Gardening Gang are Best in Show

 

Green-fingered pupils at the Josephine Butler Primary campus have collected yet another award for their outstanding garden.

The campus was named winner in the ‘Best Commercial Property’ category at the 8th Annual Ashington Gardens Competition.

Organised by the Town Council, the event took place at Ashington Cricket Club with this year’s competition supported by Wansbeck Garden Centre & Café, based on the North Seaton Industrial Estate in the town.

The judging panel included Town Councillors Marjorie Chambers, Avril Chisholm, Ely Turnbull and Mr Bob Bell as a guest expert judge.

All of the judges attended the Awards Evening as the prize winners were presented with shields, trophies and gardening vouchers.

The Civic Head of Ashington, Cllr Victor Bridges, presented the prizes

Councillor Mark Purvis, Business Chair of Ashington Town Council, said:  “The Town Council is delighted that year after year, many of the town’s gardeners take part in the annual Gardens Competition.

“The Awards Evening recognises the gardening skills we have in Ashington and that gardeners make a significant contribution to improving the town’s appearance for the benefit of us all.”

 

Pupils Get Creative at Primary STEM Week

From firing rockets to racing cars, mixing chemicals and cooking up a storm in the kitchen, children from across the campuses took part in the Academy’s Primary STEM Week.

The extravaganza enabled all our Y5 pupils to get creative, with plenty of hands-on activities celebrating the best of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The aim of the week is for children to understand how STEM subjects impact on their daily lives through many different practical activities and investigations.

“The sweet and sour chicken was so tasty!”

“I’ve enjoyed it, as it was really creative.”

“I liked making the propeller cars”

 

The Duchess of Northumberland helped to celebrate the very best in community and voluntary environmental work across the county at a special LOVE Northumberland awards event.

Nineteen groups, organisations, schools and individuals were honoured with winner, runner-up or highly commended awards across eight categories.

The award for the Best Children’s Project was won by the Josephine Butler Primary Campus for ‘Let Your Light Shine’ and the Grace Darling Campus won the category for the Best School Recycling Project.

Representatives of all shortlisted entries attended the event at The Alnwick Garden, which was hosted by local historian and TV presenter John Grundy. The annual awards were developed by Northumberland County Council through its LOVE Northumberland campaign, with the aim of promoting the work of the council and its many partner organisations, community groups and volunteers who all help to preserve and enhance the environment in the county.


Councillor Anthony Murray, civic head of Northumberland County Council, welcomed everyone to the awards evening, saying:  “All of the shortlisted entries should be very proud of their work and I sincerely hope that they enjoyed this event, in the inspirational setting of The Alnwick Garden.

“The LOVE Northumberland awards are all about celebrating the work that individuals and groups do, largely in a voluntary capacity, to keep their local areas green and clean right across Northumberland day in and day out.”

Each winning entry received a £250 prize, each runner-up £100 and highly commended finalists £50, with the money to go towards their project or other work within the local community.
Best School Recycling Project

Rewarding achievements in school recycling and waste minimisation

Winner: Grace Darling Campus of the Northumberland Church of England Academy

Children from Grace Darling Campus have been very busy working on a range of waste minimisation and recycling initiatives for their entry to the Best Recycling project. Following a whole school assembly delivered by Northumberland County Council and workshops in Y3, the school council met and discussed the range of activities and strategies which could be completed around school.

Each member of the school council then completed waste audits around school identifying the main waste items both inside the school and in the school grounds. Findings from this were then shared with the rest of the school and recommendations to minimise waste were made.

Each class from Nursery – Year 6 then completed activities to raise awareness and share information with others to increase the understanding of the learners.

Here’s a taster of some of the things Grace Darling Campus have done:

  • Nursery read the story Big Bear, Little Bear by David Bedford and Jane Chapman and the children made icebergs and bear caves for bears from recycled materials.
  • Recycling stations have been created  in the classrooms
  • Posters were displayed to encourage less food waste in the school canteen area
  • Children have learnt about Earth Day and its meaning and completed personal pledges
  • A new area called ‘be whatever you want to be’ has been created which is completely made of recycled materials.
  • The school now use old and unused exercise books at break times in the yard, allowing children the opportunity to draw and colour and minimising the waste caused by old books.
  • Following a clear out of the school archives and loft space, unwanted books and resources were donated to the Sri Lankan schools projects.
  • Children have completed litter picks within the school grounds and on the paths which lead into school. Some of the children also assisted in the Great British Spring Clean with St. Bartholomew’s Church.

 

Best Children’s Project

Winner:  Josephine Butler Primary Academy – Let Your Light Shine!

By focussing on the mental and emotional well-being of the children the school have created a number of areas in the school grounds.

The children have built and planted a raised bed in the yard. The bed is planted with herbs and vegetables that parents can help themselves to as they pass.  The area also has a lighthouse and deckchair linked to their ethos of ‘Let Your Light Shine’.

This is celebrated further in the Primary Drop off zone; the children and parents have worked together to design and make a giant stone representation of the NCEA emblem.  Using local stone and learning new skills the area has been cut, and the stone placed and cemented and the school are planting plants and flowers around it in the Academy colours.  They are hoping to enhance it with a daffodil island and a primrose path ready for next Spring.

As a community they have also built a new rabbit hutch and pen using recycled materials donated by local families.  This houses two rescue rabbits, Luna and Honeycomb.  They are used as “reading rabbits” in school and are petted by the children while reading, to alleviate any stress or anxiety related to reading aloud.

The children have raised money to fund these projects by selling artefacts and plants that they have made using recycled materials.  They set up a mini enterprise at The Grainger Market in Newcastle and sold items in the school’s Christmas Fayre and the Easter Fayre.

By looking at ways to enhance the environment and benefit the community the children are truly letting their Lights Shine in an innovative and creative way.
Read more about the awards in The Chronicle

Catch of the Day

A group of children from the Josephine Butler Primary Campus and their families enjoyed a fantastic day at Fontburn Reservoir, organised by Northumbria Trout and Salmon Conservation and Northumbria Water.

Headteacher Mrs Marriott said: “The group soon put their new found angling skills into action and brought around 10 trout and salmon home.

“One of the children even caught a tagged fish within five minutes of arriving – usually worth a £200 bonus! Instead they gave us a free day pass which we will raffle at our summer fair.

“The guys at the reservoir also put some fish into the water from the nursery, so the children could learn about sustainable fishing. It was a tremendous day.
“I took home some of the fish and having been taught how to gut and clean it, I then cooked it and brought it into school for the children to try the next day, it was delicious!”
To find our more about fishing at Fontburn click here

NCEA Teams Join Children’s Cancer Run

Josephine Butler Primary Children's Cancer Run

Well done to the teams from the Josephine Butler Primary Campus and NCEASport, who took part in the 35th Children’s Cancer Run at Newcastle Racecourse.

The event, hosted by the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund (NECCR), raises around £200,000 each year to support the fight to beat childhood cancer.

Read more coverage of the run in The Chronicle

World Book Day

Staff and children made a tremendous effort to celebrate World Book Day. We had Mary Poppins, Matilda, Harry Potter, The Snow Queen, Horrid Henry, The Rainbow Fish and many many more characters on campus that day.

Parents and children had made a tremendous effort to create a wide variety of costumes.

Classes enjoyed a range of activities including making bookmarks, writing their own versions of The Little Miss and Mr Men stories, designing a front cover, book quizzes and reading to younger children. We got 500 books from Waterstones that children chose and that were used as prizes.

Lifesavers Savings Club

At the Josephine Butler Primary Campus, we are delighted to have a fully operational Lifesavers school bank.

LifeSavers supports primary schools in setting up savings clubs, and helping children and their families learn about money.

The scheme supports primary schools in setting up savings clubs and helping children and their families learn about money. It is a collaborative partnership between the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Just Finance Foundation and education charity Young Enterprise.

LifeSavers is being offered to primary schools across the country, with financial support from Virgin Money and aims to equip children with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and experiences to manage money well, now and in the future.  It also explores four core values around money:  thankfulness, wisdom, justice and generosity.

The bank is open every Thursday morning from 8:30 until 8:50 for children to make deposits in to their accounts and is run by a team of children who have been trained as cashiers.

Children from JBP can sign up using the link: LifeSavers