October | 2019
As we began the new school year, with over 200 teachers gathered together to take part in a day of professional development, I spoke about the responsibility that all adults who work with children share - to look after themselves and make sure that this year ‘self-care’ is a priority. The children who depend on us need us to be at our best every day. They need us to be able to care for them, to encourage them, to inspire them, to be cheerful, happy, relaxed and friendly. No pressure, but we need to be on top form as we are doing the most important job that anyone can do - nurturing and developing the next generation. This message of course applies to parents and families too.
Daily life is full of challenges and many of our families are facing personal, social and/or financial difficulties. Children can be caught in the middle and unfortunately some experience trauma which, although it may not seem immediately apparent, impacts on their long term mental health. Every child needs to feel loved and cared for; they need affirming conversations, caring relationships and they need to feel safe and secure. When teachers and parents work together in close partnership children are much more likely to enjoy coming to school. Putting the child at the centre of the conversation can help us to come together and resolve any problems they might have. Working collaboratively and building connections is a key theme for us this year. Looking after ourselves and others, valuing everyone and building high levels of trust, we seek to work in partnership as adults to give our children the best chance we can to make the most of their primary years.
Clare Flintoff, CEO
Marcelo Staricoff has been bringing the Joy Of Not Knowing (JONK!) to all corners of Wenhaston Primary School. The approach leads children to really think about how they learn. Herbie in Year 1 told Marcelo that learning was like snow falling, and that once enough snow had fallen, he could make something else with the snow (applying his learning). Amazing!
Marcelo has helped the school form a 'Learning Leaders' group that is working together to write a school development plan. So far, some priorities that the Learning Leaders have come up with are: more outdoor and active learning (can we link literacy and maths with PE?), working out ways to ask more questions in Science and more opportunities for children to choose what they write about. We think we might have made a good start with the Science questions as we even involved our CEO and Chair of Governors with an attempt to measure the speed of sound in the playground.
What has been so excellent has been how Marcelo has worked with so many people linked with the school. He has had lunch with the children (as well as chairing the first learning leaders meeting and running workshops), he has run a session with parents where he talked about the Learning Pit and how the school will be building a recipe for lifelong learning. Governors, school staff and ASSET staff have also been part of everything. It has been a real joy to see everyone engaged with not knowing!
JONK! - engaging everyone at Wenhaston
excellence empowerment engagement equity
Thank you to Pupil Parliament - you have been brilliant!
Frostheart by Jamie Littler
Royal Society Children's Science Book Prize
The International YETI Collective by Paul Mason
Our Trust Reading Advocate's top recommendations for fiction chapter books for all ages. These are perfect books for reading at bedtime. As the evenings draw in, snuggle up and prepare to be transported to other worlds!
What an amazing group the 2019 ASSET Pupil Parliament has been. At the last gathering, before they returned to their schools to recruit the next group of pupils, members put together some advice for parents to follow in order to make their final year the most successful and enjoyable year yet.
Be more aware of what we are doing in school.
Learn alongside us and share mistakes!
Encourage and help us to do homework and learn more.
Talk about and share our day.
Tell teachers what learning we do at home.
Invite people around to learn with us.
Take trips that could help with homework.
Listen to us read and read to us.
Look at ways you can help us learn out of school.
Motivate us to learn and boost it by learning at home.
Test us on spellings.
Ensure we are at school on time.
Feed us healthy food.
Make sure we go to bed early enough to get a good night’s sleep.
Make sure we are happy and safe.
Send us to school with clean uniforms and the things we need to learn
Did you know that we have a group of children helping judge the Royal Society Children's Science Book Award?
The panel at the Oaks, The Sci-Fi Brainiacs, have been busy since the end of last term, applying their considerable grey matter to the six shortlisted books.
We have examined them fearlessly and rigorously, testing their appeal and practical application in a number of ways, including: making solar systems using plastic bags and hair gel (oh yes!), growing mould on bread, melting down chocolate and crayons (not together - that would be silly) and attempting to make batteries out of lemons. We think we know which would be our winner, but we're not letting on yet...
Rose Palmer, Librarian The Oaks
"The last meeting of the Sci Fi Brainiac Boffins! Here are all the lovely books. Boffs getting ready to fire their homemade rockets. Wind power!"
Pupil Parliament: advice for parents
Max the Detective Cat by Sarah Todd Taylor
BT Adastral Park Crumble Taster Day
On Wednesday 9th October, all of year 5 and 6 of Stutton Primary School (only 7 of them) went to a BT Crumble Taster day. The purpose of the day was meant to teach us about how computing and coding work. A crumble bot is a small robot with 2 wheels, 2 motors, 8 different lights called sparkles and many more features. We had lots of fun listening, coding and experimenting, doing lots of little steps throughout the day. We learnt about 4 very important words which were tinkering, perseverance, practice and last of all being patient. During the day we had to do 5 tasks like making the lights flash, using a forever loop to make it go on forever, writing an algorithm, stopping the bot at a black line and carrying along on the white and finally making the crumble bot follow a black line around corners so it would go around a race track without going off.
The very last part of the day was the competition between all the different schools who attended the workshop. Because we were a rather small school, we could only put one group through to the final, so it made it a very hard decision. Other larger schools had more than one group in the final so they had more chances, but we still did very well indeed. In the competition we came runners-up overall. What a successful day!!! It was such an honour to join the fun and be given such a remarkable challenge.
Romily, Year 6, Stutton
October | 2019
At St. Helen's Primary, we are really trying to embrace mental health and have created a green room for pupils to go to if they need a break for learning or to learn in a more relaxed environment that resembles home. It has comfortable seating and space. Pupil positivity monitors are in place in each class noting positive behaviours their classmates make in and out of lessons that their teacher may not know about.
The school embraced World Mental Health Day with 'Care and Cake' and one class ventured to the Quay Wellbeing Centre, to learn more about supporting themselves and others in having a healthy approach to life and its challenges.
Kate Hodgetts Headteacher
World Mental Health Day
'We learnt how to do "dragon breathing" to help us feel calm.'
Following wide consultation with the school community and now with approval from the Board, Whitton will become known as The Beeches Community Primary School from January 2020.
This is a very exciting time for The Beeches. In September, the new canteen was used for the first time by all our teachers at our launch Professional Development day. The space is modern, bright and flexible and we are all looking forward to using the space in different ways over the coming years.
The school has decided to call its new building The Beach which reflects the coastal theme of the design. It was officially opened by the Ipswich Mayor, Jan Parry, at the school's autumn fair.
Stephen Capper, headteacher with Jan Parry, Ipswich Mayor.
BT - Stutton
Ringshall - the pupils tell us what you need to know...
Taking advantage of the beautiful outdoor spaces at Ringshall
Lolly Hill joined Whitton in 1996 as a midday assistant and successfully applied for the post of Teaching Assistant in the year 2000. Not only did she work in the school for well over twenty years but she was also a former pupil and all her children attended Whitton as well.
She was a very dedicated member of staff, friend to the school and hard working person in the community. Lolly had a tremendous determination and desire to help people; she always put children first. We held a special assembly to celebrate Mrs Hill's love of music. This was our special way of remembering Lolly who every year would organise the popular Whitton's Got Talent.
She will be sadly missed by her four children and all who knew her.
Stephen Capper, Headteacher
Many thanks to Dr Clare Gartland for her contribution as a member of the ASSET Trust Board of Directors. We are very grateful for all the expertise and support that she has given the Trust from the early days of its formation.
Dr Gartland has decided to take a step back from the Board to concentrate on her research.
For lots more news, regular updates and information, find us on twitter: @ASSETEdu
In memory of Lolly Hill
Ringshall School joined us on 1st October. Ringshall is located near Stowmarket and the Wattisham airbase. We are delighted that the school has joined our family of schools and we have asked some pupils to tell us about what we should know about their school.
We are the pupils of Ringshall School and here is how we would describe our experiences. There are many good aspects of Ringshall. To start off with - the teachers! They are caring and supportive towards us, and help us achieve goals no matter the circumstances. Education is important to our school because it teaches us lessons of life.
As for English we learn to adventure into the depths of creativity and end up with a brilliant piece of work.
The amount of homework is reasonable and set at a level that challenges us. We have activity days that let our imaginations run free: for example our trip to Go Ape was a remarkable experience.
When you are in upper KS2, you have plays which allows you to explore the world of acting and build your confidence.
At lunchtime, we have multiple food options for all. If you are vegetarian, you will be provided correctly, and at lunch break we get out play equipment for all ages to enjoy which is run by play leaders in Violet class ( Year 5/6)
We adore our school and are thankful for coming here everyday.
By Tyecia , Emelia, Dexter, Conrad and Olivia