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Schools news round-up (including teddy bear’s picnic, Paris trip and more to mark Small Schools week)

Well done: Ashlyns School students during their pass-out parade at Hemel Hempstead Fire Station

Well done: Ashlyns School students during their pass-out parade at Hemel Hempstead Fire Station

The latest news from schools in your area.

Ashlyns students’ pass-out parade at fire station

Duke of Edinburgh award students from Berkhamsted’s Ashlyns School showed off their newly acquired skills to proud family members by performing a pass-out parade at Hemel Hempstead Fire Station.

During a 14-week course hosted by Red Watch fire crew at the Queensway base, the students had learned some of the many aspects of being a firefighter.

This included everything from pitching ladders and delivering water to wearing breathing apparatus and using road accident cutting equipment.

The students worked really hard throughout the course and it was fitting that the pass-out on Saturday was a great success.

Another group of students from Ashlyns will participate in D of E later in the year.

School children raise plenty of cash for charity

The children of Grove Road Primary School in Tring raised £835 on Friday 20th June for the children’s charity, the Pepper Foundation.

It was Pink and Purple day and all the children paid £1 each to come to school wearing the charity’s colours. They also held a cake sale – selling mostly pink and purple cakes – to raise further funds.

The children loved being involved in the fund-raiser and were delighted to meet Pepper Panda, the charity’s mascot, during the Pink and Purple charity day.

Locally-based Pepper was selected by the children as a charity they wanted to support.

School house captains Molly Vincent and Jack Haynes said: “We have chosen to support the Pepper Foundation because we believe that the job they do is incredibly difficult.

“The video we were shown in assembly touched all our hearts and moved us to tears.

“We had no idea that children of our age could be so ill. We hope that the money we have raised will help the Pepper nurses to continue their hard work.”

Pepper funds an innovative paediatric hospice at home nursing service which offers specialist palliative care and support to children with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness.

The nurses work with families living in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire to provide individualised care and support for each child in their own home.

All the money raised by Grove Road children will help support the nurses that carry out this wonderful work.

Teddy bear’s picnic, Paris trip and other fun to mark Small Schools Week

Great Gaddesden Primary School pupils celebrated their unique size and character last week, by taking part in Small Schools Week.

The week is held by the National Association of Small Schools to celebrate all that is fantastic about learning in an environment of smaller pupil numbers.

The school - which opened in 1857 - has expanded over the years, but still currently has less than 100 pupils on roll and so is officially described as a ‘small school’.

With reports of ever increasing class sizes, and a lack of school allocation spaces, small schools are becoming a rarity.

Only 13.2 per cent of British Primary Schools are classed as ‘small’, catering for just 3.2 percent of the primary pupil population.

With all the charm of a rural village school, Great Gaddesden Primary School, which caters for pupils aged three to 11, attracts children from Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, and other surrounding villages.

The school has maintained its character as a ‘small’ school over the years and so pupils and staff celebrated Small Schools Week by going off-timetable and taking part in curriculum enrichment activities.

Headteacher Nikki Worsley, who organised the week in conjunction with staff, said: “Small schools are unique in that they offer smaller class sizes, and focus on the progress of each individual pupil, as highlighted in our last Ofsted report.

“Since our last Ofsted Inspection, progress data shows that all year groups are making at least good progress in core subjects like maths and literacy, which just shows what an impact attending a small school can make.

“We have been delighted to be able to celebrate Small Schools Week by enabling pupils to get outside of the classroom and enjoy activities in the unique location of the school, the community of Great Gaddesden and further afield.

“We hope to make this an annual event to celebrate all that is brilliant about attending a small school.”

Older children began the week with a day trip to Paris, and have enjoyed experiences such as rock climbing, caving, kayaking, science workshops and an opportunity to visit the nearby Gaddesden Estate for the day.

The whole school also enjoyed a trip to Whipsnade during the course of the week.

Infant children enjoyed circus skills workshops, museum trips, cookery classes and outdoor ‘forest school’ activities such as nature discovery and den building.

The school regularly links up with other nearby small schools for both curriculum-based and extra-curricular learning.

On Friday, children from the Early Years class celebrated the culmination of Small Schools Week with a teddy bear’s picnic, inviting children in Early Years from other local ‘small schools’ to join them.

Small Schools Week ran from Monday to Friday. Each class recorded their activities through their class blogs which are accessible through the school website.

 

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