Message From CEO – 29 September 2019
What a week of exciting and engaging opportunities for pupils across our Trust. Thank you to leaders, teachers and staff for the way you work together to create a curriculum which generates enjoyment, ambition and excitement for pupils, that nurtures and supports their growth in mind, body and spirit and encourages each child to have the confidence to reach further, aim higher and to achieve more that they thought possible.
Apple Class from Batheaston Church School have been busy leaf collecting in Mike’s Meadow and searching for signs of Autumn.
They have also been giving thought to who is special to them.
Creativity has been in action in the Reception classes at St Stephen’s with exciting kite making.
The Taunton Hub have been working together to further develop children’s phonics and reading opportunities.
All teaching staff across the Hub came together at St James Church School to work with Sarah Cook and Anne Harvey. Discussion focused on national expectations, reading opportunities, planning sequences of learning, choosing texts, reading for pleasure and reading rich environments.
Teaching assistants across the Hub, have also worked together with Ann Harvey to further enhance the important work they undertake in helping children with their reading and phonic skills.
There was a real buzz of learning throughout the sessions, and I look forward to seeing children’s learning and the development work underway across the Taunton Hub.
The new nursery at Bishops Lydeard Church School, which has been created from the existing reception class, had its informal opening with parents and members of the community at the start of September. The learning spaces look wonderful thanks to the dedicated team who worked to turn this ambition in to a reality – Lisa Harvey, staff at both the school and Nursery, parents, governors and the community who have generously given their time and support. The local cooperative store have also been very generous in raising funds. Thank you to everyone one for a real community effort.
The new setting has been very popular with the children and we are all excited about the future. There will be a more formal opening once the final outside instalments are completed.
Willow class at Staplegrove Church School spent a wonderful five days on the Isle of Wight: spending lots of time exploring all that the island has to offer including Carisbrook Castle and Osborne House.
After five days of tremendous fun you would have thought it couldn’t get any better…then on the ferry trip home, a group of children were invited up to the bridge with the Captain and were given a tour of the bridge as well as opportunity to steer the ship.
This was a wonderful start to the year for Willow class.
On Friday 20 September, the school devoted a day to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within their community and among all nations and people. During the morning, children came together in their houses and thought about what they would see and hear if they closed their eyes and imagined peace. They then worked on creating their own doves of peace – each one as unique as each of them. To end their reflective morning, they brought their symbols of peace together in a 200+ strong flight and shared the following prayer:
Peace go with you.
God’s quiet within the noise.
God’s hope within uncertainty.
God’s rest within the toil.
God’s presence within your soul.
Peace go with you.
At the end of the last academic year, children in Year 2 at St Mark’s Church School were challenged to enter a young writers’ competition. The task was to write a 250 word diary entry ‘My Amazing Diary’. They were spurred on by the thought of individual as well as school prizes. The diary could be real or imaginary and the children discussed and planned ideas as to who would be in the diary and what would happen.
Last week they were thrilled to find out that 49 of their entries have been approved to be published in a book of work from our region. Nationally, there were over 13,000 entries. The children have all received beautiful certificates for their entries and are proud to be able to become published writers.
Overall winners and school prizes are yet to be announced… we await the results.
The children from Dandelions Club, set up for Service children at All Saints Church School, have really enjoyed being back together this term and have particularly welcomed new members to the club. In the words of a Year 6 member we are called dandelions because “service children move around a lot, just like dandelions that blow around in the wind, but wherever they settle, they thrive”. Dandelions were particularly excited to receive some new resources; the uniformed teddies are enjoying their new home in the library. They have been busy planning for ‘Red, White and Blue day’, a national campaign that raises money for three military charities that support serving members, their families and veterans.
Children in Class 3 at All Saints Church School are learning about ‘Are humans, animals too?’ Children used their knowledge, combined with their imaginations to create a healthy plate from a variety of natural materials. Leaves, twigs and grass were all used to represent food from the different food groups.
Oakhill Church School celebrated its recent development project with a Community Open Afternoon. Children enjoyed bouncy castles, home-made pizzas, and the brand-new climbing wall in the school field. There was also a barbecue and refreshments for the adults, alongside tours of the school and grounds to see the new facilities. There was buzz around the newly commissioned pizza oven. A fantastic afternoon of community celebration for all.
St Andrew’s Church School Bath held a Climate Change Day of Action and each class focused on how we can make a difference. Year 3 were horrified to learn about the problems that plastic causes in the world’s oceans. They painted beautiful sea creatures then took action to reduce plastic pollution by writing to M&S protesting about its single-use plastic freebies and offering alternative ideas. After school Evan delivered the class’s letters to the floor manager who will pass them onto Head Office.
Year 4 enjoyed an under the sea day. The children came into school to find their classroom transformed into an underwater sea world. They learnt about different sea creatures and the sad effect that plastic has on their home. They wrote letters to humans as a sea creature pleading with them to save their home.
The whole school investigated how we can make a difference to climate change. Each child planted a tree seed in a recycled pot which will be grown at school and donated next spring. Parents and children made pledges to say what changes they were going to make as a family to protect our planet.
Year 5 also tool an astronomical trip to the Herschel Museum in Bath, where they found out all about the discovery of Uranus and how it was first named ‘George’ after the King.
In Maths, Year 1 collected Autumn objects, place them into groups and then counted them. The children documented their findings with beautiful illustrations, diagrams, photographs and lists.
Thank you all – leaders, teachers, staff, parents and governors – for working together to nurture and promote the on-going development of learning in our schools and across our Trust. It is your skill, time and commitment that enables our schools to provide high quality environments with opportunities for every pupil to learn, thrive and grow with enjoyment, creativity and a sense of wonder.