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Thursday 18th January
Today has been our 'Inter Faith Day' and Willow have been exploring art in religion. They have designed and produced some beautiful Rangoli patterns
Wednesday 17th January
Our Year 5 children from Cedar class joined with other pupils from across Taunton to take part in lots of different activities aimed at developing different aspects of leadership skills.
They played games such as 'Traffic Jam' where they had to reorder a line of children, moving one space at a time and only in one direction of travel
Blind ball was a particular favourite, when they played an invasion game blindfolded, using a ball with bell inside. Concentration and listening was critical to success.
Tuesday 16th January - Warm for Winter Up date
We have just received an update on Noah and Maggie’s homeless campaign ‘Warm for Winter
So far they have raised £267 (£318.75 with gift aid) from family, friends, local residents and parents and they will be delivering a fourth car load of bedding (sleeping bags, duvets and blankets) up to 'Open Door' this weekend.
They were lucky to be given a full tour of Open Door to understand how they work and help people and were amazed and humbled by the great work they do. They offer a warm meal, shelter during the day, a hot shower and facility to wash their clothes, access to the internet to find work/homes, and of course a friendly ear to talk to. It is worth noting that they are also always in need of adult clothing, including underwear, coats, hats, warm shoes etc, as well as toiletries, loo roll, cleaning products and of course food donations.
Noah and Maggie have been leaflet dropping in the local area and have been warmed by the kindness of strangers, and also the generous donations of parents, friends and family. They will still continue to collect throughout the cold weather so if you would like to make a donation, no matter how small, please visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/warmforwinter. You can also donate any unwanted bedding by bringing it in to school and leaving in the outdoor classroom and notifying reception.
Monday 15th January
After fastening their seatbelts, Beech and Rowan classes "jetted" off to Kenya for the day. They then exchanged the plane for minibuses to go on a "virtual safari". After that they split into groups to complete four different activities. They made a Swahili dictionary and learned how to sing "Heads, shoulders, knees and toes' in Swahili as well as learning how to dance in a traditional African way. Next they carved animals out of soap to create their own version of a Kenyan soapstone sculpture. After that they cooked some traditional Kenyan foods: Ugali and fried bananas. The fried bananas sprinkled with sugar and nutmeg were very popular! Finally they played some African games including "Shisimba" (similar to noughts and crosses) as well as Jenga which takes its name from the Swahili word for "build".
Friday 12th January - Staplegrove Rocks ..... Part 2!
Every class has been working hard to produce their own Times Tables song. We all joined together to share the final results. Most classes had produced a video but Oak Class gave us a live performance....
Wednesday 10th January
Elm Class have had great fun becoming very kind 'wild animals' as they began to read and explore their new book 'Where the Wild Things are' by Maurice Sendak
Tuesday 9th January - STAPLEGROVE ROCKS!
Today saw us relaunch the times table package, TT Rock Stars, in a really dramatic way!! TT Rock Stars gives children a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice and with success comes the opportunity to win coins and buy wigs/instruments/ and accessories for your rock star avatar.
So, as children and parents arrived in the playground this morning they were surprised to see their teachers and support staff dressed as rock stars. One parent commented 'This has really lifted a dull, grey morning.It's brilliant!' We followed this up with a special rock assembly and challenged each class to come with their own rock tables song to share with the rest of the school on Friday afternoon.
Monday 8th January
In our worship this morning we looked at a picture of the night sky - full of stars. We talked about this time in the church's year called Epiphany when we remember the Three Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem.
We thought a lot about what it means when someone says ' You're a star'... and how we can all be a star. As we look ahead into a new term and a new year we wondered what we can shine at.
A special welcome to Mrs Donna Brewer who is joining our office team for two days a week to lead on finance.
The Afternoon of Thursday 21st December - Our Christingle Service
Rev Kivett led us in our worship and brought along what is possibly the biggest Christingle in the world!!!
Children from Willow Class held their lit Christingles whilst we all sang 'It was on a Starry Night'
Thursday 20th December - Christingle Making!
Everyone is busy making their Christingles today ready for our Christingle Service this afternoon which will be led by the Rev Kivett.
Each piece of the Christingle holds special symbolism to help children understand the importance of Jesus and the Gospel, and its relevance at Christmas time.
Wednesday 20th December .... Father Christmas calls in !
Wednesday 20th December - Christmas Lunch
Staff and children all sat down together to enjoy a delicious Christmas lunch together, served by the Edwards and Ward staff assisted by a bunch of elves (from our Friends of Staplegrove School Team)
Tuesday 19th December
Children in Early Years Foundation Stage, Elm Class, have been making snowmen
Tuesday 19th December Stepping Stones Nativity
I really enjoyed going to St John's Church this morning to watch their Nativity play. Particular highlights were the scooter camels and the dashing Santa!!!
Well done to everyone at Stepping Stones who supported - it was brilliant.
I thought you might also like a look at the inside of the refurbished St John's - it looks amazing!
Monday 18th December - It is the turn of Cherry and Rowan Classes to present their performance of Christmas around the World.
Despite having 15 of the 60 children off sick today they did an amazingly professional job at covering the absences and we all really enjoyed the acting, singing and dancing.
Thursday 14th December - Willow, Cedar and Oak Carol Service
We had hoped to have our Carol Service in the church. However, St John's has been closed since June and despite plans to reopen in time for this event some last minute ' snagging' meant that the architect could not authorise the opening until the following week. So the KS2 team decided to make use of the outdoor classroom and spent hours decorating it with festive lights. It looked lovely and many parents commented on how good it was to see the outdoor classroom being used in this way.
Unfortunately, the damp weather affected the sound system after a while and so staff decided that, rather than disappoint the children, we would all move inside.
One family wrote to us to say....
Just to say to all concerned how much we enjoyed the Christmas celebrations at the school yesterday evening. There was a delightful, relaxed atmosphere - both outside and indoors! - and the children were amazing. We very proud to be there and see children involved in the joy of the occasion.
Warm wishes to all staff for a relaxing break and, of course, a Merry Christmas.
Wednesday 13th December - A Christmas Message from Ms Darrie and Esme
Ms Darrie and baby Esme had hoped to pop in a see everyone and wish them a happy Christmas - but with the mix of germs that seem to be in school she felt it was better to leave Esme's first visit until the New Year. However, she sent this recent photo of Esme.... who is clearly ready for Christmas !!
Tuesday 12th December - Rehearsals for this afternoon's Nativity Play are well underway!
This afternoon Elm and Beech classes will be performing their play to a hall full of admiring friends and relatives. This morning was the last chance to practise the songs and words in front of the rest of the school and Stepping Stones pre-School ...
Thursday 7th December - What a performance!
It was a late night for our school choir as they joined other schools across Somerset to take part in the 'Let's Celebrate' Carol Concert.
The beautiful setting of Wells Cathedral made it even more spectacular and special.
Our choir had practised hard every Monday in the weeks running up to the concert. Ellie said 'Suddenly everything we'd learnt made sense! It sounded fabulous when all the parts were put together'
After the lunchtime rehearsal the children had a well deserved break and watched Paddington 2 at the Wells cinema and then it was back to the cathedral for the final performance.... and a celebratory 'hats in the air ' at the end of a wonderful evening!
Friday 1st December - A Special Letter
I am delighted to attach a special letter sent to all the children of Staplegrove School by our SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) Inspector, who visited us last week.
We are unable to publish the outcome of the inspection until the final report is received, probably just before Christmas. However, what I can say is that it all went very well indeed.
The inspector, Mr Steve Ford, looked at work in books, talked to a large number of children and visited classrooms. He also met with staff, parents and governors. However, the children were the stars of the day and we were all so proud of them.
The attached letter of thanks to the children, that I read to them all today, reflects the way they shone out on the day and as always. I hope that you enjoy reading it too.
Wednesday 29th November - A 'Take Over' !
You may be forgiven for thinking that you’d called the wrong number when getting in touch with Somerset Heritage Centre recently. As part of South West Heritage Trust's 'Takeover Day' pupils from our school were manning the phones as well as taking on other important museum roles.
Some children took on jobs as receptionists, others became journalists, some worked in the store rooms, whilst others worked on museum statistics for September and October.
Monday 27th November
At the end of this week we will be saying a special 'thank you to Mrs Giles, TA in Willow class, as she leaves us to follow a career change into the health sector.
Mrs Giles has been at the school since September 2012. We all wish her happiness and success in her new venture.
Thursday 23 November - And it's systems go for Operation Christmas Child !!
We have been busy packing shoe boxes with small toys to go to children across the world who are less fortunate than ourselves.
Friday 17 November - Children in Need Day
There was great excitement as children arrived in school in spotty clothes and carrying piles of 1ps and 2ps for our line of coins.
We collected four boxes full of coins .... so we are still in the process of counting!!
Monday 12th November
Our school Act of Remembrance
We Shall Keep the Faith
by Moina Michael, November 1918
Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
Friday 10th November
Where ever I go around the school there are so many stunning displays to enjoy, all celebrating children's work and the values that we stand for as a school.
Recently we have been thinking a lot about Peace, through our Worship and in class. Every child has made their own poppy and some of them are displayed in the beautiful poppy cascade in the hall. Others are in classroom displays.
Year 5 have painted poppy stones and are going to leave them in places around the local area to help people think about peace.
Thursday November 9th
Today Naftali Madela Onchere came into school to tell us about his village in Kenya.
We presented him with a cheque for £341.88 which we had raised across Staplegrove and Norton Schools.
Naftali told us that it can be very cold in Kenya and asked the children if they could start collecting warm jumper for the children in his village.
Our children asked lots of really thoughtful questions, such as...
'What is it like in autumn?' , and 'Does it snow in Kenya?' and 'How long does it take to get there?'
Friday 3rd November - Congratulations to Mr Winter and Ms Darrie on the birth of their beautiful daughter Esme Sienna Darrie Winter. Esme was born on 22nd October and weighted in at 7lbs 8ozs