On your marks.. Church school children get a taste of triathlon


IT was an exciting morning for children from Standlake CE Primary School children when they got to take part in a charity triathlon.

Second school governor conference at the River and Rowing Museum


THE second annual diocesan School Governor’s Conference takes place at the Henley River and Rowing Museum next month.

Speakers will include Sarah Hubbard from HMI, Jane Martin, psychologist and Mark A’ Bear from NLG. The evening will also see governors who have completed the two-year Excellence in Governance programme presented with plaques.

The conference takes place on Tuesday 10 July, 6.30-9.30pm. To book email donna.finlay@oxford.anglican.org or call 01865 208272.

Amazing opportunity to step back in time to Newton’s Olney


MORE than 1,000 school pupils from Milton Keynes, Olney and Bedford happily abandoned their classrooms for a fun-filled day in Olney. Read more

Equipping children through music and song


ANDY SILVER describes a project that combines music and dancing with invaluable education to help build up confidence and spiritual and moral education for primary school children. Read more

Strictly Come Haddenham


STAFF, children and professional dance celebrity Brendan Cole strutted their stuff at an energetic celebration of 150 years of Haddenham St Mary’s CE Primary School.

At the same event, last month, a new wing of the school, complete with four new classrooms was opened. Karen Collett, the headteacher, said: “We had a wonderful time. We had lots of guests. We invited everyone involved in the build, former staff and dignitaries.”

Karen Collett and Brendan Cole cut the cake at the 150th celebration at St Mary’s.

Brendan Cole at St Mary’s, Haddenham

A former headteacher cuts the ribbon to open the new classrooms

Parents, dignitaries and celebrity Brendan Cole at the celebration

Brendan, known for his role on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, said: “I’m local to the area. We’ve had a lovely day with a bit of dancing and the atmosphere among the teachers and pupils is nice to see.”

Prime Minister’s Questions with a difference


PRIME Minister, Theresa May, visited St Luke’s CE School in Maidenhead recently as part of a school project on inspirational people. Read more

Religious community provides young teachers purpose-built flats


THE Community of St Mary the Virgin (CSMV) in Wantage has just opened six new one-bedroom flats, designed to encourage newly qualified teachers to take up posts in Oxfordshire.

St Mary’s Lodge, a large late 19th century house on the St Mary’s Convent site has been converted into six self-contained flats. They will be let at affordable rents to newly qualified teachers taking up a post in the area.

“The cost of accommodation in Oxfordshire is very high,” says Alastair Hunter, the chair of CSMV’s Trustees, who have funded the conversion. “The Community of St Mary the Virgin has a long and very active association with education and teaching. The Sisters wanted to offer accommodation to the next generation of teachers, attracting the brightest and best to serve the schools and communities of Wantage and the surrounding area.”

Kathryn Walker, a maths and PE teacher at King Alfred’s Academy is the first person to move in. “St Mary’s Lodge is the perfect place to live starting out in my professional career. My apartment is spacious, modern and equipped with high-quality fixtures and fittings. It has beautiful views of the Ridgeway, is conveniently located and I love living here.” 

The Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) and the Vale Academy Trust, two local Multi Academy Trusts, are using space at St Mary’s Convent for meetings and as a base for some of their central functions. David Locke, Chief Operating Officer at ODST commented, “We are delighted with the generous support of CSMV and the Sisters in progressing this important new venture. Many teachers at schools in Oxfordshire are finding accommodation costs excessive. We believe that these new flats are a positive and innovative step forward.”

“Teaching undergraduates in their final weeks at university and colleges are already applying for their first professional posts,” says Sister Stella, the Sister in Charge of CSMV. “We hope that when the autumn term starts in September the six flats in St Mary’s Lodge will all be taken and that local schools and the children and families they serve will benefit from this new legacy.”

Tree planting to celebrate “Outstanding” SIAMS


A SPECIAL collective worship was followed by a tree-planting at Kirtlington CE School in Oxfordshire recently.

The event was held to celebrate the school being ranked as “Outstanding” following a Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS).

Reading, writing, arithmetic and Religious Education


RELIGIOUS Education is regularly in the news. National reports have highlighted the difficulties with RE and religious literacy in wider society writes ANNE ANDREWS.

Read more

Goring CE School pupils on song at annual Headteachers’ Service


CHILDREN from Goring CE Primary School provided the choir for the Annual Service for Headteachers and Governors at Christ Church Cathedral.

Light was the theme for the event, which attracted hard working headteachers and school governors from Church schools across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The Rt Revd Steven Croft, the Bishop of Oxford, preached and presided, with readings and prayers done by the diocesan schools team and heads and governors.

Headteachers, governors and schools staff enjoy worship at Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral.

Young musicians from Goring CE Primary School played during the service.

Jeanette Millward, headteacher at St Peter’s, CE Primary School, Cassington, reads the intercessions.

Children from Goring CE Primary School provide the worship.


Children urged to learn about Global Neighbours

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CHILDREN at Hazlemere CofE School in Buckinghamshire took part in the pilot of Global Neighbours, a new Christian Aid initiative.

The scheme, which is now being rolled out nationally, aims to help primary school children to tackle social injustice. The scheme has bronze, silver and gold levels to encourage youngsters to reflect on issues such as climate change and gender inequality.

Susan Brice, RE co-ordinator at Hazlemere, said: “The children chose to look at the situation with refugees. We investigated words like refugee, asylum seeker and migrant and put together a letter to our local MP Steven Baker about what Britain is doing about Syrian refugees.”

The children gave presentations in groups, looked at the idea of Jesus as a refugee when he was born and were delighted to receive a reply to their letter to Mr Baker.


Children give presentations as part of the Global Neighbours scheme.

Shine Winslow shine

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‘Let your light shine’ is the new message being shared at Winslow CE School. The Rt Revd Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham, spoke on that theme at a special service attended by pupils, staff, and parents. The choir of St Laurence Church led by Derry French, their music director, joined in.

A competition saw 350 pupils design art work on that theme. The winners, Maisie from year five and Florence from year four, had their designs turned into bookmarks, produced by the nearby Waddesdon CE School. Special thanks were given to Waddesdon, a nearby secondary school and to the Revd Andrew Lightbown, who set up a chaplaincy from St Laurence Church to fund the bookmarks and support the school.

Cazz Colmer, head teacher said: “We are a school that is rated good by Ofsted and our inclusive Christian ethos welcomes all children aged three to 11. Each child is unique, reflecting some of God’s light every day in what they do and on those they meet. Each one will find excitement, discovery, warmth and friendship here in the glow of that light. These bookmark designs are just one example of our pupils flourishing as individuals and engaging with each other. Such light dispels all kinds of darkness, bringing clarity, hope and purpose to our school and to the local community”

Caption: Back from left, Derry French, Bishop Alan, Andrew Lightbown and Cazz Colmer. From are Alice, Rowan, Florence, Maisie, Darcy and Harry.