Glory Farm School’s Community
At Glory Farm School we value everyone in our school community and believe that working together makes a difference. We recognise the contributions that working with others brings for our children and staff, whether it’s through supporting teaching and learning, to providing opportunities for our children to have outside experiences. Our aim is to continue to build these links further and ensure that they provide relevance to the needs of our 21st century learners.
EYFS Arts and Crafts with Parents
In Early Years we love anything which involves us using glue and getting crafty! In December we invited our parents and grandparents to come into school for the afternoon to make a Christmas Wreath with us. We absolutely loved our families coming to school to see where we learn and play every day, as well as helping us to create a lovely Christmas decoration to take home.
For Mother’s Day this year, we invited our mummies, nanas and grandma’s into school for an afternoon tea craft session. During the afternoon we all made beautiful flower bouquets and enjoyed eating the yummy fairy cakes we had learnt to make the day before! We really liked the fact that everyone’s flower bouquet looked completely different because we had all used our individual creative spark! It was also lovely for us to spend some quality time with our grown up.
Year Two Mayor visit
In October Year Two were lucky enough to receive a visit from our Mayor. He discussed his role with our children, explained his chains to us and answered any questions which we had. He also joined us for a tea party!
Planting Poppies at Tesco
To raise awareness for Remembrance Day we were invited to Bicester Tesco to ‘plant’ some poppies. We made the poppies at school from recycled bottles and then took them with us to Tesco. When we were there we saw poppies which other Bicester schools had created and planted. Whilst we were ‘planting’ our poppies we reflected on the past and developed our understanding on how we can hopefully prevent similar events from happening again.
Remembrance Day Workshop
To raise awareness for Remembrance Day we invited members of the whole school community to be a part of a project to recreate a sea of poppies, similar to the one created in London last year. At Glory Farm School we believe that just because events happened in the distant past, it does not mean that they are not worth remembering.
Over two evenings, over 40 of our families were involved in creating poppies from recycled plastic bottles. These flowers were then attached to chicken wire and placed on our school mound as a memorial. It was accompanied by a sign which was kindly made by parents of the school to be a focus of the artwork.
On Monday 11th November, our whole school then congregated at our memorial on the school field. The two minutes silence was observed and staff and children were given the opportunity to reflect on the importance of the occasion. Ben Pearson, a child in Year 5, “It felt good being together as a school and it was touching thinking about what the soldiers have done for us as a country.”
Our Headteacher, Mrs MacLachlan said, “The children have really taken on board the seriousness of this occasion and have developed their understanding of the reasons and consequences of war so that they will hopefully prevent future generations from making similar problems.”
On Monday 11th November we held a special whole school assembly in order to remember the people who sacrificed their lives for us during the war. During the assembly, a member of The Royal British Legion spoke to us about the meaning behind the Poppy and how the Legion has supported the armed forces, both in the past and now. We also listened to two traditional World War I songs sung by The Cooper School’s Sixth Form choir – It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and Pack Up Your Troubles. As a whole school we then performed Are You Sleeping? to the tune of Frere Jacques with the lyrics changed especially for Remembrance.
The RBL visitor aided our understanding of the war and highlighted to us how important tolerance is, supporting our development into educated citizens of the future.
Building Relationships with Our Local Care Home
This year we have started to build a new relationship with one of our local care homes. At the beginning of the academic year, our School Council Representatives were invited to visit Fewcott Nursing home. During the visit our Representatives enjoyed introducing themselves to some of the residents, as well as sharing their favourite book which they had taken with them. The residents of the care home absolutely loved talking to our children and were keen to ask them questions to find out more!
Since then our School Council Representatives have been invited back to the care home to decorate Christmas decorations. During this visit they really immersed themselves into the activities and had a wonderful time getting to know the residents more! Our Representatives made us all really proud by the way they interacted with the residents.
Children In Need 2019
For Children In Need this year we decided that we wanted to raise money for a specific charity, therefore we chose The Rainbow Trust. The Rainbow Trust supports families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness. To raise awareness and money for the Rainbow Trust, children and staff in school dressed up in all different colours and took part in rainbow themed activities. For example, EYFS children painted a rainbow using their feet!
Tesco Blue Token Scheme
For a few years, Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to deliver its Bags of Help initiative across England and Wales. The initiative means community groups and projects can receive funding of up to £4,000.
We applied for this initiative at the beginning of the 2019 academic year and thanks to our community votes, we were lucky enough to receive £2,000 towards creating an outdoor movement sensory pathway for our children to use as a sensory break. The creation of the pathway is well under way and we are hoping that it will be finished by the end of this year!
Elfing Around for Alzheimer’s
At the end of last year we decided to raise money for a charity which is close to our school community; the Alzheimer’s Society. They fund research to find a cure and support those living with dementia. To raise awareness for the charity, staff and children in school dressed up as elves! Everyone in school had great fun dressing up and raising money for such an important cause. Overall, we managed to raise just over £200 as a school community!
Local MP Visit
To develop our understanding on democracy we had a whole school gathering delivered by our local MP, Victoria Prentis. She explained to us what her role involves and then spoke to us about the importance of voting. After the gathering she walked around our classes asking us about what we were learning and answered some of our questions. We absolutely loved this experience and gained lots of knowledge about the democratic process in England.
To celebrate Harvest Festival last year, we had a visit from our local food bank. She explained to us the reasons as to why Harvest is celebrated and thanked us for all the food which had been donated by our school community. Our visitor also explained what a food bank is and what we can do to support them.
During the run up to Christmas, we had a visitor from one of our local churches. In our whole school gathering he spoke to us about the Christian meaning of Christmas and shared The Christmas Story with us.
IMPS involves our Year Six children visiting the Horton hospital. Our children learn different ways to avoid and deal with injuries, how to perform chest compressions and mouth to mouth resuscitation by using dummies. They also get to visit A&E to see what happens if you go to hospital and how a variety of minor injuries are dealt with.
Town Hall Visit
When we had our Erasmus visitors to stay, the host children went to the town hall to meet the mayor. He showed us around and gave us all an insight into how the council works.
Parent Coffee Afternoons and Workshops
At Glory Farm School we offer regular coffee afternoons for our parents and carers. They provide a chance for our parents to have a friendly chat with a cup of tea and a piece of cake. During these sessions, parents have the opportunity to discuss any general concerns and we are there to offer advice if needed. It has been lovely to see so many of our parents at our afternoons!
Our evening workshops are courses designed for our parents who have primary-aged children. The workshops cover a range of subjects, each with a specific focus, for example, choice and consequences, bedtime routines, positive praise, etc. These workshops provide a supportive atmosphere to enable parents to share their experiences and tips with others.
Singing for Charity
Two of our teachers took a group of our children to St Edburg’s Church for the children singing for children event. It was run by the Rotary Club of Oxford Spires to raise money to support two local children charities. Our children sang 2 songs of their own choice....'Don't worry be happy' and 'True colours' which they performed as a Glory Farm group and they also sang 4 songs with all the other choirs...'The world keeps turning around', 'Cape Cod shanty', 'Children singing for children' and 'World in Union'.