The BBC were in school on 24th January filming the children in Victorian clothing. They all looked fantastic. The filming was for a TV programme to advertise the Alfred Williams musical which will take place in March at New College in Swindon. The children enjoyed playing Victorian playground games. Four of our children recited some of Alfred Williams’ poetry where he makes reference to South Marston Primary school. Thank you to all of the parents who provided costumes for the children and to Mrs New for doing her wonderful work on the girls’ pinafores.
On 30th January Diccon Dadey, the metal artist, came into school to install our wonderful metal sculpture. The children worked with Dadey a few months ago to design the sculpture. They had the task of thinking about what was important to them about the school. The sculpture has the school outline, a cross and children. The bands of metal surrounding the school have the values that we hold most dear. They are Trust, Truth, Compassion, Forgiveness, Love, Friendship and Thankfulness. We hope everyone will enjoy seeing the sculpture by our school entrance.
Our school is having a big focus on Art this year and as part of this we had a whole school ‘Learn to Learn’ day based around George and the Dragon last term. We were visited by an artist and the children produced a variety of art work including a large scale tapestry of the famous painting, saltdough model dragons, stained glass pictures, watercolour paintings and even a giant collaged dragon. The art work can be seen in our main school corridor.
Our youngest children in preschool and class 1 really enjoyed their topic of ‘Fairytale Forest’ which ended in a woodland walk with the children, parents and grandparents round St Julian’s wood, where we found all sorts of fairytale clues. All involved really enjoyed exploring this jewel in our local area as well as discovering where the Big Bad Wolf was hiding!
Happy New Year from everyone at South Marston C of E Primary School!
All the classes are enjoying their new topics of Jungle Time, India, The Jolly Pocket Postman and Space Race!
This term we also all looked forward to a Learn to Learn day on Thursday 17th January which involved linking Technology with Science. All the children in the school will be involved in designing, making and testing a vehicle of some kind ready for a competition. We look forward to seeing their wonderful creations!
Swindon Advertiser ran the following article regarding Monday’s Victorian Day at South Marston School
Pupils at South Marston Primary School dressed as Victorians for the day to learn more about South Marston writer Alfred WIlliams, also known as the Hammerman Poet, who attended their school in the 1880s.
As part of their history study, the children read poems, researched his life, and walked around the village to see his home and the cottages he built.
Headteacher Alison Lowe said the children had been very enthusiastic. “It’s important that they have an understanding of local history and also the very first stages of the school,” she said. “It’s that sense of local pride and community. Some of them did some research themselves and this morning in assembly some of them already knew a bit about him. The parents have been fantastic at getting all the children dressed up for today.”
The children took part in a Victorian-style lesson using slates and chalk, and played hopscotch and hoopla. Caitlin Pritchard, eight, and Andrew Sampson, eight, both said they enjoyed learning about the writer.
“We went on a walk to see where he lived,” said Caitlin. “We got to see the houses and we saw the little stone on the wall. It was interesting to see when they were built and when he lived there.”
Katie Mann, seven, said: “I liked the poetry best because it was really fun. I might try and write some poems.”
Some of the pupils, including nine-year-olds Emily Vareth and Maya O’Sullivan will make a presentation about the poet at the Steam museum on November 13. Emily said: “We’re a bit nervous. I have to talk and do some drama. I’ve really enjoyed learning about him.”
Members of the Alfred Williams Heritage Society visited the school to help the children learn about the writer. Graham Carter, vice-chairman, said: “The pupils hadn’t heard of him before, which is not unusual because most people haven’t yet. He was quite famous in his time. The children were quite excited that somebody famous went to their school,” he said. “They have seen all the cottages before but didn’t realise there was any significance. He’s got an interesting life story, he’s my local hero.”
The local history fair, which includes an exhibition on Alfred Williams, will be at Great Western Hall, Steam, on Saturday, November 13, from 10am until 4pm.
There will also be a musical show about the writer at 7.30pm. To reserve tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.alfredwilliams.org.uk.
The full article is available here.
The latest news from our village school:
We have been very busy this term at South Marston C of E Primary School.
The new children in Reception have made a fantastic start to school, many of whom are from our village. They are really enjoying making new friends and have already started to explore the village on their famous welly walks!
We were all particularly excited about the Mr Men dressing up day on the 21st October and seeing their amazing costumes.
We are looking forward to the start of hot meals being served in the new school dining room after half term. The children have already been wowed by the food they tasted in a special after school tasting session and are excited about trying more of the healthy meals available.
We are in the process of naming the new school dining room and would welcome any suggestions.
Also this term we have already made some important links with other local schools. Class 4 have made a link with Bishopstone Primary School and have enjoyed visiting Swindon Town Football Club together before returning to our school to work together on Maths problem solving involving the dimensions of the football stadium and souvenir prices.
Class 3 have also made a link with Oaktree Primary School and have had fun looking at similarities and differences between themselves and the locations of their schools. Our children really enjoyed showing them our village location. We look forward to more exciting opportunities with these projects.