Monday, 24 July 2017

St Tudy: celebrating the great outdoors

 Reception and year 1 pupils from St Tudy CE Primary School are being taught the value of their incredible environment, and have their lessons outdoors every Friday.
Their class teacher, Daniela Cheetham, sees this as an important part of their school life.
She said: “Every subject is covered, and being outdoors inspires and motivates the children.  The enthusiasm is written all over their faces.  We have great adventures and recently went on a dragon hunt where we discovered where the dragon may have lived in a big tree! We have been measuring rainfall, looking at the weather and cloud watching.”
Head of School, Jennie Franklin, also believes that learning out in the natural environment is an important part of children’s development.
Miss Franklin said: “We are very lucky to have this opportunity on our doorstep and this is the beauty of being a small school surrounded by countryside”.
Last term the pupils also had the benefit of sessions with visiting staff from the Badger Forest School.  With them the children have been taking part in exciting activities including making and lighting fires, toasting marshmallows, den building, whittling wood and foraging in the woods.
When the children were asked what they enjoyed about Forest School and being outside, they all agreed that Friday was their favourite day of the week.
Luke said he enjoyed making stick men, Oliver liked going on the adventures, Harry said he liked making fires and several children said they enjoyed toasting and eating the marshmallows.
The feedback from parents is also very positive, with many of them telling Mrs Cheetham how much the children enjoy their days outside. 
Luke’s mum, Penny, said: “He was raving about his day in the rain – he loved it.”
The children at St Tudy make the most of their access to the wonderful countryside that surrounds their school.

Spring Fair at St Mabyn

By Nicki Burdock
The sun shone on the pupils, parents and staff of St Mabyn School, as they enjoyed a well-attended spring fair – and raised more than £500 for the PTA's new polytunnel.
A spokesman for the school said: “The sun was shining, the hall looked wonderful full of exhibits and decorated with bunting, and the event was very well attended by families from the school as well as the local community. It was a fun-filled afternoon, with a barbecue and games.
"Categories included miniature gardens, something sewn, decorated pebbles, Lego, and showstopper bakes.
"It was such a success that we are hoping to make it an annual event in the village."
Charlie Daniels, chair of the PTA, said: “The PTA team are incredibly proud of the children. We are so grateful for the support of the school and the families in our community.
“We were overwhelmed by the talent of all those who entered. A huge well done and thank you: hope to see you next year.”
Emily Lofthouse, of the PTA, said: “We had so much fun with this event and it was really lovely to see the children and community as a whole coming together to make it such a success. I think we may need a bigger venue next year.”
Head teacher Alison McDonald said: “Everyone had a brilliant day. A huge thank you to the PTA who worked so hard to organise it.
“It was great to see the enthusiastic response of the children in the amount of work they produced.”
Year Two pupil, Tyler, said it was a “great day” and he had lots of fun, while Dexter, who attends the nursery, said he was “really happy” that his Lego model of Eden won.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Celebrations at St Mabyn as it moves up in the Ofsted ratings

The community of St Mabyn CofE Primary School is celebrating following a ringing endorsement by Ofsted.

The school was ranked Good by lead inspector Paul Hodson. As well as saying teaching across the school was now “consistently good”, he also singled out many areas of the school for further praise.  He said the school’s work to promote pupils’ development and welfare was outstanding.

The positive report is a shot in the arm for the school, which had previously been judged as requiring improvement.

It has even prompted a letter to the school from Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West, Rebecca Clarke, who wrote: “I was struck in particular by inspectors’ comments about the improvement in teaching quality that you have been able to bring about since Ofsted last visited, and the impact this has had on pupil outcomes.”

Mr Hodson also highlighted the strong leadership of the executive headteacher, Karen Holmes, based on her depth of understanding and ability to accurately assess the quality of teaching and learning. Head of school Alison McDonald was also singled out for praise. “Both share a commitment to providing high quality care and education for pupils and families,” said the inspector.

The inspection report also praises the school’s early years’ provision, saying: “As a result of the good teaching they receive, children get off to a positive start in the early years and make good progress.

“The proportion of pupils who attain a good level of development have fluctuated over time but are now above the national average.”

 “The school skilfully tailors the curriculum to meet the needs of each year group and the challenges presented by the wide range of abilities in mixed-age classes.”

The inspector also noted that the school has recently admitted nursery children on specific days. “The children that joined at the start of the school year are making excellent progress in communication and language and in personal development, ” said the report.

As well as singling out the school’s staff, the report also says that the governors provide strong, supportive and challenging leadership. The principal of The Saints’ Way Multi-Academy Trust and the Diocese of Truro’s director for schools are also named as individuals who contribute significant levels of support.

Head of school Alison McDonald said: “The report talks a lot about the personalised learning we offer children, and I think that is very important. All children have their own talents and their own ways of learning, and we tailor our teaching to meet their needs. We are very focused in making sure that each child fulfils their potential and makes progress in all areas. Of course, there is a strong emphasis on academic progress, but we are also keen to see them develop in terms of sport, the arts and their spiritual, moral, and social development.

Executive head teacher Karen Holmes said: “It is great to have some recognition for all the hard work that everybody has put in over the past few years. Thanks must go to all our staff and governors for ably answering questions during the two-day inspection as well as delivering excellent lessons, as always. We’re also grateful to those parents who spoke to the inspector on the day and took the time to complete the Parent View section on the Ofsted website.”

Principal of the Saints’ Way Multi-Academy trust, Stuart Renshaw, said: “St Mabyn is a success story and proves what a balanced and nurturing learning environment can be provided in a relatively small village school. The staff and school community should rightly be proud of what they have achieved. They’re delivering an outstanding education for the children of that community.”

The report quotes several comments made by pupils to Mr Hodson, as he went about his inspection:

·      “I only started learning how to tell the time like this yesterday and now I can find twenty-five past nine!’
·      “Thinking about what I had done made me realise how it feels to be in their shoes.”
·      “Democracy is putting everyone’s opinion in mind so you can decide which one might be best.”
·      “Before I came to this school I had no idea there were so many religions.”
·      “We make up the rules. Sensible rules. It’s like a contract and we sign it.”
·      “I am a persevering parrot because I kept going!”

Friday, 7 July 2017

Friends of St Mabyn Church

Friends of St Mabyn Church
will hold their AGM at 7.30pm on Wednesday 19 July in the church. 
We welcome anyone who is interested in seeing the church maintained as a landmark building, not only central to the spiritual life of many, but also for its architectural significance.

Any support is much appreciated 
Esther Dudley, chair FoSMC