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Schools Newsletter and School News

The Education Team produce a half-termly Newsletter which is emailed to all church school Headteachers, Clergy, DBE Members, Chairs of Governors and all Foundation Governors.

For the latest school news, including details of the Diocesan Christmas Card Competition winner and the Diocesan Art Project 2018 which has just finished, please click here.

We are happy to send the Newsletter to individuals outside these groups - if you would like to be added to the circulation list please click here.

Click below to access the current and past Newsletters.

Education Newsletter Survey

In October we sent a short survey to all recipients of our Education Newsletter asking for feedback to help us improve the newsletter.

The survey asked eight questions about readership, the design, format, frequency and length of the newsletter, whether web links provided were helpful and overall how you rated the newsletter.

Key findings:

  • 89% liked to read about school news, 78% about training and events and 75% about Diocesan education news;
  • 97% liked the design and format;
  • 89% thought the frequency of every half-term was about right;
  • 91% felt it was the right length;
  • 100% (of those who had used links) felt that the links provided were useful/adequate; and
  • overall 84% of respondents felt the newsletter was either good or very good, with 16% satisfactory.

Most respondents commented that they found the newsletter informative, timely and relevant. We will be looking at improving the layout, particularly the font and making the newsletter more concise by providing links to further information which will be on our website. 

Questions included: 

Q: Do you ask for schools information or can anyone send good news?
A: We usually receive information directly from schools, governors and from members of the edcuation team following school visits, but anyone can provide school news.  Any photos provided will need to have parental consent.

Q: Does the newsletter go to all foundation governors?
A: Yes it does and also church school Headteachers and staff, Chairs of Governors and clergy.

Thank you again to all those who responded.  Look out for changes in the New Year.

School News

Diocesan Christmas Card Competition winner 

A five-year-old primary school pupil who designed an award- winning Christmas card that will be used across Suffolk this year has received a prize for her work from the county’s Bishop.

Willow Brown, who attends Wilby Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School, designed the winning card.

The Church of England in Suffolk invited church schools across the county to enter the Christmas card competition. Entries came in from primary school pupils using a range of techniques to illustrate the Christmas story. Willow said: "I loved making my card-my angel is beautiful-she is visiting the baby Jesus!”

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, presented Willow with her prize, a Lion book of Read-Together Bible Stories, during a presentation at his home in Ipswich on November 23. Bishop Martin said: “I really like this vibrant image of an angel. Angels play an important part in the Bible, as messengers from God, bringing important news to earth. At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus- good news for everyone.”

Roisin Wiseman, Headteacher at Wilby CEVCP School, said: “I am so pleased that one of our pupils has been successful in winning this competition. Christmas forms an important part of our celebrating together as a church school.”

Jane Sheat, Diocesan Director of Education, added: “Church schools provide children with  opportunities to understand the meaning of Christmas and this is one way of helping them to explore what it is all about. Well done to all those who took part, and congratulations to Willow.”

Diocesan Art Project 2018 -  ‘Stewards of God’s Creation’ 

This year’s Diocesan Art Project for Church Schools took our world as its focus, both from the point of view of the wonders of God’s creation and how we, as humans, are having an impact on our world.  (Inset: Acton CEVCP School)

Fourteen of  our church schools took part in the project, which commenced with a skills day in July, led by art consultant Dave Morris, where techniques and visual approaches were introduced and there was an opportunity to work with a variety of media, including willow. Each school was encouraged to explore the themes as creatively and imaginatively as possible. Back in school, the children were encouraged to extend the limits of what they previously thought they might be able to achieve artistically.  (Inset: Honington CEVCP School)

Children from each of the participating schools worked on the project during the autumn term. This resulted in an ambitious exhibition of their artwork in the Cathedral cloisters in Bury St Edmunds from 14th - 25th November 2018. 

Thank you to all the children and staff involved in the project and to Dave Morris, who led the project and provided the thought-provoking ideas that inspired everyone to produce such brilliant pieces of artwork for our exhibition.  To see a photo of each school's art project please click here.

 

Reflection at St Gregory CEVCP School, Sudbury

On Friday 25 May The Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison, Suffragan Bishop of Dunwich, opened and blessed the new Outdoor Reflection Area and Reflection Room at St Gregory CEVCP School, Sudbury. These areas had been designed by the School Council and the governing body's Ethos Committee and were made possible by generous donations from local groups.

The Outdoor Area has artwork on display that Year 6 completed as well as a labyrinth, painted pebbles and a new bench for the children to use. They have also added a Bug Hotel, Fairy Garden and Mud Kitchen. The school hope that the children enjoy resting, praying, reflecting and finding peace and quiet there.

The new Reflection Room, which has been designed and resourced as a place for the children to go for their counselling sessions, therapies and to talk and feel safe, has a range of art and
music resources to help the children express how they are feeling as well as lots of new books to help with issues such as self-esteem, friendship and bereavement.

At the opening and blessing of the outdoor area the school choir sang John Rutter's Look At The World and following the opening, guests, who included Karen Harman representing the Diocese, enjoyed refreshments and spoke with our School Council.

A celebration of diversity

In February, Sir Robert Hitcham CEVAP School, Debenham held a Diversity Week based around the theme of Africa.  Working in mixed age groups, pupils from Year 1-6 learnt about life in a village in the region of Kagera, in Tanzania. In a series of workshops, they found out about school, tasted tropical fruits, were taught about the importance of protecting wildlife and learnt songs in Swahili. The workshop days ended in an assembly where pupils shared their learning and sang their new songs together. 

The Kagera sessions were arranged through the Diocese of St Edmundsbury, which has a link with this Christian community in Tanzania. The workshop leaders, who had visited Kagera, were very knowledgeable and encouraged pupils to participate, ask questions and try new experiences. We are very grateful to our Friends of School who paid for the workshop sessions. 

It was very important that the pupils were aware of diversity within Africa and understood that there are cities, sky scrapers, wealthy people and a rich range of languages and cultures. We used images and video to find out more about different places and the lives of children. Throughout the week the pupils learnt more about life in Tanzania, found out about famous Africans and considered how their lives are similar or different to those of children in other countries.  Each class chose to extend their learning in different ways. Using African art and fabric as a starting point, children created a range of paintings, fabric designs and their own pieces of tie dye. 

Our Early Years pupils braved a chilly trip to Africa Alive to find out about African animals. Their learning in the week included the use of stories, a role play hut and African based art and music.

At the end of the week, we welcomed parents to view the pupils’ work and hear about their learning. Pupils in Year 5 and 6 treated their audience to a beautifully performed song, ‘Mungu na sisi milele’, God is with us forever, which they had been learning in their music lessons. This included accompaniment from pupils playing a wide range of instruments and the djembe to keep the rhythm throughout. 

50th Birthday Celebrations

Congratulations to St Mary's CofE Primary School, Hadleigh who celebrated their 50th birthday on 15 March 2018.

The special day celebrated the life and impact of the school by sharing children's research about the history of the school and Hadleigh; followed by a buffet lunch for invited guests and a party lunch for children.

Bishop Mike officially opened the school's spiritual garden following a special service at St Mary's Church.

A wonderful day was had by all.  The EADT also featured this story, please click here to read more.