Autumn Term 2023

We began our new school year with welcoming our seven new starters in Reception who settled in very quickly, as did the other children in their new year groups.

We were joined by parents and members of our community at St Cuthbert’s Church, Plumbland for our annual Harvest Festival and our children sang and completed their readings brilliantly. Year six children showed how responsible they were by serving refreshments to the community after the service.

Our first themed morning of the year was History where we placed key events through time on a huge timeline starting with the extinction of the woolly mammoth right up to the present day and the crowning of our new king this year. Our other activities focused on the sinking of the Titanic, the Battle of Hastings, the Great Plague, Olympic games through the years, Viking invasions and the first moon landing. The children were particularly keen on the moon bread they baked.

Children in year five and six completed their Cyclewise training and other sporting events we have participated in include dodgeball and cross country competitions and swimming tuition for children in Key Stage two and multi sports tuition and a skills based festival for our infants.

Our curriculum has been enhanced by some trips this term including a visit to the Beacon at Whitehaven for our children in Reception, Year one and two. We had a fascinating workshop on Toys from the past and enjoyed exploring the museum. Our infant children were excited at the re-telling of the Christmas Story by the team at Bassenfell manor and the whole school enjoyed their visit to Theatre by the Lake to see ‘The Little Princess.’ Children in Years three, four, five and six visited Tullie House museum to view the display of the Roman figureheads found in the archaeological dig at Carlisle Cricket club as well as having a tour of the whole museum. We also welcomed the V Tech team who delivered Science and Technology workshops on Bridge building and Electricity. Towards the end of term we had a fascinating talk from Peter Nutsford who has travelled to and lived in Africa as part of a project on helping endangered animals.

Plumbland CE school council planned fund raising activities for Children in Need where we raised money and participated in craft activities, puzzles, competitions, baking and we dressed in non uniform.

Children in Years three, four, five and six have taken part in the Forest learning programme. Activities have included den building, exploring the stream, collecting items for the Forest museum, playing ‘catch a falling leaf and make a wish,’ developing our whittling skills, finding and classifying interesting fungi, planting hawthorn, hazel and downy birch trees, observing the seasonal changes in the forest and a forest school talent show,

Our new well being sensory garden was officially opened by Tony Rutherford, Chairperson of the Parish Council and afterwards we had festive refreshments in Plumbland Village Hall, served by our year five and six children. Our garden includes plants of different textures, colours, shapes and smells, corinthian bell wind chimes with a calming effect, a water feature, bird feeders and pebbles displaying tje Christian values we promote; trust, friendship, wisdom, justice, thankfulness and forgiveness.

Festive activities in school have included a Christmas craft morning, our whole school concert titled ‘Straw and Order’ which was performed brilliantly by our children and enjoyed by all, a Christmas lunch and a school/ community Carol Service at church. We also raised money for Save the Children by taking part in Christmas jumper day.

Our fundraising group Fops have had a busy term raising fund for our school which we are always very grateful for. They have organised a light party, a conker evening, breakfast with Santa, tombola and refreshments after our concert and a very successful Winter market.

Summer Term 2023

It has been a busy but brilliant Summer Term.

Our sporting activities have included Orienteering events at various locations around the Lake District for our Year 5 and 6 children, rounders competitions for our Junior children (which we won) and a multi skills event hosted at our school, which Mrs Robinson organised and 100 children from our cluster schools attended. Some of our Junior children also attended the Cumbria Games tri golf and orienteering activities and the cricket competition at Blennerhasset. Our Year 6 sports leaders did us proud leading their teams at our annual Sport’s Day.

Our forest learning programme has been a busy one with children hunting for minibeasts, one of which found was the violet ground beetle, building new shelters, exploring the stream and the forest environment and experimenting in the mud kitchen. The children have also enjoyed playing team games and hide and seek. Our Year 6 farewell experience involved them experiencing army rations and having a longer session to enjoy the forest environment.

Year 1 and 2 children went to Silloth on a History trip where they learnt about Seasides of the past. They stood in specific locations and looked at photographs from the past of that location and compared it to how it looks today.

Our Infant children enjoyed their beach schools experience at Allonby where they made beach sculptures, experimented with sand art, took part in scavenger hunts and a beach tidy.

Our whole school trip to Beamish was an excellent day where our older children explored the mines and learnt about explosions from the past and our Infant children had a Victorian style lesson in the old school. We all enjoyed visiting the old town, especially the sweet shop and loved the tram rides.

Our Year 6 children went to Carlisle Cathedral for the annual leaver’s service and were also treated to a prayer breakfast at St Cuthbert’s Church, Plumbland, organised by Hylarie Sharpe. Hylarie also gave our Infant children an interesting tour of our church where they learnt about it’s features and history.

We raised £53.09 for the ‘Blood Bike’ charity and enjoyed our visit from Tony Rutherford who gave us a talk on the charity. We also had a visit from our local Police Community Officer who talked to us about Stranger Danger and E Safety.

Our themed mornings for this term have included Islam and Sikhism and our Junior children created constructions in the style of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. We also had a visit from Fiona and Michael, archivists from Cumberland Council who talked to us about our school’s history and read extracts from the old punishment book and school log book.

Year 5 and 6 children enjoyed their visit to Torpenhow Cheese Company where they learnt about Organic farming and the whole process from ‘grass to glass.’ Their visit to the Lakes College as part of ISU Space Week where they were able to speak to and learn from Tim Gregory ‘The Sky at night’ was fascinating.

We said a sad farewell to our Year 6 leavers in our leaver’s assembly and wish them well as they begin the next step in their educational journey, we know they will do well.

Spring Term 2023

It has been a busy but enjoyable Spring Term.

Our Infant children started our forest school programme off with their block of learning. They worked as a team to create a joint shelter, played team games, made rope supports to help them navigate the stream walk and observed how the forest has changed since their visit in the Summer term. The hot drinks around the fire circle have also been very popular, especially in the colder temperatures. For the second half of the Spring Term the children in Year 3 and 4 have learnt to whittle and have also played some new forest games. They observed changes in the forest environment since their visit in Autumn and have re-arranged the mud kitchen with the new donations of equipment from parents.

We were so impressed with determination that our children in years 3,4,5 and 6 displayed doing their cross country competition at Silloth on what was a very windy day. We were really proud of all of them. Our sports programme has also been enhanced by expert multi skills tuition led by Rob Jefferson for Infants and Juniors and kinder cricket for our younger children led by Chris Hodgson. Year 5 and 6 children took part in a basket ball competition at Solway School, Silloth and our team came first overall, playing superbly together. Children in this year group have also begun this year’s Orienteering League events and are looking forward to venturing out to the different locations around the county, throughout the Summer Term. Children in Key Stage 2 also enjoyed the small school’s football tournament at Netherhall School, Maryport and were winners overall in this competition.

Our children in Year 3 and 4 performed a dance routine titled ‘The wondrous world of Roald Dahl’ at the Sands Centre as part of the U Dance festival. The dance routine was choreographed by Mrs Robinson and the children were able to help plan the routine. The children performed brilliantly and behaved impeccably throughout the whole experience and we were particularly impressed with how they supported each other.

Early in the term our Junior children had the opportunity to work with a real artist, Alex Jacob-Whitworth and created some rather excellent dry point prints which we are displaying in our school hall. Our Infant children designed and made some moon buggies as part of their project on Space, which they thoroughly enjoyed.

Our Music programme has been enhanced with guitar tuition in Years 5 and 6, ukulele tuition in Years 3 and 4 and African drumming sessions in the Infants. Our Infant children also had the opportunity to take part in an ‘African experience’ afternoon at Bothel Village Hall.

Children in Key Stage 2 have been completing a local history project where they have been learning about the history of our school and local events such as Plumbland Carnival. They have viewed first hand resources and are compiling a list of questions to ask community members.

We all enjoyed our fair trade breakfast with products kindly donated by Aspatria Coop and learnt more about how we can support farmers in fair trade countries.

Our annual Easter service took place at St Cuthbert’s Church, Plumbland and it was so lovely to see so many members of our community join us. The children performed their songs beautifully and completed their readings well. Thank you to Year 6 children who served refreshments at the end of the service and gave out Easter baskets.

Our new classroom is now completed and we are very excited about using this and the huge difference it will make to our ever growing school. Thank you so much to the team at Roland Hills for all their hard work and for the high quality finish. We all feel the new addition is completely in character with the rest of our historical building and has created a much needed space.

The term ended with a packed school hall played Easter chocolate bingo, raising funds for our school.

Autumn Term 2022

It was lovely to welcome back all of our children for the new school year and our ten new Reception children have settled in well.

We were all very sad at the death of Queen Elizabeth II and had a special worship time in school to remember her life. Our children went to St Cuthbert’s Church, Plumbland to sign the book of condolence there and also viewed the flowers from the Flower Festival.

Year 3,4,5 and 6 have enjoyed their Forest School sessions this term, they have created a new fire circle and had a forest tidy. They discussed water safety in fast flowing streams and were shocked at how much the stream had filled up. Their theme for the term was ‘team work’ and they demonstrated what could be achieved by working together. They also had lots of fun playing team games.

Our swimming sessions resumed for the Junior children at Wigton swimming pool and they also enjoyed their cricket tuition sessions with Jon Gibson.

We held our Harvest Festival at St Cuthbert’s Church, Plumbland and the children talked about the way Harvest Festival is celebrated around the world. We heard about the yam festival in Ghana and Nigeria, the grape harvest of Vendinia in Argentina, the Pongal festival in India celebrating the end of winter, as well as Crop Over in Barbados and the first fruits ceremony in Swaziland. Our infant children sung the harvest song ‘If you’re grateful for your food’ and we all sung three of our favourite hymns. The children sung beautifully and completed their readings brilliantly. Our Year 6 children served refreshments to members of the community after our service and acted responsibly and maturely. Our Harvest donations came to £101.60 and we donated this to Cockermouth Food Bank.

We had a whole school visit to Carlisle Cathedral and the children enjoyed the tour of this amazing building, learning about its history and events that take place there and the features inside. They were particularly mesmerised by the height of the building inside and were fascinated comparing the medieval stained glass windows to the later Victorian ones. The children looked at the intricate designs of the misericords, where the canons sit and even got to create their own designs. They enjoyed their question and answer session with Canon Michael.

During the school year we have half termly subject themed mornings, where we work in mixed age groups completing a carousel of activities. We find these mornings really valuable and it enables us to develop our cooperation skills working in different age groups, as well as foster a love for different subjects. We enjoyed our Geography themed morning and the activities included: fieldwork outdoors- searching for and recording human and physical features, baking biscuits in the shape of the UK, learning about symbols on real maps and then creating our own, using our imagination to create a treasure map with our own key, navigating using a compass and following compass directions to solve a puzzle, completing tricky jigsaws of the countries in the world and finally finding cities, countries, rivers and mountain ranges in ‘real’ atlases and recording the grid references.

Our School Council planned our Children in Need celebrations and we had a non uniform day, completed an assault course and had competitions and puzzles.

Children in Reception, Year one and two thoroughly enjoyed their African drumming sessions led by ZoZo this term. Year 3 and 4 children have been learning to play the ukulele and year 5 and 6 children have been having guitar tuition with Colin Hendra from Cumbria Music Service.

Our children performed brilliantly in our whole school Christmas concert, ‘Silent Night’ and we all enjoyed our joint community Carol Service at St Cuthbert’s Church, Plumbland. Our children really enjoyed their visit to Theatre by the Lake to watch ‘The Borrowers and had lots of fun with their Christmas Craft morning. Other fun events included our whole school Christmas lunch, Christmas parties and Breakfast with Santa which was organised by Fops, our fundraising group.

Summer Term 2022

During the Summer Term we had an Ofsted inspection and our inspection graded us as a ‘good’ school. Some of the comments included:

‘relationships between pupils and staff are strong;’

‘pupils are polite and well mannered;’

‘leaders have designed an ambitious and interesting curriculum;’

‘in lessons pupils behave well;’

‘trips and visits are exceptionally well planned to enhance pupils’ learning experiences;’

‘the wider personal development curriculum is a strength of the school.’

We are exceptionally pleased with the outcome of our report and it is a recognition of all the hard work and dedication of the staff, pupils and governors of our very unique school.

We had some very exciting news. Our whole school Art entry ‘River of Hope’ was selected as one of the two hundred schools, out of ten thousand entries to be produced onto a silk flag and displayed as part of the queen’s jubilee pageant for the celebrations in London. Our design was also included as part of an online gallery. Amazing!

Children in Year 3 and 4 took part in their forest learning sessions at Torpenhow. They particularly showed good teamwork skills, especially when they helped repair woodland paths with bark chippings. They used their geographical skills to create forest maps and considered the still ness of the forest playing ‘sit spot’ finding a quiet place and reflecting. The children also built dens and looked for animal footprints and discussed the different habitats of animals that live in the forest. Later in the term children in Year 3 and 4 joined children from our cluster of schools on a visit to Watch Tree nature reserve where they observed wildlife in their natural habitats as well as taking part in pond dipping

Our Year 1 and 2 children enjoyed their ‘beach schools’ day at Allonby, alongside children from our cluster schools. They helped with a ‘beach tidy’, created beach art and sculptures using natural materials and played team games. Children in the EYFS had a brilliant time at the teddy bear’s picnic hosted by St Michael’s CE School, Bothel. Children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 took part in their forest sessions at Torpenhow, exploring the forest, playing games, cooking and building different shelters.

As part of the Keswick mountain festival our children in Years 3,4,5 and 6 took part in a duathlon at Keswick involving cycling, running and an obstacle course. We were so impressed with the children’s enthusiasm and how they cheered each other on. Children in Years 5 and 6 took part in the County Orienteering League, competing at Powter Howe, Keswick, Ashfield School, Workington, Whitehaven Academy, Longlands Lake, Cleator Moor and Vulcan’s Park, Workington. They also enjoyed their Orienteering Club run by Mr Rennie. Our Year 5 and 6 children took part in a cricket competition at Cockermouth Cricket Club, where they played brilliantly and came joint second. We also held our annual Sport’s Day this term and our Year 6 children proved to be great sports leaders. Thank you to Mrs Robinson for organising the cluster Year 1 and 2 multi skills festival which we held at our school. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this event. Well done everyone for all of your sporting achievements, you always make us very proud!

Our Infant children have been learning how to sew and produced some amazing animal puppets. They showed great determination and patience and were thrilled to bits with their finished products.

Well done to Year 5 children who led Worship time for the whole school on the Christian value of ‘friendship’, it was really interesting to hear all the ideas about what makes a good friend and how we can be a friend to all and the difference it makes.

Our children in Key Stage one enjoyed their visit to Carlisle Castle where they learnt about the features of castles and famous prisoners held there.

We all enjoyed our visit to school from Paralympian Stuart Robinson MBE who inspired us with his presentation and talked about winning gold at the Tokyo Games and European Championships in wheelchair rugby. The physical workouts we took part in were quite challenging but also lots of fun.

Children in Key Stage 2 had an exciting time on their residential experience with children from Allonby School to Lockerbie Manor where they built rafts, abseiled, paddle boarded, took part in archery and rifle shooting, went on the zip wire and played lots of fun games.

Our Year 6 children had a ‘farewell forest experience’ where they played games and cooked on the camp fire. They also enjoyed their trip to Silloth, playing in the water park, adventure park and having chips and ice cream on Silloth green. They also took part in the Year 6 Leaver’s Service at Carlisle Cathedral and enjoyed seeing their tile displayed alongside many other schools’ designs in the ‘labyrinth’ creation. In our Leaver’s service we said goodbye to our amazing year 6 children and wished them good luck in their new schools, we know they are going to do really well.

Spring Term 2022

Our new term began with a whole new programme of physical activity led by P.E. specialists. Chris Hodgson taught our Infant children to develop their skills within cricket and children in Years 3,4 and 5 had multi skills lessons with Rob Jefferson. All children in Key Stage 2 learnt a dance to perform to the rest of the school on the theme ‘Space’ which was their Science topic. The weather was kind when children in Key Stage 2 competed in the cross country competition at Silloth and all competed with determination and enthusiasm.

Year 1 and 2 children enjoyed their forest learning sessions at Torpenhow for the first half of the Spring Term. They built shelters, created animal footprint traps, devised their own forest team games, completed a stream walk and explored the forest environment.

Year 5 and 6 children carried out their forest learning sessions for the second half of the term. They created forest Art, focused on the theme of ‘Peace’ within the forest and looked for signs of Spring. They also built and cooked around the camp fire and planned, carried out and evaluated soil experiments, in the forest as part of their Science topic.

Our Christian value for the first part of the term was ‘thankfulness’ and we were very impressed with the Year 6 children when they led a worship time on this. We made a long list of all the things we are thankful for and we enjoyed listening to the story the children had created on this theme.

Our Christian value for the second part of the term was friendship and we learnt about what it is to be a good friend and the qualities needed to show friendship. Year 5 have started planning a worship time on this theme and we look forward to them presenting this after the school holiday.

PC Parker came to talk to us about ‘Stranger Danger’ and we had some excellent questions to ask her. She visited again later in the term to present a workshop on ‘E Safety.’ We have also participated in the NSPCC workshops on ‘Speak out, stay safe’ and enjoyed learning from Buddy, the NSPCC mascot.

We celebrated Chinese New Year with Tian who told us all about her life growing up in China and the Tullie House team brought their dragon model which we led through the school hall. We then enjoyed our follow up sessions in our classrooms.

Our Fund Raising group, FOPs organised an after school Valentine’s disco and we would like to say a special thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their time to help out.

To celebrate World Book Day we took part in virtual workshop sessions with real authors. Our Infants joined sessions with Julia Donaldson, author of ‘The Gruffalo’ and illustrator Axel Scheffler and our Juniors joined Dan Santat, author of ‘The Aquanaut’ and Amy Kim Kibushi, author of ‘The Rema Chronicles.’ We also brought our favourite books into school to read and have purchased books for schools by the authors we met.

We had a whole school themed morning on Judaism, where we made stars of David, baked sweet treats linked to the festival of Shabbat, made Israeli flags, studied the city of Jerusalem and learnt about the life of a Jewish boy. Later in the term children in Years 3,4,5 and 6 took part in an Islamic workshop led by Yesmein from ‘Secrets of Kashmir.’ They learnt about Islamic culture including costume, cooking and Art and Crafts and participated enthusiastically with all of the activities.

Beata, the language teacher from Beacon Hill School has been delivering regular French lessons to our Year 5 and 6 children and they have been enjoying the songs and games they have been practising, as well as being able to develop their French speaking.

Year 5 children participated keenly with their Science Day at Beacon Hill School and found using the microscopes to look at onion cells fascinating. They also learnt the different names of parts of the cell.

Our Junior children have been having drumming lessons with Andy Kelly, from Stix Percussion and they have really impressed us with their sense of rhythm. Children in Year 3 and 4 have been learning to play the ukulele with Colin Hendra from Cumbria Music Service and our Infant children are looking forward to their African drumming sessions which will take place next term with Zo Zo.

For ‘Fair trade fortnight’ we studied the journey of the cocoa bean and learnt about food plantations around the world and the ways we can help farmers. The posters we produced were all displayed in Aspatria Coop and we would like to thank Geoff, from the Coop for the fair trade bananas and chocolate he gave us.

Year 5 and 6 children enjoyed their ‘beach studies’ day where they went to Allonby School, alongside children from our cluster schools. After the activities they wrote impressive pieces of persuasive writing which they shared with the rest of the school.

We raised £120 for Maryport Lifeboat Station and our whole school visit to the station helped us learn more about water safety. We also held a non uniform day and raised £72 for the Emergency Disasters fund to help the victims of the Ukranian War and the children were also able to express their thoughts in the prayers they wrote for the people affected by the war.

As part of their Geography topic on ‘farms’ our Infant children visited a working farm and Torpenhow Cheese Company, where they learnt about the process of making cheese. They thoroughly enjoyed their visit, especially the part where they tasted the cheese and the milkshake gift they received. A huge thank you to Jenny and Mark for an informative and enjoyable visit.

We have been taking part in an exciting whole school Art project called ‘River of Hope.’ This is an Art based project linking schools around the world and forms part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Two hundred of the Art works produced will be printed onto silk flags and processed as part of the Queen’s pageant. There will also be an online gallery to display all of the Art work. Our collaborative piece contains a river, fish and turtle and was created from recycled products. The finished piece is stunning and will be on display in Plumbland Village Hall for the queen’s jubilee event.

We ended the Spring term with a very special event, our Easter Service at St Cuthbert’s Church, Plumbland, celebrating with our school families and members of the community. Our children told the Easter story and performed their songs brilliantly. Year 6 children served refreshments at the end of the service and did a superb job.