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