Dear Parents and Carers,
It has been a week of early morning frosts, icy roads and snow in some parts of Dorset however I am glad to say that the cold weather has not chilled our enthusiasm for learning and activity in school!
Art and Recorder Clubs have been running since the middle of the autumn term on a Wednesday lunch time and Thursday morning break respectively. This week saw the start of Dance Club, running during Tuesday lunch break. The initial focus for Dance Club is a collaborative choreographed dance piece, set to music, which will be performed at a dance festival in mid February. I would also hope that this piece would be shared with parents during a Praise and Celebrate assembly before half term.
Children have been eager for additional clubs to be offered and in response to this the school has organised two after school sporting clubs to run on a Tuesday 15.30 – 16.30 and a Friday 15.30 – 16.30 starting from Tuesday 24th January. Both clubs are open to key stage 2 pupils i.e. those in Chestnut and Oak classes.
Tuesday 15.30 – 16.30: KS2 Football Club
Friday 15.30 – 16.30: KS2 Hockey Club
Children in both classes have already been asked for the interest with the number of children suggesting they would like to attending falling within the limits of maximum capacity for the clubs. Both clubs will be free of charge to parents and funded through the school’s sports funding grant.
If you are interested in your child attending either one of the clubs, please sign up by either sending an email, phoning or talking to Mrs Pike, who will amalgamate registers. Places will be filled on a first come first served basis, with a commitment to attend for the remainder of the term, rather than a drop in and out arrangement, to facilitate planning for sessions.
Our Monday assemblies this term have focused on what we value and values in general. From the ideas put forward by the children, five values have been highlighted and I have asked the children to aspire to all pupils at Stower Provost Community School to be known for their:
- Acceptance of Others (Inclusivity)
I hope parents will support the school in helping the children to demonstrate linked behaviours – so do feel free to ask your children to help lay the table or tidy things up and link your request to school!
Please find at the bottom of this newsletter the PTFA minutes from the meeting on Monday 9th January. A reminder that the next meeting will be on Monday 6th February at 14.40 in the school library. Please contact Sophie Hayter – firstname.lastname@example.org for further information relating to our PTFA.
Free Hands-on Outdoor Opportunities at the Weekend
Many thanks to two parents for drawing the weekend opportunities below to my attention.
Working Weekends in the Woods: Free Woodland Skills Sessions
Duncliffe Wood 18/19th February & 4/5th March
As part of the Gillingham Royal Forest project, partners The Woodland Trust have offered up this wonderful woodland for some rural skills opportunities in 2023. In conjunction with Deeper Green Services, the Gillingham Royal Forest project is offering free sessions to get hands on in helping to manage the woodland.
You will learn about and undertake sensitive woodland management and see how this approach helps maximize the biodiversity of this beautiful woodland that once marked the south-western boundary of Gillingham’s Royal Forest. Activities include gaining experience in charcoal making – from harvesting wood to creating product – as well as hedge-laying and coppicing. These are great opportunities for those looking to learn more / get experience working a woodland alongside green professionals, those considering a career in the outdoors, as well as those simply wanting to get out, connect with nature and people and learn something new. Accompanied under 18s are welcome. You’ll also get to take home some charcoal that you make during the sessions.
For Further information please contact Emma Barfoot on EBarfoot@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Our first parent forum for the term was held yesterday. My thanks to those parents who shared their views and ideas to help our school to continue to move forward and develop. Please find meeting notes at the bottom of this newsletter, from the meetings in December. Notes from 19th January will be attached on next week’s newsletter. Our next parent forum meeting is scheduled for 28th February at 14.50 in the school library.
Class Room News
Oak Class’ final dance lesson of the current unit culminated on Friday with Oak pupils performing their carefully choreographed dances to Hazel class who were a very supportive audience. As an encore Oak Class taught their buddies some adaptations of their choreography and enjoyed a dance together. A wonderful time was had by all and it was lovely to see our eldest and youngest children working collaboratively.
The children in Chestnut have been developing their skills in English to retrieve and record information from a text. In Maths, Y3 pupils have been learning about scaling and Y4 have been further developing their skills in multiplication including a three digit number by a one digit number. All children are looking forward to their trip to the Tutankhamun museum on Monday
On Wednesday, in Science, Beech Class ventured outside in the frost to take part in the RSPB’s Big Schools Bird watch. In small groups the children observed and recorded how many birds visited the school grounds over the space of an hour. The children were pleasantly surprised at the amount and variety of birds that we saw. Having discussed the data and next week pupils will be recording their findings on various graphs. Pupils also discussed how they could attract even more birds to the grounds. Over the next few weeks the class will be making some bird feeders before another bird watch at the end of February to find out if their ideas have encouraged a larger range of visiting birds. During the afternoon the children also investigated facts about different birds, compared data whilst playing ‘Bird Trump Cards’ and developed their identification skills through a range of activities and games.
The children have been creating new characters for the Hairy Maclary story. We have talked about different features and characteristics, and then creating new names that follow the rhyming pattern of the original story. We have been investigating the sizes of different baby animals and compared them to ourselves. The children enjoyed the brief interlude of snow on Wednesday, playing in it, trying to catch it and breaking the ice.
Diary dates for the forthcoming week and beyond
|Children’s mental health week (activities in school)|
|Safety Internet Day (staying safe on line – activities in school)|
|9th Feb||Heights and Weights for Year 6
|15.20||Half term starts|
|08.40||Second half term starts|
|London Theatre Trip for Year 6 pupils|
|28th Feb||14.50||Parent Forum in the library|
|2nd Mar||World Book Day – dress up as a character from a book.|
|14th Mar||British Science Week (activities in school)|
|World Poetry Day (activities in school)|
|Parent Meetings 5 – 7pm|
|Parent Meetings 3.30 – 5.50pm|
|31st Mar||15.20||End of Term|
|21st July||INSET DAY|
Apologies: Phillipa, Dan, Becky, Sam and Rebecca
Autumn Term Fund Raising Events
Thank you to everyone who helped at the Fun Night, which raised an amazing £253.67.
Wreath Making Nights raised £280 before costs. Many thanks to Clare for organising and running these amazing evenings.
Many thanks to those who helped before Christmas at a variety of events, such as the Nativity, making teas and coffees and mince pies – a total of £46.90 was raised through donations.
Valentines Disco – Thursday night 9th Feb, 5.30 – 7pm. Can be a 6.30pm. £2 a ticket, pre booked. Snacks – crisps and sit in house groups. We go to them. Bring your own drinks bottle. Colouring room for time out children.
Games and dances – conga, macarena, ups up side your head, ski song, the twist, chicken song. AB to lead this.
The PTFA cupboard has been sorted and there is a box which could be recycled.
School uniform – lots of spares, which could be offered to families prior to a Friday celebration assembly. Smaller uniforms to go
Pitcombe Rock Falconry
(A volunteer group who are having to relocate to another location). They are hoping to build 25 aviaries and are offering us the opportunity to sponsor an aviary for £100 with the school’s name going above the aviary. The gentleman who runs the Falconry is an ex Stower Provost School pupil and has been requested to come into school for an afternoon.
Cellar – needs clearing
Rubbish behind the outdoor loos needs to be sorted and cleared
AB will organise a skip, yet also asked if the PTFA was able to help with the clearing.
Leavers – Year 6
In the past a water fight, cream tea, swim in the pool has been offered to Year 6 pupils in the last week of term, with a parental contribution made towards a leavers’ hoodie for each child. Bowling and pizza evening has also been organised in the past.
Suggestion that Year 6 pupils run a tuck shop every Friday to help raise money for their end of summer term events. Discussion for another meeting for what the PTFA contribute towards for the end of school events for the Year 6 pupils.
PTFA will contribute towards the residential.
Bill of £3072 for the electric for heating the swimming pool has come in. The PTFA normally pay for the heating bill for the pool, however this is extraordinarily high and covers the cost of heating the pool over the summer to facilitate swimming at the start of the autumn term. AB suggested making a contribution towards the bill from the sports funding budget. PTFA members also questioned if it was possible to open the pool for the summer months (i.e. during the holiday). As long as processes, procedures and H&S were in place – the same as in school time – this could be possible AB was led to believe by the County H&S officer.
It was decided that the PTFA would contribute £250 per class for the year towards the cost of travel for trips. £1000 towards transport for the year in total.
AB has a list of jobs to be completed around school. Once Vivienne Berry from DCC has visited and clarified school and DCC responsibilities for work to be carried out, AB will share the list with the PTFA with a view to specific jobs to possibly be paid for by the PTFA.
Meeting booked for 6th Feb 14.40 in the library.
Parent Forum Notes – December 2022
Parents suggested the following were strengths of the school when asked:
- Size of the school
- Children knowing each other
- Adults know children allowing interaction
- Big Buddy system and the responsibility and engagement. It also allows parents to get to know new parents to the school
- Community feel as village life can be isolating
- Teaching including life skills e.g. kind hands, same language, expectations, consistency of messaging and reinforced
- Supportive parents
- Volunteer opportunities
Weaknesses and areas for development
- Turn over of staff
- Positive feedback to parents – discussion around x5 postcards to be sent home linked to subjects regarding positive work and demonstrating teachers have noticed and seen consistent effort or pupils have taken a lead in something. Marvellous Me forthcoming introduction discussed.
- Clubs – outside of core learning e.g. forest school, bike ability, forest school, debating society, science club, drama, gardening, sports – school to ask parents for support.
- Trips to be developed
- Playtime games e.g. elastics
- Interschool opportunities and the chance for pupils to practice beforehand
Use of space / school
- Holiday club possibilities
- Use of school as a community space
- Knitter Natter during the day
- Jenny Morrisetti – make, do and mend – offer school space for this
- Pool – use during holidays, solar coil heater (£600 per set approx with 6 – 8 needed), considered to be better and more efficient than air source heat pump.
- Hedge laying – some areas could be laid to enhance the longevity of the hedge
- Develop old pupil network
- Trees – Oak tree – planted for Queen’s jubilee is it marked?
- Cane toppers for tree supports needed in field
- Pullham Timber have end of season sale which may be useful for repairs and jobs around school
- Use of the Scrapstore in Yeovil for school supplies
- Teacher input and ideas for how PTFA money could be spent and focuses for projects
- Give pupils opportunities to use public transport for wider life experiences
- Social media development – facebook page, instagram, twitter
- Easy fundraising – offer a sign up session with computers with tea/coffee, currently £2,309 raised through doing nothing, just parents using site when purchasing goods.
- Increased child involvement in PTFA events
- Develop links with community – through Octavo (AB writes article for this monthly), other quarterly newsletter (Mrs H will give me contact), community groups to speak at assemblies on a Thursday