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Paula Cameron

Astbury School Newsletter 24th January 2019

By | School newsletter

Dear Parents

On Friday 1st February we are joining Chester Diocesan Academies Trust. Leaders, staff and children have already been involved in working with other schools in the Trust and we look forward to being part of a wider family of schools that support us in our vision and aims for education at Astbury. There will be no changes to the day to day running of the school. The educational vision of CDAT is outlined below.

CDAT will seek to be a successful family of schools providing distinctive and loving environments which ensure effective education for all children, through excellent teaching, innovation and the sharing of good practice as schools work together across the Trust. We will:

  • build a thriving community of schools with common moral purpose rooted in Christian values and ambition for children, but encouraging each academy to develop in the best way to serve its community;
  • provide a culture of healthy dialogue and listening between CDAT and its academies;
  • provide mutual support and improvement to develop the practice of all our professional staff so that all can improve;
  • empower effective school leaders and local governing bodies to take courageous decisions in the best interest of young people;
  • provide systems and services that aim to reduce the administrative burden and support school leaders with the professional management of their academies;
  • provide purposeful and supportive early intervention for academies that would benefit from accelerated school improvement.
  • CDAT will seek to provide the very best education for every child in its schools so that they succeed and are well prepared to move onto their next phase of education. Our strong Christian ethos will be the foundation of all we do and by guiding and informing the actions of children, staff and governors we will:
  • ensure that all children achieve their full potential – making at least the expected level of progress and with many exceeding;
  • value and respect children from all faiths and beliefs – and taking into account their beliefs when planning for their learning and the learning of others;
  • provide a curriculum that is broad, rich and balanced; focused on developing knowledge and skills; and meeting the needs of each child;
  • provide learning opportunities that are inclusive, engaging and challenging for every child;
  • create a learning environment within which children are happy and motivated learner;
  • support our leaders to be highly effective in leading school improvements;
  • support our teachers and support staff to be outstanding practitioners – providing high quality teaching so that every child learns;
  • listen to the children and taking their views into account;
  • work with parents to enable them to contribute to their children’s learning;
  • work with other schools and the wider community to ensure that we maximise on the learning opportunities that they can provide for our children and staff.

Friday 1st February is also the first event of May Day for the year. It is a non-uniform day to raise funds for the May Day raffle and it is the day that the May Queen and retinue will be drawn from the top hat. The ceremony will take place during worship at 2:45pm – you are welcome to come in to school to watch the draw!

Well done to the Y5/6 cross country teams and the Y5/6 indoor athletics team who both competed last week. The cross country race was incredibly gruelling in the fog, cold and damp but all persevered and crossed the finishing line.

Yours faithfully

Pip Worswick 

newsletter 24-1-2019

School Newsletter 11th January 2019

By | School newsletter

Dear Parents

Happy New Year!

We have had an exciting beginning to the year, starting our new maths scheme of work – Power Maths. Children have been keen to receive their new maths books and to explore learning together. The maths lessons and resources will further develop your child as a mathematician. The new scheme continues to improve our maths teaching as it supports mastery of mathematics as well as challenging more able pupils to explore concepts and understanding at greater depth.

We have also signed up to one month free trial of Times Table Rock Stars. We would encourage all children to log on at home on a phone, iPad, computer or other device and challenge themselves to progress as a rock star as well as challenge others to a battle of the bands. We have only started to introduce this this week but all children have log in details in their diaries, It is lovely to hear the children (and staff) so enthused about their scores and challenges and being so keen to have a go and speed up their recall of times tables to 12 x 12.

On 25th January, Mrs Hodder will be starting her maternity leave and Mrs Stevens will return to teach class Noah. We wish Mrs Hodder all the best as she prepares for the birth of her baby. Mrs Stevens has had many keeping in touch days and has been in to get to know the children and work with Mrs Hodder to ensure a smooth transition. This week, we have welcomed Mr Davies back in to school to work with the year six children and class Jacob.

It is now two years since our OFSTED inspection and all the targets set out in the report have been worked on with a wealth of evidence and improvements in all areas. The Local Authority are conducting a whole school review to support us in our preparation for our next OFSTED. This will be on Wed 23rd January. Reviewers will be in school for the day and may wish to speak with parents on the playground in the morning or after school. We are pleased to have been given this opportunity to have an independent evaluation of our work.

Yours faithfully

Pip Worswick

newsletter 11-1-2019

School newsletter 13th December 2018

By | School newsletter

Dear Parents

Rehearsals for the nativity this year ‘Born in a Barn’ have been going well in school and in church. All children need to be in church at 10:45am this Sunday.

 Children in class Noah need to come in their costume, which will be sent home with your child tonight. Children in classes Mary and Jacob need to wear their school uniform.

After the nativity there will be drinks and biscuits served in church – we had previously asked for cakes, but this has now been changed to donations of biscuits. Please can you pass your donations to a church warden on Sunday in church.

 Thank you to everyone who supported the Christmas Fair. The total amount raised was £672.25. It was lovely to see so many families in school together enjoying all the fun of the fair. Thank you to all the parents and family members who helped out on the night. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the local community who donated items for the fair, in particular, we’d like to thank Astbury Garden Centre for donating the school Christmas tree and Roberts Bakery for donating the rolls and gingerbread men.

The generosity did not stop there as the Grand Christmas Draw prizes are amazing this year. Thanks to Shrigley Hall and the George Michael tribute act, Lucilleloves photography, Mr Bonney, Pecks Restaurant and Mr Jones of Allan Jones and Son, carpet and blinds for the top five prizes, as well as all those who have donated smaller prizes including spotty dotty and Cheshire toy shop from Glebe farm and a £20 Foundations shop voucher.

The raffle will be drawn tomorrow in school. Please make sure you have bought your tickets and returned the money and stubs to the office.

Next week, we will be going to church for the Christingle service on Thursday morning at 9:15am. Each child needs to bring their own Christingle which they need to make at home. If you require a candle, they are available from the office for 20p. You are welcome to join us for the service!


Yours faithfully


Pip Worswick

School Newsletter December 13th 2018

School Newsletter 29th November 2018

By | School newsletter

Dear Parents

Thank you to everyone who was able to join in the school singing at the Congleton Christmas Light switch on last Saturday. It was great to be able to support the community by taking part.

Thank you to all the children who came to showcase the school at the open evening last week. All who came were a credit to the school.

I am extremely proud of all our young artists who won prizes in the Congleton Rotary art competition. Out of five hundred and eighty-four entries, Astbury School won many awards, including an amazing first prize. With a beautiful piece of art work showing her favourite season, Claire received a frame of her work and a prize.  Evie H and Sid also won two runners up awards. What makes this award even more outstanding is that this is the second year running that a child from Astbury School has won first prize!

I look forward to seeing you at the Christmas Fair after school tomorrow night. There are many games, stalls and activities for you to take part in as a family and prices are really reasonable. It would be lovely if everyone could stay and be part of the fair – the children are really excited about it!

Remember to wear a Christmas jumper and bring a cake or two tomorrow!

Yours faithfully,

Pip Worswick

Newsletter November 29th 2018


School Newsletter 15th November 2018

By | School newsletter

Dear Parents

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my blog ‘Living with the Label’ written to explain and share the journey of our school following OFSTED in January 2017.

Inadequate: Living with the Label.

Being a school labelled as inadequate by OFSTED in January 2017 simply marked the start of a special journey, something that is making us effective and better in our practice.

My journey with Astbury School began twenty-one years ago when I started teaching in the infant class. Since that very first day, my heart has been drawn to serving the children, families and community who are the life of the school. Upon my appointment as Head teacher, in January 2016, I started to build a strong governing team to challenge and support the school in its actions and developed leadership across all levels of the school. This brought renewed vision and strategic direction to set the pathway to planning for excellence and my staff embarked on a rigorous and enriching training plan, giving them the tools that they needed to deliver outstanding teaching in a nurturing environment.

I knew that first class education was essential and that my children deserved the very best.

I received the first major milestone from the Church SIAMS inspectors in December 2016, where we were rated as ‘good’. This involved looking at the school’s Christian vision, how we embraced that in the running of the school, and most importantly enabling all pupils to flourish.

A SIAMS inspector stated: “All members of the school community recognise that, although the Head Teacher has been in post for less than a year, the impact of her vision on the development of the school’s Christian character has already been and continues to be extensive…this has impacted strongly on all aspects of church school improvement.”

When the school was labelled in January 2017, I also took solace in the following comment from Ofsted: “The new Head Teacher’s responsiveness to pupils’ needs, particularly for new arrivals to the school, has ensured that these pupils make sufficient progress from their starting points.”

Ofsted also reported that: “Governors monitor and evaluate the work of the school with increasing vigour. They ensure that the needs of all pupils are met through the effective use of additional funding and human resources.”

Parents were aware that the school had experienced difficulties, but they had faith in my ability to lead the school forward and commented favourably on the change in atmosphere within the school and on the recent changes in the way in which expectations of pupils’ behaviour have been raised.

Testament to this were the Pupil Progress Scores in July 2017, they had dramatically improved from being inadequate in 2014, 2015 and 2016, a clear sign that the school was no longer ‘coasting’.

In the latter half of 2017, after a delay brought about by the General Election, we were finally able to access significant school improvement funding.  This accelerated our progress, enabling further staff training, including working with an educational consultancy, the Literacy Tree and the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics.  The Literacy Tree placed children’s literature at the core of our English teaching, transforming English across the school and mastery in maths enables our children to participate, be inspired and succeed in mathematics and supports our teachers in lesson planning and meeting the needs of all children.

Our School Improvement partners, Cheshire East and Chester Diocese Academy Trust (CDAT) – Sue Riley previously of Brereton C of E Primary School, and temporary Head Teacher before I took my position, have all provided positive observational evidence and feedback which supports how far we have come as a school on our journey towards outstanding provision and gives external validity to our progress. “The children showed good attitudes to learning both when working individually and collaboratively.  The lesson was well planned and the children were engaged in their learning. The classroom environment is bright, colourful and supportive of pupils learning.” June 2018.

We have also been able to invest in our buildings and infrastructure, with our brand-new extension to the reception area, creating an altogether safer and more inviting entrance to our school and enhancing our flexible learning environment. The classrooms have been refreshed with new furniture, carpet and attractive displays being used to support children in their learning and to show off our children’s hard work.

Through it all, our children have continued to flourish: they have confidently taken place in the 2nd Annual Town Triathlon, Eaton Bank Dance Festival, Town Choir Festival, the School Gardens’ Competition and the Cheshire Police Social Media Challenge; where we took first place.  Not forgetting their well-renowned performance at Astbury May Day and two floats in the Congleton Carnival.

 Further improvements on the horizon

During the remainder of this year and the start of next, we shall be developing a daily mile running track on the school field, which will support active learning. We will also be regenerating the EYFS outdoor classroom, creating a stimulating all year round learning environment.

Most significantly, we are due to become an Academy in early 2019, joining an established Multi Academy Trust (CDAT) with a proven record for school improvement. Once that milestone is achieved, we will be ready, and on countdown for the next Ofsted visit under a new Ofsted framework currently being developed for September 2019. It is only then that we will be able to cut off the label, which is a cross we have had to bear for some time now due to Ofsted being unable to re-inspect us until academisation.

Overall, I am proud of how far we have come, and although it has been an up-hill climb, we are able to see the shoots of growth being recognised, these are being nurtured, and my aspirations are becoming a reality.

Please take a look at some of the exciting things that we do at our school on our Facebook page

If you want to discuss this in any more detail, please ask to see me.

Yours faithfully,

Pip Worswick

Newsletter November 15th 2018

School Newsletter 25th October 2018

By | School newsletter

Dear Parents

It was lovely to see many parents sharing their child’s story together in Class Mary yesterday. The language the children had used and the ideas in their stories show great creativity. Maisie and Zach have reviewed Kalebh and Rufus’s stories from class Mary and have written book reviews for the newsletter this week – why not pop into class Mary and have a read of the stories they have recommended?

There will be an opportunity for parents of children in class Jacob to share their work based around their text ‘Can we save the Tiger?’ on Thursday 8th November 8:45 – 9:15am.

On Tuesday 20th November we will be holding an open evening for parents of children due to start school in reception 2019. In order to showcase the variety of learning that takes place in school we would like some of the children to come and be involved in activities planned by the adults in school. You would need to drop your child off at school at 6:00pm and collect them again at 7:00pm. Please let us know if your child can be involved by completing the slip attached to the end of the newsletter.

 Have a lovely half term break!

 Yours faithfully,   

Pip Worswick

School Newsletter October 25th 2018

School Newsletter 11th October 2018

By | School newsletter

Dear Parents

 Well done to the Y5/6 cross country team who competed at Eaton bank Academy on Tuesday this week. They showed great determination, supported each other as a team and pushed through the pain barrier to finish well.

 Family members in class Noah were treated to a book launch as their children shared with them their stories about the lost polar bear. All the children had used their learning from ‘Lost and Found’ by Oliver Jeffers to create their own texts. The description in their narratives and the children’s development as young writers was beautiful to see.

 Exciting news from this week – we had google in school! The internet legends team came and presented to class Mary and class Jacob to teach them about becoming an internet legend – staying safe online. Click on this link to see more about internet legends I had the privilege of working with class Jacob afterwards and their work showed that they are really becoming safe little internet users – really well presented information too! This afternoon, I have the opportunity to work with class Mary and will be reinforcing the internet safety messages.

 Pip Worswick

Newsletter October 11th 2018

school newsletter 27th September

By | School newsletter

Dear Parents

 Several children from Astbury School completed the library reading challenge over the summer holiday and have been proudly showing others their certificates and medals. It is great to hear children talking about books and authors as well as sharing their favourite book titles with one another. Two children in Y6 have written book reviews / recommendations for this newsletter:

  Please help your child by supporting with their learning at home as much as you can. There are still many children not completing their reading diaries each week and not bringing them to school each day. Please remember that the diaries have a double page for one week. You can always split the reading rows into more rows if you read lots!

The majority of children in school are now completing homework and handing it in on time. Please remember, that with our new approach, this can be as much or as little as you feel is appropriate for your family, depending on how busy you are. The learning can even be completed as a discussion in the car if you are going away for the weekend and have not done the work by Friday. If you are unsure of what is expected, please read through the homework letter again and/or come and talk with your child’s teacher.

 We have been supporting our local community by joining in a litter pick last Friday afternoon. The children in Class Mary were expecting to find only a small amount of rubbish around the playground and the village hall. They were shocked to collect three bags full!

 Mrs P Worswick

Newsletter Sept 27th 2018

School newsletter 13th September

By | School newsletter

Dear Parents


Exciting news – each class is blogging to share learning with you! Please register on our school website to be authorised to view the blog for your child’s class. The link to the blogs can be found at the bottom of the front page of the site.

  Click on the class that you want to register for and then click on the ‘ if you would like to register . . . Please CLICK HERE’

Please choose a username (only lowercase a-z and numbers) Once you have registered, your child’s teacher will authorise you to view the blog – once registered, you will receive notifications when the blog is updated to keep up to date with learning that is going on in your child’s class.

 If you have family members or Godparents etc. that would like to be authorised to see the blog too then please pass on this information to them. We might not recognise their name so please let us know who to look out for so we can authorise access for them. If you have a child in another class – or you want a look at what goes on in another class – then once you are registered with one class, we can authorise you access to other classes.

If you have any problems with accessing the blogs, please let us know.

 The routines of the term are starting; reading was last week and spelling was set on Monday. Other homework has been set yesterday for the half term – please check your child’s bag and read the letter in the front of their book. The curriculum plan for this term for their class is being given to children today and will shortly be on the website.

Please read this to support learning in the conversations you have about the day in the car or around the tea table.

 Staff are keen to plan information meetings / workshops for parents – such as the class welcome meetings, helping your child in reading, how we teach maths, residential meetings, keeping your child safe online etc. I would be grateful if you would complete the short survey at the end of this letter regarding days / times that you could work around to attend a meeting in school so that when we plan for this year we can bear this in mind.

 Democracy has been exercised during this week on several occasions. Classes have voted for pupil council members and yesterday, the whole school listened to speeches and voted for Head Girl and Head Boy leadership positions.

 The councils and roles will be in the next newsletter – many congratulations to all who were elected and well done to all who took the time to prepare their speech and put themselves forward.

 Finally, I will be teaching in class Jacob and class Noah on Wednesdays, my focus will be on the children in these classes unless these is an emergency! Please be aware of this if you need to contact me.

 Pip Worswick

Newsletter Sept 13th 2018