Community Engagement and Working Together
Schools are often at the heart of the community and can rarely operate effectively in total isolation. We recognise the importance of engaging and interacting with people and organisations around us, not only because it has positive spin offs for the education of our children and the reputation of the school, it also helps us to operate and function more effectively. Whilst we are a Single Academy Trust, we remain part of the Primary Learning Network and access shared training opportunities with local schools.
This section outlines some of the other ways we have engaged with our local community during 2017/18.
At the beginning of the academic year, we showcased our curricular RE work with a display at All Saints Church.
Children’s work at All Saints Church, Autumn 2017
Secondary Transition Workshop
In September, we hosted an information evening and invited Trevor Lawn, the Headteacher of our local secondary school, to talk to our Year 5 and 6 parents about secondary schools. Two former pupils also came and spoke to our older children and the parents.
In October 2017, we invited our parents and the local community to join us in our Harvest Festival celebrations at All Saints Church. We also collected food for our Harvest Table and donated it to the Braintree Food Bank. We collected an amazing 74.68kgs of food and received a thank you letter and certificate. Parents joined the school for tea and coffee after the service.
The children contributed to our Harvest Table and the Braintree Foodbank, Autumn 2017
Essex Music Services
Essex Music Services provided ukulele lessons over a 6 week period during October and November for our Year 3 and 4 children culminating in a demonstration workshop for their parents and the school.
Soaring High Montessori School
The Headteacher of Soaring High Montessori School visited the school on 9th November to ask advice on how we achieved planning permission for all our building works. This was also a great opportunity to show case our Montessori classroom and curriculum as it was this particular Headteacher who originally inspired us.
Music for Schools Foundation (MSF)
MSF continued to provide music tuition for our pupils on a non-profit making basis. Instruments on offer include trumpet, cornet, clarinet, flute and saxophone. Currently, 11 children take up this offer.
The school, in collaboration with the Friends of Stisted Academy, hosted a Quiz Night for the local community on Friday 20th October.
On 24th November, representatives from the Emergency Services delivered a presentation to our children on Cyber Safety. This complimented the presentation by the NSPCC the previous year as part of our safeguarding curriculum.
Year 7 Honywood students
The Headteacher visited Honywood Secondary School to see how former Stisted pupils were settling into Year 7.
British Legion Poppy Appeal
In November 2017, we collected £142.78 for the British Royal Legion Poppy Appeal. The children organised the sale of merchandise and poppies during their lunchtime.
The children helped raise money for the Poppy Appeal, Autumn 2017
During the Autumn term, we open our doors for guided tour for parents considering a primary school for their child. Over 15 guided tours took place showcasing our school and vision to the local community.
Local Authority Special Educational Needs Caseworker
On Thursday 30th November, we invited a representative from the Local Authority to visit our school regarding the provision for a child and how our Montessori provision operated.
Carols for Stisted Hall Residents
Once again our older children visited and entertained the senior citizens at Stisted Hall by singing Christmas Carols and playing their musical instruments. The children also make cards to take and spend time talking to the residents afterwards.
Village Christmas tree decorations
The Parish Council invited the children of the school to decorate the village Christmas tree once again. Many children took their parents to the village green to show their family and friends.
The school opened its doors and invited the local community to our annual Christmas Fayre.
Carol Service and Christmas Celebrations
In December 2017, we invited our parents and the local community to join us in our Christmas Carol Concert at All Saints Church and Key Stage 1 Nativity performances. These are always extremely well attended leaving only standing room in our local church.
Religious Education Consultant
We welcomed two RE consultants in Autumn and Spring to help us develop an enquiry concept based RE curriculum and scheme of work. We are currently developing this and trialling various aspects. The early results are very promising are having a positive impact on children’s theological understanding.
The Coggeshall based Open Bible drama group visited our school in January and February. The dramatised stories included the visit of the Magi and Abraham's calling. The children were also invited to take part. The actors enjoyed sharing tea and coffee with the staff afterwards.
Coggeshall Open Bible Group, January and February 2018
In February 2018, the school hosted a week’s placement for a curate. The purpose was for the curate to gain an understanding of the full range of school life, particularly the concerns, challenges and opportunities facing teachers, children, parents, governors and staff members. This experience also gave them an opportunity to understand the distinctive role of an ordained person in contributing to a school and to stimulate theological reflection on the part a Church school can play in the Church’s mission to the nation.
The Headteacher met daily with the curate to explain his role and work schedule for that day as well s how he as a leader set a Christian vision.
Allotment and Wildlife Club
The Allotment and Wildlife Group meet regularly and have worked with the school to maintain and improve our allotment and wildlife area. We also had local assistance with tree planting for our future Forest School plans. The Forest School concept is part of a wider curriculum that enables children to have regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment.
Bible Club runs throughout the year on Tuesday lunchtimes. It is very well attended by our children and is run by Fay Garret. Fay has worked with the school for many years supporting the school with Religious Education.
The children made unusual clocks in Bible Club , Autumn 2017
Representatives from the Governing Body attended a new and joint initiative aimed at all local organisations connected or operating in Stisted village. The purpose of the first meeting in January 2018 was to establish the aims for all organisations to have a better understanding of each other’s roles and how best to support each other. The second meeting took place Tuesday 24th April 2018. The first meeting was hosted by the Parish Council. The school will host the next community meeting on Tuesday 26th June 2018.
On 8th February , Key Stage 1 parents were invited to watch our Key Stage 1 teacher deliver a reading lesson with her class. This was extremely well received and there are plans to discuss if we could extend this opportunity more widely. The benefits of this were to help parents to understand how reading is taught and how parents can support reading in the home environment.
Small schools networking
The Headteacher meets on a termly basis with three other Headteachers from small Church of England schools. The purpose of these meetings is to offer a support network for each other especially as small schools face similar challenges. Stisted hosted one of these meetings earlier this year.
Visiting Leaders of Collective Worship
We invite a number of people to lead collective acts of worship throughout the year. The Coggeshall based Open Bible Drama have performed two Bible stories for us so far this year; the story of the Magi and Abraham. The volunteers shared tea and coffee with our staff afterwards.
Christian Youth Outreach has been visiting the school on a half termly basis for a number of years. Again their purpose is to deliver an act of Collective Worship. This is a highly visual and energetic form of worship where an idea is introduce and the children engage in actions and participation with the leaders of the worship.
Both Chris Davey and Katharine King also deliver an act of Collective Worship with the children each month. Both Chris and Katharine liaise with the school from the Coggeshall ministry team on the themes so they match as closely as possible to our Collective Worship plan.
Different approaches to Collective Worship help maintain a healthy and diverse approach which helps maintain high engagement and participation levels indicating that it is an enjoyable and thought provoking experience.
Our older children visited Honywood Secondary School on 14th March 2018 to see their students perform a play in French.
Interview with the Department of Education
The headteacher was interviewed by representatives of the DfE as they were conducting research regarding the barriers preventing single Academy Trusts becoming involved in Multi-Academy Trusts.
Wear it Pink
The whole school turned up wearing pink and were engaged in various activities to a charity close to the hearts of our local community. The streets approaching the school were filled with balloons, banners and cheering crowds as two members of staff ran from home to school wearing pink. There was great warmth and great community feel.
Inter school competitive sports
We have hosted and taken part in a number of competitive matches with other schools. This has included boys and girls teams and Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Schools we have played against or visited include Cressing, Silverend, Powers Hall, St Margaret’s and Lyons Hall.
Stisted took 12 students to Tabor Academy for Level 1 of the cross country. Each race consisted of over 60 participants. All 12 students ran extremely well and represented the school brilliantly. Two members of our team qualified for the Level 2 stage. Our Year 4 girl finished 3rd in the Braintree individuals and our Year 6 girl finished 2nd in the Braintree individuals.
Both girls went to Ramsey Academy for the Level 2 stage and again represented the school superbly. Our Year 4 girl finished 6th overall and our Year 6 girl finished 8th. Both girls have now qualified for the Level 3 (county) finals. We are really proud of their achievements.
More than half of the children have now represented the school this year and that number will continue to grow in the summer term. A big thank you was given to all the parents for their continued support and help with transport and Friends of Stisted Academy for providing the kits for Key Stage 1.
Paramedic and Ambulance visit
On Tuesday 27th March, an ambulance visited our school and paramedics spoke to our younger children about their role.
Paramedics and an ambulance visited our school, Spring 2018
The school has been liaising with Greenfields, a local housing association, for the past two years regarding gardening projects. The latest project is the development of a Pizza Garden!.
A representative from Greenfields was invited into the school to kick start this on Wednesday 28th March 2018
On the last day of the Spring term, we invited our parents and the local community to join us in our Easter celebrations at All Saints Church.
The children shared their learning on the whole school theme of Salvation. Our Reception children found out why people make miniature Easter Gardens and why there are three crosses.
Our Reception children showed parents their Easter Gardens as part of their Easter enquiry, 2018. Why do we put three crosses in an Easter Garden?
Year 1 and Year 2 shared their ideas about what chocolate eggs have got in common with Easter.
Year 1 and 2 Salvation enquiry, 2018. Why do we have eggs at Easter?
Year 3 and 4 linked the creation story and the 'fall' with the empty tomb and Year 5 and 6 shared their thoughts on the link between Daniel and the Lion's Den and Jesus' entry into Jerusalem and his final week.
Year 3 and 4 Salvation enquiry, 2018. Why was the empty tomb good news for Christians?
Year 5 and 6 enlightened parents with the connections they made with Daniel and the Lion's Den and Jesus' final days and entry into Jerusalem.
Afterwards parents joined the school for tea and coffee after the service whilst viewing the children’s Easter Gardens.
Our Reception teacher and Learning Support Assistant both visited the local pre-school to meet some of the children who will be joining our school in September. Further visits to other pre-schools are also planned.
Afternoon Tea at Honywood
The Deputy headteacher visited former students at Honywood secondary school to find out how they managed the transition from Year 6.