It’s funny how in September the school year seems to be such a long and ample time with which we slowly fill with plans to educate your children. At this point, we look back and are in complete wonder at how we’ve fitted everything in.
At the start of the year we challenged the children to help us re-evaluated our vision and logo for Tibberton Community Primary School. We wanted to bring it back to being all about what is important to us and breathe a fresh breath of air into the school. The Rainbow tree was devolved and now proudly stands in our foyer, by the hall on our re-branded uniforms and our beautiful new signage. We hope you agree that it’s a new bright and fresh image which sits well with taking the school forward.
You may have noticed in the around the school and listening to your children talking that we have four learning powers. Responsive rabbit, Reflective owl, Resourceful squirrel and Resilient fox. We chose Resilience as it teaches the children the ability to keep going even when it is difficult, being ready to learn in all circumstances, managing distractions and perseverance. Resourcefulness teaches them about being ready to learn in different ways, asking questions, making links, using and finding resources to help, being logical and drawing on the environment around you for help. Whilst Reflectiveness teaches the children to be ready and willing to be more strategic in learning, to think about planning ahead and reviewing learning, being flexible with plans and pulling out the essential features. Being able to talk about Learning. Finally Responsiveness - Being ready to learn independently or with other people. Knowing when to work collaboratively or alone. Being able to listen and empathise as well as imitating or adopting good learning habits form other people. The children can earn learning power tokens which reward them, we had a fantastic day with a wheelie party as our first whole school reward!
This year saw the introduction of rainbow maths. Maths teaching and learning has developed this year, providing opportunities for all children to practise, apply and deepen their mathematical skills. Each classroom now uses different boards for the ‘Maths working Wall’ providing children with the opportunity to work towards an objective on an individual level. This has been a fantastic motivator for children, encouraging them by being able to see what they are working towards. We had the opportunity to share our way of learning with lots of parents during one of our regular Happy Hours in term four.
Happy Hours are our way of sharing different ways of learning with our families. It has given us the opportunity to open up the classrooms for an hour, let families see not only what happens at their child’s level but also what happens either in the year groups above or below. If you are able to join us for these sessions please do, they are great and the children do enjoy sharing their learning.
At the start of each year we have a very grown up style election within the classes to gain our school council for the year. This is a really enjoyable process and gives the children a brilliant opportunity to organise and put forwards the children’s thoughts for the school as well as explore British Values in action. They have regular meetings of which minutes are taken and can be seen asking the co-heads for advice or permission to do something to enhance their school life. The school council are the instigators for many of our charity days and this year has been no exception, we have enjoyed a fun packed red nose day for comic relief, a stripy day for children in need and during the recent French immersion day they were nominated to sell croissants and pain au chocolat sending a donation to the recent Grenfell flats fire fund.
This year their piece de resistance was African Day. With a little bit of special help with collected donations of unwanted school uniform and stationary which will be sent to Hopeful Rays school in Kenya. We celebrated all things Kenyan in term five with another immersion day including face painting, baking, hair braiding, costume making and drumming. Another truly special event organised by your children.
One of the highlights of the Year Six is the residential visit to the Isle of Wight with our cluster group of schools for a week at the end of September. This trip is fun packed and really enjoyable time. It gives the children the opportunity to meet other children whom they will compete against in many of the different sports events that team Tibberton take part in and also meet some of the children that they will eventually at the end of the year transition to secondary school with. The trip also offers the children their first opportunity to represent the school away from the area, showing the people of the IOW what lovely, responsible and all round great children we have. We are not sure who really enjoys the trips more - our teaching staff who accompany them or the year sixes!
Once again we proudly took our place in the Forest country dancing festival at speech house, Coleford. The hard work starts after Easter with a Country dance club taken after school. It’s open to years 1-6 and is enjoyed by all. Country dance hasn’t really changed its format since us parents were at school but this is its hidden charm! When the children go to Speech house and start dancing the reals that they’ve learnt lots of parents and families can join in. We have taken part in this for many years and wonder about the uptake each time but you, like us love it and we will proudly take part for another year in 2018. It was also one of the highlights of our summer fayre.
In term six we experienced an immersion day in everything French. Wow! What a brilliant time we had! We’ve told you already about the school councils contribution with break time snacks and raising money but that wasn’t all of it. Our caterers provided a French themed lunch which had an excellent uptake, our staff dressed up with some very enterprising costumes - lots of onion sellers! We invited the head of modern foreign languages from The Kings School, Gloucester to help us teach French in reading, writing and speaking along with some of her upper school students. The children produced some wonderful artwork, learnt lots of great and useful phrases and it was an all-round successful day. We’ll definitely be trying another language next year - watch out the rest of the world, where will we go next?
Each year to tie in with their topic learning the classes make a visit for the day. This year Magpie class were super lucky and went to Cadbury world - this was linked to their Mayan topic, remarkably no one was poorly or over indulged (is that even possible with chocolate to have too much?), Blackbirds went to the National Roman Legion Museum to help them understand more about their Roman topic and KS1 - Robins and EYFS, Wrens took the opportunity to join TEY and go to the Wild places project which linked to their mini beast and Madagascar topic. We are always overwhelmed with parental offers to help on these trips and hope you’ll agree that they really are fantastic days out which the children might not even realise how much they are learning - sneaky!
At the end of last year the PTFA had raised a phenomenal amount of money and gained a grant from the Big Lottery Fund. We told you that it was going to be spent on the flooring under the trim train but what we couldn’t guarantee was what a success this would be! It has made these pieces of equipment usable all year round and was such a welcome addition to our outside play area.
During our third terms break we welcomed workmen into the school to update our “Practical areas” in each of the classrooms, have you noticed what brilliant area’s these now are. They have dual heightened sinks for children and adults, lots of storage and are clean, tidy and much more functional. We’ll welcome a different team of workmen back to the school over the summer to update the flooring surfaces in each classroom too - so do please look up, down and all around when you come back in September. We were able to provide these new spaces thanks to a suitability bid with Gloucester county council and some match funding from our own budget and they really have made all the difference to the space and working area’s within each classroom.
Whilst we are sharing how fabulous our classrooms are we can’t not mention the ‘uber’ swish interactive white boards that were so generously provided by the PTFA. These replaced our old and slightly defunct equipment that needed lots of TLC on a weekly basis. They are integral parts of teaching in the classrooms and have benefited the children through-out the year and will continue to through many more years.
Most if not all schools these days have some form of PTFA but we at Tibberton are special - our team of parents are simply the very best. They have supported the school in many different way from making and selling refreshments at open mornings, treat stalls at the end of terms, the legendary Christmas extravaganza and the other big event their summer fayre. These ladies and gentlemen are all volunteers and give up countless hours from their free time to discuss and organise these fabulous events. They are always open to new members joining and are quite the loveliest group. If you want to give something back we can highly recommend joining this merry band of PTFAers.
Music is another strong feature at Tibberton, we have been lucky enough to be able to offer clarinet lessons to the whole of Year 3 & 4 and following on from that private lessons in school time which has produced 5 very accomplished clarinettists with two sitting their first exams recently. We can’t obviously take credit for their superb results but we can tell you just how proud we are of them and their amazing talent. To accompany the clarinet lessons we are also able to provide space and time for private piano lessons. These children, playing the piano, have such a talent and love for music that they are now all able to share this with family and friends and joined our choir and whole school in performing during our spring concert. Two of the young pianists also took music exams this term and proved they really are very diligent learners with a thirst and talent for the piano. We are also very proud of them, such a wonderful and special talent to have. During the concert we were able to showcase the young Voices choir, which in recent years have joined over 6000 other school children from across the country in making one big choir and performing at Young Voices concerts in Birmingham’s Genting area - this is no small affair! Each performance is in front of a sell-out audience and such a memorable night. The choir from Tibberton is made up of children in Key stage two and they start rehearsing from September with the main performance being in January. The music has just arrived for next year’s choir and you once again are in for a musical treat with songs from lots of different years and genres. The day of the concert is quite a long one but well worth it and we would highly recommend ordering tickets to go and watch if your child takes part.
Each year we celebrate World Book day. This year we chose a whole school theme and made quite a statement! Our theme was “Where’s Wally” to celebrate the book’s 30th anniversary and boy did we have lots of Wallies! Oh and a Wenda, Odlaw, Wizard Whitebeard and even a woof! These days aren’t just about non-school uniform you know, they are about doing something collectively, celebrating our love of books and encouraging the children to take an interest in reading, which we do at every opportunity including this year’s summer reading challenge.
We hope that you have continued to enjoy our celebration assemblies? We have tried to fit them in to one a month but also having things like the mother’s day celebration, spring concert, play in a week and carol service can sometimes play havoc with these arrangements. We’ll continue to keep you aware of when we plan the family celebration assemblies so that you are able to come along and join us in celebrating the children’s successes.
The last few weeks of term are still plenty of time to keep learning and we like to keep the children on their toes! This is why we have the challenge of “Play in a Week”. It teaches a different aspect to learning, the children have to co-ordinate with others, learn lines, stage directions, songs and dance routines. This year’s choice of play Magpie Manor was performed beyond expectation - your children were just brilliant and we had some real standout performers who we are sure will find their way onto the stage at other opportunities. Once again we ask and need the support of your families with costumes and attendance at the performance and you never let us down.
Along with all the other things we do at Tibberton one of our triumphs has always been “Team Tibberton”, each year our sports boys and girls never let us down by trying their very best to get great results. It’s not always about a medal or place in the next round. More importantly it’s about trying something new, their hardest and being part of a team. We try to offer as many children as possible the chance to be in Team Tibberton throughout the year at the copious amount of events we are invited to including Boys / girls football, gymnastics, mountain biking, mini red tennis, netball, cricket, quad kids, pentathlon, sports hall athletics, GPJ multi sports and swimming. Like every other aspect of school we have some very talented sports people and love to hear about their adventures outside school with their teams too. This year we have also introduced Sports leaders which are KS2 children who actively encourage their class mates during break and lunch time to try different things like skipping for instance. In fact, their leadership was so good that they won a Gloucestershire Young Leaders award last month and received their trophy in the Cheltenham Town Hall. Hartpury College students also joined us to teach the children rugby skills in their physical education lessons, Alex Grey who has represented his club, county and nationally, taught KS2 cricket skills and finally the very special day of outdoor adventurous activity that years 3 & 4 took part in. That’s a whole lot of sport to try!
This year we have again provided the opportunity for year six to complete their Bikeability around the village. This is always a popular and well supported activity, providing valuable lessons for the children on road safety and cycling skills.
Following on from our sporting success we were delighted to share with you this year that we had been nominated for two awards by Active Gloucestershire, “Primary School young volunteer / leader” and “Level 2 participation in school games”. Just to top being nominated we came award winners of the “primary School Young leaders’ award”. A truly special evening.
We are sure you are now used to the change of names from Class 5/6 to Magpies etc. but do you remember how we chose these names? It was a very long process and started after the Christmas break. The list of possibilities was endless and we are only sorry that we don’t have more classes to name! But we are super happy to have the four birds chosen finally by a democratic vote by the children, staff, governors and parents. We will continue to use these more and more so hopefully you’ll become more accustomed to them.
We have been a “Good Practice school” for the local authority this year. This means that we have been sharing our knowledge in writing, feedback and marketing and Early Years Foundation stage with other schools across the county. This is quite a feather in our cap and we were delighted to have been asked and then participate over the past year.
Finally we’d like to like to congratulate our Year six children on their SAT’s. The cohort have made amazing progress throughout their school life and should feel very proud of their achievements. They are a fantastic year group whom we wish only the very best for in the coming years. We will be publishing our KS1 and KS2 results on our website once we have the National comparisons.
And so, as we bring this year to a close - like previous years at Tibberton Community primary School it’s been no exception. We are very lucky to have such aspirational children, supportive parents and driven governors and staff. All in all we think we make a fantastic “Team Tibberton” and are very proud of this school and our children. We look forward to welcoming our next intake of 15 children in September and starting a fresh with another academic year on which we can make our mark. It’s good to be a ‘Tibbertonian’.
Olivia Kelly and Amanda Horniman