IT’S WALK TO SCHOOL FORTNIGHT
8th – 19th October 2018
As part of our year-round initiative to Walk to School more, we are encouraging the children at Thorn Grove to take part in Walk to School Fortnight which will take place this week and next week (8th – 19th October).
Walking to school benefits everyone: it’s healthy, it can improve well being, and it can help to reduce pollution and congestion. Walking is a more sociable activity and can enhance children’s road safety skills and awareness.
We would like to ask all our pupils and parents to walk to school wherever possible throughout the next two weeks. Teachers will be completing a tally of how many children in each class walk to school each day. Our Eco-Warriors will be working closely with me to work out which class has walked to school the most, and the class with the most walkers may just be in for a treat!
Instead of just walking, you may want to travel to school on a scooter or bicycle. We understand that it is not always possible to walk to school if you live far away. Instead of driving the whole distance to school, you might want to try and park a few streets away and walk some of the distance to school. Every little helps!
Our Children in Stockport are Worth More
A Day of Positive Action by Stockport Schools Friday 12th October 2018
Stockport is one of the worst funded education authorities in England. Even with the new funding proposals our children receive less money per pupil than many of the local Greater Manchester authorities and we currently sit in the worst half funded of schools in the country having previously been136th of 150 authorities. On average this looks like around £1000 per pupil less than learners who attend Manchester schools.
Representatives of primary and secondary head teacher groups met with Damian Hinds in June to put forward our case for better funding. They explained the great divide between our schools funding and others in the country and the impact that this was having on our schools.
School leaders have continued to make difficult choices to best resource our schools and provide the best opportunities for our learners but with rising costs, demands to maintain school buildings and the continuous challenge of meeting expectations for all, this is becoming increasingly difficult. Currently, we are proud of the outcomes for our children and despite the funding constraints we are able to provide quality first teaching for all. Our school budgets however, are quickly diminishing in real terms and as schools approach breaking point very difficult decisions regarding provision will inevitably have to be made.
As a collective of school leaders across all phases and settings we continue to call on the Secretary of State for Education to increase funding for all those within early years, primary, secondary and special schools.
We ask that as parents, you continue to lobby our local MP Mary Robinson to make them aware of our situation and to further reiterate the circumstances our schools are in.
Last week, Head teachers from all over the country took the unprecedented step to illustrate their concerns over school funding by staging a march from Parliament Square to Downing Street to present a letter highlighting concerns. Stockport was represented in this march.
For pupils with additional needs we are concerned that the High Needs budget is not fit for purpose. Schools are under enormous pressure to provide appropriate entitlement of support as numbers continue to increase and pupils are presenting with a range of complexities in many cases. Under the proposed formula schools are increasingly challenged to deliver on outcomes for learners identified with additional needs,
Funding for early years childcare is also stretched, particularly as a result of the introduction of Government funding levels for 30 hours of ‘free’ childcare. School budgets are not equipped adequately to cover the basic costs of delivery.
Funding for Stockport’s schools in recent years remains out of line with inflation and although some schools saw a modest increase in funding for 2018-19 this has been eroded by increasing costs including salary and pension increases, growing recruitment costs, inflation and the burden of paying into the Apprenticeship Levy.
Friday 12th October is a day we would like our voices to be heard. Rather our children and families’ voices to be heard. Schools in the authority will be carrying out a range of activities to look further into how more funds could and would enhance the learning experiences for our children.
Our children will be given the opportunity to share their thoughts and vision for the educational experiences they feel they are entitled to.
Parents will be invited to write to and talk to local MPs to share the collective view.
We look forward to a positive day of action and one where we have a chance to share our thoughts and further improve outcomes for our children.
The Schools of Stockport.
Parents and carers are invited to come along on Thursday 20th September at 10.30 a.m. or Friday 2nd November at 9.00 a.m. to have an opportunity to look around our school and meet our EYFS staff.
Please call us on (0161) 485 1177 or email us on email@example.com to book a place.
Thorn Grove Macmillan Coffee Event
Dear Parents and Carers,
On Friday 28th September 2018, Thorn Grove will be participating in the World’s Biggest Macmillan Coffee Event. This annual event is an important fundraiser for the Macmillan Cancer Support organisation. Cancer affects the lives of thousands of families and communities worldwide and the funds raised at this event enable Macmillan to help people living with cancer and their families receive essential medical, practical and emotional support.
Our afternoon coffee event will take place on Friday 28th September at 3:30pm in our school canteen where a selection of tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits will be served. Monetary donations for Macmillan cancer support will be collected throughout the event. To celebrate the community spirit of the occasion, children and staff are invited to spend the school day in a suggested purple and green Macmillan themed non-uniform – this could range from anything as small as purple and green socks or accessories to a full-blown purple and green outfit! Be creative!
Any donations of cakes and biscuits (these do not need to be home baked) would be greatly appreciated. Please bring them in to school on the morning of 28th September. We hope to see everybody there to help raise funds for what I’m sure you will agree is a very worthwhile cause.
Thank you for your continued support,
Miss G Bennett
Mighty Mighty Thorn Grove!
We would like to share some magical moments from our fabulous ‘Outdoor Classroom Day’ earlier this term. We hope the children told you all about it but if not- here are some highlights!
The day began with an Outdoor Assembly where the teachers shared the Outdoor rules for the day. The number one rule was to enjoy the outdoors! Each class moved around 6 areas where they took part in a physical activity, circle time, field work, investigation and Forest School challenge.
At play time, the children swapped playgrounds for the day. During lunch time the whole school shared a picnic on the field. It was wonderful to see the oldest and youngest children coming together for this!
The afternoon involved children revisiting favourite activities such as den building, compass reading and stone decorating.
Whilst children were busily occupied, each class had an opportunity to toast a marshmallow around the campfire.
This was a special and extraordinary day which we hope children will remember for a very long time! Many thanks to all our parent helpers who supported the day and to Chris in the kitchen for preparing all the packed lunches!
The final day; the final activities; the final chance to step outside your comfort zone; and the final chance to eat an inappropriately large, but simply delicious, breakfast before completing various physical and mental challenges.
Team ‘Year six’ awoke and strode forward with gusto. Mixed emotions fluttered randomly through the conversations of the TGPS pupils just like the butterflies that accompanied us on our walks to the peak of the local hills when travelling to bouldering. ‘I don’t want to leave’, ‘I want to see the folks back home’, ‘I want to do trapeze again’, I want to get higher on the climbing wall’, ‘I want another sausage with my breakfast, ‘I wish we could stay longer’, ‘I wish I was as good as Mr Wilson was at crate challenge’ (Alright, the last one was made up!) were all heard as the children approached their last morning of activities.
The whole group, who had grown immeasurably in confidence, stature and togetherness, pulled back their shoulders; raised their heads and joyfully bounced out of the dining hall. The weather responded to the atmosphere of positivity by supplying a morning of warming sun and blissful breezes – the rain finally came (as if planned by a higher force) as the three teams finished their final challenges and returned to base for a final chat with the instructors, lunch and departure.
The damp outside didn’t dampen the spirits at all and, as goodbyes were exchanged and thanks given, year six stepped onto the coach.
The journey home had started, but the journey we had all been on could not be measured in miles, minutes, millilitres or grams….
It could only be measured in smiles, memories, experiences, friendships and grins.
Goodbye Robinwood….. we had a blast!
This morning we were woken by blue skies and beaming sunshine. The children and staff, refreshed after a peaceful evening wandered happily towards the dining room and were greeted by an amazing cooked breakfast, toast and beverages. The happy hordes tucked in, and with good reason, as 12 hours of thrilling and demanding challenges stood waiting to be overcome.
Year six bounded forward: teams became closer; grins widened; laughter bounced around the corridors; and the exploits of the day before were shared in glorious fashion. Yet, there was no time to dwell on the adventures of yesterday as today’s quests swiftly began.
The groups conquered the dark, twisted recesses of the cave system; trekked the moors in the search of ancient rock foundations to explore during bouldering; became the engineers of colossal crate structures (sturdy enough to support the weight of four of our intrepid architects); and solved the riddle of the Dungeon of Doom!
Another amazing day, but it was not over….
Dinner was merely a wonderful refuelling stop and glorious meals were wolfed down and choc ices devoured rapidly; then it was on to final adventure.
One more activity awaited and the children and staff powered onwards; there was no stopping us now. Yet, time unfortunately caught up with us, the moon beamed down as the sun, and the groups, happily, but wearily retired.
Day two was complete – now for day three!
At approximately 09:15 this morning our intrepid year sixes stepped purposefully on to the coach ready for adventure. As they waved goodbye to Cheadle Hulme, the beaming smile of the hazy summer sun broke through the clouds and mirrored the smiles and laughter that filled the coach.
As we approached our venue, calm floated through the coach; children and teachers alike contemplated the days and adventures ahead and whether they would conquer the challenges set before them.
Suddenly, the careful contemplation was broken – we had arrived! The vibrant team leaders collected the group and led them up the narrow dusty road to Robinwood; it was time to settle in, grab some subsistence, hydrate and ‘kit up’ for our first activities.
Energised and refreshed by lunch, the groups (Wood, Valley and Hill) gathered their equipment and bounded towards their first activities; the afternoon was jam-packed with amazing deeds: daring high wire flights on the trapeze; perilous piranha pool performances; and marvellous missions into the unknown solving an alien conspiracy.
An exhilarated, but exhausted, group of Thorn Grove pupils and teachers reassembled at dinner to feast on a hearty meal of pizza, salad and chips followed by delicious ice cream. Energy levels re-established, the children made their way towards the team challenge (a fun, exciting competition which pitted the three groups against each other in a variety of tasks). It was a close run affair, but eventually Wood group lifted the trophy; the teachers, who also had a team, trailed in fourth. Youth and exuberance had proved too mighty for age and wisdom in the battle of Robinwood.
The victors lifted the cup, hot chocolate and biscuits were served to our weary warriors, and they made their way to bed ready to rest, recuperate and raise themselves tomorrow morning for the next set of challenges.
As the sun sets on a truly wonderful day at Robinwood, eyes close, friends wish each other good night and lights are dimmed.
Here are some pictures of today. Look out for the day 2 update tomorrow.