School Blog


Autumn Term 2017

posted 18 Apr 2018, 08:14 by Paul Parslow-Williams   [ updated 18 Apr 2018, 10:33 ]

On behalf of staff and children I would like to say a huge thank you to all those who came in over the summer to help with our outdoor area on the field. The new track, wildlife zone and digging area are already proving to be firm favourites with our young pupils. 

We were delighted to welcome our new Reception pupils Tony, Maeve, Leah, Gabriel, Ruby and Lola who seemed like they had always been with us! We were also joined by Judah, Gabriel and Orlagh in other year groups. All the above mentioned children made a flying start to their learning at our school and we all look forward to getting know them and their families more over the coming years. Forest School returned and we were very lucky to secure the services of Gill, a very experienced Forest School Instructor, who just happens to live across the road from the school!

We were visited by some strange characters from the Stone Age in September. Will Lord and his team created an inspirational day for our Key Stage 2 pupils by recreating prehistoric times on the field. We skinned, flint napped and gutted fish amongst a range of other exciting activities relating to surviving in the Stone Age.

Children’s writing at Occold was described as ‘exceptional’ in our recent Ofsted. This tradition continued with our successes in this year’s Suffolk Young Poets Competition. We had two outright winners: Elsa and Joseph, who performed their work at The Cut Arts Centre in Halesworth. We also had 4 commended poets: Harley, Hayley, Samuel and Tennessee. All the above mentioned pupils were invited to a poetry workshop at The Cut and were able to watch the winners perform as well as attend a special reading from guest poet Dean Parkin.  Not only that, such was the consistent high standard and creativity of our entries, we were also awarded the Silk Pearce Trophy for best overall school. Not bad for a small village school when you consider that there were 1,586 entries! I would like to thank all our staff and especially our very talented Governor- Dr Jeni Smith for inspiring our children to write to such as high standard.

Friends successfully organised another MacMillan Coffee Morning. Thank you to everyone who contributed towards the £82.00 donated to this charity that is so close to many of our hearts.

Miss Rowe and I would like to say a huge thank you all for your support of the book sale. You raised a fantastic £235! This will be really useful in helping us to redevelop our library with new shelves, artwork and new books of course. Fox Class did an amazing job of organising the book sale and their fabulous ideas for games helped to raise lots of extra money. They did all the preparation themselves and were very professional on the day – well done! We would also like to say a big thank you to the Friends who kindly gave up their time to serve refreshments; this really made it a social and welcoming event. Thank you. We are lucky to have such supportive parents at Occold.

The residential trip to Aylmerton this year went very smoothly and we were treated with some pleasant autumnal weather for our adventures on the North Norfolk coastline. The behaviour of all of our children was exemplary and on several occasions, teachers from other schools as well as members of the public commented about how impressed they were by our pupils’ conduct. It was a genuine pleasure to see our children both make new friendships with children from other settings and challenge themselves with the exciting activities on offer. I would like to thank our staff for ‘going the extra mile’ in order to make this residential possible. A huge thank you is also necessary for Mrs Pickard who carried out the administration in a typically exemplary fashion for all eight schools involved this year!

To complement their work in history, Fox Class went on a trip to Gressenhall in Norfolk. Children were immersed in a magical role-playing experience that explored life in Victorian times in rural East Anglia. Highlights included a visit to the workhouse and a lesson with a Victorian schoolmaster. Thank you to parents for supporting this trip and for the volunteers Mr Cook and Mrs Peters that came with us. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Miss Rowe for putting together a highly engaging, well-researched and meticulously planned whole week of activities that were themed around the Victorian era.


Thank you for everyone who came and supported our Christmas Fayre this year. Well done to Fox Class who entertained us with their fantastic brass playing which helped to get us into a festive mood.

Well done to all the children in Key Stage 2 that took part in the cross-country and to Joseph and Rafe in particular who once again put in strong individual performances with top 10 finishes. 

I was immensely proud of our under 11 boys who all played magnificently in the recent tournament on a freezing afternoon at Hartismere. They didn’t lose a game or even concede a single goal.   Unfortunately, we didn’t make to the finals after losing out narrowly on goal difference in a very tight league.

The Christmas Play this year is was a little different this time as the children took on more responsibility for the writing, acting direction and choreography. They really enjoyed the greater depth of involvement and had some very ambitious ideas and it was truly a magical experience watching them come to life on the stage. A special thanks to Miss Rowe and Miss Jeni for directing this artistic extravaganza!

A special video for our friends in Uganda

posted 20 Oct 2017, 06:47 by Paul Parslow-Williams   [ updated 20 Oct 2017, 06:58 ]


Summer Term 2017

posted 31 Aug 2017, 07:08 by Paul Parslow-Williams   [ updated 3 Sep 2017, 08:35 ]

One of the most exciting weeks of the year was our 'World of Work' event. This was organised primarily by Miss Cole and the aim was to introduce the children to wide variety of different careers there are out there and how important it is to work hard at school so you have more options in the future. The week involved visits to local businesses such the hotels and campsites and we were lucky to be visited by a range of people from our community including a police office, architect, vet, nurse, pastor, writer and many others. A huge thank you to everyone for all your help.
The Ferrel Circus came to town for two days. Children at Occold spent time honing their skills ready for a performance in front of their parents in the big top!
Children from our school took part in the local athletics tournament at Hartismere. There were some excellent individual and team performances. Well done!
We were delighted to reach the County finals of both the orienteering (top photograph) and cross country (bottom photograph) events. We were the 3rd team overall in the orienteering. Well done especially to Rafe and Joseph who finished 3rd and 1st respectively in the Cross County against some very talented opposition.
We did very well in cricket this year winning gold medals as best small school in the Quicksticks tournament at Worlingworth.
The weather eventually settled long enough to hold our traditional sports day. There were some particularly speedy performances for some of our upcoming new Reception pupils.
Rabbit and Hedgehog Classes visited Banham Zoo for some hands-on encounters of the creepy crawly kind!
Fox Class visited the mysterious site of Dunwich to learn about the city lost beneath the waves.
Fox Class made some fabulous textile beach bags in Design and Technology.
The whole school visited Whiltlingham Broad for an inspiration day of sailing and paddling. Yes-Mr Williams did end up in the water (photograph not shown)!
The whole school put on a magnificent performance of the musical 'Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits'. Lots of younger children had big parts this year and really stepped up. Thank you children for all your hard work and for entertaining us.
Year 6 ended their time at Occold with a trip on the train to Norwich for a pizza meal, game of bowling and lots of bouncing in the trampolining park in the Riverside.  Goodbye and good luck to Samuel, Josh, Joshua, Rosie, Keira, Georgia, Abi, Lilia, Hayden and Liam. We wish you all the best for the future.


Spring Term 2017

posted 31 Aug 2017, 06:47 by Paul Parslow-Williams   [ updated 1 Sep 2017, 06:02 ]

Rabbit Class travelled by bus to Eye to learn about public transport, explore our local town and find out how a library works.

Otters and Foxes visited UEA to learn about university life.

Foxes and Otters also visited Cadbury's World to learn about the chocolate business. We didn't find any Oompa-Loompas.

Fox Class made some fantastic terracotta warriors as part of their topic on China.

Rabbit and Hedgehog Class visit the Hull's farm to see the Spring lambs.

We are all so very proud of Georgia, Miss Rowe and Miss Jeni who took part in the inspirational TED event in Norwich. Georgia was the youngest there and her fantastic performance was the talk of Twitter.
The whole school visited Piper's Vale gym for the opportunity to use the specialist equipment there and learn from expert coaches.



Christmas Play 2016

posted 25 Jan 2017, 06:05 by Paul Parslow-Williams   [ updated 6 Mar 2017, 06:28 ]

We are all very proud of our Christmas Stars who once again put on a fantastic show for us.



Autumn Term 2016 Round-Up

posted 25 Jan 2017, 06:05 by Paul Parslow-Williams   [ updated 6 Mar 2017, 02:49 ]


Fox Class were lucky enough to visit the Warner Brothers' Studio where the Harry Potter films were made. Our day began with an exclusive, literally behind the scenes, experience in which studio staff showed us authentic costumes and props from the films. We also had a go at distressing our own fabrics just like they do in the films. Following this, we visited the whole set where we were able to experience some movie magic.
For a design and technology project, Key Stage 2 were given the challenge of designing scarecrows. We visited the Hull family farm in Occold and spoke to Farmer Dan about what makes an effective scarecrow. He showed us lots of interesting examples and we asked him questions about potential designs. After this, we returned to school to make our scarecrows. We were surprised to learn that they didn't have to look human!

Otter Class visited the Castle Museum in Norwich for an Ancient Egyptian themed day. We made jewelled collars, took part in role plays about daily life, examined some real artefacts and saw some real mummies. We also took part in a pretend mummification ritual. We had a very enjoyable time and learned lots-thank you Castle Museum Norwich for a super day.


Rabbit and Hedgehog Classes visited the Dinosaur Park in Lenwade, Norfolk for a prehistoric experience. We met dinosaurs, hunted for fossils and had lots of fun on the adventurous play equipment.

As part of their topic on space, Fox Class carried out a practical science investigation that explored impact craters.


Aylmerton 2016

posted 20 Oct 2016, 14:27 by Paul Parslow-Williams   [ updated 6 Mar 2017, 06:58 ]

Year 6 were great ambassadors for our school on their week long residential at Aylmerton Field Studies Centre. It was a real pleasure to see our children challenge themselves with the variety of outdoor and adventurous activities. We also made lots of friends with children from other schools which is good preparation for High School!

Monday
We arrived at Aylmerton  at about quarter to 11 after a swift journey through both Long Stratton and Norwich. Children unloaded into their dorms and were pleased with the arrangements. Our children split into two groups with some heading into West Runton for a beach study whilst others stayed on site for an afternoon of pirate-themed activities. On Monday evening we were treated to moonlit walk through the Felbrigg Estate. After hot cocoas, the children settled down well to their first night.

Tuesday
This day was a little wetter than Monday, but the rain certainly didn't dampen spirits. The  group who were at West Runton on Monday returned to the coast for a study of the town of Cromer which included a trip to the top of the church tower. The other children remained on site for a day of team building followed by the ominous sounding Monster Trail. On Tuesday evening all our children were captivated by local  traditional storyteller Paul Jackson.

Wednesday
The day started brightly and the children once again took part in trips to the coast and adventurous activities on site. In the evening they traveled to Sheringham to visit the Splash water park.

Thursday
This was the day we had been waiting for. All the group went on an exciting adventure to Blakeney Point. We travelled by boat across choppy seas to the point and walked back across the mud flats which include a trek through the estuary. Thursday night was disco night!

Friday
On Friday we had face to face with lots of animals which included a large python and a tame(ish) raven. Then packed and headed home to Occold.






Summer Term 2016 Round Up

posted 9 Aug 2016, 06:00 by Paul Parslow-Williams   [ updated 9 Aug 2016, 10:21 ]

In April, two teams from Occold attended the Swimming Gala at Diss Pool. We performed admirably for a small school and won several races including the relay. Later that month Otter Class visited the Suffolk County Fair at Trinity Park to learn about the agricultural heritage of our county.

 

Pupils from Rabbit Class visited Ancient House in Thetford to have hand-on experiences with a range of historical toys to link to their class project on the same topic.

 

Girls from Key Stage 2 took part is cricket tournament at Stradbroke. Unfortunately, this was the only outdoor inter-school sports event that wasn’t cancelled due to our unusually wet summer.  Children certainly haven’t missed out on sports and the outdoors and ongoing after school clubs during the Summer Term: have included Orienteering, Junior Sports, Infants Sports, Cricket and Gardening. The Headteacher is very grateful for the time staff and parents at Occold give to make these possible. I would also like to thank Beth Absolom from Worlingworth Cricket Club has been leading the after school cricket club in addition to teaching master classes in cricket for Year 6 pupils. Sports day was once again a great success in its traditional format and you can see pictures from this in a separate post.

 

Alison Cooklin, a parent who recently published a children’s book, visited Otter Class to talk about writing and led a short workshop with the children. She also kindly donated copies of her book The Light Travellers: Luke's Journey to the school library. Thanks Alison!

Year 3 were lucky with the weather when they visited Knetishall Heath with other schools in the Hartismere Pyramid for an outdoor art day based on the work of Andy Goldsworthy. Fortunately, the weather held our gain for our Year 4s when they also visited Knetishall Heath, this time for an for an orienteering day.

 

Year 6 visited the Crucial Crew at The Mix in Stowmarket. They took part in workshops which explored a range of important safeguarding issues including online safety, first aid, fire prevention, drugs and smoking and safety around dogs.

 

Not being left out, Year 5 attended a science morning based on Astronomy at Debenham High School where they constructed rockets and visited a pop-up planetarium.

 

Towards the end of the tern each class presented an interactive assembly to parents to share their learning. All three were well attended and much appreciated by parents and the headteacher!

 

In July, Year 6 visited London for the day. The trip involved travel on British Rail, the London Underground and London Buses. We visited the Science Museum, Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Downing Street (private tour), Trafalgar Square, China Town and Covent Garden. The trip was once again a great success and helped the children both to gain independence and experience with transport and also learn about our culture and British values through visiting the capital and its democratic institutions.

 



Once again our children have proved themselves to be great performers. Both the Christmas Play and the end of the term production Pirates of the Curry Bean were highly polished shows in which the children outdid themselves with their wonderful singing, great acting and hilarious comedy moments! This year, the pirate play was a particularly difficult and complication script and I was taken aback by how well our children rose to the challenge to provide all of us with a thoroughly entertaining experience. Please see the separate post for pictures.

 

And so at the end of the year we waved farewell to our Year 6 children Evie, Archie, Katie, Xanthe, Jacob, Megan, Dylan, Leo, Peter, James, Jack, Eleanor, Heather, Martha and Jimena. This is a collection of children who are all very different, with strong and distinctive personalities-all delightful in their own way. Getting to know their individual strengths and interests over the last 3 years has been a real privilege for me. Teaching them this year, spending the day with them at London, reviewing their results and watching them perform in the play really brought home to me how far they have all come and what a special bunch of young people they really are. I have learned a great deal from them and have great admiration for their many achievements. They will be sorely missed at Occold. I would like to wish them all the best and look forward to hearing about their many adventures in the future. I am very proud to be a headteacher of a school with such kind, talented and highly resourceful staff and children.

Pirates of the Curry Bean 2016

posted 9 Aug 2016, 05:59 by Paul Parslow-Williams   [ updated 7 Mar 2017, 07:05 ]

Our children put on a very entertaining and particularly funny show for us this year. There was singing, dancing, laughter and tears in equal measure. Many thanks to Mags for these amazing photographs of our summer production.

Sports Day 2016

posted 9 Aug 2016, 05:59 by Paul Parslow-Williams   [ updated 9 Aug 2016, 12:15 ]

Take a look here for pictures of our traditional sports day.

Thanks to Mags for these wonderful reportage style photographs of sports day.

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