his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

Apparently today is ‘National Toothache Day’ and, much to my children’s delight and my incredulity, ‘National Pizza Day’. Really?

We have, as a school, marked two events this week: Internet Safety day and Vote100.

Thank you Mrs Jelly and 4FJ for delivering a really important assembly on Tuesday based on internet safety.  Thanks also to some of our older pupils for helping out with some drama in that assembly.


Drama based on internet safety…

On Thursday, Reception gave school a ‘Q&A’ session on winter- their answers on weather, animals, clothing and hobbies were brilliant!  (Again thanks to our Reception staff, Mrs Balchin and Mrs Stretton.)

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Happy to play in the snow…

The second national event we remembered this week was the centenary of women in Britain getting the vote.  As a school we have a rich history and I’m very proud that we have links with the Suffragettes.  As I mentioned in my letter, Nellie Taylor, was both a Suffragette and Stoneygate school mother 100 years ago.

nellieNellie, Stoneygate mother & Suffragette

When Emmeline Pankhurst declared, “Deeds, not words”, Nellie responded.   In 1912 Nellie took part in a window smashing campaign in London.  She was subsequently arrested and went on hunger strike.

Our Stoneygate mother has the dubious honour of being one of the first people in the UK to be put under police surveillance… the police watched and photographed Nellie’s movements.  Photographs of Nellie can be seen in the National Portrait Gallery.

Please do complete your ‘Top 5 most inspirational British women’ and return them to me…it will be interesting to see the results.

Queen Victoria, Mary Berry, Boudicca & Adele…would they be on your list?

As a school and as families, we encourage discussion and debate.  This week Madame Hosie and I encouraged pupils from Y6-9 to join us in a debate on the Royal Family.  With Royal weddings imminent this year, we thought it only fitting to discuss ‘Do we need a Royal Family in the 21st century?’  Over half term we’d like pupils to take a side and equip themselves for a lively discussion… there can be no sitting on the fence!

Congratulations to pupils in Y5 & 6 for completing their Maths challenges this week (see Mr Palmer’s blog).

Head teacher’s Awards

Year 2- Ellie- outstanding work

Year 1-Ellie- super glossary definitions

Reception- the entire Form for learning their lines and their wonderful delivery!

Date for the diary:

Parents de-fib training 2nd March, 9.00am school hall.  Refreshments to follow.

Enjoy the half term…I’d better put some pizzas in the oven!

Mr Dobson

Miss Harris is running the London marathon

In ten weeks’ time, on 22 April, I will be getting ready to complete my longest run to date, The London Marathon. As very much a ‘recreational runner’, the 26.2 mile course is a daunting prospect but training is now well and truly underway and I even found my 13 mile run last weekend surprisingly ‘enjoyable’.

As well as a personal challenge, I am also running to raise money for Whizz-Kidz, a charity that aims to give disabled children the chance to lead a more independent life. Their services meet the children’s individual mobility needs and ensures they get the right mobility equipment and training. In addition to this I am also hosting some cake sale and coffee mornings to raise funds for Rainbows Children’s hospice.

On Monday, 19th February 9SH and I are planning on hosting a small bake sale in the foyer at break. There will be a selection of sweet treats on offer for pupils and staff to enjoy in exchange for a small donation to the cause. If pupils would like to contribute any of their own baked goodies then that would also be greatly appreciated and will go directly to helping improve the lives of disabled children both locally and nationally. For further information or to contribute to my fundraising please follow the link below.




Many thanks to you all and have an enjoyable half term break,

Miss Harris

(in action here at a recent parkrun with running partner, Ruby)


his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

I’m very much looking forward to the 6 Nations competition starting this weekend.

There is a misconception in some schools that competition is bad; that self-esteem will be affected if a child loses. But to lose, is not to be a ‘Loser’.  If a child can experience the thrill of winning and the disappointment of losing early in life through competitive sports, they will be well equipped for the reality of life.

Competition provides motivation to achieve a goal; to demonstrate determination, creativity and perseverance to overcome challenges; and to understand that hard work and commitment leads to a greater chance of success.

Life is full of situations where there are winners and losers: a sports game; getting a job; bidding on a contract; not getting into the desired college. Children need to learn how to cope with disappointment and to be able to genuinely appreciate the good fortune, talents and abilities of the “winner” and then look forward to the next opportunity to try again.

As a school we will continue to play sport competitively and in this term we will perform at the Kettering Music Festival, we will encourage our pupils to participate in the ‘500 words’ writing competition and we eagerly await the return of Mr Palmer’s Pi challenge!


There are two age categories for the Radio 2 500 words competition: 5-9 and 10-13.  There is more information about this competition in the library and on the Radio 2 website.  Do listen to some of the winning examples…and get writing this half term!

Well done to all the pupils who took part in our fixtures this week.  It is our philosophy to get as many pupils playing in competitive fixtures as possible.  I was therefore delighted that out U11D squad got a fixture.  Please do view all our results on the school website.

Congratulations to all who played in the ‘Keyboard, Drums and Guitar’ concert on Thursday.  I was fortunate enough to watch the first part (before dashing to another meeting) and I was delighted with what I saw.  Stoneygate pupils concentrating, reading, developing skills and enjoying their music.


Our guitar and ukulele ensembles…

Competition in sport and performing music both help the brain….and we will continue to promote both at Stoneygate.  The diagram below shows how the two disciplines can have a positive effect on academia.


As we had League/House meetings this week and a School Council meeting, our ‘Stars of the Week’ are from the previous week:

Year 2: Archie for his amazing knowledge on birds.

Year 1: Leonardo for good segmenting when spelling.

Rec: Aiza for recognising and writing numbers.

Enjoy the rugby…


Mr Dobson



his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

Artificial intelligence is already here.  Pupils at Stoneygate use an online maths programme that suits their individual needs.  Does this mean that staff will be replaced by computers?  In the short term, the simple answer is no; teachers will still be needed.  In the 21st century AI will increase in education and this is the theme of Sir Anthony Seldon’s new book: ‘The Fourth Education Revolution’.

The first revolution, Seldon argues, consisted of learning the basics of survival – foraging, hunting, growing crops and building shelters.  The second involved the first organised sharing of knowledge and the third was marked by the invention of printing.  The fourth educational revolution, Seldon believes, could happen in the next 10 years.  Under this revolution AI would lead education by emotionally sensitive machines, which would be highly personalised.


‘The Fourth Education Revolution’ should be out this spring.

The most important aspect of any school is the quality of the staff.  Mrs Hayden, who has taught at Stoneygate for several years, will be leaving at half term.  Mrs Hayden has been an outstanding teacher and will be sorely missed by both staff and pupils; we wish her well in her new ventures.   Mr Jelly will be covering Mrs Hayden and meetings are already taking place to enable a smooth transition.  You may notice on the website we are currently advertising for three new posts at Stoneygate…AI might be approaching, but we will keep investing in staff.

It’s been a busy week at Stoneygate with sports fixtures, Book Fairs and a Science challenge. Last week I managed to see some netball, this week I managed to see some football.  We had some extremely close games this week which made for some exciting encounters…

Versus Brooke Priory, the U13A’s & the U11B’s both won, with the U11A’s, C’s and D’s narrowly losing.  The U9’s played Wellingborough, with our A team victorious and the B’s defeated.  All close games, congratulations to all players.


Could I thank all parents and pupils for supporting the Book Fair this week (thanks also to Mr Timson for organising this) ….in a technological age, we will still encourage the reading of books…IMG_4421

I also need to thank pupils and parents from Year 8 for their ‘Life on Earth Challenge’.  Please do view Mrs Angell’s earlier blog.

Finally, congratulations to all the pupils below on receiving their recent music certificates.


Well done Rosie, Imara, Felix, Olivia, Hattie, Shonali and Karan.

Playing sport, reading books, touching science, making music… Artificial Intelligence may well increase in education, but I’m certain our pupils are gaining much through these current activities.

Enjoy the weekend,

Mr Dobson

Life on Earth Challenge

This afternoon year 8 have been busy trying to break last year’s record for the most species of living organisms brought into school in one morning.

Any living thing, or part of one, was allowed and we saw lots of variety including various fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, a pet dog, mouse organs and many different insects and arthropods. With a final dash out to the playground for some last minute additions, we managed an admirable total of 198 different organisms. This meant that they just beat last year’s total but are still a way off the Stoneygate record of 532 set in 2013. The kingdom of each organism was identified and then they were all classified further depending on some of their key features.