Translate
Search

Shephalbury ParkPrimary School

Imagine, Believe, Achieve

Contact Details

Mr Conway's Blog 2023-2024

Thursday 28th March

As we make it to the end of term, I find myself writing my final blog post after 1,670 days as the Headteacher of Shephalbury Park Primary School. It has been a lovely day, visiting church, having tea parties with everyone,  drawing the Easter raffle and having a farewell assembly…a perfect way to end my time at Shephalbury Park.

 

I held my last Monday assembly last week, taking some time to discuss new adventures and reflecting on the adventures that we have already had. It was lovely to be able to spend time sharing some memories from the last 5 years and talking about how we feel as we all embark on a journey into the future.

 

When reflecting on the journey of the school during my time here, it is amazing to look back at what we have achieved together: a new library, weekly tea parties, Shephalbury LEARNER, sports weeks, trips, visitors, new house teams and a whole lot more. I am incredibly proud of what we have created for our learning community and will remember many of the fantastic people and experiences that I have fortunate to have along the way.

 

Along with all of the brilliant times that I have had, my time here has been interspersed with many challenges along the way – specifically during the COVID pandemic. Whilst this period was filled with uncertainty for all of us, it gave us the opportunity to be creative and build a learning community in a positive way for the betterment of the education of the learners here at Shephalbury Park.

 

I remember vividly coming to view the school before applying for the role. It was a snow day, everyone was in their own clothes and school had been optional on that particular day. I immediately felt a sense of warmth from everyone and could see the huge potential within the school, and most importantly I could see myself leading it.

 

I have been honoured to be able to have played a part in building and leading a learning community like the one here at Shephalbury Park. I also feel very privileged to have been welcomed in and embraced by everyone associated with the school…this really has felt like home for the last (nearly) 5 years.

 

My role has been made a lot easier during my time here thanks to a huge range of individuals and groups.

 

Firstly, an enormous thank you to the staff, past and present, for the commitment, belief and effort that they have put in to play their roles in making our school what it is today. I have worked in and with many schools during my time as an educator, and I have rarely, if ever, seen or worked with a staff team like this! They are supportive, adaptable, caring and above all good fun.

 

Next, of course, are our incredible Shephalbury learners. They are a vibrant and engaging group who I have had the real pleasure of getting to know and see grow over time. Their enjoyment and love of our school has filled my life with much happiness. They try their very best to embody the expectations that we set for them and I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of their educational and life journey. I will of course miss them all greatly!

 

Thank you to our wider community and families. I thank you all for the trust that you have put in our school and me as its leader, in supporting us during tough times and believing in the approach that we have taken to educate your children. I have deeply valued your our wide ranging conversations over the years and your kind words and gifts.

 

Leading a school is quite unlike anything else, it is not just a job to be done but it is something that gets you deep inside. Whilst our core purpose is education, it goes far beyond just the academic element. It is the relationships that are built, the opportunities that are created and the emotions that are felt by all. I can quite honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed developing and leading this learning community over the last 5 years and I will miss it and you all greatly…I will always be a Shephalbury Learner deep down.

 

Ben Conway

Friday 22nd March 2024

The end of another and I am finding myself writing what will be my last full blog post, I will post a final one next week. Over the course of the week I have found myself reflecting on many things from the past few years. Events, people, good times and challenges. Through it all the constant thing for me has been the sense of togetherness and community that is felt within our school. As a staff team, as cohorts of learners and as a wider school community. This is something that I will truly miss as I move on.

 

I opened up the week with an assembly aimed at hopefully answering some of the many ‘Mr Conway, why are you leaving us?’ questions that I have had over the last couple of months. I appreciate how hard the concept is for children as staff move on to other roles, and it is also a hard concept to come to terms with as an adult and professional, having built strong relationships with the community. My assembly was based on New Adventures and centred on the Oliver Jeffers book ‘What We’ll Build’, which centres around building something special with those we care about, inviting others in and sharing what we have and then building a special place for the memories created. I felt that this perfectly captured my thoughts and feelings at the moment.

 

We shared and discussed the importance of new adventures and how this feels- the mix of excitement, loss and nervousness that comes with it. We also reflected on how we apply ourselves as Shephalbury Learners throughout our lives, and the opportunity to take risks and grow in life outside of school.

 

If you would like to see the assembly presentation you can below (it also includes some old photos of current learners from a few years ago which surprised everyone!):

This week was the International Day of Happiness, a day dedicated to spreading positivity and happiness amongst ourselves. We all recognise that life can be tough for many at the moment, however with more positivity and happy vibes we can spread to each other the nicer place we can make the world.

A big thank you to everyone who attended our learning review meetings this week, I hope that you found these meetings informative with regards to your child’s progress and attainment. We value your attendance at these meetings and the opportunity that it allows us to recognise and celebrate the positives in everyone’s learning.

 

Any meetings that were missed due to staff illness will be rearranged in the near future, thank you for your understanding with this.

 

I wrote last week regarding The Friends of Shephalbury Park’s AGM. Please see below for the updated information that was circulate regarding The FOSP:

We have seen some of our learners out and about this week, with church visits and the Y3 & 4 residential taking place this weekend. These learning experiences can only take place due to the planning and time given by our staff team. A huge thank you to them all for providing these opportunities for our learners.

 

A little reminder as we approach the end of term…we break up from school on Thursday 28th March at 1.30pm for all year groups.

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party- with this week being my final Friday Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some delicious Easter themed chocolate cakes supplied by Mrs Cargill, thank you! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Peyton

YR: Charlie

Y1: Kai

Y2: TJ

Y3: Ethan

Y4: Baran

Y5: Pippa

Y6: Bethany

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Riley - Solve

YR: Ellis - Stretch

Y1: Albie - Grow

Y2: Bella - Stretch

Y3: Darcey - Think

Y4: Freddie - Stretch

Y5: Ephraim - Risk

Y6: Uzma - Stretch

Phil’s question this week was: “What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you? Explain…” A big well done to our Golden Ticket winners pictured below.

 

Josh Y5- “The scariest thing that happened to me was when I was walking by myself in pitch black.”

 

Kane YR- “Is when I was on my own.”

 

Elijah Y6- “I was on a plane and it had mega turbulence, it had to go around 6 times.”

I hope that you all have a great weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 15th March 2024

 

This week has been British Science Week, and at Shephalbury Park we have marked the occasion with our annual STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) week across the school. We kicked off the week with a whole school assembly led by our friends from Unilever, telling us a bit about what they do and conducting some experiments for us all to see. This was followed up by some CSI workshops in UKS2.

Then throughout the week we have seen all classes engage in a range of learning opportunities within the different areas of focus. This has included learning how to use Micro:Bits for different projects, building water clocks for different purposes and creating some cyanotype photography.

 

Micro:Bits are small controllable devices that can be programmed using codes in different computer software. Learners have been using them to create flashing hearts, make an EMG and to test the amount of moisture in soil.

Each phase water clocks for different purposes:

 

Cyanotype photography is a camera-less technique that involves laying an object on paper coated with a solution of iron salts before exposing it to UV light and washing with water to create stunning white and blue images.

A huge thank you to the teachers, staff and leaders who have planned and facilitated a fantastic and informative learning experience across the school.

 

I attended the FSOP Summer Fete planning meeting earlier this week, where dates and ideas were discussed amongst the group. They will communicate their ideas, dates and plans with everyone in the near future.

 

Today we saw lots of Red Noses around the school in recognition of Comic Relief. Whilst we have chosen not to raise money this year for the charity, we of course support their mission and many other causes that they provide valuable funding for. If you would like more information regarding the charity or to donate online follow the link below:

Our learners should be bringing home notes from their teacher today to support their learning review meetings next week. I know that many of you have already signed up for time slot, if you haven’t already I would urge you to do so. This is an opportunity to discuss your child’s academic attainment and progress so far this year, learn about their effort and application in lessons and to find out how you may be able to further support their learning at home. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you have of the teacher.

 

When you come for your meeting, please enter school through the main entrance and come to the hall, where you will find your child’s books. Class teachers will come and get you from the hall when they are ready for your time slot. Learners are not expected to attend the meetings, other than our Year 6 cohort. We really value the opportunity to recognise and celebrate individual progress with our families, we look forward to welcoming you next week.

Our Year 3 & 4 football team played out a hard fought match earlier this week at Round Diamond. They performed very well and represented our school in a commendable way, but unfortunately came off losing 1 – 0. Let’s hope that our Year 5 & 6 team put in an equally creditable performance this afternoon against Giles Juniors.

 

I reported last week that we were very grateful for a grant and donations received from our community. I am pleased to say that thanks to another nomination from a parent were have received another grant. Anthony Noakes, nominated us for a Sainsbury’s community grant to support with the cost of food for our Porridge Pot and Tea Pot provisions. A huge thank you to him for supporting us in this way!

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some delicious chocolate loaf cake supplied by Mr Haslett, thank you! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Eliza

YR: Hudson

Y1: Naayel

Y2: Sebastian

Y3: Florence

Y4: Kyla M

Y5: Joshua

Y6: George

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Noah - Create

YR: Louie - Think

Y1: Rebecca - Solve

Y2: Oliver - Solve

Y3: Louis - Think

Y4: Olivia - Create

Y5: Ethan - Solve

Y6: Ethan - Risk

Phil’s question this week was: “What do you think are the causes of poverty, and how can you help? Explain…” A big well done to our Golden Ticket winners pictured below.

 

Kian Y6- “Gambling and other things that can lose you money rapidly, and there’s not enough support.”

 

Roylean Y6- “The causes of poverty are unemployment and low paid jobs. We can help by providing clean water, education, increase household income, food and other things.”

 

Leanna Y6- “The causes are that countries are going to war, which uses money. We can help by donating to charities that support.”

 

Charlie Y4- “Not getting a job, having low money, unhappy with other people at their job or not well enough to do their job. Help by raising and donating money and food.”

There were 3 Headteacher’s Awards handed out this week for some excellent work across the curriculum.

 

First up was Hudson (YR) for his excellent independent writing. Now Hudson is a bit of a fan of motorbikes and during exploring time earlier this week, he wrote about the bike that he had made out of bricks at school and how to fix it if he broke! Brilliant work Hudson!

 

Next was another learner from Reception, Louie, who worked really hard on his STEAM week project. Louie built a sand timer, using bottles and sand, but was struggling as the sand went too quickly from bottle to bottle. He persevered during the week, coming up with different strategies to slow the flow of sand and make his timer last longer. Louie was determined and resourceful, and was a very deserving recipient of a Headteacher’s Award…great work Louie!

 

Finally was Emily (Y3) who has been mastering something which many of us can find challenging…fractions. Year 3 have been learning about unit fractions and comparing them this week to see which is larger, smaller and putting them in order. Emily has done a fantastic job, and today completed the 1, 2 & 3 star challenges. A fantastic achievement…well done Emily!

I hope that you all have a great weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 8th March 2024

The end of another busy week at Shephalbury Park, and today we marked two annual events within school. Today is International Women’s Day, recognised each year around the world:

 

‘International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

 

IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.’

We recognised the day by having an inspirational women’s treasure hunt around the playground for classes to engage in throughout the day, and by learners and staff sharing books by or about inspirational women.

 

I have seen many copies of Harry Potter around the school, as JK Rowling has demonstrated herself to be a truly celebrated author. I was fortunate enough to share one of my favourite books with our Reception class this morning. Not only is it written by a generational female author, Julia Donaldson, it is quite specifically about the relationship between a little girl and her mother and is –and has been- one of my daughter’s favourite books since she was very small. Paper Dolls tells of the adventure of a little girl with her paper dolls in her imaginary world- if you haven’t read it, I would encourage you to share it with your children at home.

 

We all recognise the importance of books and literature in our lives, and despite the ever changing world around us, books, stories and reading are one of the constants that will always be with us. Reading itself is a ‘gateway skill’, which opens up opportunities and access into a whole new world of information and opportunity.

This weekend sees many people recognise Mothers’ or significant others’ day on Sunday. We have marked this occasion in school with our annual Breakfast for Reception Mums and significant others and will be doing the same for Nursery on Monday. A big thank you to those who took the time to attend- we hope that you enjoyed your breakfast!

 

You may remember that we were successful in being chosen for the Tesco Stronger Starts grant scheme. I know that many Shephalbury Park community members were hoarding blue tokens and voting for our cause – the creation of a sensory garden space. I am pleased to let everyone know that we were the most voted for in our round of funding, meaning that we will be receiving a £1500 grant as a result. This is great news, and will go a long way to creating a lovely space for our community. Thank you to everyone who voted for us!

 

In addition to this, I would like to extend a special thanks to Stacy Smith, who has also been raising money for us. Through a raffle and online donations, Stacy raised a brilliant total of £704 which will supplement our sensory garden space.

 

Some more thanks, and a goodbye to let you all know about. Mrs Smith will be leaving us today having joined us in November 2020. Over the last 3 and a half years, Mrs Smith has contributed a lot to our learners and staff team across the school. We will be sad to see her go, but wish her the best of luck in her new role as a teaching assistant at Roebuck Academy.

Some brilliant sports news to share with you all…our Year 5 netball team competed in an away match earlier this week at Almond Hill. I understand it was a close fought match, but our girls came out victorious, with a 4 – 1 victory. A huge well done to them all!

 

Following on from last week’s AGM, The FOSP are now setting the wheels in motion in planning for the summer fete. They will be holding a planning meeting this coming Wednesday 13th March at 3.15pm at school for anyone interested in contributing in any way. Your attendance and support will be very much appreciated…please remember that the collective success of events like this relies on the help and support of volunteers from across our community.

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some delicious yum yums!! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Orla

YR: Chester

Y1: Molly

Y2: Ethan

Y3: Isabella

Y4: Leo

Y5: Ini

Y6: Elijah

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Linda - Think

YR: Ollie - Create

Y1: Maison - Think

Y2: William - Think

Y3: Poppy - Think

Y4: Lillyanna - Stretch

Y5: Roma - Think

Y6: Amelia - Solve

Phil’s question this week was: “What is the most important thing in your life? Explain…” A big well done to our Golden Ticket winners pictured below.

 

Emmie Y6- “My Dad because of the amount of things that he has been through, but he still tries his best for me.”

 

Ralph Y2- “Food and water.”

 

Mina Y5- “The most important things in my life are my family and friends as they help me, encourage me and care for me.”

 

Florence Y3- “My best friend.”

 

There were 4 Headteacher’s Awards handed out this week for some excellent work across the curriculum.

 

Seth (Y6) was first up this week, being awarded his Headteacher’s Award for his mastery of ratio in maths. Ratio can be a tricky concept to grasp for many, and in the primary curriculum it isn’t taught until learners reach Year 6. Seth was able to really articulate his learning to me with clarity, describing how he had scaled measures to calculate the lengths of sides on an isosceles triangle. Super work Seth…keep it up!

 

Next were two of our Year 1 learners, also for some fabulous maths work. Both Yasmina and Lola developed a strong understanding of the ‘cup and counter’ method to support their understanding of multiplication. Both girls were able to effectively use the manipulatives to support them in calculating the answers to the problems independently. Awesome work!

 

My final award this week went to Ephraim (Y5) for his excellent work in WRE. Whilst learning about the 4 gospels, Ephraim was able to recount lots of information and articulate and describe it really clearly to me…did you know that the word gospel comes from the Anglo-Saxon term gods spell which means good news!

I hope that you all have a great weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 1st March 2024

Welcome back to the second half of the Spring term at Shephalbury Park, I hope that everyone had a relaxing week with their families!

 

We kicked off the week with another special visitor, Bart Gee:

Bart was born with a rare physical disability called Arthrogryposis which means that he has weak muscles and stiff joints.  After Bart was born, doctors said he would never walk and may not ever have the strength to be able to sit up independently, and he would have a bleak outlook to life. However he has overcome many of the barriers in his life to achieve many great things.

 

He came to school to share his story and the belief that anything is possible!

 

Bart amazed us with his piano playing in assembly and we all had a turn at understanding some of the difficulties Bart faces on a day to day basis.

 

Another hugely inspirational visitor to our school!

Bart Gee's Story

Breaking Limits - Turning Disability Into Possibility - Bart's Story Breaking Limits - Bart Gee (Arthrogryposis) E: bart@breakinglimits.co.uk W: www.breakinglimits.co.uk

Last night I attended the Friends of Shephalbury Park AGM. Throughout my time at Shephalbury Park, it was one of my ambitions to re-establish a PTFA to benefit the whole community. It was great to hear how far they have come as a group and what they have achieved since the start of the 2022-23 academic year.

 

There is much hard work that happens behind the scenes at all hours of the day…registrations, bank accounts, risk assessments, funding applications, collecting donations and this is all before putting on any of the events. As with all voluntary organisations, much of this can seem like a thankless task and is hidden to those who just enjoy and attend the events.

 

It has been brilliant to see them grow and develop over time, providing some fantastic events for our learners and wider community, as well as raising a fantastic amount of money.

 

In the last academic year, through the various discos, egg hunt, colouring competitions and amazing summer fete, the FOSP raised £2,383.05…a fantastic achievement. A huge thank you to those members who have served in positions on the committee until now and good luck to those who have been voted on for the next term of office. Also a big thank you to the volunteers, for the donations and for attending the events that have taken place so far.

 

I am sure that they will communicate the new committee and upcoming dates with you all soon!

We closed off the week today with another brilliant WRE learning day all around the theme of creation and where do we come from?

 

We kicked off with an assembly and the very aptly chosen Louis Armstrong song ‘What a Wonderful World’. Year groups then went off and investigated the creation stories from different world religions to understand others and help form their own opinion of creation. We then shared our learning with each other later in the day and recorded what we believed about creation.

 

A big thank you to Mrs Spiller for setting up the day and all of our staff for facilitating the learning opportunities throughout the day.

Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World (Official Video)

Louis Armstrong "What A Wonderful World" official music video.

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some delicious cupcakes!! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Charlie

YR: Charlie

Y1: Henry

Y2: Sonny

Y3: Isabella

Y4: Tommy

Y5: Ethan

Y6: Caleb

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Lois - Think

YR: Lily - Grow

Y1: Archie - Create

Y2: Lillee - Create

Y3: Florence - Think

Y4: Mckenzie - Solve

Y5: Sofia - Solve

Y6: Jamila - Solve

There were 3 Headteacher’s Awards handed out this week for some excellent work across the curriculum.

 

The first award went to Isla D (Y1) for her work in maths this week. Year 1 have moved on to counting amounts in 10s, and Isla demonstrated her skills and knowledge in this area independently to Mrs Cargill incredibly well. She worked with confidence and achieved all 3 challenges that were set for the class. Great work Isla!

 

The next award was also for maths in Year 2, and it went to Melissa G. Year 2 have been working on developing their knowledge and understanding of multiplication and division, which as we all know can be tricky to get our heads around! But Melissa has been a fantastic Shephalbury Learner and completed the 3 star challenges independently. An excellent start to this half term Melissa, well done!

 

Finally was Harry (Y1) for his determination to continue his learning at home. KS1 have were learning about the geography of London before half term and are moving on to learning about The Great Fire of London in history this half term. During half term, Harry has completed much pre-learning by visiting Pudding Lane, climbing The Monument and creating a puppet theatre and show about the fire. A super commitment to being a Shephalbury Learner Harry…Keep it up!

I hope that you all have a great weekend!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 16th February 2024

As we reach the end of this half term, it has been another jam packed week at Shephalbury Park!

 

We opened the final week of this half term with an assembly marking International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which is an annual observance that celebrates the achievements and contributions of women and girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This day recognises the importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the scientific community.

 

International Day of Women and Girls in Science is observed on February 11th each year. This date was chosen to honour the birthday of Marie Curie, a pioneering physicist and chemist who made ground breaking contributions to the fields of radioactivity and nuclear physics. Marie Curie remains an inspirational figure for women in science.

 

Please see below for the assembly that was shared with the school:

On Friday, 8th of March, we will be celebrating World Book Day at Shephalbury Park. As this day coincides with International Women’s Day, the theme for which is ‘Inspire Inclusion’, we are inviting children to bring in a book to share with their class which either features an inspirational female character or is about a female who has strived to achieve inclusion.

 

During our World Book Day celebrations, children will have the opportunity to share their books and take part in activities during break and lunch time. Children should wear their school uniform to school on this day. When we return from half-term, children will bring home a World Book Day Book Token which can be used to purchase one of the special World Book Day books or as a discount against the purchase of another book.

 

Further information about World Book Day and the book tokens can be found here: World Book Day - World Book Day | World Book Day is a registered charity. Our mission is to give every child and young person a book of their own.

 

Further information about International Women’s Day can be found here: International Women's Day 2024 (internationalwomensday.com)

 

This week we welcomed a new member of staff to our team, Mrs Evans has joined our support staff team and will be working with learners across the school. I know that you will all join me in welcoming her to our school community.

 

You may have spotted Mrs Levy back in school over the last few weeks as she has been coming to the end of her maternity leave. We are pleased to be welcoming her back to re-join us Mondays to Wednesdays after the half term break.

 

Someone who is leaving us today is Mr Rahman, who has been developing his teaching practice in Reception over the course of this half term. Mr Rahman will be returning to his ‘home’ school to complete his training and qualify as a teacher. We wish him the best of luck and thank him for his commitment during his time with us.

 

It has been a sporty week at Shephalbury Park, with two football matches, a badminton festival and sports hall athletics taking place.

 

On Monday, our Year 3 & 4 football team were successful in securing a 1 – 0 victory in some pretty muddy and damp conditions. Well done to them!

 

We sent some willing Year 5 athletes to participate in a badminton workshop with Mrs McKenzie on Wednesday this week. They all had a great time developing their racket skills and representing our school.

 

On Thursday, Mr Klein and I accompanied a large team of athletes to participate in the Stevenage sports hall athletics competition at Barnwell. We were in the third of 3 heats and facilitated as many athletes as possible having a chance to participate in some inter-school competition. Everyone tried their best, against some tough opposition, and represented the school with pride.

 

Finally, this afternoon, our Year 5 & 6 football team are taking on Codicote. At the time of writing we are awaiting the outcome, but no doubt they will try their best and give it their all!

On Tuesday, Mrs McKenzie, Mrs Dean and Phil Good held their Golden Moment for all of our golden ticket winners from this half term. They were lucky to be treated to some delicious smores – melted chocolate and marshamallows sandwiched between biscuits. They were very yummy, and very messy!

We ended our week with a fantastic sharing assembly from our Year 4 Shephalbury Learners, who spoke, sang and danced magnificently well. As many adults will testify, standing up in front of a room full of people can be a daunting task, but every single person did a fantastic job. A huge well done to them all, and thank you to Miss Cordner and Mrs Bond for putting everything together.

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some delicious Valentines themed biscuits made by Mrs McKenzie, thank you!! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Camden

YR: Theo

Y1: Emily

Y2: Felicity B

Y3: Flynn

Y4: Violet

Y5: Emilia

Y6: Phoebe

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Lois - Reflect

YR: Grayson - Grow

Y1: Leo - Create

Y2: Georgi - Stretch

Y3: Charlie - Reflect

Y4: Max - Create

Y5: Mina - Grow

Y6: Caleb - Reflect

Phil’s question this week was: “What does love feel like? Explain…” A big well done to our Golden Ticket winners pictured below.

 

Isabelle Y2- “It feels like positive thoughts are swirling all around me.”

 

Skylar Y3- “Funny in your tummy.”

 

Maia Y5- “Love feels happy because you know someone cares for you and loves you, and you feel safe because they will protect you if they love you.”

 

Ephraim Y5- “Love can feel warm when you’re being kind to someone, playing with your friends nicely and looking after your family members.”

There were 5 Headteacher’s Awards handed out this week for some excellent work across the curriculum.

 

The first 3 wen to some of our oldest learners in Year 6 for their excellent persuasive writing. Based on the Greenpeace short film and information ‘Rang-tan’, our learners wrote at length regarding the use of palm oil and the impact on the wildlife in these areas of huge deforestation. Kingsley, Melody and Ethan all expertly wove facts and information into their highly persuasive texts encouraging us not to use products which contain palm oil. Super writing from all 3 of you…well done!

Next up was Albert (Y2) for some exceptionally good maths work this week. Year 2 have been working on their doubling and halving skills this week, and Albert has excelled! He worked incredibly hard to complete his tasks independently and could explain his methodology for solving all of the problems really clearly. Brilliant work Albert!

 

Last up for this week, and this half term, was Poppy (Y3) for her fantastic knowledge and skills in geography this week. Year 3 have been developing their understanding of human and physical features on maps, and using this to investigate our local area. Poppy could explain the difference between each and describe what she found in each category within our town. Amazing geography skills Poppy, well done!

I hope that you all enjoy a restful half term and look forward to seeing you back on Monday 19th February ready and raring to go!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 9th February 2024

 

As the weeks fly by, we find ourselves rattling towards half term at quite a rate. There has been loads of engaging and exciting learning taking place across the school. From Chinese lanterns in Reception to flat breads in Year 4, our learners are gaining valuable experiences, developing their skills and deepening their broad knowledge across the whole curriculum.

 

This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week across the school, where we have shared the key message of ‘My Voice Matters’. There have been a range of activities and opportunities for learners to support their own and improve their mental health awareness and understanding. A big thank you to Mrs Dean and Mrs McKenzie for planning these for our learners.

 

If you haven’t yet accessed some of the additional resources for home, you can do so via the link below:

5 Ways to Wellbeing

Uploaded by Stevenage Borough Council on 2024-02-07.

This weekend sees people around the world celebrating Lunar New Year, as we enter the Year of the Dragon. We wish anyone who is celebrating a happy and prosperous new year.

Lunar New Year 2024: The year of the Dragon 🐉 | Newsround

Newsround #lunarnewyear #dragon #lunarnewyear2024 Welcome to the official BBC Newsround YouTube channel. Subscribe here ➡️ ➡️ ➡️ https://bit.ly/3bYidJ3 For daily news bulletins visit BBC iPlayer ➡️ https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b006mdbc/newsround Happy Lunar New Year 2024! Lunar New Year is celebrated at the start of a new moon, because of this the date always changes.

Last Saturday morning I accompanied team Shephalbury Park at the Herts County Cross Country Championships at a chilly St Margarets School in Bushey. There was a buzz of excitement for all of the entrants, and each of our team represented our school fantastically well. It was a mixed course, running on the field and through some undulating woodland, and each of our competitors pushed themselves all the way to the end.

 

A huge well done to Joshua, Lilly, Maia, George, Kingsley and Ben for competing so well. Special mentions and congratulations to Phoebe and Pippa, who finished 24th and 28th respectively in their races!

Our Year 6 netball team also competed this week in a match against Codicote. Unfortunately, their coach, Mrs McKenzie, was absent due to illness, but Mrs Dean and I stepped in to be the match managers. Our team definitely didn’t disappoint, and they did their absent coach proud, pulling off an extremely dominant performance in winning 13-3. This is quite possibly their best performance to date and the result of lots of hard work in their regular training sessions. Well done to the whole team!

 

This afternoon FOSP will be hosting their ‘Friendship Disco’, I am sure that we are still boogying away whilst you are reading this! A big thank you to everyone who has helped to organise and volunteer to ensure that the event runs smoothly.

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some delicious Lunar New Year inspired cupcakes provided by Mrs Lee, thank you!! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Cooper

YR: Leo

Y1: Isla D

Y2: Phoebe

Y3: Alys

Y4: Charlie

Y5: Sofia

Y6: Bella

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Orla - Stretch

YR: Mollie - Grow

Y1: Harry - Think

Y2: Melissa - Reflect

Y3: Alys - Grow

Y4: Emma - Think

Y5: Oscar - Grow

Y6: Roylean - Grow

Phil’s question this week was: “How do you use your voice to make a difference?” A big well done to our Golden Ticket winners pictured below.

 

Matilda (YR)- “Tell people how you are feeling if you are upset.”

 

Isabella (Y3)- “Speak up or see Mrs McKenzie.”

 

Roma (Y5)- “I can use my voice to say good things, stand up for my rights and say good things to help people.”

A couple of Headteacher’s Awards this week to mention. First of all this week was Mollie (YR) who has been developing and applying her writing skills. During exploring time, Mollie created, wrote and illustrated her own book independently, applying her phonic knowledge. A fantastic effort Mollie…well done!

 

My second award this week was for some more excellent writing, but this time in Year 1. Archie used his phonic knowledge to segment words and write his own sentences using the subordinating conjunction ‘because’. Some brilliant work Archie…keep it up!

I just wanted to end by passing on my gratitude to those people have shared kind words with me following the announcement of my leaving at the end of this term. I have had lots of discussions with learners across the school about it this week, and I have heard some very interesting thoughts around how they think the new headteacher should be decided…I will pass their ideas on to governors.

 

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend see you all next week!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 2nd February 2024

 

A clearer end to the week and the end to what has felt like, to many, the end to a very long January. As always at this time of the year, people revisiting the ‘resolutions’ or ‘changes’ that they had suggested that they would make at New Year, and considered whether they are long term or short term changes that will last. As I have always said, impactful changes in our lives happen when we make tweaks and adaptations, as opposed to major overhauls. Just like learning, there is a clear journey and process behind our continual strive to improve ourselves. But as ever, there are many bumps in the road and obstacles that present themselves, but the support that is available to us all will enable us to meet our goals.

As the evenings are getting a little lighter, we have seen a return to sporting fixtures during this week. Our Year 5 & 6 football team were successful in their away match against Fairlands on Monday of this week, well done to them!

 

On the same day our Year 6 netball team hosted Round Diamond for their match up, but unfortunately they weren’t successful. At the time of writing the Year 3 & 4 football result is yet to be confirmed, but as I know with all of our teams, I am sure that they demonstrated the values of Shephalbury Park and represented us very well.

 

On Saturday this week, we have a team of Year 5 & 6 runners who will be competing in the annual Hertfordshire Cross Country Championships, which are being held in Bushey this year. They will be covering a mile long course over a mix of terrain in a field of runners drawn from across all other Hertfordshire schools. I look forward to seeing them compete and will share news of their endeavours next week.

 

Our Green Kestrels house team celebrated their success from last term today by wearing their own clothes. Congratulations to everyone in Kestrels on your hard work and effort last term. Already this term the other house teams have ‘pulled up their socks’ and are working hard to usurp the current champions from last term.

 

Next week is Children’s Mental Health Week:

Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 will take place from 5th-11th February. Place2Be launched the mental health awareness week in 2015 to empower, equip and give a voice to every child in the UK.

 

Every year Children’s Mental Health Week sees hundreds of schools, children, parents and carers taking part. Now in its 10th year, we hope to encourage more people than ever to help us reach our goal that no child or young person has to face a mental health problem alone.

 

Each year, we create free resources so that as many people as possible can take part. 

 

This year's theme is 'My Voice Matters'

 

During Children’s Mental Health Week we want all children and young people, whoever they are, and wherever they are in the world, to be able to say – and believe - “My Voice Matters”.

 

My Voice Matters is about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves.

 

When we feel empowered, this can have a positive impact on our wellbeing. Children and young people who feel that their voices are heard and can make a difference have a greater sense of community and self-esteem. This year, we want children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to be empowered to work together to create a positive change for their mental health and wellbeing.

 

During Children’s Mental Health Week we want all children and young people, whoever they are, and wherever they are in the world, to be able to say – and believe - “My Voice Matters”.

 

There will be activities and events happening in school throughout next week. If you would like some more information or resources to support your children with their learning about this at home, please follow the link below:

Please see details below regarding the upcoming ‘Friendship Disco’ on Friday 9th February:

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some delicious cupcakes provided by Mrs Ashby, thank you!! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Annabelle

YR: Dylan

Y1: Elara

Y2: Teddy

Y3: Finley

Y4: Emily

Y5: Mayson

Y6: Melody

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Aaira - Stretch

YR: Theo - Stretch

Y1: Sofia - Stretch

Y2: Ralph - Create

Y3: Ronnie - Grow

Y4: Max - Grow

Y5: William - Stretch

Y6: Anjolaoluwa - Reflect

Phil’s question this week was: “What can you teach other people?” Mrs McKenzie and Phil were very impressed by the range of thoughtful answers that people had provided! A big well done to our Golden Ticket winners pictured below.

 

Taylor (Y1)- “To do their coat up.”

 

Beau (YR)- “I can teach my brother to ride his bike.”

 

Lola (Y1)- “Learning- capital letters, full stops and capitals for names.”

 

Jessica (Y4)- “How to be kind and caring to others and not be rude. You can also teach them to use words and not violence.”

Another bumper week for Headteacher’s Awards this week!

 

The first award went to one of youngest Shephalbury learners in Nursery, Esme. She persevered incredibly well when deciding to create a split pin model of a dog. She brought it to me showing me how proud she was, and demonstrating how it worked. I especially liked the waggly tail that she had added. This was a fantastic independent feat of perseverance and creativity. Well done Esme!

Next was a learner from Reception, Hiba for her independent application of phonics during exploring time. Hiba has been working really hard in phonics recently and decided that she wanted to use her exploring time to make her own book version of Cinderella. She illustrated it and added words using her knowledge to each page. Super work Hiba!

Next in was some wonderful WRE work from Year 4. Learners in Year 4 have been looking at the different pilgrimages of people from a range of world religions. Steffen was highly engaged in the subject matter and could describe those made by Jews, Christians and Muslims from around the World. Great work Steffen…keep it up!

My final three awards this week went to learners in Year 3, who have had a grammar focus in their developmental writing this week. We all know that the punctuation of speech is critical in our creative writing, yet it also something which can prove tricky to master. This week, however, Ronnie, Elliot and Elijah have made brilliant progress with their understanding and independent application of the features of speech. Amazing stuff boys…well done!

Before I close my blog this week I want to follow up on the letter that you will have received from our Governors earlier today. My departure at the end of this term leaves me with mixed emotions. I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together during my time at Shephalbury Park, through COVID and beyond. This is a special school that really gets inside you as a person and I have enjoyed every minute of my tenure as the leader of this fantastic school. The learners, staff and wider community have been wonderful throughout my time here and I will truly miss many people and many aspects of life at Shephalbury Park.

 

I am also very excited to be moving on to another role that will provide me with much professional challenge, as well as personal growth. As I move on, I will hold the attributes of the Shephalbury Learner close, applying them to my ongoing work in enriching the educational opportunities for learners in schools in Hertfordshire.

 

I know that I am leaving the school in some very capable hands, with Mrs Cropley, Mrs Dean and the rest of the amazing staff team, and trust that you will show them the same trust and support that you have shown me during this period of transition.

 

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend see you all next week!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 26th January 2024

 

We have reached the half way point of this half term, and the learning focus around the school has really impressed me this week. This has been demonstrated in all classes, with some fantastic examples of the independent application of learning in my Headteacher’s Awards this week.

 

I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to regularly drop into lessons in all year groups, seeing how engaged and proactive everyone is as a Shephalbury learner. This is all due to the hard work of our staff, who are continuously developing engaging and exciting learning opportunities for all of our classes. Thank you to them, and a huge thank you to our Shephalbury learners for showing a growth mind set and working hard!

This week we welcomed Mrs Levy back to school for a keeping in touch day as she nears her return from maternity leave. It was great to see her settle back in to our staff team as if she’d never been away. We look forward to her full return after halt term.

 

Our House Champions from last term are yet to have received their prize…next Friday 2nd February will be a non-uniform day for anyone in Green Kestrels. Please ensure that clothing and footwear is appropriate for a regular day at school.

 

You may remember our cake sale during December, where our School Council, led by Mrs Mutch, were raising valuable funds for the Children’s Ward at The Lister Hospital. This week Mrs Mutch and our Year 5 & 6 Councillors visited the hospital to hand over a cheque and find out a bit more about how and where your donations will be used.

 

“We met one of the play specialists who showed us the play room and all of the things that they had fundraised for. 

 

They also discussed future projects and how we could get involved to support The Magic of Play project in the future. Stacey commented on how well behaved the children were and how grateful they were for our kind donation.”

 

A big thank you to everyone who donated to such a fantastic cause!

Please see details below regarding the upcoming ‘Friendship Disco’ on Friday 9th February:

The FOSP will also be holding their AGM during February and would really value the input and support of anyone else wishing to contribute.

‘The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Friends of Shephalbury Park PTFA to be held on 29th February. It will be held in the school hall from 7pm. 

 

The PTFA (parent, teacher & friends association) plays a vital part in the school community and all parents, guardians & carers, as automatic members of the PTFA, are invited to support the AGM.

 

The agenda will include:

  • What a PTFA is
  • Chairs report (Our achievements, events, and goals)
  • Treasurers report
  • How you can help the PTFA
  • Elect new committee

 

The AGM is also an opportunity for you to elect the PTFA Committee, who represent the association throughout the forthcoming year. Nominations should be sent in advance of the AGM for anyone wishing to stand as a Committee Member, for the first time. Existing committee members wishing to stand for re-election do not have to be nominated again but should inform the PTA of their intention to stay in their role.

 

If you would like any further information about being a Committee Member, please email us to arrange a chat at fosp@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk

 

Please complete this form if you would like to put yourself forward for nomination - https://forms.office.com/e/XfaXYnu7en. This form must be completed no later than 27th February.

 

We look forward to seeing you on 29th February’

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some yummy treats provided by Mr Haslett, thank you!! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Anisia

YR: Levi

Y1: Isla K

Y2: Jaxson

Y3: Ronnie

Y4: Hannah

Y5: Lilly

Y6: Seth

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Eliza - Grow

YR: Charlie - Create

Y1: Dominic - Grow

Y2: Oliver - Grow

Y3: Elliot - Create

Y4: Zaki - Think

Y5: Freddie - Risk

Y6: Lacey - Grow

Phil’s question this week was: “Should every child have a television in their bedroom?” Mrs McKenzie and Phil were surprised that the majority of of responses indicated that they shouldn’t have televisions in their rooms! A big well done to our Golden Ticket winners pictured below.

A bumper week for Headteacher’s Awards this week, especially in Year 1 where 3 of our Shephalbury learners have been recognised.

 

The first award this week went to Sofia (Y1), who has been really engaged in their Geography theme this term of London. The class were tasked with producing an observational drawing of a key London landmark and writing something about it. Sofia chose one of the most traditional landmarks in the Tower of London, and what a great job she has done. Super work Sofia...well done!

 

My second award went to Harry (also Y1) for his work in English this week. Year 1 have been busy innovating their focus text of ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ and coming up with their own themes and characters. Harry is creating his own version named ‘Chimpanzees Can’t Swim’, and worked really hard to effectively use adverbs in his writing. Amazing Harry…keep it up!

This weekend sees the RSPB’s annual ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’ and birdwatching fever has hit our EYFS learners. They have been making and hanging feeders, secreting themselves into quiet positions around school with binoculars and going on bird walks out and about in our grounds. Alongside all of this, there have been many independent activities that learners have selected for themselves in the classroom, including a bird labelling activity. Charlotte (YR) did amazingly well to use her phonics when labelling each part of a robin. A fantastic achievement…well done!

 

https://www.rspb.org.uk/whats-happening/big-garden-birdwatch/submission

 

Another learner working hard on improving their writing this week has been Henry F (Y3), who has developed his understanding and use of commas. When writing about Lazy Jack, Henry independently used commas as a part of his list, placing them in the correct position. Super writing Henry!

 

And my final award went to John-Boy (another Y1 learner) for his brilliant Science work. Year 1 have been looking at classifying animals depending on their diet- using the key groupings of carnivore, herbivore and omnivore. John-Boy worked independently to group these animals correctly and could explain his reasoning behind them. Amazing John-Boy…well done!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend see you all next week!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 19th January 2024

 

An even colder end to this week, and we are all hoping that it warms up a little over the weekend!

 

I attended, and spoke at, a conference this week which focused on how education establishments are working hard to provide the best for our underserved learners and their families. The conference was opened by the highly inspirational Lemn Sissay, whose powerful story of his own upbringing and journey to find his own identity enthralled everyone listening.

 

Throughout the day there were sessions sharing good practice, practical ideas for schools and other engaging accounts of the difference that education and educators can make in the lives of all children. There was much to take from the day, and I was privileged to be able to share with the delegates lots of the good practice that is implemented at Shephalbury Park on a daily basis.

 

As I have said many times before, our school is a place where each and every learner is placed at the heart of what we do. We take a holistic approach in supporting and developing everyone, and much of that is built on the foundation of our positive relationships with our families. When reflecting on the content that I engaged with this week, it confirmed to me that in life there are many ups and downs, many of them hidden. At Shephalbury Park we really do endeavour to do our very best to support our learners and families in these times, we are always here.

You will hopefully have received an email from The FOSP yesterday regarding the upcoming ‘Friendship Disco’ on Friday 9th February. More details can be seen below:

The applications for Reception places to begin in September 2024 has now passed, however we are still conducting tours and accepting applications for Nursery places beginning in September. Our Nursery provision offers 30 hours placements and provides our youngest Shephalbury Learners with a great start to their journey through our school. If you, or anyone that you know are looking for a place, please contact the school office and arrange a tour.

 

It was great to see our new set of extra-curricular clubs beginning this week. We try and accommodate a wide range of interests and make the clubs as affordable as we can for all. If you would like to make any alternative suggestions to the activities on offer, please ask your child to share them with their school council representatives (or you can forward them to the office).

 

Please remember that we have a stock of coats and uniform if you are short of anything that you may need, and The Store will be stocked with daily staples for those who may need them. If you feel like you would like some advice or extra support, please  feel free to contact Mrs Dean senco@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk or Mrs McKenzie smckenzie@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk in confidence, and they will be able to support or signpost you to further avenues of support should you need it.

 

Now onto our celebrations...

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some tasty chocolate chip muffins! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Iustin

YR: Roco

Y1: Arthur

Y2: Albert

Y3: George

Y4: Alfie B

Y5: Sereny

Y6: Melisa

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Elena - Grow

YR: Hiba - Stretch

Y1: Yasmina - Stretch

Y2: Katalea - Grow

Y3: Louis - Reflect

Y4: Jessica - Risk

Y5: Joshua - Think

Y6: Elijah - Solve

This week’s question was an one: ‘If you won a million pounds, what would you spend it on?’ I had a long conversation over lunch with some of our Year 5 & 6 learners this week discussing this question. There were some interesting suggestions, but the most heartening responses from many of them was their desire to buy things for others and contribute to charity.

 

Maia Y5- ‘If I had won a million pounds I would use some of the money to give to the poor and to charity. I would give some money to my family so they can pay rent and bills easier, some to my gymnastics club to get more apparatus and some to my friends.’

 

George Y3- ‘Give half to charity and buy a new laptop for my mum.’

 

Theo YR- ‘I would buy a lawnmower with a pull handle.’

 

Viktor Y6- ‘First I would sell all of my furniture and buy new furniture. Second I would buy a Meta Quest 3 and a laptop for work. Third I would invest my money to try and make more money.’

 

 

Just like in the first week back, I have awarded 2 fantastic Shephalbury Learners with Headteacher’s awards.

 

The first went to Roylean (Y6) who has only been with us since the beginning of November. It is never easy starting somewhere new, but Roylean is really growing as a Shephalbury learner, and this week has demonstrated this in her English work. She has grasped the use of fronted adverbials and included them in her writing about the Dreamgiver. Well done Roylean, a great start to 2024!

 

My second award was for Imogen (Y3) for some excellent work in maths. Year 3 have been looking at the relationships between multiplication facts and division facts, ensuring that they are linking their learning (in maths terms they have been looking at commutativity and inverse operations). Imogen worked independently starting with the 2 star challenge and progressing through the 3 star challenge as well. Some fantastic progress and demonstrating of our Shephalbury learner attributes. Great work Imogen!

All that leaves me to say is I hope that you have a great weekend, see you all on Monday.

 

Ben Conway

Friday 12th January 2024

 

Welcome back to Shephalbury Park as we enter 2024! I hope that everyone was able to enjoy some relaxing time with friends and family over the Christmas break. As always, this time of year is often filled with mixed emotions for many of us…the anticipation of what we will do ‘differently’ or ‘better’ this year with a New Year’s resolution, but also the impact of ‘The January Blues’. These are things which we know affect many of us and in turn can impact on our children. I have included a link below with some useful hints and tips in how we can support ourselves.

We certainly kicked off 2024 with a bang on Monday, with the visit of Electric Umbrella. They are an incredible organisation based in Hertfordshire, working with people with learning disabilities:

 

‘At Electric Umbrella we create amazing, live interactive music experiences with learning disabled people. And when our superstars take to the stage, they help change the way the world looks at them - and others.

 

When you’re part of Electric Umbrella, the stage is always set, the lights are bright, and the show is always on. Everyone in our community has the opportunity to work with professional musicians, to co-produce extraordinary performances.

 

Our community of more than 2,000 people take part in a range of co-created sessions with our brilliant pro-musicians, which are free to attend. These include EUTV, Open Mic nights, our Singalongs, and the Breakfast Club. Many also choose to become paid Electric Umbrella members, enjoying our programme of small, personalised workshops. And when we come together, the power of performance comes to life spectacularly through our Big Yellow Choir, music albums, live shows, festivals and tours in front of tens of thousands of people each year! 

 

We also deliver specialist live music experiences for hundreds of SEN schools across the UK, and offer mainstream schools unique tour visits with our member ambassadors, all part of our mission to make the world a little more, ‘Electric Umbrella’.   

Music can have a magical, inspiring impact, and yes, it really does change the lives of those in our community. We are helping to combat social isolation, but it’s about far more than that. 

 

At Electric Umbrella it is about achieving extraordinary things together - the performance of your life.’

 

Classes from Reception to Year 6 participated in a brilliant group workshop in the morning, learning songs, dances and the Electric Umbrella notion of ‘There is no such thing as normal!’. In the afternoon, Years 5 & 6 participated in a smaller group workshop focusing on looking at the positive individualities that we all have.

 

It really was a brilliant way for us to learn more about and understand ourselves and others who may have learning disabilities, in an interactive and fun way. I am also told that Electric Umbrella are performing at Glastonbury this year as well as a potential TV appearance in the offing…keep an eye on your TV for that!

Electric Umbrella

Still image for this video

On Wednesday this week, Year 4 participated in a fun and engaging healthy eating workshop led by Connor and Julia from Stevenage Sporting Futures. It was a great way for our learners to consolidate their thoughts and knowledge about what constitutes a healthy diet, and why it is important to consider the impact of what we put into our bodies.

Year 1 visited St Peter’s church on Thursday as a part of their WRE learning. They met with Rev. Kate and learnt what the different features were inside the church and why they were important to Christians.

 

Also on Thursday, our Year 5 learners begun their 3 terms of curriculum swimming lessons. I look forward to hearing about their progress towards becoming fish in the near future!

 

We finished the week with our incredible ‘Who am I?’ art exhibition, curated by Mrs Spiller. The exhibition displayed the art and learning from our most recent World View Day, where we looked at our individuality. It was fantastic to see a representation of art from every learner at school and great to be able to share it with our whole community.

 

Thank you to everyone who cam to view the art work, and a special thank you to our Shephalbury artists and MRs Spiller for putting it all together.

 

As we enter the new year I just wanted to pass on a couple of reminders to everybody to reinforce with their children at home:

  • Please ensure that your child is wearing black shoes/trainers with their uniform
  • Our Year 6 learners may wear their hoodies to school, provided that hoods are not up
  • Nail varnish and fake nails should not be worn in school at any time
  • Learners should not be wearing any jewellery to school- unless there is a religious purpose/significance for it- this includes bracelets, necklaces and rings
  • Learners should not be bringing in toys or fidget toys (unless agreed with school staff) from home to play with at play or lunch time
  • Smart watches which have cameras and games are not to be worn to school by learners
  • Learners with hair longer than shoulder length should have their hair tied up whilst at school
  • Please ensure that coats, hats, scarves and gloves are clearly labelled

 

If any of the undesired items listed above are seen or brought in by learners, they will be asked to give them to the class teacher until the end of the day. They will then be returned to the parents and reminded that they shouldn’t be in school.

 

As the weather has turned colder, and we are seeing a frost on the ground in the mornings, please take care when driving and walking around the side roads on the way to and from school. This includes once your children are on school grounds, we apply grit to strategic parts of our site to ensure safe access for all, not always across the entire playground. Whilst I love the enthusiasm to be at school, please ensure that your child is not sprinting across the playground once the gates are open as this could cause an injury to themselves and/or others.

 

Thank you in advance for your support with these.

 

Please remember that we have a stock of coats and uniform if you are short of anything that you may need, and The Store will be stocked with daily staples for those who may need them. If you feel like you would like some advice or extra support, please  feel free to contact Mrs Dean senco@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk or Mrs McKenzie smckenzie@shephalburypark.herts.sch.uk in confidence, and they will be able to support or signpost you to further avenues of support should you need it.

 

Now onto our first celebrations of 2024.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed a range of tasty treats provided by Mr Conway! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Riley

YR: George

Y1: Taylor

Y2:  Lewis

Y3: Alys

Y4: Jaden

Y5: Maia

Y6: Riley

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Aryan - Reflect

YR: Evan - Stretch

Y1: Kai - Create

Y2: Ryver - Create

Y3: Eleanor - Think

Y4: Mckenzie - Stretch

Y5: Harvey - Grow

Y6: Bethany - Grow

This week’s question was a great one to start the new year,: ‘What motivates you to succeed? Explain…’

 

Mia Y5- ‘I can’t do it yet motivates me because it tells me to carry on.’

 

Georgi Y2- ‘To succeed and get my black belt.’

 

In the first week back I have awarded 2 fantastic Shephalbury Learners with Headteacher’s awards. The first went to Isabella (Y3) for her brilliant independent work in maths. Year 3 have been refining their knowledge of division – a topic which can be tricky – and Isabella has really nailed her execution of a pictorial method to support her in independently solving problems. A great start to 2024 Isabella…well done!

 

My second award was for one of our newest Shephalbury learners. Baran (Y4) only joined us during the Autumn term from another school. As we all know, starting somewhere new can be a daunting prospect for anyone, but this week Baran has grown in confidence in class and is independently completing his learning using the support strategies that are there for everyone to use. A great start to life at Shephalbury Park Baran…keep it up!

All that leaves me to say is make sure that wrap up warm this weekend, see you all on Monday.

 

Ben Conway

Friday 15th December 2023

 

We are well and truly now on our countdown to the Christmas holidays…Shep has been causing more havoc around school, songs filling our corridors and preparations for our festive activities next week.

 

As well as Christmas being on the horizon, Jews around the world have been celebrating Hannukah over the last 8 days, sharing the miracle of light in their lives and hope for the future. Hannukah Sameach!

See below for a few reminders of next week’s activities:

Christmas Songs on the Stable: On Monday 18th December we would like to invite parents, carers and other family members to join us for some festive songs at the end of the day. Please arrive from 2.20pm and be prepared for all weather conditions!

 

Christmas Dinner and Festive Jumper day: Christmas dinner will be on Monday 18th December. On this day learners will be able to wear a festive jumper and/or t-shirt with their school uniform.

 

Pantomime: We are booked to take Years 1-6 to the Gordon Craig Theatre to watch their annual pantomime on Tuesday 19th December. Information and payment details have already been sent out in relation to this. We are aiming (traffic permitting) to be back at school for collection by 4:15pm.

On this day there will only be a school packed lunch on offer, with a choice of ham or cheese, or you may send in a home packed lunch if you wish. As they will not be attending the pantomime, learners in EYFS will be participating in a range of Christmas crafts at school.

 

Church Visit: On Wednesday 20th December the whole school will be attending St Peter’s Church to participate in a carol service held by Revd. Kate Sharples and her team.

 

The school term will end for everyone on Wednesday 20th December at 1:30pm.

 

The week kicked off with the Year 5 & 6 Christmas workshop. There were lots of fun filled activities which challenged our learner’s knowledge and understanding of the Christmas story. It was a highly engaging and enjoyable afternoon for all involved, thank you to Mrs Spiller for planning and leading the afternoon.

On Tuesday we welcomed visitors and grandparents for our ‘Let’s Connect’ event, where we invited members of our wider Shephalbury Park community to pay us a visit and engage in what is going on in school. Our visitors were treated to the dress rehearsal of the Wriggly Nativity, followed by some cakes and a chat with our EYFS learners. As always it was a lovely event and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Wednesday and Thursday this week, saw the return of an EYFS nativity to Shephalbury Park, after a few years without one. It was a very Wriggly Nativity that was performed brilliantly by everyone. The singing was spot on, as were the dance moves displayed by many of our youngest Shephalbury learners. A huge well done to all of our performers and a thank you to the many parents, grandparents, and family members who came to support performances!

 

Performances like this take an awful lot of planning, preparation and patience for the adults working in school. Believe me, it is no mean feat to get two classes of children 5 and under to learn, practice and perform in the way that our learners did. An enormous thank you to our entire EYFS team for their effort in putting this together for us all to enjoy.

 

Events like this make me very proud of our school and wider school community, the confidence gained by many of our youngest learners from their experiences this week, will go a long way to supporting them in the future.

Thank you to everyone who donated cakes and money towards the School Council cake sale today, in aid of the Children’s Ward at Lister Hospital. Everyone was delighted with their sweet treat and we raised a good amount of money that will go towards supporting those in need this Christmas.

Last weekend our KS2 choir participated in a concert at St Nicholas Church, alongside the Stevenage Singers. This was a wonderful event, with much rehearsal and practice going in during the preceding weeks and during the day itself. This afternoon our KS2 choir visited Roebuck Nursing home to spread some joy and happiness with some carol singing. Another group of Shephalbury learners doing our school proud out in the local community, a big thank you to Mrs Oustayiannis for leading and co-ordinating our wonderful choir.

The FOSP bauble competition was hotly contested, with many good designs! The FOSP committee have chosen their winners from each class, each of whom received a special prize, well done to:

 

YN: Elena

YR: Nicholas

Y1: Louie

Y2: Lewis

Y3: Ronnie

Y4: Tommy

Y5: Maia

Y6: Emmie

 

Before I move on to our celebrations for this week, there is some news to share with you all. After working at our school for over 20 years, we will be saying goodbye to Mrs Adamson at the end of this term. This year she has had surgery on her leg, and is rightly focusing her energy on her recovery and return to full fitness.

 

Having started her employment with us in 2003, Mrs Adamson has supported the learning and wellbeing of a good few generations of Shephalbury learners during her time here. She has contributed a lot to our school and community, and on behalf of everyone I want to thank Mrs Adamson for her commitment, enthusiasm and humour during the time she has been here. She will be missed as a colleague and as a character in the staff room, although we know that we will see her volunteering with future generations of Shephalbury learners in the near future!

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some amazing Christmas tree brownies from Mrs Spiller...amazing!! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Linda

YR: Matilda

Y1: Matthew

Y2: Ethan

Y3: Rae

Y4: Lilly

Y5: Richard

Y6: Olivia

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Esme - Think

YR: Beau - Create

Y1: Dominic - Solve

Y2: Ralph - Grow

Y3: Finley - Create

Y4: Violet - Create

Y5: Lilly - Create

Y6: Anjolaoluwa - Think

Phil’s question this week was: “What will you do to spread kindness this Christmas?”, this week there were some very lovely answers. A big well done to our Golden Ticket winners pictured below.

This week has seen a fabulous 6 Headteacher’s awards handed out for some brilliant work!

 

First was Tommy (Y2) who has been working incredibly hard, and demonstrating his ability to be a Shephalbury Learner, in his writing. It has improved a great deal over the course of this term and he is now applying his skills in his wider work. Super work Tommy!

 

The next 2 went to Emily and Olivia (Y4) for work in their unit of performance poetry. Working together, learners were asked to perform a poem in class, the girls took this one step further and put actions to the words of Take a Bow Cow by Roger McGough. A brilliant performance…well done!

Take a Bow Cow by Roger McGough

Still image for this video

In Year 6, learners have been developing their writing skills through writing their own warning stories. Both Kian and Noorisha have done a fantastic job, not only in writing these pieces, but also in their progress throughout the course of this term. They are both demonstrating how they are applying the skills and knowledge developed in lessons into their independent work. Great stuff!

 

Finally this week was Darcey (Y3) for her independent work in maths. We all know that maths can be a tricky subject sometimes, but with the mindset of a Shephalbury learner and lots of hard work, Darcey has applied herself incredibly well to use arrays to solve multiplication problems. Great work Darcey!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend and look forward to our festivities during the last few days of term next week!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 8th December 2023

 

With Christmas fast approaching for many of us, there is still a whole lot of learning and positive engagement across the curriculum around Shephalbury Park! Shep, our Christmas elf, appeared to much excitement in our celebration assembly last Friday, and he has continued to cause mischief and cheekiness around school all week.

 

The week started with a brilliant end to our House Joke Contest, with each of our finalists sharing their jokes in front of the whole school. A huge well done to all of our finalists who each earned 15 house points- Alys Y3, Archie Y1, Finley YR and Mayson Y5. And an even bigger well done to our top 3 and eventual winner Georgi!

 

1st Georgi Y1 (50pts)

2nd Ben Y6 (30pts)

3rd Mckenzie Y4 (20pts)

 

During the afternoon on Monday, learners all participated in a Kindness Workshop, led on Zoom by the charity 52 Lives, who aim to positively impact the lives of those in need:

 

Changing Lives

‘Every week, 52 Lives helps to change someone's life. We choose someone in need of help, share their story on our website and social media, and request what that person needs. Our kind supporters then spread the word, offer help if they can, and we change that person's life - and inspire more kindness in others.’

 

The workshop focused on the importance of kindness, the qualities of kindness that we have, the power of empathy and also understanding the social benefits of kindness. It was a really powerful session, which culminated in the Kindness Challenge. They were great sessions, and hugely beneficial to all of our learners.

 

To learn more about the work of 52 Lives, please take a look at their website below:

On Tuesday, Revd. Kate visited to lead our EYFS and KS1 learners in a Christingle service. As always this is a lovely event, enjoyed by all…especially as we get to eat the sweets later in the day! Our learners developed a better understanding of the importance of Jesus to Christians, the representations of the different elements of a Christingle and sang some songs. A big thank you to Revd. Kate for leading this.

Tuesday afternoon saw a visit by Paul Ring, a golf coach who will be leading an after school club in the new year, to lead some introductory workshops in Tri-Golf with Years 5 & 6.

 

‘Tri-Golf is a fun and energetic version of golf that is perfect for Primary Schools and young aspiring golfers as they hit targets with their first golf shots. Tri-Golf is a genuinely inclusive sport as it suits players of all abilities, which is great for Schools to incorporate it into their lessons. Every child can succeed in the games and with the flexibility between individual play and team interaction, it engages well with youngsters who might not want to play a traditional team sport.’

 

The club will be running for Years 3 – 6 and is a great way to get into golf and develop other personal and social skills. Having a fantastic facility like Stevenage Golf Centre on our doorstep is very fortunate, and hopefully some of our learners will be inspired to try their junior golf academy.

 

We had notification this week of the total amount raised from our sales during the Poppy Appeal, in aid of The Royal British Legion. As a school we raised a fantastic £324.59 from the merchandise that was purchased through the month of November, thank you to everyone for your contributions.

 

On Tuesday lunchtime this week, we were all surprised to see a very official helicopter descending over our playground during lunchtime, to just the other side of the trees into Shephalbury Park. Unbeknownst to us, there was a very royal incumbent on board the helicopter, and I have no doubt that King Charles will have seen our learners chasing his helicopter across the playground and waving at him on landing and on take off. You may have read that the King was in Shephalbury Park visiting the Coptic Church for a short service, his first visit here since 2013.

 

Our Year 5 netballers took on St Nicholas at home this week, on a damp and gloomy Tuesday afternoon. They battled hard and emerged victorious, for another win this season. Well done to them all!

 

Our Year 5 cohort also closed this week at school with their sharing assembly on Friday morning. It was great to be able to welcome Year 5 parents and families to watch the assembly and join in with our end of week celebrations. They all did a great job in sharing their learning, well done for a fantastic presentation.

Next Friday (15th December), our School Council have planned a cake sale in support of the Children’s Ward at Lister Hospital. The money raised will be used to purchase new toys and games for the children in their care. There is a requested minimum donation of 50p for a cake, which can be paid via Gateway or in cash. We are kindly asking for donations of cakes to be brought into school by Thursday 14th December (please ensure that all donations are free from nuts and nut products, any home baked goods need to be accompanied by a full list of ingredients). Many thanks in advance for supporting this event.

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some yummy Swiss rolls!! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Lennon

YR: Margot

Y1: Alfie

Y2: Melissa G

Y3: Emily

Y4: Baran

Y5: Mina

Y6: Ben

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Annabelle - Grow

YR: Matilda - Stretch

Y1: Henry - Risk

Y2: Sebastian - Solve

Y3: Olivia - Grow

Y4: Jaden - Solve

Y5: Pippa - Reflect

Y6: Caleb - Reflect

Phil’s question this week was: “What is your favourite Christmas memory?”, this week there were some very funny answers. A big well done to our Golden Ticket winners pictured below.

This week has seen a steady stream of brilliant work and progress within the curriculum being brought to me for Headteacher’s Awards. This is truly one of the best parts of my job, seeing the pride that our learners feel when they are recognised and rewarded for their efforts as Shephalbury Learners.

 

There have been 5 Year 1 recipients this week, the first being Henry, who has really impressed me and Mrs Cargill with his indepent maths work when adding numbers on a number line. He used to model and examples given by Mrs Cargill and built his knowledge to use his number lines to count on. Great work Henry!

 

Next was Stefan, who was inspired in WRE this week, in producing a wonderful depiction of the nativity scene at the birth of Jesus. Stefan had focused on the key features and reproduced these perfectly for the front of his card. Well done!

 

Both Naayel and Arthur have been recognised for the development of their maths skills in adding 2 digit numbers. Using the Base 10 manipulatives in class, both boys were able to complete the 3 star challenges of adding two 2 digit numbers together independently. Keep it up boys!

 

The final award, in Year 1 this week, went to Leo for the amazing improvement that we have seen in his writing this term. Leo’s independent writing this week, when gathering descriptive words for his colour poem, has demonstrated a great improvement since the start of Year 1. Super work Leo!

In Year 2, Bella received a Headteacher’s award for her independent creation of a story map for the story of Pirate Tom, and her retelling of the story using it. She used actions and descriptive language throughout her recall of the story. Awesome Bella!

 

My final award went to William (Y2) for his work during the aforementioned kindness workshop earlier this week. Their challenge was to create something to share kindness with someone else. William’s creation was an aeroplane that could fly around school spreading respect, consideration and friendliness to everyone. Such a brilliant thought and a clear demonstration of the holistic development that we aim to provide for all of our Shephalbury Learners. We are really proud of you William…well done!

It was with sadness yesterday that we learned of the passing of the iconic poet Benjamin Zephaniah. He was a writer and poet that many of us will have read and heard over the years, but Benjamin was more than just a poet. He appeared in 14 episodes of Peaky Blinders and campaigned against social injustice through the written and spoken word. His writing and activism will be missed by many, however his poems will go on inspiring young and old for many years to come!

 

Quite aptly, at this time of year, one of my favourite poems of his is Talking Turkeys and I have shared it all below for you all to enjoy.

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend, see you all on Monday!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 1st December 2023

 

As we end the week at the beginning of December, there is a sprinkling of festive cheer starting to appear in and around school. Our Early Years learners are working hard on learning their songs and parts for the ‘Wriggly Nativity’ and Sep (our naughty elf) made a surprise appearance in assembly this afternoon!

 

As ever, there are a lot of additional activities and dates to remember coming up in the next few weeks, all of which can be found in the letter which was circulated today (and is available below).

Year 2 have already been getting in the Christmas mood this week, by attending the annual Christmas Journey, hosted by our friends at St Peter’s church. They met different characters from the nativity story and participated in a range of engaging activities.

 

We work closely with Revd. Kate and others from the church throughout the year, and will be continuing this link with our Christingle and church services coming up. There are lots of opportunities to get involved with the upcoming activities at the church should you wish to, details are below:

It has also been a particularly sporty week at Shephalbury Park. Our Year 3 & 4 football team won a tight match early in the week, and our Year 6 netballers played out a very competitive loss against a strong St Margaret Clitherow team.

 

On Tuesday we sent a team of rowers to compete in the Stevenage Sporting Futures indoor rowing competition and on Wednesday a team of Year 2 athletes to an indoor athletics event. Both groups of athletes performed well and represented our school with pride and enthusiasm!

We have recently received a donation of painted festive stones from local stone artist Peter Wood. I am sure that some of you will be aware of, and maybe have participated in, his stone hunts in and around Stevenage. Each stone has been individually hand painted and will be a brilliant resource within our early years provision, supporting learning and developmental play in a range of areas. A huge thank you to Peter for his donation. If you would like to find out more about Peter, please follow the link below:

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some yummy cake bar treats!! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Cora

YR: Lily

Y1: Lola

Y2: Tommy

Y3: Connie

Y4: Joy

Y5: Ephraim

Y6: Kian

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Noah - Think

YR: George - Grow

Y1: Kacper - Solve

Y2: Felicity B - Solve

Y3: Eric - Risk

Y4: Daniel - Stretch

Y5: Olly - Stretch

Y6: Roylean - Risk

Phil’s question this week was: “What are ‘safe’ ways to show that you are angry?”, as always there were some really thoughtful answers to the question. A big well done to our Golden Ticket winners pictured below.

Another week with a solitary Headteacher’s Award, which went to Lexie (Y3) for some excellent writing.

 

Our process of developing writing across the school starts with a Cold Task (producing a piece of writing with no teacher input), this gives us a starting point to build the skills of writing through the learning sequence. Once our learners have developed the relevant skills for the genre and had the chance to experiment with them, they apply their learning to a Hot Task (a final independent written piece).

 

During the Year 3 unit on recount writing Lexie made some fantastic progress from start to finish, developing her writing and producing a final piece to be really proud of. Well done Lexie…super writing!

I hope that you all enjoy the weekend and keep yourselves nice and warm, see you all on Monday!

 

Ben Conway

Thursday 23rd November 2023

 

An early end to our week this week, with tomorrow being our occasional day…I hope that like me you are all looking forward to a long weekend! Along with our shortened week, there is a slightly shorter blog post.

 

A huge thank you to everyone who was able to attend our Learning Review Meetings this week. We really value the relationships that we have with our families in supporting our Shephalbury learners on their educational journey through our school and beyond. I hope that you found the meetings useful in understanding how you child is accessing the curriculum and applying themselves to their learning. If you were unable to join us, please contact your child’s teacher through their year group email and find a convenient time to meet.

Year 6 were this week’s visitors to the Toby Chef School on Wednesday morning, completing the workshop and ending with the famous carvery lunch. The sequence of free workshops that our learners have taken part in have been great and I would like to thank the staff at the Toby for hosting us. Our learners have all thoroughly enjoyed themselves and represented our school impeccably on every visit.

 

We were visited by our school improvement partner Carole Hinstridge this week, who focused her visit on our maths provision. Her visit involved speaking with Mrs Lewis, our maths leader, and visiting lessons to speak to learners, staff and observe our methods of teaching and learning. As always, Carole commented on the high levels of engagement and learning behaviours in all learners, as well as the strength of teaching and learning by staff across the school. In summation, she confirmed that the actions we are taking to further develop fluency across the school are well targeted and appropriate to our needs.

 

A big thank you to Mrs Lewis for her work on this, and to our learners and staff, who as ever, embrace out vision and live out the attributes of the Shephalbury Learner in all areas across our school.

 

Over the course of the last few weeks, I have continued to show around many prospective applicants for our Nursery and Reception cohorts for September 2024. They have been incredibly popular and provide families with the opportunity to see and hear about all aspects of our school. If you, or anyone that you know, is thinking of applying for a place with us for next academic year, please contact the school office and book onto one of the upcoming tours.

 

A message from FOSP:

This year, the Friends of Shephalbury Park (FOSP) are holding a bauble decorating competition. All you need to do is get your children to add a design to the template that will be sent home on Monday 27th November. 

 

There will be a small prize for our favourite design per year group; be as imaginative and creative as you can!

 

All entries must be placed in the labelled box at the school office or to the class teacher by Monday 11th December. 

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some yummy treats, provided by Mr Haslett…thank you very much! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Esme

YR: Evan

Y1: Greyson

Y2: Esmie

Y3: Eleanor

Y4: Eliannah

Y5: Roma

Y6: Ethan

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Morgan - Create

YR: Louie - Risk

Y1: Elara – Reflect

Y2: William – Stretch

Y3: Skylar – Stretch

Y4: Leo – Think

Y5: Mayson - Solve

Y6: Noorisha - Solve

After last week’s bumper haul of Headteacher’s Awards, this week has seen just one…Rebecca (Year 1) has been working incredibly hard on developing her sentence structures in her recount writing. In addition to this she has really honed in on her basic sentence structures, perfecting the use of capital letters and full stops. Great work Rebecca…we are really proud of you!

I hope that you all enjoy the lovely long weekend, see you all on Monday!

 

Ben Conway

Friday 17th November 2023

 

Another big end to the week with our annual ramble around Shephalbury Park in aid of Children in Need. There were Pudsey ears, badges and paraphernalia galore as we trekked our way through the lanes this morning. Every year this is an event that we look forward to and enjoy how it brings our school community together in the fresh air. Our Year 6 learners act as fantastic role models for our Reception learners, supporting them on their way around the park.

 

Each year BBC Children in Need raises millions of pounds that goes towards supporting projects and services across the country. There are many in Stevenage and Hertfordshire that have benefited from funding that supports children and young people in our community.

 

In addition to our ramble, our learners also participated in the Bearpee Challenge that they have been running this week. Learners from all year groups visited the hall, met Pudsey and completed their Bearpees with the trainers from Stevenage David Lloyds Centre. A big thank you to them for coming down and sharing the fun with us for a fantastic cause!

Year 5 have had a busy week on their feet, starting by visiting Stevenage Museum, along with Year 6, for a World War II workshop on Monday. It was a great local visit for everyone, enriching the learning from their history theme and giving them all the opportunity to handle a wider range of artefacts from the war.

 

Following this Year 5 visited the Toby Chef School on Wednesday morning, completing the workshop and ending with the famous carvery lunch. As with the other year groups to attend, it was a highly informative and stomach filling experience for everyone!

 

Unfortunately the wet weather has been getting in the way of our sporting fixtures over the last week or so, but at the time of writing we are hoping that the Year 5 netball match vs Ashtree has taken place on Thursday evening!

 

I shared the following information last week, but if you missed it please read below regarding FOSP securing their acceptance as the nominated ‘local cause’ for the Co-Op community scheme.

 

The Friends of Shephalbury Park – FOSP have been successful in securing a place as the Co-Op's local cause November 2023-October 2024.

Co-Op's Local Cause – How does it work?

The Co-Op Local Community Fund supports projects across the UK that our members care about. Every time our members buy selected Co-Op branded products and services, we'll give local causes a helping hand.

 

When you buy selected Co-Op products and services, 2p for every £1 spent goes into your membership account. And we’ll split the same between like-minded organisations and local causes. You do not lose your rewards just provide extra to the local cause on top of your rewards.

 

You can select a local cause you would like to support. If you do not select a cause to support, we’ll share the funds you raised equally between the 3 causes in your community.

 

Why is FOSP a Co-Op local cause?

FOSPs aim is to raise money for Shephalbury Park Primary School to help provide financial support in provide enriching and engaging activities and opportunities which support the school and advance the education and experiences of the pupils.

 

How do I select FOSP as my local cause?

Have a look at the document below

This is great news, and we are really grateful to FOSP for the work that they are putting in to be able to support our school with vital funding towards enriching our school offer. I hope that lots of you are able to register and nominate us as your local cause.

 

We are looking forward to welcoming parents and carers to school next week for our Learning Review Meetings. This is an opportunity for parent to meet with the class teachers who will share with you how your child has settled, how well they are applying themselves to their learning and at what level they are accessing the curriculum. It will provide you with some ideas on how you can further support your child’s academic development at home and offer you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have for the class teacher.

 

Learners will be sent home with the teachers notes prior to your meeting so that you are able to use these as a starting point in your discussion. Please arrive promptly for your appointment, come through the main entrance and look through your child’s books until the class teacher comes to get you for your appointment.

 

Whilst we do not expect learners to attend the meeting, there will be an activity table for them in the hall where they can be left whilst you are in any appointment. Year 6 learners are expected to attend their review meeting with their parents/carers.

 

Now onto our celebrations for the week.

 

As always, this is one of the highlights of my week, welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party. This week’s Bucket Fillers enjoyed some yummy treats, provided by Mrs Cropley, once we returned from our ramble in the park! A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week:

 

YN: Aaira

YR: Matei

Y1: Louie

Y2: Ashton

Y3: Elliot

Y4: Lenny

Y5: Eva

Y6: Olivia

As well as Bucket Fillers, we have handed our Shephalbury LEARNER certificates 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:

 

YN: Iustin - Grow

YR: Isla - Stretch

Y1: John-Boy - Think

Y2: Ethan - Solve

Y3: Florence - Grow

Y4: Tommy - Stretch

Y5: Sereny - Think

Y6: Ben - Solve

This week saw an interesting question set by Phil,: ‘What animal are you most like and why? Explain…’

 

Some fantastic answers from many learners, but a huge well done to the winners selected below:

After last week’s bumper haul of Headteacher’s Awards, this week has seen an even more impressive amount! A total of 9 awards have been handed out throughout the week.

 

I know from my regular visits and conversations with our Year 6 cohort, how engaged they all are in their theme of World War II. This enthusiasm has extended into their written work in English and some wonderful poems. Damon, Melisa, Melody, Phoebe and Seth utilised different poetic features in their writing to evoke atmosphere and poignancy in their poetry. A huge well done to each of them!

In Reception, our learners are doing a fantastic job at developing their independent learning skills and becoming resilient Shephalbury Learners. Three learners that have demonstrated this week are Beau, Isla and Dylan.

 

Beau is a big fan of ‘Drawing Club’, as am I, and he utilised his time to create an excellent image of a tiger and special symbols. He clearly explained each element of his drawing in great detail.

 

Isla has been independently applying her phonic knowledge to word writing, linked to Reception’s key text of The Little Red Hen. She worked really hard in the mark making area, using the sound mats and writing really clearly.

 

Someone else that has been independently writing is Dylan. I really enjoy receiving the many letters and pictures that I get from learners across the school, and this week I was delighted to receive one from Dylan. He used his sounds and wrote brilliantly on his own.