The first half term of this Academic year has flown by and there is a change to the way this Blog is written. Regular followers will note that there have been no postings until now, and this is because the Blog will be updated just 6 times a year – at the end of every half term.
We welcomed our new Reception pupils to school and they are now settled into the full time routine. Additional pupils joined us in other years and we also welcomed several new staff including three new teachers, an HLTA and several new Teaching Assistants and Lunchtime staff. We recently welcomed a new cleaner after almost a year of being one member of the team down – so you can imagine how pleased we were to welcome her to our school!
We returned after the Summer holiday to an exciting few weeks to start the new year as the school celebrated its 50th birthday in September, having opened originally as an Infant school in 1967. All classes used the 1960s as an inspiration for their first month’s curriculum work, with free choice being given to their particular aspect of study. For some this was based on events in history such as Space exploration. Whilst others focused on popular music, fashion, children’s TV programmes or popular children’s fiction of the time.
All pupils helped produce Art work which now fills the Hall walls and this will be a reminder of the work throughout this year. We celebrated the week of the school’s anniversary with a 1960’s Dress-up day and there were some fantastic costumes reflecting the fashion of the era alongside famous men and women (there were quite a few Elvis’s and Audrey Hepburns!) and we enjoyed a Balloon launch and afternoon tea with birthday cake. Many past staff and Governors were able to join us and enjoyed a tour from current Y6 pupils who took their role as guides very seriously, pounting out the “Blue plaques” that we had positioned around the school to mark significant events – such as the change to many of the offices and marking significant events such as the new Library and extension for 5 classes when we became a Primary school. The visitor’s special celebration cake was cut by one of the oldest remaining original staff – Mr Keith Wills, who took the opportunity to sit down at his old piano and play a few tunes!
We have continued to be busy with sports events throughout these first few weeks with many KS2 pupils enjoying taster sessions at Multi-sports festivals at Kingsthorpe College and others. Playing in teams for the school and competing in their first tournaments of the year. Well done to all who played including the Y5/6 girls and Y5/6 boys football teams and the Y5/6 Hockey team – who came away from their first tournament with the winner’s trophy. A small group of Y6 pupils were selected to be part of the “Student Aspiration Squad” and enjoyed weekly activities with pupils from other Primary schools, which included bowling, rock climbing, swamp and low ropes challenges and orienteering. All those taking part said it helped build their confidence and enabled new friendships to be formed.
The Cross country club ran in their first event, returning to school as Team winners in the Y3, Y4 and Y5 event, as well as securing some terrific individual performances and places.
We started the term again with many opportunities to try a range of extra-curricular activities and our full range of before and after school clubs are now in full swing. Two new teams of Bank “staff” have been appointed and trained and they turn up weekly to run the school bank, which offers our KS2 pupils the opportunity of being young savers. Our new school council is already working hard to discuss things that will affect the school and the new House Captains take it in turns to collect the weekly tally of points earned in the classes.
Our school choirs have amalgamated for this term, coming together to learn an exciting new piece called “Nene Journey” which will be performed by a mass ensemble of county musicians and a choir of school children form many schools around the county, with our 30 pupils being part of the 200 string choir. This piece, commissioned by NMPAT and written by NMPAT alumni Benjamin Till, describes a journey along the river Nene from source to sea. It will be performed in November at the Albert Hall as part of the School’s Primary Prom. All very exciting indeed!
We had our first PTA event of the year and a very large group of pupils enjoyed the disco, which was followed just a week later by a Mufti day with optional Pirate theme as all monies raised are going towards the purchase of a large Pirate ship for the KS1 playground.
We welcomed new pupils to our Reception year and to other Year groups and continue to welcome pupils hoping that we will soon be full (just 4 places remaining at present!).
All pupils continue to work hard and enjoy their learning. We are always heartened by the things they tell us including those who spoke to myself and the Chair of Governors during a recent Learning Walk to check on pupil views on bullying. With pupils declaring there were no bullies in school and that they knew what to do if they were being bullied it was a very positive activity, especially so when one pupil declared Parklands to be a very good school and she felt very lucky to attend here!