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Items filtered by date: Thursday, 09 December 1999

Y4 Exeter Cathedral


Year 4 visited Exeter Cathedral on 29th November to begin answering the religious question of: ‘What is worship and does it have to happen in a special place?’. Having previously had groups attend the Mosque, the children of Year 4 have been building their religious literacy and acquiring a vast knowledge of the six major religions and the beliefs of others.

In the cathedral, the children were warmly welcomed and led through the vast main hall. On a tour of the cathedral the children learnt many new facts about the key features of the building, from when it was built to the damages it has suffered due to wars over the years. Becoming keen investigators, they were also able to identify multiple keys of St Peter and locate two pulpits, two lecterns and two alters. Throughout the day the children also had the engaging experience of hearing the organ be played and attend two short afternoon prayers – which happen every hour, on the hour.

Separate from the tour, Year 4 were also shown how to create brass rubbings – using tough wax crayons to rub over the top of brass images found in the cathedral. After being taught this skill, they then worked on pieces of art that used two or three brass rubbings to create a new image of their own.

Over the course of the day at the Cathedral, the children were congratulated many times, by members of public and tour guides, on their impeccable behaviour and attitude towards being in an active place of worship.








Over the last Term the children from Broadclyst and Westclyst Year 2 and Year 4 have been taking part in a unique experience to choreograph their own version of the famous Nutcracker ballet. This has been in collaboration with the Royal Opera House who through weekly videos and mid-point feedback have supported the creative process at every stage.

Learning from the professionals, the children have worked through motif-development, character dancing and performance skills – completing the programme with their very own piece of choreography which has been submitted as part of the nationwide ‘Creative Challenge’. On Friday they were lucky enough to go to the Picture House Cinema in Exeter to see a special screening of this year’s ballet The Nutcracker to inspire them further.

Zac said “'I thought the Nutcracker project was exciting because we got to try new dance moves and have fun trying to create a dance”. Sophia added “I like the way the Nutcracker was spilt into groups because we all had the opportunity to take part in the dance”. Following our trip Belle said, “I loved watching the dances especially when they were jumping, it was amazing!”. Sofia was thrilled with our visit “It was so useful to see the moves we’ve been learning being performed by the professionals”. 

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Shakespeare School's Festival


It was the third year that Broadclyst have participated in the annual Shakespeare School’s Festival. Students from Year 5 performed ‘The Comedy of Errors’ as part of the festival this year at the Exeter Phoenix on Thursday 15th November and at Torquay’s Princess Theatre on Tuesday 20th November. The festival itself has been running for 18 years and allows primary and secondary schools to perform 30 minute versions the Bard’s most famous works on a professional stage.

‘The Comedy of Errors’ is a play all about mistaken identity and the cast had great run telling the story with the support of sparkly costumes and 70s disco tunes. The cast have been rehearsing since September, giving up weekends and afternoons to ensure the play’s success. On the big nights themselves, the cast shared the stage with other local schools and saw performances ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘King Lear’.

At the end of the performance the staff from the SSF give each cast an appraisal in front of the audience. ‘The Comedy of Errors’ was described as the most joyous piece they had seen in any theatre. They also commented on the how clearly the story had been told – which is not always an easy task with Shakespeare! The staff were hugely impressed by the professionalism and maturity shown by the cast at all times. One parent said ‘You could tell that every single child on the stage was having the time of their lives and every one of them had their moment to shine!’. Aurelia Cassap, who was part of the cast said ‘I am just so sad it is all over, I have loved every minute!’. Well done cast of ‘The Comedy of Errors’, you blew us all away! 


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Y6 Rock and Rapid


Year 6 Climbers visited Rock and Rapid climbing in South Molton on Sunday to take part in the North Devon Climbing Competition. They competed with over 10 different school and clubs in the area in two disciplines: wall climbing and bouldering.

The team started their day climbing the walls where they would complete three routes and be scored on how high they could climb. The walls all reach around 10m in height at Rock and Rapid so this was a fearsome test. All our competitors managed to climb to the top of the first route and 2 children made the top of the second route. The third route was only completed by two children out of the hundred that took part.

In the afternoon we entered the bouldering cave for the second discipline where they would again compete on three routes trying to complete them and scoring points for getting furthest. Again our competitors completed the first of the set routes and many managed to do the second route too! One pupil from Broadclyst was among the only pupils to complete a third most challenging route on the day!

A fantastic day, well done to everyone who climbed.

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Y4 Christmas Tree Decorations


Following on from Year 4's continued focus on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, the children, inspired by the Snow Queen, have created a variety of Christmas decorations for a tree based at Killerton Chapel. The decorations include paper crowns, icicles, hanging stars and miniature trees.

For the crowns, crinkled paper was wrapped around a circle of plastic with the children cutting the card to create the points of the crown; coloured gems were then added as further decoration. For the icicles, foil was rolled and sculpted onto the string. Additionally, Year 4 creatively used felt to construct their hanging stars and trees. Using stencils, the children cut different sections of the tree out and arranged them into a conical shape before sticking them together. The hanging stars involved threading beads onto string before adding the felt star shapes on either side.

The decorations are available for the public to see inside Killerton Chapel through the rest of November and into December, as a continuation of Killerton House’s Snow Queen theme.




Art Squad Bristol Trip


On Tuesday 20th November Art Squad travelled to Bristol to participate in a Street art Tour and spray painting session with ‘Where the Wall’ The tour began at the murals on Nelson Street and then through Stokes Croft and the Bear pit.  The children looked at many works by artist such as Banksy, JPS, Cheo and Nick Walker.

They learnt the differences between graffiti and street art and  some of the methods and techniques the artists use in creating these monumental pieces.

The children got the chance to take part in a spray painting session with a local street artist and used spray cans and stencils to create a piece of art work each. This was the first time many of the children used a spray can and found it was harder than it looked bur they loved some of the effects they could create by holding the can at different distances from their paper and moving it at different speeds, they discovered it is something that takes a lot of practice to perfect.  They came back truly inspired and keen to put into practice what they have learnt.

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WW2 Theme Day

On Friday the 16th November, Year 2 took part in a World War Two theme day. They dressed up as evacuees, soldiers, pilots and land girls – just some of the people that they have begun learning about as part of their current project. The day consisted of a variety of WW2 themed activities, so the children could get a taste of what life would have really been like during the war.

For one half of the day the children took part in some drama activities, taking on the role of an evacuee. They had the opportunity to sit in the hot seat and answer questions from other members of the class. For example; how has your life changed since moving? What is your new host family like? Do you miss your family?. They also enjoyed listening to some wartime music and even wrote their own WW2 song as a class.

Throughout the rest of the day the children built upon what they have learnt about rationing and they got to prepare and taste wartime foods. Maisie said "Cooking the rationing foods was great. I now know so much more about life in World War Two". As a way of showing remembrance, they made a poppy using tissue paper and card. Jackson commented "I had a fantastic time on the theme day. My favourite part was making the remembrance poppies that grew on the battlefields after the war". Finally, they recreated some of their favourite WW2 propaganda posters to persuade. Merryn was very enthusiastic, “It was great having a whole day learning about World War Two because I just love learning about history”.

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Inside Devon's Futurist School


We are delighted to be featured on Devon Live. Read the full article below...

Inside Devon's futurist school where every child has their own hi-tech tablet

Anyone who has been out of the education system for a considerable amount of time and walks into a school classroom would be amazed at how things have changed but stepping into one at Broadclyst Community Primary School is like time travelling into the future.

On its wall are not one but multiple interactive screens for teaching, each child has their own tablet and a digital pen at their allocated seat, and the ceiling is dotted with speakers to give an immersive surround sound.

 Its headteacher produces a regular video blog to keep parents updated along with parent apps, virtual tours are offered of the school, school meetings are broadcasted live and traditional parents’ evenings can also be conducted online via a live link with teachers for those parents who can’t make it into school.

It’s little wonder then its school places are always oversubscribed, but alongside all the praise it gets for leading the way for schools in Devon and across the country, with it inevitably comes concerns about whether its pupils are losing out traditional skills such as handwriting skills.

Keen to assure that technology is used as a tool rather than a replacement for its traditional teaching and learning methods is Jonathan Bishop.

Having worked at the school for nearly 25 years he has been involved in every step of its technology journey, and the past nine years have been in the role of headteacher, and now executive headteacher within Cornerstone Academy Trust.

He said: “In my 25 years here we have always endeavoured to embrace the latest technologies and to use them as a tool to support both teaching and learning.

“Therefore, we have always been at the cutting edge of not just embedding some of the latest technology into school but utilising it within their learning.

“We have never seen it as a replacement for teachers or other learning tools because technology is not the answer to everything. Reading, writing and mathematics are core skills that are needed to unlock the wider curriculum.

“We still learn our times tables every day as it’s a functional skill they need to know. We do the same SATs tests on paper the same as every other school in the country, without technology.

“We have never had a computer room in the school because we’ve always seen technology as being a tool in the hands of children and teachers within the classroom.

“That doesn’t mean we do everything on computers though. We have created a broad, balanced, enriched and personalised curriculum to meet the needs of all children. The tools to do this are just different today.

“Our pupils learn in the same traditional ways, but they have a computer as well as pen, pencil and ruler. We utilise lots of techniques, new and old, to ensure high quality teaching.”

This year the school has been awarded Microsoft Showcase School Status, an accolade only bestowed upon around 30 other schools in the country. Despite the school’s good links with the company it does not provide the school’s equipment.

Instead it comes out of its carefully planned budget. To ensure there is a replenishment programme, the school leases its equipment so that they always have the most current products.

It is also recognised as a Teaching School, an English and Science Hub by the Department for Education which means it is one of few schools across the country to be a centre of excellence offering training and professional development to other schools.

At Broadclyst, pupils from Year 3 upwards are each given tablet PC’s that are touch screen devices that provide the full power of the PC with the mobility of a tablet. The technology they are using is a Microsoft Surface used with a digital pen.

Its younger age groups also have access to the same devices but not to the same 1:1 ratio.

Mr Bishop said: “Children see devices as part of their life so it doesn’t have the ‘wow’ factor of them being on their desk. They very much look forward to playing a football match the same as they do sitting down in a hi-tech room. To them it’s just normal.

“There are no worries about them having too much screen time because it’s just a tool within their daily life and therefore it’s about having things in balance.”

Classrooms have multiple screens so that wherever they are sitting they can see what the teacher is showing them.

The online learning environment is built using Microsoft Teams, a tool with Office365 that combines workplace chat, video meetings, notes and digital inking, and the usual office applications. One of these apps is Microsoft OneNote that is used by teachers to plan and deliver teaching resources that children can access from their device in the classroom or from home.

Mr Bishop said: “Writing on the tablet is the equivalent to writing on a chalkboard, but technology allows it to be wirelessly projected onto the multiple screens in the room and then synchronised to each child’s device. The board notes are then on the desk in front of the child to use while they work, maybe using a pen into their exercise book. It’s about blending the environment of the new and old.

“When pupils go home they can log on to their family laptop as all the learning resources are then available from the cloud through Office365 as they access OneNote via the web browser. They can find work taught that has been taught, activities they have to do and can continue with their learning from home.

“Parents can also log on with their child to see what they have been learning at school. We offer free parent training to help them support their child’s learning at home.”

Technology is also used to monitor each child’s individual progress throughout the school year.


Pupils receive verbal feedback by voice or video recordings. To track progress the children complete online assessments where the outcomes are analysed digitally and areas for development flagged.

Mr Bishop said: “It creates assessments which are very unique, and we are able to see precisely who has mastered the concepts, what they next need to, and who needs extra input.”

The school is also very proud of its ‘connected global projects’. For the fifth year it is launching its annual Year 6 Global Enterprise Competition.

The year is split into 10 teams who are tasked with creating a product they have to research, design, create a prototype, undertake market research and then take to the Dragon’s Den to get seed funding so that they might run their own company. They produce products such as t-shirts, cookies or greeting cards.

The enterprise challenge also seems them use the school’s television studio to create adverts.

The process takes six months and the Dragon’s Den is Mr Bishop’s office where groups have to convince him to invest in their project.

The groups don’t just have to compete against each other but more than 20 other schools worldwide from Europe to Israel to America who have joined the school’s competition, and the ultimate judge is Microsoft themselves.
Mr Bishop said: “It shows how a little school in Broadclyst has come up with an education opportunity which is now enjoyed globally with over 6,000 pupils from primary and secondary schools from over 20 schools globally taking part.

“It is one example of how engaging our curriculum is.”

When it comes to exam results, the school not only achieves national standards but often far exceeds them.

Mr Bishop said: “We get really good results and are within the top five to 20 per cent of schools. I have just received a letter from the school’s minister to congratulate us for being in the top four per cent of schools for the phonics outcomes last year."

Although the school is widely known for its superior technology, there is far more to it than just developing the next generation of ‘computer geeks’.

It also offers nearly 30 after school extra curricular activities including creative arts clubs, musical theatre, sporting clubs like football as well as coding and media clubs.

Mr Bishop said: “But what we are doing is personalising a curriculum to meet individual needs of each child and yet using collaborative approach that develops wider skills, which means children not only want to come to school, but are able to access a curriculum that is open ended, purposeful and challenging enough for even the most able child.”
The school is part of the he Cornerstone Multi-Academy Trust (TCAT) which also includes Westclyst Community Primary School, which is temporarily based on the Broadclyst site.

North Devon based Yeo Valley Primary School will be shortly joining, and the academy has been chosen to build an additional primary school in the Monkerton area, which will open in 2020.

Also part of the trust is the Cornerstone Teaching School, providing teacher training, professional learning, leadership development and school-to-school support at both primary and secondary levels.


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