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!
Owls Class had a fantastic day last Thursday. They came to school dressed in period costume and began an immersive day of exciting Anglo-Saxon activities. Not only did they hone their weaving skills, including building their own looms; they also listened intently to a great story teller who retold the famous old English Beowulf poem. Later, a hand spinning demonstration was included, so too was some battle choreography! The day finished with a specialist quiz, challenging all the children had learnt about the Ango-Saxons this term. The highlight was of course, the grand feast, with a delicious spread supplied by parents and entertainment in the form of riddles and story telling, it really was a day to remember. Thanks to Miss Jamfrey for organising such a memorable day.
It was a pleasure taking four boys to Cheltenham College Prep School today, their positive attitude and focus was quite remarkable. Woody, Felix, Oliver and Felix took part in a selection of mathematical puzzles and had exactly 8 minutes to complete each one. The pressure was on as Horsley was one of 32 schools competing but we did very well and managed to finish all the questions. Each child received a certificate and particularly enjoyed the tea afterwards! Well done boys.
Our thanks go to Rednock School who brought their orchestra of approximately 30 musicians to the juniors on Tuesday. Amongst other pieces, we were treated to some Bach, the Blue Danube Waltz and a jazz ensemble. The Director of Music, Jason Andrews explained the structure of the orchestra and included some short solo examples demonstrating the different types of instruments. The final piece was played with two new conductors from Horsley School leading the way! What a wonderful opportunity - thank you to all the visiting musicians from one of our local secondary schools.
We are very fortunate to have willing parents and carers who volunteer their time to assist in school on a regular basis. Chatterbooks Club is an excellent example. We have two new weekly clubs running at the moment, both led by volunteers, which means that the children benefit enormously. A big thank you to all those who help out in school, whether it is for a maths lesson, listening to readers, sprucing up the playground or supporting through FHS. What a difference you make!
These were the words from the opening song, enthusiastically performed by the whole school in full voice. With two confident solo musicians, a dance based on Handa's Surprise, plenty of song and some moving poetry and prayers, the children reminded us of how grateful we are for this important time of year. Harvest was traditionally celebrated with the sharing of tasty bread, together with a beautiful plaited loaf forming the centre piece of the produce display. The food will be distributed to the pensioners in the village by Otters Class on Monday, with the remainder being donated to the Stroud Food Bank. The church was jam packed with supportive parents and grandparents. Thanks to Hobbs House for donating the bread and all the children for a wonderful celebration.