Outdoor learning space at Shotley Primary School
April | 2019
We are getting to the time of year when it is much easier, and more pleasant, to be learning outdoors. We know that children really benefit from access to the outdoors and that many of our teachers and parents have ensured that they have had lots of outdoor activities throughout the winter months. Learning outside supports children to develop self-awareness and confidence as well as problem-solving and relational skills. They learn to collaborate and communicate with others whilst developing an appreciation of the natural world. There are many physical as well as mental benefits of spending time in the outdoor areas that our schools have created.
On a beautifully sunny, early spring day recently, John West-Burnham (our Chair of Trustees) and I made visits to all five of our schools in north-east Suffolk capturing the learning experiences that were taking place that day. We saw children in all schools fully engaged in their learning, enjoying what they were doing and being able to talk about their learning in a knowledgeable and articulate way. It was a delight to hear from the children themselves about the improvements they had noticed in the last year. We heard that they get the help they need from their teachers, that the curriculum makes them think, that they can challenge themselves in lessons, that behaviour has improved and that more of them love reading books!
Let's make sure that we encourage all of our pupils, particularly those in Year 6 as they approach their external tests in May, to enjoy learning for learning's sake; to understand the purpose of their learning and to feel that they own it; to be active, outdoor learners where possible; to feel confident enough to want to show the best they can do; and to celebrate their many, varied and wide achievements that extend far beyond those that are tested in reading, writing and maths.
Mrs Clare Flintoff, CEO
At Whitton CP School we finish the Spring term with an Egg-xellence Assembly where we celebrate and recognise the achievements of children throughout the term. Every child receives a personal certificate and a small Easter Egg. Special prizes and awards are given out to children in every class who have egg-xelled or who have made significant improvement.
This year we are adding to the achievement celebrations by launching the ASSET Achievement Award programme, modelled on the Duke of Edinburgh scheme; this award includes a much wider and more diverse range of activities. It will involve team building with Army veterans, star-gazing astronomy, gardening, sailing and chess to name but a few of the projects on offer! Children collect points for each activity they complete and the points add up to bronze, silver and gold awards each year. We are starting with some trial groups this summer and hoping to expand the programme from these early beginnings.
As Aristotle said..’Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives - choice, not chance, determines your destiny.’
We want to make sure we encourage excellence, plan for excellence and enable excellence at every possible opportunity. Mr Stephen Capper, Headteacher
Excellence at Whitton
Excellence Empowerment Engagement Equity
Stutton C of E Primary School hit the jackpot by being awarded £2500 to spend on books. This was part of a token collecting scheme run by the East Anglian Daily Times and it is an incredible windfall for our smallest school.
Altogether, 193 primary schools in Suffolk signed up to take part in the campaign, which looks to promote a love of books and reading in youngsters across the county.
If you had £2500 to spend on books, what would you buy?
Centre for Literacy for Primary Education
Trust Reading Advocates involved in the recent SSIF Power of Reading Project, to encourage engagement in reading, had the opportunity to visit the library at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education in London. This was very inspirational and they have all come back buzzing with new ideas for their own school libraries. The visit was enhanced by a surprise meeting with Karl Nova, Hip Hop artist and author of Rhythm and Poetry, winner of the CLIPPA Award for children's poetry in 2018.
A recent once in a lifetime opportunity was seized by four of our maths specialists from south and north Suffolk ASSET schools. They were lucky to be invited to spend a whole week studying the delivery of maths in a Singapore school. The trip has proved to be a very engaging experience and although it confirmed what already is being offered is of good standard it also inspired further development to enhance the maths provision in all ASSET schools.
ASSET Book Mastermind
It was a close match at the final of the first ASSET Book Mastermind. The fifteen finalists had just two minutes in the 'hot seat' to answer questions on their chosen book. There were very few passes and the stopwatch was needed to determine the order of the winners. Congratulations go to all contestants but especially Amelia from Stutton for first place, Alexander from The Oaks for second place and Florence from Ilketshall for third place. The shiny new trophy will be on show in the Stutton library and we will being looking for challengers later in the year to win it for pride of place in their school.
It's all about the books....
am I and
Just over a year ago, 10 Ipswich schools, including The Oaks, St Helen’s and Whitton from Asset Education, embarked on a project to take speaking seriously. Using funding from the DfE’s Strategic School Improvement Fund, they began a collaboration with School 21, a new and visionary school in Stratford, East London, where children are taught that oracy, the skill of speaking, is as important as reading, writing or mathematics. No one would ever question the need to teach a child to read or to add or subtract numbers, yet it is often assumed that speaking is a skill that children will just ‘pick up’. But not all children will.
The work this year has centred around students learning literally to ‘find their voice’, learning ‘to talk’, as well as learning ‘through talk’ in the classroom. Each school appointed an oracy leader, whose job it was to encourage and train teacher colleagues to engage pupils in exploratory talk in the classroom, as well as the skills of presentational talk.
On Wednesday 27th March, each school sent representatives to The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich to perform in ‘My Voice’ a snapshot finale that showcased how pupils from the schools have developed their talk over the past 12 months. They performed a wide variety of talk, from speeches to performance poetry, languages that the students use at home to conversational talk around a medieval banquet table.
The experience at the theatre was a challenging, yet enriching one, with technical rehearsals, photo calls as well as the usual anxieties of stepping out into the lights in front of an audience of strangers stretching the children to their limits.
For the staff who have been involved in the project since the start, it was particularly satisfying to see the outcomes of a year’s hard work. Rachel Mayes, oracy leader at The Oaks commented: ‘It was incredible to see the children who have taken part in the Voice Ipswich project perform and receive this wonderful experience. What a great afternoon watching children of different ages, from different backgrounds showcase their oracy skills in different ways. All of the performers should be exceptionally proud of themselves.’
Now the funded project has run its course, each school is planning how the knowledge and skills developed over the year will be sustained, but with more trust schools taking an interest in oracy and committing themselves to work with School 21, The Oaks applying to become an oracy ‘hub school’ and 3 of the oracy leaders undergoing SLE accredited training, the future for talk in the town amongst pupils looks bright.
Mr Jeremy Pentreath
April | 2019
Talking the Talk
Campaigners at Cliff Lane
After what we learnt for Comic Relief we have been thinking about campaigning and what we can campaign for to make a change.
One of our Year 3 classes wrote a letter to our headteacher, Mrs Bosse, giving ideas about all the changes that the school can make, how we can all be part of the change, and make a difference to the world.
One pupil in Year 2 designed and created a recycling bin at home that can be used in school. Others have been designing posters about how everyone in school can make a difference.
ASSET Education Trust
Mini-medics at Ilketshall
At Ilketshall some of us have recently been taking part in a ‘Mini Medics’ course with Mr Godfrey, a First Aid Trainer and parent at the school. Mr Godfrey is a first responder which means he is one of the many people around the area to make sure the casualty gets all the help they need in the least amount of time possible.
Mini Medics is a course of First Aid Training which helps students understand the importance of what to do in an emergency. We learnt how to deal with every day emergencies and also 999 situations. We also learnt about CPR. We enjoyed the course thoroughly and recommend that you learn First Aid as it is an important life skill. Thank you Mr Godfrey!
Emme, Florence, Lexi, Tegan and Zoe – Year 6
"We learn about where we live and visit places."
"Everything is the best!"
"I love staying and playing at lunchtimes."
Nursery Places Available
Bungay Primary School currently has places available for children aged 3+
Nominations will be open soon for the ASSET Excellence Awards 2019. Once again we will be celebrating the outstanding achievements of our children both within and out of school. Nominations are welcome from the school, parents and wider community and winners will be selected for each category to attend an awards ceremony.
FOLLOW US @assetedu
Tuesday 9th July, 6pm
The Terrace, Fynn Valley