June 30, 2016

Leeds Primary Academies Update

It’s been a busy year for Nightingale. In January the school welcomed a Year 2 cohort, Pigeons class, through its doors, and in May opened a nursery to siblings of the school, Rabbits.  Aside from being a busy year there have been a great number of highs.  The school recently celebrated the Queens 90th birthday with a royal tea party for the whole school complete with Corgi shortbreads, where children made placemats, sang the national anthem and created crowns.
This year has also marked the second Tour De Nightingale, it is now officially an annual event and tradition, a great turn out of parents came to watch the children as they raced around the school on tricycles.  School trips to Tropical World and Skelton Grange Environment centre were thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.  Children will soon be visited by Diddy Dennis, funded by external company Bisley who have kindly donated £500 to cover the cost of the trip as a thank you for Nightingale taking part in their case-study. A trip for Year 2 is planned for the last week of school to Temple Newsam Farm – we’re hoping for good weather! At Easter children took part in a Fairtrade event, linked in with the Co-op initiative to help promote Fairtrade, children decorated an Easter egg and bonnet and winners received a Fairtrade Co-op Easter Egg.  At the end of last term children learnt about charities, and how members of different faith groups helped others.  A ballot was held and children in Year 1 brought in pennies for a playground wide penny trail! Money raised was donated to local Leeds charities, the Donkey Sanctuary and the Dogs Trust.


It’s been a very successful term at Oakwood and the school has been involved with some really exciting projects.  Oakwood has been shortlisted for a prestigious award by the TES in the category of International School of the Year. The awards night will take place on 24th June in London. Following on from a long standing partnership with Early Excellence in Huddersfield, the leading provider in early year’s research, members of staff from EYFS were invited to the grand opening of a new centre in London.  Work created by children in the Foundation Stage will be showcased in the Early Excellence centre in Huddersfield later this year. Year 4 students joined a superhero mission for baby charity Tommy’s. The children designed superhero outfits for a member of staff on maternity leaves son, Hugo.  Hugo then came into school dressed as a superhero! Students had raised money and Tommy’s was so pleased with the designs created by children that they sent them a letter of thanks, a sticker each and a toy bear for every child. This month we held our first ‘International Oakwood Assembly’ which was a fantastic celebration of the unique and varied tapestry of cultures which make up our school. Children performed national dances, had created videos where they spoke about their cultural heritage, created posters, designed flags and recited poetry.  Parents turned up to support the children and take part in the assembly. Recently the whole school took part in a poetry performance day which brought poetry to life and allowed children to express themselves through spoken words. Students from every year group recited a poem to the rest of the school.  We were treated to performances including, ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’, ‘Late Again Blenkinsop’, ‘There’s no such thing as Monsters’, and Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’ – complete with props, masks, posters and sound effects!  ‘Walking with my Iguana’ was a crowd pleaser with children saying: “it was my favourite poem, it had a really good rhythm and beat”, which may have been down to the tambourines children used during the routine!


It’s all change at Brownhill Co-operative Academy, with a name change in June we have now fully embraced our Co-operative heritage. Earlier this month children were able to watch the stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver, the whole school watched and the production proved to be very popular. Volunteers from the Yorkshire bank came to help out around the school doing jobs from painting and putting up furniture to gardening and hosing down seating. Year 6 children documented the event, interviewing, filming, photographing and creating articles for the occasion. We reached out to our academy community recently to ask for food donations for Leeds South and East Foodbank and the response was astounding! Parents, students and staff brought in a staggering 61.88kg of food for the Foodbank Project, which will go towards stopping hunger in our local area. Colleagues from the Group Finance team volunteered to deliver ‘Massive Maths’ lessons to the primary academies in Leeds. Brownhill students joined in with the outdoor maths event, taking part in 6 different maths-based games and activities which had been drawn out on the playground.  Back in May students from Years 3 and 4 brought back bronze medals after competing in the Leeds School Sport Partnership Gymnastics final: The students competed in the Year 3 and 4 category where they took part in vault, floor and body management routines during a morning at the John Charles centre for sport. Just last week Brownhill students got involved with the Leeds Schools’ Music Association who hosted a three day festival at Leeds Town Hall. The festival, entitled, Leeds Big Sing saw students from across Leeds take part in a 1000 children-strong choir to sing songs celebrating the Rio 2016 Olympics. The summer term has come around again, where we wave goodbye to Year 6, a school disco was a great way to celebrate the opening of a new chapter for our Year 6 children who will be leaving Brownhill shortly to go to high school - the disco complete with lights, DJ deck and music went down a storm!


Another successful academic year is coming to an end at Woodlands, we’ve finished with a great term. To celebrate attendance and encourage children to come to school every day we have introduced the Mad Hatters Tea Party. Each half term the class with the highest attendance wins an afternoon at the Mad Hatters Tea Party. During the afternoon children playing games and enjoying a treat.  Our children submitted short tales of less than 100 words into the ‘YoungWriters’ most recent competition and after meeting the criteria several will be published in an up-coming book, "Time-Travelling Tales – Yorkshire." Colleagues from the Group Finance team and a school Governor have been volunteering to deliver ‘Massive Maths’ lessons. Woodlands students joined in with the maths event, taking part in 5 different maths-based games and activities which had been drawn out on the playground. The collaboration came from the Co-op’s Chief Financial Officer, Ian Ellis, who helped run the second event at Woodlands.  ESOL classes for parents still prove to be popular and well attended, and a recent first aid course was a brilliant opportunity to impart lifesaving knowledge on to parents and carers.  Children from Year 4 had a visit from Leeds University Archaeology PHD Students, where they were able to investigate an exciting assortment of real fossils.  RESPECT awards continue weekly to encourage the school community’s commitment to, responsibility, engagement, success, pride, enjoyment, care and team-work.  Year 6 have created some fantastic sport themed artwork for Euro 2016 and the Rio Olympics, including promotional posters and artwork in the style of artist Dan Leydon.