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Friday 27th January 2023

 

Inter-faith Week

 

During the first week back, the whole school took part in our Inter-faith Week. All the children began by learning about the six main world religions, as well as finding out that there are in fact many more than this. This linked really well with our own school Vision Statement and our Curriculum Drivers of 'Spirituality' and 'Diversity'.

 

Each class then focused on one particular religion by finding out about its key beliefs, scared buildings and artefacts. Reception focused on Christianity; Years 1 and 4 Hinduism; Year 2 Judaism; Year 3 Islam; Year 5 Buddhism; and Year 6 Sikhism. Children and staff alike really enjoyed this spiritual start to the new year and have learnt so much at the same time.

 

The atmosphere in school was wonderful, culminating in their amazing behaviour and listening in our sharing assembly. We all sat around our ‘Faith Street’ whilst each class explained some fascinating facts about their chosen religion and its building. Following this, each class had chance to walk around ‘Faith Street’, looking carefully at, and discussing, all the features and details of the different religious buildings. We recreated this after school too and were overwhelmed with the attendance from our parents and grandparents. It was absolutely wonderful to see so many of you in the hall, supporting your children’s learning. What a joy it was to see the children proudly showing off the buildings they had helped to create, explaining features and pointing out buildings from other religions that they found interesting. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend.

 

We have sent out a short questionnaire about our Inte-faith Week and RE in general. If you are able to find the time to complete and return this, we would be extremely grateful.

 

Mrs Letheren (RE Subject Leader)

 

 

 

 

Sustainability Project Updates

 

Below you can find some updates from each class on the sustainability projects that they planned back in October:

 

Our sustainability focus in Reception is to reduce our fruit waste by allowing it to rot in our wormery, therefore recycling it into compost. Each Friday, Mrs Naylor has been choosing children to be our Fruit Waste Monitors. They take our special fruit waste box and collect everything up during playtime. The children check the display with Mrs Naylor so that they only collect the right waste that will feed the worms and rot into the compost. The children really enjoy being in charge of this important job and have observed that the worms are very busy doing their own job too! The fruit waste is rotting down and the worms are looking rather plump! Everyone gets very excited when they spot the worms wriggling in the compost. Keep up the brilliant work, Reception!  

 

During sustainability week, Year 1 looked at the impact of global warming on our wonderful world. As a class, we decided that we would try and reduce the amount of electricity that we are using. Each week, we have two 'light monitors' who are responsible for turning off our classroom lights at break times and at the end of the day. We have been astounded by how pro-active the children have been with this initiative. Each week they ask who the light monitors are and have even been reminding Mrs Hesketh and Miss Thackray to turn the interactive whiteboard off when we aren't using it! Well done Year 1!

 

Year 2 have been monitoring their bulbs closely since Sustainability Week. The children have been taking responsibility for checking whether they need watering, as well as educating other children in school about the importance of not pulling bulbs out of the soil. We can see so much growth already! As the bulbs continue to grow, and become colourful and full of pollen, we can't wait to see what minibeasts come to visit us.

 

In Year 3, we looked at recycling soft plastics and discussed why this is important. We talked about the reasons that soft plastics need to be recycled separately. To finish our sustainability learning we created a soft plastics recycling point for our school. Each day two children from Year 3 move the recycling point from the hall to the playground for playtime and put it back into the hall for lunchtime. Year 3 have done an excellent job with continuing to make all children in our school aware of the recycling point and encouraging children to use it. The rubbish is picked up and recycled weekly. Well done Year 3 what a great addition to our school! 

 

In Year 4, our sustainability project was to keep our school grounds clear and free from any litter and to reduce the amount of plastic waste getting into our oceans. The children have been incredibly enthusiastic about this project. Occasionally, the weather has dampened our efforts, but the children are incredibly keen to keep our environment and habitats free from any litter. 

 

Not only have the children been taking care of the school grounds, but in addition, they have been eager to take care of our community. As a result of this, our classroom litter pickers have been borrowed at the weekend by families who have then been on walks together and picked up litter around where they live. 

 

The children know the significant impact that even the smallest piece of litter can have on our environment so we will continue to keep our school grounds free of any litter. Should any families wish to borrow our class litter pickers at a weekend, please get in touch. 

 

Year 5’s sustainability targets were focussed on energy conservation and ensuring that we are all doing our part to keep energy usage to a minimum. I must admit, Year 5 have been excellent in making sure that things have been switched off and they have often left me sitting in the classroom in the dark when they switch the lights off as they leave the room. We have also tried to reduce our use of the smart board and ensured that, when we are finished with it, it is turned off. Our next steps are to make sure that we turn off electrical items at the plug at the end of the day.  

Even more amazing than the steps we have taken in school is the effort that children are putting into reducing their energy usage at home. These are just some of the ways that Year 5 children have said they are trying to reduce their energy consumption at home: 

 

  • Turning off lamps at the plug when they are finished reading.  
  • Only charging devices when batteries are fully depleted.  
  • Taking breaks from devices and using them less often to reduce the need to charge them.  
  • Cutting down on the time spent watching television. 
  • Turning out lights when they leave a room.  
  • Only using one light source in a room at a time.  

 

As you can see, Year 5 have made a wonderful start to their sustainability goals but are equally aware that these are just small first steps in reducing their energy usage and, more importantly, developing lifelong habits that will make a difference.  

 

 

'Service' in action

 

On our return to school after Christmas, I was greeted with a little bag of money on my desk. Inside was £12.00 and with it was a note saying that this was money to be donated to Zarach following the incredible donations we received at the Christmas performances,

 

It turns out that that this money came from Georgia (Year 5) & Alexa (Year 3) who raised it by carol singing over the holidays. This was such a kind a thoughtful thing to do and we were all blown away in school by their sense of 'service': to do things for others without the motivation for praise or reward. We cannot help celebrating this though as things like this exemplify so many aspects of our Respect Code. Well done girls and thank you so much for your kindness and generosity to help vulnerable families across Leeds. We're so proud of you both!

 

 

School Calendar 2023/24 (including training days)

 

I am pleased to confirm the school calendar for the next academic year. The new school year for Years 1-6 (in Sep 2023) will begin on Tuesday 5th September 2023. The school year will end on Friday 19th July 2024.

 

https://www.collinghamschool.com/term-dates/

 

The training days will be as follows:

 

Monday 4th September 2023

Friday 27th October 2023

Friday 24th May 2024

Monday 22nd July 2024 

Tuesday 23rd July 2024

 

https://www.collinghamschool.com/training-days/

 

 

 

Bank Holidays

 

Due to the King Charles III's Coronation on Saturday 6th May, there will be an additional bank holiday in 2023.

 

This means that school will be closed on Monday 1st May (May Day) and now also on Monday 8th May (in lieu of the Coronation).

 

Year 6 SATs will now begin on Tuesday 9th May and will finish on Friday 12th May.

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Friday 16th December 2022

 

 

On behalf of everyone here at Collingham, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

 

Thank you so much for all of the Christmas cards and thoughtful gifts that we have received this week. We are really touched by your kindness. They have been hugely appreciated.

 

School will reopen on Tuesday 3rd January 2023 so we will all look forward to seeing you then!

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Christmas Performances 2022

 

 

I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas performances last week. There was a lovely atmosphere in school and the children had such fun putting on the best shows possible for you all. The smiles on their faces were a joy to see and each and every one of them performed with such confidence and enthusiasm. The hall was packed for all four shows and your encouragement of the children throughout was very much appreciated. We are all incredibly proud of the children and they are an absolute credit to both our school and your families. I must give thanks once again to all the staff in school because - without their dedication and hard work – putting on performances of such high quality simply wouldn’t be possible. 

 

 

Congratulations Mrs Golton!

 

Yesterday, Mrs Jackie Golton from our school kitchen team, attended a ceremony at Leeds Civic Hall where she received a Long Service Award from Leeds City Council for 25 years of service at our school. This is an incredible achievement and should rightly be celebrated. To work with such tireless dedication for the local authority and for one school for so long is no mean feat.

 

I would like to thank Jackie for everything she does for us here at Collingham. From being a lunchtime assistant in her early days to now helping to cook and serve dinner to over 150 children every single day. We are so grateful for everything you do. We hope you enjoyed your special day.

 

At lunchtime today, we held a small presentation in school and the children all had their own opportunity to say thank you. Well done Jackie!

 

 

 

Golden Certificates

 

At the end of each term, we award special Golden Certificates to children who have been following ALL aspects of the RESPECT Code - week in, week out. This is certainly no mean feat! As with normal RESPECT Code certificates, we award them to two children in each class.

 

A huge congratulations to the following children who have received their Golden Certificates in Collective Worship today.

 

Reception - Erin S & Harry H

Year 1 - Maya & Billy

Year 2 - Evie S & Jamie

Year 3 - Poppy & Tom

Year 4 - Theo G & Scarlett

Year 5 - Lucy T & Will Ha.

Year 6 - Henry N & Millie

 

 

Be a Santa to a Senior

 

For the third year in a row, the children have once again been making lots of creative items to donate to Home Instead's ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’. These are to be used as gifts for elderly residents within our local community to put a smile on their faces. The items made are a small gesture to help make a difference to anyone who might be experiencing loneliness at Christmas time. 

 

These were very gratefully received by Home Instead who said that the items donated by our school were far and away the best that they receive.

 

This is such a simple initiative, but it is one that we feel is really important to support here at Collingham.

 

 

 

 

Collingham Fundraising

 

Thank you so, so much for all of your unwavering kindness and generosity to support - not only our school - but also the local community and some much wider-reaching charities. The whole ethos of our school is based upon love and respect and it is so important to have a school that is at the heart of its community and able to help others. There is no doubting that the past 9 months have been incredibly challenging from a financial perspective where each and every one of us have been hit by rising prices be it fuel, food or energy. However, our school still does everything that it can within its means to keep those in need at the forefront of our minds and the whole school community always comes together to help try and make a significant difference whenever called upon. This is certainly never taken for granted.

 

Since September:

 

 

At our Harvest Celebration in October, £240.00 was raised and donated to 'Toilet Twinning' in order to twin our new toilet blocks in school with toilets in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Honduras and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The £60 for each toilet block has gone towards building basic toilets in poorer countries; helping children have access to clean water; helping to educate about good hygiene. Once twinned, the toilets will have a certificate on the wall to remind the children of how fortunate they are to have such easy access to toilets and clean water as some children are not so lucky.

 

 

 

At the start of November, through the sale of poppies in school, £135.00 was raised for the Royal British Legion to help support their work with the Armed Forces community.

 

 

 

On 18th November, a grand total of £370.77  was raised for BBC Children in Need. This really was an incredible amount of money to help charities and projects in every corner of the UK, that support children and young people to feel and be safer, have improved mental health and wellbeing, form better, more positive relationships and be given more equal opportunities to flourish. Well done to the School Council for organising such a successful event.

 

 

 

Last Thursday, £269.19 was raised through our annual Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Save the Children. The money raised will help the charity do whatever it takes to reach children, delivering life-saving food, shelter and medicines straight to where they're most urgently needed. In the weeks and months after an emergency, they help keep children safe and support families to rebuild their lives.

 

 

 

The main focus of our collection at the Harvest Celebration was to raise £240 for Toilet Twinning; however, the number of donations was absolutely incredible and the initial target was massively surpassed. We therefore decided to donate the left over monies to Zarach who were our whole school charity in 2021/22.

 

Zarach are a charity who are active in schools across Leeds and who committed to helping children and families who are living in poverty crisis. Their particular focus is on helping to provide children in the city with beds due to the staggering number who do not have one. This charity - and its important work - has certainly struck a chord with our school community and so the School Council felt it was imperative that we continued to support them in 2022/23.

 

Incredibly, through the four Christmas performances last week (£933.00) and the leftover money from Harvest (£345.00), our school has raised £1278.00 in just a few months. This is simply unbelievable and Zarach have been so grateful for your generosity.

 

"Dear Collingham School,

Thank you so much for your fundraising. £1278 will buy us eight 'Bed Bundles' each of which contains a brand new bed, high-spec mattress, bedding, pyjamas, hygiene kit, Zed Ted teddy bear and a story book. These will be with children in no time at all and there will also be some money left over to go toward a ninth! Thank you so much for helping us in our quest to give 'Every Head a Bed'.

Best wishes

Faye

 

With £1278 raised so far this year and £1407 last year, the total raised by our school since October 2021 stands at £2685.00. With each 'bed bundle' costing £150, you have given 18 children in our city a much needed bed in the past year or so. This is truly heart-warming. Thank you so much!

 

 

 

At the Harvest Celebration in October, we received an incredible level of donations for the Wetherby and District Foodbank of non-perishable food items. These donations were set up in the hall as a reminder during our celebration of the importance of harvest and in how fortunate many of us are compared some who are having an exceptionally challenging time. 

 

**Harvest Celebration 2022**

 

The increase of need to access foodbanks has risen dramatically off the bank of the pandemic and and the compounding pressures of the cost of living crisis. This has very much been a national trend, but the level of need locally has never been higher so I feel it is so important to try and support this charity who do such sterling work in our community.

 

As we approach Christmas, I am very much mindful of those families across Wetherby who might be hugely concerned as to whether they will be able to put food on the table. Therefore, today - on the last day of term - we held a collection for the foodbank in school to try and give their resources a timely boost at this busy time of the year for them. I did not want anyone to feel obliged to donate as you have done so much in recent weeks - and I appreciate the challenges you will all be facing - but, yet again, you have done everything you possibly can and we have a huge pile of donations ready to be collected later this afternoon.

 

**Today's collection**

 

At our school, we teach the children about the Christian value of 'service' - to do kind and helpful things for others because it is the right thing to do, but not to receive reward or praise. I am so proud of the way in which our school 'serves'. Your community spirit knows no bounds - even at the toughest of times. I am humbled and blessed to be a part of Collingham School. THANK YOU!!!

 

 

News from St Oswald’s Church
 
 
There’s no denying that ‘it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’! Churches tend to try and hang on to the season of Advent, perhaps a little longer than others, but the brightly lit Christmas figures and the shining star can now be seen in the churchyard, and hanging from the tower, from dusk through to the early hours each night and inside the tree is twinkling.                                                                          
 
Our ‘Dotty the Donkey trail’ is also up in the churchyard for little ones and their parents to share together in the telling of the Christmas story, with things to do along the way.
 
It was wonderful to have a church full of children, parents and grandparents – anyone and everyone, really- for our first ‘back to normal’ Christingle last Sunday! It was also particularly special to have the church full twice on Tuesday for our Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Christmas Services – with beautiful reading and singing from all involved.
 
This Sunday 18th December, at 6.00pm, we very much hope to see the same enthusiasm for our more traditional Carol Service – with readings, carols, candlelight, mulled wine and mince-pies. Another annual tradition not to be missed for many of us.
 
If you and your children are still planning how on earth you are going to keep going for a whole week before it actually is Christmas, then do remember that on the afternoon of Thursday 22nd December, there will be our Christmassy LO:G hO, hO, hO - Activities, Crafts, Games and Songs for children and families. Please look again at the Christmas Card sent out for further details and contact Reverend Carolyn – carolyn.james117@btinternet.com in advance to let us know you’re coming and help us plan accordingly!
 
For those who particularly enjoyed Christingle, there is another families special (with an emphasis on the very young and all who are young at heart) at 4.00pm on Christmas Eve when at our Crib Service we will tell the story in words and carols and complete the manger scene together.
 
Later on Christmas Eve, Midnight Mass will begin at 11.30pm and on Christmas morning our Family Eucharist and Carols is at 10.00am.
 
Do remember that St Oswald’s is Your Parish Church, and it is here for each and every one of You. What you say in school applies just the same at Church – ALL ARE WELCOME!
 
Wishing You All a Happy and Blessed Christmas.
 
Reverend Carolyn

 

 

 

Wednesday 23rd November 2022

 

 

Last week, we celebrated national Anti-bullying Week in school with this year's theme being 'Reach Out'.

 

The children were reminded of a variety of key messages around what bullying is; how to be a good friend; different types of bullying; how we can all be empowered to challenge bullying and to 'reach out' against bullying within our school community; and to embed the idea of collective responsibility being an effective approach to tackling bullying.

 

As part of this learning and to raise awareness, all of the children came to school last Monday in odd socks. Odd Socks Day is designed to be a fun opportunity for the children to express themselves and to appreciate individuality and uniqueness.

 

Below, you can find out what each of the classes were learning about throughout Anti-bullying Week.

 

 

Reception

 

Reception started by learning about what bullying is. They then looked at lots of different scenarios and the children in Reception suggested things that could happen to make the situation in the scenario better. They talked about how each person in the scenario could ‘Reach Out’.  

 

The children then worked together as a class to draw around their hands to create a display in the classroom to remind us to ‘Reach Out’. They talked about how all the designs on the hands looked different - just like their odd socks. They talked about how we are all unique and individual and that’s what makes us special. They spoke about how we have to treat each other equally and with compassion and this linked to learning about our school offering.

 

‘Valuing individuality and embracing equality, we welcome all with respect and compassion into a safe environment where everyone can flourish.’ 

 

The children finished their anti-bullying learning by reading a story called: ‘The Rainbow Club’. Below is a picture of their favourite page, which reminded them to always include everyone in both our play and learning and also that we are all special.

 

 

 

Year 1

 

In Year 1, the children spoke about equality and what the word meant as this was the focus for our certificates on Friday. They spoke about the assembly that Mrs Swift had delivered and the key points that were made. They were then asked ‘why are we wearing odd socks today?’ 

 

Anya"Because everyone is different, it does not matter what shape or size you are."

Amaya "We are all unique."

Chloe "Everyone is different and this is good."

 

Following this, the children then had a kindness minute. With their partner, each child had to say something nice to someone and then their partner would say something nice back. They then shared some of the ideas. Year 1 definitely liked doing this!  

 

After that, the class looked at this year’s song called ‘Calling Out’. They looked carefully at the lyrics and tried to understand what was meant. 

 

Sam"If you see someone not being nice you need to tell teacher."

Hollie "If someone is not being kind you need to tell a trusted adult."

Henry"If you see someone on their own you need to ask them to play with you."

 

Year 1 then completed an activity to show they had understood what they had been speaking about. 

 

 

We then ended the session looking at the school's child-friendly anti-bullying policy which is on the classroom wall next to the RESPECT Code. They discussed the key points to ensure everyone was comfortable and confident with the information in it.

 

 

Year 2

 

The children began by sharing school posters to promote about ‘what is bullying?’ and ‘what can we do in our school to stop it?’. The class discussed key messages and talked about meanings and how they fit with our school's RESPECT Code. The children were reminded that these posters are displayed in the class reflection area and that they can review them at anytime if needed. The children then watched ‘Andy and The Odd Socks’ and listened to the key messages. Year 2 discussed why they were all wearing odd socks and agreed that it was to celebrate uniqueness and that it is OK to be individual. They made their own Year 2 pledge poster to display alongside the other posters in the reflection area. They decided on three ways that they could pledge to stop bullying. To conclude the day, Year 2 all created a decorated 'odd sock' to celebrate each other’s uniqueness. 

 

 

 

Year 3

 

Earlier this week, Year 3 worked very hard during their anti-bullying lessons. They started off the session by looking at what bullying is and by reviewing the school's anti-bullying policy. They then focused on what the theme was for this year's anti-bullying week. The children enjoyed discussing what they thought the theme ‘Reach Out’ meant in relation to bullying.

 

In the second half of our session, the children looked at who might be involved in bullying incidents and what the roles are within bullying. After that, they discussed various scenarios and came up with different solutions for each one. They identified the roles of bullying within the scenarios and looked at what responsibility each person had and what they could do to 'reach out'. The children discussed who we can reach out to within our school and family community.

 

To finish their learning, the children thoroughly enjoyed listening to Andy Day's catchy odd socks song 'Calling Out.' They sang along to the song with a helping hand from the lyric sheet so that they could really understand the key messages.

 

 

 

Year 4

 

Year 4 began their learning by discussing why we came to school wearing odd socks. The children shared their understanding that the odd socks represent who we are and that we’re are all unique and this should always be respected. After that, they looked at what our understanding of bullying was and what it might look like. As a class, they then looked at our school’s child friendly anti-bullying policy, which described what bullying is, what bullying can be about and what you should do if you are being bullied.

 

Following this, the children were able to name trusted adults that they could talk to if they needed to ask for help. After that, as a class, they then focused on the week’s theme ‘Reach Out’ and each child came up with one act of kindness. Each of these were then added to our ‘Kindness Tree’ which will be displayed in our classroom for the children to look at and find ways they can spread kindness across our school.  

 

 

Year 5

 

Year 5 had a fascinating time learning about anti-bullying week. They started by discussing why they were all wearing odd socks and considering why people had chosen their socks. Some of the children had chosen them for specific reasons such as they were their favourite pairs put together to make an odd pair or they represented different things that they enjoyed. For others, it was more of a “grab whatever’s available” type of affair. Some even had the wherewithal to raid the collection of socks whose other half had been eaten by the washing machine!

 

After that, the children looked at the messages behind odd socks day and how it links to anti-bullying week. They listened to the Odd Socks Day song and looked for the messages that were being conveyed by the lyrics - in particular the concept of “Reaching Out”. They then discussed what reaching out could look like in different scenarios, from both people being bullied or feeling upset reaching out to get support and other people reaching out to offer support if they can see that someone is upset. Finally, the class re-visited the school’s anti-bullying policy and had a discussion about the roles of different people in bullying incidents - highlighting the importance of not being a bystander and reaching out to ensure that bullying is stopped as soon as possible.

 

 

Year 6

 

Year 6 began their learning by talking about our definition of bullying and what bullying is. They then discussed the different roles people can play in this. The children worked through some scenarios by identifying the different roles that people played. 

 

 

Following this, the children talked about the theme of ‘reach out’ and discussed about how reaching out to a friend might make a difference.  They discussed who children could reach out to and how they could reach out to their friends. The children then wrote some of the ways they could reach out to their friends and put these around the school's anti-bullying policy in the classroom.

 

Within the class computing lesson, The children watched the story called, ‘I was cyberbullied by my best friend’, which tells the story of Abbie and her best friend Tasha and how their friendship changed and how Tasha began to cyberbully Abbie.  They used this opportunity to talk about friendships and how important they are in making everyone feel happy and secure. The children talked about characteristics of friendships, including mutual respect, truthfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness, generosity, trust, sharing interests and experiences and support with problems and difficulties. They then went on to think about healthy friendships, which should be positive and welcoming towards others and not to make them feel lonely or excluded. The class related these to Abbie and Tasha and discussed the thoughts and feelings of both people at different stages in the story and what  they would have done to support and reach out.

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Friday 18th November 2022

 

Christmas Performances - Ticket Deadline

 

A polite reminder that the deadline for ticket requests for this year's Christmas performances is Wednesday 23rd November. Please can all completed ticket request forms be to your child’s classroom and not to the school office. Thank you!

 

Tickets allocated will be sent home with the children on Friday 2nd December. Please keep these tickets safe and bring them with you on the day of the performance. These will be collected by school staff on entrance and for safeguarding and health and safety purposes, no entry to school will be possible without one. Requests for extra tickets should also be made on the attached forms and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and will also be sent home on Friday 2nd December.

 

 

Christmas Dinner

 

This year's Christmas Dinner in school will be on Thursday 15th December. Please see the letter attached with the email for today's blog for further information and instruction.

 

 

Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) PTA - Christmas Fair 2022

 

The Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) Christmas Fair will be held in school on Saturday 3rd December (12.00-2.00pm).

 

Stalls include: 🎄Raffle (Top prize £150! Class reps will be selling tickets the w/c 28th Nov. in the front playground & at the Fair itself) 🎅Sweetie Bola / Tombola / Bottle Bola 🎄 Cafe - Join us for a festive drink and warm food. 🎅Cookie Decorating 🎄Pre Loved Toy Stall (Thank you for your donations so far!) 🎅Craft Stall 🎄Tattoos/ Name the Teddy and more…

 

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible and we thank you in advance for your support!

 

 

Volunteers for Rec/KS1 & KS2 Church Christmas Carol Services

 

On Tuesday 13th December 2022, we will be taking the children in each key stage up to St Oswald’s Church for our annual Christmas Carol Services. 

 

We are so grateful to all the parent volunteers who have helped to walk the children up to church at Christmas and Easter last year and we are really hopeful that there would be some volunteers prepared to spare some time to do the same again this year. Ideally, we would require 18 volunteers for Reception/Key Stage 1 and 12 volunteers for Key Stage 2. The Reception/Key Stage 1 service will begin at 9.30am and the Key Stage 2 service at 10.45am. Both will run for approximately 40 minutes and you will of course be welcome to stay and enjoy the service.

 

Thank you to those of you who have come forward to help already. We could do with another 12 volunteers please so if you feel you could help one of the key stages – or even both – then please contact the school office to express your interest. 

 

Thank you in advance for your support.

 

 

Boston Spa Academy - WVLP Football Tournament

 

Well done to the 13 children from Year 6 who represented the school last week at the Wharfe Valley Learning Partnership (WVLP) Football Tournament hosted by Boston Spa Academy. Both teams played a number of matches against other schools in the WVLP and after a successful group stage each of our teams qualified for the Cup and Trophy knockout competitions. 

 

Unfortunately, after playing some excellent football both teams were unsuccessful in their endeavours for silverware; however, the boys and girls showed great passion and pride representing the school. Mr Elliot and I were incredibly very proud with how the children conducted themselves as they demonstrated great sportsmanship, determination, encouragement and teamwork. Everyone left the tournament with their heads held high. Well done!

 

Under 11’s Squad: Nell P, Charlie M, William T, Abigail, Sophie B, Henry N, Harry, Annie, Millie, Austin, Hollie, Eidy and Harrison.

 

 

 

Blog's Big Question

 

 

 

For this academic year, I thought it would be a great opportunity to stimulate similar conversations at home by promoting a regular big question through this blog. The hope is that you could spend 5 minutes speaking to the children about the question and to probe them on their reasoning behind their differing thoughts and opinions. 

 

I would love to hear some of the responses and I would be grateful if you could kindly email the school office with some quotes from the children. I plan to collate these throughout the school year and create a brand new display in the school entrance.

 

The previous big question was: "What is the difference between being smart and being wise?"

 

This week's big question is: "What is more precious - water or gold?"

 

Please email any quotes from the children - for either of these two questions - to office@collinghamschool.org

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

News from St Oswald’s Church

 

 

It was great to have some of the children’s work ready and ‘on view’ in Church for Remembrance Sunday; indeed one of the class contributions made its way to the Orchard Garden to adorn my table for the Village Act of Remembrance. People at our outdoor Village Service were encouraged to view the other prayers, poems and art-work, which were displayed in church, and shall be for a further week.

 

 

Sunday 20th November is Sunday Club, run by St Oswald’s in The Methodist Church Hall for 7-11yr olds, 10am-11am.

 

Sunday 27th November is All-Age Worship at St Oswald’s, 10am-11am. We look forward, as always, to welcoming our children and families to what will also be our Annual Toy and Gift Service – a time to think of other children and families who may be struggling. A full list of what is needed can be found on our weekly Church Pew Sheet, available on-line (see link at the end of this message).

 

Other Christmassy services and activities at St Oswald’s are not far away now :

 

Christingle will be held at 4pm on Sunday 11th December, and our Crib Service at 4pm on Christmas Eve.

 

A more traditional Service of Carols, Readings and Candles will be held on Sunday 18th December at 6pm.

 

For those children enjoying their pre-Christmas holiday, on Thursday 22nd December we are planning a children and families LO:G hO, hO, hO - Activities, Crafts, Games and Songs for getting into the Spirit of the Season. Please contact Revd Carolyn – carolyn.james117@btinternet.com in advance to let us know you’re coming and help us plan accordingly!

 

All our news and dates can be accessed each week by logging on to:- www.achurchnearyou.com/church/3189/ and clicking on the tabs News Stories and Notice Sheets to find what you want.

 

All Good Wishes – Reverend Carolyn

 

The Reverend Carolyn A James

Priest in Charge

Parishes of Collingham with Harewood

and Spofforth with Kirk Deighton, Follifoot and Little Ribston

Email: carolyn.james117@btinternet.com

Tel: 01937 573975

 

Friday 4th November 2022

 

Toilet Twinning

 

Thank you once again for the incredibly generous donations we received at the Harvest Celebration before half-term.

 

As you will recall, £240 of this money was donated to 'Toilet Twinning' and I am pleased to confirm that this donation has now been made. As a result, this week, we received the four certificates of twinning - one for each toilet block in school - to be a permanent visual reminder for the children about how fortunate we are at Collingham to have access to clean water and toileting arrangements, but also that the money raised is going to help towards improving conditions in countries all across the world.

 

You will see in the certificates below that our toilets are now twinned in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Honduras and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

 

 

School Council Election Results 

 

A huge thank you and well done to all of the children who put themselves forward for this year's School Council elections. It was fantastic to see so many children with a passion and desire to be on the School Council. It's such a shame that only two children could be elected as everyone who applied would have done a fantastic job. To those who missed out, please don’t be too downhearted as the results were extremely close and there will always be another opportunity next year.

 

I am pleased to announce that the following children will now be on our School Council for 2022/23.

 

Year 1 - Harriet and Anya 

Year 2 - Arthur W and Florence

Year 3 - Jamie and Natsai

Year 4 - Jack and Heidi 

Year 5 - Florence and Ben 

Year 6 - Teddy who will join last year's representatives William D and Sophie F.

 

 

 

Christmas Performances 2022

 

I am pleased to confirm the dates and times for this year's Christmas performances:

 

Reception & Key Stage 1:

Tuesday 6th December (2.00-3.00pm) & Wednesday 7th December (10.00-11.00am)

 

Key Stage 2:
Wednesday 7th December (2.00-3.00pm & 6.30-7.30pm)

 

TICKET INFORMATION WILL BE RELEASED NEXT WEEK.

 

 

Volunteers for Rec/KS1 & KS2 Church Christmas Carol Services

 

On Tuesday 13th December 2022, we will be taking the children in each key stage up to St Oswald’s Church for our annual Christmas Carol Services. 

 

We are so grateful to all the parent volunteers who have helped to walk the children up to church at Christmas and Easter last year and we are really hopeful that there would be some volunteers prepared to spare some time to do the same again this year. Ideally, we would require 18 volunteers for Reception/Key Stage 1 and 12 volunteers for Key Stage 2. The Reception/Key Stage 1 service will begin at 9.30am and the Key Stage 2 service at 10.45am. Both will run for approximately 40 minutes and you will of course be welcome to stay and enjoy the service.

 

If you feel you could help one of the key stages – or even both – then please contact the school office to express your interest. 

 

Thank you in advance for your support.

 

 

Blog's Big Question

 

 

 

For this academic year, I thought it would be a great opportunity to stimulate similar conversations at home by promoting a regular big question through this blog. The hope is that you could spend 5 minutes speaking to the children about the question and to probe them on their reasoning behind their differing thoughts and opinions. 

 

I would love to hear some of the responses and I would be grateful if you could kindly email the school office with some quotes from the children. I plan to collate these throughout the school year and create a brand new display in the school entrance.

 

The previous big question was: "Are there different kinds of love?"

 

This week's big question is: "What is the difference between being smart and being wise?"

 

Please email any quotes from the children - for either of these two questions - to office@collinghamschool.org

 

 

School Book Fair

 

Just a reminder that the school book fair is starting on Wednesday next week.  If your child/children attend Out of School Club (OOSC) then they can browse with their classes and will then be taken with the other children from OOSC to purchase the books.  Please send money with the children or you can pay online and let the OOSC know that your child is buying a book - please provide the name of the book and the author.

 

 

Poppy sales

 

Year 6 will be selling Remembrance poppies at break times every day next week. Children will be able to purchase paper poppies and pin badges for a small donation to the Royal British Legion. They will be able to bring this money in to school with them next week.

 

 

 

Litter Picking

 

 

Through our work this year on sustainability and helping the environment, we will be promoting our Curriculum Driver of 'Environment' in particular. That being said, there are also opportunities to promote our other drivers such as 'Initiative'.

 

We are actively encouraging the children in school to help make a difference to the environment and each class is now up an running with their planned sustainable projects. However, our 'initiative' driver promotes the need for our children to 'make connections between what we can see and we can do about it' and  by 'learning not to worry about what others think and to develop confidence to take action'. 

 

Therefore, I wanted to find opportunities this year to encourage our children and families to take environmental action beyond the school grounds and to consider how you might be able to make a difference out in the community. 

 

I have purchased a school set of litter pickers/grabbers and I have also acquired a bundle of purple bin bags from 'Litter Free Leeds' that are used across Leeds to collect litter by members of the public. I plan to set up a station for these at the front of school so that children and parents are able to come and borrow these at their leisure for evenings, weekends or school holidays. The equipment can be taken away and used by families or small groups to help keep the Collingham and Linton communities as tidy as possible. The litter pickers/grabbers can then be returned to the station once finished so that others can use them next time. 

 

 

I hope to have this station set up outside the school office by the end of next week. I will email all parents once it is ready and I will provide you  with a 'volunteer's guide' and also a copy the Leeds City Council's 'safe working rules'. There will be no need to ask to borrow anything. Please feel free to help yourselves and simply return the equipment once you're done. 

 

When we returned to school on Monday, I was delighted to pick up an email containing photographs of two of our children already out and about in their community and collecting litter. Leo (Year 4) has just recently been appointed as a member of the school's Eco-Committee and he has clearly taken his eco-responsibilities very seriously. Ably supported by his sister, Samantha (Year 1), the two children spent some of their own time during the half-term picking up rubbish that they had found on the streets and grass verges. 

 

Well done Leo and Samantha! I am so proud of you both for caring so much about the environment and for making such a big difference. I know that you will now inspire others to join in and take part. This is a perfect example of 'service' from our RESPECT Code - doing things because you know it's right and not for reward. You are both absolute superstars!

 

 

 

Year 3 - Stone Age Experience

 

On Monday, Year 3 welcomed a very special visitor into the classroom. She took the children back in time to visit the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. This really allowed us to bring this exciting topic learning to life.  

 

The children thoroughly enjoyed a hands-on investigation of various Stone Age artefacts such as an axe head, stone, bone, arrow heads, harpoons, pottery, spear heads, antlers and animal skins. They looked at what the materials are and what they could have been used for. The children then designed and created a cave painting using charcoal stick and pastels. The cave paintings now beautifully decorate the inside of the Year 3 classroom cave.  

 

In the afternoon, Year 3 were still hard at work creating a Bronze Age mirror using Celtic designs based on original finds. Lastly, the children examined Iron Age military equipment such as a helmet, armour, spears, shields and swords. What a fantastic day full of knowledge, fun and creativity. Well done Year 3! 

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

News from St Oswald’s Church

 

 

It was good to see a few of the children from our school family at our Autumn LO:GO when much fun was had discovering the hidden people and meanings in our Church’s Stained-Glass Windows as well as making our own windows, creating ‘leafy hedgehogs and owls’ and decorating some very gooey looking pumpkin biscuits (which apparently were yummy!).

 

Thank You to those Year 1 children whose work on ‘What God is like...’ is on display in church at the moment – parents please do come and have look. The children’s words and pictures have certainly given us all pause for thought.

 

Sunday 13th November is Remembrance Sunday and St Oswald’s will be joining with others in the village in the Orchard Garden for our annual Village Act of Remembrance at 10.45am – always a poignant event as the names of those whose lives were lost in the great conflicts of this world are read out, and wreaths laid.

 

Sunday 20th November is Sunday Club, run by St Oswald’s in The Methodist Church Hall for 7-11yr olds, 10am-11am.

 

Sunday 27th November is All-Age Worship at St Oswald’s, 10am-11am. A more informal and interactive service open to all, at which we love to see and welcome our children and families. This will also be our annual Toy and Gift Service when we invite people to bring along a gift to be shared with others this Christmas. A full list of what is needed can be found on our weekly Church Pew Sheet, available on-line (see link at the end of this message).

 

Don’t forget to keep the date for Christingle at St Oswald’s – Sunday 11th December, 4pm.

 

For those planning for the period when your children will once again be on holiday in the run-up to Christmas, we will be holding another seasonal Thursday LO:GO on Thursday 22nd December, 2.00-4.30pm.

 

So close to all the fun of Christmas it will on this occasion, of course, be a Thursday LO:G hO, hO, hO!!

 

Confirmation PreparationFor any parents of Year 6 children who may still be thinking about Confirmation, or wanting to know more, please look out for a separate communication coming your way.

 

All our news and dates can be accessed each week by logging on to:- www.achurchnearyou.com/church/3189/ and clicking on the tabs News Stories and Notice Sheets to find what you want.

 

All Good Wishes

 

Reverend Carolyn

 

 

 

Friday 14th October 2022

 

Yesterday, we had an amazing turn out for our annual Harvest Celebration with well over 200 visitors across the two key stage events. It was extremely uplifting and we were so pleased that you were all able to come to share this special celebration with the children. I was especially grateful that you gave up your time to support all of the children rather than just an individual class or two. The children performed an array of songs and poems with such confidence and enthusiasm and they wanted to create a memorable atmosphere in the school hall for you. For our Reception children, this will have been their first experience of performing in front of so many people, but we were immensely proud of them - and all of the children for that matter - as they did such a wonderful job.

 

As a Church of England school, it is extremely important for us to celebrate Harvest in order to give thanks for the food that we have, but to also consider those who are less fortunate that ourselves. The children at our school are incredibly compassionate and they delivered important Christian and environmental messages in a way that brought a smile to so many faces in the audience. 'Big Red Combine Harvester' is most definitely on the all time classics list! Even the Year 6 children love it!

 

 

Thank you so much for all of the kind donations of non-perishable items that were brought in to school earlier in the week. Everything received has been donated to the Wetherby and District Foodbank who are currently experiencing an enormous increase in their use across this local area. The level of need is quite staggering and so all of the donations are hugely appreciated and will make a huge difference. In fact, the foodbank wasted absolutely no time in collecting everything yesterday afternoon and they will now get to work on putting food parcels together in readiness for immediate collection or delivery.

 

In addition, we also held a traditional collection to try and raise £240 (4 x £60) so that we could 'toilet twin' all four of our newly refurbished toilet blocks in school with toilets in developing countries such as Honduras, Afghanistan, Uganda and Malawi. The £60 for each toilet block goes towards building basic toilets in poorer countries; helping children have access to clean water; helping to educate about good hygiene. Once twinned, the toilets will have a certificate on the wall to remind the children of how fortunate they are to have such easy access to toilets and clean water as some children are not so lucky.

 

Incredibly, we have so far raised £541.16 from cash donations and through the text message link sent out on School Money. This amount is way beyond anything that I could have imagined possible - particularly during these challenging financial times. The generosity of the Collingham School community to help others knows no bounds. I am so proud to be the headteacher of this school where everyone connected to it is so kind and charitable in helping to try and make a difference both within school, the Wetherby area and far, far beyond. 

 

The School Money payment link that was sent out will remain open until the end of Monday in case you have not yet had a chance to donate. As we have raised well over the £240 target, we will ensure that this money is used to twin the toilets as planned, but all monies received over this amount will be donated to Zarach who proved to be a touching choice for our school charity last year and who will remain our focus for this year too.

 

Information about both charities - Toilet Twinning and Zarach - can be found by clicking on the images below.

 

        

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Marathon Fundraiser for Collingham School

 

Back in October 2020, during the pandemic, Emma Anderson and Sally Weaver were set to run the Amsterdam Marathon which was ultimately cancelled due to Covid-19. Whilst this was incredibly disappointing after all of the training they had put in, they decided to complete the marathon anyway by running around the local community instead and with the aim of raising much needed funds for the Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) PTA. At that time they raised over £3000 which was simply mind-blowing and ultimately helped us provide so much for the children in school than would have otherwise been possible.

 

Fast forward two years and Emma and Sally are now ready again to fulfil their ambitions of participating in the Amsterdam Marathon which will be taking place this Sunday 16th October. Everyone at Collingham is right behind you both and we wish you the very best of luck in the race at the weekend. We're sure that you'll be absolutely amazing and we can't wait to hear all about it!

 

I've recently learnt that, as in 2020, Emma and Sally would once again like to try and raise money for our school by completing this epic run. I was overwhelmed by this generous and kind-spirited thought for Collingham and for them to once again do their very best to support what we want to achieve for the boys and girls. 

 

The FoCS PTA have set up a GoFundMe where our parents, grandparents and friends of the school will be able to sponsor Emma and Sally. Anything that you might be able to spare to support them both would be hugely appreciated and it would make such a difference to Collingham School. The link for the GoFundMe can be accessed by clicking on the link below. Thank you in advance!

 

***please click***

 

 

School Photographs

 

Tempest Photography will be visiting our school on Wednesday 2nd November to take individual school photos of the children. If you would like your child to have a photo with a pre-school sibling then please arrive at 8.00am. For children who only have siblings already in school, these photos will be organised during the normal school day and there is no need to attend at the earlier time.

 

 

Eco-Committee

 

 

During Sustainability Week, the children were invited by Mrs Swift to apply to be a new member of the school's Eco-Committee. Over the course of the week, the children prepared applications that stated why they wanted to be on the Eco-Committee; why they would be a good choice; and what they would do to help our school become more environmentally friendly.

 

There were over 60 applications across school so, on Monday, Mrs Swift and I visited each classroom to listen to speeches from all of the children who had taken the time to apply. We were blown away by the knowledge of the children and with what they had learnt during Sustainability Week. They were all so keen to make a difference to the world around them. We were just sorry that everyone couldn't join Eco-Committee this time around!

 

On Tuesday, each class held an election to choose their two new Eco-Committee members for 2022/23 who will join our existing Eco-Committee members (Evangeline, Alex, Alba, Grace, Lenny, Archie, Lucy T, Isla and Annie) who will be serving a promised second term.

 

Congratulations to the following children. I have no doubts that you will do a fantastic job and we look forward to hearing all of your wonderful ideas to help the environment!

 

Year 1 - Amaya & Matilda

Year 2 - Sienna & Jamie

Year 3 - Olivia T & Tom T

Year 4 - Jacob R & Leo

Year 5 - Rose R & Amelia N

Year 6 - Dottie & Chloe

 

 

Sustainability Week

 

Reception

 

The children in Reception have tried super hard this week to understand some really big and tricky concepts using our school ‘Environment’ curriculum driver. Their challenge was to become a Sustainability Superhero!

 

As always, we have used stories to support and expand their learning, starting with 'George Saves the World by Lunchtime'. The children explored how we can follow the 6Rs to reduce waste and therefore help the environment – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Rot, Repair and, if all else fails, Recycle. They then had to draw themselves as a superhero and explain how they could protect and save our precious world – the results were fantastic! The children also enjoyed listening to and discussing the stories 'Michael Recycle' and 'Messy Magpie' to enhance their understanding of the importance of recycling.

 

Next, the children had to become 'Recycling Superheroes' by reusing ‘waste’ to create a musical instrument. We were impressed with the range of shakers, drums and guitars the children created. There were even some very imaginative ‘2 instruments in 1’! The children are looking forward to bringing them home to play for you! 

 

Our final story was 'Superworm' – one of our five focus stories for the year. Last week, the children set up our wormery with Mrs Naylor and talked about how we can look after them. This week, we focused on thinking about their purpose – to help us ‘rot’ unwanted fruit waste into compost. Each week, we will have monitors to be in charge on 'Fruit Waste Friday'! They will collect appropriate fruit waste in our special box and ‘feed’ it to the worms. This will be Reception class’s ongoing sustainability focus for the year. We even had a Superworm focused PE lesson where the children took part in a Superworm Wriggle and Run, a Superworm Roll and, best of all, a Superworm Obstacle Course!

 

 

 

 

Year 1

 

Year 1 looked at climate change and what some of the current problems were.  We then looked at ways we can be more sustainable and make a difference. We looked at some examples and then we decided what was realistic for our class to do. We decided that we would try to: turn lights off, turn the tv off, have showers not baths, turn taps off, recycle, use a compost bin, swap things like clothes instead of buying new and try to walk.

 

Amaya: "We need to make sure that people have a long and good life."

Monty: "We can’t break the world."

Anya: "If we ruin our Earth there won’t be another and if there was another it wouldn’t be as good as this one."

 

We then looked at different types of pollution and in particular water and land pollution. The class took a particular interest in how plastic is harming sea animals and what we could do to help this. Miss Thackray brought in a yogurt pot and the class had to think of three good things she could do with it and one bad thing. The class had some brilliant ideas. They said you could recycle it, make it into something else, could draw/sketch it, use it for putting snacks in, use it for a craft activity or give it somebody else to use. A bad thing to do with it would be to drop it on the floor, drop it into the river or put it in the wrong bin!

 

Samantha: "Do not put it in the sea, other animals could eat it and get trapped in it."

Seth: "Plastic can be bad if it is not recycled or reused because animals might eat it and get sick."

Sophia: "We don’t want our world to be poorly. We need to do our bit to look after it."

 

Finally, we started to think about what we could do in our classroom on a day-to-day basis to support sustainability. The children came up with lots of fantastic ideas.

 

Jesper: "We could put plastic in another bin."

Matilda: "We could not waste paper."

Chloe T: "We could make sure we turn the lights off."

 

As a class, we decided that we would choose two special ‘light monitors’ each week who have the responsibility of ensuring that our classroom lights are turned off whenever we leave the room. The children then created some fantastic posters to put up around school to encourage other people to do the same.

 

 

 

Year 2

 

Year 2 have been 'buzzing' to learn all about biodiversity this week! We started the week by looking at places with high biodiversity (lots of different kinds of life) and low biodiversity (not many different kinds of life), and decided our school had a very high biodiversity because of all the different creatures that we have seen. After learning that it is really important to protect every creature within an ecosystem, we took a closer look at bees. Using their new-found knowledge, we made awareness posters explaining why bees are so important, why they are in danger, and how we can help them. Learning that one of the best ways to help bees is by planting lots of different kinds of flowers, we got to work planting a wide range of bulbs outside our classroom. We can’t wait to watch these grow and attract lots of bees (and hopefully lots of other creatures too!).

 

 

 

Year 3

 

This week,  Year 3 have been working super hard. We started the week by discussing what it means to be sustainable. We found out about what materials we recycle and how we can recycle them. Then we focused on what the impact would be on the environment if we didn’t recycle. The children thoroughly enjoyed looking at landfills. We discussed what soft plastics are and the issue with recycling them.

 

The children decided that we could create a soft plastics recycling point within school. They spread the message by creating eye catching posters to decorate our recycling point. Two children each morning from Year 3 will be in charge of moving the recycling bin from reception into the hall at lunchtime and encouraging children to put their soft plastic wrappers into the bin. The rubbish will be picked up weekly and taken to a soft plastics recycling centre. We a fantastic addition to school. Well done Year 3!

 

 

 

Year 4

 

Year 4 have looked at how we can help reduce the amount of pollution in our oceans. The children started the week off by looking at different words associated with sustainability and their definition. This included climate change, fossil fuels, renewable and non-renewable energy. We then created our own definition of what we thought sustainability is.

 

‘Sustainability is about changes big or small we can make to help care for the planet. Making these changes, helps protect plants, animals and our natural resources so that future generations will be able to enjoy them.’

 

As a class, the children looked at how long it takes for different items and objects to decompose naturally. The children were amazed to find that it could take between 500 – 1,000 years for a plastic bag to decompose. We then looked at the effects litter has on our environment and that the litter dropped on the street does not stay there. Rainwater and wind carries plastic waste into streams and rivers, and through drains. Drains lead to the ocean! After conducting a litter survey around school, we have decided to have litter-picking monitors so that any litter on our school premises can be recycled and not end up where it should not be. 

 

 

 

Year 5

 

Year 5 began the week by looking at one of the big problems facing our planet at the moment – ‘Climate Change’.  We discussed how humans are spoiling our planet and then began to think about how fossil fuels are being used. We learnt about energy, how our energy is produced and the impact that burning fossil fuels is having on the world. Then, we decided to research some alternatives and found out about all the different types of renewable energy sources that energy companies and individuals can use, such as solar panels and wind farms.

 

Year 5 talked about how we can help reduce our energy usage and created posters to share these ideas. Using the phrases, ‘If not now, when?’ and ‘If not you, who?’ we decided that we needed to play our own small part in reducing the amount of electricity that we use in school everyday. In year 5, we a have decided that:

 

  • We are going to ensure that the lights are turned off every time we leave the room.
  • We will ensure that the smartboard isn’t left when it isn’t in use.
  • We will turn things off at the plug and won’t leave things on standby.
  • We have suggested that we will only charge the class iPads 2-3 times weekly overnight rather than daily.
  • We have decided to try to work without the lights on as much as we can (when enough natural sunlight permits).
  • We would like to talk to Mr Cook and Mrs Proctor about having an occasional ‘cold lunch’ day.

 

What can you do at home to reduce the amount of energy you use? A small change can have a big impact.

 

 

 

Year 6

 

Year 6 began their week by learning all about the different types of waste we produce such as: e-waste, clothing waste, food waste and other general household waste. We discovered that around 30% of all fruits and vegetables grown by farmers are rejected by supermarkets because they are misshapen.  They learnt that each Christmas, the UK throws away around 83km² of wrapping paper and that it is believed that the equivalent of 4 million double-decker buses full of e-waste is thrown away every year. We discussed recycling paper and taking e-waste to the local recycling centre and decided to focus on food waste for the remainder of the week.  

 

During our next lesson, the children learnt about how food waste affects the whole world.  They learnt about how it affects water usage, fuel usage and the increase of greenhouse gases and the subsequent effects on climate change.

We learnt about how supermarkets are trying to reduce food waste.  Children got in to groups of 7 and did a round robin information exchange to find what each of the 7 supermarkets were doing to reduce food waste.

 

 

 

Blog's Big Questions

 

 

As mentioned in the previous blog, every Thursday, we have a classroom Collective Worship called 'Big Question Thursday' where the children are presented with a spirtual 'big question' and they then have an opportunity to discuss and debate what they think about it. The teachers are always staggered by the children's level of deep thinking and open mindedness.

 

For this academic year, I thought it would be a great opportunity to stimulate similar conversations at home by promoting a regular big question through this blog. The hope is that you could spend 5 minutes speaking to the children about the question and to probe them on their reasoning behind their differing thoughts and opinions. 

 

I would love to hear some of the responses and I would be grateful if you could kindly email the school office with some quotes from the children. I plan to collate these throughout the school year and create a brand new display in the school entrance.

 

The previous big question was: "What is the difference between thinking and dreaming?"

 

This week's big question is: "Are there different kinds of love?"

 

Please email any quotes from the children - for either of these two questions - to office@collinghamschool.org

 

 

News from St Oswald’s Church

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

It was lovely to be a part of the Church School’s Harvest Celebrations this week – the children shared with us a feast of harvest joy as well as challenging us with some of the sobering facts about our personal food waste and the many ways in which we need to care more effectively for our environment and our planet. I particular enjoyed the enthusiastic singing. 

 

If your plans have changed for this weekend, or you are still looking for some good family-oriented fun, you can still come along to the Family Social Evening tomorrow evening (15th) – Beetle Drive, Pizzas, Fun and Friendship beginning at 5pm in the Methodist Hall, on Harewood Rd. Please contact Amy Lowe – 07791 654948 - to book your tickets or turn up on the door. £5 adults, £3 children aged 4+

 

This Sunday (16th), Sunday Club is run by St Oswald’s in The Methodist Church Hall for 7-11yr olds, 10am-11am.

Next Sunday (23rd) is All Age Worship at St Oswald’s, 10am-11am. A more informal and interactive service open to all, at which we love to see and welcome our children and families.

 

LO:GO – publicity should have landed in your child’s bag today– so please do check if needed! Our Autumn themed ‘Little St Oswald’s : Great Outdoors’ activities for children and families is to be held on Thursday 27th October – 2pm-4.30pm – ad we would love to see you. Further details and information on how to book is contained on the flyers I have sent out via school.

 

Sunday 30th October – An evening Memorial Service & Service of Light at 4pm in St Oswald’s - for those who wish to remember loved ones who are no longer with us. The service at which candles will be lit and names of our loved ones spoken is open to everyone. If you wish to have someone’s name mentioned, please do get in touch.

 

Confirmation Preparation -  Confirmation is something which any of our children in Year 6 can choose to prepare for, as a way of making their own promises made for them at Baptism, or choosing to be Baptised and Confirmed, and receiving a special blessing for the journey ahead. I will hold about 6 sessions for those who want to join in, during which we will talk through some of the basics about choosing the Christian path through our lives, and the children will also be prepared to receive the bread and wine of communion. Confirmation never means thinking we know everything or that we have ‘made it’ but it is about saying we wish to follow the Christian way, and to go on learning as we do. The Confirmation itself will be booked at a time when the Bishop can come to St Oswald’s. I will be sending individual letters out with Year 6 children before the end of this half term, so why not have a chat with your child about it.

 

All our news and dates can be accessed each week by logging on to: www.achurchnearyou.com/church/3189/ and clicking on the tabs News Stories and Notice Sheets to find what you want.

 

All Good Wishes –  Reverend Carolyn

 

The Reverend Carolyn A James

Priest in Charge

Parishes of Collingham with Harewood and Spofforth with Kirk Deighton, Follifoot and Little Ribston

Email:  carolyn.james117@btinternet.com

Tel: 01937 573975

 

 

Friday 30th September 2022

 

Last week, Mr Elliot, Mrs Wood and I enjoyed a fantastic three days away with our Year 6 children on their residential to Robinwood near Wrexham, North Wales. The children took part in so many activities and they were really taken out of their comfort zone: raft building; canoeing; the giant swing; rock climbing; high ropes course; zip line; as well as many others. The less said about the water activities the better really as Mr Elliot had a torrid time on his raft and I was targeted by some unruly characters who decided to collectively ambush me and shove me in to a freezing cold lake at 9.00am! This is the second residential in a row where I have been mistreated by the children near water so I very much hope that this doesn't now become a Collingham tradition!

 

To those boys and girls responsible - I know who you are! There's photographic evidence!!

 

 

Despite my soaking, the children represented the school brilliantly and demonstrated such positive, determined and encouraging attitudes. The school staff and centre leaders were absolutely blown away - so much so that Laura (our course leader) said that Collingham was their favourite school and that all of their staff look for when we are visiting each September! Our children really made an impression and they were a real credit to themselves the whole time. Well done Year 6!

 

A huge thank you to Mr Elliot for all of his hard work in organising the trip and to both he and Mrs Wood for giving up their own time to ensure that the children had this fantastic opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime.

 

 


 


 

 

 

Sunday Times - Parent Power Schools Guide 2022

 

 

Earlier in the month, the Sunday Times released the 29th edition of their 'Parent Power Schools Guide' for 2022 where they annually rank more than 1600 of the highest achieving primary, secondary and independent schools.

 

Last week, Collingham was announced in the Yorkshire Evening Post as being one of the best 11 primary schools in Leeds as a result of the release of the Sunday Times' guide. The Yorkshire Evening Post picked out all of the primary schools to feature in the 29th edition and we were delighted to learn that Collingham was ranked 8th out of 269 schools in Leeds and 454th out of 32,163 schools in the entire country. Well done to everyone connected to our school for this fantastic achievement! 

 

https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/education/the-11-best-and-highest-achieving-primary-schools-in-leeds-according-to-sunday-times-guide-for-parents-3851572

 

 

Sustainability

 

One of our whole school priorities this year is to look at improving the school's environmental sustainability and to begin reducing our carbon footprint. The cost of living crisis has brought this to the fore in terms of saving money; however, we introduced an 'environment' curriculum driver at the start of the previous academic year as we felt we had a strong moral responsibility to encourage the children to care for their world and their communities. 

 

 

We cannot run before we can walk so we have put together a plan of fairly simple initiatives to get things up and running in 2022/23. Next week, we will be holding a 'Sustainability Week' in school to raise awareness amongst the children and staff about sustainability and to develop ways to be more sustainable as a school. Each class will be expected to identify a solution for making their classroom/school more sustainable and will then lead the implementation of this for the remainder of the school year.

 

In addition to the children's ideas, we will be looking at reducing food waste during the school day; reviewing the amount of paper used in school; increasing the amount of recycling; and replacing all of lighting to LED lights so as to improve energy efficiency.

 

In each Headteacher Blog going forwards, there will be a 'sustainability section' in order to update you on the progress of the children's initiatives in school, but to also promote ideas and set challenges that help the children make a difference outside of school too.

 

 

Harvest Celebration

 

A polite reminder that we will be holding our annual Harvest Celebration in the school hall on Thursday 13th October and we would once again like to invite you all to join us. There was an incredible attendance from parents last year and the children were absolutely delighted to see the support from you all as they performed an array of songs and poems. The Harvest Celebration always seems to be a popular event and so this year we have again decided to hold two separate assemblies in order to avoid overcrowding in the hall and to comply with fire regulations. 

 

The first assembly will be at 9.15am for Reception & Key Stage 1 (Y1/2) parents and the second assembly will be at 10.45am for Key Stage 2 (Y3/4/5/6) parents. All seven classes will be performing at each of the time slots for approximately 45 minutes. We politely request that parents and grandparents attending either celebration arrive promptly and also stay until the end so as to support all of the children who have worked hard in preparing for this special event. We thank you in advance for this. 

 

Our charity this year will once again be Wetherby and District Foodbank due to the increase level of need locally since the start of the pandemic. They would be extremely grateful for all donations received, but they would very much welcome non-perishable food items as well as warm clothing – including hats, gloves, scarves and socks – and toiletries.

 

If you are able to support by making a donation to this worthy cause then please could you send these in with the children from Monday 3rd October up until the end of the day on Wednesday 12th October (the day before the celebration in school). The donations can also be dropped off inside the school entrance.

 

Last year the school was awash with donations. It would be fantastic if we could get close to that again. Thank you in advance for you support.

 

**Photo from Harvest Celebration 2021**

 


Blog's Big Questions

 

 

In addition to sustainability, another whole school priority is to develop communication and language - particularly in Reception and Key Stage 1. We want to stimulate conversation and find additional opportunities for the children to interact with adults and their peers.

 

Every Thursday, we have a classroom Collective Worship called 'Big Question Thursday' where the children are presented with a spirtual 'big question' and they then have an opportunity to discuss and debate what they think about it. The teachers are always staggered by the children's level of deep thinking and open mindedness.

 

For this academic year, I thought it would be a great opportunity to stimulate similar conversations at home by promoting a regular big question through this blog. The hope is that you could spend 5 minutes speaking to the children about the question and to probe them on their reasoning behind their differing thoughts and opinions. 

 

I would love to hear some of the responses and I would be grateful if you could kindly email the school office with some quotes from the children. I plan to collate these throughout the school year and create a brand new display in the school entrance.

 

This week's big question is: "What is the difference between thinking and dreaming?"

 

Please email any quotes from the children to office@collinghamschool.org

 

Thank you!

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

News from St Oswald’s Church

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

I am sure that we have now all got used to the idea that these past few weeks have brought with them the usual ‘back to school and back to everything else’ . It has been lovely to see the children’s smiling faces back in school, to be with the whole school family once again for Collective Worship, and really special to have had chance to say ‘hello’ to our newest members in Reception this week and have a session with them in their classroom as well as with Year 1 children.

This half-term brings a few ‘specials’ within the life of the church, and we warmly invite you to any of our services and activities. A few highlights in the coming weeks are:

 

Harvest – this Sunday 2nd October - with the collection of Harvest Gifts for ‘Caring for Life’ and ‘The Joanna Project’. Our Harvest Eucharist for All the Family is at 10.00am

 

Family Social Evening – Beetle Drive, Pizzas, Fun and Friendship – Saturday 15th October, 4pm onwards in the Methodist Hall (please contact Amy Lowe – 07791 654948) for tickets.

 

LO : GO – After our ‘Little St Oswald’s : Great Outdoors’ activities for children and families during the summer, we are looking to hold a session during half-term on Thursday 27th October – 2.00pm-4.30pm. Please email carolyn.james117@btinternet.com to register your interest or await flyers coming out via school. But keep the date!

 

Sunday 30th October – An early evening Memorial Service for those who wish to remember loved ones who are no longer with us.

 

Confirmation Preparation

 

I will be inviting any children Year 6 upwards who would like to explore being ‘Confirmed’ (this means making their own promises to follow the Christian way, and to go on learning as they do) to come along to a few sessions to learn a little more, to ask their questions and to prepare for the special day when this can happen, in the coming months. Again, if your child is interested, please do get in touch.

 

All our news and dates can be accessed each week by logging on to: www.achurchnearyou.com/church/3189/ and clicking on the tabs News Stories and Notice Sheets to find what you want.

 

All Good Wishes.

 

Reverend Carolyn

 

 

 

 

Friday 22nd July 2022

 

Well done everyone! We made it! Our first full academic year without significant disruption since 2018/19!

 

Following the awful end to 2020/21 - with the majority of our year groups in self-isolation - there was always a nervousness as to how this year would pan out. Bar a blip at the start of January, where around half of the children contracted Omicron, I would say the year has otherwise been a resounding success. It has been incredibly pleasing to bring our school community back together properly and to hold all of the events, that we enjoy so much, in person. Our Harvest Celebration, Reception, KS1 and KS2 Christmas performances, parent consultation evenings, classroom parents events and Sports Day have all taken place in the face of adversity as it was so important for the children that this sense of normality was restored. We have been trying desperately to get back to full capacity and there has been so much going on that I often forget that we have even been visited by our good friends from Ofsted in amongst all of it! 

 

Today, we say goodbye to our magnificent Year 6 children who are about to start their new adventures at high school. These boys and girls have had a fantastic year to complete their time at Collingham and leave knowing that they have given their absolute all. They really have been a credit to themselves, the school and their families by demonstrating so many aspects of our RESPECT code on a daily basis. It’s an incredibly difficult job at the top end of school when you have to set the example to the rest of younger children, but in these Year 6s, there could not have been better role models. I am entirely confident that if they approach life at high school with even half the enthusiasm and determination to succeed as they have done here then they are going to continue to flourish and they will all go on to great things. We are incredibly proud of these children and I am sure you will join me in wishing them the very best of luck for the future.

 

The Year 6 Graffiti Wall


Ofsted were incredibly complimentary of our school when they conducted their inspection back in November and we were absolutely delighted with the report that was published. To receive such positive comments off the back of the pandemic and following the implementation of a brand new curriculum just a couple of months before was a huge morale boost. Ofsted stated that 'children thrive and flourish here'. It was fabulous to have this acknowledged as the children are at the heart of everything we do. We strive to be the best that we can be and the whole data which I shared with you last week means that we remain one of the highest performing schools in Leeds.

 

Earlier this week, we celebrated the achievements of our retiring Chair of Governors, Mrs Val Masterton, who has been a governor for 32 years - 27 of these as Chair. The role of a governor/Chair of Governors is in a volunteer capacity and can often be thankless. There is a significant amount of work undertaken by those with such responsibility and this can often go unnoticed by those outside of the school with the majority of the work being undertaken behind the scenes or out of school hours. Val has been completely dedicated to our school - and most importantly our children - to ensure that standards are high and that the school remains strong in its Christian ethos and identity. She has been kind, diligent, exceptionally hardworking and a champion of the school for so many years. We had a special Collective Worship; delicious buns on the school field; and a celebratory afternoon tea in the school hall. It was a fitting send off for someone who has been so loyal to our school for so long. 

 

The School Council and House Captains with Mrs Masterton

 

To our parents and carers, I wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your support and understanding throughout the school year and for allowing us to work with your fantastic children. Our school thrives on togetherness and the strength of home-school relationships and it has been a pleasure to welcome you back in to school once again. It has been well overdue, but long may it continue!

 

Also, a huge thank you to our incredible staff team at Collingham. I am so proud to work with you all. Your dedication and unwavering passion to help each and every child succeed is truly inspiring. None of the achievements this year would be possible without your drive. The way you have gone above and beyond to close the gaps following everything we have been through in the past few years is nothing short of remarkable. You deserve all of the plaudits for helping to make this school so special. 

 

Our governors have been so supportive and give up so much time as volunteers to oversee the strategic direction of the school. The advice and challenge that you offer is so vital to the school's continued improvement and success and I am delighted that your passion and knowledge about the school were recognised by Ofsted. We are extremely grateful for everything you do.

 

And finally, to all the boys and girls at Collingham School. You are an absolute delight and pleasure to work with. Your energy, positivity and hardworking nature has allowed each and every one of you to make progress that you can be proud of. You are all unique individuals with a wide range of talents, skills and needs. Your behaviour is exemplary and whenever I show visitors around our school they always comment on the calm atmosphere in the classrooms and the incredible warmth and good manners that you display. Well done boys and girls for setting such a good example and for being such superstars! You can have a well-deserved rest now! Thank you for being simply the best!

 

Have a fantastic summer. I hope that you enjoy the time you spend with family and friends. School will reopen on Tuesday 6th September 2022 and we will look forward to seeing you all on this date.

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

A message from Mrs Val Masterton (our retiring Chair of Governors)

 

Dear Parents,

 

On Wednesday, I spent a delightful afternoon in school with staff, governors and children, saying farewell and commemorating my many years as governor and Chair of Governors of this school. The children presented me with a book of their messages which I will treasure.

 

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the whole school community for my gift of a superb mobile phone to replace my ancient one. Thank you so much.

 

I will greatly miss being part of the work of this wonderful school. Over the years, I have seen it grow to become an exceptional example of what a school community, led by Christian values and the dedication of an inspired and caring team can achieve. The enjoyment and happiness of the children shines through. I have been privileged to have made a small contribution to its undoubted success and I know that the school will continue to flourish in future years.

 

Thank you.

 

Val Masterton

 

 

End of year messages from staff:

 

Reception

 

Wow! Where has this year gone! We simply cannot believe how much the children have grown up and progressed – it’s just astounding!

 

We have loved teaching our class this year. They are such an interesting and deep thinking group of children – we just adore talking to them! During every topic, they have shown so much enthusiasm to learn new things, to investigate and to challenge ideas. Studying historical artefacts, growing vegetables, exploring religions, learning French and taking care of the chicks are just some aspects of their learning that stand out. Our trip to Skelton Grange was another highlight – it was such a joy to see the children so excited at being all together, out of school, in the forest, rising to challenges, showing brilliant teamwork and just having so much fun! It really has been a joy and a privilege to teach your children this year and we can’t wait to watch them grow together as they move through school.

We also want to say thank you to you all for supporting your children through their first year of school. We have really enjoyed being able to invite you into the classroom to share in the children’s learning, and really hope you enjoyed the Easter hunts and French food and games as much as we did!

 

So, to all the children, thank you Reception – you are truly amazing. We are proud and honoured to have been your teachers. Have a fantastic summer everyone! Mrs Swift, Mrs Letheren, Mrs Wilson, Mrs Bolton Mrs Naylor & Mrs Meek

 

 

Year 1

 

Wow, wow, wow – what a fantastic year we have had in Year 1! The children have blown us away with their determination and resilience and we are so proud of what independent learners they have become. The children thoroughly enjoyed our trips to Abbey House Museum and Tropical World and it was amazing to see them applying and consolidating what they had learnt in the classroom. We definitely have lots of budding artists in Year 1 and we think a particular highlight was seeing how focussed they all were when sketching Mrs Harrison’s garden. The children have really engaged with all our topics this year, but we think learning about the Great Fire of London has definitely been a favourite. We have been particularly impressed with how this class have continued their learning during their provision time from using the atlases to make flags from around the world to making their own books about the Fire of London. We think they are all superstars and know they will continue to shine brightly in Year 2! Miss Thackray, Mrs Hesketh, Mrs Stubbs, Mrs Naylor & Mrs Bolton

 

 

Year 2

 

 

Well what a year! We can’t believe it’s July already! It seems like only yesterday that we were beginning our Year 2 journey. We are so very proud of each and very one of you! We started this year still enduring some Covid restrictions, but - as things got back to normal - Year 2 really stepped up to the massive Year 2 curriculum. Did we mention that you have more spellings to learn than any other year group?

 

You have been simply amazing. We have been able to have some fabulous trips this year and you really were super ambassadors for the school on each one. It has been great to get back to normal. We have done some brilliant learning and the you have supported each other every step of the way. We all took SATs in our stride in May and each and every one of you did a great job. Our final art project has been brilliant. We have some really creative people in our midst – we did suspect so! 😊 We have said goodbye to Miss Ghassempour and then at Easter we welcomed lovely Miss Lilley. We have the most amazing team with Mrs Shaw and Mrs Bolton sharing the week with us also. We will miss you all very much, but we know that you are all ready for the big step into Key Stage 2! Mrs Hughes, Miss Lilley, Mrs Shaw and Mrs Bolton

 

 

Year 3

 

WOW, Year 3! What a brilliant year we have had together. We have loved teaching you from start to finish. It has been wonderful to watch all of you flourish as the year has progressed. Thank you for filling our classroom with smiles and laughter. We have shared so many special moments together and the memories we have made are ones that we will never forget. We loved our school trip to Leeds City Museum. Your enthusiasm and maturity during this trip really stood out to us and we were super proud of you all. We had a great time during our Stone Age themed day. You looked fantastic and the effort you put into your costumes blew the Year 3 team away. Our Christmas performance was also very special. You all showed a lot of courage performing your lines and our ‘sheep shimmy’ on stage. It was brilliant, and we know how much the audience loved it! We have been on a learning journey this year. You have all worked your socks off and I hope you can all see how far you have come. Be proud of your achievements this year because the Year 3 team are so proud of you. Have a wonderful rest over Summer and we know you will be ready to start Year 4 with the same levels of dedication that you have shown this year. Miss Richardson, Mrs Crabtree, Mr Seaton, Mrs Kinghorn & Mrs Stubbs 

 

 

Year 4

 

What a fantastic year we have had together. Time has gone by so fast! They say time flies when you are having fun and the Year 4 team know it’s true! This has been an incredible year for us in seeing you all grow and learn so much together. We are incredibly proud of all the hard work you have put in this year and it has been a real pleasure to spend the year with such a brilliant bunch of children. You have embraced everything we have done this year with such enthusiasm and positivity and I’m sure everyone will agree that your many achievements are more than merited.

It is difficult to identify the highlights because there are genuinely so many. Personally, we have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you over the year, as each and every one of you have made us smile and laugh. It has been an absolute pleasure being part of your learning journey. So have a FANTASTIC summer and go into Year 5 knowing you are all AWESOME! Mr Elliot, Mrs Wood & Mrs Questa

 

 

Year 5

 

What an amazing year we’ve all had in Year 5! Since the very first day in September, all of the children have been superstars, and Mrs Grange and I could not be any prouder of them. It has been an absolute joy having the opportunity to work with this group of boys and girls over the past 10 months or so and I can definitely confirm that they have earned the upcoming break. Each day has brought new challenges to overcome and opportunities to grasp and Year 5 have never failed to do both. They have brought relentless positivity and enthusiasm to their learning and have conducted themselves brilliantly throughout. It has been a fantastic year and I have loved every single day of it! I can’t wait to see these children in action as leaders across the school next year and am certain that they will more than rise to the challenges ahead as they move into Year 6.  Mr Duffy & Mrs Grange

 

 

Year 6

 

 

WOW! Double WOW!  What an amazing year we have had together.  Getting to know you has been such a privilege!  We are so proud of all the resilience and perseverance that you have shown in your learning and the progress you have all made is astounding!  This has given you such a great platform to continue your learning journey into high school.  This year has been so successful because of all the values you have as a team: your kindness, empathy, forgiveness, and support for each other has aided this incredible cohesion.

 

You are exemplary role models and have left huge shoes for the Year 5 children to fill, but they have had the best children to show them how to do it!  We know that Robinwood was a highlight of your year, but we also know you loved many other activities too: the Lego workshop, cooking with Mrs Proctor, Bikeability, Flamingo Land and your SATs - we know you loved these - or was it the SATs breakfast?!

 

You make us smile every day and we couldn't be any prouder!  We are sad to see you go but we know that you are all ready to spread your wings and soar as you move into Year 7.  Have the courage to try all that high school has to offer, be yourselves, be proud because we think you are AWESOME! 😀 Mrs Myers, Miss Hicks & Mrs Meek

 

 

 

New House Captains & School Sports Ambassador

 

Congratulations to our newly appointed Year 6 House Captains and our School Sports Ambassador (SSA) for next year. I am looking forward to working with you all to continuing the excellent work of this year's House Captains and SSA who have done an unbelievable job. I look forward to meeting with you and to hear all of your amazing ideas! Well done everyone. Fantastic choices!

 

Our House Captains and School Sports Ambassador for 2022/23 will be:

 

Dales: Will T & Harry

Rivers: Sophie B & Skye

Moors: Sophie F & Abigail

Lakes: Millie & Will D

 

School Sports Ambassador: Nell

 

 

Training Days 2021/22

 

Just a polite reminder of our training days for the next academic year:

 

Monday 5th September 2022

Friday 21st October 2022

Monday 5th June 2023

Monday 24th July 2023

Tuesday 25th July 2023

 

 

A Message from Rev’d Carolyn and St Oswald’s Church

 

 

What’s Happening over the Summer?

 

It has been really special to begin to get to know the children of our school over these recent months, since my own arrival in Collingham in the autumn. By the time you read this, there will also have been that poignant annual moment of saying ‘goodbye’ to those who will be moving on to new ventures. We wish them every happiness and success for all which the future holds.

 

Whilst the coming weeks bring a natural break from the routine of school, the Parish Church in our village of Collingham will keep doing what it does – and some extra things too.

 

Sunday Services at 8.30am and 10.00am continue week by week, but there are also some seasonal ‘specials’ we would like to make sure you know about and know you are invited to!

 

On Sunday 7th August – the Sunday nearest to St Oswald’ Day - we will be serving tea and cakes (hopefully in the sun!) between 2.30am and 4.00pm, as well as offering some simple crafts and church and churchyard trails for our younger friends. We are also planning a Teddy Bear Parachute Jump from the Church Tower, during the afternoon. So, bring along your Teddy and don’t forget to train him/her up for the big day! At 4pm, we will hold a short ‘Songs of Praise’ Worship.

 

Additionally, on three Thursday afternoons during the holidays - Thursday 4th August, 18th August and 1st September - we are inviting families along to : L O : G O (Little St Oswald’s : Great Outdoors). Look out for publicity coming home through school and please communicate with us to book a place.

 

Love and Prayers for whatever your summer will hold – days away or at home, times of rest or play - and we do very much hope to see some of you over the coming weeks.

 

Reverend Carolyn

 

 

Year 5/6 - Platinum Jubilee Games

 

Yesterday, Year 5 and 6 were lucky enough to take part in the inaugural Jubilee Games. This initiative was created and organised by the local councillors and has been designed to provide a legacy event, which engages children in sports and being active, following the celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. On the day, the children went to Boston Spa Academy and took part in events in rowing, karate and volleyball. Not only did the children have a fantastic time sampling all of these sports, but they were incredibly successful too. The Collingham B Team were the overall winners on the day and several children were also singled out for their achievements. In rowing, Harry and Izzy came in the top 6 and Pria topped the rankings, potentially setting a new national record in the process. In volleyball, Poppy and Pria received special mentions for their fantastic attitude, how engaged they were with the session and how quickly they picked up the skills. As always, the children represented themselves and the school superbly and we are all incredibly proud of their amazing efforts.  

 

 

Get Discovering this Summer with the Summer Reading Challenge 2022

 

 

What do you LOVE doing?  Are you a brilliant baker?  Or a mega music fan?  Are you a bit of a tech wizard?  Science really is all around you!  Join the Gadgeteers for the Summer Reading Challenge to discover the amazing world of science and innovation!  You can read amazing books, receive some awesome rewards and find plenty of ideas for experiments and activities to help you to discover this world of science!

 

The challenge starts on Saturday 9th of July and will continue beyond the holidays until Saturday 17th September. So, make a date in your diary to visit your local library this summer holiday to discover the Gadgeteers, as well as many other exciting authors!

 

 

 

 

Friday 27th May 2022

 

Unbelievably, we break up for half-term today after a busy six weeks full of Easter services; KS1 and KS2 SATs; school trips; parent events; the Platinum Jubilee; and even 40th birthday celebrations for some! I honestly don't know where the time has gone.

 

We will return to school on Monday 6th June to enjoy our final seven weeks of the 2021/22 academic year. It's during this half-term that we are all looking forward to our first Sports Day in three years on Wednesday 8th June. We have everything crossed for good weather as we hope to see as many of you as possible on the school field to support the children in their events. It's always a fantastic atmosphere. Don't forget the parents' race - there is still time for some last minute training next week! 

 

It has to be mentioned how emotions have been running high for footballing reasons over the past month with the many Leeds United fans in school - and a handful of Evertonians - suffering the agonies of potential relegation from the Premier League. The blue and white day for my birthday highlighted my allegiances to those who were previously unaware and this created some good natured banter between one and all. I am delighted that we can all now sleep easy; have big smiles on our faces; and look forward to renewed rivalries in the top flight of English football again next season! 

 

 

Platinum Jubilee 2022

 

 

On Tuesday, we celebrated the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II with a non-uniform day of red, white and blue. The children also took part in a ‘Jubilee Hunt’ around school to locate different images relating to the Queen and the wider Royal Family; had a picnic at lunchtime; and attended a whole school tree planting ceremony in the garden. The children had a fantastic day and learnt a lot during lessons about the Queen’s life and her service to the country since a very young age.

 

There will be wide-ranging opinion about the Royal Family; however, as a Church of England school, it is important to recognise the historic achievement of the Queen achieving 70 years on the throne. She is the first to do so, but she will almost certainly be the last - and therefore only British monarch - ever to mark a Platinum Jubilee.

 

In order to create a legacy to the Queen and to honour her leadership of the nation, a unique tree-planting initiative – the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) - was created where people from across the United Kingdom were invited to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’. We have participated in the QGC here at Collingham and we have planted a Ginkgo Biloba tree to mark the occasion. This tree was very kindly donated by Mr Bowers at East Keswick Plant Centre and it will forever be our school’s lasting tribute to the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Thank you Mr Bowers for this incredibly kind gesture.

 

 

 

 

Below you will find details about what each class has been learning about the Platinum Jubilee:

 

Reception really enjoyed the jubilee day. They began with a hunt around school for pictures associated with the Queen and the jubilee. The children were really focused and very determined to find every picture. They then had a discussion about what all the pictures were and how they linked to the Queen. The children listened well to each other - taking it in turns to speak and share their ideas.  The children were particularly fascinated to learn about the Royal Family and the Queen's children and grandchildren. The children really amazed the staff with their historical skills and knowledge and their mature discussions and debates. They also read a story called 'The Queens Knickers'. The children compared some of the things that they read about in the story with facts that they knew about the Queen. We then had a go at designing our own knickers/pants for the Royal Family and we wrote some sentences to describe them.

 

 

 

In Year 1, we looked at why the platinum jubilee is so important. The class could not believe that the Queen had been on the throne for 70 years!

 

Alex - 'How has the Queen done her job for 70 years!?'

 

We then looked in a bit more detail about the Royal Family and where the Queen lived.

 

John - 'I know that Prince Charles will be King after the Queen'.

Dylan - 'I have been to the Queen's house in London, it had soldiers outside'.

Olivia G - 'The Queen's house is called Buckingham Palace'.

 

After that, they sequenced pictures of the Queen on a timeline to see how she had changed over the years. The children liked looking at the pictures - especially seeing the types of jobs the Queen has to do.

 

Peter - 'I know this picture must be at the end of the timeline as she looks older than she does on the others'. 

 

The class LOVED the jubilee hunt and they worked in pairs to try and find all the pictures. They then discussed the pictures in detail. This took a lot longer than anticipated because of how engaged and interested they were. 

 

Evie - 'I enjoyed planting the tree'.

Dylan - 'I liked the yummy food at the picnic'.

Reuben - 'I liked celebrating the Queen's jubilee'.

Seb - 'I like the Queen because she is working hard for this country'.

 

 

 

Year 2 looked at some photos of the Royal Family and of Queen Elizabeth II over the years. They wrote by each picture who they thought the photo was, what they were doing, any observations and any questions they had. We then discussed each photo and found out that the Queen had been a Girl Guide and that she had four children and eight grandchildren. In house groups, the children compiled a family tree, from King George VI to the newest member of the royal family - Sienna Mozzi.

 

With their new found information, the children drew pictures in red and blue pencils, in an outline of the queen's profile. They drew crowns, corgis, ornate carriages and Buckingham Palace.

 

 

Year 3 thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. They started the day by discussing what the Platinum Jubilee is all about and the different ways people will be celebrating it. In the afternoon, the children got their hands dirty and created portraits of the Queen. They were inspired by Andy Warhol’s pop art style, ensuring they used bright and bold colours. They captured his unique effect brilliantly.

 

This week, to celebrate the Queen's upcoming Platinum Jubilee, Year 4 have looked back on The Queen's life. They explored her family tree and looked at how she became our longest serving monarch. The children had to use clues to find missing names from the family tree and then answer questions about it. In addition, the children researched and discussed some of Queen Elizabeth II's most significant achievements during her 70-year reign. They looked at her early life and how at the age of 19 she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service where she trained as a driver and a mechanic. The children then created a timeline to show all of the key points in her life. Year 4 also took part in a jubilee scavenger hunt around school to find lots of different images. The children loved this activity and enjoyed working as a team; trying to work out what each image represented; and establishing how it might link to the Queen.

 

Year 5 had a lovely time celebrating the jubilee on Tuesday. They started by considering some background information about the Queen’s ascension to the throne and what a jubilee is. They matched up key jubilees and how many years they represented. Then, they put on their (metaphorical) historian hats and analysed some photos taken in 1952 and 2022 to compare what life was like for people at the beginning of the Queen’s reign and how it has changed during her 70 years on the throne.

 

Following this, they considered some of the important events that have happened in the UK during the Queen’s time as monarch and attempted to sort them by significance. Thankfully, the children were all able to agree that important events such as women demanding equal pay; the hiring of the first black police officer in London; and advances in medicine, were more significant than the invention of fish fingers and on-demand television! To finish the day, they took part in the whole school treasure hunt and tree-planting ceremonies where some members of the class took part in the choral performance. Alongside this special day of activities, Year 5 have been learning to play “God Save the Queen” in ukulele lessons and they are hoping to perform it to the rest of the school in Collective Worship soon.   

 

Year 6 began their afternoon by thinking about the question: 'What significant events have happened since Queen Elizabeth II began her reign?'.

 

The children worked together in groups and explored images portraying different events and had to try to decide what they were and why they may have been significant. Following this, they had to choose just nine events as a group, that they felt were the most significant and arrange them in a 'Diamond 9' by ranking them in order. They then discussed how life has changed since the Coronation. The children really enjoyed the Jubilee Treasure Hunt and they looked closely at some of the images and discussed how we can see the importance of Queen Elizabeth II all around us in our everyday lives. 

 

Year 6 finished their afternoon taking part in our tree planting ceremony. We were very proud of how beautifully they sang their song to the whole school and to the small group of children who played the National Anthem on their flutes.  

 

 

In Out of School Club (OOSC), three children made a fantastic model of Buckingham Palace using building blocks.

 

 

School Vacancies

 

Over the coming weeks, we will be advertising for a number of support staff positions including a full time Learning Support Assistant (LSA) to work one-to-one with a child; a Teaching Assistant (TA); and a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA). 

 

These vacancies will shortly be released on the school website via the below link. Please feel free to share if you know of anyone who might be interested in these positions.

 

https://www.collinghamschool.com/vacancies/

 

Have a fantastic half-term break!

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Friday 1st April 2022

 

 

 

We would like to wish you all a Happy Easter and we hope that you enjoy the celebrations with your families. Have a fantastic couple of weeks and we will look forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday 19th April.

 

From all the staff at Collingham School

 

 

New school logo

 

Over the course of the past couple of weeks, the teachers have been sharing an image with the children to gauge their thoughts and opinions about it. We were keen to know if the children liked the image, but also to establish what they could see and what key messages they felt it conveyed. This activity had an ulterior motive as we did not share with the children what this image actually was. We simply presented it cold and as if this was a normal classroom worship activity.

 

The image was in fact our new school logo. A few of the children did cotton on, but I have to say, the teachers did a fabulous job of trying to put them off the scent! Very naughty indeed!

 

I felt that it was important to find out whether the children could pick up on the key aspects of our design brief themselves and before we started to tell them. As a school community, we wanted to create a modern, simple and clean logo that promotes our whole school ethos of "we are family; all are welcome; you are loved'’. Would this actually be clear to the children? Our school is for them after all!

 

I am pleased to report that the children have taken so much from the image that they were shown and it is obvious that they really understand what it depicts. Some of the comments included:

 

"I think it means love because there is a heart." - Charlie T (Year 1)

 

“The heart is love” - (Year 2)

 

“I think the image shows love and care” - (Year 2)

 

“I think the image represents family because there are different people of different sizes and the top one is a heart showing everyone is loved and everyone is welcome” – Seren (Year 4)

 

“I like it because it reminds me of people caring for others. Caring for others is a big part of the world” – Florence (Year 4)

 

“When I see this image I see three parts in it and I think this represents the Holy Trinity of God the Father; the Son; and the Holy Spirit. I think it shows that no matter how big or small you are – we are family.” – Isla (Year 4)

 

“The bottom of the heart looks like arms looking after the younger people” – Pria (Year 6)

 

“It’s about love and growth” - (Year 2)

 

"I think it shows friendship because 3 people are together." - Max (Year 1)

 

“I like this image because the biggest person looks like a heart” - Noah (Year 4)

 

“It makes me think of family and friends” – Heidi (Year 3)

 

“I think this image shows a person starting off small and then becoming the bigger person” – Georgia (Year 4)

 

“It looks like a picture of togetherness” – Layla (Year 4)

 

“We help eachother and grow together” – Will D (Year 5)

 

"It looks like two people looking after the little one." - Ella (Year 1)

 

“I think it means all of you should use your heart for good. It makes me remember my family” – Amelia L (Year 3)

 

“They look like a family – all together” – Georgie (Year 6)

 

“It just makes me feel happy” – Hugh (Year 3)

 

“It sums up ‘we are family; all are welcome; you are loved’” – Sophie T (Year 6)

 

And finally, one for the Leeds fans out there…….

 

“Marching on together!” – Jake (Year 6)

 

(Year 5 completed a Word Cloud of their key words)

 

These comments from the children – and so many other similar ones across school - reassure me that we have fulfilled our objective and so it was my great pleasure to finally reveal to the children in Monday's Collective Worship that the image shown to them was actually our brand new school logo.

 

On behalf of everyone in school, I am delighted to finally share this with you all too. The new logo will begin its use for school branding after the Easter holidays; however, in terms of school uniform and PE kit, it will be a couple of months yet until the logo will be used as we will need to see a sample of items first. I will be working closely with Kool Kidz in Wetherby in the next couple of weeks to start this process.

 

As a reminder, please be reassured that we have no expectations for parents to rush out and buy uniform with the new logo on as soon as it is released. With many of us being parents ourselves, we know only too well how expensive uniform can be and we do not want you spending money unnecessarily. All items with the old logo on can continue to be worn until the children have grown out of them and they finally need replacing. 

 

We hope that you like the new school logo and that you also feel that it represents our school’s Christian ethos and vision.

 

 

 

 

Golden Certificates

 

At the end of each term, we award special Golden Certificates to children who have been following ALL aspects of the RESPECT Code - week in, week out. This is certainly no mean feat! As with normal RESPECT Code certificates, we award them to two children in each class.

 

A huge congratulations to the following children who have received their Golden Certificates in Collective Worship today.

 

Reception - Amaya & Matilda

Year 1 - Florence & Dylan

Year 2 - Alexa & Alex S

Year 3 - Jake & Emily W

Year 4 - Seren & Ben S

Year 5 - Sophie T & Jorgie

Year 6 - Jack & Sophie

 

 

A Message from Reverend Carolyn & St Oswald’s Church

 

 

As the children of our community break up for their Easter Holiday, I am aware that the families of our church school will in fact be either at home (or perhaps away!) for the heart of our Easter Celebrations this year.

 

I am really looking forward to welcoming the children into church for a joyful Easter Service when they are back in school after the Easter Weekend, but I wanted you to know that you are, as always, most welcome to come and share in some of the activities and services which will be happening to mark this special season during the holidays.

 

Just a couple of those ‘specials’ will be our PALM SUNDAY Service (10th April) – an All-Age Eucharist. We gather outside the Memorial Hall at 9.45am with our Palm Crosses – and why not bring a branch from your garden too – to wave, as we process from there into church remembering Jesus’ journey into Jerusalem on a donkey. In church, we will hear the story of Jesus going to the cross, sing songs and receive the bread or blessing of the Eucharist.

 

Another special day is GOOD FRIDAY (Friday 15th April) which we will be celebrating together in Collingham in the following way:

 

TOGETHER on GOOD FRIDAY

‘Get-Together’      at the Methodist Church Hall – 10am-11.30am with Hot Cross Buns and mini crafts for all-ages, to mark the day

‘Walk Together’ – leaving the Methodist Church at 11.30am and arriving at St Oswald’s at 12 noon. Our Walk will be a walk of witness and prayer on this special day.

‘Together at the Cross’- All-Age Worship in the Churchyard 12-12.30pm

 

There are also other Services during Holy Week (something each day in fact) and some are more reflective / contemplative. So, we hope there is something for everyone.

 

Don’t forget that you can always find all our news / programme of services uploaded onto 'A Church Near You', week by week, at https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/3189/

 

Wishing you all a special Easter break – at home or away!

 

Reverend Carolyn James

 

 

Training Days 2022/23

 

I am pleased to confirm our training days have been confirmed for the next academic year – 2022/23. We always like you to have these at the earliest opportunity so that you are able to arrange childcare or make the most of the day with the children.

 

Our five training days will be:

 

Monday 5th September 2022 

Friday 21st October 2022

Monday 5th June 2023

Monday 24th July 2023 

Tuesday 25th July 2023 

 

 

School Calendar 2022/23

 

In addition to the training days, the school calendar for next year has now also been set. Some of the key dates for 2022/23 can be found below. These do take all of the training days in to consideration.

 

 

 

Sports Day 2022

 

I am delighted to inform that we have set a date for Sports Day this year. This will be the first time since 2018 that we have been able to invite parents to join us following a washout in 2019 and then the well-documented disruptions during 2020 and 2021. The date has been set for Wednesday 8th June 2022 with events taking place over the course of the morning.

 

Just in case we face weather disruption, we have also set a reserve date for Wednesday 29th June 2022.

 

We hope this advanced notice gives you an opportunity to book some time off work so that you are able to come and support all of the boys and girls. It also gives you plenty of time to begin the required training for everyone’s favourite event – the parents’ race!

 

 

Be an Easter Bunny to a Senior

 

In December, we once again got involved in the Home Instead (Wetherby & North East) initiative of 'Be a Santa to a Senior' where each class made lots of creative items to be used as gifts for elderly residents within our local community to put a smile on their faces. The items were a small gesture to make a difference to anyone who might be experiencing loneliness which has undoubtedly been compounded by the challenges of the pandemic. With this again running at Easter in the form of 'Be and Easter Bunny to a Senior', we are delighted to support this really worthwhile cause and for the children to learn about the importance of making a difference to help those outside of our own school community.

 

You can see some of the fantastic Easter gifts that the children have made below.

 

 

 

 

Comic Relief 2022

 

A huge thank you for raising a fabulous £313.65 for Comic Relief 2022. We had a great day wearing red instead of our school uniform and our red noses. Well done to the School Council for organising such a successful and fun day.

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

Friday 4th March 2022

 

Collection for Ukrainian refugees - Monday 7th March 2022

 

I just wanted to follow up on my email from Wednesday in regards to a collection of essential items in school to help support Ukrainian refugees in Eastern Europe at this extremely worrying time. 
 
Over the past couple of days, I have once again been humbled by the response from our school community to try and make a huge difference to the lives of others. I have received many messages from parents with offers to spread the message far and wide amongst family and friends and to also offer assistance with transporting donations over to Beeston next week. Thank you so much! Your levels of compassion, kindness and generosity know no bounds and I am overwhelmed by your desire to get involved.
 
With the collection day being Monday 7th March, it will be easier to make decisions on how to transport the donations once we know exactly how much we are looking like collecting. We have kindly been offered a large van by Mr and Mrs Wilson (Rec/Y2 parents) so this will be a fantastic starting point, but it may well be that I approach parents next week who have also come forward with offers to help with transport the essential items. It might also be necessary for me to approach parents to help load the transport one afternoon next week before the children finish school. If you are child-free for half an hour next week then please bear us in mind if you think you might have some availability.
 
These are contingency plans really just in case there is a significant haul! It dawned on me after sending the email on Wednesday that the response might be significant. Whilst driving home from school, I called my friend, Mark, to explain that Collingham may very well go to town on this collection and his words were: "We will worry about the logistics later. Let's go for it!". I was in complete agreement and, in short, we will take whatever we can!
 

As a polite reminder, the essential items needed are:

 

· Toiletries

· Nappies

· Baby wipes

· Sanitary items

· Sterile bandages, plasters and dressings

· Spare items of clothing 

 

(One excellent suggestion from a parent was to put clothing items in labelled bags e.g. age 4 trousers, age 11 girls' tops, to help speed up the process of distribution at the final destination. This isn't essential, but it's something you might consider doing if you have the opportunity).

 

I spoke to all of the Key Stage 2 children yesterday morning about this collection and they were incredibly keen to play their part. They had some really strong opinions about what was happening and they were clearly very concerned. This collection will support all of those Ukrainian nationals seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, but it will also give our children - and our community - a practical way of making a difference in what might feel like a completely helpless situation. 

 

Whether you can donate a bin bag full of items; a carrier bag of goods; a tube of toothpaste; or nothing at all - this is a collective effort as a school and there are absolutely no expectations. We welcome anything that you are in a position to drop off in relation to the essential items list above - no matter how big or how small. 

 

Some children will be bringing items into the classroom once they arrive at school on Monday and all of the class teachers are aware that this will be happening. However, should you have any larger bags to drop off then it would be easier to do this at allocated times if possible. I will be in the main foyer for 8.30am; 11.00am and 2.45pm on Monday for these bags to be brought straight into school.

 

Thank you in advance for your incredible support!

 

 

World Book Day 2022

 

 

A huge thank you to Mrs Myers and the School Council for organising a fantastic World Book Day yesterday. The children and staff looked amazing in their book character costumes. Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Gangsta Granny, Tigger and Alice in Wonderland were all in attendance. I; however, might need to up my game in 2023 as, when asking the children who they thought I was, the first response was: “Are you a zombie?”. I can reveal I was not a zombie (not midweek anyway!) and that I was in fact Mr Bump!

 

All of the classes had brilliant fun on the character hunt around school and the book swap activity was as popular as ever.

 

Thank you so much for all of your kind book donations for the Book Sale. The sale of these to the children yesterday – in addition to some monetary donations on SchoolMoney – has raised just under £300. This money will go towards buying some brand new books for the children to enjoy.

 

 

 

Playground equipment

 

Over half term, we had a brand new trim trail installed on the school field to replace the old trim trail which had been in place for well over 10 years. We have a determination to keep improving our outdoor environment for the benefit of the children and I have no doubts that they will be looking forward to using this trail once the better weather arrives. I know Mr Elliot and I can’t wait to have a turn!

 

 

In addition, we also had the tyre area resurfaced with a rubber mulch. The tyres are popular with the children as they play a number of their own creative games on them; however, the boys and girls do have a tendency to get really dirty in the mud! This area is now safer - and mud free - to ensure that the children can continue playing on this space for years to come.

 

 

A huge thank you to the Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) PTA for supplementing our DfE Sports Premium Grant to ensure that we could push ahead with both projects.

 

 

Class photos

 

Tempest Photography will be in school on Wednesday 16th March to take our annual class photographs.

 

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Thursday 10th February 2022

 

After the Covid-madness of January - and the bombardment of admin that accompanied it - I was reluctant to impose more reading on you through the Headteacher Blog. However, now we seem to be well and truly coming out the other side then I would like to get back in to the habit of sending this out on a fortnightly basis. Unbelievably, there is only a week left of this half term which also means we will have reached the halfway point of the entire school year. This really is the point where things really start to get busy!

 

Your support throughout this tricky period has been incredible and I must particularly thank all those families who were impacted by Covid for adhering to all of the requests we made - particularly around the 10/7 day periods away from school. This clearly was not ideal for you, but it really helped us to get through the difficult period far quicker than anticipated. 

 

 

Thank you Mrs Lowe!

 

On behalf of everyone at Collingham School, I wanted to say a big thank you to Mrs Lowe for all of her hard work in school and care for all of the children over the past 4.5 years as both a governor and a Learning Support Assistant. Unfortunately, Mrs Lowe will be leaving school at the end of next week and she will be really missed by all of us. She will always be very welcome at our school.

 

As disappointed as we are to be losing someone as amazing as Mrs Lowe, we are equally delighted to be welcoming Jayne Stubbs back in to school to fill this Learning Support Assistant vacancy. Mrs Stubbs worked in school previously, but is now returning to pick up the same position she held back in 2019.

 

 

School Logo

 

**sneak preview of font for branding**

 

Towards the end of 2020/21, I informed you all that we were exploring the possibility of changing our school logo as the current one felt dated and did not really represent our school in any meaningful way. Unfortunately, two significant Covid outbreaks - and preparation for an Ofsted inspection - meant that we could not really justify the time to spend on developing this when there were so many other much greater priorities.

 

However, now Ofsted have been and gone, it has given us a little more freedom to look at this logo again. Staff, School Council, governors and parents were all asked for feedback and ideas at the back end of the previous academic year and these were all shared in a design brief meeting in mid-January. Since then, the staff have been providing yet more feedback to tweak the design in to something that we feel is modern, simple and clean, yet, that also promotes our whole school ethos of 'we are family; all are welcome; you are loved''. This is all while incorporating a very long school name in a new, fresh font (please see sneak preview above). 

 

Very shortly, we will be revealing the logo to the children for their opinions before hopefully unveiling a finished logo shortly after half term. The plan is for this to be fully established by September 2022 and for uniform with the new logo to be available during the summer holidays - maybe a little bit sooner.

 

This will be a big change for the school, but please be reassured that we have no expectations for parents to rush out and buy uniform with the new logo on as soon as it is released. With many of us being parents ourselves, we know only too well how expensive uniform can be and we do not want you spending money unnecessarily. All items with the old logo on can continue to be worn until the children have grown out of them and they finally need replacing. 

 

 

Training Day

 

A polite reminder that Monday 28th February is our next training day and this is the first day after the half term break. Therefore, school will reopen on Tuesday 1st March.

 

 

Parent Consultation Evenings

SPRING TERM

 

Wednesday 9th March 2022 (3.30-6.30pm)

&

Thursday 10th March 2022 (4.30-7.30pm)

 

A letter will be going out shortly in regards to booking appointments on the online system.

 

 

A note from Mrs Myers and School Council - World Book Day 2022

 

 

 

On Thursday 3rd March, it is World Book Day 2022.

 

Our amazing School Council have been involved in organising this event and would like the children to come to school dressed up as a book character.  This is very exciting for the children - and teachers!  Please don't feel as though you have to spend lots of money; speak to friends and family and see whether you can borrow outfits or utilise your local thrift shop.  Don't worry, children can come in non-uniform instead.  The School Council thought that this would be a great fundraiser as children can give a small donation for dressing up.  All money will go towards buying new books for school - a ParentPay link will also be set up for this event.

 

 

BIG BOOK SWAP

 

Due to the amazing success of our previous Big Book Swaps, we will be repeating this fantastic event for this year’s World Book Day on Thursday 3rd March.  Here’s a reminder about how it works:

 

Before World Book Day, children in year 2-6 need to wrap their favourite book in paper (like a birthday present) with the title and book blurb or a synopsis written on it – some children may need help with this.  Please ensure that children write their name on the inside of their book so that it can be returned to them. 

 

Children will bring the gift-wrapped books into school where they will be able to share them with their class.  Please can they bring them in by Tuesday 1st March (this is the first day back after half term so books can be brought in before.) The intent is that books will then be chosen based on the content, rather than the cover. The children will read these books over the following few weeks and then return them to their rightful owners when finished.  Who knows?  This World Book Day, your child may find their new, favourite author.

 

If your child is in Reception or Year 1, they will have a ‘BIG BOOK BORROW’ session where children will all share their books during the day.  Again, please can these be in by the Tuesday; putting their name in the front of the book will ensure that it can be returned to their rightful owner at the end of the day. 

 

 

PRE-LOVED BOOK SALE

 

During World Book Day, we will be holding a pre-loved book sale so your children may want to bring some money in.  

 

To do this, we need your help!  Do you have any preloved or pre-read books that you may want to donate to our school?  They may go to our library for all our children to enjoy; they may go to a class-based reading area or they may be sold in this book sale.  These can be picture books, novels or information texts. We only ask that they are in good condition.  Please bring them to school in a bag labelled ‘Pre-Loved Books’. 

 

We are very grateful for any book donations so thank you in advance! 

 

As well as these events, children will also be taking part in various, exciting reading activities over the day.  Happy reading everyone!

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Friday 17th December 2021

 

 

 

From all the staff and children at Collingham School

 

We also wanted to say a huge thank you for all of the lovely cards and gifts that have been received in school. We are touched by your kindness and generosity. 

 

 

School reopening

 

As things stand, school will reopen in the new year on Tuesday 4th January 2022 due to the Bank Holiday the day before. We look forward to seeing you all on this date.

 

The national situation regarding COVID-19 seems to be fast-moving. Should anything change then I will ensure that you are all contacted by Monday 3rd January at the latest.

 

 

Certificate Assemblies

 

Last week, we continued with our weekly certificate assemblies with further awards for Empathy.

 

At Collingham, Empathy is about being compassionate and considering the feelings of others. It is also about understanding the power of forgiveness.

 

Two certificates were again awarded in each class: one for demonstrating the RESPECT Code values through behaviour choices and one in attitudes towards learning. A huge well done to all of the following children who have received a certificate.

 

Empathy (Week 12)

 

Reception Chloe T (Behaviour - being such a kind and thoughtful person ALL THE TIME) & Billy (Learning - really focusing on our learning about Christmas).

 

Year 1Charlie M (Behaviour - being such a kind and thoughtful boy who really cares about his classmates) & Arthur Ke. (Learning - being such a kind and thoughtful member of year 1 who always looks out for his friends)

 

Year 2 Margot (Behaviour - thinking about others and looking after everyone in our class) & Matilda (Learning - always working well as part of a team and in partners)

 

Year 3Thomas R (Behaviour – having a compassionate nature that makes him an excellent role model in all areas of our Respect Code) & Erin (Learning - always demonstrating compassion by considering the feelings of others)

 

Year 4 Oscar (Behaviour - putting others first because he is aware of others feelings, showing compassion and tolerance)

& Charlie A (Learning - always looking out for others and showing compassion to all)

 

Year 5Tom C (Behaviour - always considering the feelings of others when making choices in school)

& Harry (Learning - always trying to relate to his partners in lessons and considering their viewpoints and feelings in every decision he makes).

 

Year 6 - Sam (Behaviour - noticing if something is upsetting someone and knowing how to cheer up the situation)

& Lawrence (Learning - noticing when his classmates are struggling with their learning, especially with questions in maths, offering helpful suggestions and ideas).

 

 

Golden Certificates (Week 13)

 

At the end of each term, we award special Golden Certificates to children who have been following ALL aspects of the RESPECT Code - week in, week out. This is certainly no mean feat! As with normal RESPECT Code certificates, we award them to two children in each class.

 

A huge congratulations to the following children who have received their Golden Certificates in Collective Worship today.

 

Reception - Monty & Anya

Year 1 - Arthur Ke. & Olivia G

Year 2 - Natsai & Tom T

Year 3 - Heidi & Hugh

Year 4 - Will H & Georgia

Year 5 - Skye & Will T

Year 6 - Beth & Chloe H

 

 

House Captain's Drawing Competition

 

This year, we have revamped the responsibilities given to our Year 6 House Captains to raise their profile in school and to give them more autonomy. They now lead everything to do with house points from announcing winners in a Collective Worship every Friday to handing out their own pink house point counters called 'Captain Counters' to now holding their own whole school competitions where the children in school can earn extra house points as prizes.

 

The very first competition set was a drawing competition. The House Captains selected this from an inclusion perspective as they felt that all children would have the resources needed at home. The aim was for everyone to draw a picture to represent 'resilience' from the school RESPECT Code. The House Captains then judged these pictures and awarded first (100 house points), second (50 house points) and third (25 house points) prizes in Rec/KS1 and in each KS2 class. Every child who participated was awarded 10 house points for a fantastic effort.

 

The prizes awarded were as follows:

 

 

There were some brilliant entries - some of which you can see below - and it was a really difficult decision for the house captains. A huge thank you to everyone who took part in this competition. This will hopefully be the first of many with a new competition being held each term.

 

It has to be said that the House Captains have done a fantastic job this term and they have really taken ownership of their new roles in school. Well done Jack, Beth, Joe, Lawrence, Beth, Chloe B, Martha and Betsy for all of your hard work. It really is appreciated by everyone in school!

 

 

 

Christmas Performances

 

I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas performances last week. There was a lovely atmosphere in school and the children had such fun putting on the best shows possible for you all. The smiles on their faces were a joy to see and each and every one of them performed with such confidence and enthusiasm. The hall was packed for all four shows and your encouragement of the children throughout was very much appreciated. We are all incredibly proud of the children and they are an absolute credit to both our school and your families. I must give thanks once again to all the staff in school because - without their dedication and hard work – putting on performances of such high quality simply wouldn’t be possible. I am just so relieved that we found a way for these to go ahead despite the concerns around COVID-19. 

 

 

Over the course of the four performances, we held collections to raise money for Zarach. A link was also provided for you to make online donations if that was easier. I am delighted to inform you that - between the two - a grand total of £976.81 was raised! A simply staggering amount! This will make such a difference to children and families in crisis across Leeds, but particularly to those without beds and food. This level of generosity was incredible and everyone in school was absolutely blown away. We have never seen amounts like this raised in school before. Thank you so, so much!

 

In addition to the £430.71 that was raised at the Harvest Celebration, it means that our school has now raised a total of £1407.52 so far this year for Zarach. Wow! 

 

 

Save the Children - Christmas Jumper Day

 

Thank you for supporting National Christmas Jumper Day last Friday and for your kind donations. There were some spectacular colours on display! We raised a total of £145.72 for Save the Children.

 

 

         

 A Christmas Prayer          

Father God,

 

We thank you for the first and best Christmas present ever,

your Son Jesus Christ.

 

As we enjoy Christmas, may we remember those who will not,

and try to help those less lucky than us,

because Jesus came for us all.

 

Amen

 

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Friday 3rd December 2021

 

This week has been the quickest week we have seen in a while! How is it only two weeks to go until we break up for the Christmas holidays?

 

There has been a 'post-Ofsted' glow in school this week and we have been really enjoying seeing the children rehearse their Christmas performances. Again, as emailed to parents yesterday, as things stand - we will be proceeding with these performances. A final decision will be taken on Monday. Tickets are being sent home with the children today so please keep an eye out in the book bags - I know only too well how deep they can be! A huge thank you must go to Mrs Stubbs and Mrs Harrison in the school office for processing all of the applications and for allocating the tickets so quickly.

 

I will email all parents on Monday to confirm all Christmas arrangements as well as setting out the school's expectations around COVID-19. For Key Stage 2 parents, there will be separate instructions emailed to you in order to ensure the safe drop off and collection of the children at the evening performance next Wednesday.

 

I wanted to take the opportunity to say another huge thank you to the Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) PTA for the time spent in planning and preparing for the PTA Movie Night and an in-school alternative to the Christmas Fair that we were discussing. Cookies and Christmas tree biscuits had already been purchased for these events, but they have been kindly donated to school anyway for the children to enjoy over the next couple of weeks.

 

Throughout the pandemic, it has been a constant frustration of mine to keep feeling as though I am bringing disappointment to the children despite trying to keep things as normal as we possibly can. The postponement of the PTA events were not decisions that were taken lightly, but I felt as though it was necessary to try and mitigate risks if we were to proceed with the Christmas performances. The hard work and support of the PTA - as well as the support of parents buying tickets - is always hugely appreciated and without this then we just would not be able to provide everything in school for the children that we would want to. I am incredibly grateful for the understanding shown by all and I look forward to us collectively planning some exciting events in the new year.

 

 

Certificate Assemblies

 

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been continuing with our weekly certificate assemblies with further awards for Service and Positivity.

 

At Collingham, Service is about using your position within our school selflessly and doing things for the benefit of everybody in our school community. Positivity is about enjoying learning and approaching everything with enthusiasm.

 

Two certificates were again awarded in each class: one for demonstrating the RESPECT Code values through behaviour choices and one in attitudes towards learning. A huge well done to all of the following children who have received a certificate in the past two weeks.

 

Service (Week 10)

 

Reception - Harriet  (Behaviour - always being naturally helpful, such as by holding the door for others and by tidying up

& Seth (Learning - having such amazing knowledge and so many interesting ideas that he shares with the class - helping others to learn).

 

Year 1 - Sienna (Behaviour - always being the first to offer a helping hand to anyone who needs it and without looking for a reward in return& Gigi (Learning - having such a caring nature and always considering the needs of others).

 

Year 2 - Isabella (Behaviour - always thinks about others in our school and putting others first)

& Tom (Learning - often thinking about others and trying to help them with their learning, encouraging them and being a good role model).

 

Year 3 - Emerson  (Behaviour - having attitude and behaviour that has perfectly complimented our Respect Code)

& Emily D (Learning - being incredibly selfless and always puts others needs before her own).

 

Year 4 - Charlie M (Behaviour - an extremely helpful member of our class and is always one of the first to volunteer to help out if required) & Rose R (Learning - always being seen and heard supporting others in their learning).

 

Year 5 - Henry No. (Behaviour - being kind, considerate and putting others before himself in everything that he does)

& William D (Learning - Working incredibly hard within his podcasting group to support his friends with the knowledge they need to plan out their work).

 

Year 6 - Martha M (Behaviour - consistently putting the needs of others ahead of her own and she always looks for ways to do kind acts of service, be it in school, her community or caring about the world) & Harry (Learning - stopping his own sewing to help his friend, who was struggling with French knots, by showing him on a practice piece of felt).

 

 

Positivity (Week 11)

 

Reception - Lucy  (Behaviour - being one of the most positive and enthusiastic people we know! She loves learning and playing at school& Grace (Learning - really enjoying joining in with all our activities now. We love hearing her amazing ideas).

 

Year 1 - Robert  (Behaviour - ALWAYS having a positive outlook and an enormous smile on his face)

& Alex (Learning - being really eager to learn and absolutely LOVING a challenge). 

 

 

Year 2 - Alba  (Behaviour - always working well with others and encouraging them to be the best that they can be)

& Indie (Learning - trying particularly hard with his cursive handwriting and even persevering with a positive outlook when he has found things challenging). 

 

Year 3 - Theo G (Behaviour - being a super role model who tries exceptionally hard to make positive choices)

& Jake T (Learning - having a curiosity and enthusiasm for learning that never goes unnoticed). 

 

Year 4 - Jake S (Behaviour - his infectiously positive attitude is exemplary and because of this he is a great role model to the rest of our class) & Ruby (Learning - being passionate about her learning and showing great determination to succeed in everything that she does. She never stops smiling!) 

 

Year 5 - Millie (Behaviour - always smiling and takes every opportunity to enjoy all of the activities in school)

& Austin (Learning - endeavouring to do his best and being joyful in his learning) 

 

 

Year 6 - Luca (Behaviour - being so incredibly kind and the epitome of friendship with everyone: all the children and all the adults)

& Ava (Learning - approaching all her learning with enthusiasm, even when it is tricky. What a superstar!)

 

 

Harvest Celebration - THANK YOU!

 

 

Following our Harvest Celebration back in October, we held a collection at the door and sent out an online payment link in order to raise money for a Leeds-based charity called 'Zarach'. Zarach deliver beds and basics to children in poverty across the city and also help families in crisis to rise up from surviving to thriving so children can 'eat, sleep and learn'. From your kind donations, a total of £430.71 was raised! Amazing! Thank you so much for your support!

 

 

In addition to the money raised for Zarach, we also passed on a huge donation of food to the Wetherby and District Foodbank. They were absolutely blown away with the sheer quantity of food that was donated by our families at Collingham. We received a lovely email from the Project Coordinator - Bryony Hudson - to thank everyone connected to the school for such 'overwhelming generosity'. Bryony has a certificate that she would like to present to the children and so we will be arranging an assembly in the new year where this can happen, but also so she she can explain about how all of the donations are used to support local people. 

 

 

BBC Children in Need 2021

 

 

Thank you for your generous donations for Children in Need on 19th November. The total raised was £406.38 which really was an incredible amount of money to help support this worthy charity. Well done to the School Council for organising such a successful event.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 19th November 2021

 

It was wonderful to see you all face to face for our parent consultation evenings this week and thank you so much for your understanding with the tweaks we made to ensure that these appointments could go ahead. We really were desperate for these appointments to be in person. The hall was quiet - and with minimal footfall - so it was really pleasing that everything worked out. Who knew that 10 minute appointments could go so fast when you are on timer? You must have felt like you were on an edition of 'Mastermind'!

 

Today, we have been celebrating 'BBC Children in Need' which is always a popular event with the children. This worthy charity raises millions of pounds for children across Yorkshire, the UK and the world. Our School Council decided to hold a 'wear something spotty or yellow' non-uniform day and a name the bear competition. Thank for so much for supporting this event and for your kind donations. 

 

 

Whilst we are all aware of this important national charitable event, that will likely involve a number of celebrities, it is also important to remember that there are so many people across the country doing amazing things every week to support children and young people. At lunchtime today, I went out to meet a man called Mick Cullen who may be better known to a small number of you as 'Speedo Mick'. Speedo Mick is huge Everton fan like myself and he has once again been walking the length and breadth of the country to raise money in order to provide support for young people through education, relieving poverty and supporting both mental and physical health. His main aim is to support the most vulnerable in our communities by showing compassion and understanding and by being inclusive to all. 

 

I have been following Speedo Mick on social media for a number of years and I regularly see him in the stands at Goodison Park or at different away grounds around the country. This afternoon, he was halfway through his Leeds-Harrogate leg and he was heading towards Harewood House on the A61. He is currently over 2000 miles in to his 2500 mile walk with just a few weeks remaining before he gets back to Liverpool. You may have questions about his name, but you'd probably guess right...yes, he completes all his charitable walks in his Everton Speedos and an Everton swimming cap - no matter the weather! I honestly don't know how he does it as he has never cancelled a day's walking due to extreme weather. He just keeps going! 

 

It's for this reason that I wanted to draw attention to him. 'He just keeps going!' This is such an important message and I have today spoken to the children about Speedo Mick in Collective Worship: he's had some extremely challenging moments in his life and ended up homeless; he's come out the other side; and now he is doing these amazing things to help so many other people.  He is a shining example of resilience, courage, service and compassion and in how to turn huge negatives in life in to huge positives. It is stories like Mick's that I feel are really important to draw attention to with the children as they can often go under the radar. It just goes to show that anyone can make a huge difference to society as a whole - regardless of where they have come from.

 

As it was lunchtime, I took Speedo Mick a packed lunch as well as a special Collingham 'resilience' certificate and - of course - a gold headteacher sticker on behalf of everyone at Collingham School. He was absolutely delighted to have this small token of support and he said it was a huge boost to his morale and motivation. Speedo Mick sent a huge thank you to the children and he passed on words of encouragement for them to never, ever give up.

 

If anyone wanted to find out more about the Speedo Mick Foundation or wanted to donate to his charity to help even more 'children in need' then please click on the following links.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate Assemblies

 

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been continuing with our weekly certificate assemblies with further awards for Togetherness and then back to the start of the RESPECT Code cycle with Resilience.

 

At Collingham, Togetherness means to act with friendship, generosity and trust towards each other and to work together as valued members of our school community. Resilience is about showing courage to try new things and persevere when things are difficult. Keep at it and learn from your mistakes!

 

Two certificates were again awarded in each class: one for demonstrating the RESPECT Code values through behaviour choices and one in attitudes towards learning. A huge well done to all of the following children who have received a certificate recently.

 

 

Togetherness (Week 7)

 

Reception - Anya  (Behaviour - being incredibly thoughtful and caring towards everyone in our class and, in fact, everyone in our world) & Siena (Learning - making people feel good about themselves by letting them join in her games).

 

Year 1 - Eddie (Behaviour - working really well as part of a group and always encouraging others to join in

& Tom C (Learning - being such a brilliant learning partner who works well with anyone in the class and offering words of support and encouragement when they are needed).

 

Year 2 - Alexa (Behaviour - trying hard to help others and always looking after anyone that is upset. She is a great friend to everyone)

& Tom (Learning - putting maximum effort into all of his learning and working well in partners as well as in a group).

 

Year 3 - Harry M  (Behaviour - can always be relied upon to support others when they need it)

& Jacob (Learning - working with his peers as a group during lessons with infectious enthusiasm).

 

Year 4 - Isla (Behaviour - can always be relied upon to support others when they need it and to lend a helping hand if someone asks for it) & Lucy T and Noah (Learning - working fantastically together as learning partners last half term).

 

Year 5 - All of Year 5 (Behaviour - collaborating fantastically to put on a brilliant performance for their parent event).

 

Year 6 - Max (Behaviour - For being so kind and patient with the younger children during his lunchtime leader role)

& Pria and Isabelle (Learning - working brilliantly in a really effective partnership during science lessons).

 

 

Resilience (Week 8)

 

Reception - Henry (Behaviour – showing how grown up and independent he can be when coming in to school in the morning

& Theo H (Learning – trying super hard and showing so much perseverance when learning his sounds and writing his letters).

 

Year 1 - Ella (Behaviour – showing such dedication to learning the words for our Christmas songs

& Dylan (Learning – showing real resilience in our PE lessons by practising some tricky ball skills).

 

Year 2 - Seb (Behaviour – working hard to concentrate and to really push himself which has been great to see

& Florence F (Learning – trying hard with her writing and persevering in maths).

 

Year 3  Jacob R (Behaviour – having such a positive outlook and being an absolute pleasure to teach) & Ella B (Learning – having courage to try new things and persevering in maths when challenges are tricky).

 

Year 4 Heidi (Behaviour – ALWAYS approaching every task with a positive attitude and determination to succeed

& Will H (Learning – working incredibly hard in maths and persevering when finding new learning tricky).

 

Year 5 Charlie M (Behaviour – committing himself to working hard in lessons and making the most of opportunities to learn

& James B (Learning – persevering with work that he has found a bit tricky – particularly writing).

 

Year 6 Mckenzie (Behaviour – coming back to school with a positive attitude and approach to learning

& Betsy (Learning – showing such courage in her learning and always persevering with the BIGGEST smile on her face).

 

 

Anti-bullying Week 2021

 

 

This week, we have been celebrating Anti-bullying Week 2021 with the theme for this year being 'One Kind Word'. Kindness is more important today than it has ever been. The isolation of the last year has underlined how little acts of consideration can break down barriers and brighten the lives of the people around us. This is one of the reasons, that ‘One Kind Word’ has been chosen as the theme of Anti-Bullying Week 

 

The children have been learning about various topics around what bullying is; how to be a good friend; discussing the different types of bullying; exploring ways in which we can stand united against bullying within our school community; embedding the idea of collective responsibility being an effective approach to tackling bullying and thinking about 'One Kind Word' can change the course of a conversation and break the cycle of bullying.

 

Today we had a special Certificate Assembly where - instead if our normal RESPECT Code certificates - we awarded 'One Kind Word' certificates for two children demonstrating kindness around school. throughout the week. Well done to the following children!

 

 

'One Kind Word' (Week 9)

 

Reception Elizabeth (For showing kindness this week by being caring and friendly towards everyone in Reception)

& Lucas (For showing kindness this week by always working well with a partner and playing nicely with others).

 

Year 1Olivia G (For showing kindness this week by comforting one of her friends who was a bit upset coming in to school)

& Jamie (For showing kindness this week by noticing that a child in reception had left their cardigan in the hall. Jamie picked it up and asked if he could take it back to them in their classroom).

 

Year 2Amelie (For showing kindness this week by always looking after her classmates and making sure everyone has someone to play with outside) & Isaac (for showing kindness this week by caring for his friends when they had hurt themselves outside and checking that they had all the help they needed).

 

Year 3Scarlett (For showing kindness this week by offering her unconditional support to her friends) & Emily W (For showing kindness this week by being such a kind, supportive member of Year 3).

 

Year 5Ben (For showing kindness this week by helping Henry clean up when his water bottle leaked on the floor)

& Skye (For showing kindness this week by helping her classmates with the trickier parts of their sewing lesson).

 

Year 6Georgie (For showing kindness this week by offering to help her friends during lunchtime leaders when she noticed that someone needed support) & Constance (For showing kindness this week by making her friend a flower and giving it to her when she realised it was her birthday).

 

 

Below you can read about what each of the classes have been learning about anti-bullying.

 

Reception

 

As part of our learning about anti-bullying, we read two stories: 'The Rainbow Club' and 'Something Else'. We talked about how we are all special and that everyone should be treated with kindness and respect. We designed our own pair of odd socks and talked about ways in which we could show kindness towards others. We also looked at our child friendly anti-bullying policy and discussed what bullying is and what we can do if we feel like we are being bullied.

 

 

 

Year 1

 

On Monday, Year 1 discussed how we can be a kind friend and what to do if someone is not being kind. The Year 1 team were blown away by the responses of the class and how maturely they could talk about the subject. We also looked in detail at our school's ‘Anti-bullying Policy’ and particularly paid attention to who could we speak to if we did not feel happy at school. The class then had to say how they were going to show an act of kindness this week and how it would make others - as well as themselves - feel.

 

Later in the week, Mrs Hesketh read the book ‘Making Friends’ by Deborah Chancellor. This book is also linked to one of our British Values: ‘tolerance’. Once again, the class were able to have a mature discussion and understood the meaning of the story.

 

 

 

Year 2

 

We watched ‘Andy and the Odd Socks’ again and discussed why it’s ok to be individual. We talked about how a kind word can make someone feel great. We collected lots of kind words then designed a pair of odd socks each and incorporated our favourite kind word into our designs to make them unique.

 

Year 3

 

This week, Year 3 worked together in groups to write speeches. Each speech explained what bullying is, what it can look like and how to deal with bullying. Year 3 worked hard to use their knowledge and the tips from our anti-bullying policy. It blew the staff away when the children mentioned our diversity driver in their speeches and explained that we value individuality and embrace equality. Year 3 thoroughly enjoyed performing their speeches to each other at the end of the day. A huge well done to our Year 3 superstars!

 

 

 

Year 4

 

During Anti-Bullying week, the children in Year 4 have shared ways in which we can spread kindness around our school and our community and how important one act of kindness can be. Linking in with this year's theme, 'One Kind Word' the children had to write a word for each member of the class which best describes them. The children came up with some amazing words to describe each of their peers such as kind-hearted, caring, compassionate, creative and thoughtful to name just a few. The children then had a list of 29 kind words describing them. The children then used the words and turned them into 'wordles'. The children loved reading all the kind words and appreciated that with just one kind word it can make all the difference.

 

 

 

Year 5

 

This week, Year 5 have really embraced the key Anti-bullying Week message of: “One Kind Word.” They have each been issued with a sheet of kindness challenges to carry out each day over the course of the week and we’ve already been hearing great things about all of the kind things they’ve been doing - some of them have even claimed to be helping out more at home! As well as this, each child chose to write and decorate a shape poem, pyramid poem or acrostic poem and we have chosen some of these (at random) to create a display in our classroom so that the messages from Anti-bullying Week stay with us! 

 

 

Year 6

 

In Year 6, we began by sharing four different bullying scenarios and the children worked in pairs and went around the classroom, discussing what they thought could be done to stop the bullying and to spread the kindness. The children were able to confidently talk about what they would so such as: speak to a trusted adult; talk to the child who sent the messages; ask someone how they felt and offering to help. The children then explained different times their friends had shown kindness and described how it made them feel.  The children chose their favourite feeling and designed an 'odd sock' with the word on. We have put the socks on display in our classroom to remind everyone to show kindness and to make us feel happy.

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 22nd October 2021

 

What a fantastic week it has been in school! It was simply wonderful to see so many of you on Wednesday for our Harvest Celebration in the hall. There was a lovely atmosphere and the children performed with such confidence. They clearly enjoyed themselves and I know they were desperately looking forward to performing in front of you all. For some of the children, this will have been their first experience of live performance, but we were all so proud of their energy and enthusiasm. They did a brilliant job! Well done everyone!

 

The celebration did come with a health warning: not COVID-19 related, but in fact, due to how catchy some of the songs were! I have no doubts that at least one of these stuck in your head for the remainder of the day. For me, it was the line ‘I hope you like it spicy!’ from Year 1’s ‘singing vegetables’; however, a couple of parents have already come to me since to tell me that they had heard Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’ on the radio. That song has now changed forever for all those in attendance this week!

 

 

Thank you for coming in to school to support all of the children even if your child was one of the first to perform and you then stayed until the end. This was hugely appreciated by all of the children and staff. It made for a really special morning after all of the challenges of the previous 18 months. I think it put a spring in everyone’s step!

 

There were so many donations for the Wetherby Food Bank and I am pleased to say that all of these items were collected yesterday. They were very gratefully received. On top of this, £309.71 was raised in cash donations on the day for our new school charity – Zarach. This was a staggering amount so thank you again for your incredible kindness and generosity.

 

Following the celebration, we received feedback from some parents who wished to donate to the charity but did not have any cash on them at the time.  We have therefore set up a voluntary payment request for £1.00 from School Money for those of you who would like to make a donation.  If you wish to change the donation amount, you will be able to change this in the payment box.

 

Zarach are an amazing charity in inner-city Leeds to help families in crisis. The need for support across the entire region has increased dramatically as a result of the pandemic and they have worked tirelessly to support an ever-growing number of children. I registered our school as a ‘Zarach supporter’ back at the start of 2021 and the School Council felt that this was a worthy local charity to champion throughout this year. More information about Zarach - and the work they undertake - can be found by clicking the image below.

 

 

 

Today is the final day of a really busy half-term so I hope that you can all enjoy a week together at home. The children have blown us away with the way that they have returned and they continue to be an absolute credit to you all. If their smiles are anything to go by then it would appear that they have really enjoyed being back in school with everything having looked a little more normal.

 

Have a fantastic half-term! See you again on Monday 1st November!

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Certificate Assembly

 

This week, we have been continuing with our weekly certificate assemblies with further awards for Choices

 

At Collingham, Choices means that we want the children to develop courage, compassion and truthfulness in making positive choices about behaviour and learning. We want them to strive to be the best that they can be.

 

Two certificates were again awarded in each class: one for demonstrating the RESPECT Code values through behaviour choices and one in attitudes towards learning. A huge well done to all of the following children who have received a certificate today.

 

 

Choices (Week 6)

 

Reception - Hollie  (Behaviour - always choosing to behave brilliantly and for following the whole of our RESPECT Code to perfection& Theo R (Learning - choosing to try his very best with his learning, even when it’s tricky, such as writing some of our super hard new sounds).

 

Year 1 - Reuben (Behaviour - sitting so smartly on the carpet and showing us his amazing listening skills

& Olivia M (Learning -  blown us away with her focused attitude to learning)

 

Year 2 - Olivia T (Behaviour - always coming into school happy and ready to learn)

& James (Learning - thinking very carefully about his handwriting and the presentation of his work at all times)

 

Year 3 - Jack B  (Behaviour - making excellent choices in regards to his behaviour and attitude)

& Ellie (Learning - showing compassion and willingness to help her peers during maths lessons)

 

Year 4 - All of Year 4  (Behaviour & Learning - making FANTASTIC choices in your behaviour and learning on our school trip to Murton Park)

 

Year 5 - Millie  (Behaviour - being a fantastic role model to all of the children in school by making excellent, positive choices about her behaviour& Dottie (Learning - always keen to do additional work at home to consolidate her learning and constantly striving to be the best that she can be)

 

Year 6 - Chloe H (Behaviour - consistently making the right choice and being an excellent role model to her peers and the younger children in school) & Constance (Learning - being incredibly kind and hard working and approaching everything with her wonderful smile and fantastic attitude).

 

 

'Vision, Values & Curriculum' Parents Meeting - Monday 1st November

 

A couple of weeks a go, all parents were invited to a meeting about our RESPECT Code and our Curriculum Drivers on Monday 1st November at 6.00pm in the school hall. This is in fact the first day back after the half-term break and - as things stand - we will be proceeding with this, but with the use of facemasks in place for inside the school building.

 

During this meeting, we will be talking about our vision statement, Christian values and the words that make up our RESPECT Code. We will be explaining how these link to our whole school collective worship and our weekly learning and behaviour certificates. 

 

We will also be talking about our newly created Curriculum Drivers as these are now an integral part of our curriculum. They underpin the work we undertake in all areas of school life and to ensure that our curriculum offer is enriched and personalised to our children and families. We hope to give you an overview of both the RESPECT Code and Curriculum Drivers to enable you to support your children at home.

 

We would love to see as many parents as possible so - if you have not already done so - we would be grateful if you could please complete the Google form below to confirm your intention to attend the meeting so that we have an indication of numbers.

 

https://forms.office.com/r/pfF05Xefzp

 

Thank you!

 

 

Parent Consultation Evenings

 

Tuesday 16th November 2021 (4.30-7.30pm) & Wednesday 17th November 2021 (3.30-6.30pm)

 

The hope has been to hold these in school as normal, but unfortunately this was always going to be dependent on the number of COVID-19 cases in the community at the time. A considered decision will be taken after half-term as to whether these meetings will be held in person or remotely on Microsoft Teams as an alternative arrangement.

 

Appointment slots were made available to parents at 4.00pm yesterday so please continue to book these as normal as these will not change regardless of which format we proceed with. 

 

 

 

Friday 15th October 2021

 

This week, we have been enjoying the first of four focused curriculum driver weeks. The focus this time has been 'diversity' and the children have immersed in learning that 'values individuality and embraces equality'.

 

Our 'Diversity Week' has coincided with Black History Month and - as a part of our work in school - we felt it was extremely important to give the children an opportunity to share, celebrate and understand the impact of black heritage and culture. Greater attention has been paid to the importance of the Windrush generation and the Black Lives Matter movement in the past year and especially since the death of George Floyd in May 2020. We want our children to be able recognise the contribution and achievements of those with African or Caribbean heritage, but to also provide an opportunity for the children to learn more about the effects of racism and how to challenge negative stereotypes.

 

Whilst a lot of the work this week has centered on celebrating black history, it is important for the children to also know that diversity is not just about skin colour or race and so - through our curriculum driver - the children will be continually learning about how we are all diverse, how we are all different and how we all have something to offer. Gender, age, disability, religion and sexual orientation are all protected characteristics under the Equality Act (2010) and at Collingham we proudly and robustly challenge stereotyping and discrimination. We want to empower the children to act and influence the world around them by helping them recognise the unique identities, perspectives and talents of every individual. We have an Anti-bullying Policy (and a child friendly version) in place that demonstrates our commitment to tackling all prejudice-based language and we also continue to be a Stonewall Champion School through our desire to challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language in particular.  

 

The children have demonstrated incredible levels of emotional maturity, compassion and empathy throughout the week and, this afternoon, each class shared some of their learning with the whole school in a special collective worship in the hall. It was a pleasure to hear the children talking so confidently about what diversity means to them and about some of the important figures they have been studying. You will find a brief synopsis of this learning a bit further down in today's blog.

 

Our focus on diversity does not end with this sole themed week in school. All of our curriculum subjects are planned with the four curriculum drivers in mind and so diversity will continue to be promoted wherever possible throughout the school year. This could be in English; art; or music. The subject really does not matter; every possible learning opportunity will be taken.

 

 

Harvest Celebration (Wednesday 20th October)

 

 

Next Wednesday, we look forward to welcoming you all in to school for our first proper event since Christmas 2019. Our Harvest Celebration is always popular and the children are very much looking forward to performing a selection of songs and poems that focus on another of our curriculum drivers - 'environment'.

 

In order to avoid overcrowding in the hall - and to comply with fire regulations - we will once again be holding two separate assemblies. It is important to remind that all seven classes will be performing at each assembly so - regardless of which one you attend - you will be seeing all of the children perform.

 

The first assembly will be at 9.15am for Reception & Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2) parents and the second assembly will be at 10.45am for Key Stage 2 (Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6) parents

 

If you have children in both Rec/KS1 and in KS2 (e.g. a child in Y1 and in Y5) then please could you attend at 9.15am. We have checked the school database and we have 28 families in this situation. This helps satisfy the necessary fire regulations and ensures that we can accommodate everyone safely in the hall.

 

We politely request that parents attending either celebration arrive promptly and also stay until the end so as to support all of the children who have worked hard in preparing for this special event. In previous years, there have been some disappointing moments for the staff and children in seeing parents dash out of the doors as soon as one of the younger classes has finished performing. Thank you in advance for sitting tight!

 

Thank you as well to those who have brought in harvest donations so far for Wetherby Foodbank. To those who have not had an opportunity yet, we would very much welcome non-perishable food items - as well as toiletries - that can be sent to this worthy cause. Please feel free to drop off any items in the main entrance early next week. 

 

Certificate Assemblies

 

Over the past fortnight, we have been continuing with our weekly certificate assemblies with further awards for Positivity and Empathy.

 

At Collingham, Positivity means that we want the children to enjoy learning and to approach everything with enthusiasm. 

 

Empathy is about being compassionate and considering the feelings of others. We want the children to also understand the power of forgiveness.

 

Two certificates were again awarded in each class: one for demonstrating the RESPECT Code values through behaviour choices and one in attitudes towards learning. A huge well done to all of the following children who have received a certificate in the past couple of weeks.

 

 

Positivity (Week 4)

 

Reception - Samantha (Behaviour - inspiring others to be positive and making everyone around her smile)

& Simbai (Learning - always having a smile on his face and trying his best with learning)

 

Year 1 - Florence H (Behaviour - bouncing into school every day with a huge smile on her face) 

& Evie (Learning -  approaching all activities and tasks with a huge smile on her face and never giving anything other than 100%)

 

Year 2 - All of Year 2 (Behaviour - behaving impeccably on a school trip to the National Railway Museum)

& Alexandra (Learning - completing a brilliant recount of her trip to the National Railway Museum)

 

Year 3 - Ben K (Behaviour - approaching every task with enthusiasm and with an infectiously positive attitude)

& Amelia P (Learning - approaching all tasks with an enthusiastic and positive attitude. She is always determined to give things a go and to try her best)

 

Year 4 - Seren (Behaviour - showing positivity and enthusiasm towards EVERYTHING she undertakes)

& Teddy (Learning - passionate about his learning and shows great determination to succeed in everything that he does)

 

Year 5 - Abigail (Behaviour - approaching each day with an infinite supply of enthusiasm and with a 'can do' attitude)

& Finn (Learning - approaching every lesson with the same laudable levels of enthusiasm and positivity)

 

Year 6 - Chloe B (Behaviour - approaching EVERYTHING with positivity and joy, be it her friendships, her learning or being a role model around school) & Jake (Learning - listening to advice as he really wants to improve; he has a fantastic growth mindset. He always strives to be his best self)

 

 

Empathy (Week 5)

 

Reception - Maya (Behaviour - showing kindness towards everyone in Reception and always behaving perfectly)

& Monty (Learning - thinking carefully during learning about diversity, understanding how important it is to treat everyone the same and making everybody feel happy)

 

Year 1 - Imogen (Behavior - having a great sensitivity to how others are feeling and always being one of the first to offer support to anyone who is hurt or upset) & Ellis (Learning - displaying his compassion and understanding of how others might be feeling during a lesson on Rosa Parks)  

 

Year 2 - Jesse (Behaviour - being thoughtful and working hard to decorate a friendship band with things that his friend would like)

& Grace (Learning - understanding how she can support her friends in class and contributing well during PSHE lessons)

 

Year 3 - Heidi (Behaviour - having a kind and caring nature that makes her a fabulous learning partner and a great friend to many)

& Amelia L (Learning - impressing all of the staff in Year 3 as they always hear her offering support to her friends and considering how others might feel)

 

Year 4 - Seb (Behaviour - putting others first because he is aware of other children’s feelings by showing compassion and tolerance)

& Georgia (Learning - always being found supporting and helping the children on her table with their learning. She never looks for any recognition but her acts of kindness do not go unnoticed)

 

Year 5 - Sophie F (Behaviour - displaying exemplary compassion to all around her in everything that she does)

& William T (Learning -  having an incredibly empathetic understanding of the plight and treatment of many immigrants during the Windrush era)  

 

Year 6 - Jack (Behaviour - being a fantastic role model by always ensuring that everyone feels listened to and included in games)

& Daisy (Learning - always considering the feelings of her friends and for showing amazing compassion towards the people we have been learning about this week and the prejudices that they faced)

 

 

Curriculum Drivers - Diversity Week

 

Find out below, what each class has been learning about during 'Diversity Week'.

 

 

Reception

 

As part of diversity week, Reception have been learning about superheroes from other countries. We learnt about Nelson Mandela and looked at where South Africa was on a globe, we also learnt about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King and looked at where America was on a globe. We used books to help us learn about and identify what made them superheroes. We talked about how they all wanted everybody to be treated the same and they all had the courage to stand up for what they believed in.

 

We discussed the words equality, justice and service from our RESPECT code and how these superheroes displayed such values. We talked about what our dreams for the world were and what we would do to make the world a better place and drew pictures of our ideas and thoughts. As part of our art curriculum, we looked at African masks, we talked about different African tribes and looked at different styles of masks. We talked about the features of these masks and learnt the word symmetrical. We made our own masks and tried really hard to make them symmetrical.

 

 

Year 1

 

We learnt about Rosa Parks and the impact she had. We then discussed as a class the words ‘racism’, ‘segregation’ and ‘discrimination’. The class had a good understanding of this and we discussed right or wrong. The class then spoke with a partner and tried to think of a question to ask Rosa Parks. They came up with some excellent ideas. We then chose some of the questions and thought how Rosa might have answered them.

 

Later on, we revisited the same topic and I asked the class what they could remember. We then concentrated on the story by Floella Benjamin called ‘Coming to England’. We discussed how the characters felt at different times of the story. We then thought of questions we would like to ask and in partners thought about how they would be answered.

 

Examples of questions to Rosa Parks:

 

What was it like not being treated the same as white people? (Olivia G)

Why did people not share and treat each other nicely? (William)

Why were some white people not being compassionate? (Lilly)

Why were people not following the RESPECT code? (Ellis)

 

Examples of questions to Floella Benjamin:

 

What did it feel like to move to a new country? (Imogen)

How did it feel being treated unfairly? (Arthur Ke.)

What was it like on the boat? (Florence)

What was it like in school when people were being mean to you? (Tom C)

 

 

Year 2

 

Year 2 listened to Floella Benjamin’s story called 'Coming to England'. We discussed what happened and how she and her family might have been feeling. We collected lots of feelings and filled a person with feeling words. The children were amazed at how many different feelings might be buzzing around in a person all at the same time. The children also participated in some African drumming with Mrs Meek.

 

 

 

Year 3

 

This week, Year 3 have thoroughly enjoyed learning about diversity and diverse communities. We have discussed what it means to live in and belong to a community. We looked at diversity in our school and talked about how many different people are part of our school community and how we celebrate everyone’s individuality and embrace equality.  

 

To represent the different types of diverse communities that we are part of, Year 3 created three Russian dolls. The smallest doll showed a smaller community with less people such as our family community. The second medium-sized doll represented a bigger community that we are part of such as a team or club. The final - and largest - doll represented the biggest community such as our school community. We decorated the back of our Russian dolls by explaining with words, phrases, and pictures what diversity looks like in each community. A huge well done Year 3! You have worked incredibly hard this week and your Russian dolls look fantastic!  

 

 

 

Year 4

 

This week in Year 4, as part of diversity week, we have looked at what we think diversity is. We started by watching a video with children describing their experiences of diversity. They talk about their friends coming from many different backgrounds and religions, and their families living around the world.

 

After watching the video, in groups, we then had to create a poster showing what we thought diversity was. We all had lots of different ideas and enjoyed being creative in showing our learning. These are just a few examples of our posters.

 

 

Year 5

 

This week, Year 5 have been learning about the Windrush generation and their immigration to the UK.  We started by learning about where the Caribbean is and the countries that make up the Caribbean. We used atlases, the internet and digital map on the iPads to identify the countries, their capital cities, flags and populations.  

 

After this, we looked at who came to Britain on the HMT Empire Windrush. We discovered that most of them were young men, who had made the decision to leave their homelands in search of work and a better future for them and their families. The most common occupation listed among the passengers was Domestic Worker, meaning that they would come here to be cleaners, servants or do other similar jobs.  

 

Next, we studied the reception that immigrants from the Caribbean received when they arrived in Britain following the journey of the Empire Windrush in 1948, including the infamous “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs” posters that were sometimes displayed at the time. These people, who had come to England hoping for a better life, faced terrible discrimination as they went about their daily lives. However, they still thrived and created vibrant, welcoming communities in many parts of the UK.  

 

Finally, we learned about some of the most influential members of the Windrush generation who arrived in our country, such as Baroness Floella Benjamin, Baroness Patricia Scotland, Lord David Pitt and Baroness Doreen Lawrence, all of whom have been recognised with honours from the Queen for their service to the country.  

 

 

Year 6

 

Year 6 started the week by linking Diversity to our PSHE topic on Human Rights where we have been looking at migrants and refugees. We spent a session learning all about Floella Benjamin and learning about the prejudices she faced when she came to England as a migrant in 1960. On post it notes, we all wrote the different prejudices that Floella faced when she came to England and stuck these on a person. Then, we thought about all the aspects of our RESPECT code Floella demonstrated to be able to become the person that she is today and we displayed these around the outside of our person. The children were all really shocked about the way Floella and her family were treated. 

 

Later in the week, we learnt all about Harriet Tubman and linked this to both our History topic and our PSHE work. The children talked about what Freedom meant and played a game where certain people were given different privileges to others. This really helped them to deepen their understanding of slavery and being stripped of your Human Rights. 

 

 

Today, Year 6 learnt about Olaudah Equiano and why he was so important in the history of the slave trade and the abolition of slavery in Britain.  Year 6 also learned a call and response song from Ghana in West Africa called, 'Kye, Kye, Kule' which is sung in the Twi language. They learnt that call and response songs originate from African slaves who sung on plantations in the deep south of America as the singing reminded them of their traditions during public gatherings such as weddings, funerals and religious festivals. The steady rhythm of the song helped them to work harder too.   They will perform this during the celebration assembly.

 

 

 

Year 3 Stone Age Day

 

On Tuesday, Year 3 travelled back in time to the Stone Age. They started the morning by discussing various assets and threats that hunter-gatherers would have faced in the Stone Age. Then they played ‘I am a hunter-gatherer get me out of here.’ Year 3 searched the school grounds for assets that would have helped them to survive the savage Stone Age. After that, the children had a lot of fun carving their own spearheads which looked amazing! In the afternoon, they talked about cave paintings and discussed what the artists would have used to create their cave paintings. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed creating their own cave painting and they looked beautiful. Well done Year 3! What a fabulous day!

 

 

 

‘It’s Good to Grow’ from Morrisons

 

 

With a week to go before tokens can no longer be collected, we are currently sitting on a total of 771 tokens. We are hopeful of a final push in this last week to reach a total of over 1000.

 

Please continue to spread the word amongst family and friends. Parents/carers, grandparents, other family members and friends of the school can all help by collecting tokens for every £10 spent in Morrisons stores - the nearest one being in Wetherby. These tokens are available to collect until 24th October 2021

 

A reminder of how tokens can be collected can be found below:

 

1) Morrisons customers download the 'MyMorrisons' app.

2) Sign in or register to 'My Morrisions' and select the school that you wish to collect for (Collingham Lady Elizabeth Hastings' Church of England Primary School, Linton Road, Collingham, LS22 5BS).

3) Scan the app at checkout or use online when shopping.

4) For every £10 spent, you will receive a Grow Token to donate to the school.

5) School can exchange Grow Tokens for free gardening equipment after the collection period.

 

Thank you for your incredible support so far!

 

 

DYSLEXIA & SPECIFIC LEARNING DIFFICULTY INFORMATION SESSION

 

Parents have today been emailed about a coffee pot information in school. This is an open invitation to all parents to learn more about some of the provision we offer in school for our children. There is no expectation to attend, but if you feel it would be helpful - or that it gives you a better insight in to our specific interventions - then we would be delighted to see you.

 

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Friday 1st October 2021

 

This week has seen our first one of the new school year with a full building as we welcomed our new Reception children to Collingham for their official start on Monday. These children have been simply amazing and they have looked fabulous in their new uniforms. They have been so happy and independent already and all of the children in school have been so excited to meet them all. It is always one of our favourite weeks in the school year and the personal highlight for me is always seeing the new children collecting their lunch in the hall and then carrying it to the tables themselves - they look so grown up! I have had the pleasure of reading 'Billy and the Big New School' to Reception this morning and - fortunately - I left the classroom in confidence that I had learnt all 30 names! No testing me though! Well done Reception on a brilliant first week in school! We are all so proud of you!

 

 

Last Friday, Mr Elliot, Mrs Shaw and myself returned to school following a wonderful three days away with our Year 6 children on their residential to Robinwood near Wrexham, North Wales. In my 16 years as a teacher, I have never been on a trip where the children behaved so perfectly and demonstrated such positive, determined and encouraging attitudes as this group of children. The school staff and centre leaders were absolutely blown away - so much so that Laura and Ari (Crag and Mountain Leaders) were in tears as we left! Our children really made an impression and they were a real credit to themselves the whole time. Great job Year 6!

 

The children took part in so many activities and they were really taken out of their comfort zone: raft building; canoeing; the giant swing; rock climbing; high ropes course; zip line; as well as many others. The less said about the water activities the better really as Mr Elliot had a torrid time on his raft and ended up in the pond on three separate occasions and I was brutally soaked in canoeing by a child who shall remain nameless [Jack!!!]. It took me three days to dry out, but I have now forgiven said unnamed child [JACK!!!]! In truth, I actually blame Mrs Shaw for not protecting Mr Elliot and I! 

 

A huge thank you to Mr Elliot for all of his hard work in organising the trip and to both he and Mrs Shaw for giving up their own time to ensure that the children had this fantastic opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime. In the next Headteacher Blog, I look forward to sharing some of the photos from this fabulous experience away.

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Certificate Assemblies

 

Following on from our first RESPECT Code themed Certificate Assembly, starting with R for Resilience on Friday 17th September, we have since had further awards for Equality and Service.

 

At Collingham, Equality means that we encourage everyone to take part in all of the learning and playing that takes place at our school. We celebrate and we are thankful for our similarities and differences. We also treat everyone justly.

 

Service is about using your position within our school selflessly and to do things for the benefit of everybody in our school community. This is done without seeking praise or reward - it is just because it is the right thing to do.

 

Two certificates were again awarded in each class: one for demonstrating the RESPECT Code values through behaviour choices and one in attitudes towards learning. A huge well done to all of the following children who have received a certificate in the past couple of weeks.

 

Equality (Week 3)

 

Year 1 - Alice (Behaviour - treating everyone fairly)

& Max (Learning - a great talk partner who listens and shares ideas)

 

Year 2 - Natsai (Behaviour - showing kindness and fairness)

& Amelie (Learning - showing fairness and including everyone in class)

 

Year 3 - Marina (Behaviour - playing with everyone)

& Toby (Learning - being a superb learning partner)

 

Year 4 - Lucy (Behaviour - voted by her peers for celebrating differences)

& Ben (Learning - voted by his peers for being fair and compassionate)

 

Year 5 - Nell (Behaviour - voted by her peers for displaying an inclusive attitude)

& Ella (Learning - being a fantastic learning partner)

 

Year 6 - were at Robinwood exemplifying ALL of our RESPECT Code values.

 

 

Service (Week 4)

 

Year 1 - Evangeline (Behaviour - going above and beyond to be helpful around the classroom)

& Arthur K (Learning - gave up his time to help a friend with a tricky maths problem)

 

Year 2 - Matilda (Behaviour - helped handing resources out and tidied the classroom)

& Seb (Learning - helped a friend pick up all their dropped pencils so they could both get back to learning quickly)

 

Year 3 - Hugh (Behaviour - always demonstrating a selfless attitude)

& Danielle (Learning - being a superb learning partner and helping peers with tricky maths problems)

 

Year 4 - Amelia (Behaviour - having a kind heart and showing generosity to everyone in the classroom)

& Annabelle (Learning - always the first to volunteer to help others out if required)

 

Year 5 - Ben R (Behaviour - exemplary service as a lunchtime leader this week and in helping the new Reception children)

& William (Learning - patiently and calmly supporting his peers across the curriculum)

 

Year 6 - Daisy, Martha M, Chloe H, Georgie, Eve, Isabelle, Poppy, Chloe B, Pria, Gwen, Sophie & Betsy (Behaviour - for running a 26 mile charity bike ride event and for raising lots of money for FoCS PTA, Martin House and the NHS)

 

 

House Points

 

This week, our winning houses were both MOORS AND DALES with 465 house points. This is the first time ever that we have had joint winners! Elizabeth the Bear is going to be very cosy wearing two scarves all next week! Amazing!

 

The winning class was Year 3 AGAIN (!) with 402.

 

Well done everyone!

 

 

26 Mile Charity Bike Ride

 

As you will have just seen from our Service certificates this week, a team of Year 6 children from our school (plus Amelia, Heidi and Rose R from Year 3 and two fabulous ex-pupils Tom and Lucy) recently delivered a charity event that had been months in the planning. The idea for the event was the children’s own and they gave up their own time to complete all of the preparations themselves.  

 

Some of the children participated in a sponsored 26 mile marathon bike ride while others set up stalls selling drinks, cakes, sweets, crafts and books at the finish line in readiness for the return of the cyclists.  

 

The event was advertised across the local community and a huge number of people came out to support the children in their efforts to raise as much money as possible for their chosen charities of Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) PTA; Martin House Children’s Hospice; and the NHS. In total, an incredible sum of £2000 was raised and this will soon be distributed between these three important causes. 

 

Everyone within our school community is immensely proud of these children for running such a successful event in their spare time. They have raised a significant sum of money that is going to make such a huge difference to so many young people. In school, the children have learnt about the value of ‘service’ which encourages everyone to take social action without the expectation for praise or reward. The children really have taken this to new levels through their selfless attitudes. They have worked brilliantly as a team and they have set a fabulous example of what can be achieved together in order to help others.

 

Well done to everyone involved and thank you for having such kind hearts!  

 

Should anyone wish to make a donation then this can be done on the following link:

 

**Please click**

 

 

 

 

Flu Vaccinations

 

A quick reminder that nasal flu vaccinations will be administered in school next Wednesday 6th October for all children who were signed up using the NHS/Intrahealth link that was emailed to all parents on 13th September. 

 

This is an external process and our school does not have anything to do with the organisation of this vaccination session other than providing a room for the children to receive their vaccine. 

 

 

Harvest Celebration

 

On Wednesday 20th October 2021, we will be holding our first Harvest celebration for two years in the school hall and we would like to invite you to join us. There was an incredible attendance from parents back in 2019 and the children were absolutely delighted to see the support from all our parents as they performed an array of songs and poems. The Harvest Celebration has always been a popular event and so this year we will once again hold two separate assemblies in order to avoid overcrowding in the hall and to comply with fire regulations.

 

The first assembly will be at 9.15am for Reception and Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2) parents and the second assembly will be at 10.45am for Key Stage 2 (Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6) parents. All seven classes will be performing at each of the time slots for approximately 40 minutes. We politely request that parents attending either celebration arrive promptly and also stay until the end so as to support all of the children who have worked hard in preparing for this special event. In previous years, there have been some disappointing moments for the staff and children in seeing parents dash out of the doors as soon as one of the younger classes has finished performing. Thank you in advance for sitting tight!

 

If you have children in both Rec/KS1 and in KS2 (e.g. a child in Y1 and in Y5) then please could you attend at 9.15am. We have checked the school database and we have 28 families in this situation. This helps satisfy the necessary fire regulations and ensures that we can accommodate everyone safely in the hall.

 

Our charity this year will be Wetherby Food Bank who are extremely grateful for all donations received. They would very much welcome non-perishable food items as well as toiletries.

 

If you are able to support by making a donation to this worthy cause then please could you send these items in to school with the children and they will be collected in their classrooms for the time being. These can be brought in from Monday 11th October.

 

As always, your kindness is greatly appreciated.

 

 

‘It’s Good to Grow’ from Morrisons

 

 

It has come to our attention that Morrisons are running an initiative to help support the generation growing because the more children know about how food is grown and made then the better they will eat - both now and in the future.

 

Through our Curriculum Driver of 'Environment', we would be really keen to get involved over the remaining weeks in order to try and obtain as much free gardening equipment as we can through the support of our wider school community. Equipment up for grabs includes greenhouses, wheelbarrows, plant pots, watering cans, trowels/spades and seeds.

 

Parents/carers, grandparents, other family members and friends of the school can all help by collecting tokens for every £10 spent in Morrisons stores - the nearest one being in Wetherby. These tokens are available to collect until 24th October 2021. 

 

The tokens are in fact digital tokens and these have replaced paper tokens that you may have been familiar with through similar initiatives with other supermarkets in the past.

 

We would be really grateful for your support and for you to share that Collingham School are actively participating in the initiative. You can find instructions below for how the scheme works.

 

How it works?

 

1) Morrisons customers download the 'MyMorrisons' app.

2) Sign in or register to 'My Morrisions' and select the school that you wish to collect for (Collingham Lady Elizabeth Hastings' Church of England Primary School, Linton Road, Collingham, LS22 5BS).

3) Scan the app at checkout or use online when shopping.

4) For every £10 spent, you will receive a Grow Token to donate to the school.

5) School can exchange Grow Tokens for free gardening equipment after the collection period.

 

 

Parent Events 2021/22

 

Email sent to parents on Thursday 30th September.

 

 

 

 

Friday 17th September 2021

 

Well done everyone! It has been a brilliant first full week back in school. Following the the relaunch of the vision statement and RESPECT Code last week (further information below), the children have spent this week learning about our new Curriculum Drivers which are the four things that we believe are the four most important areas to help underpin the delivery of our curriculum so as to tailor it perfectly for our school.

 

These Curriculum Drivers are something that we have worked exceptionally hard on developing even throughout the pandemic. Alongside the National Curriculum, these four drivers will be the starting point for topic planning in all curriculum subjects and - over the coming months and years - everyone connected to Collingham School will become really familiar with them. I look forward to sharing more information regarding these with you next week and to also show you what the children have been learning about them in school.

 

I am delighted to reveal the four Curriculum Drivers with you today as well as the objectives for each one that the children will be focusing on throughout their learning journey at Collingham. This is a really exciting development! The drivers will help to ensure that our curriculum is more exciting than it has ever been before and that the curriculum meets the needs of our own school community rather than anyone else's.

 

 

 

Certificate Assembly

 

Today was our first Certificate Assembly back together in the school hall. This is our weekly celebration linked to a specific theme from our RESPECT Code. On Monday, it was revealed that our focus for the week would be R for Resilience. At Collingham, resilience is about showing courage to try new things and to persevere when things are difficult. We want the children to keep at it and to learn from their mistakes.

 

Two certificates were awarded in each class: one for resilience in behaviour choices and one for resilience in attitudes towards learning. Congratulations to all of the following children for showing resilience in action at school throughout the week. Please keep an eye out for the certificates in the children's reading bags.

 

Year 1 - Lilly (Behaviour - trying new things) 

& Olivia G (Learning - challenging herself in lessons)

 

Year 2 - Myles (Behaviour - encouraging other children)

& Austen (Learning - working really hard in all lessons)

 

Year 3 - Arthur (Behaviour - an incredible growth mindset)

& Leo (Learning - showing courage in all lessons)

 

Year 4 - Charlie A (Behaviour - showing courage and confidence)

& Layla (Learning - working so hard with a fractured wrist)

 

Year 5 - Chloe S (Behaviour - making fantastic choices) 

& Skye (Learning - not giving up on tricky maths problems)

 

Year 6 - Joe (Behaviour - reacting positively to feedback)

& Gwen (Learning - courage to try a new way of painting)

 

House Points

 

Every week, the children earn house points for working hard; following the RESPECT Code; showing good manners; and trying as hard as they possibly can every day. For really special moments, they are awarded special Power House Points from either Mrs Myers or myself which are worth 10 house points each. All house points are collected in jars in the classrooms and these are then counted up by our Year 6 house captains every Thursday. The totals are then revealed in our Certificate Assembly on a Friday where the winning house and the winning class are announced.

 

This week, our winning house was RIVERS with 935 house points and our winning class was Year 3 with 1046. Well done everyone!

 

The winning class gets to take Elizabeth the Bear back to the classroom for the next week. You will notice that she is dressed smartly in her knitted blue scarf to represent RIVERS.

 

 

The house points continue to be totaled each week and the children in the house with the highest number of points before Christmas will receive an afternoon treat with the house captains. The current standings are:

 

 

 

Vision Statement & RESPECT Code Relaunch

 

Last week, we relaunched our whole school vision statement and RESPECT Code across school and the children spent their first three days completing activities to try and learn why these are important to Collingham School. In the Headteacher Blog on Friday 10th September (scroll down below), parents/carers were given an explanation about how we use these two documents together in school. This can now also be found on our 'Vision & Values' section on the school website.

 

https://www.collinghamschool.com/vision-values/

 

I wanted to take the opportunity today to show you some of the work that the children were involved with and what they were learning in class about the school vision and the RESPECT Code.

 

Year 1

 

 

Last week, the children took part in lots of short activities linked to each of the Christian values or words in the RESPECT Code.

 

  • The children talked about the meaning of the Christian value words and they had to hunt around the classroom for the picture/symbol that they thought matched the word. 
  • They talked about how the children could show these values in our school. Some children then drew their own pictures in their own provision time showing what they had talked about.
  • They read a story to understand more about resilience and perseverance. This was called 'If at first you don't succeed' and was about a spider that never gives up. The children acted out the story using puppets. 
  • The children also came and told me about examples of when they had shown some of the values. I thought this was brilliant as this was completely un-prompted.

 

"I did compassion because I gave ****** the dinosaur when he was sad."

 

"I was generous because I gave ***** a bracelet."

 

 

 

 

Year 2

 

Year 2 really enjoyed learning about our RESPECT Code last week. As part of their discussions on the school vision statement, they looked at what it means to be an individual and how they could welcome everyone with respect. The class thought about what makes them different and recorded this in pictures. They also read the book: ‘All Are Welcome.’  

 

The children also looked at the Christian Values through the story of ‘The Selfish Crocodile.’ The children chose a picture from the book that linked with the Christian values and discussed where the values were hidden in the story. They were very good at spotting more than one value in each picture!

 

As part of their learning on the RESPECT Code, the children focused on choices and togetherness. They thought about different pictures and how they could help the children in the pictures make a better choice. One afternoon, the children looked at togetherness using the parachute. The children had to work as part of a team to ensure that each parachute activity was successful. The class worked so well together and both Mrs Hughes and Miss Ghassempour were amazed by how much they helped and supported one another throughout these activities. What a fantastic start to Year 2!  

 

 

 

Year 3

 

Year 3 had a brilliant week and thoroughly enjoyed learning about our RESPECT Code. They kicked off the week by learning about our vision statement: they drew pictures to represent each section and discussed how the pictures represent our Collingham vision. 

 

On Thursday, they talked about our Christian values that underpin the RESPECT Code. The children picked one Christian value and described on a leaf about a time they had shown that value in their learning and behaviour. They absolutely loved hearing eachother's stories as they were all very different and the children were thrilled to hear that these will be displayed in the classroom so they can read them throughout this year. 

 

On Friday, we looked at the final part of our RESPECT Code. The children discussed the tricky words and familarised themselves with what each one meant. In groups, they matched each part of the word RESPECT with the correct definition. It was great to see the children working together and using their fabulous teamwork skills.

 

Finally, they really got stuck into a drama session where the children were set a task to use freeze framing to create a scene which demonstrated one part of the word RESPECT. The other groups did a great job at guessing which word the children were creating. The children particularly loved one group's version of equality. The children could see how powerful each freeze frame was and it did not take long to figure out which one the children were showing. Well done everyone! 

 

 

 

Year 4

 

On Wednesday, the children learnt how our new vision statement was based on the long-standing school motto of “We are family; All are welcome; You are loved”. The children spent time looking at each section of the vision statement and then completed an activity to go with each. During the activities, the children created wonderful art work depicting our vision statement. Have a look at some of the examples below: 

 

On Thursday, the children learnt about the 12 Christian values on our RESPECT Code and how they are the standards that a follower of Jesus Christ holds as important. The children spent time discussing the different values and how each one might look in school and in our community. The children came up with some amazing examples and understood that the values which make up our Collective Worship are represent the fruit that grows as the teaching is lived out in everyday life. 

 

Finally, on Friday, after a wonderful Collective Worship with Mr Cook, the children matched the Christian Values with each part of our RESPECT Code. We then looked at each letter of our RESPECT Code and the children discussed how we could show them in our behaviour and in our attitudes towards learning. The children then worked in pairs to complete a maths puzzle.

 

After completing the puzzle, we discussed if during the activity they had demonstrated any part of our RESPECT code. The children were quick to say that they had to show resilience when they found some learning tricky; positivity as they enjoyed trying to solve the mystery; and empathy as they needed to be aware of each other’s feelings. In their pairs, they had to make positive choices and they had to act with trust and friendship when working together. 

 

 

 

Year 5

 

Year 5 had an amazing week learning about the RESPECT Code in school. On Wednesday, the children started the week by looking at the school vision statement. They decorated dolls to highlight their individuality and they then filled dream jars to show all that we dream of.

 

On Thursday, they played a matching game to match our Christian Values with the symbols and developed some real life scenarios where they could demonstrate these values.

 

Finally, they ended the week by looking at the seven words that make up our RESPECT code. They matched up our Christian Values with the words in the RESPECT code and discovered that there were multiple links that are different to the ones that were put into the final version. To round off their learning, the children created freeze frames to demonstrate all of the different aspects of the RESPECT code. All of this work now forms part of our new RESPECT Code display in the classroom so that they can refer back to it at any point during the school year.  

 

 

 

Year 6

 

Last Wednesday, Year 6 studied the new school vision statement which is based on, “We are family; All are welcome; You are loved”. The children talked about what the key words meant and how they matched with the biblical references.  We created paper dolls of what makes us all individuals and linked them with string and hearts.

 

On Thursday, the children learnt about the 12 Christian values on our RESPECT Code and how they are a good set of values to live by as a world citizen.  They discussed many examples of the RESPECT Code in action and how it might look if they didn't use our RESPECT Code, for example, how we show courage in school and give examples of when we don't persevere.  We matched the symbols and then played a memory game called 'Kim's Game' to help us remember them.

 

The children finished this fabulous week with really embedding the RESPECT Code and what it means to us.  They created a display about moments when they were really proud of themselves and created photo stills of what the RESPECT Code might look like in action. What a great week!

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 10th September 2021

 

What a fantastic first week back in school it has been! It has been lovely to see you all and to see our school running in the way it should. Long may it continue!

 

To kick start the new academic year, we have re-launched our school vision statement and our RESPECT Code. These were both rewritten before the pandemic and were set to be launched with the children at the start of March 2020 before we then had to stop all of our whole school collective worship with COVID-19 cases rapidly on the increase. Since 5th March 2020, we have not had another chance to all be together in one place and so this week seemed like the perfect opportunity for the children to learn exactly what the vision for the school is and to also understand how it provides the all-encompassing structure for our RESPECT Code.

 

Back in 2019, the whole school staff, school governors, children and a parent panel worked on developing a brand new Christian vision statement for our school. This took a huge amount of time and work to write something that we felt really reflected what we wanted to achieve at Collingham. As a Church of England school, the vision statement sets the direction of the school and articulates our promotion of strong Christian values. It is aspirational and it aims to motivate and inspire all members of the school community.

 

On Wednesday, the children learnt how our new vision statement is based on the long-standing school motto of “We are family; All are welcome; You are loved”. It was this powerful motto that really struck a chord with me when I first visited Collingham and it made me realise instantly that I wanted to be the headteacher of this amazing school. The motto is displayed all over school and the children continue to say it every day at the end of the school prayer; however, over time, it seems to have lost its meaning and become simply just words. 

 

The vision statement is 50 words long; it is split in to three sections to represent each element of the school motto; and it also has clear biblical literature embedded in to it. It has been structured to lead with God's love; then what we create; what we offer; and then what we do for each child. Finally, we ended with the 'result'.

 

 

The vision statement underpins everything we do at Collingham: through the RESPECT code; our curriculum; and all of our policies. It helps to create an environment that prepares our children to be independent, confident, global citizens and it promotes the well-being of the whole child and ensures intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual growth. I hope that you feel it already reflects our school community as we try to recover from the pandemic and to build even further - in the coming years - on what we already have.

 

 

 

On Thursday, the children learnt about the 12 Christian values on our RESPECT Code and how they are the standards that a follower of Jesus Christ holds as important. These values are consistent from generation to generation, since their foundation is from God's Word in the Bible, but it was also important for the children to be aware of how these values are consistent with other faiths too. These values are the language we use in school to positively manage behaviour and attitudes to learning. We promote them every day to help each and every child become the best version of themselves that they can be. 

 

 

 

Finally, this morning, our last collective worship of the week demonstrated to the children how the school vision statement and the twelve Christian values are the 'recipe' for the creation of our RESPECT Code - including what each letter of the word RESPECT stands for. The twelve values were represented by twelve different cooking ingredients and - by following a very precise recipe of our own - our capable team of cooks - Harry, Ella, Noah and Skye (and including Mr 'Cook' of course) - were able to visually represent the formation of our RESPECT Code to the rest of the school. Once all the ingredients (Christian values) had been mixed together and baked in the oven; a delicious looking cake (RESPECT Code) was the end result.

 

In simple terms, the children have been learning how the Christian vision statement is the umbrella over our school that is then delivered through the 12 Christian values that teach them to show RESPECT.

 

 

 

 

 

From next week onwards, we will focus on each letter of the RESPECT Code in turn - starting with R for Resilience which will also involve exploring the Christian values of courage and perseverance. The children will learn about resilience at the start of the week and they will be taught how they can demonstrate this through their behaviour and their attitudes towards learning over the course of the week. They will then be challenged to go out and put this in to action for themselves. 

 

On Friday, we will then have our celebratory, whole school Certificate Assembly where two children will be awarded certificates (see examples below) for showing resilience - one for behaviour and one for attitudes towards learning. These certificates will be sent home each week so please keep and eye out so that you can really praise your children for their awards.

 

 

This structure for weekly collective worship will then be followed for E, S, P, E, C and T (it's impossible to read this without breaking in to the rhythm of a particular song!) before then returning to the start again. This cycle will then continue throughout the academic year.

 

To sign off today's blog, I felt obliged to share an incredible piece of artwork that was created by Seren (Year 4) earlier in the week. Seren was sent by Mrs Questa to show me her work and I was absolutely blown away by the quality and precision of it. She explained to me how she had drawn hands making a love heart symbol which represented the 'you are loved' part of our school motto and vision. Inside this heart, she then wrote as many words as she could think of that exemplified this phrase in action at Collingham. I am sure you will agree that the end result is absolutely outstanding and it has since given us the idea to create more images such as this that we could potentially put up on display in the school hall. Well done Seren!

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Tuesday 7th September 2021

 

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

I hope you have had a fantastic summer break and that the children have had a chance to 'recharge the batteries'. We are all looking forward to warmly welcoming you back to school tomorrow for the first day of the new academic year. What better way to return than in 28 degree sunshine so please remember to have applied sunscreen to your children before they leave the house in the morning. I certainly did not expect to have to deliver that message in the second week of September, but I guess that nothing should surprise us with the good old British weather these days!

 

All the staff in school have high hopes and an extremely positive outlook for the year ahead. We cannot wait to get started. There is no way of knowing what challenges might lie ahead, but - to be honest it doesn't matter - we will tackle them head on as we always do! There has been a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to get ready for tomorrow, but we are particularly excited about the improvements we have made to the curriculum for this year. All will be revealed in the coming weeks. The children are going to have a memorable learning experience and - after all of the disruption of the past 18 months - it was important to take this opportunity to really freshen things up.

 

For new Reception parents, we cannot wait to see you and the children tomorrow afternoon for the drop in sessions should you be able to make these. For some of you, this will be your first opportunity to set foot in school following all of the restrictions that we have faced throughout the pandemic so thank you for your understanding and patience. I sincerely wish this could have been different. Your home visits by the class teachers will start from Monday 13th September before your children then start their morning sessions in school from Monday 20th September on the days that you were provided with before the summer holidays. You will be sure to receive a proper Collingham welcome from all members of our school community. It is going to be fantastic to meet you all properly!

 

I appreciate that you were all provided with a huge amount of information last week in readiness for our return tomorrow so I just wanted to take the opportunity to politely remind you about a few of the key things.

 

Displaying symptoms of COVID-19

 

Children, parents and staff should not enter school premises if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).

 

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

 

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

 

If anyone in school develops COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, we will continue to send them home and they should then follow public health advice. Children will be taken to the school’s isolation room and parents will contacted to arrange immediate collection.

 

We appreciate that some parents will be working so please consider contingency arrangements that you could access/employ in this situation.

 

 

Government guidance

 

Government guidance now informs schools:

 

  • Contingency plans (sometimes called Outbreak Management Plans) should be in place that outline what would happen if children, pupils, students or staff test positive for COVID-19, or how to operate if you were advised to take extra measures to help break chains of transmission.
  • It is no longer recommend that it is necessary to keep children in consistent groups (‘bubbles’). This means that bubbles will not need to be used from the autumn term. Contingency plans (sometimes called Outbreak Management Plans) should cover the possibility that in some local areas it may become necessary to reintroduce ‘bubbles’ for a temporary period, to reduce mixing between groups. Any decision to recommend the reintroduction of ‘bubbles’ would not be taken lightly and would need to take account of the detrimental impact they can have on the delivery of education.
  • Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas.
  • Frequent and thorough hand cleaning should now be regular practice. Schools should continue to ensure that pupils clean their hands regularly. This can be done with soap and water.
  • Appropriate cleaning schedules should be put in place and maintained. This should include regular cleaning of areas and equipment (for example, twice per day), with a particular focus on frequently touched surfaces.

 

Schools can seek public health advice when five children or staff ‘who are likely to have mixed closely’ (or 10% of a smaller group) – test positive for COVID-19 in a 10 day period. This is the recommended point at which schools might be expected to implement their Outbreak Management Plans.

 

 

Start of school day

 

 

8.50am (Gates open at 8.40am)

 

Late arrivals

 

 

Children arriving at 8.55am will be deemed late and they will need to be brought in to school through the main office as the classroom doors will be closed.

 

 

Drop off arrangements

Reception, Year 1 & Year 2

 

The school gates will be open from 8.40am and parents/carers are welcome to start arriving at any point from then on. Parents/carers in these year groups are expected to bring their children on to the playground and to then wait with them until the bell is rung on the playground at 8.50am and the classroom doors are opened by the teachers. The children will need to line up outside of their classroom doors before being allowed in to school.

Years 3, 4, 5 & 6

 

Parents/carers must allow their children to walk independently up the path past the school bungalow to the back of school. Children can be dropped off on the front playground or at the gate at the top of the steps from 8.40am. Staff will be outside to help support with this for the first few days and there will always be members of staff supervising on the back playground until the classroom doors are opened at 8.50am.

 

For the first week back (Wed, Thur & Fri), Year 3 parents only can take their children down the path to their classroom door as we appreciate that these children will never have done this on their own before. The Year 3 children will then do this independently from the start of the second week.

 

 

 

End of school day

 

 

3.15pm (Gates open at 3.00pm)

 

Collection arrangements

 

 

Reception, Year 1 & Year 2

The school gates will be open from 3.00pm and parents/carers are welcome to start arriving at any point from then on. When the classroom doors open at 3.15pm, teachers will be looking for parents/carers to send each child to. Teachers will only release the children once they have seen the responsible adult.

 

If you have a change of collection arrangements and your child will be going home with someone else, please can you email the school office to provide written notice at the earliest opportunity. We are unable to let the children leave without this.

 

Years 3, 4, 5 & 6

If they wish, parents are allowed to walk up the side of school past the school bungalow and wait just outside the Year 3/4 classrooms for the children.

 

The children will be released from their classrooms at 3.15pm and they will be allowed to walk out to meet their parents outside Year 3/4; to walk around to the front playground to meet parents/grandparents/childminders collecting younger siblings; or to walk home on their own if in Year 5/6 and parental permission has been given in writing to school.

 

It is important to reinforce the message with the children that should they be expecting an adult to collect them - and they are not there – then they should go straight to the school office to tell a member of staff. The children will be able to wait at the office until the adult arrives.

 


 

Toilet refurbishments

 

Over the summer holidays, we have had a complete refurbishment of the toilet blocks in Reception, Year 1/2, Year 3/4 and Year 5/6. This project has been a couple of years in the planning and we were delighted to secure significant funding earlier in the year from the Leeds Diocese; Lady Elizabeth Hastings' Charitable Trust; and Friends of Collingham School PTA to be able to finally proceed with the work. We owe a huge thank you to all of these organisations for putting the money up and also to Mrs Azimikorf for all of her hard work in putting the project out to tender and for liaising with the architects and builders throughout. 

 

It was really important for us to complete this project to give the children toilets that they feel safe and secure in. In pupil surveys, they have very often commented on not liking the toilets so it was imperative to listen to their views and to make the required changes. This is a school for them after all!

 

The toilets now look bright, fresh and clean and they are certainly in keeping with all the other improvements we have made to the building in recent years so that we all have a school environment to be proud of. 

 

 

Good luck with all those last minute jobs tonight in preparation for tomorrow (Reception - you have a couple more weeks). See you bright and early for an 8.50am start! It is going to be a special moment to see everyone altogether once more. This is what Collingham School is all about!

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 23rd July 2021

 

Here we are. The end of a turbulent school year that has posed any number of challenges and disruptions. I have never faced a year like this in my career and – somehow – it has even surpassed the difficulties we faced in 2019/20.

 

Whilst it is an important milestone to have managed to crawl to the finish line, it is disappointing that we are unable to celebrate altogether with the children and staff in the Year 1 & 2 bubbles still in self-isolation and a significant number of children being absent for other reasons this week. We did not want - or expect - the school year to end so abruptly, but, unfortunately, COVID-19 has continued to dictate proceedings despite our best efforts to keep it at bay.

 

The country would appear to be facing a summer of unknowns and media headlines continue to worry, but I sincerely hope that once we come back on Wednesday 8th September, cases will be on the decrease and the vaccines will be taking control of the situation once and for all. There is plenty to do still over the summer and our Senior Leadership Team will be working to ensure that all plans are in place for the September reopening as well as having the new risk assessment ready. I anticipate releasing this information to parents on Wednesday 1st September which will be one full week before we return; however, I am pleased to let you know now that we will be reverting to a full school day in all year groups – 8.50am until 3.15pm.

 

Today, we say goodbye to our wonderful Year 6 children who now embark on new journeys at their high schools from September. A recent COVID-19 outbreak amongst them right at the very end of the year nearly spoilt everything, but with the typical resolve that they have shown all year – they simply could not be beaten! We are always incredibly proud of our Year 6 children, but this year - and more than any other – they really have been tested and I said to them yesterday that they will live long in the memory as the year group who led us through the pandemic and set the example of resilience, positivity and enthusiasm to one and all. Despite all the disappointments of having the residential cancelled; no SATs (that is a disappointment right?); no theme park; no parents in school at the Leavers’ Assembly; and – most significantly - no sitting on the benches in daily Collective Worship – they have continued to smile and bounce in to school each day. We could not have hoped for a better class of children and we are so pleased that they have enjoyed a beach-themed party day; fish and chips; ice-creams; pizzas; and inflatable slides and table football! This was the least they deserved!

 

Thank you Year 6 for brightening up our school in some of the darkest times that Collingham has ever faced. We are going to miss each and every one of you next year and we all wish you the very best of luck at your new schools. You will always be part of the Collingham School family and I have no doubt that you will take all aspects of the RESPECT Code with you in order to continue growing as amazing young people. Please always feel free to drop by and say 'hello'. You will be most welcome!

 

To our parents and carers, I wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your support and understanding throughout the school year and for allowing us to work with your fantastic children. You have always been at the forefront of our decision making to try and ease the impact that COVID-19 has had on you all. At times, it has been impossible to achieve this for everyone and it will have caused disruption and frustration – be that through day to day safety procedures; places at key worker provision; remote learning; collapsed bubbles; technology issues; or the cancellation of whole school events. All of these have been unavoidable and I have taken no pleasure in being the bearer of bad news on a consistent basis. It is not why I came in to this profession.

 

Despite all of this, you have continued to support me and all of the staff with your kind words and messages, your positivity at the school gates and - most importantly – through your unwavering commitment to adhere to all of the measures put in place to try and get through the year. I am humbled by the whole school response to the pandemic and we are all so excited to welcome you back to school from September. Our school thrives on togetherness and the strength of home-school relationships and we look forward to you being properly involved in each child’s learning journey once again next year.

 

Also, a huge thank you to our incredible staff team at Collingham. Leading this school is easy when you have such a brilliant team with you and every single member of staff has played their part in getting through to today. I am proud of their collective efforts to put the children first at every step of the way despite the risks to their own health that working in a school environment has posed. They have been completely selfless and have demonstrated a determination to help the children succeed like I have never witnessed before. There have been some very difficult moments in self-isolation and in contracting the virus, but not once have I heard a complaint about the impact on them personally. The only discussions are about how they can keep the children safe and how they can keep them engaged with school. With so many staff absences, their flexibility and commitment to cover colleagues at short notice has been nothing short of inspiring as it has often been to their own detriment by significantly increasing their workload. Well done everyone!

 

And last, but not least, to all the boys and girls at Collingham School. Thank you for being simply the best! You are our heartbeat and our energy. You make this school special. You are all a credit to your families and we are all so very, very proud of everything you have achieved. I am so sorry that you have not been able to play altogether; that you have not been able to go on any school trips; or that you have not been able to enjoy all of our whole school activities. However, I promise that we will make next year a year to remember and that you will have the full experience of being at our school. It has been an absolute pleasure to see you coming to school with beaming smiles and to see you enjoying being with your friends and teachers. Long may this continue! We cannot wait to see you all back together again in September!

 

Have a fantastic summer. I hope that you enjoy the time you spend with family and friends and I wish you all continued good health. As already promised, I will be in touch on 1st September with all the information you will require for our return to school on Wednesday 8th September 2021.

 

Take care and very best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Ofsted Parent View survey

 

With us expecting an Ofsted inspection next year, we would be very grateful to receive any feedback you may have through the online Ofsted Parent View survey. 

 

This is a short survey that can be accessed by clicking on the icon below. There is a quick registration process before you can then access a series of multiple choice questions about our school.

 

We really value feedback and we would appreciate you taking the time to complete this survey if at all possible.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

 

 

New House Captains

 

Congratulations to our newly appointed Year 6 House Captains for next year. I am looking forward to working with you to restore our house points system back to former glories. I look forward to meeting with you and to hear all of your amazing ideas! Well done everyone. Fantastic choices!

 

Our House Captains for 2021/22 will be:

 

Dales: Martha & Betsy

Rivers: Beth & Jack 

Moors: Lawrence & Daisy

Lakes: Joe & Chloe B

 

 

Training Days 2021/22

 

Monday 6th September 2021

Tuesday 7th September 2021

Monday 28th February 2022

Monday 25th July 2022

Tuesday 26th July 2022

 

 

Fundraising - Thank you Dottie!

 

A huge thank you and well done to Dottie (Year 4) for raising an incredible amount of £50.00 to help our school.

 

Dottie has been really busy in her spare time making and selling crafts; undertaking a sponsored read and sleep (I like this sound of this one!); and even joining the Wetherby Wombles to collect litter from across the local community. Dottie reliably informs we that she collected 'sooooooo much litter!'.

 

Dottie - this is simply amazing and it perfectly demonstrates 'service' from our RESPECT Code where we encourage children to do things to help others without seeking any reward or praise. Just simply doing it because you feel it is the right thing to do! I was blown away at receiving such a lot of money because of your hard work and kindness. This will really help to make our school even better next year. What a superstar!

 

 

 

Get Caught in the Breeze

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 2nd July 2021

 

Incredibly, we have now entered July and face the final few weeks of tempestuous school year. Two lockdowns, five bubble collapses and nearly 100 children being required to self-isolate have caused no end of worry and disruption throughout.

 

As we approach the summer holidays, we are ensuring that we do not get complacent at this late stage and we remain on heightened alert for potential bubble collapses. We have had a few close calls in recent weeks and I am aware that many local schools currently have whole classes in self-isolation due to an increase in positive cases of COVID-19. Here at Collingham, we are starting to see a greater increase of children becoming unwell and subsequently taking tests. I am starting to feel as though the summer holidays cannot come soon enough as I am anxious that we might yet be impacted again ourselves.

 

I continue to read in the media that the government plans to drop the requirement for ‘bubbles’ in schools and that children and staff will not be required to self-isolate if there is a positive case. As of yet, there is no official confirmation so – as things stand – it would still be an expectation to collapse bubbles if someone tests positive in school.

 

As a polite reminder, if your child displays one of the three main symptoms of a persistent cough, a temperature or a loss of sense of smell/taste, then they must be taken for a booked PCR test at a testing centre. A lateral flow test conducted at home will not suffice.

 

Also in terms of issuing remote learning, this will be done if a child is self-isolating as a result of COVID-19 or in the event of a bubble collapse. The Remote Learning Policy (extract below) explains when parents can expect remote learning to be uploaded to Google classroom in both of these situations.

 

 

I was disappointed to read some of the newspaper headlines this morning that criticised schools – and headteachers in particular – for ‘over-interpreting’ guidance and that ‘schools should be more cautious about sending healthy children home’.  I have to be honest that I nearly spat out my cornflakes at reading this and felt saddened that blame was being laid at the door of schools at this late stage in the pandemic when they have worked tirelessly to keep everything going as normally as possible.  It has been a continuing frustration of mine that schools have had no early communication about government decisions and - I have to be honest - the support from Public England has been virtually non-existent when reporting positive cases. Call-handlers have seemingly been under instructions to avoid offering specific advice and they have left all the decisions down to individual schools.

 

There have been so many difficult decisions for us to make with every one having a negative impact on our school community in some way, shape or form. It has been an unenviable position to be in. I can only assure you that every decision has been taken with safety at the heart of it and in the best possible interests of the children given the circumstances. I have always been concerned that these decisions could have a potentially detrimental impact on the home-school relationships that are so important to us. We have always tried to communicate clearly; to be proactive in our decision making; and to be sensitive to the needs of all our families.

 

As a school, we will have undoubtedly made mistakes and we will have made decisions that some have not agreed with – this was inevitable. However, despite this, I am so grateful for the unwavering support that you have given us throughout and for the compassion you have shown towards our predicament. The past 18 months has been a challenge of a generation, but I continue to be incredibly proud of everyone connected with Collingham and of the resilience that has been exuded by all.

 

With ‘Freedom Day’ being delayed until Mon 19th July, we now await communication from the Department for Education as to what this means for our school. With so few weeks left, I cannot think that this is going to change things too much up until the summer, but I have everything crossed for September and that normality is finally restored. I will of course keep you updated.

 

 

End of Year Reports 2020/21

 

Our annual end of year reports will be sent home with the children on Friday 16th July.

 

These will look slightly differently to previous years with a new cover - complete with the school vision statement - and some amendments to the second page regarding pupil assessment.

 

Due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, we have decided to use confidence bands to indicate attainment in reading, writing and maths. This is demonstrated by the use of double-ended arrows that show where each child is being assessed at the moment compared to where they could have been had there been no interruptions to learning and with full curriculum coverage. There will also be three targets for the next academic year.

 

In the example below, the child is solidly mastering (meeting) national expectations in their year group for reading; they are mastering (meeting) national expectations in writing, but they are demonstrating some greater depth elements in their work; and in maths, they are having a little more difficulty where they have been primarily meeting objectives from a lower year group, but they are now starting to close the gap and meet objectives from their own year group.

 

 

 

As a school, we have now removed the Personal Development Goals (PDGs), where children were assessed as bronze, silver or gold. We felt that the children and parents had no real concept of these and that it was unfair to assess the children so crudely against these personal development statements. They were only ever seen at the end of a school year.

 

We have therefore replaced the PDGs with our RESPECT Code and the teachers will now make a short comment about each child in relation to each letter of the word 'RESPECT'. This is much more pertinent to our children and much more positive.

 

 

 

 

Out of School Club

 

Thank you again to all of the parents who replied to our request for feedback regarding an earlier opening for Out of School Club each morning.

 

I am pleased to confirm that we will be proceeding with these plans and that from Monday 12th July (week after next), Out of School Club will be opening at 7.45am every day. This will continue into 2021/22.

 

All children currently booked in to Out of School Club each morning may take advantage of this earlier opening as and when required.

 

For anyone new wishing to apply for a place at Out of School Club then please contact the school office on office@collinghamschool.org and request the link to the online application form.

 

 

Walk To School Week 2021

 

Thank you to all the children and parents who have taken part in Walk to School week at the end of May. The children really enjoyed completing their ‘Walking Challenge Booklet’ on their walk to school and earning their Walk to School week stickers and badges.

 

In school, the teachers recorded how many kilometres their class completed each day towards our whole school walking challenge to cover the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Our target was 1,407km and our children walked an astonishing 1,575km. We were unbelievably proud of all the children who showed a fantastic positive attitude and exceptional perseverance!

 

Well done everybody - it was so lovely to see you walking to school even in the rain!

 

 

What the children thought about Walk to School week:

 

"I liked doing my laps every day." Alba (Y1)

"I liked doing our booklets." Matilda (Y1)

"I really liked getting our badges!" Amelie (Y1)

“I enjoyed running around the field because I could chat to my friends whilst I was running.” Ben (Y3)

“I liked walk to school week because I kept challenging myself to walk further each day.” Amelia (Y3)

“I liked walked to school week because it made me feel really healthy!” Georgia (Y3)

“I liked walk to school week because I got to talk to my friends and we didn’t pollute the world as much.” Finn (Y4)

“I really enjoyed when running around the field with my friends I helped keep me fit and super smiley throughout the day!” Abigail (Y4)

“I loved it because it motivated me to do exercise and have fun talking to my friends.” Delilah (Y4)

“It was nice to walk to school and it has encouraged me to walk to school more often. Also, It was so much fun to complete the walking challenge in school with my friends as we were smiling and laughing all the way round!” Sophie (Y4)

 

 

"It's Coming Home"

 

This morning in Certificate Assembly, we were treated to a rousing rendition of "Three Lions" by Mr Duffy and the Year 5 children. I could hearing lots of children all joining in across school and there were certainly lots of smiles.

 

Due to my own personal footballing allegiances, I am not all that familiar with success, so to see England doing so well at Euro 2020 is really exciting at the end of such a difficult time for the country. 

 

It is win-win for me this weekend as if England prove victorious - and proceed to the semi-finals - then I will be delighted. However, a win for Ukraine happens to keep me alive in the school sweepstake for another few days!

 

I know lots of the children are looking forward to the game so I hope you all enjoy it together!

 

I have no doubts that anyone of an alternative national persuasion will be just as pleased as the English to see a Home Nation progress!

 

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Friday 7th May 2021

 

Parent Consultation Evenings

 

Just a polite reminder that our delayed parent consultation evenings will take place on Tuesday 22nd June (4.30-7.30pm) and Wednesday 23rd June (3.30-6.30pm)

 

Appointments will be released in the the week before half-term on Eduspot and with all meetings taking place on Microsoft Teams in June. 

 

 

Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) PTA - Treasurer needed!

 

At the end of this academic year, Jane Chappell will be standing down as treasurer of the school PTA. Jane has done a fantastic job of managing the accounts and in helping to allocate funding towards a variety of projects in school. She has been incredibly approachable and I just know that she is going to miss my emails and phone calls which always start with: "Hi Jane. Please can we have some money?"

 

I would like to offer a huge thank you to Jane on behalf of everyone in school for all of her hard work and for being the first point of contact to pitch ideas to so that they can be taken to the PTA committee for discussion. The level of support to make things happen quickly has been absolutely incredible. 

 

As Jane looks to pass on the baton, I am appealing to our parent base to see if there might be anybody who would be interested in taking this on or to at least have a conversation about what exactly this role entails. To raise your expression of interest, please contact the school office or any of the PTA committee members. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

‘Top Dogs!’

 

Last week, Year 4 put their Maths skills to the test, securing 1st place in the Leeds Sumdog contest! Children from all over Leeds took part and Abigail, Dottie, Teddy, Harrison, Millie, Sophie and Ella even finished in the top 10 out of over 400 children. Myself, Mr Elliot, Mrs Wood, Mrs Questa and all the staff at Collingham School are incredibly proud of all of the children's perseverance, determination and enthusiasm throughout the competition.  

 

Well done and congratulations!

 


 

 

 

The FA Trophy in school

 

On Wednesday, we were really fortunate to have a special visitor for the day in the form of the FA Trophy that was won by Harrogate Town at Wembley only two days earlier.

 

The FA Trophy is a famous tournament in lower league football that was first established in 1969. It has been won by other Yorkshire sides that include Scarborough, Halifax Town, York City - and now - Harrogate Town.

 

The children were really excited to see such an impressive looking trophy and they were mesmerised by the sheer size of it. It certainly over-shadowed our own selection of trophies in the window at the front of school! Everyone likes something big and shiny!

 

The trophy spent some time in each of the classrooms with many of the children wanting their photo taken with it. The Harrogate Town fans within school were absolutely delighted at seeing this silverware which is something Leeds United fans can only dream of right now!

 

A huge thank you to Harrogate Town for trusting us to look after the trophy for the day. It was a lovely opportunity for the children. Congratulations on a brilliant win!

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Friday 30th April 2021

 

It has been unnervingly quiet since we have returned from the Easter break so the less said about that the better because I would not like to tempt fate right now!

 

As always, the children continue to amaze us with their enthusiasm, positivity and resilience. Each week that passes is hopefully another step closer towards normality with the ultimate ambition of our school being back to how it used to be pre-COVID. By then, it would have been 18 months since the start of the pandemic and - for the children in both Reception and Year 1 - our current way operating is all that they really know. I think there is certainly a shared feeling of sadness about this within the staff team. 

 

I cannot wait until parents from all year groups can network on the school playground again; until the children can all play together at breaktimes and lunchtimes; until we can go on school trips once; and until we can hold all of our usual events in the school hall. We know that the children have missed so much, but nothing more so than the social aspect of Collingham School where we pride ourselves on the strength of relationships between everybody. I am incredibly excited about the prospect of getting back to this and with no restrictions in place.

 

Over the next couple of months, we will be planning carefully for a 'full return'. This is going to take some serious consideration with so much time having passed since March 2020 and with everyone familiar with the current norm; however, this is most definitely the one job that I have been looking forward to more than any other.

 

With September being a brand new start, I am keen that we celebrate this and re-establish everything that makes this such a special school. Whilst it is not an important part of school strategy going forwards, one thing I am looking at doing is to change the school logo. 

 

Since I arrived at Collingham back in 2017, I have never been particularly keen on our logo and I have never felt that it properly represents our school. In addition, the name of the school on the current logo is actually structured in a way that is different to the way that we are really titled. I feel that after everything we have been through, this is the perfect opportunity to freshen things up and to really align everything with our school vision. Over the coming weeks, I will be seeking the views of children, parents staff and governors to identify what is important about both our school and our local community in readiness for a design brief meeting with a graphics company. I am keen that all stakeholders are a part of this process and that a new logo is - collectively - our logo. 

 

At this point, I wish to reassure that I am already giving consideration to the possible implications that this may have on our school uniform and on other branded items that the children may bring in to school each day. Any transition between logos will be done over an extended period of time so that there are no unnecessary financial implications imposed on our families. In the meantime, items of uniform with the existing logo can continue to be purchased in the normal way and they will remain part of our school uniform policy for the coming months.

 

 

Collingham Bear Hunt & Sea Creature Hunt

 

Following the success of ‘Collingham Kids’ Rocks’ during the first lockdown last year, I was excited to hear about another community activity that popped up in 2021 to provide the children at our school with something to enjoy amongst the challenges of the most recent lockdown.

 

One of our parents – Mrs Forrester – created two fabulous trails around the village for the children to explore. The Collingham Bear Hunt and Sea Creature Hunt brought lots of fun to family walks during the winter months with beautifully knitted toys hidden in all manner of different places for the children to explore and find.

 

Mrs Forrester has spent a huge amount of time hand-knitting all of the toys and in setting up both of these hunts. Not only that, but she has also raised £154 for the school PTA from donations given by families taking part in the hunts.

 

I wanted to say a huge thank you to Mrs Forrester for these lovely gestures in encouraging the children to get out and about and in supporting our school. The money raised will really help after such a difficult 14 months.

 

For anyone who has not yet enjoyed the trails, further information can be found on the Facebook link below.

 

https://m.facebook.com/groups/3395442083893584/?tsid=0.12313198277663917&source=result

 

 

 

Thank you to ‘A. Nana’

 

Just before Easter, I received a lovely card in the post from an anonymous grandparent with a small gift inside to help to plant a tree, shrub or flower bed around the school grounds to ‘remember this year of love, loss and fortitude’. I was incredibly touched by the kind sentiments and generosity.

 

The sender signed off simply as ‘A. Nana’ and whilst I respect their wishes to do things quietly, I feel compelled to at least say a huge public thank you - on behalf of everyone at Collingham School - to whoever ‘A. Nana’ is and in the hope that she reads this message.

 

After such a challenging year, the school grounds definitely needed brightening up so we have ensured that some new hanging baskets are placed around the front of school and that a number of the flower beds are brought back to colourful life.

 

I am always so proud to be the headteacher of this school and this is yet another example of the warmth, kindness and solidarity that the Collingham school community never fails to show.

 

 

I hope you all enjoy the extended bank holiday weekend. See you on Tuesday!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Thursday 1st April 2021

 

 

On behalf of everyone here at Collingham School, I would like to wish you all a very Happy Easter! I hope that you enjoy the break together as families following one of the most difficult terms that we have ever had to face. It has posed challenges right until the very end with the collapse of the Reception bubble this morning. Whilst our resolve has been continually tested; it will not be broken!

 

Please stay safe and we will look forward to seeing you all again on Monday 19th April.

 

 

Training Days 2021/22

 

There is no let up and we are already well ahead with our planning for the next academic year - starting in September 2021.

 

The draft version of the school calendar for Leeds has been released so we are now in a position to confirm our training days for 2021/22. I always like you to have these at the earliest opportunity.

 

The five dates will be as follows:

 

Monday 6th September 2021

Tuesday 7th September 2021

Monday 28th February 2022

Friday 27th May 2022

Wednesday 27th July 2022

 

This means that the first day of term for 2021/22 will be Wednesday 8th September 2021.

 

 

Comic Relief 2021

 

 

Thank you for all of your kind donations in support of Comic Relief on Friday 19th March. A grand total of £238.35 was raised for this important charity. Amazing!

 

 

Year 6 Bikeability

 

Last week, Year 6 completed their ‘Bikeability’ with Cycle North. They each spent one session learning and practising how to ride their bike in the playground, and then two sessions on the roads of Collingham putting this into practice. The children had great fun, riding safely around the village, in groups with the three instructors. Mr Cook and Mrs Meek were extremely proud of the behaviour and seriousness with which the children took on this challenge. It was noticeable that not all cars stick to the speed limits through our village! Well done Year 6!

 

 

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 26th March 2021

 

As we approach the end of spring term, things always seem to get even busier rather than starting to wind down. Today's blog is given over to a number of important messages that need to be shared with you. This seemed the best place to do so rather than bombard your inboxes with admin over the next week.

 

Easter Holidays

 

School breaks up for the Easter Holidays next Thursday 1st April with the Friday being a bank holiday for Good Friday. 

 

School will reopen on Monday 19th April.

 

 

CALSA Car Park

 

We have today received a message from Stephen at CALSA for the attention of all parents:

 

"Apologies for the late notice, but we have just been told that the work building the new cricket nets starts on Monday 29th March.

 

As a result, construction traffic will be using the CALSA car park from early Monday morning for the next two weeks. Whilst care will be taken, parents should take extra caution when using the car park and use the alternative car park next to the football pitch if possible. Thank you!"

 

 

Payment reminder

 

We politely request that parents make all outstanding payments for dinner money and guitar lessons with immediate effect. Dinner money payment requests for next week will be sent out next Thursday 1st April and we would appreciate payment to be made on the day in order to support with our financial year end accounts. Thank you in advance.

 

 

Easter Bingo 2021

 

 

Since I arrived at Collingham, I have become well-aware of the high-esteem in which this traditional PTA event is held by children, parents and staff. Unfortunately, circumstances dictated that we had to cancel this in 2020, but I am pleased to reveal that this will be returning next week - albeit remotely.

 

I will be dusting off my sparkly jacket and revising all my bingo terms over the weekend to ensure that each key stage is able to participate in school at the end of next week. This will be done over Zoom - into all of the classrooms - so the children will be able to enjoy this with all of their friends as they normally would. I am just sorry that we will be unable to invite parents to join in the fun.

 

Thank you to Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) for the loan of the all-important bingo machine, but also for the kind donation of Easter eggs that can be used as prizes next week. You have supported so fantastically as always!

 

The children have missed out on so much over the past 12 months that we wanted to ensure that they could still participate in some of the things that they always look forward to in school.

​​​​​

 

Parent Consultation Evenings

 

I am delighted to confirm that we have finalised our plans for the second set of parent consultation evenings of this academic year. These were originally scheduled for mid-March, but due to the children only being back a week following the COVID-19 school closures, we felt it was best to postpone these until later in the school year when we could provide you with more useful information regarding individual progress.

 

Unfortunately, with still being unable to welcome parents in to school at this time, we will once again hold these meetings remotely using Microsoft Teams.

 

The dates will be Tuesday 22nd June (4.30-7.30pm) and Wednesday 23rd June (3.30-6.30pm).

 

A letter will be sent out to parents in due course, but I wanted you to have these dates at the earliest opportunity.

 

 

End of Year Reports

 

Our annual end of year reports will be sent home with the children on Friday 16th July.

 

 

Sports Day 2021

 

With not knowing what national/school restrictions will remain in place over the coming months, we have decided not to set a date for this year's Sports Day just yet.

 

This is such a popular event and it is much more enjoyable if we can share it with parents and grandparents. We are going to wait until everything is a bit clearer in order to give it the best possible chance for you all to join us. We would normally give you the date with plenty of notice so that you are able to book time off work, but I am afraid that - on this occasion - it is going to have to be a late call. We are hopeful that this will be sometime at the beginning of July.

 

 

Be an Easter Bunny to a Senior

 

In December, we got involved in an inititative called 'Be a Santa to a Senior' where each class made lots of creative items to be used as gifts for elderly residents within our local community to put a smile on their faces. The items were a small gesture to make a difference to anyone who might be experiencing loneliness which has undoubtedly been compounded by the challenges of the pandemic. 

 

The items from Collingham were incredibly well-received and Heather Welsh from ‘Home Instead – Wetherby & North East’ contacted school to tell us how she was blown away by the quality of what the children had spent time making.

 

 

Due to the positive difference the will have been made to so many people, we have offered to take part once again, but this time for the ‘Be an Easter Bunny to a Senior’ initiative. This week, the children have once again been busy making an array of gifts that will be donated. I am sure you will agree that the children have done another fabulous job!

 

 

 

Walk to School Week 2021

 

 

Between Monday 17th May and Friday 21st May, we will be participating in Walk to School Week 2021.

 

Each child will be challenged to travel sustainably (walk, school, cycle or Park and Stride) to school every day for one week. They will each be given a fun, interactive wallchart with stickers to log their journeys.

 

Each class will work collectively to make as many active journeys to school as possible across the week and they will record the number of active journeys made on a classroom wallchart. 

 

Walking has so many benefits from physical to mental well-being; aiding concentration and creativity; and creating safer, less polluted and more welcoming streets. All this makes for a happy, healthy child who is set up for success in and out of the classroom.

 

We felt it was really important to participate and to get active again following such a difficult year.

 

Further details will be revealed shortly.

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Friday 12th March 2021

 

Well, where did that go? The first week back has absolutely flown by! The children have continued to be amazing and they really have helped to bring our school back to life once and for all. You cannot have a school without the children and their positivity, energy and sense of fun has given all of us a huge lift. We have said it many times already, but we really are so proud of their courage and perseverance in the face of adversity.

 

I thoroughly enjoy writing my blog to parents, but for today, I have decided to hand it over to the boys and girls of Collingham School in order to give them the voice to share their thoughts and feelings about the return to school. This week is to celebrate them!

 

We have asked the children three simple questions so I hope you enjoy reading some of their responses. There are certainly some common themes, but I think these clearly highlight what is most important to them. It just goes to show that some of the small things cannot be taken for granted!

 

 

What have you enjoyed the most about being back at school?

 

”Lunchtime!” – William (Rec)    [I had to start with this one William! Fantastic!]

 

“I have liked seeing my teachers and my friends” – Evangeline (Rec)

 

”Doing hard work!” – Ellis (Rec)

 

”Playing with all the toys” – Max (Rec)

 

"I've loved playing with my friends" – Grace (Y1)

 

“Learning about rainforest habitats and making rainforests” – Ben (Y2)

 

“Being with my friends and racing them!” – Arthur (Y2)   [Oh to be 7 years old again, Arthur! Love this!]

 

“I have enjoyed being back together!” – Georgia (Y3)

 

“Getting to see all my friends and the teachers” – Annie (Y4)

 

“The thing I have enjoyed the most about being back at school is seeing all my friends and teachers.” – Tom C (Y4)

 

“I have enjoyed being back in class with my friends and teachers” - Abigail (Y4)

 

“Being able to do work without looking at a screen all day. Having a teacher to help you if you're stuck.” – Poppy (Y5)

 

“I like to be back at school because if you get stuck on something you can ask questions and the teachers can help you. Also I have enjoyed seeing the people that I don't have any contact with.” – Pria (Y5)

 

“Seeing friends - not over screens - but seeing them in real life. Sometimes it's a bit boring stuck at home, but we’re here now and that's all that matters” – Gwen (Y5)

 

“Not being on screens all the time. I focus a lot more at school.” - Scarlett (Y6)

 

“Talking with people and having physical human contact” - Lucy (Y6) 

 

 

 

How do you feel about being back at school?

 

“I feel happy because I get to see all of my friends” – Sienna (Rec)

 

"I am bursting happy" – Myles (Y1)    [Me too! This made me smile, Myles]

 

"I like being back at school, it makes me happy" – Poppy (Y1)

 

“Very, very, very... happy” – Erin (Y2)   [Brilliant!]

 

“I felt a little bit nervous before coming back to school but now I feel great!” – Rose O (Y3)

 

“When I first came to school I felt a little bit nervous, but now I feel better about being around more people.” – Isla (Y3)

 

“I was a little bit nervous to return to school, but now I am getting more used to being back in the classroom and I feel fine!” – Charlie A (Y3)

 

“I am overjoyed about being back at school” - Sophie B (Y4)

 

“I felt nervous at first but after being back in the classroom I am so excited to be back” – Sophie T (Y4)    [Completely understandable to feel like this Sophie. I think lots of children and adults were in the same position. Well done for being so positive!]

 

“Home learning was really fun, but I am so happy to be back in school with all my friends and teachers” – Finn (Y4)

 

“It feels amazing to be back at school because you get to see all your friends and all your teachers!” – Chloe B (Y5)

 

“Mixed feelings because I feel really happy because I get to see my friends in the flesh and and not being home-schooled, but a little sad because I will miss playing Skyjo on an evening and having tea with my family.” – Georgie (Y5)   [I know your mum, Georgie, and I think she will still let you have your tea! :o) ]

 

“I feel great being back at school because it is better seeing people face to face instead of going on Facetime.” – Max T (Y5)

 

“I feel really happy to be back at school because I get to be taught by Mr Duffy in the flesh. I also feel really excited to see how things are going to go” – Lucy (Y5)

 

“Happy because I get to see my friends again, but sad that I can’t stay in bed!” - James M (Y6)   [Oh dear! Sorry for dragging you out of bed James! You can have a deserved lie in tomorrow! How does that sound?]

 

“I feel good about it because I was more isolated at home and I can now interact with people at school” – Ciara (Y6)

 

 

What have you really missed?

 

“Everything!” – Alex (Rec)    [The perfect answer, Alex!!!]

 

"I have missed my friends" – Tom T (Y1)

 

“My friends and the teachers” – Ella P (Y2)

 

“I have missed everyone and every lesson that we do” – Charlie M (Y3)

 

“I have really missed our maths and English lessons because they are interesting.” – Ruby (Y3)

 

“I've missed seeing my friends every day and Mr Elliot” – Ella (Y4)

 

“I have really missed seeing my friends and playing with them at break times” – William D (Y4)

 

“Seeing my friends and just seeing them in general. It was sad because the only way I could see them was through the internet“ – Joe (Y5)

 

“Seeing real people and getting back to some sort of normality” – Sophie (Y5)

 

“Seeing friends and enjoying good times with them” – Jake (Y5)


“I have missed everyone's happy faces and also playing with them!” – Betsy (Y5)

 

“Playing in the playground” - Thomas B (Y6)

 

“I miss the sports clubs like Mr Elliot’s football” - Sam (Y6)

 

“I missed seeing my friends” - Harry & David (Y6)

 

 

 

 

Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) PTA Fundraising - Amazon Smile

 

 

If your house is anything like mine then I am sure that you might spend a small fortune using Amazon over the course of a year.

 

I wanted to re-raise that Amazon will give a donation of 0.5% to FoCS for all eligible purchases that you make through the website.

 

To support FoCS in this way you need to log into https://smile.amazon.co.uk/and choose Collingham School PTA (Charity Number 1096137) as your charity. You then need to log into your amazon account/app and activate Amazon Smile in 'Settings'.

 

Detailed instructions can be found below. Many thanks in advance for your support.

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

Friday 26th February 2021

 

This week brought the news that we have all been waiting for....schools are reopening to ALL children from Monday 8th March We cannot wait to welcome you all back. The Government briefing on Monday evening seems to have changed everyone's sense of perspective and it has reinvigorated us all with hope for the future.

 

It has been said many times already about how challenging the start to 2021 has been, but from this point forward there will be no dwelling. The sole focus will be on making the return to school a resounding success by committing all of our energy and resources in to supporting the well-being of the children and in closing any gaps in learning. This will be done with unwavering positivity, enthusiasm and determination.

 

As it has been three months since everyone was on the school premises, I would like to to once again reinforce some of the ways that our parents can continue playing their part in supporting the school with all of the safety measures in place. These will be required for the foreseeable future until all national restrictions are finally lifted.

 

The following are vitally important to ensure the procedures we have in place are as effective as possible and to ensure the smooth day-to-day running of school. We politely remind: 

 

  • Parents/carers must be punctual and arrive at the allocated staggered times to ease congestion around school.

 

 

  • It is important that queues only start to form once a previous year group has completed their drop off.  

 

  • Only one adult should enter the playground when accompanying their child/children to/from school. 

 

  • Children must stand with their parents in the queue to avoid mixing between class bubbles and to minimise contact. Please can children refrain from climbing on the walls or running up and down the paths. 

 

  • Parents/carers must not congregate on the playground or outside of the school gates. Everyone should observe social distancing as much as possible. Areas outside drop off/collection points have been marked with 2m distance lines to help. 

 

  • Parents/carers are requested to wear facemasks on school premises if not exempt from doing so.

 

  • Parents/carers must not come into the school building unless by prior arrangement. If items have been forgotten – such as water bottles, PE kits or musical instruments – please telephone the school office to inform of this before dropping them off.  We would be grateful for the extra effort in ensuring that the children are fully prepared for each school day.  

 

  • Should you be required to email the school office for any reason, please could you ensure that you clearly state the name of your child and their class within the subject line. 

 

  • Children need to bring a single bookbag/rucksack in to school every day. This is the only bag that they will need to bring with them. A few unnecessary items have been creeping in over recent weeks and it is essential that we minimise the numbers entering school from different homes.

 

Thank you in advance for your support.

 

Finally, I am pleased to inform parents that Out of School Club will also be reopening both before and after school. Please be reassured that all previous arrangements remain in place and all bookings are as before.

 

We currently have spaces available in Out of School Club so if you have not used this provision before - and you were thinking of doing so - then please contact either the school office or Mrs Questa directly to request a place.

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

BBC Newsround

 

 

Yesterday, our Year 5/6 children took part in a Zoom call with BBC Newsround. The children were given the opportunity to meet with Martin Dougan (one of the main presenters and journalists) and Georgina Bowman (Deputy Editor) to discuss current news stories; seek opinions about the show; and to allow an opportunity for asking any questions about Martin's career and about how Newsround is put together each day.

 

This was a fantastic opportunity for the children and it was really inspiring to hear all about journalism from someone who is familiar from the television. Both Martin and Georgina were really impressed by the children and the incredibly thoughtful questions that had been prepared. It was discussed that Newsround would like to come out to Collingham a little later on in the year to film for the show once all the current restrictions have been lifted. 

 

A huge thank you to both Martin and Georgina for taking the time to speak with us.

 

 

 

Eco-Schools Green Flag Award

 

 

In September 2018, we began our journey towards earning an Eco-schools “Green Flag” and to being recognised as a school community whose members are conscious of the need for action to protect the environment. Having been awarded the Bronze and Silver awards in 2019, the School Eco-Committee set about taking the final steps to earning the Green Flag - the highest accolade possible within the Eco-schools programme.

 

Plans were made to make improvements to the school, focusing on our three chosen topics: Energy; Water; and Biodiversity. Although the recent lockdowns have caused the postponement of many of the fantastic initiatives the children had planned, the Eco-Schools assessor was still suitably impressed with all of the actions the children have taken so far, such as: raising awareness of Water Aid in school assemblies and electing them as one of our chosen school charities; developing an Eco-RESPECT code to supplement our existing school RESPECT code; reducing the energy consumption in school by making sure that devices weren’t left switched on when not in use; planting a range of bulbs and flowers to attract pollinating insects; making plans to develop the school garden to become home to a more diverse range of flora and fauna; creating bird feeders and bird boxes to attract more birds to the school grounds. These are just the tip of the iceberg for the plans that the Eco-Committee has going forwards and, based on the actions already undertaken and the ambitious plans that the children have for our next steps, the assessor agreed that we are worthy of being deemed a Green Flag school - an achievement that fewer than 1500 schools nationwide have achieved.

 

This is a testament to the determination of all the children across school to build a better, fairer, greener world where every living thing has the chance to thrive and prosper. The Eco-Committee can’t wait to get started on all of the plans that they have for the future and look forward to keeping you updated on all of our achievements in the future.

 

A huge thank you must go to Mr Duffy for his vision to make this happen and to all of the children who have worked so hard as valued members of the School Eco-Committee. Well done everyone! 

 

 

World Book Day 2021

 

 
On Thursday 4th March, we will be marking World Book Day 2021.  We will be celebrating everything to do with books of all kinds and encouraging children with their love of reading. 
 
This year, we are encouraging everyone to wear their pyjamas, onesies or just their 'comfies' on World Book Day; this includes children at home, children in school, teaching staff - even parents!  Everyone loves being comfortable, especially when children are learning remotely, and this is the best way to really hunker down and get inside a book.  Whilst we are restricted in our day-to-day lives, we can escape to other worlds and meet new friends through stories.   Equally, we can learn about the world through topical magazines and newspapers and increase our knowledge of the world through non-fiction texts.
 
Your teachers have been busy thinking about exciting activities for you to have a go at during this fantastic day!  We hope you will join us in spreading our powerful and positive messages about reading during World Book Day.
 
Happy reading!

 

 

Screen-Free Day

 

Next Friday 5th March will be a 'Screen Free Day' where the activities set by the teachers will all be planned to spend time away from the screen. The learning will be made available on Google Classroom at the usual time and will be mainly practical activities to promote positive mental health. We have all become so accustomed to staring at a device for excessive amounts of time that it is important to promote spending time away from them.

 

 

Comic Relief 2021

 

 

Comic Relief is on Friday 19th March with this year's theme being 'Superheroes'. To celebrate this event, we are inviting  the children to come in to school dressed as a superhero/princess or simply to 'dress to express' themselves and their own superpowers. On this occasion, we kindly ask for a £1 donations - if at all possible - to go towards supporting this worthy cause. Thank you in advance.

 

 

A message from Dr Chris and Dr Xand from 'Operation Ouch'

 

 

Dr Chris and Dr Xand Message.mp4

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Friday 12th February 2021

 

I wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your continued support - in what has been an exceptionally challenging half-term - but also for all of your efforts in supporting with remote learning over recent weeks. I am under no illusions whatsoever as to the impact this will have had on you. Educating children and balancing the day job most certainly do not go hand in hand! You have done an amazing job!

 

The disruption to learning has been incredibly frustrating and I hope that, following half-term, we finally have some good news about the Government’s plans for reopening school to all children. There appears to be an announcement of sorts planned for 22nd February regarding the roadmap out of national restrictions and the 8th March has been ear-marked as a hopeful date of return. What this return will look like still remains an unknown, so I await these plans with anticipation. Please be assured that as soon as we are given the green light to reopen then we will ensure that this happens – in line with the expectations placed upon us - without a moment’s hesitation.

 

I would also like to say another massive thank you to the fantastic team of staff we have here at Collingham. This has been an emotionally-draining half-term yet everyone has pulled together to ensure that the children have continued to be supported in the best way possible. The staff have worked tirelessly to juggle the vulnerable/key worker provision in school alongside the remote learning offer for all and they have sacrificed their own well-being by going above and beyond every single day. They have such unwavering passion for their roles – with the children at the heart of everything - and they will not settle for second best in what they are able to provide. I am in complete admiration of everything that they have achieved in the face of such adversity.

 

Every day that now passes is another day closer to opening everything up and towards bringing everyone back together. Our school is not complete until we get your amazing children back in our classrooms. With it being the half-term break next week, school will be closed and remote learning will be on hold, but we will all be re-energised and ready to go again from Monday 22nd February.

 

The final word has to go to the children who have worked so hard; maintained a positive outlook throughout; and shown so much resilience. We are all so proud of each and every one of them! Below, you will find a couple of messages from some familiar faces who have heard all about the fantastic efforts of the children. These special guests wanted to send their own motivational messages to all of the boys and girls at Collingham as they know what a difficult time this has been.

 

To finish the half-term, I wanted to celebrate the children and to showcase some of the things that they have been involved with in recent weeks. I hope the photos below bring a smile to your face as much as they have done so for me. Seeing the children happy makes everything worthwhile!

 

Have a fantastic half-term!

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some motivational messages to all the boys and girls at Collingham School

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Monday 1st February 2021

 

As we have completed the first month of 2021, it feels like a perfect opportunity to reflect. Before Christmas it certainly felt that there was some light at the end of the tunnel when the vaccines were approved, but since the start of January it feels as though that tunnel has become slightly longer and we await that chink of light to reappear once again! 

 

The first week was a complete whirlwind where we had to reinvent our school overnight and ensure that we were ready to open to vulnerable/key worker children as well as delivering a fair and balanced learning offer for all of the children from the get go. We then set about establishing routines and managing an excessive workload in order to meet the challenges that the ensuing weeks were going to present for all of us. Then the external challenges hit us again: two days of heavy snow and our first positive COVID-19 test results of 2021 that collapsed the Year 3/4 key worker bubble a week ago. We currently have some staff who are really not very well and I am sure you will join me in wishing them all a speedy recovery.  The risks for all of us have felt very real once again.  

 

Right now, everyone is being tested to their absolute limit. Headteachers are finding things hard; teachers are finding things hard; school staff are finding things hard; children are finding things hard; and parents are finding things hard. The past few weeks have felt very different to last year and it is having an enormous impact on our mental health and wellbeing. At least back in March 2020, we had the sunshine to give us some additional motivation. The current cold and dark weather does absolutely nothing to put a spring in the step of anybody. It’s been said many times before, but the only way we will get through this period is by remaining together and supporting eachother.  

 

As time goes on, frustrations are going to further increase amongst all of us and the return to school just cannot come soon enough. We all recognise that there is absolutely no substitute for school. I assure all of our parents that - as soon as the Government gives the official green light for schools to reopen – we will be ready to do so from the very first day just as we did last June for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 and again in September. Everything will be in place to achieve this without a single second lost. We will all now be fixated on Monday 8th March as a possible date for return following the Prime Minister’s statement in the House of Commons last week and only time will tell whether this happens or not. I am afraid that I really could not really say either way. 

 

Over the past few weeks, I have received a number of emails and phone calls from parents regarding remote learning and one question in particular has been: why are we not delivering live learning at Collingham when some other schools are? 

 

I am happy to try and give some insight in to what was a conscious decision to turn to recorded delivery of lesson activities rather than a completely live offer as some are requesting. I am keen to stress that these were decisions we made based upon our children; our families; and our resources. This will be very different across all schools. We always put the children first, but as many of us in school are parents ourselves, we also give huge consideration to our families and recognise the enormous difficulties you face with supporting learning from home. The very nature of closing a school is that it will cause significant disruption to everyday life and I do not feel that there is anything that we could do to fully negate the impact – as much as we would like to.  

 

Some Government ministers publicly advocated live lessons and saw them as a solution in terms of replicating classroom learning and maintaining relationships; however, this is not a view necessarily shared by all education professionals. There have been several ‘myth busting’ articles released over the past few weeks and these highlight strengths and weaknesses of both live and recorded learning. It is a decision for individual schools to determine which approach is best for their community as a whole. In our professional judgment, we felt a primarily recorded delivery - with some live interaction - would be the best way forward for the following reasons:  

 

  • We pride ourselves on the inclusion of all here at Collingham and we are aware that this pandemic has caused hardship on so many different levels throughout our school community. Our offer needed to be sympathetic of this so that all children could access remote learning regardless of the personal challenges their families may be facing.  

 

  • Some families – and particularly those with more than one child in school - are restricted by the number of devices within a household and are needing to share them for work and school purposes; some have broadband connectivity issues; some are needing to prioritise job and financial security over home-schooling; some even have their own health concerns. Even if there were live lessons, it would be impossible for some children to join these at particular times when so many other things will be going on within their household. We are aware of families who can only access remote learning when it is convenient for them to do so rather than at times dictated by school.  
     
  • Differentiation of work is a key aspect of high quality teaching. All children naturally have different needs and it would be incredibly challenging to meet all of these in live whole class interactions. Some children will require much more support than others and this would lead to unengaging and disjointed sessions of learning. For many children, they would simply be occupied at a screen rather than actively participating and making progress. 

 

  • Recorded activities allow children to work at their own pace. They are in control and they have the ability to pause, rewind or rewatch videos in order to consolidate learning. Some children will face huge levels of anxiety and stress during live activities if they feel like they have to keep up or that they are falling behind. 

 

  • Our school network and broadband capacity was not installed to support the large scale delivery of remote learning. Despite investing heavily over the past 12 months to improve this infrastructure, we are still restricted by what this has the capability of supporting.  Even over the course of this academic year, our parent welcome meetings and parent consultation evenings were significantly disrupted for some parents with connections dropping out. It has to be said that some of these meetings worked brilliantly, but others were nothing short of disastrous despite our best efforts. Over relying on unreliable technology could mean that we end up delivering poor quality learning or – on occasion – no learning at all, as a result of the interference. This is not acceptable for our children. The offer needs to be consistent every single day. 

 

On Monday 4th January, you will have experienced an enormous shock when the country was plunged into another lockdown and the school closures were hastily announced. I have no doubts that you will have felt completely lost and disheartened at once again having to support your children at home whilst juggling your everyday workload. I hope that since then you have been able to establish a routine that works for your family circumstances and that – with the Key Stage 2 children in particular – you are seeing their independence grow as they become more familiar with this new and unusual way of working. Unfortunately, with primary aged children, we know that many of the children are never going to be able to work without adult support – either in the classroom or at home.  

 

We think you are doing an amazing job. If you have not yet taken the opportunity to tell yourself ‘well done’ then you must do so immediately. If your house is anything like mine then yes, the children will have had one too many late nights; yes, they have probably played too much Xbox instead of doing more school work each evening; and yes, there will have been battles to get the reading books out instead of watching more Premier League highlights. We are surviving a pandemic and it is only natural that we are feeling the strain. 

 

I have come to realise that, as parents, we are doing the absolute best that we can right now. We set high expectations for ourselves and because of our love for our children we do not want them to miss out on anything in terms of their education and schooling. There is a lot of remote learning being set and it may not be realistic to expect that you can complete everything that is on Google Classroom. If the amount you can complete differs from day to day then so be it. One day you might complete all of the work and the next day it might be nothing at all. That’s ok! The children are safe, loved and cared for and that is the most important thing. Please do not let school work put any extra pressure on you. Everyone’s circumstances are different and we appreciate that. 

 

I recognise that motivating the children to work at home will become increasingly challenging over the coming weeks. The weekly live check ins with teachers - and Collective Worship with myself - are opportunities for us to try and encourage the children directly. However, unfortunately, without having the children in the classroom, it is near on impossible for us to solve this from a distance. That being said, we want to do everything we can and we have been discussing how we can increase engagement as enthusiasm from some of the children naturally begins to wane. This will start with the reintroduction of our weekly celebration assembly on a Friday where the children receive certificates from their class teachers for meeting different aspects of the school’s RESPECT Code. Further details about this week can be found below, but hopefully this is something you can use as a proverbial ‘carrot’ to dangle in front of the children! 

 

 

Children’s Mental Health Week & Screen Free Day

 

 

From 1st to 7th February 2021 schools, youth groups, organisations and individuals across the UK will take part in Children’s Mental Health Week. This year’s theme is Express Yourself.

 

Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make you feel good.

 

It’s important to remember that being able to express yourself is not about being the best at something or putting on a performance for others. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself.

 

For Children's Mental Health Week 2021, we will be encouraging children (and adults) to explore the different ways we can express ourselves, and the creative ways that we can share our feelings, our thoughts and our ideas.

 

On Thursday, we would like all of the children to dress up for the day and to ‘express themselves’ regardless of whether they are at home or in school at this time. This could be a full on costume; a crazy hairstyle or wig; or some spectacular face painting. It could be all three! If you would like to send a photo of your child/children dressed up to the school office then these can be included in a presentation during Friday’s celebration assembly.

 

Then on Friday, we will be having a ‘Screen Free Day’ where the activities set by the teachers will all be planned to spend time away from the screen. The learning will be made available on Google Classroom at the usual time and we will be having a short Collective Worship at 9.30am on Zoom (there’s no way of avoiding these sorry!). However, from 10.00am, the work will be mainly practical activities to promote positive mental health at a time when we are all becoming so accustomed to staring at a device for excessive amounts of time.

 

 

School Dinners

 

Going forwards, we kindly request that all school dinner payments are now made on a weekly basis.  Our procedures for dinner payments changed last November, when we moved to a system which is easier for parents and school admin staff to track payments against the meals taken, on a weekly basis.  The School Money App makes it quick and easy for payments to be made and avoids debits being accrued and chased up at the end of each half term.  We appreciate your support with this and please don't hesitate to contact the school office if you have any issues. 

 

For anyone struggling for meal inspiration at the moment, the image below is a link to the Change 4 Life website with lots of simple and cost-effective ideas. With the children at home during this period, it can significantly add to the shopping bills so hopefully you find some ways to keep expenses down - and lunchtimes fresh - until the children return to school.

 

 

 

Wetherby Music Centre

 

 

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Monday 14th December 2020

 

After a challenging week personally, I am excited to be able to return to school tomorrow to enjoy the end of term festivities and the final build up to Christmas. It has felt like a long time away, but I am chomping at the bit to return and to see everyone. I would like to pass on a huge thank to Mrs Myers for stepping in so brilliantly during my absence and to whole staff team for the amazing job that they continue to do.

 

End of term – Friday 18th December

 

Last week, the Department for Education (DfE) announced that they were giving permission for schools to close on Thursday 17th December instead of the previously scheduled date of Friday 18th December. In order to achieve this, schools were being encouraged to bring forward a training day to make Friday 18th December a non-teaching day with schools closed to all pupils and staff. I am sure you will agree that making such an announcement just a week and a half before the end of term was not helpful and ultimately put schools in a very difficult position. 

 

The main reason for this proposal is because school staff responsible for contact tracing are being asked by Public Health England to make themselves available for six days following the closure of schools. As things stand, this means that these staff members will need to be available to work up to - and including - Christmas Eve. From a well-being perspective, by closing a day earlier on Thursday 17th December, these staff would not then have to maintain their availability beyond Wednesday 23rd December.

 

At Collingham, we are remaining open on Friday 18th December and we will see out the autumn term in the same way we have always intended.

 

Throughout 2020, we have made a commitment to our children and families to remain open at every opportunity. It is imperative that the children are in school to learn and spend time with their friends whilst ensuring that parents are free to be able to work and run households. There has been enough disruption through school closures, self-isolation and collapsed bubbles as it is so it is just not right to take another day away.

 

 

Christmas Performance DVDs

 

Following the recording of our Christmas performance a couple of weeks ago, I am delighted to inform you that the  DVDs of this have now been delivered to school and they will be ready to send home with the children on Wednesday afternoon.

 

This has been an unusual year and - whilst we were disappointed that we could not hold our normal Christmas performances with all of our parents in attendance – we were really pleased to find a way of sharing something different with you all.

 

Thank you so much for supporting the children with your £5 purchases of the DVD as this has raised a grand total of £577.20 for a charity chosen by our School Council. As always, we are incredibly grateful for your kindness and generosity. We hope that you enjoy the performance and I am sure the children will love seeing themselves on screen!

 

 

Christmas Jumper Day

 

Tomorrow (Tuesday 15th December) will be our annual Christmas Jumper Day to raise money for ‘Save the Children’. All the children and staff are encouraged to attend school wearing their festive-attire. We kindly request a £1 donation to participate if this is at all possible. 

 

 

Be a Santa to a Senior

 

Over the past couple of weeks, the children have been making lots of creative items to donate to ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’. These are to be used as gifts for elderly residents within our local community to put a smile on their faces.

 

The items were a small gesture to make a difference to anyone who might be experiencing loneliness at Christmas time. This will have undoubtedly been compounded even more this year with the lockdown situations and the continuing challenges of the pandemic.

 

On Friday, the items were collected from school by Heather Welsh of ‘Home Instead Wetherby & North East’. She was absolutely blown away by the quality of what the children had spent time making and said to the staff in school that they were the best she had ever received. Later in the afternoon, Heather took the time to email me. She said:

 

I have just been to your school to collect the items for ‘Be a Santa to a Senior’. Wow! What an amazing collection. I am totally overwhelmed by the amount of such lovely baubles, cards and calendars that are included in your generous gifts for the elderly within our community. We will be sorting these out on Monday and delivering them straight away. I hope everyone at Collingham has a very Merry Christmas!"

 

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

Friday 27th November 2020

 

November has certainly been a testing month, but I hope that we can look forward to December with renewed optimism once our Year 3 class return to school on Monday. The timing could not be better with us having our Christmas performances recorded and then the start of our Christmas preparations can well and truly begin.

 

Thank you for responding so quickly to the permission request for the filming of the performances on Monday. From your responses, we have been able to submit an order for the DVDs and – including a small contribution to a chosen school charity – these will be sold at £5.00 each. This is a much lower amount than I had originally anticipated. Next week, parents will be sent a link through School Money with a total amount for the number of copies requested. The children have worked really hard to learn lines for songs and poems in such a short amount of time and – whilst this is not the full on theatrical performance of previous years – I know that you are going to really enjoy seeing all of your children perform from the comfort of your own home.

 

The class teachers have reported that they were really pleased with how the parent consultation evenings went this week. The technology in school was really kind to us on Tuesday before then starting to play a little bit of mischief on Wednesday. We have battled through a lot worse this year so there was absolutely no way we were going to let a few gremlins in the system disrupt these important meetings. It has been so disappointing that we have not been able to welcome you in to school so far this year, but I am delighted that we have been able to maintain communication throughout. The parent consultation evenings are such a crucial opportunity to keep you informed and they were a high priority to be retained in whatever format we could manage. I hope that you found them useful and thank you for your patience should you have faced any connection issues.

 

Have a fantastic weekend.

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Friday 20th November 2020

 

I have been reliably informed that today is officially five weeks until Christmas Day so that means we have four full weeks left at school. We were delighted to welcome our Year 1 children and staff back to school today following their collapsed bubble and period of self-isolation. We have really missed them, but the children have worked incredibly hard with their remote learning and they can be proud what they have achieved. Thank you to Miss Thackray, Mrs Hesketh & Mrs Naylor for providing such detailed work for the children and for maintaining their enthusiasm for learning.

 

I was sorry that Year 3’s schooling was again disrupted so soon following the previous bubble collapse. Back in September, from reviewing government guidance, I had pre-empted situations such as this where certain bubbles may close on multiple occasions and I was anxious about the wider impact that this would have on our children and our families. The bubble collapse model was put in place by the government to try and ensure that schools remained open to the majority of its pupils for as long as possible. With COVID-19 still prevalent in society as a whole, the prospect of having to follow through with these procedures was sadly always going to be high. It was the primary reason for me communicating the procedures so early with you on 15th September so that all parents could begin to make contingency plans.

 

It has been an unenviable position when collapsing the bubbles I have needed to so far across school, but it is my duty to follow government and public health guidance when there is a confirmed positive case. I sincerely wish things were different and that everyone remained in good health for the duration of the school year; however, it is a sorry fact that more of us are likely to contract this virus over the winter months. We have to hope that the illness remains mild for those who do contract it and we have to continue to be resolute in the belief that we will come through this period despite the worries and frustrations that we might be experiencing at the moment.

 

I would love to be in a position to say that we will have no more bubble collapses, but I have to be honest with you in saying that they remain a distinct possibility for however long we are navigating a way through this awful pandemic. I look forward to a day next year when coronavirus is well and truly behind us and we can start to be more positive about our futures - both in school and in our day to day lives. I have been incredibly grateful for all of the support you have offered to school since March. Thank you for your patience with all of the actions that we have already taken and also with those that we might be expected to take throughout the remainder of this academic year.

 

We look forward to welcoming back Miss Richardson, Mrs Crabtree and all of the Year 3 children on Monday 30th November. We are all right behind you!

 

 

Ofsted Interim Visit – Thursday 12th November 2020

 

I wanted to give you a brief update regarding the Ofsted Interim Visit last Thursday.

 

It was an intense day (6 hours) with the remote format, but I was really pleased with how everything went. It was well supported by the inspectors and they got a real sense of our 'can do' mantra here at Collingham. This was not an inspection as such and was more of a fact-finding mission for Ofsted in relation to COVID-19 and to see how schools are coping during the pandemic.

 

Topics of conversation were: context; attendance and behaviour; safeguarding; and curriculum. Questioning was challenging as you would expect, but we had a huge amount to share as a result of all of the hard work the school has put in to the past 7/8 months. For me personally, this was my first proper experience of Ofsted as a school leader so I enjoyed the scrutiny in readiness for a full inspection in the future.

 

The final meeting of the day was 'curriculum' and in this meeting I asked for all of the SLT to be in attendance. In a full Ofsted inspection, middle/senior leaders would lead the curriculum discussions rather than the HT/DHT and so I wanted this to be a shared experience for them. The meeting was supposed to be 1hr 10 mins, but it turned in to a two-hour meeting as the inspectors were getting so much valuable information from our team. There is no way they could have been anything but blown away.

 

In these interim visits, there are no judgements or evaluations made. In our feedback session on Thursday, the inspectors made no personal comment or reference about anything we had said during the day. They simply explained the process of reporting back to stakeholders in the form of a letter. This was a little disappointing as it would have been nice to hear some sort of personal comment, but I suspect that any comments could be deemed as 'evaluating' or 'passing judgement' which Ofsted have reassured schools they would not be doing at this time.

 

There will be a letter published before Christmas, but this will not really give much of a reflection of our school. I have read 20-30 reports from other schools - who have been through this process already - and they seem to be extremely generic. After reading 7/8, you can start to predict what the bullet points might say.

 

As soon as I have received a version of the letter that can be shared, I will ensure that you all receive a copy.

 

 

Collingham Christmas 2020

 

I just wanted to confirm that Tuesday 15th December will be our main celebration day for Christmas this year.

 

This day will be our 'Save the Children' Christmas Jumper Day with suggested £1 donations if at all possible.

 

We will also have our usual Christmas dinner on this day albeit held slightly differently to normal years. A letter will be going out shortly from the school office inviting children - who do not normally have a school lunch - to receive one on this day. 

 

Finally, with no trips, visitors or class parties this year, as a result of the national situation, we felt it was important that we tried to make sure that this Christmas remained special and memorable for all of the children. Therefore, in the afternoon, we have arranged for our school to be part of a Virtual Christmas Pantomime which will be 'Sleeping Beauty'. This will be personalised to our school and it will be shown simultaneously in all of the classrooms at 1.30pm. I hope that this will soften the blow of not being able to dance around the school hall, participate in games or eat copious amounts of party food!

 

As an addition, on Monday 14th December, we have also arranged a Zoom event in the classrooms for the Reception & Year 1 children (both classes separate) called 'The Littlest Elf Returns'. This is a Christmas-themed puppet show specifically aimed at the younger children with lots of fun and interaction throughout. 

 

 

Anti-bullying Week 2020 – ‘United Against Bullying’

 

As always, our school marked the importance of Anti-bullying Week with all of the children and staff wearing odd socks on Monday to celebrate individuality and difference. This year's theme was 'United Against Bullying' and many of the classes completed some activities to learn about and promote this important message.

 

Below you can find out about what some of the classes have been doing:

 

Reception started the day with a special assembly with Mrs Myers who told us about what bullying is and why it is so important that it never happens to anyone. It is really important that we unite together to stop it happening. Next, they had lots of fun dancing to a song by ‘Andy and The Oddsocks’ about how we are all special and should respect each other’s differences. Then they watched a short film and talked more about bullying and how we must never do it and, instead, how we must always be kind and caring towards each other.

 

All of the children designed a superhero bracelet. We encouraged the children to choose someone that they don’t know quite so well so that they could make a new friend. They told each other how to write their names and they had to ask each other what their favourite colours were. They all worked together really well and it was lovely to listen to the children getting to know each other a little better.

 

 

Year 1 had a remotely-held Microsoft Teams Meeting with Miss Thackray and Mrs Naylor to discuss how they can be a kind friend and what to do if someone is not being kind. The Year 1 team were blown away by the responses of the class and - in each meeting - the groups of children were coming up with the same answers. Year 1 then had an activity to do at home which looked at celebrating differences. They certainly looked like they had fun completing the tasks.

 

 

Year 2 talked about what 'anti' means. They discussed what bullying is and how we can spot it and - most importantly - STOP IT! We talked again about being ‘unique’ and that we celebrate differences. We designed some odd socks to show it’s ok to be different!

 

 

BBC Children in Need 2020

 

Last Friday, our school raised an incredible £345 for this year's BBC Children in Need Appeal. Thank you so much for your generosity in raising such a brilliant amount. With this being an important fundraising event in the school calendar, some of the classes were learning about the reasons behind why we take part and made links through the PSHE curriculum. 

 

Reception children found out about Children in Need and Pudsey Bear through a PowerPoint, a story and  some songs. They talked about how the money we have raised will help children around the United Kingdom. The children loved making their very own Pudsey Bear ears!

 

 

In Year 1, they looked at the ‘taking notice’ strand of the 'Five to Thrive' activities which are all based around improving children's well-being. The taking notice strand was all about having time to stop and reflect on our thoughts and feelings. The class had some quiet time so they could reflect and be mindful. Some of the activities Year 1 chose to complete were mindfulness colouring sheets, creating a calming den, completing some calming yoga and creating a feelings picture. Year 1 really enjoyed this task to end a busy week of remote learning!

 

 

Year 2 talked about why we were in non-uniform and that the money raised was going to Children in Need. They watched the video of Sam and Alex and how amazing they were. In the video, money was going towards supporting 'Rainbows' – a centre for children with special needs. They then watched a Powerpoint about Amrit - a little girl who didn't think she was very good at anything. Amrit realised that she was amazing at baking and her friends helped her to understand that we all have 'gifts'. Year 2 discussed how everybody is special and has special gifts. Year 2 retold the story of Amrit and how she had her own bake sale to raise money for Children in Need.

 

Year 3 were busy last week celebrating Children in Need. They discussed certain aspects of life that we can sometimes take for granted. They reflected on the things that we should be grateful for as some children are not as fortunate as us. After a whole class discussion, they designed a Pudsey Bear by writing all of the things that they were grateful for. In addition, the class engaged in several activities aiming to promote positive mental health such as chocolate meditation, 'Just Dance' and writing positive notes for their learning partners to read.

 

 

Dress-down Fridays for staff

 

The pandemic has been a huge challenge for all members of society, but in addition to considering the well-being of children and parents, it is vitally important that the staff are well-considered also. It has been a testing few months in school and we are looking at ways that we can maintain and improve both morale and motivation throughout this period. As one small gesture, from next Friday, staff will be encouraged to 'dress down' on this day each week. I wanted to let you know just in case you wondered why we were all turning up in jeans and trainers!

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 6th November 2020

 

It has been a busy first week back at school and I am utterly bewildered as to how it can be Friday once again. We have not had a full compliment of children this week, with Year 3 remaining in isolation until the end of today, but we looking forward to welcoming back Miss Richardson, Mrs Crabtree and all of the Year 3 children from Monday. They have been missed by all of us in school. 

 

On Tuesday evening, I happened to see my first Christmas advert on the television. Every year, these seem to appear earlier and earlier and - at risk of sounding like a bit of a Scrooge - I have to say I am one of the first to complain about this. However, on this occasion, I felt completely differently. The advert instilled a sense of hope and positivity that I think could easily be overlooked when the news is so full of unwelcome and worrying headlines. With this in mind, today's blog is going to a 'positive zone' only! Despite the challenges we face, there is still a lot to be thankful for and there is a lot to look forward to.

 

It is also important to remember that we can all still make a significant difference to others and, in the lead up to Christmas, this is something that I am keen for us to hold at the forefront of our minds.

 

 

School Lunches

 

On Tuesday, we changed our school lunch provision to the new 'hot box' menus. This now means that we are able to provide much more substantial meals than has been possible so far this academic year.

 

The ‘hot box’ meals include many that the children enjoy including spaghetti bolognese; chilli con carne; pasta bakes; chicken curry and rice; sausage and mashed potato; and roast dinners. There are two hot choices every day – one meat and one vegetarian – as well as an additional sandwich/wrap option for those who would prefer this instead.  Meals have been served in takeaway boxes which will retain the heat better than the paper bags that have been used so far.

 

I took the opportunity to have school lunch myself today and I have to say that I was really impressed. The food was hot and the meal was definitely filling. Thank you to Mrs Proctor and her team in the kitchen for facilitating these changes as I feel it is going to be much more beneficial for the children as we start to approach winter. 

 

If you would like to take advantage of the new school lunch offer then please email the school office to request a change from packed lunches.

 

 

Well done Emma and Sally!

 

A huge congratulations to both Emma Anderson and Sally Weaver (Year 1 & 3 parents) for completing their marathon around Collingham and Wetherby on Sunday 25th October. What a brilliant achievement and thank you so much for completing this on behalf of our school. I hear the weather was favourable and that you even had a welcome party waiting for you as you crossed the finish line. That must have been so rewarding to see everyone there cheering you on. I think you have probably set the bar now for future fundraising activities. Could the 'Collingham Marathon' actually become a thing???

 

A couple of weeks ago, our PTA - Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) – created a GoFundMe account (*please click on the link below) to invite donations from parents, family and friends in support of Emma and Sally’s amazing gesture and to help top up the PTA’s funds at a time when they are unable to hold normal fundraising events. As of today, the grand total raised is a staggering £2,961!!! This has absolutely blown us away! Wow!

 

Thank you so much to everyone who has made a donation. The amount raised is beyond anything we could have hoped for and it will make a huge difference towards helping us continue to provide the best for the children at Collingham School at a time when the increased costs associated with COVID-19 create so many additional pressures. We are incredibly grateful!

 

 

 

 

Anti-bullying Week 2020 & Odd Socks Day

 

Monday 16th November marks the start of Anti-bullying Week 2020 and the theme for this year is: 'United against Bullying'.

 

The children will be learning about various topics around what bullying is; how to be a good friend; discussing the different types of bullying; exploring ways in which we can stand united against bullying within our school community; and embedding the idea of collective responsibility being an effective approach to tackling bullying.

 

As part of this learning and to raise awareness, we would like all of the children to come to school in odd socks on Monday 16th November. Odd Socks Day is designed to be fun. It is an opportunity for children to express themselves and to appreciate individuality and uniqueness.

 

 

 

Be A Santa For A Senior

 

We have been approached with an initiative this week called 'Be A Santa For A Senior' that helps support elderly residents in the Wetherby area who might be experiencing loneliness at Christmas time. This year, loneliness will be compounded even more with the lockdown situation and the continuing challenges of the national situation.

 

I think this is an absolutely fantastic idea and it is something that I have already committed us towards supporting.

 

During the week beginning 30th November, each class in school will dedicate 1/1.5 hours for a creative/craft activity so that the children can make an array of times that can be sent to elderly residents within our local community to put a smile on their faces. All the items we make will be quarantined before we send them to the project by their 11th December deadline.

 

It is incredibly important that - as a school - we lead by example to support community projects such as this and that we encourage the children to think of others in a different way to how we might normally.

 

The items made would be a small gesture, but I know that they will make a huge difference to someone's day. That is incredibly special!

 

 

 

Christmas Performances 2020

 

Before half-term, I eluded to us ensuring that we were going to try and make this Christmas a memorable one for the children at Collingham School. With no trips or visitors being possible at the moment, we wanted to be able to still celebrate Christmas properly and make sure that the children still had some exciting activities to look forward to.

 

Over the next few weeks, we will release different aspects of our plan, but today, I am pleased to confirm that we will continue to hold our annual Christmas performances - albeit in a different way to previous years.

 

During the week beginning 30th November, we have arranged for a film crew to join us in school to record the performances in both Rec/Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. From these recordings, a final edit will be created that we will then be turned into a DVD. This will be made available for parents to purchase from school. The DVDs will be made available at cost plus a small donation included to help support a nominated school charity. Every Christmas, your generous donations on the door have raised a significant amount of money for good causes and we wanted to still be able to do this at such a challenging time.

 

In a few weeks, we will contact you again with further details as to how you will be able to purchase these DVDs and we hope that you will enjoy the Collingham Christmas Performance 2020 in the comfort of your home for this year only!

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Friday 23rd October 2020

 

After a rather lengthy blog last week, you'll be pleased to hear that I intend to keep today's significantly shorter!

 

I wanted to offer my huge thanks to everyone in our school community for pulling together with unwavering positivity and for seeing us through this first half-term. There has never been a half term that has presented such an enormous level of challenge, but every child, every parent, every grandparent, every member of staff and every governor has played such an important part in getting us to today. I make no apologies for repeating myself as I am so proud to be a part of this school and to work with you all.

 

Throughout the past seven weeks, we have been tracking all cases of self-isolation amongst the children and staff. This week, I was interested to establish exactly how COVID-19 had impacted on us in terms of numbers and this information can be found in the table below. Over a quarter of the children have experienced a self-isolation period of varying length with virtually all of those tested returning a negative result. So far since March, we have only had one positive case directly connected to school. This is testament to the efforts we are all making to comply with government guidance and it is the reason why we remain so keen to keep all of our systems working as efficiently as possible - in particular with avoiding the mixing between bubbles. 

 

A quarter of our staff have also been required to self-isolate and the impact of this has been huge at various points. This is in addition to the normal day-to-day absences. However, we never let this impact the day to day running of our school with the focus always being on providing the best for the children on each and every day. I am a firm believer in there being a solution to every single problem faced...sometimes you just have to spend a bit longer thinking of the solution! So far, this has rung true and we have been able to find cover for all situations presented to us. It has to be said that our parents have played an important role in this. A massive thank you to Mrs Harkins, Mrs Loughran, Mrs Richmond for all of their help with volunteering at lunchtimes as well as Mrs Stubbs and Mrs Bolton who are now familiar faces in school through working in different classrooms. This sense of community spirit and support for the school cannot be understated at this difficult time. It really is humbling.

 

In terms of attendance, if COVID-19 is removed from the equation, our overall attendance figure is actually higher at this point of the year than it ever has been before. Whilst I am aware this may sound like a little bit of political spin, it is important to recognise this as the majority of children seem to now be in school unless being required to self-isolate. When it has been necessary to keep children off school, we are incredibly grateful for your support in terms of following the guidance and in helping to keep all members of our school community safe. 

 

I have to say that the Year 5 children have led by example this week by working incredibly hard with their remote learning on Google Classroom whilst experiencing the frustrations of self-isolation. They have demonstrated so many of the qualities we expect of a child at Collingham through immersing themselves in learning, having courage to push past doubts and fears and showing the determination to keep going even in the most challenging of circumstances. Google Classroom seems to have worked really well in mirroring the curriculum offer that would have been provided in school as well as offering the perfect forum to promote and maintain high levels of interaction between children and teachers. If any of the Year 5 parents have any feedback regarding our remote learning offer then we would be really grateful to hear from you by email. We aim to release a short survey on the return to school in November for you to complete also.

 

Last week, I informed you that we were in the process of writing a remote learning policy and I was hoping to be able to send a copy of this to you this week. The policy has been a more significant piece of work than I had originally envisaged and - whilst I am pleased that this has now been completed - it will need to go to both our school staff and our governing board for approval first. Once this has happened then I will be in a position to ensure you all receive a copy. This will now be at the start of the first week back after half-term.

 

Finally, on our return, the countdown to Christmas will well and truly begin. This is always a really special time in school, but unfortunately we will not be able to hold all of our traditional events such as the PTA Christmas Fayre or the Christmas performances.

 

However, I am delighted to inform you that CHRISTMAS IS NOT CANCELLED! We are making some grand plans for a special Christmas that will be memorable for all of the children. It is the least they deserve. There is a lot to arrange, but all will be revealed soon!

 

 

Have a fantastic half-term! See you all on Tuesday 3rd November!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

Thursday 15th October 2020

 

Well, what a difference a phone call can make…

 

Yesterday, I spent the entire morning writing this blog; I uploaded it to the school website at lunchtime; and I was ready to notify parents in the evening that the latest update was ready to view.

 

Let’s just say that I had to remove it rather swiftly!

 

This morning, I have started afresh as the notification of a confirmed positive case in school at 1.30pm yesterday afternoon meant that we collapsed our first bubble at Collingham School and brought the full impact of this national health emergency to our own doors for the first time. How quickly things can change in these strange times…

 

Firstly, I am sure you will join me in wishing the Year 5 child concerned a speedy recovery. The impact of collapsing bubbles will be felt widely across our school community, but there is nothing more important than the health and well-being of the children at this time. This must be our first thought in these situations.

 

In addition, Mr Duffy and Mrs Grange will be now be required to self-isolate - for the same period as the children - simply for the job which they undertake on a daily basis. In addition to the children, I have always been concerned about the significant impact of collapsed bubbles on teaching staff and their families. Staff might need to self-isolate on more than one occasion this year and that will potentially present a whole host of different consequences for them going forwards. Every individual has their own set of family circumstances that will cause them to worry at this time. I would like to extend our best wishes to both Mr Duffy and Mrs Grange as they now strive to deliver remote learning for the Year 5 children up until half-term.

 

There have been a huge number of confirmed cases at schools both locally and nationally over the past six weeks and, unfortunately, this is now the new normal within education settings. Even in my role as a school leader, it has been noticeable that positive tests have been creeping up on our community over the course of a few weeks: first with local schools; then amongst our parents; then children with high school siblings; and finally a confirmed case in our school. Whilst we would have obviously preferred to not collapse a bubble, there was sadly a feeling of inevitability that this scenario would impact us at some point.

 

All of our internal procedures have been in place to deal with a collapsed bubble since the start of the school year and there was a definite sense of calmness in implementing them yesterday afternoon. I have had plans in place for three different collapsing scenarios: out of school hours; during the morning session; and during the afternoon. For each of these, text message, email and letter templates have been created to send to parents should they be required. There are different instructions with each of these. When we received the information about the positive test, we simply needed to work through the plans that had already been made so it felt as though we were well-prepared.

 

From 1.30pm onwards, we spoke with the parent of the child concerned; telephoned Public Health England and the DfE to identify contacts within the class; notified staff who would be impacted; contacted Year 5 parents about collecting their child; sent a formal letter to the directly impacted class and another to the wider school community; completed the necessary paperwork to report the case to the local authority; and finally I spoke with the Year 5 children to try and reassure them about what would happen in going home and over the next couple of weeks. The children went home at 3.20pm.

 

For me, speaking with the children was the most important part of the process. The children had a lot of questions for Mr Duffy and myself before they left. We answered these openly and honestly, but I expect that there will have been a few more questions for their parents when they got home. The children were incredibly mature and everyone in school was extremely proud of their reaction as there would have been some undoubted anxieties. 

 

I also want to thank the Year 5 parents for their speedy, calm and positive reaction to the news of this bubble collapse. Together, we were able to ensure that the children all got home safely once the school grounds were clear. The support from our parents was – as always - hugely appreciated.

 

Having now gone through this process for the first time, I have learnt through first-hand experience exactly how all of this works with PHE/DfE and I have been able to make some tweaks to our procedures going forwards. Whilst I would love to not be required to go through this again - because it means that everyone in school is well – we have to be realistic in the sense that the local/national picture does seem to be deteriorating and it is likely that - despite our best efforts in school - this might happen on more occasions yet. However, we are ready!

 

I felt it was important to respond to the events of yesterday with the entire school community, but it has led to today’s blog suddenly becoming significantly longer than it was before. Please bear with me!

 

I am extremely aware of the high volume of admin that is pushed out to parents from school at the moment. Whilst I am afraid this is unavoidable given the circumstances, my main objective for today's blog was going to be as more of an information sharing exercise in order to deliver some important messages all in one go!

 

So let’s try again!

 

 

Training Day

 

Just a reminder that school closes for half term next Friday 23rd October.

 

Monday 2nd November will be our second training day of the year so school will reopen for all children on Tuesday 3rd November.

 

 

Remote Learning

 

The Government have set a deadline of 22nd October for schools to have a full remote learning plan in place to support children who might be required to self-isolate or in the event of collapsed bubbles as a result of confirmed positive cases in school.

 

Since the very beginning of term, we have been working extremely hard on trying to create the best offer we can by utilising our technological resources; our staff capacity and expertise; and our modest school budget.

 

Approximately 10 children have been required to self-isolate through displaying COVID-19 symptoms themselves or as a result of someone in their household doing so. All of these children have received negative results before returning to school. In addition, we have now obviously been required to collapse our first bubble in Year 5 with nearly 30 children now off school.

 

For all of these affected children, we have already put remote learning in place well in advance of the Government’s date next week. Work is being set from the second full school day of self-isolation using Google Classroom. This means that if we have discovered that a child has entered self-isolation on the Monday then work has been provided at 9.00am on the Wednesday morning. This allows class teachers time to make the necessary arrangements to add work to Google Classroom, but also time for any possible COVID-19 test results to return with a – hopefully – negative result.

 

Following a reminder to parents last week, we now have 85% of the children in school linked to their classes on Google Classroom. In the event of a collapsed bubble, such as yesterday, the class teachers will release a video at 9.00am every single day that checks in with the children and sets the work and expectations for the day. The teachers will then monitor Google Classroom throughout the day to release work; interact with the children; and to provide feedback on work submitted to them. A letter with full details regarding this offer and a new Remote Learning Policy will be sent to parents next week.

 

The ‘Home Learning Hub’ that was used previously will be rebranded as the ‘Remote Learning Hub’ for this academic year. This will have links to the class webpages and it will useful links to external websites that can be accessed for interactive games and resources to support learning. This includes PhonicsPlay, Purple Mash and SumDog.

 

SumDog in particular proved really popular with a number of parents and children during the school closure period. It was extremely useful for teachers as it allowed them to monitor engagement and track work being completed by the children. I appreciate this was not for everyone, but with such a limited choice of purposeful online resources to choose from, SumDog was certainly one of the best and at that time it was free – always my favourite!

 

In readiness for any for any required remote learning, we have purchased a full licence for the maths aspect of SumDog for 2020/21. This was at a cost of £730, but we are extremely grateful to the Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) PTA for covering this expense for us at a time when our finances are continuously being stretched to survive the day to day pressures of coronavirus. This resource definitely helps to add an extra dimension to what we can offer the children if they are away from school and I am confident that they will enjoy using it.

 

 

Parent Consultation Evenings

 

I am delighted to confirm that we have finalised our plans for the first parent consolation evenings of this academic year despite being unable to welcome parents in to school at this time.

 

The dates for these will be Tuesday 24th November (4.30-7.30pm) and Wednesday 25th November (3.30-6.30pm).

 

We will once again be offering appointments via the Eduspot online system as this was so successful last year when we introduced it for the very first time.  Appointments will be made live to parents next Thursday 22nd October and you will receive a link to your mobile phone email address which will take you to our online booking system to select a time convenient for you.

 

A letter will be sent out to parents with full details on Friday, but I wanted you to have these dates at the earliest opportunity.

 

 

New Computer Suite and iPads

 

A HUGE thank you to the school PTA – Friends of Collingham School (FoCS) – who have donated a mind-blowing £21,000 to help fund the purchase of 32 new desktop computers and a class set of 32 brand new iPads complete with protective cases. We are delighted to have been able to finally revamp the technology we have available for the children to use in school as this simply would not have been possible without the incredible financial support from the PTA as well as all of our parents who support the events that are run.

 

The previous machines in school were over 10 years old and had started to pose a security risk as their operating systems were no longer supported for update with Microsoft. It would have taken years to stagger the introduction of new computers and iPads with school budgets across the country completely stretched. We are so fortunate to have been in a position to complete this project in one go because of your support and generosity. It really is incredibly humbling.

 

The computers and iPads were all delivered in the summer and over the past few weeks Mr Duffy and Schools ICT have been installing them in readiness for full use with the children after half-term.

 

To ensure the computer suite really looks the part, we have also invested in new blue computer chairs - that actually spin! This is a significant upgrade on the drab-looking classroom chairs that were there previously. Along with the overhaul of the school library earlier in the year, I am sure you will agree that this important area of school is now looking fantastic!

 

In addition to the amazing help from the PTA, I would also like to thank Mr Duffy and Mrs Azimikorf for their hard work in researching, resourcing and ordering all of the equipment that was needed. It was certainly no mean feat whilst in midst of everything else that has been going on.

 

 

 

School fundraising –a marathon effort!

 

As already mentioned, we are always blown away with the support of our parents. I have had several conversations already this year about how school can be supported financially at a time when we cannot hold popular fundraising events such as Movie Night, the Christmas Fayre, the Quiz Night and - the world-renowned – Easter Bingo. These events raise thousands of pounds every year to help support projects that enhance learning for the children.

 

The rainbow themed non-uniform day this Friday 16th October is an example of a new way of trying to bring in money and I know that consideration is being given towards other events that could be held as alternatives.  

That being said, I have today learnt about two parents who are really raising the stakes with their fundraising ideas and who have decided to take on the challenge of running a full marathon in support of our school. This certainly takes creativity to a whole new level!

 

Sally Weaver and Emma Anderson (Year 1 & Year 3 mums) have decided to run a marathon around Collingham, Wetherby and other surrounding villages on Sunday 25th October in aid of the PTA and the school. They should have been competing in the Amsterdam Marathon this coming weekend, but with this now cancelled, they have decided to take on the challenge locally instead. 

 

A GoFundMe account (*click image below) has been created and both the school and the PTA would be incredibly grateful for any donation you can offer that can help us at Collingham, but that equally celebrates the amazingly kind gesture of Sally and Emma.

 

Good luck to both of you from all of us at Collingham School and thank you in advance for anyone who may be able to donate.

 

 

 

School Photographs

 

Sadly, our annual autumn term school photographs have now been postponed until next year. We were unable to ensure the safety of staff and children as large groups would be required to congregate in the school hall. We will be looking to arrange a new date at the earliest opportunity and once the national picture has settled down a little bit more. I am sorry for any disappointment that this may cause, but thank you for your understanding.

 

 

Water bottle holders

 

With school investing heavily in new reading books over the past six months, we have unfortunately had a number of books spoiled by leaking water bottles being carried inside reading bags. As a solution to this problem, Kool Kidz in Wetherby have sourced some red water bottle holders that can be attached to school reading bags. These are now available in the shop for £2.50 each.

 

 

 

Coronavirus Information – School Webpage

 

Due to the sheer volume of information that has been required to be sent to parents since the start of the pandemic, I have decided to create a dedicated page on the school website to archive a lot of the documents that have been sent out. By having these all in one place, this should make it easier for parents to find the important documents they might need.

 

This includes some NHS tools to help recognise the symptoms of coronavirus; our school flow diagram to explain the required procedures in the event of children needing to self-isolate; and past letters and documents that might be useful.

 

I have also added a copy of our whole school risk assessment that will continue to be reviewed at regular points of the academic year.

 

https://www.collinghamschool.com/coronavirus/

 

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Friday 2nd October 2020

 

After a rather busy start to the new school year, I am delighted to be able to sit down and finally write my first blog of 2020/21.

 

It has certainly been a start with a difference and the most unusual way to kick things off that I have ever experienced in my career. There was a huge amount of discussion and planning involved in ensuring that we could reopen to all year groups on 8th September and I am delighted that everything seems to have gone smoothly. I was always prepared for the need to tweak a few things once we incorporated 200 children and 200 parents in to the mix, but your patience and support has been gratefully received. The longer these measures remain in place, it will be natural that we all become a little bit comfortable with them. It might just be necessary to refresh everything at various points to ensure that everything is working as effectively as possible. 

 

Today marks the end to the first full month back. Every day feels like a new challenge and it is difficult to look too far in to the future. Whilst we have so far managed to keep all bubbles open, we have faced both staff and pupil absences as a result of them having to self-isolate. As of today, we have not had any positive cases directly connected to school since the start of this crisis back in March. The end of each week feels like a small success in terms of everyone staying fit and healthy. In time, this may unfortunately change, but we will never allow for complacency to set in and we will ensure that we maintain the same high standards we set ourselves in implementing all of our safety procedures for as long as is necessary.

 

As a small school, the impact of losing just a couple of staff members is felt massively. However, I am always humbled by the attitude of everyone here at Collingham to help out and pick up additional responsibilities to ensure that school can function in the most efficient way possible for the benefit of the children. This doesn't matter if it's a lunch duty; opening gates; covering a class; or cleaning the toilets. Everyone puts themselves forward for any job that will help to minimise the impact of any absence. The staff in school are under huge pressure to ensure that the children catch up following the lockdown/school closure period, yet they also do everything within their powers to maintain the integrity of the class bubbles and to keep the school functioning normally. I could not be prouder of the team we have at this school.

 

There have been some moments already where the responsibility on both myself and the staff - in relation to COVID-19 - has felt immense. We are constantly being expected to reflect and adapt in accordance with the ever-changing national picture whilst maintaining our determined focus on learning. However, for every one of these moments, I have realised the importance of taking a step back and spending time observing the children: playing with their friends on the school field; smiling as they bounce in to school each morning; and the bustling classrooms in every corner of the building. Yes - these are challenging times - but for much of the day, the children are non-the-wiser about what's going on in the wider world and they are enjoying their time back in school with their friends and teachers. This - quite simply - makes everything worthwhile. The children are really happy and long may it continue.

 

Today, we were able to hold our first whole school celebration assembly on Zoom. As always, this was connected to celebrating our RESPECT code and was an opportunity to recognise the achievements of the children in relation to this over the past week. In previous years, we have called this our weekly 'leaf assembly'. Leaves were written by teachers and I would read them out to all of the children in the school hall. Children with leaves would receive a gold sticker and their leaves would be displayed on painted trees on the wall.

 

However, earlier in the year, we realised that many parents never got to see these leaves and that often the children could not remember why they had been awarded one. By the time parents visited school, the leaves on the wall had become a little bit tatty or had fallen off altogether. We have therefore decided to replace the leaf assembly with a new certificate assembly. This means that we can still celebrate the children's efforts in relation to the RESPECT Code, but now they can physically take home a certificate that they can share with you. Today's assembly celebrated 'positivity' and children were given awards because of their enjoyment of learning and for approaching everything they do with enthusiasm. Keep an eye out each week to see if your child has received a certificate in school.

 

 

 

RESPECT Code

 

When writing our Christian Vision Statement at the end of 2019, we collectively felt that the school RESPECT Code was in need of freshening up in order to reflect how the school had moved on over time.

 

The RESPECT Code is used to promote and maintain consistently high standards of behaviour and attitudes in all areas of school life; to develop respectful, considerate citizens beyond the school; and to provide a whole school articulation and shared language for discussing and promoting positive behaviour principles for learning and for life.

 

We felt strongly that there should be greater emphasis on resilience, equality/fairness and selflessness. There have been some tweaks to the twelve Christian values included on the RESPECT Code: 'creativity' and 'joy' have been replaced by 'justice' and 'service'.

 

In terms of the word RESPECT: 'Relationships', 'Standards', 'Positive and Enthusiastic' and 'Together' have been replaced by 'Resilience', 'Service', 'Positivity', 'Empathy' and 'Togetherness'.

 

We feel these changes strengthen the promotion of social, moral, cultural and spiritual development within a framework of inclusive and distinctly Christian values to develop our children as good British citizens with a clear understanding of right and wrong.

 

The new RESPECT Code is now on one single page and sits in unison with our Christian Vision Statement. You can see the differences between the old and new versions below:

 

Old RESPECT Code

 

 

 

New RESPECT Code

 

 

 

School Hall

 

Over the past 9 months, the school hall has been completely refurbished with a brand new parquet floor; new doors; and a lick of paint, using funds granted by the Diocese. This was completed in the summer holidays. The painted trees on the walls have finally gone and a disused hose reel that has been an eyesore in the corner of the room for the best part of 30 years has now been banished forever! 

 

It is disappointing that we are unable to invite parents in to school at the moment, but I thought you might like to see the end result as we are really pleased with the work that has been done. The school hall is the focal point of the school building so it's really satisfying to now have it looking back to its best. We look forward to welcoming you all back soon!

 

 

 

Nasal Flu Immunisations

 

Nasal flu immunisations are being administered in school on Monday for those who have signed up online.  If you signed up and you have since changed your mind, you must contact Intrahealth directly on 0333 3583 397 option 7 then option 2 to withdraw permission.

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 30th June 2020

 

As the summer holidays fast approaches, we enter one of the busiest periods of the school year in order to get ready for September. Today’s blog is a bit of a mixture of celebration and administration, but I think this is a useful forum to pass on some key messages at this time.

 

End of Year Reports

 

On Friday 10th July, we will be sending home an end of year report for all of the children as has been traditional. This will be in a much shorter format compared to previous years, but we felt it was extremely important that the teachers had an opportunity to write to all of the children in order to celebrate their achievements throughout the year.

 

Unfortunately, in line with government expectations, there will be no individual subject assessments for 2019/20. This is mainly down to gaps in curriculum coverage and an inability to complete end of year assessment tasks with the children - both as a direct result of the school closure.

 

For Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, all reports will be sent home with the children on the day. They will also be given a report for any sibling that is currently not back at school. Any remaining reports will be posted out to parents.

 

 

PTA Donation - New Computer Suite

 

Last week, we received the incredible news that we are set to receive a £20,000 donation from the Friends of Collingham School (FoCS). This huge sum is to subsidise the refurbishment of our computer suite where the current machines are now over 10 years old and running a now-defunct operating system.

 

The money will allow us to buy 32 brand new computers, keyboards and mice and to also replace the current classroom-type chairs for proper computer chairs. All being well, these will be ready to use at the start of the new school year.

 

Fortunately, there will be a large portion of the funds leftover and this is going to allow us to also buy a brand new class set of iPads. Again, this is to replace some very old devices that we have in school.

 

It is incredibly exciting that we are able to update our technology offer, but this would simply have not been possible without the incredible support of our parents. In the past year, we have had the Collingham Real Ale Festival, the circus event, a Movie Night, the annual Christmas Fayre, the brilliant disco with - the one and only – Mr Shuffles, and a highly entertaining Quiz Night! All of these events have made a vital contribution towards the huge figure that has been raised overall.

 

Thank you to each and every one of you who have helped to make all the events such a huge success, but particularly to those parents who have given up their time to get involved in the running of them. We are really grateful for everything you have been doing to help benefit the children at our school.

 

 

School Library and whole school reading offer

 

Before the school closure, we were working hard to promote a culture for reading in school where all children read for pleasure. As a part of this, we invested £10,000 to revamp our entire reading offer for the children, including: new books to meet the phonetic needs of the children in Early Years and KS1; brand new reading scheme books such as Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat; and a complete overhaul of the fiction and non-fiction books in the school library.

 

We had found that so many of our books were old, tatty and discoloured. They were certainly not books to engage and enthuse young readers. We therefore felt it was the least the children deserved for us to buy completely new books throughout school.

 

We now have a brand new shelving unit full of new books that have been separated into sets based upon different phonic sounds to help support early reading.

 

 

Our school library has also had a makeover with – sadly - scores of books being only fit for the bin and brand new books bought to replace them. A huge thank you to Mrs Myers, Mrs Questa, Mrs Grange and Mrs Wood who worked really hard during the school closure period to bring the library to life. Sadly, because of the pandemic, the children have not had an opportunity to explore all of the exciting fiction and non-fiction texts now in there, but as soon as we return properly then I am sure that the children will be blown away by the books that they will discover.

 

 

 

Class email addresses

 

To maintain contact between teachers, children and parents throughout the school closure period, we created some new class email addresses. The teachers have really enjoyed reading about everything the children have been doing at home and looking at all of the fantastic photos that have been sent in. Many of these have been used in the blog over the past few months. I hope that you feel the email addresses have been helpful during this difficult time.

 

We will continue to keep these email addresses open for the remainder of this academic year; however, these will be deactivated at the start of September when we hopefully have all year groups coming back at school. This is in the interests of staff well-being. We politely request that parents revert to emailing the school office should they wish to discuss or raise anything with the class teachers. Thank you.

 

 

Training Day

 

Monday 7th September will be our first training of the 2020/21 academic year. Therefore, all being well, the first full day back at school for all year groups will be Tuesday 8th September.

 

 

Dinner money

 

On Monday, we sent out some dinner money payment reminders for our Year 6 children and also for some of our Year 3/4/5 children who still owe for meals taken before the school closed back in March. We politely request that all payments are made before Friday 17th July.

 

Some refunds are due for children in Key Stage 2 and these can either be carried over to September or refunded by Leeds City Council should you wish. All refunds for Year 6 children will be made after Friday 17th July. 

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

Monday 8th June 2020

 

Last week, we successfully reopened our doors and welcomed back the children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. I have to be honest - this was a bittersweet moment - as it was fantastic to see these children returning with such beaming smiles on their faces; however, we were sadly still missing all of those from Years 2/3/4/5 who are unable to rejoin us at this moment. This has been a small step towards normality in the longer term and - for all of us at Collingham School - the return of each and every child cannot come soon enough. Only then will our school have truly emerged from the other side of this crisis. 

 

I would like to thank all of our parents for their unwavering support and patience. Those in Rec/Y1/Y6 for following all of our new timings and social distancing guidelines to ensure we can get the children in and out of school safely and to those in Y2/3/4/5 for continuing to approach home-learning with such positivity after ten long weeks when keeping the children motivated can be such a huge challenge.

 

In today's blog, I wanted to celebrate some of the activities that the children in Y2/3/4/5 have been enjoying over the past few weeks. I hope that you are able to share these photos with all of them to try and raise their spirits a little. I appreciate what a difficult time this is and I know from seeing older siblings dropping off younger brothers or sisters each morning that the children are desperate to return.

 

At the end of this week, we will be ensuring that we try and maintain contact with all of these children in new ways for as long as school closure remains in place for them. This will include telephone calls from class teachers and video messages through the class pages so that the children can hear a voice and see a face. It is imperative for us that these children are not forgotten and that they still feel very much included at our school. They may be out of sight, but they are most definitely not out of mind!

 

Please don't forget that if you would like to share anything that the children have been doing at home then photos can be emailed directly to the teachers using the class email addresses. I plan to continue sharing these right up until the end of the academic year. The photos always bring a smile to our faces!

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 22nd May 2020

 

It has been an extremely busy couple of weeks making preparations for a potential reopening of school on Monday 1st June for the children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. I am pleased to confirm that everything is now in place should we be given the green light to open our doors and full details regarding our arrangements were emailed to parents in these year groups yesterday evening. There was a 90% uptake of places, which was really pleasing, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming these children back to school.

 

For children in Years 2/3/4/5, the immediate future unfortunately remains unclear. The government ambition is for these year groups to return for four weeks in the lead up to the summer holidays. I have to be honest that I am concerned at this time about how we will be able to facilitate this. A lot will depend on what the government guidance instructs. In the arrangements to bring back Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, we are using every single classroom in school and every single member of staff available to us. Should the remaining year groups be asked to return then we simply would not have the space to accommodate everyone and especially if the maximum class size continues to be set at 15 children. The only way forward that I could see in these circumstances is that year groups were brought in on some sort of rota rather than being in school every day. I am hopeful that we will have more information on this to share with you soon.

 

As soon as Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 return, this will bring the home learning provision for these year groups to an end. Parents who have chosen not to send their children back will be able to access work and resources through BBC Bitesize and The Oak National Academy. I am afraid that due to the commitments of staff working full time in school, it will not be possible to maintain previous levels of home learning on the school website.

 

In Years 2/3/4/5, the home learning offer will continue, but the class pages will now only be updated once a week rather than twice. Again, these teachers will be working full time in school, although release time is being provided to ensure that they have the capacity to provide work for these children. Home learning sections of the website will be updated by 9.00am every Friday with activities to be used during the following week.  

 

As with previous school holidays, there will be a short break from home learning for half-term. We will inform you shortly when the class pages are next updated. We hope that you have an enjoyable week and that you are able to make the most of the glorious sunshine that is forecast.

 

Stay at Home 'Virtual' Sports Day 2020

 

In my previous Headteacher Blog, I regretfully informed you of the need to cancel our traditional Sports Day that was scheduled for Wednesday 3rd June.

 

Whilst this was hugely disappointing, I am delighted that I can now reveal the full details about our first ever Stay at Home 'Virtual' Sports Day to replace our usual event.

 

Mr Elliot and James H (School Sports Ambassador – Year 6) have been working on plans to keep all of the children active and to maintain some level of competition between our houses – even if from a distance!

 

The Virtual Sports Day will run throughout half-term (Monday 25th May to Friday 29th May) and - with your assistance – the children can record all of their scores on the sheet provided and once completed these can then be emailed to Mr Elliot at year3@collinghamschool.org

 

If you have any photographs of the children participating then please feel free to send these in alongside your completed record sheet.

 

Full details can be found below. Good luck everyone!

 

Have a fantastic half-term!

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

Stay at Home Sports Day 2020

 

Thursday 7th May 2020

 

This is the end of our fifth school week since we closed to the majority of the children, but it has definitely felt like a lot longer. 

 

In my house, the honeymoon period is well and truly over and it is proving ever more challenging to motivate my boys to complete their home-learning. For them, the novelty of lockdown has worn off and the warm sunshine outside is a constant lure to play in the garden rather than to get out the maths books. Being a headteacher/teacher with your own children makes absolutely no difference when you are a parent first and foremost. Also, trying to keep up with the day job in terms of the day to day running of the school whilst ensuring my boys don't 'kill' eachother has been a particular challenge. Today, I have put my terrible artistic skills to some sort of use by supporting my eldest son to create a collage of Andy Warhol's 'Vesuvius' and with my youngest son I have battled to remove him from FIFA 2020 on the X-Box in order to write a factfile about Saltwater Crocodiles. As much as I love them and have tried my hardest today, I am currently counting down the hours until their bedtime! 

 

Does this sound familiar?

 

Throughout all of this, we keep going back to the word 'unprecedented' and I don't think that word has ever been used so widely as it has for the past two months. It is certainly the most fitting to describe the current situation. Once we were notified of a school closure, our mission was to put out a balance of work for you to use at home to support with learning rather than to deliver an entire curriculum to your children. All families will be different and their individual circumstances will dictate how much or how little work they will be able to complete with their children. All you can do is what you can actually manage to fit in during these challenging times. There is certainly no judgement from us on what you are able to complete. I hope you have found the class pages useful as well as - for those who want more - BBC Bitesize and the Oak National Academy. You will likely be facing the same challenges to encourage, motivate and enthuse your children as the length of the national restrictions continues to increase. Try to stay positive and remember that you are doing both your best and what is best for your family right now.

 

All children in the United Kingdom are in the same position as our own and will undoubtedly have been impacted by these school closures in some way, shape or form. The education landscape is going to look very different in the immediate future as we try to address what is the challenge of a generation. I want to reassure you that whenever the children return to school, we will have a meticulous plan in place to support each and every one of them and to address their needs - educationally, socially and emotionally - following these 'unprecedented times'.

 

On Sunday afternoon, I am anticipating an announcement from the Prime Minister that will include his plans for the phased reopening of schools. This might possibly be from Monday 1st June. Once received, we will immediately 'kick into action' to find the best way forward for Collingham School and with consideration to all of our children, parents and staff. I hope to be able to bring you some news as soon as I possibly can.

 

Thank you for your continued support and patience.

 

 

VE Day

 

This year, the traditional May Day Bank Holiday was moved to this Friday in order for everyone to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. On 8th May 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced on the radio at 3.00pm that the war in Europe had come to an end following Germany’s surrender the day before. This was an emotional day and one that so many people across the world had been hoping and praying would arrive. Huge crowds came out in celebration and street parties were held across the country.

 

Back in March, we were already discussing about how we could mark the occasion in school, but our plans were sadly undone with the unfolding events of the past seven weeks. I know that the teachers have been sharing activities on the class pages and I am sure that some of you will be planning on celebrating at home whilst taking advantage of the fantastic weather that is forecast.

 

It’s an incredible twist of fate that we should be celebrating such a significant event from the past as we continue to work through such a significant event in the present. It is a great opportunity to remember the huge sacrifices that were made by those people living in 1945 to bring peace and freedom to the world; however, we may also feel we are currently making many sacrifices ourselves, but this time, for the benefit of our own health and those around us.

 

With school still providing childcare throughout this crisis for some children of key worker parents, Miss Hicks and Mrs Shaw have worked throughout the week with Lydia and Emily to create Collingham School’s own contribution towards marking the occasion tomorrow. A huge banner has been unveiled at the front of school and I am sure you will agree that it looks fantastic. If you haven’t seen it already, I have included the photos below.

 

I hope you have an enjoyable day should you be celebrating.

 

 

 

 

Collingham Kids' Rocks

 

Now, we have always known that Collingham kids rock, but now we actually have Collingham Kids' Rocks.

 

Ben (Year 2) and Alex (Reception) - under the watchful eye of their mum - have been incredibly busy over the past few weeks decorating rocks to hide around the village. The colourful stones have been placed in secret locations and they encourage the finder to post a photo on a new Facebook group before rehiding the rock. So far, over 100 people have got involved and have joined the group. Ben and Alex would love for even more to join in and create their own masterpieces to hide.

 

It's such a great idea and certainly boosts the motivation to get out on that daily walk and spot one of the hidden treasures. It's also a really lovely way for everyone to keep in touch and to give a break from a 'virtual' world that can be dominated by screens.

 

Ben and Alex are so excited every time someone uploads a photo of one of the rocks. If you would like to join in then more information can be found on the link below:

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/229538561658216/

 

Well done Ben and Alex! Your amazing creativity has brought a smile to so many faces in Collingham! You can have 5 powerhouse points each (and I'll save one for your mum too!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Day - Monday 1st June 2020

 

Monday 1st June 2020 has been designated as our fourth training day for this academic year. Should the Prime Minister announce that schools can open to an increased number of children from this date then I have taken the decision to cancel this training day and to open school for any children who might be allowed to attend.

 

Sports Day 2020

 

I am sure it will not come as a huge surprise to learn that our annual Sports Day will, unfortunately, be cancelled for this academic year. This was originally scheduled for Wednesday 3rd June 2020 and it is always such a popular event in the school calendar for everyone in our school community.

 

However, I am excited to inform you that - despite this cancellation - Mr Elliot is currently putting together plans for our first ever 'virtual' Sports Day with full details being announced next week.

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

 

 

Wednesday 29th April 2020

 

Firstly, I hope this finds you all well and that you are all managing to cope with the demands and challenges that you face during this school closure period.

 

At the moment, I am sorry to say that the education landscape is no clearer, but I am hopeful that - in the next couple of weeks - the government will start to release some information around its future plans to begin reopening schools to more pupils. As soon as I have any information, I will of course be in touch.

 

Last Monday, I emailed all parents with details about the expanded ‘BBC Bitesize’ website that was now offering a range of new online lessons and videos to support with home learning across the curriculum. There was no expectation for parents to take advantage of these, but I felt that they will have been useful if this was something that you felt would help to support you.

 

In addition to this, the government have also recently launched the Oak National Academy which aims to deliver 180 sequenced video lessons each week across a range of subjects for every year group (Reception to Year 6). There is also a plan of video lessons and resources to support three hours of learning a day for primary pupils. As with BBC Bitesize, this is not compulsory, but if you feel such lessons would be beneficial for your child/children then please access this free resource on the below link.

 

 

The teachers continue to report how much they are enjoying receipt of all the emails from parents and children to share some of the learning and fun that has been happening away from school. If you haven’t had an opportunity to contact your class teacher yet then I would strongly encourage you to do so as they are really looking forward to hearing from you. They can be contacted on the following emails:

 

receptionclass@collinghamschool.org

year1@collinghamschool.org

year2@collinghamschool.org

year3@collinghamschool.org

year4@collinghamschool.org

year5@collinghamschool.org

year6@collinghamschool.org

 

A couple of weeks ago, I put together a gallery of photos that had been sent to the teachers in order to spread some positivity and to put a smile on everyone's faces. I enjoyed looking at these so much that I have collected some more photos to share with you today. I absolutely love how - even though we are all facing unprecedented challenges - the happiness of the children can still shine through. Take a look at what the children have been doing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well done to all of those who feature above and also to all of you who are working so hard at home!

We are really proud of you!

 

Thank you for everything you are doing to support at home and please continue sending us your photos. They really are fantastic!

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Monday 6th April 2020

 

Firstly……I won’t mention it if you don’t!

 

It was another busy week of ‘home-learning’ and the teachers have been inundated with photographs of the children enjoying both structured learning and other fun activities with their families.

 

I wanted to use this week’s blog as an opportunity to celebrate some of the things that the children have been doing at home. The photos that you have been sending in have really brought a smile to our faces and I hope that they do the same for you too. Please continue to send these photos into us as hopefully there will be opportunities to share more of them with you over the coming weeks.

 

Let’s see what has been happening in your homes…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well done to all of those who feature above and also to all of you who are working so hard at home!

We are really proud of you!

 

Unbelievably, today is officially the first day of our Easter Holidays. Following the learning that was added to the class pages last Friday, these will now not be updated again until Tuesday 21st April at 9.00am so as to ensure that the teachers can enjoy a break themselves. Any emails that you send over this period will be responded to on this date also.

 

I know that it is unusual circumstances, but on behalf of everyone at Collingham School, I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a Happy Easter.

 

Best wishes,

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

 

Monday 30th March 2020

 

It is incredible to think that just over a week ago we were preparing to close the school doors for the ‘foreseeable future’. This created huge uncertainty for all members of our school community, but we have been steadfast in our belief that whilst this period would undoubtedly be a challenge – we will come through it.

 

Each day, I have been overwhelmed by stories celebrating the strength of ‘human spirit’ during this time of crisis. Over half a million people signing up to join the NHS’s ‘volunteer army’; children drawing pictures and making gifts for elderly residents in self-isolation; and entire streets singing happy birthday to youngsters unable to go outside and celebrate properly. Such tales restore your faith in humanity.

 

I remain hopeful that despite how awful these events are across the world right now – some good will come out of them.

 

Having been in school every day last week, it was a strange feeling to be walking around a near-empty building. The sooner we can get back to working at full capacity - with over 200 smiling faces – the better for everyone. The most important part of our school is missing right now and we look forward to welcoming the children back soon. Collingham School just isn’t the same without them!

 

I am sure it has been an unusual week for the children who have been taking part in ‘home-learning’ for the very first time. The hub went live last Monday morning with the class pages ready for 9.00am the following day. As of today, the school website has had nearly 2500 hits in the past week so I can only assume that you’ve all been incredibly busy! The teachers have been working hard to keep the class pages maintained and to provide you with activities that you can use. These will be updated once again tomorrow and Friday before a two-week hiatus for the Easter holidays.

 

The teachers are reporting that the email system we set up between home and school seems to be working well. It has given you a direct link to ask any pressing questions and it has also provided an opportunity to share some of the learning that the children have been doing. In my next Headteacher Blog, I hope to be able to celebrate some of this fantastic work with you all.

 

We have tried hard to put the right things in place for you to support with the children’s learning at home; however, as important as this is, I also hope that you get to spend some quality time together as families.

 

Home-schooling will bring pressures of its own and even more so when some of you are trying to work from home. With two boys myself, I can testify to this! I can assure you that being a headteacher makes absolutely no difference at all when trying to encourage your own children to avoid the lure of the X-Box or iPad and to get out the reading books, maths worksheets and spelling lists.

 

Skills in English, maths and science are essential, but so too are life skills. Learning is much more than just a school curriculum so remember to enjoy the ‘simple’ activities together like baking a cake, going for a walk, writing a letter to someone, building a den, planting some vegetables, completing a puzzle, playing a board game or even washing the car.

 

The most important thing right now is to continue showing love to your children and to continue supporting them through what will be one of the most challenging periods of their entire lives.

 

You must look after yourselves too. Minimising stress is absolutely vital at a time like this for your own mental health and well-being.

 

However, if your legs are aching as much as mine from the ‘help’ of Joe Wicks then maybe there are alternatives to support with this as well!

 

Best wishes

 

Mr Cook (Headteacher)

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