Weathering Gravestones

Willow Class are exploring rocks and soil this term. Over the past couple of weeks, the children have been looking at the effect of erosion and weathering on certain types of rocks. To give them a rich and real life experience of this, this afternoon the children visited the local Graveyard at St Peter’s Church in the village. There was a lot of discussion around the age of certain stones and why some certain stones could not be read. The children were also thoroughly excited to find the graves of our house names Budden, Singer and Pragnell. Despite the sudden downpour, and getting very wet, the children thoroughly enjoyed this.

Governor’s Update

Dear School Community,

As this term ends, all the governors at West Tytherley would like to thank you for your participation in our school community and to take a moment to celebrate some of the successes of this academic year.

A Great Achievement

I think top of the list should come the school’s sporting achievements. We have discussed at governors meetings how it is specifically at the sporting events that you see the true spirit of the West Tytherley School community; and how proud we are of our pupils who consistently exhibit a wonderful sense of teamwork- teamwork between all age groups and abilities; teamwork between pupils and staff. We are proud of the team West Tytherley is. All our staff express their passion for our West Tytherley team and Mrs Finlay should get a special mention for being a driving force in the range of sports our children in Key stage 2 have been able to do, and for securing the silver award in sport for the school. This is a fantastic achievement for a school of our size.

Our links with Queenswood Farm is a unique opportunity for children at West Tytherley. When governors come in to meet with Beech, Willow and Oak class children throughout the year, it is the first thing, across the school, that the children tell us they enjoy most in their learning at school. We are very lucky to have the support of Craig and Nikki to make this possible, and the staff who have carefully incorporated their curriculum plans into learning opportunities at the farm, and the parent volunteers who make it possible to deliver this.

From a governing perspective, it has been a challenging year with a lot of new legislation to get to grips with (you can read more about all of these areas on our school website). Such as how we keep the data on you and your children safe (GDPR). Evaluating whether our school curriculum content will meet the new Ofsted assessment requirements (is it broad and enrichening enough; how do we monitor if children are meeting age related expectations in all areas)? How we ensure safeguarding the children in our school is at the heart of everything we do (we will be updating you on this more thoroughly with termly letters, but you can read more on our website at any time) and how we monitor the quality of teaching, how we ensure our pupils’ educational outcomes are secured, and progress is made across the school. One way we do this last bit is by having an individual governor for each of our three classes who visits its teaching staff and children throughout the year, and monitors how school improvement plans are being implemented and whether they are having an impact for your child.

And the governors are thrilled with the attainment and progress all our children have made this year. The outcome data we have received at the end of the academic year is evidence of our teachers’ and pupils hard work. All teachers, teaching assistants and children should be proud of what has been achieved this year. Despite it being Mrs Gray’s first year with us, she and Mrs Bowyer have helped Year R children settle in successfully and individually develop as positive school community members. Key Stage 2 (Years 3- 6) have achieved strong results across the board, exceeding the national average in results in reading, writing and science. And particularly, Key Stage 1 children (Years 1 and 2) and their classroom staff have gone the extra mile. After a disrupted teaching year last year, they have shown fantastic progress. Year 2 have even managed to exceed the national average in their phonics results! Our thanks to all the classroom staff; Mr Warren’s leadership and our essential community volunteers who have given up their time to support our children with extra reading in the school day. Next academic year we will be specifically monitoring progress in reading, writing and maths in Key Stage 1, and maths in Key Stage 2. We have supported the headmaster and staff requests to recruit and restructure the use of teaching assistant support in these year groups in order to help this. And we look forward to welcoming a new Year R cohort of 9 children to Beech class. Despite September 2019 Year R admissions being below average across most schools in the South, we forecasted on getting 9 children and we got 9 children, hurrah!

The governing body are also very grateful to the awesome fundraising activities of our passionate and tireless PTA. This year they stepped in and ensured our children had an entirely upgraded IT suite, 30 new laptops have been purchased for children to use indoors and outdoors in support of our IT curriculum objectives. The fundraising work of the PTA is also responsible in supporting our uniquely broad curriculum: supplementing music lessons for pupils, allowing the children to enjoy the panto at Christmas time, providing educational materials in the classroom (requested by our teachers as wish list items), and purchasing library books.

Unfortunately, schools are chronically underfunded by the government and this makes retention and recruitment of pupils critical for West Tytherley. It is a priority of the governing body to make sure we safeguard the retention and recruitment of pupils for our school.

The governing body is accountable for the school finances, and despite this funding crisis we have finished this academic year in a strong financial position and are making plans for capital investment projects that include a new canopy for the Early Years outdoor learning area; playground and play equipment refurbishment; and provisional plans to upgrade the interior decoration. Mrs Furness supports us in preparing the school budget, and we thank her for her work, especially as the end of this year has been particularly hard manning the office single handed and she still never fails to greet each child into the school with a smile and welcoming word in the morning.

At the last governors meeting of this academic year, we said how if anyone wanted to see why they should send their child to West Tytherley School, the summer play and School BBQ would be all the evidence they needed. The BBQ particularly, was attended by different groups of the community, young and old (and everyone in between!), generations of ex pupils (how many schools can say that!?), current pupils and children about to start their school journey. It showed the real heartbeat of our school, and we are proud of it all, we hope you are too. Thank you for being part of it. We look forward to seeing you in September!

Have a wonderful summer holiday,

Your governors 😊

Will my feet get wet?

Willow Class have been exploring the use of everyday materials. They were tasked with identifying the most appropriate materials to create a pair of shoes that would be suitable to stand in a river. They had to plan and design their shoes, using a selection of everyday materials. Once shoes were made, Willow Class had to test them by standing in a paddling pool (the river). Only a few managed to keep a foot dry.

Active and Healthy Week

Last week was our active and healthy week. The week kicked off with our whole school walk to Bentley Woods. We were very lucky with the weather – sunny but with a nice, cooling breeze. The children stopped up at the top for a drink, biscuit and a play around before walking back – 4 miles in total! Thank you very much to the parents who walked with us.

 

Day 2 consisted of exploring certain Paralympic games – seated volleyball and goalball. It provided an insight for the children as to the skills required to play some of these Paralympic games – determination and teamwork.

Day 3 was a combination of research and teaching Beech class for Oak and Willow Class. They were given an athlete that was unknown to them and they had to carry out some research on the individual. Oak class taught Beech Class some playground games in their session with them, whilst Willow Class taught Beech some games to play in Tri-Golf.

Our team of wonderful Sports Leaders and Sports Ambassadors led Day 4. Plans were slightly changed due to the rain in the morning; however, activities were carried out n the hall. Oak and Willow were first to be led; they played bench ball which resulted in a lot of laughter and many smiling faces. Beech Class were next to go – playing dodge ball and 4 suits. After break, came the whole school treasure hunt – the first one this year! Children were grouped by 1 from each class and had to locate 30 sporting names from various sports. It was lovely to see the children helping and encouraging each other.

What a wet day Friday was! Personal Best came in to lead activities during the day. All classes had a go at tri-golf and the air track, Willow and Oak were taught archery whilst Beech Class were creating a robotic dance. All the activities were a big hit with the children, especially the air track.

Quotes of the week

Alf: I have enjoyed all the games this week because we have been outside getting fresh air and getting healthy and fit.

Ted: I have found it quite interesting because we have never really done sports week like this before. This year it has been more activity based rather than sports.

Keira: Sports week was a good chance to discover sports skills I didn’t know I had.

Lisia: I have enjoyed the week. It’s been really fun. My favourite part was building an obstacle course for Beech Class.

Erin: The walk to Bentley Woods was very tiring but also very fun.

Skye: It was amazing (the walk to Bentley Wood) because we got fresh air and we got to walk in the woods.

Lukas: The sitting volleyball was really fun. The goalball was really hard.

Emily: Goalball was very scary because you didn’t know who had the ball and where people were.

Silver Sports Mark

We are delighted to announce that we, West Tytherley Primary School, have achieved the School Games SILVER Mark Award for the 2018/19 academic year. Previously, we have received the Bronze Mark

The School Games Mark is a Government led award scheme launched in 2012, facilitated by the Youth Sport Trust to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community, and we are delighted to have been recognised for our success.

Our sporting achievements this year include:

  • Third in Girls Football
  • Joint second in Rounders
  • Third in Tri-Golf

With a number of young people competing in local inter-school competitions this year, we are extremely proud of our pupils for their dedication to all aspects of school sport and especially their continued display of teamwork and encouragements.

As part of our application, we were asked to fulfil criteria in the areas of participation, competition, workforce and clubs, and we are pleased that the hard work of everyone at our school has been rewarded this year. We have invested in a new PE scheme, Real PE, which has also helped the children to develop skills required to self-assess their own performance and help assess the performances of others through discussions.

A special thanks to all the parents who have helped transporting the children to the different locations – participating in the events would not have been possible otherwise.

We look forward to applying once again in 2020; we are going to be aiming for GOLD!

Celebrating World Book Day

All the children and staff at West Tytherley celebrated World Book Day today by arriving at school dressed as either their favourite book character or a villain from a familiar story.

World Book Day is a great opportunity for our children to get excited about books, share books and celebrate their love of reading. Many primary schools join in with this National event and whilst it is usual to see a Grinch at the bus stop or the Gruffalo filling up at the petrol station – it is a really enjoyable day – full of fun and focused learning upon reading.

I would like to thank the children and parents for the tremendous effort that everyone put in to dressing up. It was amazing to see our very own… Draco Mayfoy; Where’s Wally; Horrid Henry; Queen of Hearts; the Grinch; Miss Trunchball; Maleficent; the Snow Queen; Dennis the Menace; and Cruella de Ville. Many thanks to all the staff who joined in with the excitement too.

Please have a look at our Photo Gallery.

ZUMBA!

Wednesday was a busy day learning new moves and dance routines. The children had Holly Hull in during the day, a Zumba Kids instructor. She worked with each class twice, teaching them different dance styles; hip hop, bhangra, soca, salsa and samba were a few. The children then all came together at the end of the day to perform a few routines that they had learnt during the day. The children were full of energy and had a lot of fun.

Charlie, Year R, said, “My best one was knees and toes.”

Mollie, Year R, said, “I had such a lovely day.”

Annabel, Year 1, said, “I enjoyed running around like a horse.”

Florrie and Jessie, Year 1, said, “Our favourite bit was baby shark.”

Erin, Year 3, said, “I love everything about it.”

Lukas, Year 2, said, “My favourite dance style was bhangra.”

Olivia, Year 4, said, “It was really, really, really good. It was amazing. My favourite dance was head, shoulders, knees and toes (soca).”