Dear Parents,

Celebration Special

Sports Day

Last Friday was our school sports day. This year, the worry was not whether it would rain but whether we could all cope in the heat! Thankfully, with some adjustments, some extra shade, water and sunscreen, the day went ahead without a hitch!

In the morning, the teams competed under fruit names through a variety of activities including jumping, throwing and ball-handling skills. The teams then retreated to the shade of the gazebos (thank you again, PTA) to watch as each child took their turn to race. The children all showed such enjoyment through the morning and cheered each other on emphatically. There was a pause in proceedings whilst the scores were counted and verified, giving opportunity to our parents and younger siblings to race. The children were thrilled to see their family members trying their best to get past the finishing tape first! The Key Stage 1 Sports Day went to the yellow St David’s team.

After a shared picnic lunch, the Key Stage 2 children limbered up for their events. They took the opportunity to show off their prowess in the traditional field athletic events including javelin, shot put and triple jump. Then the moment came for our children to duck and dive as they attacked the obstacle relay with each year group providing a competitive finish. The sprinters then stepped up to the mark, with anticipation rising culminating in the Year 6 flat races. The children were proud to have represented their teams in whichever race they took part in. Cue the competitive Dads’ race with a couple of ringers thrown in (Mr Orpin and Mr Carrick). The proud winning Dad  was Mr Reader. This set the benchmark as the mums stepped up to race in such numbers that they had to be split into 2 fields of runners. Again, the children mostly thoroughly enjoyed seeing their parents race (with a few, “My Mum/Dad is soooo embarrassing!” comments). Many thanks to the kind parent who picked up some lost sunglasses – please do drop them into the office so we can return them to the rightful owner!

Once the scores had again be calculated and verified by the human computer that is Mrs Harrison, the Key Stage 2 Cup went to the red St George’s. Unfortunately, this was not the positive omen we hoped it would be for the World Cup.

Thank you to Mr Carrick and our Year 6 Sports Ambassadors for organising such a great day.

 

Sports Mark awards

We have retained the Gold Sports Mark award for the second consecutive year running, reflecting our commitment to involving large proportions of the children in physical activities and competing against other schools. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to award the gym and dance medals this week – they will be awarded next week. This year, we have been particularly successful in our Girls’ Cricket too! Congratulations to Mrs Ronaldson and Mr Carrick for their efforts in achieving this. Next year, we will be striving for the keenly anticipated Platinum award!

 

Reports, Attendance and Assessment results

Your children should all have brought home their reports today. Across the school, standards of attainment are high and I am particularly pleased with the progress the children have been making. All the hard work by pupils and staff alike are clearly paying off, supported by a good overall attendance rate of 97%! Well done everyone. Please do return the slip at the bottom of your child’s report, together with the data collection sheet (not Y6) as soon as possible.

On Tuesday, we were really delighted to receive the end of key stage 2 test results (please see the summary below). Year 6 have truly done us and themselves proud this year by achieving fantastic results. This year’s results are well above the national average and also even better than our results from 2017.

Subject

Percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard: school

Percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard: nationally

Average scaled score: school

Average scaled score: nationally

 

English reading

93%

75%

110

105

English grammar, punctuation and spelling

90%

78%

108

106

Mathematics

87%

76%

107

104

English writing (teacher assessment)

90%

78%

N/A

N/A

Science (teacher assessment)

93%

82%

(2017 data)

N/A

N/A

 

As you may be aware, it is not just at the end of Key stage 2 that children’s progress is assessed and reported on. Our Year 2 children have also done fantastically well this year, as can be seen in the following comparison table:

Subject

Percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard: school (2018)

Percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard: nationally (2017)[1]

English reading

100%

76%

English writing

90%

68%

Mathematics

87%

75%

Science

100%

83%

 

Once again, our children have out-performed their peers nationally and we couldn’t be more proud of them.

Finally, I should also mention the achievements of our youngest children, who have completed the Foundation Stage of their education this year. It truly has been wonderful to see how the children have grown in confidence and ability this year, with 69% achieving a combined ‘Good Level of Development’ this year. We were particularly proud of the number of children (90%) achieving the required level in Communication and Language and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. The children have made a super start to their Bidborough learning journey!

 

Year 6 Production

As ever, our Year 6 children finish their time with us by putting together a performance. This is a great time to see just how much the children have grown in confidence, particularly comparing their stage presence to their starring roles in the nativity. They certainly gave me a roller coaster of emotions from fear (the Ofsted summer visit is still fresh in my memory) to tears of laughter and then the tear-jerking performance of ‘This Special Place’.  Thankfully, the imaginative dance moves in the celebration song at the end once more lifted out spirits and I was left feeling a huge sense of pride for all the year 6 have achieved! Thanks to Mrs Pollard for supporting the children to put on such a good show!

 

 

Children’s University

On Thursday evening, Mrs Fowler and the Key Stage 2 children treated us to a fabulous evening celebrating the culmination of this year’s Children’s University project. Over the year our Key Stage 2 children have had the opportunity to take part in all sorts of enrichment activities that have given them the opportunity to experience areas of learning that they may not otherwise have had the chance to, hopefully discovering hidden talents. The children have also had chance to work with and build relationships with other children and adults to the ones they see in class every day.

The hall was filled with spectacular displays showcasing all the wonderful things that the children have learnt this year, including a truly impressive school promotion video created by Mrs Elliot and her TV presenting group.

Throughout the evening, the children were presented their ‘graduation’ certificates by the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells. It really was a wonderful evening which showcases what learning at Bidborough is all about! Once again, a huge thank you to everyone who helped out and made this year’s project possible. If you would be interested in helping out in the next project, please speak to Mrs Fowler.

An afternoon of delights

This afternoon, we were treated to lots of our instrumentalists taking to the stage. We began with our Year 4 class who have been learning ukulele all year. I am sure all would agree that this was a very strong performance from these young musicians. The bar was set as children stepped up in solo and group performances with instruments ranging from guitar and piano to the harp.  It can be daunting stepping up in front of a live audience and the children all showed courage. A special mention to Charlie Picton who was called back to the stage for an encore of ‘Hotel California’ with guitar and vocals!

Demelza House

A representative from our local charity Demelza house visited school this week. During worship on Tuesday, Ashley talked to the children about how all their kind donations this year have benefited unwell children across the county. All children will be coming home with a collection bag this week. If you do have any unwanted clothes or toys etc. then please do fill up the bags and take them along to the new shop that is opening in Tonbridge. These donations do really make a huge difference to the Charity - apparently £200,000 a year can be raised in this way.

Continue celebrating…

There are a couple of opportunities coming up to celebrate the achievements of those leaving us this year. On Tuesday, we will be having a celebration assembly for Mrs Ronaldson and Mr Orpin. The children have some secret plans up their sleeves.

On Monday 23rd July, our Year 6s and their parents will have a special church service at St Lawrence as we give thanks for all their talents and pray for their future journey (9am start for Year 6 parents and guests). On Tuesday 24th July, at 2pm, we will hold our annual Leavers’ assembly which will give the whole school an opportunity to say thank you for all that the Year 6 children have contributed to their time in school and wish them good luck as they fly the nest.

Bidborough Family

So, with 7 school days left (who’s counting?!) I want to celebrate our Bidborough family here. There are so many unsung heroes who put in so much effort, striving to give our children the best possible start in life: From the PTA and the parents who volunteer to help in classrooms, to the children who look after each other like siblings; Teachers and teaching staff who go the extra mile, even when life throws them a curve ball, to come up with creative opportunities and ways to make learning exciting and finally to the Governors who give up their time to set the strategic direction of the school, monitor progress towards school targets and support the school in achieving its goals. A special thank you to Rhian Bowler who is stepping down as Chair of Governors at the end of the school year. Rhian has dedicated many hours to this role and helped to shape it into the successful and caring community that it is. She has seen the school through a successful Ofsted and SIAMS assessments, meeting with inspectors armed with data, evidence and passion. This school owes much to her – thank you.

And finally…

Have a fantastic few days of term. The children will be steadily bringing home their school books and other bits and bobs over the next week, so please arm them with a bag to cart it all home! If you have any library books at home, please do return those. Please encourage your children to collect up any water bottles and lunchboxes as there seem to be lots floating around. Any uncollected lost property at the end of term will be donated to Demelza house!

Have a great weekend.

Kind regards,

Julie Burton
Headteacher.