HMV

his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

I was reminded this week of the scene in ‘The Life of Brian’ when the Peoples’ Front of Judea (or is it the Judean People Front!) are holding a meeting and justifying their raison d’être. “What ‘ave the Romans ever done for us?” asks an irate John Cleese. Cue: “aqueducts”, “roads”, “irrigation”, “medicine”, “education”, “sanitation”, “public baths”, “wine”…Brilliant.

Year 3 have been studying the Romans and their impact on Britain.  On Thursday morning they performed a wonderful, informative assembly on the Romans and the Celts, including their version of the Horrible Histories rap on Boudicca.

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Last week Gregorius Manlius, Roman Legionary and sometime gladiator, visited Year 3.  Gregorius discussed Roman legacy, led a handling session and even got our Year 3 pupils performing Roman army drills.

Year 3 pupils in costume….. and delighted to learn and play Roman games & study pottery…

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Year 3 in testudo (tortoise) formation.

It has been an unofficial History week at Stoneygate.  On Monday, Year 4 pupils went back in time to WW2 and were evacuated from Stoneygate School.  On Tuesday morning, 4FJ gave an illuminating assembly on communication and how that has changed in the last 200 years.  On Wednesday, Year 2 visited Charnwood Museum.

We ended the week with a Tea party (not Boston style) to celebrate the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

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The tea party also raised money for The Bridge (Homelessness to Hope) charity.  Thank you to the organisers and those who supported the event.

Stars of the week:

Reception: Charlotte for descriptive writing.

Year 1: Krish for multiplication.

Year 2: Clara for amazing work on air raid shelters.

Enjoy the weekend,

Mr J F Dobson

HMV

his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

There has been much in the press lately about telling the time.  The story came about after comments from a former head teacher, Malcolm Trobe, now deputy general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, who said “the current generation aren’t as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations”. To help minimise stress in important exams, he has suggested switching to digital clocks.

I have been thinking about this issue.  Do we need to teach Stoneygate pupils about analogue clocks?  If so, who should teach them about telling the time?

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Too complex, out-dated for the 21st century?

We no longer use slide rules or videos and yet these once-essential skills have fallen into disuse not because we have become lazy, but because our tools have become more sophisticated.  For students (and adults today) digital displays are simply more common, whether on train platforms, computer screens or mobile phones. No wonder our children are confused!

Is it even necessary for 21st century children to learn how to tell the time on an analogue clock in today’s digital age? I believe it is. Analogue clocks can provide a vivid representation of time that digital clocks cannot. With many different learner types – including visual learners/thinkers – most need the analogue clock to have a good understanding of time. Analogue clocks help children understand the passage of time because they have hands that are constantly moving and they help with the 5 times table!

We will continue to learn with analogue clocks at Stoneygate, but we also need your help at home.  School and home need to work together on numerous issues: from reading to fastening shoelaces, from bowling practice to telling the time.

Well done to all pupils who participated in fixtures this week against Maidwell Hall and Laxton Junior.

Milly certainly works hard at improving her sport both at school and outside school.  Here she is in action mid week- great concentration and technique- the opposition fielder has started running- she knows Milly is going to hit the ball a long way!

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I was fortunate enough to join the U9 cricketers away at Laxton on Thursday.  The A’s lost, but the B’s drew in an exciting final over.  Definitely more bowling practice needed both in school and at home.

Schools and homes also need to work together on food, diet and allergies.  This week a pupil at Stoneygate did have an allergic reaction as he had been near to a pupil who had been eating nuts in the car prior to school.  If your child enjoys eating ‘Crunchy nut corn flakes’ or even just nuts for breakfast, please ensure that he/she brushes their teeth.  It’s important for their health and possibly others. As we approach the trip season, could I also ask that NO nuts (or food containing nuts) are brought on these trips, thank you.

Reverend Kim Ford spoke to the children this week about courage and bravery, we also heard from a representative from VASL (Voluntary Action for South Leicestershire)- who spoke about their role in our society.

Year 3 also had a special guest this week- dating back 2,000 years- a Roman soldier gave an illuminating talk to our pupils on life in Roman Britain.

It’s been great to have some May sunshine in our beautiful gardens…

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It is now 5:35 or is it twenty five to 6?

Enjoy the weekend,

Mr J F Dobson

HMV

his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

Data means power in the 21st century.  My supermarket knows where I live; it knows my favourite apples and the razors I use. Data in the wrong hands can cause all sorts of problems; just ask Mr Zuckerberg about Cambridge Analytica and 87 million Facebook users.

New laws regarding GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will be introduced this month.  These new laws will affect everyone.  As a school, and as a Trust, we believe we are ready.  We are currently working with all our external bodies who may receive information regarding your children.  For example, we have created an ISA (Information Sharing Agreement) that will be sent to all companies involved in residential trips.  Both school and the external organisation will need to sign this ISA which states that any information on pupils is shared securely, this information will be stored securely, the external organisation will not pass on any pupil information to another party and the organisation must agree to destroy the data once the trip has ended.

The following data I’m delighted to share with you.  Assessment data must be used in schools to enhance teaching and learning.

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Last week pupils from Y1- Y9 did some online assessments- as you can see pupils from all year groups shown are performing exceptionally well.  In all areas of English (Reading, comprehension and spelling) the vast majority of pupils are well above their chronological age; the same can be said about their mental maths.

(The green line is reflects the chronological age.  Each Year group (Y1-6) has a colour coded rectangular box. The rectangular box shows you where the middle 50% of pupils are in relation to their age equivalent scores. 25% of pupils will be above the rectangle and 25% will be below. The horizontal line in the middle of the box is where the median score for the class is. The vast majority of our pupils are working above their chronological age.)

The desire for more data in sport has been irrepressible in the last twenty years. Athletes and sports coaches need as much data as possible.  Data scientists are now an invaluable part of a team’s success.

I do have some swimming data on Jacob and Sophie- two of our finest swimmers.

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Jacob & Sophie…exceptional swimmers

Jacob (Y5) managed to get into 6 individual regional swimming finals (competing against pupils who are two years older).  In the 50m U11/12’s freestyle event, Jacob won the silver medal; an incredible achievement.

In the Northampton County Swimming event, Sophie (Y8) collected 5 golds, 6 silvers and 5 bronze medals; she managed to gain 7 regional qualifying times.  In the regional finals Sophie went on to record 7PBs (a marvellous statistic in itself); Sophie came 4th in the 50 freestyle event and won bronze in the 100m freestyle.

I was delighted to see so many pupils enjoying the sunshine and playing cricket and rounders this week.

Some sports stats:

Cricket v Bilton Grange

U13’s (won)

U11’s A (lost)

U11’s B (won)

U11’s C (won)

U11’s D (lost)

Rounders v Bilton Grange

U13’s (won)

U11’s A (won)

U11’s B (won)

U11’s C (drew)

Cricket v Witham

U9’s A (won)

U9’s B (lost)

U8’s A (lost)

 

Rounders v Witham

U9’s A (lost)

For more details, please visit the school website.

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Enjoy the Bank holiday weekend and hopefully the sunshine…

Mr J F Dobson

Woodwind and Brass Concert

Thank you to all the performers in this afternoon’s Woodwind and Brass Concert. It is always a treat to see new players mixed amongst more experienced players and wonderful to see progression year upon year. We put these instrumental concerts on for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons is for the pupils to see music making and instrumental playing as normal. We had a number of pupils go straight from a cricket match to the concert and this diversity of opportunity is very important.

Raising musicians is a real team effort: instrumental teacher, school music teacher, parent and pupil all have roles to play. A pupil with no home support will struggle and a teacher can push all they like, but with no desire from the pupil, the effort will not reap rewards. It was lovely to see the fruits of everyone’s labours on show in the concert.

Well done:

  • Year 8 – Hattie T, George H
  • Year 7 – Millie P, Ben K-O’R
  • Year 6 – Edward D, Sebastian A, Tabitha C, Lea B, Isobelle C, Lauren W, Phoebe P, Harry T
  • Year 5 – Shonali B, Karan J, Olivia C, Louie B, Tilly D
  • Year 4 – Alfie C, Theo W, Eashan S, Marcus M
  • Year 3 – Seva J

Mrs Ashwin

Music Exam Spring Successes

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We had a rather lovely set of results from the spring music exams. The children I accompanied at the Holiday Inn were wonderful to work with – expressive, full of contrasts in articulation and easy to follow. It is always a pulse-raiser when you open the email with the results, but I was never worried!

Congratulations to:

  • Adam W – grade 1 guitar with merit
  • Karan J – grade 1 clarinet with distinction
  • Lea B – grade 1 clarinet with distinction
  • Karan J – grade 3 music theory
  • Sebastian A – grade 3 recorder with merit
  • Shonali B – grade 3 flute with distinction

Mrs Ashwin

 

HMV

his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

In the Lent Term we asked Stoneygate pupils (and parents) to list their top five ‘Inspirational British Women’.  It makes for interesting reading.  JK Rowling received more votes than Beatrix Potter; Jessica Ennis more votes than Queen Victoria!  I was delighted to see Rosalind Franklin managed to get into our top ten. In her short lifetime, this incredible British scientist did not receive sufficient accolades for her work in DNA.

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The brilliant British female scientist Rosalind Franklin…

Thanks to Year 9 for collating this information…combining History and Maths to good effect.  The size of the block represents the number of votes cast. ‘Queen Elizabeth’ is our current monarch, not the Tudor queen!

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It was also lovely to note that some pupils highlighted their mum in the top 5 ‘Inspirational British women’.

Nellie Taylor, Stoneygate School mother and ardent suffragette, would have been thrilled to have witnessed the unveiling of the Millicent Fawcett statue in Westminster this week. Never before has there been a statue of a woman in Parliament square, now there is….

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The great political reformer… with Sadiq Khan and Theresa May.

Thank you to Y8 pupils for leading a wonderful socio-political assembly on plastic this week.  Their assembly including jaw-dropping statistics, shocking videos and witty drama!  Their message was an important one: we must reduce, reuse and recycle.  Currently 8 million pieces of plastic end up in our oceans every day.  Following the assembly, I spoke to our catering team about ways in which Stoneygate can reduce using plastic.

In our other assembly, Nathan (Leicestershire CCC) and Lauren (Loughborough Lightning CC) spoke to the pupils about a new cricket initiative.

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Lauren & Nathan took some cricket classes.

Remember girls, cricket is not just for boys.  The English women’s cricket team are currently the world champions.

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Keeping with cricket, well done to all those who played at Bilton Grange this week.  Don’t be fooled by the photo…it looks like an idyllic afternoon of cricket….ten minutes after this photo was taken the skies opened.  Please do view the website for results.

Enjoy the weekend,

 

Mr J F Dobson