With so many pressures on everyone, I attended a Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning conference with the focus on mental health for all. It was extremely interesting and stressed the importance of all of taking responsibility of supporting others. Our top priority should be to help others to be “Wholly content, positive and optimistic”. This is very much something that we aim to do at Clearwell, it is challenging but we still keep trying as it is so important, more important than SATS results, and we spend a significant amount of time educating children how to be good friends, as well as to engage with someone that they can talk to and more importantly to be able to listen to each other. Please help us to support your children by reinforcing how we can help ourselves and others. Building a connection with people and listening to their concerns helps, we cannot solve all of their problems but we can learn to empathise. We will continue to do this in school using physical activities, a range of lessons and skills building
Governor’s Annual Garden Party
With our Governors Annual Garden Party approaching quickly, we have had our first donation day for the raffle. Thank you very much for these donations.
Having spoken to the children, they wanted to have more rewards for those children who always do what they have been asked to do, without any fuss. So, after collating their ideas and a discussion at our staff meeting it has been decided that for the children who have 100% green dojos each week, they will get 15 minutes of Golden Time on a Friday afternoon. The children who have been in receipt of a red dojo that week will sit with me and we will do different pastoral activities. These will vary dependent on the individual needs of the children with me. For those children who get Golden time every week in a half term, they will get an extended Golden Time.
Children who get over 20 dojos will still get a pink pink which goes towards their badge. The purpose of this is to encourage all children to have appropriate learning behaviour which makes school a better place to learn for everyone.
After what had felt like weeks of rain, the weather was finally kind to us on our school trip. Heading to two destinations that aren’t designed for tourists meant that we could have got very wet! However, the sun shone and we all had a fabulous time at Devil’s Chapel and Dark Hills. At Devil’s Chapel we were being inspired for our adventure stories; experiencing a Forest first hand makes writing so much easier than looking at photographs. This was something that one of our wonderful year 3 children commented on. We investigated what we saw, smelt, heard and could touch and wrote a mini resources book to use in class for setting of a Forest. I cannot wait to read the finished articles.
Willow class went down near the “Chapel” itself whilst Mrs Griffiths read F W Harvey’s world famous poem about the exact location. We were all captivated at the words as we took ourself back through time to hear how the Roman’s used slaves to mine for Iron to make their weapons.
After a pit-stop back at school we headed to Dark Hills to find out about David and Robert Mushet and how their invention of a method to produce refined iron direct from the blast furnace, without the need for a separate refinery had a huge impact on the Industrial Revolution. Mrs Griffiths read an extract from his diaries and it was interesting to hear how Mrs Mushet also worked in the famous furnace. We talked about how there is little recognition of this, only of the men, which was a sign of the times. Our girls are encouraged to speak out, be heard and be remembered!
Activities day at Dean Academy
Our Y5 children visited Dean Academy yesterday and had a wonderful day completing a range of activities which included maths, science and Design Technology. I was an extremely proud Headteacher to be told that the teacher commented on how polite our children are. Thank you 😊
The horrendous weather may well have stopped Country Dancing and Welly Walk taking place this week but the children have still had lots of fun. One thing was Mrs Griffiths spent a lot of time talking to Oak about what makes us happy. It is so important that we take time to reflect on this as too often we are concerned about what we don’t have, rather than what we do have. Then with Willow, they were history detectives and looked through boxes of old school photographs and documents so that they could compare and contrast school life over the last 100 years. Some family members could be recognised!
Mrs Stirrup welcomed the new parents and children to Clearwell this week. We are very excited about them joining us and are sure that they will have a wonderful school experience. There are a few places left in Reception for September if anyone knows anyone who is still looking for a tailored education for their child, whilst having a huge range of opportunities.
On Wednesday we were entertained by the children who have private music lessons with Mark Bick. They put on a performance to showcase their creativity. We had singing from Shannon; a composition to include keyboard, voice and drums from Norah – it sounded very much like The Doors; Rory’s composition included keyboard and voice producing a transient inspired dance sound; Tom and Josh – with Josh on Keyboard – who wrote a song about the bug hotel that they have built in our garden; Grace played the Brahm’s lullaby on the keyboard whilst Mark accompanied her on the guitar and then she played ‘There was a crooked man’ as a solo. Toby and Millie completed the performance with their composition about a virus escaping a laboratory and zombies taking over. I was overwhelmed by the range of skills and creativity demonstrated. It is fabulous to see how confident the children are and how their creativity is encouraged. This is one way we nurture our children to enable them to flourish. Thank you Mark!
Our school trip to Devil’s Chapel and Dark Hills is taking place next Wednesday. If the current weather is anything to go by, waterproofs are going to be required!
This week has seen the finishing touches to our new mosaic in school. The children chose images that represent our village, namely the church, the modern well, the castle and of course children in our school uniform. This is all part of the celebration of our Heritage Lottery Fund project researching 100 years in Clearwell. The amazing Rachel Shilston drew up the designs and worked with the children to create the finished product. Paul Tarry (Mrs Tarry’s husband) came and installed it over the holidays, so a big thank you to him as well. I am sure you all agree, it looks magnificent.
As we are part of Gloucestershire Diocese as a church school, we are invited to attend a celebration for the Leavers at Gloucester cathedral. One of our year 6 attended and she had a lovely time, the receipt of a unique cross will help her to remember that she is unique and made by God with love, just as the wooden cross has been. We had a beautiful day for these celebrations.
We will remember them
As the country remembers the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Mrs Griffiths shared some films with Willow class. They were captivated by this, which bodes well for September when the whole school will visit the Imperial War Museum at a minimal cost and then study the impact of war on our village. Mrs Griffiths will be leading this project and we have lots of exciting things lined up already to inspire learning.
I don’t usually celebrate the training that staff participate in but I do feel that it is important that our community know that the staff are invested in, as well as the pupils. This week well being, sports mark and emotional support training has been attended. I have been listening to some inspirational speakers today at the Gloucestershire Association of Headteachers conference, Sir Tim Brighouse being one of them. He really helped to remind me why I do the job that I do, namely to create a climate in school that makes a difference for each child. There are challenges along the way and mistakes that are made, but we learn from these and become better as a result of this. We need to ensure that all of us, adults and children, learn by our mistakes and don’t see them as being the end of something but more of a beginning of a new journey. Dr Gervase Phinn was incredible too, I am definitely going to read his books. He too spoke of the importance of nurturing a child and how there is more to life than English and maths. We all want our children to be happy and healthy, something I hope that we succeed in doing at Clearwell and where we don’t, we listen to how we can.