Village News

Blewbury School: Expanding Horizons

Over the last week I have had cause to visit Blewbury Primary School on two occasions and each time I have left feeling rather impressed and proud.

As a “Link Governor” for Class 6 I was privileged to be invited to watch the making of a radio programme, and with the help of their teacher, Becky Costello and production expert Jack Mills, was captivated by the creativity and sheer enjoyment the class showed in creating timetables, playlists, agendas and articles for the broadcast. The material the class produced was fresh and current and their delivery could put some seasoned broadcasters to shame. Moreover, nobody was left behind as there was enough diversity in the task to appeal to every pupils’ interests. Importantly, this kind of learning shows the lateral thinking taken by the school in tackling the educational agenda and putting it in a real world scenario.

Which brings me nicely to my second visit…

January 19th saw the school host a “Curriculum Evening”, not a box ticking exercise showing parents what their children will be doing in the terms to come, but instead an insight into the mindset of the school. The progressive attitude of Blewbury School was demonstrated admirably in adopting a philosophy which challenges the way we think. “Children love challenges” we are told by the school head Marion Mills, and in a series of video backed presentations parents are shown the methodology behind the teaching. The school believes that all children’s abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point! Parents are encouraged to praise effort and motivation and try to get their children to view themselves as learners. We are told that when our children say they cannot do something, the key response is – you cannot do something  “yet”. Surely a life lesson for all of us! Workshops followed where parents could understand the roles of Science, IT and Spelling (including a difficult test for the parents, which we were not prepared for!), and the evening concluded with a powerful message on protecting children from the dark side of the internet, underlining how seriously the school takes all aspects of safeguarding.

Next week I am looking forward to travelling with twelve of the year 6 radio broadcasting team to Cheltenham to visit a recording studio where their hard work will be transformed into a professional piece… watch this space for a memorable link. No doubt it will be the third time I will leave feeling impressed and proud.

Michael Evans Class 6 link Governor and parent

Recognition for Pat Mattimore

Congratulations to Pat Mattimore who in recognition of her efforts organising various village events including the Blewbury Festival, recently received a Community Volunteer award from the Vale of White Horse District Council’s chairman Mike Babcock.

We would like to thank her and her team of volunteers for helping to make Blewbury a special place to live!

If you know of someone who could be nominated next year, please contact the Parish Council Clerk.

Thanks to Bernard Mattimore for the photo

‘Wagon’ Book Launch

A new publication, Wagon, compiled by Peter Cockrell, is now available for sale. For those who weren’t at the launch this book is highly recommended!

Containing fascinating detail, excellent photographs and illustrations, it records how a derelict farm wagon was spotted in East Hagbourne in the 1960’s by Ron Freeborn. Years later he drew it to the attention of Blewbury to fill a theatrical need. The story records its history since then over the last forty or so years. Now skillfully restored it was finally installed in its splendid home earlier this year.

This dedicated and comprehensive research by Peter Cockrell is also enhanced by other excellent contributions. These reflect the traditional agricultural background of Blewbury and other local villages in days gone by. The Blewbury Wagon is now a remarkable symbol and addition to Blewbury’s history!

Pres Wells

The Bauer Collection – Thanks!

Thank you to everyone who came along to the recent exhibition, The Bauer Collection, at The Red Lion. Your support and lovely comments were very special. Thank you.

The sum raised, after the cost of framing, by sales and donation, is £970.00. This has been split equally between The Blewbury Village Hall Refurbishment Fund and The Tony Loy Trust. Just want to say a big thank you to my family, and all who helped me get there. Janet Hewson

Blewbury School breaks award record

The British Council International School Award was started in 1999 to recognise the schools leading the way in instilling and developing a global dimension into the learning experience of all children and young people.

Blewbury School has been part of this development continuously since its conception, it encourages and supports schools to develop:

* An international ethos embedded throughout the school
* A majority of pupils within the school impacted by and involved in international work
* Collaborative curriculum-based work with a number of partner schools
* Curriculum-based work across a range of subjects
* Year-round international activity
* Involvement of the wider community

We are really proud to announce that at the British Council presentation in November it was both confirmed and celebrated that we are the only school in the United Kingdom ( or other countries in the world that take part), that have received this award six times.

In the spirit of this award we are hosting two Spanish teachers this week from a school in Cáceres, Spain, which three of us visited during the October break. We are sharing both ethos and the development of learning including a joint staff meeting about mindfulness.

New Blewbury montage by Linda Benton

Over the years, I’ve walked and cycled around Blewbury and been inspired to paint many parts of the village… but I’ve always wanted to fit more in.

Earlier this year, I chose as many key places as I could and arranged them together in roughly the right order, to create a montage style painting of the village. I use fine pen line and watercolour to capture the scene from Blewburton Hill in the background, to the duck race, plant pots, and people near the front.

One of the first montage pictures I did was for the cover of a prayer book for the benefice of the Hagbournes, Upton, and Blewbury. It had something to represent each of the villages including the Blewbury cob walls and one of the Alms houses. Since then, I’ve developed the idea of fitting all sorts of elements together into one picture.

Fine Art prints (in 2 sizes) of the Blewbury Montage are on display at the Style Acre Tea Rooms, and at the Framing Studio (126B The Broadway) in Didcot, and also available from the artist.

Greetings cards are available at Blewbury Post Office, Savages, and The Framing Studio.

Please contact Linda Benton on 01235 817891, email: Linda.Benton@live.co.uk Web: lindabenton.wix.com/artist

Beeswax Farming: Our new neighbour

 7.30 pm, Tuesday 23 February, Village Hall, Blewbury

Beeswax Farming operate a hugely mixed and diverse farming business, with a long term vision, striving to improve its soils and enhance crop health. The business is committed to a long term strategy of infrastructure and operating a business people are proud to be involved with. One of the guiding principles for Beeswax Farming is to act as guardians of the land, maintaining and improving it for future generations. Its dedicated Environmental Team ensures that we maintain and develop our activities to enhance our surroundings. On Tuesday 23 February Ben Wills of Beeswax Farming will tell us more about Beeswax its philosophy and plans for the future. Please do come along to learn more and to ask questions about how Beeswax will interact with Blewbury.