I am sure you will be reading this whilst full of festive spirits and rather than sharing with you the variety of Christmas related learning that takes places here at Bury (lots of the villagers got to see this first-hand which is the best way of experiencing it!); I thought I would end the year by sharing a little more behind what we are trying to achieve here at Bury.
The wider curriculum on offer here at Bury regularly receives praise, often as this is the thing you most regularly see and hear about. However, what underpins all of this is a curriculum that is backed up by current research into what makes the most effective teaching and learning. I am very fortunate in that the whole staff have bought into what we are trying to achieve. Whether that be support staff giving up their time to attend training; or Mrs Braun seeking additional training at the weekends to further her own pedagogical (the method and practice of teaching) skills; or Mrs Seymour, despite near 20 years of teaching and leadership experience before joining us, happily attending training on direct vocabulary instruction a few weeks after starting and applying ideas in the classroom straight after.
As recently stated by Ofsted, the learning here at Bury is a hugely varied and exciting ‘treasure-trove’ of opportunities. However, the academic rigour and additional training we are all doing behind the scenes is what ensures these opportunities are structured to best support every child in their own learning, whether that be through the application of Cognitive Load Theory or Direct Vocabulary Instruction or the importance of Practise.
The deadline for applications for children starting school in September 2019 is Tuesday 15th January. If you missed our open day but would still like to have a look around, call the office or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure you get a slot before the 15th.
Mr Moore, Headteacher www.bury.w-sussex.sch.uk
Pupils at Amberley School and St James’ School in Coldwaltham joined together for the day to listen to and to perform music from across the globe. Music from around the world could be heard in the different classrooms; Samba band rhythm was blasted out of one classroom, Chinese pentatonic scales were being composed in another, whilst harmonies of African song and the unique tones of the didgeridoo emerged from other parts of the building.
Visiting didgeridoo musician Jonathan Cope explained the origins of the Aboriginal instrument and gave demonstrations to the children who then had the opportunity both to play didgeridoos and then to make and design their own working version of the instrument.
The schools are blessed with a wealth of talented music teaching staff who led Samba Band, African Song and Chinese composition to all the different age groups of children through the day. The day ended with a performance of didgeridoo playing to parents.
Amberley and St James’ Schools regularly come together share activities. Being small schools it enables the children to build friendships across the schools. www.st-james-coldwaltham.w-sussex.sch.uk
St Mary’s School
The end of the Autumn Term at St Mary’s was packed with festive highlights. It is the 50th anniversary of the Children’s Society Christingle which the school celebrated by making 180 Christingles and collecting lots of money for the Children’s society. Older years buddied up with the younger years and thoroughly loved exploring the meaning of the orange, red ribbon, candle and sweets. The Christingles were used in church as part of the service, which this year included a spectacular light show and a lucky “golden ticket” which gave the owner the opportunity to light the star on the church tower.
We were honoured to have the opportunity to design the Christmas card for Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP. He visited the school and had the terribly difficult task of choosing a design from the entries. After much deliberation, he settled on “Bridge over the River Arun” by Taylor Young (Yr5) with James Liu being runner up. Mr Herbert commented on what talented artists we have and was most impressed with the standard of art produced.
As part of our continued focus on fostering a love of reading, we had a visit by the author Jill Atkins who spoke to the children about her wonderful book “The Great Fire of London”. Years 1 and 2 have been studying this period in history and were fascinated to look at it from the perspective of an 8 year old. Our thanks go to Jill for giving up her time and enthusing the children.
St Mary’s has a strong tradition of musical performance throughout the school year and across the year groups. We are passionate about enabling all years to gain confidence from performing and finding a talent that might not be academic. Reception classes gave a heart-warming Nativity performance to parents followed by the KS1 performance of “The Magic Jigsaw”. The choir headed to Hillside, The Anchorage, Riverside and Tesco to spread the Christmas cheer with their array of carols. Later this month the KS2 choir are performing at the 02 as part of Young Voices. This event sees hundreds of children singing with a professional conductor, orchestra and special vocal guests, it promises to be a night to remember! Later on in the year, years 3 and 4 will be performing the Easter play and then in the summer year 6 will do their production, over 3 nights, in the Big Top supported by year 5.