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Shephalbury ParkPrimary School

Imagine, Believe, Achieve

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Mr Conway's Blog 2022-2023

Friday 3rd February

As we enter the shortest month of the year and approach half term, it has been another jam packed week in and around our wonderful school!

 

We welcomed Daniel, Lauren and Grace to school this week from Guide Dogs:

 

‘The Guide Dogs story started in 1931 with two amazing British pioneers, Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond. These remarkable women organised the training of the first four British guide dogs from a humble lock up garage in Wallasey, Merseyside.

 

We’ve come a very long way since those early days. Today Guide Dogs is the world's largest breeder and trainer of working dogs. And thanks to our dedicated staff and volunteers – and your vital donations – 36,000 lives have been transformed through a guide dog partnership since 1931.’

 

In an assembly, Daniel told us all about the charity and what they do to support blind people across the country. Lauren described how Grace helps her to get out and about, find the right place to be and also how she uses her training to keep her safe. Grace demonstrated this by leading Lauren around some barriers set up in the hall and showing Lauren where her chair was for her to sit down.

 

Following the assembly, our visitors spent time in each class taking questions and allowing everyone to meet Grace close up. It was a lovely experience for us all, and everyone – adults included – learnt a lot about how guide dogs support and enable people who are blind to maintain independence and how they keep them safe. It also gave us an insight into the work that Guide Dogs charity does to continue to breed and train so many dogs across the country.

 

A huge thank you to Daniel, Lauren and Grace for visiting us, and to Mrs Mutch for organising this informative experience. If you would like to learn more about Guide Dogs charity please follow the link below:

Last night our Year 5 netballers were back in league action, heading over to St Nicholas school to take them on. In a tight and tense match, I am reliably informed, that our girls were really determined and came out on top…winning 3 – 2. A great result, well done to the team and Mrs McKenzie for her coaching!

 

This weekend sees the Hertfordshire County Cross Country Championships taking place in St Albans. We have 7 entrants for the races, which stretch over 1.6km of parkland at Westminster Lodge. Each of our Shephalbury runners has been training hard with some early morning sessions around our field. This is a great opportunity for them to test themselves against other schools from across the county. They will all look great in our new sports tops and I know that they will all represent our school well and try their very best. Good luck to them all and I look forward to sharing some photos with you all next week!

 

They are not the only members of our school community who are heading out to run this weekend. Miss Martin, who is training for the London Marathon, will be testing herself in a half marathon, and I will be running around central London this weekend participating in the Winter 10km run. Let's hope that we are both as determined in our running as our Shephalbury Cross Country team!

 

I’m going to put one last call out for the following, which I have been sharing over the last couple of weeks…I am really pleased that we have received photos of learners at home participating in sports and physical activity. I am still looking for as many as possible to add to my display which shows what sports and physical activities we are all involved in during our own time (staff members will be included as well!). Please send in a photo of your child in action with a short piece of text that tells us about what they do and why they do it. Please send these to me via the main school office email, with the subject ‘Sports Display’- admin@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk

 

 

Today we recognised and celebrated NSPCC Number Day through engaging in a wide range of number based activities around the school. This day supports the NSPCC in raising awareness of the charity and its work. Have a look below at what was going on!

 

 

Our volunteers who are in the process of formally reforming The Friends of Shephalbury Park (FOSP), met last night to finalise plans for their first AGM meeting. At this meeting those who would like official roles within the core committee will be voted on and discussions about the future direction of the group will happen. See below for the revised meeting date. They will be looking for anyone who is willing to be a part of the committee, a volunteer or just attend the meeting through a quick survey. This will be shared next week.

 

 

In the meantime, FOSP will be setting up a Christmas Jumper donation table during drop off each day next week. If you have any jumpers, that will not fit you children next year and are in good enough condition to go into a second hand sale next year, please look out for the sign below by the stable from Monday morning.

Next week we will be recognising and celebrating Feel Good Week with a range of activities to support our learners in continuing to develop their understanding of how to stay mentally healthy and support others in doing so too. If you would like to find out more please follow the link below, and look out for information of what’s been going on in next week’s blog.

Now onto our celebrations for the week, and there are couple of new regular awards beginning this week.

 

We are working hard with Stevenage Football Club Foundation (SFCF) in our curriculum PE time to provide high quality PE learning, and many of our learners are really engaging well with the curriculum. Each week our staff, along with the SFCF team, will be awarding a PE Star of the Week award. Our first winners are listed below:

 

N:   -

R: Archie

Y1: -

Y2: Florence

Y3: Max

Y4: -

Y5: Seth

Y6: Ezme

This week Mr Klein baked some delicious Mars Bar crispie cakes for Bucket Filler’s tea party, the chocolate was everywhere and they were thoroughly enjoyed by all! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N: Leo H

R: Lola

Y1: Teddy

Y2: Elliot

Y3: Emily

Y4: Charlie

Y5: Kingsley

Y6: Kian M

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 and stretch 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:

 

N: Hiba - Solve

R: Dominic - Stretch

Y1: Jaiden – Think

Y2: Imogen - Stretch

Y3: Max – Grow

Y4: Billy-Joe – Stretch

Y5: Anjolaoluwa - Grow

Y6: Rhyder - Create

Phil’s question this week this week was ‘Where is your happy place?’ and I have had lots of lovely conversations with many of our learners considering where they would call their safe place.

 

As always the thought and consideration that has gone to all of the answers has blown Mrs McKenzie and Mrs Dean away. It goes a long way to demonstrating the kind, thoughtful and supportive attitude demonstrated throughout our school. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Olivia Y3- ‘My happy place is the beach because it is very peaceful when the waves crash onto the sand.’

 

Leanna Y5- ‘My happy place is with my friends and family because they make me happy, and nothing else really makes me happy unless I’m with them.’

 

Isla D YR- ‘My bedroom because it has lots of teddies in there.’

We unveiled The Masked Scientist this week, and it was the first woman to win a Nobel prize, the Polish born, French physicist Marie Curie. Well done to everyone who worked out the correct answer, especially to our winners…Emilia, Billy-Joe and Freddie all in Y4!

We unveiled The Masked Scientist this week, and it was the first woman to win a Nobel prize, the Polish born, French physicist Marie Curie. Well done to everyone who worked out the correct answer, especially to our winners…Emilia, Billy-Joe and Freddie all in Y4!

Yet another week with 6 Headteacher’s awards!

 

First was Charlie (Y3) who has been inspired by Year 3’s science topic on light. He went home and created his own poster describing how the moon is not a light source, complete with diagram. Great work Charlie!

 

Next was Freddie (Y4) for his continued effort and improvement in improving his spelling. It is something which Freddie has found tough, however he epitomises our Shephalbury LEARNER approach and is using his strategies to improve every single day. Awesome work!

In Year 4 this week I have privileged to see some amazing cross-curricular use of art skills. Whilst learning about Sikhism in RE, the class have been engrossed in understanding more about the Golden Temple in Amristar. The class were tasked with using their sketching skills – developed in art – to draw their interpretation of the magnificent building. Fredrico, William and Charlie all produced some incredible drawings. Super work guys!

And the final award this week wen to Elliot (Y2) for a great improvement in his writing. He has been working really hard on his handwriting and the content of each piece, and it is really paying off. Keep it up!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 27th January

As we reach the end of another incredibly busy week there is much to share with you all!

 

We kicked off the week with a visit from our friends at the Hertfordshire Fire Service who led our Monday assembly. They shared a little about some of the jobs that they do, the gear that they use and how to stay safe in and around our homes. They offered some top tips and let us know some of the services that they provide, including checking and fitting smoke alarms in our homes for free. If you would like more information about how you can stay safe at home and access this free service please follow the link below:

You will remember that last week I shared an image of two of our resident squirrels. Having seen this information in my blog we inspired some more research to be done, and I have been informed that our white squirrel resident is considerably rare! I have been following this up with some people with more expertise and will be sharing more information as and when we have it.

 

On Tuesday this week, our Year 1 and 2 learners all visited Reverend Kate at St Peter’s church to enrich their RE learning around symbolism and key artefacts. They all came back having explored the church and singing some lovely songs!

A group of Year 4 & 5 learners visited Barnwell this week to participate in a badminton workshop led by Stevenage Sporting Futures. They all had a fantastic time and were recognised for their self-belief throughout the afternoon, leading them to be awarded a certificate and one of the SFT bears. In addition to this they were the first wearers of our fantastic new sports kit, which looked amazing. A huge well done to the whole group!

Linked to sport, I am really pleased that we have received photos of learners at home participating in sports and physical activity. I am still looking for as many as possible to add to my display which shows what sports and physical activities we are all involved in during our own time (staff members will be included as well!). Please send in a photo of your child in action with a short piece of text that tells us about what they do and why they do it. Please send these to me via the main school office email, with the subject ‘Sports Display’- admin@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk

 

Today Year 5 participated in a Love Your Heart session, learning some really important skills including how to administer CPR, putting people in the recovery position and how to use a defibrillator. It was an engaging and informative lesson for them all, with some skills and understanding that will stay with them for life.

You may be aware of the new woodland currently being created in Stevenage. The project is being developed in Fairlands Valley Park and has kicked off this week with various schools helping to plant the first batch of saplings. We sent our Eco-Council to help with the planting today, and to help contribute to a green future for our wider Stevenage community.

We have recently secured some place for a small choir, of Year 5 & 6 learners, to take part in the Hertfordshire Music Service annual music gala at The Royal Albert Hall. This is an amazing opportunity to come together with other schools and perform in one of the most iconic buildings in London. Both Mrs Oustayiannis and I are really excited to be a part of this yet again and are looking for a couple more singers to join our group. If you are interested in your Y5 or 6 child participating please let Mrs Oustayiannis know through the school office.

We have been notified about a warm space which may be of interest to some of our families or wider community. This space is accessible to all as advertised on the image below.

Now onto our celebrations for the week, and there are couple of new regular awards beginning this week.

 

We are working hard with Stevenage Football Club Foundation (SFCF) in our curriculum PE time to provide high quality PE learning, and many of our learners are really engaging well with the curriculum. Each week our staff, along with the SFCF team, will be awarding a PE Star of the Week award. Our first winners are listed below:

 

N:   -

R: Henry

Y1: Esmie

Y2: Henry G

Y3: Lenny B

Y4: Bella

Y5: James

Y6: Maya

This week Mrs Cargill provided some delicious chocolate muffins for Bucket Filler’s tea party, they were thoroughly enjoyed by all! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N: Levi

R: Taylor

Y1: Melissa M

Y2: Elijah

Y3: Vinnie

Y4: Emilia

Y5: Ethan

Y6: Ella

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 and stretch 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:

 

N: Louie - Solve

R: Maison - Think

Y1: Oliver – Solve

Y2: Poppy - Solve

Y3: Leo – Solve

Y4: Olly – Solve

Y5: Phoebe - Stretch

Y6: Summer - Think

Phil’s question this week this week was ‘Imagine a hungry lion came into the room right now…what kind of feelings would you have and what would you do? Explain…’

 

As always the thought and consideration that has gone to all of the answers has blown Mrs McKenzie and Mrs Dean away. It goes a long way to demonstrating the kind, thoughtful and supportive attitude demonstrated throughout our school. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Lilly Y3- ‘I would feel worried and I would come down to my kitchen and try and find some meat.’

 

Theo Y2- ‘I would make sure everyone was safe, then I would call the zoo so they could take the lion away.’

 

Esmie Y1- ‘I would feel worried and ask a teacher to fight it.’

 

Naayel YR- ‘I would run away and hide. I’ll feel happy as the lion won’t eat me.’

This week I have handed out a bumper 6 Headteacher’s award, which now have a new design!

 

Steffen and Lenny B (Y3) have both been inspired by their learning about Leonardo Da Vinci and his flying contraptions. Having learnt more about them and researched Da Vinci’s original designs, both Steffen and Lenny B designed and described their very own contraptions. My particular favourites were the ‘Bopacar’ and the ‘Danger Ranger’. Super work boys…well done!

Also in Year 3, Kyla D and Autumn wowed the whole of their class with their wonderful recital of the Michael Rosen poem ‘Don’t’. They both projected their voices and read with expression which drew an applause from the engaged audience. Amazing work girls…keep it up!

 

Albert (Y1) has been applying himself incredibly well in their Design & Technology work this week. When tasked with stitching and knotting a button to a piece of felt, Albert listened to the instructions, followed them exactly and tied his own knot to secure the button. As well as all of this…he was one of the few learners that mastered the very tricky art of threading a needle. Well done Albert…we’re really proud of you!

 

And finally this week was Lenny S (Y3), who has been working really hard at mastering his understanding of Spanish. This week he independently named and wrote down the names of 10 different animals in Spanish. Bien hecho (well done) Lenny!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 20th January

A busy week here at Shephalbury Park has culminated in a fantastic enrichment opportunity for our Year 5 & 6 learners to supplement their learning about the Ancient Greeks. They have all participated in workshops today which will create a memorable learning experience for them all.

You should all have received a paper copy of the relevant curriculum letter and school dates for this term. If you have mislaid it, or would like another copy the letters are on the class pages on the school website.

 

You can also view the school events on the calendar part of the website. This can be integrated into your own online calendar should you wish so that you can keep abreast of the school events and activities. These dates may change and or be adapted/added to should additional things be added. We will of course communicate these and when we can.

We circulated a letter yesterday making you aware of the proposed dates of planned strike action by the members of the NEU trade union. This is a dispute rooted in trying to gain much needed additional funding to enable us to provide our community with the best possible learning and personal experience at primary school.

 

As I outlined in my letter, I appreciate that the potential of class and/or school closure on these dates could cause problems for childcare for families. I will keep you as best informed as possible, however some decisions may need to be taken at very short notice.

 

We are really thankful to our group of parent volunteer readers, who have started visiting the school this week to support reading across the school. We still have many more opportunities for anyone who is able and willing to give up an hour or so a week to read with some of our learners. If you want to support us further, please complete the survey via the link below and I will be in contact soon:

I am currently looking at our PE and extra-curricular sports offer across the school and know that many of our learners participate in a wide range of activities outside of school. From football to taekwondo, scooting to gymnastics there is a lot happening! We all recognise the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle to support both our physical and mental wellbeing.

 

I am looking to make a display which shows what sports and physical activities we are all involved in during our own time (staff members will be included as well!). It would be great if you could send in a photo of your child in action with a short piece of text that tells us about what they do and why they do it. Please send these to me via the main school office email, with the subject ‘Sports Display’- admin@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk

Linked to a healthy and active lifestyle, we are very fortunate to be surrounded by some lovely parkland in Shephalbury Park. Not only does this provide our community with some great open space, but it also encourages in many species of local wildlife, including squirrels, foxes and a wide range of birds.

 

This week we have had quite a few sightings of 2 of the more unusual squirrels around school. We know that there are regular sightings of black squirrels in the park, and this week they have been joined on school grounds by one of our newest residents a white squirrel. Keep your eyes peeled when on school grounds and in the surrounding lanes for these two local residents!

 

These squirrels, along with the more regular grey ones, have caused much excitement in other areas of school this week as well, contributing to one of my Headteacher’s awards below.

Now onto our celebrations for the week, and there are couple of new regular awards beginning this week.

 

We are working hard with Stevenage Football Club Foundation (SFCF) in our curriculum PE time to provide high quality PE learning, and many of our learners are really engaging well with the curriculum. Each week our staff, along with the SFCF team, will be awarding a PE Star of the Week award. Our first winners are listed below:

 

N:   -

R: Dominica

Y1: Katalea

Y2: -

Y3: Lexi

Y4: Olly

Y5: Caleb

Y6: Ruby

This week we also unmasked the 'Masked Scientist' that has been displayed in the main corridor. Well done to everyone for their guesses, especially if correctly identified that the clues were describing the Taiwanese-American scientist and inventor of the N95 respirator mask, Peter Tsai.

 

Would you have known the answer from the clues given below?

 

Well done to Ella and Lewis (Y6) for being our winners!

This week Mr Haslett provided a range of chocolate cookies for Bucket Filler’s tea party, they were thoroughly enjoyed by all! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N: Lucy

R: Arthur

Y1: Phoebe

Y2: Eleanor

Y3: Alfie B

Y4: Lily

Y5: Elijah

Y6: Cade

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 and stretch 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:

 

N: Ernie - Create

R: Kacper - Reflect

Y1: Ashton - Stretch

Y2: Darcey - Stretch

Y3: Leo - Solve

Y4: Pippa - Grow

Y5: Noorisha - Think

Y6: Jenson - Solve

This week I have handed out 1 Headteacher’s award to a learner in our EYFS.

 

Maison (YR) was inspired by the squirrel that he could see out of the Reception window, helping himself to the food on the bird feeder. He watched him take the nuts and eat them. This led Maison to use his phonic knowledge and apply it in his independent writing in the classroom. Great work Maison…keep it up!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 13th January

Welcome back to Shephalbury Park! I know that I will have seen many of you dropping off or picking up since we have returned, and for many of us the holidays are a distant memory already. I do hope that our families enjoyed and made the most of time together over the festive period and into the new year.

 

I reflected on 2022 in my communications with you all at the end of last year how proud we were of our continued drive and development to do our very best for the Shephalbury Park community. Our determination to build upon this is there, and being fired back up by our return to school. There is a lot to be positive about and grateful for, however we recognise that there is always room to grow and improve further.

 

We kicked off 2023 in style last week learning about the renowned French artist Henri Rousseau:

Henri Julien Félix Rousseau 21 May 1844 – 2 September 1910) was a French post-impressionist painter in the Naïve or Primitive manner. He was also known as Le Douanier (the customs officer), a humorous description of his occupation as a toll and tax collector. He started painting seriously in his early forties; by age 49, he retired from his job to work on his art full-time.

Ridiculed during his lifetime by critics, he came to be recognised as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality. Rousseau's work exerted an extensive influence on several generations of avant-garde artists.’

 

Across the school we used his painting ‘Surprised!’ as inspiration as we explored different media and opportunities to create our own artwork. It was amazing to see the depth of engagement, enjoyment and level of application within the lessons. Learners discussed how they applied previously learnt skills to their art- for example the use of shading and cross-hatching when sketching- and created a broad range of pieces.

 

We ended the day with a sharing assembly, with each class showing examples of their art and describing the processes that they went through to create it. It was a wonderful way to kick of the term, a huge thank you to all of our staff for planning such an immersive day.

The new year has brought a new member of staff to the team in Year 4. We welcome Miss Prendergast to our Shephalbury team and look forward to working with her over the coming terms.

 

A new term brings with it new learning, topics and events across the school. You will receive a paper copy of the relevant curriculum letter for your children today. This outlines what they will be learning, what enrichment is planned and any key dates for you to be aware of. Please read it and engage in conversation about what is coming up for your children.

 

You will also be receiving a list of key dates that are planned for over the course of this term. As I know you will all appreciate, this list may be liable to change should circumstances arise, however it is to our best knowledge at the moment. Any additions and adaptations will be communicated in due course and with as much notice as is possible. The letters have also been uploaded to each class page.

 

If you have any questions regarding this term or would like to contact your child’s class teacher, please use the class email address in the first instance or Tapestry for learners in EYFS.

 

Having read the letters and seeing what’s in the calendar, there is much to be excited about this term, trips and visitors already booked in, STEM and Mental Health Weeks, sports events and fixtures and many opportunities for curriculum enrichment, including the introduction of more peripatetic music lessons with flute, clarinet and saxaphones starting this week.

We are really thankful to our group of parent volunteer readers, who have started visiting the school this week to support reading across the school. We still have many more opportunities for anyone who is able and willing to give up an hour or so a week to read with some of our learners. If you want to support us further, please complete the survey via the link below and I will be in contact soon:

Now onto our celebrations for the week, and there are couple of new regular awards beginning this week.

 

We are working hard with Stevenage Football Club Foundation (SFCF) in our curriculum PE time to provide high quality PE learning, and many of our learners are really engaging well with the curriculum. Each week our staff, along with the SFCF team, will be awarding a PE Star of the Week award. Our first winners are listed below:

 

N:   -

R:  Kai

Y1: Jaxson

Y2:

Y3: Mckenzie

Y4: Amelia

Y5: Bethany

Y6: Kian T

This week I made some rocky roads for Bucket Filler’s tea party, which I am told were quite alright! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N:   Rosie

R: Yasmina

Y1: Ayaaz

Y2: Tia

Y3: Lenny S

Y4: Ephraim

Y5: Bella

Y6: Ethan M

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 and stretch 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:

 

N: Roco - Grow

R: Arthur - Stretch

Y1:  William - Stretch

Y2: Ronnie - Grow

Y3: Lenny B - Think

Y4: Mayson - Reflect

Y5: Ethan - Stretch

Y6: Sofia - Risk

Will Being set the question this week this week was ‘What worries or problems might children have at school?’

 

As always the thought and consideration that has gone to all of the answers has blown Mrs McKenzie and Mrs Dean away. It goes a long way to demonstrating the kind, thoughtful and supportive attitude demonstrated throughout our school. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Ephraim Y4 ‘It might be that a person wants a friend to play with and to make a good friend.’

 

Kyrillos Y5 ‘For older year groups it might be moving to secondary school’

 

Lewis Y6 ‘People at school may worry about tests or new units that they may not understand yet. They may also worry about going out at lunch or break in case an incident occurs.’

This week I have handed out 3 Headteacher’s awards, all to learners in our EYFS.

 

First this week was Naayel who has engaged in some wonderful independent reading and writing. He spent time asking and answering questions from Mrs Lee. He used his phonic knowledge well to decode the sentences, and responded with written responses. Great work Naayel…keep it up!

 

Isla K & Lola in Reception have also been working hard as Shephalbury LEARNERS this week and taking a risk when challenging themselves to identify and use the new sounds that they have been learning in their phonics lessons. It is clear that they have both been working hard in phonics and are now transferring their skills in their independent learning during exploring time. Well done girls!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend and I look forward to seeing lots of smiley faces on Monday morning!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 16th December

Well, what a difference a weekend can make to us all! The excitement of what arrived from above, with many of us over Sunday evening and into Monday morning has led to a week of fun and disruption for lots of us. Thanks to everyone who sent in their pictures of snowpeople and frolics in the snow…you can see our snow person gallery below:

After enjoying the snow at home on Monday, it was great to see most of our learning community rejoin us safely on Tuesday and the rest of this week. Across school we have had the chance to safely play out in the snow and everyone has dealt really well with the adaptations that we have put in place to ensure that we are all safe and comfortable. I would like to play particular thanks to Mr Haslett and Mr Hobbs for ensuring that our site has been safe for us access and run as normally as possible. Also thanks to our wider staff team and our families for working with us and supporting the adaptations that we have made.

 

I know that many of you will have been saddened by the sad news we shared earlier this week, much like the way it has affected our staff team. As a collective, the Shephalbury Park community really is a special one, and at times like this I know that thoughts, love and prayers from us all are being sent in the direction of the family.

 

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, we know that at this time of year many families come together to celebrate and spend quality time with each other. But we also recognise that in nearly all family set-ups there are loved ones who are no longer there with us to join in and celebrate, and that there are many people out there much less fortunate than ourselves. I would encourage you to share a thought or two with your children around this during the festive period so that we all spread good thoughts, love and kindness with those members of our community and beyond who may need it.

We have already seen some more Christmas events this week…our Early Years learners shared Christmas songs and mince pies with their parents earlier this week. Times like this are special for many parents, and are often some of the earliest memories that many children leave school with. Thank you to the Early Years team for putting on a lovely event and those parents who were able to support it.

The FOSP Festive Fun Afternoon was really well attended by learners in all year groups, a big thank you to all of the staff and parents who volunteered and those who attended. Please have a read below of the first FOSP newsletter:

Our Christingle collection this year raised a fantastic amount of £71.50 for our friends at Foodshed, thank you for your donations.

 

A small reminder from our friends at St Peter’s Church regarding the events that they have coming up during the festive period. It would be great if any of our families were to support the church during their Christmas programme.

Next week we have a lot going on. The key events are below, and the letter with more details that was circulated a few weeks ago can be downloaded:

 

Christmas Dinner and Festive Jumper Day

Mon 19th December

All

Carol Service

Mon 19th December

All

Christmas Songs at Pinewoods

Mon 19th December

Year 5

Christmas Songs on the Stable

Mon 19th December

All + Parents

Whole School Christmas Production to go live

Mon 19th December

All- Online access

Pantomime Trip

Tues 20th December

Years 1 - 6

End of Term

Weds 21st December (1.30pm)

All

When we return to school for the Spring Term on Friday 6th January, we will be holding a whole school immersive art day based on a piece of art by Henri Rousseau, the French post-impressionist painter. We look forward to sharing our learning with you all at the start of next term!

Now onto our celebrations for the week...

 

We are working hard with Stevenage Football Club Foundation (SFCF) in our curriculum PE time to provide high quality PE learning, and many of our learners are really engaging well with the curriculum. Each week our staff, along with the SFCF team, will be awarding a PE Star of the Week award. This week we are limited due to the weather that we have experienced, however some winners are listed below:

 

N: -

R: -

Y1: -

Y2: Isabella

Y3: -

Y4: -

Y5: -

Y6: Emily

We also have another budding sportsperson in the Shephalbury Park ranks, Alfie T (Y3) was promoted to yellow belt in Taekwondo on Saturday and this coming Saturday he will be competing in his first competition. A great achievement, well done Alfie!

This week Mrs Spiller who provided some amazing Christmas pastries with warm Biscoff sauce for Bucket Filler’s tea party, thank you very much! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N: Georgi

R: Harry

Y1: Felicity S

Y2: Harvey

Y3: Zaki

Y4: Lilly

Y5: Ben

Y6: Ruby

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 and stretch 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:

 

N: Liam - Stretch

R: Darcie - Reflect

Y1: Jaxson - Solve

Y2: Louis - Think

Y3: Joy - Think

Y4: Ephraim - Grow

Y5: Melisa - Create

Y6: Cade - Create

We also announced our termly house point champions today, and this went to Dragons with 1733 points, beating Griffin into second by 10 points.

 

A huge well done to the whole team, School Council will select their prize for the start of the new term!

 

Our ‘Masked Scientist’ was unmasked this week, well done to everyone who identified that it was Galileo. The randomly selected winners were both from Year 5, congratulations to Ben and Seth.

This week’s question was set by the whole of the team, Phil Good, Will Being and Bea Happy who wanted to know ‘What have been your highlights this year?’

 

The winners and their answers are below:

This week I have handed out 6 Headteacher’s awards.

 

The first was to a Shephalbury Learner that has only joined us this term. Emily (Y2) for her brilliant art work. Year 2 created their own pieces of scratch art for their calendars this year, and Emily utilised the skill and understanding of different types of lines when creating hers. She amazed both Mrs Lewis and myself with her design. Great work Emily!

 

Next were 4 more budding artists from Year 1. Esmie, Isabelle, Ethan and Albert all created their own Kandinsky style images during their computing lesson. They were all very creative and could describe how they were similar to Kandinsky and how they used the technology to create them. Some brilliant cross-curricular art work…well done guys!

 

My final Headteacher’s award or the week, and possibly of 2022 went to Daniel (Y3) who has continued to impress me throughout the year with his amazing all round progress. Daniel has been working on developing hi understanding of play scripts in his English lessons, and wrote his own version of The Billy Goats Gruff using all of the key features. It was fabulous, and we even acted it out together. Well done Daniel…we are all really proud of you!

This will be my last blog post of 2022, but will be circulating an end of term letter next week. I hope that you have a lovely weekend, and that the ice thaws out quickly, and look forward to seeing everyone in the festive spirit for our ‘Songs on the Stable’ at 2.30pm Monday!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 9th December

Another week closer to Christmas and already the excitement is building in and around Shephalbury Park!

 

This week our Early Years, Year 1 & 2 learners all took part in our annual Christingle, led by Reverend Kate. All learners made their own, and learnt about the significance of each of the elements that make it up. As you will see from the pictures below this is always a very special experience and one that our learners always remember.

This afternoon sees the second event run by FOSP, the Festive Fun Afternoon, which has got substantial uptake of attendees. A big thank you to those who have donated their time and effort in making this happen…I am sure that it will be enjoyed by all who attend!

 

As I am sure that you may have heard by now, Mr Rust will be leaving us at the end of this term. Having been a part of the team since 2016, Mr Rust has contributed greatly to the stability and development of this school for a considerable amount of learners. His personality and commitment to the wider opportunities that we offer, through extra-curricular activities, have been well recognised during his years of service to this community and will be missed. We wish him the best of luck as he leaves us and embarks on the next step in his career.

We will be joined in January by Miss Prendergast, who will be visiting Year 4 next week and getting to know us all a bit better. We welcome her to our Shephalbury Park community.

 

We also have some wonderful news regarding Mrs Levy, who is expecting her second child next year. We are delighted for her and the rest of her family, and would like to wish them much luck and happiness over the coming months!

 

I shared some images last week with some information from our friends at St Peter’s Church regarding the events that they have coming up during the festive period. It would be great if any of our families were to support the church during their Christmas programme.

Information was shared last week relating to our annual reverse advent calendar. Shep, along with our School Council, would like to continue to show their support for the Foodshed. A huge thank you to those who have already donated. Please see below for more information on how you can help us support those who need a little more this festive period.

Now onto our celebrations for the week...

 

We are working hard with Stevenage Football Club Foundation (SFCF) in our curriculum PE time to provide high quality PE learning, and many of our learners are really engaging well with the curriculum. Each week our staff, along with the SFCF team, will be awarding a PE Star of the Week award. Our first winners are listed below:

 

 

N: -

R: -

Y1: Melissa G

Y2: Finley

Y3: Lilly

Y4: Harvey

Y5: Amelia

Y6: Ethan M

This week Mrs Smith who provided some lovely winter cupcakes for Bucket Filler’s tea party, thank you very much! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N: Hudson

R: Isla K

Y1: Georgi

Y2: Ronnie

Y3: Alfie T

Y4: Sereny

Y5: Seth

Y6: Joe

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 and stretch 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:

 

N: Matilda - Stretch

R: Stefan - Create

Y1: Sonny - Reflect

Y2: Olivia - Reflect

Y3: Violet - Create

Y4: Fredrico - Grow

Y5: Olivia - Think

Y6: Ava - Stretch

This week’s question was set by the whole of the team, Phil Good, Will Being and Bea Happy who wanted to know ‘What gifts could we make to give our family and friends this Christmas?’

 

Every week it amazes us at how much thought goes into the answers that our learners provide. It goes a long way to demonstrating how considerate and articulate many of our learners are when considering issues that affect us all. Mrs McKenzie and Mrs Dean have selected the following as the winners:

 

Alfie (YR)- ‘Christingle like we did today because I enjoyed it so much I wish my mummy could have seen it.’

 

Rae (Y2)- ‘You can give some chocolates to them and hugs and kisses.’

 

Freddie (Y4)- ‘We can give them our respect and our time to them.’

Now you may remember…or have heard that our winning jokes from last week went missing! Well, Sheppy, our cheeky elf, had taken them and was spotted in the corridor this week reading them to himself. See below for the winning jokes from last week’s question:

First this week was Ava (Y6) who, like some of her class mates, has been really inspired to take her learning home with her. She has continued her research into Charles Darwin and evolution, and created a fantastic non-chronological report highlighting the key features that she has used. A brilliant attitude to learning Ava…keep it up!

 

Secondly this week was Leo H (YN) for his fabulous story map and retelling of The Gingerbread Man. A brilliant way to become familiar with our strategy for writing throughout the school…well done Leo!

I hope that you have a lovely weekend…hopefully we will be celebrating yet another England victory in the World Cup on Monday morning!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 2nd December

As we enter December there is much excitement in the air for many reasons around school…for many Christmas is on its way, England have progressed in the World Cup and there is a raft of exciting things happening in and around school!

 

We sent out a letter last week, outlining the arrangements for Christmas events in and around school for the rest of this term. Please make sure that you have had a read and marked any key dates in your diaries. If you are yet to read it, there is a copy below that you can download.

The FOSP Festive Fun Afternoon is taking place next Friday 9th December, from the end of school until 5.15pm. There are already many of our learners signed up to attend. If you would still like to attend, but haven’t yet paid or confirmed online, please make payment via Gateway and complete the survey below by Monday 5th December.

Over the last few weeks we have been quite proactive in raising money for charity, as well as generating funding towards books for school. Our Royal British Legion Poppy appeal this year raised the most that it ever has done, a whopping £409.95! This is a fantastic amount for a very worthy cause.

 

Our collection for Children in Need, another highly worthy cause that we support on an annual basis, raised a fabulous £211…Pudsey will be very pleased!

 

Our community’s purchases from the Travelling Book Fair has managed to raise us a total of £407 to spend on books for the school. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed and donated to any or all of these causes.

 

Information was shared this week relating to our annual reverse advent calendar. Shep, along with our School Council, would like to continue to show their support for the Foodshed. Please see below for more information on how you can help us support those who need a little more this festive period.

Our friends at St Peter’s Church have provided us with some information of events that they have coming up during the festive period. We will be seeing Reverend Kate and her team in the coming weeks for Christingle, The Christmas Journey and our carol service, so it would be great if any of our families were to support the church during their Christmas programme.

Over the last couple of weeks we have been involved in some brilliant sporting opportunities with Stevenage Sporting Futures. Last week I took a group of Year 2 learners to Barnwell to experience a rotation of Sports Hall Athletics activities. Each of our team practiced and then recorded attempts in standing long jump, javelin, stork balance, speed bounce, chest push and the agility run. To finish off we all took part in the obstacle relay races. It was great fun and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

 

This week, 8 of our Year 6 cohort visited Barnwell to take part in the rowing contest with other local schools. This was a land based event on rowing machines, competing in teams trying to achieve the best collective timings. As always we tried our very hardest and competed well in a strong, and more experienced, field.

 

Well done to everyone for representing us so well!

We have had some county level success for 2 of our learners in the last week, both Florence and Lilly have excelled in their sport recently, competing and succeeding at the Hertfordshire County Championships. Florence finished 1st for her tumbling and 3rd in her trio event, while Lilly also won gold for her duo act. Not only are these already  fantastic achievements, but Florence’s is made even more incredible by the fact that she was competing 2 years above her age category! Well done to both of you…we are all very proud of you!

I don’t like to use this platform to share moans or requests in this way, however I have been made aware of a few safety and access issues outside of school recently. Whilst we recognise that it is not always possible to walk to school for everyone, it is really important that we are considering local residents and the safety of our community when driving and parking on the surrounding roads. Please consider where and how you park if you are in this situation as the manner in which some cars are left is causing a great hazard to those coming into school on foot, but also causing an access issue should we require any kind of emergency services to attend the site.

 

I also communicated with everyone a couple of weeks ago regarding the wearing of helmets for learners choosing to travel to and from school. Thank you to those who are adhering to our expectations, I would implore you to continue to ensure that this remains in place for your child/ren out of school as well.

 

Please see below for the winter update from the Stevenage and North Herts Fire and Rescue Service:

Now onto our celebrations for the week...

 

We are working hard with Stevenage Football Club Foundation (SFCF) in our curriculum PE time to provide high quality PE learning, and many of our learners are really engaging well with the curriculum. Each week our staff, along with the SFCF team, will be awarding a PE Star of the Week award. Our first winners are listed below:

 

N: Leo B

R: Yasmina

Y1: Tommy

Y2: Ethan

Y3: -

Y4: Ethan

Y5: Phoebe

Y6: Kian M

We unmasked the Masked Scientist this week, a huge well done to everyone who correctly entered the correct answer of Isaac Newton. The winners that were drawn at random were: Maia (Y4) and Hannah (Y6).

This week Mr Haslett who provided some great cupcakes for Bucket Filler’s tea party, thank you very much! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N: Matei

R: Sofia

Y1: Lillee

Y2:  Charlie

Y3: Emily

Y4: Emilia

Y5: Melisa

Y6: Maya

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 and stretch 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:

 

N: Charlie - Think

R: Jaxon - Create

Y1: Melissa M - Create

Y2: Alys - Stretch

Y3: Jessica - Solve

Y4: Charlie - Reflect

Y5: George B - Risk

Y6: Paddy - Grow

This week’s question was set by Bea Happy and it was ‘Do you know any good Christmas jokes?’

 

There were many entries that made us all chuckle, however Mrs McKenzie and Mrs Dean have selected the following as the winners:

 

Kyla M (Y3), Olivia (Y3), Olly (Y4), Billy-Joe (Y4), Ephraim (Y4) & Harry (YR). Unfortunately the jokes have gone missing…hopefully they turn up next week so that we can share them with you all!

This week I have handed out 3 Headteacher’s awards for some attitudes to learning.

 

First was Freddie (Y4) who, like all of us, has found some of his learning challenging recently. He has been working really hard at school and at home to improve his spelling and his is now seeing the fruits of his labour. Not only is Freddie beginning to see the success of his hard work, his confidence is developing as well. Well done Freddie, you are a true Shephalbury LEARNER!

 

Second this week was William (Y1), who has been working really hard in securing his phonic knowledge. He has been doing really well, and Mrs Cargill is now seeing William apply this learning to his spelling and writing in other areas. Great work William…keep it up!

 

Finally this week is Roma who has been continuing her fantastic attitude to learning at home. Roma has been thoroughly enjoying learning Spanish, with Mrs Spiller and the rest of her class, and created a brilliant poster linked to her current learning. My Spanish is rather sketchy, however Roma was able to clearly navigate my way around how to share what my favourite fruit was and how to ask others their favourite. Brilliant work Roma…well done!

I hope that you have a lovely weekend…hopefully we will be celebrating England being in the World Cup quarter final by the time we see everybody in school on Monday morning!

 

Ben Conway

Monday 28th November

It feels a bit strange penning a blog to go out on a Monday, however due to our long weekend I wanted to be able to share and celebrate the achievements of learners from last week.

 

There will of course be our regular Friday blog on Friday of this week.

 

We are working hard with Stevenage Football Club Foundation (SFCF) in our curriculum PE time to provide high quality PE learning, and many of our learners are really engaging well with the curriculum. Each week our staff, along with the SFCF team, will be awarding a PE Star of the Week award. Our first winners are listed below:

 

N: Hudson

R: Elara

Y1: Isabelle

Y2: Daniel

Y3: Kyla D

Y4: Lilly

Y5: Olivia

Y6: Jayden

This week Mr Klein provided a caterpillar for Bucket Filler’s tea party, thank you very much! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N: Lily

R: Dominica

Y1:  Daniel

Y2: Florence

Y3:  Kyla M

Y4: Harvey

Y5: Uzma

Y6: Dylan

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 and stretch 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:

 

N: Margot - Think

R: Archie - Stretch

Y1: Bella - Risk

Y2: Tia - Create

Y3: Charlie - Create

Y4: William - Create

Y5: Elijah - Grow

Y6: Lewis - Think

Phil Good’s question this week this week was ‘What should you do if you notice that someone is NOT ok?’

 

As always the thought and consideration that has gone to all of the answers has blown Mrs McKenzie and Mrs Dean away. It goes a long way to demonstrating the kind, thoughtful and supportive attitude demonstrated throughout our school. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Katalea Y1: “I would take care of them, help them and tell the teacher.”

 

Teddy Y1: “You can see if someone is upset and could check and ask if they are ok.”

 

Harvey Y4: “Ask twice and if they say they’re ok but don’t look like it tell an adult or their parent.”

Last week I have handed out 4 Headteacher’s awards for some fantastic work in Year 6.

 

First last week was Ezme who has really impressed Mrs Spiller with her work in RE recently. Ezme has developed a fantastic knowledge and understanding of the different elements of Buddhist worship and chose to present her learning in the form of a non-chronological report. It really is fantastic work, and great to see how she is linking her learning in English with that in RE…keep it up Ezme!

 

Next in Year 6 were Skye and Emily for their commitment to improving their knowledge and understanding outside of the classroom. They had found an element of their English work tricky to remember last week, so they took it upon themselves to clarify this understanding and further research and develop their knowledge at home. A fantastic attitude to have girls…well done!

 

And finally was Ruby, who combined both furthering her learning at home with the English and Science work that her class have been completing in school. Ruby has been very taken with the focus on Charles Darwin and the Galapagos Islands in Science, and decided to create her own non-chronological report at home to demonstrate her learning. Well done Ruby, you have really demonstrated many of the attributes of the Shephalbury LEARNER!

I hope that you all have a great week.

 

Ben Conway

Friday 18th November

We finished the week with our annual Children in Need Ramble around Shephalbury Park. We are really lucky to have such a fantastic space on our doorstep, and every year we love venturing out as a school to support such a fantastic cause. It was great to see the Pudsey ears out in full force as we enjoyed the fresh air. Our Year 6 learners supported our Reception class as they walked together.

 

Throughout the week, we have had assemblies discussing Children in Need and further developing our understanding of the work that the fundraising supports. As a school, our learners are very conscious of the many of factors that could lead someone to requiring some extra support. We see this every day in school, and our Shephalbury learners demonstrate many positive citizenship attributes which we recognise around school daily.

Our Book Fair has arrived! 

 

Children will have the opportunity to view the books during the day. We will be selling books after school tonight (Friday 18th) from 3.20pm in the Year 1 classroom. Please enter through the Year 1 garden off the KS1 playground. 

 

Books will also be on sale from 3.20pm on Monday 21st, Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd November. Books will be available to buy on Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd November in the Early Years corridor after the morning Nursery session.  

 

We will be taking cash payments only at the book fair. There is the option to pay online, using the following link: Parent payments - Travelling Book Fairs (scholastic.co.uk). If you choose to pay online, you must also complete a ‘Wish List’ order form and return this to the school office. Once we have received confirmation of your payment, we will process your order and the books will be sent home with your child. If the number of books requested exceeds those in the book fair, we will order the additional copies for you.  

 

We look forward to seeing you at the book fair!  

Our Friends of Shephalbury Park have been busy planning and organising the Festive Fun Afternoon that will be running after school on Friday 9th December. We have already had lots of responses for the event, if you haven’t signed up already there is still plenty of time. Please make payment via the Gateway app and complete your child’s details on the survey below:

With Christmas fast approaching the lights in Stevenage Old Town are being turned on at 5.30pm on Saturday 26th November. Please see the details below.

Next week we will be recognising Just Talk Week across the school, with assemblies and activities taking place throughout the school during the week. Please see below for more information:

 

Look Beneath The Surface

Have you ever shouted or snapped at someone because you were feeling upset or worried?

 

Keeping emotions like sadness, fear or frustration locked up inside can sometimes cause them to come out in other ways, like outbursts of anger, being grumpy, or isolating yourself from people you care about. 

 

Just Talk Week’s theme for 2022 is to ‘Look beneath the surface’, to be patient with others, as we can’t always know the challenges that someone may be facing.

 

That’s why, more than ever, it’s so important we don’t jump to conclusions about people or judge them unkindly.

 

It’s important to understand that if you see a friend, family member or someone else you know acting unusually or not their typical self, they may be having a bad day or going through a difficult time.

 

This Just Talk Week, we’ll be exploring the different ways to help - it’s often as simple as just talking and listening.

After the success of the England T20 cricket team winning the World Cup last weekend, and the disappointment in the women’s rugby union and men’s rugby league, next week also sees the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and there is much written and discussed about it recently. What I do know is that as soon as the football kicks off, there will be many excited people all over the country, with the prospect of what could be! England kick of their campaign on Monday at 1pm against Iran, we will offer those learners who may wish to see the match the opportunity to do so within their class during their afternoon lessons.

With applications for Nursery and Reception school starters for September 2023 opening recently, I have been busy taking small tours of families around the school to share our wonderful environment and to describe our educational and wider pastoral approach. These have been really popular so far and we have added more dates over the coming few weeks. If you or anyone you know is interested in coming from a tour and hearing about us, please call the main school office to book a slot.

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week...

 

We are working hard with Stevenage Football Club Foundation (SFCF) in our curriculum PE time to provide high quality PE learning, and many of our learners are really engaging well with the curriculum. Each week our staff, along with the SFCF team, will be awarding a PE Star of the Week award. Our first winners are listed below:

 

N:   -

R: Emily

Y1: Ashton

Y2: Henry G

Y3: Freddie

Y4: Pippa

Y5: Kyrillos

Y6: Zafran

This week Mrs McKenzie provided incredible Pudsey Bear cupcakes for Bucket Filler’s tea party, thank you very much! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N: Lucy

R: Leo

Y1: William

Y2: George

Y3: McKenzie

Y4: Ethan

Y5:  Amelia

Y6: Sofia M

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 and stretch 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:

 

N: Matei - Think

R: Molly - Risk

Y1: Ryver - Grow

Y2: Ethan - Grow

Y3: Emma - Create

Y4: Mina - Solve

Y5: Leanna - Grow

Y6: Raegan - Reflect

Phil Good’s question this week this week was ‘Why should we not be so quick to judge others or jump to conclusions?’

 

As always the thought and consideration that has gone to all of the answers has blown Mrs McKenzie and Mrs Dean away. It goes a long way to demonstrating the kind, thoughtful and supportive attitude demonstrated throughout our school. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Ezme Y6: “We should not be so quick to judge people because maybe they have been through something and had a lot of trauma in their life.”

 

Ethan M Y6: “You should not be so quick to judge others as they may be going through problems at that time. They may also have some sort of disability that makes them act the way that they do.”

 

Lilly Y3: “You should not do that because you might make the wrong choice. It doesn’t matter what someone looks like as they might be the nicest person that you have met.”

We unmasked our second ‘Masked Scientist’ today, a huge well done to everyone who used the clues to work out that the answer was…Katherine Johnson.

 

A huge well done to Eliannah and Ephraim who were chosen at random from the many correct answers!

First was Daniel (Y3) for a couple of reasons…Daniel hasn’t always been the most confident learner in his class, but since he has joined Year 3 we have seen such an incredible improvement in his all round confidence. In addition to this his learning is progressing at a fantastic rate as well. His writing this week in his hot task demonstrated how much he has learnt in such a short period of time. Amazing work Daniel, we are really proud of you!

This week’s second recipient was also in Year 3. Jaden has loved learning about palaeontologist Mary Anning in the class guided reading sessions and has learnt so much about her and her life. He has used this knowledge in class in their games of ‘Ping Pong’ to be pretty much undefeatable…even beating Mrs Cropley! Great work Jaden, keep it up!

 

The final award went to one of our oldest Shephalbury Learners, Ella (Y6) has taken it upon herself to further deepen her knowledge of Spanish. Learners in key stage 2 learn Spanish, as our modern foreign language, and Ella has taken her learning home, researching and practicing various elements of the language. A brilliant attitude to have Ella, well done and keep it up!

I would like to end today’s blog with a huge thank you to every member of our school community. We published the report from our most recent Ofsted inspection today, and it really captures the many exceptional elements that we have in and around our school. It makes me very proud as a Headteacher to lead this school, the staff and the learners, and I hope that every member of our community feels proud to be a part of Shephalbury Park. You can read the report below and see a covering letter from Cameron Smith, our Chair of Governors.

I hope that you have a lovely weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 11th November

Another busy week around school with some fantastic learning opportunities coupled with lots of additional opportunities within the wider curriculum and extra-curricular activities taking place. These included a lovely camp fire and songs for learners in our Nursery class this morning.

Camp Fire

Still image for this video

It has been a busy few weeks, for some of our national sports teams...with record breaking gymnastics results in the World Championships, England's T20  and Women’s Rugby union teams reaching their respective World Cup finals this weekend, and the men's, women's and wheelchair rugby league teams excelling in their respective World Cup tournaments as well. It has been a week full of sporting fixtures with Shephalbury Park being represented in basketball, dodgeball, football and netball fixtures.

 

There was mixed success in terms of results but as always our learners all acquitted themselves fantastically well, they were supportive of each other and demonstrated brilliant sportspersonship throughout. This was reflected in the awarding of the Stanley Stevenson School Games Value award of RESPECT, given to our basketball team. We are super proud of everyone who represented us this week, well done!!

To find out more about the results and for reports, please take a look at our sports blog:

Classes across the school today participated in different assemblies to learn about remembrance and take parts in periods of silence to show their respects to those who have served our country. As always our annual collection for The Royal British Legion through the poppy appeal has gone well and will provide a generous donation to their charity. Thank you to those who have contributed through purchasing the various items.

Since restarting this academic year we have been developing our music teaching offer across the school, with classes regularly learning glockenspiel as a part of their weekly lessons and the reintroduction of peripatetic music lessons with the piano. Our Year 5&6 learners were introduced to a brilliant opportunity today provided by Hertfordshire Music Service and arranged by Mrs Oustayiannis. They were lucky enough to see a  flute, clarinet and saxophone demonstration from a peripatetic music teacher who will be offering some taster sessions to learners in years 4, 5 & 6 in the new year. This is supported by free instrument hire for the year. We are hoping that we have a good uptake to this to boost the numbers of our learners participating in music lessons at school. For more information see the flyer below.

Demonstration

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With applications for Nursery and Reception school starters for September 2023 opening recently, I have been busy taking small tours of families around the school to share our wonderful environment and to describe our educational and wider pastoral approach. These have been really popular so far and we have added more dates over the coming few weeks. If you or anyone you know is interested in coming from a tour and hearing about us, please call the main school office to book a slot.

 

A reminder that our Learning Review meetings are being held on Tuesday 15th, Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th November. These are a fantastic opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher and see their progress so far this year and find out how you can further support with their areas for development at home. If you haven’t already booked a slot please do so before next Monday.

 

You should have received an email with the relevant booking links for your children. If you find that you have any issues with the link or making a booking please contact the main school office.

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week...

 

We are working hard with Stevenage Football Club Foundation (SFCF) in our curriculum PE time to provide high quality PE learning, and many of our learners are really engaging well with the curriculum. Each week our staff, along with the SFCF team, will be awarding a PE Star of the Week award. Our first winners are listed below:

 

N:   -

R: -

Y1: Ethan J

Y2: Lexie

Y3: Kyla M

Y4: Olly

Y5: George P

Y6: Raegan

This week Mrs Mutch provided some lovely cupcakes for Bucket Filler’s tea party, thank you very much! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N: Charlotte

R: Greyson

Y1: Sebastian

Y2: Finley

Y3: Eliannah

Y4: Freddie

Y5: Kyrillos

Y6: Maya

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 and stretch 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:

N: -

R: Naayel- Stretch

Y1: Ralph- Grow

Y2: Flynn- Grow

Y3: Freddie- Grow

Y4: Olly- Stretch

Y5: Jamila- Stretch

Y6: Paddy- Stretch

Phil Good’s question this week this week was ‘Should every child have the right to be happy and stay safe?’

 

As always the thought and consideration that has gone to all of the answers has blown Mrs McKenzie and Mrs Dean away. It goes a long way to demonstrating the kind, thoughtful and supportive attitude demonstrated throughout our school. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Pippa Y4: “Yes because they can tell an adult or call Chidline. The number is 0800 1111.”

 

Freddie Y4: “Yes because everyone’s rights are the same.”

 

Olivia Y5: “Yes because I believe that every child in the world should share their thoughts and feelings and express themselves. Every child’s voice is important. Every girl and boy are important.”

This week I have handed out 6 Headteacher’s awards, most for some of our youngest Shephalbury Learners.

 

Naayel and Kacper (YR) have been really engrossed in the book theme in Reception this week, and challenged themselves during exploring time. They each independently created their own story maps for the story and retold it to me. Such a fantastic start to your journey in learning how to write boys, well done!

 

Also in Reception this week were two other learners developing their phonic and writing skills and knowledge. Greyson and Henry both used what they have been learning in their phonics lessons and applying it to their independent activities. They have both been developing their focus and concentration whilst challenging themselves this week in their learning…great work boys!

In Year 3 this week, Alfie B has been demonstrating his reasoning skills through his maths work. The class were challenged to explain whether different numbers were 3 digit or not. Alfie reasoned really well and explained his thinking to me. Great work!

 

Finally this week was Theo (Y2) who has worked really hard this week at applying himself to his learning and focusing on making the right choices. He has done a super job, and we have all seen a massive improvement in all areas. Keep it up Theo!

I hope that you have a lovely weekend and fingers crossed for all of our national teams competing in their respective tournaments!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 4th November

The first week back to school has gone by in a flash, a very wet and windy flash for most! I hope that everyone enjoyed a lovely break and is ready for what the rest of this term has in store…

 

Around the school we have got up some fantastic new learning displays, showing off the range of learning across the curriculum from each of our classes. It is clear how much we have learnt already this year and as always it is a real pleasure discussing this with learners across the school. Have a look at our displays below:

Today saw our entire school recognise and learn all about Guru Nanak and his significance within the Sikh religion. We were fortunate enough to welcome a visitor from Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara Letchworth to speak to us all about Sikhism and Guru Nanak in particular. With the celebration of Guru Nanak’s birthday coming up, many classes held parties, wore hats and had maybe even shared some cake!

You will have received communications from me earlier this week regarding our Learning Review meetings which are being held on Tuesday 15th, Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th November. These are a fantastic opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher and see their progress so far this year and find out how you can further support with their areas for development at home.

 

Bookings opened today and you should have received an email with the relevant booking links for your children. If you find that you have any issues with the link or making a booking please contact the main school office.

 

I have begun showing prospective Nursery and Reception applicants around school this week for tours of our school. If you or anyone that you know is considering applying for a place for a child for September 2023 and would like to book onto a tour, please contact the school office and they can let you know of the available times and dates.

 

Our Year 6 learners have been, and will continue to, sell poppies and other related items around school this week in aid on The Royal British Legion. With Remembrance Day approaching next Friday all learners will have an age appropriate assembly next week to recognise this.

 

Our Halloween Disco that was held just prior to the half term break was a brilliant success, as I reflected in my previous blog. It brought in an amazing total of £420 for our newly reforming Friends of Shephalbury Park (FOSP).

 

The team are already busy planning and gaining donations for their next event which will be the Christmas Movie Afternoon on Friday 9th December. More information regarding this will be released next week.

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week, and there are couple of new regular awards beginning this week.

 

We are working hard with Stevenage Football Club Foundation (SFCF) in our curriculum PE time to provide high quality PE learning, and many of our learners are really engaging well with the curriculum. Each week our staff, along with the SFCF team, will be awarding a PE Star of the Week award. Our first winners are listed below:

 

N:   -

R: Kai

Y1: Melissa G

Y2: Lexie

Y3: Tommy

Y4: Roma

Y5: Emmie

Y6: Alex

We also unmasked the first of our Masked Scientists this week. Miss Cordner set learners the challenge of working out who the Masked Scientist was from a list of clues. Once they had identified who they thought it was they could record their answer and enter the draw for winners.

 

The first scientist to be unmasked was Mary Anning, the famous palaeontologist. Would you have got it from the clues below? Well done to our first two winners who were chosen at random….Olivia (Y3) and Ethan (Y4).

This week Mrs Lee provided some incredible firework themed cupcakes for Bucket Filler’s tea party, thank you very much! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N:   George

R: Kai

Y1: Ethan

Y2: Lexie

Y3: Jessica

Y4: Roma

Y5: George P

Y6: Alessia

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 and stretch 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:

 

N: -

R: Alfie - Think

Y1: Ryver - Risk

Y2: George - Create

Y3: Lenny S- Stretch

Y4: Mayson - Stretch

Y5: Damon - Create

Y6: Rhyder - Stretch

Phil Good’s question this week this week was ‘How can we stay safe around fireworks?’

 

As always the thought and consideration that has gone to all of the answers has blown Mrs McKenzie and Mrs Dean away. It goes a long way to demonstrating the kind, thoughtful and supportive attitude demonstrated throughout our school. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Greyson YR: “Daddy lights the fire and you stay away because you don’t want to get hurt.”

 

Emilia Y4: “You can do this by keeping your pets indoors as they might get frightened and you have the responsibility.”

 

Viktor Y5: “If you don’t like the bang that fireworks make then you can stay inside. If you stay outside, watch from a safe distance and let your parents do everything they need to do. If you like fireworks but you haven’t bought any, you can watch from a phone or a laptop.”

This week I have handed just 1 Headteacher’s awards, for some brilliant writing.

 

Harry (YR) has been applying his phonic knowledge to his independent work in his small group. This week he was challenged to write the ingredients for a spell and he very clearly used his phonics to sound out each word and record it. What a great way to kick off a new half term…well done Harry!

I hope that you enjoy the weekend and stay safe around the fireworks that will be around!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 21st October

After an incredibly busy week for everyone we have made it through to half term!

 

This week we welcomed inspectors from Ofsted to Shephalbury Park to see how fantastic our school and school community are. While I am unable to comment on the inspection until the report is published in a few weeks’ time, I can say that our Shephalbury LEARNERs, staff and wider community did us all very proud.

 

Yesterday saw the first event planned and organised by our newly re-formed FOSP. Our Halloween disco went down an absolute storm with absolutely everyone who attended. The decorations were incredible, some brilliant face paints and, as always, some super tunes ringing out from the decks. A huge thank you to everyone who helped to organise and support such a fabulous event…we’re all looking forward to the next event already!

The Conga!

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Thank you to everyone who contributed to our annual harvest collection for The Food Shed. Your donations have been very gratefully received today. A special shout out to our EYFS classes for the immense amount of donations that they made!!

This week saw us celebrating Phil’s Golden Moment, in recognition of all of the winners of Phil’s question of the week. It was a fantastic way to celebrate together, with a hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream…delicious! Well done to everyone who attended.

We rounded off this half term with our first house event of the year, The House Curling Championships. Unfortunately we had to postpone cross country until the spring term. Much excitement bubbled around the school as we all participated in the championships for the second year in a row. Each learner threw 3 scoring stones into the house and we averaged their totals by house team in each class. This gave us a house winner in each class and some overall champions.

 

Huge congratulations to…

As we approach the time of year where lots of us are dressing up in Halloween costumes and going to see fireworks, the Stevenage and North Herts Fire and Rescue Service shared their Autumn newsletter. Please have a look at it below to get some top tips to keep yourselves and your families safe at this time of year.

A couple of reminders for when we come back after half term. We will be having our individual and sibling photos on Monday 31st October (the first day back after half term). We will also be selling poppies in aid of The Royal British Legion from the day that we return, in the lead up to Remembrance Day on 11th November.

Now onto our celebrations for the week. This week Mrs Spiller provided some incredible Halloween biscuits for Bucket Filler’s tea party, thank you very much! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N: Charlotte

R: Elara

Y1: Esmie

Y2: Eleanor

Y3: Jake

Y4: Pippa

Y5: Damon

Y6: Jayden

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 and stretch 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:

 

N: -

R: Henry - Grow

Y1: Felicity B - Grow

Y2: Rae - Create

Y3: Olivia - Grow

Y4: Spencer C - Think

Y5: Viktor - Solve

Y6: Milly - Solve

Phil Good’s question this week this week was chosen by Viktor (Y5) ‘What could we all do to help save money at home?’

 

As always the thought and consideration that has gone to all of the answers has blown Mrs McKenzie and Mrs Dean away. This week our guest question setter, Viktor, chose the answers that he liked the most. It goes a long way to demonstrating the kind, thoughtful and supportive attitude demonstrated throughout our school. The recipients of the Golden Tickets of their well thought out answers were:

 

Summer Y6: “Have a budget because it will help save you money.”

 

Ethan Y4: “Don’t leave the lights on and wear a jumper instead of turning the heating on.”

 

Olivia Y3: “To save money, only buy what you need, not just what you want.”

 

Kian M Y6: “Instead of getting a takeaway, but a cheaper food brand from the shop to eat.”

This week I have handed out 9 Headteacher’s awards, for some brilliant writing and independence.

 

The first 5 recipients this week were all from our Year 3 class, who have been working on developing their writing based around the traditional tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Charlie was rewarded for his improved attitude to his writing and developing and increasing amount of independence with it. Autumn produced a wonderfully well structured piece which demonstrated the improvements in her handwriting and sentence structures. Lenny had used his learning from this sequence of writing to demonstrate his understanding of the use of inverted commas for speech in his writing. And Kyla M and Emily have both produced pieces of writing that demonstrates how much progress that they have made in the short time they have been in the juniors.

 

Amazing work all of you…well done!

The next 3 Headteacher’s awards were for more amazing writing from some of our Year 1 Shephalbury LEARNERs. Felicity B, Isabelle and Esmie all blew me away with their innovated version of an alien story from their hot task this week. They all used some super language and a brilliant story structure. Awesome work girls…we’re proud of you!

My final award of the week went to Archie (YR) for developing independence in his learning. He has been working hard at home and in school to learn his spellings, improve his mark making and engage with number activities. Brilliant work Archie…well done!

I hope that you enjoy the weekend and the half term, and look forward to seeing you all on Monday 31st October.

 

Ben Conway

Friday 14th October

As the weather becomes more changeable and there is a bit more of a chill in the air, there has been a lot going on across the school as usual!

 

We welcomed some of our Reception parents at the start of the week to learn a bit about our approach to the teaching of phonics and early reading. We recognise and understand that reading is the cornerstone of our learners’ education, and as a school we work hard on developing their skills and love of reading. To find out more about our approach and for some tips on how you can support your learners at home follow the link below:

Also on Monday this week our Year 5 and 6 football team ventured out for the first time this season, competing in the Stevenage early season ranking tournament. They left school with much hope and expectation, and represented us brilliantly well securing a win and two draws. This led them to winning their mini group and being invited to a further round of matches next week. A fantastic start to the season!

 

Our reigning netball champions from last year, also began their season this week with a 24 – 0 victory over Camps Hill. A fantastic result and brilliant representation of our school.

 

To read more about their matches please follow the link to our sports blog below.

I spent a couple of days away this week at the annual Hertfordshire Primary Headteachers’ Conference, listening to inspirational speakers from across the country sharing their experiences. The most inspirational was without doubt Baroness Floella Benjamin and her key note speech titled ‘Facing Adversity With a Smile’. Whilst we all go through tough times and challenges throughout our lives it is how we tackle these and overcome them that truly shapes the people that we become, something that we try and instil in our Shephalbury LEARNERs from the outset of their journey with us.

On Thursday this week, Reverend Kate welcomed Years 1-5 to St Peter’s Church to celebrate our Harvest Festival. Our classes sang beautifully and very much enjoyed our first trip to church this year. We look forward to being back in December.

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Next week sees our Halloween discos for all year groups. If you are yet to pay for a ticket for your child you can do so via the Gateway app. Once you have done this, please ensure that you also complete the relevant survey to let us know some key information. The links to these are below. Please note that children in Nursery will need to be accompanied by an adult to attend:

Now onto our celebrations for the week. Those nominated by their teacher joined Mrs Dean for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N: Leo Briars

R: Rebecca

Y1: Tommy

Y2: Alys

Y3: Alfie T

Y4: William

Y5: Leanna

Y6: Sofia M

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 and stretch 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:

N: -

R: Isla K – Create

Y1: TJ – Reflect

Y2: Isabella – Risk

Y3: Vinnie – Stretch

Y4: Billy-Joe - Risk

Y5: Kian - Reflect

Y6: Joe - Create

The winners of Phil Good’s question this week this week were:

 

Skylar Y2, Alfie T (Y3) and Lewis (Y6)

I hope that you enjoy the weekend see you all on Monday.

Ben Conway

Friday 7th October

Our intrepid Year 6 cohort returned this week from their residential trip to Bawdsey Manor PGL a little weary. They all had a fantastic time having many incredible experiences along the way, and they represented our Shephalbury Park community amazingly well with many compliments from the staff at the centre. A huge thank you to Mrs Cropley, Miss Cordner and Mrs Spiller for leading the trip. If you would like to see what they got up to check out the photos via the link below:

We had an interesting new Shephalbury LEARNER crash land in the KS1 outside area this week, and she has caused quite a stir! Beegu’s spaceship came to rest outside the Year 1 classroom and she has inspired some brilliant story mapping text internalisation in some of our youngest learners. They have loved learning the story of Beegu, and seeing their engagement and excitement around the book fills me with joy.

 

At school, we all recognise the importance of developing a love of reading and how important it is to secure the skills required to read fluently and accurately. By sharing books at home, reading to each other and talking about the books and stories that we know and read, we can all support our Shephalbury LEARNERS further develop their reading skills and love of reading.

The beginning of October has also brought the national observance of Black History Month across the UK. Each year we use the theme to recognise, understand and celebrate the stories, people and actions of those from with African and Caribbean heritage. The theme this year is ‘Time for Change: Actions not Words’ centres on activism and activists who have fought to raise awareness of injustice and to promote their drive for equality. Throughout the month of October our learners will be learning about activism and activists, some of the issues that activists fought for and the legacy of whet they achieved.

As you will all know, last week we held our annual Macmillan cake sale which lasted more than a day thanks to the many donations that we received. The total raised by your monetary donations was £291.31, thank you to everyone for contributing!

 

Coming up in a couple of weeks are our Halloween discos for all year groups. If you are yet to pay for a ticket for your child you can do so via the Gateway app. Once you have done this, please ensure that you also complete the relevant survey to let us know some key information. The links to these are below. Please note that children in Nursery will need to be accompanied by an adult to attend:

Now onto our celebrations for the week. This week Mrs Grizzell provided a range of cupcakes for Bucket Filler’s tea party, thank you very much! Those nominated by their teacher joined me for their treat and a drink, along with my new weekly tea party questions!

 

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

 

N: Louie

R: Dominic

Y1: Alfie

Y2: Daniel

Y3: Charlie

Y4: Roma

Y5: Ajolaoluwa

Y6: Skye