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Shephalbury ParkPrimary School

Imagine, Believe, Achieve

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Mr Conway's Blog 2021-2022

Friday 24th June 2022

WOW! What an amazing sports week we have at Shephalbury Park. It has had everything from tug of war to poetry and much more in between.

 

We kicked off the week with a visit from former Commonwealth gold medal winner Adrian Patrick who talked to us about the hard work and commitment that it takes to be a top level athlete. He linked his success to having a growth mind set and applying yourself even if you face knock backs in the process of doing something…just like our Shephalbury LEARNERS. He followed this with some fantastic sprint training sessions for us all and we got a chance to see his gold medal.

 

We also saw everyone compete in our field events day with jumps and throws to try and earn as many house points as we could for our team.

Tuesday saw us all using our hip action to perfect the art of hula hooping with John Parnell aka ‘The Hoop Guy’ (you may remember him from Britain’s Got Talent a few years ago!). He amazed us all with his amazing introductory assembly and set the tone for the day. Everyone got an opportunity to play some hoop-based games outside and most of us got the chance to learn and develop the right techniques for hooping and performing some other hoop tricks. Another amazing experience for us all!

Wednesday saw the return of the Shephalbury Sports Day and picnic lunch. This was my first experience of the traditional Shephalbury way, along with many of our learners and families…and what a morning we had! Everyone competed as hard as they could across the range of events on offer. They were all keenly contested and good sportspersonship was evident throughout the event. It culminated in a hotly contested tug of war competition for our upper key stage 2 learners which had a very intense ending.

 

Our family picnic topped off a wonderful, and rather warm and sunny, morning. It was brilliant to see so many parents, carers, grandparents and wider family members supporting this wholes school event.

We had two separate visitors with us on Thursday, a BMX demonstration and workshops for our Year 5 & 6 learners and martial arts workshops for Nursery to Year 4. We were wowed and amazed by the BMX tricks performed, especially the leap over 2 members of staff! Our older learners loved the experience of learning how to ride a BMX bike and practice over a few small ramps.

 

The rest of our year groups learned some stretches and basic moves associated with martial arts through their sessions. This was also thoroughly enjoyed, although we agree that we might all need some work on our flexibility!

Our week culminated with the fantastic spectacle of our Commonwealth Festival, celebrating our learning about different countries from around the Commonwealth over the last three weeks. From Nursery to Year 6, the singing, dancing and poetry was brilliant and a great way to showcase this learning for our community. Once again, this was fabulously well attended and we thank everyone for their support of the event.

 

It was also great to be able to share some of our regular celebration assembly features, Bucket Fillers and Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, with a bigger audience. The festival culminated in the announcement of the winners of Sports Week. The results of which you can see below:

 

 

1st

Unicorns

385

2nd

Dragons

345

3rd

Phoenix

333

4th

Griffin

255

Huge thanks go to all of our learners, staff and families for their work and support this week, and a special mention to Mr Rust for his organisation and dedication to providing a brilliantly immersive week of sport for everyone!

This week we chose our two winners of the design competition for Phil Good’s new friends, Bea Happy and Will Being. The winning designs are currently in the hands of a graphic designer who is basing his images of these new characters on the designs by Logan (Y6) and Ruby (Y6). We look forward to sharing these with you once they are complete!

 

Phil Good’s question this was ‘Is port all about winning? Is it ok to lose? What do you think about winning or losing?’

 

As always Mrs Dean and Mrs McKenzie were blown away with the quality and quantity of the answers being provided by learners in all year groups. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Jaiden YR: “It is ok, do not give up, try again.”

 

George Y1: “It is ok to lose because at least you tried.”

 

Ruby Y6: “sport is not all about winning as if everyone won there would be no losers. It is ok to lose as it leaves room for improvement. I think it is good to win so that you know you have done something great, but it is good to lose so that you know you need more practice”

Today our Bucket Fillers were treated to some very tasty cupcakes! All of our Bucket Fillers have been positive role models and good citizens in their class. As always we discussed my weekly questions and reflected on our week of learning. A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Kacper

R: Esmie

Y1: Ethan

Y2: Violet

Y3: Freddie

Y4: Olivia

Y5: Ava

Y6: Amelia J

 

 

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Arthur- Stretch                   Reception: Albert- Reflect

Year 1: Skylar- Grow                         Year 2: Olivia- Stretch

Year 3: Lilly- Create                          Year 4: George P- Create

Year 5: Ella- Grow                             Year 6: Owen- Stretch

This week instead of Headteacher’s awards, our staff have been keeping a keen eye out for learners who have been participating exceptionally well during in sports week. This includes those demonstrating a positive attitude, supporting others, persevering with new skills that they could not do yet and generally applying themselves in the manner that we expect of all of our Shephalbury LEARNERS. Well done to the following:

 

Nursery

John-Boy

Cheyenne

Reception

Phoebe

Melissa G

Year 1

Daniel

Lexie

Year 2

Tommy

Kyla M

Year 3

Lilly

Ethan

Year 4

Phoebe

Kian

Year 5

Jessie

Dylan

Year 6

Richie

Archie

I hope that you all enjoy a fantastic weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 17th June 2022

What a glorious week we have had…topped off by today’s scorcher!

 

Our intrepid Year 3 & 4 learners were lucky to spend three days at Burwell House this week enjoying a wide range of outdoor activities including fire lighting, pond dipping and enamelling. Upon their return, there were many tired and weary faces, but everyone concurred that they had had the most fantastic time away.

 

A huge thank you to Mrs Cropley for organising and leading the trip, along with Mr Klein, Mrs Grizzell, Miss Stringer and Mrs Smith for supporting during the time away.

 

To find out more about the trip and to see some of the fabulous photos please follow the link below to see the Burwell page.

Our whole school theme on the Commonwealth has continued at a pace with classes across the school engaging in some engaging and informative learning about their focus country. Included in this learning is our preparation for our Commonwealth Festival next Friday. We look forward to sharing our performances with you all!

 

Today also signalled the first event linked to Sports Week, which begins next Monday, with our A-Life healthy living workshop sessions. Sports Week promises to be a great way for everyone to have some amazing experiences, meet a Commonwealth Games medal winner, learn some new skills and compete for their team at Sports Day and in other competitions.

 

We are really looking forward to the return of our traditional Sports Day and picnic next week as well. Full details were sent out last week, if you missed it please contact the school office. We look forward to seeing you there supporting and encouraging our school community!

In EYFS today, we also saw our Father’s (and Grandpa’s and Mother’s) Day stay and play, which was really well attended. It was great to see so many people coming in and engaging in a wide range of activities with their children in our EYFS environment. Everyone was also very lucky to be treated to an extra breakfast pastry or two!

Earlier on this week we welcome our Hertfordshire Improvement Partner, Carole Hinstridge, to school for our Summer review visit. The focus for this was our approach to teaching and learning of phonics and early reading, using the Little Wandle programme, which we have introduced this term. We had a brilliant turn out at our parent information sessions at the outset of our journey, and having reviewed our progress so far it is clear the impact that it is already having. Well done and thank you to all of our staff delivering the programme, the learners who read during the visit and to Mrs Cargill our English Leader for her hard work in developing and embedding our update approach to phonics and early reading. If you would like some more information about Little Wandle Phonics, please follow the link below:

Linked to reading, our 100 Day Reading Challenge has now ended. If your child has completed the range of challenges and recorded them every day over the course of the 100 day challenge, please ensure that they have returned their booklet to school by Wednesday 22nd June to Mrs Cargill, where they will be entered into a prize draw!

 

Phil Good’s question this week this week, once again, has been really well received and created some interesting discussions…‘Is a cloud in the sky or under the sky?’

 

As always Mrs Dean and Mrs McKenzie were blown away with the quality and quantity of the answers being provided by learners in all year groups. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Vinnie Y2: “In the sky because the wind lifts it up.”

 

Laura Y4: “Both because it could be sunny and the clouds could be in the sky or it could be stormy and the clouds would cause fog.”

 

Miles Y6: “I would say under because the sky is a part of the atmosphere which is above the clouds. So clouds are under the sky.”

 

There was also an extra Golden Ticket awarded to James (Y4) for his excellent ideas for branding and merchandising for Phil Good.

 

Today our Bucket Fillers were treated to some amazing ice cream themed cakes very kindly provided by Mrs Spiller, thank you very much! All of our Bucket Fillers have been positive role models and good citizens in their class. As always we discussed my weekly questions and reflected on our week of learning. A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Arthur

R: Lewis

Y1: Henry F

Y2: McKenzie

Y3: Emilia

Y4: Noorisha

Y5: Cade

Y6: Liam B

As well as Bucket Fillers, in assembly we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, shared the attendance data and had a look at the house point totals.

 

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Molly- Create                     Reception: Ralph- Create

Year 1: Eric- Think                            Year 2: Zaki- Think

Year 3: Freddie- Risk                         Year 4: James- Think

Year 5: Jayden- Stretch                     Year 6: Finley Bryce- Think

This week I have handed out 1 Headteacher’s Award, for some amazing Commonwealth learning by Lenny B (Y2). He took it upon himself to research 10 of the different Commonwealth countries at home, including Jamaica which his class are currently learning about. Great work Lenny, you are a fantastic Shephalbury LEARNER!

I hope that you all enjoy a fantastic weekend!

Ben Conway

Friday 10th June 2022

I hope that you all enjoyed a break and the festivities that the extended Jubilee weekend afforded us all. We are back for the final half term of the year, and what a great start we have had with the start of our Commonwealth Learning theme across the school. There has been lots of excitement and interest around the countries each class is learning about, and this has already been supplemented by Mr McKenzie visiting EYFS today to talk about his native South Africa. Many thanks to him for his time and interesting artefacts that he showed us

The Commonwealth Games are being held this summer in Birmingham, and to celebrate this, along with recognising the Queen’s contribution to the Commonwealth, we are all learning about countries within it.

 

‘Commonwealth, also called Commonwealth of Nations, formerly (1931–49) British Commonwealth of Nations, a free association of sovereign states comprising the United Kingdom and a number of its former dependencies who have chosen to maintain ties of friendship and practical cooperation and who acknowledge the British monarch as symbolic head of their association.’

We kicked of the week by learning a bit about the function and purpose of the Commonwealth in assembly and found out which countries we would be learning about. Some of our learners were particularly good at identifying flags from different nations!

 

We finished the week with our fabulous Cultural Food Day, where everyone had the opportunity to share and try a wide range of food from around the world. There was some delicious food from all over the world, and everyone tried something new! A huge thank you to everyone who provided some tasters from their culture, it was all very gratefully received.

We had some of our learners represent us amazingly well at the Stevenage athletics finals this week, at Ridlins track. Everyone acquitted themselves admirably and there were a few stand out performances to mention:

 

Anjolouluwa- 3rd in 300m

Kyrillos- 2nd javelin

Phoebe- 3rd long jump & 2nd 50m sprint

Year 4- 2nd 50m shuttle relay & 2nd overall

Cade- 2nd 600m

 

These are all fantastic achievements, a huge well done to you all!

Phil Good’s question this week this week, once again, has been really well received and created some interesting discussions…‘If every time you laughed it knocked a minute off of your life, would you stop laughing?’

 

As always Mrs Dean and Mrs McKenzie were blown away with the quality and quantity of the answers being provided by learners in all year groups. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Ezme Y5: “I wouldn’t stop laughing because if you don’t laugh, what’s the point in living? So I would just cut it down.”

 

Ella Y5: “No because I don’t know how many minutes of my life I have left.”

Today our Bucket Fillers were treated to a Penguin cake bar and juice. It was really nice today to welcome back some children for a repeat visit this year, demonstrating how hard they are working at being a positive role model and good citizen in their class. As always we discussed my weekly questions and reflected on our week of learning. A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

N: John-Boy

R: Alfie

Y1: Flynn

Y2: Daniel

Y3: Bella

Y4: Bethany

Y5: Ruby

Y6: Noah

As well as Bucket Fillers, in assembly we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, shared the attendance data and had a look at the house point totals.

 

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Stefan- Think           Reception: Isabelle- Reflect

Year 1: Elijah- Stretch                   Year 2: Lilly- Growth

Year 3: Joshua- Stretch                    Year 4: Noorisha- Grow

Year 5: Cade- Reflect                         Year 6: Liam G- Grow

This week I have handed out 3 Headteacher’s Awards, for a couple of different reasons.

 

Firstly were Leanna (Y4) and Lillyanna (Y2) for some fantastic learning at home over the last few weeks. They took home the sunflower seed that everyone received before the Easter holiday, planted it and have been keeping a diary ever since. Each day they have been tending to them and measuring them on a weekly basis. Both girls have produced a lovely diary charting the growth of their sunflower. Great work girls!

 

My other award went to Isabel (Y6) for some more incredible charity work. During the break she was a part of a group that raised over £60,000 for Cancer Research UK by doing a muddy run. We are really proud of the charity work that you have been doing Isabel…keep it up!

I hope that you all enjoy a fantastic weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 27th May 2022

What a very regal end to the week we have had today. It was wonderful to see the effort that everyone went to in dressing up in their royal outfits and red, white and blue. Throughout the day learners participated in a range of Jubilee themed activities and enjoyed a picnic with their friends.

You may remember that last week our Reception class were on the trail of the Queen’s lost knickers. I am delighted to say that after searching high and low throughout the week Her Highness’ VIP knickers were discovered in the woodland area. The Queen was eternally grateful to the class and sent them all a very royal gold star each.

Our cake sale in support of Stand Up 2 Cancer earlier this week was a huge success. Well done and thank you to Ruby, Owen and Isabel (Year 6) for suggesting, planning and delivering a super cake sale. At the point of writing this they had raised £205.51 to donate to the charity. Thank you to everyone who bought cakes and supported this great charity. If you would like more information about the work of Stand Up 2 Cancer please follow the link below.

 

To finish off the charity event some of the staff entered a bake off today making a swiss roll technical challenge which was judged in assembly this afternoon. Thank you to our entrants; Mrs Gaston, Mrs Dean, Mrs McKenzie and Mrs Cargill. The winner- as chosen by our esteemed judges- was Mrs Cargill…congratulations!

I have shared over the last couple of weeks that there is an opportunity to share some opinions and have some discussions to help inform our understanding of our current and future practices.

The key foci for this meeting will be our Mental Health and Pastoral support and home learning.

 

Please indicate via the link below if you would like to attend this group on Monday 13th June at 6.30pm. If you are unable to attend but would like to share an opinion on either of these subject areas for consideration within the discussions, there is an opportunity to do so as well by following the link.

When we return after the half term break the whole school will be engaging in a learning theme about the Commonwealth. Classes will be looking at different countries from across the Commonwealth and learning about many different aspects of the culture and lives of those from around the world. To enrich this learning further we will be holding a couple of special events. Firstly on Friday 10th June we will be holding a Cultural Food Day, where we are inviting everyone to bring in food from their home culture to share with the rest of the school. A letter regarding this has already been sent home.

 

We are also inviting parents and carers to come to the culmination of our Commonwealth learning at our Commonwealth Festival on the afternoon of Friday 24th June, where learners from all classes will be performing something based on their learning throughout the topic. A letter with final details of this event will be sent out after the half term break.

On Wednesday, the Year 3 and Year 4 football team took part in the junior tournament at Bedwell school. They lost the first game 1-0 to an unlucky goal after a great double save from Ben. They drew the next two games 1-1, with George B and Billy-Joe scoring one each. We won the final game 2-0 thanks to goals from George and Billy-Joe again. The whole team played wonderfully and were a credit to our school. Well done to everyone who took part!

Our Year 5 & 6 football team won their final match of the season least week 3-0, leaving them as runners up in their league. Well done to all of the players that represented the school in this team throughout the year.

 

Phil had his Golden Moment this week for all of the worthy winners from throughout this half term…they were treated to ice creams!

 

Phil Good’s question this week this week, once again, has been really well received and created some interesting discussions…‘I have been feeling lonely and need a friend, can you think of a good wellbeing name for them?’

 

Once again both Mrs Dean and Mrs McKenzie were blown away with the quality and quantity of the answers being provided by learners in all year groups. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Richard Y3: Bea Happy

 

Mina Y3 & Ben Y4: Will Being

 

Following on from this week’s question, Phil is running a half term competition to draw one of either of his new friends, Will Being or Bea Happy. The winning illustrators will win a special prize and we will create a life sized image of their character.

Phil also features with his wellbeing update in our inclusion newsletter, which is available below, and is packed full of information about things happening in and around school and the wider community.

Today our Bucket Fillers were treated to a very royal Victoria sponge cake made by Mrs Spiller…it looked and- I am reliably informed- tasted absolutely delicious! It was really nice today to welcome back some children for a repeat visit this year, demonstrating how hard they are working at being a positive role model and good citizen in their class. As always we discussed my weekly questions and reflected on our week of learning. A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Ivy

R: Felicity B

Y1: Elliot

Y2: Autumn

Y3: Ali-May

Y4: Ben

Y5: Dylan

Y6: Ellis

As well as Bucket Fillers, in assembly we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, shared the attendance data and had a look at the house point totals.

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Dominica- Reflect                  Reception: Teddy- Create

Year 1: George- Reflect                    Year 2: Freddie- Stretch

Year 3: Tyler- Grow                     Year 4: Seth- Stretch

Year 5: Ava- Create                     Year 6: Isabel- Grow

This week I have handed out 8 Headteacher’s Awards, for a range of different reasons.

 

Jaxson and Felicity B (YR) were both the lucky recipients of the Bedtime bags last week. The bag contains some delicious hot chocolate, biscuits, books and a cuddly toy to share with their family over the weekend. Both of them had a great time with the bag, and wrote about what they enjoyed. Super writing from both of them…well done!

 

Another member of our Reception class who has been working incredibly hard on their writing is Alfie. His independent application of his phonics, teamed with his improved handwriting has led to him being given a Headteacher’s award this week…keep it up Alfie!

 

 

The next award went to someone for their efforts within our community. Poppy (Y1) has been getting upset with the amount of rubbish that is littering the lanes and paths around Shephalbury Park. She has been out litter picking and disposing of it in the bin, becoming a real eco-warrior! Well done Poppy, we are proud of you!

 

Leo (Y2) has been recognised this week for his excellent writing and use of story language in his development of the story of George and the Dragon. Super work Leo!

 

And finally this week are Ruby, Owen and Isabel (Y6) who came up with the idea, planned and put on the cake sale this week, raising over £200 for charity. This really is a wonderful thing to have done and we are really proud of all of you!

I hope that you all have a great half term and look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Tuesday 7th June!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 20th May 2022

After a wet end to the week we have made it to the weekend. As ever there has been a lot going on around the school this week…

 

Our youngest learners in EYFS have been investigating an issue for The Queen, who has lost her knickers! They have had some help from the police who have visited them this week with a van and equipment which may help them with their search. They even had a very special video call from ‘The Queen’ whilst she is at home at Buckingham Palace. This has inspired lots of role play and writing in the classroom, resulting in some fantastic posters around school. I know that they would really appreciate everyone’s help, so please keep an eye out for The Queen’s knickers!

 

Thank you to Mr Kennedy and Miss Collard for giving up their time to visit and enrich the learning for our children.

Year 1 enjoyed a visit from Stevenage Sporting Futures on Wednesday who introduced them to Active Maths. Everyone had a great time being active and using their maths skills in the activities.

We are approaching the end of our 100 Days of Reading Challenge which we began on World Book Day. A big well done to everyone who has completed a challenge every day since then. Saturday 11th June is day 100 and the final day of our reading challenge. Once all the challenges are complete, please return the record card to your class teacher by Wednesday 15th June. Everyone who completes the challenges will receive a certificate and will be entered into the prize draw to win a book of their choosing.  

 

Last week I shared that there is an opportunity to share some opinions and have some discussions to help inform our understanding of our current and future practices.

 

The key foci for this meeting will be our Mental Health and Pastoral support and home learning.

 

Please indicate via the link below if you would like to attend this group on Monday 13th June at 6.30pm. If you are unable to attend but would like to share an opinion on either of these subject areas for consideration within the discussions, there is an opportunity to do so as well by following the link.

There are a couple of notable out of school achievements that are very deserving of being recognised in this my blog this week.

Firstly Tommy (Y6) who has been representing the Stevenage Schools District team throughout the course of this academic year:

Tommy was part of the Stevenage Schools District team who played in the Lamex Tournament on Saturday. Completing against some tough teams and coming back from behind to win on a few occasions. Stevenage Schools won the tournament lifting the trophy high and proud. All the players showed a great work ethic & togetherness. Everyone is so proud of the team who represented Stevenage with pride.

 

We are really proud of your achievement as well Tommy…well done!

Secondly is Elijah (Y4), who has been taking part in The Royal Jubilee Virtual Challenge. The Royal Jubilee Virtual Challenge is a 500-mile route visiting all 5 of the Queen’s residencies in the UK and more Royal highlights. Elijah has been working hard and has completed this mammoth endurance task over the course of the last 6 weeks. This is another brilliant achievement…Well done Elijah!

Phil Good’s question this week this week, once again, has been really well received and created some interesting discussions…‘If anyone had an argument, how could they sort it out?’

 

Once again both Mrs Dean and Mrs McKenzie were blown away with the quality and quantity of the answers being provided by learners in all year groups. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Esmie YR: “One person could stop and take the other person’s idea.”

 

Alfie T Y2: “Walk away, calm down and tell a teacher.”

 

Noorisha Y4: “They could tell a trusted adult or walk away from it and go to the Phil Good Bag.”

 

Hannah Y5: “They could say sorry and say what they have done wrong and try to be nice. You would need a little break from them if they were really rude. Try to forget about it. You can talk to someone about it.”

Today our Bucket Fillers were treated to their choice of swiss roll or angel cake and juice. It was really nice today to welcome back some children for a repeat visit this year, demonstrating how hard they are working at being a positive role model and good citizen in their class. As always we discussed my weekly questions and reflected on our week of learning. A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Emily

R: Jaxson

Y1: Elijah

Y2: Lenny B

Y3: Amelia

Y4: Shay

Y5: Sophia

Y6: Jacob

As well as Bucket Fillers, in assembly we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, shared the attendance data and had a look at the house point totals.

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Cheyenne- Stretch             Reception: Sonny- Reflect

Year 1: Olivia- Reflect                       Year 2: Emily- Reflect

Year 3: Sereny- Solve                        Year 4: Kyrillos- Create

Year 5: Skye- Grow               Year 6: Archie- Grow

This week I have handed out 2 Headteacher’s Awards, both for different reasons.

 

Sophie (YR) came to me this week after her turn with the ‘Bedtime Bag’ last weekend. In EYFS learners are taking it in turn to take the bedtime bag home over the weekend to enjoy the stories and goodies that it has inside. Sophie really enjoyed her turn and it inspired her to write about her experience. Super writing and enthusiasm for learning Sophie…keep it up!

 

The second award was also for a member of our Reception class, Daniel was nominated by Miss Martin for a couple of reasons. Firstly he has been applying himself to his learning really well recently and showing many of the attributes of a Shephalbury LEARNER. As well as this he produced a great retelling of the Pirates Next Door Story independently last week. We are proud of you Daniel…well done!

I hope that you all enjoy a fantastic weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 13th May 2022

A sunny way to end the week, and what a week it has been, especially for our Year 6 cohort. After two academic years with no SATs, they have returned in 2022 and the learners in our school have applied themselves well throughout the week. Our Shephalbury LEARNER attributes have been on show for many, with their determination to try their hardest. Well done to them all, and to the staff members who have worked hard to support them through the trials and tribulations of this period.

 

There are many things for our Year 6 cohort, along with the rest of the school to look forward to over the coming weeks and months. Below is a list of dates and events that will be taking place during the rest of the term, further details will communicated with you prior to each event.

 

Date

Event

Classes

18.05.22

Active Maths Festival

Y1

24.05.22

Stand Up to Cancer Bake Sale

All

27.05.22

Royal Day- picnic lunch (no hot food)

All

30.05.22-03.06.22

Half Term

 

06.06.22

INSET Day

All

10.06.22

Cultural Food Day

All

13-15.06.22

Burwell House Residential

Y3&4

20-24.06.22

Sports Week Activities

All

22.06.22

Sports Day

All (Parents/carers invited)

24.06.22

Commonwealth Festival (pm)

All (Parents/carers invited)

30.06.22

PE Transition Session @ Barnwell

Y6

30.06.22

Inclusion Coffee Afternoon- ‘Transition’

Parents/carers

06-08.07.22

Gilwell Park Residential

Y6

12.07.22

Y6 Production (pm)

Parents/carers

13.07.22

Y6 Production (eve)

Parents/carers

14.07.22

Transition Day

All

15.07.22

Y6 Activity Day

Y6

22.07.22

Leavers Assembly

All (Y6 Parents/carers invited)

22.07.22

End of Term 1.30pm

All

 

I shared last week in my blog that we would be recognising Mental Health Awareness Week, learning about loneliness and how to support ourselves and others in overcoming it should be find ourselves lonely. Phil Good has been getting himself involved and set up his own Phil Good Area on the stable, to help our learners to support themselves during break and lunch times.

 

As we continue through the year, mental health and wellbeing will continue to focus in our day to day life in and around school with the support and strategies that we have in place. If you would like to learn more, please keep an eye out for our next Inclusion Newsletter or come to our next Inclusion Coffee Afternoon later on this term.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 - Loneliness

Did you know that loneliness has a huge impact on our physical and mental health? This Mental Health Awareness Week we want to tackle the epidemic of lonelin...

As a part of our continual school development I would like to offer parents and carers an opportunity to share some opinions and have some discussions to help inform our understanding of our current and future practices.

 

The key foci for this meeting will be our Mental Health and Pastoral support and home learning.

 

Please indicate via the link below if you would like to attend this group on Monday 13th June at 6.30pm. If you are unable to attend but would like to share an opinion on either of these subject areas for consideration within the discussions, there is an opportunity to do so as well by following the link.

I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate a couple of key messages in relation to home packed lunches and school uniforms.

 

It has been noted over the last few weeks that the contents of some lunches are not providing our learners with a healthy balanced meal in line with the expectations that are set out. This in turn has a knock on effect on their ability to focus, concentrate and apply themselves to their learning through the rest of the day. If you child does have a home packed lunch please ensure that there is a healthy balance of carbohydrate, protein, fruits and vegetables.

 

Lunches under no circumstances should contain nuts, chocolate bars or sweets and we should be trying to minimise the amount of high salt, sugar and processed foods as much as possible.

 

For more information and ideas on this subject please follow the links below.

There has also been a slip in the standards that some of our learners are displaying with the wearing of the correct and appropriate school uniform and PE kits. As a part of their uniform shoes/trainers should be predominantly black. When wearing navy PE kits with white t-shirts, logos and branding should be at an absolute minimum and jumpers worn should be sweatshirts and not hooded tops. Under no circumstances should any other colour of shorts, jumper or trousers be worn, or football shirts.

 

I appreciate your co-operation in ensuring that we set the same standards and expectations for all learners within our school community.

 

Phil Good’s question this week this week, once again, has been really well received and created some interesting discussions…‘Which is more important, being right or being nice?’

 

Once again both Mrs Dean and Mrs McKenzie were blown away with the quality and quantity of the answers being provided by learners in all year groups. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Olivia Y2: “Being nice because if you want to be treated nicely you have to treat others kindly. Being right doesn’t really matter.”

 

Ali-May Y3: “Being nice because if you are right all the time there is no point in coming to school.”

 

Ava Y5: “Nice because you don’t have to be right all the time as that’s the point of learning! Normally when you’re nice to people they tend to be nice back to you! Everyone wants to be treated nicely, so traet people how you want to be treated.”

 

Mr Rust: “I think it is always nice to be right, but it is always right to be nice!”

Today our Bucket Fillers were treated to a delicious cupcake and juice. It was really nice today to welcome back some children for a repeat visit this year, demonstrating how hard they are working at being a positive role model and good citizen in their class. As always we discussed my weekly questions and reflected on our week of learning. A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Isla

R: Albert

Y1: Harvey

Y2: Liam

Y3: Spencer B

Y4: Amelia

Y5: Rhyder

Y6: Hobie

As well as Bucket Fillers, in assembly we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, shared the attendance data and had a look at the house point totals.

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Kai- Create             Reception: Phoebe- Think

Year 1: Isabella- Create                    Year 2: Alfie B- Create

Year 3: Ethan- Grow             Year 4: Caleb- Grow

Year 5: Jessie-Mae- Grow                Year 6: Ruby- Grow

This week I have handed out 7 Headteacher’s Awards, for some great work across the curriculum.

 

First this week in Reception was Esmie, for some excellent writing at home. Over the course of the year Esmie has consistently shown her love of writing, and this week she produced an outstanding book of stories about herself and her brother. It was a pleasure to read…I can’t wait to read the sequel!

 

Also producing some excellent writing this week in Reception was Katalea. During her child initiated learning Katalea accessed the writing are to write and illustrate her own story. Super work Katalea…keep it up!

 

Another Reception learner really excelling with their writing this week is Isabelle, who has been really engrossed (like the rest of the class) with the theme of pirates. Using our Talk4writing strategies learners have been writing their own innovated version of The Pirates Next Door. Isabelle’s writing is incredible, with added detail throughout. Super work!

In Year 1 this week Ethan is recognised for his brilliantly drawn story map, retelling the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. He showed me his work and used it to retell the story accurately. Great work Ethan!

 

Imogen, also in Year 1, has been mastering her understanding of quarters this week. Firstly by using pictorial strategies to find a quarter of different numbers, followed by applying this knowledge to the invers and finding the whole when given a quarter. Brilliant work Imogen!

In Year 2 the week Charlie has been working really hard on trying to apply himself independently to his work, demonstrating that he is a good Shephalbury LEARNER. Mrs Spiller has been incredibly impressed with Charlie’s application to his RE work, independently completing his tasks. Keep up the hard work Charlie!

 

And finally this week were Riley and Damon in Year 4, for more exceptionally good writing. They have been developing their authorial skills by including extra detail to ensure that the reader gets a fully immersive read within their writing. Both boys read their work to me fantastically well…keep it up!

I hope that you all enjoy a fantastic weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 5th May 2022

Well this 4 day week has flown by at a rate of knots! As always there has been a fantastic buzz of learning throughout the school, with learners demonstrating all of the attributes of Shephalbury LEARNERs within their lessons.

 

After a couple of rainy days it has been lovely to see a bit more sunshine, with the hope that there will be more over the weekend and next week. Our Year 6 learners have been working hard this week getting their final preparations and revision sessions in before their SATs tests next week. We hope that they feel as prepared as they can be, despite the last couple of challenging years that they have had with the ins and outs of COVID. As they head into the weekend and next week, I am sure that you will join me in wishing them good luck, and I hope that they are filled with self belief to show their true potential.

As a part of our drive to ensure that we are able to provide the very best for all of our learners and community we recently commissioned a full review of safeguarding at school. Yesterday we welcomed Carole Hinstridge, our school improvement partner to review our safeguarding policies, protocols and practices. We were accompanied throughout the day by Amy Collard, who is our governor with this area of responsibility. The day took an in depth look into many areas of our school, and she spoke with members across our entire community. Her feedback was very positive, and as always she really enjoyed speaking with our learners about how they feel about our school. She left us with a couple of suggestions which will support us in ensuring that we can continue to develop best practice.

 

Next week is also Mental Health Awareness Week. Throughout the school we have been highlighting the importance of good mental health with everyone, and developing our strategies and ways of supporting and educating everyone in this area. The theme of this week is loneliness, and classes will participate in some activities and sessions to further develop their understanding of this. If you would like some further information please follow the link below.

Phil Good’s question this week this week, directly links into the theme for next week…‘Is being alone the same as being lonely?’

Once again both Mrs Dean and Mrs McKenzie were blown away with the quality and quantity of the answers being provided by learners in all year groups. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Leo Y2: “No! Because the people in your heart are still with you.”

 

Bella YR: “I felt lonely when I went to sleep.”

 

Nevaeh Y4: “No because being alone means that you do not want to play with your friends on that day, but being lonely means you do not have anyone to play with.”

 

Ella Y5: “No because being lonely is when you may be upset. People can choose to be alone, but you don’t choose to be lonely.”

Today our Bucket Fillers were treated to a delicious cupcake and juice. It was really nice today to welcome back some children for a repeat visit this year, demonstrating how hard they are working at being a positive role model and good citizen in their class. As always we discussed my weekly questions and reflected on our week of learning. A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

N: Jaxon

R: Daniel

Y1: Ronnie

Y2: Lillyanna

Y3: Joshua

Y4: George B

Y5: Maya

Y6: Luca

As well as Bucket Fillers, in assembly we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, shared the attendance data and had a look at the house point totals.

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Archie- Think                     Reception: Melissa M- Create

Year 1: Matthew- Risk                      Year 2: Jaden- Solve

Year 3: Emilia- Stretch                      Year 4: Kian- Grow

Year 5: Lewis- Think                         Year 6: Keeley- Stretch

This week I have handed out 2 Headteacher’s Awards, both for fantastic writing.

 

The first was for Florence (Y1) for some amazing writing about a range of animals. She really impressed me with her very neat handwriting and the use of full stops throughout the piece. Well done Florence…keep it up!

 

The second was for a brilliant story map created by Tommy (YR), based on the book The Prates Next Door. Learners across Reception have been really engaged with the book this week, but Tommy’s independent creation of a story map was brilliant. To top it off he confidently stood in front of the whole school in assembly and retold the story using his story map. Well done Tommy…we are really proud of you!

I hope that you all have a great weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 29th April 2022

As we approach the long weekend there has been a lot happening all over school.

 

It has been lovely to be able to welcome more parents back on site this week with our first inclusion coffee afternoon yesterday led by Mrs Dean and Mrs McKenzie. It was a great chance to get together with families and share some of the strategies we use in school and signpost to wider support. It also enables us to further develop support networks within school for learners and families.

 

Thank you to those parents who took the time to come, I hope that you found it useful. We will be holding these on a regular basis, and will be inviting professionals from other agencies to come in and speak with us. We will let you know when the next one is taking place.

We also saw the start of our extra-curricular provision for this term. In total we have 18 different clubs running across the week with a variety of different themes and activities. It has been great to see children engaging in dance, library, art, sports and circus skills throughout the week.

 

There are some clubs which still have spaces in them. If you are interested please contact the school office to find out more.

 

I wrote last week about the brilliant attendance that we had at our parent information session for our approach to phonics and early reading. Across Reception and Key Stage 1 we have started with our new strategy of the delivery of this, and learners have been engaging really well in their new groups. Everywhere you turn at 9am, there is the buzz of phonics followed by some great reading.

 

Mrs Dean and I have met with all teachers during this week to discuss the progress of learners in every class across the school. It has been interesting to see how much progress is being made in all areas of learners’ development, and how our staff are going to keep working hard in providing the best that we can for each and every learner.

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

Phil Good’s question this week was ‘If you could change the world, what would you change and why?’ It was interesting discussing this with different groups of children over lunch this week.

 

Both Mrs Dean and Mrs McKenzie were really impressed with the quality of the answers this week, as well as how many entries they received. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Connie Y1- “I won’t change anything because the world is beautiful.”

 

Alys Y1- “Everyone would have a cat because I love cats.”

 

Kyrillos Y4- “I would make it so there is no discrimination of any type and so women have the same rights as men, because everyone deserves to be treated equally.”

 

Keeley Y6- “I would change all problems and let all homeless people have stuff they need. Also for criminals because none of us like suffering.”

Today our Bucket Fillers were treated to a mini roll and juice. It was really nice today to welcome back some children for a repeat visit this year, demonstrating how hard they are working at being a positive role model and good citizen in their class. As always we discussed my weekly questions and reflected on our week of learning. A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

N: Rebecca

R: Tommy

Y1: Louis

Y2: Emma

Y3: Olly

Y4: Melody

Y5: Emily

Y6: Ellis

As well as Bucket Fillers, in assembly we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, shared the attendance data and had a look at the house point totals.

 

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Maison- Grow                                 Reception: Sophie- Grow

Year 1: Imogen- Grow                                  Year 2: Leo- Stretch

Year 3: Spencer C- Stretch                           Year 4: Laura- Reflect

Year 5: Max- Create                                      Year 6: Logan- Stretch

This week I have handed out 3 Headteacher’s Awards, all for different reasons.

 

First this week was Jaiden (YR) who had worked really hard to develop his application of phonics to his reading and writing. He was challenged by Mrs Lee this week to read her sentence and draw a picture that showed what it said. Jaiden not only did this, but he wrote his own sentence and drew a picture to represent it. Super work Jaiden, keep up the hard work!

The next 2 awards both went to boys in Year 6. Firstly Liam R for his added commitment to revising some of the topics that his class have been revising in maths this week. With SATs coming up in a couple of weeks, learners are busy preparing themselves, and Liam was challenged to do some extra revision which he did fantastically well. Great work Liam!

 

The second award in Year 6 went to Hobie who has been a fantastic help in and around EYFS, and to Mr Haslett. As well as reading and working with some of our younger learners, Hobie has been helping to recondition some pedal bikes and build balance bikes to support the physical development in EYFS. Hobie has demonstrated so many positive attributes with the attitude and skills that he has shown. Thank you Hobie for making a big difference for our young learners!

I hope that you all enjoy the long weekend and look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday next week.

 

Ben Conway

Friday 22nd April 2022

 

Welcome back to school!

 

As always, after a well earned break it already feels like we have never been away. Even in the short time we have all been back at school there has been a lot going on.

 

I started this week by sharing an assembly focusing on respect. Learners discussed who they should show respect to in our school community, and the ways in which they are able to show this. There were lots of great ideas, and we will be ensuring that the respect that they show is clearly demonstrated to all.

Today saw our House winners from last term, Unicorns, celebrate their win with crazy hair day. It was great to see the creativity and crazy styles across the school.

Yesterday our learners in EYFS received some very exciting post direct from Winsor Castle. Earlier in the year learners had written letters and made pictures to send to The Queen on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee. These were obviously very well received, and one of The Queen’s Ladies in Waiting responded with a letter of thanks, along with some fantastic mementoes for the school.

Also yesterday, we were belatedly visited by two Easter Bunnies, from Costain, as we had been selected as their local Easter raffle winners. The bunnies eagerly hopped around school causing chaos and delivering an Easter egg to every learner in the school. Many thanks to Costain for providing this for us!

An email was sent home to everyone today highlighting an issue which has been raised recently on many social media channels. We have been made aware that there are sunscreen lotions, including Nivea kids, that now contain nut oils in their active ingredients. Please be reminded that we are a nut free school, with children who suffer with severe nut allergies, and as such there should be no nut products whatsoever in school.

 

Please carefully check the ingredients of the sunscreen lotions that you are using before sending your children into school with it on.

 

Today we held a parent information session in relation to our approach to phonics and early reading, led by our English leader Mrs Cargill. The introduction to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised scheme was really well attended by parents from Reception and Years 1 & 2. Thank you to those who showed your support and attended this as it will greatly benefit you and your child in developing their reading.

 

During the session Mrs Cargill shared some videos and resources, there are more available by following the link below. A huge thank you to Mrs Cargill for putting the session together, if you have any further questions regarding this please contact your child’s teacher or Mrs Cargill.

As we have only been in for a short period this week there was no celebration assembly this week, our awards will be back up and running next Friday. I hope that you have a great weekend,

 

Ben Conway

Friday 1st April 2022

We have made it to the end of term, and what a way to end the week we have had!

 

Yesterday was a busy day in and around the school for a number of reasons, including the influx of snow that we had! Everyone enjoyed their yoga and mindfulness experience during the day. Each class had the opportunity to experience some different moves and learn about the benefits of yoga and mindfulness for the physical and mental wellbeing. It was clear how calm and relaxed all classes were having had their experience.

During the afternoon yesterday the first group of Phil Good’s Golden Ticket winners were rewarded with the Phil’s Golden Moment. This was ice cream sundaes, and they were thoroughly well deserved and enjoyed by the attendees. A huge well done to this lucky group, and we look forward to seeing what Phil’s next Golden moment has in store.

In our final celebration assembly of the term we drew our lucky Easter raffle winners. Firstly, it is important to say a huge thank you to all of the staff members who have generously donated eggs and other treats as prizes! Secondly, thank you to everyone who purchased tickets, the money raised will donated to support the victims of the war in Ukraine.

 

Winners

EYFS

KS1

LKS2

UKS2

Elara

Florence

Mina

Ezme

Rebecca

Emma

Fredrico

Joe

Nayeel

Alfie T

Charlie

Liam G

Esmie

Lexie

Leanna

Alan

Dominica

Theo

George B

Owen

Albert

Matthew

Ethan

Kian M

Arthur

Olivia

Riley

Dylan

Felicity S

Charlie

Elijah

Ella

Melissa M

Jessica

Ali-May

Ruby

Alfie

Emily

Kyrillos

Sofia

Archie

Daniel

Olivia

Summer

Bella

Ronnie

Richard

Tommy

 

Eddie

Bella

Hobie

 

 

Roma

 

Also, during our assembly, we announced that Unicorns were this term’s House Champions with an impressive total of 1152. A massive well done to each member of the Unicorns team! During our School Council meeting at the start of this week they voted for the winning house to have a ‘crazy hair day’ on Friday 22nd April. We look forward to seeing your crazy designs!

 

When we return after the Easter break, children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will begin following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics programme. Children’s learning in phonics underpins their early reading skills, the development of which is crucial to be able to access learning across the curriculum.

 

To make children’s learning in phonics as effective as possible, we will be making some changes to the structure of children’s phonics lessons. Children will be taught in smaller groups, closely matched to their current development in phonics. Throughout this half-term, children have been assessed and grouped accordingly. To ensure children’s lessons, match their needs as closely as possible, groups may consist of children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

 

In their small groups, children will take part in a daily phonics session, learning new sounds and practising their reading skills. This will be followed by a daily reading session, allowing children to apply the skills learnt in their phonics lesson.

 

We would like to invite parents and carers, with children in Reception, Year 1 or 2, to an information session to find out more about the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics programme on Friday 22nd April. There will be two identical sessions at 9.00am and 2.30pm. Each session will last for approximately 30 minutes and outline the teaching structure in school and provide ideas and resources to help you support your child at home.

 

So that we can ensure we are able to set up appropriately, please confirm your attendance and indicate which session you will be joining via the link below. We hope that all parents and carers will be able to attend one of the sessions.

From the Governors

‘Hello everyone – just a quick note to wish you all a lovely Easter break. We’ve had a good few weeks in this half term, we went into school en-masse recently and had a really interesting time in the classrooms and talking to teachers, it helps us understand how the school is improving and gives us pointers for our discussions next term. Governors are really pleased with the progress being made this year. Hopefully we will get to see many of you next term at school.’

 

Phil Good’s question this week was ‘How would you keep yourself safe if you had to brush a crocodile’s teeth?’ It was interesting discussing this with different groups of children over lunch this week.

The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Ethan (R)- ‘Be in a box and make small hole to brush his teeth through.’

Imogen (Y1)- ‘No because it is not safe.’

Sofia (Y3)- ‘Make sure you’re with an adult that knows what to do.’

 

Rhyder (Y5)- ‘Use a long mechanical arm!’

Our extra-curricular programme for the Summer Term was circulated yesterday and the booking system will go live at around 1pm today. All club payments will be allocated during the week that we return after the Easter holidays.

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week. Thank you very much to Mrs Ramus for her very special Easter cake contribution today, they were loved by everyone! Those nominated as Bucket Fillers this week joined me at the tea party to enjoy their treat and a drink, as well as answering my weekly questions!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Dominic

R: Melissa M

Y1: Daniel

Y2: Molly

Y3: Billy-Joe

Y4: Kian

Y5: Ezme

Y6: Lewis

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, shared the attendance data and had a look at the house point totals.

 

As always, our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each one of them:

 

Nursery: Archie- Grow                                  Reception: Ayaaz- Grow

Year 1: Elliot- Reflect                                    Year 2: Lenny B- Risk

Year 3: Spencer B- Think                              Year 4: Seth- Think

Year 5: Joe- Create                                       Year 6: Archie- Reflect

To find out more about the Shephalbury LEARNER , please download the document below:

I hope that you all have an enjoyable couple of weeks together with your families and friends and look forward to seeing you all again on Wednesday 20th April!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 25th March 2022

It has been fantastic to be back to work this week, and what a wonderful welcome back I have had from many, thank you!

 

One of the best parts about returning to school this week has been seeing the genuine excitement throughout the school for our smallest and fluffiest members of the community. Many of us have been fortunate to have a hold, and watching them run around the hall has been great fun for us all!

It was also great this week to be able to welcome parents back into school for our Learning Review Meetings. I know how nice it is to be able to see your child’s work and have a face to face conversation with their teacher. I hope that you found these valuable and informative, with some good advice on how to support your child with their learning.

 

This week also saw us welcome mums, nans, grandmas and a few dads to our Mother’s Day breakfast for our Nursery and Reception classes. It was lovely to see the children sharing their croissant and hot cross buns with their adults and sing them a special song. Thank you to everyone who attended the event, we hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Also this week we sent off our donations for Ukrainian Square UK, they will be being shipped directly over to the people of Mykolayiv this weekend. The donations were received with great thanks as they will provide for those who need it the most! The money raised by our Easter raffle will also be donated to the cause.

When we return after the Easter break, children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will begin following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics programme. Children’s learning in phonics underpins their early reading skills, the development of which is crucial to be able to access learning across the curriculum.

 

In order to make children’s learning in phonics as effective as possible, we will be making some changes to the structure of children’s phonics lessons. Children will be taught in smaller groups, closely matched to their current development in phonics. Throughout this half-term, children have been assessed and grouped accordingly. In order to ensure children’s lessons match their needs as closely as possible, groups may consist of children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

 

In their small groups, children will take part in a daily phonics session, learning new sounds and practising their reading skills. This will be followed by a daily reading session, allowing children to apply the skills learnt in their phonics lesson.

 

We would like to invite parents and carers, with children in Reception, Year 1 or 2, to an information session to find out more about the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics programme on Friday 22nd April. There will be two identical sessions at 9.00am and 2.30pm. Each session will last for approximately 30 minutes and outline the teaching structure in school and provide ideas and resources to help you support your child at home.

 

So that we are able to ensure we are able to set up appropriately, please confirm your attendance and indicate which session you will be joining via the link below. We hope that all parents and carers will be able to attend one of the sessions.

Our inclusion and pastoral team of Mrs Dean, Mrs McKenzie and Phil Good have been busy compiling the first of their Inclusion Newsletters. In it you will find a wealth of information that may support you and your family at home, local groups and activities, upcoming events and a whole lot more. Please take some time to have a read:

Phil Good’s question this week was ‘Is it good to be happy all of the time?’ It was interesting discussing this with different groups of children over lunch this week.

 

The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Charlie Y1- 'Yes because you will have fun'

 

Lilly Y3- No I don't think it is good to be happy all the time because it is good to have other feelings, and how do you know what happy feels like if you haven't experienced other emotions?'

 

Archie Y6- 'It's good to be happy and good to be sad, because it's ok to show your emotions'

Our extra-curricular programme for the Summer Term will be sent out later this week. Booking for these will open next Friday at 1pm on Gateway. All club payments will be allocated during the week that we return after the Easter holidays.

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week. Thank you very much to Mrs Spiller for her cake contribution today, they were loved by everyone! Those nominated as Bucket Fillers this week joined me at the tea party to enjoy their treat and a drink, as well as answering my weekly questions!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Kai

R: Sebastian

Y1: Lexie

Y2: Jaden

Y3: Lilly

Y4: Amelia

Y5: Alex

Y6: Finnley

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, shared the attendance data and had a look at the house point totals.

 

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Maison- Stretch                              Reception: Ryver- Reflect

Year 1: Connie- Think                                              Year 2: Eliannah- Think

Year 3: Fredrico- Stretch                              Year 4: Uzma- Solve

Year 5: Rhyder- Stretch                                            Year 6: Amelia Q- Think

This week I have handed out 3 Headteacher’s Awards, all for fantastic writing and phonics.

 

First this week was Violet (Y2) who had worked really hard to independently write the end part to her innovated version of Little Red Riding Hood. Violet showed fantastic concentration, and application of the skills she has been practising, to write about her new characters- Little Green Riding Hood, the Fox and the Gardener. Super work Violet...well done!

 

Next this week was Sophie in Reception for a couple of reasons. We are really proud of how hard Sophie has been working to improve her phonic knowledge, both at school and at home. This week she has been using this phonic knowledge in her writing, independently applying it on her own. Amazing work Sophie…keep it up!

 

Finally this week was Isabelle, also in Reception. Isabelle spent an afternoon this week writing herself a bedtime book, something which I know could help a lot of people! Included in her book were nursery rhymes and some bedtime stories that she had created herself. This was a lovely thing to be able to create and share with me. Great work Isabelle!

I hope that you have a restful weekend and I will see you all on Monday!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 18th March 2022

A very red and funny end to our Science Week at Shephalbury Park. Unfortunately, I have been a mere observer from home due to my isolation…but I have seen how engaged learners across the school have been, especially with the newest member of our school community.

The theme for British Science Week has been ‘Growth’, and as a school we focused our learning on a book ‘Greta and the Giants’ which highlights the plight of deforestation and climate change. It is based on the work of Greta Thunberg and has formed the basis for cross-curricular work throughout the week. It is vital that we educate ourselves and our children about the effects that humans have on the earth, and understand how we as humans need to adapt and develop to ensure the long term health of our world.

In Nursery this week, we have been celebrating Science Week and have engaged in a variety of ‘growing’ theme based activities. To start the week we made our own seed balls, planted some cress and watched the fluffy chicks hatch from their eggs. We learnt about the important job that honeybees have and observed a real honeycomb from the hive before making delicious honey sandwiches. To finish the week, we listened to the story ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and planted our own broad beans, knowing exactly how to look after them in order for them to grow. 

 

In addition, a big thank you to Mrs Murphy (Rebecca’s Mummy) for joining us this week and sharing many exciting experiments with us!  

In Reception we have been very busy observing the chicks and were even lucky to watch one of them hatch. We have also been discussing different types of growing, the children have been plant detectives looking around our environment for different types of plants and discussing where and why they grow so well in certain areas.

 

The children have also been growing some cress seeds, which they will hopefully see growing over the weekend. We also read the story Greta and the Giants, we discussed why the animals were upset and what Greta did to try to help them. We then thought about ways we could help the environment, we went on a walk around the school and discussed turning off lights, shutting doors, turning off laptops and recycling. We are finishing the week off by creating some posters to serve as reminders of all the things we can do to help the environment. 

As part of Science Week, Year 1 have been busy writing persuasive letters to the giants in the story ‘Greta and the Giants’, thinking hard about all of the reasons why the giants should protect the animals’ habitats. We have also enjoyed seeing the chicks hatch and have been learning about their life cycles. We explored the school grounds looking at the different things which grow there, in particular all of the different types of trees we are lucky to have. Earlier in the week, we planted cress, which has just started to grow. We are keeping a diary to show how it changes each day and are hoping to be able to eat it soon!

In Science Week, Year 2 have been looking at how animals and humans grow. First, we looked at the different stages of human life, focusing on what humans are able to do throughout the different stages. We worked as pairs to create a human life cycle and compare baby/toddler/child/teenager/adult. We also looked at the animal life cycle and became researchers, using books, fact-files and the internet to investigate the life cycle of a duck and a butterfly. Tomorrow in Science we will be looking at David Attenborough and the impact he has had on the cause to conserve the environment. Year 2 will be using the research they do to create fact-files on David Attenborough.

 

In art, we looked at the illustration style of Greta and the Giants and created watercolour depictions of how we will save the environment. We focused on blending and picking appropriate tones for the paintings.

 

Our guided reading this week focused around Greta and the Giants. We started by completing some comprehension work on the story, making mind-maps answering key questions about the book. Then, we wrote to Greta about how we could change the environment. In another one of our lessons we made pledges of how we will work to save the planet and talked about that is our responsibility as humans. Tomorrow, we will be writing our own protest posters just like Greta did in the book.

We have had a very busy week in Science week, exploring the life of Greta Thunberg and her views on climate change. In English, we began the week by reading the book ‘Greta and the Giants’ in which we discovered how one small act can change the world. Then, we moved onto reading, learning and reciting a poem by Liz Brownlee, called Greta Thunberg. Throughout this work, we focused on our voice, facial expressions and how we can perform poetry to others. This culminated with a joint performance of the poem, by both Year 3 and Year 4. We also made placards, which the children held in their performance.

 

In Science, we looked at the real-world effects of climate change, including melting ice gaps, the greenhouse effect and the increase in rainfall in our world. We predicted what would happen and then sought to find reasons why this happened, after the experiment. We used this to think about how we can make a change in our world, by researching different ways we can slow down climate change. Then we pledged to do one thing individually, which will be added to a shared display on the Year 3 and 4 stairway.

In Year 5 we have been looking at where our food comes from, the impact it is having on our environment and how we can solve the problem of food miles. First, we began by answering the question: Does temperature impact how much dough rises whilst proving? We then used that dough to create our own fresh rolls. After researching food miles and the impact this has on the environment, we tried to answer the question: Can we plan a sustainable and healthy burger? Finally, today we created our burgers and looked to see whether our ideas are sustainable and tasty! Alongside all of this we created raps on climate change in our English sessions to encourage people to look after our planet!

This week has been a busy week for year 6! We have been selling items to the school community which has been a great success- thank you.

 

Also, we are beginning to build our understanding surrounding climate change and in doing so, have been looking at Greta Thunberg and taking inspiration from her powerful speeches to write our own.

 

During our afternoons, we have been thinking about how we could be more sustainable. On Tuesday, we baked bread and recording its ‘Growth’ on a line graph.

 

On Wednesday, we researched how we could buy more sustainably and ensure that we reduce our food miles wherever possible. Which lead to today, where we made a healthy burger using our cooking skills.

Our staff have been on the lookout throughout the week to identify their ‘Scientist of the Week’, owing to their commitment to learning during our Science Week. A huge well done to the following learners:

 

N: Kai

R: Albert

Y1: Daniel

Y2: Alfie B

Y3: Olly

Y4: Kian

Y5: Max

Y6: Noah

 

 

This week’s question was ‘If you see someone being bullied, should you do anything about it? If you don’t, should you feel guilty?’

 

Winners:

Owen C - Y6 "Yes, you should, because it isn't right.  You should treat people how you would want to be treated."

 

Jenson- Y5 "If someone is bullied you should help them because if that happened to you you wouldn't like it."

 

Bella- Y4 "Yes you should because if you don't tell and they don't tell there worries could build up.  You should feel guilty because then no one can do anything about it and then you'll be a bit like the girls from The Big Bag of Worries."

 

This weeks question " Is it good to be happy all the time?"

A reminder for anyone who hasn’t yet booked their Learning Review Meeting for next week. The booking system will close on Monday so please ensure that you book over the weekend.

 

There are no clubs – other than Tea Pot – after school on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

 

Today there was a sea of red around the school, along with the odd red nose, in recognition of Comic Relief. Everyone got the chance to share their best joke with their class with the favourite being voted for in each class to be shared in assembly. Many of the winning jokes were shared with me, and they all made me chuckle!

 

Well done to our winners:

We haven’t asked for donations to school this year, but if you are able and willing to make a donation to Comic Relief then please go direct to their website via the link below.

Now onto our celebrations for the week. Those nominated as Bucket Fillers this week joined Mrs Dean for their treat and a drink!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Rebecca

R: Lillee

Y1: Rae

Y2: Zaki

Y3: Emilia

Y4: Laura

Y5: Emily

Y6: Amelia Q

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, shared the attendance data and had a look at the house point totals.

 

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Nayeel                            Reception: Felicity B

Year 1: Eddie                               Year 2: Steffen

Year 3: Amelia                             Year 4: Melisa

Year 5: Joe                                    Year 6: Teddy

This week saw Mrs Cropley and Mrs Dean hand out one Headteacher’s Award for some excellent phonics work in Nursery. Arthur used his phonic knowledge really well to spell out CVC words independently with the magnetic letters, and then continued to use his knowledge to read them. Super work Arthur…well done!

I hope that you have a restful weekend and I will hopefully see you all on Monday!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 11th March 2022

Another very busy week at Shephalbury Park comes to an end!

 

We started the week with an assembly by Mrs Dean and Mrs McKenzie, in which they shared Mrs McKenzie’s new role as our Pastoral Support Assistant. A summary of this was sent out to you all yesterday:

‘As part of our commitment to supporting our whole school community, I am delighted to be able to tell you about Mrs McKenzie's new role within school.  Mrs McKenzie is now our Pastoral Support Assistant working closely alongside Mrs Dean. She is no longer classroom based, meaning she is available to support more children throughout the day. Her focus is to support our children with their mental health and wellbeing.

Her role is also to support families in a range of ways so please watch out for upcoming coffee mornings, support and information groups and sign posting emails. She is currently working hard to get all families signed up to our National Online Platform (as advertised in Mr Conway's blog). The platform provides a wealth of information for teachers and families to keep themselves and their children safe. If you haven't signed up already please follow the link below to do so

 

https://nationalonlinesafety.com/enrol/shephalbury-park-primary-school

 

The children have been told in assembly that they can access Mrs McKenzie independently, in the playground from 8.40am and at 12.30pm.  Mrs McKenzie will see them at other times should they request it. We are encouraging children to be pro-active if they feel they need support.

As well as sharing her role, they introduced Phil Good’s question of the week. Phil is our wellbeing ambassador, supporting us in understanding how to develop and support our own mental wellbeing. Each week, Phil will be setting a new question of the week to all learners, that is displayed at school and on each of the dining tables as a conversation starter. Answers and responses can be recorded and entered into the weekly draw, from which 2 winners will be selected for Golden Tickets to the ‘Phil Good Moment’ event at the end of each half term.

 

This week’s question was ‘How can we keep ourselves feeling ok if we have a scary dream?’

 

And the recipients of Phil's first Golden Tickets were Sofia M (Y5) and Isabel (R).

We also recognised and celebrated International Women’s Day in our assembly on Tuesday this week. International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality.’

 

As a school we actively recognise the important role that Women play in contributing to our lives every day, and we promote equality for all in everything that we do. For more information about International Women’s Day please follow the link below:

Last week I shared that we will be holding face to face Learning Review Meetings in the week beginning 21st March. The booking system is set up and ready to go live at 5.30pm tonight. Those with registered email addresses will receive an email with booking instructions at this time.

 

Please see below if you didn’t receive a copy of the letter sent out today:

We had a triumphant return to competitive netball this week, with our Year 5 netball team securing a 6-2 win against St Nicholas. A huge well done to the team, as for many this was their first taste of sport in the competitive arena. Hannah was nominated as player of the match!

 

Also on Thursday this week, our Year 5 & 6 Sports Hall Athletes competed at Barnwell in a range of different running and field events. They all acquitted themselves very well and were awarded the Commonwealth award for demonstrating the most passion. A fantastic achievement…well done!

A huge thank you to everyone who has already made a contribution to our collection for the people of Mykolayiv, Ukraine. The trolley will be out for donations through the next week before the items are collected. To see what items are being requested, please see the letter below:

Next week is Science Week at Shephalbury Park, and there will be science led learning across the school throughout the week in all classes (you will see some in the blog next week!). Along with what is happening in lessons, we will be holding a Science Sale next week, every day after school (while stocks last) between 3-3.30pm. All items will be priced at £1 or £2, please try and have the exact change with you.

 

Also coming up next week on Friday 18th March is Red Nose Day. We will be encouraging everyone to wear red and come to school armed with their best joke, for a class joke off. More information will be shared with everyone at the beginning of next week.

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was supplied by Mrs Cropley…thank you for the delicious cakes! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my weekly tea party questions!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Elara

R: Bella

Y1: Henry

Y2: Lenny B

Y3: Pippa

Y4: Yumna

Y5: Skye

Y6: Owen

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, shared the attendance data and had a look at the house point totals.

 

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Albie- Grow                     Reception: Melissa M- Grow

Year 1: George- Risk                     Year 2: Freddie- Reflect

Year 3: Oscar- Grow                     Year 4: Kyrillos- Stretch

Year 5: Kian T- Grow                     Year 6: Finnley- Think

This week saw me hand out a wealth of Headteacher’s Award for some awesome work across the school.

 

First up this week was Bethany (Y4) for her brilliant piece of writing in English this week. She used the class model and independently adapted it with her own ideas to create an interesting resolution and ending to her change story. Fantastic work Bethany, I really enjoyed listening to it!

 

Another fabulous writer this week was Lilly (Y3), whose hot task wishing story was brilliant. She utilised many of the skills that had been developed through the unit of work, and applied to them to her own ideas and story writing. Great work Lilly…keep it up!

Yet another learner recognised for their writing this week is TJ (R). During child initiated learning, TJ independently used his phonics to write about what his friends in class were doing, or had done during the day. This is a great way of linking his learning and showing a desire to utilise and practice his skills independently. Well done TJ!

 

Also in Reception this week, Ayaaz has been working really hard with his reading at home. We talk regularly at school about using our growth mindset and the Shephalbury LERARNER attributes even when we find things tough going. Ayaaz has done this recently and demonstrated his inner Shephalbury LEARNER with his reading at home. Well done Ayaaz…we are proud of you!

 

8 more people who have shown a real commitment to improving their reading are George, Louis, Imogen, Daniel, Tia, Olivia, Alys and Rae (Y1). Each of them has really impressed both Mrs Cargill, Mrs Levy and myself with the progress that they have made in their reading. This stems from their application in school, as well as regular reading at home, and each of them has moved up at least 4 and some up to 7 reading levels so far this term. Great work guys!

And finally this week is Connie (Y1) for her excellent work in Computing. Mrs Spiller was extremely impressed with the knowledge that Connie had of all of the technical vocabulary linked to spreadsheets, as well as her skills in editing them. She came and explained it all to me, and she may be troubleshooting for me next time I need some help on Excel! Super work Connie!

I hope that you have a great weekend.

 

Ben Conway

Friday 4th March 2022

What a spectacular end to the week we have had with our celebration of World Book Day!

Our entire school community got excited about their favourite book characters, dressed up, and engaged in some brilliant book and reading themed activities throughout the day.

Also throughout the day today, we had our ‘Where’s Wally Book’ hunt around our outdoor areas. Following on from Mrs Cargill’s assembly yesterday everyone was very excited to see if they could find them all, with the prospect of being entered into the prize draw if they did! A huge well done to everybody who managed to find them all, especially our lucky winners: Albie (N), Ronnie (Y1), Olivia (Y4) and Raynie (Y6).

We widely recognise that reading is the cornerstone of learning for life, and it is vitally important that we encourage all of our learners to develop a love of books to help improve and develop their reading. As a part of our drive to further inspire a love of reading for all, we have introduced our 100 day reading challenge for all learners. The booklet that has been sent home has a range of ideas for daily challenges and requires some daily evidence of these. We are expecting everyone to complete the challenge!

 

For those that do there will be a certificate, and they will be entered into the prize draw, where 1 winner from each class will be joined and will get to choose any book of their choice as a prize.

 

A huge thank you to Mrs Cargill for putting the challenges together for us all!

You may remember School Council's plant pot competition which ran in response to our desire to get more green plants into our classrooms. It is proven that indoor plants can help to keep you healthier and happier, offering both psychological and physical health benefits that include:

 

  1. Improving your mood
  2. Reducing fatigue
  3. Lowering stress and anxiety
  4. Improving performance and focus
  5. Boosting healing and pain tolerance
  6. Minimising the occurrence of headaches by improving air quality
  7. Easing dry skin and respiratory ailments due to dry air

 

Over the past couple of weeks our winners, as chosen by School Council, have been transferring their winning designs to their pots. There are still some to be finished, and then all we need is some plants to put in them and get them into the classrooms!

 

A huge thank you to those who have already donated. We are still looking for donations of any of the following, that are in a good and complete condition to supplement our wet play activities for classes. If you are able to donate, please bring items to the stable during drop off next week:

  • Small world figures (NO guns or swords etc.)
  • Complete board games
  • Complete puzzles
  • Building blocks (Lego, Duplo, Mega Blocks)

 

We are currently finalising the organisation for our Learning Review Meetings that will be taking place in the week beginning 21st March. As it stands we will be holding these as face to face meetings as we are keen to share your child’s books and learning with you. However, this may change should there be any concerns regarding rates of COVID transmission in classes nearer the time. Full information and booking instructions will be circulated next week.

 

We will also be sending out information for our annual Easter Raffle in the next week or so. Keep your eyes peeled for how to buy tickets in the coming weeks.

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was supplied by Mrs Cargill…thank you for the delicious cupcakes! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my weekly tea party questions!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

N: Molly

R: Ethan

Y1: Alys

Y2: Kyla D

Y3: Richard

Y4: Riley

Y5: Sofia

Y6: Miles

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, shared the attendance data and had a look at the house point totals.

 

As always our staff have seen pupils from around the school working hard to demonstrate the 7 attributes that make up a Shephalbury LEARNER, reflect, solve, create, think, stretch, grow and risk through the lessons and activities that they have participated in. The children listed below have been nominated by their teachers for being Shephalbury LEARNERS this week, a huge well done to each and every one of them:

 

Nursery: Kacper- Think                Reception: Isabelle- Create

Year 1: Florence- Grow                Year 2: Autumn- Risk

Year 3: Pippa- Grow                     Year 4: Anjolaoluwa- Create

Year 5: Milly- Grow                      Year 6: Lewis- Think

This week saw me hand out 7 Headteacher’s Award for some awesome work mostly in our younger year groups.

 

First up this week was Jaiden (R) for some very inventive modelling at home. Helped by his dad, Jaiden created a fantastic model rocket, using tubing from the carpet shop, tin foil and painted the boost flames. Well done for taking your creativity home Jaiden!

 

Next this week was another member of our Reception class, Teddy, who has been working incredibly hard across the curriculum all week. Not only has he been excelling with his independent work in maths, looking at different ways of making the same amount, but he has also been using his phonics knowledge to write during child initiated learning time. This is really pleasing to see Teddy…you really are developing into a great Shephalbury LEARNER!

Inspired by his World Book Day writing activity today were both Liam B and Finnley (Y6). The task for Year 6 was to write a blurb for their favourite book. They both chose subjects that interested them, and this made their writing all the more interesting. Great writing boys, well done!

 

In addition to this, not only had Liam produced a good piece of writing, but he recognised how he has recently changed his attitude to learning, applying himself better in all aspects of his learning. This was really pleasing to hear, and makes me proud to have learners like this in our school. Keep it up Liam!