My goodness what a week this has been! Following our athletics team's performance on Monday evening at AKS we returned to school with great excitement as we came a wonderful third at this annual athletics event! This was a great achievement considering we were competing against some much larger schools; so many of our children secured first place and received a medal for their efforts. I have to say I watched with pride over the course of the tournament as I saw our children support, cheer and comfort each other as they competed in their individual events. At no point was anyone made to feel devalued - instead any disappointment was soothed by warm and encouraging words from team mates. Truly, this was a team in the full sense of the word! Definitely much more than the sum of our parts because we competed with pride and commitment to ourselves and each other. Thank you to the many parents and grandparents who stayed to support and encourage each child to do their best.
Already we are at the end of Week 3 and the days are just flying by. Throughout the school there is so much activity going on and we are getting glimpses of the play and some beautiful melodies as our upper juniors rehearse their lines and sing their hearts out. It's going to be a wonderful show and, most importantly, the children are enjoying putting it together along with a very committed team of staff who are assisting them in their preparations!
At the beginning of this week the weather stayed calm so that we could enjoy the rescheduled KS2 sports day, enabling our older children to participate in their annual competition, and again, what a competition it was! Parents turned out in force and the children supported each other in their house teams as they raced and competed in a variety of events. There was fantastic sportsmanship involved; children were offering encouragement to one another and there was a lovely celebratory atmosphere. With so many family members joining us to cheer and clap, thank you. The results were extremely close but just edging ahead was Marsden who will hold the trophy for the next year.
Well we really couldn't have asked for a more beautiful sunny week for our Year 6 children, who have been enjoying their time on Lake Coniston. I must say that the children have been wonderful ambassadors for Our Lady's School. Every instructor I talk to has praised their good manners and resourcefulness. I'm sure that there will be many stories to hear on their return! If you'd like a little taste of their experience, then do visit the Year 6 area and look at the photographs and read the nightly blogs. Thank you Year 6 for making us all proud; I am sure everyone back in school will be missing you.
Meanwhile, back at school, our Year Four and Five children have entertained their parents and grandparents with a wonderful brass concert which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Learning to play a musical instrument is a gift which supports development in so many other areas and it's been lovely watching the children grow in both confidence and talent. Mrs Rayton who teaches our Brass instrumentalists was thrilled with their performance and with the progress they have made.
We've all returned to a very busy week full of exciting opportunities to explore our 'Health and Happiness'. This is always such an exciting theme which the children fully embrace. The school nursing team have supported staff as they have explored sun awareness (no irony intended), hand hygiene and the challenges of growing up. At the same time we can see that you've all been trying to stay healthy by walking, cycling or scooting to school; thank you!
Unfortunately on Tuesday the weather let us down as our KS2 children prepared to take part in their Sports Morning, which had to be cancelled but luckily the sun came out the following day to enable our younger children to participate in their annual competition, and what a competition it was! The children supported each other in their house teams as they raced towards each finishing line; the sportsmanship was terrific to see. With so many family members joining us to cheer and clap, the morning turned into a great success. The results were extremely close but just edging ahead, Bamber and Harcourt were victorious and will share the trophy for the coming year. We now await our rescheduled KS2 competition which will take place on Monday June 15th at 9:30am; let's all pray for beautiful sunshine...
Today we have brought the week to a conclusion with a combination of fun and health as we have completed our Bog-eyed jog. It was such a glorious event with a real community spirit. The children arrived from 7:45am onwards with great enthusiasm as they ran round the fields with their friends, all trying to beat old records; I do believe that some even reached the golden 100! With great support from parents and grandparents; some even took to the field themselves, there were smiles everywhere. This was followed by a healthy breakfast in the hall, where a group of lovely helpers ensured that everyone was served and the hall was cleared afterwards; this help is always greatly appreciated. We have to thank our local supermarkets and special thanks to some of our lovely parents too, who donated foodstuffs and milk (from a Dad and Grandad), making events like this possible. Mrs Nel is now in the process of collecting all sponsorship monies so once collected please send back to school. All money raised will support the creation and bringing to life, of the children's plans for the garden area; we can't wait!
This week our Year 6 children have been sitting their end of Key Stage assessments which they have taken calmly in their stride. I have been inspired by their focus and concentration between papers as they have coached each other and worked as a team; well done Year 6, you have all given of your best and no one can ask for more!
Now the hard work really starts as we ask our oldest children to give something back. The children will now be applying for jobs as they take on an extra responsibility around school. They will also begin to work alongside Year 5 as they prepare to put on a performance of ’Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. It is always a joy to see the children blossom at this point in the year as they use all the skills they have developed to extend their own learning and consider the possibilities! However, before we've had chance to catch our breath at the start of the final half term, Year 6 will be packing their bags and heading off on their residential trip to Lake Coniston on June 8th! There is much excitement and anticipation and I'm sure they will bring back many funny stories of their adventures at the Water Park.
The shorter week has caused confusion over the last four days as Tuesday became Monday and Wednesday became Tuesday and suddenly we have arrived at Friday again! We've packed so much into the four days that I think everyone is exhausted! Our Year 5 children certainly do need a pat on the back for their resilience through persistent rain over the first two days of their cycling course; there wasn't a negative word to be heard; only smiles to be seen as they braved the poor weather conditions. The cycling coaches have been unanimous in praise for their listening skills and pure positivity; well done Year 5! We hope to see many of you cycling to school over the next two months.
Next week our Year 6 children will be taking their SAT assessments and we wish them well and please do remember them in your prayers. They are a delightful year group who have worked so hard and as we have repeatedly told them their best is always good enough. This time next week they will have completed their final assessment and then the real fun begins as we think ahead to the play and of course the exciting residential trip to Water Park!
Already we're halfway through this half-term and both staff and children are finding that time is flying. It's so lovely to consistently hear children express surprise that a lesson has finished and it's break time, clearly a sign that they're focused, engaged and enjoying the whole learning process! Alongside this hard work and endeavour which I see in each classroom I visit, many children know that great effort supports true learning. They strive to problem-solve, challenge themselves and develop a resilience which helps them to achieve. This never goes unnoticed and as one child said in assembly last week: 'practice makes progress'!
The better weather has enabled us all to spread out on to the field during break and lunch times giving the children opportunities to try out different activities. We are continuously encouraging them to explore and discover new games alongside their beloved football! If you have any childhood games which you enjoyed and maybe still enjoy, why not share them with your child; who knows, they may become a school favourite!