Anti-Bullying Week & Odd Socks Day – Nov 2023

The Federation supported Anti-Bullying Week 2023 by taking part in ‘Odd Socks Day’ which is an annual event organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. On Monday 13th November all children and staff were invited to wear odd socks or brightly coloured/patterned tights to celebrate their individuality. 

Throughout the week children also took part in discussions within their classes about friendship and the importance of kindness to others. We discussed what to do if we felt someone was being unkind and recapped the importance of our Golden Rules, PATHS rule and speaking to a trusted adult.

Children in Need 2023

Tuppence Clarke, Year 5 – ‘Miss Jacobs’
Juniors ‘Spotacular Competition’ winner

On Friday 17th November, we celebrated and raised money for Children in Need . Each year, the children look forward to this event, and this year was no different – especially with the introduction of our new Spotacular competition!

Mia Lacki, Year 2 – ‘Miss Parfitt’
Infants ‘Spotacular Competition’ winner

As well as an assembly to discuss the important work of the Children in Need charity, which was presented by some of the Year 6 School Councillors at the Juniors site, we also engaged in some activities in our classrooms.

As you can see, our Spotacular competition garnered some excellent pictures! The children were tasked with drawing a staff member of their choice in a spotty-themed outfit or setting. Across both schools, we had some fabulous entries – Mrs Pedlow had a tough job picking a winner! After some deliberation, the Spotacular competition winner at Infants was Mia Lacki (RP2) and at Juniors it was Tuppence Clarke (RL5) – well done to them! The winner’s classes will each receive a reward of their choice.

The School Council’s Year 4s and 5s, led by the excellent Treasurer, had the important job of collecting and counting the money donated. We raised an amazing £320! As always, a huge thank you to everyone who donated and helped our school raise such a wonderful amount for Children in Need.

A Royal Reply

Back in May, the then year 1 children at Toftwood Infant School wrote letters to the King in preparation for his coronation. The children wrote letters that included questions to ask the King as well as explaining what they enjoyed about watching the coronation.

Rewind forward to October, and the children who are now in year 2 have received a royal reply from the King, Queen and their royal correspondent. The children enjoyed a visit from their previous teacher who delivered the good news to them!

Federation Family Picnic 2023

We were delighted to invite our families to another Federation Family Picnic on the 28th of June. Hundreds of parents and family members joined us for the event which is now an annual community celebration and special addition to our calendar.

Family members arrived with blankets and picnic lunches and spent time enjoying time to sit, eat and relax together and thankfully the weather was kind.

Each year it’s wonderful to see so many people spending quality time together away from screens, work and other commitments and staff and family members alike commented on how much they enjoyed the event.

We also had a pre loved uniform sale on the day which raised over £300 for the Federation and gave families the chance to save money compared to buying new items.

Thank you to everyone for coming along and also to everyone who donated and purchased our pre loved uniform items.

Wellbeing Afternoon 6th & 9th June

On the 6th and 9th of June parents were welcomed into school to take part in a Federation wellbeing afternoon with their children.

All year groups really enjoyed showing their grown-ups the different activities that we take part in throughout the year to support and promote good wellbeing. At the Infant school these included Cosmic Yoga, mindfulness colouring, board games, origami, making dream-catchers and a nature scavenger hunt. At the Junior school the children in year 3 listened to calming music and had time to focus and be mindful whilst doing some colouring. The pupils also made use of our beautiful outdoor space noticing things in the environment around them, such as the colour of the trees and the sounds all around them.

All of these activities are linked to the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ that we follow within the Federation. These are:

1. Connect

2. Keep learning

3. Be active

4. Give

5. Take notice

A very calm and relaxing time was had by all!

As part of this event the parents were also invited to an information sharing session where they could look at the resources and how PSHE/PATHS and RSE are taught within the Federation.

Social and Emotional Wellbeing Sessions – Summer Term 2023

During Summer 1 Ellise Owen visited all the classes in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. The focus of the wellbeing sessions was Teamwork incorporating ‘Connecting’, which is one of the 5 ways to wellbeing.

Ellise held an assembly for all of the children to discuss the theme of connecting. She also held workshops for each class, which involved them taking part in different games to practise working as a team.

This included working on listening skills, patience, being kind to and communicating well verbally with others. Some of the games included passing objects down the line, moving a balloon with a partner from one end of the hall to the other, moving sensibly around each other when changing places in a circle and passing an imaginary bubble from one person to the next gently.

The children all worked well together as a team and enjoyed the different activities.

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Jeff Rich – Drum workshop

Children at Toftwood were treated to a lesson in Rock n Roll this week when we were visited by Jeff Rich, best known as the drummer from the legendary group Status Quo.

Jeff talked about how he learned to play the drums and the dedication and practice required over many years to hone the skills needed. He invited pupils to try their hand on a range of drums and cymbals as he explained the evolution of drumming from a hollow log slit drum, all the way to the full, professional drum kit that he would use for concerts and recording.

After introducing all the components of the drum kit, from kick drum and high-hat to snare and toms, the ex-Quo drummer dazzled us with an improvised solo. All children (and teachers) were then given percussion instruments and invited to join in a massive jam session!

Mr Hardy was particularly thrilled when Jeff autographed a chord sheet for ‘Rocking all Over the World’ that the Toftwood Ukulele Group played after school that day! (For some reason the veteran Rock n Roller seemed to find Status Quo on the ukulele an amusing idea!)

“It was really loud and really funny!” – Isla-Rose

“When he played, it was amazing and impressive.” – Olivia

“I liked it because we got to use all of the instruments.” – Henri

“He showed us how he improved by practising for hours and hours.” – Imogen

The King’s Coronation Celebration

The children at Toftwood Infant and Junior School have had a celebration fit for a king!

The Federation came together for two days of activities and a special lunch to help celebrate the King’s Coronation. To mark this important occasion, the children dressed were invited to dress up in red, white and blue or as a king or queen.

Over the course of two days the children took part in lots of fun activities including crown making, creating Union Jack flags, learning to sign the National Anthem and naming photos of the royal family. Year one children will also be writing to King Charles next week. A special assembly to commemorate the King’s Coronation led by Janet Marshall took place at both schools.

Children were invited to participate in a competition to decorate a Coronation rock. We were very impressed with the individuality of the children designs which included a corgi, a crown and the Union Jack flag. The children have been given the opportunity to take their rocks home or place them in the community in Toftwood or Dereham. Perhaps you will find one of the special rocks when you take a walk around the locality.

On Thursday we had a special federation picnic lunch which we were lucky enough to have outside and all together. Seeing the children outside laughing, playing and enjoying their time together was a wonderful sight.

What a wonderful two days we have had celebrating such an important historical event and special time for our country. Hopefully very memorable for all the children and staff. A big thank you goes out to our wonderful lunchtime and kitchen staff for their hard work.

World Autism Acceptance Week 2023

The week beginning 27th March was World Autism Acceptance Week and the theme for this year was ‘Colour’. To support this important week we asked each year group to learn about the life of a famous person who is on the Autistic Spectrum.

Reception – Pablo Cbeebies

Y1 – Lewis Carroll

Y2 – Chris Packham

Y3 – Albert Einstein 

Y4- Tim Burton

Y5- Charles Darwin

Y6- Steve Jobs

We wanted the children to understand that Autism comes in all different forms by learning about a range of people. Each year group joined in with an assembly helping them to understand what Autism is and how it can affect people. The children learnt that the brain is our body’s computer and it can work differently for all of us. It controls how we feel, learn and communicate. We discussed the importance of connecting with others to help our wellbeing and mental health. Everyone is unique and this is something as a Federation we like to celebrate.

“So he just kept trying and didn’t give up”. (Yr 2 Chris Packham

“He has a brain like me. Sometimes when I’m in crowds I don’t like it”. (Yr2)

“That man is like me. I love nature and animals”. (Yr 2 Chris Packham) In Reception the children watched an episode of Pablo (Cbeebies) and talked about how he had felt going to a noisy birthday party. They made brightly coloured rainbows to support the colour theme.

Comic Relief – Red Nose Day 2023

To support ‘Red Nose Day’ this year the children of the School Council asked pupils and staff across the Federation to take part in a non-uniform day. They made posters for every classroom to advertise the event and also asked their peers to add the colour red to their outfit if they could.

During the day both schools discussed the work of the Comic Relief charity and took part in an assembly. The School Council helped to collect donations from their class and the treasurer counted this at the end of the day.

A huge thank you to everyone who donated to the Comic Relief charity. We raised a grant total of £477.99!