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Shephalbury ParkPrimary School

Imagine, Believe, Achieve

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Mr Conway's Blog 2021-2022

Friday 21st January 2022

The end of another busy week, with lots of things happening both in and out of school. I opened the week with an assembly about being confident in our own abilities. All of our learners, and staff, have done lots of work on building and developing our growth mindset throughout the course of this year. As a Shephalbury LEARNER we recognise that learning is supposed to challenge us, and that we will make mistakes along the way, but having confidence that we have the skills, attributes and support to get there is really important.

I am delighted to be able to share with you that Mrs Lewis gave birth, just before Christmas, to her second child, Ostyn. He is settling into family life in the Lewis household really well!

I am sure that you will all join me in sending huge congratulations to them all!

 

I featured some photos last week of our School Values Rocks day from last Friday with Rocktopus. Our Shephalbury LEARNER music videos are now produced and ready for viewing. I have seen and heard them in classes around school this week, and they are all great! Why not have a look for yourself:

This afternoon I accompanied Mr Rust and our Year 5 & 6 football team to the EFL Under 11 cup, a national competition run by the football league, with the final being held at Wembley Stadium. Today’s tournament was our local competition to see who would represent Stevenage at the regional tournament.

 

To find out how they got on, head over to our Sports Blog via the link below.

Our extra-curricular programme for the term has kicked off this week. There is loads on offer, and it has been wonderful to see such a variety of activities being enjoyed across the school. There are still spaces in some of the clubs if your child is still interested. You can see what’s available on Schoolcomms.

 

As a part of our commitment to keep our community safe online, we are delighted to be working with National Online Safety to support us in increasing awareness and keeping everyone safe staying safe online. The resources include Parents & Carers courses (presented by Myleene Klass), online video resources and weekly guides covering a huge range of topics.

 

I would urge you all to sign up for your free account using the link below, as we will be sharing regular updates with parents through the platform throughout the year. You can also download the app for your tablet or smartphone for easy access.

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was provided by Mrs Dean…a huge than you for the delicious Malteser 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: Cheyenne

R: Felicity S

Y1: Darcey

Y2: Lilly

Y3: Maia

Y4: James

Y5: Alex

Y6: Isabel

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, grow, risk, 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: Isla - Stretch        Reception: Daniel - Stretch

Year 1: Skylar - Stretch         Year 2: Vinnie - Solve

Year 3: Ephraim -  Grow        Year 4: Uzma - Grow

Year 5: Raegan - Grow         Year 6: Ruby - Reflect

First up this week was Leo (N) who has really enjoyed the focus on traditional tales in Nursery this week. He sat down and created his own story map independently drawing the 3 Little Pigs. We are really proud of you Leo…well done!

 

Next is a double award winner this week, Felicity S (R) showed some brilliant numbers skills in the EYFS garden. She found the corresponding amounts of stones for each of the numbers to 10 independently. Some great number work Felicity, and a super week with being a Bucket Filler as well. Keep it up!

Moving up to Year 2 with Tommy, who has really impressed me this week for a couple of reasons. He came to me with some writing that he had completed independently at home, applying the use of expanded noun phrases to the story of Stick Man. Not only had he chosen some very good adjectives to describe the different elements of the story, he showed his beautiful handwriting. It is clear how much of a fantastic Shephalbury LEARNER Tommy is going above and beyond with his work at home, and developing his handwriting style fantastically well. Amazing work Tommy!

Finally this week was Raegan (Y5), who worked hard in RE to investigate and learn about the significance of the Seder Plate for Jewish people during Passover. He showed me his work and explained each part on the plate. He had even done his best to copy the names of each element in Hebrew lettering. Super work Raegan…well done!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 14th January 2022

We have arrived at the end of our first full week of 2022, and there has been a lot of things happening in and around our school!

 

I have had the pleasure of spending time in all of our classes this week, seeing how well settled and engaged all of our learners are. From Daleks in Year 5, to multiplying and dividing by 4 in Year 3 and Goldilocks sneaking into Reception to steal the 3 bears’ porridge, there are many positive learning experiences across the school.

In addition to our learning across the curriculum we welcomed back Rocktopus today. Each phase, with the help of our favourite rock band, composed and performed songs linked to our Shephalbury LEARNER attributes. Everyone had great fun and we can’t wait to share our music videos with you all soon!

I was also lucky enough this week to accompany Year 2 on their trip to the pantomime, postponed from before Christmas. It was great to see how much they all enjoyed show, made all the better as we had front row seats.

Next week sees the start of our Spring term extra curricular clubs programme. Once again we have a lot on offer for year groups across the school. We are constantly striving to enrich the experiences and provide new opportunities with the clubs that we offer. Please encourage your child to speak to their school councillors if they have any ideas for clubs in the Summer term.

 

In assembly this week we announced the winners of School Council’s plant pot competition from the end of last year. Councillors voted on their favourite designs, and all of our winners will have some time to come and bring their designs to life on some pots for their classroom plants. A huge well done to the following children:

 

School Council Plant Pot Design Winners

N

Molly

Archie

Lola

 

R

Jaiden

Felicity B

Alfie

 

Y1

Alys

Isabella

Daniel

 

Y2

Olivia

Kyla D

Autumn

 

Y3

William

Emilia

Bella

 

Y4

Olivia

Yumna

Uzma

 

Y5

Ava

Lewis

Jessie

 

Y6

Teddy

Owen

Amelia Q

 

 

In our School Council meeting this week, we also discussed what the prize would be for Dragons as our House Champions from last term. There was much debate and discussion, but in the end there was a unanimous decision that Dragons should have a PJ/onesie day next Friday, 21st January.

 

I would like to take a moment to remind all visitors to the school, that we expect everyone to be wearing a face covering when entering the building for whatever reason (unless exempt). This includes popping into the reception area to speak to the admin team.

 

Below you will find the Spring term HfL online safety newsletter for parents and carers. I would encourage you to take 5 minutes to have a read as it shares some really useful information supporting you in keeping your children safe online.

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party were a variety of 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: Archie

R: William

Y1: Eric

Y2: Emily

Y3: Bella

Y4: Viktor

Y5: Skye

Y6: George

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, grow, risk, 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: John-Boy- Solve                 Reception: Bella- Grow

Year 1: Tia- Create                Year 2: Max- Stretch

Year 3: Richard- Think                     Year 4: Ben - Reflect

Year 5: Ava- Reflect                          Year 6: Raynie- Reflect

This week saw me hand out 1 Headteacher’s Award for some brilliant observational drawing.

 

Molly (N) was finding different items in her class and recreating them as images. As you will see from the image below, her scissors are incredibly life-like, having carefully chosen the correct colours to use to finish her design.

Great work Molly!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 7th January 2022

Welcome back and happy new year to you all!

 

It has been lovely to see so many smiling, happy faces returning to school after the holidays. I know from having spoken to many of our learners over the last couple of days, that time over the festive period has been mixed for many of us. Despite this, I hope that everyone had the chance to take some time to rest and relax with their families around them.

 

We have settled back in well, and everyone is eager to go! Learners across the school are already engaging really well with their learning and the term ahead of us. Our Shephalbury LEARNER attributes and growth mindset principles are woven throughout our school, encouraging our learners to develop good quality learning behaviours. I encourage you to discuss these at home and support your child in embracing and demonstrating these on a daily basis.

As we have only been back a couple of days there were no certificates of awards this week.

 

Enjoy your weekend

 

Ben Conway

Friday 17th December 2021

We have made it to the end of the Autumn Term, and what a busy time we have had!

 

I know and appreciate how challenging the last few weeks, in particular, have been for many of our staff and families. Having to balance daily life with 2 COVID outbreaks in school has been tricky, but despite the challenges, we have maintained as much high quality provision and support for everyone as possible.

 

This doesn’t happen by accident, this comes from the strong work ethic and commitment of those within school, along with the support and understanding from our families at home. I say this regularly, but that is because it makes such a huge difference when there are difficult decisions to make, THANK YOU! Having a team like this, that genuinely cares, and having a supportive community, that understand our approach, means that we are able to continually work together to improve and develop our school for everyone who comes here.

The last week has been full of festive fun and activities across the school, despite us not all being able to get together we have all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Mrs Cropley led our Christmas Assemblies, most of us got to visit the fantastic pantomime at The Gordon Craig Theatre (Year 2 are going in the new year!), took part in Christmas crafts, we all enjoyed a delicious Christmas lunch (thank you Sarah & team), watched the Shephalbury Christmas Showcase, attended discos and a lot more in between. A huge thank you to all of the staff that made all of these great experiences for our school possible.

On a festive note, I am very proud to say that Mina (Y3) appears in the feature film ‘A Boy Called Christmas’ which is available on Netflix and Sky Cinema, a fantastic achievement! I am very much looking forward to settling down and looking out for her when I watch the movie over the holidays with my children.

Video.mov

Still image for this video

As we end the term we have a couple of staff members to recognise. Firstly a welcome back to Mrs Oustayiannis, who has returned to teach alongside Mrs Cropley in Year 4.

 

Also on a staffing front, we are saying farewell to Mrs McCullagh, who after 5 years is leaving us to be able to be closer to home supporting her family. As anyone who has worked with Mrs McCullagh will tell you, she has been a fantastic staff member in our EYFS and will be greatly missed! I am sure that you will join me and wish her lots of luck and happiness in the future.

 

Please see below for a message form our Chair of Governors, Cameron Smith:

 

Dear Parents and Carers

 

We have had a busy term, Governors attended the autumn visit from our professional improvement partner last month and the feedback was excellent. She was impressed with our working practices and, crucially, her external assessment matched our own internal self evaluation. On the day she observed a number of classes, spoke with staff and also reviewed many exercise books; however it was her discussions with our children which left the biggest impression – all of them able to enthusiastically talk about the Shephalbury LEARNER.

 

There is so much evidence of the LEARNER inside the classrooms, and the influence on the broad and balanced curriculum targets can be seen throughout. Governors have been into school for our link visits through this term and we have seen for ourselves how the schools vision and strategic aims drives outcomes for our children.  Governors and staff alike are committed to providing our children with the best education possible.

 

We are currently recruiting for new Governors and I would love to hear from anyone who is interested in doing more. Schools all over the country need enthusiastic and engaged parents to become Governors and to play a part in the schools future. Please contact me through the school office, you do not need any professional experience in education in fact bringing your own skill set serves to strengthen the Governing Body.

 

Finally from all of us, may we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

 

 

Thank you to those people who have volunteered to be volunteer readers. We will be in contact with you in the new year to get the wheels in motion!

 

If you are a parent, carer, grandparent or older sibling and would like to volunteer an hour or more each week in the Spring term we’d love to hear from you.

 

We would provide guidance and training for all volunteers. If you would like to help, please let us know by completing the survey via the link below.

There are still places at the Kidfit holiday camp, which is running at school throughout the Christmas holidays. There will be multisports activities and Christmas themed arts and crafts. If you would like more information please take a look at the flyer or booking site via the links below:

Now onto our celebrations for the week. This week Mr Kipling provided the catering for Bucket Filler’s tea party, there was a selection of festive treats! 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: John-Boy

R: Alfie

Y1: Theo

Y2: -

Y3: Amelia

Y4: Bella

Y5: Sofia

Y6: Liam G

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, grow, risk, 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- Think               Reception: Lillee- Grow

Year 1: Elijah- Solve              Year 2: -

Year 3: Tyler- Create             Year 4: Riley- Create

Year 5: Ella- Create               Year 6: Finley- Reflect

There are no Headteacher’s awards this week, but there are a few special mentions that I would like to give out to Year 2. They have had a tough couple of weeks with COVID hitting this class quite badly in the lead up to the end of term. However, everyone who has been in school in Year 2 over the last couple of weeks, have been fantastic! There has been lots of changes to their day, but they have all contributed well and got on with their work regardless.

 

I have been sent a couple of bits that I wanted to share with you all. Emily, sadly, missed out on the recording for The Shephalbury Showcase, but had been rehearsing the Year 2 song at home. She sent me a special version that I can share with you all below.

EMily.mov

Still image for this video

Also taking their learning home with them was Alfie T, who after learning about the nativity story, went home and created a stable scene out of Lego.

I hope that you are all able to enjoy a fantastic festive break with your family and friends. Please stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all back here on Thursday 6th January.

 

Ben Conway

Friday 10th December 2021

As we come to the end of the penultimate school week of 2021, we certainly have had a lot going on!

 

Our classes have been busy preparing and recording their parts for our Shephalbury Christmas Showcase, which will be released next Wednesday. They have also be practicing songs to be sung at church next week.

 

There is lots of excitement in the air with Christmas approaching, and this includes the activities that are planned in and around school for next week. A letter was sent out today to outline our updated plans for next week, and we hope that these won’t be effected any further. Please bear in mind that if there are alterations and changes these will be made in the best interests of the health and safety of our school community and communicated to you at the earliest possible opportunity.

 

A huge thank you to those of you that have contributed so far to Shep’s Reverse Advent Calendar in support of the charity Feed Up, Warm Up. They are a charity, selected by our school council, that support homeless people across North Hertfordshire. We will be continuing to welcome donations up to Wednesday of next week, so please place your donations in Shep’s box on your way around the playground in the morning.

 

https://www.facebook.com/feedupwarmup/

https://justgiving.com/feedupwarmup

 

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to our Christingle collection this week, the £143 raised from this will also be forwarded to Feed Up, Warm Up.

Our kitchen team from HCL have had some great news this week, a 5 star environmental standards rating has been confirmed by an inspection! In addition to this, our school was recently recognised in the annual HCL awards for our community engagement work. This relates back to the work we were doing with Roebuck Nursing home, and our proposed work in setting up a gardening club linked with them in the future. This is a fantastic achievement by the school, and we thank everyone who has contributed to it, in particular Sarah Walker and her team in the kitchen.

I requested volunteers last week to support us in our drive to provide some extra reading time with learners across the school. If you are a parent, carer, grandparent or older sibling and would like to volunteer an hour or more each week in the Spring term we’d love to hear from you.

 

We would provide guidance and training for all volunteers. If you would like to help, please let us know by completing the survey via the link below.

Kidfit will be running a holiday camp at school throughout the Christmas holidays, where there will be multisports activities and Christmas themed arts and crafts. IF you would like more information please take a look at the flyer or booking site via the links below:

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was provided by Mr Klein who provided a selection of chocolate cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies…they went down very well, thank you! 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: Rebecca

R: Jaiden

Y1: Ethan

Y2: Alfie T

Y3: William

Y4: Noorisha

Y5: Summer

Y6: Logan

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, grow, risk, 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: Jaxon- Grow                       Reception: Georgi- Grow

Year 1: Flynn- Stretch                       Year 2: Lillyanna- Stretch

Year 3: Mia- Grow                             Year 4: Jamila- Reflect

Year 5: Cade- Think                          Year 6: Ellis- Stretch

This week there have been 3 learners who have visited me to receive Headteacher’s Awards, and once again, both were for learners at the lower end of our school!

 

First this week was Emily (Y2), who completed some fantastic English work. The class had been innovating a Michael Rosen poem using alliterative language and Emily produced some excellent alliterative phrases. Super work Emily…well done!

 

Today Reception have been set a series of Christmas themed challenges in their phonics, writing and maths. Katalea has excelled in these throughout the morning, independently accessing all of the challenges, solving maths problems using manipulatives and using her phonics to label some festive images. Amazing work Katalea…keep it up!

 

And finally in Reception is Esmie, who following on from her Shephalbury LEARNER award for 'create' a couple of weeks ago, has continued to be very creative. This afternoon she designed and made a Christmas pudding independently and described the parts to me...I particularly liked the topping of custard, a cherry and holly leaves! Great work Esmie!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend,

 

Ben Conway

Friday 3rd December 2021

We have arrived in December with some wintery weather this week. As usual, there has been a buzz of learning throughout the school, and now it is quite clearly mixed, for many, with the anticipation of Christmas. Our trees and lights are up at school, the post box is out ready to receive cards and classes are busy preparing their contributions to The Shephalbury Showcase, which will be released on Wednesday 15th December for everyone to enjoy.

 

Our Year 2 class this week took the trip to St Peter’s church to learn about The Christmas Journey. They all had a great time learning about Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, making crowns and having a snack!

I am still liaising regularly with the public health team at HCC to monitor the current COVID situation within the school, and to support with recommendations for the decisions that we are making in light of this. As it stands we are hoping that all of our plans for the last week of term, in relation to the Christmas activities, will be able to continue as planned. However, if there are alterations and changes these will be made in the best interests of the health and safety of our school community and communicated to you at the earliest possible opportunity.

 

I hope that you took the time to read the information sent out this week regarding our reverse advent collection this year. Our School Council selected a really worthy cause this year, the charity Feed Up, Warm Up:

 

‘Feed Up Warm Up is a North Hertfordshire based charity supporting those who are homeless and those at risk of homelessness. We operate 2 weekly drop in centres in Hitchin and Stevenage where anybody is welcome to come and spend the evening with us. We offer live music, counselling services, a hot meal, free haircuts, food parcels, addiction advice and a warm welcoming smile and a chat. We support on average 100 guests a week between both drop in services. We also have an outreach team who respond to local referrals from other charities and agencies. During the pandemic we have reached out to local struggling families who have been directly impacted by the pandemic by delivering weekly food parcels and other support services. Through this particular service we have made up and delivered over 2600 food parcels which equates to 11,000 individuals since April 2020. We are funded purely by donations from kind members of the public and local businesses. Our belief is that all people should be treated with dignity, respect, kindness, equality and included in the local community.

Our School Council have had a busy week, as they were also lucky enough to contribute to another fantastic community project in Shephalbury Park. They were invited by the environmental team at Stevenage Borough Council to help plant a new community orchard. The orchard is a part of the council’s strategy to support the Queen’s Green Canopy, marking her Platinum Jubilee in 2022. The aim of the orchard is that in years to come the local community will be free to come and benefit from the fruits that grow within the park.

 

It was a chilly Monday afternoon, but our committed councillors wrapped up and planted 11 trees, including apples, pears, plums and damsons. They all contributed to filling the holes with soil and adding some bark mulch to the area, along with two of our local councillors, Councillor Howells and Councillor Bainbridge. They had great fun, and have participated in leaving a legacy for our local community that will be there for many years to come!

Reading is one of the key skills our children develop at school and is fundamental to success later in their education. As we hope that school continues to return to more normal times in the new year, we would love to invite parents, carers and grandparents to become volunteer readers to support and help our learners. If you could spare an hour or more each week, ideally 1-2pm or 2-3pm we would love to hear from you.

 

We will provide some guidance and training, and you will then hear a consistent group of children read on a regular basis. 

You will find the role incredibly rewarding through being involved and seeing first-hand the progress our learners make across the year. If you are interested in volunteering for this role, please click the link below to leave your details and someone will contact you when we return after the holidays.

I wrote last week requesting some feedback from our first set of Learning Review Meetings using the School Cloud system. Thank you to those who have responded so far, but I would welcome as much feedback as possible to ensure that we understand how you felt regarding the system and structure of the meetings. I would really appreciate if you could take a couple of minutes to complete the very short survey via the link below.

Kidfit will be running a holiday camp at school throughout the Christmas holidays, where there will be multisports activities and Christmas themed arts and crafts. IF you would like more information please take a look at the flyer or booking site via the links below:

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was provided by Mr Rust who provided a selection of chocolate and rainbow cupcakes…they went down very well, thank you! 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: Arthur

R: Sonny

Y1: Eddie

Y2: Jake

Y3: Sereny

Y4: Leanna

Y5: Milly

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, grow, risk, 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: Jaxson- Stretch

Year 1: Louis- Grow              Year 2: Lillyanna- Create

Year 3: Olly- Reflect              Year 4: Bella- Stretch

Year 5: Rhyder- Grow                       Year 6: Owen- Create

I had the absolute pleasure of handing out 5 Headteacher’s Awards this week, all to learners at the lower end of our school!

 

First this week were Finley and Olivia (Y1), who proved themselves to be fantastic Shephalbury LEARNERs in their maths work. They both worked completely independently to order numbers to 20. They were both incredibly proud of their work, and rightly so! They also talked to me about the other work that they had been doing in maths and how this linked to their work on ordering.

Next up was Alfie (R) who has been a really committed Shephalbury LEARNER both at school and at home recently. He has spent time at home learning to read and write the phase 2 and some of the phase 3 tricky words. This is a fantastic attitude to have to your learning Alfie, especially as we haven’t started to learn these in school quite yet…keep it up!

 

Also in Reception this week was Sophie, for some home learning as well. She was so happy to celebrate Miss Martin’s birthday that she made her a card at home. Not only did she make a card, but independently wrote in it and clearly read out her message. A lovely thing to do, and fantastic progress in your reading and writing Sophie…super work!

 

Finally, this week is Ethan (R) for being an absolute superstar following an accident at home. I received the email below to explain how:

 

‘The other week I fell over and home and broke my ankle. As I fell I hit my head and was knocked unconscious. It was only myself and Ethan in the house and he came straight over to me and shook me until I woke up. The then got the dog out of the front room as she was jumping all over me. In this time I had passed out again from the pain. He then called his Nanny off of his iPad and told her what had happened and that I needed help. I then managed to call my partner to come home. Whilst we waited for him to get home, Ethan stayed on the phone to my mum, but also got himself ready for school, helped me move over to the sofa and made sure I was ok.’

 

This is an incredible demonstration of remaining calm, calling for help and being kind and supportive in a difficult situation. Such a brilliant showing of how caring and mature you were Ethan, we are all really proud of you!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend,

 

Ben Conway

Friday 26th November 2021

The end of an eventful week here at Shephalbury Park, and one which has seen us having to implement a few extra measures to safeguard our community. I would like to firstly thank the staff in and around our school for being flexible and adapting at very short notice to the things that we have put in place. As I have said many times before, having a team that is always working in the best interests of the community is one of the strengths of our school…and it is at times like now that really highlights this.

 

I would also like to take a moment to thank you as parents for taking a cautious approach with your children and when on site. As outlined in my letter earlier this week, we need to be pro-active in safeguarding ourselves and thank you for supporting us with this.

This week also saw us hold our first set of Learning Review Meetings using the School Cloud system. I hope that you found these conversations useful in understanding how your child/ren are currently accessing their learning, and their next steps. I would be grateful if you could spare a couple of minutes to complete a short survey to help us understand how to improve our use of the system in the future.

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was provided by Mrs Cropley who provided a range of festive themed cakes to mark the start of advent this weekend …thank you! 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: Sophie

Y1: Imogen

Y2: Violet

Y3: Mayson

Y4: Phoebe

Y5: Ella

Y6: Jamie

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, grow, risk, 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: Esmie- Create

Year 1: Rae- Reflect              Year 2: Jessica- Grow

Year 3: Ali-May- Think                     Year 4: Viktor- Stretch

Year 5: Lewis- Reflect                       Year 6: Teddy- Solve

There was one Headteacher's award this week, handed out right at the end of Friday.

 

Ashton (R) has really impressed both myself and Miss Martin with his independent writing of a story. He tried really hard to sound out each word and illustrated it really well. Great writing Ashton, well done!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend,

 

Ben Conway

Friday 19th November 2021

A fantastic end to another fabulous week here at Shephalbury Park, where we embarked on our annual ramble around Shephalbury Park in aid of Children in Need. It was great to see the whole school out together, enjoying some fresh air and physical activity. A big thank you to our Year 6 class, who support some of our youngest school members in Nursery with their walk around the park, chatting to them and encouraging them on their way around. As always, thank you for the donations that you have made to us to pass onto Children in Need…if you would like more information about where you money goes please click here.

In addition, this week we have been taking part in Just Talk Week- with this year’s theme being ‘Kindness to self – Kindness to others’. Just Talk is a positive mental health programme across Hertfordshire which involves many groups working together to support young people in recognising that it’s ok to not be ok, feeling comfortable and confident in talking about mental health,  equipping them to have tools for looking after their emotional wellbeing, and to know how to access support when it’s needed.

As a school, we already promote positive mental health amongst our learners on a daily basis, and have many strategies in place to support this. This week we have enhanced many areas around school to increase awareness further. We have introduced the reading bench, where you can snuggle up with a blanket and cushion to read books supporting our understanding of emotions and feelings. We have posted some positive mental health tips all around the school, to support in identifying and recognising how to stay positive, we have introduced a ‘thank you’ box, for anyone to write a postcard of thanks to another person and we have introduced a new member to our school community…Mr Phil Good, who is our new Wellbeing Ambassador.

 

Across the school, everyone has taken part in some sessions and activities to further discuss and support this, and this work to support everyone will continue as we move through the rest of the academic year.

Next week we will be hosting our virtual Learning Review Meetings for parents. At the time of writing, the vast majority of people have signed up for appointments using our new application School Cloud. There are still appointments available, if you are yet to sign up, you can do so by following the link below. A form will be sent home today with information regarding your child’s attainment, strengths and next steps within the curriculum so far this year. This information will form the basis of the conversations with teachers, please have it to hand when speaking to them. We also request that you find a quiet space, away from the child that we are discussing, as this will ensure that there is a focused discussion around their learning and how we can work together to support them in meeting their next steps.

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was provided by Mrs Smith who created some wonderful Pudsey cupcakes…thank you! 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: Stefan

R: Ryver

Y1: George

Y2: Kyla M

Y3: Spencer B

Y4: George B

Y5: Zafran

Y6: Ellis

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, grow, risk, 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- Grow                Reception: Ashton- Think

Year 1: Darcey- Grow                       Year 2: Charlie- Risk

Year 3: Lilly- Stretch             Year 4: Melody- Stretch

Year 5: Jayden- Create                     Year 6: Miles- Create

This week saw me hand out 7 Headteacher’s Awards for excellent work across the curriculum.

 

First up this week was Bella (Y4) for some brilliant home learning based on their topic, Ancient Egypt. Bella used her time over the weekend to research and create a wonderful fact file and map to show some key information relating to the buildings and areas around Egypt. Great work Bella, well done!

 

Next in was Fredrico (Y3), who we are really proud of this week. He has been making an extra effort with his reading recently and this effort has really paid off. He has shown himself to be a true Shephalbury LEARNER and not given up even when he has found it tough! He has progressed through his reading levels at a super rate over the last few weeks, a brilliant achievement…keep it up!

 

The next recipient is Fredrico’s sister, Melissa (YR)…she has really impressed Miss Martin this week with her commitment to independently applying the maths skills that our Reception class have been learning this week. She has worked to develop her understanding of part-whole models really well, and reflected on the errors she made to correct them! Great work Melissa!

Further up the school in Year 4 they have been focusing their English lessons on innovating the story of Egyptian Cinderella. They have all thoroughly enjoyed writing their own edited versions, but 2 members of the class have really shone this week. Firstly, Caleb should be proud of his well-structured version. He demarcated his sentences perfectly and worked really hard to independently complete his work. Anjolaoluwa received his award for the fantastic authorial voice that he maintained throughout his writing. His use of fronted adverbials and wide range of vocabulary made for a really engaging read. Super writing boys…well done!

 

And finally were two members of our Year 5 cohort for some brilliant science work. Kian T and Lewis, along with the rest of their class, have been investigating thermal insulators and conducted an investigation to try and find suitable materials for insulating a lunch box. They presented the data really well in their line graphs, and went on to write some excellent explanations and reasonings for their findings…super work!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 12th November 2021

A damp end to another busy week here at Shephalbury Park! There was a lovely buzz around the school this morning as siblings and individuals had their photos taken in the hall. There were lots of smart looking children and quite a few cheesy grins on show!

 

We came together as a school yesterday, like many across the country, to recognise and observe a period of silence in remembrance of those who have given their lives fighting for this country. We reflected on the significant contributions that our armed forces and emergency services have made, and still make, in protecting us and enabling us to live in a country with the freedoms that we have.

I have spent much time visiting lessons across the school this week, and have seen so much fantastic learning. From making World War 2 style potato dumplings in Years 5 & 6, to creating a wonderful poppy collage in EYFS, there is a breadth of learning taking place across the curriculum.

 

Not only are the learners across the school engaging well in the skills led lessons that the teachers are facilitating for them, they are also talking about their learning really well. Our learners are really developing their growth mindsets, and speak about the enjoyment of taking risks in their learning and challenging themselves.

 

This is great, as it shows how our learners are embodying our Shephalbury LEARNER principles in their lessons on a daily basis. The understanding that learning is not always easy is vitally important, as it ensures that our learners are determined to overcome these challenges, reflect on their learning and improve. My assembly this week focused on making ‘good mistakes’, i.e. making mistakes through the learning process, but reflecting on them, learning from them and overcoming them by mastering the skill.

We will be holding Learning Review Meetings (parent consultations) in the week beginning 22nd November. Due to the current COVID situation, these will be held remotely through School Cloud. Parents have been sent registration and log in instructions, and bookings will open from 4pm this afternoon. Each of the reviews will last for 9minutes, and will be based on your child’s learning so far this term. We will be sending home a Learning Review notes to structure the conversations that we have with you. You can register your details via the link below:

School Council would like to remind everyone about their plant pot competition, they are looking for as many entries as possible to ensure that what is created looks fantastic in each classroom. Each entry will earn a house point, and winners from each class will earn 5 house points each!

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was provided by Mrs Mutch who created some delightful remembrance themed poopy cupcakes…thank you! 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: Lola

R: Oliver

Y1: Isabella

Y2: Emma

Y3: Charlie

Y4: Ben

Y5: Max

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, grow, risk, 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: John-Boy- Stretch              Reception: Alfie- Think

Year 1: Henry- Stretch                      Year 2: Lilly- Risk

Year 3: Billy-Joe- Create                   Year 4: Leanna- Stretch

Year 5: Dylan- Solve                         Year 6: Liam R- Grow

This week saw me hand out 6 Headteacher’s Awards for excellent work across the curriculum.

 

The three were all for learners in Year 2. Lenny B, Emily and Alfie T have worked really hard in their sequence of English lessons based on the fairy tale of Cinderella. They have been innovating the story (taking a known story and changing key elements of it to make it their own) and have all re-written it including some of their own descriptive techniques, including expanded noun phrases. They were all really proud to show me their work, and we are proud of them for being great Shephalbury LEARNERS!

Next this week were two learners from our Year 1 class, also for some fantastic writing. Both Harvey and Eric wrote really well when using time conjunctions, making sure that they used the key words, but also by using their phonic knowledge to sound out the other words in their sentences. Super work boys…well done for using your phonic skills in your writing!

 

And finally this week was Melisa (Year 4) who has excelled this week in her investigations of the Egyptian number system. Much like Egyptian writing (hieroglyphics), the number system that was used by the Egyptians was made up of pictures and symbols. Melisa used her investigative skills to find out about this system and applied it to some challenges in her History lessons this week. Well done Melisa!

I know that it may seem a long way off at the moment, but the festive period is fast approaching, and as always at Shephalbury Park there is a lot planned during this time. Please keep a look out next week for a letter that outlines what is happening, when it is happening, and who is involved for the planned activities during December.

 

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 5th November 2021

Welcome back to our first week of the new half term. I hope that you all enjoyed a nice break last week!

 

We started the week with a bit of a bang…learners across the school participated in our Diwali learning day, where we learnt about the history and traditions of this important festival from different religions. You will see from the images below that time was spent creating art, making and tasting food, and making lamps.

We would like to wish the members of our community, and anyone else celebrating, a very happy Diwali!

In addition to learning about Diwali and our regular curriculum across the school, Years 3 & 4 have had a brilliant day of experiential learning with their Egyptian Learning Day today. Everyone was dressed to impress, with some incredible outfits on show, and some wonderful activities exploring different elements of Egyptian life from thousands of years ago.

 

There was also some amazing Jackson Pollock style firework painting taking place in Nursery this morning. I watched (from a distance) as learners flicked and sprayed their paint to create a lovely collaborative piece of work that will be used in the classroom.

If you would like to see more of what is going on in our classes across the school, follow the link below to look at our class blogs:

My assembly, at the beginning of the week, linked directly to our Shephalbury LEARNER attributes and focused on the power of yet. For all of us, it is vital that we recognise the importance of a growth mindset and persevere when we find things difficult. The assembly reflected on the learning process, and the difficult journey that this can sometimes be. The bumps in the road are learning opportunities, and learning happens when we overcome these bumps and achieve new things.

 

In school, we encourage our learners to recognise that the things we are learning are not ‘things we can’t do’ but are ‘things that we can’t do YET’ and by using the attributes of the Shephalbury LEARNER they will be able to achieve these. I would encourage you to use this language with your children at home when they find things difficult, as learning takes place in all environments and when we are challenged by things we can’t do yet!

A fantastic example of this was demonstrated in assembly this week by Ethan (Y4) who has displayed many of our Shephalbury LEARNER attributes in learning an incredible new skill. Not only has he mastered the art of solving a Rubik’s cube, he can complete the task in just one minute. The whole school sat in awe of Ethan as he showed his skill to everyone during assembly, and he received a fantastic reception upon completing it. This is a fantastic demonstration of a growth mindset and determination to achieve something new, well done Ethan!

Ethan Rubik's Cube

Still image for this video

Our School Council have been meeting weekly since last half term to discuss many different aspects of school life. One thing which they are really keen on is getting more plants into the classrooms around school. Seth shared with us that having plants in a room increases the air quality by 50% and supports people’s wellbeing. With this in mind School Council have decided to buy plants for each class and have set up a plant pot designing competition. The winning designers will get to take part in a fun afternoon where they will bring their designs to life ready to be planted up and put in their classroom.

 

Each child has been given a paper copy of the letter and entry form. Further copies can be downloaded below, or collected from the box in school.

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was provided by Mrs McKenzie who created some amazing bonfire cakes with added gingerbread people with sparklers…thank you! 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: Dominica

R: Phoebe

Y1: Matthew

Y2: Max

Y3: Sofia

Y4: Damon

Y5: Ava

Y6: Katie

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, grow, risk, 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- Stretch                  Reception: Melissa G- Grow

Year 1: Charlie- Stretch                                Year 2: Daniel- Stretch

Year 3: Ephraim- Think                    Year 4: Noorisha- Stretch

Year 5: Ruby- Reflect                        Year 6: Noah- Solve

This week saw me hand out 4 Headteacher’s Awards for excellent work across the curriculum.

 

The first award was handed out to Liam R (Y6) for his fantastic work during Diwali Learning Day on Monday. His class were tasked with creating a symmetrical rangoli pattern using rice and lentils. Miss Cordner was particularly impressed by Liam’s concentration and focus throughout the activity. Well done Liam!

 

Next was another of our Year 6 learners, Alan. He had furthered his art learning at home, creating some lovely silhouette images with blended watercolours for the sky. This is something our older learners had done in relation to their learning around World War II. A great commitment to furthering your learning at home Alan, well done!

 

One of youngest pupils was next for an award this week, TJ (Reception) came to me early this week with some fantastic independent writing. In class, they had been discussing the noises that fireworks make, and TJ took himself off to the writing table and used his phonic knowledge to write the words that he thought of. Amazing work TJ!

 

The final recipient of a Headteacher’s Award this week was Roma, who received her award in assembly. In the week prior to half term, Roma represented our School at the annual Stevenage Singing Day event, which brings together pupils from across the schools in the town to learn some songs and put on a performance at the end of the day. Roma was a fantastic ambassador for Shephalbury Park, both in her attitude to the activities of the day and in her behaviour. Thank you Roma, and well done…we are all really proud of you!

I know that many of you will go to organised displays or hold your own at home or with friends. Please remember to take sensible precautions for yourselves and your families if you are around fireworks this weekend. For extra information and some top tips please have a look at the websites below:

I hope that you all have a great weekend,

 

Ben Conway

Thursday 21st October 2021

We have all made it to the end of the first half term of the 2021-2022 academic year! It has been an incredibly busy 7½ weeks for everyone involved here at Shephalbury Park and many things to be positive about.

 

Our Hertfordshire Improvement Partner, Carole Hinstridge, who visits our school on a termly basis, joined us this week. She works with myself, and the rest of the staff, to evaluate the work that we are doing to develop and improve the work of the school. Our focus for the visit was looking at the latest school development of writing. I wrote in my blog a couple of weeks ago that we are now using the sequences and structures of Talk 4 Writing, and we went on a learning walk around the school to assess the impact that this is having.

 

It was fantastic to see how well our learners are rising to the expectations that we are setting of them within their writing. They are all enjoying the processes in developing their writing further and this is evident in the progress that we are seeing in the writing that is being produced. Alongside this many of our learners are now regularly demonstrating and speaking about being Shephalbury LEARNERS, and understanding how this is having an impact on their learning. Carole was highly complementary of the progress that we are making as a school in the areas of key developments, and we are looking forward seeing more progress with this in the coming months.

 

As always, the progress and success of any developments within school are down to the hard work and commitment of the entire staff team. I have said it many times before, but the desire and determination by our staff at Shephalbury to do the best that they can for our learning community is amazing. They all care deeply and go the extra mile in all that they do, and we are very lucky to have a team that work in this way…thank you!

Within an inclusive and multicultural society, it is vitally important that we all educate ourselves to ensure that acceptance and equality are at the heart of it. Our learning over the last few weeks has focused on further developing our understanding of, and celebrating Black History. Across the school, we have learnt about significant individuals, as well as exploring themes such as human rights, identity, trade, modern Africa, The Caribbean and British culture and heritage. Learners have been fully engaged in all areas of the curriculum, and taken much from the learning that has taken place.

We have had some lovely news in the last week, Mrs Hart gave birth to her first child, Everly at the end of last week. Huge congratulations to Mrs Hart, her husband Tom and their new addition.

I am sure that you will all be aware of the fact that we have been supporting the Foodshed with our harvest appeal this year. Your support and response has been amazing! A massive thank you to everyone who donated something for those in need. As you will see from the pictures below we have collected many items that will be gratefully received by the charity. Many thanks to Mrs Spiller, our community champion, for organising the collection.

 

We also welcomed Reverend Kate Sharples to school today to lead our harvest assembly. She spoke with the children regarding the significance of harvest and we sang songs together. We were also treated to Mr Hobbs’ famous harvest loaf as a centrepiece to our display, thank you!

With half term coming up next week, you may be looking for something to get you out into the fresh air. Claire Smith, parent and governor, has put together a Halloween Hunt around Shephalbury Park for families to take part in. There are 6 letters hiding around the park for you to find and make the Halloween themed word. Thank you for creating this, and good luck to anyone who takes on the challenge!

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was provided by Mrs Ramus, who reliably informs me that the bakes were created by her dad…thank you! The Halloween chocolate brownies with googly eyes went down very well with all who tried one.

 

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

 

N: Maison

R: Felicity B

Y1: Olivia

Y2: Vinnie

Y3: Jude

Y4: Noorisha

Y5: Emily

Y6: Alan

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 for the end of this half term.

 

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, grow, risk, 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- Think                                 Reception: Felicity S- Reflect

Year 1: Alys- Create                          Year 2: Lenny B- Reflect

Year 3: William- Think                                  Year 4: George P- Think

Year 5: Hannah- Think                                 Year 6: Logan- Think

This week saw me hand out 2 Headteacher’s Awards, both for some great writing.

 

First of all was to Lewis (Y6) for some exceptionally good persuasive writing as a part of their RE learning. Year 6 were tasked with writing a letter to a key religious figure to help with a modern day issue. Lewis wrote to Buddha to ask for help with panic buying and deforestation. It was a great letter…well done Lewis!

 

And secondly was Riley (Y4) for his excellent biographical writing about Walter Tull. He had researched the Life of Walter and carefully planned his writing. Once he had done this and refined it, Riley presented it beautifully in the form of a poster. Great work Riley!

After half term we will be supporting the Royal British Legion with their annual poppy appeal by selling poppies at school.

As we enter half term I would like to wish you all a restful and safe week at home with your families. I look forward to welcoming you all back to school, refreshed and eager to go on Monday 1st November!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 15th October 2021

We have made it to another Friday, and with one more week to go until half term we are seeing some fantastic learning taking place throughout the school!

 

Over the last couple of days I have listened to some rather inspiring talks given at the Headteacher’s conference, and there have been many things to take on board and learn from. Scientist Kevin Fong gave a particularly good talk on the importance and relevance of science in our everyday lives. He ended with talk with a quote from Professor Stephen Hawking which I feel aligns really well with our Shephalbury LEARNER attributes and growth mindset principles:

Now onto our celebrations for the week. Mrs Dean enjoyed the opportunity to hold today’s tea party in my absence, and this week’s cakes were provided by Miss Gibson. Thank youy for the delicious cupcakes that were provided!

 

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

 

N: Isla

R: Teddy

Y1: Florence

Y2: Tommy

Y3: Joshua

Y4: Nevaeh

Y5: Maya

Y6: Lewis

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, grow, risk, 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- Stretch                     Reception: Tommy- Stretch

Year 1: Lexie- Stretch                             Year 2: Zaki- Risk

Year 3: Mina- Grow                      Year 4: Yumna- Grow

Year 5: Joe- Solve                         Year 6: Archie- Grow

This week saw me hand out 2 Headteacher’s Awards.

 

First up this week was Molly (Y2) who has really enjoyed the Katie Morag stories that Year 2 have been basing their writing on. She has enjoyed it so much that she has written and illustrated her own Katie Morag book at home. It was fantastic to read it , and the pictures were brilliant…well done Molly!

 

The second award was for Kyrillos (Y4) and his fantastically constructed sweet pyramid. Inspired by their creative curriculum topic of Ancient Egypt, Kyrillos initially created a skittles pyramid to share with his friends. This, however, needed some further work, and he persevered and listened to the feedback given by his teachers and created something fantastic to share with his friends. Awesome work!

I hope that you all have a great weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 8th October 2021

The end of this week was marked by our fantastic House Cross Country competition. It was amazing to see everyone in their house colours, working hard to represent their team and compete for bonus house points to contribute towards their total score. Everyone who took part was rewarded with points depending on where they finished. The team spirit that was built up through our House Afternoon a couple of weeks ago was clearly evident, and good sportspersonship was on show from everyone!

 

Below you will see the boys and girls who excelled and finished in first place:

Reception

Ralph

Bella

Year 1

Flynn

Tia

Year 2

Tommy

Ottilie

Year 3

Ethan

Pippa

Year 4

Elijah

Jamila

Year 5

Cade

Summer

Year 6

Teddy

Keeley

 

And the overall points totals were as follows:

1st

Phoenix 900

2nd

Dragons 852

3rd

Griffin 801

4th

Unicorns 719

I wrote a couple of weeks ago regarding Mr Gorman leaving us after 5 years of working hard to develop and maintain our site and buildings. We thank him for his service to our community and wish him the best of luck in his new role.

 

From Monday our staff team will be joined by Matt Haslett, who has held the role of site manager in a couple of local Stevenage schools. We are excited to welcome him to the Shephalbury Park community and I am sure that you will all make him feel welcome!

A massive thank you to everyone who supported the Macmillan cake sale last week, there were many incredible creations, and all of the cakes went down incredible well with our learners and staff. We raised a fantastic £297 for a very worthy cause, thank you!

 

For the second half of next week I will be attending the Hertfordshire Headteacher’s Conference, which this year is focusing on ‘Leading and developing the knowledge within’. There are many interesting key note speakers, and opportunities to support us on our continual journey of developing the school that we are so proud of. In my absence, Mrs Cropley and Mrs Dean will be readily available should you need them.

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was provided by Mrs Lee who created some incredible autumnal cupcakes, thank you! 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: Emily

R: Katalea

Y1: Connie

Y2: Eliannah

Y3: Tyler

Y4: Olivia

Y5: Skye

Y6: Keeley

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

 

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, grow, risk, 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: Lola- Create                                   Reception: Albert- Grow

Year 1: Harvey- Grow                                   Year 2: Kyla D- Grow

Year 3: Spencer C- Risk                                Year 4: Anjolaoluwa- Grow

Year 5: Ezme- Create                                    Year 6: Jamie- Think

 

This week saw me hand out 5 Headteacher’s Awards for a variety of fantastic reasons.

 

The first award was handed out to Kian (Y4). As a regular attendee at our Tea Pot provision after school, Kian has developed an interest in nurturing and growing vegetables in our vegetable plots around school. This week he harvested hi first ever pumpkin, something to be very proud of…well done Kian!

 

Another member of Year 4 who has been rewarded this week is Seth, who is really enjoying his learning about Ancient Egypt. After performing his own research and creating a fact file about the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, Seth made his own gingerbread pyramid structure. I was extremely impressed by the construction of this, and I am reliably informed by the Year 4 pupils that is was very tasty as well! Great work Seth!

 

The next 2 awards are for some brilliant improvements in their writing. Both Alessia (Y5) and Melody (Y4) have been working really hard at improving both their handwriting and the content of their writing. It was really clear looking over the work that both girls had done so far this term how much progress they have made already. Amazing work girls!

 

And my final award this week went to Albert (Reception) not only was he demonstrating many of our Shephalbury LEARNER attributes including create, he persevered when gluing and making his ‘conker critter’. As you will see below, Albert had used a variety of different resources to create this, and continued going even when some of his parts repeatedly wouldn’t stick together. A great attitude to have Albert…well done!

I hope that you all have a great weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 1st October 2021

As we enter October on a bit of a dreary note, at school I have seen so many brilliant thigs throughout the week.

 

Last week we all got together in blue to support Mrs Smith in her challenge of completing 1,000,000 steps in aid of Diabetes UK. Along with everyone looking great, we managed to raise a brilliant £303 for the charity. Thank you to everyone who made a donation. To see where the money we raised goes please follow the link below:

 

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/

 

We continued our charitable support this week by recognising the Big Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan. Everyone was treated to a cake at break time…a huge thank you to everyone who donated cakes and made a contribution to buy one. I will update you on the total raised next week.

We have been very fortunate this year to have benefited from some additional grant funding from Stevenage Community Trust. We have invested this money in the work that we do with our School Family Worker Charlotte. She works with groups of pupils at school in a variety of circumstances, as well as providing additional support for families in their own homes. If you would like to find out about the great work that Stevenage Community Trust does around our town please follow the link below:

 

https://www.stevenagecommunitytrust.org/

 

I have requested over the last few weeks that all of our families take time to read, discuss and understand our expectations of them concerning their behaviour and commitment to learning as a part of our community, and complete the online form. Thank you to those of you who have already completed this.

 

A part of our agreement sets out our expectations about the use of social media and messaging groups by parents. I would urge all parents to respect this and follow the correct channels of communication should they have a concern or something to discuss with us at school.

 

If you are yet to do so, please take a few minutes to read our Home School Agreement below with your child/ren and discuss it. Once you have done so please follow the link and complete the form.

Next Friday we will be holding our House Cross Country championships. Pupils from across the school will complete the course, each of them earning points for their team. Every point will count, as they will all be totalled together to find out who our winners will be!

 

All children will be expected to come to school in their PE kit (they may wear their house colour t-shirt) and bring a spare pair of trainers that you don’t mind getting muddy in a carrier bag.

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was provided by Mrs Spiller who created some amazing Bucket Filler biscuits…thank you! 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: Jaxon

R: Phoebe

Y1: Tia

Y2: Alfie B

Y3: Ali-May

Y4: Laura

Y5: Ruby

Y6: Ruby

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, recognised those who have had a birthday this week, 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, grow, risk, 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: Leo- Solve               Reception: Sebastian- Think

Year 1: Poppy- Grow                         Year 2: Alfie T- Risk

Year 3: Emilia- Think                                    Year 4: Riley- Stretch

Year 5: Sophia G                                Year 6: Hobie- Reflect

This week saw me hand out 4 Headteacher’s Awards 3 for excellent work in English. Since May this year we have adapted the way that our learners are developing their writing skills using Talk 4 Writing principles to structure our learning. If you would like to find out a bit more about Talk 4 Writing please watch the video via the link below:

The first award was handed out to Elliot in Year 1. He had amazed both Mrs Cargill and Mrs Levy with the progress that he had made from writing his cold task at the start of his English unit, to the hot task at the end. He retold a version of a Katie Morag story fantastically well through his writing. On top of this he was able to analyse and discuss the different parts to his story. A great start to Year 1 Elliot…keep it up!

Next was one of our oldest leaners, Liam B (Y6) who has worked really hard this week on developing his use of personification for effect in his writing. Our Year 6 learners have been linking their English work with their Creative Curriculum topic of World War II, and this week have been developing their descriptive techniques. Liam’s thoughtful and considered use of language to describe a war memorial was fantastic…well done!

 

The next recipient of a Headteacher’s Award this week was Mayson (Y3). Year 3 have been focusing their English on traditional tales over the last few weeks, and Mayson has done a brilliant job at writing some sentences and improving his handwriting. We are really proud of you Mayson…well done!

Finally this week was Viktor (Y4) for excellent growth in his maths work. His class had been focusing on Roman Numerals, something that Viktor found tricky to start with. However, he took a risk and worked as hard as he could progressing through the challenges that were set for him until he mastered it, and applied his knowledge and understanding. Great work Viktor!

I hope that you all have a great weekend and the weather brightens up a bit for us all!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 24th September 2021

Another busy week across the school has ended with a sea of blue as we support Mrs Smith in raising money for Diabetes UK. A huge thank you to everyone for your donations!

Over the course of the week Mrs Cropley, Mrs Dean and I have been visiting all of our classes to see how our learners have settled back into our school expectations. It is clear how motivated learners are across the school and how much time, effort and energy our staff are putting in to create fantastic opportunities for learning.

 

Last week we wished Mrs McKenzie well on her attempt to complete the London to Brighton bike ride. I am delighted to say that she achieved her goal of successfully completing the ride in good time. This is something that I know she has committed a lot of time and energy to over the last few months, and we are all really pleased for her, and glad that we could support her along the way.

Next Friday we will be supporting another charity that I know many of you will have supported in the past. We will be taking part in the ‘Big Coffee Morning’ in aid of Macmillan. We will be providing all pupils with a cake so that they are able to take part.

 

If you are able to provide some bakes please ensure that they are nut and sesame free and drop them off on the stable on either Thursday or Friday morning next week. We would encourage you to make a donation via Gateway, although cash will be accepted on Friday (no change will be given). To find out more about the work that Macmillan do please follow the link below:

 

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/

 

Earlier on this week learners from across the school got to take part in their first House Afternoon of the year. This was a chance for pupils to get together with the other staff and pupils that are in their house team, participate in some teams building games, sing songs and create a joint display for their board in the hall. It was great to see learners of all ages working together to support each other and build up their team comradery…we are looking forward to the next one already!

Today we said a temporary farewell to Mrs Hart who is beginning her maternity leave. We are wishing her, and her husband, much luck and sending best wishes for the next few weeks and beyond as they prepare for the birth of their first child.

 

Someone else who we will be saying goodbye to in the next few weeks is Mr Gorman, who after 5 years working at Shephalbury Park will be leaving us for a job in private industry facilities maintenance. I would like to extend my thanks to him on behalf of our school community for the work and development that he has contributed to our school during his time here. We are incredibly fortunate to have such well maintained and well developed facilities and this is a result of Mr Gorman’s skills and commitment to his role. Thank you!

 

We are currently advertising for a new caretaker, if you or anyone that you know would be interested in finding out more about the role, or if you know someone that would like to apply please follow the link below:

Now onto our celebrations for the week. This week Mrs Dean very kindly provided our Bucket Fillers with a choice of cakes, jam and buttercream sandwich, chocolate icing sandwich or a plain fairy bun. Needless to say they were all a massive hit at my tea party…thank you to Mrs Dean for making them!

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week for demonstrating all of the traits that we expect of a Bucket Filler around our school:

 

N: Elara

R: Isabelle

Y1: Eleanor

Y2: Joy

Y3: Ephraim

Y4: George P

Y5: Ethan M

Y6: Henry

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, recognised those who have had a birthday this week, 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, grow, risk, 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- Think                                 Reception: Esmie - Create

Year 1: Henry G- Risk                                   Year 2: Tommy- Grow

Year 3: Bella- Think                                       Year 4: Damon- Grow

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

Also handed out in assembly this week for the first time in a while, were our Numbots and TTRS certificates. There were many learners recognised as they have been working hard to achieve new levels in both activities. A huge well done to all of those who received certificates, especially in our Year 1 class where they have only just started their Numbots journey!

This week saw me hand out a whole host of Headteacher’s Awards.

 

Firstly was one of our arrivals in Reception…Phoebe visited me this week with her amazing poster created about the story of Room on the Broom. She had made some thoughtful choices in creating it and could tell me much of the story. A great start to your journey as a Shephalbury LEARNER…keep it up Phoebe!

Next up this week were 3 learners from our Year 4 class. Laura, Kyrillos and Anjolaoluwa have all excelled in their writing this week, using the strategies and structures of talk4writing to create brilliant build up sections for their fantasy stories. They had each carefully chosen, purposeful vocabulary that gave their writing a great sense of atmosphere. They each shared sections of their work in assembly, which was really well received! Super writing guys…well done!

And my final 3 awards were all for the same reason, and linked to our House Afternoon. Cade, Amelia Q and Hobie (all in Phoenix) really impressed the adults working with their team for the care and support that they provided for the younger members of their team. Fantastic citizenship and responsibility shown by all of them…well done we are proud of you!

As we close out on another week I would just like to take the opportunity to remind you all of a couple of things that we can be doing to keep our community safe. There are currently lots of general illnesses going around at the moment, along with COVID. Symptoms for COVID can be very similar to many common illnesses.

 

Our best defence for minimising the disruption that COVID can cause in school is by being vigilant and cautious in our approach. If you suspect your child is ill I would request that you take them for a PCR test to rule out COVID and keep our school community safe.

 

That brings us to the end of the week, I hope that you all enjoy your weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 17th September 2021

The end of another week, and as usual we finished off by celebrating the achievements of some of our learners with our celebration assembly!

 

At the start of the week, we welcomed all of our Nursery cohort to complete our full complement of classes. They have all settled in fantastically well, and are thoroughly enjoying their opportunity to explore their classroom and the outside area. Mrs Mutch and the team have been really impressed with the way that they have settled into life at Shephalbury Park.

 

On Thursday this week, we recognised National Teaching Assistants Day. The support staff in our school contribute immensely to the provision that we are able to offer to our community. I would like to thank them all for this, as I know how much difference they all make to life at Shephalbury Park.

Like many of you, I watched Emma Radacanu complete her fairytale win at the US Open. A fantastic achievement that has come about due to her hard work, dedication and confidence in her own abilities. Someone else who has put a lot of hard work and dedication into something recently is Mrs McKenzie. This weekend she will be tackling the London to Brighton bike ride in aid of Sepsis UK. We wish her the best of luck and look forward to hearing about her ride on Monday!

In my previous blog I requested that parents/carers and pupils read, discuss and understand our expectations of them with regards to their behaviour and commitment to learning as a part of our community and complete the online form. Thank you to those of you who have already completed this.

 

If you are yet to do so, please take a few minutes to read the document below with your child/ren and discuss it. Once you have done so please follow the link and complete the form.

Some of the more eagle eyed of you may have noticed that Mrs Lewis is expecting her second child. We are all delighted for her and her family and wish her well throughout her pregnancy!

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week. The catering for this week’s Bucket Filler’s tea party was provided by……, a huge thank you for the…. 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:

 

 

R: Melissa G

Y1: Finley

Y2: Molly

Y3: Olly

Y4: Amelia

Y5: Kian M

Y6: Luca

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, recognised those who have had a birthday this week, 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, grow, risk, 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:

 

Reception: Georgi - Grow

Year 1: Ronnie - Stretch                   Year 2: McKenzie - Reflect

Year 3: Ethan C - Stretch                               Year 4: Ethan - Stretch

Year 5: Summer - Grow                                Year 6: Raynie - Create

This week saw me hand out 2 Headteacher’s Awards.

 

The first one was for Louis (Y1) for his fantastic story plan. He used a story mountain to plan the story of Katie Morag delivers the mail, and could retell it in great detail. A great start to Year 1 Louis…well done!

Secondly was Dominica (N), who has only be with us for a week. Our Nursery learners have really enjoyed the story ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ and Dominica created a brilliant picture that helped her to retell parts of the story. It was lovely to hear her describe the different parts to me. Great work Dominica…keep it up!

That brings us to the end of the week, I hope that you all have a restful weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 10th September 2021

Good afternoon! We have arrived at the end of an unusually hot first full week of the 2021-2022 academic year and we are all settling into things really well.

 

We have welcomed all of our Reception class back to school this week. They have all had lots of fun exploring their new classroom, and reacquainting themselves with the EYFS garden area. Alongside this, many of them are experiencing our school meals for the first time as well. They have done a great job so far, and they have all proven themselves to have excellent manners in and around the dining hall.

 

Also joining us this week are our new Nursery class. They have all had the opportunity to spend two mornings with Mrs Mutch and the team getting to know each other and their new surroundings. They too have all done fantastically well and we are really proud of the start that all of them have made to their journey with us at Shephalbury Park.

It was lovely to be able to welcome many of you to meet the teachers at school this week. Our learners in all year groups have spent time getting to know and understand the new expectations in their year groups, and we know how much they enjoy being able to show you their learning environments. As a school, we thrive on the positive relationships we develop with all stakeholders, and are excited by the prospect of hopefully, being able to re-establish more opportunities to meet and share with you over this coming year.

 

On my journeys around school and into classrooms, I have already seen a fantastic array of learning taking place across the curriculum. Learners creating and using story maps for the development of their writing, learners challenging themselves at different levels in maths and learners accessing the wonderful array of books in our beautiful library. All classes have a purposeful and calm atmosphere, something that we should all be proud of!

 

At this time of year we request that parents/carers and pupils read, discuss and understand our expectations of them with regards to their behaviour and commitment to learning as a part of our community. Below you will find a copy of our Home School Agreement, please ensure that you read it together and understand the expectations that are set out in it. Once you have done this, please complete the survey (via the link below) to confirm that both you and your child/ren agree to uphold these expectations. Thank you all in advance!

Mrs Smith has been taking on the ‘One Million Step Challenge’ in aid of Diabetes UK over the last couple of months, and is very close to making it to two million steps! We would like to offer her our support in raising money for this very worthy charity. On Friday 24th September we will be having a wear blue to school day (non-school uniform, wear some blue clothes) in return for a £1 donation to supplement Mrs Smith’s efforts in raising money. Either pupils can bring their donation to school, or it can be made via the Gateway app.

 

If you would like to find out more about Diabetes UK and what your donation will be going towards please follow the link below:

Now onto our first celebrations of the year. This week inparticular held much excitement for many, as we saw the return of Mr Conway’s Bucket Fillers’ Tea Party for the first time in nearly 18 months. Those learners who are nominated by their teacher on a weekly basis get the chance to attend my office for a special tea party with cakes and drinks. It is always a highlight of my week, as is seeing what the other members of staff have baked/bought for the children.

 

A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week. They were all treated to some of Mr Conway’s very special chocolate chunk muffins:

 

 

R: Teddy-James

Y1: Skylar

Y2: Freddie

Y3: Sofia

Y4: James

Y5: Lewis

Y6: Richie

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates, recognised those who have had a birthday this week, 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, grow, risk, 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:

 

Reception: Jaiden-Risk

Year 1: Daniel-Think                         Year 2: Emily-Stretch

Year 3: Roma-Create                         Year 4: Phoebe-Stretch

Year 5: Alessia-Solve                         Year 6: Henry-Solve