I am not really sure how or why, but Christmas always seems to take me by surprise, and as all the staff at school are wondering how they will quite pack everything into the last 4 weeks of school, I found myself reflecting on the last year here at Irthington.
It has been a really positive and successful year filled with some new and exciting events and learning experiences.
Way back in January the whole school enjoyed adding a tunnel onto our willow dome, members of Class 3 took part in a climbing competition, the football team took part in a competition at the Sands Centre and represented themselves well.
February started with a visit from members of the Quaker movement in Carlisle, each class held their assemblies for parents and we entered a strong team into the swimming gala, bringing home a handful of medals!
Fairtrade Fortnight took us into March and we took part in a Fairtrade treasure hunt and held our annual Fairtrade Coffee Morning. School was inspected by Ofsted. The hard work by staff, governors, parents, and pupils was recognised and the school retained its ‘Good’ status. This month was concluded with our much awaited Sleepover. Children from Year 2 upwards camped in the school hall and classrooms, enjoyed ‘American themed food’ and decorated Totem poles. It is fair to say, not much sleep was had!!!
April saw spring flourish as we decorated Easter eggs, held our Easter service in church as we bid a fond farewell to Rev Tim who was due to leave for his new post in Kent. The Rota Kids held a fundraising disco and the PTA hosted their annual Easter Coffee Morning and Egg Hunt! Towards the end of April Classes 1 and 2, visited Carlisle Castle as they embarked on their ‘Welcome to Carlisle topic’.
May was also packed with visits to some of our local amenities; Gelt woods and Bitts park, and we held our whole school Sports day.
The first week in June, KS2 set off on their residential visit, Classes 1 and 2 visited Houghton hall, Carlisle United, Carlisle racecourse and Carlisle cathedral.
The PTA held the annual Summer Fair, we entered and won the Rounder’s tournament and held the Fairtrade Bake Off competition!
In July, Class 3 put on their summer show, the whole school enjoyed a day at the beach at Rockcliffe in Scotland, the children made and baked for a whole school picnic, and the Rota kids organised a much loved water fight!!! We saw a lovely show entitled ‘Legends of the Lakes’ held the Leavers assembly in the village hall and on the last day of term enjoyed a ‘Leavers Lunch’!
September came round all too fast! As well as welcoming the new starters, we held our PTA summer Social evening, took part in the local Netball tournament and Football competition (winning both!!). We held our 4th MacMillan Coffee Afternoon, which was hugely successful.
October was time for the Harvest Festival in church. The older children distributed the gifts to the older residents of our village. We held an ‘Indian Banquet’ to support or topic of India, and Class 3 took part in a film making project about a World War One Balloonist! On the 31st of October the Rota Kids held a Halloween disco and invited Catriona to hold an assembly along with Hospuss, to tell us all about the work of the Children’s Hospice.
In November we held 2 ‘Thinking and Skills days’. The children learned music hall songs from the WW1 era, built a WW1 tank out of cardboard boxes and researched the men and machines in WW1. Some of the older children continued our research into the Irthington 9.
All of these events and activities take place alongside the day to day teaching and learning. Delivering a curriculum that not only meets the requirements of the National Curriculum, is rich and diverse and meets the needs of all of our learners is a non- negotiable for the team at school.
We get so much support from the PTA, without whom, many ‘extras’ would not be possible. Parents are very supportive and appreciative of what goes on in school and that is why Irthington is a happy and thriving place to learn.