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his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

Welcome back.  Like many people, I enjoyed watching and hearing stories about the London Marathon last weekend.  I’ve always been fascinated with physical and mental challenges.  Physical change is apparent at Stoneygate.

Over the Easter break decorators continued with their rolling programme of improvement- this time they concentrated on the front of the old building and the stable block.  Painting this entire site will be a marathon effort…but we’ve started.  Unfortunately a diseased tree had to be felled (with many teachers feeling the tremor in the staff room) and BT technicians finally reached the IT room.

This year the London Marathon was named ‘the Mental Health Marathon’ due to the “Heads Together” campaign fronted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.  The statistics relating to this issue are shocking. One in ten children between  5 and 16 years old suffer with depression, anxiety or conduct disorder, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Research suggests that more than 50% of all cases involving youths begin before the age of 14.  Prince Harry and Prince William should be applauded for their openness on this topic.

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Sport can play an important part in addressing mental health issues; sport at Stoneygate will continue to thrive.  This week we welcomed Little Bowden, Arnseby and Houghton-on-the-Hill primary schools to a skills based coaching session in football and netball.

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Several papers commented on Matthew Rees, who stopped to help a fellow runner cross the line.  I’m always proud of the way Stoneygate pupils behave.  I was delighted to see pupils from Years 7 & 8 encouraging and helping pupils from the local primary schools in our sports workshop; I’m also proud, but not surprised, at how we have welcomed several new pupils.

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The London marathon also has ‘surprise stories’. A self-coached student who travelled by London Underground to the start line produced one of the biggest shocks of recent London Marathon history on Sunday, finishing as the fastest Briton to secure an unlikely place at the World Championships this summer.

Attempting the first marathon of his life, Josh Griffiths, 23, was not even part of the elite field and started behind the leading athletes with his fellow club runners.

Anonymous to most spectators thanks to the number 1154 on his bib – unlike the elite runners, whose names adorned their chest – Griffiths slowly gained ground on various Olympians and seasoned international runners, passing the overwhelming majority and crossing the line in some disbelief in a time of two hours 14 minutes and 49 seconds to finish 13th overall.

Fastest British finisher Josh Griffiths of Swansea Harriers

Stoneygate pupils often surprise me.  One of the highlights of this week was handing over a riding trophy to Ophelia (Y2)..’Champion of Champions’.  Congratulations.

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Marathons are hard work, exhausting, but ultimately rewarding.  (I should know I competed in the Stockholm Marathon a few years ago!)  Stoneygate too, can be hard work, exhausting, but ultimately rewarding….

Enjoy the Bank holiday weekend,

Mr Dobson

Year 1

The Queen came to visit Year 1 as part of their new topic on Famous People.

We were delighted to meet Her Royal Highness and she’s keen for Prince George to start here.

We are watching the miracle of metamorphosis. Our caterpillars have arrived and in about 4 weeks the will have become Painted Lady Butterflies.

Reception’s end to the Spring Term.

What a busy spring term we had! We concluded out topic about ‘People who help us’ with a trip to Wigston Fire Station and a visit from Aaron’s mum who talked to us about her role as a dentist.

During our trip to Wigston Fire Station we saw some trainee firefighters climbing very tall ladders, looked around the station, sat in a fire engine, watched a short film about the dangers of matches and covered our ears when the siren sounded as the firefighters were called out on a shout.

Finally we cheered Mrs Balchin on as she raced against one of the firefighters to put on the protective outfit which was extremely heavy and resulted in Firefighter Mrs Balchin coming a respectable second.

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Once back at school the children acted out various fire service rescue scenarios. This entailed working as a team to put out fires and the rescue of a very athletic dog which somehow had managed to get stuck in a tree.

 

 

We were very lucky to have Aaron’s mum come in to talk to us about her role as a dentist. She also talked about how the children play a very important part in looking after their teeth and encouraged the children to sort various foods into healthy and non-healthy groups.

 

The children then took turns to play the role of a dentist checking each other’s teeth which they took to very enthusiastically. All the children were given a goody bag which contained a tooth brush and a plaque disclosing tablet to take home with them.

 

We finished the term with a surprise visit from the Easter Bunny who was spotted by Mrs Stretton hoping around in the school grounds. Basket in hand we made a bee line for the woods and started our search. We found lots of eggs which were shared out between the class.

 

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his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

Stoneygate pupils are playing on the lawns…Spring is officially here.

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There are many obvious links between Spring and Easter.  Children and adults appreciate ‘new life’ emerging around us, whether it’s daffodils or bouncing lambs. Easter Eggs illustrate new life, just as Jesus began his new life on Easter Sunday after the miracle of his resurrection. When eggs are cracked open they are said to symbolise an empty tomb.

At Stoneygate we embrace new ideas.  Last Friday Mrs Mills introduced us to her new ‘Tap dancing club’ with a spectacular performance from her pupils, this was followed by a marvellous performance of ‘Macbeth’ by our Year 6 students.  Another new idea.  This week we’ve participated in our first ‘Inter-Trust Swimming Gala’.  It was competitive, but also great fun.

We ended the week with a PE demonstration with pupils from Reception to Y2.  Another new suggestion from Mrs Fielding (and one we will repeat!)  Congratulations to all our sportsmen and women on their efforts and achievements.

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On Thursday we held our first Easter service at St Cuthbert’s Church, Great Glen.  Could I thank all pupils, staff and Rev’d Ford for a thought-provoking service.  Rev’d Ford challenged the pupils to believe in things you cannot see.  It was lovely to see so many parents attend this new service.

I would like to welcome new staff and new pupils to Stoneygate.  As of September we will be having new members of staff (and one returning!) in the Art, SEND and Science departments.  After Easter and after the Summer holidays new pupils are joining us- I am sure both parents and children will be nervous, but I have no doubts that we will welcome them into our school community.

Congratulations to all pupils in the ‘Sea Horses’ League.  Mr Stocks adds up all the stars and divides by the number of pupils within each League.  Quite incredibly the Sea Horses won this term’s Inter League trophy by 0.5 stars.   Well done too to all the pupils who entered into the ‘decorate an Easter Egg’ competition- and especially to those who won.  Enjoy the chocolate..

I wish you all a very happy Easter.

Mr J F Dobson

Year 2 Visit Foxton Locks

On Tuesday Year 2 had a fantastic time at Foxton Locks. We were so pleased to meet with the volunteers from The Canal Explorers Trust again. We split into two groups and went to explore The Grand Union Canal, look for wildlife in the canal and surrounding areas and even open some locks! We also visited the museum and met Penny who showed us all around the canal, she was very impressed by all of our knowledge on canals! After lunch a folk singer called Bubbles came and sang canal folk songs with us. It was great fun to learn about ‘legging’ and the Navvies through singing and actions. Then it was time to head back up to the top car park to the minibus… and grab an ice cream on the way! What a fantastic day we all had!!

Year 4 on the ‘phone

As part of year 4’s sound topic, we experimented today with some string telephones. We found, as long as we had the string pulled tight, that we could hear much better along the string than through the air. That’s because sound travels better through solids than gases.