At Greenfield we aim to focus on and develop the whole child. As part of our school’s aims to promote happiness and success, we are working towards recognition as a ‘Rights Respecting School’. The Rights Respecting Schools Award is a Unicef UK programme that aims to put children’s rights at the heart of schools. Unicef UK is working with schools across the country to embed children’s rights in their ethos and culture to improve well-being and develop every child’s talents and abilities to their full potential. The Award recognises a school’s achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into practice within the school and beyond.
We have a strong and well-established set of Greenfield Values, which we use to support and drive the personal and social education of our children. We also use a system of Rights and Responsibilities to underpin our approach to positive behaviour management, aiming to enable all our children to make the right choices for themselves. Our Rights Respecting work is developing these approaches. Each class has elected a Rights Respecting Ambassador (have a look at our back page to see your representative). Our Ambassadors meet regularly with Mrs Cattell and Miss Davies to make sure we work on a particular Article from the Convention each month. In October, as part of our Harvest Festivals, we have concentrated on Article 27 (adequate standard of living) and each child’s right to have food, clothing and a safe place to live.
Our bellboating for all our Key Stage 2 children this week has been a huge success. After such wonderful weather last week, it was a shame that the forecast had to change on Monday and Tuesday, but nevertheless our children took the showers in their stride. I was fortunate enough to join the children on Thursday when the weather was glorious. It was excellent to see our Greenfield pupils proving themselves to be such willing and enthusiastic paddlers as they set off from the Bonded Warehouse on their journey down the Stourbridge Canal. The highlight was the experience of going through a lock and the children were impressed with how the boats rose up as the lock filled with water. It is one thing to find out how a lock works by studying a diagram but nothing can beat the first-hand experience of learning by actually sitting in a boat in a real lock. It was great for the children to meet and paddle with Andy Train, 4 times Olympian and 3 times world champion marathon canoe racer. Thanks and congratulations to the parents, who took the opportunity to get involved, pick up a paddle and see what bellboating is all about. If you missed out this time but are interested in trying out bellboating for yourself, there may be a chance for another taster session later this year.
It was a pleasure to be able to welcome Saltmine Theatre Company to Greenfield again on Wednesday this week. Every year Saltmine Theatre Company work with 21 Local Education Authorities, performing in more than 270 schools to over 54,000 students across The British Isles. They use inventive story-telling theatre and interactive workshops to help children learn about important issues and in turn help them to make wise choices that will impact the rest of their lives.
Saltmine have tackled the themes of internet safety and bullying on previous visits to Greenfield but this year the topic was celebrating and promoting unity in diversity. They performed a play entitled ‘In their Shoes’ for our children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The play was about The Spots and The Stripes, who have always hated one another for no real reason other than that they are different. The performance was followed by practical workshops, looking at what can be achieved when different people come together and use their abilities for the same goal.
We look forward to seeing all our parents from Reception through to Year 6 at our Autumn Term Parents’ Evenings on Monday 19 October and Tuesday 20 October. Please check book bags as you should have received your booking slips this week. These Parents’ Evenings take place in your child’s class room and give you the chance to find out about the start your child has made this term, their current targets and the expectations, which we have for the year ahead. In order to accommodate all our parents, we need to operate a tight time schedule and do our best to stick to the limit of ten minutes per appointment. If there are any matters, which require further and deeper discussion, we are always very happy to arrange additional opportunities to discuss your children, so we can work effectively together.
Please remember that you don’t have to wait for Parents’ Evenings if you want to find out how your child is doing in school. Do not hesitate to come in and see us. The door is always open and we are always happy to see you.
On Wednesday, all our children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 will enjoy a theatre experience in school when they watch and work with Saltmine Theatre Company. The play ‘In their Shoes’ is about The Spots and The Stripes, who have always hated one another for no real reason other than that they are different. This unique production and the accompanying practical workshops celebrate and promote unity in diversity and sensitively explore issues around extremism. The multi-faith cast and partners combine to produce a play that is itself an example of what can be achieved when different people come together and use their abilities for the same goal.
Are you interested in making a positive contribution to the education of all children at Greenfield? If so, you might be interested in being a candidate in our forthcoming parent governor election. You don’t need to be an expert in educational issues to become a school governor because you will be given training and support to help you in your role. The most important contributions you can offer are time, enthusiasm and a genuine commitment to helping our school to be the best it can be.
As a school governor, you will have the opportunity to work as part of a dedicated team, whose aim is to ensure that every child at our school reaches their full potential. By applying and extending your own skills and knowledge, you will be expected to contribute ideas, influence decisions and make an important contribution to our local community.
You will need to be able to give time to your role as a school governor, which can at times be demanding but also extremely rewarding. Our Greenfield governors attend one Full Governing Body meeting together with one or two committee meetings each term. All our meetings take place in the evening. You will need to set aside time to prepare for meetings and read up on relevant issues. We shall also invite you to be involved in daily life and learning, to enable you to understand how our school works and evaluate the outcomes for our children.
In the words of one of our parent governors: “School is a big part of my children’s life and through being a governor I now have first-hand knowledge of the important issues in education and an understanding of how Greenfield works to realise its own high expectations and meet challenging targets”.
Don’t forget that we are running a Reading and Phonics Workshop for parents of children in Reception next week on Wednesday 30 September at 9.15 am. Please do your best to come.
Early in October our Key Stage 2 children will be taking part in an exciting Bell Boating experience. Designed by Olympic canoe coach, David Train, the bell boat is a totally unique design in watercraft. It looks a little like a canoe catamaran, two open canoes joined together by a rigid, flat platform. Its original purpose was to remove the fear of taking part in water activities and to help with team work and co-operation.
This will be the fourth time that our Greenfield children will have had the chance to paddle with Andy Train, a five time Olympian and three time world champion marathon canoe racer. Andy is an excellent coach and he always ensures that the children get the most from the session. The children will also be accompanied by specially trained bell boat helms, who hold full British Canoe Union qualifications. The sessions will take place on the Stourbridge Canal, starting and finishing at the Bonded Warehouse. If you would like more information on bell boats please visit www.bellboat.com or if you would like to have a go, please see Mr Bravo.
All our parents and families are warmly invited to join us for our Harvest Festival Assemblies at Greenfield. We shall celebrate our Key Stage 2 Harvest Festival on Monday 12 October at 2.45 pm and our Early Years and Key Stage 1 Harvest Festival on Wednesday 14 October at 2.45 pm.
We are asking for Harvest Gifts in the form of a Morning Coffee Box or items to send to the Black Country Food Bank and Birmingham City Mission. Ideally a Morning Coffee Box should contain a jar of coffee, some tea bags, sugar and a packet or two of biscuits. Suggestions for the Food Bank box may include UHT fruit juice, potatoes (tinned & dried), coffee, sweetcorn, carrots, cooking sauces (curry, pasta, chilli etc), breakfast cereals, rice, noodles, biscuits, ready meals (vegetarian & meat), meat (corned beef, ham, chicken, minced beef, stewed steak etc). You may also include non-food items such as shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, etc.
Please bring your Harvest Gifts into school on the day of your child’s Harvest Celebrations. We welcome our children and families to nominate elderly relatives and neighbours, who would appreciate a Harvest Gift. If you have someone in mind, please let us know by emailing their name to email@example.com
It was a real pleasure to be able to welcome author and storyteller Sandra Agard to Greenfield on Wednesday. Sandra had got up at 3.30 am in order to get to Euston and take the first train north. I collected her at Sandwell and Dudley just after 8.00 am and we eventually arrived at Greenfield just in time for our whole school assembly. The children had waited for Sandra with eager expectation and it didn’t take long for her to captivate the children with her engaging storytelling and sharp sense of humour.
We are very grateful to Mrs Susan Kelly, our Key Stage 1 Teacher and Library Leader, for organising this visit and planning a very full timetable, which enabled every child at Greenfield to work with Sandra throughout the day. Our Reception children enjoyed a session of action rhymes and songs while Year 1 and Year 2 took part in interactive storytelling. In Key Stage 2 Sandra moved on to creative poetry writing. Year 3 and Year 4 concentrated on the theme of ‘New beginnings’, Year 5 explored ‘Colours’ and Year 6 developed poetry ideas based on ’Homes’.
Sandra Agard clearly left a strong impression after working with the children. Raiaan in Year 6 explained: ‘I think it was very educational and she made it a really fun lesson. I felt free to write whatever I wanted and I used a range of great vocabulary.’ A comment from Sonny in Year 6 left us all in no doubt that the visit had been thoroughly worthwhile: ‘She made me feel I could write whatever I wanted and that I could express myself in the poetry. I never felt like that before.’
We shall be using Sandra Agard’s visit as the theme for the children’s writing for our corridor displays and hope to invite her back to work with our children in the Spring Term.