This term is flying by

There’s been lots of great activity in school this term and I thought I’d share what a couple of our year groups have been doing.

Year 6 visited the Lifeskills centre. They all had a great time identifying potential hazards in everyday life but, most importantly, they learnt how to deal with them.

Year 2 have been exploring ice and thought of some interesting questions about ice. They’ve also been reading the Rainbow Bear and the children chose a scene from the book and made a freeze frame.



We have hit the ground running!!

Welcome back to a new year and a new term!

The children and staff are all working hard. I have visited classrooms this week where there have been lots of exciting things happening. Here’s a snap shot of some of things that have been happening….

In Year 6 they started the term with a World War 2 ‘Wow’ day with a day of events. Children dressed up as children from the 40’s and experienced what it would be like to be a child at school during this time. They practiced what would happen in air raids and in their maths work used shillings, farthings and pennies!

In Year 3, pupils began the week dressed as people from the Stone Age and then tackled some investigative activities linked to this period…


In Year 1, there was Victorian day where children were treated to Victorian rules and routines. It was an interesting experience for all concerned …including the teachers!


Victorian 1

The boys and girls did different jobs throughout the day, some of the girls did sewing and writing, while the boys did mechanical work and technical drawings. They also did some drills outside the classroom!


Overview of the festive season!

December was full of fun, as well as learning. The staff and children in KS1 successfully put together and performed six Nativity performances (2 per year group) which were delightful to watch and all with their own individual slant and personality on this Christian story. The parents who attended and I were thoroughly impressed with the children’s confidence to narrate, sing and perform to a relatively large adult audiences with some children undertaking individual solos!

In KS2, years 3 and 4 and then year 5 and 6 performed two Christmas concerts each to their parents and families. The quality of singing was excellent and I was suitably impressed by our solo instrumentalists who had practised their pieces and performed with confidence.

I really enjoyed seeing so many of you at the Christmas performances and your continued support of your children and the school as well as your and amazing generosity in relation to our school charity events is always appreciated.

The last week of term 3

And here we are in the last week of Term 3; halfway through the school year and as always, there’s a lot to report on from Orchard Campus.

Marie Rogers has been busy organising daily Lunchtime Clubs for pupils who want an alternative to the playground. These are proving popular and give the pupils the opportunity to partake in activities such as, board games, friendship games, drawing and colouring.

We have recently launched a new PSHE curriculum called Jigsaw. Jigsaw brings together personal, social, health and economic education, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development in a lesson-a-week programme. Jigsaw is based on Mindfulness and its cohesive vision helps children understand and value who they are and how they fit and contribute to the world. Miss Ranes, the school’s PSHE Leader, will be visiting Orchard Campus early next term to run a session where she will run through the curriculum and its aims. We’ll let you know a date as soon as we have it.

Cherry Class recently enjoyed a visit to the SS Great Britain. The pupils (and adults) had a great day and the trip really supported the learning around their topic ‘What if… you built a time machine?’ especially the workshop activities the children engaged in. Several children said that it was the best trip they’d been on!

We’ve had two class assemblies this term – Cherry’s and Apple’s. Both were very well attended – thank you – and showcased all the wonderful learning the children have been doing this term. Special mention needs to go to Apple Class as this was there first class assembly. We look forward to many more.


Speaking of assemblies, I thought you’d be interested in some photos of one of Mr Westley’s music assemblies.



These are very popular with the children (and the adults – there’s a pattern here!) and develop musical skills in an interactive and creative way. I’ll certainly be paying more regular visits; some of the musical talent in the hall may even rub off on me!

Last Friday saw the FFA Film Night. My Neighbour Tortoro was showing on the big screen and children (and adults, again!) enjoyed popcorn and other refreshments with the movie. Many thanks to all involved with the organising of the event.

I’d also like to thank Chris and Charlie Westcott for their kind donation of (seating) logs for the playground. As we move into spring, and the weather improves(?!), we aim to use them as part of an outdoor reading area.

Yesterday, we held the latest Parent Forum. There was a dual focus for this meeting: Music at Orchard Campus and the school’s new assessment framework. Mr Westley shared information about the music curriculum, as well as his vision for the future of music at the school. I know I’m not alone in saying a big thank you to Ben for the impact he has had since joining the team at Orchard Campus. You will all learn more about the new assessment framework at Parent Consultations next term. We also shared some feedback from the Year 3 teachers about the new Home Learning model they are trialling. This was very positive and the Year 3 parent present backed this up by telling the Forum that she thought “it’s great – I love it!” We would like to hear more views from Year 3 parents/carers and will be canvassing opinion after half-term; if it is widely liked we’ll aim to roll it out across the school.

I hope you all enjoy the break and we look forward to seeing you back at school on Monday 15th February.

A warm welcome to Term 3

Although, slightly unbelievably, we’re halfway through January already I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year. It’s been another fantastic start to a new term, with the children returning refreshed and ready to learn.

Last week Years 1, 2 and 3 launched their new topics with WOW events. Year 1 held a Victorian School Day to begin ‘What if… you built a time machine?’ with the children getting a taste for the strict rules and routines of learning in a Victorian classroom. Year 2 spent a day learning about cold climates and carried out a number of scientific investigations to introduce ‘Do you want to build a Snowman?’ and Year 3 had a Stone-Age dress up day to start off ‘Who would wear stone trousers?’ with lots of investigative activities linked to this period. The children really enjoyed these events, sparking their enthusiasm for the term’s learning, and I know from speaking to parents that you really enjoy seeing the staff immersing themselves in the events too.

Very excitingly, this week saw the first peripatetic music lessons begin at Orchard Campus, with Bristol Plays Music sending a piano and violin teacher. These weekly sessions are a great addition to the school’s curriculum and having spoken to the children I know they were enthused by their first lessons and can’t wait to get playing! Many thanks to Mr Westley for organising them.

Photo 1

On Tuesday, I also saw some very creative mathematics in Hazel Class…

Photo 2 Photo 3

The children were exploring the properties of 3D shapes using Midget Gems and Cocktail Sticks. This hands-on, practical learning really helps the children develop their knowledge and understanding.

Today we had a visit from the police…

Photo 4 Photo 5

Two of our local Community Support Officers visited Apple Class as part of their topic ‘Let’s ask for help!’ The children were very excited by the opportunity and asked some fascinating questions. These links with the local community, and the people who work in it, are very valuable learning experiences.



The Final Blog of 2015!

And I thought last week was exciting… Orchard Campus has a lot to celebrate, again!

Last week Jane Ross organised a very well attended Book Sale, which raised £175! This will go towards purchasing resources for the school.

The Winter Fair turned our school hall into a winter wonderland! With Santa, a wintry photo booth, Christmassy sweets, a lucky dip, a treasure map, face painting and lots more, this year’s fair was our biggest and best yet. Parents and children alike enjoyed the festivities and especially the wonderful music being played by Daniel Greensmith; many thanks Daniel. Wonderful prizes were won at the raffle and we couldn’t resist singing a few Christmas carols.

We would like to say an especially large thank you to the FFA their efforts in making the afternoon so successful. But also, many thanks to all that came and supported the event. We had a fantastic turn out and everyone left feeling a little bit more Christmassy. We also raised, the not insignificant sum of, £440.65!

Our after-school clubs finished last week – they will start up again in the new year – but it’s fair to say that the pupils have really enjoyed the opportunities provided. I spent a bit of time with the children who attended Lego Club and they told me that, “It was really fun because I got to share my Lego with my friends” and “I loved it because I’m now a Lego expert”! I also had explained to me, in wonderful detail, the very seasonal Nativity scene two Pear Class girls had created.

A big thank you to all the staff involved for running these clubs, they really do enrich the school curriculum.

On Tuesday 15th December, Tim Peake arrived safely at the International Space Station. This will be his home for the next six months, where he will be carrying out scientific experiments. He is the first “official” British citizen to be selected as an astronaut by the European Space Agency. To mark this historic event, children at Filton Avenue Primary School watched with bated breath as his rocket launched into space! It was incredibly exciting and will be the start of a Space themed year, here at school. Children will be watching his progress over the next 6 months.

On Wednesday morning, our School Council visited the Tesco Express on Filton Avenue, to launch the sale of our class Christmas Cards. The cards look fabulous and are selling very well at the store; they are now also available to buy at Orchard Campus. A huge thank you to Mr Skuodas (one of our Cherry Class parents) for arranging this, and also to all the other staff at Tesco Express, who were brilliant on the day. Next year we will look to extend this opportunity to all the pupils at Filton Avenue Primary School.

This week has seen the pupils perform their Christmas stories – Phase 1: ‘Whoops-a-Daisy Angel’ and Phase 2: ‘The Nativity’. The children were fantastic, singing, acting dancing and narrating their hearts out, and the turnout for every performance has been amazing. A lot of hard work has gone in to making these shows such a success, so a big thank you to all involved.


Without wishing to sound like a stuck record, your continued support of the school and your amazing generosity towards us and the different causes we support, is hugely appreciated by all of us – thank you all very much once again. Finally, it remains for me to wish (those of you who celebrate it) a happy Christmas and prosperous New Year. For those of you who don’t, I also extend my warmest wishes for a peaceful and happy holiday.

We look forward to seeing you all back in school on Tuesday 5th January 2016!




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