These images are from events at St Paul's.
They are just a reflection of the things we do and are not comprehensive!
Before Year 5 took part in each activity they were asked to set a personal goal which they hoped to achieve by the end of the session; 'Challenge by Choice' is an excellent way of encouraging all the children to take part, whilst at the same time allowing the children to set themselves their own 'limit' up to which they feel safe and happy. The personal goal for some children attempting the 30 foot climbing wall, for example, may simply be to get a harness on and get onto the wall. For others, it might be to reach the top!
After two days in the sunshine mountain biking, crate stacking, orienteering, 'nightlining' and doing archery (amongst others) we were all ready for our beds! All the children had enormous fun and said they couldn't wait for the Year 6 residential next year.
There was quite an unusual sight on the playground on Wednesday morning as the PTA launched a new, original competition. The challenge was adapted from a previous competition which ran just before the Easter break. Children would bring in a bar of chocolate each and place them end to end on the playground. The longest line would be the winning class. Bars were then grouped into small hampers to be raffled off.
This competition was resurrected this year but adapted to support local charity the One Can Trust which provides a foodbank for people across South Bucks who find themselves in times of crisis. Instead of chocolate, children were asked to donate non-
perishable foodstuffs the charity could supply to families in need.
On the morning of the competition, our children and parents showed their competitive side as extra-large packets of cereal and long tubes of biscuits were placed on the lines. The children were very excited as they watched the lines grow!
Steph Clay, project manager for the charity, came along to school to view the seven long lines of tins, packets and bottles the generous families had donated. She was very grateful for the huge stash of staple ingredients and goodies that filled her car. But what inspired her most was the idea of the One Can Trust Line. I am sure we have started a trend that many other schools will follow, swelling the stores of charity further. An article about the St Paul's One Can Trust Line appears on the One Can Trust website http://onecantrust.org.uk/st-pauls-walk-one-can-line
The One Can Trust has fed well over 20,000 adults and children in the South Bucks area delivering over 300 parcels a month to those in need. There are lots of ways to support the work of this local charity. For more information please visit http://onecantrust.org.uk
Thank you to the PTA for organising such a successful event, once again showing our children how they can make a difference.
On the last day in January, parents and carers were warmly invited into classrooms to experience how their children learn at St Paul's. Parents lined up alongside their children in the playground when the whistle blew, and hung their coats on their child's peg before filing into the classroom to answer their name for the register.
But lessons were very different to those the parents would remember from their school days! Parents found themselves being challenged with all sorts of tasks such as stacking cups with only string and elastic bands as tools, drawing a butterfly accurately or creating origami animals. Children and parents worked together to meet challenges and solve problems. After spending time in class, parents were invited into the school hall to hear a presentation by headteacher, Mrs Butler, on the concept of Growth Mindset.
Growth Mindset is the concept that intelligence can grow. It emphasises the importance of positive learning attitudes including resilience, perseverance and problem solving. Research by Developmental Psychologist Dr Carol Dweck of Stanford University points to people having one of, or a combination of, two mindsets: Growth and Fixed. A child's belief about intelligence is an important factor in whether they become an effective learner. The school's project aims to embed the ethos that struggle and failure are an essential part of learning. Children are encouraged to embrace challenge and look for ways to push themselves beyond their comfort zone in a supportive environment.
Parents were fascinated particularly by the idea of praising their children in a way that values effort and persistence rather than innate talent. The day was a huge success with more than 150 parents attending one of three presentations throughout the day. The school is planning to develop the project and the parents' involvement next term with another open day.
Here are some thoughts from the parents who attended:
"I feel encouraged that the school cares about the children's emotional well-being."
"I think this could change my child's attitude towards many of life's challenges."
"This will provide our child with the confidence to try new things."
"I will certainly be thinking about the language I use to praise my children in the future."
"We received useful tips that we can try straight away."
"It will help boost my child's confidence very much and enable me to be more involved in their learning."
"The best part was having the opportunity to see our children in class and to feel welcome and involved in this."
"I thought it was actually great. A good variety of activities, clips and talking. Very informative and enjoyable!"
The Walk Centre is a not-for-profit organisation committed to helping the children and families of the Hilton slum area in Nakuru, Kenya. The charity aims to provide the children with the basic human rights of education and regular meals. The residents of the Hilton slum reside on the edges of Nakuru's local rubbish dump. The community experiences poor health, poverty and high levels of unemployment. The levels of unemployment mean that the local government-run schools, which require regular fees, are beyond the means of the locals. Approximately 230 children, aged between 3 and 8 years, attend the school six days per week.
The Walk Centre is supported by both St Paul's Church and St Paul's School. Members of St Paul's Church visit the Walk Centre on a regular basis, including the school's current Chair of Governors, Wullie Wilson. Although thousands of miles apart, there are many similarities between St Paul's School and the Walk Centre school! Both schools have a strong Christian faith and enjoy a time of daily worship. Both schools look to God for strength and guidance and for help on how to think and behave.
St Paul's School supports the Walk Centre by collecting shoes and clothes that are taken to the children in Nakuru by members of St Paul's Church. The Harvest Festival service in October 2016 was in aid of the Walk Centre and, for their harvest giving, each child donated a second hand pair of shoes and a new pair of socks. These items will be taken out to Nakuru in April 2017 where they will be gratefully received by the children.
The children said farewell to their long-serving Headteacher on the last Friday of the Autumn Term. The whole school succeeded in keeping the surprise assembly a secret, preparing speeches and practising a special goodbye song when the opportunity arose. Each class made their contribution including poetry, songs and artwork, as well as sentimental renditions from the Voices choir and the whole school. The emotion of the event was perfectly balanced by the fantastic costumes the children and staff wore for Disney Day!
Mrs Goddard also received thoughtful cards and gifts from the Governing Body and the PTA, for which she was very grateful. It was the perfect send-off for our valued leader as she always put the children first.
We were very fortunate to have a visit from a group of very skilled dancers at the end of term. The girls themselves have danced competitively for a number of years. They were able to teach the children some of the basic moves of this very intricate form of dance. The day ended with a whole school dance which was enjoyed by all. The dancers were very impressed by our children's skills, their interest and the tenacity they demonstrated when challenged.
Year 6 pupil Maisie Paice had her moment in the spotlight on 2nd December when she turned on her winning Christmas light at the Bourne End Shopping Evening. She was accompanied by EastEnders actor and award-winning investigative journalist Ross Kemp, a local resident, but it was Maisie's fantastic gingerbread decoration that stole the show!
Voices once again sang their hearts out to entertain the crowds.
It was particularly wonderful to see so many supportive parents singing with the children as they watched and listened.
When children grow out of their school uniform, parents thoughtfully donate these items to school for our 'Nearly New' stock to generate some extra revenue. Those items that are not sold have been sent to a Christian school in India. Here are a couple of photos showing the childen wearing their St Paul's clothes with pride.
When children grow out of their school uniform, parents thoughtfully donate these items to school for our 'Nearly New' stock to generate some extra revenue. Those items that are not sold have been sent to a Christian school in India. Here are a couple of photos showing the children wearing their St Paul's clothes with pride.
The pupils at St Paul's enjoyed a special themed week of learning in October when teachers planned opportunities to find out about books that have been made into films. A range of texts and genres were covered from Disney classics to Roald Dahl favourites and historical fiction. The children were able to see how the novels had been interpreted for the big screen. The project encouraged many children to read book versions of films they have enjoyed and to learn that by reading a book, they can create a film in their imagination!
The PTA ran a sponsored read during the same week in association with Usborne Books. The participation of the children was outstanding raising almost £1300 to buy quality reading material for the library, which all the children will benefit from.
It was a very successful week and we are looking at planning more themed learning weeks in the future.
Congratulations to the school's girls' football team who came runner-up in the Wycombe District Tournament in October. Girls from Years 4 to 6 made up the team, proudly wearing the legendary girls' kit which was worn by the St Paul's team who won the Primary Schools' FA Cup back in 2009.
The girls achieved success beyond their expectations, and that of the coach, Mrs Butler, and the parents who were there to cheer them on! After winning their three group matches and the new goalkeeper keeping three clean sheets, the team earned their place in the semi-finals. A close match saw them come out on top with a 1-0 win. The final was hard-fought, with a 2-1 defeat. Their consolation is that both finalists go on to represent Wycombe District at the Buckinghamshire County Finals in November.
Thanks to the parents for their support and best of luck to the team in the Counties!
On Friday 4th March 2016 the children thoroughly enjoyed celebrating World Book Day with our "Cosy Reading Day".
Dressed warmly in their onesies and pyjamas, the children participated in a variety of creative activities related to stories and poems, including scavenger hunts and craft.
The older children shared their favourite books, from when they were younger, with Nursery and Reception children.
The whole day fostered a sense of reading for pleasure and encouraged many to try books recommended by their peers. See the photos below!
Thank you for attending our second Growth Mindset Open Day on 27th June.
The leaflet below was given to parents on the day and is useful for supporting children in their learning.
Those who attended the drug awareness evening at school on Thursday 22nd June found it both engaging and moving.
The speaker, Elizabeth Burton-Phillips MBE, founded the Wycombe-based charity DrugFam following the loss of her son to addiction.
The charity supports families affected by drug and alcohol addition. For more information visit http://drugfam.co.uk