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Holly Meadows Village Link March 2016 entry

A new Headteacher

This term is going to finish with an Easter Egg-stravaganza to raise money for a home for our chicks that are fledging beautifully. Explorers Class, the base for the four and five year olds in our school has been home to a clutch of eggs that all arrived on time and as expected. The children were delighted (nearly as much as the staff were!) to see them arrive and the children have given daily running commentaries since then on the chicks progress and maturity.

Miss Hogger, our Reception and Year 1 class teacher, has clucked like a mother hen round her babies of the feathery kind, nurturing and caring for them as she does for her class. She has organised the fundraising day with the help of the staff and children to include a cake sale, face painting, colouring competitions, egg-y races and an Easter egg hunt. The children will love it and all the proceedings will go to setting up the chickens in a run with food and water. The PTA have kindly provided eggs for which the children must hunt.

During the last week of term, we also have arranged for a Gospel Choir (as seen on the One Show) called “Gospel Touch” to come and work with the children in school. We are hoping that parents will be able to come and listen and, more importantly, we hope the children will be raising the roof with powerful singing with the choir members leading us. If we can manage to do a repeat performance without the Gospel Choir singers, then the parents will enjoy a taste of what we learnt during the Easter Services that will take place on Tuesday of Holy Week and be organised so that the youngest and oldest children sing together but then go on to do their own, age appropriate collective worship for their parents; the young ones in the morning and, In the afternoon, the older children will get their turn to perform.

On Wednesday of Holy Week, the pupils in the senior class will perform small presentations they have designed themselves all about the researched facts about the Mayan culture. The children have worked with Miss Roberts, our drama teacher who is also from Springwood High School and she is so impressed with the standard they have reached, she feels certain that achieving a GCSE in drama would almost be possible for these children now! Wow!

Happy Easter to all of our community members and thank you for your continued support. I look forward to seeing some of you over the next few weeks and months before I leave the school for a Headship in Necton CEVA Primary School.

Best wishes for a Happy Easter!

Rachael Williams, Headteacher Holly Meadows School.

 

 

Village Link Entry for Holly Meadows School ~ February 2016

I wonder if anyone has noticed the daffodils in the village that have started to push their way out of the ground to brighten our surroundings. The children are delighted that Mother Nature has worked her magic again and that the bulbs they planted last Autumn have grown and soon will bloom. We were so pleased to be part of a whole Community project like this and hope that every year as the children grow, they will be reminded of the part they played in showing visitors and residents just how lucky we are to have such a beautiful place to live.

I feel like the school is a bit of a growing project; the children are like the bulbs, kept inside more by the long dark nights and wet playtimes over the Winter but, as we found with the bulbs, the children are now starting to see the growth in their learning. Handwriting that just would not neaten up has begun to take shape and flow more easily from their pencil. Times tables and spellings that could not be learnt have now been locked into their memories and can be called upon in maths problem solving or whilst they write a challenging story. The nurturing surroundings with the rich nutrients fed to them by the teachers in the form of top quality lessons, engaging themes and topics, praise and feedback about how to improve… all serve to grow each child so that they can withstand the pressures of the outside elements that impact on them.

The school is going to welcome a new member of staff in April who has been appointed as a permanent member of staff. Miss Amy Harvey will be joining Aldrin Class and taking the role of Deputy Headteacher to support the work of the school. She has already been sharing exciting new plans that will continue the good work already being done to grow the children both academically and socially and we are really looking forward to her starting. Of course, we all want to say thank you to Miss Linda Ecclestone who has been such a key member of our staffing team, covering the temporary vacancies and ensuring that the children in her class are loved, cared for and well taught whilst the permanent appointments are made.

Wishing you all the best for a bright, fresh springtime.

Rachael Williams, Headteacher, Holly Meadows School

 

 

Village Link Entry from Holly Meadows School – January 2016

A Thousand Thanks and a Billion Best Wishes!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! The school is already off to a good start in 2016 and we have been delighted to welcome some new children to our lovely school. The five new boys are all settling in well and are already building good friendships; they are being made to feel welcome by the pupils of the school. We hope they are very happy at Holly Meadows and we look forward to hearing more about their families and where they have come from.

At the end of last year we were thrilled to be able to announce that a Bingo evening arranged to raise funds for the school had been amazingly successful. The Ffolkes Arms, our usual venue for the Bingo evenings, was packed full, so much so that there were nearly not enough chairs to seat all the players. Mrs Julie Morters had arranged the evening for the school, ensuring we had lots of amazing prizes for the games and for a raffle. Julie showed incredible drive and enthusiasm and she was very ably supported by her friends and family. Some of the parents, children and staff attended and had a great evening. We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Julie for an incredible effort as we raised in total £1200 in that one evening.

Thank you to everyone who got involved, either in contributions to the prize fund, in the games fees, in raffle tickets or just in support. We are hoping that we can spend some of this money on a number of exciting ideas including the hire of a Planetarium to go on the school field for a day. The PTA will be meeting this term to agree what we can spend the money on to give the children opportunities and extras that the usual school budget cannot stretch to. Watch out for the next PTA event and see if we can get anywhere close to that amazing total, our best so far in a single fund-raising evening.

The Governing Body is delighted to welcome a new governor to the school although they are not a new member of our local community. Reverend Catherine Dixon is going to join the Governing Body of the school to help us to run the school effectively and ensure that we are maintaining our high standards. She will certainly add to the talented pool of experts that help with the running of the school. We are very lucky to be able to say we have “No Vacancies”, especially since other schools are struggling to fill governor posts. Thank you to Reverend Dixon and to all the other governors for their hard work. Mrs Syreeta Rice will be our staff representative on the Governing Body and we are very grateful to her too.

The pupils and staff wish you all the very best for 2016. It has been an interesting Winter with the variety and extremes in our weather which has set some unusual records; Spring is just around the corner with the promise of some warmer, sunnier days; fingers crossed and wrap up warm!

Rachael Williams, Headteacher, Holly Meadows School

 

 

Village Link Entry from Holly Meadows School November 2015

This term has already begun to race towards the Christmas festivities and the children are rehearsing the Nativity play that the youngest age group of children perform in early December. The traditional storyline is of course our favourite and the teaching staff have managed to create a fresh version of the tale that reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. We are amazed by the ability of the children to learn the words to songs and their spoken lines so quickly; it promises to be a moving experience for all the audience.

In the older age groups, we are again working on a piece of Theatre in Education with a historical influence following our success from last year of our WW1 play. This time we are working on the Gunpowder plot. To add to the authenticity of the play and contents, the Year 6s will be visiting London before the end of term and the performances of the their play, visiting the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London, The Strand where Guy Fawkes plotted to blow up the Parliament and then Drury Lane’s Theatre Royal to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! It will be a brilliant opportunity to go and see our cultural capital city and to get a feel for the setting of the play as it is in the 21st century. As a group they have worked very hard this term already and we are delighted to be able to take them all away with us for such a memorable experience.

As we move to the new calendar year, we have to say good bye to a key member of staff, Mrs Jennie Wildsmith-Garton who has been with the school for 14 years. We will certainly miss her skills, talents and sense of humour and we are very grateful for all she has done for the pupils and the school. She will be moving on to be Executive Deputy Headteacher for the West Norfolk Academy Trust and we wish her the very best of luck in this new and exciting role.

And finally, we are always asking for help with support inside the school with hearing readers, supporting clubs and providing resources; in addition to this we sometimes have requests for the outside: this time we asked if anyone might be able to help with fencing at the back of the school where we wanted to create a boundary to the learning space for Explorers and Darwin classes. One person has managed virtually single-handedly to undertake this task and we are very grateful. Mr Wright, Sarah’s lovely Dad, has given up his own time and considerable energy to build a fence to the highest of standards for us. It looks brilliant and we are so grateful. As a bonus the children now have a section of wall with no windows on it to play “wall games” like we used to in the old days! Thank you Mr David Wright, Mrs Diane Wright and Miss Sarah Wright for all their hard work – they are an amazing team who have shown skill, talent, creativity and commitment. THANK YOU to all three of them.

 

Village Link Entry for October

Welcome to all the new children who have joined our school this year – what a great time to start, just as the GOOD banners go up to publicise our successes; we hope you like them and that you will agree that it is a bonus to have a successful school in your locality. Artsmark Gold, Ofsted Good and Silver Games Award status… Wow!

Well, what an exciting start to the school year: we have already had the opportunity to dress up in costumes that helped us to take on a Roald Dahl character for our Dahlicious Day to raise money for the Dahl Charity. We have also been to the church at Grimston for the Harvest Festival led by the Ambassadors of our school: Tom Osborne, Megan Nicholls, Grace Perrin, Tim Webb and Izzy Scott. They were assisted by Mollie Kerry and Thomas Blandford and they have been given their Ambassador badge as a result of their willingness to give up their time to rehearse and for their quality performance in their roles on that afternoon and around school more generally.  The classes all presented information about Harvest around the world and coped really well with an unfortunate electrical fault on the PA system that was no-one’s fault.

We have now got a wonderful opportunity for the Circus Ferrell coming next week with their Big Top to our school field. We have invited other local schools so they can come for a workshop to learn circus skills. Tickets are on sale so we hope you will join us for a fun evening; posters are going to be put up around school and the village.

Later this term, we are taking our Year 6 children for a residential visit to London; the trip will include a visit to the Science Museum, a tour of the House of Lords, a tour of the Queen’s House inside the Tower of London, an opportunity to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a chance to get to know some of the children in our partner school that we have met since being part of the London Leadership Strategy. We are very excited as this is a privilege and we are really looking forward to it. We will have some great stories to tell on our return, some of which will be included in the older pupils’ play about the Gunpowder Plot which will be performed at the end of term.

Please remember to come and join us for Bingo to raise funds for the school on Monday 7 December at the Ffolkes Arms, 6.45pm for “eyes down” at 7.30pm; great prizes, lots of laughs and all for a good cause – thank you to our PTA for arranging some really good entertainment.

We wish you a very happy Autumn and hope to see you soon.

Rachael Williams, Headteacher

 

 

HOLLY MEADOWS SCHOOL VILLAGE LINK ENTRY FOR AUGUST/SEPTEMBER

As the end of the year approaches, we have a number of exciting opportunities for the children planned: trips to the seaside, sports day, cycling proficiency training, end of year parties… an action packed curriculum and a promise of a revisit from Ofsted to add to the fun!

Throughout the year we strive to prepare the children for the exciting but potentially dangerous world we live in, a part of our role that we consider to be vitally important. We also try to reach out to our community and invite in willing visitors to share their knowledge and experience with the children.  Meeting both of these aspects, we have been working with Simon Mace from Sibelco to make sure that the children are aware of the hazards of the former quarrying sites locally, particularly Bawsey. Simon met with Columbus Class and explained about the danger of swimming in the lakes. The pupils had to write an article about his message and one piece of writing was so impressive that I felt it was worthy of printing and sharing with the local community who keep in touch through this publication. Daniel Beadle is just one of our 15 successful pupils who is moving on to Springwood High School. He is a clever young man who is a “thinker”. He finds writing a challenge, it takes him a long time but he makes careful word choices to tell us about his chosen theme. Please read this and see what you think.

 

Why not Bawsey?

Summer is upon us and the temptation to swim at Bawsey is at its highest.  As you might know, 18 months ago, two people tragically drowned on the same day because of the depth.

You might not know but Bawsey used to be a quarry/mining site.  The company who owns the site, Sibelco has had reports of people diving and swimming in Bawsey Pits.  Sadly, most were teenagers, if you have a teenager in your household please warn them of this message and tell them it is not a laughing matter.

Sibelco is urging people not to go near the water.  Please encourage people who are swimming to stop because they are putting their lives in danger.

Thank you for reading my message.                                                         

Daniel Beadle, Year 6, Holly Meadows School

 

I would like to congratulate Daniel on this clear and concise message to keep us all safe. Our thanks go to Simon Mace for taking the time to come and share his knowledge with the pupils. I am sure he will feel it was worthwhile when he reads this entry; his message got through very clearly – so many more people will now have had the same message by reading Daniel’s work and if one of those people is saved from drowning or injury, then it was certainly worth it.

We have been very proud to see the Year 6s progressing through this year; they have been a pleasure to work with and we know that they will go on to do very well in the next phase of their education. We wish them lots of good luck and look forward to hearing about how well they settle in. Thank you to the staff who have helped them along the way to achieve their very best.

Also, thank you to everyone who has freely given their time to the school over the past year. We value each and every one of you and I know the children are delighted to be able to work with you whether gardening, reading or making beautiful treasures to take home. We hope you will be able to come back next year!

Best wishes for a very sunny summer.

Rachael Williams, Headteacher Holly Meadows School.

 

Previous Village Link letters:

March 2015

January 2015

December 2014

October 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

December 2013

October 2013