Schools News: Including first collaborative events for Co-operative Trust

The latest news from Dacorum schools.

Sunday, 22nd February 2015, 8:15 am
The East Dacorum Cooperative Learning Trust - Students from three schools visited the University of Hertfordshire

Trust holds first events

The East Dacorum Cooperative Learning Trust has held its first two events. Parents from the three trust schools, Adeyfield, Astley Cooper and Longdean, attended an Internet Safety Workshop.

This was held at Longdean School but was delivered by staff from both Longdean and Astley Cooper schools. The workshop focused on informing parents about some of the dangers of the Internet for young people and outlined strategies that parents can use to work with their children in order to be safe on line. This was followed by a series of workshops based around social networks and mobile devices.

Bridgewater School Choir PNL-150220-110136001

The following day 32 students from the three schools attended an event at the University of Hertfordshire where they discussed what the East Dacorum Cooperative Learning Trust can do to help them overcome barriers that prevent them from achieving their best in school.

The students, from years seven to 13, worked in a number of mixed school groups identifying barriers and suggesting solutions that the Trust could implement over the next two years.

These solutions were linked closely to the core values of the Cooperative movement: self-help, self responsibility, equity and democracy. The university, one of the partners in the Trust, also provided students with a tour of the university campus giving many students their first glimpse of higher education.

It is hoped that involving parents and students in these two early events will assist in the development of membership forums for the Trust over the next year, enabling parents and students to have a direct input and voice in the direction of the East Dacorum Cooperative Learning Trust. Further events are planned for the next few months and people should look at the websites of the three schools for more details.

School children sing in London

Fifty-five children from the Bridgewater School Choir, led by choir conductor Caroline Fitzgerald, went to the South Bank in London to sing in the Royal Festival Hall as part of the National Federation of Music for Youth.

The children were delighted to gain a place in this regional series of events.

They sang their hearts out and were given great praise there by the professional music mentors who said their singing was, “rhythmic and tuneful with excellent breath control and technique...they have a luminous quality in their singing and the emotion really came through to the audience”.

Former Olympian Sharron Davies backs children in Hertfordshire to cycle and scoot to school

Ms Davies is encouraging families in Hertfordshire to take part in The Big Pedal, an inter-school competition organised by the charity Sustrans.

The Big Pedal (March 2 - 20) encourages pupils to lead healthier lives and reduce traffic around the school gates, by challenging them to cycle or scoot their journey to school for 10 days.

Last year 10 schools took part in the competition in Hertfordshire and made over 10,760 journeys to school on their bikes and scooters in 10 days.

Ms Davies, who is an Olympic sivler medallist and founder of, said: “Parents are often bombarded with advice on keeping their children healthy and while they‘re juggling family life with work life the potential of the school run can easily be overlooked.

“When children live near to school, changing their journey can transform their health by incorporating a little exercise into their daily routines - before the school bell rings.”

Ms Davies’ son cycles or scoots to school every day.

She said: “I believe that an active journey to school should become a part of a family’s morning routine, just like brushing your teeth.

“Thats’ why I’m encouraging schools in Hertfordshire to take part in The Big Pedal this March, and give cycling and scooting to school a try.”

A survey of teachers at schools that took part in the competition last year revealed 76% said that pupils continued to cycle and scoot to school following the event; 39% said pupils who took part were noticeably happier throughout the day; and 29% said the event reduced traffic congestion around the school.

Malcolm Shepherd, chief executive of Sustrans, said: “The Big Pedal proves that when cycling and scooting are part of the daily routine they can play a vital role in improving the health, wellbeing and concentration of our children.

“Schools can still register to take part in The Big Pedal 2015, and I guarantee that parents, teachers and the children will all benefit from giving cycling and scooting to school a go.”

To register in The Big Pedal 2015 go to

Chaulden Junior School improves Ofsted rating

Chaulden, a local community school, has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted inspectors.

After five terms of hard work, dedication and determination by all the staff, the school quickly moved from its last rating, ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’ in the latest inspection.

Chaulden Juniors, which became an academy in May 2013 as part of the Spiral Academies Trust, received a good rating in all areas including achievement, leadership and management, behaviour and the quality of teaching.

The inspectors reported that, “since becoming an academy, pupils in all year groups have made progress.”

The report highlighted a number of strengths at the school including: teachers using their skills well to make learning exciting and interesting; pupils’ positive attitudes and their good behaviour contributing to good learning and progress; and teachers being particularly successful at developing pupils’ speaking and listening skills and in extending their vocabulary.

Headteacher Cherry Newby said: “The success of our school is a real team effort with the leadership team, governors, teaching staff, administrative staff, pupils, parents and wider school community all playing an important part.

“The whole staff body has worked incredibly hard over the past two years to ensure that the education for all our children is broad, balanced, exciting and relevant.”

The chair of governors, Kris Baldwin, said: “It is fantastic that the school has been recognised for the excellent education it delivers to the children of the local community.”