BWMAT | Message From CEO – 28 April 2019
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Apr 29 2019

Message From CEO – 28 April 2019

Dear All,

Thinking ahead to Key Stage 1 and 2 English and Mathematics SATs this term made me reflect for a moment not only on the tests’ undoubted importance for our pupils, staff and our schools.  It also reminded me these tests capture just some of the high quality academic, social, emotional and spiritual learning our teachers, TAs and staff work with such thought, ambition and skill to enable our pupils to experience. 

At Oakhill Church School, Years 3 and 4 were lucky enough to be invited to attend the Field to Food show at the Bath & West Showground.  The day started early and the children were the first of 33 schools to arrive.  Children visited numerous displays and interactive events to find out how food comes from a field all the way to the food on their table.  Lots of up close interactions with animals, farm machinery and countryside activities meant they were all exhausted for the journey home.  An amazing opportunity for pupils at Oakhill to discover more about the countryside around their homes.​


At St Saviour’s Junior Church school, Joanna Wright visited the children to talk to them about ‘Transition Larkhall’, the charity that she is involved with, tackling climate change.  They investigated how they get to school and what they like about their journeys.

” I like walking to school and being out in the fresh air and looking at the plants.” Oilvia

“In the winter, I like blowing out and seeing steam.” Belle
“I like to walk to school because I only have to cross one road and because I can go to the park before I go to school!” Corey​
They will then be researching what could make their journeys better and safer.  They have also conducted a survey throughout the school to see how they all get to school.  Children will be finding environmentally sustainable ways of getting to their new secondary schools, so that they have the most positive impact on their environment as possible.  They will present they findings to Transition Larkhall, who will use the children’s research in a presentation to the local council about the need for better resources, especially for children travelling across the city to get to school.  Some of the children may also be involved in the presentation.​
The children in Year 1 at Holy Trinity Church School have had a wonderful time recently whilst sharing their learning with their grandparents at a special event where they made Easter wreaths.​
​The children also had the opportunity to work with their parents at an Inspire morning.  They made a habitat for Arctic and Antarctic animals, cooked, explored animation in computing and carried out lots of other fun activities.
The school also had an exciting Maths Day at the end of March.  The children in Year 6 completed an arithmetic scavenger hunt around the school grounds.  Children were running around everywhere, looking for the correct answers and finding clues to the next.​
The whole school also recently enjoyed a performance of the Wizard of Oz presented by M and M Theatre Company.​
As part of the school/church link community project members of the congregation from St John’s Church visited Years 3 and 4 at St John the Evangelist Church School recently.  They worked with the children to prepare the church in a variety of ways for a special Mothering Sunday service.  Activities included making some beautiful paper flowers to decorate the church, making and decorating cakes to be shared after the service, and making special cards that were distributed to many members of the congregation and local community to mark the special occasion.  The children and staff very much appreciated the visit, commenting that they really enjoyed the experience and that it was lovely to be able to welcome members of the church community into school to work on such a special project.

Teachers from across the North Somerset Hub gathered together at the school for the second joint teaching and learning hub event of this academic year.  The session was led by Ann Harvey and followed up from the work undertaken at the recent English development days, led by Ann and Teresa Cremin.  Ann led staff through a very enjoyable and interesting journey to explore ways to teach English creatively; through promoting the joy of reading with potent texts, providing rich and stimulating writing experiences and ensuring that all children had access to imaginative and creative learning, underpinned by play, drama and plentiful speaking and listening opportunities.  This was a powerful and valuable session for all that attended and teachers went away with lots of ideas to try back in their classrooms.​


The children at St Andrew’s Church School in Taunton enjoyed an amazing session at the Taunton museum this week.  They have been making Tudor soap, writing with quills, exploring a Tudor Almshouse and investigating some rather disgusting Tudor medicines.​

Brue Class have had a very busy week and were fortunate to visit the River Barle at Simonsbath, Exmoor.  They had fun in the sun whilst learning.

What a fabulous start to the Year 5 Easter Cracked experience too.  They started as a whole school in the hall where we met the characters and learnt about the story of Easter.​

They even had a real live donkey or two and a fearsome soldier.  The crowds were waving palms and cheering ‘Hosanna’ – ‘Save me’.​


Their hockey team competed in the final round of the county championships at Millfield School but unfortunately lost out in the semi-finals and the 3rd place play-off.  However, their performance did not reflect the score – they were outstanding and never running out of energy or commitment.  St Andrew’s are now officially the 4th best team in Somerset.​

The Eco Council at Bathford Church School organised a Bee Friendly Day to focus on and celebrate the importance of bees and all the pollinating insects that our planet relies so heavily upon.

Children came to school dressed as pollinators; there were quite a few bees (including the Headteacher) and butterflies but there were also other more uncommonly known pollinators, such as wasps and birds. 

The school held its annual spelling bee first thing in the morning and all children had a good go at earning points for their respective houses.
After that, there was a visit from local beekeeper, Brian Downes, who brought in an old-fashioned and a modern beehive for children to see, as well as all the beekeeping kit that goes with it. Everyone was amazed to find out that we have almost 270 species of bees in the UK, just under 250 of which are solitary bees. 
Later, back in classrooms, children thought in more depth about bees and their importance.  They also made a range of crafts connected with bees, such as honey cake, wrapping paper printed with bee motifs and bee jewellery, to sell at the end of the school day.
All the proceeds of the sale – about £200 – will be spent on buying plants that particularly appeal to bees, such as Abelia and Lavender, to be planted around the school grounds.​


The children and staff at Staplegrove thoroughly enjoyed their science week last week.  It followed the same theme as British Science Week – Journeys.  Each class had a different journey to investigate and presented their findings to parents during an exciting open afternoon.

Elm Class looked at the journey of a caterpillar and closely observed caterpillars as they formed cocoons.  They are now eagerly waiting for them to hatch!​


Beech class researched the journey of a dinosaur through time before making their own clay dinosaurs.

Rowan class looked closely at the journey of a woodlouse through various habitats, culminating in the designing of their own ‘woodlice hotels.’
Cherry class investigated properties of materials as they looked at the journey of a beam of light. They decided on the most suitable materials and then made their own shadow puppets. Oak class looked at the journey of a raindrop. They explored different states of matter and investigated how the evaporation rates of different liquids varied.
Cedar class were challenged with keeping an ‘Egg naught’ safe in its journey back to Earth and designed, made and tested various capsules and parachutes.
Willow class had a busy week investigating the journey of various species through time. They experimented to see how different coloured wings and beak adaptations helped some species to survive when others did not.​


The four houses were also set a challenge to build the tallest spaghetti and marshmallow tower. All of the attempts showed excellent team work and skill but the overall winner was Blackdown.​


Cherry Class also visited the Roman Fortress in Caerleon. They viewed a reconstructed Barracks room to see where the Roman soldiers would have slept, even trying out the straw mattresses and itchy blankets.  Next, they visited the Roman Baths where the soldiers went to chill out and relax, before taking part in a re-enactment of a Roman schoolroom.  Finally they visited the Roman amphitheatre and the remains of a Barracks Block. The children thoroughly enjoyed their visit and came back keen to tell their families what they had learned.​


This week Year 5 at St Mark’s Church School have visited Bristol zoo to learn about the animals of South America.  They had a lot of fun, spotting all kinds of animals and then getting the chance to hold Hissing Cockroaches, get up close to a scorpion and stroke a tree boa!  They learnt all about the differences between woodland and rainforest habitats and how animals adapted to their environments.​


Freshford School have shared this, innocent conversation by two boys from their Reception and Year 1 class, overheard whilst walking back, hand in hand, through the village, returning from the Easter service in St Peter’s Church…

Skipping along the pavement, a reception boy exclaimed, ‘Jesus gives you the power to fly, that is how you get to heaven!’
The boy from year one paused for a moment before suggesting gently, ‘It is your spirit that goes to heaven.’
Reception boy reflected quietly for a minute before providing more news, ‘I’m looking forward to the disco party after school. I’m going to wear my jeans and my cool new T-shirt.’
The boy from year one seemed undisturbed by this news and, perhaps spotting that they had fallen little behind, their skipping picked up a pace.​


St Vigor and St John Church School in Chilcompton has just finished a Focus Week centred around Community.

The whole school changed their regular timetable and spent the week learning about and talking to people from the community.  Visitors came in to school and classes went out and about to meet people and find out more about what goes on in the community.
In these photos you can see two of the Ranger Groups (all children and staff in the school are involved in Ranger Groups) going out at the start of the week.  The Eco Rangers went to visit Christine (one of the school governors) to see what her garden is like and the Library Rangers went around the village of Chilcompton giving away bags containing a book and a post card.  The Library Rangers are hoping that whoever picks up a ‘book bag’ will send a post card to school saying where the book ended up and whether the person liked it or not.  (One post card has already been received!)​
Foxglove (Year 5) went to a local farm to find out all about a special hostel which is for homeless people.  They talked to one of the guests there and found out all about the ‘Community of Circumstance’ which has been created when people come together due to the particular circumstances or life events.  Foxglove asked thoughtful and sensitive questions and found out how important the hostel is to the people who live there.  Whilst at the farm, Foxglove also helped in their community garden and went exploring for wild garlic.  Back at school, they made wild garlic pesto.
Other events during Focus Week included children singing with a local community choir; children interviewing each other on film and a Communi-TEA party where children entertained people from the local community and worked with a cook to make the cakes and scones. ​

Children from several classes worked with an artist to create two giant Talking Heads.  The two giant heads had a discussion about the nature of community and what happens if things change.  Two heads definitely are better than one – in this case one was certainly a worrier and the other had a more positive outlook​.


What a wonderfully rich and imaginative learning experience you provide for all our pupils.  Thank you all, for the many ways each and every one of you supports the development of learning across our Trust.   Thank you for the personal qualities you draw on: your determination, resilience, persistence and positivity, for your professional skills: your creativity, knowledge, experience and willingness to work collaboratively that ensure striving for successful, high quality learning is so strongly evident across our Trust.

Kind regards





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