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Herons’ Moor Hosts Joint Puppet Show with Local Schools

Herons’ Moor Academy recently hosted a puppet show involving two local schools, Baytree and Ravenswood, in a project to promote inclusion and teamwork.

The pupils in class 3M, along with pupils from the other two schools, took part in a five day series of workshops run by the charity Children’s World. They chose and made their own puppets, working collaboratively.

The pupils created, produced and performed a large scale puppet show to their peers and parents. They created their own props, helped to contribute to the stories, and learnt and recorded songs.

Their final performance took place on Friday 26 May 2017, and delighted both pupils and parents alike.

Julie Fox, Headteacher at Herons’ Moor, said: “All the children worked together brilliantly to put together a fantastic performance.

“We are very proud of all of our pupils, and it was wonderful to see them working collaboratively with the students from Baytree and Ravenswood.”

What Are Academies?

We understand that with all the different guidance available, it can be a little confusing if you’re unfamiliar with academies and academisation.

We believe that academies are an exciting opportunity for schools and all their students. They offer more opportunities to work together to bring about school improvement and better outcomes for students at all phases of education.

So, why is an academy different?

Whereas in the past all state schools came under the control of the local education authority, an academy is a school that is funded directly by central government, and is therefore independent of the local authority (LA).

This independence grants academies more power to run the school how they see fit – which is a great opportunity for schools whose needs aren’t being met by the LA. This includes deciding term times, the length of the school day, the ability to develop their own curriculum and to prioritise where to spend their money. Ultimately being an academy means more flexibility and autonomy.

The majority of academies are part of multi-academy trusts (MATs), like Inspirational Futures Trust (IFT). These trusts provide support and advice for academies, including expertise in specialist areas, such as budgeting.

Won’t my child’s school lose its identity in a MAT?

Absolutely not, especially not as part of IFT. Each academy that is part of our Trust still maintains its individuality, having its own headteacher and governing board.

Ultimately, a lot of the power still remains with the school, more so than schools under LA control. The role of the MAT is providing their expertise to each individual academy based on their needs and aims.

Having multiple academies under one trust provides a unique opportunity to also receive advice from other academies and share successes.

We celebrate the individuality of all our academies and want them to achieve outstanding, so we are here to support them in any way that they need.

First Nursery Open Day At Herons’ Moor Proves Great Success

Herons’ Moor Academy held its first nursery open day this week, which proved a great success. Several parents signed up on the day, leaving just limited spaces in their afternoon nursery for the January 2017 intake.

The event gave parents the chance to chat with the staff and see first-hand what the children get up to. The nursery is part of the school’s successful Foundation Stage, where children thrive on learning through play and develop key skills which will help them throughout their education.

Alongside the open day, Herons’ Moor Academy, which is part of the Inspirational Futures Trust, has started this term on a high, with every class being full – aptly reflecting their October value of positivity.

Julie Fox, head teacher, has praised the success of the day and is optimistic that the remaining spaces will be filled promptly.

She said: “It was excellent to give parents the opportunity to see for themselves the classrooms and meet the staff – even meeting our nursery guinea pigs.

“We understand the importance of early years education, and want parents to feel confident and happy about sending their children to Herons’ Moor.”

Any parents interested in enrolling their child should make an appointment with the Academy directly to have a tour of the facilities and to see the children learning.

Children put on puppet show

CHILDREN from primary schools in Weston-super-Mare got to devise their own puppet show to perform in front of their friends and family.

Children’s World is a charity which has been running since 1981 and it works with children of all abilities.

The charity ran a number of workshops at The Campus, in Highlands Lane, for pupils from Herons’ Moor Academy, Mendip Green Primary School and Baytree School.

The charity specialises in running workshops which improve children’s confidence and self-esteem, it focuses on the integration and inclusion of all children.

Children’s World held the sessions from Monday 18th April to Friday 22nd April.

The workshops enabled the children to get to know each other before they got to make their own puppets, design three sets for their own puppet show, which was performed to classmates and parents on Friday 22nd April.

Teacher Nick Smart said: “Children from Herons’ Moor, Baytree School and Mendip Green Primary joined forces to write a play from scratch using their own characters and settings.

“They then worked together to make puppets for the performance and the week culminated in a special performance to parents and children.

“The children produced a spectacular show. They enjoyed working as a team and made many new friends.”

‘Good’ Ofsted rating for Herons’ Moor Academy

A PRIMARY school in Weston-super-Mare has been recognised for its “good quality” education and its “family feel” by education watchdog Ofsted.

Herons’ Moor Academy, in Highlands Lane, Locking Castle, has retained its ‘good’ rating after an Ofsted inspection on Thursday 3rd March.

The report has been released today (Monday 11th April) and it commends the Academy for creating a “positive and supportive environment” for pupils, staff and parents.

The report highlights how well the Academy implemented a comprehensive new system to track pupils’ progress. The system has been used to significantly narrow the gap between pupils who are disadvantaged and those who are not.

Herons’ Moor is a large primary academy but the report commends how Headteacher Julie Fox and her team have maintained its “family feel”.

The report adds: “Parents acknowledge the high-quality social and emotional care provided by the school.

“Everyone is valued and knows that they belong to a positive and supportive environment where there is mutual respect among all, regardless of their vulnerability, special educational needs, disability or ethnicity. As one parent explained, staff get to know each child ‘as a person and not a number or statistic’.”

The report highlights the strong and positive relationships between leaders and staff, and says: “Leaders and governors are extremely dedicated to the school and very ambitious for its future.”

Pupils’ behaviour was commended and pupils also said they feel very safe in the school.

The report says: “Pupils behave extremely well both in lessons and as they move around the building. They show high levels of concentration and are fully focused on their learning.”

Mrs Fox said: “We are delighted with this report as it highlights what is unique and important at Herons’ Moor. It recognises the achievements of our fantastic pupils.”

Herons’ Moor Academy is part of the Inspirational Futures Trust, a multi-academy trust sponsored by the Weston College Group.

The report says: “Good use is made of specialist facilities at local colleges. For example, pupils learn to use specialist scientific equipment at the nearby enterprise college and make good use of their six times tables when they learn how to lay bricks professionally at the local further education college.”

Weston College Principal and Chief Executive Dr Paul Phillips OBE, said: “I am delighted by this latest Ofsted report, the Academy is clearly thriving and I’d like to congratulate Julie Fox and her team.

“Our partnership with Herons’ Moor has gone from strength to strength.

“Herons’ Moor has benefitted from the use of the state-of-the-art facilities and excellent teaching and learning opportunities and Weston College learners have benefitted from high-quality work placements.

“We champion the learner first approach and there is a real synergy between all of our organisations.”

Herons’ Moor also runs a nursery which has sessions twice a day, from 8.50-11.50am and 12.10-3.10pm. The nursery has spaces for children who will be aged three in September. Registration forms are available in the Academy’s front office.

Academy celebrates international week with Polish theme

CHILDREN in Weston-super-Mare got the chance to experience life in Poland without even leaving the comfort of their school.

Pupils at Herons’ Moor Academy and Baytree School in Highlands Lane, Locking Castle, spent a week learning about Poland as part of the school’s International Week celebrations.

One of the school’s Year 5 teachers and its International Schools Co-ordinator, Posy Smetham, said: “Every afternoon the children went around to different classrooms to experience a variety of Polish activities.”

Children got to take part in flag-making, lace-making and they created maps, dressed up in traditional costumes, learnt local fairy-tales and tasted Polish food.

Posy said: “The children from both schools worked together and sang Polish songs. On Friday the children got the chance to dress up in the colour of the national flag and there was a celebration assembly where children got to show their work.”

Year One pupils say ‘I do’ at Locking Castle Church

Two schoolchildren from Herons’ Moor Academy tied the knot at a pretend wedding ceremony in Weston-super-Mare as part of their religious education work on family milestones.

Two of the academy’s Year One classes dressed up in their best suits and smartest party dresses to celebrate the wedding of pupils Alia-May and Daniel on Wednesday 16th March.

The wedding took place at Locking Castle Church and the happy couple were joined by bridesmaids Amelia, Isabelle and Lydia, best man Freddie. Students Ola and Tyler played the role of mother and father of the groom and Aimee and Alfie played mother and father of the bride.

The church’s vicar Tom Yacomeni performed the ceremony before a wedding reception was held back at the school, with confetti-throwing, cake-cutting and bouquet-throwing all taking place.

Year One teacher Cathy Hall said: “We have been learning about milestone moments in family life. We have learnt about christenings, weddings, Jewish weddings and just thinking about some of the key moments in our lives.

“The service was brilliant. We had ushers who handed out the order of service sheets and we had four children doing readings. Two children were witnesses and signed the marriage certificate.”

Herons' Moor Academy Year 1 wedding - bride Alia-May with groom Daniel. Bridesmaids Amelia and Isabelle with best man Freddie, groom Daniel, bride Alia-May and bridesmaid Lydia.

Polish speaking assistant for Herons' Moor Academy

Polish assistant for nursery children at Herons’ Moor Academy

Polish-speaking pupils at the nursery at Herons’ Moor Academy have been benefitting from the support of a Polish-speaking student.

Klaudia Ryszka, who is undertaking a BTEC National Diploma in Children’s Play, Learning and Development at Weston College, offered to support children at the nursery who speak Polish and she has now been offered a work experience placement.

Jacqui Ford, Chief Executive of the Inspirational Futures Trust, of which Herons’ Moor Academy is the first primary academy, said: “We are delighted about this partnership work. It’s a great example of how the Weston College Group supports our Trust.”

Andi Bennett, nursery teacher at Herons’ Moor Academy, added: “We are really pleased that Klaudia enjoys supporting us at the nursery, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with her next term.”

The course that Klaudia is studying is a nationally recognised qualification which will either lead directly to employment as a practitioner in the Early Years sector or provide the opportunity to progress to Higher Education.

Klaudia said: “I am so pleased to have the opportunity to volunteer at Herons’ Moor Academy Nursery, the staff are lovely, I love working with all the children and the environment is fantastic. I love it!”

The Inspirational Futures Trust, which is an expanding sponsor of academies that was established in 2014 to enable children and young people to realise and exceed their potential in their education and careers.

The Trust provides bespoke support at every level of education, with specialisms in primary, secondary, special and alternative education sectors, and has a board with representatives from business, industry and higher education.

Herons' Moor Academy Christmas nativity

Nativity performance from children at Herons’ Moor Academy

Foundation stage pupils at Herons’ Moor Academy in Weston-super-Mare have celebrated the festive season in traditional fashion by performing a nativity.

All of the 112 children in the foundation year group, which is for four to five-year-olds, had a role in the play, which was called The Christmas Star.

Herons Moor Academy Nativity 2015-10

Head teacher Julie Fox said: “The children had a great time in rehearsals and have put together a wonderful show.

“All of the pupils in the Foundation Stage had a role and worked really hard to learn their parts.

“The children never cease to amaze us with how they learn all of the songs and lines and how well they perform.”

Herons’ Moor Academy is the first primary academy to join the Inspirational Futures Trust, which is an expanding sponsor of academies that was established in 2014 to enable children and young people to realise and exceed their potential in their education and careers.

The Trust provides bespoke support at every level of education, with specialisms in primary, secondary, special and alternative education sectors, and has a board with representatives from business, industry and higher education.

Herons' Moor Academy pupils try bricklying at Weston College

Lesson on bricklaying for Herons’ Moor Academy pupils

Children from Herons’ Moor Academy visited the Weston College South West Skills Campus to take part in a bricklaying workshop this week.

Pupils from the Year Four maths class taken by teacher James Rees put their maths into practice when Inspirational Futures Trust organised a workshop with Weston College level one bricklaying students.

The children had been working hard to learn their six times tables, and during their visit they had to solve problems using their knowledge of multiples of six, and discovered that six house bricks fit on one concrete block before the college students taught them how to ‘cut, roll and spread’ using a trowel and cement.

Jacqui Ford, CEO of the multi-academy trust that Herons’ Moor is part of explained: “Through the state-of-the-art facilities available from our sponsor, Weston College, Inspirational Futures Trust can give the young people within its academies the opportunity to engage in maths, English and other key subjects in new and innovative ways”

Herons’ Moor Academy is the first primary academy to join the Inspirational Futures Trust, which is an expanding sponsor of academies that was established in 2014 to enable children and young people to realise and exceed their potential in their education and careers.

The Trust provides bespoke support at every level of education, with specialisms in primary, secondary, special and alternative education sectors, and has a board with representatives from business, industry and higher education.

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Inspirational Futures Trust
Weston College Group