Monthly Archives: August 2016

NEWS FROM BLEWBURY SCHOOL

August 23, 2016

Well done to all of our Year 6 pupils who responded with amazing resilience to this year’s SATS which were both difficult and controversial; they showed themselves to have extremely good attitudes towards their learning.

They finished off their year with both a challenging residential trip with some activities which really tested their nerve and a splendid musical performance, ‘Aladdin Trouble’. This musical pantomime which they ably abridged and organised themselves was able to showcase individual personalities and talents.

From Interaction to Exploration

During this last year we have focused our themes based on ‘Interaction’ with the summer term having a particular focus on Appreciation. There were many successful activities but here are three different examples. Our new biodome and garden area has caused much interest amongst the children, they have been able to sow, plant out, pick and eat various produce. We have even sold some at the Saturday market and are pleased that we have been able to link with Sustainable Blewbury, including support with watering during the summer. Class 4 had a very successful Garden tour which involved visiting four different gardens to consider design and the range of plants used. Just before the end of term we hosted two women Syrian refugees who had been sponsored by the British Council to be part of a touring play which told their story. Whist they were in Oxford it was arranged that they would visit us for a question and answer session which gave our Key Stage 2 children an opportunity to really find out about the plight of Syrian refugees. Following on and at the request of the children to fundraise we had a Bacon Roll start to our last Thursday morning of term and raised £180 in about 30 minutes.

This year our overriding theme is ‘Exploration’ and we would love you to contact us if you are an explorer or have had some exciting and challenging experiences which you have had to prepare to undertake. We want to start by looking at the skills needed in preparing for an exploration. The school is also pleased to be awarded Global Learning Expert Centre: we will be working both to enhance global learning in our own school and to provide training to other local schools. Again if you have any experiences to share please contact the school office or Marion Mills.

New Adult Volunteers Needed

Quite a few children in our school respond very well to additional one-to-one time with a supportive adult, who might read to them, listen to them read, or just talk with them and/or get them interested in a new activity. For this reason the school greatly appreciates individuals, who can give a small amount of time to come into school occasionally as a volunteer. In the last school year Jane Gibson for example has been doing this and says it is the most rewarding thing she has done in retirement. If you think you might be interested in helping in this way we would love to hear you. Please talk to Becky Costello at the school or Andrew Hewson or Roger Murphy (both governors), who together are going to be promoting a new 1-2-1 volunteers scheme in 2016/17. There will be some briefing meetings for potential new volunteers in Sept/Oct.   Marion Mills and Roger Murphy

NEWS FROM BLEWBURY PRE-SCHOOL PLAYGROUP

We finished our academic year with a wonderful visit to Beale Park, followed by a presentation of books to all our children who are going on to Primary School in September.

The children and staff have worked hard all year and were delighted to win prizes in the Blewbury and Upton VPA show for their ‘Mr Potato Heads’ and a Cup in the Village Scarecrow Competition, which was presented by Pat Mattimore (see picture).

We had great fun at our Sports Day, when children won stars for competing in a number of traditional races; congratulations to the winners of the Mums’ and Dads’ races and to all those who took part! We are looking forward to our next year and are delighted to say that our numbers are thriving and we have planned an exciting and interesting term on ‘All about me’ for the children. Our vegetable garden this year has produced courgettes, green beans, strawberries and tomatoes and we are looking forward to being involved with Sustainable Blewbury’s permaculture site. Best wishes to all our friends and families for the new term.

 

POST OFFICE NEWS

We will be closed for the Bank Holiday on Monday 29th August, allowances normally paid out on that day, will be available in accounts on the Friday before.

We have some gorgeous Capability Brown commemorative stamps on sale at the moment, and maybe some of the Beatrix Potter ones, if they haven’t all gone by now! There will be some on sale in September commemorating the Great Fire of London, and we hear a rumour of some Agatha Christie ones too!

Kind people have handed in a camera, with pictures of 2 children up at Tickers Folly, and a camera with a broken back screen (we think someone had put it in the rubbish) but was found in the road, with a memory card still left inside! Also handed in, a small teddy comforter and a child’s shape toy, we also have a pair of ladies prescription sunglasses, several sets of keys, one with one of the gas/electic cupboard keys, probably from Dibleys?

Love from Karen & Angela

BELL RINGING NEWS FROM BLEWBURY TOWER

One blink and the summer is fast disappearing and by the time you read this we will be at the end of August!!

The summer has been an enjoyable one for the bell ringers, with several weddings in Blewbury to ring for and outing arranged by our local branch of the Oxford Guild of bell ringers. We rang at five towers in Berkshire and Hampshire, starting in Goodworth Clatford and ending in Highclere, with a pub lunch and afternoon tea included. The day ended with the annual branch BBQ, enjoyed by all who attended. Outings are always good fun and not only for ringers, often their families come along and enjoy exploring the lovely villages that we visit. It is surprising how much bells can vary in different towers, and ringing elsewhere certainly makes the Blewbury ringers appreciate our very well maintained bells.

It would be great to have more ringers in Blewbury. So if you are looking for a new hobby that has a good mix of physical, mental and social, then please come up the tower and join us for a ‘taster’ evening on Tuesday, 4th October any time between 7.30 and 9.00pm. You will have a chance to see the bells, have a brief go and can ask the ringers what it’s all about over a cup of tea (or coffee!) and a biscuit.

Hope to see you then. If you would like more information please contact Chris Cook on 07786635062

NOTES FROM THE ALLOTMENT

It seems ages since I wrote the last episode and much has happened in that time; I feel we have had a decent bit of summer now, although this has necessitated a lot of hand watering – but I’m not complaining!

I ended up with a decent crop of (prize winning!) onions which was very pleasing, as well as good crops from the broad bean and field bean trial; interestingly the field beans cropped twice as much weight as the broad beans, smaller and a slightly different taste but perfectly edible. I used some of them for pea and bean hummus, delicious! Runner beans are finally getting into their stride and although there are not very many there are plenty enough for me. Also a pleasant surprise was the potatoes, which have produced some decent size tubers, although a few of them have annoying holes in them – I just have to cut them out.

Winter crops are going to be sparse; leeks are coming on slowly, and out of the brassica seedlings I only have three Brussels sprouts left … but that will be enough if they reach maturity. However, my spinach beet has gone to seed and little spinach plants are popping up all over the allotment, so that will help with winter supplies.

On the soft fruit side, I ended up with a good crop of gooseberries thanks to the bird netting, a few strawberries (but lots more at home) and a fair few summer raspberries. Hopefully there will be a good crop of autumn ones, which are just starting. I also had a good quantity of tayberries. The little transplanted pear tree is still looking healthy, although it lost all of its baby pears; only to be expected.

Compost corner: Our Master Composter team was invited by BBOWT to man a stand in their wildlife area at the recent Country File Live event held at Blenheim Palace. It was an amazing event, loads of animals, interesting exhibits and presumably lots of celebs, but I didn’t see any! Our little team had 528 conversations about composting over the four days, so hopefully we have encouraged a few more people to take up this worthy gardening pursuit. Questions ranged from whether rhubarb leaves (poisonous) can be composted (yes) to what sort of animal poo can be composted (only vegetarian animals!).

Autumn is now just around the corner…   Angela Hoy (angela.hoy@sky.com)