December 2017

December 2017

December is always such a special month in school - so busy and a very happy time, full of Christmas activity.  We are well into the swing of this wonderful time. Our younger children, some of whom only started school in September, have loved learning the songs and their parts in our annual nativity play, which is always exciting and fun for them! Meanwhile, the older children are helping to plan our annual carol service next door at St Andrew’s Church, appreciating the true meaning of Christmas. Everyone will enjoy our delicious Christmas lunch on the 15th in our newly refurbished hall, ask the children how delicious it is?

Highlights from November:

Children Singing for Children: For the 12th year, our school choir joined others from all over North Oxfordshire to sing together in St Mary’s Church, Banbury, on 8th November to raise £7800 for Rotary Club projects such as eliminating Polio across The World, supporting Helen House Hospice and schools in Africa. It takes an enormous amount of courage to stand on the stage and sing in front of an audience of over 450! Our children were fantastic and we were immensely proud of them!


School trips: Since September, Years 3 and 4 have been learning about Roman Britain and at Chedworth Roman Villa they were able to see first-hand the buildings they have learned all about. The younger children in Reception, Years 1 and 2 were thrilled to meet crocodiles, alligators, snakes, tortoises and meerkats up close at Crocodiles of the World in Brize Norton.

Glow Party: The Friends of Great Rollright turned the village hall neon with this popular annual children’s party — one of many organised by this dedicated group to raise money and bring the school community together.

Sporting Events: We recently participated in both The Football and Hockey Tournaments at Chipping Norton Secondary School. On both occasions the teamwork was terrific; we were delighted to win The Boys Small Schools Football Tournament. A real highlight for the children in Year 5 and 6 was a Street Jazz session which they thoroughly enjoyed!


September 2017

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome back to school after our summer break! We would like to also extend a very warm welcome to our new families who I am sure will feel at home very soon! We also have three new members of staff to welcome. They are Mrs White who will be teaching on Tuesdays in The Ocean, and Miss Street and Mr Jones who will be based in The Meadow and also on lunch duty.

END OF YEAR CELEBRATIONS  It seems a very long time ago that we ended the last school year but we did so in style with a wonderful day of sporting activities and a very moving Leavers’ Service. The morning tournament of our Sports Day was won by The Eagles Team although the competition was very close with just a few points in it! At our Leavers’ Service, as well as hearing all about the children’s memories of their years with us, The Parish Council, represented by the Chairperson, Roz Wiley, presented Maisy Dunford Wood with the Parish Council Shield for being the Year 6 student who had impressed us most during Year 6.

Other celebrations during the last couple of days of the school year included congratulating our Golden Award Winners for Term 5 and 6. Each week, in our Celebration Assembly, we give out Gold Book Awards to children who need recognition of great effort or dedication, but then three times a year we choose one child per class to receive a Golden Award for something extraordinary. At the end of Term 6 the Golden Award winners were Tilly Kitching, Joe Priestley, Martha Hoare and Lars Voepel. The House Cup for Terms 5 and 6 was awarded to The Eagles who during those two terms had earned the most house points. We will shortly be holding elections to appoint this year’s House Captains and Vice Captains. We will also be holding our School Council elections very soon. The School Council not only represent their classmates bringing any issues of concern to meeting but also organise charitable fundraising such as Jeans for Genes and Children in Need.

UNIFORM REQUIREMENTS So here we are at the beginning of what is bound to be another very busy school year! As most of you know our school uniform is quite simple. We ask that the children wear red tops (preferably our school sweatshirts, cardigans or fleeces which can be ordered through the office), and navy blue, grey or black trousers, skirts or pinafore dresses. If you are still in summer wear then the cotton dresses are red checked and navy blue, black or grey tailored shorts can be worn. All of the children must have a pair of indoors shoes in school and most choose to keep a pair of wellington boots on the Welly Racks near each classroom. The children also need P.E. kit in school which should come in every Monday and go home on Friday. Although there is a timetable for P.E. the timings and days can vary and so kit should always be in school, kept in the cloakroom on a peg. For outside P.E. as the weather gets colder the children need jogging bottoms, a red school P.E. T- shirt and a warm top. The children need some trainers for outside P.E. too. Indoor kit is plain dark shorts and a red school P.E. T shirt. Most indoor P.E. is done in bare feet.

HOME SCHOOL COMMUNICATION Generally a newsletter comes home each week. Please read it carefully as there’s always lots of useful information in it. We get lots of phone calls from parents checking times and dates when the information is sent out each week. If your child fails to get the letter to you, please contact us for another. You can find the basic newsletter on our school website each week at Next week you will receive copies of the children’s attendance record for last year, a Home School Agreement, an Internet Agreement and a Homework Agreement. Please read all of this carefully and send back the signature sheets as we need to know we have everyone on board with what we are doing. The children are the most successful they can be when home and school work well together.

CLUBS Our clubs, which are only available for Years 1-6 children, begin next week and will run weekly until the week before the end of term at Christmas. The exception to this is Guitar Club which starts on 22nd September as that is run on The Oxfordshire Music Service timetable. There are a few spaces left so contact Miss King if you have not yet registered your child.

MINIBUS For the next few weeks our school minibus will be driven by Mrs Keene and Mrs Salter as Mick Soper is not yet well enough to return to work. We are very grateful to both our relief drivers who are adding this extra job into their full time TA positions and busy home lives. There may be evenings when it’s just impossible to run the bus but we will give you as much notice of any disruption as we can and we appreciate your understanding in this matter.

GREAT TEAMWORK We are delighted with the building and renovation work that has happened during the holiday. Many of you will know that at Easter some of our Governors and parents decorated the main part of the hall. During the summer a new wall has been built creating a larger hall and a very useful group working space. The rest of the decorating has now also taken place. We would like to extend a huge thank you to Adam Buxton who managed the whole project, and to both Adam and Gavin Southwell who worked so hard to complete the decorating before the new term started.

Another group who offer this school wonderful support is our parent support group, The Friends of Great Rollright. They raised an extraordinary amount of money again last year, all of which was or will be spent on your children to enhance what we can offer them in these difficult financial times. They have three more Chastleton dates coming up where they need delicious home baked cakes and volunteers to serve the teas at Chastleton House just outside Chipping Norton. If you can help, do get in touch with Michelle Jones (07939 151488) or Helen Hare (07580132876) or let us know in the office. Also, very importantly, The Friends AGM is coming up. Please put 29th September 3.15 in your diary now so you can come along and hear all about the last year and elect our new committee. It’s a very friendly group, meetings are informal and it’s so rewarding to be responsible for making such a difference to the educational opportunities of the children here, your children.

Lastly, but most importantly, we would just like to say how much we value the ongoing support of the parents and carers at this school. Working closely together offers the best chances for success for everyone. We would like to encourage anyone who has any worries or concerns to talk to us about them once you have spoken to the Class Teachers, who are always ready to listen too. We can be contacted through the school office or directly at: and we will respond as soon as we can.

Yours sincerely

Anne Hewett                   Michelle Hastings




July 2017  As ever, the school has been very busy since we returned after the Easter Holidays! To begin with, we were busy settling back into our school routines, taking part in a couple of Chipping Norton Partnership tournaments, and also surviving the KS2 SATs! We were delighted to win both The Tag Rugby and The Athletics Small Schools Tournaments! We are very proud of our Year 6 children’s performance in the KS2 SATs; they have exceeded national averages once again!

We have had links with Vasa Oviningsskola, a school in Vasa, West Finland for 10 years now. Thirteen children and three staff from Great Rollright travelled to Vasa on 19th May and enjoyed wonderful hospitality from our Finnish friends. The children enjoyed being in school, as well as visiting local museums, shopping and exploring the famously beautiful Kvarken Archipelago.

However, probably the most noteworthy part of the last few months was our Ofsted Inspection. Schools await such inspections, often for months, with mixed feelings, preparing endless paperwork, and then the call comes, giving the headteacher about 19 hours’ notice. Our inspection was on 20th June and, following our day, we are delighted to report we had some very positive feedback. If you would like to read our report, it can be found at:

Comments included: Good teaching now challenges pupils to think more deeply. Of note is the way you have developed effective ways of supporting pupils in overcoming any barriers to success. As a result of the support you provide, overall attendance improved last academic year, as did the attendance of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities

On the day of our inspection, we had a visit from The Longborough Opera Company who were working with our Year 6 children creating a very original version of The Magic Flute. In July the Year 6 children went to Longborough to watch the dress rehearsal of the same opera, which every pupil thoroughly enjoyed! We are grateful to Longborough for the fantastic support they give to our school.

The Ofsted Inspector, observing the children listening to the operatic singing, noted: Despite this kind of music being unfamiliar to most of them, the pupils responded rapturously to their new musical experience and dedicated themselves fully to the project.

The end of the year was fabulosly rounded off by class performance from Thr oCean and The Mlountains Classes! Well done to everyone involved!

So, another busy year is ended. We are, as ever, grateful for all the fantastic team work that makes Great Rollright School an exciting and fabulous place to teach and learn!

April 2016

As we start the first half of the summer term we have lots to look forward to. Hopefully you have all had a good break and enjoyed some of the beautiful weather we have had!

It was great to see so many of you at our Easter Service. I thought the readings written and read by The Mountains Class as part of their R.E. work told the Easter Story beautifully – thanks to all of them for sharing such good work with us.

We left the church and then paraded to The Village Hall in our Easter bonnets which were fabulous! The Friends organised our Easter Egg Hunt – many thanks to everyone who sent in eggs and everyone who hid the hundreds and hundreds of eggs! The children thoroughly enjoyed the egg hunt and the drink and chocolate crispy cake which followed in the hall. Thanks to Saya Buxton for once providing the cakes for this event.

This term is another busy one. The Finns arrive on 20th April, then we have the Year 6 Test Week which begins on 9th May and ends with their flight to Finland on 13th May.

Attendance has generally been good this year and we very much appreciate all of you who have tried to support us in raising our overall percentage. However, this figure has dropped a little in the last term due to the various illnesses suffered by the children. It now stand s at 97.5%. This week we gave out 57 certificates for excellent attendance; 53 of those certificates were for children whose attendance was 100% in Term 4 – well done to all of those children. We currently have 21 children whose attendance to date this school year is 100% - that is fantastic! Well done to all of those children!

Next Wednesday (20th April) we welcome our friends and colleagues from Vasa in Finland who will be visiting Great Rollright until 25th. They will be in school during their stay. Listen out for news about the Finns from your children!

March 2016

Dear Parents and Carers

Next week sees the end of The Spring Term and it has been a very busy one!

Following our assessment period in January and February, it was great to see so many of you at Parents Evening recently and to hear how pleased you are with the progress of the children.

Many thanks for all your support during the recent instalment of our building programme. Our steps are now finished and all of the doors in use.

I especially wanted to write following the Year 5 and 6 trip to Hooke Court last week to tell you how fantastic the children were whilst we were away; it was a pleasure to be away with them! To have a group of happy children ready to engage so enthusiastically with every activity was wonderful and ensured a successful trip. 

Our coach journey to Dorset on Wednesday was eventful as we travelled through heavy rain and then heavy snow, finally finding lighter sleet and then just dull cloud! However, on arrival we were once again in rain and so the staff at Hooke Court changed our itinerary to accommodate the weather and, instead of archery, we have team building and orienteering that afternoon. Archery was re-scheduled for Friday instead. Both activities were outside so thank goodness for all those waterproof trousers and coats that were packed!

After a delicious evening meal we had our Barn Dance. Lots of the children were a bit worried about this at first but everyone joined in and enjoyed our dancing immensely!

On Thursday, after breakfast, we headed to a large hall where the children worked for most of the morning to prepare a delicious lunch of bread, quiche, trout, salad, Dorset Apple Cake and fruit salad. Where possible local produce was used. Everyone enjoyed their lunch as well as a walk round Hooke Court to look at the pigs, the sheep and the very little lambs! Later in the day we visited the trout farm and then watched milking at a local dairy farm. |Helen, the farmer’s wife, explained the whole process to the children.

After our evening meal we visited the Tudor in the old Hooke Court Manor and then enjoyed some quilling and decoupage. We were very impressed by the beautiful boxes the children made.

Friday was a very busy day which started early as we had to pack our bags and strip our beds before our 7.30 a.m. breakfast. That morning the children were challenged on the Low Ropes Assault Course and worked hard at the Archery until 11a.m. and then after a drink we loaded up the coach and left. Having eaten our picnic lunch in The Education Room, we caught the bus from The Visitor Centre to Stonehenge itself. We were lucky to be able to walk round Stonehenge in beautiful sunshine. We were even luckier to have a very speedy journey home meeting none of the expected traffic! Many thanks to all the families who came to pick up earlier than expected!

As ever, we are grateful to the staff who put their own lives on hold to accompany the chidlren on these visits.

 I hope you all have a good Easter holiday and we will see you on 12th April! 

 Yours sincerely

  Anne Hewett         

November 2015

As we begin Term 2 it's incredible to think about how busy we have been since we returned to school in September. The children are all settled into their new classes and the four year olds, who started school in September, are now confident bubbly successful learners; it seems like they have been here for ever!

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