We have had a very positive start to 2019 with pupils demonstrating their excellent learning skills by following our value of the term and persevering with their work. With the right attitude to learning, following our principles of Lead, Encourage, Aspire, Respect and Nurture we can all ensure that pupils ‘be their best’ while at Blockley. Many pupils have been rewarded with value certificates in our merit assemblies when they have shown particular perseverance skills.
In addition to Friday merit assemblies the pupils have enjoyed showcasing their classwork during sharing assemblies and, despite the snow forcing a postponement of Class 3’s chance to shine until the last day of term, all pupils were able to demonstrate some of their skills to you.
We value a strong home school relationship to bring out the best in the pupils and thank you to all those who were able to attend parent/carers’ evening. This is a valuable chance to speak with your child’s teacher and have information regarding their learning passed on so that you are best equipped to support your child at home. Our thanks to the supportive Friends of the School and the volunteers who ran the crèche enabling many of you to attend the sessions without worrying about childcare.
The Friends of the School provide valuable financial support to the school enabling extended learning opportunities to be available to your children by paying for coaches for offsite visits and providing money for additional classroom resources. Following the purchase of the school reading scheme through FOS, donations and the provision of lockers through Northcot Bricks; our thoughts turned to the vacant cloakroom space. Once again, our thanks to the volunteers who decorated the room so beautifully. Donations for the locker project from Cotex paper allowed a carpet to be laid and the electrics to be altered. Exciting plans are in place for the area which begin with artwork which will be evident after half term.
We have said goodbyes to some pupils and staff at the end of the term and welcomed others. Paula Daley-Allen has moved to work in a school nearer to her home and we thank her for her years of hard work. Gloucestershire area finance team have been engaged while we recruit a suitably qualified candidate as our Finance Officer. We wish Miss Overton-Short all the best for the birth of her baby and her maternity leave and welcome Mrs Robins to the team. Pupils in class 4 will already have met Mrs Robins but please introduce yourselves to her when she is on duty in the mornings. Miss Overton-Short thanks all parents/carers for their best wishes for her birth and maternity leave. We have been in regular contact with Mr Pudifoot and are pleased to report that his recovery is progressing as planned.
We wish you all a happy, relaxing half term and look forward to the exciting events and activities planned for term 4.
The cloakroom is now a wonderful teaching space and the pupils will have the opportunity to name the area in due course. Artwork will be added to the walls during the break to make the room more inviting. Pupils will then have the opportunity to use the space. In addition; we also are excited to leak the news that we will have a therapy dog visiting school for a short time on a weekly basis. We are mindful that some pupils have allergies and therefore the visiting therapy dog has a hypoallergenic coat. Contact with the animal will be voluntary and fully supervised. Further details will be sent out after the break and parents/carers will be able to opt out of their children being in contact with the animal if they so wish. It has been shown that children can benefit both educationally and emotionally, increase their understanding of responsibility and develop empathy and nurturing skills through contact with a dog so we hope this will be a very positive experience.
Dogs on site
While we will have visits from our therapy dog we cannot allow parents/carers to bring dogs onto the school site. In school visits by dogs are risk assessed and are fully supervised in a controlled environment. Please ensure that you leave pets secured away from the school site. Unfortunately there have been a number of reports of dog poo being found on the grass areas adjacent to the car park and St George’s Hall.
As part of our rolling programme of training some members of staff have updated their first aid training this term to ensure that the maximum number of staff are available to deliver first aid. The trainer made a positive comment that Blockley School have a high number of staff who have undergone this training. Hopefully it will not be used but staff do know exactly what to do in an emergency.
Staff members have also refreshed safeguarding training and attended courses relating to safer recruitment. The Governors are also completing a programme of training modules.
Reception Open Mornings
Class 1 held reception open mornings for parents/carers of reception pupils to attend. The classroom was open for an hour each morning, on two consecutive days, one with a literacy focus and the other with a maths focus. It was a lovely opportunity for us to show the great work that the reception pupils are capable of.
Spirit of Dance Competition
Well done to the 13 children we took to the Spirit of the Dance Festival. Not only were they fantastic on the stage dancing but they showed great sportsmanship throughout and encouraged other schools. They were a delight and credit to our school.
Fly to the Line Competition
A team of pupils attended the Fly to the Line competition at RAF Kineton last week. Well done for fantastic effort and ability. The children came fourth, just missing out on the finals!
Both floorball teams continue to attend matches at Chipping Campden Secondary School on Tuesday evenings where they have the chance to play against other local primary schools and the year 7 pupils at CCS.
Well done to all who qualified and took part in the cross-country event held at Moreton-in-Marsh Fire College. Everyone should be proud of the effort they made and special congratulations to those who got through to be part of the North Cotswold team in this year’s Gloucestershire Primary Schools Cross Country Championships. They are to be held on Saturday 2nd March at St Edwards Prep School, Cheltenham.
We were pleased to welcome the Bishops Visitor to school on 7th February. She enjoyed having a tour of the school and speaking with staff and pupils. She was able to see various RE lessons happening in school covering different religions and see the Big Frieze in the corridor which is used for the Understanding Christianity section of the curriculum. She informed us that she had a very interesting and enjoyable visit.
We sell embroidered school uniform through two uniform suppliers one of which is Brigade. The other supplier could previously be found through Tesco Direct. Tesco Direct has now closed so the company now sells direct to its customers through their website My Clothing.
Gloucestershire Young Photographer of the Year Competition
Pupils are being given the opportunity to enter this competition again if they wish. Each pupil can submit one, unmounted photograph only, either in colour or monochrome: minimum 6″ x 4″ (150mm x 100mm) and maximum size A4 (210mm x 300mm). The whole picture must have been photographed by the entrant and therefore be their copyright. The photograph does not have to have been taken recently. Further details and competition rules are available from Ms Davies.
Entries must be handed to her by no later than Monday, 25th March – this allows sufficient time to get photographs to the organisers.
Class 3 will be going to Greystones Farm, Bourton on the Water on Monday, 25th March. The purpose of the visit is to take part in an Iron Age experience day and to learn what life was like in this area at the time of the Roman invasion. The class topic in the summer term will be Roman Britain so the visit makes the link between the Iron Age topic from the Autumn term to their summer work.
Black Country Living Museum
Class 1 will have the chance to visit the Black Country Living Museum next term. Earlier on in the year they had the chance to see historical artefacts held by Blockley Heritage Society relating to their topic on the home. They welcomed members of the society to tell them about this aspect of history and were able to visit the Jubilee Centre where the items could be viewed. They are continuing this work by a visit to the Black Country Living Museum in March.
Residential Meeting – Year 6 – Hooke Court
Mrs White will be visiting Hooke Court during this break to find out first-hand the experiences the pupils can have during their visit. She will then be able to inform year 6 parents during the residential meeting on 6th March, 6.30pm.
Governor in School Week
Governors attend many events in school and discuss areas of the curriculum with staff. Throughout the year we have a number of weeks where there is a Governor focus on coming into school and spending time in the classroom with the pupils. This allows Governors to gain a real understanding of the school and enable their decisions to be informed by first-hand experience. Our next governor in school week takes place in March.
We welcome our new Parent Governor, Mr Mark Chappell, to our Governing Body. Mr Chappell is a parent appointed by the Governors and will serve a four year term of office. We look forward to utilising the skills and expertise he will bring to the team.
Blockley School has links with an Anglican school in Ghana. The school serves a huge area of the poorest parts of the city, and we have in the past supported the buying of text books and uniforms. The current crisis is regarding classroom furniture and a lack of desks in reception, class one and class two rooms. About 240 children are being taught on the floor. We are working with the church community to sponsor desks for Tishigu School. Desks in Ghana cost £30 to make, provide employment for welders and joiners in the city and are robust enough to last for 30 years.
To teach the pupils about Ghana and raise money for this cause we are having a whole school African afternoon on 15th March – flag making, roof shaking, voices raising, food tasting, soul waking! At the beginning of term pupils will be issued with a fundraising card. Pupils will be encouraged to ask family and friends to donate, they may even be able to go without something for a week eg sweets and add the money to the card instead. Perhaps they could do some jobs around the house in exchange for fundraising money. If you are visiting family and friends over the break please encourage them to donate to this worthwhile cause. We will explain more to the children at the start of term.