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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!