Head’s Blog 28th April 2023
As the children have all had their first full week in school, it has been an absolute pleasure to see how well they have settled in. The focus on learning is superb and the behaviour has been as we expect. We are so proud of them, especially our Reception children who have been in school full time since day one. They are well on their way with learning their phonics and numbers, such a pleasure to see.
We have spent time this week reflecting on the Queen’s life and what an incredible inspiration she was. One of Governors went to London and lay a posey of flowers with a message from all of us at Clearwell, thank you for doing that. We have also watched the live-stream of people passing Her Majesty lying in State and caught the Changing of the Guard too. We understand people’s outflowing of emotion because it makes us all reflect on our own loved ones who we have lost.
The weather has been kind and the children went out to the meadow on Welly Walk and also got to do PE in the Church grounds. Welly Walkers were so lucky because they got to see a pair of Red Kites whilst having a mindfulness session watching the clouds. I have never seen Red Kites locally so I am hoping to see them in the near future too.
Freya was also Top Learner
Head’s Blog – 9th September 2022
Welcome back to our new academic year. I hope that you have all had a wonderful summer making memories with your friends and families. It has been a rather strange week back at school, especially today spending time celebrating the life of Queen Elizabeth II. We have talked about the inspirational woman that she was and all of the different things that she achieved in her long life serving our country and the Commonwealth. As the Head of the Church of England, we have also discussed her role within the church and how her faith has supported her through challenging times that she has experienced. Finally, we watched her performance with Paddington from the Platinum Jubilee Celebration and talked about her mischievous side and how whilst she was not allowed to speak about her political beliefs she often found a way to make people know what she thought. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.
We have shared a detailed letter with all family members regarding the day to day organisation of school. If anyone has questions then please do not hesitate to contact us. This week we celebrated all of the children who completed the Summer Reading Challenge, I didn’t manage to get a photograph but will get one and add it at a later date!
Science at Clearwell is delivered in a practical manner in-keeping with our vision. This week Years 5 and 6 were learning about the structure of a flower – they love hands-on learning!
As we are heading our way through our second week of Lockdown, we are trying to keep things as normal in school as we possibly can. We have continued with learning, Remembrance commemorations, outdoor activities and Children in Need. I am always proud of the children at our school but none more so than on Wednesday of this week when all of them paid their respects to those who gave their lives so that we could live ours in the way that we know. Oak class watched a commemorative video on CBBC. The children then went off and of their own accord painted poppies, my heart melted. Willow participated in a service around the cross in the village. One of our Y5 children played the Last Post on her Tenor horn and a Y6 read a poem. We were joined by some of the neighbours who came out of their houses to pay their respects. The videos are on our YouTube channel.
This week in Welly walk we spent time discussing fire, listening to a fire (a cracklings candle!) and making fires in the garden. Year 3 created some fabulous pastel works of art of fire and wrote acrostic poems.
As Joe Wicks came to the end of his 24 hour PE session, we, along with lots of other primary schools, joined in for the last 25 minutes. Some of us found it harder than others! Thank you all for the donations for the charity, we raised £62, impressive when we only have 49 pupils in school. One mum even made biscuits for Oak class in Children in Need bags, so kind. Thank you. Oak class also spent the day preparing, cooking and then evaluating a range of different products.
School is in the process of yet another transformation! This week we have painted a room in school house, had a new interactive board installed and now we have a year 2 classroom! It has been and continues to be a real team effort as furniture is in the process of being moved around. Oak classroom is going to have full continuous provision activities for our KS1. I will share photographs next week of the work in progress. It isn’t all going to be complete but it is functional.
As we start the new decade, we at a Clearwell have so much to offer the adults and that work here and the children that learn here. The first week back is always a mixed blessing, it is so difficult for everyone to get back into a routine, feeling exhausted is there for everyone however, we always have our adventure to inspire learning. This week was no different, the children (and adults) were all so excited about visiting Coventry Cathedral. I have to say, the reality was more inspiring and informative than any of us could have imagined. The children were exceptional and when we shared the thing that we will remember forever the most common responses were the stained glass windows, the ruins from the second cathedral and the charred cross that Provost Howard saw after asking God for a sign following the blitz of November 1940. I wish that we had more time there and would like to go back and visit again. Our guides were informative, entertaining and brilliant with the children. Thank you.
Years 5 and 6 worked with PC Greg Steer learning how to stay safe online. They had lots of discussion about how to behave and how to make changes to any accounts that they have to protect themselves. We were reminded that TikTok can be a concern if children do not have their privacy settings set appropriately. If you would like any help with setting privacy concerns, then please speak to me and I will do my best to support you.
We had a group of children sharing their homework this week. We value the importance of our children talking to an audience which is one of the reasons we encourage them to share their homework with everyone. I am really proud that everyone in our school will talk in front of their peers.
What a busy week we have had. The castle hosted our annual Christmas party. We started the afternoon singing to the villagers, who absolutely loved Millie’s Christmas song. We were very grateful as they bought a number of raffle tickets from us. Next we had the amazing food followed by a couple of games. When we were playing, we heard a bell… Father Christmas had arrived. The children all had a chat with him and received a bag of sweets. Thank you so much to the Castle for hosting us, as always we had a wonderful time.
The day started with a quiz about how to stay safe using interactive “pebbles”. This was used to see what learning has taken place. These included mental well being as well as physical safety.
- Building site safety
- Electric substations
- Train platforms and electrified rail lines
- Level crossing safety
- Mental well being
- Seat belt safety
- Safety in the home – hazard awareness
- The judiciary system including police custody, cells and a magistrates court
- Safety around water
As part of our community links we visited The Elms nursing home. They were struggling to get a school to visit them because of the transport costs but we decided that we would use our own funds as it is so important for our children to support our local community. To see the smiling faces and hear the laughter from the residents was priceless. We hope that our children enjoyed themselves too.
We made our annual Christmas visit to Clearwell Caves today. They generously provide us with free entry and money raised from events in school (Friends) paid for the gifts. The story about Archie and his snowy unicorn was fabulous and as ever, the art work stunning.
We returned to school to have an incredible Christmas lunch. Mrs Thomas, Mrs Edey and Mrs Knight produce and serve a phenomenal meal that is enjoyed by all. They really go over and above for all of us. Thank you so much.
It was also Bag2school collection day. You brought in 180kg of clothing which raised £72! Thank you so much. We also collected £27 for Christmas jumper day. It is an expensive time of the year for everyone and we appreciate all of the donations that you give. If things are financially difficult for you as a family, then we do have Food Bank vouchers in school. Just speak to me and we can provide you with a card in confidence.
We have had a busy first week back at school with more children going to gymnastics at the Forest of Dean gymnastics centre, welly walk and learning brass to name a few activities.
On Wednesday, Mr Paul McMahon from the British Legion came to talk to Willow class about the role of the British Legion and what an important role they play in raising funds for former soldiers. His branch of the British Legion raise about £10,000 a year to support the charity, we play our small part in this with our donations for the Poppy accessories that we all purchase. Thank you. We hope that many of you will attend Remembrance services in your village or Clearwell. I shall be attending St. Michaels & All Angels with my daughter. We will have our own remembrance and lay a wreath at the cross on Monday at 11:00 which everyone is welcome to join us.
Today we have been learning cross-stitch and creating our own versions of poppies. Lots of resilience was shown as it is not easy to do and I am really proud of all of the children for doing their best. Lots of them wanted to stay in and stitch instead of going out to play!
We started the week by visiting Masjid E Noor, a large mosque in Gloucester. We were all welcomed and educated about the Islamic faith. This included a review of what the 5 pillars of Islam mean to a Muslim; the history of Masjid E Noor – including the migration of Indians to Britain post WWII to help re-build Britain and make it “Great” again; the clothes that some people wear to pray in; prayer time and the importance of cleanliness when praying. We had the opportunity to use the washing facility and try on different traditional clothes. Imam Hussan was inspirational and informative, we would definitely recommend this visit.
Our newly formed Worship group led Worship on Monday, with Millie planning to share her passion to protect the world that God has created. She planned a quiz and even gave out prizes, first prize being a poster “Save the World” created by Rory. At the time of writing she has already told me the next worship has been planned for Martin to deliver and asked when can this happen.
On the return to school, years 5 and 6 spent an hour with PC Greg Steer where they had the opportunity to learn and ask questions about Internet safety. He even found time to play football with one of the children – great for building relationships with our children, thank you.
We had our Harvest service on Wednesday where both Oak and a Willow class had the opportunity to develop their ability to communicate confidently with the congregation. I am always proud when all of the children participate, we even hade one child join in who was visiting to see if he wanted to join our school – so impressive. I was overwhelmed by the amount of food being brought into school for the Forest Food Bank and cannot thank all of you enough for this. We never know when we or members of our family or friends will need support and this goes to show that when we are in a position to provide support, we do just that.
Mrs Thomas baked the harvest loaf which will all shared, including parents, reminding us of our recent worship about sharing our kindness as there is plenty to go around.
We have had more applications from people to join our school and are getting closer to 50! Who would have thought that this would happen, we were 35 pupils in September 2017. It just goes to show that the hard work the entire team puts in is becoming well known and more and more people want to come to Clearwell. We have had lots of people visiting us for September 2020 entry, exciting times ahead!
Impact of war homework
Once again the children have excelled in their independent learning.