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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 the Diocesan Art Project, 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.

School News

Christmas Card 2019

This year Acton CEVCP School kindly agreed to design our Christmas Card.

Arts teacher, Nicci Willmott says: "The whole class had a go at creating the silhouette Christmas card design and we made it into a competition. I chose Ezra's painting as the winning one because he had blended his watercolours using the perfect amount of paint and water and cut out his silhouette so carefully." 

This beautiful card was created by Ezra Reed, aged 9. Thank you to everyone who took part in the competition and especially to Ezra and Nicci.


Diocesan Art Project 2019

Monday 25 November saw the launch of our third Diocesan Art Project for schools with a skills day led by art consultant Dave Morris.

18 delegates represented their schools.  They spent the day exploring 2D skills and techniques, such as tone, pattern, tint, impasto and sgraffito, taught to them by Dave, which they will take back to their schools and use to inspire their children to create works of art for an art exhibition in the Cathedral cloisters in April /May 2020.    

The title of the project is ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful,’ a focus on the diversity of God’s creation.  As before, the aim is to give children access to skills and techniques that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience and allow them to extend their creativity and their imagination through the artwork they will produce for the exhibition next spring.

Thanks to Trinity CEVAP School for the use of their art room.  More to follow on this....

Photos.  Delegates working through specialist art techniques through the focus: ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful.’

Tattingstone CEVCP School's visit to Parliament

School Councillors (accompanied by some other KS 2 pupils) visited Westminster Palace and the Houses of Parliament. The opportunity to visit Parliament allowed the children to take part in a tour of Parliament, followed by a workshop based on voting. Culminating in a Q&A session to the school’s MP James Cartilage. These included:

What law would you destroy? James’ response – “It’s called ‘repeal’ - Changing the age of voting to 16, at this age you can earn money and pay tax therefore, you should be able to have a say in how it’s spent.”

When you became an MP what was your promise? James’ responses – “To respect the decision of the referendum. All promises are made in good faith, sometimes though things change because they may be too expensive or hard to achieve.”

The experience allowed the children to build on the knowledge they already had and to relate something of what they hear and see about politics to an actual place. The Trip in to London also gave those children who had not had such an experience before, to experience London’s many landmarks such as the London Eye, Tower Bridge and many more.

To share their experience the School Council shared their day with the whole school during Collective Worship, ably assisted by Miss Derrett (School Council lead). Many of the children during the workshop at the Houses of Parliament elected to ‘promise’ more homes for the homeless in their manifestos. As a consequence of this and the sight of homelessness in London, the School Councilhave organised a rucksack appeal (fill a rucksack with items requested by a local homeless charity) which will go ahead in the second half of term.

Moulton CEVCP School win Sports Award

Congratulations to Moulton CEVCP School on winning the Go Ape School of The Year award as part of the 2019 Greene King West Suffolk Sports Awards.  The school "consistently demonstrates a commitment to high quality PE and school sport. In both the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years the school was awarded the 'Gold' School Games Mark and is striving to achieve 'Platinum' as soon as possible. As PE Coordinator, Joanne Rutter has driven improvements to PE and school sport throughout the school and has the full support of the Headteacher and senior leadership team, who value the contribution physical activity makes towards whole school learning."

Debs Shipp, Headteacher: "We were massively thrilled, as we have worked so hard on sports for the past three years, as part of our efforts to keep children here, and to generally raise the profile within the school. The Forest Heath Schools’ Partnership were really impressed with how we spend our sports premium and how we had made such progress with sporting competitions."

New Vision Mosaic

Bishop Martin visited Walsham-le-Willows CEVCP School on a beautiful spring morning in April to unveil a mosaic designed by children at the school to mark the launch of the school’s newly developed Christian vision.

The school involved its entire community in the development of its Christian vision by launching a whole-school competition where the best visual elements submitted by the children would be developed into a large mosaic, a pictorial representation of the school’s vision, which was unveiled by Bishop Martin and then would be permanently displayed on a prominent external wall at the school.

New Community Room

Pupils at Stonham Aspal CEVAP School have a new LCVAP funded Community Room. The children in the picture opposite are enjoying themselves making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. This project used ring-fenced Healthy Pupils Capital Fund. 

Church Schools support the Lent Pilgrimage

Bishops Martin and Mike have completed their Lent Pilgrimage, having walked 90-miles from Southwold to Stowmarket. Along the way they met school children from a number of our schools including: Walsham Le Willows CEVCP School where pupils quizzed the Bishops about their pilgrimage; pupils at Norton CEVCP School welcomed the Bishops as they entered Stowlangtoft by singing 'We are Walking in the light of God' and then walked with them to Stowlangtoft church; and St Peter and St Paul CofE Primary School, Eye attended a school mass in the local church with the Bishops.

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.