Monthly Archives: January 2019

Head’s Blog – 25th January

Young Voices

Clearwell children were 21 of the 6563 children performing at Young Voices. It was an absolutely magnificent occasion. Despite it being a long day with lots of rehearsals to ensure that all of the children could come together as one choir, the children gave it their all. During the evening performance we had a number of children (and adults!) who sang and danced the night away. It was virtually impossible to keep still, especially when music evokes such emotion. At Clearwell, we value singing and the mental well being that it brings to individuals.

Beau Dermot, only 15, sang Defying Gravity and Fight Song. She was inspirational as she herself had sang at Young Voices when she was 7. What a fabulous role model for our children as she spoke about the need to believe in yourself and never give up.

Lead singer of Basement Jaxx sang Rhythm Nation and You Gotta be (strong) and exciting for a number of mums, Tony Hadley sang “True” and “Gold” and we got to join in the latter! Mrs Stirrup wasn’t sure who he was was but Mrs Griffiths and I were able to explain! Mrs Stirrup has worked tirelessly preparing the children to sing at this event. I am extremely grateful to her for this. Mrs Stirrup, together with Mrs Griffiths, accompanied the children so thank you very much for giving your time to the children and school.

Welly walk

I had the privilege of taking Oak class in welly walk this week, it was a particularly cold day so we decided to look at the buildings within Clearwell. This links with our whole school Heritage Lottery Fund project, 100 years in Clearwell. On our return, we did a shared piece of writing where the children gave me sentences and phrases and we put it all together for a short recount of our walk.

On a cold frosty morning, we went for a walk. We went to see Clearwell well. On the way to the well, we saw some water which had frozen because it was so cold.  The ice was cold, hard and crispy.  When we stood on it, it cracked and made a crunchy noise.

On the path near the well, there were rotten apples, no sign of any fresh ones!  The well was very wet but the water was not frozen.  This is because the water is flowing and it hasn’t been cold enough for a long period of time to freeze it.

As we walked through Clearwell, we were looking at the buildings and seeing what they used to be.  We saw two old post offices.  Mrs Chance was very kind and gave us old photographs of her house which used to be the post office.  We also went to the old Bethal Methodist Chapel which was built in 1862.

Finally, we walked up to the old cemetery and looked at the plaque to honour Frances Miles’ Victoria Cross that he was awarded in World War 1. Then we made our way back to school, it was freezing!

A celebration of Burns’ Night

We were so lucky to have Matthew Barrett, a Welsh Bagpipe player offer to come and play for us this morning as a warm up to his performance at a wedding at Clearwell Castle later today. We were amazed by his performance, the children asked the most amazing questions including:
⁃ How do the bagpipes work?
⁃ Do all of the pipes move?
⁃ How long has Burns’ Night been celebrated?
⁃ When and why did you start to play the bagpipes?

We had the opportunity to learn all about the bagpipes as well as getting a small insight into Robert Burns’ life. We are so grateful to the Welsh Bagpiper for giving up his time for free to share his knowledge and expertise with us.

PC Peters & Internet Safety

PC Darren Peters came in to talk to years 3 and 4 about Internet safety and online gaming. The children were asked what games they played and there were some surprises. Some games mentioned include GTA5, Fortnite, Tick tock and Redemption 2. It was pointed out to the children that all of these games have age limits that are a lot higher than 7 and 8.

PC Peters also played a game to see if the children could identify what was and wasn’t personal information. I am pleased to say that they were very good at this so our Internet safety learning has had some impact on how to stay safe online.

They talked about what makes a good, strong password. One example would be to choose 3 random words and put them together, including symbols and numbers. It is important not to have the same password for everything.

Our Celebrations

Head’s Blog – 18th January

We welcomed Mrs Kirsty Tarry to Clearwell this week and she has made a fabulous start to her life as a school administrator. She has shown great initiative and Mrs Frith was kind enough to come back to share some of her knowledge and wisdom.  We are so lucky to have or have had great staff that care about our school.  

First thing Monday morning before even the children had come into school we had an unannounced visitor from Caterlink’s auditors. As we would expect Mrs Thomas excelled, achieving a score of 98.4%.

The new children who started at the end of last term and the beginning of this term have settled in well with the rest of the pupils making them feel welcomed.  I am very proud that OFSTED made reference to the inclusive nature of our school.  They cite one pupil who described the school’s inclusive approach by saying, ‘You will fit in here, no matter what.’  What a fabulous way for our school to be perceived.

Mrs Griffiths has made a good start with Willow class on our ‘100 years in Clearwell’. The children have written their own independent learning tasks (which have been sent home).

Our Celebrations

Head’s Blog – 11th January 2019

Happy New Year! I cannot believe it is almost the middle of January already, the advantage of breaking up late before Christmas.  We have had a hectic first week back what with training, new staff starting, waiting for new staff to start, whole school trip and a curling tournament!  

Thank you to those people who collected Christmas Cards for the Cobalt unit in Cheltenham, I will pass them onto my friend who will take them up there for us.  We received a cheque for £50 because so many of you filled in the survey about tutoring, thank you for doing that for us.  We will be collecting Bags for School in the next few weeks, so if you are having a sort out then please think of us, we raised £70 last year.  

Lots of us passed our Paediatric First Aid training on Monday so you rest assured that we have lots of people on hand for those cuts and bruises that often occur with children! Mrs Stirrup and Miss Cecil attended an Oxford Reading Tree training session on reading where lots of new ideas were gleaned ready to be discussed as part of our continual school improvement.D

We would like to welcome Miss Wendy Parsley to Clearwell, she will be working in Key Stage 1 and has really enjoyed her first week with us. 

Thank you to everyone for bearing with us this week without an administrator.  We have tried our best to keep everything going.  It does mean that clubs letters haven’t gone out yet, so clubs will not start until Tuesday 22nd January. Apologies for this but I have taught 3 days this week and been doing other key administration tasks for trips etc.  Mrs Kirsty Tarry starts with us on Monday and we look forward to giving her a great Clearwell welcome.

Dean Heritage Centre

On a very cold and frosty morning we all made our way to the Dean Heritage Centre to learn about life in and around the Forest of Dean and post WW1.  This was to inspire children to ask lots of questions about our local area.  This ties in with the theme for this term, ‘100 years in Clearwell’ which is part of the Heritage Lottery Funding project we secured funding for.

All three groups of children spent time in different workshops, namely Ma Meek’s cottage, a WW1 hospital and learning to do drills and about life in the trenches. The children definitely got to experience how cold it was with the temperature below zero!

School Games – Curling Competition

Four children from years 3 and 4 were invited to participate in a curling competition st Newent School.  It was organised by Alan Beard as part of Gloucestershire’s School Games.  The children had a wonderful time and I am really proud to announce that they got the Bronze Award (out of 12) for upholding the values of the games,  namely, respect, teamwork and honesty.  What wonderful children we have at our school.

Our Celebrations