Shephalbury ParkPrimary School

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Mr Conway's Blog

Friday 8th November

The end of our first week back, and my post today will be brief, as I have also sent out a newsletter today (click the link below to download a copy!)

As you will read in the newsletter we have had quite a few pupils representing our school with pride over the last few weeks. A special mention this week must go to those pupils who represented our school at the Table Tennis competition held this week. Many of our representatives were new to the sport, but they all achieved very creditable results. Our team of boys finished 4th out of 8, whilst our girls won bronze medals finishing 3rd! A fantastic achievement by all, well done.


If you want to read more about our sporting achievements, then why don't you follow the link to our sports blog: 

Hopefully you will recall the competition that we have been running to create a poster or factfile about an inspirational figure from black history, to support our work around Black History Month. There were some brilliant entries from pupils in all year groups across the school, and each entry has earned the pupils 2 house points. During our daily staff briefing this week, staff voted on which entry from each phase within the school should be the winner. It was an incredibly tough choice, however the winners were:


EYFS- Esme Munford

Y1&2- Nevaeh Griffiths

Y3&4- Amelia Quick

Y5&6 Johnny Satchell


Each of them have been awarded 5 house points and been bought a book of their choice.

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Our bucket fillers this week were treated to some delicious bonfire cakes from Mrs Ramus (thank you!), they have demonstrated the values that we expected of our pupils throughout the week at school. They were:


N- Eleanor   R- Alfie   Y1- Josh   Y2- Elijah   Y3- Cade   Y4- Lewis   Y5- Ronnie   Y6- Ishraa

I have been visited by 6 pupils this week who were awarded Headteacher’s Awards for their commitment to furthering their academic learning. Angelika in year 5 has shown a real love for reading, especially at home. She records in her reading record every night and is making great progress because of this. Mina in year 1 was a super scientist this week, sorting plants and animals, and identifying the differences between them. And my final four recipients were from year 4, Kian T, Paddy, Raegan and Jessie-Mae have all been working hard with Mrs Grizzell to learn about and write their own Autumn haikus. Well done to them all!


A reminder that our friends at Longmeadow are hosting a fireworks display tonight. As well as the fireworks there will be a DJ, and food and drink available to purchase. If you are interested, please see the flier below.

Finally I would like to thank those people within the community that have registered us as their charitable cause at the local Co-op. We have been a part of the scheme for the last year, and have just had our final donation made to the school. Those people that have supported us have enabled us to receive over £3,700 from the community fund. These much needed funds will go towards supporting enriching the learning experiences that we can our community. A special thanks to Mrs Chandler for identifying this opportunity and registering us!


I hope that you all enjoy your weekend with your families,

Mr Ben Conway

Friday 25th October

As we come to the end of our first half term we have a lot to celebrate. I have been extremely pleased with the effort shown by so many to develop themselves by academically, personally and professionally. For this I need to particularly thank all of our staff for their ongoing commitment to improving our school and for the opportunities that they are providing our pupils.

Unfortunately this week we say goodbye to Mrs Ashby and Mrs Nazzari, both of whom are a part of our midday supervisory team. I would like to thank them for their hard work at our school and wish them luck in the future.

The last week has seen some of oldest pupils excel with their physical abilities. Last Friday our year 5 netball team won their first match of the year 10-0 against Trotts Hill, a fantastic start to the year! Additionally this week has seen the following year 5 & 6 pupils reach the expected swimming standard for primary aged pupils: Konnor, Noah Sp, Jack, Scarlett, Vinny, Dennis, Angelika and Sienna. Well done to you all, we are proud of you!

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Today saw the finals of our Spelling Bee, the first of our house competition of the year. Each of the finalists had done incredibly well to reach this stage of the competition, and they all acquitted themselves incredibly well in front of a packed audience in the hall and received house points and a book of their choice each as a prize. Our winners were: Steffen & Olivia, Ephraim & Hamish, Ben & Riley, Joe & Ethan M, Lewis & Logan, Jack and Kai.
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One of our key focuses this year is on the pride we take in presenting our written work across the school. Each class teacher has nominated a ‘Presentation Prince or Princess’ for a pupil who is either exceptional in all of their presentation, or who has made incredible progress this half term. Each winner was awarded 10 house points each, they were: Tia, Mckenzie, Roma, Melisa, Ava, Finley, Scarlett and Niamh.
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Our bucket fillers this week were treated to some delicious treats from Mrs Gibson (thank you!), they have demonstrated the values that we expected of our pupils throughout the week at school. They were: Esme, Joy, Richard, George, Milly, Logan, Lily and Adrian.
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I would like to thank those parents who attended, or contributed to, our coffee afternoon today. I found it very informative, and a great starting point for building on the work and opportunities that we currently offer for working together. I will send out some detailed information in the next newsletter.


Our friends at Longmeadow are hosting a fireworks display on Friday 8th November. As well as the fireworks there will be a DJ, and food and drink available to purchase. If you are interested, please see the flier below.

As we approach Armistice Day, the school will be selling poppies and other assorted items, in support of the Royal British Legion. Poppies would require a donation of 20p, whilst other items will be up to the value of £1. Items will be on sale in the stable at break time and lunch time from Monday 4th November to Friday 8th November. Please send any donations in a named, sealed envelope.

Finally I hope that you all get the opportunity to have a break over half term, and look forward to seeing you all when we return on Monday 4th November (hopefully with England as rugby world champions!).

Mr Ben Conway

Friday 18th October

We have once again come to the end of another rather damp week, however there have been many children working hard and brightening up our week!


I have spent the last couple of days on a learning journey myself, listening to and learning from some inspirational speakers at a conference. It is always important to remember that we are all learners regardless of age or experience, and I am thankful for the opportunities that learning offers us.


With that in mind I would like to remind you all that I will be holding a coffee afternoon (yes...there will be cake!) next Friday, 25th October from 2pm. As I would like this to be a focused opportunity to share ideas and views on our communications and parental involvement, this session will be for adults only (please do not bring smaller children). If you would like to contribute some ideas/opinions but are unable to attend then please share them via the contact box below, and I will add these into the conversation. I would also request that you let me know if you are going to come, you can do this by sending me your name in the contact box below, or by letting the school office know.

Parent Coffee Afternoon- communications and parental involvement

Please let me know if you are going to attend, or if you have some ideas/comments to add into the conversation

Mrs Cropley had the envious job of leading the Bucket Fillers’ Tea Party today for the 8 children who have embodied the bucket filling values throughout the week. This week, they were:

N- Lexi    R- Charlie    Y1- Joshua    Y2- Rosie    Y3- Max    Y4- Finley    Y5- Lily    Y6- Brooke


The pupils in Year 1 and 2 have thoroughly enjoyed their learning this half term, based on and around Scotland and Katie Morag. They have designed and created some fantastic tartan designs, through drawing, on the computers, and by paper weaving. This week four pupils who demonstrated some brilliant tartan work received Headteacher’s Awards, they were Rosie, Phoebe, Olly and Frederico. 

Additionally this week, Times Table Rock Stars and Numbots have seen many of our children working hard to practice and embed these key skills in their maths learning.


The most improved in studio in the last week were: 1st Bella, 2nd Elijah, 3rd Olivia.


The most improved in studio since starting TTRS are: 1st Isabel, 2nd Crystal and 3rd Keira.


Alongside these children who had a good amount of children moving up levels in Numbots, with Ethan gaining 3 certificates!


Well done to everyone who has seen improvements this week, especially our winners...I am really proud of all of you!

I hope that you all have a dry and enjoyable’s hoping that England can overcome Australia in the Rugby World Cup!


Mr Ben Conway

Black History Month Challenge

This month across the UK is during October, and we have had a series of assemblies looking at equal rights, and learning about some inspirational individuals from Black History.


With this in mind we have set up a challenge for pupils to complete over the next few weeks:

  • Choose an inspirational person from Black History (some examples are Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Jesse Owens)

  • Create a fact-file or poster about that person

  • Hand it in to the post box by Mr Conway’s office

  • Prizes/rewards for all pieces handed in

  • Closing date Wednesday  6th November


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Friday 11th October

I hope that your week has been brighter than our current dreary weather, however that hasn't put a dampener on our pupils working hard throughout this week! I have the pleasure of being able to visit all of their classes regularly, and they are all immersed in some fantastic learning. I have been particularly impressed this week by the pupils in Nursery and Reception. Their interactions with each other, the resources in their classrooms, the staff and their lessons is great to see. They have all settled into life at Shephalbury Park really well, and we are all looking forward to their journey with us through our school!


Hopefully you will have seen the notices around advertising the travelling book fair. This is a great opportunity for you to enrich your children's lives further with some really lovely new books. If you haven't already visited it will be open in the hall after school today, and until Wednesday 16th October.


Today also sees the first of our competitive sporting fixtures, with a football match against Martins Wood, good luck to those taking part...I hope to report a positive result next week!


Thank you to those of you who have donated food or toiletries for our Harvest Assembly next week. If you are yet to do so, it isn't too late. Please bring any donations to the main office, or send them in with your children where they can take them to the office. All donations will be taken to a local food bank next week.


There have been a steady stream of children that have visited me throughout the course of this week to receive Headteacher's Awards, many of them for additional home learning. This has pleased myself and their teachers, as it demonstrates their desire to further their learning independently, and that they are enjoying the topics that they are learning about.


Teddy and Keeley in year 4 both took on additional home learning, Teddy with some brilliant hieroglyphics and Keeley some maths that she had found challenging at school this week. Another person who took on additional home learning was Miley in year 6, again she is consolidating her maths learning at home.


I have been a part of lessons in both years 5 & 6 this week, and their topic of World War 2 has engaged and inspired many of the pupils. Travis and Jamie (Y6) both used some excellent figurative language in their preparations for writing a poem, and Noah Sp and Jack (Y5) wrote some well balanced arguments  on the theme of evacuation. Finally this week was an award for Lenny in Reception, he has been thoroughly engaged in the dinosaur theme in his class, and wrote a shopping list of food to buy for the dinosaur.


As always I am incredibly proud of each of these children for receiving these awards, and they should all be proud of themselves!

This week has seen the introduction of Numbots for pupils in years 1 & 2, this game secures the childrens' knowledge of number bonds before moving onto further developing their times table knowledge with Times Table Rock Stars. As you can see from the picture above many of the children achieved level up certificates this week, well done to all of them. A special well done needs to go to William in year 1, who achieved 3 level ups this week, a fantastic achievement...keep it up!


Our Times Table Rock Star (TTRS) certificates this week were awarded for the best increase in correct answers, and we saw a couple of people that we have already seen for other TTRS certificates in previous weeks. Well done to the following children:

1st Liam (Y4), 2nd Bella (Y2), Ben (Y2)


And finally this week, my bucket fillers were in for a treat today...they had the choice of two amazing cakes supplied by Miss Gaston (see pictures). It is great to spend 15 minutes with these children every week, as it is so important that we recognise their positive contributions to being positive role models in the way that they conduct themselves in and around our school. This week's winners were:

N- Henry     R- Freddie     Y1- Pippa     Y2- Victor     Y3- Ava     Y4- Jamie     Y5- Andile     Y6- Travis


I hope that you all enjoy a lovely weekend, hopefully the weather will cheer us all up a bit!


Mr Ben Conway

Friday 4th October

I will open this week by saying 'Shana Tova!' to you all, as our children found out today this means good year in Hebrew. We have been immersed in a day of learning about Rosh Hashannah (Jewish New Year) today, we had a fantastic assembly from Rabbi Neil Janes, where he talked about some of the Jewish traditions at this time of year, and blew his shofar (ram's horn) for us. There has also been some Israeli dancing, card making, problem solving, paper mache and poetry writing among other things- and no festival would be complete without some sort of food, children had the traditional apple and honey to try! Thank you to all of our staff, especially Mrs Holman for facilitating a great day.

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I have been particularly awestruck this week by 2 inspirational female athletes, Dina Asher-Smith and Katerina Johnson-Thompson, both of whom won World Championship gold medals. Their commitment, dedication, perseverance and drive to be the best that they can be should be an inspiration to us all!


I would like to share with you those children who have demonstrated some of those traits, as well as others, this week. Headteacher's Awards were given to William (Y1) for some excellent maths work, additionally Hobie (Y4) persevered with his maths and produced some fantastic work demonstrating his understanding of number. Steffen (R) showed me some incredible writing this week, he used his phonic knowledge to record a wide range of words. Finally this week was Ellis (Y4), he had researched and written about the Ancient Egyptians in his creative curriculum lesson. His work was detailed, and presentation superb!


Joining me at this week's Bucket Fillers' tea party, and enjoying Mrs Spiller's fantastic baking were:

N- Connie     R- Lilly     Y1- Frddie     Y2- Ethan     Y3- Sophia     Y4- Richie     Y5- Dennis     Y6- Kai


Also this week, our most accurate pupils on Times Table Rock Stars were:

1st Anjolaoluwa (Y2), 2nd George (Y2) and 3rd Keeley (Y4)


Well done to all of the children above, I am really proud of all of you!

Today we will also be sending out our second newsletter of the year via email. You can also download a copy of it just below. If you would like a paper copy, or some more information about the content of it, please feel free to come to the main school office and ask.


I hope that you have restful weekends, and that England's good form in the Rugby World Cup continues!


Mr Ben Conway

Friday 27th September

Well Friday has come around quickly again this week, and hasn't it been a great start for the England rugby team at the Rugby World Cup in Japan! Here's to hoping that they can keep it up!


As always we have some children celebrating their personal achievements today at school. I have been fortunate to award 4 Headteacher's Awards this week. Abigail in year 6 has produced some fantastic research at home around their topic of World War 2. This independent motivation to further her learning is fantastic to see. Anjolaoluwa in year 2 has been working hard in PE, making sure that he keeps himself and others safe at all times. Jacob in year 4 was awarded his for excellent maths work, counting on in 100s. Finally this week, Riley in year 2 worked hard on his understanding of sentence structures in class. Well done, I am proud of all of you!


This week's Bucket Fillers were fortunate to have Mr Klein's chocolate fridge cake for their Tea Party (I have included the recipe below if you would like to try it at home), these children have displayed the bucket filling values that we expect of our entire learning community, well done we are proud of you! They are:

N- Louis     R- Kyla     Y1- Charlie     Y2- Bella     Y3- Lewis     Y4- Noah     Y5- Samuel     Y6- Evie

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One class that should be particularly proud this week is year 3, they were our best attenders with 99.3% last week, well done to them!


More children that we are proud of are the winners of this week's Times Table Rock Stars Challenge, last week Mrs Lewis challenged pupils to see who could earn the most coins this week. The following pupils were our top 3:

1st- Ben year 2

2nd- Bella year 2

3rd- Ethan year 3


The challenge for next week is to be the most accurate Rock Star...good luck!

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This afternoon we will be holding a cake sale in aid of the Macmillan Big Coffee Morning. Please feel free to pick up a cake or two from the school hall at the end of the day and donate to a fantastic cause that supports so many families in their time of need. Cakes will range from 20p to 50p.


Next Friday I will be sending out a newsletter. There will be quite a bit of information in there about some of the bigger things that have been happening recently, and more about things that are coming up in the near future. Keep an eye out for it next Friday.


Finally I want to wish the Year 5 & 6 pupils on their residential trip this weekend a fun and enjoyable time away, I know how much the staff were looking forward to the trip, and I look forward to hearing about it when they return on Monday!


Wishing you all a restful and enjoyable weekend,


Mr Ben Conway

Friday 20th September

The end of another sunny week here at Shephalbury Park, and a lot for us to be positive and proud of!


You will receive paper copies of 2 important letters today, an updated home school agreement and a letter detailing the minimum expectations for home learning (years 1-6). I urge you to read them both carefully, and share them with your child. These two letters outline the high expectations that we should all have of each other, and how we expect each other to support our learning community.


Please sign the home school agreement, and ask your child to do the same, and return it to school by Friday 27th September



I was able to award this week's bucket fillers with certificates this week thanks to Amelia in Year 2. Her design was voted, by the senior leadership team, as the best, and it has been used to create the certificate that will be awarded for the rest of the year. Amelia was awarded 10 house points and chose 2 new books to take home and keep!
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The bucket fillers that attended the tea party this week, and got to eat Mrs Levy's delicious chocolate cornflake cakes, were:

Nursery- Flynn

Reception- Jake

Y1- Harvey

Y2- Noorisha

Y3- Ella

Y4- Freddie

Y5- Holly

Y6- Madison


Well done to these children, and thank you for displaying all of the positive traits that we expect of our pupils!

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A couple of things to round us off...I want to congratulate Reception class this week, as they were the only class in the school to achieve 100% attendance last week. This is a fantastic start for them, and we should all be striving to be here everyday. Also to be congratulated are Years 2, 3 & 6 for having no lates last week...keep it up!


And finally I wanted to pass on congratulations to Mr Gorman and his fiance Charlotte for their wedding this weekend from everyone in the Shephalbury community. We all hope that you have a fantastic day.


I hope that you all enjoy a restful weekend


Mr Conway

Friday 13th September

Wow...we have been back for a full week and a half and it feels like we were never away!


There has been a lot going on across the school including children settling into the expectations of their new year groups, starting learning of their new topics, and welcoming our newest and youngest pupils to Nursery.


This week I have been very fortunate to award my first 3 Headteacher's Awards. Archie in Y3 was awrded for resilience and perseverance with his work when he found something tricky; Viktor in Y2 demonstrated some fantastic reasoning using manipulatives in his maths lessons; and Molly in Reception also demonstrated some brilliant maths skills with pictorial representations. Well done to these three children!


Today your child will be bringing home some information about our 'House Spelling Bee'. All children will be participating, and will earn points for their house team. Please support them to learn the words that they are expected to learn, there are some links on the information. There is also a copy of this information below.


This morning saw us congratulate our first 8 'Bucket Fillers' in assembly, and they joined me for a celebration tea. These children have contributed positively around the school in the past week in everything that they do, being kind, helpful, polite and helping others. We are all very proud of them, and I look forward to sharing tea with 8 more 'Bucket Fillers' next week.

Nursery- Rae

Reception- Eliannah

Y1- Amelia

Y2- Phoebe

Y3- Jenson

Y4- Ruby

Y5- Noah St

Y6- Abigail


Finally today I would like to celebrate a fantastic achievement for 3 more people, Ben Y2, Owen Y4 and Ethan Y3 were rewarded for being the highest scoring members of our learning community on Times Tables Rockstars since we began. This really does show that the hard work and practice pays off! It looks like we all have some work to do to catch them up over the course of this year.


I hope that you all have an enjoyable weekend!


Mr Conway