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24th February 2017

Whole School Meeting

Lots of people have asked me this week how I found the Whole School Meeting. After hours of thought and dialogue during planning, the meeting went quickly and in unanticipated directions. As a learning community we know that with the collective intelligence of the group we can achieve far more than we ever could as individuals, so we had at least anticipated that something unanticipated might happen! We’d planned to discuss a key development aim of the school this year: to design a sustainable business model that reflects our values of accessibility and inclusion, attracts more families, ensures school development and meets each members of the communities needs. Parents need affordability and predictability of financial commitment, children need quality and consistency of provision and our staff members need wellbeing, security and appropriate remuneration.

The group attending the meeting urged us to think big. The feeling in the room was that the school has a clear vision, a strong identity and offers an education that is relevant and necessary in today’s changing world.

Our parents, with their breadth of experience and expertise, have offered their time and help to move the school forwards into the next exciting phase of its development. Three working groups have formed – to consider alternative fee structures, marketing and fundraising – and the groups will meet again in two weeks time. If you’d like to join us please speak to Lydia, Una, Sophia or Rachel to catch up on our conversations so far.

If I’m honest, I found that at the meeting I felt vulnerable. We’re all working at full capacity and I’m juggling strategic thinking with ensuring compliance, designing a prospectus, finding lunchboxes and chasing up slips. But I also felt heard and understood. And ultimately I left the strength of a community with a shared belief and collective vision, galvanised and determined to make a difference for our children and for our world.

While we were planning the meeting, Una shared this quote from David Whyte, which I’d like to share with you now. “Vulnerability is not a weakness, a passing indisposition, or something we can arrange to do without, vulnerability is not a choice, vulnerability is the underlying, ever present and abiding under-current of our natural state… In refusing our vulnerability we refuse to ask for the help needed at every turn of our existence and immobilize the essential, tidal and conversational foundations of our identity.” Sarah

** Next Whole School Meeting Monday 6th March 7-9pm***

Wednesday Workshops are back! We re-instated our popular Wednesday Workshops this week, with a range of exciting new opportunities – skateboarding with our new coach Dan, cooking with our very own Jack, textile arts with Alinah (Moses Y4) and Emma, who previously supported our Winter Workshop Days and finally playground redevelopment with the team from So Sussex. Children from Reception to Y6 are working together, supported each week by a teacher or TA. We’d welcome parent support with all of these workshops, either on a regular or more ad hoc basis so if you’d like to get involved do get in touch! Sarah

Year 5 play: Our Y5s have been working with Joanna (Alissandra Y6) this term and have written their own play, which they would love to share with the community on Thursday 30th March at 2.30pm. All are welcome! Please do come and support their work.

Sports club news: 12 brand new child-sized training footballs, a bag to keep them safe and a mini-pump to keep then pumped up – the first donation from our Wednesday Sports Club and holiday club sports adventure days, which not only provides low-cost top quality coaching but is also raising funds to purchase new sports equipment for school and wider community use. Years 3-6 join us every Wednesday for sports club and look out next week for news of an all-day sports adventure club every Wednesday of the Easter break too (5th, 12th and 19th April). Mark (Edgar Y3) perryman@mac1.net or 07957 416257


Later Years: This week in Later Years we went to the Natural History as part of our project on the theme of Evolution. After an eventful journey we took part in a workshop where we learned about how Charles Darwin developed his theory of inheritance and variation through his study of finches on the Galapagos Islands. We looked at how different types of finches had survived, over hundreds of years, by developing larger and longer beaks in order to gather more food for a series of stronger offspring. We also explored other galleries in the museum including fossils, dinosaurs and mammals which all helped us in our project.

In Maths, Ian’s group has been looking at BODMAS, a process for remembering how to approach more complicated mathematical problems. If you haven’t come across this before or not since you were at school yourself this link will be helpful https://www.skillsyouneed.com/num/bodmas.html

The PATINA theme has been revealed for this year, it is ‘Wonders of the World’. The Y6s have been exploring ideas of how this could be translated into costumes and a ‘Big Make’ for this year’s parade. They have also been conjuring ideas as to further fundraising for PATINA such as a whole school Dress Up Day, a Y6 Sponsored Silence and a potential sponsored Y6 school sleepover! Watch this space…. Anne-Marie, Ian, Louise & Ondine

Middle Years: This week we have been busy reviewing our shoebox project and looking at ways we can create more depth and texture in our creations, experimenting with different materials. We have also started designing our own fact book pages, considering how to present our research in an eye catching way.  In art, we’ve been learning how to draw 3D shapes and add tone to capture light and shadow. We found this quite challenging but really enjoyed it! We were very excited to see the return of the weekly workshops and really liked the choices on offer! Clare & Lauren

Early Years We started the week by naming the different types of habitat we already know. We took a vote to determine which of these habitats we would like to construct in the classroom – ocean, desert, rainforest, pond life, mountains and Arctic/Antarctic. We followed this by drawing how we think these habitats might look. This led us to spend the rest of the week making 3D models using a variety of materials including junk model materials and plasticine.

Alongside this we have been learning about positional language. Using an image of a habitat some of us have been writing clues using positional language to lead the player to an animal on the picture e.g. this animal is in between the monkey and the snake. Amanda, Rachel & Jack (!)

Nursery: Huge welcome to Jack who is joining us on Thursdays. Jack took to the Nursery like a duck to water and with his willingness to become involved within the children’s worlds he soon had little ducklings following him around. With his warm interactions and friendly nature, it felt just right. Also on Thursday Ali Bishop, a music teacher from Sussex University, joined us. Ali is running half hour music sessions for the Nursery and the Early Years for a 6-week period. It was fabulous; the children were so keen to take part as the songs and tales unfolded with interactions and active participation. I am really looking forward to next week’s session. All this and I haven’t even touched on the trip to the park, aboriginal art and exploring water forces! Have a great weekend from Julie, Anna, Emma and Jack


Monday Netball Anna annacole.uk@gmail.com or Lucie lucie.ash@somnowell.com
Tues & Weds Art Club David Bradford 07855 038773 or davidbradford0@gmail.com
Weds Sports Club Mark 07957 416257 perryman@mac1.net
Thurs Knitting Susan on 01323 811942 or sign up in the office
Thurs only! After School Club Contact Fliss on felicityjbull@outlook.com or 07852 975661 to book


Mon 27th Feb 2.00-3.15pm Governors Surgery re fee structures, Quiet Room
Mon 27th Feb 3.30-4.30pm Netball League, pick up Priory School 4.30pm CANCELLED
Thurs 2nd March 2.00-3.15pm Governors Surgery re fee structures, Quiet Room
Mon 6th March 3.30-4.30pm Netball League, pick up Priory School 4.30pm
Mon 6th March 6.30-9pm Whole School Meeting
Mon 13th March 3.30-4.30pm Netball League, Pick up Priory School 4.30pm
Fri 17th March 12.30-2.30pm Y4,5&6 Cross Country at Ringmer Primary School
Thur 30th March 2.30pm-3.15pm Year 5 Play, all welcome
Fri 31st March 3.15pm End of term
Mon 24th April 8.55am Back to school


Monday Pasta puttanesca (red sauce but much muchanesca better) Apple crumble
Wednesday Bangers and mash, gravy and carrots Fruit and seeds
Friday Cauliflower cheese Flappy Jacks flapjack