I had a sad day on Friday, saying farewell to a very special primary school and its children. After having worked at Horsley for nearly nine years, formally as Deputy Headteacher and latterly as Headteacher, it was hard to say goodbye. So many turned out to give me a fantastic send-off with such kind words, including poems, cards and songs from the children. Generous presents and a specially-made cake was presented for all to share. What a wonderful end to an amazing journey. It has been a privilege to lead Horsley School and I will really miss you all, especially the children. Thank you!
The whole school community turned out on a dry winter’s evening for what is fast becoming an annual Christmas tradition at Horsley; the reenactment of the nativity story. With Mary (Sienna) saddled on the pony, led by Joseph (Charlie), the crowd followed from one stop to another, accompanied by the accordion, and the narrators retelling the story. The Angel Gabriel appeared to the couple (in the school playground) before moving on to the inn (The Hog PH) to look for a room for the night. Joseph’s knocks were greeted by the landlord who turned them away to search for a stable. In the fields (outside the village shop), the shepherds and angels appeared. The procession moved on to the final stop (St. Martin’s Church) and the three kings presented their gifts to Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. Carols and other musical performances accompanied the acting, and the evening was rounded off with a traditional carol service including Christmas poems, a wonderful Joy to the World dance, children’s own prayers and some delightful singing. FHS provided mulled wine and mince pies for the congregation. Another special event at Horsley.
Parents of Horsley School prepared a traditional Christmas lunch for 107 children today. There were crackers, party hats, turkey with all the trimmings and a mince pie for every child. The whole school sang 'We Wish you a Merry Christmas' as a thank you, and the parents then sat down for their own well-deserved lunch. Many thanks to Anna and all her helpers for once again providing this wonderful occasion for children and staff.
We always look forward to the infant Christmas play, one of the highlights of the school year. This year was no exception. A combination of joyful singing, super costumes, groovy dance moves, quiet thoughtful moments and of course, funny moments - whether intended or not - all led to a very memorable performance. A real success, well done to Reception, Y1 and Y2!
The school's recent Ofsted report can be found at http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/ and by entering URN 115685. We are pleased with the result. Ofsted praises the behaviour of pupils, the well-planned curriculum, the outdoor learning opportunities and relationships between staff and pupils. They go on to rate the Headteacher's drive for improvement, the Governors' shared vision for the school, the quality of teaching and learning, and pupils' progress. Areas for development include the use of questioning to check understanding in the Early Years, and to further increase progress in maths. It was pleasing to see that Ofsted thought that 'the school's Christian ethos makes a strong contribution to pupils' social, moral, spiritual and cultural development.'