Dear Parents and Carers,
Here we are at that ‘most wonderful time of the year’! Of course, all of the festivities bring extra demands on the school community. Can we say a huge thank you for all of your support in finding costumes, attending the Carol Concert, learning lines and buying ‘enterprise products’ – amongst other things! Our children enjoy a wonderful time in school – thank you to everyone, it’s appreciated.
A supportive community
Thank you so much for your generosity towards charitable and school events.
Our children love participating in ‘Children in Need’ day and there is a lovely atmosphere in school. We talk a lot about helping each other – and ‘support’ is one of our school values. Our CiN Day raised £425.
Remembrance Day is another event close to our hearts. We held a moving assembly in school at 11am; the children feel silent and then placed their own handmade poppy wreaths at the front of our hall. Thank you to those members of our community who set off from our school on Remembrance Sunday – we had some lovely feedback. Our Y4 Remembrance display in St Mary's Parish Church was also well-received. Well done to all of those thoughtful Y4 letter-writers!
The Book Bus
Thank you so much for supporting our ‘Book Bus’ experience. We had a really successful day, with lots of new stories to be enjoyed. Your support has given us £190 to spend on books. We will put this towards books for our early readers in Reception.
Carol Concert 2018
Our second annual KS2 Carol Concert was held on Friday and we had a brilliant turn-out. We are lucky to have a strong partnership with The Prescot School and we are very grateful for their support in making this event such a success.
It was wonderful to see the children sing to such a large audience; what a great way to build their confidence! After a busy week of performing in the library and high school, the choir also sang brilliantly.
Our school community has generously donated items and bought gifts from the KS2 markets. We appreciate every donation. Staff and children worked hard to prepare Christmas treats and together, we have raised £800 for our School Fund. This will help us to purchase reading scheme books and boost our non-fiction selection.
Enjoying Christmas together
We love to bring the whole school together at Christmas and share experiences that will stay with children and families for a long time.
The past couple of weeks have seen some wonderful festive events.
M&M Productions came to visit, with their pantomime, 'Jack & the Beanstalk'. Not every child will be lucky to see a pantomime with their family and we strive to offer every child that opportunity. The panto was hilarious and the children loved it when teachers were chosen to join in.
Nursery children enjoyed a magical walk to the postbox to post their letters to Santa. Imagine what a surprise they had when they saw a decorated postbox stood in a circle of glitter! After posting their letters, parents and pupils enjoyed carols and hot chocolate back in Nursery. This experience builds speaking and listening skills and helps our children to make decisions.
Our commitment to providing top quality food has never been stronger - and it was nevermore obvious than on Christmas Dinner Day! Our kitchen team were in early to prepare the festive food and were serving with a song when the first diners arrived! It really was such a wonderful atmosphere to enjoy a meal with friends.
Bringing History to life...
It is important for us to provide opportunities that deepen learning experiences. Y3 chose to do this at Croxteth Hall recently, in a way that it is very difficult to do inside school or when visiting as a family.
The Hall was set to welcome our children, who had dressed brilliantly in role as various members of the household. Some children were servants, some stable-hands, some lady's maids and some were footmen. Children spent their time learning about their roles within an important stately home during the Victorian era. They were shown how to do their various jobs and all had to follow the rules set by their wealthy family.
This was a completely immersive experience for the children. They were amazed by the impressive house and the knowledge of the adults who were 'training' them. We were impressed by the children's level of curiosity and interest. They really did gain such a sound understanding of Victorian life.
Thank you for the Y3 parents who supported such a valuable visit.
This half term, the whole school has been exploring different festivals of light. and how they are celebrated across faiths and cultures.
In October, the whole school learned more about the Hindu festival of Diwali. One of pupils lead an assembly in which he told us all about the meaning of Diwali and how his family celebrate. We were able to ask lots of questions, look at photographs and listen to HIndu music.
Following this, we welcomed Shelli Abrams into school. Shelli spoke to us in assembly about the Jewish festival of Hannukah. We learned about the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil in the temple. We also saw how the Menorah is lit as a celebration during Hannukah. Shelli taught us some songs and we enjoyed singing along.
Finally, we looked at the Christian festival of Christmas. The story of the nativity plays an important part, and our EYFS and KS1 nativities shared the important story with large audiences! Well done, children!
Early Years News
It has been a busy, fun filled term in our Nursery and Reception classes and we cannot believe that we have already completed a full term. All of our children have well and truly settled into life at Prescot Primary and we cannot wait to welcome some new children and their families to Nursery after Christmas. We know that our 'older' children will do a wonderful job in helping them to settle in.
All of our EYFS children take part in 'wake up' work when they arrive each day and our Reception team have developed this further to tailor the work closely to the children's individual targets. We call this our 'linked provision' and the activities set up for the children match what they are working on in Mathematics and Literacy. The children have embraced this change and we have seen really engaged children developing skills that they need to progress.
A visit from the Chartered College of Teaching
We were recently contacted by The Chartered College to ask if we were interested in contributing materials to an online course all about teaching with technology, with a following article in their 'Impact' magazine.
This is an exciting opportunity to share what we do and for our children to demonstrate just how much their learning can be deepened and supported with the help of technology.
The filming team spent the day with us and were particularly interested in how our teachers use iPads in the assessment and feedback process. Y5 demonstrated the use of iPads as visualisers and also modelled assessing science using 'Plickers'. Y4 were keen to show how 'Kahoot!' is used to assess understanding in a low-threat, enjoyable way.
Our Digital Leaders were also interviewed and were asked about their role in school - how did they apply, what do they do to help others and how has leadership helped them in other areas of school life.
The team were very impressed with what our children and staff contributed to the day. We really are teaching and learning in an innovative way and are preparing our children for a future that none of us can predict.
Watch this space for future news about this project.
Curriculum Project Update
We believe in teaching our children through a purposeful, connected curriculum, designed to develop specific skills within a themed approach. We strive to excite imaginations and fire curiosity.
This term's projects have included: 'An enchanted woodland', 'Land ahoy!' and 'Peasants, Princes & Pestilence'. We have seen or Y1 children walk to our woods to fight an evil dragon with their magical crowns; Y2 welcomed in a visitor from the RNLI and Y5 fought in a peasant's revolt with Wat Tyler against the King! (See photos below).
Next term's projects will include 'Towers, tunnels & turrets', 'Lotions and Potions' and 'Pharoahs'.
We have recently invested in a new maths programme for all children in school. Inspire Maths is a whole-school primary maths programme that supports teaching for mastery and meeting the higher expectations of the National Curriculum. Y1 and Y3 were the first classes to trial this textbook approach, with Y4 and 5 following soon after. Y2 will be starting the programme in January.
You can find out more here:
You may remember a letter explaining our new timetable for children in KS1 and 2.
The new routines were developed as a result of needing more time within the school day to talk to children about their learning - especially in unpicking those tricky concepts that often can't wait until the next day.
The results so far have been incredible. With three clear teaching blocks, and two pupil breaks in the morning, we have noticed higher levels of engagement and we find that confidence is building as misconceptions are addressed on the same day. Our children have risen to the challenge of strict time-keeping and have made the most of every minute.
Time is precious.
This is the time of year when we find ourselves reflecting on the many achievements of our children and the amazing contributions that our staff and of course you have made to our wonderful school. It is important that we take the time to celebrate the highs and learn from the lows.
This term has seen the formation of a new governing board and it is with great pride that as your new Chair of governors I have this opportunity to thank you for your continued support.
In the New Year, the governing board will be taking the time to share with you how we will be working in partnership with Mr George, the senior leadership team, staff and of course the children and you as we continue on our improvement journey.
For now though, on behalf of all the governors I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring you and your family peace, joy and happiness.
Chair of Governors
Willowbrook Hospice request
We have been contacted by Willowbrook Hospice to ask if anyone would be interested in volunteering in the hospice charity shops across St Helens and Knowsley, especially between the hours of 10am to 2pm.
Volunteering can be extremely beneficial in developing skills within a retail environment; it can build confidence and combat loneliness.
If you think you can help or would like more information, email Ian Turnbull, Willowbrook Volunteer Co-ordinator at Iant@willowbrookhospice.org.uk
The immunisation service are going to put on some additional clinics after Christmas during the school holidays to enable parents who want their child to have the vaccine, to attend. The flu spray is a quick and painless procedure.
In order to address some of the gaps in provision so far the immunisation service are holding the following clinics across Knowsley. No appointment is needed, families can just turn up.
Wednesday 2nd January
2pm - 4pm
Thursday 3rd January
10am – 12noon
Friday 4th January
10am – 12noon
St Chad's PCRC
St Chad's Drive
In support of Chester Zoo
Following the devastating fire on Saturday which destroyed much of the Monsoon Forest Habitat, we would like to share Chester Zoo's Just Giving page with our school community.
We worked such a lot with the zoo during the summer and we would like to do all we can to support the amazing conservation work that they do.
So, 2019 is just around the corner!
Can we take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very merry Christmas and a new year jam-packed with happy memories!
Have fun, take care – and tweet your best moments!
From everyone at Prescot Primary.