Monthly Archives - February 2019

Science Award for Primary School

St Anne's Catholic Primary School in Weeping Cross has won an award for its teaching of science.  The Primary Science Quality Mark GILT Award recognises exceptional standards of teaching and learning.

A highly successful, unique award programme, The Primary Science Quality Mark develops and celebrates the profile of science in primary schools. This is the second time St Anne’s have gained the Primary Science Quality Mark, earning it last time in 2013.

The accolade recognises the school’s development of pupils’ skills in scientific enquiry, such as predicting, planning and carrying out fair tests, observing and drawing conclusions.  These are skills that pupils can apply in future to all aspects of scientific learning.

As part of their Science studies, St Anne’s hosted a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) week, during which parents joined children to participate in activities.   Students learning was enhanced through educational visits to Think Tank in Birmingham and older students took part in a ‘Rockets Away Day’ where they designed rockets to launch on the school field, before analysing their initial designs and then improving them to make them more aerodynamic.

Mrs Nicky Hannett, Headteacher said, “At St Anne’s we recognise the importance of scientific skills and in engaging children in their learning.  Pupils learn about a variety of topics including the growth of plants and animals.  All of our children are involved in practical science observations –  such as planting seeds and observing stages of growth, our youngest pupils watched chicks hatch, caterpillars change into butterflies and tadpoles grow into frogs.  Pupils also study people topics such as famous scientists.

“I would like to thank Katie Silvester, Science Leader at St Anne’s for all her hard work gathering a huge amount of evidence for this award, but also for making our students such engaged and enthusiastic learners. “she continued.

Katie Silvester, Science Leader at St Anne's, holding the Science Award, with some of her students.

School Success Gains Parliamentary Recognition

Staff and pupils at St Filumena’s Catholic Primary School, in Caverswall, received a visit from Moorlands MP, Karen Bradley, to congratulate them on their recent successful results. Following a meeting with the Rt. Hon Nick Gibb, Minister for Education, St Filumena’s was highlighted as one of the schools in the Staffordshire Moorlands area that has shown a significant increase in standards of reading, writing and maths. With a 97% pass rate for phonics, well above the National level, and an increase in the proportion of children achieving the higher standard in writing, as well as improved progress in the older year groups, Mrs Bradley was delighted to visit the school to pass on her congratulations. The MP completed a tour of the school, led by the students themselves along with Mrs Claire Tomlinson, Principal.   All members of the School Council also met with Mrs Bradley to talk about their learning, their enjoyment of school and to ask a few questions about Mrs Bradley’s parliamentary role. Mrs Bradley particularly congratulated the current year 2 children and their teachers who were the group whose phonics scores were acknowledged in the letter from the Education Minster at the end of last year. “Our pupils were exceptionally proud to showcase their school, talking about their learning with enthusiasm, in particular the changes to the guided reading teaching and the new resources for Mathematics which they were enjoying.  They were keen to talk about the specialist teaching for Computing, Science, MFL and Music, and to share examples from their favourite subjects.  Hearing them enthuse about their learning really made me proud.” commented Mrs Claire Tomlinson.   She continued, “Some of the children also used the opportunity to find out more about the role of an MP and even had a few interesting questions to ask about Brexit, the European Union and how it could affect them as they grow up.”

St Austin’s Children visit Local Show Home for National Story Telling week

To mark National Story Telling Week, children from St Austin's Catholic Primary School were invited to listen to some stories read by a professional storyteller, Richard York.   The invitation came from house builder, Lovell Homes’ who had arranged for Richard to come along and read in their new show home at the new King’s Crest development in Castlefields. Here, seated in a comfy living room setting, Richard, a member of the Society for Storytelling, spent the morning reading and entertaining the children with various stories. One of the stories he shared with the children was the ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses’ by Alison Jay, which was also the inspiration behind one of the rooms in the development’s show homes. Michele Hoyle, Head of School at St Austin’s Catholic Primary said: “We were delighted to be invited to participate in this event.  As well as listening to stories, reading and writing stories are such a big part of our curriculum.  It was very exciting to listen to a storyteller in a different setting. Thank you, Lovell Homes.” Trish Foster, Regional Sales Director at Lovell Homes said: “We were so pleased to be able to celebrate National Storytelling Week with the children of St Austin’s by inviting them to visit the show home at King’s Crest to attend a session with a professional story teller.“

Students Sign for Fund Raising

Photo shows Rebecca Palmer (far right) with some of her sign language students signing B W H

A student from Blessed William Howard Catholic High School has set up a school lunch time sign language class to teach other students, and staff, how to communicate via sign language.

Rebecca Palmer (14) started to learn sign language at age nine, taught by Jayne Fletcher-Brander, a deaf pop star who leads Sign2Sing videos.  Sign2Sing is an annual national fund raising event, organised by the Deaf Health Charity, SignHealth, to promote sign language as a communication tool and make music more accessible to those that can’t hear it.  The event also raises essential funds for projects to support the deaf community.

Almost twenty students are taking part in the classes, aged from 11 to 17.  Once they have all learnt the basic signing skills, Rebecca will be creating a video of them performing Take That's "Greatest Day "as part of the year’s ‘Sign2Sing’ event.

Mr Karl Brown, Principal at Blessed William Howard said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to improve their communication skills and for Rebecca to develop her leadership skills. As a Catholic school we encourage students to be actively involved in charity work; to combine this with learning a new and useful skill is a great idea.”

SignHealth is a UK registered charity, established in 1986, dedicated to providing and improving healthcare services for people who are Deaf.  They provide health and wellbeing services in sign language for Deaf people and are committed to breaking down the barriers that deaf people continue to face, with poorer communication support and poorer access to health services than hearing people.

To support Rebecca’s fund raising for SignHealth please go to:    or