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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.

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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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A Christmas panto with a difference as St Francis school celebrates its 75th birthday

 Headmaster David Sibson as the pantomime Dame Headmaster David Sibson as the pantomime DameAs the autumn term ended, the St Francis community enjoyed a festive treat with a very special Panto from the Past - based on the school's seventy-five year history.  It was performed by pupils in Years Three to Eight.

It also featured guest performances from St Francis' staff - including headmaster David Sibson in the role of pantomime Dame.

The panto was written by St Francis' Head of Drama, Emma Gregson Burt to celebrate the 75th anniversary. St Francis was founded in Pewsey in September 1941, by Miss Phyllis Burden - with just four pupils.

The panto's plot centred around a time travel machine in which children visited decades in the school’s history and key local events, such as King George & Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Marlborough in 1948.  

Festive songs from each decade provided a musical backdrop - White Christmas was released in 1942 and this was the panto’s opening number.

Headmaster David Sibson said: “Panto From The Past was enormous fun and a wonderful way for the St Francis community to celebrate both Christmas and the school’s 75th anniversary year."

"Our founder Miss Burden kept incredibly detailed diaries and so we are very fortunate to know a great deal about the school’s development as well as how key historical events affected the school and its pupils.”

'Panto from the Past' performers from Year Five'Panto from the Past' performers from Year Five  St Francis' French teachers Mme Gibson & Mme Woodard on stage for 'Panto from the Past'St Francis' French teachers Mme Gibson & Mme Woodard on stage for 'Panto from the Past'

St Francis continues to celebrate the school’s 75th anniversary year with more performances, events and installations throughout the academic year.  Details
are on the school website.

[Click on photos to enlarge them]

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School’s X Factor competition hits the right note with students

Twelve of the most talented performers at St John’s Marlborough, plus a few surprise guests performed in the St John’s X Factor Live Final on Wednesday in the Theatre on the Hill at St John’s to an audience of over 200.

The winner of the competition was Ann Liu Cannon, a Year 13 student at St John’s. She and her friends were given the VIP treatment with a one hour limousine ride on Friday afternoon, the last day of term.

Four staff members, including principal Nicky Edmondson, judged the awards, commenting on each of the performances, including a surprise performance by a Spice Girls tribute act, consisting of five St John’s staff members: Mr Cobbold, Dr Barclay, Mrs Holmes, Miss Kenvin and Miss Staten.

The performance, apparently, brought the house down, and the quintet reunited for one final performance on Friday morning, as students arrived at school.

Head of drama Kelly Matyla, who organised the competition, said: “This is my first talent night here at St John’s and I am so looking forward to making this an annual event. I am so proud of the talent at St John’s, and also of the hardworking backstage crew of students.”

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Never find an Angel whenever you need one at this time of year - they are all booked for the Nativity plays!

This is where all the Angels have gone.... Nativity Angels of Preshute School in Marlborough College ChapelThis is where all the Angels have gone.... Nativity Angels of Preshute School in Marlborough College Chapel‘Tis the season for Nativity Plays aplenty.  Hosts of angels, flocks of sheep, shepherds, kings, stars, donkeys, Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a manger…

Primary schools in Marlborough and the surrounding area have been busy preparing and performing nativity plays to packed audiences of parents, grandparents and friends.

Marlborough St Mary’s Year 2 children in Mrs Kuryszko’s, Mrs Smith’s and Mrs Macdonald’s classes performed in St Mary’s Church on Friday December 9th.

In Easton Royal Mrs McKay’s infant class, performed a musical nativity entitled ‘It’s a Party’.

All members of Preshute Primary School participated in their annual carol service in Marlborough College chapel, with Miss Holness’s reception class and some of their Year 6 buddies performing the Nativity.

Preshute School Nativity play in the Marlborough College College ChapelPreshute School Nativity play in the Marlborough College College ChapelPreshute School Nativity play in the Marlborough College College ChapelPreshute School Nativity play in the Marlborough College College ChapelThe cast of St Mary's year 2 Nativity play comprising Sunworld Class (Mrs Kuryszko) and Galaxy (Mrs Smith and Mrs Macdonald) who all performed at St Marys ChurchThe cast of St Mary's year 2 Nativity play comprising Sunworld Class (Mrs Kuryszko) and Galaxy (Mrs Smith and Mrs Macdonald) who all performed at St Marys ChurchEaston Royal Nativity playEaston Royal Nativity playEaston Royal Nativity playEaston Royal Nativity play

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