Many thanks to those of you, who have already completed our annual Survey of Parents and Carers. If you haven’t then please take the time to do it over the half term break and return it to our office. We have been delighted with the overwhelming positive response from parents over the last seven years and take all responses very seriously. We read each questionnaire and follow up specific issues at an individual and whole school level. Common themes will feed into our School Improvement Plan and we look forward to sharing our plans for how we shall respond to issues highlighted by the questionnaire.
We look forward to discussing your children with you at our Parents’ Evening on Monday and Tuesday next week. If you still have not booked your appointment, we shall be chasing you with a phone call or a letter as we expect 100% attendance. Your involvement in your child’s education is essential if you want your child to fulfil their potential.
Stevens is our blue house team and takes its name from Mary Stevens. Ernest Stevens was a hugely wealthy and successful industrialist, who was born in Lye in 1867. Unfortunately Mary died from cancer in 1925. After her death, Ernest donated a large sum of money. In 1929 he purchased the Dudley estate with the intention of making “Mary Stevens Park.” He swiftly presented it to Dudley Borough as a public park and recreation ground. Today we don’t really think about how the park was made, but it was all thanks to Ernest Stevens and his lovely wife Mary Stevens.
Ernest Stevens gave so much to the people of Stourbridge and surrounding areas, including: Mary Stevens Park, Greenfield Gardens, Mary Stevens Maternity Home, Stevens Park in Quarry Bank, Stevens Park in Wollescote, Haden Hill House in Old Hill, Carlisle Hall in Stourbridge and War Memorial Sports Ground, Amblecote. Ernest Stevens’ factory in Cradley Heath produced “holloware”. His “Judge” brand of pots, pans and kitchenware became a household name for decades.
We have had a truly action-packed morning at Greenfield today. We are pleased to have welcomed our local MP Margot James into our school to gain some insight into life and learning at Greenfield. On arrival Margot was surprised to be greeted in our foyer by a cohort of Roman soldiers! Our Year 5 pupils have excelled themselves in the design and construction of ancient artefacts as part of their ‘Invaders and Settlers’ learning topic and they were proud to share their swords, shields and helmets. Margot was really impressed: ‘The quality of the children’s work is amazing and their historical knowledge is excellent too.’
Margot was treated to a brief tour of our school and had the chance to meet our children in our Reception class, where Jennifer Smith had made a card especially for her. Margot also had the privilege of working with a group of more able writers in Key Stage 2. This group of children work on a regular basis with our Deputy Mrs Sarah Remmers and Mrs Knapman and are currently honing their higher level questioning skills. Margot fielded a range of questions on childhood obesity, immigration and the role of the MP. Listening to our children discuss these themes with Margot, I had a feeling there might even be a future politician or political commentator amongst them.
The morning concluded with our Year 3 and Year 4 children enjoying an entertaining ‘Question Time’ with Margot. The learning topic in Year 3 and Year 4 is ‘UK OK’ and the children have already been studying parliament and democracy; they have even held their own ‘House of Commons’ debate with Joshua Davies in the role of the Speaker! The children quizzed Margot with some challenging questions, including one from Harley Millington asking if she had ever thought of switching parties. Robert Feane, Molly Carroll-Grigg and Sophie Noble all read out letters of complaint, which they had written to our MP on the issues of graffiti, speeding and play equipment in Mary Stevens Park.
Margot was hugely impressed with our school’s purposeful atmosphere, the children’s academic achievements and their positive behaviour. She was excited to see so much excellent work going on in our school, which is clearly targeted at engaging children and raising standards of learning.
We look forward to seeing as many parents as possible at next week’s Open Sessions for children in all year groups. This term our focus is Reading and Phonics. Please check this week’s newsletter for dates and times.
We are very proud of the valuable contributions, which our Year 6 children make to life and learning at Greenfield. We have high expectations for the children at the top of our school and trust them with responsibilities. Greenfield has a long history of Head and Deputy Boys and Girls and this year these positions are held by Toby Gorner, Jessica Noble, Ben Harper and Bethan Rees. We trust our Year 6 pupils to help our school to run as smoothly as possible. A team of Year 6 Playleaders go into lunch early and then spend the lunch hour helping, playing with and taking care of our Reception and Year 1 children. We all realise that lunchtimes at Greenfield at would not be so successful without our Playleaders. If you ever have to ring up our school at lunchtime, your call will be answered by one of our Year 6 Secretaries. You may not realise that they are children because they do such a professional job and handle all calls politely and efficiently. When callers are put through to me, they are always compliment our Secretaries. Year 6 pupils also work as ICT Monitors, who check that PC’s and printers are working. I would especially like to thank Ned Saunders, Lauren Stewart and Grace Sisley-Smith for their reliability in organising and distributing the registers every day.
Each child at Greenfield is in a House and these are led by Year 6 House Captains (a boy and a girl) and Vice Captains (a boy and a girl). Year 6 pupils can stand for election by all the children in their house at the start of the school year. They have to give a speech and say what they will do if they are elected. Captains and Vice Captains monitor housepoints across the school, hold termly House meetings and organise teams for our regular Maths and Spelling assemblies. We shall be showcasing our four Houses (Foley, Lyttleton, Stevens and Webb) in forthcoming newsletters, so please check who is leading your own child(ren)’s House.
We have had an excellent reply slip response to our Spring Term Parents’ Evenings, which are being held on Monday 9 February and Tuesday 10 February. It is essential that we achieve 100% attendance at our Parents’ Evenings, so that we can guarantee that all our parents are informed about your child’s individual progress and know exactly what support you can offer your children. If you have not returned your reply slip, please make sure you send it in on Monday morning as our teachers will be organising the appointments during an extended assembly. These Parents’ Evenings are held in our school hall and we aim to focus on your child’s progress in English and Mathematics, while also taking about their attitude and effort in their learning. You will also have the opportunity to look at your child’s work in their books and on display in the classrooms and corridors. If you ever have any questions or would like to know more about your child’s education in our school, you don’t have to wait for Parents’ Evening. Just come in and see your child’s class teacher or myself. The door is always open.
Our work on phonics, reading and spelling is really paying off. Two teams of our Year 5 pupils took part in the Spelling Bee competition at Ridgewood High School this week and we are pleased to have come first! Congratulations to Mimi Haynes, Jake Holloway, Lilly Mullis, George Westley-Smith, Jada Thompson and Lukia Pardoe for representing Greenfield and doing so well. Jake commented: “It was great to be working as a team and we helped each other to spell the difficult words like ‘ambiguity’ and ‘miscellaneous’. We are now through to the finals and hope to do really well again.”
We were delighted to take part in Food Dudes last year and this year we are launching it to include our children in Reception. The Food Dudes Programme is the result of an extensive research initiative conducted by the Bangor Food and Activity Research Unit (BFARU), at the School of Psychology, Bangor University. The research began in 1992, when the BFARU embarked upon a series of studies designed to investigate children’s food preferences and establish a method of helping children learn to like eating fruit and vegetables. In early research, children between the ages of 2-7 years took part in studies conducted in homes, schools and nursery settings, in the course of which the distinctive Food Dudes approach was developed. It was found to be extremely effective at boosting children’s consumption of fruit and vegetables with long-lasting effects. Following these initial successes, the BFARU went on to develop a stand-alone package to enable primary schools themselves to implement the programme across the full age range of school pupils, from 4-11 years old.
The mission of Food Dudes at Greenfield continues to be to improve the health and well-being of our children. We shall be reminding all our children about the importance of healthy eating this term. I f you do provide your child with a break time snack, please ensure that it is a healthy one. Fruit, vegetables and healthy cereal bars are all highly recommended but please do not bring crisps, sweets or chocolate!
It is exciting to see so much excellent work going on in all our classes this term and we look forward to discussing your children with you at our Spring Parents’ Evenings on Monday 9 February from 4.00-6.00 pm and Tuesday 10 February from 6.00-8.00 pm. The Parents’ Evening letter will come out to you on Monday 26 January and we would like you to return the appointment slips by Friday 30 January or Monday 2 February at latest. Our teachers will be arranging the appointments first thing on Monday 2 February, so you might not be able to get the time slot you desire if you are late. If you have any questions or would like to know more about your child’s education in our school, please do not feel you have to wait for a Parents’ Evening. Just come in and see your child’s class teacher or me. The door is always open.