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?

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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.

School Council invite Andrew Gwynne MP for a ‘walkabout’!

The ‘new’ build is coming on fast and in front of schedule so everything is set for a February return.

The School Council a member of which represents each class in school recently toured the site and invited a former past pupil, our local Member of Parliament Andrew Gwynne to join them. Having now attended all three Russell Scotts, Andrew was reminiscing about his own school days ….or as one of the children asked, “….what was it like in the olden days!!!”

To say we were all amazed at the progress the Carillion Team has made is an understatement! The building looks fantastic in and out and the space available is amazing. The transformation over the past weeks has been hard to keep up with as the internal layout starts to take shape.

The children have had the opportunity to tour the site taking pictures on their iPads (including Selfies with the MP!) and sharing them back at school.  Now we cant wait to get in there and try it out!

Rather than explain in words here’s a selection of pictures we have taken during the visit.

Urgent Police Advice for The Safety of Our Children

Children At Risk Outside School

The traffic around Denton over these past weeks has caused chaos around the area. Don’t worry children on a late bus will not be marked late. What is worrying though are the small number of parents who are parking dangerously and inconsiderately outside the school who are endangering children and other pedestrians. School staff are regularly having to remind parents not to park where it endangers or inconveniences the safe passage of the children. Traffic outside the school is horrendous and is being made worst by our own children’s parents dropping off so as not to inconvenience themselves. Please do not drive into the school grounds to drop children off.

The Police have requested that we bring to your notice the fact that they have received a number of complaints regarding inconsiderate parking, dangerous manoeuvres, ignoring junction safety and visibility due to inconsiderate and dangerous parking. These actions are dangerous to other road users and pedestrians.

We have all our support staff on buses making sure the children are safe and sound on what is a difficult journey with 80 children per bus. It is the parents of children who are being dropped off directly at the school who are causing these dangerous situations and adding to traffic congestion by abandoning their cars without a thought for other pedestrians, other road users and more so the children alighting from the buses.

Vehicles are being parked on the pavement, on the red hatched zone directly outside the school. One parent parks on the pavement behind the traffic barriers opposite the school entrance restricting access to resident’s drives and blocking the line of sight for pedestrians at the busy junction. Actions like this has led to complaints to the school from local residents and pedestrians and a warning from the Police that they will issue fixed parking notices and prosecute for any inconsideration towards other road users. A driving without due consideration charge is appropriate where the inconvenience is aimed at and suffered by other road users.

Other examples are parents who bounce up the kerb, the car door opens, a child gets out and the parent drives off leaving the child to find their own way into school. This is wholly irresponsible and the school will not be held responsible for children who are dropped off without parental responsibility prior to 8.55am. Some children are being dropped off at school any time after 8.20am and left on their own. This is both dangerous and unacceptable.

The Police therefore have asked for the following advice to be given to parents in order that we can keep ALL children safe around the school:

You MUST NOT wait or park, or stop to set down and pick up passengers, on school entrance markings.

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Parking a vehicle on the pavement could lead to an offence of obstruction being committed. This could result in a fixed penalty notice being issued to offending vehicles. It can also cause danger/nuisance for pedestrians and wheelchairs users. Parking on the pavement is obstructing and seriously inconveniencing pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams, pushchairs and young children.

DO NOT stop or park:

  • near the school entrance
  • anywhere you would prevent access for Emergency Services
  • at or near the bus stop
  • opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction
  • opposite a traffic island or (if this would cause an obstruction) another parked vehicle
  • where the kerb has been lowered to help wheelchair users and powered mobility vehicles
  • in front of an entrance to a property
  • on a bend

Failure to comply could result in the serious injury of a child, a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.

Please help us to keep your children safe…

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BEFORE THIS HAPPENS

September Site Walkround

The changes to the school building are amazing with most of the major structural changes having taken place over the summer. The internal walls have virtually all been knocked down revealing huge spaces that will now be remodelled into fantastic teaching and learning spaces. The steel work for the community space is now all in place and shows the full extent of the extension. The community space will be able to be used during the day and in the evening without disturbing the rest of the school. It will be totally independent when we need it to be or opened up to be an integral working space.

Here’s a brief tour around the site as of the first week of September 2014….watch this space!