The hours and hours of sunshine over the past few weeks have caused an explosion of growth in thte school orchard and vegetable garden! During this lockdown period, our group of Key Worker pupils have spent a lot of time gardening in the orchard – weeding, watering and generally looking after the raised beds, fruit trees and flowers planted. A variety of fruit and vegetables were planted in the spring and are now looking very healthy, with a good crop to come – carrots, cucumbers, pumpkins, potatoes, raspberries and strawberries!
As well as all the fruit and vegetables in our raised beds, we have several of our fruit trees growing heavy with fruit for a month or two’s time – apples, pears and figs are all looking promising!
One problem is water! We use a huge tank to collect all the rain water running off the roof over the outdoor area in Acorns – the tank holds 1000 litres of water, and was full at the start of lockdown. However, with barely any rainfall since then, the tank is now empty and so we are having to use water from the sinks in the classroom.
Over the past year, a group of pupils, staff, governors, parents and people from the local community have been working together to help the school develop a new school vision. Our new school vision has now been approved by the Governors and we can begin to introduce it to the wider school community. There are 3 parts:
Our strap line – ‘Let your light shine’ – a single phrase that sums up the school vision
Our school vision statement – roughly 50 words that describe what our aim is for everyone linked to the school
Our mission statement – a more detailed explanation of how we believe we can achieve our aims.
The most important thing about the school vision is that it isn’t something that just gets put on a wall or appears on the school website and is forgotten about! We truly believe that our new vision describes what is really important to us as a school and we will be working hard to make sure that everyone linked to the school is familiar with the vision, agrees with it and applies it to all aspects of school life. Whether we are pupils, parents, staff or people in the local community – we believe that the school can help all of us to ‘shine brightly’ in whatever we are doing!
Last week, some of our pupils from Acorns class returned to school as part of the gradual releasing of lockdown measures, introduced to help manage COVID-19. We have worked hard to create new procedures for parents dropping off and picking up their children so that everyone remains safe, and we have been delighted with the way this has worked. Parents bring their children through the main gate, one at a time where they are met by Mr Thurston. He takes the temperature of each child and they clean their hands with an anti-bacterial wipe, before they walk around to their classroom.
In Acorn’s class, the children each have their own table and their own ‘pack’ which contains pencils, pens and all the things they will need. The children are using the various outdoor spaces as much as possible and are really enjoying the opportunities to be outdoors. After lunch, the Reception children are being met by their parents and finishing ‘school’ for the day.
Talking with parents and the children themselves, many of the initial worries about being back in school and moving out of the ‘family bubble’ have been overcome already. It is so lovely to see the children’s smiling faces again!
Shortly after we went into lockdown, there was a discovery made in the Acorns outdoor area. Underneath an upturned red storage box in the outdoor area, we discovered that a pair of Wagtails had made a next and had laid 5 eggs! We have been keeping a very careful eye on the next and watching to see how the adult birds have been sitting on the eggs to incubate them.
Today, we discovered that the eggs have hatched and we now have a nest of very newborn, tiny chicks! The adult birds will now be taking it in turns to look after the nest and go out of the box to collect food, as their babies will need almost non-stop feeding. It is wonderful to see something like this so close to where we are out playing in the playground, and amazing that the birds have stayed on the nest with all out noisy playground activity so close by!
Pupils from across the school were excited to start up our new ‘Garden Club’ two weeks ago. With a wonderful bunch of willing parent helpers, the children began by clearing the raised beds and preparing the soil for planting. It was wonderful to see how engaged the children were as they weeded, dug, fetched and carried through the wet and muddy orchard. We are all looking forward to seeing the new shoots emerging as we move towards the warmer, sunnier and…hopefully drier time of the year!
‘Which book have you come from?’ was a question heard over and over again yesterday, as the staff and pupils at school celebrated World Book Day! The entire school dressed up as a character from a favourite book for the day and took part in a range of learning activities linked to the theme. In the afternoon, classes joined together to share with one another about their favourite books, and listen to each other read a passage from it. We have never seen so many ‘Harry Potter’s’ in one place before!
We have recently become a collection point for the Rye Foodbank, and can now receive donated food items, which are collected and taken to the Rye Foodbank base at Rye Baptist Church. Foodbank provide emergency food supplies for individuals and families who are in crisis and have nothing to eat. At Beckley School, we are pleased to have an opportunity to help with this important work. Our collection point is just inside our main entrance and during the normal school hours, pupils, parents, staff and local residents can bring any donations they have. You can find a list of the food items used at the Rye Foodbank by clicking on the School Community tab at the top of the homepage, and then clicking again on the ‘Community Links’tab. Please do what you can to support the work of the Rye Foodbank.
There has been great excitement amongst the children at play and lunchtimes as they have been watching diggers and machinery cutting out a large trench right across the lower playground at school!
Work to renew the drainage outlets and pipes started on Monday and will be continuing for the next week or so. We have had to say ‘goodbye’ to our climbing frame, as part of the building work but it is good to know that the climbing frame will hopefully be given a new home in the local play park.
As well as the excitement of watching the building work going on, the children are also beginning to think about ideas for the new playground markings, once the area has been resurfaced. Lots of ideas for new floor markings are beginning to be talked about, as we look to redesign the playground space, once the drainage work has finished. It’s time to be creative!
Beckley changed from our usual ‘green’ to ‘yellow’ today, as the school held a ‘Yellow Day’ to fundraise for St Michael’s Hospice. The children learned about the work that St Michael’s Hospice carries out and the range of ways that people work and volunteer for the charity. Our ‘Yellow Day’ has so far raised about £100 for the hospice. Well done everybody!
On Thursday, a team of Y5 pupils to part in a maths challenge day at Rye College. They were one of 12 teams from local primary schools who had to engage in a range of different tasks and challenges throughout the day, all of which required them to use and apply different aspects of maths knowledge and understanding. Their challenges included, using systematic reasoning skills to crack a cypher to solve a problem and building the tallest possible structure using sheets of paper. Our team did Beckley proud and they came 3rd in the challenge day. Well done!