Children in Year 5 and 6 will be taking part in a research project over the Summer months with a local university.
The researchers are hoping to find out about children’s play in the present day and think about how it has changed in the last 60 years. The children will be using virtual reality equipment as part of the study!
In 2003 the school started a partnership with the City of London to monitor and ultimately improve the air quality around the school. London’s poor quality air is a well known problem. Indeed, when we survey parents to get an idea of their priorities for school improvement it is one of the main concerns raised. As such, we’re very proud to announce that the air quality enhancement projects around the school are bearing fruit.
For the first time since monitoring began the annual measure of air pollution around the site has reduced to below the legal limit.
The main reasons for the reduction in pollutants is the work that the City of London has promoted to improve the built environment in the local area. Two new open spaces have been developed—Mitre Square and Aldgate Square. Footpaths have been widened around the school site. Hundreds of plants and trees have been established.
Inside the grounds of the school our Gardener, Catherine Tidnam, has worked with the Air Quality team in the City to develop planting around the school, install green screens and develop awareness of environmental issues with our children through our gardening club.
Many of these initiatives were featured in a recent BBC News report about the improvement on and around the site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-london-43930705/how-one-london-school-is-fighting-the-city-s-toxic-air
We don’t plan to rest on our laurels though. Over the next few months you will continue to see improvements around the site and inside the school building. We’re currently evaluating our trial of an air filter in Explorers. Initial results have shown a dramatic improvement in the air quality inside after installing this. We’re also going to be continuing to develop our gardens around the school, installing a nature and quiet area in the main playground, improving our green screens and installing an indoor garden in the entrance hall.
Mr T Wilson
The way in which the school handles your data and information about your child is changing. Over the next few weeks you will receive updates and information from the school about your rights in relation to data we hold on you. This handy video explains some of the main changes for parents and carers.
We had a wonderful adventure in the Brecon Beacons this month as part of Year 5's curriculum. The children made excellent progress during the course of the week especially with their confidence and ability to work together as a team.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you have taught us
that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters
we do also for you.
In the power of the Spirit let us pray to the Father
through Christ the saviour of the world.
on this, the night he was betrayed,
your Son Jesus Christ washed his disciples’ feet.
We commit ourselves to follow his example of love and service
City of London Swimming Gala
Four children were selected from each class in KS2 to represent the school in the City of London Swimming Gala, held at Golden Lane Leisure Centre. Here they rose to the challenge of racing other children from schools in the city across a range of different swimming strokes, in what was a very competitive Gala. A special mention must go to our medallists: 1st place in Backstroke: Storm in Year 5, 3rd place in Freestyle: Harrison in Year 4, 3rd place in Freestyle: Elliot in Year 3. Finally thankyou to all parents who gave fantastic support.
As defending champions in Sports-hall Athletics, we took a Year 5 and Year 6 team (7 boys & 7 girls) in the afternoon of Founders Day to Sir John Cass and Redcoat Secondary School for an afternoon of jumping, throwing and running events. Once again there were some fantastic performances from every member of the team which resulted in an overall result of 2nd out of 7 teams! Well done to all involved!
Team: Boys Team: Justyce, Adam D, Adam G, Mohammed, Orson, Dhanyaal, Arthur
Girls Team: Anastasia, Iris, Erica, Hosna, Sabrina, Monika, Romilly
With Year 6 out on a trip, a team from Year 5 and Year 4 took their place to represent the school in an indoor cricket competition at University of East London, Sportsdock. Here children learned how to take wickets and score runs against a number of different schools. A special mention must go to a batting partnership in one particular game by Theo and Harrison in Year 4.
A Year 5 and Year 6 team again represented the school at the same venue as the boys’ competition. The girls won one game and lost one game, with some excellent performances all round when bowling and batting. A special mention must go to the sensible batting of Hiba and big hitting of Arabella.
A team of Year 5 and 6 had the challenge of learning and performing a vault and a body management and floor routine at Marion Richardson School. Here everyone was very impressed with the level of performance from the team. Well done to Harper, Erica and Kai for learning the routines very quickly, and to Sabrina, Romilly, Mila, and Anastasia for fantastic performances as well.
Before Christmas we took a KS2 team to Langdon Park Secondary for a netball tournament. With Year 6 away, it was down to children for Year 4 and Year 5 to play against teams older and taller than them. Well done to all involved who improved with every game and competed well against the other schools.
We enjoyed a wonderful sermon from Bishop Pete—the acting Bishop of London during Founders Day at the end of last half term. Bishop Pete used the symbols of Sir John Cass to talk about charity, service and education. Each Founders Day our thoughts turn to the benevolence of our Founder who set up our charity school in the City of London. His fortune has become the asset of one of the largest educational charities in London—Sir John Cass’s Foundation- offering support and financial assistance to a multitude of projects across the inner London, including ourselves.
We talk to the children regularly about the meaning of the Cass feather. Some say it’s stained red with the blood of Cass as he died signing his will. I prefer to use the feather as a symbol of his gift. The gift -through his will—of a free education for every child in this area. We spend much time in today’s society focussing on what can be further improved about educational outcomes. We perhaps don’t ponder for long enough how fortunate we are to have excellent free education in London with many world class schools on our doorstep. Spare a thought for those throughout the world who still don’t have access to a quality education or who don’t go to school at all– and let us be thankful!
Bishop Pete also reminded us about the fish on our school crest– the crest of arms for Sir John. Now, fish can be slippery little creatures. We discussed in our assembly on Friday about how they are very difficult to hold onto. Some of the children shared stories about when they had been fishing with their families. When we look down at the jumpers we wear to school, we are reminded that we need to grasp every opportunity, to hold on tight to chances we receive and never give up. With these sentiments in mind, can I draw your attention to a competition we are holding in school!?
We currently have an excellent school logo– however, we don’t have a motto which we use in school to clearly represent our values. In our assembly before half term I shared with the children some examples of advertising mottos including ones from school or university. My own college’s motto was Respice Finem (consider the end). Did your school or college have a motto that you still remember? Talk to your child about it if you can.
The children have been challenged to take part in a contest to come up with a new motto for school. Think about what’s special about our school. You can find out aims and Christian values on our website: http://www.sirjohncassprimary.org/our-values.html. This page might help you to come up with some ideas. You can submit your idea online or via paper copy to the school office by Friday 9th March, 2018.
Our children joined hundreds of others from across the country who gathered in the O2 arena as the Young Voices Choir. We had an excellent night of singing and entertainment from contemporary artists.
It’s with a heavy heart that I announce I’m leaving the school at the end of the year academic year. I’m heading over to South Australia for a few years to be closer to our family over there. I want to reassure you that the decision to move is primarily for personal reasons– it’s just the right time for us to make the move.
It’s a very difficult decision moving on from a school like Cass– a school which ultimately is so exceptional because of the strength the relationships between children, staff and parents. I love this school and I’m very proud of every child in it. I’m also pleased the staff and governors have moved the school forward and modernised it in the last few years. My departure as Headteacher is merely one small chapter in the long history of our very successful school. We approach the next stage of the future with a very strong teaching team in place, with talented middle and senior leaders who I know will continue to work exceptionally hard and be doggedly focussed on achieving exceptional outcomes for every child.
The interesting thing about working in any school is that while you can change the school, the school also changes you. This is an institution with a big personality! I’ve personally developed and grown in so many different ways working with you over the last few years and I hope you feel you’ve gained something from working with me. The main thing I will miss when the time comes to sign off for the last time is the children. It’s an honour being Headteacher of a school where every child wants to learn and achieve their best. It’s been my pleasure serving them for the last few years. Their talents and skills are remarkable.
As parents and carers you may not know a great deal about the governing body; but let me assure you our governors are an incredibly committed group and have already started the work of recruiting a new Headteacher. Matt Piper, the Chair of Governors, has written to you today to explain more about the process over the next few months. We would really appreciate your active involvement in the process. This announcement is rather early in the term, but we felt it was necessary so we could find the best possible new Headteacher.
I have been appointed as an Education Director in Adelaide, South Australia where I’ll be helping to improve their school system and working with a number of schools across the state. I will no doubt use many of the lessons learnt at Cass to help shape the experience for young people in a different part of the world!
Try not to fear change. Our school is about to begin a new chapter and it’s in good shape to have every success in the future. I can assure you it is very much business as usual for the rest of the year. We’re unflinchingly focussed on the hard work of delivering consistently outstanding provision for all children.
If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact Matt Piper: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr T Wilson | Headteacher
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