Welcome to the Principal’s Blog. Through this page I hope to keep everyone regularly informed with details about our school which I feel are important for me to share.
Prizegiving, Sports Day and the Summer Fair
10 July 2017
We had two very special Prizegiving ceremonies on Friday, one for Primary in the morning and Secondary’s in the afternoon. As ever, this is our opportunity to celebrate the best in our School, both in terms of absolute achievement and also the best endeavour; for those who have impressed with their work ethic, attitude and caring approach to others, or who have shown great courage in any number of School fields.
All our pupils have achieved great things this year. If we look back to September we know we have all come a long way since then. We introduced both ceremonies by reflecting on this, and how, whether we receive an award or not, we are all aiming to stretch our personal best; this is the true mark of success for each of us and the best yardstick for celebration. Those who did not receive awards were very generous in their applause for others and I hope will be considering how to make it their names which are called out next year.
We were very fortunate to be joined by the Convent contractors Farrans for each ceremony as they revealed the winners of the artwork competition. We had well over 200 entries for this, so the top 10 in each phase of the School have done a phenomenal job to make it there – and all those recognised will see their artwork on the hoardings outside the construction site over the next few months, which is a really exciting prospect. Congratulations to all!
By common consent last Monday’s Sports Day was one of the best ever – if not the best ever. It was wonderful to see so many participants from Primary and Secondary in so many different events. It was equally impressive to see our older students support the younger ones so that they could take part and enjoy the day to its full.
There were fiercely competitive races and field events, with some great battles at the front and further down the field as every competitor knew that extra points might make the difference between their House’s success or otherwise for the overall championship. The winner will be revealed at Final Assembly on Wednesday and all I know at this point is that it has been a very close fought contest.
None of this would have been possible without the organisation of Mr Day and the PE, facilities and driver teams. This was the biggest ever Sports Day and required even more complex arrangements to make it work. My great thanks to everyone involved for making it such a special event.
The Summer Fair was an amazing success last weekend, with the Harry Potter theme working its magic as one might expect. We had some fantastic costumes, including staff and parents dressed for the occasion. The Hall looked fabulous in mimicry of the Great Hall of Hogwarts itself and there was plenty to do, buy and eat on a very sunny day.
The Friends have once again provided a lovely fair for us to enjoy and under the direction of their new Chair, Dan Clay, are embarking on a very strong foundation for the future. We wait with anticipation to see how much was raised on the day, but once again thank all involved for their giant efforts to organise such an important event.
Y7 Transition Day
Our new Year 7 pupils enjoyed taster lessons, House events and of course the opportunity to meet their new teachers and friends in our transition day on Wednesday. Quite understandably they were a little nervous at the start of the day, but became much more excited by the end. Much of this was due to the fantastic support of their hosts for the day, our current Year 7 students – who were all around fantastic, and even took part in an amusing and informative Q&A session at the start and the end of the day.
This was a very well organised event and has set our new Year 7s, including of course our own Year 6s who will be the first ever cohort to cross over into Secondary, on the right path towards Secondary education.
We had a huge range of trips running this week. Year 7 artists visited the British Museum, and Primary went on a wide variety of visits on Wednesday, including a trip to Chichester for Reception, a whole day at Forest School for Year 1, Beach investigations at Selsey for Year 2, Kidzania for Years 3 and 4, whilst Year 5 went to Dell Quay with the Harbour Conservancy education team. Of course, our Year 6s stepped up to become Year 7s for the day at the Year 7 Transition Day!
Thank you to all the staff who organised these excellent trips and all our parent volunteers who supported on the day.
We are very proud of the achievements of our Primary pupils whose national testing results have been revealed over the past couple of weeks. All of these results are subject to checking, and importantly, the government will confirm how well our children have progressed later next term.
But for now we can reveal the following provisional highlights:
In Reception our Good Level of Development percentage is 72%, which is once again higher than the national average.
In Year 1 our Phonics Check pass mark is 83%, which is higher than the national average
In Year 6, our first ever Key Stage 2 SATs provisional results are in with 70% achieving the expected standard in Maths, 77% achieving the expected standard in Reading and 80% in Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling, the latter two well above the national average.
Early indications are that our progress scores for Reading and Maths will be very positive indeed.
More importantly we are very proud of the tremendous achievements of all our pupils. Hidden inside these statistics are some wonderful and inspiring stories and we know that whatever the scores there are great things to celebrate as all our children have flourished as individuals this year. None of this would be possible without the dedication, the nurturing, the challenging and inspiring of our exceptional staff at CFS; they should be very proud of the journey our children have been on since the start of the year in September.
We look forward to hearing about our Year 11’s GCSE results in August.
The University of Chichester are holding an exciting Space Festival on Saturday 22 July. More details about the event are available here.
Parents will have seen the large skip by the top of Primary, which was delivered late last week. We have a lot of items to pack up in preparation for the big move of Primary to North Bersted over the summer, and of Secondary who are coming over to the Courtyard building, using it alongside the big modular unit we’ve had for two years now.
Our wonderful Primary team are out in force over the weekend to make serious inroads into the pack up and of course throwing away of materials no longer required. The classrooms will look a little bare for the final two and a half days, but it has been essential work to clear as much as we can, before the final areas are moved once the children have left on Wednesday at midday. My thanks to all those who have been involved in this important work, so that the summer transition can be as smooth as possible prior to our occupation of the new building from September.
Travel Plan 2017-18
We have contacted all parents with separate emails regarding travel planning for next year.
Primary parents can find their communication here.
Secondary parents email is here.
We have had to wait on planning confirmation before we could release details of how transport arrangements will work next year with any confidence. As parents who have been with us since at least the start of this year will know, this does not mean that the paper plans will be those which work best in reality. We will need to see how they operate for the first time at two different sites initially, and I expect there will be refinements in the first few days and weeks, for which we thank you in advance for your patience.
Last Day of Term Reminder
A reminder that on the last day of term, Wednesday 12 July, we will finish School at midday, as communicated at the start of this term.
In order to facilitate as smooth an exit from the site as possible we will stagger the departure of different phases of the School, although we recognise that we are likely to face similar traffic as on a Friday. Therefore, please do car share wherever possible.
The stagger will work as follows:
Infants and siblings (and car shares) can depart from 11.45am
Juniors will depart from Midday
Secondary will depart from Midday
All the buses will depart 10 minutes after the end of School, as usual, but this time at 12.10pm.
WAC Last Day of Term
As the school is finishing at 12pm on the last day of term, Wednesday, 12 July, we will be operating a limited wrap-around care service, between the hours of 12 noon and 4pm. However, this will be on a first come/first served basis and will require the completion of the booking form sent out from School Office. The form must be returned to WAC@chichesterfreeschool.org.uk indicating if your child will need a lunch (for Reception, Year 1 or 2 or children who qualify for free school meals) and how you wish to pay. All bookings should have been received by Friday, 7 July.
WAC will be charged at £5 per hour and late cancellations will not be subject to a reduction in the cost as staffing will have been provided based on the bookings received.