School news

Lots of positive news from our schools so far this term. The latest news for Diocesan MAT Schools is also available on the MAT website, please click here.

Big Sing - Tuesday 26 March 2024 
Thank you to schools which took part in our Big Sing event at the Cathedral on Tuesday 26 March 2024.   This was a new event, in partnership with Christian Aid, to raise awareness of their work and to help raise funds. It was an opportunity for pupils to come together in our beautiful cathedral to sing together and to share stories of how they are learning about global justice and becoming courageous advocates.  About 580 attended, pupils and staff from 13 church schools in the Diocese, parents and grandparents, members from Christian Aid, Councillor Andy Mellen.  Led by Dean Joe and Jane Sheat with a blessing by Bishop Mike.

Photo: Pupils from Barnham CEVCP School who took part in the Big Sing event and showcased the courageous advocacy taking place at the school. 

The Courageous Advocates after-school club from Barrow CEVCP spent an afternoon creating a butterfly-shaped pollinator-friendly garden in the churchyard of All Saints Church. Victoria Bush writes: "This was the end result of months of research, planning, fundraising and working with parents, other pupils, local parish councillors and the church leaders to make a real difference to the issue of climate change and habitat destruction. This also supported the Eco Church plan for churchyards to become nature havens."

As the 2024 Paris Olympics grow closer, the Diocesan MAT is raising awareness about the Olympic Games and its values by having a Torch travelling round all 21 of the MAT schools. The MAT have been lucky enough to borrow a real Olympic torch from a competitor in the 2012 Paralympics. 

The latest stage of the journey saw four students from Chelmondiston CofE Primary together with their Headteacher climb into a rib boat and make their way across the River Orwell to collect the torch and olympic flag from year 6 pupils at Nacton CofE Primary, who waited on the beach for the handover.  Representatives from Felixstow and Holbrook Coast Guards were there with flashing lights and sirens! Key Stage 2 children were waiting for their return at the sailing club at Pin Mill and they were greeted with cheers and clapping. The children then took part in a relay passing the torch from person to person. 

To see previous stages of the Torch's journey and follow progress, please click here.

The senior choir at St Gregory CEVCP, Sudbury were invited to sing at St Paul's Cathedral again. The choir sang two songs during the lunchtime Eucharist on 16 May. 

Daniel Woodrow, Headteacher writes: "It's obviously a huge honour to be asked to sing at the cathedral again. The invitation came around as Tom Cogan, our inspirational, irreplaceable choirmaster, is retiring at the end of this school year and St Paul's agreed to help us give him the best possible send-off that we can. It meant so much to Tom when we were the first school ever in over 300 years to sing at a lunchtime service back in October 2021 and to be able to give both him and the children such an unforgettable experience before he leaves makes this trip really special. 

It was a magical day and the children excelled themselves - their behaviour, singing and sense of wonder were of the very highest order and I know that it is a day that will stay with us all forever.

The bishop at the service was incredibly complimentary and got the congregation to give the children a round of applause, which is unheard of in such a formal setting. He also blessed and prayed for the school and was kind enough to give Tom a special mention and thank him publicly for the gift of music that he has given to the school, which meant a lot.

I cannot thank Tom and Sue enough for all that they did to prepare the children and to give us all such a magical, memorable experience."
Videos of the pupils singing the two songs plus a flashmob of Mary Poppins Feed the Birds on the steps of St Paul's, can be found on the links below:
Look at the World
Gaelic Blessing
Feed the Bird (Flashmob on steps of St Paul's)

Pupils at St Matthews CofE Primary School have turned thousands of discarded bottle caps into artwork and ditched plastic cutlery at lunchtime to save the environment.  The Eco Warriors at the School have been working towards an internationally recognised environment protection award, known as the Green Flag Award.  For more, please see the Ipswich Star by clicking here

Stutton CofE Primary School which has been taking part in a project with The British Council and have been paired with a school in Egypt. Crystelle Edwards, Head writes: "Each school does a project on the Global Development Goals and shares work. We completed the work to share with our partner school and it was all about showing care and compassion by completing work related to the UN Global Development Goals. Ducklings and Puffins (EYFS and KS1) learned about goal 15- life on land -and were inspired to think about their love of nature. They created nature hearts with materials collected from school on one side. 
KS2 learned about goal 5 and 10 and completed activities related to gender equality and reducing inequalities.. We talked about what makes opportunities fair and how we can support each other in school. The oldest children also did a litter pick in  the local area." 

Stutton CofE Primary School also had a visit from Bishop Mike, who talked to pupils about his job and some of the things a Bishop does and what a Bishop has to wear. Bishop Mike also blessed the school.

Pupils at schools within the Thedwastre Education Trust joined together to perform at a concert at Thurston Community College last month. A special music day was held for pupils from Great Barton, Rattlesden, Thurston CofE Primary Academies and Woolpit Primary School which included a series of worshops to prepare for the concert in the college auditorium in the evening. For more on this story, please click here.

The Friends of Whatfield CEVCP School (F.O.W.S.) have created a beautiful outdoor area for spiritual reflection.  The School writes:"A school's strength is greatly enhanced by the unwavering support of its parents, and at Whatfield, this support is abundant! Thanks to the tireless efforts of our incredible F.O.W.S. over the Easter holidays, what was once an unusable, overgrown, and neglected pond area has been transformed into a vibrant space where children can engage in spiritual reflection, collaborative learning with their peers, and enjoy pond-dipping adventures at any time. Recognising the crucial role of outdoor learning spaces in children's education, the F.O.W.S. organized numerous fundraising events and dedicated their free time to renovating this area, driven by their love for their own children and the future students of Whatfield CEVCP School.  Our heartfelt gratitude to Mr & Mrs Baker, Mr & Mrs Death and Mrs & Mrs Morley."  For more photos, please click here.

Suffolk Show Schools Garden Competition 2024

Pupils at Tattingstone CEVCP School have entered the Suffolk Show Schools Garden Competition. Beverley Derrett, Headteacher  writes:"Launched in 2015, the Schools' Show Garden Competition gives schools the opportunity to design and build a 1.5m x 1m show garden to reflect the theme which is different every year. The theme for 2024 is 'An Olympic Themed Garden' and the children at Tattingstone Primary have really enjoyed this exciting project.
All children were invited to take part in the competition and three of our KS2 children have seen the project through from start to finish. They started by planning how they wanted the garden to look and what plants they would like to grow / buy for their design depending on what was available in the garden centres at this time of year. They researched the plants and looked at what would be good for the bees and butterflies and then wrote some information sheets about the plants.
As part of the theme the children also wanted to paint a number of flags on the stones for some of the countries that were competing at the Olympics being held in Paris this year. Children have thoroughly enjoyed planting and selecting where to put their posters and the painted stones and hopefully our raised bed will be of interest to judges and visitors to the Suffolk Show." The gardens will be judged on the first day of the Show, Wednesday 29 May. Good luck Tattingstone!

Suffolk Farming School of the Year 2024

Year 3 pupils at Acton CEVCP have reached the final. The School writes: "We had to build a model out of recyclable materials to represent a cross section of healthy soil. We used a range of boxes to create each layer, which we then added to with different recyclable materials. Our model showed the layers of soil and what can be found within, as well as the importance of recycling and keeping our planet healthy. On the top of our model was a farm, including an origami pig and some paper vegetables. This showed how the roots bury below the surface and how we need healthy soil to grow and survive."  Good luck Acton!

Pupils at Stoke by Nayland CofE Primary also reached the final with the model opposite completed for Stage 1. The semi-finals (Stage 2) involve pupils competing against other schools to complete a days worth of challenges before being selected to go through to the final.  Good luck Stoke by Nayland! For more on the Farming School of the Year Competition, click here


Year 3 pupils at St Peter & St Paul CofE Primary, Eye writes:

"Pupils made this amazing model showing a cross-section of healthy soil. The judges were impressed with their efforts and our school got through to the semi-final." 

Page last updated: Thursday 23rd May 2024 10:41 AM
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