Village News

Blewbury School: Habitats and SATs

This term is proving to be a busy one throughout Blewbury School, with all the classes undertaking different tasks whilst keeping a common theme – Habitats.

In Key Stage 1, Class One have been dashing all over the place with a trip to Farmer Gows activity farm in Faringdon, learning about the different animals and their behaviour. They have had an outing to release their frogs back into the wild having watched them emerge and grow from spawn, and next week are off to visit the farrier in East Hagbourne. After each trip, they report on what they have seen and produce some wonderful work.

Class Two have been looking at “mini-beasts”, or slugs, snails and stick insects to you and me, and will be moving to bigger animals and their surroundings later this term.

Class Three have made bug hotels from wood, bark and bamboo which has definitely been a hit with them, although the squeamish amongst us probably won’t be checking in anytime soon!

Meanwhile, in Key Stage 2, Class Four have been studying how various species adapt to their habitats and how they evolve to adjust to their conditions and environment. They have been studying the life cycle of butterflies and ladybirds and some flowers, whilst also learning about food chains and the water cycle.

Class Five have been studying the classification of living things and have had a go at pond dipping in the newly refurbished pond (thank you Gus Mills) to learn about aquatic life, particularly looking at how animals adapt to their surroundings and can camouflage themselves.

And Class Six… well, Class Six have been taking their SATs, the National Curriculum Assessments which all pupils must undertake. These comprise of four key areas, Maths, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling, and are certainly no pushover, so, for those of you who are wondering, here are a couple of questions from previous papers….

“Identify the missing number. 12.5 ÷ ? = 7.5 ÷ 1.5”. Or how about this one: “how many vertices does a square based pyramid have?” Don’t worry if you are struggling to answer the questions because you would be in good company. Schools Minister Nick Gibb was asked this SATs question live on the radio. In the sentence “I went to the cinema after eating my dinner” – is “after” a preposition or subordinating conjunction?” Unfortunately, Mr Gibb chose the incorrect answer, which is why all the teachers at Blewbury School begin preparation well in advance of the tests so our children get a deep understanding of numbers, grammar and English, whilst maintaining the balance between achieving successful SATs results and imparting a well-rounded, experience-rich education!

My final words must be a resounding “good luck” to Class 3 who are just about to start their SATs as I write – aged 7!

Michael Evans Class 6 Link Governor

PS – the answers (to save you Googling them) are 2.5, 5 and subordinating conjunction.

The photo, courtesy of Eric Eisenhandler, shows images captured by video camera traps purchased for the school by Sustainable Blewbury.

Village Hall Refurb: Reviewing our options

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

End of an era as Freda hangs up her cassock

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

Blewbury School is on top of the world!

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.”

Happy 100th!

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.

Local Plan (Part 2) – Public Consultation

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.

Blewbury Film Supports the Village Hall!

Our Early Summer Screening for the 14th June will be “The Angel’s Share” but unfortunately all tickets have now all sold out – demand for this film has proved very high.

This heartwarming comedy about a group of unemployed petty criminals in Glasgow tells a story inspired by Whisky Galore and it’s been called 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.

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

Please note: This screening is now all sold out and there will be no tickets available on the door.  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

 

 BLEWBURY AND UPTON VILLAGE PRODUCE ASSOCIATION

Your Local Village Gardening Club

REMINDER: SATURDAY 17th JUNE 2017 – “BBC GARDENERS’ WORLD LIVE” AT THE NEC, BIRMINGHAM

Ticket includes entry to the BBC Good Food Show  COST: £23.50 per Gardeners’ World ticket. Travel arrangements and cost to be advised. 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

SCHEDULE IS NOW AVAILABLE

Do you want to enter your fruit, vegetables, flowers, cookery, photography and many other categories in the ANNUAL SUMMER SHOW ON 8TH JULY 2017. The Schedule is available at: Blewbury Post Office or Margaret Maytham in Upton (01235 850126) or Eileen Bracken 01235 510095

or email:  vpa.in.bl.up@gmail.com  or visit the VPA Website: https://blewburyanduptonvpa.wordpress.com

DID YOU KNOW?  Charlemagne (747-814) wrote: “Herbs are the friend of the physician and the pride of cooks.”

Also – Did you know?  “To make one and a half pounds of Lavender Oil, you’ll need to harvest almost a quarter of a ton of flowers!”  Happy Gardening, Eileen

BLEWBURY WI NEWS

Hello again.

May is almost here, with all the beautiful trees in blossom and colourful spring flowers blooming. We can look forward to warm , sunny days and sitting in the garden. We would love to welcome any new Members to join us at the following May events.

  • Tuesday 2nd May 2017   Lyn’s Walk.   A local walk, mostly on paths. We will leave the Village Hall at 10.00am.
  • Tuesday 9th May 2017   Coffee at Style Acre with Cilla. 10.30am.
  • Wednesday 10th May 2017   Visit to Chalgrove Manor.
  • Friday 12th May 2017   Craft Evening at Liz’s.
  • Tuesday 16th May 2017   Scrabble at Susan’s   30pm.
  • Friday 19th May 2017   Talking Science Lecture at RAL Harwell: To Catch a Monopole. Dr Tom Whyntie. 1.30pm.
  • Wednesday 24th May 2017   Monthly WI Meeting at the Vale Room   00pm. Speaker Bruce Duncan. The Loan Soldier.

For more details of any of our events, or if you wish to join us, please ring Karen on 850219 or visit our web page, http://blewburywi.wordpress.com where you will find more information.       Love from Cilla.

Sustainable Blewbury

‘Emulating Nature’s Genius (sustainable engineering solutions)’ – a talk by Prof. George Jeronimidis, Monday 15 May, 8.00pm, Blewbury Manor Barn:

Studying how nature solves its engineering and materials problems provides inspiration for solving our own problems. Spider silk, a fly’s eye, a pine cone opening and closing, shark skin, a lotus leaf, a gecko’s foot … all were inspirations for engineers … but inspirations for what? Tickets from the Post Office, £6, including a glass of wine. All profits donated to the Village Hall refurbishment.

Blewbury Garden Market: Reopens (for our 8th year!) on Blewbury Service Station forecourt on Saturday 20th May from 9.30 to 11.30 am, with fresh produce, plants and seedlings, flowers, home-baked bread and cakes, free-range eggs, preserves and honey, all locally produced. We’d love more volunteers to help man the stall, please contact angela.hoy@sky.com if you’d like to join in!

Community Orchard – news: All the trees appear to have taken successfully. Even the weakest looking have buds and some, especially Morello cherries, are bursting out of their protective netting. In the wildflower area, the cowslips are also looking good this year. However, the unusually dry April weather has been a concern, so the Community Orchard Group (COG) organised a watering session, along with liquid seaweed fertiliser. Many thanks to the Mussons for water supply access and to members of the Hedge Laying Group who helped. We are always looking for more volunteers to join the COG. If you’re interested email John Ogden (jogden@blewbury.net).

We will be erecting a signboard in the orchard, and we expect it to be installed in good time for the Orchard Picnic day (see below). The whole village is warmly welcome to come along and help us to celebrate!

Community Orchard – grand opening and village picnic, Sunday 11 June, Tickers Folly Field, from 12 noon: Bring your own picnic. Brass band, licensed bar with local beer and soft drinks, and a cake stall. There will be fun activities for kids and more … full details in the June Bulletin.

BLEWBURY FREECYCLE

FREE ITEMS TO A GOOD HOME

E-MAIL TEL NO.
Folding child’s high chair, metal with plastic covering. Large freestanding wooden tapestry frame.

Ann Dendy

ann@dendy.co.uk

850760

60cm freestanding electric cooker

c.10 sq m of limestone tiles in opus pattern

Ian Davies

davieees@gmail.com

07974 236219
A pair of bookcase glass doors 17″x 28″ and a board with frame suitable for attaching posters with blutac (not pins). 33.25″ x 21.25″

Brenda Hopkins

brendahopkins36@yahoo.co.uk

Child’s ”smarTrike” 3 wheeled orange bike, complete with all accessories and original box. For children from 10 months to over 36 months. Jo Lakeland jolakeland.48@gmail.com 850490
To freecycle your item please send a short description, email & phone number to Lydia Inglis (lydandmuz@gmail.com)

To find out more about Sustainable Blewbury, go to www.sustainable-blewbury.org.uk. If you’d like to get involved in what we do, or to receive our free Newsletter, contact us at info@sustainable-blewbury.org.uk.