as Bourton-on-the-Hill and Lower Slaughter with connections to plantations on Caribbean islands.
Class 5 are very proud of two of its members: Imogen and Solomon, who, following their success earlier in the year in the Primary Mathematics Challenge, recently entered the UK Junior Mathematical Challenge. This challenge was open to pupils up to Year 9. Those attaining a very high score have been invited to enter the ultimate challenge competition. We wish both mathematical wizards the best of luck in June!
Gloucestershire Young Photographer Competition
Thank you to Sebastian, Lilie, Thea and Perdy for representing the school in this year’s Gloucestershire Young Photographer Competition. The Winning entries, and any other photographs selected by the judges, will be shown at a Virtual Awards Ceremony, on Friday, 18th June. Good luck to you all!
NSPCC – Number Day
The whole school had a wonderful curriculum enrichment day on Friday 7th June raising money for the NSPCC by participating in their Number Day. We all dressed up in our number-themed outfits and enjoyed many fun practical maths activities linked with Raymond Briggs wonderful Jim and the Beanstalk.
Thank you for your donations. We were really pleased that we were able to donate £199.66.
If you wish to order leavers or class photographs please do not forget to place your order with the photographers.
Walk to School Week
The car park was quieter during our Walk to School Week, so it was very evident that pupils were making a big effort to walk to school, even if they did not live locally. Thank you for your support.
Year 6 pupils are able to participate in Bikeability training sessions after the holiday. This gives them the opportunity to learn to be safe on the road and navigate hazards appropriately.
We are looking forward to being able to take the pupils on educational day visits next term as the restrictions have lifted for these events. We will keep you informed regarding the places that each class hopes to visit.
COVID 19 – Contact tracing
As during previous holidays, we are being asked to ‘contact trace’ for Covid-19 cases. Therefore, if your child develops symptoms of Covid-19 while in school or afterschool on Friday, Saturday, Sunday then please follow the government guidance, self-isolate, book a Covid-19 PCR test and inform Mr Pudifoot via email@example.com. Once the result is received please let the school know. This will ensure that the school can assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school.
Where symptoms occurred more than 2 days since the person was last in school, this does not need to be reported to school. Where this is the case, staff, students, parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
Have a wonderful week and we will see you on Monday 7th June.
Blockley School Staff
We have loved welcoming the pupils back into school this term and really loved seeing them being able to enjoy normal interaction with their friends and peers, with our COVID19 protocols in place to ensure that bubbles do not mix. They have been keen to build on the learning that they completed at home during lock down and we have been able to assess all pupils to establish the areas where learning needs to be concentrated. Pupils have worked hard and are a credit to their families. Thank you for your support.
A special moment was shared during the last day when we were able to hold our traditional Easter Bonnet Parade in a COVID secure manner. Pupils and staff located themselves around the playground and field, socially distanced in their bubble groups, and were able to watch as Class 1 and Class 2 paraded around the school building, showing off their creations. Quite an experience for some of our younger members who haven’t had the regular experience of whole school assemblies in the hall. We all clapped their work and there were some very proud and smiling faces. A lovely way to bring the school community together, physically rather than virtually at the end of the term.
Class 1 have had a very busy term learning all about Easter and the origins of it. They had a fantastic Zoom session with Reverend Dana where she told the Easter Story to the children and linked it to the Hungry Caterpillar, she then very kindly answered questions the children had about Christianity.
This term we have been very fortunate to have toys donated to us from parents across the school and we are very grateful to each of you for doing this.
The Easter bonnets were amazing. Thank you to all the parents for all your support this term.
Class 2 have been creating these wonderful pictures based on Van Gogh’s Starry Night. They used oil pastels to create all of the lines and swirls and painted over that with water-colour paints. This art work is linked in with their geography work, which was based on the human features of a village.
Pupils have taken home sunflower seeds and will be growing these over the Easter break. The plants will then form part of their maths and science work as they measure how tall they have become and the reasons for the different sizes.
Pupils have been busy designing their own healthy pizza. They have been learning about the different food groups and what a balanced diet is in science and they have drawn upon this knowledge in the design of their pizzas for their DT work. Due to the current restrictions, they are unable to make and cook the pizzas in school so are planning to try and make them at home using a variety of bases. We hope you enjoy eating them!
Class 4 children have been enjoying learning about France this term, thinking specifically about human and physical features, climate zones and the similarities and differences between France and England.
To support this learning, we spent time looking at the artwork of some influential French artists including Georges Seurat and Berthe Morisot. We had a go at recreating some pointillism and impasto pieces of art.
The children in Class 4 also took part in a French themed day on the last day of term, sampling French cuisine and dressing up.
Class 5 have been working hard improving their maths and literacy skills ready for the transition to secondary school. Reading Pig Heart Boy has inspired their learning about the heart and they have all had the opportunity to handle and investigate pig hearts and sheep hearts and lungs, which was a really informative and interesting learning opportunity. They have been able to link this to healthy living, learning how our organs may be affected by the way we treat our bodies and what we consume.
Faith in Art Competition
These are the Blockley School competition entries for the Faith in Art competition run by the Diocese. The children created the artwork linked to their RE topics. They have been sent off to join entries from other schools from around the County. We look forward to seeing how our pupils get on. Entries for this competition have now closed. Well done everyone.
All classes were able to enjoy a visit to the church this week, Dana Delap was able to link the Easter story to life cycle of the bee and pupils had the opportunity to think of all the life that lives inside the church, that may not be immediately obvious. This was a special time to allow the pupils to extend their learning space to the church and enjoy learning in a different environment while remaining COVID secure. Members of the public had been very busy supporting the school and church by knitting bees for each of the children. Some are still to be made and quarantined but no-one will be missed out! Thank you very much to all the knitters out there from the children at Blockley School. Please take time to read the Growing Together article from the Diocese for more bee inspired ideas and information. Growing Together
During the discussion with Dana and on Teams Collective Worship on Monday, we were able to launch our Easter Bee Competition. Pupils are asked to create an image of a bee, in any medium, or capture a live bee in a photograph and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 8.30am 19th April 2021. Please see the attached poster for more information. We look forward to seeing the bees! Easter Competition.
If your skills lie with photography then the Easter holiday, with the brighter days, is an ideal time to take some high-quality pictures. Cheltenham Camera Club are running the Gloucestershire Young Photographer Competition again this year. This year however, all entries need to be submitted online. If children wish to enter they need to hand their entries in by Monday, 17th May to Ms Davies. These can be emailed to email@example.com or brought into school to scan. Please ensure that all entries are marked as stated in the rules and it is clear that the image is for this competition. Ms Davies will then upload them to the website. Please read the rules carefully. Please see the Rules and Glos Young Photographer Posters
If your children develop COVID 19 symptoms on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday this week please follow the Government advice, book a PCR test and inform school via firstname.lastname@example.org. Once the result is received please let the school know. This will ensure that the school can assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school.
Where symptoms occurred more than 2 days since the person was last in school, this does not need to be reported to school. Where this is the case, staff, students, parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
We wish you all a Happy Easter break and look forward to welcoming pupils back to school on Monday 19th April. The same class bubble system and staggered start and end times will remain when we return.
With all good wishes
Blockley School Staff
Dear Parents and Carers
It is now the end of term 3 and the majority of our children have not been able to return to school since before the Christmas holidays. I wanted to take this opportunity to say how grateful we are for all the support and help that you have given your children once again in this latest lockdown.
At school we are all very proud of the way that your children have adapted to our new style of online remote learning. They have risen to this challenge, coped remarkably well and learnt new IT skills which will benefit them into the future.
We are aware that this lockdown is in many ways harder and more complex than the first. With this in mind we have tried to support children with their engagement in learning through providing an increasing number of live lessons. This has allowed your children to see, hear and interact directly with their class teacher(s) alongside their friends and peers.
To benefit all learners, those that are remote and those in school, we have tried to establish a range of learning opportunities to suite everyone. Lessons are being developed and adapted daily, based on the children’s ability to comprehend and progress forward whilst allowing for them to have the chance to embed and consolidate their new learning through ‘over learning’ and ‘interleaving’.
All schools will be fully closed during the coming February half term holiday. This will be a good opportunity for families to have a well-deserved rest. If the weather stays fair then going out for a walk in the countryside and showing children the beautiful carpets of snow drops would be a valuable exercise.
We all hope that schools will return to normal soon and families can go about their daily work and business with greater ease and flexibility. Maintaining routines at home will help add a level of structure which children normally will settle into, especially if you are able to keep it consistent.
Stay safe everyone, at least the days are noticeably longer now and the signs of spring are becoming more evident.
Save the Children
While Christmas now seems a long time ago we wanted to share with you the success of Christmas jumper day when we raised £122.19 for Save the Children. Thank you for your support.
The term dates for 2020-2021 can be found on the school website. We are all hopeful for normal holiday patterns to be able to resume next year so please avoid booking holidays during term time to ensure no more valuable learning time is lost.
If you move house, change telephone numbers or wish to update your contact information, please ensure that you keep your record at school up to date. This applies whether your child is learning at home or at school.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Our mental health is as important as our physical health both for children and adults. As you will be aware last week it was mental health week when the topic was highlighted. But we need to try and keep our minds healthy at all times.
Place2be offers advice and support to children and families: https://www.place2be.org.uk/coronavirus
Young Minds have created a useful ‘Supporting Parents Helpfinder’. By answering six questions, parents can find out how to support their child’s mental health during the pandemic (and beyond):
Young Minds have also created a useful poster highlighting ways to give support to children when they have angry feelings or outbursts and may help families start a conversation and talk about each other’s feelings.
Adults are in the best place to support their children when they are well themselves. It is important to ask for help when you need it. The government have put together information to support adults with their mental health throughout this pandemic:
Please do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Our Parent Support Advisor (Mrs Baker) is available to signpost you to support. Her details can be found on the website under family support and she can be contacted via email@example.com
The menu for term 4 remains the same as term 3. We return to school on week 1. The menu can be found on our school website.
For benefits based free school meal children vouchers will be issued for after half term.
If you are looking for good ideas for lock down lunches at home then the NHS Change for Life website contains lots of inspiration: https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes/lunch/cheap-lockdown-lunch-ideas
Friends of the School
With the need to put reading books in quarantine since the start of the pandemic, school have been running short of books in certain bands of books. Thanks to FOS school are going to be able to purchase additional books to ensure that every child can have access to an appropriate reading book.
If your child is coming into school, please ensure that they dress up warmly, appropriate for the weather outside. To keep everyone safe we maintain high levels of ventilation in school so it is important that your child wears plenty of warm clothes during these winter months. Winter boots, extra layers, a woolly hat, fingerless gloves and a small blanket are all permitted.
Anita Taylor has now finished her term of office and is no longer a governor. We thank her for all of her work on the Governing Board and for supporting the school in many other ways through volunteering especially with Open the Book. We hope to continue to see her in school in the future. We welcome Helen Cawston to our Governing Board. Her term of office began on 1st February 2021 and runs for 4 years. We look forward to working with her and using the expertise that she will bring to the board.
Learning at school and home
Class 1 have been working incredibly hard and we are very proud of all the effort put in at home and in school. They have spent a lot of time learning about the outdoors and creating fun activities and memories with their families on walks. They have looked for birds, made wind chimes and dens, fed the wildlife and most importantly made precious lockdown memories with their family and friends (in school).
Class 2 have been learning about Creation and a wonderful display of their work has been created in school. Thank you to the home learners for sending the work in.
Class 3 have been imagining themselves as the Roman Army General, Julius Caesar and critiquing the Britannia invasion in 55BCE through letter writing. Well done for your hard work and getting into character.
Alongside their history work they have been busy reading The Iron Man as their class reading book.
Class 4 Poems
This term the children in Class 4 have been learning about space both through their science lessons and in English through the class novel ‘Cosmic’.
Engagement has been wonderful from pupils both in school and those learning remotely. Thank you to parents for supporting their children.
Here is a selection of their work:
Pupils in class 5 are engaging with the important issues facing society today through their geography work relating to climate change with cross-circular work looking at food miles, carbon dioxide release and extreme weather patterns. Texts in English have encouraged pupils to consider the use of coal and the consequences of plastic disposal.
They are absorbed in their current text of Pig Heart Boy, learning all about the heart alongside their enjoyment of the story.
Following their poetry unit of work based on Alfred Noyes atmospheric narrative poem, The Highwayman, they wrote their own stanza’s to fill in gaps within the storyline, letters posing as Tim the Ostler (to inform the Red Coats of the highwayman’s whereabouts) and used negative art to create ghostly atmospheric images. At the end of the unit of work, they had a Teams Rodents and Robbers meeting dressing up as either a rodent, a highwayman or both, as well as bingo, a snack and a reading of Julia Donaldson’s poem, The Highway Rat, which is a spoof of the classic.
We wish you a restful and healthy week and look forward to ‘seeing’ everyone in school or online on 22nd February, when schoolwork resumes.
Blockley School Staff
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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.