Category Archives: headteachers blog

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

Celebrating our Chinese Links!

This term we have created links with a school in Guangzhou, China.

Currently our school council is planning a ‘culture box’ to share with the school and they have already sent us videos of their box, which is on it’s way to us!

To reinforce these links we will be celebrating Chinese New Year on Wednesday 6th February, which is a day after the official Chinese New Year on Tuesday 5th.

We will be taking part in traditional crafts such as making Chinese New Year cards, creating paper dragons and learning about the myths and legends which are part of the Chinese Culture. The children will have the chance to cook traditional foods such as rice, noodles and vegetables.

We will also have a slightly different lunch that day of Sweet and Sour Chicken with Sticky Rice Balls (made by Class 4!) for pudding.  If your child doesn’t normally have school lunch on this day they are welcome to opt in – just speak to Dee in the office.

To support us with this, and to share their own culture and language we are also welcoming Chinese students from Austin Friars School in Carlisle.

This will be a fantastic opportunity for the children to learn about the languages in China as well as their culture and traditions.

 

 

Governors Needed!

We will soon be looking for new governors for our Governing Board.

Castle Carrock School will be looking for new governors ready to start in September 2019. Two of these governors will be Parent Representatives – elected by the parents – election dates for this will be forthcoming. There may also be space for community, or co-opted, governors.

The governing body would therefore like to take this opportunity to explain what a governor does, and to ask anybody who may be interested in this role to come and have a chat either with Ms Stacey, or Mr Mark Hetherington, the Chair of the Governing Board.

As a parent governor you do not have to vote in a particular way because you have been pressed to do so by parents. Objectivity, however, is essential.Parent governors are elected by other parents and it is important to establish a rapport with the parental body that elected you, whilst continuing to maintain a strategic approach to school governance.

As an effective parent governor, you:

  • Help to decide the priorities for improving the school
  • Make yourself available to parents, listen to other parents’ opinions and take account of them as you contribute to governors’ decisions
    Work in partnership with the headteacher, senior leadership team and co-operatively with other governors to raise standards and improve outcomes for all children
  • Take responsibility for your own learning and development as a governor including attending training
  • Attend full governing body and relevant committee meetings promptly, regularly, and for the full time
  • Read briefings and newsletters for governors; present a balanced view of issues representing different sections of the community
  • Promote the interests of the school in the wider community
  • Are loyal to the decisions made by the governing body
  • Respect the confidentiality of governing body affairs
  • Never promise to ‘solve a problem’ on your own
  • Never press your own child’s case at the expense of others
  • Declare an interest and withdraw from any meeting where you, a partner or close relative or associate stands to gain, or where you are so close to a matter discussed it is difficult to be impartial
  • Have regard to the broader responsibilities as a governor of a public institution in regard to promoting accountability for the actions and performance of the governing body

It is an incredibly rewarding role – and you play a key part in the vision, ethos and direction of the school!

Dates and deadlines will be advertised soon.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please ask to have a chat with Ms Stacey – or one of the other school governors.

Mini Code Club!

Code Club is a popular part of our school – allowing children the chance to experiment with coding and problem solving. It is open to any child in Key Stage 2 (years 3 and up) – and takes place on a Monday after school – 3:30- 4:30, children are welcome to go on to after school club after this time. This year our Code Clubbers have led a ‘Mini Code Club’ for children from Class 1 who have wanted to try out some of the activities. Using programs such as ‘Scratch’  and the Hour of Code website!