What an amazing term we have had. It seems to have flown by and now we find ourselves at half term. Thank you for all the lovely warm welcome conversations I have had with you at drop off and pick up. I feel as if I am now starting to put names to faces and connect up different family members. The staff have made me feel very welcome and we are working together as a team moving the school forward in this new phase. I want to thank the staff for their incredible hard work and dedication this term, whatever I have asked them to do they have done willingly for the good of your children and the school community as a whole. It has been a very busy term but with a lot of learning and laughter. I hope you have a wonderful half term break and we all come back ready for the next term and the lead up to Christmas.
Partnership update – We had a very positive first review meeting with the Governors of Temple Guiting earlier this week. We all feel that it has been a positive partnership so far and we are looking forward to working together more closely as schools now that I have become a little more established in my role as Executive Headteacher at both schools. It has been a steep learning curve and I have so much more to learn but we all feel this is a positive step forward. If you have any questions or comments please do contact the Chair of Governors or myself and we will endeavor to answer your queries.
We have been able to carry out and plan for many larger gatherings and whole school assemblies this term, with the lower infection rates at the start of term and the easing of government restrictions. We have planned for similar events next term, however we are aware of the national and local picture, in relation to rising Covid cases, so will keep these events under review and follow the national and local authority advice at the time. We will review our Covid risk assessment after half term, once new school guidance is issued.
Class 1 have been super busy learning about the seaside and how it has changed over time. We have also spent a lot of time getting to know each other and exploring the classroom. It has been lovely spending time with the reception children this term in the morning and getting to know all their interests as well as their personalities, which they have plenty of! Next term we are looking forward to performing our Nativity for KS1 parents, work has already begun on songs and costumes!
Class 2 have been working really hard, this term, to use their sketching skills to draw St George’s Hall. These drawings took two sessions and positive feedback from their peers to complete.
The day started with an interactive look at a time line of early human events where we acted out notable events from the development of Humans.
We then learnt about the development of tools and the materials used by early Humans. We then went on a hunt and learnt about some of the animals you may encounter in the Stone Age World.
The middle of the day was spent by the children conducting their own archaeological dig and recording their findings.
Then we looked at the early settlers and places in the world humans have chosen to live. We had a brilliant day and learnt lots of new things as well as consolidated our own learning!
Class 5 pupils participated in an internet safety morning with Leah Davis Schoolbeat Officer – Cotswolds Gloucestershire Constabulary as part of our Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE). The lesson was created by the Constabulary in consultation with Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL). The resources are aimed at children and young people to help them learn about the risks they may encounter whilst using the internet and other interactive technology.
Class 5 had a wonderful Forest School afternoon. Following a treasure hunt, they created Andy Goldsworthy-inspired nature collages to represent the creation of the Earth. This was linked to our Religious Education topic investigating whether the Biblical and Scientific explanations of the creation of Earth conflict or complement one another.
In the upper key stage history club, we have been discovering the history of our school and even found a parquet floor under the carpet in Class 5!
We have a wonderful Forest School area within our school grounds and we are making the most of this resource with all classes participating in Forest School.
The whole school was able to be inspired through the book ‘Here We Are’ by Oliver Jeffers at the start of term. Thought provoking images and words about kindness, the world and how we can all live together caring for the planet and each other. Great metaphors for life in our school community, particularly as we join back together after time in our Covid classroom bubbles. It has been wonderful to see the pupils engaging with each other across age groups, with older children setting a good example to the younger members of the school.
We are keen for all our pupils to be able to catch up appropriately and fill any learning gaps that have occurred due to their time away from school created by Covid lock downs. One of the biggest areas to help your child progress in school is by encouraging their reading. Please take time to read daily with your child and discuss what they are reading. It is fantastic if you can talk about books you have read with your children to develop their love of reading.
If you do have some time to spare we would welcome extra volunteer readers in school during the afternoon. You will have to complete various safeguarding checks, including providing references and undertake a DBS check. Please contact school if you are interested in volunteering.
With the removal of class bubbles it has been lovely to be able to allow mixed clubs to happen again. Pupils are enjoying the creating fabulous art work, playing games and becoming historians, finding out many interesting facts about the history of Blockley School. Alongside this pupils are playing football, hockey and netball.
Sport outside school
We have been able to take a group of children to Mickleton Primary School to play interschool netball. Lovely to mix with a wider group of children and experience another setting. Brilliant team spirit and supportive playing. Well done Blockley!
Revd Cannon Dana Delap, along with Mrs Todd the youth worker, led a quiet time of reflection and contemplation in the Jubilee Centre for all pupils this term. Pupils were able to participate in practical, thought provoking various activities. They thought about hope through tying ribbons onto trees, used clay to represent those they were grateful for as well as sharing their concerns and things that they were thankful for.
Thank you to all classes for their participation in our Harvest Festival and contributions to the food bank. Lovely to have parents/carers joining in with this celebration and remembering how amazing our world is to provide such a fantastic array of produce for us to enjoy and the need to share that with all.
Food Bank Friday
We are continuing to support the North Cotswold Food Bank with regular collections. The next collection is at school pick up on 4th November and school drop off on 5th November. If you have any additional items, or items that you forgot to send for Harvest then please bring them to school on the Thursday or Friday. This will continue on the first Friday of every month. Thanks to FOS for transporting the items to the food bank.
School will hold a remembrance time in school where we can help pupils understand the need for peace in our world and for those that have stood up for our county. In addition, we support the church remembrance service at Blockley Church and will be asking for pupils to represent the school by laying crosses at the memorial during the Remembrance Day Service.
We have been able to return to face to face parents evening this year, with some restrictions. We are hoping that all parents will be able to meet with their child’s teacher as we aim for a strong home/school communication as this really helps us know your children and for you to be aware how to support their learning at home. Thank you for your support in this area.
We are mindful that there is the potential for injury to occur in the car park with so many cars and people around. We therefore ask for your continued vigilance when dropping off and collecting your children.
We had to be flexible with uniform last year as we were aware that clothing was harder to obtain for children during lock down and there was a need for extra warm layers with the high levels of ventilation needed in school. While we continue to keep the classrooms well ventilated they can be warmer and shopping for new items is now possible. We are therefore requiring all pupils to come to school in appropriate Blockley School uniform. While not altering our school colours or uniform we have provided further clarity in our uniform requirements (on the school website). Please do not hesitate to contact the office if you have difficulty in providing the correct uniform. We will be insisting on the correct school uniform going forward as we want all pupils to be proud of being a part of Blockley School, be ready to learn and be on a level with their peers.
PE Kit – a note from Mrs Barry
The PE kit at Blockley is Navy shorts/tracksuit trousers – with no logos or patterns. A navy hoodie or sweatshirt again with no logos or patterns or the royal blue fleece jumper available from My Clothing or Wreal sports. I realise the PE kit was a little more flexible during Covid last year but PE is a core subject and the children need to be properly kitted out to help them treat PE as a learning session as well as brilliant fun. KS1 staff Mr Jones provides excellent teaching and we want the children to be fully participating in the lessons in the correct kit. The correct kit needs to be worn from straight after half term, if this is an issue please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
We are looking forward to year groups 4 and 5 going to Viney Hill Christian Adventure Centre in November. Pupils will be participating in various activities including camp fire, night hike, archery, introduction to bush craft, climbing wall, crate stack, low ropes, navigation and tunnels. They will have the sole use of the old vicarage building.
Reception, year 1 and year 2 pupils are busy learning songs and words ready for their nativity performance this Christmas. There production will be The Big Little Nativity and will take place in St George’s Hall on Tuesday 7th December 1.30pm and Wednesday 8th December 6pm. Tickets will be issued for each performance to ensure that everyone can be seated safely (2 tickets, per family, per performance). A letter will be sent out with further details nearer the time.
We have a long-standing booking with The Theatre at Chipping Norton to watch Rapunzel. The whole school will visit the pantomime on 10th December during the school day. A letter will be sent out nearer the time with more details.
Class 1 and 2 are looking forward to a visit to Smart Trees to soak up the Christmas atmosphere on 14th December. A letter will be sent out nearer the time with more details.
As we move nearer to Christmas we are hoping to continue with many of our traditional Christmas activities including a Christmas film and perhaps a visit from Father Christmas!
We hope you all have a restful and happy half term.
Blockley School Staff