|Brookmans Park Newsletter
Brookmans Park School Newsletter
Issue number 11 - Summer 2001
(March - July)
Text edited by Mandy English
Roll up, roll up...and into the Village Day Record Books...
More than £6,500 was raised at our school's annual Village Day - the highest amount ever. Rain didn't stop play as hundreds of local people turned up to support the fundraising event.
A fancy dress parade from the Village Church kicked off an action-packed day themed around 'The Circus'. Clowns, strong men, trapeze artists, lions and ringmasters were among the costumes worn by our Under 8's. Attractions, stalls and entertainment included Rhubarb the Clown, songs from the school's drama club and line dancing. A circus skills workshop taught the children to learn scarf juggling, stilt walking, plate spinning and diabolo.
"Although we had very heavy showers, it didn't dampen peoples' enjoyment or stop them taking part in one of the most successful and well attended Village Day's we've had," commented Peter Evans. The PTA, who organised the event, would like to thank again all those who helped before, during and after the day.
Thank you to everyone from our Chair...
This note is being written on the last weekend in June and the end of the summer term and the school year are but a week or two away. To me it seems as though this year has gone very quickly.
The school has maintained its high standards and achieved excellent results in the SATS (Standard Assessment Tests for Years 2 & 6).
Also this year our school won the Hatfield School Athletics competition by a tremendous margin. Our thanks must be given to all members of staff for the hard work they have put in over the year. We are very fortunate at Brookmans Park School that we have dedicated teachers who work as a team to help our children achieve the very best they can.
At this time of year we say goodbye to the young ladies and gentlemen of Year 6 who will be transferring to secondary school in September. The Governors wish them well.
Over the 50 years that Brookmans Park School has been open, it has always had the active support of a strong PTA. Village Day, which started as a fund raising project to build the swimming pool, (now sadly no more) has been the main fundraising event each year. It is an event in which the whole village takes part. This year the weather was unkind in one way, but Village Day was a roaring success thanks to the enthusiasm of the PTA committee and the support of parents, past parents, grandparents and the village community. The success of Brookmans Park School owes much to the strong support given by parents. THANK YOU and long may it continue.
Finally, I must thank the Governors for their work over the past year.
There has been much criticism from schools and the public in general that the promised increased spending on education has not been forthcoming in the last few years.
I would have been one of those expressing my doubts about the money coming into schools. However, the new annual budget for 2001/2002 is looking more adequate and this has enabled the school to start addressing some of the shortcomings in building maintenance and in educational provision.
With the increase in the number of computers in school we have now contracted a computer technician to come into school on a regular fortnightly basis to keep all the computers up and running. We have recently connected ten computers to the Internet and more will follow. Some parents have asked about filtering the information obtainable from the net; I can assure you that before it reaches the school everything is censored centrally by the local authority.
We have just installed a new computerised library system which stores all the book titles, as well as the children's names, and will enable us to issue books by way of a bar code reader. This will give us more control on the whereabouts of the books and will make issuing and returning quicker and more efficient. This is all costing quite a lot of money but will be worth it in the long run. Not all the money is going on computers. We are spending more on books and equipment, engaging a part-time teacher to give staff a little non-contact time and having a new servery and cookers installed in the kitchen. Quite a lot to happen over the next few months!
Year 5 PGL Adventure and I.C.T. Weekend
On the afternoon of 8th June, forty one Year 5 children and three staff, Miss Monaghan, Mrs Lewsley and myself, set off for an adventurous weekend at the PGL Centre, Marchant's Hill, Surrey.
We arrived at the centre to be greeted by PGL staff who unpacked the coach and settled the children into their rooms. The PGL group leaders were soon leading the children around the camp, while the staff were given a brief introduction to the centre by the management team.
By the evening, we were all involved in a game of Murder Hunt before the children washed and returned to their rooms for the night. After a very early start the next day, the children settled down to their programme of activities. Abseiling, go-karting, archery and orienteering were sandwiched between sessions in the very well equipped ICT suite.
The children were able to enjoy the benefits of computer packages including the Scalextric and Lego control, multi-media and film making. The evening activities were very varied and involved independent teamwork, such as the task of making an interesting outfit with one black bin liner and a roll of toilet paper! The results were fascinating!
The staff at the centre were extremely impressed with the behaviour of our children and so were we. They were a credit to the school, themselves and to their parents. We returned on Sunday 10th June with a tired, but happy load. In fact, the weekend was so successful that we have already booked for next year.
Mrs. Jane Warburton
No, it's I.C.T.-Information and Communication Technology. Although we have had access to the World Wide Web for some time at school, this was only available by using the computer in the library. However, the school has been recently networked and access will be available from the office, Mr Evans' room and Year 5 & 6 classrooms, including the annexe. The library computer is now for the use of Key Stage 1 children.
To make a change it is going to be the teachers turn to gain Certificates! They will have all successfully completed their government funded training for the use of ICT in the classroom by the end of term. A portfolio of work completed by the class has had to be submitted by the teacher. Well done everyone.
Mrs Margery Lewsley
Key Stage 1 Story Day
Captain Hook, a wicked witch and thankfully, a fairy godmother and a princess were recently seen at school. There were not only children but teachers who joined in and dressed up for the Key Stage 1 Story Day. This day was held as the culmination of the Spring Terms study of Traditional Tales in the Literacy Hour. The children also had the opportunity to listen to other versions of stories read by a storyteller.
Welcome to three new staff members...
Mrs Tracey Thomas and Mrs Lorraine Kane are to be Learning Support Assistants from July and September 2001 respectively. They are both parents of children in the school and will work full time. Mrs Jo Nicol is returning as a Part Time Teacher from September 2001. She was previously a Key Stage 2 teacher within the school, several years ago, before she left on maternity leave.
Mrs Julie Brown now becomes Foundation Key Stage Co-ordinator to represent the school for the Early Years, following the recent changes to the curriculum. Mrs Maureen Taylor has been elected our new parent governor following the resignation of Caroline Grounds. Finally, Miss Anna Hilson returns in September as Mrs Clifton after her wedding in August- we send her many congratulations in advance.
Year 6 Isle of Wight School Trip
For the annual Year 6 trip we went to the Isle of Wight for a five-day holiday. In Southsea, we visited a Sea Life Centre full of unusual creatures such as Nurse Sharks, Sting Rays and Piranhas.
After the Ferry trip we were driven to Sandown where our Hotel was located. After a good meal we went to the beach to take full advantage of the hot weather.
We all enjoyed the hot chocolate that we were given each night during our stay at the Denewood Hotel, followed by a quiz. Bedtime was at around 9:50.
Some highlights of our week, which were enjoyed by the group, included a fossil hunt where we found a fossilized foot of an Iguanodon, a Dinosaur from several millions of years ago. The foot has been brought back to be displayed in Brookmans Park School!
Another aspect of our stay was an afternoon in Robin Hill, an exciting adventure Park, filled with woodland trails, rides and Forest fun, where you could catch a rare sighting of a red squirrel!
Further activities were, a tour around Osborne House (the childhood home of Queen Victoria), a journey on an old fashioned steam train, an outing to a Falconry Centre, where we got a chance to get a close up of beautiful birds of prey and an evening of competitive action in a sand structure competition. Over all the expedition to the Isle of Wight taught us many new things and gave us a week to remember for a lifetime.
Friday 19th October 2001 - Autumn Ball.
WWW.brookmanspark.herts.sch.uk is our school website name - but at the moment it is a blank page. Each school across the country has been given their own website name and space. It is up to the school to launch their own site. We are aiming to "go live" at the turn of the year. A working party is being set up to initiate ideas for content. Schools can personalise their own site how they wish, so have you got any ideas what you might want from our school site? Please email your suggestions to: email@example.com
The season finished with the A team as runners up in both the Hatfield Schools' League & Tournament. The B team won their Tournament. Both teams were a credit to the school and showed great determination and sportsmanship.
What a frustrating year! It must have been the soggiest season on record, with the pitches being almost permanently waterlogged. However, after many postponements we did eventually manage to complete all but two of our scheduled fixtures. Despite having to wade through a quagmire, the team produced some fine, flowing football. They finished the league in joint 2nd position, one point behind the winners. The Player of the Year trophy went to Stuart Lees with George Watson being the Most Improved Player.
Annual Mini Marathon
Fifty Brookmans Park children took part in the annual Oakmere mini marathon in April. Andrew Stredwick came 2nd and Ben Bailey was 3rd in the years 5/6 race. In the Years 3/4 race Hannah Boothby was the fastest girl, achieving 9th place. Jonathan McIver and Daniel Levitt achieving 3rd and 5th places respectively.
What a Winning Team! Thirty children represented the school at the annual Hatfield Schools' Athletics competition. This was a very successful evening with Brookmans Park the overall winners with a huge points total of 206. To date we have not been informed of all winners but everyone did extremely well and were enthusiastically supported by a huge contingent of parents and members of staff.
This is a new venture for the school and the children have taken part with great enthusiasm. At the time of writing we look to be in a very strong position to win the Hatfield League.
Bike and Scooter Watch
The wonderful weather means that bikes and scooters have their day at last! Bryan Smith of the Bike Shop in the Village and a parent at the school gives some advice, "Always check the bolts on your scooter before each ride to make sure they are tightened up. Never leave your scooter unattended and engrave the underside with your name where it doesn't get scratched." He also recommends, "wear a helmet, even for the shortest ride".
We need you. Being with your children and their friends at play can be quite revealing as well as rewarding! Hours of work are 12.00- 1.15pm, rate of pay is £5.70 per hour. Full time (5 days) or part time applicants considered. Free lunch from our chef included.
"Learning Journey - A parents guide to the primary school curriculum" (ages 3-7 and 7-11)
Two free booklets on what your child will learn, answers to questions on the curriculum and learning tips you can easily do with your child at home. Produced by the DfEE, just call 08000 96 66 26 to order.
The DfEE also has a website (www.parents.dfee.gov.uk), for parents, with 2 main sections, School and Out of School. There is a School Search to look for schools by name to see table results, Ofsted reports and school websites if they have one. Places to Go gives events in your own area and Discover shows leaflets about National Curriculum subjects.
And finally ...
Next Newsletter issue will be February 2002! Any copy requests submit by end January. Thanks!
Thank you to all for collecting the Tesco vouchers. We are going to be able to buy one computer, several printers and a selection of software.
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