Newsletter: Friday 14th February 2014
Our current value is: RESPONSIBILITY
Thought of the week:
'The price of greatness is responsbility.'
Winston Churchhill Prime Mninister 1940-45 and 1951-1955
Dear Pupils, Parents and Carers
We have made it to half term! The past six weeks have flown by at an incredible pace but, having spoken to a number of pupils over the past few days, I think are all agreed that we will be pleased to be able to spend the next five days taking a break and pursuing other interests.
Thank you to everyone who came along to either one or both of our Consultation Evenings. Now that we are half way through the school year, it will be important for all of us (pupils, parents/carers and teachers) to reflect upon what we have achieved to date and what our next steps will be as we push forward to the end of the school year.
Thank you also to the 173 families who completed our ‘Parental Questionnaire’. Whilst we are still processing the finer details, we are delighted to be able to report that:
• 167 families (96.5%) said they would recommend Linslade School.
• 4 families (2.3%) said they would not recommend the school.
• 2 families (1.2%) said they were unsure if they would recommend the school.
We will reporting the feedback received in detail in our newsletter shortly after half term alongside what we intend to do in response as we continue to move forward as a school.
Inclusion Policy: Mrs Johnson.
We are currently reviewing our Inclusion Policy and would welcome the input of families to this process. A copy of the draft version of the new policy is available to read on the website in the policy section. If you would like to comment on the policy as it stands at the moment, please contact Mrs Johnson via
. Thank you!
Year 8 Visit to Cedars to Meet Local Author Tony Drury: Merin Monteath.
On February 5th 2014, ten Year 8 students and Ms Smith went to Cedars to meet with two other schools for a story writing afternoon with the romantic thriller writer Tony Drury. We were the first to arrive but shortly after everyone was there and we began. First the group discussed the importance of a good book cover. Mr Drury gave us three examples of books; we discussed their covers and what made them interesting and eye catching. He told the group that it takes roughly 3 seconds for a person to make up their mind about a book after seeing the cover. We also talked about how many words were in an average short story and how many were in an average novel as well as lots of other interesting facts about books and how to write them. After that, we were given a basic story plot and it was our job to expand on it and create a full story from it. We went through some people's opening sentences and talked about the positives and possible improvements for them. We also did this with the conclusion for the story. We learnt that it was important to include all the relevant information early on in a short story so that the rest of the writing could be about the story itself. We also learnt how to write a gripping introduction and an amazing ending but most of all we learnt that writing shouldn't be stressful or annoying or time wasting, writing should be fun!
A Reminder from Mr Sanders: Condover Hall Meeting for Year 7 Families on Thursday 27 February.
This meeting will take place in the Hall at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday back after half term. We look forward to seeing you there!
Theatre Workshops: Thursday 6 February – Miss Moore.
On Thursday 6th February, a selected group of Year 5 and 7 students had the exciting opportunity of watching and taking part in a drama workshop with some of the Year 10 GCSE Drama students from Cedars.
The Year 10s performed a series of short sketches that focused on serious issues within PSHE including peer pressure, bullying and behaviour. The performances were followed by exciting workshops that looked at describing the characters, identifying and commenting on their behaviour, hot-seating the actors to find out their character's motivation and reasons for their actions, and then a short improvisation of a part of the sketch that they had seen.
Both the Year 5 and the year 7 students were fantastic as the audience and participated in the workshops with enthusiasm. Frankie Lamb, Year 7, said "The Year 10 students have been very creative in their performances and they remembered their lines well", Owen Merrington said, "The workshops were entertaining and fun, and the Year 10 students really got us involved". Well done to all who participated.
Year 5 and 6 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar Guides: Correction.
In our last main newsletter, we stated that, ‘In order to help members of Year 5 and 6 to prepare as thoroughly as possible for their Key Stage 2 SATs in May 2014 and May 2015 respectively, we have decided to buy every pupil a spelling, punctuation and grammar study book that they can use both as a revision tool and alongside on-going work in lessons.’
Of course this should have read, ‘In order to help members of Year 6 and 5 to prepare as thoroughly as possible for their Key Stage 2 SATs in May 2014 and May 2015 respectively, we have decided to buy every pupil a spelling, punctuation and grammar study book that they can use both as a revision tool and alongside on-going work in lessons.’
Apologies to any members of Year 5 who through they were being fast-tracked and to anyone in Year 6 who thought they had been given a reprieve of one year!
The story of the ‘Great Linslade Flood’ continues to attract interest. Indeed, you may have seen we made the LBO this week and, much to the delight of the pupils, our now famous duck was featured too. We have been contacted by a number of people who have told us their memories of Linslade floods in the past, including this reminiscence.
‘I remember 30+ years ago flooding was so bad that we had to be evacuated across to Tiddenfoot and we all had to walk on classroom tables which Mr Jepp (the Headteacher) had orchestrated into a temporary bridge so flooding is nothing new’.
We have also learnt that one of the key reasons for our flood could be an old stream (we think it may now be an underground stream) which runs along the land at the back of the school. One of our neighbours has suggested to us that this may well be overflowing and adding to our problems, which would help to explain why we took the brunt of the water last week. Whilst we are looking at what we can do to mitigate the build-up of water, natural features such as this will just have to be lived with and managed as best as they can.
Families will be pleased to know we now have contingencies and risk assessments in place should we find ourselves dealing with flooding in the future. Obviously, these will come into action and we will do all we can to remain open BUT only if it is safe to do so.
Key Dates for next half term: (Correct at the time of going to print)
||Year 6 English SATs Workshop
||Year 7 Condover Hall Meeting 6.00 p.m
|4 - 6 March
||World Book Day (Dressing up/Non Uniform)
||Year 8 Girls: HPV (3rd inoculation)
||Parents' Forum 7.30p.m.
|Week 17 21 March
||Sports Relief Week (Activities to be confirmed)
||Afternoon: Gym and Dance Showcase with Lower Schools
||Gym and Dance Showcase 6.00p.m.
||Non School Uniform Day in aid of Sport Relief
||BBC School Report Day
||Spring Term Assessment Reports Issued
||Last day of term
|Wednesday 23 April
||First day of new term
Advanced Notice: Repeated from our last main newsletter.
WORLD BOOK DAY: Thursday 6 March. Once again the plan is that pupils either dress up as their favourite character or come to school in mufti but carrying their favourite book. We will be asking for a donation of £1 per child which will be donated to the charity Hearing Books for the Blind.
CATS: Tuesday 4 – Thursday 6 March.
We very much hope that you have received letters outlining to you how to obtain tickets for this year’s school production ‘CATs’. A copy of the letter is available on the website, however, if you would prefer a paper copy (and have not yet received one via pupil post) please pop into reception to collect one. We look forward to seeing you at one (or more) of the performances!
Congratulations once again to Gracie Trotter in Year 6.
Last week, Gracie came to see me to show me the array of cups, trophies and certificates she has been awarded recently following a very successful time competing at swimming.
As many of you will know, Gracie often features in our newsletters following competitions and galas. It is wonderful to see her doing so well.
An Opportunity for Pupils at the Grove Theatre Dunstable: Karen Windley - Education and PR Assistant at The Grove Theatre Dunstable.
We have a fantastic opportunity for children aged from 6 years + to audition for this year Easter Pantomime, Alice in Wonderland. Production company, Magic Beans, hosted a fantastic Pantomime season at the Grove Theatre at the end of 2013 with the magnificent Dick Whittington.
Everyone is welcome to try out for the audition process so best of luck to all of those from your school who decide to take part.
Basketball Tournament Round Up: Mr Sanders.
The Year 7 girls’ and boys’ basketball teams recently played in the local tournaments at Brooklands and Fulbrook respectively. The boys’ team combined excellent passing and defending skills to produce some strong performances. Unfortunately they struggled to find the basket often enough and ended up fifth. The girls’ team fared better in their tournament, putting in some excellent performances however they lost their crunch game to a superb Fulbrook team. They finished second overall and should be very proud!
The Year 8 boys have transformed over the last year, growing taller and more skilful and, thus, had high hopes going into their tournament. The boys romped to 3 wins and a draw, winning on basket difference. They are now through to the County finals, well done boys!
The Year 8 girls entered their completion with a lot of expectation as they were County finalists last year. They did not buckle under the pressure and also stormed to 3 wins and a draw, meaning they were outright winners. They also go through to County finals!
All teams have been training at lunch times since September, showing that hard work and dedication leads to success.
Bedfordshire County Cross-Country Championships: Mrs Shenton
Another wild, wet Wednesday saw an intrepid group of runners head to the County Cross-Country championships at Ampthill Park. In anticipation of appalling weather and difficult conditions underfoot, the minibus seats had been wrapped in plastic and towels. The trek to the 'bathroom' facilities was almost further than the run and provided a good warm up and adrenaline rush as some runners under-estimated the time needed for the long walk for comfort and nearly missed the start of their race! There were approximately 70 competitors in each race and the course was longer with steeper gradients than at Tiddenfoot.
Our pupils showed great fortitude, determination and excellent levels of fitness. Very well done indeed, we are very proud of you.
Yr6/7 G - Rebecca Devereux 11th, Katie Tippite 12th
Yr6/7 B - Owen Lindars 28th, Freddie Hughes 33rd
Yr8/9 G - Tia Fry 35th, Caitlin Bell 40th
Yr8/9 B - John Fudge 32nd, Craig Rattray DNF due to injury
Year 5 Hi-5 Netball Tournament: Mrs Shenton
On Thursday 6 February, our Year 5 girls played against three other local teams in an exciting tournament. The girls completed their warm up and focussed on accurate shooting prior to the start of the tournament. In Hi-5 netball the team positions are constantly rotated ensuring that each player plays every position over the course of the 3 matches.
When not on court the players recorded the goals scored and made notes on how to improve so they could contribute to the vital team talk at half time. The start was frantic and scrappy but, as nerves calmed, the girls remembered all their training and began to pass well and move into space. Our 'footwork' was very accurate and the umpires never needed to penalise us for this infringement.
Match 1 - Vs Gilbert Inglefield - won 5-2 scorers Mia Howlett 4, Gracie Crabtree 1.
Match 2 - Vs Brooklands - won 5-0 Scorers Mia Howlett 3, Verity Shenton 2.
Match 3 - Vs Leighton - drew 3-3 scorers Mia Howlett 3.
The last match was nail biting as Leighton had also won both of their games. Our team played exceedingly well. The girls in defence recognised the need for exceptionally close marking of their opponent so that they could intercept passes or disrupt the Leighton attack. The score of 3-3 meant the overall tournament winners had to be decided on goal difference and as we had scored more goals overall Linslade were declared winners. Absolutely fantastic!
The team - Willow Powell, Sophie Payne, Mia Howlett, Alice Burchfield, Gracie Crabtree, Verity Shenton, Jaggar Arganese-McDermott
Badminton County Finals: Miss Horwood
You may recall that just before the Christmas break the girls played a district tournament against a range of local school teams, and won.
This was now the next stage of the competition; the County finals. On Monday 3rd February we travelled to Cranfield University to play in the Centre Parcs’ National Championship. The girls showed outstanding determination and drive to win, but came across some tough opponents. We played two games. The first saw a close game with us only losing by eight points. Maddie Maxwell and Lauren Avery played a brilliant doubles game against the school and beat them in the game. They played with teamwork, co-operation and respect for the other players as they shook their hands at the end of the game.
The second match was against some confident club players. They knew where to hit the shuttlecock and had us running around the court. Ella Claridge (Year 6) played against a Year 8 who stated ‘I felt under pressure to perform my best’. That is something of which Ella can be proud. In a couple of years to come Ella will, hopefully, be the player who is beating the best. Eventually, after some more running, our opponents won the match but the girls came out with our pride and positivity still intact. Rosie Dickson had her work cut out against another top performer. Rosie was being run around the court as well, but her determination to succeed meant she racked up more points for the team.
Overall this was a great team effort. The girls are excellent role models for future badminton players at Linslade.
Well done Maddie Maxwell, Lauren Avery, Rosie Dickson and Ella Claridge!
Friday 14 February 2014
Last week’s draws were affected by the flood, hence this week we have a double roll-over for the Bucketful of Joy!
Winners drawn from the Bucketful of Joy earlier today were:
Year 5 Charlotte Millar Harry Fenton
Year 6 Rocco Arganese-McDermott Rebecca Devereux
Year 7 Isaac Rainbow Joni Dennis
Year 8 Callum Rhead Molly Walker
Our Values Champions (for displaying our value of responsibility) were:
Year 5 Jaggar Arganese-McDermott 5RL
Year 6 Amelia Steele 6SM
Year 7 Finlay Tarvit 7MJO
Year 8 William Abbott 8DC
Eating toast after half term will be: 7MJO
The winners of our prize draw from consultation evening are:
The families of:
- Jake Alonso 5CG
- Jessica Weedon 6EL
- Rebecca Devereux 6AH
Each family receives a £10 Waitrose Voucher, which we hope they will enjoy! We will ensure these get to you very shortly after half term.
Thank you to everyone for their hard work and support since Christmas. This half term marks the mid-point of the three year improvement plan I spoke about when I first became Head back in September 2012 and, is therefore, a good time to reflect on where we are as a school. We have travelled a long way and the ‘green shoots’ are there, but equally we recognise there is a long way to go. This last week I have had contact from the Central Bedfordshire Teaching School offering us the opportunity for a one day spot inspection as a means of benchmarking where we are at this point in time. I have accepted and look forward to welcoming the team into school in the early part of next half term. I will, of course, be sharing the date (once this is known) and the outcome of the visit with you.
It is now time to hang up the school bags and have a well-deserved rest. Whatever you are doing as a family over the coming week, I hope it is both enjoyable and relaxing. School opens again on Monday 24 February, by which time I hope there are more visible signs of spring arriving in earnest!