Kettering and District Eisteddfod


Year 2 Choir and Junior Choir (all Year 3 and 4) headed off for Kettering yesterday morning looking spick and span. After an uneventful bus journey we got ourself lined up and headed into the spacious Salvation Army Citadel. Year 2 opened our performances with their open choice songs – ‘Nursery Rhyme Picture Book’ and ‘The Lighthouse’. They sang beautifully (with a duet from Archie and Tobie) and throughly deserved their first place ranking with a distinction mark of 87. Comments included ‘a strong confident sound’ and ‘plenty of character’. It was also very nice to hear another choir of the same age sing and watch them doing the things that we have talked about, such as watching the conductor and showing expression on their faces.

Next up were Junior Choir with their open choice songs – ‘The Last Dinosaur’ and ‘Amani Utupe’. I was delighted with the way that they put in place all the dynamics (louds and softs) and endings of words that we had worked on in rehearsals – all you can ever ask is that a choir does its best, and Junior Choir really did! Comments included ‘clarity and humour’ and ‘fine singing’ and it was noted that it was ‘much enjoyed by everyone in the room’. A mark of 89 was wonderful and with no other choirs in that class we were awarded first place.

Then it was Year 2’s turn for the hymn singing. The set hymn was ‘I listen and I listen’ and we chose to perform ‘Break Out’ as our own choice of hymn. In the first hymn, we were lucky to have two pairs of duets, William L and Kenshi for verse 1 and Imran and Clara for verse 4. The choir sang the other verses very beautifully and ‘showed careful listening and clearly pronounced words’. ‘Break Out’ was more lively and ‘the bold sounds of the chorus were great fun’. A mark of 87 was awarded and we we took first place with no other choirs in the class.

The final performance was Junior Choir with their hymns. We opened with our own choice of hymn ‘All Creatures of Our God and King’ featuring Tilly, Sophia and Alice in verse 2 and Jack, Theo and Charles in verse 3. The choir sang this hymn very well and managed the leaps in pitch and the tricky words. I was very proud of the comment that mentioned the ‘Alleluia refrains were well blended with beautiful vowel sounds’. The set hymn ‘He gave me eyes so I could see’ was more upbeat, but tricky with the ever-changing text. The choir demonstrated great ability to learn and deliver the words clearly and with style. Comments noted that the choir has a ‘great team spirit’ and a ‘sense of pride’. With another superb mark of 88, I was certainly very proud of everyone. We took the Rosemary Leonard Shield home and that will sit proudly on display at school.

Not only did our choirs sing beautifully, they also listened very well to the other choirs and they really were a credit to the school. Many thanks to the parents who came along to support us – it really makes a difference to the children. I would like to thank the other teachers who came along and made sure all the key things like biscuits and toilet breaks happened!

Mrs Ashwin


his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

The ‘Celebration of the Arts’ Week is one of my favourite weeks in the year.  Could I thank all pupils, staff and parents who have supported this project.

The art work produced by the pupils never ceases to amaze me.  Here are some examples, but please do come and view them yourselves.

Year 3- inspired by Fernand Leger & cubism..

Year 4- ‘fantasy animals’

Year 5- inspired by Picasso


Year 6- Still life


Year 7- Textiles

Year 8- Abstract & Portrait

Year 9- Textiles & Portrait



Please do read the previous blogs regarding the ‘Presentation afternoon’ and last night’s ‘Piano and Strings’ concert.

In the midst of all this we embraced Pi day.  As Mr Palmer explained in the UK we put the day, the month, the year when showing the date (16/3/18); in the USA they put the month, the day, the year (3/16/18).  We all agreed it was a strange order, but it does create Pi day (3/14).  Congratulations to all students who took the Pi challenge…but particularly our champion- Bradley in Y6, who can recite over 200 decimal points in the correct order.


We have also played several fixtures this week.  With Mr Timson, I took the Year 5 boys to a mini football tournament at LGS.  I was very proud of the way the boys performed.  In the first match against Witham, we hit the woodwork several times, but ultimately lost 3-0.  In the second match we came from a 2-0 deficit to draw with LGJS.  And in the final games we beat Grace Dieu 8-2.  We were runners up, but most importantly, despite losing our first game, the boys never gave up.  Well done the U10 team.  For more results please do visit the website.

Congratulations to all those pupils from Years 2, 3 and 4 who represented us at the Kettering and District Eisteddfod. We came first in all the classes in which we sang (open and hymn singing) and had some super comments from the adjudicator. The comments included ‘such character and spirit’, ‘ a lovely rhythmic start with such clear, crisp words’, ‘clear ringing tone’, ‘sustained tone colours’ and ‘great commitment and teamwork’. We were given some of the highest marks that we have had in recent years (all distinctions).


Victors once again…well done to all pupils and Mrs Ashwin.

The ‘Celebration of Arts’ week ends this evening with a dance display and the Year 6 production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’.  I wish all participants the best of luck and I’m looking forward to watching all of you.

Stars of the week:

Reception: Emilia

Year 1: Ethan & Oscar

Year 2: Rayyan

Don’t forget tomorrow morning we have our Easter walk (all well behaved dogs welcome) and Easter egg hunt for our younger pupils.

Next week looks equally busy and exciting with sports fixtures, forest school, the fireside debate (“Should we still have a Royal Family in the 21st century?”), the Easter service (Thursday at 10.00, St Cuthberts), the Great Stoneygate bake off, a ‘Bring and Buy’ stall,  the Morris Mile….

I end this week’s blog with Hattie (Y8) who performed this piece during the ‘Piano and strings’ concert.


Mr Dobson


Piano and Strings Concert

This afternoon saw another event as part of our ‘Arts Week’ – the Piano and Strings Concert. We had 26 items from 24 performers and were delighted to have pupils from Year 1 through to Year 8 playing piano, violin and cello. It is wonderful to see pupils in their first concert and then see pupils in their second, third, fourth concerts. The progression is superb and that is down to good teachers, practice and patience (in no particular order!).

In a week where we have been talking a lot about challenges, few of us who have performed in front of others would dispute that performing music is a huge challenge. It is one that gets easier with experience! Children often ask me what will happen if they get something wrong in a concert. I normally reply by saying that there will be an earthquake/everyone will turn into rabbits/they will be expelled … just to make them realise that nothing will happen! All performers have made mistakes and the mistakes are part of the beauty of live performance. Mistakes make us stronger as we learn how to handle them and these are all great life lessons. One huge regret of many adults is that they stopped (or never started) learning an instrument, and it is wonderful to see our pupils so committed to their music and working on a skill that they will have with them for life. Having said all that about mistakes, I really think that the thing that struck me was how much these musicians have got better and stronger since I last heard them. It was a real pleasure to accompany our violinists and cellists and hear our pianists and the warmth of applause from the audience said it all. Well done!

Mrs Ashwin

Celebration of The Arts

vlcsnap-2018-03-15-12h41m45s8052-2vlcsnap-2018-03-15-12h44m10s672The afternoon started with singers from Years 3-9 performing a variety of songs ably accompanied by Mr Ashwin and, as always, we were grateful for his support. The variety of old and modern songs was well received by the audience. (Too well received in some cases, as the rendition of ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ has resulted in Mr Stocks singing and humming the first two lines (the only ones he knows) ever since.) The singing was followed by students reading poems and extracts on the theme of ‘Heroes and Villains’. The American accent from a Year 9’s rendition of ‘The Prince and Spiderman’ was well received by the students. The strong tradition of reading at Stoneygate continues and for some of those students it was the first time they had had the opportunity to take part in a performance.  The audience were tremendously supportive and everyone smashed it!

The interval saw parents touring the Art Room with refreshments provided, including cakes and fabulous pastries. This is fast becoming one of the highlights of the afternoon and Mrs Walters was on hand to discuss the Art on display.

The final part of the programme saw pupils reading extracts from their own stories in an attempt to encourage the audience to view the full versions in the Foyer. A revamp of Snow White, told in dual narration, was one of the highlights. The finale came as the instrumentalists took to the stage. Mrs Ashwin multi-tasked with accompanying the instrumentalists and announcing their pieces. The music was particularly impressive and rounded off with an accomplished piano performance.

Lots of hard work goes into the afternoon, much of it behind the scenes by both staff and students. All our students from Years 3 to 9 are involved in the early stages. The end result was a polished event which ran on time and was well received. Hopefully the opportunity for a third Celebration of The Arts will come along next year.

At the end of the afternoon parents headed for ‘Gate Modern’ for more refreshments in the foyer and a chance to wander around the display work in the classrooms. 

Mrs Stocks

Joie de vivre…

Our annual French day in March always brings the ‘Joie de vivre’ spirit to Stoneygate.  Pupils amazed and delighted each other, staff and parents with their knowledge, application and enjoyment of singing and speaking in French.

From Madame Hosie’s assembly all the way to the final crepe being served at 7pm, school was buzzing with all things French…..

Pupils enjoying Madame Hosie’s assembly…..


Our guest dramatists, Onatti Productions, performing ‘Le château’ …. avec les enfants!


For some pupils delivering plays in English is a challenge…school was so proud that so many students performed in French.  Do enjoy the following clips.






Enfin, merci beaucoup madame Hosie pour une journée merveilleuse…



Headmaster’s Voice

Sir Roger Bannister did the ‘impossible’ in May 1954 when he became the first person to run a mile in under 4 minutes. His death brought many fitting tributes.  A modest, intellectual man, when asked whether the 4 minute mile was his proudest achievement, said he felt prouder of his academic medical paper research in responses of the nervous system.

Mike Atherton’s article, in The Times yesterday, pondered if we would ever see a sportsman like Bannister again. Bannister, he said: “was able to excel at the highest level of sport and remain engaged in a broader intellectual life.”  How many future sportsman will be able to boast of achievement on and off the field?


Roger Bannister



Sir Roger Bannister, World Record Holder, Doctor & Academic

At Stoneygate we are inspired by people like Bannister.



Congratulations to all pupils who performed during French day. It is challenging for many pupils to perform in English, so we are all extra proud of all those who performed in French.

Congratulations to Mrs Veary’s form on producing a wonderful assembly on the planets.

In sport, there have been numerous fixtures (please see the website for details). However the highlight of the week belongs to Sophie (Yr 8) who won a bag of medals at the recent County Swim Championships in Northamptonshire.

Congratulations to our Senior Maths Team (Rebecca, Kian, Hattie & Arush) who performed admirably yesterday at the UKMT Team Challenge at King’s School, Peterborough.

Perhaps this generation of Stoneygate Pupils ought to be inspired by Manchester City Footballer, Vincent Kompany, who has just been awarded an MBA, Masters in Business Administration, proof that academic and sporting achievement can go hand in hand.

vincent company      Vincent Kompany

Enjoy the weekend.

Mr Dobson



his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

I don’t believe pupils should continue to read a book they find either too difficult or too boring.  Reading should be fun and not a chore.  I don’t however want pupils to give in too easily.  Most pupils from the age of 10 upwards should give a book “the first 100 pages” before making any decision as to whether to continue or not.  Reading and resilience have been the key words of the week.

Could I thank all staff, parents and pupils who made it into school this week.  The weather has certainly been challenging.  With all fixtures postponed, surely they’d be no early morning cross country club in the snow?  But this is Stoneygate.  When I asked Mrs Fielding if she was going running with the pupils her response just confirmed her commitment…”Mr Dobson, give me one runner and we are going!” Two pupils turned up and off they went.  Well done to Edward, Toya and Mrs Fielding.

Well done to all those pupils who turned up in costume for World Book Day.  Despite school being covered in snow and a wind chill factor of -8, a whole variety of characters turned out.  From Greg in ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ to Little Red Riding Hood to Toad from ‘Wind in the Willows’.



Thank you to Mr Hackney and 5MH for leading an assembly on World Book Day.

Do take time to read an earlier blog posted by Sally on how the weather this week has affected our wildlife…it make for an interesting read!

Enjoy the weekend and let’s hope we see more sunshine next week….

Mr Dobson