UK BLOG Awards 2017

 Russell Scott Primary School was the only UK primary school to be nominated to the blogging equivalent of the Oscars!

Held at the Westminster Park Plaza, London and sponsored by Odeon Cinemas this was a huge and prestigious event reflecting the meteoric rise of blogging, vlogging and podcasting across the UK and the world in influencing modern life and developing the digital landscape.

From Jamie Oliver and English Heritage to Bodleian Libraries and Teacher Toolkit ranked the 30th most influential blog in the world, Russell Scott Primary was in esteemed company!

Russell Scott a Primary School in Denton, Tameside was recognised for its passion in enhancing pupils learning through technology, its innovative use of IT, offer of free Continued Professional Development and its fantastic and ground breaking use of parental engagement. This is reflected in the Russell Scott Bedtime story via the school reading blog that enables children and parents to listen to an audio recording of a member of school staff reading a story each week.

Although we didn’t win an overall award just to be there representing a primary school at this national and highly impressive event, rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs and creators of digital content was an honour in itself.

http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/

Ww even tried to pull Excalibur from the stone mocked up by Odeon Cinemas to promote their new blockbuster film King Arthur!!

At Last….work on the playground begins!

Its finally happening….work on the playground and sports field are about to start!

Dear Parents,

Last night after many meetings Governors and the Council agreed the plans and the way forward to redevelop the outdoor areas that have been such an issue for us since the school reopened.

We had an assembly this morning where the children were shown the plans and I explained what they are going to a have so they could share the great news and the fact after all this time they would be able to run around freely and enjoy the outdoors. We are extremely pleased that Tameside Council Engineers themselves will be coordinating the extensive works that will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to complete but will give us exactly what we have wanted. Preliminary work is due to start in the next few weeks so you’ll start to see some action!

Thank you for your patience….. but more so for your help and support. The petitions and letters and voicing your opinion as a school community to the Leader of The Council and your MP. To be fair both Andrew Gwynne MP and Kieran Quinn have been very supportive and have worked towards the best solution for us. Thanks also to the Governors who have represented you and the school community tirelessly over the past few years and they are elated that we can finally concentrate on what we’re best at. This is the press statement being released by our Chair of Governors Elaine Healey to celebrate the start of the project and who needs a pat on the back from us all……..

“The school community has been frustrated with the development work, particularly with the state the playing field was left in after it was used as a site compound during works to refit the school building. The contractors attempts to restore the playing field just weren’t good enough in our view – especially in relation to the drainage.

 I approached the Leader of Tameside Council Kieran Quinn for help and I’m really pleased that he has listened to our concerns and worked with us to sort out the problems. 

Although we’ve still got to work out the finer details, we now have a plan that has been agreed by all of us for a new and bigger all-weather play area and a playing field that will be just that – a place where the children can play when our great British weather allows!

Finally at Russell Scott we can solely focus on with what we do best – providing our children with a great education – rather than talking about buildings, fields and drainage.”

Thanks again for your support…..

Watch This Space

Victory for Parent Power as Council begins work on Russell Scott School playing fields

The saga of this primary school’s ‘dangerous’ playground is being solved – at a cost of £400,000 – Manchester Evening News

The school has been dogged by problems with the building, including concerns over fire safety and being flooded with raw sewage

Continue Reading…

Angry Denton parents call on council for new playing facilities

 

We’re talking careers

Igniting interest at an early age

To coincide with National Careers Week 6th – 10th March 2017 Russell Scott Primary School held a Careers Week introducing the youngest children from nursery to Yr6 to the ‘The World of Work’.

This is very unusual for a primary school but our event was aimed at raising aspiration and inspiring the children to want to succeed at school and in whatever direction they choose in life. Children of primary age invariably don’t really understand the word ‘careers’. They need simple phrases they can relate to…’…what job do you do? What kind of jobs have you seen or read about? Suddenly the change in question gives a slightly different answer! The myths are busted when we talk through our jobs particularly if the people in those jobs lived in your locality and even went to the school. Aren’t we lucky…we have lots of willing parents and friends who attended Russell Scott when they were at school only too happy to share their experiences.

The breadth of profession and employment that were represented was fantastic. From one extreme to the other …we had a male opera singer and a female engineer who was the UKs apprentice of the year representing Tameside Council fantastic apprentice scheme. She was able to describe the pathway from primary school to qualified engineer that she had taken and describe the fact that she was an ordinary child in an ordinary school just like them that worked hard and followed a dream of being an engineer and she succeeded because she didn’t give in. The week was full of those messages that all children need to hear…if at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again.

On one morning we had a little 6 year old boy who brought his Lego plane into school to show the guest…a plane engineer  (see twitter feed).We have had a tremendous response from our school community from Doctors to Vets, mechanics to estate agents, pest controllers to a film producer and plane engineer who will come in and chat to the children about their jobs…real world ones…not footballers , UTubers  or children setting their sights on Big Brother or X-Factor!

We had over 30 professions or occupations represented with every day filled with visitors explaining and demonstrating to the children what the world of work actually looks like and inspired them to challenge themselves to reach high and to achieve what they can dream.

Andrew Gwynne our MP was one of our final visitors of the week and was able to relate how from being a little boy living in Denton and going to school at Russell Scott just like they are doing, firstly became a local Denton councillor eventually becoming the MP for his home area and was now in a position to campaign and challenge to get their sports field reinstated that he once enjoyed. All our guests explained how they worked hard at school and didn’t give up when things got tough but tried harder and eventually succeeded…great messages for the next generation from people who are all enjoying their work and enjoy fruitful lives.

 

Our MP Andrew Gwynne a past pupil of Russell Scott came along as did: Greenspace Development Manager, Chartered Surveyor, Midwife, Traffic Engineer / Road Safety,  Business Compliance Officer, Paramedic, Stone Masons, Creative Director, Highway Engineers, Environmental Services Manager (Markets), electrical engineer, dentist, doctor, solicitor, prison officer, Trading Standards Officer, Pest Controller, Pilot, mechanic, electrical engineer even an actress and famous opera singer.

It was fantastic to be joined by past pupils who shared their experiences of school and work with the next generation urging them to do their very best every day. We had an electrician, consultant doctor, dentist, mid-wife, film producer, pharmacist and an MP all of who attend Russell Scott describing it as the best time of their lives.

I was particularly proud when the Consultant Lung Specialist Mr Wassem Khan (right) explained to the children that when he was in my class in 1989 at Russell Scott, he was inspired by the science lessons that he did and developed a love of science that eventually led him to become one of the country’s top doctors.

 Tameside Council have really supported the week and provided over 20 employees to explain their roles and jobs that keep the Borough working and bringing with them equipment…road sweeper, snow gritters etc  to demonstrate to the children. The apprentice masons even showed them how to lay block pathing with the children wearing PPE and getting hands on, actually laying patterns of blocks in purpose made frames. Tameside Council really did go that extra mile to introduce their individual world of work inspiring the children with their jobs and occupations

 

 

 

 

The week was organised and timetabled by Rachel Matthews our Assistant Headteacher who said ‘…we couldn’t have wished for a better response from so many different people, the children have not stopped talking about their experiences.’

 

Here’s what was reported about our fabulous week: http://www.meetdcn.com/russell-scott-career-week/

School shows varied ways to career paths

 

European Languages Week

On Monday the 26th of September it is the annual European Day of Languages. We had a fantastic day and all came in dressed in the colours of the Spanish flag to kickstart our fun week of language learning! Just look how colourful we all looked!
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Some of us were dressed in Spanish football kits or flamenco dresses! We all looked estupendo! Well done everybody.
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We enjoyed learning a Spanish clapping game all about chocolate and have been practising it in the playground! Ask us to show you!

Throughout the week, Years 1 to 6 had a fantastic time trying out lots of different Spanish activities. We learnt lots of facts about the Geography and culture of Spain. We got to try fruity Sangria, learn lots of Spanish vocabulary and even tried some Flamenco dancing. Year 1 actually recreated the Pamplona bull run in the playground! Check out our pictures below to see what we got up to.
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EYFS even got involved with Spanish speaking and learnt a song! They got to try some delicious Spanish chocolate Churros!
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Some of the children took part in an extra homework challenge. The Linguabat challenge. They told the story of a bat visiting different countries around the world and learning new facts. They have earned a certificate and prizes are on the way! Fantastic work!
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Well done everybody, we hope you had a fun week and thank you to everyone at home for your support. Check out the individual class blogs to watch videos and find out about what else we got up to!

Don’t forget to check out this website. It can help you learn the basics in any language of your choice! http://www.newburyparkschool.net/langofmonth/spanish/player.html

The ‘Ghost Soldiers’ of the Somme 1916-2016

Today we reflected on the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and on the recent trip yr5 made to
Heaton Park to experience what life was like 100 years ago.

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How can children get an understanding of what a sacrifice was made at the Somme and through the ‘Great War’?

 

 

 

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This morning the whole school community watched clips of the so-called ‘Ghost Soldiers’ hand out cards bearing the names of those who lost their lives during the Battle of the Somme – which began 100 years ago on July 1, 1916 – before breaking into a haunting rendition of We’re Here Because We’re Here – one of many songs sung amongst comrades in the hellish trenches of the First World War.

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We watched as the soldiers moved silently, sombrely, slowly weaving through crowds of onlookers in Piccadilly Station, the Arndale Centre and St Ann’s Square in our own City of Manchester; some sit, some lean, others crouch with stony faced gazes fixed upon passers-by. Decked out in First World War uniforms, these are the ghosts of the soldiers that never came home.

A staggering 19,240 British soldiers lost their lives on just the first day of the battle. Four and a half months later, there were 420,000 British casualties. More than 70,000 names appear on the Thiepval war memorial in France of those men who were posted as ‘missing’ at the Somme.

All across the country commuters and shoppers were moved to tears as ‘ghost soldiers’ dressed in First World War uniform handed out cards bearing the names of those who lost their lives in the Battle of the Somme.

This picture was taken at Manchester Piccadilly train station35D89AC700000578-3669617-Commuters_were_today_moved_to_tears_as_ghost_soldiers_dressed_in-a-53_1467379555105

The soldiers broke into renditions of We’re Here Because We’re Here – a rousing tune which troops sung in the trenches to reflect the futility of their situation.

The song, sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, was performed in full-throated defiance to the likely fate of the soldiers fighting one of the bloodiest battles in military history, one which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands on both sides.

When passing commuters approached the men to ask who they were, the soldiers simply handed them a card featuring the details of one of the 19,240 British heroes who died during the bloody battle.

We sat together silently reflecting on the brothers and dads, sons and uncles who would have died all those years ago and who were are remembering and thanking today. I’m sure our children wont forget this moving tribute to the fallen of the Somme and of World War 1.

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Heaton Park Trip

Today, 45 Year 5 pupils visited Heaton Park to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. We visited the specially created ‘Path of Remembrance’ and then headed across the mud to an activity where we learnt about the crucial contribution that women made to the war effort. After this activity, we listened to a talk by Rob Thompson who told us how shells were made and then transported to the frontlines. The amount of shells and bullets that were made and used during the Battle of the Somme (and during the entirety of WW1) was astonishing! Lastly, we visited the Tramway Museum, where we had a ride on a tram and learnt about how they were used during the war years.

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England v Wales Euros Match

Today we watched the England v Wales football match in the school hall. Over 300 pupils cheered the teams on as England went 1-0 down, before scoring 2 goals in the second half to make the final score of 2-1 to England!

As you can imagine the atmosphere in the hall was one of excitement as pupils enjoyed the rare chance to sing and cheer  (as loud as they could) alongside their friends. About 200 pupils opted to stay in school until 4pm so that they could watch the entire match.

A great afternoon was made even better by the final score! I’m sure many pupils will remember the experience for a long time to come!

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Battle of the Somme

In order to explain and mark the centenary of the battle, today our assembly was about the Battle of the Somme. After discussing the location, date and reason for the battle, Year 5 volunteers helped to re-enact the first few days of the battle so that all pupils gained a brief understanding about why so many British soldiers lost their lives during the first day of fighting.

After this was understood, we looked at pictures of the trenches and talked about the sacrifices made by those who took part in the battle 100 years ago. To end the assembly, we watched video footage of the many, many rows of headstones in the burial fields in France and we shared a prayer of thanks and remembrance for those who fought for the freedoms that we enjoy today.

On Friday 1st July, 45 Year 5 pupils will attend a re-enactment of the battle which will take place at Heaton Park. We will post pictures of the event for you to look at.

Dear Lord,

On the day we remember

all who experienced the battle on the Somme:

those who faced the terrible waste and devastation,

who fought against all the odds, endured the clinging mud,

and the squalor of the trenches.

We recall with thanksgiving the loyalty shown to comrades and

the bravery of those who overcame their fear,

the courage of those who daily faced the pounding of artillery,

gun-fire and shrapnel.

May we never forget the devastating loss of this battle,

the anxiety on the home-front,

and the sacrifices that were made.

Through our remembrances today, strengthen our resolve

to oppose aggression, to defend the weak,

and speak your word of peace in times of conflict and insecurity.

This we ask in the name of peace,

Amen.

 

Magna Carta Assembly

mc 02Where better to start than the 800 year commemoration of democracy….the signing of the……

In this first ‘assembly post’ I’ll reflect the detail and depth that we invariably go to, to engage the children. We used a book called ‘Rupert’s Parchment’ to tell the story………

Imagine walking onto a field at Runnymede in June, 800 years ago in 1215. Things were probably quite different back then! You’ve spent your life in small, nearby town where you help your father in his workshop. There’s no technology, no internet and you’ve never seen anything quite like it…

The field is rocking with vibrant colour and sound. Horses prance, knights’ chain mail clinks, shields and weapons shine, tents fill the field with banners waving, and the smell of cooks lighting fires and beginning preparations for a feast are in the air. Barons (men who own a lot of land, and are much wealthier than yourself) stride about in battle gear. Bishops seem to glide along the ground in their long, flowing robes. Clerks set up writing tables.

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Overwhelmed, you walk through the field, weave in and out of all these important people and listen to their conversations. It seems that everyone is mad at the King.

You shudder – you’ve heard tales of King John abusing his people. You know that he has raised taxes to the point where ordinary people cannot pay them, seized whole castles from barons, taken timber from the forests that grow on their land and the grain needed for bread from their fields, without paying any money to the owners. You hear another man saying he was pulling a cart of cabbages he had grown to market to sell, and had been stopped by the King’s sheriffs and forced to hand over all his produce.

This isn’t fair, you think. But what can be done about it? The King is the King after all!

That’s where the Magna Carta comes in.

800 years ago the king of England was challenged about how he treated his people. Churchmen, barons and knights challenged the king’s rule and took control (by force) of the rich city of London. The king needed control over the city, since it was so wealthy and was an enormous source of income for him, and so he heeded the demands of the people, and vowed to stop taking their goods.

And that is when the Magna Carta was born. It is a document or “charter” which lays out the rights of the people and states that the law applies to everyone. Even the king.

The Magna Carta is celebrated for creating the very idea of human rights, the idea that “all men are equal” and was the start of people’s human rights being protected in the UK and elsewhere. A section of the document reads:

No free man shall be imprisoned or stripped of his rights or possessions… except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.

Translation: nobody will be put in prison or punished unless they are found guilty by trial. AND those in power (kings, queens, prime ministers) cannot just send someone to prison, or take their things because they feel like it – the person has to have been found guilty of breaking a law.

Essentially the Magna Carta protected normal, everyday people from being completely controlled by their rulers, giving them the freedom to live their lives the way they choose, own things without fearing they will be taken away, and have freedom and independence. It also allowed the general population to hold their rulers to account. Before the Magna Carta, the king could take whatever he felt like from anyone, but after signing the charter, if the king tried to take something that didn’t belong to him, he could be arrested and put in prison the same as the rest of the people in his kingdom.

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Here’s an image of King John signing the Magna Carta at Runnymede in Surrey on 15 June 1215

The field is rocking with vibrant colour and sound. Horses prance, knights’ chain mail clinks, shields and weapons shine, tents fill the field with banners waving, and the smell of cooks lighting fires and beginning preparations for a feast are in the air. Barons (men who own a lot of land, and are much wealthier than yourself) stride about in battle gear. Bishops seem to glide along the ground in their long, flowing robes. Clerks set up writing tables.

Overwhelmed, you walk through the field, weave in and out of all these important people and listen to their conversations. It seems that everyone is mad at the King.mc 04

You shudder – you’ve heard tales of King John abusing his people. You know that he has raised taxes to the point where ordinary people cannot pay them, seized whole castles from barons, taken timber from the forests that grow on their land and the grain needed for bread from their fields, without paying any money to the owners. You hear another man saying he was pulling a cart of cabbages he had grown to market to sell, and had been stopped by the King’s sheriffs and forced to hand over all his produce.

This isn’t fair, you think. But what can be done about it? The King is the King after all!

That’s where the Magna Carta comes in.

800 years ago the king of England was challenged about how he treated his people. Churchmen, barons and knights challenged the king’s rule and took control (by force) of the rich city of London. The king needed control over the city, since it was so wealthy and was an enormous source of income for him, and so he heeded the demands of the people, and vowed to stop taking their goods.

The Magna Carta has been called “The Foundation of Liberty”, because it has evolved over past 800 years and influenced change in many countries. The American Founding Fathers for example, used the Magna Carta as evidence when they were trying to gain independence from England. Without the Magna Carta, the United States might have been a very different place, or perhaps not existed as we know it at all!

Fast forward to today and a great event was again scheduled in the field of Runnymede on 15 June 2015. The green meadows were alive with excitement, colour and sound when hundreds of people returned to celebrate the signing of the Magna Carta.

The charter marked the beginning of freedoms which we might take for granted today, and the signing of it remains one of the most historic and influential moments in British and world history.

On June 15th 2015 the children joined a live online ‘Discovery Channel’ celebration held at Runnymede 800 years since the original Magna Carta was signed.

 

Fundamental British Values

What are Fundamental British Values Anyway?

wordle British values

Assembly’s in school present opportunities to discuss and share events, celebrations and historic figures that actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs as a whole school community. It is important for our children to be conversant with examples of British creativity and culture, have the opportunity to explore and develop a sense of community and togetherness, to be aware of significant personalities, events and turning points in our history as well as the commitment to personal and social responsibilities.

Over the weeks I will post our assembly journey exploring and celebrating British values and culture and the influences from around the world on our country and our countries influence on others. Of course the children’s opportunities are wide and varied and these values are interwoven into and underpin the whole curriculum across the school and in all year groups.