New Year at Catmose Primary. Welcome back to all our pupils and families for an exciting new school year. It has been lovely to hear all about the children’s exciting summer holidays and see how much they have grown over the break. Thank you to all our families who have ensured that the children have returned to school dressed very smartly in their uniforms with all the equipment they need. The year has got off to a flying start winning sporting teams, an art exhibition and the introduction of the longer school day which has enabled staff to offer exciting experiences such as cup cake decorating, whole class music, yoga and girl football for example. We continue to work hard to ensure that the school is the very best environment for the children in which to do their very best each day; IT updates and additions to the outside areas make the school an environment the children want to be in. We welcome to the Catmose Primary family Yvonne Welbourne in Beech Class, Nicola Hillier in Elm Class, Alison Wells in Redwood Class, Paula Skates in Ash Class and Sarah Dunn in our catering team. Our team is ever growing and enable us to ensure you child has the very best of school days. We have changed the school phone number which the new school signage shows: 01572 772583. Please ensure that you have this new number and if your numbers have changed over the past break; that you let the school know. I am very much looking forward to an exciting and successful school year at Catmose Primary.
Comments Off on New Year at Catmose Primary. Welcome back to all our pupils and families for an exciting new school year. It has been lovely to hear all about the children’s exciting summer holidays and see how much they have grown over the break. Thank you to all our families who have ensured that the children have returned to school dressed very smartly in their uniforms with all the equipment they need. The year has got off to a flying start winning sporting teams, an art exhibition and the introduction of the longer school day which has enabled staff to offer exciting experiences such as cup cake decorating, whole class music, yoga and girl football for example. We continue to work hard to ensure that the school is the very best environment for the children in which to do their very best each day; IT updates and additions to the outside areas make the school an environment the children want to be in. We welcome to the Catmose Primary family Yvonne Welbourne in Beech Class, Nicola Hillier in Elm Class, Alison Wells in Redwood Class, Paula Skates in Ash Class and Sarah Dunn in our catering team. Our team is ever growing and enable us to ensure you child has the very best of school days. We have changed the school phone number which the new school signage shows: 01572 772583. Please ensure that you have this new number and if your numbers have changed over the past break; that you let the school know. I am very much looking forward to an exciting and successful school year at Catmose Primary.
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Welcome back to all our pupils and families for an exciting new school year. It has been lovely to hear all about the children’s exciting summer holidays and see how much they have grown over the break. Thank you to all our families who have ensured that the children have returned to school dressed very smartly in their uniforms with all the equipment they need.
As we start the sixth year of the federation between Catmose Primary and Catmose College, there is much to reflect upon and celebrate. The School has been transformed from a 120 pupil setting which was Satisfactory to a 210 pupil school currently graded at Good and aiming towards Outstanding. Staff, students and parents should be congratulated for their part in what continues to be a very exciting journey for Catmose Primary. We have had two successful Ofsted inspections, an increase from 4 to 7 classes and have seen fantastic improvements to the fabric, teaching facilities and outdoor environment of the School.
The outdoor environment has changed dramatically in the last 2 years. The very exciting Hobbit village and tree house makes our woodland area a magical place for children to explore their imaginations and play. The Key Stage Two playground has been developed into an outdoor gymnasium, with an all year-round trim trail and exciting raised wildlife walk and covered area. The Key Stage One playground has been remodelled to ensure our younger children have a safe, inviting environment to play in with smaller gym equipment to enjoy. An outdoor classroom has finalised our outdoor transformation and will enable teachers to take learning beyond the classroom. Our aim has been to provide the children with the very best environments in which to grow, develop and learn.
During the past 5 years, the School’s physical appearance has changed almost beyond recognition, with work on the roofing, electrics, refurbishment of every classroom and the hall, the installation of new IT systems, new reception area, new staff working area, new catering kitchen, new library area and, in the last break, the new children’s toilet facilities throughout the school. These have brought significant improvements to the environment the children and staff work in every day. This improved environment has supported the Good to Outstanding teaching seen in each classroom, enabling children to make progress. Seven classes with one year group in each has enabled teachers to tighten the differentiation offered and to monitor the impact of teaching. The addition of an eighth teacher in the form of Assistant Team Leader has increased the capacity to focus on groups of key children to ensure all our pupils make good progress.
Partner work with our federation College and Preschool will be continued this year. To support transition to College, PPA cover will be supplied in KS2 by College staff and Modern Foreign Languages teachers will be deployed from the College to support our provision of language teaching. The expertise of the College staff in teaching is invaluable and the pupils enjoy their ‘College’ sessions; the proof of transition support can be seen when relaxed and confident pupils move on to the College as Year 7 students.
A wider range of clubs during lunchtimes and at the end of the day will continue to be supported by the Sports Coach, who is an expert in physical development and sport across the School. We have entered far more sporting events in the last year with the support of the Sports Coach and the children have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in these events. Our Catmose Team took double gold in recent Judo competitions with both the Primary and College team taking first place. Lunchtime activities have been a focus this year and will continue to be so as we aim to provide children with a top quality holistic school experience. We will continue to provide a wrap-around service to parents, offering an after-school and breakfast club. Engagement with both of these facilities has been very positive.
Catmose Preschool has been a welcome addition to the School and will strengthen our Early Years provision as the Reception Class and Pre-school join together for planning and various activities. The team in Ash Class and Preschool work together closely to create an EYFS unit, sharing best practice to meet the needs of children closely. The Preschool building is beautifully designed and Ash Class children will be able to use its resources. Preschool children will be using the School’s resources in turn which will strengthen our transition provision from Preschool to School. The Catmose Federation now includes and runs smoothly from Catmose Nursery, Catmose Preschool, Catmose Primary to Catmose College.
We welcome to the Catmose Primary family Amy Marriot in Beech Class, Foong Yee Cheung in Redwood Class, Stephen Lambert in Willow Class, Jeanette Wersching in Silver Birch Class and Lynn Nicholls in our catering team. Our team is ever growing and enable us to ensure you child has the very best of school days.
We have changed the school phone number which the new school signage shows: 01572 772583. Please ensure that you have this new number and if you numbers have changed over the past break; that you let the school know.
My work title has also changed to Head of School, to help delineate my role within the school. I will still be working very closely with Stuart Williams as Executive Head and the Vice Principals at Catmose College.
I am very much looking forward to an exciting and successful school year at Catmose Primary.
Head of School
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We have started the new academic year of 2014 2015 at Catmose Primary very positively. The children have returned to school looking very smart in their school uniforms and have been very eager to begin their learning in their new year groups.
We have some new faces in the Catmose Primary team, both pupils and staff, but all have settled in very quickly and already feel an established part of the team. This is due to the family feel we have here at the school which is in turn due to the super attitudes and behaviour of the children.
We welcome the Pre-school from Catmose Nursery this year who join the school to make our Early Years department stronger as a Pre-school and Reception team. This will aid transition from Nursery to School as the children will be using the School hall and other resources. This mirrors the transition we have from School to College which has proven to be very successful as our children Year 6 move to year 7.
I am very excited to see the completed outside area which will include a wildlife covered walkway, outdoor gym equipment, new playground markings and an outdoor classroom – all things I would have loved and enjoyed when I was at school. I was talking to a grandparent of one of our pupils only today who said ‘schools today are not like the school I went to’ and that school appeared to be ‘a joy and that the children really love their days’. I think that at Catmose Primary we do our best to ensure that you child enjoys their learning journey and the outdooor improvements will only add to this.
Another new year and lots of new things to look forward to!
In my last blog typed at Christmas time I reflected on the wide range of activities and experiences the pupils at Catmose Primary are involved in. Writing this latest blog creates the same reflection. Since Christmas we have; taken part in a wide range of sporting events including Karate lessons, supported Sports Relief, visited places on learning trips including a residential to Beaumanor, welcomed guests to the school including the recycling team and Bikeability team, held a Spelling and Timetables B and take part in many interesting activities in lessons. You only have to read the school’s newsletter ‘In Focus’ to see the variety of activities on offer.
The Easter break is now upon us and I am sure that the pupils are enjoying quality time with their family and friends. The Easter Assembly was a perfect way to end the term and the Year 6 readers impressed with their clarity and confidence in public speaking.
Term 5 is a busy term which includes the Key Stage Two SATs which the Year 6 pupils are working hard towards; they want to achieve the very best they can and they will do so with the hard work and study they are undertaking. We also hold the May Dance, which is to be held on Friday 23 May at 2.00pm in the school hall. We will be voting for the May Queen and May King at the beginning of the term and have already invited the Mayor of Oakham to attend. Each class takes part and performs a dance for the school. Our theme this year is ‘Dances from Around the World’ with dances from many cultures. I really enjoy this event as every child takes part and has a ‘chance to shine’. It is always very well attended by parents and friends who agree that it is one of our best events in school.
I undertake many tours of the school with prospective parents and pupils and they often ask what the core focus of the school is. I believe that the previous paragraph sums that up nicely; pupils achieve the very best they can whilst enjoying their time at school through enjoyable events. Our Year 6 pupils are working very hard but will also enjoy some light relief through preparing for the May Dance.
It is that time of year again and time to reflect on what a busy first 2 terms it has been. The children have done so well and we are as always very proud of them all.
On Monday and Tuesday evening this week parents and friends saw the EYFS and KS1 Nativity show – A Little Bird Told Me. Every child had a part to play and relished in singing songs and joining in actions. It was a wonderful performance and I think, really shared what Christmas celebrations are all about – every child celebrated and cherished.
We do talk about the meaning of Christmas and the Nativity story at Catmose Primary but the main focus at this time of year is how we can help others who may not be as fortunate as ourselves. The children showed their care for others and their charity spirit this Children in Need day raising an impressive £317.20 with donations towards wearing their pyjama’s in school. The children have also been writing their Christmas Wishes for children around the word which are on display in the school hall.
I hope that everyone has a good Christmas break and a happy New Year and I look forward to welcoming back all our pupils for the start of 2014.
It’s the start of the academic year 2013-2014 with lots to look forward to: The Harvest Tea, The EYFS & KS1 Christmas Nativity; and the May Dance event to name a few of my favourites.
‘Back to School’ is a phrase that brings back memories of new school shoes, crisp new shirts and a new pencil case (remember the zip up ones that had elastic ribbon holders for individual pencils and pens?) and I am sure it does for you too.
‘Back to School’ at Catmose Primary means ‘Welcome back’ to our pupils who have returned ready to learn, be with their friends and enjoy their school day. It also means ‘Welcome’ to the many new children who have joined our school and have already settled well into our school family.
I continue to be impressed by the pupils at our school; I set the challenge of helping our many new children and asked pupils to tell me how they had helped someone in order to gain a house point – needless to say I nearly ran out of house point stickers! Every child came to me to proudly tell me how they had helped someone and this is typical of the ethos and atmosphere shared within our classrooms and playtimes. I also asked pupils to put themselves forward for roles and responsibilities within the school and was impressed by the many children who wanted to take on a role such a House Captain or Lunch Leader.
If the start of the year is a benchmark for the full academic year, as I said at the beginning of my blog, we have much to look forward to.
It was a wonderful, high quality experience in which the pupils undertook several ‘Crystal Maze’ type challenges to learn how to assess situations, react appropriately and act safely. We looked at train track safety (very important when living in Oakham), car and road safety, fire safety and safety near building sites. There were also challenges to think about the use of alcohol and tobacco, antisocial behaviour and the impact this has on society.
You may be wondering why I am reporting this on my blog rather than on the school’s Facebook and website pages. The children will be sharing their reports of the day with you. But, whilst visiting the Warning Zone, I was struck by how important this message is to send to our young people. I certainly didn’t have this learning opportunity when I was a Year 6. The messages shared were very important and ones that should be shared between us all. The reactions from the pupils were amazing to watch as they took on-board everything shared with them – one of those real ‘wow factor’ moments.
I was also struck by the high quality of the provision, each scenario was very realistic and this was all set up by volunteers and donations from local charities. The staff who lead the sessions were also volunteers which shows how important the messages shared with the pupils really are. A really good day with excellent pupils who understood the importance of what they were learning; exceptional Catmose Citizens!
Our Key Stage Two classes have wowed the Catmose Primary community with their performances in The Time Lord. All children have taken part and every child has had time on stage to perform to their family and friends. I always enjoy these performances as I think back to my own school days and know how important and memorable these events are. At Catmose Primary we work hard to ensure that your child makes very good progress but also work equally hard to provide these special times in school. I wonder how many of us can remember a special role we played in our primary school play? A very enjoyable evening, thank you Key Stage Two.
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Time has certainly flown by and I am more than looking forward to my return to Catmose Primary after maternity leave. I am looking forward to being back in school; it is such a vibrant, happy, busy and exciting place to be and I have missed it! I particularly enjoyed being invited back to school to take part in the May Dance event – it is my favourite event in the school calendar as I believe it captures the ethos of the school perfectly as it allows all children to be involved and share in the limelight. Every child certainly had their ‘time to shine’.
One of the many things that being a mother to Henry and Emily has taught me is how precious and special each of our children are. Whilst I leave my two little ones, in the excellent care of our federation nursery, Catmose Nursery, I swap my role as carer for two children to carer for over 150. I think what makes our school so special is that we are a family and each child is viewed as an individual, with different strengths that we can celebrate and areas in which we can help to make progress.
I have kept in touch with the school whilst I have been on leave and have enjoyed keeping up to date with all the news on the school website, Facebook page and in the newsletter ‘In-Focus’. I am always amazed and impressed at the wide variety of skills, achievements, learning and events that are shared and am pleased that our children have the opportunity to share their accomplishments with their friends and family.
I re-join the Catmose family at an exciting time; we are returning to a 7 class school which will provide small class sizes and one year group per class. We will welcome new staff to our team with this expansion, with new skills and strengths to offer the school. I will work hard with the Catmose team to ensure that we keep looking for ways in which to improve and I look forward to what lies ahead.