Spring 2019

Our pupils have been very busy this term. Here are just a few snippets of some of the exciting activities we have been doing this term.

We have groups of pupils visiting Portway leisure Centre once a week supported by The Albion Foundation . The activities are fun , but also keep our pupils fit and healthy.

We also have a group visiting the Malthouse Stables once a week to use the climbing wall. Some of our pupils are making so much progress with this, we now have an elite group of climbers .

Janette , our yoga teacher continues to support groups across the school with relaxing yoga sessions. This provides a thoughtful quiet and relaxing session . The yoga sessions have been so positive, we are looking at how we can increase the sessions so that more pupils can have an opportunity to take part in a yoga session .

Our literacy leader has been very busy revamping our library area. The desk has now been removed to free up some space in the library . In addition we have a wonderful group of parent volunteers who are working in the library repairing books, tidying up and making the space much more user friendly, so that our pupils can have full access to the library . World book day was on 7th March . Pupils came int school dressed as their favourite characters . Favourite stories and book were shared across the school and some children made face masks. The library service came into school to deliver a multi sensory farm themed story

Finally , we had a wonderful opportunity to support a school for children with SEN in the Punjab in partnership with the Albion Foundation. Lauren Petrie our Upper School Manager , has just returned after a successful week working alongside colleagues, sharing and exchanging ideas. As a school we provide outreach services across Sandwell, so the opportunity to provide outreach support in another country was exciting . Please read the full account of Laurens adventures on the website

Autumn 2018

It has been an incredibly busy  term with  lots of wonderful and exciting events happening across the school.

During our Harvest Festival  , children  prepared wonderful art work  of their favourite food items which were displayed  around the hall, for all our parents, family members and visitors to admire. The assembly as led by the wonderful Kathy Evans our local vicar . Food donations were sent to Smethwick food bank .

World Smile Day 5th October

A fabulous day , where children acrossthe school explored activities and people that made them smile

The day was followed  by Friendship Day in November,  where children  explored ways  of how to be a friend to each other and how to be kind.

Fund Raising

In the spirit of  been kind to each other, the school have been busy  fund raising  for some wonderful causes.

Our fabulous admin  team ran a Macmillan coffee morning raising a wonderful £191.

Then on Children in need Day, Pudsey Bear made an appearance

Wow, what happy faces and we raised £482.68 , which is fantastic

pudsey-for-blog[1]

In addition we have had 2 fund raising events out of school hours.

An Ollie Murs tribute night organised by 2 members of Staff in School , which raised over  £1, 500, which will go towards supporting Christmas activities and the sensory room . The Christmas Craft Fayre organised by parents  raised another incredible  £682.00. Thank you to all our families that have supported these wonderful events .

Stars In Our Schools

Stars in our schools is a campaign run by Unison to recognise all the staff in schools who make wonderful contributions to the running of the school. This year we had 2 nominations, Dawn Webb who works in the admin area and our cleaning team. They all do a wonderful job, keeping or school clean and tidy and Dawn has worked so hard implementing a new cashless system in school, we are very proud that they have received this nomination. Well done.

Carols By Candlelight

We held our annual ‘Carols by Candlelight’ Concert on the 5th December. Our amazing choir sang Carols around the nativity theme. We were joined by Warley male Choir who opened and closed our concert . We were very lucky to be joined by  lots of family and friends, making it a special start to the festive season .

School Garden

Update: Express and Star article on the school Garden

 

Last year we had a small piece of land at the side of the school that was sadly neglected and uncared for .

However lucky for the school , we had a man with a vision, Steve our wonderful gardener

Steve saw the potential and made a plan , however he needed some money to do it and lots of help .

We thought this would be a long term plan , but with the help and support of so many wonderful people , we have achieved our dream

Last summer we had a team of helpers, including parents, staff and the team from the CO-OP clearing the land

They worked hard, clearing  debris and weeds  and digging the ground too make it even .

The results were amazing

Our garden was starting to take shape

 

Lambe construction then came to help us by providing the machinery to flatten the garden and lay the slabs  for our foundation. This meant that the garden would be accessible for all our children, including those children who use wheelchairs .

 

 

With the foundations of the garden laid, Steve then set about preparing the garden so it was safe, accessible and fun for all our children . with the help of some wonderful parent volunteers, Steve created a willow arch , planting boxes for each class , potato buckets for each child and storage for water cans and trowels. Each child painted a pebble which has been  cemented into the ground as a lasting memory

Behind The willow arch is a story telling chair, bird feeding station and a bug hotel .

The area is amazing and full of learning opportunities for the children.

On 9th May , the garden was opened by our Schools Council and attended by the people local businesses  and parents who have supported this wonderful project .

The garden is amazing and is such a wonderful  and safe learning resource for all our children to experience, explore  and learn in  first hand . We feel incredibly lucky to have made this dream  a reality and we could not have  achieved this without Steve’s vison, hard work and determination and the support of local businesses and parents with donations of resources, money and  their time.

A huge thank you to :

Steve Hall – Gardener at The Orchard School 

Central England Co Op  for their generous funds and volunteers

Dan Goodby, Faye Bowden, Mark Payne, Dave Elgood, Jack Bevan, Carl Smitheman, Jamie Joyce, Jim Cunningham, Louise Moore, Donna Goodby and Jerry Bullen

M.Lambe Construction for their generous funds and work

John Lambe, Mick Lambe, Michael Lambe, Neil Nickolds, Michael and Matt

L Healey  and Gary Tong for their generous help

Stuart Smith and Chasetown Civil Engineering for their generous assistance

Homebase Oldbury for their generous donation

Shabs and the team at Londonderry Hardware for their generous donation and help

Pat and Gary at GreenLeevs Garden Centre Blackheath for their generous contributions

Volunteers Michael Shinton, Brenda and Sarah Cleaver, Steve Smith

All  our children will greatly benefit from this wonderful new learning environment

West Bromwich Albion player visit

We were very pleased to welcome 3 International players from West Bromwich Albion
Grzegorz Krychowiak – midfielder Poland international
Gareth McAuley – defender – Northern Ireland International
Jake Livermore – midfielder England International

   

The 3 players spent the afternoon in school visiting all the classrooms and meeting the children and staff. The players took time to talk to the children, finding out about the different communication methods we use.

The children really enjoyed meeting the players and were happy to show off some of their fantastic poses for the camera!

 

  

What a fantastic afternoon, thank you to the Albion Foundation for organising.

Music Mark

I am pleased to inform you that our school has been awarded the Music Mark certificate. Music Mark is a national organisation and subject association for music education. The Orchard School has been nominated by our local music service in recognition of all the hard work done by staff to enable our pupils to access and engage with ‘high quality music education’. All the staff deserve a massive congratulations for their continued hard work in integrating music into everyday school routines. A huge thank you to Rosie our music teacher who facilitates two school bands in addition to the specialist music teaching she delivers to class, and Tina and Clair who organise and lead our choir.

Honey Bear Honey Bottle

We are very lucky to be the proud owners of one of the bears featured in the ’Big Sleuth’ event over the West Midlands in the Summer. London Midland Trains donated ‘Honey Bear Honey Bottle’ to our School, and he now stands proudly at the front of our school.

Honey Bear was designed by local Black Country artist Glen Brooks and spent the summer greeting the public outside Snow Hill station. ‘Honey Bear Honey Bottle’ was one of four bears sponsored by London Midland, which was also a presenting partner of the Big Sleuth event.

Running from July until the end of the summer, the Big Sleuth encouraged people to take to the streets and explore their local areas, whilst raising money and awareness for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

At the end of the event, the bears were auctioned off for charity and ‘Honey Bear Honey Bottle’ was won by the train operating company. The Orchard School was selected to receive the bear because of its location on London Midland’s network, and because of its close ties with the Albion Foundation.

We are so proud to have ‘Honey Bear Honey Bottle’ as part of our school

Vegetable Garden

The School have been very fortunate to have Lambe construction working with us to develop our vegetable garden. Following the work over the summer in clearing the debris, Lambe Construction have  laid slabs so that all our children can access the vegetable garden . It looks fantastic

Thank you Lambe Construction

Our workers

Vegetable boxes waited to be planted

Willow tree

Volunteers spruce up our school!

Welcome back to our new term. We are very excited to welcome all our new pupils and staff to The Orchard School!

The school looks fantastic after the summer break and that is down to the very generous support of some local companies who have helped us to develop our outside spaces and equipment. We could not have completed all this hard work without the support of the following people:

Volunteers from South Staffs Water, who gave up a day of their time to paint the large wooden climbing frame in the Lower School Playground. They did a fantastic job which will ensure the climbing frame will have an extended lifespan and will provide further enjoyment for the children in our school.

 

Volunteers from ‘BT Openreach’ provided the school two days of their time painting three wooden climbing frames and the log cabin which will ensure the ongoing use of the items by the children for a few more years.

We have an overgrown vegetable patch at the rear of the school. A team of volunteers from the Co-Op came to the school and did a fantastic job of clearing the school vegetable garden of debris and overgrown vegetation which will now enable us further develop the area for use by the children in Spring 2018.

 

Our volunteers from the Co-Op were also supported by Michael who regularly supports the school and Steve are gardener, they all did a fantastic job.

This is the vegetable patch before, overgrown and out of use:

Now look at the results after all our volunteers hard work:

 

        

Wow, our vegetable patch looks fabulous and we are looking forward to planting next year.  A huge thank you to all volunteers from South Staff Water, BT Openreach and the Co-Op for giving their valuable time to us to create a useable and enjoyable space for our children to learn and have fun in; as well as updating all our equipment so that we can continue to use it!

Thank you very much!

Summer 2017

We have had an amazing full term, Healthy Schools week , Maths Week , Sports Day a residential at Edgmond Hall and our wonderful achievement assemblies to name  a few events.

On  the 4th July, we had a visit from Ofsted , who concluded that we continue to be an outstanding School . We are all absolutely delighted to and we will continue to grow , develop and provide outstanding  education for all our children.   The full report  can be read here .

It is also a sad time of the year when we have to say goodbye to our year 6 children, we wish them luck and happiness as they move on to their secondary education.

Have a wonderful summer break and see you all in September