ACKLINGTON C. of E. FIRST SCHOOL - In The News    

The pupils of Acklington School are often featured in the local newspapers for their various achievements and activities.  Below are some examples of press coverage they have received.
           
                                   

ACKLINGTON SCHOOL IN FEDERATION TALKS

The following article was published by the Northumberland Gazette on Thursday 28th May 2015


    


Consultation has begun over proposals for a hard federation between JCSC and Acklington C of E First School.

If the plan is approved, JCSC – comprising the middle school South Avenue site and the high school and sixth-form at Acklington Road – would work with the first school under a new, single governing body.

JCSC chairman of governors Scott Dickinson said the aim was to build on the strong foundations between the three schools and bring them closer together. He said it was an exciting time for JCSC.

Mr Dickinson said Mrs Graham made a valuable contribution to the success of both schools.

He added that JCSC is in a strong, emerging position, offering fantastic education and is delighted to welcome Mr Heath, who is a ‘well-respected senior education leader’.

In a statement, Mr Heath said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to join the JCSC team on an interim basis during this period of transition.”

The proposal for a hard federation follows discussions between the governing bodies of JCSC and Acklington C of E First School, which also has a nursery.

The vision is to retain the three-tier structure across the three separate school sites, providing all-through education from early years to sixth form, under one executive headteacher.

The governing bodies say it would provide continuity, the chance to share leadership, resources and expertise and provide opportunities to improve teaching and learning across all the schools, as well as providing long-term sustainability. Mr Dickinson said there would be no job losses if the plans went ahead.

If approved, the two separate governing bodies would cease to exist and a new federated governing body of 17 current governors would be formed.

After the consultation period closes on July 10, the two governing bodies will make a final decision on whether to federate. The verdict will be announced by July 13 and, if approved, the federation will start from August 17.

More information, including a response form, is available from.jcsc.co.uk


            
                                                     
                                   
                   
PUPILS LEFT PUZZLING OVER CHALLENGE DAY

The following article was published by the Northumberland Gazette on Thursday 26th March 2015


A north Northumberland first school hosted a schools’ puzzle challenge day last week after receiving a Kickstart Grant for British Science Week.

The event at Acklington Village Hall was hosted by Acklington CE First School last Thursday.

       
Pupils at Acklington First School enjoy the activities during their puzzle challenge day.

During the day, pupils were joined by some of the children from Amble First School, Amble Links First School, Broomhill First School, Grange View CE First School and Red Row First School to experience practical team puzzling and problem-solving activities, as presented by the Happy Puzzle Company.

The company’s programmes use large 3D team puzzles and challenges, which all look incredibly easy until the students start trying to solve them.

Educational psychologist and programme creator Gavin Ucko said: “It’s learning without a pen and paper and it gives teachers a rare opportunity to take a step back and watch their students in action.

“Often, it’s the students you least expect to excel, who turn out to be incredible leaders and the inspiration that leads a group to success.”

Joint acting headteacher Gail Van Schalkwyk said: “We are very excited about this project and extremely proud to have the opportunity to host the Happy Puzzle Company.

“Developing inquiring minds and resilient children is at the heart of Acklington CE First School’s curriculum. We are delighted to be able to share this learning opportunity with others schools in the Coquet Partnership.”

            
 
           
                                                
                                   
CHILDREN ENJOY BEING ACTIVE

        

The following article was published on 4th January 2015 by the Northumberland Gazette


Children at Acklington C of E First School have used their sports grant to receive 10 weeks of PE lessons at Alnwick’s Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre.

Combining swimming lessons with a range of sporting activities proved a great success, giving the children at the school an opportunity to participate in gymnastics, bouldering and skating.

Children were also given the chance to use the trampolines and the sports hall to further develop their skills.

Even the nursery children joined in the fun and participated in all of the sessions.

The schoolchildren said they had especially enjoyed the bouldering wall, although three-year-old Isaac said: “I like the trampoline the best.”

The PE and sport premium is designed to help primary schools improve the quality of the PE and sport activities they offer their pupils.

Teachers and parents at Acklington were in agreement that the quality of teaching provided by staff at Willowburn was excellent and children showed great enthusiasm.

As a result of the experience, many of the children have signed up to join sports clubs after school and at weekends.
 
           
                                                
                                   
PUPILS HELP OPEN ACKLINGTON FARM SHOP

                     

A farm shop and cafe has opened in Northumberland in a diversification project.

Cavil Head Farm near Acklington village received over £177,000 through One North East's Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) programme to transform redundant buildings on the site as part of a long-term aim to create a leisure and holiday centre in rural Northumberland.

The new shop has created 12 jobs and features an on-site butcher, ice-cream parlour, coffee shop and large children's play area.
Around 30 local businesses are being supported through sale of locally-grown products.

Pupils from Acklington First School attended the official opening.

The farm was bought by the owners of Warkworth Farm and is a working tenanted arable site.

Manager Neil Cox said: "We are thrilled to see the farm shop open as we start to transform it into a small leisure and holiday centre."

Pictured from left with Acklington pupils: Effie Fenton, head teacher of Acklington First School, Andy Dean of Northumberland County Council, One North East's Adrian Sherwood and teaching assistant Susan Smith.
             

 
       

   
 

 
 
 
 
 
    
                        
                        
     
In 2008 Acklington reached the national finals of "The Village of The Year" competition.  The pupils from Acklington School welcomed the judges to the village and sang some Northumbrian songs to them.  The village (which had already been voted the best in Northumberland during 2007) was praised for its fantastic community spirit and a real sense of things happening”.  Acklington School, and its pupils, played a major part in the village's success.  
     


Staff, governors, parents and pupils from Acklington School were delighted to win second prize in the recent Journal's "Tokens For Schools Competition".  More than 50 schools in the region entered the competition, which was run in association with Barclays Bank. 

The winners were those schools listed below who managed to collect most tokens per pupil.  The prize money for each school is also shown:
1st   Linton First Sch  £2,500
2nd  Acklington First  £1,500
3rd  Harbottle First    £   500
4th  Norham First      £   500

Staff at Acklington School intend to spend the prize-money on a mini oven and kitchen equipment, plus a dishwasher to ensure the children's water bottles remain hygienic. 

Thank you to all Journal readers who supported the school's appeal for tokens.  It was a great community effort!
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     The school was featured in the Journal on 25th February 2010.  The full article is printed below:

Acklington First School

Children at Acklington First School help each other out to make sure everyone does well at school. The children help each other to develop not only in school but also as people, and their increasing maturity is noticeable as they move through the year groups, working, playing and making decisions with increasing independence.

   

Coupled with a supportive environment provided by hard-working teachers and good community links, the school has had inspection reports that truly reflect their achievements.
The exciting topics the children cover in the lesson plans is also combined with interesting trips; for instance, the school has been to Cumbria and Edinburgh Castle.
There is little the school could improve on but they have managed to increase the number of staff covering their Early Years provision, and will now be improving the equipment to enable learning both indoors and out all year round.

New head Effie Fenton said: "We are a small but perfectly-formed rural school, with currently 26 children attending, and we are very proud of our caring, family atmosphere and excellent level of support for the children. As a church school we are at the centre of the local community within the parish. Children make very good progress in their learning and development throughout their time at Acklington."

Name of school:  Acklington CE First School
Headteacher:  Ms Effie Fenton
Chairman of governors:  Mr William Rowntree
Number of pupils: 22 (plus four year 0s)
Type of school: Voluntary Controlled Church of England First School
Pictured right:  Acklington First School pupils see how many coins will be needed for the school's copper kilometre they will be doing for charity fundraising.
 

Main findings of most recent Ofsted report:

"Acklington C of E First School is a good school. Pupils are well cared for and thrive in a supportive environment that is at the centre of its community."

"A family atmosphere exists within the school and pupils say they feel safe and well cared for."

"Pupils become more mature as they move through the school. They work, play and make decisions with increasing independence."

"Pupils have a very good sense of right and wrong, and older children ably support younger members of the school community in developing their moral compass."

"Attendance is outstanding. Pupils say they enjoy being at school."

"The curriculum is good...and has been developed around themes that have been chosen to be exciting and relevant to pupils."

How would you describe the school's ethos and values?

From Church Inspection: "The Christian ethos permeates all aspects of school life and brings positive values and attitudes to teaching and learning, leading and managing."
The school's aims and values are given priority in ensuring that all in the school community respects and values each other.
The impact on children is seen through the good quality of their development as valued and happy individuals and in the good standards they achieve.
We at Acklington C of E First School believe that every child deserves to be happy and given the opportunity to have a journey which values them as individuals in a Christian environment.
We strive to provide the children with a learning environment that both supports their academic achievements and embraces the whole child creatively, physically, spiritually and morally. An environment where the children feel safe, valued and supported, and of which we are all proud.

What are the school's main strengths?

We are a small but perfectly-formed rural school, with 26 children attending, and we are very proud of our caring, family atmosphere and excellent level of support for the children. As a church school we are at the centre of the local community within the parish.
Children make very good rates of progress in their learning and development throughout their time at Acklington.
Our creative curriculum, where children learn skills and knowledge through exciting topics, and take part in a wide variety of visits to places as far afield as Edinburgh and Cumbria, is considered a strength by children, parents and visitors.

What areas are the school trying to improve?

We have already raised the staffing levels in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 class to ensure an excellent ratio of adults to children, allowing a very high level of adult support for thinking, discussion and learning (1:7 in the mornings, 1:9 in the afternoons). We are now planning to further develop our Early Years Provision by carefully resourcing and equipping the area to develop learning through play, indoors and outdoors, all year round.
There are several new members of staff, including a new headteacher, and everyone is working together enthusiastically to constantly improve the experience for children at Acklington.

What extra-curricular activities and out-of-school provision does the school have?

We offer a variety of sporting activities to the children, including netball training and tournaments and lunchtime football club on Fridays. There is a toddler group on site on Thursday mornings, run by parents, for parents and their little ones to get together, with a wide variety of activities.
Last term, Class 2 pupils learned how to play the ukulele in a course of lessons! A menu of out-of-school clubs changes throughout the year.
There are many activities on offer to our children run by the Coquet Partnership Extended Services during the holidays. Also, the village hall in Acklington runs a sports club on Friday evenings which is well-attended by children from our school and other schools.

How does the school get involved in the local community?

Parents are incredibly supportive, and run a lot of fundraising events for the local community to take part in and enjoy.
For example, we are having afternoon tea (rather than a coffee morning!) on Thursday, March 4 from 1.30pm to 3pm where anyone can come and enjoy tea and scones.
We are also having another popular "pampered shopper" event on the evening of Thursday, April 1 in the village hall, where you can browse a wide variety of stalls from outlets such as the Body Shop while enjoying a massage, hair consultation or manicure from salon professionals, and 25% of everything we raise for the school fund goes to a charity chosen by the children - this term it is Unicef.

What is the school's proudest achievement(s)?

We have a fantastic website, where you can see photos, videos, and the latest information about all our proudest achievements at Acklington.
http://acklingtonfirst.createprimary.net
The children also update an online blog (diary) about our latest news, which you can navigate to from our website.

   
                       Pictured: Acklington First School pupils at Edinburgh Castle
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