We were pleased to be able to showcase our school to Ofsted on 21st and 22nd March and share the report with you this term. As you are aware we received a Good grading and the report is now available on the Ofsted website https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/21/139524
Governors and staff will continue to work together to ensure that the school continues to thrive and follow Ofsted’s advice for improvement.
Message from the Chair of Governors – Mark Chappell
It has often been said that those that live in the Cotswolds reside in a ‘bubble’, but you won’t have failed to see the debates revolving around OFSTED and the SAT’s.
As a team, we have spent considerable time since our last inspection in February 2020 improving not only the areas identified at that time, but the delivery of our broad & balanced curriculum. As a school we were more than ready for the long awaited two day OFSTED Inspection in March 2023. It came in the midst of the ‘storm’ surrounding the tragic events at Caversham School. OFSTED inspections are designed to be rigorous and challenging; they seek to explore the effectiveness of the school from quality of education through to safeguarding and its leadership & management.
It was an exceptionally busy few days as the Senior Leadership Team re-organised our planned science week to accommodate the inspectors. The process our OFSTED inspectors followed was thorough, challenging and left no ‘stone unturned’ but they were ultimately fair. The Governors were delighted that Blockley School was recognised as ‘Good’ across the board. We know how much hard work goes into achieving such a judgment from all the staff concerned. We all feel justifiably proud of the opening paragraphs which describe the school as a place with ‘warm relationships’ where ‘pupils enjoy learning’, and ‘feel safe and happy’. Our sense was the Inspectors ‘got Blockley’ and what we are seeking to achieve and it doesn’t get much better than that.
I suspect there aren’t many of us who actually enjoyed our exams, irrespective of level, and no doubt there were some nerves and a little anxiety among carers! In view of the current debate around the KS2 SAT’s, especially the English papers, I wanted to provide some reassurance to all those whose children that sat them. In short, the national experience was not something we recognise. Although the exams were more difficult than in recent years, every pupil who sat these tests worked confidently and calmly through the papers, each performing to the best of their individual ability on the day. Irrespective of the wording or the ordering, nothing it appeared to ‘faze’ or upset them on the day. We had no tears nor tantrums but even ‘cheers’ when the Maths papers were brought in – bring it on!
That is a real credit to the Y6 pupils and the hours of preparation and support invested in them, both in school and at home, which allowed them to perform at their best. Yes, academic results are important to all concerned. It is a bench mark on which we are assessed but as each of our children appeared to perform to their potential we can ask no more. Perhaps more importantly at Blockley, our vision to seek to provide a broader education equipping a child with the knowledge, confidence and tools to adapt and work through matters irrespective of what is thrown at them appears to have borne fruit. A big THANK YOU to all concerned in the SAT process. It is something you/we all can be rightly proud of.
In summary, Year 6, well done one & all. YOU absolutely smashed it!
We are also extremely proud of all our Year 2 pupils who have had quizzes to complete this term. At the end of June Mrs Billings will submit a teacher assessment of each child’s progress in Reading, Writing and Maths to the Local Authority. The results of the quizzes are just one small part of making this judgement and she considers a range of evidence from across the year.
Pupils continue to follow a broad and ambitious curriculum as evidenced by the activities this term.
Court Barn – Chipping Campden
Class 4 pupils have been working with Court Barn Museum in Chipping Campden on a project run by funding through The Art Fund and Arts Council England. Entitled The Great Escape, the project is designed to engage children with the UK’s natural environment, drawing inspiration from the art and objects in museums and the creative and learning opportunities they can offer. The pupils were able to explore the animals in the museum’s collection, in particular illustrations of mice, peacock brooch, hens, bees and then imagine a creature’s journey to a future habitat rich in biodiversity. They were able to look at the Arts and Craft movement inspired by nature, visit Wolds End Orchard to look at biodiversity and old maps illustrating the location of old orchards in Chipping Campden. Their work on the day culminated in a collective work of art.
We were able to celebrate the King’s Coronation with pupils coming to school in regal or red/white/blue clothing. The hall was decorated with the village bunting, that the children helped to create previously – thanks to FOS for putting this up – and the whole school enjoyed a special assembly looking at the life of the King. While the weather forecast was not good, so it looked as though our street party would be held in the hall, a last-minute brightening of the day enabled a street party picnic to be partaken by all on the school field – a fantastic royal celebration! The pupils then spent the day making coronation inspired artwork, which decorates our school corridor.
Walk to School Week
Well done to all those who managed to Walk to School last week, whether this was from home or partly in the car, all helps to protect the environment and helps pupils experience first-hand the physical and mental health benefits of walking to school. This nationwide event was organised by the charity Living Streets with a theme this year of ‘Walk with Wildlife’ with daily themes of inclusion, sustainability, health, mindfulness and friendship.
Class 5 are now enjoying whole class clarinet lessons, some lovely noises are emerging from the classroom already.
The school recorder group and choir are practising their songs ready for performances later in the summer term.
Peripatetic music teachers continue to visit school – brass, woodwind and piano currently, with the possibility of violin in September, if there is enough interest.
Marvellous Music will once again be run by Blockley Educational Trust. An evening of musical performance from Blockley pupils past and present and musical members of the village to raise funds for the Educational Trust who provide support for families who need financial help with educational activities. A date for the diary – evening 13th July.
Following the Knex challenge that took place with Class 4, the winning pair were able to attend the final recently. Well done Emily and Ashley for your Knex design skill.
Class 5 recently entered a Rounders tournament at Chipping Campden, three teams and were thrilled to come first and second against other local primary schools.
Blockley have also entered a Cricket Tournament at Chipping Campden Cricket Club where two teams will play on Friday. Good luck!
Class 3 were able to visit the allotments in Blockley this week as part of their plant topic. They have been learning about what plants need to grow well, functions of a flowering plant, how water is transported through a flowering plant, its life cycle and pollination and fertilisation. Met by allotment volunteers they were able to look around and see the plants that are grown.
Class 4 have been using and applying their grammar skills of word class, sentence structure and punctuation to write descriptive, reflective and sometimes humorous poems about themselves. Some brilliant creations by the pupils.
My name is Ted.
Today I feel like a calculation
Sometimes I am an addition.
Sometimes I am a subtraction.
But always I am solvable.
I ask the world, “What is the hardest calculation?”
And the answer is
a calculation being solved.
My name is Sylvia.
Today I feel like a dreary vulture
slouching in a tree.
Sometimes I am a crow.
Sometimes I am a robin.
But always I am talkative.
I ask the world, “What is the most dangerous bird?”
And the answer is
a dreary vulture slouching in a tree.
My name is Mya.
Today I feel like a speedy swimmer
diving into the pool.
Sometimes I am a shark.
Sometimes I am a turtle.
But always I am competitive.
I ask the world, “Why am I moving up?”
And the answer is
A speedy swimmer diving into a pool.
Pupils have enjoyed watching a nest of collared doves hatch in the playground. The nest is relatively low so can be seen by the pupils.
Community – Blockley Book Box – an article from the organisers
Blockley Book Box is now officially open! Over recent months the telephone kiosk in Station Road, Blockley has been adopted by Blockley Parish Council and with their support local villagers have turned this into a Community Book Swap for everyone to enjoy. Men in Sheds of Cotswold Friends have carried out repairs and fitted shelves whilst local residents have been filling those shelves with books for both adults and children. An Easter holiday children’s bookmark activity was held with the help of Blockley C of E Primary School and Blockley Village Shop; those lovely handmade bookmarks are now in the Book Box for sharing. Support for this little community project has been great and Blockley’s very own library is proving to be very popular already. Come and see for yourself; everyone is welcome to use Blockley Book Box – to take a book for free to read and to leave a book you would be happy to share with friends.
Year 5 pupils have the opportunity to participate in Bikeability in June. In these sessions, specialised instructors assess pupils and teach them about cycling safely on the roads.
Sports Day is planned for the afternoon of 23rd June with a back up date of 14th July.
Year 6 Leavers Assembly will take place on 20th July.
Year 6 residential will take place on 17th – 19th July.