Parent Forum Tomorrow

We are holding the both the Orchard Campus and the Lockleaze Road Term 3 Parent Forums tomorrow Wednesday 25th January from 9 am to 10 am.

At Orchard Campus we will be talking about Enquiry Based Learning. Please come along and find out about key areas in school and you are also welcome to put forward any ideas for future meetings. At Lockleaze Road we will be talking about PE and how we support language development in the classroom, which are two agenda items requested at previous meetings.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.

 

30 Days to Make a Change

You may have heard your child(ren) talking about 30 Days to Make a Change, but if not we’d like to tell you more about it.

Research tells us it takes 30 days for a change in behaviour to become a habit, and six months for a habit to become the automatic way a person does things. So, starting last week, all across the school, we are focusing on ‘good manners’, with all members of staff modelling, highlighting, praising and rewarding good manners. Although manners across the school are largely very good, not everyone displays good manners, all the time; this is what we are aspiring to.

As you know, manners are something used every day to make a good impression on others and to feel good about oneself. No matter where you are – at home, school, work, or with friends – practising good manners is important.

Good manners are more than opening doors and saying please and thank you. While opening doors for others and saying please and thank you is important, true courtesy goes deeper. Being polite and courteous means considering how others are feeling. If you practise good manners, you are showing those around you that you are considerate of their feelings and respectful. You are also setting standards for others’ behaviour and encouraging them to treat you with similar respect.

Every culture and individual may have different rules or feelings about what is polite or is not polite. These rules may differ from person to person or based on situation, but there is one rule of good manners (and life, in general) that is always easy to follow – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

The overarching ambition of the school is to embed our values and we believe that engaging the whole school community in 30 Days to Make a Change will help us do this. Next month we will be focusing on another area of school life and starting up a new 30 Days to Make a Change… more information will follow.

Christmas at Orchard Campus

Tesco Christmas Cards

Following last year’s success, the children made a whole class Christmas card to sell at the local Tesco. On Thursday 8th December, a small group of children from each class were invited to Tesco to share their Christmas cards with the community.

As well as being invited to share the food laid out for them, they also had a chance to serve behind the tills. One child even became store manager for the time they were in the store. The children thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity and had the chance to serve the local community. We would like to give a huge thank you to Tesco Express, Filton Road, especially Mr. Skuodas (a parent at Orchard Campus) and Store Manager.

 

Christmas Fair

This year brought the return of the Christmas Fair. From face painting to animals there was something for everyone! The FFA raised £590 from the fair! An incredible effort from the team for organising the successful event. A huge thank you for all the local companies and our community that contributed such wonderful prizes to our raffle, we had some very happy prize winners! I would like to say a huge thank you to the FFA for all their hard work this year.

 

Christmas Performances

Thank you to all the parents/carers that attended our Christmas performances. All he children performed confidently and sang beautifully!

Reception

Year 3/ 4

Fantastic singing where Year 3 and 4 had learnt all the words. We also had some musical individual performances – their confident performances showed how much they have learnt in this last term.

Christmas at Lockleaze Road

Our last blog of 2016 is unsurprisingly filled with seasonal events!

Monday 5th December saw our school choir, along with those from Henleaze Juniors and Ashley Down Schools, perform a number of songs (both traditional and contemporary) at Horfield Paris Church. This was fantastic community event and Filton Avenue Primary was praised for keeping the event going last year when none of the other schools were able to take part. A big thank you must go to Ben Westley, Jo Teage, Jane Baker, Marcelle Caldwell and Gaelle Quinnell for their roles in making the event possible, but also to yourselves for supporting it and giving generously to a very good cause. The letter of thanks, below, was received earlier this week.

This week has seen the pupils perform their Christmas stories and Christmas Concerts. The children were fantastic, singing, acting, dancing and narrating their hearts out, and the turnout for every performance has been amazing. A lot of hard work has gone in to making these shows such a success, so a big thank you to all involved.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support of the school, and your amazing generosity towards us and the different causes we support, is hugely appreciated by all of us – thank you all very much once again

Finally, it remains for me to wish (those of you who celebrate it) a happy Christmas and prosperous New Year. For those of you who don’t, I also extend my warmest wishes for a peaceful and happy holiday.

We look forward to seeing you all back in school on Tuesday 3rd January 2017!

First blog from Miss Datta

This is my first blog as Acting Head of School, Orchard Campus and I’ve got so much to write about. I’ve seen some fantastic learning and great examples of work; I’m already excited about the year to come.

The term started with our parent/carer consultations. We had a good turn out and parents/carers went home smiling about their child’s progress this term. They were held in the hall again, giving parents an opportunity to look through their child’s learning that term.

To launch their wow day based on VarJak Paw by S.F. Said – the cat who needs to learn how to fight, Matthew Norcott came to share his martial arts with Year 4 children.

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On Friday 11th November, we handed over control of the school to the Year 6 students for ‘Year 6 Takeover Day’. In the previous week, the children were invited to apply for a variety of positions. They were then allocated a role by the selection panel and spent time planning and preparing for their takeover. On the day, the Year 6 children arrived at both sites dressed in their work attire. They worked in a range of roles, taking on positions as teachers and teaching assistants delivering their own lessons to classes; caretakers keeping the school grounds safe and clean; Heads of School leading assemblies and conducting learning walks and administrators answering the phones and replying to emails.

All the adults in the school were so impressed with the dedication and maturity with which the children conducted their roles. All children showed real leadership skills and enthusiastically performed their jobs. It was a hugely successful day that will be repeated in the near future.

On the 18th of November, Cherry Class had their first class assembly as Year 1. They shared their learning from the term confidently and spoke clearly with their audience. It was great to see how much this group has grown, both in confidence and height!

Home learning continues to be successful in school and it’s great to see children taking so much pride in the work they produce. I’ve seen some superb examples of home learning (where I suspect the parent/carer has enjoyed taking part as much as the children!). Below are some examples from this term. We have introduced Home Learning Certificates this term which will be given out during Friday’s Celebration Assembly.

Clubs started this term with huge success! We had an overwhelming response this year to clubs, which include: yoga, football, science and drama. Children have loved investigating and making a making a mess in Science.

As well as this I have had the opportunity to explore scientific concepts with children in my office!

This term we have managed to raise money for Children in Need (£451.99), the Poppy appeal, Macmillan (£465.11) and Save the Children (£75). FFA have helped with raising these funds. We would like to say a huge thank you for all their support and hard work. We are really looking forward to the Winter Fair.

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We also took part in Anti-Bullying Week this term which helps our school to shine a spotlight on bullying and encourage all children, teachers and parents to take action against bullying throughout the year. We were visited by educational provider, Unique Voice who delivered creative assemblies and workshops, using drama and storytelling to explore this year’s anti-bullying theme which will be ‘Power for Good’.

We are really lucky as we have had various opportunities to take part in OSB transition projects. Phil Keeling, Orchard School Bristol Transition Lead, has organised for children to take part in an art and textiles groups. Children from Cherry, Pear, Hazel and Willow are working collaboratively to produce pieces of work with the help of OSB’s specialist teachers. We are looking forward to seeing the final products in the New Year. As well as this, children in Willow class were invited to write with the author, Jon Mayhew and discuss the impact of their writing on their audience. Children have really enjoyed participating in these activities and we look forward to building further links with the school.

The children and staff have worked really hard this term and have thoroughly enjoyed all the opportunities given to them. I would like to wish all the children, parents/carers and staff a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

 

 

Welcome back to a brand new school year

The first week flew by as everyone seemed to relish getting stuck in to the new term, with pupils and staff alike, all returning refreshed after the summer break and raring to go.

I’m very excited to be writing my first blog as Head of School at Lockleaze Road, and am really looking forward to what promises to be a fantastic year at Filton Avenue Primary School. We’ve got a great team, who are hugely committed to helping your children achieve their best and to ensuring that coming to school is a positive and fun experience. Please feel free to approach me in the playground – I’ll be there before and after-school (most days), or make an appointment with a member of the office team.

Already we’ve seen WOW events held by Years 2, 3 and 4 to launch their termly topics – all three have been great successes and have really ‘hooked’ in the pupils to their learning.

Year 2 invited the Planetarium back to Filton Avenue, after proving so popular last year, to launch this term’s topic ‘Where is our Place in Space?’ The ‘oohs and aahs’ coming from inside the dome told a story of awe and wonder, as they explored the sky at night from inside the Phase 2 Hall!

 

Year 3 launched their topic, ‘Who would wear Stone Trousers?’ with a Stone-Age day, which involved the children learning about timelines, stone circles and cave paintings. As you’ll see from the photos we saw pupils and staff wearing some fantastic outfits!

Year 4 kicked-off their topic, ‘What’s the Matter?’, with a morning of investigations and hands-on learning. The pupils had a fabulous time exploring different states of matter as ‘Mad Scientists’.

Our Meet the Teacher events started on Friday with Year 4’s and continued today with Year 6 and Year 5. Thank you to all you who came along, I hope you found it as valuable an experience as the teachers did. If you weren’t able to make it the year groups will be sharing the information presented, so please look out for this. Of course, if you have any queries or concerns please approach the teachers to discuss these in person. Still to come this week are Year 2 and 3, with Reception next Wednesday.

If you haven’t already seen our new home learning format, you will this week. Your children will be coming home with their new Home Learning books, which should include ‘The Menu’, information for you, guidance for the child and a covering letter to explain a bit more about why we’ve made the changes and what the expectations are. The new format will certainly provide your children with the opportunity to be more creative with their home learning as they get to decide how they want to present it, while also offering you the chance to be as involved as you wish. Please let us know what you think of the new home learning menus.

An early contender for ‘Home Learning of the Year’ – if such a thing existed! – was brought in on Monday by one of our Year 6 pupils. After using ‘The Clock Tower’ video as inspiration in-class, they received their home learning menu on the Friday and by Monday morning, after working over the weekend with her mum, this amazing 3D model arrived!

 

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I will be posting more examples of fantastic examples of home learning as the year progresses.

Last blog of the year…

My last blog of 2015/16 and my last as Head of School at Orchard Campus, but more of that later. It’s been an amazing year, filled with exciting events, fantastic fun and lots of learning; this past few weeks have been no different. The last week of June saw the school hold its second annual Food Festival, with dishes from parents/carers, teachers and each class. The fare on offer was absolutely delicious and really showcased the diversity of the school’s community. Many thanks to all who supported this event, whether you prepared a dish or came along and enjoyed the tasting. Many thanks also to Jane Baker; organising the event across both our sites is no mean feat!

 

During the first week of July Orchard Campus held its second Come Dine with Your Child event. As with the first edition this proved hugely popular, with very positive comments from parents, carers, children and staff alike. We like forward to inviting you all back in the autumn term.

Last week was Arts Week at Filton Avenue Primary School and I think it’s fair to say it was one of the highlights of the year! Pupils and staff were engaged in a wonderfully creative series of activities, which provided opportunities for your children to learn new skills alongside children from other year groups. We were also delighted that so many of you came and viewed the exhibition on Friday afternoon, to celebrate the week’s achievements.

 

Handball Club ended last week. Sophie Trigg from OSB wanted to say how wonderful the children were, displaying great enthusiasm as well as resilience and teamwork. I’d like to say a big thank you to Sophie and her team of Young Leaders. We look forward to more OSB run clubs next year.

Our annual Sports Day took place on Monday of this week, in slightly better conditions for athletics than last year! Once again, Lea Pemberton-Heard and her team, and their Young Leaders, did an amazing job of organising all the events. They were so impressed by the pupils of Orchard Campus, particularly how they really supported and encouraged one other. Thank you to all came along. Lea also mentioned how fantastic it is that you turn up to these events in such great numbers. We are well aware of this, but for those outside of the school it’s often something of a surprise.

 

Our first Orchard Campus Summer Fair took place on Monday and clearly it was a roaring success. An amazing variety of events, activities, attractions and stalls were put on. Many thanks to all who attended, and even more thanks to those who ran a stall and/or helped set up for the big occasion. However, the greatest thanks must go to Kelly; without her the event would not have been the success it was. The bar has been set so high, we’ll have to go some to match it next year! £382.79 was raised thanks to all of you, as well Joe’s Bakery (bread rolls) and Aldi (sausages and drinks) for their generous donations. The FFA hope to put the money raised from the fair towards a new playground equipment, potentially a PlayPod.

This is also the ideal opportunity to say thank you to the FFA for all their efforts this year. A small core of parent/carers, ably supported by a wider group, have worked tirelessly to organise many very successful events this year, raising money for the school as well as for various charitable organisations/appeals (£762!). If you want to get involved next year you are all welcome. The strength of the school’s relationships with our families is one of the things that makes the school such a great place to learn and work.

At this time of year there are inevitably some staff changes. Leaving Orchard Campus, but thankfully not Filton Avenue Primary School are Jane Baker, Ben Westley and Anna Sari; all are going to be working at Lockleaze Road from September. I’d like to thank them all for their exceptional efforts this year. I know they’ll be missed here by pupils, parents/carers and colleagues alike, but it’s very likely you’ll see them again at Orchard Campus before too long. On the flipside, we are welcoming back Becky Davis (Apple Class) and Kate Langley (SENCO) after their maternity leave; also joining the Orchard team is Melissa McCorry (returning from her maternity leave to join Apple Class), Yasaman Mousavi (Willow Class), both of whom have worked at Lockleaze Road, and Mark Brown (Cherry Class). All of these staff bring a mix of great experience and enthusiasm and will be great additions to Orchard Campus. The last person I should mention is Komilla Datta. Komilla will be at Orchard Campus full-time from September as your new Head of School; she knows the site, the children and you all well, and is very excited to be taking up her new position. I’m sure you’ll extend a warm welcome to all the new/returning staff in September.

Which brings me on to my final paragraph. As I’m sure you know I’m moving to our Lockleaze Road site, where I’ll be head of Head of School. It’s a very exciting move, but I do leave Orchard Campus with mixed emotions. It’s been a wonderful three years – undoubtedly the best of my career so far – and it’s been a pleasure and an honour working with you all in growing and developing the site as part, initially of Filton Avenue Infants, but now of Filton Avenue Primary. Thank you all for your support over the years; the conversations and thoughts that have been expressed to me over the last few weeks mean a great deal. I look forward to seeing you all at some point next year. Have a great summer and we look forward to welcoming you back to school on Monday 5th September.

 

 

Year 2 visit Bristol Zoo

Year 2 enjoyed their time at Bristol zoo this term. The children learnt about the polar regions in an ‘Arctic Experience workshop’. They learnt about different animals including arctic foxes, polar bears and penguins. One of the highlights of the trip was meeting Mischa the polar bear. After the workshop, the children had the opportunity to explore the zoo. They particularly enjoyed looking at the seals and penguins.

 

Year 2 are learning about the Arctic

We have been learning about cold countries and we have started the term looking at the Arctic circle. During our WOW day, children spent some time looking at ice and generating questions about it. We even looked at how fast we could melt the ice using only our hands. We had a great day making and decorating snowman biscuits and drawing snowflakes with pastels. There was a chance for us to experiment with ice and think of new and interesting adjectives.

We have been using pic collage on the ipads to create a collage about the Arctic circle. The children enjoyed using QR codes to find information and pictures, as well as editing their work by changing the font and colour. This week, we have been creating beautiful marble pictures and  we have learnt how to draw polar bears. Next week, we will be looking at how the temperature affects plant growth and we will begin to learn about Antarctica.

 

 

Year 5 Art Project at Field House

A group of children in year five have been creating art with residents of Field House. Through a charity called Alive, which focuses upon building links between the elderly and the young in local communities, our year fives have been writing and receiving letters and post cards from the residents of Field House. All of those involved with the art project had a really enjoyable afternoon and are looking forwards to the next visit in term 4.

 

Year 1 are going back in time to the Victorian Age

This term Year 1 are going back in time and we are learning about the Victorians! We started off our Topic with a WOW day were the children spent a morning doing activities that Victorian children would have done in school back then.

 

The children have also explored different Victorian toys and we made our own Thaumatropes!

For Maths, we have been learning about capacity and measuring liquids in litres and millilitres. We have explored how they are different to one another and what things can be measured in litres/millilitres.

 

Year 4 ask “Why War?”

This term’s topic is, ‘Why War?’ and the children have already participated in some amazing events to engage them in their learning. Our first day back was very rudely interrupted by several air raid sirens going off. The children soon realised what life in school, back in the 1940’s would have been like: getting under tables in silence if the siren went off, staying there until the ‘it’s all clear’ siren told them to come out. Registers have been taken like ‘back in the day’, using surnames only and being expected to stand when answering!

During our World War Two Experience Day, each class examined artefacts from the war such as ration books, identity cards, books, old photos and toys. Teachers were dressed in period costume and some children joined in the fun as soldiers and evacuees. The children’s highlight was listening to music on the gramophone and dressing up in real soldier kit. The tin hats were extremely heavy. This session made the learning real for the children and has been effective in developing topic and writing skills.

Thank you for your commitment to our Evacuation Day! The children looked fantastic and truly got into character whilst being evacuated around the school. They all had identity cards ready to show and were very well behaved during their time away. Several evacuees helped younger learners in the classrooms, some did jobs for teachers: everyone was overjoyed to be collected at the end of the day by their families again.

Coming up:  Year Four will be taking their learning outside of the school on a trip to Bristol Docks. We have organised a World War Two workshop at the M-Shed, and will also be walking around the Bristol sites to explore how the war affected our own city.