Parents have given early support to plans by GLF Schools to open a new co-educational secondary school in the Redhill/Merstham area in time for the start of the 2017 academic year.
Since a website (www.limetreehighschool.org) was set up for parents to register their interest, there have been nearly 200 positive responses, with several of them commenting on the ‘desperate need’ for additional secondary school places in the region, and welcoming GLF’s proposals to address the issue.
GLF Schools is a Surrey-based multi-academy trust, formed in 2012 when Glyn School and Danetree Junior School formalised their existing partnership. In subsequent years, it has grown to take in 10 primary and secondary schools across Surrey and Berkshire, with two more schools joining in July and September 2015.
The multi-academy trust has a local presence and understanding of the issues facing parents in the Redhill and Merstham area, having set up Lime Tree Primary School in partnership with Surrey County Council in September 2013.
The proposed new secondary school would collaborate with the existing primary, hence the shared name but GLF Schools is clear that this is a working name only.
The current overcrowding in local primary schools demonstrates the problems that lie ahead unless urgent action is taken. For GLF’s proposal to be successful there needs to be a demonstrable demand for the new school to be established.
GLF's Executive Headteacher, Jon Chaloner, said the levels of parental interest highlighted the problem, and the enthusiasm shown for the plans proved that GLF can help to resolve it. “The levels of interest shown are hugely encouraging," he said. "The fact that Lime Tree Primary School has already been set up and that it has taken an additional class in each of its first two year groups proves that there is demand for extra capacity in the local school
system. In addition, the support from the local secondary headteachers and college principals has been exceptional."
Mr Chaloner added GLF Schools is keen to build on the early support for its plans, and encouraged parents of prospective students, particularly parents of children currently in Year 4, as they will be the first year’s cohort, to register their interest on the website
Children at Lime Tree Primary School in Redhill went the extra kilometre with their efforts to raise funds for a good cause last week as they took part in the Cancer Research UK Race for Life.
The famous fund-raising event is more commonly associated with adults, but the Key Stage One children were not to be left out as they completed a one kilometre run, with the goal of raising £500 for the charity.
Just to add to the sense of occasion and sporting achievement, world gymnastics champion Doug Fordyce, recently seen on the BBC series Tumble, was the guest of honour to present the children with their medals. They also got to see his own world and European championship medals and hear about his life as a sportsman, as well as being
treated to a mini-gymnastics display of their own.
But the afternoon’s surprises did not end with Doug’s backflips, as it became clear just how much of a success the fundraising effort had been. “The children all competed the event and a bit extra as when they ran through the finishing tape, they just kept going, so most actually ran around two kilometres,” said a clearly delighted Early Years Leader Margaret Fordyce.
“The support for the event has been overwhelming and to date the children have raised almost £4,000 and the total just keeps growing. We are extremely proud of all our children and our amazing families for all their support.”
Pupils at Whyteleafe School can be excused for being a bit attention-seeking later this month as the PTA encourages them to step into the spotlight in a fund-raising fashion show.
The parental group is a frequent supporter and contributor to school life through a variety of fund-raising efforts throughout the academic year, but it is more than six years since they have taken to the catwalk for cash.
However, after two recent highly successful fashion shows for adults, it has been decided to let the children have their moment in the spotlight, and in conjunction with ‘Kids on the Catwalk’, on April 30th, Whyteleafe’s pupils will have their chance to strut their stuff in front of their friends and family – all in the name of supporting the school.
“The two previous events went down really well so it seemed natural that we let the children themselves have a go,” said a school spokeswoman.
“It’ll certainly be something a bit out of the ordinary for them and their families, so with more than 60 of the children taking part, we’re hoping it’ll attract a good crowd. Kids on the Catwalk will then provide a facility whereby if you like something you’ve seen on the
night, you can buy it straight afterwards – so parents be warned, you may find it hard to resist some of your children’s requests when it’s helping such a deserving cause!”.
Reading has just become a whole lot more enjoyable for pupils at Cuddington Croft Primary School in Cheam following the opening of the school’s new library and classroom complex.
The new facility, which pupils have been able to watch going up over the course of the academic year, was formally opened by the mayor of Epsom and Ewell, Robert Foote, at a ceremony marked by cake and balloons for the eager school pupils.
The whole school family rallied round to help with the library project – the PTA donated £70,000 towards the cost of the construction, and a further £5,000 towards furnishing the building. In addition, earlier this year staff, parents and former pupils donated their spare time during half term to unpack and install hundreds of boxes of fittings and fixtures in the new rooms.
Now that the longed-for facility is finally open and ready for use, Cuddington head teacher Scott Maclean said it was something that the whole school could take pride in – and, even more importantly, made use of.
“So many people have helped in the effort to make this new building a reality,” he explained. “It’s a wonderful new facility which will add hugely to what we can offer the children here at the school. Surroundings can make a huge difference to a pupil’s experience of education, and what we have here is something really special. I hope that will be reflected in the results and the enjoyment of learning that it helps produce."
A Year Four pupil at Hillcroft Primary in Caterham has bagged her school a £300 prize after winning an art competition run by the local branch of Tesco.
Judges said they chose Jessie Hoey’s design as the winner of the competition to promote the store’s new Click and Collect online shopping service because of its ‘colour, impact, sense of fun and style’.
In addition to the prize Jessie won for the school, she received a £25 Tesco gift card, and her design was printed on 250 reusable jute shopping bags which have been distributed to Hillcroft and are now being sold to raise funds for the school.
“We were delighted and proud to hear Jessie had won,” said head of school John Williams. “It’s a fantastic eye- catching design, so she really deserves her prize, and the fact that the school and so many of the extended school family will also benefit, from the school’s prize
and the bags is just a bonus.”
Staff at Cordwalles Junior School in Camberley had a surprise recently when the visit of a best-selling author led to the discovery of another writer in the playground the following day.
Chris Powling is a former headteacher turned award-winning children’s author, with over 90 books to his name, including ‘The Phantom Carwash’ and ‘The Mustang Machine’. During the course of his visit to Cordwalles, he spoke to pupils from Years Three to Six, telling stories of his own life as a writer and giving tips on how he goes about his craft – and evidently one pupil from Year Four was more inspired than most by his words.
“The morning after his visit, one of the children, Dylan, came in to school with a book he had written overnight, which he was showing off proudly in the playground – I think that’s proof that the visit was a success!,” said English subject leader Philippa Leah, who organised the visit. “Chris was great with the children. He told them stories from his own school days and his life as a writer, and gave them tips on how to improve their story writing. He even took some inspiration away from the school, for ideas for future stories, such as the special dance Learning Support Assistant Mrs Haddrell does when she puts the lights on!”
It was not just the pupils who had the benefit of his advice – perhaps fittingly for a former teacher, the author also took time out to talk to parents about the importance of supporting their children with their reading. “That came at the end of the day, around the time he did a book signing, so I think a fair few of the children will have gone home to read his books that night,” Ms Leah added. “It was a wonderful end to a great day – and what we saw next morning just confirmed how popular a visitor he was, and what an impact he made on the pupils”.
Glyn School’s academic success has earned further acclaim after the school won two Educational Outcomes awards from schools membership group SSAT.
Just months after receiving a letter from Education Secretary David Laws commending the school for its GCSE results, Glyn executive head teacher Jon Chaloner was informed of the school’s latest achievement by Sue Williamson, chief executive of SSAT, a group which works to raise standards and reward success in specialist schools and academies.
“Glyn is in the top 20% of schools in the country in terms of progress made between Key Stage 2 results and GCSE, and in the top 10% nationally for high attainment – it’s one of the best in the country for student progress, as these awards prove,” she explained. “This shows what can happen when strong leadership means teachers set the bar high and are ambitious for their pupils – and they respond. The result is exceptional performance, and there’s so much that other schools can learn from Glyn. I’m so proud that the school is part of our SSAT family."
Mr Chaloner, who is soon to step down as Glyn’s executive head teacher to pursue his work as head of the GLF academy of schools, said everyone associated with the school should be proud of this latest honour. “To be recognised in this way for what we do is a real compliment to everyone who’s part of Glyn,” he said. “We encourage our students to be aspirational, and do the best we can to give them the back-up to reach those targets and goals, so having an external organisation pick up on that and reward it like this is a real sign that everyone – staff, pupils and the school family – is getting it right."
Mr Chaloner added that he was confident the good work would continue after his departure. “Our results have been commended by the Department for Education for the last three years, and now we have these honours too, so that’s a sign that good practice is in the DNA of what we do here at Glyn,” he explained. “We have an experienced senior leadership team, excellent teaching staff in place and eager, hardworking students, so I look forward to hearing of more success in the coming years.”
More than 100 children and their families decorated ceramic egg cups and wooden bird boxes as part of free activities held in the Vancouver Quarter on Easter Saturday.
The shopping centre teamed up with Paint Me Ceramics and Craft Studio to host the workshops on April 4 next to Costa Coffee and opposite Wilkinson on New Conduit Street. Children who took part in the bird box workshop were also invited to collect a free bag of bird feed from Wilkinson.
“Our workshops on Easter Saturday proved very popular,” centre manager Abbie Panks said. “We’ve had some excellent feedback from parents who brought their children along and clearly this event was a big hit with families.
“It was wonderful to see so many children have fun and get crafty. The finished egg cups and wooden bird boxes looked great with the children using their imaginations to come up with some wonderful designs.
“It was also pleasing to see those who attended with the children, whether it be parents, grandparents and siblings, were positively interacting and involved with what was happening.”
She added: “A huge thank you to Paint Me Ceramics and Craft Studio for running these fantastic workshops and to Wilkinson for giving bird food to the children who decorated the wooden bird boxes.
“There will be plenty of other free events in the Vancouver Quarter this year, including the return of our very popular Halloween event and Christmas Grotto. Follow us on Twitter, like our page on Facebook and keep an eye on our website for details of events when they are confirmed.”
Businesses from around King’s Lynn battled it out to be crowned the best three-legged egg and spoon racers in town on Thursday 2 April.
The annual event was the second Vancouver Quarter Business Challenge of 2015 and drew a large crowd in St Dominic’s square after the action began at 1pm. The team from Ward Gethin Archer, beat a team from Burger King in the grand final to take the crown.
Primark and Sainsbury’s finished third and fourth respectively. Wilko, New Look and a mixed team of RBS and Costa Coffee completed the list of participants and also competed in a “wooden spoon” competition, which was comfortably won by New Look.
“It was brilliant to see so many people line the route to cheer on the teams taking part in our egg and spoon racing challenge,” said Vancouver Quarter marketing and events assistant David Blackmore. “The sun was shining and there was an excellent atmosphere in the town centre throughout the challenge. A huge thank you to everyone who took part and well done to our winners Ward Gethin Archer.”
Abbie Panks, Vancouver Quarter centre manager, added: “The business challenges started two years ago as a way for businesses across the town to get out and meet other retailers. It can be very difficult for retailers to get out during the day so these challenges offer light relief as well as the chance to talk to one another.”
Despite missing out on winning the challenge, Burger King could take some consolation from the fact their team secured the quickest time overall with 53 seconds in their heat. Sainsbury’s and Primark also clocked impressive times of just over a minute during the course of the challenge.
This event followed pancake racing in February, which was won by Alive Leisure. The businesses will compete in their next challenge – beat the goalie – in August and this will be followed a final mystery challenge in October.
The team with the most points after these four challenges will be crowned Vancouver Quarter Business Challenge 2015 champions and a donation will be made to a charity of the winner’s choice.
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