Mr Conway's Blog
Friday 24th January
The end of another busy week here at Shephalbury Park with lots to write home about. As I let everyone know last week, the library will be closed from February 3rd for the refurbishment, with that in mind we would like all library books returned this week to enable us to reorganise them all in the new library once it is installed. Please be aware that you may receive a letter requesting payment for any lost or unreturned books. We will be learning about Chinese new year on Monday in our latest learning day, I’m sure you will hear all about it on Monday evening! Gong hei fat choy to anyone celebrating this weekend.
A huge thank you to those parents who attended the Summer Fair planning meeting this Monday night. We made some great progress with our discussions and have set the date of Saturday 27th June between 1&4pm. There were many other things discussed including stalls, activities and a raffle. We are all very keen and excited to make this a fantastic event, but can’t do this this without your support. I have sent a letter home via email today with further details and information on how you can help and get involved. You can also download this letter below.
Mrs Cropley had the pleasure of leading the tea party today for this week’s bucket fillers. Mrs Lee was this weeks Baker providing some delicious cupcakes and a special fortune cookie for each winner to take home in celebration of Chinese New year which begins tomorrow. A huge thank you to her for these treats! Well done to the following children this week:
N- Imogen R- Emma Y1- Sofia Y2- Neveah Y3- Summer Y4- Lewis Y5- Olivia Y6- Harley E
It has been a good week for Headteacher’s awards this week, with 4 being handed out. The first went to Lilly in Reception for some fantastic sentences written about people with some rather interesting hairstyles, my personal favourite was the strawberry design! The second award also went to a Lilly, but this time in year 1, she had taken a trip to London over the weekend and had made a poster with some amazing illustrations and facts about the Tower of London. It was a real pleasure to hear how much she had enjoyed her trip and to see how much she had learnt. My third recipient this week was Olivia in year 5, or oldest pupils have been learning about deforestation in South America, in particular for the production of palm oil. She had thought long and hard about the environmental impact of the food choices that we make and choose not to eat her snack due to it containing palm oil. I am very proud that the learning that is happening in our school is provoking thought and discussion in this way, and am particularly proud of the conscientious attitude that Olivia has taken towards her food choices. My final award went to one of our youngest pupils, Tia in nursery, who created her own mobile phone and independently wrote out the numbers 1-10. Well done to each and every one of them for their effort and application this week.
Mrs Lewis handed out a raft of Numbots certificates today, well done to all of the children for persevering and improving the skills and knowledge this week to achieve these.
Mr Ben Conway
Friday 17th January
A wet and windy week hasn’t put the brakes on our learning over the past week. Pupils across the school have settled back in really well, focusing in lessons and engaging in the broad curriculum that we provide them with. I have seen children talking about The Great Fire of London, investigating the Stone Age and delving into South America. It has also been great to see how our youngest pupils, in Nursery and Reception, are developing their life skills in their refurbished snack area. These pupils are using proper place settings, crockery and glasses, all very carefully and developing their skills with these very well.
As mentioned last week the plans for the library refurbishment are well underway. We are also investing in the stock that we hold in the library, and have had some very keen and able pupil helpers labelling, stamping and scanning books onto our library system. We will be celebrating the ‘Grand Opening’ of our library on Thursday March 5th, which coincides with World Book Day. We have a fun day planned for everyone, and also have some invited guests. We will be being visited by author and illustrator Hannah Shaw (https://www.hannahshawillustrator.co.uk/) for the entire day, she will be leading illustration workshops for pupils in all years throughout the day. There will be a chance to purchase her books and have them signed on the day. We will also be welcoming the Mayor of Stevenage to assist with the opening ceremony.
On this day we would like pupils to dress up as their favourite book character or bring their favourite book to school.
A reminder about the first planning meeting for the Summer Fair, it will be held on Monday January 20th at 7pm in the school hall. I would really appreciate as many people as possible turning up to support with the discussions, as we all know many hands make light work!
Miss Gaston provide the bake for this week’s Bucket Fillers. As it is January she provided us with some vegan chocolate muffins, made in the most eco-friendly way possible. Everything was mixed by hand, with the only energy usage being that of the oven. As I’m sure you can imagine, the pupils took no time at all to demolish the lot! Thank you to Miss Gaston for providing these tasty muffins. Well done to the following children this week:
N- Rogan R- Jaden Y1- Mina Y2- Olivia Y3- Hannah Y4- Owen Y5- Chloe Y6- Olivia
I have only handed out 1 Headteacher’s Awards this week, and that went to Spencer B in Year 1. This was a very pleasing award to hand out, as he has shown a great determination to improve his work, and his attitude towards it. This was very clear and evident in his English book this week, where there has been clear progress and improvement since returning after the holidays. Well done Spencer, I am proud of you for this!
Some others who have been working hard at their times tables this week are Lucia (Y6), Finley (Y4) and Ellis (Y4). Lucia has achieved the status of ‘Rock Star’, and Finley and Ellis the status of ‘Rock Hero’. Well done to all of them as it takes dedication and determination to progress through to this standard!
I hope that you all enjoy a fun and relaxing weekend,
Mr Ben Conway
Friday 10th January
Happy new year to you all, I hope that everyone had an enjoyable and restful break over the holidays!
As we return for our Spring term I would like to welcome Miss Martin (Year 1), Mrs Cochlin (Year 2) and Mrs Dean (INCo) to our staff team, we are really pleased that you are joining us and I’m sure that you will all make them feel very welcome within our learning community. Our pupils have returned full of vigour and ready to continue their learning journey for the year, with the start of some fantastic new topics, and some inspiring & engaging learning already clearly evident across the school.
I reported in my newsletter at the end of last term that we would be having our newly refurbished library installed as soon as possible. The installation will be taking place in the last week of this half term. With that in mind, the library will be closed from Monday 3rd February until after half term. Please ensure that all library books are returned by this date and note that we will not be opening up for library and ICT suite community usage (on Monday and Tuesday after school) on February 3rd, 4th, 10th & 11th. As you can imagine we are all very excited for this and are working hard to not only improve the environment, but also to develop the books that we have on offer for everyone to access. The skills of reading are an essential life skill for everyone, and we are really keen to develop a real love of learning for everyone in our learning community. We have invested heavily in this, but would like to offer out the opportunity for others to contribute in any way that they can. School Council have thought of a scheme to support donations. Look out for a letter from them next week.
If you have read my previous correspondence you will have seen reminders and messages about the first planning meeting for the Summer Fair. A reminder that it will be held on Monday January 20th at 7pm. This is as a result of our last parent coffee morning meeting. At the meeting we will begin to formulate a strategy and create a team to plan and orchestrate the fair. If you would like to be a part of the team in any way, shape or form I urge you to attend. Remember many hands make light work, and also will hopefully create a fantastic event that we can all be proud of.
It was my turn on the baking rota this week, and the first Bucket Fillers of 2020 were treated to my chocolate drizzled meringues. It was fantastic to welcome pupils who have returned to school with the same positive attitude to those around them that we expect of all of our pupils. Thank you to them for being such positive role models in and around our school! Well done to the following children this week:
N- Maya R- Kyla D Y1- Jude Y2- Kian Y3- Ronnie Y4- Ruby Y5- Bethany Y6- Ade
I handed out 5 Headteacher’s Awards this week, with the majority of them going to pupils in Year 5. Firstly Billy and Olivia came to show me the additional home learning that they had done based on their exciting new geography topic of South America. They were so excited about and engrossed in the subject that they went home and researched countries, continents and key facts relating to these from around the world. This demonstrates a tremendous work ethic from them, as well as celebrating the engagement in a new topic in their class. The next person to receive an award was Charlie in Reception, he has also been engrossed in learning about the new member of his class (a 1.5m tall skeleton who is yet to be named!). His enthusiasm for it was infectious, and he went home and created a life sized model using paper plates. Finally we celebrated some brilliant art work from Year 5 pupils Noah Sp and Lillia, who both produced some fantastic images of a macaw using oil pastels. Well done to each and every one of them!
Another person who needs to be recognised for a fantastic achievement this week is Ben (Y2), he is the first person this year to be awarded the title of 'Rock Icon' meaning that his average response time to answering all questions on TT Rockstars is less than 0.5 seconds. This really is something to be proud of, well done!
Finally, I would like to just draw your attention to a letter that is coming home with every single pupil across the school today. This half term’s House competition is a Capital-City-A-Thon, where each child is expected to learn a range of places as outlined on the letter. This is a great way to develop some self-led learning with your child and finding some intuitive ways to memorise some fun facts. If your child mislays their copy you can download it below, or come to the school office to ask for a paper copy.
I hope that you all enjoy your weekend,
Mr Ben Conway
Thursday 19th December
Welcome to the final blog post of 2019...you will see a link below to download a copy of our latest newsletter, which contains lots of information about what has been happening over the last few weeks, so please check it out!
As we reach the end of the term we have had some fantastic events for everyone across the school, including the disco, performances, carol concert and pantomime trip (thank you for being patient with our late return!). This has created such a fun and exciting place to be, where everyone is learning and enjoying being a part of our Shephalbury Park community.
There was no Bucket Fillers Tea today, but this will resume in the new year. There were however lots of Numbots certificates handed out in assembly. Also there is a new Rock Star in town...well done to Brooke for achieving this status!
And finally this term I would like to thank each and every person for their hard work and support of our school since I joined in September. This is a very special community and it is a privilege to be a part of it. I hope that those of you who celebrate have a fun and joyous Christmas and look forward to seeing you all back here on Tuesday 7th January.
Mr Ben Conway
Friday 13th December
The end of another week and we are well and truly on the countdown to Christmas. We have seen some fantastic performances by our pupils in both the Key Stage 1 production of ‘Born in a Barn’ and our Early Years Christmas Concert. There were many stand out performances from many of our pupils and we are incredibly proud of all of you for shining on stage, well done! Along with these brilliant performances comes all of the hard work and effort that the staff put in to create such brilliant experiences for us all. I’m sure that you will all join me in thanking them for this.
Last Friday saw our House Cross Country competition, which was hotly contested in quite muddy conditions. There was maximum effort exerted but all of the pupils, desperate to earn as many house points for their team as possible. There were some stand out performances, especially for those children who won in their year groups. The overall result was incredibly tight, with 2 houses tying for the win: Joint 1st Dragons & Unicorns 343points, 3rd Phoenix 326points, 4th Griffin 289points. Well done to our winners, and good luck to the top three boys and girls in years 5 & 6 who will go forward to represent us at the cross country championships in February next year.
Our Bucket Fillers this week were provided with some incredibly seasonal snowman cupcakes, very ably provided by Mrs Cargill. Thank you for these, the children were definitely not disappointed! As always I am incredibly proud of these pupils for encapsulating and portraying positive behaviours in and around our school. Well done to the following children this week:
N- Henry R- Tommy Y1- Maia Y2- Ben Y3- Joe Y4- Raynie Y5- Konnor Y6- Katie
This week saw only one Headteacher’s Award presented, and that was to someone who, amongst a whole host of glittering performances, really shone on stage. Nevaeh (Y2) performed so incredibly well, and her performances were commented on by many of the audience members. We are all incredibly proud of you for being so confident up on stage in front of so many people, well done!
Also presented in today’s assembly were our Christmas card competition winners. Each winner was selected by School Council (and they couldn’t select only 1 winner from Year 5 due to the high quality entries!). The winners were all rewarded with 5 house points each that had already contributed to this term’s totals. Well done to all of our winners!
R- Olivia Y1- Joshua Y2- Jamila Y3- Esme Y4- Raynie Y5- Ronnie Y5- Angelika Y5- Lillia Y6- Katie
As ‘Election Fever’ swept the nation this week, it didn’t miss us here at Shephalbury Park. Having given speeches and campaigned around the school, Year 6 pupils were competing for the pupils’ votes. On Thursday our polling station opened and all pupils in years 1-6 cast their vote. The outcome very much mirrored the actual election result, with The Conservative Party being victorious. Look out in next week’s newsletter for a full press release.
This week also saw the first of our ‘Community Lunches’. Four residents from Roebuck Nursing Home visited us on Wednesday this week to share a roast dinner and conversation with some Year 6 pupils and our school councillors. It was a fantastic opportunity for some intergenerational experiences and all participants got a lot out of the experience. A full report of this will be in the newsletter. We are already planning some more opportunities for the new year.
Finally a couple of notes about next week:
Christingle and Advent Learning activities; pupils will be learning about the significance of these through some activities led by Reverend Kate.
The disco will run from the end of school until 5pm. Pupils should bring their change of clothes to school with them, and will need no additional money. All children will be dismissed from the hall safeguard all of them. Please come to the studio side entrance, next to the EYFS entrance where we will filter parents through the hall to collect pupils.
We would love to welcome you to our carol service at St Peter’s Church from around 9am, following this we will be singing outside the CO-OP, feel free to join us there as well. Pupils may wear a Christmas/festive/seasonal jumper for the day with their normal school uniform.
Pupils will be having Christmas lunch together, if your child would like this and you haven’t yet paid please contact the school office.
Early Years parents are invited to join us for some Christmas activities in classes straight from 9am. Straight after this, at 9.30am, is a session in the hall for Nursery and Reception parents regarding Tapestry. This is to show you how to access your child’s online learning journal to see what they have been doing at school. This session will be repeated at 2.30pm for any parents who couldn’t make the earlier one.
Years 1-6 will be going to the pantomime (Sleeping Beauty) at the Wyllyotts Theatre. Our approximate return time will be 5pm. Pupils must be in full school uniform. We will dismiss the pupils in the same way as we do following the disco, from the main hall with parents entering from the side Studio entrance.
Break up for the Christmas holidays at 1.30pm
I hope that you all have a fantastic weekend,
Mr Ben Conway
Friday 6th December
A wet end to the week hasn’t dampened the children’s enthusiasm for House Cross Country this afternoon. All pupils in years 1-6 donned their PE kits and trainers to compete in our first inter-house sporting event of the year. There were many notable performances from pupils of all ages, determined to earn maximum house points for their team. Well done to the winners in each year group, full details of the winners will be in the end of term newsletter. The house points won in this will contribute to the points already accrued through this term. The winning house for the term will be announced in the middle of next week, with the winners being allowed to come to school in their pyjamas next Friday (the reward that was determined and voted for by School Council).
It was fantastic to welcome some parent body representatives this morning to discuss some ideas about doing some fundraising events for the school, and potentially formalising a parent teacher association. There were some really great ideas shared, with the key outcome being that we will be holding a summer fair next year. In order for this to happen we will of course require further support and ideas. I will be sending out some more comprehensive information regarding this in the new year, however just wanted to give you a date for your diary if you would like to join the summer fair planning committee. We will be meeting at school on Monday 20th January at 7pm to come up with a formal plan to get the event off of the ground. Thank you to those who attended this morning and gave their input!
Our Bucket Fillers this week devoured Mrs Grizzell’s Victoria sponge cake, it was also highly commended by staff at break time, as they feasted on the leftovers! As always I feel very privileged to spend time with pupils who encapsulate and portray positive behaviours in and around our school. I feel very lucky to be able to spend some time sharing a treat and conversation with those pupils every week. This week saw my first return visitor, which is shows me how much of a positive role model some pupils are within our community. Well done to the following children this week:
N- Florence R- Autumn Y1- Mina Y2- Jamila Y3- Maya Y4- Jacob Y5- Sonny Y6- Johnny
This week we had one person who was elevated to Rock Star status, and that was Noah (Y4), well done on this fantastic achievement! Also working hard on Numbots this week to move up levels were William (Y1), Olivia (Y2) and Joshua (Y1), well done to them for their commitment to improve themselves in their home learning.
I handed out 4 Headteacher’s Awards this week, each for a different reason. Firstly I had a return visitor from last week, and someone who has really been committed to their own academic development recently, and that was Sonny (Y5). I am really proud of him for his attitude to learning! He has been working hard in developing his reading skills recently and has made fantastic progress with this. There has been lots of great writing in Year 5 this term and Ronnie is the latest in a line of Year 5 writers that have been to see me. His descriptive piece about a soldier in World War II was brilliant, and we were all treated to a section of it in assembly. As I mentioned last week, there has been some really engaging learning in Years 3 & 4 with their creative curriculum topic of The Ancient Egyptians this term. Max (Y3) brought me his Canopic jar with a jackal head that he had made from Modroc. He also provided me, and the rest of the school, with some information about Horus, the Egyptian god of the sky. My final award went to another hard worker this week, and that was William (Y1) for his illustration of a hanukiah (a candle holder that Jews use during the festival of Hanukah). It was very carefully produced and well thought out. Well done to all of you!
You may have heard that we are holding our own general election here at Shephalbury Park. A group of committed and determined Year 6 pupils have split themselves into four of the main political parties and are campaigning around school to try and win the votes of other pupils. They have researched key policies and manifesto promises and shared them in assembly this week with the whole school. They will be following this up with a live debate in next week’s assembly, before we set up our polling station on election day next Thursday. I would like to say a huge well done, and I’m proud of each of the pupils involved in this. They are giving up their own time (at school and home) to further their learning and understanding of politics, and contributing to developing the rest of our school community’s understanding of democracy.
Finally, I would like to just draw your attention to the letter that was circulated via email (and on paper for years 1 & 2) today. It details the changes to some of the staffing arrangements in January. If you didn’t receive a copy of the letter, a link is below for you to download it.
I hope that you all enjoy your weekend,
Mr Ben Conway
Friday 29th November
The end of another week and it is starting to feel a little festive around the school. Our Christmas lights are going up, as is the tree and decorations, and the sound of Christmas songs are floating around the corridors as pupils prepare for their shows and carol singing. Despite all of this there is still lots of good quality learning happening all over the place. I was treated to a fantastic rendition of the three times table from Year 4, seen some Canopic jar creations in Year 3, heard some fabulous cross-curricular letter writing in Year 5 and been shown lots of brilliant maths work utilising many different methods and representations from across the school.
We are constantly striving for ways to improve and develop the teaching and learning that happens at Shephalbury Park, however I am extremely proud of the effort and commitment from all of the staff in providing such engaging and developmental learning in all areas of our school. Thank you!
As I mentioned in last week’s post, there are a lot of events coming up over the next few weeks. There is a comprehensive list included in the newsletter which has been emailed out, and can also be downloaded from the link below. There will be more details coming out to you regarding the individual events as and when appropriate. If you have any questions or queries regarding any of these, then please contact the school office.
Headteacher’s Awards; As I mentioned earlier, I have been fortunate enough to see some many examples of great work this week. Year 2 are clearly benefiting from their current approach to maths. This week I have seen Damon, for working independently on subtraction, and Uzma and Phoebe for utilising a range of pictorial representations in their work. Also this week Sonny, Year 5, has made some great progress in his work on factors. Well done to these mathematicians!
I have also been treated to some wonderful English work. Tommy in Reception has been independently applying his phonic knowledge of the ‘igh’ trigraph in his writing. Another phonics superstar this week was in Year 1, Freddie independently used his phonic knowledge to write a range of words correctly. My final Headteacher’s award this week went to Konnor in Year 5. They have learnt a lot over the course of the term about World War II, and have used this knowledge across the wider curriculum. This week Konnor produced a well-considered letter from the viewpoint of a soldier in the war. It was great to listen to, and something he should be really proud of. A huge well done to all of the recipients this week!
This week Miss Lucas supplied M&M surprise cupcakes for our Bucket Fillers. As always they were devoured by the children, thank you for the yummy treats! It gives me great pleasure every week to spend time with children who are making such positive choices in and around our school. Having pupils conduct themselves in this manner contributes so much to all aspects of our school that it benefits us all. It makes me feel very privileged and proud to be a part of this learning community. Thank you and well done to all of them!
N- Theo R- Lenny B Y1- Bella Y2- Leanna Y3- Ruby Y4- Amelia Y5- Scarlett Y6- Archie
There were two people elevated to Rock Star status this week, and they both come from the same family! A huge well done to Bella (Y2) and Liam (Y4) for working so hard to achieve this status.
Also this week the following children were awarded Numbots certificates for completing various stages; Raegan (Y3), Jamila, James, Ben and Anjolaoluwa (all Y2), a huge well done to all of them.
Finally, another reminder about the coffee morning that you are all invited to on Friday 6th December at 9am. This will be a chance to build on the initial conversation that I had with parents in October, and will be used to discuss some ideas around forming/re-forming a parent teacher association. If you are able to attend then please let me know via the contact box below. If you are unable to attend, but would like to contribute some ideas or have an interest in taking on a role in a potential PTA then please also let me know through the contact box.
Wishing you all an enjoyable weekend with your families,
Mr Ben Conway
Parent Coffee Morning
Please let me know if you will be attending the coffee morning on Friday 6th December. If you can't make it but would like to contribute then please send you contribution in the message box below.
Friday 22nd November
The end of a chilly week here, and it looks like we could be in for a wet weekend! As always there has been loads of great things happening in and around school. Years 3 and 4 had a fantastic Egyptian day this week, including a range of activities and a special escape room. Thank you to Mr Klein and Mr Rust for organising a great day for the children.
As I’m sure you will all be aware, there are a lot of events up and coming during the next month. The key dates have been in the newsletters on a monthly basis, and we I will ensure that a comprehensive list of dates is circulated with the next newsletter in the next week or so. If you are unsure about the arrangements for any of the events, then please contact the school office after they have been circulated.
I have been treated to a handful of visitors this week each bringing me their work for a Headteacher’s Award. Liam in year 4 was so inspired by his RE learning about Hinduism that he went home and created an amazing Rangoli pattern. Elliot and Noah Sp, in year 5, both produced some fantastically descriptive descriptions of a setting, based on a short film that they watched. The film linked to their learning on World War II, and perfectly encapsulated the images of soldiers disembarking their boats under enemy fire. And finally this week I saw Caleb in year 2. He had worked incredibly well to independently produce a story map to retell a mixed up version of Little Red Riding Hood, where The Big Bad Wolf was the victim and Little Red Riding Hood was the villain. Well done to all of these children, I am really proud of you all!
Our bucket fillers this week were treated to Mrs Lewis’ jammy heart biscuits. They all went down an absolute treat with the children! Each and every one of these pupils has been a positive role model around the school, consistently demonstrating the values that we expect of our pupils throughout the week at school. Thank you and well done to all of them!
N- Poppy R- Molly Y1- Fredrico Y2- Kyrillos Y3- Maya Y4- Archie Y5- Olivia Y6- Emily
Also this week there were plenty of Numbots and Times Table Rockstars certificates to give out. Well done to all of those children in years 1 & 2 to have successfully moved up levels in the last couple of weeks. We also awarded certificates to our biggest individual contributors during last week’s national challenge, they were Owen (y4), Ben (y2) and our biggest individual contributor Dennis (y5). Our final certificate was for Abigail (y6) who achieved the coveted status of Rock Star! A brilliant achievement, well done.
Finally, I would like to remind you that I will be holding a coffee morning on Friday 6th December at 9am to discuss some ideas around forming/re-forming a parent teacher association. If you are able to attend then please let me know via the contact box below. If you are unable to attend, but would like to contribute some ideas or have an interest in taking on a role in a potential PTA then please also let me know through the contact box.
I hope that you all enjoy a great weekend,
Mr Ben Conway
Friday 15th November
This week has seen a wide variety of things going on in and around the school. We have spent time focusing on Anti-Bullying week and doing some work on recognising what makes us unique, and how we should be treating others. We based some of our learning on the book ‘Only One You’, with everyone creating their own individual pebble design.
We have also marked our support for 2 charitable causes this week, Odd Socks Day (for the Anti-Bullying Alliance) and a ramble in the park (for Children in Need). There has been a fantastic array of odd socks and Pudsey paraphernalia around school today, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed our ramble around Shephalbury Park. It was great to see everyone chatting, exercising and having a good time! A special mention needs to go to our Year 6 pupils, who were all buddied up with Year 1 pupils for our ramble. They stuck with them the entire way round, made good conversation and supported them on the walk. They all displayed the qualities and values that we expect of our pupils in being positive role models and good citizens. I am very proud of each of them for their conduct this morning.
This week I have awarded one Headteacher’s Award, this was to Ruby in Year 3 for a brilliantly written tanka (a 31 syllable poem), about being yourself. Not only was it well written, but she performed her poem exceptionally well!
Our bucket fillers this week were treated to Mrs McKenzie’s jam doughnut muffins. The children all agreed that they were amazing, and there wasn’t a crumb left. Each and every one of these pupils has been a positive role model around the school, consistently demonstrating the values that we expect of our pupils throughout the week at school. They were:
N- Olivia R- Ottilie Y1- Lilly Y2- Seth Y3- Kian M Y4- Tommy Y5- Noah Sp Y6- Evie
I would like to say how nice it was to see many of you at our parent consultation evenings over the last couple of weeks. I hope that you found them useful to understand the progress that your child is making, and give you the opportunity to hear about what their next steps in learning are. As always we are keen to review our procedures and processes around the format and structure of the consultations. If you have some constructive feedback that you would like to share for consideration, please send it to me via the contact box below.
Parent Consultation Feedback
Finally, I would like to share some great news with you all, Mrs Levy is expecting her first child in the new year. I’m sure that you will all join me in wishing her and her husband the best of luck over the coming months.
I hope that you all enjoy a great weekend,
Mr Ben Conway
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.
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!
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 weekend...here’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
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.
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
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!
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
The bucket fillers that attended the tea party this week, and got to eat Mrs Levy's delicious chocolate cornflake cakes, were:
Well done to these children, and thank you for displaying all of the positive traits that we expect of our pupils!
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
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.
Y5- Noah St
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!