A message from your Chair of Governors

 

Well another school year flies by and we are again all looking forward to a summer break – hopefully with some brilliant sunshine over the 6 weeks.

This year has again been a very good year for the school in delivering some excellent results – putting us once again in the top of the school table for Norfolk and across the country. We have continued to not just deliver those important academic results but some amazing achievements in other areas; our best ever results in the county finals for cross country, netball and girls football. The year 6 project in building electric go-carts is another great achievement.

So, as a governing body, we pass on our thanks to the hard work and support of the teachers, which include all the support staff, and also to you who show your support continuously throughout the school year.

It is with a fond farewell that we say goodbye to Richard Lord today. As you are aware we have progressed with the recruitment of a replacement for Mr Lord and are pleased with the speed we have been able to undertake this. We were lucky to receive a good number of applications and carried out interviews for the position this month. We were hoping to be able to communicate a decision to yourselves before the end of term but unfortunately we have been unable to achieve this due to the process of offering a role taking longer than expected. I assure you we will communicate details of the successful applicant when the new school year starts and the new position will be filled with effect from 1st January 2018. As I have previously communicated for the autumn term Mr Vokes will step up as Acting Head teacher whilst continuing his teaching commitments in year 6. I hope you join me in saying a big thank you to Mr Lord for all his hard work in making sure he leaves us with a very good foundation on which we can aim to achieving the status of an outstanding school – we wish him the best of luck in his new role.

As we have successfully celebrated our centenary year, again a thank you for the hard work the staff and children put in to make this such a successful day, we move into the next centenary with a very promising future for the children that we are privileged to educate, building on those strong foundations we have today.

I wish you all a wonderful summer break, enjoy the time and I look forward to welcoming you and your children back with the energy and eagerness to learn in September.

As always if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with me.

Ruth Robinson

Chair of Governors

Swanton Morley VC Primary School

Goblin Race Series – The Results!

Between the 10th and 14th July a three-race series took place between the year six Goblin Racers of the ‘Dragonites’ and ‘Fast and Furious 10’ teams.  The teams have worked on their cars for over a month in preparation for this big event and there would be no-holds-barred with fierce competition expected.

Race 1 – Endurance 

Rules: One hour to complete as many laps as possible.  All drivers to be used.  Maximum of five laps per driver in one stint at the wheel.

The Dragonites got off to a flying start and by the quarter way mark had opened up a four laps lead over the Fast and furious 10.  By half-way, the gap was increasing with six laps separating the teams.  It appeared that the Fast and Furious car was running slower and the team were having problems making swift driver changes.  The dragonites led a faultless campaign throughout the race and at the finish had increased their lead to an unassailable eleven laps.  First blood to the dragonites!

 

Race 2 – Time Trial

Rules: Three named drivers from each team to complete five laps in the quickest possible time out on their own on the track.

This race was much closer.  The first two drivers, one from each team, completed their five laps within five seconds of each other with the Dragonites squeezing in the quicker time.  Disaster struck with the second pairing as the Dragonite steering column snapped and the car left the track leaving the fast and furious 10 to romp home with an easy win evening up the score at 1 victory a piece.  Unfortunately for the Dragonites, they could not manage to get their car repaired in time to make the last time trail leaving the Fast and furious 10 with a walk-over.  Final score 2-1 to the fast and furious 10, leaving the race series evenly poised going in to the final round.

 

Race 3 – Head to Head

Rules: Three pairs of drivers, nine head to head races over five laps.

With the circuit tight and overtaking awkward a good start was always going to be the key to winning.  During the racing it was indeed the driver who got the best start and the inside line into the first corner than came out the victor.  Going into the last of the races the scores were dead level and the pressure was on the last two drivers to deliver the goods.  The Fast and Furious 10 got off to the better start and lead going into the first corner and for the next three laps with the Dragonite car hot on their tail desperately trying to find somewhere to pass.  On the fourth lap a chink opened up on the inside and the Dargonites managed to squeeze through much to their opponent’s annoyance!  The last lap reained tight and went right down to the wire, but the spoils went to the Dragonites winning 5-4.

 

Goblin Race Series – Result

In the end it was the Dragonites who won the closely-fought three-race series by a margin of two races to one and so win the 2017 Goblin Cup.

Exciting New Project for Year Six – Formula Goblin Racing

The Formula Goblin project aims to inspire children ages 9 – 11 years old to take an interest in engineering in a fun and innovative way. The project is for children to build their very own fully-functioning electric cars which the can drive/race themselves.

The school successfully applied for a grant to purchase four Greenpower ‘Formula Goblin’ kits in the Spring and Year Six have recently embarked on building two of them with the intention of racing them competitively later on in the summer term.  The two teams (The ‘Dragonites’ and ‘Fast and Furious 10’) are writing their own blogs on their respective builds which can be followed further down this page.

More information about the Formula Goblin Project can be found at this web sites:

http://www.greenpower.co.uk/racing/goblins

The Goblin kits can be disassembled and re-used year on year, so they will provide and exciting engineering challenge to look forward to in the future for many of the younger children in the school.

 

 

“The Dragonites” Goblin Racer Blog

Last Updated: 21/07/2017

Phase 1

Today the group assembled the chassis. First of all, we had to find the right bits to start constructing the car which went smoothly – Until, that is, we started to tighten the bolts to put the parts onto the chassis. A specific order the nuts and bolts had to be in. Despite this, we got it right in the end; we worked as a team.

Phase 2

Part two of assembling the chassis – We tightened all the bolts and put a few new parts onto the structure of the car. There was also the assembly of the steering to start. Hard work was put into this.

Phase 3

The mission today was to do two things: finish tightening the bolts, also to put in the steering. A big pole had to go in for the steering which was a challenge to get in. The designer was working hard to find a suitable logo for our team ‘Dragonites’.

Phase 4

Putting the front wheels on is what we did next. The Engineering Crew (helped by the Crew Chief and the Administration Officer) linked the wheels to the stirring.

After making the logo, the Design Team were creating a number plate to go on the back of the car. They were trying different colours but soon settled on a black border, a white background and red letters and numbers, but on the front instead of white, it is yellow.

Phase 5

Attaching the back wheels was the Engineers next job, they also had to put the driving belt carefully on the wheel before they could put the outer wheel on. But something was wrong; it didn’t work properly… it could stop further progress – for now.

Later, the team where putting in the throttle in and the button to activate it.

Phase 6

We worked over the struggle from earlier so now all four wheels are attached. Now on the car is the brake disc, the Engineering Crew are currently putting in the brake mechanism and attaching it to the brake disc.

The designer has moved on to sorting out the car paint work. She is asking members of the Dragonites for ideas and is now working out how to include all of the to make one design. She is also designing a dragon to go on the front of the car.

Phase 7

We finally got to fit the components to the ‘motor box’ including the motor and drive pulleys.  The box was then fitted to the car and bolted down.  Lastly we fitted the drive belt and lined up the pulley wheels.  Next job is to do the wiring.

Phase 8

The wiring was finally completed and we got to test the car.  We had a few problems like a loose belt/pulley and the brake needed adjusting, but it all went well.  In fact, our car seemed to be a little bit quicker than the competition!

During the tests, different drivers were tried and times measured to see who was quickest and what the final driver order should be.  We also had a chance to practice changing drivers which is going to be really important during the race series.

Phase

9

Once we had the cart sorted we could turn attention to fitting the bodywork which had been painted in ‘Dragonite’ colours by the design team.  It won’t make much difference to the car’s performance, but certainly makes it look faster!

After a little more testing the driver line-up was finalised and we made a few minor adjustment to brakes, steering and tyre pressures.  We are ready to take on the first race in the ‘Goblin Series Cup’ which is the Endurance Round where the cars have to complete as many laps as possible in one hour with drivers only allowed a maximum of five paps before a change.  Everything is looking good!

Phase 10

The ‘Goblin Race Series’ – Watch this space for the results!

 

 

“Fast ‘n’ Furious 10” Goblin Racer Blog

Last Updated: 21/07/2017

Phase 1

At first we sorted out all the nuts and bolts, there were over 1000 of them and it took us 20 minutes.  Later we decided to sort out all of our tools into our tool box such as: a set of spanners, pliers, adjustable spanner and screwdrivers.  We then got all of the basic chassis frame work done.  We did make a tiny mistake but later figured it out and learnt something from it!  We now tighten all the bolts finger-tight (not fully tight just in case of another mistake!)

Phase 2

We started to design the logo for our team in our sketch books.  The head of design person is now in the process of making the actual logo.

At present the engineering team are starting the side paneling and framework and bolting the sloped front part of the cart together to allow the steering column and rack to be fitted.

Phase 3

The steering mechanism is now complete, and we have fitted more nuts and bolts – they are all tight and right!  Now we’re now fitting the front wheels and assembling the rear axle and it’s all going pretty well.

Phase 4

The braking system was installed, the main drive pulley and belt on the rear axle which was then bolted to the rear of the chassis.  We did make another mistake at this point though as we put the rear axle in the wrong way round and had to take it out and turn it round.  Another lesson learnt!

Phase 5

We completed fitting the rear axle and wheels and it all works.  There was a problem with the front wheel alignment and we had to spend a lot of time getting that adjusted right.

Phase 6

It was now time to assemble the ‘motor housing’ with two relays, a fuse and the man battery cut-out switch.  It went well and looks pretty good.  Next will be fitting the electric motor itself.

Phase 7

The motor was fitted, which was quite heavy!  We then try to fit the small pulley wheel to the motor but unfortunately some of the team got carried away and tried to whack it on with a hammer and bent it.  Mr Vokes is having to take it home and file it out so it will fit!  We didn’t get quite as far as we’d hoped, but the cart is starting to look like a cart now.

Phase 8

The cart is up and running!  It works pretty well although there are a few minor adjustment to make to the brakes and pulley system off the motor that drives the rear wheels – it seems too tight and we’ve less power and top speed compared to the other team?  We’ll work on this.

Still, we managed to get plenty of testing in and practice driver changes ready for the first (endurance) round of the ‘Goblin Race Series’.

Phase 9

We sorted the drive belt and it goes much better, but still not as fast as we’d hoped.  Anyway, the car is reliable and should do the hour long endurance race without a problem.

The bodywork was fitted and the car looks great!

We managed to get a few final test laps in and put a bit more air in the tyres which seems to have added a few mph to our top speed.  The car (and drivers) are as ready as they’ll ever be!

Important Announcement – A letter from your Chair of Governors

 

Friday 5th May 2017

Dear Parents and Carers,

It is with mixed emotions that I write to you all today.

After eight busy and productive years with Swanton Morley VC Primary School, Richard Lord has decided to accept an offer from Synergy Multi-Academy Trust which will give him the next step in his professional career.

The mixed emotions come from saying goodbye to a Headteacher who has taken our school from strength to strength over the last eight years. Richard has been an inspiration to the staff and the governing body and has worked extremely hard to ensure that all the children in this school receive the best education available to them, and I know he will continue to deliver this in his new role. Whilst we are disappointed to be losing him, I would like to thank him for his achievements and for placing us in the strong position we are in today.

On a very positive note we are a good school with outstanding features, so I know we will have no shortage of high quality applicants to fill Richard’s shoes. The governing body and I will work hard to ensure the successful candidate will continue to lead the school on the next stage of our journey.

Richard will leave at the end of the Summer Term, but we are fortunate to have very dedicated and professional staff who, along with the committed leadership team, will help ease the transition from Richard’s leadership to that of a suitable headteacher. It is our intention to carry out a selection process this term so that a new headteacher can be in post for January 2018. I am pleased to say that Mr Vokes has agreed to step up as Interim Headteacher for the Autumn Term.

You can be confident that the staff and governing body’s focus, as always, will be on the welfare and achievement of our students and I will keep you updated on progress for Richard’s replacement.

Kind regards,

Ruth Robertson

Chair of Governors

Swanton Morley VC Primary School is 100 Years Old!

This year Swanton Morley VC Primary School is celebrating 100 years on it’s current site.

We are celebrating in many ways within the school, but would like to invite all  former  pupils, staff and governors; along with the residents of our village to join us at our

Centenary Summer Fair

Saturday 8th July

1pm to 4pm 

Alongside this we are aiming to make a display of memories from former pupils and staff  during the celebrations. We are inviting any people with connections to the school, both past and present, to send us stories, pictures or anything else relevant to their time at the school.

We can be contacted by email at:

swantonmorley100@gmail.com

or by post to:

Centenary Celebration, Swanton Morley VC Primary School, Manns Lane, Swanton Morley, Dereham, NR20 4PX

We do hope that you can join us in our celebrations.

Vacancies for Full-Time Midday Supervisory Assistants

We are looking for enthusiastic and committed people to join our current team of MSAs.

Two full-time positions available: Monday to Friday working from 12:00 – 13:15 (6.25 hours/week)

Hourly rate: £7.52

Starting date: Immediately

If you are interested in applying, please contact the office by email (office@swantonmorley.norfolk.sch.uk) or telephone (01362 637219).

Please note that all applicants will be subject to a DBS check.

Year Six leave on a high with excellent SAT results

Although the Year Six children bid their farewells to us back in July and are now starting the high school journey, they must be congratulated on their efforts in the recently published SATs results.

It was always going to be a leap into the unknown in 2015/2016 as the curriculum had changed for Year Six and with it, levels had gone and the format and content of the tests changed beyond recognition.  The changes to the tests, which only really became clear a few months before the tests in May, appeared to be quite significant.  It became abundantly clear that the tests would be much more rigorous and challenging… and they were.

Year Six rose to the challenge though achieving excellent results all round.  Below is the breakdown of the school’s Key Stage 2 attainment against the national averages.

Subject

School

National

Reading (test) 88% 66%
GPS (test) 72% 72%
Maths (test) 92% 70%
Writing (teacher assessment) 84% 74%
Percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard in Reading, Writing and Maths 84% 53%

 

Farewell Mrs Bicker – Welcome Miss Gagen

We were sad to see Mrs Bicker leave us in July after having taught at the school for the last six years in Year 2, and latterly, Reception.  Her position has been ably filled by Miss Gagen, who is actually quite familiar with the school as she did her teacher training at with us a few years ago.  She will be working in tandem with Mrs O’Dell, ably supported by Mrs Davies and Mrs Davies – Yes, that is two, and not a typo!