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Wellbeing | Character | Professional Development | Enrichment | Partnership


Issue 3, Feb 2021

Dear parents, carers and friends,
Welcome to our newsletter - keeping you up to date with developments and events in the Palladian Academy Trust. 


Some parents will be aware that I will be stepping down as CEO of PAT in August this year. It has been an immense privilege and professional challenge to be the founding CEO, working to bring together colleagues in Bath and Wilts in recent years, and building the strong professional relationships and trust which support the team ethos and add real value.  

I leave the group in good heart, with a very strong Ofsted record, excellent relationships in the community, and despite current challenges (sometimes because of them), the confidence to face the future. Although they might be a bit shadowy to parents, the Trust Board are such a strong group now, that makes me even more confident that the right decisions will be taken in one of the most important things that they do: recruiting senior leaders. 

Parents are even more aware of what a great job our schools in Bath do, and this is partly prompted by undertaking the job yourselves. A huge well done for that, as I know just how difficult it has been at times. Let's hope our travails have not been in vain, but that the optimistic future we all wish for and now expect is just around the corner. 

You won't have heard the last of me, as I feel I have much more to contribute to the education system, but will be doing so in other ways, and probably not full time.

I am sure PAT will go from strength to strength, and there is no greater testimony to the strength of the group than the news and updates in this newsletter. Thanks as always to Yvonne Miles and the contributor schools for putting it together. 

Tim Withers
Chief Executive Officer


Below is a snapshot of what's been happening this term in our school communities.

Please visit the individual school websites to see more. The links to each can be found at the bottom of the page.

In our schools

At Oldfield Park Infant School term 3 certainly hasn’t been what we had planned! But as always, the children, parents and staff quickly adjusted to the new normal and we have had a really successful term. The children, both at home and at school, have been doing some amazing learning and we are very proud of each and everyone of them. Many thanks to all our parents for their support with this.
Miss Bowen, one of our Bath Spa Student Teachers, has been teaching the children a little bit of French. The children have thoroughly enjoyed learning a new language and have been saying hello to each other over Teams in French. Indy and Lylah took it one step further and had a zoom conversation with each other, all in French!
The Year 2 children have thoroughly enjoyed their topic about Florence Nightingale and even received a virtual visit from Florence herself. She came into their classrooms and homes via zoom to tell them all about her life and how she helped the soldiers with her team of nurses during the Crimean War.
We are very aware that children (and adults) are spending more time than usual in front of a screen at the moment, so we all really welcomed our screen free day. Here are some photographs of children making the most of their screen-free time.

Pictured below: Leah has been spending her time away from a screen fishing with her dad. She is very proud of the fish she caught before safely releasing back into the lake. 

John is destined to be a teacher in the future, he’s been teaching everyone in his family how to solve the maths problem that Mrs Edmands set.

Oldfield Park Junior School are now signed up to Energy Sparks. This is an online, school-specific tool that aims to help schools become more energy-efficient and fight climate change. In the future (when COVID allows it!), we hope to start an eco-committee to lead the way in making our school more environmentally friendly. Your child will be able to explore the Energy Sparks website, see the school's energy use and compare us to surrounding schools.

I do hope that you managed to participate in the recent RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch as well as have a go at making birdfeeders. Here's a snapshot of a rather splendid effort from Erin in Year 4.
Year 6 have been zipping around the world with their curriculum by completing work on Australia as well as making pancakes with a twist as all of the instructions were in French. Très bon! 
We're enjoying ‘Feel Fab Feb’ which is rather wonderful and fun filled! How many can you do?

Click here to print your Feel Fab chart and Happy Beans Gold, Silver and Bronze certificates.

Thank you to all Ralph Allen School parents/carers and students who came to collect the 'top up' packs. A big thank you to our amazing TAs who stuffed over 600 envelopes full of exercise books, work sheets and stationery and then stood for hours in the car park to hand them out. Great teamwork! 

What a lovely surprise to wake up to snow this term. A welcome change for lots of people and something else to talk about. We saw a wide variety of snowmen from staff, but our winner had to be Mrs Reynolds who made a 'Snogru'. Grogu is the baby yoda from the Star Wars Mandalorian series for those who don't know!
St Martin’s Garden Primary School has have started working with a website called LetsLocalise who put us in contact with members of the community, local and national businesses who can help us with time, volunteers, goods and even funding. Think ‘Random Acts of Kindness Day’ but on a larger scale!

They also can help us offer events for the community to take part in like quizzes, bingo and raffles.

With this in mind we have arranged our First Online Family Quiz event on FRIDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2021 at 6pm (Registration closes at 5pm)  It is FREE online Event. This is not a zoom type event, you will not see the other participants.

You and your team join the Quiz at 6pm, you then have an hour to complete the questions. There will be a live leaderboard as everyone taking part will be doing it between 6pm and 7pm. There will be prizes for the winning teams.

  • Link to the Quiz here
  • Step by step guide, for joining the Quiz: here

We would like as many people as possible to take part in the quiz so please register at sign up

Feel free to pass this information to family and friends who would also like to take part.

St Martin’s Garden Primary is also working in partnership with Sporting Family Change and St Philip's and St James' Church to support our whole community. The Community Pantry is a new initiative for 2021 set up so local families can have affordable access to food, hygiene products and household essentials. For a small financial contribution of £5 they can have access to £25 worth of shopping per week. Volunteers will help run the project so all funds raised will be spent on food to help support the local community.

If you would like to make a donation, please click here. This will take you to the local giving page and more information about the initiative.

Sir Link-a-lot recently ran special Zoom sessions for all SMG pupils in the evening. Sir Link-a-lot introduces children to spelling and grammar in a fun and exciting way, helping children to visualise the words and make links. The children loved learning Sir Link-a-lot's links when he visited school last year and his zoom sessions were just as much fun!    

Bath City and Bath Rugby have both been working with a variety of year groups at Combe Down CofE Primary School. The focus has been on teamwork, communication and supporting mental health. One of our Year 4 pupils has been given the opportunity to be a virtual mascot for an upcoming Bath home match - he'll receive a Bath beanie hat too.

In Year 2 we have been lucky to have had the opportunity to practise our balance and juggling skills with a professional juggler - a dad from our school - Mr Owen Reynolds! He recorded a fantastic training video for the children to practise their skills. All the children (and their families) had a lot of fun! 

At St Philip's CofE Primary School, we’re proud of the work ethic our children have demonstrated as they engage enthusiastically with their online lessons and work each day.

Below is: 
  • Sally’s 3d Art work on the Space topic
  • Bruno’s 3D Art enjoying a Lockdown trip to the International Space Station together with his Alien friend Zog
  • Harrison's newspaper report about the Stone Age site Skara Brae in Orkney
  • Bath Tourist Guide Booklet by Gracie from Owl Class
Keep up the great work!

Our strong focus on PSHE and emotional wellbeing at Fitzmaurice Primary School is helping our entire community through these lockdown days. We have four bubbles, about 60 children, in school each day and have are using TEAMS for everyone at home to access their learning.  We have worked creatively with our families who live ‘off grid’ on the canal to enable to them access the remote learning and we have lent over 50 devices to families who need them with more going out this week.

We do have a love of the outdoors at Fitzmaurice and are lucky to have a huge forest school area.  If you are lucky enough to walk by it, beware of the gargoyles in the trees!  We have also been thinking about our community and random acts of kindness.  The children have been busily making heart hugs which are appearing in the community for people to take home with them.

We are very lucky to have an enthusiastic reading leader.  Mrs Wilson, has created a staff library to encourage our professional reading but also to spotlight books which are great to share with the children, just because, and to help us help them with their emotional wellbeing.  I have decided to combine the inspiration I’ve had from her, along with the inspirational Captain Tom, to read 100 books across all different genres and to create a reading Padlet to develop my own learning both from books and about technology!  If you have a book to recommend us… we’d love to hear from you.

Winsley Primary School are are 'taking' the whole school on a trip to the zoo! WiSCA (our PTA) have kindly paid for every child to have a virtual tour, workshop and live Q+A with a zoo keeper. We will start our day learning to sing the wheels on the bus in Makaton, have fun with zoo-themed crafts and have a light lunch on Teams so children at home and school can socialise. All the staff will be in fancy dress too!

Widcombe Infant School is passionate about the arts. Each week the children learning remotely participate in an art lesson or art activity. It gives an opportunity to be creative and supports wellbeing. Here are the glove puppets the children in Year 2 have designed and made. Year 2 have also drawn shoe treads looking at patterns and colours.

It is so important to keep fit so as well as all children running a daily mile at school, we have also purchased some balance bikes and scooters which will enhance our OPAL play provision, when we return to school. In the meantime they have regular use in the school hall and are loved by the children.

Each week our Forest School practitioner sends out different activities the children can do in their garden or on a walk. Other children may like to do this one which is creating a skeleton from natural resources. Thank you to Bertie for sharing his skeleton.

We were delighted to receive bags made by Tilly, one of our Teaching Assistant’s daughter (pictured below). She made these and filled them with pencils, colouring pencils, and sharpeners for children to use at home. Acts of kindness have been greatly appreciated by our school.

The whole Widcombe Infant School community hopes you are all staying safe and well.

At Widcombe CofE Junior School we have continued to engage with our spring term curriculum. Last week, our Year 4 bubble enjoyed making pancakes as part of a French tradition, Year 5 got to grips with their chopsticks as part of 'The Land of the Rising Sun' theme and Year 6 cohort were joined on Zoom by Councillor Warren - who was very impressed by the letters to the earth written by the children as part of their 'Peace and Conflict' topic. We enjoyed a break from our laptops on 'Screen Free Friday'. Everyone is looking forward to recharging over half-term and hoping we will all be back together at Widcombe very soon.

Our Schools
Click on the links to see what's happening in schools across the Trust:


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Palladian Academy Trust · Ralph Allen School · Bath, Somerset BA2 7AD · United Kingdom

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