Springing into Success

As the weather is beginning to improve, our sporting calendar has begun to take off again. Many congratulations to all the children, who took part in the Dudley Schools Cross Country Competition at Himley Hall. A large field of 173 boys and 160 girls entered the race, which took place in wet and windy conditions. A very special mention goes to George Smith in Year 6 for coming third in his first cross country event. This means that he now goes on to run for Dudley in the Inter-Area Cross Country Championships. Go George, we’re all supporting you! We were also pleased to enter a local cross-country event at Ridgewood High School on Wednesday and are delighted for Lowenna Beard in Year 6, who came third in the girls’ race. We are really proud of all our children for representing Greenfield with such determination.

On Monday our netball squad competed in the Stourbridge and Halesowen Schools’ Competition against teams from Colley Lane, Oldswinford, Manor Way, St James CE and Caslon Primary Schools. Our squad consisted of two teams: Freya, Charlotte, Amelia, Aleeza, Edward and Edie were in Team A, while Lowenna, Erin, Kate, Jessica, Tom, Sophia and George were in Team B. We were really impressed by the skills and excellent team play shown by both of our teams in all their games and very happy with the overall result with Team B winning the competition and Team A coming fourth, despite losing one of our star players to injury in the first round of matches. Many thanks to Miss Batham for coaching our teams and accompanying them.

 

Kinetic Parents

Our Kinetic Letters Open Session for Reception was a huge success. It was good to see so many Mums, Dads and Grandparents getting down on the hall floor to learn the correct body positions and pencil grip with their little boys and girls. Our staff love our new Kinetic Letters approach to handwriting because it really has helped the children in their accuracy and confidence in such a short time. We are actually seeing some of the best writing in Reception we have ever seen at such an early stage in the children’s Greenfield learning journey. Thank you for overwhelmingly positive feedback. Open Session for Year 1 and Year on Year 2 will also focus on Kinetic Letters, so make sure you’re dressed to get down with the kids—dates to follow!

 

We’ve Got Flair

It was a pleasure to see our Greenfield Flair Dancers taking part in the Spring Dance Festival at Stourbridge Town Hall on Tuesday.

We were one of 14 schools taking part and our children showed off their talents as they danced with great confidence to ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’. Miss Wilson, our dance teacher, was thrilled: ‘We certainly lived up to our name. The children delivered a polished performance and definitely looked as if they loved being on stage. They were stars!’

 

Poetry in Motion

Our Year 5 children enjoyed a brilliant morning at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts on Monday. They were privileged to work with Richard O’Brien, the Birmingham Poet Laureate, and Alex Jolly, Learning and Engagement Co-ordinator. Our pupils were superbly behaved as they were treated to a tour of the amazing gallery, during which they learned the skills of art appreciation as they interpreted three pieces of art under Alex’s expert guidance. Richard helped the children to use the art as inspiration for writing their own poems.

The following poems were inspired by ‘A Rhinoceros called Miss Clara’, a Flemish bronze from 1750. An enterprising Dutch sea captain brought a young Indian rhinoceros to the Netherlands in 1741 and then toured her extensively across Europe. As the first example to have been seen on mainland Europe since 1579, she caused a sensation. She was christened Miss Clara, and images of her were painted, printed, modelled in ceramics and sculpted in marble.

When you see this, it sends a shiver up your spine.

Horn, a long tusk, pointed as a needle.

Teeth, unforgettable, sharp like knives,

Skin of leather, plates like armour,

Legs like sacks, feet like hooves.

Its small, stick-like ears batting away flies.

Matilda

 

Donkey ears, titanium skin

Unicorn horn, seabed voice,

Tree-trunk legs, glass marble eyes,

Power station feet,

No mother or father – an orphan.

Tilly.

 

Rags to Riches

Don’t forget it’s our ‘Rags 2 Riches 4 Schools’ collection next week. If you’re planning to have a Spring clean and clear out all those clothes and shoes, which are too small for the children and just not chic enough for yourselves, please fill a bag and bring it into school. The collection will not only help to generate much needed money for school but also benefit the environment too as the clothes will be reused rather than ending up in landfill. In addition to clothing, please feel free to include soft toys, unwanted gifts, belts, handbags, accessories, jewellery, towels, bedding and household linen. All the donations will be weighed and collected at 9.00 am on Wednesday 20 March, so please make sure you don’t miss this deadline. Have fun packing!

 

Prevent

Many thanks to the parents, who came to our Prevent Update with Mark Wilson on Monday. In the words of one parent: ‘It was a very hard hitting presentation, which provoked a lot of emotions as I was able to relate to it myself. It was good to see the true scope of the problem and have it brought to the attention of our community.’

 

 

 

The Fine Art of Poetry

We are delighted to have secured an exciting, new, one-off and free opportunity for our Year 5 children. We have been invited to work with Richard O’Brien, the Birmingham Poet Laureate, in an Art and Poetry workshop at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts on Monday 11 March. Richard was named as the Birmingham Poet Laureate during a National Poetry Day event held at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire at Birmingham City University in October 2018 and will hold the title for two years. He’s a lecturer in Shakespeare and Creativity at the University of Birmingham. As the city’s 21st Poet Laureate, Richard acts as a poetry ambassador and helps to raise the profile of poetry across Birmingham. He has to write poetry for special occasions and lead poetry workshops. The role of the Poet Laureate is also to inspire others to try their own hand at reading and writing poetry, so we do hope that he will fire the imaginations of our Greenfield boys and girls.

 

Prevention is the Best Cure

Prevent is one of four strands of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, known as Contest. It was created by the Labour government in 2003 and its remit was widened by the coalition government in 2011. Since July 2015 all schools have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism. This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views.

Please do your best to come along to our Prevent session for parents and our broader school community on Monday 4 March at 6.00 pm. This will be delivered by Mark Wilson, Dudley’s Prevent Officer. While Mark will engage you with his dry humour, you will find his presentation informative and possibly even shocking. Our staff training in January really opened our eyes to what is actually happening in our own community and we feel that you need to know what’s going on too. This session will follow the meeting at 5.30 pm for parents of Year 3 and Year 4 children going on our Ilam Hall residential.

 

To Read or Not To Read?

There is no question about the fact that good readers do better in their learning than poor readers. As research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) states: ‘Developing a love of reading can be more important for a child’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic background’.

Next week is World Book Day on Thursday 7 March. Every year it is rewarding to see such a clear love of books and reading in our school, as our children amaze us with their creative character costumes. The simple costumes are often the most effective, so please don’t spend lots of money on ready-made outfits. A touch of make-up, some-cast off clothes and a little bit of imagination is all you need.

Thanks to National Book Tokens, we shall be distributing £1 World Book Day book tokens to our Greenfield children. When you get your book token, all you need to do is to take it to a bookshop and swap it for one of the 12 (exclusive, new and completely FREE) World Book Day books. If you’d prefer, you can use your book token to get £1 off any full price book instead. Alternatively, if you’d rather get an audiobook, that’s fine too! It’s your choice, just as long as the book or audiobook costs at least £2.99. Then all you have to do is take your book home and enjoy it.

 

And The Winners Are …

We had a brilliant day today as we enjoyed our Eisteddfod, the perfect showcase for Greenfield’s many talented children. Following the very popular auditions, the entries had been whittled down to the individuals and groups, who had made it through to the Eisteddfod itself. We have been treated to performances in four categories, Poetry, Dance, Instrumental and Vocal. Many congratulations to all of our entrants. You were brave, confident and we are very proud of you all.

We would also like to thank our Judges – Lyndsay Sutton from Redhill (Vocal), Anna Downes from Oldswinford Hospital (Instrumental), Jan Robinson (Poetry) and Sarah Millington (Dance). We shall announce the winners in next week’s newsletter. The parents and families of our winners will be invited to a special Arts Celebration Assembly at 2.30 pm on Friday 12 April, the last day of the Spring Term.

 

Everyone can grow in a Greenfield!