Celebrating World Book Day

Dress-up, stay & read and a book cover competition.

Kennet Valley School celebrated World Book Day March 3rd with a competition to recreate a favourite book cover. Judging from the amazing creations seen here the school governors are going to have great difficulty in choosing a winner! Other celebrations included, in what became a whole week of activities, Stay and Read sessions, paired reading and writing tasks, virtual author talks and a dress up day.

Emma Russell, Headteacher, was overwhelmed by the amazing results of the book cover recreation competition.

It is clear that the children all worked exceptionally hard on their recreations and I was delighted to receive them all. The governors of the school are going to be asked to judge the winners – a very difficult job to do.

The Stay and Read sessions held during this special week, allowed parents to enter the classrooms and join their children for a reading session. Mrs Byford, school reading leader said,

It was amazing to see so many people in the school again, and it highlighted how much we have all missed these opportunities due to the pandemic. A huge thank you to everyone who was able to attend the sessions. I know that the whole staff team are busy planning other events that parents can attend over the coming terms.

On World Book Day itself, all the children in the school had the opportunity to take part in a virtual author talk. Harriers and Kites (years 4, 5 and 6) joined a talk from Michael Rosen, while Kingfishers and Wrens (reception, Years 1, 2 and 3) heard from Catherine Rayner. Michael Rosen has written over a hundred books, which include stories and poetry. Catherine Raynor is an award-winning author and illustrator. Jacqy McQue, Wrens’ class teacher said,

I know that all the children (and staff) really enjoyed listening to these amazing talks about the process of writing. The younger children also had the chance to learn about the skills an illustrator needs, and all drew their own characters.

The book “The Night Gardener” by The Tan Brothers was used as inspiration for collaborative writing. Emma Russell commented,

“In this story a boy wakes up each day to find that new wonderful topiary has been cut in his bland and quiet town. Each class read this beautiful book together and then thought about the description of the character and settings within the story. The classes then ‘hunted’ for powerful vocabulary which they added together to make our own topiary vocab tree, which is displayed in the school! To continue the work on the book the children swapped classes to work together to write their own versions of this heart-warming story. All the staff loved seeing how the children helped each other in their story writing, with Kites collaborating with Wrens, and Harriers being paired with Kingfishers. The stories will be illustrated by the children and shared with the parents in the coming days.”

8 March 2022//  by Sue Round

Marlborough News

Music to make you think at Kennet Valley School

Kennet Valley C of E VA Primary school have begun an exciting new music project with Thinking Music staff and music students from Bristol University.

Thinking Music is an initiative seeking to develop more opportunities for music that enriches the lives of children, especially in rural areas where access to musical opportunities are limited, while connecting primary and higher education institutions to work together through music.

Thinking Music is run by Alice Poppleton and Frances Leith and their goals are to provide primary aged children, in rural areas, with access to live music making and performance. They also want to support school teachers and teaching assistants so that they can develop ways to use music as a tool to deliver the core curriculum in new and exciting ways. Alice and Frances also aim to introduce children to music students from universities, with the hope that children will gain an insight in potential future career paths in the creative arts.  

At Kennet Valley Primary, children in Year 4 and 5 will be working on this project for the rest of the year. The project will mean that these children will have several sessions with Alice, Frances, and their students either in the school or via zoom, before the children travel to Bristol University for a celebration day where they will perform a song that they are currently writing.

On the first day of the project the class met Alice and Frances, and four Bristol University students. They broke the ice by playing a wide range of rhythm games using body percussion and actions to compose simple tunes. The children worked really well together to gain new skills before they went on to find out about the 4 student’s instruments. These were the tuba, viola, trumpet, and flute. Towards the end of the day the class worked together to begin to write their own verse of a song.

Kennet Valley is one of three incredibly lucky schools in Wiltshire to be involved in this project and headteacher, Mrs Emma Russell, is delighted that the school is part of the exciting project.

“At Kennet Valley we work hard to ensure that all of our children have as many cross curricular opportunities as possible and to be involved in this music project is marvellous. The children have loved their day and can’t wait for the next day with Alice, Frances, and the student musicians. Thank you so much.”

Children in the class agreed raved about the day, saying

“I really enjoyed my day with Thinking Music. We had an amazing time. I especially loved making up our verse” and “It was really interesting to find out about the instruments and hear them being played in different ways”.

And the staff agreed with them – Mrs Bushnell, class teaching assistant, commented that

“This was an amazing experience for out children. They are so excited about this project already and loved working with Alice and the students. Alice has built a great relationship with the children, and they are so engaged.”

Alice Poppleton, project director, said

“WOW – what an amazing day! We love your school. We had the best day and felt so welcome in your school. Thank you so much for joining the project.”

The Winter Olympics start early at KVS

This week the children of KVS had an exciting opportunity to try out a completely new sport – New Age Kurling!

Every Wednesday afternoon the Children at Kennet Valley C of E VA Primary School in Lockeridge walk the short distance to the local village hall to have an afternoon of PE. Kennet Valley School’s oldest children in Years 4, 5 and 6 all took part in a competitive afternoon of this new sport, where teams of children battled against each other to win certificates and medals at the end of the day.

New Age Kurling is a fantastic adaptation of the original curling game and is ideal for playing in schools and at clubs by people of all ages and abilities.

Great fun was had by all involved and the children were fully engaged in learning the skills they needed to get as close to the centre of the target as they could.
The afternoon was organised by Mrs Jacqy McQue, who is the schools’ sports subject leader and was run by Charlie Wildman, who works for Avon Valley School as a Games Organiser. Charlie organises sports festivals for a local cluster of schools, as well as providing coaching in some schools as well.

Mrs McQue was really impressed by the afternoon, saying

“It was a great afternoon of sport for our children. They were all very engaged and clearly had a wonderful time. As a school we would like to say a huge thank you to Charlie for coming in to work with our children”.

Children in the school also agreed with Mrs McQue saying

It was great to try a different sport – I really loved the afternoon”, and “We had to really concentrate to learn the skills needed to get the stones as close to the centre of the target as possible – it wasn’t easy at all!

At Kennet Valley there is a shared ethos that PE should be enjoyed by all and to help with this, children are introduced to a wide range of different sports. The staff believe that the more sports that children try the more chance there is that they will find something that they love and want to pursue further.
Mrs McQue commented;

“Playing sports is proven to help with mental health for people of all ages. Throughout the year children have the chance to take part in netball, cricket, tag rugby, handball, dodgeball, gymnastics, athletics, and dance.
We hope that this allows children to find something that they love doing. We are so pleased to add New Age Kurling to the experiences that our children have had.”