All posts by Rebecca Stacey

Google Classroom – A Parents’ Guide

Castle Carrock make use of Google Apps for Schools, and the Google Classroom platform to share resources with the pupils.

Google Suite for Education is a group of tools that allow students and teachers to collaborate in real-time on a wide variety of documents, spreadsheets and and even websites. All tools are free, reliable and secure. You can find out about the suites here: https://sites.google.com/ab-ed.org/gsuite-for-parents/gsuite-tools

These can all be used and viewed at home and work can be set and handed in via the Google Classroom platform. The pupils are also able to comment on work and upload their own resources. It is an excellent introduction to online learning for our pupils and links well with the google drive applications such as google docs and slides.

How to find Google Classroom

‘Google Chrome’ tends to work best.

The children all have individual log-ins which can usually be found in their  school diary.

Go to classroom.google.com and log in with the children’s account details.

If you receive an error message check that you are not already logged in with a personal google mail account.

Here’s to our PTA!

I always mention our fabulous PTA – or Friends Group – whenever I show new families around school. Having an active PTA is about more than just fundraising – it’s about socialising – about creating a community for the school and putting on family-friendly events. And then there is the fundraising.

The fact is, though many of you may not realise it, the Friends group have contributed thousands of pounds to school life over the last few years. And, in a time of rapidly rising school costs this has been a lifeline for us.

Easter Fun Day

In the last four years the Friends group have:

  • Bought new computer equipment – facilitating our movement to a ‘Google Apps’ School.
  • Bought equipment for, and then helped maintain, the school garden.
  • Supported our Arts provision; paid for poets and musicians to come in to school.
  • Bought hundreds of new books and helped to refurbish our library.
  • Organised events that all the children can take part in  –  e.g. End of Year Disco, Halloween Parties, Easter Fun Days.
  • Supported school events such as the trip to the Panto in December and Christmas Dinner.
  • Supported the school by maintaining the garden, the art work outside and the flowers in and around the playground.
  • Manned the Facebook page and elements of the school social media.

All of this creates a very special school environment with a very positive relationship between school and parents. It means that our pupils access the best in educational experiences and the opportunities that come from these. It means that we can depend on a few extra hundreds of pounds for new books, for special visitors or for amazing school trips when we see them.

I just wanted to write this post to thank you all for supporting the Friends of Castle Carrock. Without the people who organise and run events, as well as everyone who attends events and, of course, spends money at these events, our school wouldn’t be the same at all.

 

Thank you!

 

Welcome Back!

Welcome back!

I hope you had a peaceful two weeks – it is a bit of a strange start to the term with two four day weeks, but we have got lots to cram in this term!

We start the term this week with Parents’ Evening – please speak to Dee if you have not got your appointment yet.

There is also a change to the staff structure in Key Stage 2 this term; as you may have been aware Mr Tyrrell was off before the holidays. I am pleased to be able to tell you that he is back now, but is working to a reduced timetable in Class 3. This means that the bulk of the teaching in the class will now be done by Mrs Helliwell, with support from Mrs McNeil. I believe that this arrangement will ensure consistency for Class 3 children – and we will be able to split Class 3 and Class 4 more frequently in the afternoons.

Arrangements across the school for next year are currently being finalised – but, as ever – if you have any concerns please do pop in and see me in school.

In other school news we are currently working with Tullie House to offer a Chinese Club on a Monday lunchtime, and thanks to equipment from Cumbria Stem we are starting a lunchtime Lego challenge club for Year 3. Our popular garden club starts up again this week as well, and if you can spare time for the garden do please get in touch! Running club also starts up again this Thursday.

We have also just been designated a Community Hub by the Computing at School’s association – this is an excellent opportunity for the children and staff here at school, and means that we lead the way in our use of technology in school and in the teaching of computing and ICT.

We put a letter out for interested Parent Governors before Easter – the deadline for this is next Friday. You can find out more details here.

Finally a reminder about the need for healthy snacks in school and a healthy packed lunch (if appropriate) – the number of children bringing chocolate bars in for playground snacks is increasing and I would take the chance to remind you that we encourage the children to make healthy choices; fruit, cereal bars and vegetable crisps. Please remember that we do not allow peanuts in school.

R Stacey
Head Teacher
Castle Carrock Primary School

Aspirations! 2019

It’s that time of year again!

As you know, every year we ask our older children what they are thinking of doing when they leave school. This always prompts some really great conversations about careers and subject choices and lets them ask any questions. We then try to invite people to speak to the children who already do these jobs, or who have some experience in this field. This is a really useful aspect of our curriculum as it allows the children to start thinking of the future and to think about the possibilities a good education opens up for them. It also improves their confidence as they learn to talk to adults and to listen to experts talk about their field.

So far this year we have had conversations about:

  • football coaches
  • vets
  • architects
  • music directors
  • digital content creators.

The children are interested in Zoologists, builders and mechanics. We have already had a Skype chat with a football coach, and we now need your help to find others who can talk to us.

If you can help, please contact the school office 01228670393.

Thank you!

British Science Week 2019

This week we are celebrating Science Week. Along with the British Science Association, British Science Week has been always been a feature of our calendar.

This week we are starting with a Robotics Workshop, C4 today and C3 tomorrow. We also have a ‘mix-up’ afternoon where the whole school will be taking part in different scientific activities with different teachers. Later in the week each class will have a different focus for their work – and you can see the results of this on Friday in our Science Exhibition (from 2:45pm).

As usual this week gives us the chance to embed our science curriculum and to challenge our children to think deeper and to engage with different scientific concepts. We look forward to sharing our work with you all on Friday!