I've said before that when I was a class teacher, I always had a soft spot for the spring term as it was when the children in my class seemed to move up a gear; when everything seemed to click, and they made quick progress. I know from speaking to teachers and from our pupil progress meetings that the children are working very hard, and I know that you must be proud of what they have achieved. I am. I always enjoy reading the newsletter, particularly the section which shows the children's work. When you view this alongside the class tweets, it gives you a flavour of the amazing, interesting and inspiring work that the children enjoy. I've now been a headteacher for longer than I was a class teacher, so it has been a while since I last had a class of my own. I know how quickly ideas and approaches change in education and applaud my staff that they are always looking for ways to improve the teaching and learning that happens in their classrooms. I would have loved to have been a pupil at Orton Wistow! ??
At a time when a lot of our energies have had to focus on Covid, especially as we have seen more positive cases this term than since the pandemic began, I am even more proud of the other 'things' that we do as a school. We pride ourselves on having a Wistow Way of doing things. It means that any new staff have a lot to learn, but they also have the benefit of being surrounded by positive role models. Staff all know that our teamwork is one of our greatest strengths. It is this teamwork that helps us to create the residential trips, the theme days, clubs, our Eco initiatives, the sporting competitions we take part in and so much more. We have other new things up our sleeves which we will roll out next term and in the new school year and are excited that you will be able to come into school to see some of them for yourself.
I should also take this opportunity to say how proud I am of the Year 6 children who ran the cake and biscuit sale for the RSPCA. They came to me with the seed of an idea and with a little coaching and support, they were able to come up with a cast-iron plan which has raised money for a charity close to their hearts. (I should also thank their parents as I know that it was a team effort.)
As I sit here admiring the sunny view outside, I have to remind myself that I had to scrape snow and ice off my car this morning. No doubt the Easter break will include the usual mixture of weather that we can expect in the UK, but I hope that you and your families get the chance to unwind and relax. Finally, I wish Mrs O'Hara and Mrs Scarff every success as they leave us to take on new roles at other schools. These schools should both count themselves lucky that they have a shining star about to join their team. As we say goodbye, we also say hello to Mrs Cawston who will join us as an HLTA at the start of May. I am sure that we will all give her a warm welcome.
Year 4 have been designing and cooking Quesadillas. We used our skills of grating, chopping and peeling. Here are some of the Giraffes, just about to try their finished creations. The verdict was that they are delicious!
Thank you to all our children, parents, and siblings who supported the Big Walk and Wheel. The final results are yet to be in but, at the time of writing this, we were in the top three schools in Peterborough who travelled to school by bike, scooter or foot over the last ten days.
The children always enjoy the competition, it's always lovely to hear them proudly telling us they didn't come to school in the car and to show us their bike in the playground. We didn't have such a big turnout in Key Stage Two but are hoping our obstacle course event later on in the year will encourage more children to practice cycling. I only took up cycling recently and somehow ended up doing a sprint triathlon at the weekend which was almost enjoyable! Hopefully, competitions like this will encourage our children to develop healthy habits, and we will continue to see lots of bikes and scooters in the playground!
Thanks also to the team at Sustrans who came to repair our bikes!
AMVC Football Final
By Mr Cowles, PE Lead
Having won the OBA Football competition 2 weeks prior, we were entered into the AMVC football finals. This was an event that looked to bring together the top teams across Peterborough.
We couldn’t have picked a nicer day with the sun in full force all afternoon. The children were put into group 2 with 4 other teams. They got off to a great start drawing against last year's winners. We then went on to win a further two games and draw the final match. This set up a nervy wait to see if we had progressed through to the semi-final.
Thankfully we progressed to play a very strong John Clare side in the semi-final. The game finished 0-0, and it went to a penalty shoot-out. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be our day, and we lost in the shoot-out. This gave the boys and girls one final match to play to determine their position in the tournament. Unlike the match before, we came out winners on the 3rd/4th playoff match on penalties, leaving us 3rd overall.
Having not lost a single game in normal time, it felt a little harsh not progressing through to the final, but to come 3rd in such a competitive competition was a credit to the boys and girls.
Sensory and Food Skills Session
By Ms Porter, Eco Lead
To link to the'Eat Them To Defeat Them'campaign and as part of our Eco code, staff from Peterborough Environmental City Trust (PECT) visited the Eco warriors who took part in a Sensory and Food skills session. They found out how vegetables taste when prepared and cooked in different ways. They learned about using knives safely and had a go at preparing carrots.
OWPS Year 3/4 Football Competition
By Mr Cowles, PE Lead
In recent years maybe sporting events haven’t been able to take place for obvious reasons. However, this year we were able to host the Year 3/4 football competition for the schools in the Orton Cup.
There were 5 teams altogether which included two from Wistow, a team from St John's, Winyates and Orton Meadows. The format was 7-a-side and was a great chance for the boys and girls to take part in a competitive tournament. Both Wistow teams did extremely well, with Wistow 1 coming 4th overall and Wistow 2, unfortunately, losing 1-0 in the final, meaning they placed 2nd.
It was great to see so many of the younger children represent the school so well and enjoy themselves whilst doing so.
After Easter, the menu for the week commencing 18.04.22, includes Sausage, Bacon and Yorkshire Pudding, Lincolnshire Vegetable Sausage and Yorkshire Puding, Macaroni Cheese, Chicken Nuggets, Iced Sponge and Custard and much more!
This year I set myself the challenge of reading as many children’s books as I do grown-up ones - something that is not difficult to do when I’m a) surrounded by children’s books and b) the one choosing and buying them for school! There are so many incredible children’s writers around at the moment, and it has been an easy challenge to maintain thus far. I won’t brag by telling you just how many books I’ve read this year, but let’s just say that if I maintain my current streak I’ll be well into the hundreds by Christmas!
People often assume that being a librarian means getting to spend all your time reading, but in reality, there’s so much going on in school that, like most other people, I snatch my reading time in windows whenever I can - I have been late dropping my daughter off at nursery due to being immersed in a book, but I promise it only happened once.
Next term I’m going to be hosting a ‘reading club’ on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the new books I’ve read with the children who sign up for that. There are few things better than the excitement of seeing someone read something you’ve read and waiting for them to get to That Part so you can talk about it! I’m still waiting for Mr Campling to catch up with a series I read in the first lockdown because there’s something SO GREAT that happens in the final book - but there are 16 in total, and he’s a mathematician, and not naturally inclined to speed reading through a whole series in one go.
Story Writing Club
One of my favourite non-reading parts of my job is the KS2 story writing club. I run this every term and am always so pleasantly surprised by the children's imaginations and commitment to writing their own stories. We always spend the first few weeks together; talking about plot, characters, description, and other things that might help them to craft their stories. We play games and practice plot simplification with stories already written (think ‘one-line movie synopsis’). The rest of the term, they’re let loose with a variety of resources for writing - blank comic strips, storyboards, character profiles, book cover templates, and of course plenty of lined paper! This last term has I think been my best group yet (don’t tell the others) as they have really invested themselves in their stories, ranging from ‘girl finds enchanted necklace and turns into a cat’ to ‘boy is bullied at school because he’s a bit different’ and plenty in between. As a group, they’ve really springboarded off each other's ideas as well in a way that previous groups haven’t, and we’ve had a lot of fun coming up with collaborative stories together too!
Years 6 & 2 Book Clubs
Both book clubs have finished their texts for this term, with Year 6 coming to the end of the Last Wild Trilogy which we’ve been following since October half-term! I know they have really enjoyed following the story to its conclusion and as the trilogy is a favourite of mine it’s been a real pleasure to explore with them, relating it to all sorts of real-life things like ecology, climate change, migrant camps, and disease management (a very topical thread for the last couple of years!). Our favourite activity for each book has been making our predictions in week one and then looking back in the final week to see whether we were accurate or not. We’ve also tracked the journeys made on the maps of each book, and this week looked back at all three together.
The book club will be continuing after Easter, but as a more casual ‘book chat’ group, providing a bit of respite in the busy SATS season.
The Year 2 book club finished up the BFG this week too. We’ve had a “phizz-whizzing” time inventing our own giants, designing dreams, comparing the characters to other characters we know, and this week playing a “real or not real?” game to see how much of the BFG is rooted in reality. The children involved have all really dedicated themselves to the different activities, and I’ve been really proud of them. Well done Year 2!
Recommendations for Spring
The RSPB Nature Guide: Birds by Catherine Brereton - Spring is the perfect time to be looking and listening to nature, and you only have to walk outside to hear all sorts of birdcalls. This is a lovely illustrated guide of British birds, easy to navigate if you spot something while you’re out and about or just want to read about the different birds you might see.
The Last Bear by Hannah Gold - Hannah is a local author, but even if she wasn’t I would still be singing the praises of this book! When April travels with her father to man a weather station in the Arctic Circle, she’s not expecting to discover a solitary polar bear stranded on the island. April and Bear strike up a friendship and April determines to get him home to where he belongs. The story also ties in the family’s grief of losing April’s mother, a number of years before, and how grief affects different people in different ways. The Last Bear has just WON - last night! - the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and in my opinion, very worthily done!
Meowsterpieces by Jenn Bailey - this book is perfect for art lovers, or introducing kids to art (you’ll have to ask Mrs McIntosh if it counts towards your Culture passport though!). If you’re looking at it thinking “but that’s just famous paintings redrawn with cats”, you’re pretty much there. The book does have a story, following a mother cat as she uses these famous works of art to teach her kittens crucial cat survival skills, but we’re really just here for the pictures!
Come and explore the stories of Easter at Christ Church Orton Goldhay on Good Friday (15th April). We start at 10.30 with crafts and stories, and we finish at 12.30pm having been fed with a wonderful lunch. Come and join us, come and join in!
Disclaimer: Orton Wistow Primary School does not endorse any products, services or activities that appear in the Community section of this newsletter, and is not responsible for any contract entered into by either party. Given the current circumstances, we would recommend all parents check with any providers regarding the status of these services, activities and clubs
If there is anything that you or your child would like to share with us for the newsletter, please email email@example.com. Please clearly state in the email if you give your consent to photos being published in the newsletter and on the website.
You can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or queries about the e-newsletter or website. We look forward to hearing from you!