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Visting Marlborough 252x140

Education, education, education...learning more about our schools with marlborough.news

 

For many younger children of the Marlborough area education is about to take a great leap forward - a certain leap for the better.

When the building now housing Marlborough St Mary's Primary School junior section - still known to most as St Peter's School - closes its doors next month, decades of our area's education history will be over.

In September a brand new school with an exciting design will open for the combined infants and juniors of Marlborough St Mary's Primary school.  That is something long wanted - long needed - for the town and the area.

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MP visits Great Bedwyn school for the launch of kids’ Tusk Force

Children with their beadsChildren with their beadsThe Year 5 children of Great Bedwyn Primary School and their teacher, Jo Popperwell, have been given a huge boost to their inspiring and exciting elephant project with the attendance of Claire Perry, MP.

Parents and governors, teachers and members of the local community were invited to hear the children present their idea, about which each and every member of the class spoke passionately.

The inspiration came from June Pearson, the grandmother of one of the Class 5 children, who was painting clay beads during a family church service to raise awareness of the work of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya.

Hearing June talk about elephant poaching and the way that baby elephants are orphaned when their mothers are killed for tusks made the children determined to do something and they decided to paint lots more beads and sell them at a school fundraising event for the orphanage.

Each string bears the name of each of the 180 orphaned elephants currently at the orphanage – although new elephants are being rescued all the time. On average, every fifteen minutes another elephant is slaughtered for their tusks.

June Pearson headteacher Nicola Williams teacher Jo Popperwell and Claire PerryJune Pearson headteacher Nicola Williams teacher Jo Popperwell and Claire PerryThe children and teachers of Class 5 have decided to take a meaningful stand against the horror of ivory poaching in Kenya.

Setting up Kids’ Tusk Force UK is the first step on that journey, and they are now official funding partners with the David Sheldrick Trust.

Each child is an ambassador for the project. They want to take the message into every Year 5 classroom – firstly in Wiltshire and then around the country - to encourage children to join the crusade against the destruction of their wildlife heritage.

They have received support not only from Claire Perry, but from celebrities such as David Attenborough and Bear Grylls, and the Royal Family are aware of the project and awaiting updates on fundraising.

Other schools can register through the website and raise money by making and selling beads. £350 adopts an elephant and gets you progress and updates from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on “your” elephant.

This is undoubtedly a story of hope – not just for the elephants whose future is so uncertain, but for us all - that children can take the education they receive and feel empowered to do something with it, and change the world for the better.

For more information, visit www.kidstuskforceuk.org.uk

 

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Out of the classroom and into the river - for primary pupils and their young brown trout

ARK Project Officer Anna Forbes with children from Chilton Foliat Primary School & their young troutARK Project Officer Anna Forbes with children from Chilton Foliat Primary School & their young troutOnce upon a time - a very long time ago - primary school children were entertained by those very educational before-frogs known as tadpoles. 

In days of yore teachers would collect frog spawn from ponds and woodland puddles so that youngsters could watch as day-by-day - often in murky jam jars - the little black squiggly things emerged from the blobby spawn - grew legs - and became frogs - eventually turning from black to green.  Wonderful.

Now Britain's common frog is no longer as common and removal of spawn from the place it was laid is frowned on.

Never fear:  the charity Action for the River Kennet (ARK) have an even better idea.  

The other day, children from Chilton Foliat Primary School put on their wellies and got into the River Kennet to release the young trout they have been caring for in their classroom.  It is part of the Trout in School programme run by ARK.

Over the past few months the children have had a tank set up in their classroom and have watched their brown trout eggs hatch out and develop into little fish.

Along the way they've been learning about how precious and special chalk streams are both for humans and for the wildlife that depend on them.

ARK have run several fun sessions with the primary pupils - including one session showing them a selection of freshwater invertebrates so the children can learn to identify them and see what their trout will be eating when they are in the wild.

If only brown trout small fry could take selfies....If only brown trout small fry could take selfies....   ...instead here's a photo of them for the classroom album...instead here's a photo of them for the classroom album

"The teacher and her class have done an amazing job, they have really embraced looking after the trout. The children now know lots about brown trout and their life cycle and why it is important to be water efficient and not pollute our rivers", said ARK Project Officer Anna Forbes.

ARK Trout in School is part of the charity's Water Matters project funded by Thames Water.

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Baydon St Nicholas Primary gets all togged up for Comic Relief

In case anyone missed it, we would like to remind readers that it is Red Nose Day...the annual fundraising brouhaha for the eminently worthwhile charitable aims of Comic Relief.

No one needed reminding at Baydon St Nicholas Primary School. They arrived at school on Friday morning well prepared for their 'Dress Funny for Money' fundraising.  And they certainly seemed to be finding it a fun way to help Comic Relief.

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Why lessons don’t drag-on at St Katharine’s

Milo Davison, Oskar Anstey, Shane Moore, Alice Ford and Niamh Hourd with the dragonMilo Davison, Oskar Anstey, Shane Moore, Alice Ford and Niamh Hourd with the dragonChildren at St Katharine’s School in the Savernake Forest have built a Chinese dragon as they explored the culture of the country around Chinese new year.

The six metre long (20 ft) dragon, made with the assistance of parents Laura Bone and Sara Clemence, formed the centre point of an exhibition which also included terracotta warriors and calligraphy.

Pupil Alice Ford said: “The dragon took two weeks to make. We did sections of the body in groups and all helped with the head.”

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Marlborough’s substantial new Primary School now open for Applications

Marlborough St. Mary’s CE VC Primary School is now accepting applications for September this year.

The new school is currently under construction on the six acre site (commonly known as Van Diemen’s land) behind the current St Mary’s Infants School and will be ready to accept pupils at the start of the next school year.

In addition to excellent facilities within the building, the school’s external space for play and exercise is substantial, presenting Marlborough families and children with something very different and exciting.

Mark Thomas, chair of governors said, “We will be able to hold our topping out ceremony, when the last brick is put in place, at the end of January.  We are on-schedule and committed to opening in September 2017.”

Marlborough St Mary’s is the amalgamation of St Mary’s CofE Infant School and St Peter’s CofE Junior Schools.  The £7m school will provide places for 420 children from reception to age 11 (Key stages 1 and 2) in a spacious single storey building, with plenty of play space outside.  There will be two classes in each year group.

The school will offer breakfast and after school clubs, hot lunches cooked in the school’s kitchen and a technology suite.  Outside there will be an EFA approved football pitch, training grid and all weather games area.  There will also be a Resource Base for 20 Special Educational Needs children.

Access to the school premises will be straightforward with new pedestrian pathways, a bicycle and scooter park and a car-park.

Fundraising to provide new sports’ equipment and new IT equipment started with the Chilli Triathlon Challenge last September and is continuing.  The school is also looking for local companies or individuals who would be prepared to sponsor a classroom.  As an example, a new whiteboard, projector and laptop will cost approximately £2,000 per classroom.

Headteacher Anne Schwodler, formerly head of St Mary’s Infants when it was designated ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED, has been joined by Toni Holford-Wright, who was appointed Deputy Head last September.  Toni moved to Marlborough from Lincolnshire where she had previously been a member of the Senior Leadership Team at two different schools both rated as ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED.

The new school’s mission statement is:
“Together we believe, learn and achieve.  Within a loving, nurturing, community based Christian environment, we aspire to the highest standards.  We value individuality, searching out every child’s unique talent so that each can be supported, flourish and grow; seeking to send out of our school bright, confident, responsible young global citizens.”

For admissions please contact : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 01672 513101 For more information: www.marlboroughstmarys.wilts.sch.uk

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