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Hook Norton C of E

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Behind the Scenes – July 2014

An end of year review

Dear Parents

We reach the end of another busy school year and once again it’s gone so quickly.

The children have worked really hard and enjoyed lots of different activities and experiences- from water sports at Yenworthy to the Spy Centre at Milton Keynes! We’ve taken our choir to Young Voices in Birmingham, played recorders for the community, hosted Swedish visitors (and visited Sweden), gained distinctions in music exams, attended gifted and talented workshops, had more winners than any other school in the Katherine House Christmas competition, taken cycling proficiency tests and learnt to swim (no child has left our school unable to swim 25 metres). The children impressed the inspector who came to inspect the Christian character of the school, so much so we were awarded ‘Outstanding’!

 

The partnership sports programme allowed every child to take part in a sporting event and to enjoy expert coaching in school in golf, rugby, cricket, fencing and street dance as well as the usual sports. We were also able to enjoy dance and drama workshops and a Year 4 languages festival. Children receive 2 hours of PE a week, including swimming and our new coaches have ensured that children experience a range of sports. We are aiming to get fitter next year – Miss Nunneley has a plan! Our sports grant has enabled us to continue to participate in inter-schools tournaments and festivals as well as employ dedicated sports coaches. We have also invested in some new equipment such as speed bounce mats (part of Miss Nunneley’s plan!)

And, in between all that, the children have also been excelling in the three Rs! This year, our Year 6 children made good progress and achieved some excellent results. Around 50% reached Level 5 in Maths and English. Three children managed the dizzy heights of Level 6 in Maths as well – the standard expected of Year 9 children! Our Maths results were particularly good this year. There was also some exceptional progress for our children with special educational needs.

Children were well supported with our phonics programme ‘Read, Write, Inc’ which has made a huge difference to children’s ability to decode words and in their spelling. 96% of the children in Y1 achieved the expected standard in the phonics check and all the ‘retakes’ in Y2 passed.

After school clubs continue to thrive with drama, gardening, French, archery, art, cookery, sport, music, dance, JAM club and ICT on offer at various times throughout the year. Many thanks to the volunteers who have given up their time to support these activities. Breakfast Club is now firmly established with numbers increasing every year.

We have also supported the local community with Community morning for pre-school children (weds), and the Christmas party for older citizens. Various organisations have also used our study centre (and Hall) for activities/events and overnight stays. We have also been strong supporters of the village library, promoting it in assembly and taking classes to visit.

The Friends of the School have continued to work tirelessly to raise much needed funds for the school with events like the Family BBQ, bike and bake sale and the Christmas Fair. This year FOHNS have raised money for maths resources and new Interactive Screens, which we are very excited about! They are being installed as I write.

 

We say a fond farewell to Mrs Nottingham who is going to train as a teacher, to Mrs Holiday, Mrs Elliott and Mrs Parfitt who are all going on to pastures new. Mrs Harbottle is returning from maternity leave into Year 1.

On to the new school year now

We have written a new school development plan for this coming year – the headlines are: the new Primary Curriculum, including the new Computing curriculum, assessment and school expansion. Levels are being phased out (Next year’s Y6 and Y2 will be the last reported levels). We have had no guidance on how levels will be replaced – each school is free to devise its own system. The annual report to parents will also change in line with the new curriculum and assessment method. We have noted your comments on the report slips and taken into account ideas that parents put forward for the new development plan.

 

School Expansion: As you will no doubt be aware, the school has been selected by the LA for expansion to 1.5 form entry (this means the admission intake will rise from 30 to 45 per year group. This is in response to the proposed housing developments taking place in the village and surrounding area and because we are not always able to take in new children when year groups are full. We are in talks with the authority’s appointed architect but as yet there is no definitive plan, although it will require additional classrooms. The LA will be sending out more information and hosting a meeting in the Autumn.

My final farewell is to our leavers; I wish them all the very best as they move on to the next stage in their lives and to new schools.

Please let us know if you can offer your services as a volunteer for next year; regular helpers will need to complete the safe-guarding form beforehand, thanks.

I am looking forward to another eventful year. The pace of change in education will, no doubt, be just as fast as this year. Please remember if you have any concerns or queries please come and talk.

Many thanks to everyone who has helped to support the school this year and best wishes for a lovely summer. See you in September!

Yours sincerely

 

Stella Belgrove

 

July 2014

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