Category Archives: headteachers blog

Science Week March 12th -16th 2018

As is our tradition we will once again celebrate Science Week this year.

Science Week – which explores all aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths is a great opportunity for the whole school community to get involved and to stretch their concept of what Science is!

This year we want to make it bigger than ever!

We will once again have a 3D Printer and we are planning our cross-school workshops. We are also looking to have a dress-up day and an assembly on the Friday where we welcome a variety of visitors! This dress up day (Ada Lovelace anyone?!) will replace World Book Day dress up the week before, though we will still celebrate World Book Day of course!

We need your help!

  • Do you know anyone who works in any area of science, technology or engineering who could come along and speak to our children? We are very happy to Skype too?

 

  • We are fundraising to be able to enjoy a science-themed trip, or but some fabulous, new, science books – so please look out for School Council events to support!

 

Finally – if you have any ideas for Science Week just get in touch!

Coding for Collaboration!

As a small school we are always conscious that our children can find the transition to secondary school a bit scary and a bit daunting. One of the ways we can help with this is to link with other schools so that the children can meet each other and have some shared experiences before they go on to Secondary Schools.

This year we are linking with Warwick Bridge and Great Corby – and we started our shared sessions this week with an introduction to coding with the Microbit. The microbit is a mini computer which can be programmed in a number of different ways. We used a the ‘block’ interface to program it to flash letters and numbers and to react when it was shaken. Our challenge was to create a dice – which one group managed to do!

This session meant that our Year 6 children met the Y6 children from Great Corby and Warwick Bridge and worked together to solve these problems and to learn all about computing and coding.

It was a fun session – and all of the children learnt a little bit more about programming computers (and what an algorithm is!)

If you want to know more about Microbits – check here

Welcome Back! 2017-2018

We have had a very busy start to the year! We finished last year with a Skype chat with a Polar Scientist in Norway and we started our year with school-wide workshops all about this very subject. Class 1 even got to taste some special food – and one of our pupils was dressed up in the very clothes they wear to keep them warm in these Polar regions.

We have started school life as we do every September – whole school assemblies have focused on our school’s core values – Charity, Curiosity, Family, Respect, Trust and Kindness. We started this term with Trust – exploring what can happen with ‘little white lies’ and how you can hurt your friends by not telling the truth. This week we are looking at forgiveness.

After school clubs have also started- including our running club and code club (both of which are free) – and our usual Kids Club and Breakfast Club.

We are also setting dates for the year – and you can find out more here.  As usual we are looking forward to our Panto trip, our school nativity show and the Friends Halloween disco this year.

We always welcome parents in to school -and will be doing our usual ‘lesson drop in’ sessions as well as Parents’ Evenings and Community Lunches. As usual, if you have anything you would like to ask, just catch your class teacher before or after school or ask Dee in the office.

Thanks!

Rebecca Stacey

Head Teacher

 

Skype for Science!

Fantastic way to finish the year!

Two years ago, to coincide with the fantastic Tim Peake space project, we held a a ‘Year of Science’ here at school. A year that involved growing seeds that have been in space, holding whole school lessons with the International Space Station and borrowing a 3D printer for science week! 

One thing that is very clear from these experiences is that the children really do get lots out of them – and next year we are linking with a similar project for Polar Exploration (more on that to come in September). 

However, to get started with this project we were offered the chance to Skype with a Polar Scientist currently based in North Norway.  She will be our Polar Ambassador for the duration of the project. Emily is studying toxicology, exploring flora and fauna in these extreme conditions. The chance to ask a real expert about their experiences was one that Class 4 relished – and they really didn’t disappoint. Year 6 were desperate to get involved which is why we set it up before they finished! They asked Emily not only about her living conditions (surprisngly student-like when in the Arctic) but also about her motivation and inspiration. She explained to us that even in the short time she has been studying (four years) she has witnessed the effect of climate change including rain for the first time last year.

The children were also interested in the dangers, and the excitement (or otherwise!), that living in this part of the world brings and Emily explained about Polar Bears and the peril of frostbite.

All in all a fantastic experience to finish the year with – one that Y6 will take with them to secondary school and will link nicely with the rest of the project for Y5. We will be seeing Emily again – and, if there is interest, next time I will invite Parents along!

Small Schools Week – The Importance of Governors

The last week in June was National Small School week, fittingly for us it was an incredibly busy week and I thought I would use the opportunity to highlight the importance of our governors.

I’m sure you will have met some of our governors here at school – they regularly attend events such as open evenings and coffee mornings. You can find out more here. 

This Small Schools Week saw two meetings involve our governing board. The first was a committee meeting with the ‘premises, ethos and welfare’ committee. At the meeting (which we hold every term) we were looking at a health and safety audit that the school recently undertook. There were no immediate and serious concerns, so the governors were able to look long term and consider how best we could support the school in the future. We talked about the adventure playground and the cost to fix or replace our tyre structure and we discussed the parent / career questionnaire and when best to undertake the next one.

The other meeting this week was with parents. The governors invited parents in to explore our structure for next year and address any questions. This was attended by a few parents – it is always hard to encourage parents to attend these meetings – and we were happy that we did try to attend to their concerns and answered their questions.

Small schools rely on their governors.

Here at Castle Carrock our governors are part of school life. They regularly attend school functions such as Parents’ Evening, Open Evenings and Coffee Mornings. They also attend day-to-day life at the school – coming in to see reading, or to take part in Assemblies. The governors have attended e-safety sessions and our ‘Racism: Kick it Out’ sessions. Governors come in to see how relationships are with the children; how our systems work and to talk to the pupils about their learning.

Governors are a vital part of leadership and management – forward thinking and challenging, exploring options and, importantly, holding the school to account for the outcomes for the children. Governors are volunteers, and as far as possible they need to reflect our community whilst at the same time providing skills and perspectives that are useful.

Maintaining a governor board can be tough and can be a big issue in small schools with a limited community.They serve a fixed time – and here at school we will be recruiting parent governors again in September.