Latest News from Chaddleworth St Andrew’s & Shefford C.E. Federated Primary Schools

News from Alison Stephenson Headteacher/DSL of Chaddleworth St Andrew’s and Shefford C.E. Federated Primary Schools. For more details see their website csfschools.org

April/May 2024

We hope you had a lovely Easter! We are certainly ready for a new term packed with exciting opportunities. Next week we will be celebrating St George’s Day, inviting parents to a sleep workshop, it is Earth Day and we are also preparing for Year 6 SATs. As ever we are ‘Living life in all its fullness’.

The children in Red Kites have shown great interest in learning about Norse mythology as we are exploring Yggdrasil – The Tree of Life. We know that this will continue to inspire the children’s writing as they work towards using kennings as a technique of figurative language.

Meanwhile Owls have started their swimming lessons – they are loving it! And they are looking forward to reading more about ‘The Mystery of the Golden Wonderflower’ written and illustrated by Benjamin Flauw.

In Kingfishers, the children have spent some time this week evaluating the cars that they made, thinking about what went well, what was difficult and if there was anything that they would like to change if they made another car. They look amazing Kingfishers!

Robins carried on with their ‘usual thing’……Mystery Reader (Mr Withers), French with Madame Wilson – learning about frogs and of course doing what they do best – learning through play (not even the rain stopped us – we found a way to overcome that hurdle!).

February/March 2024

Welcome Rev. Mike!

This week we welcomed Rev. Mike to lead his first collective worship at our school. The children loved learning a new song and are looking forward to sharing Wednesday worships with him.

Kindness

We ended our week with a fantastic collection of ‘kindness hearts’, which had grown through the week as the adults in school looked for examples of kindness for us to celebrate. There are too many to mention but they started with Rosie who has been a brilliant role model in Breakfast Club, helping others. We also had hearts for:

“Noticing another child had worked hard and letting them know.”
“Without being asked, helping to tidy up.”
“Making the kind comment, ‘Good job’, to another child.”

Robins celebreate Chinese New Year

Mrs Stephenson joined the Robins for their Chinese New Year celebrations. The classroom was adorned with Chinese decorations, they listened to traditional Chinese music and dressed in red and yellow clothing (the Chinese believe these colours bring good luck). They ate with chopsticks and feasted on spring rolls, noodles and prawn crackers! At the end of the meal all the children were given a ‘lucky envelope’ with two ‘lucky coins’ inside. What a super celebration!

Speed Stacking: Kingfishers Won GOLD

Well done to the Kingfishers who travelled to Park House on Tuesday afternoon with Mrs Harris and Mr Withers to compete in the Speed Stacking competition!

Owl Class Making Quiche

Owls have been researching and designing their own flavoured quiche over the last few weeks and this week they got to make them! Well done Owls and thank you Mrs Woodward for helping us to make them.

Thank you to Anita from AC Gymnastics

The children have loved gymnastics with Anita and made such progress!

January 2024

This term, we will celebrate NSPCC Number Day, the mega maths fundraiser on 2 February, and World Book Day on 7 March.

We are following the theme of ‘Journeys’ so if you would like to come into school to tell us about an interesting journey that you have taken, we would love to hear from you via the school office: office@csf.w-berks.sch.uk

From all of us at Chaddleworth St Andrew’s and Shefford C.E. Federated Primary Schools, we wish you a happy New Year!

December 2023

A Christmas meal, church service and visit to The Hexagon to watch ‘Sleeping Beauty’… a Nativity, Carol Concert and visit from Father Christmas and his helper reindeer! We like to fully celebrate the festive session. At the church service, the children said that their favourite parts of Christmas were the games, the food and being with family. We reflected on presents and what the greatest gift might be.

We were joined on our sponsored Elf Run by Rascal, our school dog who managed several laps. Thank you for all your donations!

The Nativity was magical – well done Robins and Kingfishers!

Owls and Red Kites gave a Carol Concert that also included some Christmas duets on the piano and singing/ukulele playing. And the final treat was 46 children playing ‘Jingle Bells’ on the trumpet and trombone – such an achievement and it sounded fantastic!

November 2023

We did it! We finally managed to walk the pilgrimage to East Garston! The weather forecast did not look hopeful but it didn’t stop us and in fact the weather was much better predicted. Along the way we met George from Manor Farm who showed us their pigs and also told us about the Lambourn River. Thank you! 

At Maidencourt Farm, Robins and Kingfishers went on their ‘mystery tour’ while the Owls and Red Kites continued to East Garston. Once in East Garston, they went to Priscilla’s Kitchen and sang, just as the rain started, but we kept on going with, very aptly, ’Be Bold, Be Strong’. The children were delighted to receive cup cakes—thank you so much! 

And then we went on to the Quaker Meeting House where we were invited to join in with a short meeting. After, the children shared what they were thinking about which included the sound of the rain, the plants and wildlife they had passed, how they felt connected to everyone and also the Israel-Gaza war. They sang and then had squash and biscuits—thank you Penny and Chris! 

Meanwhile the Robins and Kingfishers walked to St. Mary’s Church and went inside just as the rain began. 

 

It was a fantastic opportunity for the children to meet new people, learn about their community and connect with others. We hope to visit All Saints Church at East Garston and Manor Farm in the summer term to complete our East Garston tour. Thank you to everyone who made our trip possible, including staff and volunteers.

On Friday 3 November all the Red Kites (top image) read their speeches for Pupil Leader roles and they did a fantastic job. Not only did they wow the audience with their persuasive writing but they also supported each other—a great example of compassion in action (our Christian Value focus for this term). The whole school were incredibly proud of their achievements.

We will also be celebrating 300 years of Chaddleworth School on Saturday, 2nd Dec 10am—12pm (all welcome) and are hoping pupils, staff, governors and friends of the school might have some photos or memories from days gone by that they can share with us. Please get in touch via the school office at office@csf.w-berks.sch.uk

June 2023

What a week! The Red Kites performance of ‘The Toy Shop’ at The Watermill Theatre was a-maz-ing!!! Three nights of collaboration, concentration and creativity! And they had such fun doing it too. One of the children stepped into a role with less than an hour to go before curtain up and she did such a brilliant job. Wow! You couldn’t ask for anything more. A very proud moment for all of us watching! Here’s what the children said:

The Watermill very kindly invited Year 5 and 6 to take part in the small schools production of 2023. ‘The Toy Shop’ was written by Talitha Wing but also us! We created our character’s personalities, adapted the script and improvised our lines to make it ours as well.

Special thanks to Lixi for building up our confidence in order for us to be able to perform in front of a large   audience. Big thanks to all the staff who have helped us too.

“It was great. You did very well and your acting skills were on point.” Mrs M.

“I was really proud of you and I didn’t know you had that in you. I was really amazed.” Mr E.

“Molto bene!” Mr M.

“Foarte bun!” Mr S.

“I could hear you so clearly.” Mrs R.

Thank you parents for supporting us in learning our lines and encouraging us.

Thank you also to John O’ Gaunt School for running the Primary Project so our Y4 and Y5 children can experience secondary school. They had a great time using bunsen burners, getting to grips with maths problems, creating their own medals and designing chocolate bar wrappers – and these are just some of the activities.

It is Science Week this week with the theme of ‘Connections’ and so far we have built bridges and found out links between tractors and Space! Later on this week, the children will be finding connections for fossils and animal adaptations which will finish with a Sharing Collective Worship where each class will be present what they have found out. I can’t wait!

 

 

May 2023

We began the term with the King’s Coronation which we celebrated with afternoon tea, a special Collective Worship with the children playing trumpets and the piano and two community events. We are extremely lucky to have our current volunteers who work creatively, collaboratively and tirelessly to support our school, the children and our wider community. The funds they raise help go towards a wide variety of resources and treats for the children. All the commemorative coins given to the children for the Coronation were made possible by PTFA fundraising.

The Colour Run added to the fund total which raised £1420. Thank you to the PTFA and all who supported the event. That weekend we had a musical extravaganza at St Mary’s Church for Great Shefford. Thank you Nadine and Denise for organising it. We were very proud of everyone who participated, including one of our Governors!

Our Year 3/4 girls headed to another Football Festival this term and again showed several if not all of our Christian values on and off the pitch! Well done Owls for representing our school so well and putting their all into the matches. Mrs Sayer, Mr Withers and Mrs Bell were really proud of you all.

Meanwhile, the Year 6 completed their SATS and I have to say the children genuinely enjoyed the experience. They were well-prepared and took it all in their stride. Well done Year 6! The outdoor adventure treat was well-deserved.

We look forward to Sports Day, The Watermill Theatre project (Red Kites), a music concert with Brightwalton school, the Corn Exchange project (Owls) a pilgrimage to East Garston, a whole school trip to the seaside and the leavers events. Wow! Can’t wait!

March 2023

News from CSF February 2023

Have you heard about SMSC? Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development? It is a part of the curriculum that we explore through many different subjects and in many different aspects of everyday school life. We explain spiritual development by describing it as thoughts about ourselves, others, the world and beyond. For example:

  • “I felt excited about my learning because I have never done as many questions before!” Chase F.
  • “When I saw someone looking nervous, I went over and helped them because I like helping people and then they trust me.” Eleanor S.
  • “It is important that we look after the world otherwise the environment won’t be nice. I’ve made a poster to remind everyone about looking after rubbish carefully and also looking after all our equipment too!” Emilio
  • “I think God doesn’t like climate change but he doesn’t want to act too quickly. I think he wants us to realise ourselves. You can’t just have someone doing things for you over and over again, you need to teach yourself how to do it!” Fred

How thoughtful and also thought provoking!

PTFA funds beanbag seats – thank you!

Writing in year 1 (age 5 and 6). They have just got started on their retelling of ‘The Three Little Pigs’. Can’t wait for the next instalment!

Our children loved Number Day which involved celebrating maths. They even learnt a little maths magic thanks to Mrs Sayer, our Assistant Headteacher and Maths Lead. Thank you parents for joining the workshops at the end of the day to find out about how your child learn different mathematical concepts.

February 2023

We were so delighted to receive our SIAMS inspection report this term. The SIAMS inspection focuses on the impact of the Church school’s Christian vision on pupils and adults.

We have been graded ‘Good’ overall and ‘Good’ for Collective Worship. Thank you everyone who has supported us to reach this fantastic outcome!

The report comments include:

  • The school is a transformative community where the needs of all are met, and all are enabled to flourish.
  • The children are inspired with exciting and relevant learning.
  • The school offers a secure space for spiritual development, where thinking and considering the important questions of life is highly valued.
  • Governors are successfully involved with the promotion and development of the school’s Christian vision and character.
  • Staff seize every opportunity to pause and ask thought-provoking questions.
  • Parents champion this small schools inclusive nature.
  • Relationships are harmonious and conveyed in mutual respect for all those around them.
  • The areas for development are already in the School Development Plan as we continue to ensure we move towards excellence.

SIAMS reports Dec 2022: Shefford C.E. Primary School; Chaddleworth St Andrew’s Primary School

We must also mention the Owls who visited Oakwood climbing centre in Wokingham last week. It was their first overnight stay with the class and they loved it! The Owls said:

  • “My favourite activity was the climbing because we got to try out lots of different climbs.”
  • “My favourite activity was crate stacking. I was so nervous but I got to the top!”
  • “Working in a team for the low ropes was much harder than I thought it was going to be. Looking after everyone was really tricky.”
  • “I loved the breakfast this morning. I ate so much!”

Our Christian value focus this term is ‘Trust’ and they certainly showed this in abundance. Well done Owls!

Meanwhile, our Red Kites, who are learning about Islam, visited Maidenhead Mosque. They learnt so much more by seeing it first hand and our host, Zia, gave an excellent tour which included not only the features of the mosque but also how the mosque is used as a place of worship. Thank you!

January 2023

We wish everyone a happy, healthy new year and hope that everyone had an opportunity to take a break over the festive period.

We started our term with a new Christian value focus of ‘Trust’ and the Learning Power ‘Have a go’. The children have certainly been ‘having a go’ at their learning, overcoming challenges in order to learn more and remember more. The Big Question for our whole school community this week is ‘What do you need to know in order to trust someone or something?’ I wonder what your thoughts about this are. In Forest School today, Owls were testing out the swings they made before they sat on them – they worked out whether they ‘trusted’ their creation before trying it out! I am happy to report that they all passed quality control. But even if they hadn’t, what a great learning opportunity to show resilience and adapt a design to make it safer.

Next week, Red Kites are off to Maidenhead Mosque to find out more about Islam and the week after that, Owls are going on overnight trip to Oakwood Climbing Centre where they will have many challenges to show trust and ‘have a go’.

Our after school clubs have proved very popular and last term’s choir performance has resulted in double the number of children signing up for this term which is a fantastic result. Computing, art club, Lego, yoga, football and Forest School fun are also on offer and places have quickly filled!

Thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to sharing our curriculum news shortly.

December 2022

What a wonderfully busy term with our Nativity and Carol Concert (in the coldest week of the year), visits to Hill End for a Stone Age experience and the Greenham Common Control Tower to learn about the Cold War (perfect timing!), a musical extravaganza, been to the pantomime at the Oxford Playhouse (oh yes we did!) and had a visit from Santa! Wow! Thank you to everyone who has helped make this possible!

Berkshire Maestros Performance

Owls, Red Kites and the choir wowed us with their boomwhackers and songs. The music leaders asked what the children thought:

“The boomwhackers are the best and I want to join the choir.” Oscar

“I loved the different sounds the boomwhackers made.” Quinn

“I thought it was interesting and loved the choir songs.” Darcy

“I liked the variety of songs.” David

Owls Trip to Hill End Activity Centre

Owls say they had a fantastic experience at Hill End this week. They built a shelter during their visit which had to be waterproof or they would get very wet when John tested it out. The Owls said that they were mostly dry!! They also said it was great fun and learnt even more about the Stone Age! Thank you Mrs Sayer!

Red Kites visit to Greenham Common

The children’s writing, as a result of their trip to Greenham Common Control Tower, is thoughtful and carefully constructed showing what a success the trip was. Andy Kempe, the historian who provided a tour for Red Kites, commented in his newsletter: “Thanks to the children themselves whose behaviour, attention and good humour did them and their school great credit”. Thank you Andy and thank you Miss Oram for organising it.

Whole School Trip to The Oxford  Playhouse Theatre– Cinderella

The children cheered, booed, sang and laughed their way through the amazing production of Cinderella at the Playhouse Theatre. They all had favourite characters and scenes and the following day, Robins (our EYFS/Y1 class) recreated the theatre using cardboard and retold the story from beginning to end as a class.

Santa Dash and Arlington Cake Sale!

Thank you to all the parents, carers, grandparents, aunties and uncles, friends and more who have sponsored the children this week.  The children (and staff) had a fantastic time and did so well running as fast as they could, as many times as their legs would take them and  supported each other around the running track. It was so lovely to hear and see!

Wishing everyone has a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year!

November 2022

I asked the House Captains, Shadow House Captains and Vision Leader to talk to the classes to about ‘Living Life in all its fullness’ and also showing Compassion our Christian Value.

So what does ‘Living life in all its fullness’ mean to the children? Robins said that it is doing things we haven’t done before. Kingfishers said that it was about trying to help others. Owls said putting yourself forward for leadership roles like being a reading champion. Red Kites said it was about trying new things and meeting new people.

What fantastic thoughts!

And these are some of the examples of compassion this term that the children have noticed:

·       Teamwork in football

·       Cleaning the play equipment

·       Other children helping me find my lost quartz rock

·       Noticing someone carrying lots of things and helping them

·       Releasing our butterflies

·       Being kind and helpful

·       Helping me with my maths

·       Cheering me up

We’ve been out and about in the locality with Red Kites climbing Buckham Hill to compare it to the Shropshire landscape, Owls visiting Waylands Smithy to see a real Neolithic long barrow, Kingfishers walking around Great Shefford in order to create a map and Robins going on welly walks to explore their local environment. Six children represented the school at Park House participating in a multi-skills competition and we all helped to raise money for Children in Need by wearing something spotty. Rev Miri joined us for the Remembrance service which all the children participated in.

October 2022

Our pupil-led Harvest Festival of thanks was both thoughtful and inspiring. 

Frankie, our wellbeing champion, challenged us all to think about five things that we can be thankful for each day and Owls explained how important our human rights are, including warmth, shelter and food, hence collecting food for the charity Loose Ends. 

We can certainly be thankful to all of our parents and carers who were so generous with their donations.

Chaddleworth Shefford School Harvest Festival

It was our EYFS Robins first term and what a term it has been! They are definitely, well and truly part of our school community in this short space of time! They have gone on welly walks around the village, picked, peeled and cooked apples for an apple crumble with help from Mrs Liddiard and taken part in every opportunity offered – well done Robins!

The Owls have loved learning about rocks and have ‘wowed’ me with their new vocabulary – sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic – brilliant effort Owls. Meanwhile the Kingfishers have been writing to King Charles, asking for him to save the planet. They walked to the Post Office to get stamps and posted them – we are eagerly anticipating replies!

 

As always, thank you to everyone for their support this term – we have shown Courage (our Christian Value), ‘Not given up (our Learning Power) and are ready to continue ‘Living life in all its fullness’!

 

July 2022

Red Kites and Owls must be congratulated on their fantastic performance of ‘Exit!’. They
worked so hard to learn lines (thank you parents for your help with this too) and put all their
energy into entertaining the audience, despite the heat.

Our ‘chicks’ are flying the nest! Year 6 are on their way to Year 7! During their presentations,
nearly every child mentioned Culmington Manor, our residential trip which we go on in
September. It is such an important experience for the children. And to know that whilst the
children feel sad to be going, they feel ready for the next step means we have achieved our
goal!

“My favourite memory was Culmington Manor and eating toast everyday for breakfast. I am
proud of facing my fears of darkness and heights.”

“I have so many memories of Culmington Manor but one of them has to be the
underground maze where it was wet and very cold and pitch black. I was proud of doing
every activity.”

“I wish and hope the best for everyone here and know you will always do great things.”

“”I would like to thank all the staff for the help they have given me all the time I’ve been
here.”

“My favourite thing at Chaddleworth and Shefford School was the learning.”

“I have seen other people depart and now I am ready to depart too.”
The PTFA breakfast was enjoyed by the children, staff and governors. What a treat!

Thank you to our PTFA, our Governors, our parents and carers and of course the children – a whole
year of us “Living life in all its fullness”. Can’t wait for the next one! We wish everyone a safe, restful
summer!

June 2022

 
What an end to the term! We had a fantastic Platinum Jubilee Celebration at Chaddleworth thanks to the help from the PTFA (cakes and decorations) Rev Miri and of course the staff team who all worked so hard to make sure the children had a day to remember.
 
It started with a walk to St Andrew’s Church, followed by a service where two of our children sang our school song beautifully. We listened to an acrostic jubilee poem about the queen, written by one of the Red Kites and we heard about King Solomon and how he chose wisdom over all the other anything he could have asked God for which deepened our understanding about the Christian Value of Wisdom – our focus for this term.
 
Having walked back to Chaddleworth, we had a quick lunch followed by 1950s games planned and organised by the Red Kites. They gave such clear instructions and the children loved learning how to play tiddlywinks, quoits and hopscotch among many other games…I can see that our playground game repertoire has been expanded! Parents said how much they enjoyed it too – thank you for coming!

And then we had afternoon tea!
 
Thank you so much everyone for making this such a special occasion!
 
It didn’t end there though because on Saturday we invited all the children back for a Junk Jamboree for the Jubilee! The children made carriages, castles and crowns and much more…Thank you so much to the PTFA again who provided cakes and squash.

April 2022

As I write this at the end of a beautifully sunny day, where the children have shown such concentration (our Learning Power of the term) and Friendship (our Christian Value of the term) throughout the week, it reminds me of what a privileged job we have. It allows us to nurture those skills and talents that each child has and enable them to ‘Live life in all its fullness’, whether it be now, when in secondary school or beyond.  

By the time you read this, our running track will have been completed! The children are so excited about it and enjoyed watching each stage of development. On Monday our Sports Leaders will be opening the track and running the first lap, followed by the rest of the school. Our aim is for the children to be fitter and enjoy running more as a result. We will let you know how we get on! 

Our topic of ‘Journeys’ has continued with the Red Kites designing motorised vehicles. These are their prototypes which is helping to inform the final design which they will make from recycled products. Electric vehicles of the future! 

It only remains for me to say a huge thank you to staff and parents who have been fantastic during a particularly difficult time as a result of Covid this month. They have worked tirelessly to make sure we are business as usual. Thank you. 

 

March 2022

We are certainly ‘Living life in all its fullness’ as we look forward to all the enrichment opportunities we have planned for this term.

Last term, inter school sports competitions and events started again and we took every opportunity to participate. We were so proud of our children’s resilience, enthusiasm and teamwork. They took part in Paralympic events, football and archery and next term we have the Cross Country run, more football and rugby. A very busy sporting timetable! Meanwhile, we are half way through the installation of the running track which means our children will be able to practice their long distance running throughout the year.

Our children love to read and love ‘World Book Day’. This year our pupil Reading Champions asked if it could be based on ‘Journeys around the world’ – I can’t say any more than that at this stage as we have a few surprises awaiting the children but I’m sure it will be a memorable learning experience for them.

Our parents tell us that being part of the community is important to them and we absolutely agree! Having planned to celebrate the opening of the Shefford school building 40 years ago just before the half term, Storm Eunice got in the way so instead we are having a whole year of celebrations. We have already shared school photos from past pupils (thank you for your contributions!) and the children were fascinated by a talk one of our parents gave about what school was like in the 90s. If you have experience of the school in the 80s, please get in touch, we would love to hear your stories! We are also looking forward to the Jubilee and are putting plans in place!

We also have talks planned from the Environment Agency, the ARK project and our PCSO so, yes, I think we can say that we are aiming for our children to truly fulfil their potential by being given as many opportunities to learn about the world around them as possible in order to achieve our vision of ‘Living life in all its fullness’.

 

February 2022

Our children have been out and about over the last few weeks. Red Kites (Y5/6) have enjoyed participating in the Alternative Olympics and Archery and Owls(Y3/4) learnt so much from their trip to Ufton Court. They are also rehearsing for the Junior Music Festival at The Anvil, Basingstoke where they will be performing songs linked to an ecological theme. As Mrs Sayer says in the class blog, they have been singing their hearts out!

Meanwhile, our running track is being installed so that our children can run every day, whatever the weather. We can’t wait for it to be completed!

On 3rd March, we will be celebrating World Book Day and leading up to this, our Reading Champions have set a challenge to read as many books as possible in one month. They have led the challenge with such enthusiasm and determination so that as many children as possible participate. Great work Reading Champions!

These are the beautiful artworks of Kingfishers (Y1/2) who have been leaarning about a Welsh artist called Rhiannon Roberts. As you can see, they have taken it a step at a time as they develop their knowledge of mixing colours and skill of applying it carefully.

Robins (EYFS) have been busy interviewing Rev. Miri to find out more about Christianity and consider the question ‘Is the word “God” special?’ Thank you Rev. Miri! They have also had a fantastic time learning how to use the balance bikes safely.

It is not long now until we celebrate Shefford C.E. Primary School’s 40th birthday at its current site! We are looking forward to hearing all about what it was like to be a pupil at our school in the 1980s and would be very interested in any stories or photos that you might have to share with us. Please email them in to the school office: office@csf.w-berks.sch.uk

 

January 2022

We have had a fantastic start to the term, with all of our children finding out about what the topic of ‘Journeys’ will mean for them. At the very end of term, we are planning to take all of our children on a pilgrimage in the local area. We not only want our children to learn about their locality but also about themselves as they walk along the route. They will find out about Courage, Compassion, Trust, Friendship, Wisdom and Endurance. So a physical as well as personal journey.

But before we get that far into term, Owls are off to Ufton Court next week. They will have an action packed day learning about local history and what it might have been like to live in a local Tudor mansion. To bring the learning alive and make the experience truly memorable, they will be hearing real stories about Ufton Court, dressing up in costumes, taking part in a drama and feasting on a Tudor banquet! We can’t wait!

The House and Shadow Captains are working in partnership with the Arts Leaders who  have decided that they would like to launch a competition to design posters about keeping everyone safe. They are looking forward to announcing it during the morning messages this week.

I shall leave you with my ‘golden moment’ this week which was when one of the Robins in Reception came to show  Mrs Sayer (our Assistant Headteacher and Maths Lead) and me his maths learning. He said: “I have subitised 6”.  Subitising is a term that was introduced by the Swiss psychologist Piaget. It’s the ability to look at a small number of objects and instantly recognise how many objects there are without needing to count – an extremely useful skill to master when learning about numbers. Fantastic!

September 2021

We have been delighted to welcome back our children this week!

We have so much planned for the children already. We take the Red Kites away to The Manor in Shropshire on their long awaited residential trip at the end of September so they will be preparing for the many exciting challenges ahead. Remembering to brush their teeth at bedtime will be one of them! We have Lucy from Lambourn dental surgery coming to talk to all the children about caring for their teeth. Learning about oral health is an addition to the new Early Years Statutory Framework which is great to see, particularly as Lucy has been visiting us regularly for some time now! We are also thinking about recycling during ‘Recycle Week’. This will be child led as the children decide what they would like to focus on, plan how to achieve a specific goal and consider the impact of their actions.

Our Christian value this term is ‘Courage’, chosen because we start a new term, possibly a new class, possibly a new school and sometimes we need to be courageous when facing change. We will be thinking of the example of Jesus as he calmed a storm and are reminded that we can find strength in many ways and from many sources. The Learning Power ‘Don’t give up’ also reminds us that even when things get difficult, we need to rise to the challenge. Over the next few weeks, we will be looking for examples of this in our everyday school life. We will let you know how we get on!

Check our website for details of our open day events for new starters in 2022.

July 2021

We had a fantastic Sports Day this week! The children were so focused as they participated in the activities and it was such a pleasure to have parents on site in the afternoon. Jayson, the Sports Leader, along with Teddy did a brilliant job of planning the morning activities, setting them out and explaining them to the children. The House and Shadow Captains gave their houses an inspiring speech about the importance of having a go, thinking of the feelings of others and trying their best. And the children showed such endurance and compassion throughout the day!

Merci à tous la semaine française était magnifique ! Yes, French week was magnifique. Red Kites learnt a range of greetings and were able to role play buying ice cream in a shop. Owls learnt how to say some foods in French, Connor told me the French word for lollipop is sucette and Frankie remembered l’eau for water. Kingfishers learnt colours and Jess told me that her Dad’s favourite colour is vert and Alex said his favourite colour was bleu. Kingfishers were also treated to a reading of the Three Little Pigs read by Darcie’s grandmother. Robins learnt numbers to 10, songs and rhymes and even listened to the story of the Hungry Caterpillar in French. Merci beaucoup Madame Wilson et Madame Chrimes. Here are some examples of what they can now say:

I can say what my favourite ice cream is – chocolat!” Samantha
I know bleu is blue and rouge is red.” Alex
We listened to ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ in French. We can count up to 10.” Henry
Poisson’ is ‘fish’ in French.” Rosie

It won’t be long before we finish the term but we have a lot to fit into the last few days including the Leavers Final Worship and the Year 5 and Year 6 performance of ‘Anyone Can Cook!’ I would also like to take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has supported us through another challenging year. Thank you to the staff, parents, governors, community and of course, the children!

June 2021

During lunchtime this week, a child came up to me and said; “Mrs Stephenson, I used wisdom today because I worked out how to untangle the skipping rope from the hoop and it wasn’t easy. But I did it!” She had made the wise choice to keep going, even though it was difficult. A bit later in the week, another child stopped at the door to my office and said: “I used wisdom Mrs Stephenson. I wanted to run down the corridor but I stopped myself!” Music to my ears! We have been focusing on our Christian Value of ‘Wisdom’ this term so that the children understand that being wise is much more than being clever! They know it is about making careful decisions, based on their experiences of the world and weighing up benefits against risks.

The benefits of starting educational trips again were seen in the last couple of weeks as Kingfishers (Y1/Y2) went on a science walk around the village and Robins (EYFS/Y1) went on a welly walk. The Robins had been learning about emails and letters so they posted a letter at the post office in Great Shefford to see what happened next! The Kingfishers were learning how to identify different plants as they walked around the village. While the Kingfishers learnt about identifying plants, Red Kites (Y5/Y6) have been learning the names of the parts of a plant. We make links and connections to previous learning so that the children build on their previous knowledge and understanding.

Owls have been inspired by the Australian Aboriginal art and dreamtime stories that they have been learning about.

Looking ahead, we have a French Week planned, based on healthy eating which the children are learning about in science next term. Our French teacher, Mrs Wilson, is looking forward to teaching all the children how to ask for different fruit and salad items so they can make a fruit smoothie or salad!

Our volunteers have been able to come into school again which is fantastic! Thank you to them for giving up their time – the children love reading and gardening with you!

‘Pick up’ and ‘drop off’ have become a test of endurance recently what with the wind and the rain which seem to make a perfectly timed appearance! Looking forward to a slightly drier June!

 

May 2021 News

Our Christian value this term is ‘wisdom’ which has led to some fantastic discussions about what wisdom means and whether wisdom is the same as being clever. One of the children said: ’It’s about being able to judge what’s right and what isn’t’. So this is our starting point for the children, using wisdom to work out what’s right and what isn’t.

Exciting news about our running track! Following feedback from parents and carers who said that they like the children having the opportunity to do a daily mile run, we are going to have an all-weather running track laid around the school. I don’t know if they’ll run an extra mile but they will certainly be ‘Going the extra mile’ by putting all their energy into completing the circuit!

We are planning end of the school year events and hoping that we can invite all our parents and carers but will have to wait and see what the guidance allows when it is updated. We have added an extra treat for the children this year – a French week!  This will be a great opportunity to immerse the children in a Modern Foreign Language – we are looking forward to finding out about the food, traditions and culture of France.

Here are some pupils in action:

  • In computing, Kingfishers were learning through discussion and working together.
  • The Robins have been practising on their balance bikes.
  • Learning how to classify leaves in Red Kites.
  • Wallpaper designs created by Owls

March 2021 News

We are in the final stages of preparing for the return of all our children next week. We can’t wait! About 30% of our children have been in school throughout the period and 70% have been joining us online daily for live lessons. We plan to celebrate everyone’s achievements on Friday starting with the children who are working so hard at home, parents and carers who are supporting their children’s learning and staff who have created and delivered exceptional online learning or who have supported the learning in schools throughout the period.

What can we keep from this experience? An even greater sense of community, advanced computing skills for all and parents and carers tell us that they have a far better understanding of phonics, maths and English teaching than previously. And yes, they do know what fronted adverbials are!

World Book Day is being celebrated with the theme of ‘Amazing Animals’, following on from a virtual visit by ZooLab which was funded by the PTFA. The children loved it! Even those who were peaking between their hands as the animals were presented. Hunter was a favourite I wonder if you can guess what animal he was! Our children not only learnt about the animals but were inspired to find out more.

  • “I really liked the frog because it changes colour from green to brown, like the rainforest colours that it comes from.” Skye
  • “Did you know that snails can be boys and girls and they both lay eggs? After, I read books about spiders and frogs.” Maisie
  • “I liked the rat. Rats eat everything. We learnt a lot.” Tayla
  • “I liked the snake because it wasn’t poisonous!” Isabella C.
  • “I thought it was amazing.” Alex

A very successful Virtual Cross Country Championships, led by Maiden Erleigh School, was followed by a sponsored walk over half term, raising £1610. Our live yoga sessions have also been a hit during lockdown so we are planning weekly sessions with Olivia.

Forest School teaching has also continued – the children made stick fairies last week.

We are very much looking forward to implementing our recovery curriculum and are excited about seeing all our children together again.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support.

February 2021 News

February 2021 started with Mental Health Week and was a fantastic opportunity for our children to reflect on their thoughts and feelings. The theme ‘Express Yourself’ was explored through art, dance, philosophy and baking! On the final day, the children dressed in clothes that they felt expressed them. Whether it was jeans and T-shirt or a space suit, the children had fun thinking about how expressing themselves made them feel.

What does ‘express yourself’ mean?

Showing what you think, being you, doing what you love, showing who you are
Express yourself means showing who you really are
Finding a way to express my feelings

How does being creative and expressing yourself make you feel?

Being different in your own way and showing people who you are on the inside
It makes me feel happy joyful
Happy

Why does finding healthy ways to express yourself matter?

If you do what you love or something that makes you happy it gives you a positive mental attitude
Finding healthy ways to express myself matters because it makes me feel good and is good for my mind
Because it helps my mind

We also introduced live yoga sessions for our children to teach them how to relax as well as strengthen muscles and improve balance. Olivia, the yoga teacher, taught the children a variety of poses including cat, cow and tree pose. We can’t wait for our next session!

This week we were also out delivering the next set of resources (whilst following Covid safe guidelines) so that our families can access the maths learning more easily. We took the opportunity to drop off skipping ropes for KS2 who are taking on Dan the Skipping Man challenges, bird seed so that the children could make bird feeders and reading books so that the children’s reading continues to progress.

Thank you to our whole school community for your continued support – it keeps us all going! We are looking forward to the time when we can welcome back all of our children and hope it won’t be too long now.

January 2021 News

What a start to the new year and our spring term at school! With twelve hours’ notice we put our plan for remote learning into action and prepared to receive children of critical workers and vulnerable children in school.

Our parents and carers have been fantastically supportive as we find our way to a new routine and way of working. We went ‘live’ with our lessons on the first day back and the children love it! Not only are all the staff involved with the remote learning but we also have Mhairi, our Forest School leader popping in to do live Forest School sessions from home and Caroline from Berkshire Maestros joining us on Teams for music every week. Rev Miri joined us last week for Collective Worship and she asked the children about our Christian Value of ‘Trust’. The children thought about who they trusted and why they trusted them. Right now, school has huge admiration for our parents and carers as they trust us to lead the learning while they support at home. Our parents and carers tell us that their children prefer this way of learning and are engaging well.

We have made sure that all our children have devices that they can use to access the remote learning and have had two very kind donations through our school community which have helped us provide the very best opportunities for all. Thank you!

The PTFA are planning some treats in the next few weeks – we can’t wait!! Thank you PTFA, you continue to brighten up our school with your thoughtful and creative ways to make our children’s experiences of school memorable and fun!

Gt Shefford School

Our learning power of the term is … Have a Go… and we’ve certainly all been doing just that!

We asked the children what learning they have enjoyed so far so that in a few weeks’ time, we are ready to add something new to keep the children motivated and engaged. We also want to follow the children’s’ interests and find out what they would like to learn about.

I wish … tell us what you would like to learn more about and what could make learning even better.

“Nothing school is amazing.”

“I’m not sure, I like things as they are”

“Making instruments. very fun”

“I wish to learn more about writing because it is a bit too tricky. What could make writing even better is more reading.”

“I would really like to learn more about maths and the way of working out things. I would like to do more science experiments to see how things work”

“I like precision teaching because it is quiet.”

“It is very challenging and it is very fun (maths)”

Parents and carers, thank you! Thank you to our governors! And thank you to our amazing team of staff who go the extra mile every day with positivity and a smile. We would not have been able to achieve what we have done without all your support.

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