FOSCS Jubilee Science Garden
We had loads of fun on Sunday 15th May working together to build our science garden. It was great to see so many members of our community involved, with three generations working together! Our main focus today was shifting the top solid and compost into the beds that Mr Greenough had prepared. To celebrate the jubilee, we hope to plant saplings of the trees that our house teams are named after: Oak, Maple, Birch and Ash. After a careful search we found all except an Ash sapling already growing in the grounds, so we will relocate these and make sure they are well nurtured.
Easter Thanks and Prayers
Years 1-6 visited the Church for our Easter Service. Again, this was a chance to develop presentation and advocacy skills, as each class performed confidently in the church, with a focus on poetry. Year 5 read us some particularly powerful poems they had written reflecting on refugees, as we hope to welcome more to our school soon. These showed a real sense of higher calling and awareness of choosing the right response to others in need. Year 6 led us in the Easter readings.
Earlier this term our Careers Partner at DGS, Stuart George came and talked to the children in assembly about the employability skill 'Collaboration'. He was also joined by local Businessman Mike Foster who talked to the children about the importance of collaboration in his businesses. Whilst visiting, Mike very kindly donated 5 copies of the book 'Billy the Goat and the five pound note' by Rowan Waller, who he knows. It is a fantastic story about a goat called Billy who finds a £5 note and instead of just spending it, he uses his initiative and invests it into starting his own business. Before long Billy has multiplied his investment and is a successful businessman. These books have been shared between the Yr2 to Year 6 classes. Thank you Mike!
A Musical Performance
Performance skills are a vital part of music and it was wonderful to be able to invite parents in for this first music assembly for two years. The children who learn with iRock to play in bands, and the children who learn the piano, took turns to entertain us. Children showed huge respect for each other as they listened intently to the performances and showed obvious appreciation for their peers. No child is ever excluded form music tuition on financial grounds in our school.
A Journey Through History
On 31st March, Year 3 and 4 put on their production of 'A Journey Through History'. This show incorporated songs, dance, music, poetry and drama all around the theme they have been studying win History this year, from pre-history with the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages, though to the Viking period. The performance was truly impressive with some really complex musical numbers and extended speeches. Children made huge progress with their presentation skills and also learned about being inclusive - some children who did not ready to perform worked hard to provide refreshments and work on the behind the scenes administrative tasks involved in a production of this scale.
On 24th March, Year 5 put on a production of a pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. They had written many of the scenes themselves. They loved dressing up and had greta confidence as they led the audience participation win true panto style - "Oh yes they did!"
This developed their skills in presentation and advocacy, giving them confidence to stand up and speak out. It was also an exercise in inclusive participation and they made sure everyone was involved and had a part to play they enjoyed and felt comfortable with.
A flash of Red for Red Nose Day!
Friday 18th March was Red Nose Day 2022. This year we supported the charity with a non-uniform day which included a flash of red!
During the day all the children also took part in a house event to earn points for their team. It was 'A Red Nose and spoon Race' which was a lot of fun! A big thank you to Isla and George from Falcons who enthusiastically collected the donations on the gate and Adam and Fabian who helped run the staff 'Guess the cake' fundraiser. Finally, a huge thank you to all of you, with your contributions Sutton Courtenay School raised a whopping £283!!
David Johnston MP comes to visit
On Friday 4th March our MP David Johnston came to visit. You will remember that at the time of the COP 26 climate conference, the children wrote letters to world leaders and Mr Johnston forwarded them to Alok Sharma, the president of the conference. Mr Johnston came to talk to the children in person about their understanding of how they can proactively work for climate change. It is important that as other events overtake the news, we do not forget need to think very long term about the planet that our children and their children need to live on. The children met Mr Johnston in Forest School, which seemed a suitable setting. They asked lots of excellent questions, and Mr Johnston explained what governments could do to encourage sustainable solutions and to follow up on the promises made at the COP26.
We Will Rock You - joint Ridgeway production
It certainly was ‘a kinda magic’ when Ridgeway Education Trust’s performance of Ben Elton’s ‘We Will Rock You’ roared through Cockcroft Hall for four nights in February. Audiences in the Hall, and via the livestream events, were treated to a toe-tapping, anthem -waving, energetic extravaganza from St. Birinus School, Didcot Girls’ School and Sutton Courtney CofE Primary School students. Performers ranged in age from ten years old up to eighteen and everyone, no matter how experienced or whatever their age, contributed in an enthusiastic, focused and entirely joyful way.
Having lived through a global pandemic for the last two years, students and staff alike were so excited to put this show on. The delight of the students each night, during the performance and post-performance, was a joy to behold. Sixty-two members of staff across the trust were involved in the musical, each dedicating their time and talents to make sure the show continued the tradition of amazing joint productions. Mr Dingley excelled with his band and his brilliant teaching, ensuring that singing was the highest quality. Ms Robertson directed the show with much humour, fun and huge amounts of energy, eliciting the best performances from all of the cast. The choreography by Ms Robertson and Ms Harrison was equally eye catching, with a full range of opportunities for all the dancers. At one point there were eighty five students on stage dancing to’ Crazy little thing called Love’ – what a feat!
The talent from the students was phenomenal and their commitment and hard work made the show the success it was. Bringing children and young people together from the three schools shows the strength of our Trust and the benefits for our young people of working in such close partnership and collaboration.
To those of you that were able to watch the musical either in person, or through the live streaming, thank you so much for your support. If you were unable to see the show, we hope these photos give you some idea of the excitement, fun and energy that went into ‘We Will Rock You’.
We are now all looking forward to the next production, whatever that may be!
Maria Robertson Sean Dingley
Head of Drama, Didcot Girls’ School RET Director of Music
Safer Internet Day 2022
Tuesday 8th February is Safer Internet Day. In school we don't see it as something that only gets talked about on one day a year, because teaching children to be safe when online is something which is extremely important and needs discussing and monitoring all of the time. However, it is a day when the safe use of the internet can be raised nationwide and is a reminder to everyone to check in with what their children are doing online, talk to them and seek advice and support. The website below has some good advice for parents and 'Top Tips for Under11's' which are great to use as starting points with your children, over the next week please try and find some time to talk through these with your children.
The Big garden Birdwatch!
The countdown is on for the Big Garden Birdwatch!
This weekend between 28th and 30th January the RSPB are asking families to take part in monitoring which birds are seen in their garden or local park. It only takes one hour and is a lovely thing to do as a family. Please click on this link https://www.rspb.org.uk/ to find out more. It is too late to get the postal pack but you can still sign up and download the resources. Once you have carried out your survey, you will be able to log your results on the website.
If you take part please let me know with a short recount or photo via email@example.com and your family will earn a house point for their team!
A letter from Alok Sharma
Our MP, David Johnston, sent the letters we wrote to world leaders during the 2021 Climate Conference to Alok Sharma, the leader of the conference. He sent us this letter back, encouraging us to continue to be interested and involved working towards a better future for our planet.
On Monday and Tuesday KS2 took it in turns to walk down to church to “Experience Christmas”. We spoke about the gifts that God brought into the universe and how all of them are important. We then learnt more about the shepherds in the story of the nativity. We even got to see some real gold and smell some frankincense and myrrh. We then walked back in the cold wind and rain! Despite the weather we had a great few days and thanked Reverend Helen for a brilliant experience.
Sutton Courtenay Football Team's First Tournament!
Click on this link to find out more:
Children In Need and The Best Dressed Bears!
Everything went spotty today as we collected for Children In Need.
The bears are back in town! After a year without them helping us to celebrate Children In Need Day, this year they were back again, getting all dressed up to come to school. In each class there was a prize for the best dressed bear (who might even be a rabbit or even, as one of our winners was, a fish). This year the prizes of metal badge and wristband were chosen from the range of Children In Need merchandise, which meant even more money going to the charity. There were some really imaginative outfits this year with the winning bears themed around the Children In Need spotty theme.
Anti-bullying week - One Kind Word
This week we have been thinking through our assemblies and our PSHCE lessons about how we are ALL responsiblefor making sure there is no bullying in our school. We have talked to the children about how if they see anything they think might be bullying, they have to call it out, and they will be backed by the staff. It is really hard for young children to understand the difference between falling out with someone and bullying, which is more sustained and deliberate. By drawing children’s attention to the need for us all to choose kind words and to call out anyone they see not doing so, we can create a culture where bullying is not tolerated.
On Remembrance Sunday, Mrs Hornsey was at the War Memorial in Sutton Courtenay along with many others who gathered to pay their respects. Some of the children joined her, wearing their school jumpers, to place the wreath the school donated. Earlier in the week, at 11am on Thursday 11th, the children right across the school from the youngest to the oldest paused their lessons to hold a two minute silence in respect for soldiers who have died in conflict. Perhaps partly due to the new children we have welcomed from Afghanistan, the school community is more aware than ever of how, sadly, wars continue to be fought across the globe.
COP 26 – What does it mean for our children?
We held two assemblies to mark COP 26. In the first, one of the Ridgeway Trustees, Andrew Kaye, visited us again. He told us all about how his career in science had helped to collect some of the data that enables us to study climate change. It was fascinating to hear about how he had flown in a plane measuring the levels of methane rising across the country. This enabled the children to see the importance of science for all of us, and showed them how the early steps they are taking in science as they learn to measure the outcomes of simple experiments accurately are the foundations of change in the future.
In the second, we talked about what we would like to say to the world’s leaders as they left Glasgow and the fine details of the negotiations took place. I challenged the children to write a letter to the world’s leaders expressing their feelings about the decisions ahead. I was deeply impressed by the response. So many children wrote such passionate letters. No time was given in school to do this – they did this in their own time because they care so much. I hope you will find inspiration from watching this short video made from some of the children reading out one sentence each from their letter.
It is so important that children do not feel powerless – there is much we can all do on a small scale. The message we will be really stressing in school is that we can all help reduce waste by simply taking better care of our things. This links back again to our value of respect. Lost jumpers, coats and water bottles are wasteful. Broken toys must go in the bin. So lets take care of all that we have, and respect the planet as we go!
House Fun Run
On Tuesday 5th October, children in Robins through to Falcons took part in a House Fun Run. They had to run as many laps in 15 minutes around a course that involved hurdles, ditches, and a tyre obstacle. Lots of fun was had by everyone even with the odd shower of rain!
Watch this space for the results which will be coming after they are announced to the children in Assembly on Friday. A Huge thank you to the Event Sports Leaders from Falcons: Iyla, Taylor, Jacob, Charlie, Nathaniel, Scarlett, Adam and Maisie who supported to set up and run the event but most importantly to encourage the younger children.
Sports Day 2021!
Following 2020 where sports day didn't happen, it was lovely to come together on the field for sports day on Wednesday 14th July this year. It wasn't quite the same as we were unable to invite families but the sun shone, the teams cheered and lots of fun was had!
It was very close and the results were:
1st with 250 points - Oak Team
2nd with 240 points - Birch team
3rd with 214 points - Maple Team
4th with 210 points - Ash Team
Well done everyone!
House Team Sporting Challenge - May 2021
What fun we had!
On Tuesday 11th May, we battled through the rain showers and all took part in a House Sporting Challenge. There were 4 challenges: The sprint relay, the football dribble and shoot, the bean bag target throw and the obstacle relay.
We all had a great morning and all classes and teams showing real resilience. The results for the whole school when totalled across the morning were:
1st with 48points - Maple
2nd (joint) with 46 points - Ash and Birch
3rd with 42 points - Oak
If you would like to see how each class did, please click on the link below to watch the results video which was made for and shared with all the children in school.
Easter Hat Day!
A big thanks to Foscs for organising this event to raise money for our school! Easter Hat Day was a lovely way to end the term and was supported by so many families. We were so impressed by the creations it made it very difficult to choose a winner for each class - but here they are:
Barn Owls - Lincoln
Robins - Jack
Kestrels - Joey
Kingfishers - Archie
Wrens - Isabella
Red kites - Spencer
Falcons - Scarlett
Staff - Mrs Hutchinson!
Their photos and many more can be see in the Easter Hat Procession slide show below!
Easter Hat Parade
Red Nose Day 2021
Well Friday 19th March marked Comic Relief 2021 (Red Nose Day) and what a day of fun and laughs we had! We followed this year's theme of 'Superpowers at the ready' and many children came to school dressed as Superheroes (Attached is a short video slideshow of just a few of our superheroes).
We earned house points by telling a joke to our class and raised a whopping £255.82!!
Maple - 18 points
Oak - 17 points
Ash - 16 points
Birch - 13 points
Thank you everyone for your support.