Tomorrow, Friday 21st October is an INSET day so the school is closed to children.We hope you enjoy the half term break and look forward to welcoming the children back to school at 8.45 am on Tuesday 1st November.
We’ve been busy updating the website and you can read about what the children have been doing this term in the new Year Group Blog .
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!
I will be posting more examples of fantastic examples of home learning as the year progresses.
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.
Unbelievably this is the last term of the academic year. As you know, last Monday was an INSET day and our staff spent the day learning from, and with, each other about a range of different aspects of the school curriculum, e.g. Thrive, Speech and Language, Mathematical Reasoning, Developing Resilience and Espresso. These training days are invaluable in ensuring that we continue to provide your child(ren) with the best possible education.
As per usual, the term started with a flourish as our pupils took part in an Olympic Torch Parade. There were an amazing array of torch designs on display – many thanks for all your efforts in creating them. The parade was a very appropriate way of kicking-off the whole-school topic of The Olympics, which promises to provide a wide range of stimulating learning opportunities for our pupils.
The end of Term 5 has come around quickly… certainly too fast for me to blog! Apologies for the lack of regular updates this term.
We had another very popular film night; wonderfully, well-organised, as always, by the FFA. The children really enjoyed the movie, ‘Inside Out’, and the popcorn machine was hard at work. Many thanks to all involved.
I’m pleased to say that our library is now not only fully-stocked with a fantastic range of books, but they are also categorised and the shelves are labelled, ready for its use by the pupils. A big thanks to Jane Ross, Lydia Trapnell and their team, who have worked very hard to make this happen. Many thanks also, to those of you who have to help us run the library – this is much appreciated. If you haven’t, but would like to, please approach a member of staff about it.
Last week saw the school take part in Living Streets’ annual Walk to School Week. The highlight of this national campaign to encourage people to walk more and drive less, was Happy Shoesday! To celebrate this staff were joined by pupils and parents at Horfield Common, where they created a ‘Walking Crocodile’ to school. Thank you to all who were able to join in – we saw an amazing array of fabulously decorated shoes in school that day.
On the 23rd and 24th of May a storyteller, Martin Maudsley, came to visit the school. He came with a banjo under one arm, a huge array of stories to tell and a trilby hat on his head. The children were kept entertained by his many tales and songs. Lots of children went away excited to write and retell what they had heard, so teachers gave them time to explore and create more stories back in class. The older children were entranced with his tense story, based on real events, about a highwayman who lived in Bristol. Whilst other children preferred his funny song about swapping a pushcart for a variety of different animals. A Reception child summed him up by explaining, “He must be really clever to have so many funny stories in his brain”.
All that’s left for this entry is to wish you all a very enjoyable half-term holiday. I hope the sun shines and we’re looking forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday 7th June.
Welcome back to school and to the summer terms. Despite a very damp first day back, there are definite signs that summer is on its way… I’ve even heard the first shouts of, ‘Can we go to ‘The Pit’ please!’ from excited children, as they leave school. It has been another very positive start to a new term, with the children seeming excited and energised, but I would like to return to the last day of Term 4 for my first entry. It was a hugely exciting day that saw the end of STEM Week celebrated with the Rocket Launches and the Science Fair.
For the rocket launching we were joined by our Year 6 pupils from Lockleaze Road; it was great to see our eldest pupils here at interacting with our Orchard Campus children. Each class had evaluated their rockets and selected the two that they thought would fly furthest. They were then launched by Rachael Rocket, a visiting Mad Scientist, using an air pressure powered pump. The winning rocket was made by 6W and flew an amazing 16 metres, into a strong headwind.
The Science Fair was held in the school hall and proved very popular with parents/carers and pupils. There was a range of activities and investigations for everyone to try out, created by Mrs Marwaha and the Science Hub. There were also some fabulous examples of the learning our pupils had been doing throughout the week.
A big thanks to Mrs Marwaha for all her efforts in organising a hugely successful STEM Week… we’re looking forward to next year’s already!
Wednesday saw our annual Easter Bonnet Parade, with Reception and Year 1 pupils proudly showing off their wonderful bonnets, hats, masks and baskets. It seems to me that the designs get more and more creative every year, with a huge array of styles and colours on display. Thank you all for contributions to this event… we clearly couldn’t do it without you!
I’d like to finish this post by publically congratulating our Reception team for the award of The Bristol Standard. The Bristol Standard is a self-evaluation framework which helps Early Years settings, Childminders and Play settings to develop and improve the quality and effectiveness of their provision through an annual cycle of reflection. This is recognition of all the hard work the team put in on a daily basis, and of the outstanding practice across the two sites and within the four classes. Very well done to all involved!
Year 1 have had a busy start to the term settling into new routines and classrooms! They begun exploring the story of the Gingerbread Man. The children had lots of fun making delicious Gingerbread Men, luckily none of them jumped up and ran away!
The children have enjoyed making structures and exploring 3D shapes.
Our new reception children have taken to their new classes like ducklings to water, we are very proud of the way they have settled in, with happy smiling faces and supportive parents. The children have been learning each others’ names and exploring the school environment. The children have shown great independence at dinner time enjoying a new dining experience. A big thank you to the parents and carers for getting your children ‘school ready’ .
Year 2 had a fantastic start to our Space topic with a visit from the planetarium. The children explored different planets and even went aboard the International Space Station. It was lovely to see the children thinking of interesting questions which we will be exploring throughout our topic. In Science, we will be making space slime and moon rocks which may get a little messy!