Weekly update 12th January 2024
PE change next week
Penguin Class on Tuesday 16th
Hummingbird Class on Thursday 18th
Just a reminder of the final dates for payment for the residential trips this year:
BEAUMANOR (7th-8th March) Year 2 16TH February
CAYTHORPE PGL (15th-17th May) Year 3 and 4 26TH April
WHITBY (3rd-7th June) Year 5 and 6 17TH May
Governors’ report to parents and guardians of children at Old Dalby Primary School – January 2024
As we begin a new calendar year, the Governors felt that it was important to write a summary of the autumn term for parents and guardians, both to remind us all of the outstanding achievements and hard work put in by pupils and staff and to energise us for the spring term ahead. There have been both academic and pastoral achievements as well as changes to the fabric and supporting environment for our children.
Starting with sport, Mrs Bryan has maintained the school’s Platinum School Games Award for high quality PE and sport provision. Activities have included traditional sports like football, tennis, and basketball as well as more unusual games like dodgeball, which have gone on alongside swimming lessons. A trip to the Nottingham Panthers ice hockey arena in Nottingham and an Aston Villa football day were also on the menu. Despite being limited by the partition wall in the school hall, Mrs Bryan has found innovative ways to provide indoor PE and afterschool sports club – cardio drumming, glow stick Zumba and yoga being some of the activities on offer. All have been received with great enthusiasm by the children!
The Governors have been impressed by the wide-ranging topic work delivered during the autumn term, including ‘Around the World in 80 days’, the Tudors, ‘Splash!’ all about rivers, seas and oceans, ‘Survivors’, and ‘To Infinity and Beyond’ which focuses on toys and superheroes. There was also a Mental Wellbeing Day and the establishment of Zones of Regulation which help children to discuss their feelings and understand how to begin to self-regulate their emotions.
We said goodbye to Reverend Jamie during our Harvest festival and found new ways to take part in Collective Worship as our hall has temporarily shrunk. Our military children recorded a Remembrance Day video which was watched by every class and formed the basis for each class’s act of remembrance. For the last couple of months, we have welcomed representatives from the Melton Lions Club, as children in Osprey and Hummingbird classes have taken part in their ‘8 Billion Ideas’ competition to design the next ground-breaking invention. Ten members of Osprey Class also visited KS Composites on the industrial estate to see science and engineering in the real world. They had an amazing time watching cutting edge technology in operation and seeing the outcomes. The company is keen to foster stronger links with us, as a result we are coming up with ways for them to support our curriculum as well as enrich it.
In the run up to Christmas, the EYFS and KS1 Nativity went ahead as usual despite the building work and lack of space. The children performed admirably and there were more than a few tears of laughter shed by parents who came to watch screenings of the production filmed by staff. The staff also went out of their way to produce some festive cheer. The Christmas service, held in St. John’s church, was well supported by parents. A number of children participated in the service, which explored the true meaning of Christmas, wrapped inside a very large cracker!
It is hard to miss the changes to the school buildings. The new school classrooms are finished – complete with air conditioning for the hot summer months, skylights and interactive whiteboards. A new multi-weather play area for Puffin Class has been finished and the newly refurbished extended staffroom is now providing the staff with much-needed accommodation for breaks and meetings. The outside is returning to normal, with grass seed and replacement trees and hedges having been planted for those damaged during the building process. The hall extension is still undergoing some work and is expected to be complete midway through this Spring term.
Most parents may not realise it, but Mrs Browne has been heavily involved in this process, spending time in addition to her normal job, to ensure that the project is proceeding according to plan and meeting the needs of the pupils and staff. It would be easy to think that all of this was organised externally and simply done for us but it wasn’t – thank you, Mrs Browne!
During the first two months of the term, we hosted two coffee mornings. The first was for MacMillan Cancer Support, the second for Prevent Breast Cancer. The two have combined to raise over £600. The latter was particularly close to our hearts as it is the charity for which Mrs Keast’s children also fundraised over the summer. Her chemotherapy continued until Christmas, with positive results and further treatment is expected in the new year.
The school’s place in the community was reinforced in the autumn term; our Harvest and Children In Need collections gathered food and monetary donations for local good causes. But equally our village community has been incredibly supportive too, with fundraising restarting for the community meals project which supports a number of children in the school.
It would be remis not to make special mention to Mrs Debs Wright who has been Chair of the PTA for the past 6 years. She built up the PTA from a very small group of committed parents to the large and enthusiastic group that it is now. Money raised has benefitted children, past and present, by providing trips to the theatre, theme parks and much more paid for in their entirety – we can only say thank you and best wishes Debs! Ms Julia Birkin has taken on this role with alacrity and will surely do us proud.
So, as you can see it has been a term packed to the brim with amazing opportunities and experiences. All of the staff – teaching and non-teaching staff - have contributed greatly to this, as well as all of the volunteers and community around school. The governors wanted to share this record with you and extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributes to making Old Dalby School such a special place for our young people.
As we anticipate a new calendar year and the beginning of the Spring term, what can the children look forward to in the coming months? Well, there is plenty in store! A school wide village history curriculum unit will take place, topic work on dinosaurs, the world wars, ‘Marvellous Machines’ as well as the year 2 residential trips to Beaumanor Hall and Bikeability training for pupils in Years 5 and 6.
The Governors plan to write at the end of each term with an update on the school’s activities. In the meantime, we extend our very best wishes to all in our school community for a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
18/19th January Life Education bus in school
25th January Fire Service – Year 1 and Year 5 Fire Safety talks
19-23 February Half Term holiday
27/28th February Parents’ Evenings – booking information will follow
Wb 29th February Year 6 Bikeability – more information to follow
7th March World Book Day
11th March Rags 2 Riches – clothing collection
Wb 11th March Year 5 Bikeability
18th March Whole School Cricket Day
22nd March Last day of term – Easter Holidays begin