SSA PARENTS’ SHOPPING TRIP

BICESTER SHOPPING VILLAGE, WEDNESDAY 20TH JUNE 2018

STONEYGATE SCHOOL ASSOCIATION

Dear Parents

The SSA have organised a Parents’ Coach Trip to Bicester Shopping Village on Wednesday 20 June 2018.  We hope you can join us for a fun day out of shopping, browsing or spending.

The Coach will leave School at 8.30am and will return at 4.30pm (leaving Bicester at 3pm). The cost is £10 per person.

Places are limited, so we will therefore require you to respond by return, to book your place. Tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

To book your place, or if you have any queries, please email SSA@stoneygateschool.co.uk and make payment of £10 into the SSA bank account – sort code 54-21-50 account number 30114063.

The SSA Committee

HMV

his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

I hope you all had an enjoyable Easter.  It’s been particularly lovely to welcome the pupils back with the school looking so smart; several classrooms have been painted, as have the stables…. and the sun finally came out.

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Mrs Ashwin and Reception pupils enjoying Music outside in the stables block…

Hope is crucial in families, in our schools and in our society.  This Easter the world remembered the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King.  He declared, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”.  Like many people over the break, I joined the National Civil Rights Museum, in ‘committing to a year of peace and action’- over the course of 50 weeks the Museum will send 50 achievable actions that ‘realise Dr King’s legacy of peace’.

I hope (nay insist) that ‘teaching and learning’ continues to improve.  As staff we continuously review our work with both the pupils and our surroundings- we must always seek to improve our curricula and the fabric and infrastructure of our buildings. Key areas in numeracy and literacy are being addressed; some structures are being demolished, others are being re-furbished.

Going, going, gone.

The old mobile classrooms were demolished this Easter.

We all want (and hope) our children will be safe, happy and learning.  It was interesting to note how our Year 6 pupils fared in a county Internet survey recently.  Here are some of the findings… I was delighted to see our pupils do not spend more than 4 hours a day on the internet.  I hope this will continue.

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The Y column in the following grids represent % of pupils in Y6.  The blue represents Stoneygate, the red represents the average in the county.

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Again, I was pleased to note no-one uses phone cameras/webcams to chat with ‘new people’.

As a community, we do need to stay vigilant.  A worrying stat was the fact that 25% of our 11 year olds do not know about privacy settings and 18% had ‘online friends they’d never met’.  School will address both matters, but they also need to be monitored and addressed at home.

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For many young children with serious illness, hope is a necessity.  I was delighted to hear about Ellie’s (Y1) actions over the Easter break. Ellie decided to donate her hair to ‘The Little Princess Trust’.  This organisation make wigs for children with serious illnesses.  Ellie also made nearly £500 in donations.  Well done Ellie…we are all very proud of you.

Ellie..before and after…

On Tuesday, ‘Mother Liz’ (Trust chaplain) spoke to all the pupils about Easter and the message of hope.  Jesus’ life did not end with his crucifixion, through his resurrection, she explained, he brought hope to the world.

Finally, good luck to Miss Harris running in the London Marathon this weekend.  We hope it’s not too hot and we hope you finish!

Enjoy the sunshine and blue skies

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Mr Dobson

 

 

HMV

his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

This week the world was not surprised to hear that Vladimir Putin had been ‘elected’ President of Russia once more.  Putin gained over 76% of the vote; the main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race.  Democracy, in all forms, is a difficult concept, as Churchill declared, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

This week we held a debate, the motion being ‘This House believes the Monarchy in 21st century Britain is irrelevant’.  Four pupils argued for, four pupils argued against.  Comments and views were taken from the floor.  No-one was barred….Kremlin please note.  In a tense open vote at the end of the debate, scores were even.  Madame Hosie, as Chairwoman, therefore had the casting vote.  The motion was not carried.  Democracy triumphant; the Queen delighted!

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Democracy in action…

There have been a number of school events this week in which pupils, staff and parents have all worked together to benefit both our pupils and charitable causes.

I thought our pupils read and sang beautifully at our Easter service at St Cuthbert’s Church.  The collection from the service will be shared between the Church (part of the Church floor needs to be repaired) and the Bishop’s Lent Appeal (to help the victims of hurricane Irma).  Two worthy causes.

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Sunshine on our way to Church…

The Morris Mile looked spectacular this week- thank you to Mrs Telfer for the hay bales and to the staff who constructed the course.  It was certainly more challenging than last year… with the first hurdle resembling Becher’s Brook!  Were the pupils overwhelmed?  The harder the course, the more determined they were.

Older students helping younger ones…

Here are some of the highlights from the race…

Prior to the steeplechase, Mrs Angell and Mrs Veary had the difficult, but ultimately enjoyable task of judging ‘The Great Stoneygate Bake Off!’.  Thank you again to all pupils and parents who entered this.  We raised almost £300.  This will be split between the Matt Hampson Foundation and Sport Relief.

Congratulations to Clara, Mia, Lea and Elizabeth.  The cakes looked and tasted wonderful.  Particular thanks must go to our parental body, the SSA, for helping out with this event.

We ended the term with a Pre- Prep gym display and a ‘Bring and Buy’ Sale.  A special thanks must go to Mrs Fielding and Mr Palmer for organising the two events.

Thanks to Mrs Fielding for not only putting on the display, but for her coaching.  The pupils showed great balance and gymnastic technique, but also progression…with some of the Year 2 pupils managing vaults and summersaults.

It has been a long winter and I think we are all looking forward to the Trinity term.  With Easter one associates new life.  During the holiday there will be much work done at Stoneygate.  I am delighted to say the mobile classrooms will be demolished and painters and decorators begin on Monday.  They will be focussing on both internal and external work at Stoneygate.  New teachers will also be arriving both in the Trinity Term and the Advent Term.  We wish Mrs Johnston (Y3 Science & Lower school French) well as she relocates to Scotland.  We welcome Madame Patterson who will be joining Madame Hosie in the French department.  Madame Patterson will initially take Lower school French and then support some of our older pupils in the Advent term.  In the Advent term we will also be welcoming other new staff- Mrs Liquorice (Humanities teacher) and Mrs Brown (Year 3).

May I wish you all a happy Easter,

Mr Dobson

Kinderclub

Easter TreesIn Germany, families decorate the branches of trees with colourful eggs for Easter. We have been making our own Easter trees at the Kinderclub and have learnt all the necessary German Easter vocabulary.

Frohe Ostern from the Kinderclub!

Early Spring Watch

One of our Groundstaff, Sally King, has been keeping a watchful eye on wildlife in the school grounds:

We all know Stoneygate is a wonderful place for wildlife and now we can see proof! We’ve recently got a trail camera which will be set up in different locations in the grounds so everyone can get a sneaky peek into the lives of the diverse fauna (a smashing word to check out!) which live their quiet lives right under our noses.

 Firstly, an inquisitive critter who is checking out the smells around someone elses home!

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I bet lots of the pupils, parents and staff have caught a rapidly disappearing glimpse of these cheeky chappies in the driveway.

 I was very excited to see that the camera had its PIR sensors triggered twice during night, at very different times. It’s so interesting to see what time and temperature is recorded- a real insight into lives which no-one else witnesses.

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Ahh, here is the usual inhabitor of the hole, beginning his night of foraging for tasty treats… some fat slugs, a frog or a scavenged dinner from a carelessly discarded food waste bag, perhaps. They do leave evidence around the lawns which I often get asked to clear up after observant children notice it!

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I hope he had a successful food hunt. Doesn’t he look lovely, heading back home tired and full, for a long and well deserved sleep through the day while you’re at school working and playing hard!

 Unfortunately, I had set the camera to just take photos but it will do video as well… I can’t wait to see what we get over the next few weeks as spring ‘springs’ upon Stoneygate School grounds!

Kettering and District Eisteddfod

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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