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Our children in upper juniors are encouraged to engage in politics.  Some year 5 children have followed every single Brexit vote and can opine with confidence, when it comes to sharing their views.  We were so impressed by the eloquence that Miss Smith decided to start a debate club.  This is an absolutely wonderful incentive and the children absolutely love it.

It was partly due to this that Jess Phillips asked if we would like her to visit our school.  Miss Smith and Mrs Herrero attended a historical artistic tour at Birmingham art gallery which focused on Suffragettes.  As part of this exhibition, there was a talk on Women in politics, led by four female mps from different parties and different constituencies.  Miss Smith and Mrs Herrero spoke to them afterwards, and Jess Phillip was so impressed by the work happening at out school that she offered to visit.

She stayed for two hours, answering questions written by children in Seahorses and Sharks.  Her responses can be read in detail in the Stratford Herald, who also stayed to report on events for the full two hours.  The session finished with Jess taking part in debate club, where she was astounded by the confidence and articulation of the pupils.


The feeling of those attending this year's Shakespeare Parade was put into two words by the eloquent Mr Shuker "Proud and cold!"

It was an icy cold day, particularly when the wind whistled through the streets, billowing up into the Shakespeare flag with such force that it had to be taken down again!

Parade Willows veterans Mr Stickley and Mrs Longford kept everyone in line.

"It's such an honour to lead the procession as the oldest school in Stratford", said Mr Stickley.  

"It's by far, one of my favourite events of the year," Mrs Longford added, "I might even write one of my songs about it for next year."

Mrs Herrero tried to keep the children warm by encouraging them to march and dance along to the music from the brass band.  Our good friends Stratford upon Avon Primary school, also did the same thing.  Mrs Herrero expressed her pride in the children's performance.

"I was so proud of our wonderful Willows pupils.  Their behaviour was impeccable as usual, and despite the biting cold, they walked through the streets with pride."

The cross country dancing was a real success, led by the talented Miss Smith.  Mrs Milward and Dr Dale both commented on how much they enjoyed it, "It was fantastic!  So full of energy".

Thank you to Mrs Campion who organised the children's arrival and who tweeted the most up to date information, and to Dr Dale who worked not just with our school but with other schools in the cluster to ensure everyone knew what was to happen on the day.

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Somehow, drama seems to court EYFS, where yet again, there has been another catastrophe.  You may remember that very recently Monty, the school pet disappeared during the children's superhero project.  He was later found frozen, in a block of ice and the children had to find a way to defrost him.

Last week the class walked into a crime scene.  Remnants of Humpty Dumpty were found strewn on the floor.  Investigations took place very quickly where the children surmised that Humpty had not fallen, he had actually been pushed.  The police were invited in to the investigation and this was extremely helpful.  The children have now solved the mystery and the culprit has kept her job, due to a very good explanation which we have accepted.

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One of the approaches used in EYFS that has the most powerful impact on learning in the classroom are the regular workshops held for parents during the school day.  Attendance and commitment is high.  The sessions are always extremely well attended and parents feedback on how valuable they find the experience.

Throughout the term, the EYFS team work hard to identify the areas where children need extra support and the workshops are developed and designed around this, making the approach bespoke and effective.

EYFS lead, James Shuker was very pleased with last week's event.

"Many thanks to all of the parents/grandparents who attended last week’s Reception writing workshops

It was an opportunity to work alongside their child, seeing how phonics is taught in school and understanding how to best support their child at home. We explored how to pronounce the sounds that are within Phase two and Phase three of Letters and Sounds, how to read them and how to write them. We then practiced the skill of segmenting to model how a child is expected to develop their writing skills. The children practiced writing words, captions and even some sentences with capital letters, finger spaces and full stops."

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