Headteacher’s Diary

w/e 9th June, 2017

Dear Parents / Carers,

I can’t believe that we now have only 6 weeks to go before the end of the academic year. It is frightening to think that it will soon be Summer and time for us to start rehearsals for our Summer Key Stage 2 production. It really does not seem long since last year!

The week before the holidays was a very busy one as we held our Spring Fayre. Many thanks to all of you who came along to this event and supported the children – particularly the class stalls. At the last count it seems that we made about £1,260 profit, but we still have lots of items to sell, so this figure should rise. All of the money raised goes to the children in school and we are planning to use this money to buy the prizes for our 2 Prize Days and save some of the funds towards purchasing some virtual reality goggles for the classrooms.

Last week was a very strange one in school, as we had just settled back in to routines when we had to close the school to pupils for voting. We acknowledge that this is was not ideal – particularly coming so close to a holiday, but we have no alternative other than to close in these circumstances. We have asked the Council if we can use the school house for voting, but sadly, it is not big enough inside for the voting booths.

The coming weeks seem extremely busy, with many classes going out on their end of year trips and as you will see on the June Newsletter (due out on Wednesday) the diary is becoming very busy. Please check the dates on the diary and continue to check the diary on this site as we add more.

The long wait for us to become an academy finally seems to be over as both the Local Authority and Department for Education have handed over agreements with our solicitors for the land and funding respectively. The date given seems more likely to be the 1st of August, so we will be able to re open in September as Gladstone Academy for real !

We look forward to seeing you at one of the many events planned over the coming weeks.

Best wishes

Elaine Preston

w/e May 19th, 2017

Dear Parents / Carers,

Where has the time gone? I can’t believe that we are now approaching the end of yet another Half term! School has been incredible busy over the last 2 weeks and , I have to say, it is looking stunning at the moment with the work being displayed being of a very high standard. Well done to all of the children for their hard work!

Over the last few weeks children from across the school have been involved in a range of trips such as the Nursery pond dipping expedition! Year 4 celebrated the end of their ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ / ‘World War 2′ topic with an incredible assembly last week and thank you to everyone who came along to watch them. I was lucky enough to see the children perform for the Foundation Stage on Friday and was incredibly proud of them.

Our sports teams continue to represent the school and congratulations go to our Tag Rugby Teams and Girls’ Football Teams for representing us so well. As we approach June and July I imagine that as many as 90 children will, at some point, represent our school in a sporting event.

On Thursday, the Governors and I spent a very long day interviewing a number of candidates for a post at Gladstone, to start in September. I will be able to introduce our new teacher very soon in our June newsletter.

This week coming we will be holding our Spring Fayre. Please come along to support us. All of the money raised goes towards providing additional resources and experiences for the children. E.g. last term we spent approximately £5,000 on ne books from children across the school. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Wednesday – you’ll probably find me on the Tombola staff !

Best wishes

Elaine Preston

 

w/e April 28th, 2017

Dear Parents / Carers,

Welcome back to everyone after the lovely Easter holiday. I hope that you managed to find some of the sunshine amidst the odd rain showers!

Last week was a very busy one in school, despite it being the first week back. Staff and children have been putting the finishing touches to their new classrooms, ready to start their new Summer Term topics. You may not know, but the children have a lot of input in to what goes in to the classroom displays each term – i.e. they decide what themed areas they have and what their target boards are going to be. They also design the covers to their topic books and it is always a pleasure to see the rooms being transformed by the staff and children during week 1 !

It was a great pleasure for me last week to attend the second Societas Sings concert at the Victoria Hall in Hanley. 52 of 0ur Year 4 children represented us and joined children from the other 5 schools in the Societas Trust to perform alongside the Dalean Singers. It was an amazing evening watched by our special guests, the Lord Mayors and Lady Mayoresses of Stoke – on – Trent and of Newcastle. Well done to all pupils who behaved perfectly and performed so well. Thanks also go to the staff who worked so hard behind the scenes to trail the children.

I also hear from Ms Laws and Mrs Davies that our Reception children also behaved beautifully on their expedition this week and Mr Rammell tells me that the Tag Rugby Team represented us with great skill at the City Rag Rugby Competition, coming 4th.

I look forward to the many events that are planned for this half term.

Best wishes

Elaine Preston

w/e March 31st, 2017

Dear Parents / Carers,

Well what a busy week! There were times last week when we all felt like we were spinning on the spot as school life was so busy.

Many thanks to those of you who were able to come along to our Parent Consultations, either during the day or on Wednesday evening. I hope that you found the later finishing time on Wednesday better, as I know that a number of you had struggled in October.

Towards the end of the week the staff spent 2 days working alongside one of our external consultants, Mrs Dot Hulley, reviewing the progress of children across the school and I managed to finish my Home / School Diary checks at last. Thanks go to all of you for the amazing work you do with your children at home.

Congratulations go to a group of our Year 5 pupils who represented us at the annual R.E. Conference at the Bridge Centre – you were a credit to us. Similarly, thanks go to our 2 School Council representatives, Olivia and Alfie who attended a special meeting of the Societas Trust R.U.G.S Council on Friday. There is lots of information about this meeting in our Newsletter, so please have a look.

As you can imagine we have lots of events planned for the coming week, culminating in our annual Easter Egg and Easter Bonnet Competitions on Friday. We have Key Strings in on Thursday for a free concert and I know that the children from all Key Stages always enjoy their visits.

Best wishes

Elaine Preston

w/e 24th March, 2017

Dear Parents / Carers,

Though the week ending March the 17th was a rather quiet one in school last week was certainly much busier! A number of our Year Groups enjoyed their end of topic themed days and it was great to watch our Year 1 children hunting for dinosaurs around the school! Year 3 had a great 2 days working on their forensic scene and thanks go to PCSO Keith Mellor and colleagues for arranging such an amazing 2 days for them. Year 5 also enjoyed their ‘Super Heroes’ day and it was great to see the staff joining in with a range of interesting costumes!

Our Boys’ Football team was very busy and drew 1:1 and won 2:0 against Our Lady’s Catholic Academy earlier in the week.  The boys have finished the Longton League with 6 wins, 4 draws and 4 losses. This was a really good effort in what has been a tough League.  Mr Rammell, their coach and manager, tells me that they were unlucky to not win more  games as they had dominated many, but had been unable to make the most of their chances. Well done to all of the boys for a super season!

As many of you know on Wednesday our Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children held 2 special services to celebrate Mother’s Day. As you know, we normally hold our services at the church, but, due to bad weather we had to use the school Hall. Thanks go to all of the parents and grandparents who came along to support the children. As I always say, we never take your support at these events for granted and it is always wonderful to see the Hall jam packed! A special ‘Well done!’ to the children who were brilliant and thanks to Father Kevin for coming along to give us his support.

Finally, today we have had a special visitor in school – Major Gill Stacey from the Salvation. Gill spoke to the children about the history and work of the Salvation Army before our Year 6 fundraisers Jaiden, Hope and Ryan presented her with a cheque for £350. This money was raised at our last Non-Uniform Day and will go directly to help the Salvation Army Lifehouse (hostel) residents in Stoke. Another very well done to the boys for all of their efforts in organising this fundraising event.

Looking at the diary for next week, it too looks very busy. We look forward to seeing you all at our Parent Consultations.

Best wishes,

Elaine Preston

 

w/e 11th March, 2017

Dear Parents / Carers,

I hope that you have all received our latest newsletter or read the one posted on this site. Inside it you will find lots of special dates for the diary up to the end of term. Please remember, that we are adding to this list all of the time, so please continue to check out the dates on our ‘Calendar’ page as this is the most up to date.

Last week was quieter that the previous week, though our football team was very busy. The boys played Alexandra Junior School and won both matches 4-2 and 7-2, earning themselves 6 points in the Longton League! Well done to the boys, who I am told played extremely well, and to their trainer and manager, Mr Rammell.

3GA had a great week last week as they visited Trentham Hotel to think about healthy eating. Well done 3GA, you behaved impeccably and staff were very proud of you!

As parents of our older children will know, during the Spring Term the Year 6 children’s thoughts turn to their end of Key Stage 2 SATS tests. Last week the children had their ‘Mock SATS’ and I was really pleased to see them working hard, despite the tests being extremely difficult. Every one of them worked incredibly well, did not give up when faced with challenges and did their very best. We are very proud of them.

Next week I am planning to monitor all of the Home / School Diaries which means that I have the chance to spend quality time in all of the classrooms with the children. I look forward to seeing all of the hard work recorded in the diaries and awarding lots of Brain Boxes and stickers.

Best wishes

Elaine Preston

 

 

 

Dear Parents / Carers,

W/e 3rd March, 2017

Thankfully, our new website seems to be coming along well, and I am now able to continue with my weekly Headteacher’s Diary update. Please continue to read this weekly ‘log’ as it will give you much more information about what life is really like in school during the day – particularly, when the children may have told you that they have not been doing anything!

The first week back after a holiday is usually a quiet one. This was not the case last week, however, as the school was a hive of activity. Year 3, in particular had a great week – with their end of term ‘Fergal Fly’ Day on Wednesday and World Book Day on Thursday. As you know the whole school took part in World Book Day, with staff and children dressing up in their favourite book characters. Many thanks to all of you who supported these events – the children looked amazing!

Year 4 also enjoyed their trip to Sudbury Museum of Childhood as part of their topic about the C.S. Lewis book ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’. From all accounts both the children and staff had a fantastic day. It is pleasing that we are able to use our to mini buses to take the children on these outings, as this greatly reduces the cost of the trip / coach fares.

On Wednesday we were pleased to welcome Mrs Mary Hughes to Gladstone. Mrs Hughes is a trained Lead Ofsted Inspector and she often comes in to school to review provision. I am pleased to say that having looked around the whole school and at our topic books Mrs Hughes was very complimentary about the learning environment, the behaviour of the children and writing across the school. I was particularly pleased with this as writing is something that we have been working hard on over the past 12 months.

On Thursday 2 of our School Council children, Alfie and Olivia, attended the first meeting of the Societas Trust Student Council at Ellison Primary. The children had taken 5 photographs which they felt represented Gladstone and once we have all of the necessary permissions from parents we will be sharing these on our website. Thanks go to the children for representing our school so well.

With best wishes for a good week ahead

Elaine Preston

 

 

w/e 14th October, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

The last 2 week have been packed with lots of events of one sort or another. During the week ending October 7th we welcomed two visitors to our school – Mrs Jill Fury and Mr Chris Davies. Mrs Fury is the Education Director for the Societas Trust and Mr Davies is an independent consultant for the Local Authority. Both Mrs Fury and Mr Davies spent  time visiting the classrooms and it was good to work with them both of them, particularly as it meant that I could spend a lot of my time in the classrooms with the children. The children really have settled in to their new routines so well this year and I was very proud of all of them.

There have also been a number of trips, with the Den visiting Coombe Valley Nature Reserve and Year 1 visiting Stafford Castle as part of their Knights and Castles topic. Both groups of children had a fantastic time! Sometimes we bring special visitors in to school and on Tuesday, 4th all classes took part in a special music workshop with Gamelan Music. The children always enjoy these special workshops and it is good that we continue to develop the talents of pupils across a range of subject areas.

On Tuesday last week it was my pleasure to welcome many parents, carers and grandparents to a special Year 5 Assembly about Myths and Legends. Our Year 5 children had been working hard for a number of weeks writing a play script about the Trojan Horse and it was great fun watching them perform the story. It was an excellent assembly and everyone who attended was very proud of how well the children had performed. The children have also had a special Greek Day and it was great to see not only the children dressed in Greek dress, but also the Year 5 staff … who all looked very ‘interesting’ !

Many of our sports teams have been in action too – the Boys’ and Girls’ Y5/Y6 Football Teams have been to The Discovery Academy to represent the school at a special tournament and our Cross Country Teams have been very busy at Sandon High School. On Monday 8 of our children went to a ‘Change for Life’ event at Trentham High School and thoroughly enjoyed their afternoon. Thanks go to our colleagues in Key Stage 3 who help to arrange these special events for the children.

Next week I will be sending out our monthly newsletter, so please keep checking the bottom of those bags incase it has been hidden away somewhere!

Best wishes,

Elaine Preston

 

w/e 30th September, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

Well yet another week has flown by and as I write I am looking at the October date on my calendar.

Last week was a fun filled week – particularly, when we welcomed some special furry visitors! I am sure that many of you noticed the ‘horse box’ on site on Tuesday when some farm animals visited our Foundation Stage. Some of our youngest children were able to learn about how to care for the different animals and had a chance to stroke them. The children were very excited as the goat, rabbit, chicken all came with one of their own ‘babies’. Of course my personal favourite was the donkey and, like many of you, I couldn’t resist dropping in to one of the sessions to give his ears a stroke 😉

Last Monday a large group of our Year 5 and Year 6 pupils took part in the first sporting competition of the year at The Discovery Academy. Congratulations go to the children for representing the school so well and thanks to the staff who organise this annual event.

Our Year 2 children also had a fantastic day out at Bunbury Water Mill as part of their ‘Fire’ topic. Staff have all commented that this was an amazing day and we will, most definitely, be visiting again in the future.

Friday was a sad day for us, however, as our longest serving member of staff, Mrs June Roberts, left us having worked at the former Woodhouse and Gladstone for 38 years. Many of you may remember Mrs Roberts as she was Head Cook at Woodhouse for many years until we came together in the new building. The children made sure that Mrs Roberts had a super day on Friday and we are hoping that there will be a special article and some photographs in The Sentinel over the coming days. We all wish Mrs Roberts much happiness in her retirement.

Finally, GOOD NEWS regarding the Societas Trust. On the 1st of October Ellison Primary became the first school in the Trust to become an academy. Congratulations go to everyone at Ellison and fingers crossed that the other 5 schools will not be far behind next month!

Best wishes

Elaine Preston

 

w/e 23rd September, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

Though there were not as many trips last week was yet another busy one. Congratulations to some of our Year 5 and Year 6 musicians who represented the school at a special concert organised by the Penkhull Music Festival. The children behaved beautifully. Thanks go to the organisers of this very special festival for asking the children to go along, enjoy a special concert and then take part in a number of work shops afterwards.

Sadly, the September sunshine I wished for last week did not last long and we had yet another deluge on Wednesday evening. Yet again the water running off the playground was like Niagra Falls! Our Vice Chair of Governors, Mr Phil Woodall, and our Site Supervisor, Mr Keith O’Donnell, as currently in communication with the Council regarding the drainage system, so hopefully that will be sorted before the Winter weather sets in.

We had a lovely end to the week thanks to the great news that Gladstone is to become the first primary school in the whole of the West Midlands to become a Dementia Friendly School. Any of you who have known or know someone with this terrible disease will know how distressing it can be and how important it is for all of us to be aware of the needs of those people affected – be they the people themselves or their carers. Over the coming months staff will be receiving special training and the children will be involved in a range of age appropriate activities. Our Harvest fund raiser for this year will also be linked to raising funds for one of the Dementia organisations in our area. Watch this space!

Finally, just quick mention that we will soon be updating our website. Mr Egginton and Mr Stanford are working very closely with a web designer so we are very excited about some of the new features that the site will have.

Best wishes for a dry, hot and sunny week …. fingers crossed anyway!

Elaine Preston

w/e 16th September, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

You will be pleased to know that last week was another super week and the children were very well behaved and worked extremely hard. It was lovely to go around the school to see them in their lessons and to give out our ‘Clean Plate’ or ‘Healthy Eating’ stickers in the Dining Room on Friday. We had a super assembly on Friday when some of our male members of staff competed to be the ‘strongest man’ on staff! (That is a long story and I’ll let the children tell you all about it!) 🙂

During the week, 2 of our Year Groups enjoyed their first trips of the year – with Year 3 going to Westport Lake and Year 4 going to the National Space Centre in Leicester. I am told that the children had a great time on both trips. Sadly, there was a problem with the coach on the Year 4 trip and they were late back to school. The bus company has apologised to us and we would like to pass that apology on to those parents affected. Thank you for you patience and understanding.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get our newsletter out to you in time due to software issues, but fingers crossed that it will be with you by the end of the day on Monday. Similarly, we now have access to the photographs taken for the Key Stage 2 production, so I am hopeful that we will have those printed very soon.

Congratulations go to 6RE who were named winners of our class Attendance Prize for last term. Over the term they won the Weekly Class Certificate 3 times, beating 2 other class to the be over all winner. Their prize will be a trip to Dimensions later next week. I’m not too sure who is the most excited, the children or Miss Hughes Evans!

As I am sure that you know, the weather on Tuesday evening was horrific! Thankfully, our school site is sloped on a hill, so we do not get too many problems in the grounds itself. It is worrying that the water was cascading over the wall on to Wood Street and we are working with the Council to see how this can be rectified for the future. I have to say that our thoughts are with our colleagues at Clarice Cliff Primary School as their building was damaged by flood water again. It must be extremely upsetting for the whole school community and we wish them well as they reopen this coming week.

As a result of the terrible weather on Tuesday we were contacted by the C.B.B.C. Newsround Team, who asked us to video some clips of our children reporting on the storms. You may have seen the clips on Wednesday evening. Well done to Melissa, Alex and Kurt for representing us (and Stoke-on-Trent) so well !

I hope that we have a drier week next week and fingers crossed for some lovely September sunshine.

Best wishes,

Elaine Preston

w/e 9th September, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

Welcome back to everyone after the long holiday. At the end of our first week I am really pleased to be able to tell you that the children have settled in to their new classrooms and new routines better than ever. Thankfully, onl had a few tears in our Foundation Stage and these soon dried up as our youngest pupils got used to their new teachers and classrooms. They children look incredibly smart, so thank you to all of you for your continuing support. As you know we decided to ‘rebrand’ the school name and uniform over the holidays in preparation for us becoming an academy. Due to a delay completely out of our control it looks like we will become an academy towards the end of this half term and I have to stress that, at the moment, we are still classed officially as a Maintained School under the control of Stoke on Trent City Council. One of the schools in the Societas Trust has been given the date of the 1st of October to convert to an academy, and we know that we will not be far behind 🙂

I look forward to working with you all over the coming term and keeping you up to date with our news.

Best wishes

Elaine Preston

w/e 15th July, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

Thank you to everyone who came along to watch our Key Stage 2 production, ‘To Boldly Go’. It was a huge success and I was incredibly proud of all of the children and staff. As you know, all of the children in Key Stage 2 take part in the production and it is lovely to see them all with big smiles lighting up the stage!

Sadly we were unable to have our Key Stage 2 Sports Day on Friday due to the terrible weather! As you know, we have to use the field for the older children and over the last 3 / 4 weeks it feels like we have had nothing other that torrential rain, with just the odd appearance by the sun. The field, as a result, is incredibly wet and slippery. At the moment we are discussing the possibility of having the Sports Day in September IF we have a drier and sunnier August. We can but dream…

As Year 2 parents will know 2WP visited Tatton Park last Friday and I am pleased to say that despite the bad weather they had a fabulous time. We are always incredibly proud of the children when the go on educational visits as their behaviour is always excellent.

The children’s reports came out on Wednesday. Many thanks to those of you who have returned the comments slip and short survey. Please remember, that if you have concerns, your child’s classteacher will be more than happy to discuss the report with you.

Next week is our last week of term. Our end of term talent school, Gladstone’s Got Talent takes place on Wednesday. Our 2 Prize Days are on Monday and the parents of those children receiving major prizes have already had invitations. We will also be giving out lots of certificates, so it is very likely that your children will come home with one or two.

Our new school badge has now been discussed with the School Council, who loved it and it is now being displayed in the classroom windows. As we have said, though we may not officially be an academy until the 1st of October we will be rebranding from the 1st of September. Timberland are working hard to get the new uniform ready for parents and order forms will be coming our very soon. Please remember that, during this time of transition, children will be allowed to wear both the old and new uniforms.

Elaine Preston

w/e 8th July, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

Well, what a busy 2 weeks we have had in school since my last message! Report time is upon us and staff have been busy completing the end of term reports. I too have been checking them and writing my own comments as appropriate. It is lovely to read so many good things about our children, though reading 485 does take some time! The reports are now due out on Wednesday, 13th of July … I just hope that none of the children are superstitious about the number 13.

Our sporting teams have continued to be very busy! On Friday 1st July 40 children joined with children from across the 6 Societas Trust schools in our own Mini Olympics. Rather than have the schools compete against one another the children were split in to teams on arrival and ran for their own ‘colour’. It was a fabulous morning and thanks go to all of the P.E. teachers from the 6 schools and staff at Sutherland Primary Academy for organising what was a fabulous morning at Northwood Stadium.

Last Monday our Hockey teams and Boys’ Football A Team took part in a number of events. Well done to the Hockey team who represented us at County level and the boys who reached the semi-finals in what will have been the last match they will play together as they move on to their secondary schools.

Last week was a very busy one for our Key Stage 2 children as they practised hard for their production ‘To Boldly Go’. The Year 6 children taking the main parts only had their script under 2 weeks ago and the rest of the children have only had 3 afternoons and 4 mornings in the Hall in preparation for next weeks performances. It has been my privilege to work with the children through all rehearsals as their behaviour and attitude to learning has been exceptional this year. I do hope that those of you who have tickets thoroughly enjoy the production – a ‘home made’ one that celebrates all that was good about 1966!

Sadly, we still have not managed to hold our Key Stage 2 Sports Day, as the rain just does not seem to have stopped and the Woodhouse Fields are still very wet. I am hoping that we will be able to try again this coming Friday, July 15th, so fingers crossed.

As you can imagine it is a very busy time in school and over the last 2 weeks a number of classes have been out on trips . Congratulations go to 2CB, 3GA,3LM and Year 4 who have been to Tatton Park, Barestone Farm, Westport Lake and Tesco respectively and behaved impeccably. It is great that our children are such great ambassadors from the school when they are out.

Finally, during the week beginning the 2oth of June the children held their own referendum regarding the debate about whether or not the U.K. should leave or remain in the European Union. You may be interested to know that the children voted to Remain in the European Union and it has been interesting discussing their views with them since the final result was announced.

Well, I must finish off now and complete the last 2 sets of reports… otherwise there may be some disappointed children on Wednesday. The dress rehearsal for our production is tomorrow, as well as the first 2 performances for parents / carers, so it looks like it is going to be a busy start to the penultimate week of the school year.

Best wishes

Elaine Preston

w/e 24th June, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

My apologies that it seems to have been a long time since my last diary entry, but there have been some ‘gremlins in the system’ and I have been unable to get on to the site.

The past few weeks have been very busy in school with many of our children sitting tests and checks of one sort or another. Thankfully, these tests and checks have all been completed and a special “Well done!” goes to all of the children involved who have coped marvellously.

Last week was a busy week as the children held their own European Referendum. You may be interested to know that the children voted overwhelmingly to stay in the E.U. and there was much debate about whether or not they would be able to eat pizza if we had to leave 🙂 As our assembly theme was ‘Everyone’s opinion Counts’ the children in Key Stage 2 were all asked to complete a ‘Pupil Voice’ questionnaire, similar to the one completed by parents and carers last term. As yet the results for the survey are not know, but I will keep you informed.

Thankfully, we were able to hold 2 of our Sports Days last week and thanks go to everyone who came along to cheer on the children. We now have our fingers crossed for the Key Stage 2 event which has already been postponed twice. At this time of the year many year groups are going on their end of year trips. Year 3 have been to Llandudno, Year 6 have been to Drayton Manor Park and Year 5 to Ford Green Hall.

The last Year Group assemblies for this year have now been performed, with just Year 3 set to perform theirs this coming week. Our Key Stage 2 children have just started to rehearse for their end of term production, but with just 9 working days to get it perfect everyone is working very hard!

This coming week I plan to send out our newsletter, so please keep an eye on the bottom of those bags!

Yours sincerely,

Elaine Preston

w/e 27th May, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

As many of you know, the last week before Half Term was a very busy one. Well done to our Year 2 children who completed their Key Stage 1 S.A.T.s that week and our Nursery children who performed their first Year Group assemblies for parents and grandparents. At the end of term we celebrated the success of many of our sports teams and full details can be found in our monthly newsletter, sent out on the last day. If you did not receive yours please check the bottom of those bags or the ‘Parents” section of this web site.

Thank you to those of you who supported our Spring Fayre. At the moment it looks like we have raised well over £1,000, with more money still to come in. As in the past, we do not leave the money raised in a bank account, we always spend it on resources that the children need as soon as possible. At the moment, much of the £4,500 raised over this academic year is being spent on new reading books for the classrooms, as well as replacing tatty books used for the Accelerated Reading program.

Before the end of the Half term we said ‘Goodbye’ to Mrs Wendy Davies. Mrs Davies had been covering for Mrs Tomkinson’s maternity leave and we thank her for her hard work since September. As Mrs Davies is one of our regular Supply Teachers we are sure that she will be back with us in the future at some point!

We are also pleased to welcome a new member of staff to our Gladstone ‘team’. Just before the holidays Governors and our School Council spent a busy day interviewing candidates for a new teaching post. After a long day, Miss Isobel  Rowley was appointed and will join our Key Stage 1 teaching team in September.

Finally, I hope that you have all enjoyed a lovely Half term break – particularly, as the sun seems to have made an appearance for once! We all look forward to the busy run up to the Summer holidays.

Best wishes

Elaine Preston

w/e 13th May, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

As many of you know, last week was an important one for our Year 6 children as they sat the new End of Key Stage 2 S.A.T.s tests. Without going in to too much detail I think it is fair to say that the new tests were incredibly hard, particularly when you think that the children had only been working on the new National Curriculum since September 2014. We are incredibly proud of all of the children for showing great resilience and ‘battling on to the bitter end’ of each paper despite being confronted with incredibly difficult and complex questions. Thankfully, the children were able to have a ‘fun day’ on Friday and as a special treat our Year 6 staff have arranged a day trip to Trentham Gardens for them this coming Tuesday. Next week it is the turn of our Year 2 children as they attempt the new, harder Key Stage 1 reading tests. I can only hope that these tests will be ‘kinder’ to the children …..

Over the past few weeks our sports teams have been very busy.

Two teams took part in the to the Year 3/4 Dodgeball competition. Though neither of our teams made it past the group stages all children enjoyed the tournament very much. During National Girls Football Week Mr Rammell and Mr Egginton  invited any Y3, 4 and 5 girls that wished to involve themselves in playing football to take part in a coaching session on the grass fields during a Lunchtime. 36 girls arrived in the rain and they all agreed that they would be more than interested in trialing for the Girls’ Football Team next half term. On Friday 6th our Girls’ football team (mainly Y6 children) played against Sutherland. After getting beat by a strong team at the previous tournament back in October this time our girls beat Sutherland 3-2.

Earlier this week Mr Rammell took 3 teams to the Mini Tennis Tournament. Again we narrowly failed to progress past the group stages, due to having to win the group. Our A team were joint top in their group, but they lost on points scored.

Thanks go to Mr Rammell, Mr Egginton and all other staff who give so freely of their own time to train our various sports teams and to our dedicated children who turn up for training sessions each week.  I am aware that many of our children will be taking part in more sporting tournaments next week and I look forward to sharing their success with you next weekend.

Best wishes,

Elaine Preston

w/e 29th April, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

Last week was an exciting week for Gladstone Primary School, as children in Year 4 represented us at the launch of the Societas Trust at the Victoria Hall, Hanley. The children joined other singers from Ash Green, Ellison, Goldenhill, Summerbank and Sutherland Primary Schools to perform a range of old ‘Music Hall’ type songs alongside the Dalien Singers – a local, award winning Male Voice Choir. It was a fabulous evening and having sat through many, many meetings over the last 12 months with the Headteachers and Governor of the 6 schools it great to see the children meeting up to perform together at last. Later this term we have also planned a Societas Trust Olympics at Northwood Stadium, so fingers crossed that the sun will shine on that event for us!

On Monday we also received a special visit from Chief Inspector Taylor, our PCSO Keith Mellor and our local M.P. Mr Rob Flello. Alongside our Chair of Governors, Mrs Bartley,these visitors came along to present special awards and certificates to our latest group on Police Cadets. Our new Cadets have been training hard over the past half term and have learned many skills such as conflict resolution and some forensic science! The children have, and continue to be, an excellent example to others and we are very proud of them.

Finally, I also feel that I should say a special ‘Well done!’ to our Year 2 children. As you may have heard on the news there has been some confusion regarding the Spelling and Grammar test which had led to that test being cancelled. Unfortunately, for our children, as we had been chosen to complete the test at an earlier date, our Year 2 pupils had already had to sit the test! All of the children worked extremely hard and we are very proud of them.

Best wishes

Elaine Preston

w/e 15th April, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

Welcome back to everyone after the Easter Break. You will be pleased to know that the children have all settled back in to their routines very quickly and are working very hard to achieve their targets. I have to say that I find it incredible that we are already in the final term of this academic year already as it does not seem five minutes since I was checking reports and attending end of year events last year!

Before the holidays we had a lovely end to our Spring Term. It was particularly good to see the many wonderful Easter Bonnets from F.S. and K.S.1 and Easter Egg creations from our K.S.2 children. Thank you so much to everyone who helped and encouraged their children to make them at home. Similarly, thank you to everyone who has encouraged their children to complete their termly project. These have already been displayed in the classrooms and look amazing.

Congratulations to our Year 5 and Year 6 Cross Country Teams who competed against 9 other schools last week. The boys finished 5th and the girls 6th and Mr Egginton, who trains the children, was very pleased with how well they performed. A special ‘Well done!’ to Harley from Year 6 who won her race, beating 24 other runners.

Before the holiday our Boys’ Football Team competed in the Crescent Football Tournament and were very excited when they came back to us clutching a very large trophy! At this rate our Trophy Cabinet will be too small. Thanks go to Mr Rammell who continues to train the boys and to The Crescent Academy for organising this event.Next week I will be spending much of my time in classrooms with the children, so I am looking forward to seeing how well they are working. Similarly, I will be starting my termly trawl of all of the Home/School Diaries and look forward to sending out lots of Praise Postcards as a result.

Best wishes,

Elaine Preston

w/e 18th March, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

Last week was another busy one for our Football Team who played and won two matches. Mr Rammell informs me that the boys are now at the top of the Longton Town League, so we are keeping our fingers crossed for a successful end to the season! We will keep you informed of their progress after the Easter Break.

As you know, last week was the time for you to meet with your child’s Class teacher and Teaching Assistants to discuss your child’s progress. Thank you to everyone who came along, either to the day time appointments or the ‘Parents’ Evening’ on Wednesday. Similarly, thank you to everyone who completed our Parent / Carer Survey. The forms will be sent off to an independent administrator who will analyse them. The feedback will then be placed on our web-site.

One thing that is becoming very clear from the survey is that, despite our recent review, a lot of you are still concerned about the amount of homework that the children are being asked to complete. Like you we want to make sure that the children not only do their academic work, but spend quality time at home with their family, so we will be reviewing the situation and will make some changes after the Easter Break. At the end of the day, it would be of little use if we asked for your opinions in a survey and then chose to ignore them ! Next term we will be asking our children to complete their own surveys – that should be interesting 🙂

Over the coming week we will be celebrating Easter. Our assemblies last week focussed on the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection and this week we will be celebrating with our Easter Bonnets and Key Stage 2 Easter Egg Competition. I love Easter as it is always a special time for me, and look forward to seeing the many ‘creations’ that appear in school on Friday!

We also have our friends ‘Key Strings’ coming to perform for the children on Friday, so this will be a fabulous end to what seems to have been a short term.

Best wishes

Elaine Preston

 

P.S. Our monthly newsletter is due out this week, so please check the bottom of those bags 😉

 

w/e 11th March, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

Another busy week has ended and it is time for me to fill in my diary page yet again!

Congratulations go to our Year 3 / 4 Football Team who played at Crescent Academy last week in a special tournament and came second and to our Year 5 / 6 Football Team who represented Port Vale in the Regional finals at Coventry on Wednesday and were 3rd. Well done to all of the boys who worked so hard and represented us (and their City) so well!

Congratulations also go to our Recorder Group who took part in the City Recorder Festival at the Victoria Hall on Thursday. Mrs Cantrell and Mrs Davies who accompanied them were really proud of the children – not only for the way that they played, but their impeccable behaviour on the day.

As you know, last Monday the whole school dressed up to celebrate World Book Day. This was followed up by each year group working on the same book throughout the week, completing a range of activities. Thanks go to all of you who supported us by making such amazing costumes for the children. We all had a fabulous day and learned a lot too!

Next week it is time for our Spring Parent Consultations. Hopefully, you have all received a letter giving details of the appointments available for your class, either during the day or for the evening of the 16th of March. This year we will once more asking you to fill in a Parent Questionnaire. This year it is only one side of A4 at the request of parents who found the 3 page questionnaire rather time consuming and repetitive – especially if they had more than one child!

We look forward to seeing you all next week.

Best wishes,

Elaine Preston

 

w/e 4th March, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

Thank you to the many parents who received a letter of ‘thanks’ regarding the way they support their children with their school work at home. Your hard work is really appreciated by all of us and really does make a massive difference to your child’s progress.

A special ‘Well done!’ to a group of our Year 5 pupils attended a special R.E. event and worked alongside pupils from other City schools. They were celebrating diversity and Miss Hughes-Evans has said that they were a credit to the school.

Thank you to the many Mums, Grandmothers, Dads and Grandfathers who came along to our Mother’s Day Services on Friday. It was lovely to see the school hall so full despite the horrific weather. Thanks go to Fthr Kevin Palmer for coming along to support the event. Hopefully, next year the weather will be kinder and we will be back at St Mary’s and St Chad’s Church.

Sadly, we said farewell to one of our apprentices, Miss Paige Arnott on Friday. Miss Arnott has been with us for just over a year and we wish her every success for the future. Parents of pupils in Year 1 will have noticed that we have been joined by an Associate Teacher, Mr Daniel Bourne who will be working alongside Miss Wright for the rest of the academic year.

Next week is going to be a busy but exciting week as we celebrate ‘World Book Day’. The children will all be dressing up as detectives as they study the book ‘Tuesday’ and discover large green lilly pads throughout the building! Later in the week our Football Team will be representing Port Vale at Coventry and the school Recorder Group will be performing at the Victoria Hall, Hanley.

I look forward to updating you about these fantastic events next week.

Best wishes

Elaine Preston

w/e 5th February, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

First of all a massive “WELL DONE!” to our Year 5 / 6 Football Team who won their latest tournament at Port Vale F.C. last week. According to their Manager, Mr Glen Rammell, it was a nail biting tournament, played in true British style – i.e. the boys beat Ash Green in the semi finals and St Nathaniel’s in the final on penalties. The boys were understandably thrilled with their victory and came back to us rather excited, showing off their trophies with great pride.  According to Mr Rammell it was a great team performance and the boys are now looking forward to representing Port Vale at Coventry in March. As a Port Vale supporter I have to say that it makes me smile to think that the boys, who are mostly Stoke City Fans, are more than happy to represent their City in a black, white and gold kit. 🙂

Congratulations also go to Year 6 who represented the school brilliantly last week when then visited Manchester Museum as part of their ‘Mummy’ / Egyptian topic. The children and staff had a great day and, according to their teachers, the children behaved extremely well.

On a similar note, thanks go to the parents of our Year 4 children who helped their children to prepare for their special Evacuee Day. As you can guess, this special day was arranged as part of the Year 4 ‘Battle of Britain’ / World War 2 topic and from what I saw the children had a great day which helped to bring history ‘alive’ for them.

We continue to monitor what the children eat during the school day and Mrs Annese and I were able to give out a lot of stickers to the children who had eaten all of their dinner (including all of their fruit and vegetables) or those children who had fruit / vegetables in their packed lunch. If your child comes home with a ‘I ate all of my dinner’, ‘I cleaned my plate’ or any other sticker referring to healthy eating please put these on your child’s diary as we count them up at the end of each term, with the child with the most receiving a prize.

Finally, I thought I would mention that, as promised, we have now reviewed our Homework Policy and a leaflet will be coming out to all of you in the coming week. Please check the bottom of those bags if it does not appear and if there are any problems at all with the homework set please do not be afraid to talk to your child’s class teacher.

With best wishes for a snow free week ahead!

Elaine Preston

 

w/e 29th January, 2016

Dear Parents / Carers,

Last week we said a massive ‘Well done!’ to 123 children as they had managed to achieve 100% attendance during the Autumn Term. All of these children will be receiving a special prize and certificate to mark their achievement! I have to say that this is the most pupils to achieve this award in the Autumn Term as far as I can remember and we are very proud of them.

As some of you know we also had some sad news to share this week. Mrs Lovatt, who has worked with us for a number of years, had chosen to retire. As you can imagine we are all very sad as Mrs Lovatt has been a very special member of our Gladstone ‘family’ and she will be missed greatly by all of us. After Half term Mrs Lovatt’s class will be taken by Mrs Rachel Davies, our Foundation Stage Manager, and Mrs Amanda Lloyd will step up to be the teacher in the Nursery. Mrs Lloyd will be joined by an experienced Foundation Stage teacher Mrs Samantha Summerfield. Mrs Summerfield is a former Foundation Stage Manager and we are very lucky to have us join us.

On a similar note we have to say ‘goodbye’ to Miss Kate Lockett who will be leaving us and we wish her well for the future. Miss Lockett’s Key Worker Group will be led by Ms Sarah Davies, an experienced Early Years Practitioner. Thanks go to Mrs Samantha Sumner, who will move to move to Year 1, as she has looked after Miss Lockett’s group for a number of weeks.

Looking at diary there seem to be many exciting events next week and I look forward to reporting back to you!

With best wishes

Elaine Preston