23 November 2018
My first job as Chair of Governors has to be to thank Mrs Thornalley for chairing the governing body for the last six years, overseeing many changes, including recruiting a new head teacher and everything that followed to bring us to where we are today.
I am very glad that she won’t be stepping down completely and will be remaining as a governor because I know that I will be asking lots of questions.
The last two years have been a steep learning curve for me, not knowing a SIP from a SEF and believing a SOAP was just for using in the shower. I must admit I was a bit lost in the early days but slowly I have got to grips with all the jargon and procedure and with the backing of a very experienced team of governors I am excited and proud to play my small part in leading the school forward.
Being a governor isn’t just about meetings, this week I had the pleasure of joining Fig class for a workshop with the visiting author Jennifer Killick, it was amazing to see how the children buzzed with excitement as they used Jennifer's techniques to dream up their own superheroes and villains.
My next planned visit will be for the KS1 Nativity, I was glad when I received an invitation to attend as this will be my first year of not going along as a parent and nothing says Christmas is here like a stage full of angels, shepherds and donkeys singing carols.
In January we will be holding an election for a new parent governor so if you are interested in joining the governing body and want to know more please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sallie Patterson, our clerk or myself for an informal chat before the election process begins.
May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
Chair of Governors
This will be my last blog as next week my successor will be elected. I have been Chair for six years, and seen ups and downs, changes, positives and negatives, but overall the education of children. Children who will be leaving school soon who were only in Reception when I started. I wish my successor whoever, it is all the very best. We are in a stronger place Governance wise than we were when I became Chair and with a head whose ideas are dynamic and who has fostered new and sometimes radical ideas for the enhancement of the school.
This week saw me in school on three days. On Tuesday I was on the Blyton site for the parents evening. I was talking to parents about their views on the writing that the children were doing and also on the new format of marking that the school is undertaking. Overall the parents were very supportive and were surprised at the standard of work that the children were producing at school. They were very positive about other aspects of the school as well. On Wednesday I repeated the exercise at the Laughton site, unfortunately they were not as busy, so I helped put up the backing for the winners of the BCL 500 words from KS1. I had seen some of the stories that the children had been working on in their books on both sites.
On Friday I was one of the judges in the 500-Words competition. Each class had shortlisted several and myself and two other judges had the unenviable task of deciding who was first, second and third in each group and then trying to pick the overall winner, second and third. The standard was incredibly high and so was the diversity of the content with everything ranging from picnics with aliens on the moon through to the 1966 World Cup, and from cave men to futuristic cities with flying cars. All this from the original idea of a weather vane that could either go forwards or backwards in time. Congratulations to every child, winner or not for their entries, and all parents should be immensely proud of the work that the children produced.
There are lots of things going on in school and it is nice to see the variety of parents/carers and families who turn up to support the children and also the school.
Best wishes to you all
Soon to be ex-Chair of Governors.
Well here we are in the first half-term in another academic year. I have had the privilege lately of being able to work in every class from Reception to Year 6. I was asked to teach the children some signs to accompany the saying of the Lord’s Prayer. The younger children had fewer signs and gradually increased until all the signs were being taught with the older children. Each session lasted about 40 minutes and in every single class we ran out of time as the children were so eager to learn and put it into practise. Hopefully I will go in to school soon for an assembly and see the children using it. It was an absolute pleasure to work with the children and it was difficult to think that some children had only been in school five weeks.
There is a lot of work going on using books in school and the children are enjoying the books that they have. There are so many wonderful books around specifically written for children now. If you are short of ideas of what sort of books your child may enjoy have a word with Mr. Duke.
Things are underway with various activities in the school environment to improve outdoor learning, though the recent storms did manage to damage fencing and fetch part of a tree down. This was soon sorted out with a chain saw and the help of several parents. We have a lot of activities coming up this term so don’t forget to make a note in your diary of the various dates. I am looking forward to speaking with some of you at these activities, please come up and say hello.
I will be standing down this year as Chair of Governor’s. I have done it for six years, but I will not be leaving the Governing Body, so the Blog will be taken over by the new chair. There will also be notification regarding parent governors coming out this term, as we will need a new parent governor. I know that some people have already expressed an interest and if you would like to know more, contact school and ask them to contact me and I will arrange to come in and meet you and answer any questions that you may have.
Chair of Governors
We are getting to that point of the term where the children are thinking of moving up into a new class, or into a new school (as is the case with the Year 2 children who will be moving from the Laughton Site to the Blyton one) or even moving onto a new school.
Last week I was talking to a group of Year 6 children about their forthcoming move to Huntcliff School in Kirton Lindsey. I have had this conversation numerous times before, in fact if I had a £1 for every time that I have had it I would think I had won the lottery. We were talking about things that they were apprehensive about, after they had written down five ideas. The list didn’t vary a great deal between them, (getting lost, getting on the wrong bus at the end of the day, the Headteacher in general and new teachers who they may not like, not being in the same group as their friends, children who had left the school before particularly siblings, who may bully them, bullying in general, new lessons they didn’t understand.) It is easy for us to dismiss these and say everything will be fine but for that group of children they were a concern. We talked through each of the scenarios and they began to realise that other children felt the same as them - it wasn’t just them. We then looked at what they were looking forward to doing. Again, there were similarities between what they had written. (New and different lessons, homework, making new friends, trying new things, different forms of PE., doing lessons with more resources, particularly art, PE/gymnastics, science and DT.) Again, we talked about why they were looking forward to them. They began to see that some of the things that were concerning them were also the things that they were looking forward to but in a different format. They will all be having their taster days soon and no doubt some of their concerns will disappear. By September when they start they will be more grown up and look confident even if they aren’t. The Governors wish them all well in whichever educational establishment they are going to.
Next week will see the Summer Fayre, the week after it is Sports Day then it is the end of the term. So, this will be my last Blog for you for this academic year and I will no longer be the Chair of Governors from September - that will fall to someone new, so in fact it will be my final Blog altogether. It’s been a great privilege meeting you at functions and writing a weekly blog about the happenings in school. I wish you all a good and safe Summer holiday and wish all the staff a big Thank You for the work that they have done and wish them a good and safe holiday.
Finally, I would like to thank those of you, past and present of the Friends of the School for all your hard work, the money that you have raised and continue to raise, the work done on maintaining the school premises, the donations of tyres, bricks, paint etc. and more importantly for your support of the school. Many, many thanks.
Chair of Governors.
Well here we are on the Summer Solstice, I hope you are all enjoying the summer weather? It is nice to see the children wearing sun hats and carrying bottles of water. (mind you my grandson did remind me that it was 27 Mondays until Christmas the other day!)
We are in the fervour of the World Cup if you hadn’t noticed. There is definitely one family in Blyton that is hoping England does well. The whole of the front of the house is covered in the biggest England flag I think I have ever seen! Good luck to England in the football, one day Cricket, and the rugby matches that are all being played currently. Then of course you have Ascot and the fashion parade from Ladies Day. Soon it will be Wimbledon, though Murray doesn’t seem to be on form.
Now let’s get down to the important things of what the children are doing in school. I was in on Thursday due to the visit to York that the children had undertaken on Tuesday and Wednesday. A big thank you to Mrs Patterson and the rest of the office staff for making sure that everything was arranged, problems ironed out etc before the children went. Thank you to Mrs Batey, Mr Duke and Mrs Wright who went with the children on the trip. Giving up your time to give the children these experiences is greatly appreciated by the Governors. Talking with the children they seemed to have had a really enjoyable time and had lots to say about what they had done and what they had seen. A lovely memory to take with them as they move towards another phase of their school lives.
The children were looking at online safety. Phishing and scam mails. They were showing awareness of fire walls, and other aspects of sending and receiving emails. They certainly could put many adults to shame with their knowledge and understanding. It is easy to take things like this for granted, that it won’t happen to our child, but it is essential that we as adults keep up to date so that we can protect our youngsters on Ipads/phones/tablets etc. What we thought was up to date is probably not and do we really know what our children are using when they are on the machines? A frightening statistic from a course I was on recently about Safeguarding said that the average age that children are now being groomed on line is 8! They reckon that about 45% of children who are on line at this age have been befriended by someone they don’t know.
Maybe in September it may be worth asking Mr. Duke to put on a course of E Safety for parents and carers. Does anyone think that is a good idea?
Chair of Governors.
Well here we are in the last half term of yet another school year. The children have done their end of Key Stage work and I know school has plenty of interesting things lined up for them to do now.
I will say a very big Thank You on behalf of all the Governors to those parents and others who helped to clear grass, mow the fields, and ‘find the outdoor area’ and make it useable. There is a significant difference and I know the children will benefit from working in the outdoor environments.
I have been working in the Cathedral for the last few weeks running a workshop for them for their Church Schools' Festival. On Wednesday the children from Year 6 at Blyton cum Laughton were there and although I did not have them in my workshop I met up with them at lunchtime. Talking to them they seemed to have enjoyed the workshop, and other activities that they had done in them morning. There were some who said that they didn’t like birds or things that flew, but even these talked about the diverse types of birds of prey that they had seen. Again, the behaviour of the children was exemplary, and it is a privilege to be associated with the school. (Unlike some of the other schools that were there, where I would have disassociated myself from them!) At the end of the afternoon the schools that are there on that particular day parade their school banners and take a lighted candle to take back to school. Blyton cum Laughton's banner was held aloft and with pride by the Head Boy and Girl and the Deputy Boy and Girl took the candle. Congratulations to all.
I will be back in school in a few weeks and am looking forward to seeing what is going on.
Chair of Governors.
18 May 2018
As it was end of Key Stage 1 and 2 tests this week, and now that children have to learn the correct terminology, I have included this poem, for you to peruse. Sorry don’t know the author so can’t acknowledge them. How many of the terms do you recognise and would know what they mean without looking them up?
The figures of speech,
That our teachers teach;
Can help us to write
A very detailed speech.
A simile is like a comparer,
And metaphor for indirect comparison;
Personification brings life
To an object, idea or action.
When a sound is repeated,
It is called alliteration;
And when words are repeated,
It is our very own repetition.
When words are placed in a jumbled manner,
Anastrophe it is;
The figures of speech, pun and irony,
Are the ones you can never miss.
Litotes is not a different one,
Neither is the transferred epithet;
Nor is the metonymy in which
A bench can declare a verdict.
Apostrophe, “O you are the great and powerful
Messenger of a writer”.
And climax and anti-climax
Arranges words in particular order.
And how can I explain oxymoron.
Which is real serious fun;
And interrogation and rhetoric,
“Why don’t you ask a question?” You will get one.
And antithesis as we all know
Which gives us joys as well as sorrow;
And oh! Exclamation is the easiest,
Just find an exclamation mark in the sentence.
When we make a sentence using hyperbole.
The whole sentence is under our control.
Onomatopoeia and euphemism
Sorry I can’t make sentences using you at all.
Ah! Synecdoche has many heads to go in
‘Cause I think it is really very, very confusing.
Now! After the whole poem,
I would surely like to mention;
That I’m really proud that I used the figures of speech.
Without any tension!!!
Chair of Governors
11 May 2018
Firstly, my apologies that January was the last Blog that I wrote for the website (if anyone noticed). Basically, I was not in the Country from January to March, which meant that I was not around for the OFSTED inspection, but obviously knew all about it, and sent the staff and Governors my best wishes. Thanks go to the staff and Head who had put the school in a good place and were waiting the inspection with anticipation. Thank-you to all Governors who pulled the stops out for their meeting, also Thank you to parents who put positive comments on the forum, they are read. Anyway, as you all know now the OFSTED report was very positive and we came out with an overall “Good”. Many congratulations to one and all! Then of course the school was closed for three days because of the snow. I hope there were loads of snowmen built across the villages!
There were changes in the Friends of the School contingents, and the meeting I attended was very positive with a lot of people stepping up to the mark to form a committee and others offering their support. The previous committee along with the members had collected enough money to buy a new sound system for the school with roving mikes! Quite a few people turned up on the 5th May to help with the clearing of the outdoor learning area at Blyton. I have been a Governor at the school for 7 years and did not know there was an outdoor area with a pond! The end result of a day’s challenging work looks really positive and looking forward to the next stage going on. I wonder how many turned up naked as it was National Naked Gardening Day!!!
I have been in school the last couple of weeks and as usual it is a hive of activity. The children in Year 2 and Year 6 are getting ready for the tests in the next couple of weeks. They didn’t look as if they were under stress, but I know it is a stressful time for you as parents (and grandparents, as my own granddaughter and grandson are in Year 2 and 6) I am sure that they will all do their best on the days.
I happened to catch the beginning of the Judo club on Wednesday. It was nice to see how the children have progressed by the range of different coloured belts that they are now wearing. It doesn’t seem that long since they were all white belts. Let’s hope that they continue with the activity when they leave the school. You never know we may have a future Olympic champion who started by learning judo when they were at primary school! What a wonderful accolade that would be.
I have also seen some of the work that the children were doing in Mr. Duke’s film club. It looked really good and I am looking forward to seeing some of the end results of that as well.
On an academic level there are some good displays up in both schools and I hope that if you have the opportunity to be in school you will take the time to actually stop and look at them and reflect on them with your child/children. I am working with some children in Year 6 who I worked with in Year 3/4 and it is lovely to see how much progress they have made when I think back to where they were. As an outsider it is easier for me to see this progress as I am not with them day in day out. Again, this is because of the positive effect of the teachers and teaching aides within the school.
We are still looking for Foundation Governors. That is someone who attends some form of religious worship on a regular basis. As we are a Christian primary school it is an essential part of our Governing Body that we have a ratio of Foundation Governors to ordinary governors. If you want more information or feel that you know someone who could possibly fill the couple of spaces that we have contact either Rev. Mark Briscoe or leave a message for me at either of the school offices and they will contact me and I will get back in touch with you.
Chair of Governors
Well, it's been a busy week in school this week. I was in both sites on Tuesday afternoon for Grandparents day. It was lovely so see so many Grandparents having fun with their grandchildren. At the Laughton site they were colouring and sticking on outlines of the Rainbow Fish. There was definitely competition on the table between the adults. Some were cutting out scale shapes for the grandchildren to stick in the right place, others were remembering days in Brownies, crunching up tissue paper, others were colouring in using every colour imaginable on the fish. The children were enjoying the time spent with their Grandparents.
Around the school there was a display ready for their visit to the Deep in Hull. Children were working independently on a range of activities, from creating imaginary worlds for the dinosaurs and animals, through using the work of Paul Klee to make their own pictures to doing some extended writing using descriptive language.
At Key Stage 2 the Grandparents were busy with large colouring pictures and we had lots of discussion around the therapeutic value of colouring. I wonder how many will go and buy one one of the many colouring books now available for adults and some crayons and the next time the grandchildren come colouring with them! (That's if they have not all been coloured in the meantime.)It was a success with a lot of positive comments about how nice it was to have this opportunity and hoping that it could be repeated in the future. The finale of the afternoon was the children who had been involved with young voices coming to sing for the grandparents. Many joining in when the loony tunes were played, will admit even me though I didn't know the words to Inspector Gadget.
On Wednesday I was working with a group of children on measure, particularly converting mms to cms. to metres and then reversing the activity. We then ended up in the hall playing a large form of dominoes where we had to match up cms with metres or vice verse. Great fun with lots of discussion.
I apologise but there will not be another Blog from me until after the Easter Holidays, so I will wish you all all the best for this term and I will be back in touch in the Summer term.
Carol Thornalley (Chair of Governors)
School continues to be very busy. Staff had training on their INSET day on aspects to develop the use of the i-pads. The children in Willow class have then been given the training by Mrs Fernandez and had done their own cartoon animation to explain liquids and solids which is now available on the website. If you can’t find it your child will know where it is. It is brilliant!
The children in Mrs. Batey’s class were busy with Mr. Johnson doing gymnastics. There were several very red cheeked children who returned to the classroom at the end of the day to get changed. They were full of what they had been doing and seemed to have fully enjoyed their activities.
Every time you enter the classrooms there are different displays going up to show what the children have been doing. If you get the chance have a look around and be pleasantly surprised at the level of the work that all children do from the youngest upwards.
I have made a mat for the children in KS1 which I understand at the moment is in the library area, but because it has a waterproof backing the idea is that it is used outside when the weather improves so that the children have something to sit on.
Chair of Governors.
Well, here we are at the beginning of a New Year; it seems strange that in a few week's time the children will be on half term and that means they are half-way through this academic year. The advertisements for holidays have already begun, and the shops have their cache of Easter Eggs already in. I went to buy a pair of gloves the other day and was told “sorry, it is the wrong season!”
This week saw Epiphany Services at both Blyton and Laughton Sites and as is becoming more usual they were well attended by families and friends. Epiphany marks the end of Christmas and the opportunity to look forward. When I was teaching it was hard, particularly with the younger children to celebrate the birth of Christ in December, and then a few months later talk about the death of Christ.
Talking to the children, “Santa” must have been working overtime on Christmas Eve; and had several juggernauts in tow as well as the sleigh for all the things that seemed to be have been delivered. Some children were lucky to be away either in this country or abroad for the Christmas/New Year period, but he still managed to find them and take them presents.
Recently Mr. Duke sent me a preliminary view of what the staff have been working on for the children for the curriculum in September. It looks absolutely amazing and the children will definitely be inspired by what is being prepared. I'm looking forward to seeing it in action.
Again many thanks to all of you in supporting the school in so many ways, it is appreciated by the children, staff and Governors.
Chair of Governors.
This will be my last blog of the year, so I will start by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year.
This time of year is busy for everyone and school is no different. With Christmas concerts, Carol Services, Christmas Fair, Christmas lunch day as well as continuing to work takes some juggling. The children have designed and marketed their productions for the Christmas Fair and when I was in Mrs. Batey’s class the other day they were doing production control on the finished items.
Due to a ‘bug’ that I have managed to pick up I was not able to make the Key Stage 1 Concert, but understand that it was very good and that all children performed well. I was sorry to have missed it. Hope those of you who went enjoyed it. If I can shake off this ‘bug’ I hope to get to the Christmas Fair on Friday. The raffle prizes looked magnificent; congratulations to the parents who had been involved in their preparation. I know the children have been busy preparing their wares for the stalls. I hope that plenty of people are able to visit and enjoy themselves. SPEND SPEND SPEND! Because no doubt the classes will be in competition with each other on who can make the most money. Regardless it is a time to rejoice with the children, so go along and join in the fun.
The Carol Service is another thing to come along and join in with. There is nothing like a Carol Service to put you in the mood for Christmas. We can probably all name more Christmas Carols than we can other hymns. Try it for yourself.
Carol Thornalley Chair of Governors.
Well we are now in the start of Advent. Advent is the season of expectation and preparation to celebrate the coming (adventus) of Christ. The anticipation of Christmas. The fundamental Advent prayer comes from 1 Corinthians 16.22 “Maranatha’ – “Our Lord, come.” Under commercial pressure using a range of ever more iconic Christmas adverts it becomes harder to sustain the real reason for Christmas.
At the end of today I went into Key Stage 2 assembly where all the children were sat in a circle surrounding a low table on which stood the advent crown with one candle lit. They were reflecting on the assembly they had had yesterday about waiting. Every eye watched the flickering of the candle flame in the darkening hall and not a sound apart from some appropriate background music could be heard. A magical experience of awe and wonder.
Hope there were no flooded bathrooms from the Year 6 children tonight when they explained Archimedes theory to parents! Year 3/4 were busy doing origami santa Christmas cards to send to their Liverpool pen-pals. They really seem to be enjoying the experience of getting a letter. Something that we take for granted, but today’s youngsters are more likely to receive a text or messenger message than an actual letter. I can remember even now the letters from my pen-pal sat on the mantle shelf when I came home from school. Like many of you I am trying to write my Christmas cards and have just realised how few I have actually put a written letter in. Most of my correspondence with friends and family is done by email so a personal letter is rare.
Looking forward to seeing many of you at the array of things that are happening in school and the churches over the next few weeks.
This week was anti-bullying week in school and it was nice to see how the children were dealing with it, and learning what bullying actually was. It is a difficult context to come to terms with. What made my day was when a new child at the school told me that he felt safe at this school because at his last school he had been bullied and never wanted to go to school because he didn’t feel safe, and didn’t dare tell anybody because no-one would believe him because the bully was younger and smaller than him! Another child (also new) commented on the fact that he had been bullied by a Yr 6 child who was a friend of his brothers. Glad to know that these children are now in a school where they not only feel safe and valued but know that if there was a problem with bullying they know what to do about it. I wonder how many of us remember being at school or in the workplace and did nothing about it. It is a good thing that we can now talk about it. If any of you use You tube look at the clip entitled bullied hamburger, it is quite enlightening. It is American and shows a junior being bullied by some high school kids. Nobody did anything in the hamburger place about the child, but when the staff started to ‘bully’ the hamburgers several of the customers complained. Would we step in or turn the other way if we saw bullying occurring? I’d like to think we would help.
There will not be a Blog from me next week as I will not be in school so the next one will be in December, at the start of the Advent season. Hope many of you get along to the presentation of the 500 words next week even if your child is not one of the lucky ones to have won this year. They all did incredibly well and the entries were hard to judge.
2nd November 2017
Welcome back to the next part of this term. Hope your holiday was safe and you and the children have now adjusted to the change in the clock. I must admit I am still trying to convince my body that it is an hour earlier than it thinks it is.
When I was in Mrs Fernandez' class there was a buzz of excitement to say the least. The children had been over to the church to look at some old documents including a letter from “Joanna” that Reverend Mark had found in some old ledgers. Looking forward to seeing some of the results of the children’s writing when I am in school next week.
The children have all settled into classes and it doesn’t seem possible that they have only been in them for a few weeks. Several of the classes have new children in them who have started since September but again they have fitted in really well, and I have had the pleasure of working with a couple of them.
Word of warning as I found out on Wednesday. Don’t go to school to do reading and not have either pair of glasses with you, particularly when you can’t see without them. Trying to work out what unknown words were meant taking the book off the children and putting it at the end of my nose so that I could have a guess at what the letters may have been. The children thought it was funny and it didn’t stop us enjoying the books. I hope the little girl who was hoping to get two mice this weekend was successful!
Have a safe and enjoyable firework weekend.
20th October 2017
We really must have some very special Dads in the area. Whilst working with Mrs Fernandez reading group yesterday I discovered what special talents Dads have. One child was reading about pirates whose cook produced the Captain's favourite pie, seaweed and octopus. This led to a discussion about their favourite pie which turned out to be chicken and gammon in a lovely sauce. “Who makes that for you?” I enquired, “My Dad.” was the reply. Another child was reading a book with the Lego ninjas in it which promoted a discussion on Lego. To the question “Do you build with Lego at home?” the reply was “Yes me and my Dad build up models and then have fun with them. My Dad doesn’t need the instructions.” A third child was discussing finding crystals and what would make them happy in relation to their book. The answer “To get my Dad a new car because I don’t like the colour of the one he’s got." So well done to all you special Dads. (And special Mums as well!)
There was an absolute buzz on the Key Stage 2 site yesterday, with children researching questions to ask the paleontologist who was in school. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go in to hear his talk or find out if he had a real dinosaur. I will have to wait until after Half-term when I meet up with the children again.
There was also a lot of research going on about plate tectonics. The children were very knowledgeable about them. Ask your child what they are? You may be surprised at their knowledge. I can remember doing that level of work at Secondary School not in Year 4-5.
I understand that there were some very fashionable models at the fashion show at Laughton - it sounds as if it was a great success.
We have arrived at Half term. B y the time the children go back to school the nights will be drawing in, don’t forget fluorescent waistcoats to keep them and yourselves safe.
There was a parent (I think) who wanted to know how to become a Governor, if that was you or you know who it was can you please ask them to leave a name and contact number or email address at the school office and either it will be dealt with by Mrs Patterson or myself at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks and apologies to the person concerned.
If you are a Church attender (it does not have to Blyton or Laughton) and you don’t have to be Anglican; but you would like to know more about becoming a Foundation governor can you either contact Rev. Mark Briscoe or myself for further information.
I was kindly informed(!) by my grandson how many days it was until Christmas on Sunday. Just in case you want to know it is 11 weeks on Sunday to Christmas Eve.
I was back to reading with Mrs. Fernandez' group this week. They were doing work on Divali/Deepavali or Diwali depending on which religion (Sikh or Hindu) and what language you speak. There was some good descriptive work going on while sequencing the story of Sita and Rama. If your children are in this class ask them to tell you the story behind the divas. I am lucky enough to have been invited to the home of some Indian friends next Thursday evening for the Divali celebration so that should be fun.
I have another piece of work written by a Gutterati student at a school in India called “The Figures of Speech” which I was sent. One week I will include it in my blog and let you work it out for yourselves.
Firstly, let me say a big Thank-you for all those who attended the coffee mornings at both Blyton and Laughton sites last Friday. It was lovely to see so many people there. I did manage to have a chat to some of you which was also nice and your comments about the school were noted and passed on accordingly. There were some beautiful cakes and many donations of either made or bought cakes which all found a home (either there and then or were bought to be taken home). I hope all those who donated cakes have been re-united with their containers. Also, a thank-you for the donations that were made to go to MacMillan charity it will be very much appreciated.
Late on Friday afternoon Mr. Duke and myself went to Lincoln Cathedral for his commissioning service affiliated by the Bishop of Lincoln. There were refreshments provided on arrival. Guess what? Yes, more cakes! The service was to honour all new and newly appointed Head teachers to the Diocese. We did have a service of welcome for Mr. Duke at the Harvest service last year, where the Diocesan educational director presented him with a bible. The service in the cathedral was the formal acknowledgement of this appointment.
On Wednesday I was not in Mrs Fernandez' class as I was in a meeting with Mr. Duke and others. However, I did have chance to have a quick look around the school. There are some lovely displays of children’s work on the walls I hope that you have had the chance to look at them. Talking to staff and children there are some interesting things coming up so keep an eye out for this work when you are in school. I put my head around to watch some of them doing an activity in the hall after school. (Martial arts of some kind.) They all seemed eager and some were pleased that they were half green! Turns out that green is the next belt and while they haven’t achieved it yet they are well on the way.
Best wishes to you all
Well we are now a month into this term. The children across both sites have settled down remarkably quickly to their work, in new classes with new teachers. They are all doing really well and their attitude is positive.
Today we have said goodbye to two staff members who have been at the school for a long time. Mrs Marriott is looking forward to spending more time with her family and going on her boat, and Miss Patrick a change of career. We wish them both well and hope their dreams come true. We did say goodbye to them in Blyton ice cream parlour after school.
I came across this Teachers Self -talk the other day and I would like to share it with you. It was originally written in Hindi but I think that it still applies to our school in Blyton, especially after listening to the staff talking in their free time in a relaxed atmosphere this evening.
Where does a teacher live? In the heart of a child.
What gives her contentment? The respect of a child.
What gives her happiness? The resilience of the child.
What gives her satisfaction? The child understanding what they have learnt.
What keeps her young? The innocence of the child.
What makes her innovative? The desire to give her best to the child.
What makes her introspect? The wish to shape a child’s life.
Need I say more?
Tomorrow is the MacMillan Coffee morning. Hope to see as many of you as possible either at Blyton in the morning or Laughton in the afternoon. If you want to speak to me I will be around both schools.
Isn't it interesting the way that children’s minds work? While working with a group of children on reading I found out which brothers call their sister stinky. (I'm not sure if she knows that.) Who gets taken to Blyton Ice Cream parlour for a candy floss ice cream for a treat by Mum and Auntie. Who likes Dad’s cooking better than Mum’s. (Made me think of an advert on television a few years ago where the children liked Dad cooking because he did choc ice and chips for tea. Not saying that this parent served up that concoction.) Whose Mum buys cakes because she can’t bake, hers are too hard to eat. Whose Grandma lets them stay up later than what Mum says. Who thinks they are Horrid Henry or Perfect Peter, and what some of those Perfect Peter’s would like to do to their Horrid Henry brothers! Who likes going on water slides with Dad because Mum is too scared. All this from just talking about the books that they were reading. Sorry Mums, it seems as if you have been out of favour this week.
I am used to having to give children an explanation of words or answering questions. I can count on a few fingers how often a child has had me stumped for an answer. Today I have had to explain the difference between a tornado and a whirlpool. Also, the difference between an active and dormant volcano as well as the meaning of certain words in context with the reading. It is also one of those days when a child stumped me for an answer. The word ‘modestly’ came up in the text. Not a word we use frequently and not an easy one to explain in context. Well, I was trying to work out how to explain the meaning of this word so that it made sense; the child said, I know what it is, “it’s to do with cow’s udders”. Not being from Lincolnshire and not being from an animal farming background, I couldn’t think of an answer. So, if there is anyone reading this who can explain the connection between modestly and cow’s udders please let me know!
Welcome to the beginning of another school year. We haven’t had a brilliant Summer holiday weather wise but I hope that you all had an enjoyable break whatever you and your children managed to do. I saw some of last year's Year 6 Clover Class children going into Huntcliff School this week; they have suddenly all grown up and look nothing like the children that left Blyton six weeks ago.
I have been into school and saying it is only two days into the new term the new children have settled in and the children who have changed teachers also seem to be settled. There was a hive of activity across both Key Stage 1 and 2 in preparation for the Blyton Horticultural Show. Please go along and give your support and see the work that the children have done for the show. There were some rather magnificent vegetables that the school have grown that I understand are also entered. Who knows we may have some winning entries!
There are dates coming out shortly for forthcoming events within school. Thank you for your support in the past and I look forward to meeting you at some of the events this year.
Well I have got back to doing a blog for you all again. Sorry I have not done one since Christmas. I have been into school but not as often this term unfortunately.
I understand that my photo was published on the newsletter when I was behind the sheds painting at Blyton. On April 1st several staff and parents spent time at the Blyton site to paint sheds, garage doors, make benches, tidy garden beds etc. Nobody else volunteered to paint the back of the sheds but it did give several people a laugh. I did say it was not in the Chair of Governor’s remit or job description. Sorry to disappoint certain parents when I did not turn up to do the same job at the Laughton site! The work has certainly made a big visual improvement for the school sites.
I had the opportunity when showing interviewees around the Laughton site to look at the work the children were doing. There was some very good work on display, I hope that you have had the opportunity to see some of it if you have been in for the Celebration Worship on a Friday. After I had shown the candidates around Laughton I showed them around the Blyton site and they were very impressed (so was I) at the work that the children undertake. There were some children beginning to learn the basics of table tennis. I am looking forward to seeing the improvements in their abilities the next time I am in.
I have been down to the Cathedral today for the Church Schools' Festival, Year 6 pupils will be visiting next week. If they behave in the cathedral like some of the children who were there today I will be very surprised. Whenever I have seen any children out from either site their behaviour is impeccable. An acknowledgement to you as parents as well as the school.
It is frightening to think that we are coming up to the last half term of this year and in a few months this academic year will be over. The school has come a long way and I hope that you are proud of your school. I know I am.
Carol Thornalley (Chair of Governors)
A visit to Laughton site today I was sitting in on a rehearsal for next week’s Nativity. The children were really singing their hearts out and when they are done up in the costumes next week I imagine that there will need to be several boxes of tissues handy!. I hope to see some of you there next Wednesday afternoon.
While I was working with different children today we were sat on the benches outside of the hall. The Year 5 and 6 children were doing singing in the Hall and it really sounded wonderful. It was a pleasure to sit and listen to them in between waiting for different children to come. It really had been a privilege to sit and listen to the array of voices singing with such enthusiasm on both sites.
I stayed on for the end of day Advent service taken by Mrs Batey. The children were asked what was different about the Advent wreath. There was a ‘road’ leading to the wreath and away from it. The children were asked what they thought was significant about it. There were some very reflective answers. They then had to think where the main characters of the religious story would be on that road. Again the children had good answers which showed thought and understanding. (Mary and Joseph may be in the middle of the road as they would still be travelling on. The Shepherds would be in the middle because the Advent Candles were Jesus being the light of the world so they would be there etc.) At the end the children were asked to reflect where they were on ‘the road’ at this period of Advent. Some of the children expressed their thoughts with me; ( I am in the middle of the road because that is the right place to be; I don’t think it is a road but crossroads where we have to decide which way to go but where God will guide us; I will be in the middle where Jesus is because the other ways could lead to bad things.)
It was an awe and wonder day for me today within the school.
Carol Thornalley (Chair of Governors)
I was looking at the work around the school today that the children had done. Wherever you looked there were examples of excellent art work, writing, thoughts and ideas all inspired by the children themselves. It was a real inspiration to see. It was nice to see photographs of parents and the children who had received certificates for different achievements.
I was reading with a group of children today. There pleasure in the books that the school is now offering them was immense. Even the poorest reader had good quality interesting books to stimulate and encourage them to read. Reading partners in the class I was working in were really stimulating others to read. A comment from one of the boys that I heard read today was:- “We really have some good books for boys now they make you want to read it is great!” Praise indeed.
I was standing observing a group of children in one class and listening to their reflections and hopes. They were not being prompted and when I asked them what they were doing there was a cacophony of voices all trying to explain what they were doing and why. They were writing questions for others to answer; or writing short prayers reflecting on the work of God.
Carol Thornalley (Chair of Governors)
I was looking at some of the investigatory work that the children had done on the mysterious ‘eggs’ that appeared recently in both of the school sites. They certainly sparked the imagination. I was just sorry to have missed them.
Today Mrs. Batey’s class were running a soup kitchen. It was so popular that not only was the classroom full but there were tables in the hall. Even then more tables had to be got out for those sampling the soup delight. One I understand look like a ‘rainbow’ and was called Rainbow soup. Another I understand was ‘green’. All sounded excellent and I know that some parents were able to get seconds. Perhaps I will suggest to Mrs Batey that they produce a leaflet with the soup recipes on them and sell them for a small price. I certainly would be willing to buy them as I am always on the lookout for different soup recipes.
We have now got our new parental Governor. He is Mr. James Parman (father of Imogen) in Year 1 at the Laughton Site. We look forward to welcoming him to the first Governor’s meeting in December. We have had a nomination for a LEA Governor and this is being processed at the moment. We are still short of Foundation Governors. This is a Governor who regularly attends a Church. (Not necessarily Blyton or Laughton) If you know someone who attends a Church regularly and may wish to be a Governor could you ask them to contact me or the Rev. Mark Briscoe to discuss it.
Many thanks for all of your support.
Carol Thornalley (Chair of Governors)
Well Winter is on it’s way. The hour went back so it is dark earlier. John Lewis advert for Christmas was on the television today!
Thinking of the dark made me think of how many religious festivals at this time of year have light as a significant aspect. Muslims celebrated Al Hijrah in October; Hindus and Sikhs both celebrated diwali (or divali) at the end of October, the Jewish festival of Hannukah is in November and then the Christian festival of Advent starting on the 27th November. Within all these festivals there is Hope. Hope of change or things to come. This all ties in nicely with the work that the children are doing on the Christian theme of Hope in school.
Like many of you I was in Laughton school at the beginning of the week. I hope that not only did you get chance to meet your child’s teacher for a progress report but that you also took the opportunity to look at the things on the wall that the children have been doing. The ‘machines’ that the year 1 children made to take them and bring them back from space were very imaginative and I bet many hours of fun were had at home in the construction of them. The year 2 children’s work on the Great Fire of London was also very good. I saw this in its initial stages of painted buildings and loads of tissue paper and glue!! Now it is up and the questions that the children came up with and the answers they found are wonderful.
On the Blyton site a wonderful model of Noah’s Ark dominates the Hall. Some of the children’s comments on Hope are displayed and there are reflections on the same theme within the classrooms which make for interesting reading. I was looking at some of the work the children in year 3/4and 5 were doing today and talking to them. They were using a poppy and writing words on one side of the poppy that the soldiers would have felt and words on the other that the families of the soldiers would have felt. There were some inspiring comments coming from the children. I don’t know what they are going to do with them but I hope that you get the chance to read them.
Just as I was leaving the cross country team were just returning. Congratulations to them for winning the middle-school size section and on the trophy that they were presented with. They seemed to all have enjoyed the experience.
Looking back over this ‘blog’ I realised that I have used the word “hope” 6 times. It’s something we all need and certainly talking to the children the world they hope for would certainly be a nicer world than ours is sometimes.
Carol Thornalley (Chair of Governors)
Isn’t it strange how sometimes the strangest of things remind us of events that happened to us in the past!
On Saturday I was at a conference entitled “Church - not on Sunday”. One of the talks was called, ‘Today’s Monday’ and she played the Scaffold song – ‘Today’s Monday’ (Today’s Monday, Today’s Monday, Monday is washing day. Is everybody happy. You bet your life we are!) I wonder how many Grandparents and even great Grandparents can not only remember the words but also how we knew the days of the week by the meals. In our house, it was left-over on Monday; bacon egg and tinned tomatoes on Tuesday; liver and onions on Wednesday; Sausage and mash on Thursday; etc. Our school days were the same as well. It was Wednesday so it had to be PE in the yard or under the bike shed in the rain or snow. That set me thinking to the lives that our children/grand children now have, and how fast things have changed. How many of us have got a new phone/computer or other technological piece of apparatus and been astounded about how quick a child’s picked it up and how they end up becoming the ‘teacher’ in instructing us how to use it?
On the same note of things moving on, my son rang at the beginning of the week to ask me how he was meant to check my Grandson’s homework if he hadn’t a clue what it was about. It turns out he was being asked to write some sentences about a piece of text using a range of frontal adverbials. When I asked my Grandson to give me examples he was accurate in what he told me so I told my son not to worry as he seemed to know what he was doing on this occasion. I also explained to him what they were. He was flabbergasted to think that 8 year olds were not only being taught them but also that they had to know the terminology of grammar as well.
The children are now coming to the end of their first half term of the year. Looking back in their books it is amazing how much they have already achieved. Our youngest children are already progressing so much, yet they have only been in formal education for 6 weeks. They are like sponges soaking up everything and enthusiastic for more. Our older children have developed in their respective roles of librarians, school councillors, eco monitors etc that you can soon forget how little time they have held these positions. Their confidence in their ability as independent (and hopefully therefore; life long learners) is also showing when you talk to them about what the responsibilities.
Being a frequent visitor in school is an advantage, because I know from experience that children arrive home saying, “done nothing” or “I can’t remember!” unless of course they have got an achievement award which they will share with you.
Have a good half term. Keep safe and enjoy whatever you and your families have planned.
Carol Thornalley (Chair of Governors)
Here we are at the end of another week. We are definitely into the season of Autumn now. My journey to school takes me down the lanes where the Autumnal hue is showing itself off in majestic glory. There have not been the winds to strip the trees of their leaves yet; and don’t the colours of the beech, ivy, sycamore and oak look wonderful. Another thing relating to the weather that’s filled me with awe and wonder this week is the most beautiful rainbows that we have had. Some of which have been doubles. Rainbows have always been a fascination to me.(However; not so good if you have been caught in some of the downpours that we have had though!)
The display of Noah’s Ark is coming along wonderfully in the hall at Blyton. It is related to the work that the children are doing around the Christian Value of Hope. Each classroom is also showing aspects of this theme. Take the time to have a look if you are in school for any reason. I wonder if we were asked what we would hope for what would be our answers? Maybe you would like to drop me a line at school next week and I will put some of your thoughts into the blog next week.
Talking about displays there is a magnificent display of ukuleles in the corridor going up to the staffroom. They are in a variety of colours and are set out in the form of a musical score. They are not just for decoration though; some of the children are learning to play them, and when I have heard them it does sound good.
The new fencing is going up around the playground area at Blyton and the new locks are now on the doors at the Laughton site. Safeguarding of the children is of paramount concern to the school.
Carol Thornalley (Chair of Governors)
We had our first Governor’s meeting of the year and Mr. Duke took the opportunity to show us all around the school at Blyton, pointing out the changes that had been made and also what he was intending to do.
The library is no longer yellow but a nice clean white which sets the purple of the displays off to a treat. Mr. Duke says that he’s going to try and get the remaining yellow classrooms painted in half term.
Doesn’t the entrance area look welcoming! Please take time to read the messages on the tree and add one if you feel able.
The Laughton site will not be left out of the facelift. Mr. Duke told the Governors his ideas that he wants to develop there. Maybe the next Governors meeting will be there and then we can see for ourselves the changes that he intends to make to the staff area.
I will be starting my weekly sessions working with children in Mrs Fernandez and Mrs Casey’s class on handwriting and spelling which I am looking forward to. Hope to report back on this later in the term.
I am looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Friday both at Laughton and then at Blyton for the MacMillan events. Let us try and collect more than we did last year for this worthwhile cause.
Carol Thornalley (Chair of Governors)
Well what a great week and I don’t just mean the weather.
Wasn’t it nice to get a chance to “meet and greet” on Wednesday afternoon at both sites. I know that a good number of parents/carers/grandparents/aunts/etc all managed to come and see the schools. There were many positive remarks both overheard and also written on the labels to go on the tree. I overheard the comment from a parent in a reception class, “ I was worried about letting my child come here as I had heard bad comments but it is so friendly and pleasing and welcoming. It was the best thing I could have done.” On the Blyton site, a parent said to me that the school was now the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Please make sure that you add your comments to the parent forum part of the new website.
In Mrs Briscoe’s class the children were producing buildings and fire for the great fire of London - very realistic. I am looking forward to seeing it up on the wall. In Mrs Batey’s room, they were doing drawings of New York prior to 911. What wonderful artists we have. It puts my efforts to shame. I hope that you are all suitably impressed with the efforts of all the children no matter what their talents are.
School council representatives have now been elected by the children on the Key Stage 2 site. There were a lot of very confident and competent candidates who could put forward good reasons and arguments why they should be the ones elected. Possible future politicians in the making?
Finally a plea for Governors. We will have our first Governor’s meeting next week and we have a vacancy for a parent governor. We also have places for associative governors. These are governors who have particularly skills and may be used for their knowledge for certain projects. We also need to have a Local Education Authority Governor so if you know of someone who is connected with children pre-school/nursery/ Key Stage 1 that would like to be a Governor then can you let me have the details so that I can be in touch with them. If you would like further information regarding the Governing Body either now or in the future then contact me via the school.
Carol Thornalley (Chair of Governors)
Monday 12th September
This is my first “hello” to all the parents and to introduce myself. I have spoken to some of you in the past and have seen others at different events and I was delighted to accept the offer from Mr Duke to write a regular blog.
My name is Mrs Carol Thornalley and I have been Chair of Governors at Blyton-cum-Laughton School since 2011. Previously I was Vice-Chair here and also Vice Chair at another Gainsborough Church School. I was recently nominated by Laughton as a Foundation Member for the Governing Body. I am a retired senior teacher from a North Lincolnshire School and have taught many children with special learning requirements.
I wish to formally welcome Mr Duke to the school. He’s worked incredibly hard over the holidays in changing displays, removing old and dilapidated resources, setting new displays in place, and a whole host of other things. The school’s been painted over the holidays and now looks clean and bright. Please take an opportunity to introduce yourself to Mr Duke and to have a look around. For those who have been in before, I hope you are suitably impressed.
I have been in school on a regular basis working with the children. For the last two years I have worked with the teacher’s in the Year 3-4 class on individual reading with selected children. I also helped out on occasions with the knitting club. A lot of the children, particularly on the Blyton site, know me and I hope I have the opportunity of meeting you, the parents and carers, at some point.
I was in school on Thursday 8th and Mr Duke asked me to meet him at the Laughton Site to see the changes that he had made there. It was nice to be outside with the staff to mingle with the parents/carers and children. The highlight for the children might have been the little bird and thank you to the parent who took him to the church yard for me; it was a kind gesture. After that, a tour of the school was undertaken with Mr Duke. Considering that some of the youngsters had only been in school a few days their behaviour was exemplary, they were sat on the carpet with no fidgeting; answering their names so politely. In other classes, the children were enthusiastically learning. Every child looked smart which is down to you the parents.
We moved across to the Blyton site to complete the tour. The children were actively engaged in work on place value in the different classes. They were again so settled that anyone would have thought that they had been back weeks not days! Every child is a credit to both the school and to you all as their parents/carers.
I am looking forward to continuing working with everybody connected to the school and to see it develop in strength and achievement under the guidance of the new Head teacher and his team. We are at the beginning of a new phase in the life of the school, so let us go forward with Hope and Enthusiasm to support the staff of the school to make sure that the children are nurtured and developed and meet their full potential as rounded individuals with good morals and values.
Carol Thornalley (Chair of Governors)