Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Post-16 at Abbeywood: “It’s more than just about getting grades”

Posted on Sunday 13th January 2019 at 7:12 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Lauren Brenton, standing in front of a sign for Abbeywood Community School.

Guest article by Stoke Gifford resident Lauren Brenton, a 17-year-old student at Abbeywood Community School who aspires to one day becoming a journalist, following in the footsteps of her grandfather. Lauren is hoping to study media, journalism and culture at Cardiff University from September.

For most young people, ‘Post-16’ or ‘sixth form’ conjures up ideas of meticulous essay writing and constant revision. It would be silly to say they were wrong, especially as the dread of exam season is nearing, but for us at Abbeywood Post-16 it isn’t all work and no play. With the amazing support from our heads of Post-16 and our tutors, we’ve been pushed to try new things we can have fun at, to make it two years we’ll never forget.

From sausage making to treasure hunts spanning the whole school to coffee mornings to relaxing yoga, the list goes on. If you had a chance to attend our open evening on the 8th November, you would’ve been able to speak to our students and staff about Post-16 and the opportunities that studying at Abbeywood Post-16 can give you. The abundance of extracurricular activities we are offered here is plentiful, with opportunities to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Access to Bristol being some of our most appealing options. If hiking up a mountain and camping isn’t your thing, there will definitely be something that will inspire you, whether that be our mentoring programme ran by Ella, a member of our student leadership team, or maybe the Envision programme that we’re lucky enough to have at our Post-16.

Whether you want to go to university, get a higher apprenticeship, take a gap year or simply get straight into the world of work, the whole of Post-16 and its team will be behind you. We like to compare ourselves to being like a second family for you to come and lean on for support. It really isn’t just about getting grades, it’s about shaping you into an individual who is able to be sent out into the scary ‘real world’ and be able to succeed and be happy with whatever career you pursue.

Obviously grades are important to us and we wouldn’t be at Abbeywood Post-16 if we didn’t think it was the best place for us to achieve the grades we all desperately want, but I can speak for all of us at Post-16 when I say it’s the experience of being an Abbeywood Post-16 student that drives us to succeed, and it’s one we can confidently say you won’t get at other Post-16 centres.

This article originally appeared in the January 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 23). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Former deputy steps up to take on headship at Little Stoke Primary

Posted on Wednesday 19th December 2018 at 8:28 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Anne Sargent presenting Scott Howes with the fingerprint tree.

Every day is an opportunity for learning for the staff and children at Little Stoke Primary School. That was even true at the end of October when attention turned to the departure of the headteacher, Scott Howes, who was leaving the school after six happy and successful years, to take on a new job in Northern Ireland.

“Learning how to deal with goodbyes is an important life skill that we’ve been able to share with the children as Mr Howes leaves,” said Anne Sargent, who has now taken over as headteacher having previously worked alongside Mr Howes as deputy head. “We talked about change and about looking forward to the next chapter of our learning adventure at Little Stoke.”

In his final week, staff and pupils turned their well wishes into personalised songs, videos and other activities during assemblies that created special memories for everyone involved. As part of these celebratory activities, Mr Howes received a number of gifts and presentations from the children which reflected the warm feelings of the whole school community. These included a beautiful framed ‘fingerprint tree’ which every child contributed to and a very special ‘coat of memories’ adorned with written memory stars from every child and member of staff.

The school also celebrated by holding a quiz for Mr Howes to test his knowledge about the teaching team. For example, asking which teacher also had their glider licence? His correct answers resulted in winning tools that would help him complete tasks at the end: painting a self-portrait, building a tower from spaghetti and marshmallows and decorating a cake. The children, of course, found this very amusing!

Stephen Wells, chair of governors, thanked Mr Howes for being such an important and lasting positive role model for the children and a person who would be long remembered by those at the school.

Scott Howes joined the school six years ago at a time when it had falling pupil numbers. Since then he and Mrs Sargent have made a number of significant changes resulting in the school becoming popular with parents and being rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.

“I have very much enjoyed my time at the school and will take away many happy memories,” said Mr Howes.

Photo: New head Anne Sargent presents Scott Howes with the fingerprint tree picture.

This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 20). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Little Stoke Primary rated ‘good’ by Ofsted

Posted on Thursday 30th August 2018 at 6:35 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of staff and pupils at Little Stoke Primary School standing in front of a sign depicting the school logo.

Little Stoke Primary School’s rating as a ‘good’ school has been confirmed in a report produced by an Ofsted inspector who carried out a ‘short’ inspection on 22nd May 2018.

The visit was the first ‘short’ inspection carried out since the school was judged to be ‘good’ in January 2015.

Speaking of headteacher Scott Howes, the inspector writes in her report: “You lead the school with drive and ambition, ably supported by your deputy headteacher and a strong staff team who share your high expectations for all aspects of pupils’ learning and welfare. Since the previous inspection, you have further developed the design of the curriculum so that pupils extend their literacy and mathematical skills across other subjects.”

The reports adds that governors are well informed about the school’s performance and carry out their monitoring responsibilities diligently. They are said to “have an accurate understanding of the quality of the school’s work and what needs to improve further”.

Pupils at little Stoke are said to “thoroughly enjoy their learning and appreciate the school’s varied and interesting curriculum, both within and beyond the school day”.
Two specific areas identified for further improvement are the teaching of middle-ability pupils in reading and efforts to improve rates of attendance and reduce the number of pupils who regularly miss school.

Headteacher Scott Howes said:

“We are delighted that the most recent inspection has identified the excellent provision that all school staff make for pupils both academically and pastorally. The report captured the fact that pupils feel safe and well cared for and enjoy coming to school. It also noted that the significant support from parents and carers has been a key part in making Little Stoke Primary School a popular and expanding local school. As a team, we will continue to work hard to maintain this high quality provision for our pupils.”

More: School has Open Days in September and November »

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Abbeywood School rated ‘good’ but must face ‘full’ inspection next time

Posted on Monday 23rd April 2018 at 9:18 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of three students walking in front of the main entrance of Abbeywood Community School.

Ofsted inspectors who visited Stoke Gifford’s Abbeywood Community School at the end of February have confirmed the academy’s ‘good’ grading but at the same time identified priorities for improvement.

The ‘short’ inspection was the first carried out since the school was rated ‘good’ in October 2014, following its incorporation into the Olympus Academy Trust (OAT) on 1st January 2013.

Inspectors noted that the headteacher, Dr David Howe, who was appointed in January 2015, has successfully developed a culture of collaboration among staff and secured the confidence and support of the vast majority of parents. As a result, the school has grown in popularity and the number of pupils on roll is steadily rising.

The report points out that pupils’ progress fell in 2017, but acknowledges that support from the trust and other sources has been used to ensure that “the progress of most groups of pupils currently in the school is now better”.

Inspectors describe the school as “highly inclusive”, adding that it provides a “friendly, orderly environment”.

On the topic of safeguarding, the report states: “The school’s policies and procedures for keeping pupils safe are well organised and effective.”

“Pupils feel safe and well cared for in school. They are aware of how to keep themselves safe when using the internet.”

“Both pupils and parents say that any bullying that happens is dealt with quickly and effectively.”

Senior leaders at the school are praised for continually seeking improvements in teaching and learning, while governors are said to be knowledgeable and prepared to “challenge senior leaders robustly”.

More: Concern over attainment in some subjects at GCSE level »

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