We ended the Autumn Term with our Christmas Service at St Faith’s Church on Friday 21st December to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The pupils in Class 3 recited the Christmas story and helped lead the prayers. We listened to the Bible Reading about Jesus’ birth which was read by one of our school Governors and the service was introduced by the Reverend Jeremy Goulston. Our School Choir sang ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ and the whole school sang their hearts out – a lovely way to end the term and to celebrate Christmas.
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Pupils in Class One took centre stage in our Nativity production of ‘Whoops-A-Daisy Angel’. It was such a delightful re-telling of the Christmas story and our very youngest children performed extremely well to parents, governors and friends of the school. Children in Class 2, 3 and 4 helped narrate the play and joined in with songs. It was, as always, a lovely occasion for the whole school. A marvellous £246.90 was raised in donations for The Children’s Society, a national charity that works with the country’s most vulnerable children and young people. The Children’s Society helps fight poverty, neglect and helps children have a better chance in life. Thank you for supporting this charity. Thank you also to FoSS for organising the refreshments; for the mulled wine and donations of cakes and to our volunteers for their help in the kitchen. The refreshments raised a fantastic £242. The Christmas Hamper Raffle has to date raised a magnificent £293.
We took the whole school to the Watermill Theatre to see ROBIN HOOD in November. It was a wonderful experience and the children were enthralled by the actors, the scenery and all the different musical instruments that the cast played. We were very grateful to Friends of Shellingford School (FoSS) for helping to subsidise the cost of the visit by paying for the coach transport.
Thank you to Mrs Marsh and Miss Long for organising a ‘spotty-themed fancy dress’ day and The Great Shellingford Spot Hunt! Thank you for your generous donations; we raised a grand total of £136.95.
Our school recently focused on respect and to choose respect over bullying as part of the National Anti-Bullying Week for schools. This gave the children time to reflect on their understanding of the term ‘bullying’ and opportunities to discuss how to deal with it should it occur. This was also used as an opportunity to gather information from the children about their experiences both in and out of school. We were delighted by the positive responses from the children and an overwhelming response that the children feel safe in school and feel confident to talk to staff when any issues arise.
Our service of Remembrance and Dedication at St Faith’s Church, Shellingford on the 9th November was a very poignant occasion for the school community. The staff placed poppy pebbles for each of the 15 men named on the war memorial who lost their lives at the end of the Great War in 1918. Wreaths were laid by each class and a further wreath laid by our youngest pupil and oldest pupil in the school. The congregation were also invited to place poppy pebbles at the chancel. Two pupils in Year 6 read The Exhortation and said a prayer. Some of our Y5/6 pupils also sang ‘In Caelum Fero’ by Karl Jenkins. We would like to give a very special and heartful thanks to Mr Tom Scrivens, Mr Matt Mortiboy and Mr Bill Murray from The Royal British Legion who were in attendance and to The Reverend Tony Lynn for leading the service. Our Poppy Appeal collection raised £108.90. Thank you, without our generous donations The Royal British Legion would be unable to continue their vital welfare and benevolent work to service men, women, and their families.
Some of our Year 5/6 children attended a ‘Music for Youth Proms’ concert at The Royal Albert Hall in November and had the most memorable time. They formed part of the 500-strong ‘Oxfordshire Buddy Ensemble’ massed choir, a combination of main-stream and SEN pupils, who performed a piece in front of a full auditorium and received a standing ovation. It was a truly magical experience.
Our ‘Secret Reader’ event in October was very popular with the children and was once again a great success! Our surprise readers this year included parents and members of our local community who came into school to share their favourite stories and books with the children.
On Friday 12th October we opened our doors and invited parents and family friends to come and view the school as ‘a working school.’ The children were involved in a RE Big Question Day on the topic of ‘What makes a good saint?’ Some in depth discussions and good debates were held! The children always talk about how much they enjoy these events and the opportunity to ‘show off’ their learning to their parents.
We pride ourselves on giving the children competitive opportunities to compete in physical and sporting activities both at school level and inter-school level. September saw our school-based Family Group Kick Ball Rounders Competition. This is a very inclusive form of rounders and all children were involved from Foundation through to Year 6. It was also a chance to show our sporting ‘Heart Values’ of Honesty, Effort, Aspiration, Respect and Teamwork. Results were close, but the event was won by Maple! October saw four teams from Year 3 - 6 competing in the beautiful surroundings of Buscot Park for a Faringdon Partnership Schools Cross Country Event. Some personal bests and great effort were demonstrated by all teams. One of our pupils came third in the Y3/4 category and went onto represent the school at the Vale level and came 11th. Our Y5/6 pupils also took part in a Tag Rugby Competition before half term where they competed against other local primary schools at Faringdon Community College. A valiant effort was made by all, and the team lost 2 and won one game.