Category Archives: News

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

Parent Governor Needed!

We are currently looking for a new parent governor four our Governing Body. Expressions of interest to be in by October 9th

A parent governor is a representative and not a delegate of parents.

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.

You are not there to promote the interests of your own children but all children.

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!

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, or if you would like more information please speak to Dee in the office – or one of the other school governors.

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.