By Sharon Clark, primary phase headteacher at Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS).
It is hard to believe that a year has passed since we first moved into our new building and began the process of turning the empty rooms into a school community. Almost exactly a year ago to the day, our first cohort of children made their first visits to Acorn classroom – at that point, the only room in the school that even vaguely resembled a classroom!
A year on and we find ourselves looking back at what has been an amazing year of new and exciting experiences for both the primary staff team and the children. Our school building now reflects our growing school community and, though we may only currently have one class of primary children, our building is home to many members of the BSCS and Olympus Academy Trust staff teams as well as frequent classes of our secondary students.
One of our proudest achievements is in the development and embedding of the forest school approach into our school curriculum. We have been privileged to have had the support of the South Gloucestershire Early Years Team in creating a forest school base camp within our school grounds. Our children have benefited from weekly forest school sessions; sometimes working at base camp, other times exploring the wider woodland within Savages Wood and beyond. They show us each week how they are developing in their understanding of the natural world and the positive impact learning outdoors has had on their attitude to challenge, risk taking and ability to face new situations with confidence.
It seemed only fitting that we marked the end of our first year with an afternoon of celebration that included spending time together outdoors. The afternoon started with Acorn class leading us in an assembly where they presented to their parents their talents, including model building, story writing, gymnastics, ballet and singing, to name but a few! We then went out into the sunshine and shared a picnic, enjoying time with our families and friends in the forest school and on our school field.
In a few weeks we will be starting the new school year and will be doubling in size from 30 families to 60; with our current Acorns graduating into Catkin class and our second cohort of 30 new little Acorns all really keen to come and join the fun!
This article originally appeared in the August 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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