Parent Voice Questionnaire 2016

Thank you very much for taking the time to complete the questionnaire; your opinions are very important to us and helps to shape the school’s future. The analysis of the questionnaires you completed is now available for you to read, by clicking the link below.

Last year we received more completed questionnaires than ever before and the overwhelming majority of responses were hugely positive. We have highlighted the key findings, including your thoughts on what we do well and what we can improve on, as well as providing information on how we intend to address the issues you’ve raised over the coming school year. Also included is data relating to the responses the children gave to questions about the school and its staff.

pvq2016

 

McMillan Coffee and Cake Sales – Friday 30th September

mcmillan-coffee-morning

We are supporting McMillan by holding Coffee and Cake sales in school on Friday 30th September.

We are asking for cake donations, bought or homemade to be brought into school reception on Friday morning and really appreciate your help in supporting this great cause. Please supply a list of ingredients for homemade cakes.

At Lockleaze Road parents and carers are invited for coffee and cake in the community room from 2pm and there will be a cake sale in the playground (weather permitting!) at 3.15pm.

At Orchard Campus the FFA are holding a coffee and cake sale in the school hall at 3.15pm.

 

 

 

Class 4H’s balloon found in Birmingham

One of the biodegradable balloons that were set off during Science week, in an experiment to find out how far they could travel, has been found in Birmingham.

4H’s balloon was found by Alfie the dog, in a flower bed next to the footpath in High Street, Wythall, Birmingham. Thanks to Alfie’s owner for talking the trouble to let us know that they found the balloon. We are very impressed it made it so far!

balloon-experiment-22-09-16

First blog of the new school 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.

 

Welcome back to Term 4

Welcome back to term 4 and I’m really delighted to report that the new term has started with excitement and energy. I’d like to share with you, some of the events in school this week.

Year 1 kicked off their Pirates topic in style, dressing up for a day of pirate-themed fun and games. They created some watery art and practised their best pirate voices and faces – arrrrrrr! The children are looking forward to reading and making up their own pirate stories throughout the term.

 

 

Chinese New Year

Phase 1 celebrated Chinese New Year with a lunchtime Chinese banquet and I’d like to thank our Eden staff for producing a fantastic Chinese meal for us.

 

e-Safety week

This week in school we have been exploring e-Safety and some of the issues around staying safe when using technology and the internet. We’ve been helped by ‘Unique Voice’ an organisation that  aims to improve children’s and young people’s confidence and self-esteem. Using drama and other creative approaches, Unique Voice have involved the children in a variety of activities, workshops and assemblies  Keeping our children safe is a priority for all of us and it’s been great to see the children getting involved and growing in confidence.

 

I’m looking forward to meeting as many parents possible at the Parents’ Evenings that will be taking place this week and next.

This term is flying by

There’s been lots of great activity in school this term and I thought I’d share what a couple of our year groups have been doing.

Year 6 visited the Lifeskills centre. They all had a great time identifying potential hazards in everyday life but, most importantly, they learnt how to deal with them.

Year 2 have been exploring ice and thought of some interesting questions about ice. They’ve also been reading the Rainbow Bear and the children chose a scene from the book and made a freeze frame.

 

 

We have hit the ground running!!

Welcome back to a new year and a new term!

The children and staff are all working hard. I have visited classrooms this week where there have been lots of exciting things happening. Here’s a snap shot of some of things that have been happening….

In Year 6 they started the term with a World War 2 ‘Wow’ day with a day of events. Children dressed up as children from the 40’s and experienced what it would be like to be a child at school during this time. They practiced what would happen in air raids and in their maths work used shillings, farthings and pennies!

In Year 3, pupils began the week dressed as people from the Stone Age and then tackled some investigative activities linked to this period…

 

In Year 1, there was Victorian day where children were treated to Victorian rules and routines. It was an interesting experience for all concerned …including the teachers!

 

Victorian 1

The boys and girls did different jobs throughout the day, some of the girls did sewing and writing, while the boys did mechanical work and technical drawings. They also did some drills outside the classroom!

 

Overview of the festive season!

December was full of fun, as well as learning. The staff and children in KS1 successfully put together and performed six Nativity performances (2 per year group) which were delightful to watch and all with their own individual slant and personality on this Christian story. The parents who attended and I were thoroughly impressed with the children’s confidence to narrate, sing and perform to a relatively large adult audiences with some children undertaking individual solos!

In KS2, years 3 and 4 and then year 5 and 6 performed two Christmas concerts each to their parents and families. The quality of singing was excellent and I was suitably impressed by our solo instrumentalists who had practised their pieces and performed with confidence.

I really enjoyed seeing so many of you at the Christmas performances and your continued support of your children and the school as well as your and amazing generosity in relation to our school charity events is always appreciated.

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.

 

 

Welcome back to Term 6

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.

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End of Term 5

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 to Term 5

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!

 

I hope you all enjoyed the weekend.

 

FINAL BLOG OF THE SPRING TERM

My final blog of the spring term brings the usual array of exciting news from Orchard Campus.

Year 3’s trip to The Wild Place Project at Bristol Zoo was a great success. The children really enjoyed an exciting, memorable day out of school. The fun, interactive session – Wild About Wolves – all about wolves and their woodland habitat, supported their learning around their topic, ‘Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?’ The children followed trails, played games and participated in activities that helped them find out about wolf behaviour, hunting and habitats.

 

Over the last 6 weeks, children have been lucky enough to experience a range of investigations run by the Mad Science Company. Our keen scientists have had a range of opportunities to practice their practical skills, whilst measuring and observing. They have completed investigations with acids and alkalis, dry ice, unusual materials and much more! We have been so impressed with how engaged children have been and how quickly they have picked up scientific language. 

The last few weeks have seen two fantastic class assemblies, with both Hazel and Pear Class presenting their learning from this term to very appreciative audiences. Hazel Class showcased learning from their topic, ‘Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?’

Whilst, Pear Class showcased learning from their topic, ‘Who left the oven on?’

Last Friday saw the school support the Sport Relief appeal, with pupils and adults dressed up as their favourite sportsmen and women and in their favourite sports team’s kits. The FFA organised a very well attended Cake/Plant Sale, which raised the fantastic total of £187.90. Many thanks to all involved in the organisation of this event and to all of you who were able to support this very worthy appeal. I would also like to extend thanks to Tesco (Golden Hill), Aldi (Southmead), Eden Grove Community Centre and Henleaze Garden Centre for their kind donations of plants and seeds.

The final set of photos for Term 4 highlight some of the wonderful events that have been happening this week. We have been taking part in the national annual STEM week and have really focused on raising the profile of Science and developing the children’s questioning about the world around them. The children have been investigating, predicting, experimenting and researching all week. The theme this year is ‘Space’ to celebrate Tim Peake being the first British astronaut on the International Space Centre and the children have launched rockets, produced coding for robots, dressed up as Scientists and taken part in a whole school ‘No Pens Day’.

We have also been extremely lucky to have parents come into school to share their expertise with the children. Children were really engaged by the visitors and many are now considering a career in Science and Engineering. Many thanks to Mike Nobbs, Adrian Upex and Dan Pope for giving up their time and coming in to talk to the pupils about their jobs.

STEM Week finished in explosive style, with the Year 6 pupils from Lockleaze Road joining our children in launching their rockets, in the school playground.

Finally, as some of you will know already, we are saying goodbye to Polly Aspinall. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her for all her hard work here at Orchard Campus and to wish her the very best for the next chapter in her career; she’ll be missed by staff and pupils alike.  I hope you enjoy the holidays, celebrating Easter (if you do), and spending quality time with family and friends. We look forward to seeing you back at school on Monday 11th April.