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.
All Saints Church, Stisted
Each year we invite 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 contribute to our Harvest Table and the Braintree Foodbank each year.
In November 2018, the nation marked the 100th year since the end of World War I. To commemorate this occasion, we displayed our curricular work in the church.
Children’s work at All Saints Church, November 2018
Children’s work at All Saints Church.
Secondary Transition Meeting for Parents
In September, we host 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.
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.
Music for Schools Foundation
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.
In November, representatives from the Emergency Services deliver a presentation to our children on Cyber Safety. This complimented the presentation by the NSPCC the previous year as part of our safeguarding curriculum.
Honywood Former Pupils
The Headteacher visits Honywood Secondary School each year to see how former Stisted pupils are settling into Year 7.
In November 2018, 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 each year.
Open day/Guides Tours
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.
Carols in the Community
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.
The Village Christmas Tree
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. The children help run stalls and make products to sell.
Christmas Celebrations with the Community
In December, we invite 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.
Open the Bible Community Group
The Coggeshall based Open Bible drama group visit our school regularly. The dramatised stories included the visit of the Magi, Abraham's calling and the Wise King Solomon. The children were also invited to take part. The actors enjoyed sharing tea and coffee with the staff afterwards.
The Coggeshall Open Bible Group regularly perform for the school each term.
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 Community Group
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 .
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.
The Headteacher meets on a termly basis other Headteachers from other 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.
Christian Youth Outreach
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.
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.
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.
People who help in the Comminity
On Tuesday 27th March 2018, an ambulance visited our school and paramedics spoke to our younger children about their role.
Paramedics and an ambulance visited our school
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!
Celebrating Easter with the Community
On the last day of the Spring term, we invite 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.
Each year directly after Sports Day Activities, families stay for lunch and picnic on the field with their children.