Article Taken from HugoSwire.org.uk:
Hugo Swire, MP for East Devon, has welcomed the news that Digital Primary Academy has been approved, helping to create more good school places in East Devon.
The Digital Primary Academy - a Free School - will open in 2016, creating 420 new primary places in northeast Exeter. The school will be opened by the same trust that runs the oversubscribed and 'outstanding' Broadclyst Primary Academy, the only UK primary school recognised as a Microsoft Mentor School and part of the Microsoft Global Challenge.
This announcement brings the total number of open and approved Free Schools to more than 400, creating around 230,000 new school places. Free Schools are set up by teachers, parents and community groups and tend to raise the performance of those around them, meaning more opportunities for children to learn the skills they need to get on in life. More than 40,000 pupils are already attending free schools just three-and-a-half years after the first one opened its gates. Over two-thirds of these free schools are already rated good or outstanding.
Mr Swire commented:
‘I am absolutely delighted that the Digital Primary Academy has been approved’.
‘The Broadclyst Primary School has been rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and, according to the Schools Minister, is one of the top 250 schools in the UK so it is great news that the trust that runs Broadclyst Primary will also manage the Digital Primary Academy. It really does have the making of an excellent school’.
‘Since their introduction by this Government, Free Schools have had an excellent track record. Not only do they create more school places, which are needed in East Devon, but they have consistently performed better than council funded schools and have had the effect of incentivising nearby underperforming schools to raise their academic standards’.
The original article can be read in full on the website, here.
Our Castles project has proven to be very popular with the children and we have explored ideas surrounding knights and dragons, princesses and fairy tales and witches. We have had lots of fun designing and creating our ‘Witches Workshop’ role-play areas; thinking of imaginative ingredients for potions; and attempting to write our own spells. The role-play has been very effective at supporting the children’s language development in both the Nursery and Reception classes, which can be used later for story-writing.
We have been able to take advantage the fantastic outdoor areas around the school to enhance our learning opportunities. Mixed groups of Nursery and Reception children have been visiting our on-site orchard and allotment, learning more about the world around them. Activities have included matching leaves to the shrubs and trees they came from, making leaf crowns and role-playing in our new ‘mud kitchen’. We are looking forward to the weather improving so that we can start planting seeds in our raised beds.
The Reception children also had a visit from our school Nurse, Tracey Wills-Cromwell, who came to talk to them about the importance of washing their hands properly. They learnt about how germs spread and practised washing their hands properly. A UV light showed them whether or not they had been thorough enough! Tracey will be visiting the Nursery children in the summer term to talk about sun safety.
The year 2 children have been taking part in a series of dance sessions with Mrs Brooks; these have been linked in with their topic of Around the World.
Each week they learn traditional dances associated with different countries; so far they have learnt hula (Hawaii), ballet (France), flamenco (Spain) and hip-hop (America). They will also be moving on to Indian dance with the aim of putting together a showcase of dances to perform after the Easter holidays.
The children have really enjoyed their dance sessions and have mastered each of the routines very quickly, often progressing to a new one each week. So far the favourite has been the flamenco which finishes with a very fierce ‘Ole’!
The Year 5 children had an exciting opportunity to Skype with children in India, at a school called Bhojwas, showcasing work they had all produced in response to the theme Cuisines around the world. They demonstrated their presentation skills with a short PowerPoint and a video of themselves cooking different dishes. The children were brilliant at communicating and sharing ideas with those who speak a different language, thousands of miles away.
Year 5 has also had some visitors who came to talk about Ethiopia. One demonstrated and taught the children how to cook some traditional curries! They thought they were yummy (although maybe a bit HOT); they also dressed in traditional clothing and learned about Ethiopian ceremonies.
Back in the technology world, year 5 had a rather exciting live coding lesson from the BBC which taught them how important coding would be for many of their future jobs. They even got to look at how The Voice chair works and hear from Will.i.am.
The Year 6 children have been working hard on the Global Enterprise Challenge, for which trading came to an end on 9 March. The teams have put together a final company report which will be shortlisted according to the quality of work and total profit. Shortlisted teams from around the world will be judged by Mandeep Atwall and Mark Sparvell from Microsoft and technology journalist Merlin John.
The winners will be announced after the Easter holidays, and will be sent to America in April to collect their prize. Good luck to the children who have taken part all over the world!
The Year 4 children had a day in Exeter city centre during March, when they were treated to lunch on Cathedral Green before enjoying an informative and interesting tour of the city with the Red Coats. The guides really inspired the class with stories from World War II and the Exeter Blitz including the George Cross awardee Nurse Knee and the heroic Mary the Pigeon!
They also had a mystery visitor, through the power of Skype, whom they had to identify with careful questioning. Their guest was Museum Curator at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, US, and she took them on a virtual tour of the museum including the famous Spitfire and Higgins Boats before answering lots of questions about America’s part in the war.
The children loved going on a hunt around school to find ten escaped dinosaurs. They learnt about compass directions and used their compasses to follow directions around the school to find the escapees! They also identified various features around the school located at different compass points and they gave each other directions to follow to get to key locations around the classroom and school.
As part of World Book Week, Year 1 children had the fantastic opportunity to join in with a Skype call with a school in Missouri in the US. The children loved talking about their school and life in Exeter and Broadclyst and comparing the similarities and differences between where they live and Missouri. The call included a lovely opportunity to read a story together and to talk about our favourite books and authors.