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.
On Wednesday 11th November the junior children and staff, along with local residents, gathered around the village Memorial to mark Armistice Day. In a short service, led by Rev. Mike Smith, we took time to remember all those who have gone to war and sadly never returned. Rev. Smith talked to the children about why we wear poppies and what they symbolise. A small group placed small wooden crosses in a sand tray and we all observed two minutes of silence. The children conducted themselves in a respectful and appropriate manner throughout.
We have been working hard over the past few years on 'Looking Out', one of our four curriculum drivers. We are particularly proud of our work on cultural diversity and the teaching of global citizenship. We have built a strong link with SOS Bhandara, our linked school in central India near Nagpur. Through this project, we have consistently promoted British Values, including respect for other religions and cultures. Much of this international work has been funded through the British Council. We collected evidence of our work over the past three years and applied for the prestigious full International School Award.
We have just received feedback from the British Council. They said,'Your application displays a high level of imagination and commitment. You have met the success criteria for the ISA and it is our pleasure, therefore, to recommend Horsley Church of England Primary School for the Accreditation level of the International School Award. Your partnership with your Indian partner school is also excellent and offers a great deal of scope for building a meaningful and sustainable relationship in the future as well as the facility for embedding foreign language teaching and learning into your curriculum, as required by the ISA. We will be sending you a certificate of achievement by post in the next few weeks. Congratulations on the work you have done so far and best wishes for your continued success in the future. Well done.'
We are absolutely delighted that our achievements have been recognised. We will now go on to support other schools in their international work and of course, continue to promote 'Looking Out' at Horsley.
Y3, 4, 5 and 6 had a fabulous morning on Tuesday as they took part in Pulse Games - based on the Rugby World Cup - delivered by a large group of volunteers from Psalms. The children were split into six teams, each representing a different country. Each team perfected a chant to perform to the group, took part in an opening ceremony and competed against one another in a range of fun sports activities loosely based on rugby. Points were accumulated with a large number reserved for sportsmanlike behaviour and team effort. The games were centred around the Christian value of honour. The final results were as follows: Tonga 220, Scotland 245, England 285, New Zealand 305, Japan 310 and the winning team was ......Argentina with 314 points. Each member of the winning team received a medal and all paraded their flags in the closing ceremony. Finally, one child from each team was selected for exceptional sportsmanlike behaviour and received a special certificate. We would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers who made this great event so memorable.
This week has provided a great opportunity for cross cultural discussion and learning. Visitors from our Indian School have been in and out of classrooms all week, sharing customs and taking part in lessons. We had an interesting question and answer session with Owls class today, with questions like 'What is the national sport of India?', 'Do you have earthquakes and tsunamis?' and 'Do you like Britain and our school?' When asked if the children would like to visit India, the overwhelming response was 'YES!'. We will continue with this brilliant project, with planned collaborative activities in every class over the next two years. We would like to thank the British Council for their generous funding through the Connecting Classrooms award.
Can you make 24 from the card below? You have to use all of the numbers but each only once and you can use any of the four rules. That was the challenge set for nine Y3-5 Horsley pupils on Friday. They competed against Leighterton School and the pace was fast and furious, particularly in the sudden death round.
A specific mention goes to Marcus who happily filled a space on the Leighterton team who also happened to win.... a worthwhile move Marcus! Congratulations to both teams whose attitude, teamwork and enthusiasm (and their mental maths skills) were exemplary.
Owls’ Class have been very busy organising, and running, a general election in school. This exciting event has culminated in our whole school election today. After much discussion, Owls invented two political parties, wrote their manifestoes and canvassed policies around the classes. Each party elected their leader: Oscar Kelly (Bright World) and Lily Stephens (Joyful Childhood).
At a special assembly yesterday the party leaders made their keynote speeches to prime the electorate and the children learned about our national election. Today, each child voted for the party of their choice in a secret ballot. A team of Owls counted the votes and we are pleased to announce that:
The Bright World Party was duly elected in Horsley School on May 7th.
(Bright World: 76 votes. Joyful Childhood: 34 votes)
Extracts from the different Party Leader Speeches:
“Have you seen a lamb happily gambling in a field, or your favourite animal playing? Bright world understands how important this is. So we will try to preserve this beautiful world. Without your help bunnies will hop no more.” Bright World Leader’s Speech
“Ever heard on the news of children in need and wanting help? Do you want to stop that? Put yourself in their shoes, how would you feel? The Joyful Childhood Party believes in supporting those in need to have a fair start in life.” Joyful Childhood Leader’s Speech