Blewbury Church of England Primary School is the first school in the world to be awarded the prestigious British Council International Award six times in a row. This is a remarkable achievement for a small village primary school in rural Oxfordshire, and it is having a big impact on a wide range of school activities.
The news has already travelled far and wide, and we are currently receiving requests from schools around Europe to visit and set up partnership arrangements. From February 29th – March 3rd, for example, nine teachers and twenty four pupils from Finland, Germany and Spain, will spend the week in the School as part of an Erasmus Plus Programme. The programme for the week will, on Wednesday 1st March, include the School’s third Global Partnership Network Event, where UK teachers can visit Blewbury to learn about developing a global emphasis in their own schools. (Teachers interested in this programme can see more at http://www.blewbury.oxon.sch.uk/about-us/global-understanding)
The full programme for this special international week will allow the visitors to take part in a range of workshops. Much of the time they will be working together with Blewbury School teachers and pupils to create art, music, drama, dance and film, all with the purpose of exploring the international project theme – ‘Communication, Cooperation and Collaboration for All Together’. A major aim of these workshops is to allow them to develop ideas that they can go on to use in the future in their own schools throughout Europe.
Head Teacher Marion Mills, who is working to secure a seventh British Council International award for the school in 2018 is passionate about the need to expose children to global issues and for them to experience cultures other than their own. Ms Mills says: “Young people today live in a global village and we want to offer them a rich experience to help them understand the challenges that face them in their future lives. Our children and teachers gain a great deal from receiving visiting teachers and pupils. They can also travel themselves, so that they can explore other cultures more deeply. We are very proud that this work has received recognition, and even prouder of the children and families in our community who support us year on year with these highly successful programmes” Head teacher Marion Mills has been recognised for her outstanding contribution by the British Council.
School Governor Roger Murphy, a former Professor of Education at Nottingham University commented, “It is a great honour for a small village school like ours to be attracting such international acclaim. The governors are delighted that Blewbury Primary School has received such high commendation. We are keen to share this innovative work with the many visitors who want to come to see it in action, so they can understand the truly positive impact this work has on the children, not just in school but in their lives and their approach to the community they live within.”
You may have heard by now that we were badly let down by our builders pulling out on the very day they were due to start work. We can only apologise, particularly to all our donors and supporters, and we are grateful to them for continuing to support the project.
It is now clear that the market price for the work is more than we can afford and we are in the process of reviewing all the options to reduce costs before re-tendering the job.
We are still aiming to complete the refurbishment next year and it may be that, in the light of the delay to phase 1, we complete the whole project in one go. We won’t make that decision until we are clear about the revised scope, price and progress on raising the money.
We have over £230,000 in the bank or firmly pledged and another £85,000 previously granted, which we will either need to re-apply for or have re-confirmed, once our revised plans are clear. We still then need to raise another £200,000. The progress we have made and the money raised so far give us a strong platform for the further grant applications we need to make. We’re grateful for the personal donations which are still being made and we have had a number of brilliant ideas and offers of help for fundraising events.
We are disappointed that phase 1 is not progressing as we expected, but all the planning done and money raised so far put us in a strong position to keep the project as a whole on track. Steve White
A special Choral Evensong was held on Sunday 26th March to mark the retirement of Freda Chapman as Choir Mistress of St Michael’s Church after more than 30 years.
The Church was full of well-wishers and past and present choir members and Freda was very pleased that most of her family were able to be there especially as it was also Mothering Sunday. Over the years, Freda has encouraged many young choristers to fulfil their singing talents.
A collection had been made from the congregation and the choir and the photo shows Father Jason presenting Freda with a certificate from the Royal College of Church Music in appreciation of her years of service, a large bouquet of flowers and a cheque. Freda had chosen her favourite hymns and it was a lovely service and an appropriate tribute to her long service.
Freda is also, of course, our ‘poet in residence’ at the Blewbury Bulletin.
Photo: Bernard Mattimore
Born in Swansea, South Wales, on March 8th 1917, Glennys moved to Blewbury in the mid 1980s with her husband Frederick (Mick) Bungey.
Mick himself, who hailed originally from Ireland but who had spent most of his life in the West Country, took some persuading to make the move, but for Glennys it was an opportunity to be closer to her brother Malcolm who at that time was living in Bracknell. On discovering that one of the Dibleys tenants was emigrating to New Zealand, they set about selling their house in Cornwall and before long had moved into the bungalow that Glennys still calls home after 31 years. She and Mick, along with Stan Cole and Philip Randall, were instrumental in the move to change the status of Dibleys residents from renters to owners, a process that was completed in 1988 with all the properties being bought by their tenants. With the security of home ownership and the reassurance of centrally managed maintenance, heating and other services, she recalls that Mick often referred to Dibleys as their ‘haven’. She still feels that way about it today, and hopes that all those residents younger than her (i.e. everyone!) ‘will be as happy here as I have been’.
To mark her 100th birthday, her nephew organised a ‘proper English tea party’ here in the village, which was attended by many old friends and family including her brother Malcolm, who was 91 last month, and her great-great-nephew, Edward, who at Christmas reached the grand old age of two!
Photo shows Glennys, seated, centre, enjoying a recent family visit at Dibleys.
The Vale of White Horse District Council has published Part Two of its local plan for consultation, giving residents in the district a chance to influence how decisions are made on local planning applications.
Part One of the plan, which explained where the main housing sites in the district could be built and identified the infrastructure needed to support them, was adopted in December last year. Part two includes the detailed policies the council will use when making day to day decisions on planning applications. It will also explain how it proposes to accommodate 2,200 homes for Oxford that they have agreed to plan for within the Vale.
Residents can read the draft version of the Local Plan 2031 Part Two and find out how to make comments at www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/LPP2. Paper copies are available at libraries and district council offices. There will also be a drop-in exhibition at the Cornerstone, Didcot on Wednesday 5 April from 1 to 7pm.
The consultation is now open and the deadline for comments is 5pm on 4 May.
Ben Waters, one of the UK’s leading boogie-woogie pianists, is appearing at Blewbury Village Hall on May 6th. The following is taken from a write-up at the Crooked Billet, where he appeared last year:
Ben Waters has established himself as one of the Crooked Billet’s favourite music nights. His boogie-woogie band gets the flattest of feet stomping. Each of the Rolling Stones – Mick, Keith, Ronnie, Charlie & Bill Wyman – all recently collaborated on Ben’s album Boogie 4 Stu. This collaboration was instrumental in the Stones reforming & touring again. Ben’s recent appearance on “Later… With Jools Holland” (with Charlie Watts playing drums) has helped catapult his live following, and he is now a favourite on the festival circuit – Barbados Rhythm & Jazz Festival, Henley Festival, Glastonbury & many more. Exceptional boogie piano, quite simply one of the most talented guys around. If you haven’t experienced him live, I can’t recommend him enough; always a foot-stomping resounding triumph, leaving the audience wanting encores.
All profits from this event go to the Village Hall Refurbishment Fund.
Friday 5th May, Blewbury Parish Church, 7.30pm
The ever ebullient Ian will be conducting theme-based tunes, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Moon River and Proud Mary, along with the odd balloon and broomstick! There will also be a Raffle and Refreshments.
Tickets: £8 adults, £6 seniors, £1 under 16s, available on the door or by calling 07732 197592, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or from any band member.
Spring has sprung and Blewbury Film is getting ready for your summer screenings.
We are very pleased to be able to announce our Early Summer Screening for the 14th June will be “The Angel’s Share”. This heartwarming comedy about a group of unemployed petty criminals in Glasgow tells a story inspired by Whisky Galore. The unruly group teams up on an inspired adventure in a film plot with flavours of Ocean’s Eleven. This is definitely a film for comedy lovers, for whisky connoisseurs and for admirers of great Scottish scenery – it’s Scotland’s answer to “The Full Monty” – pithy, raw and hilarious! This realistic, humanistic and bracingly optimistic film was directed by the brilliant Ken Loach (just think of Kes in 1969!) in his eighth decade and based on a screen play by Paul Laverty.
Telegraph –“Ken Loach’s whisky-heist comedy finds the director on fine, funny and Cannes-winning form!”
The Angel’s Share (15)
Directed by Ken Loach
Starring: Paul Brannigan, Siobhan Reilly, John Henshaw, Roger Allam
Please keep emailing us on BlewTube@Gmail.com to get more details, to let us know what you thought of our last show and with your film suggestions for future events.
|Location: The Melland Room
||Date: Wednesday, 14th June
||Doors Open: 7:30pm
|Price: £5 / head
||Tickets available at the Post Office from 31st March
Please note: Tickets will only be available on the door if any remain unsold at the Post Office – on the door sales cannot be guaranteed. Please make sure you get your tickets early to avoid disappointment. No refunds.
Licensed Bar and Ice Creams available (No BYO please)
So, if you are you interested in a local, fun, social film night, come along, try it out and give us your ideas. Like us on Facebook or email us and we’ll add you to our Mailing List and keep you informed of future events.
In association with the Blewbury Players. Profits to the Village Hall refurb.
Contact Paul Sanders or Peter Willison for more information and / or with your ideas: BlewTube@Gmail.com
Our Members’ Talks which took place at Blewbury Manor Barn in March were enjoyed by everyone who attended. Thank you to the Manor for the use of the Barn with its lovely big settees in front of the great log burner. Our next event is:
SATURDAY 17th JUNE 2017 – VISIT TO
“BBC GARDENERS’ WORLD LIVE” AT THE NEC, BIRMINGHAM
Over 100 places to shop for plants
Carol Klein will share expert advice in the Live Theatre plus live interviews and book signings.
BBC Gardeners’ World Live present much-loved features every year, plus a host of new features to keep the Show fresh and exciting.
COST: £23.50 per Gardeners’ World ticket. Travel arrangements and cost to be advised
Ticket includes entry to the BBC Good Food Show
Don’t miss out on a great day – Please order your ticket by 15th May through:
Karen at Blewbury Post Office or Margaret Maytham at Upton – 01235 850126
DID YOU KNOW? James Boswell (1740-95) wrote: “In an orchard there should be enough to eat, enough to lay up, enough to be stolen and enough to rot on the ground.” Happy Gardening. Eileen
Annual General Meeting and new projects – Thursday 6th April, 7.00pm, Blewbury School Hall: We will be showing our new projects for the school children as well as presenting some of our other work. We are setting up bird nesting boxes equipped with small video cameras, and also camera traps for seeing wildlife such as deer, muntjacs, foxes, etc. around the village. We’re also working on the school’s Biodome and gardens for the children to grow fruit and vegetables. We will end the evening with a short Annual General Meeting.
Smart, sustainable engineering from plants and animals – a talk by Prof. George Jeronimidis, Monday 15 May, 8.00pm, Blewbury Manor Barn: Studying how nature solves its engineering and materials problems has provided inspiration for solving our own problems. But just how did shark skin inspire the designers of the Airbus A380s, to take just one example. Ticket details soon.
Tree planting and start of a ‘wildlife corridor’: We were awarded 100 saplings by the Woodland Trust, including rowan, silver birch, hawthorn, hazel, dogwood and wild cherry. They will provide berries for birds and beautiful blossom for everyone to enjoy. On 11th March they were planted by enthusiastic volunteers on a triangle of land on the downs near the Chalk Pit. This is the start of a project to make a continuous ‘corridor’ for wildlife, made up of trees and hedge bushes across to the Cow Lane footpath and eventually to Woodway Road.
Blewbury Garden Market will restart on the Garage forecourt in mid-May on Saturday mornings, selling locally grown plants, seedlings, as well as eggs, cakes and bread. We’d love more volunteers to help man the stall, please contact email@example.com if you’d like to join in!
Community orchard grand opening and village picnic, Sunday 11 June, Tickers Folly Field – Watch this space.
|BLEWBURY FREECycle – FREE ITEMS TO A GOOD HOME
|Stag Minstrel dark wood headboard to fit 4ft 6in bed. Good condition
|Garden Swing and cover
|Glass shelves, 2 x 82cm long x 16.5cm deep; 2 x 88cm long x 14cm deep. With brackets.
|To include your item, send short description, email & phone no. to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line ‘Freecycle’
We welcome new members. If you would like to become involved in Sustainable Blewbury, or to receive our free Newsletter, please contact us at: email@example.com