Our Mini Marathon

Mrs Roskilly (Bertie Y2) has been pounding the pavements for weeks and weeks in training for the 26.2 mile London Marathon this Sunday. She is running to raise funds for the NSPCC and hopes to raise  an amazing £3000.  We thought it would be a great idea if we could do our bit to help her so on Friday, after lunch, everyone turned out to run laps of the school field.  Parents have sponsored the children (and staff) per lap and Mrs Roskilly came in to run alongside the children.

NSPCC 3

Everyone did at least 10 laps in 20 minutes and some did as many as 15 (also good training for our cross-country festival next week).  We are asking for the sponsor money to come into school as soon as possible so that we can present it to Mrs Roskilly.  We will let you know how she does but please watch out for her  if you have the Marathon on TV on Sunday morning and give her a cheer.  She will be wearing a green NSPCC vest.

A Parent Governor’s farewell.

My daughter’s moving on to Middle School in September, which means my time as a Parent Governor at Ardeley is at an end.

In common with most of you, the end of the school year isn’t just a marathon of year-end events like sports days, school plays, Leavers Services and discos, it’s also a time to look back over the year – or in my family’s case, the 5 years my daughter’s spent at Ardeley and the 4 years I’ve been a Governor.

 

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The annual kickabout at the Leavers Party.

As I said in my final Full Governors Meeting the other night, I only wish the parents and children knew how deeply the Governors care about the school and its pupils. All Governors enjoy their roles but at the same time we take our responsibilities very seriously and the children are always our first priority (very closely followed by the parents!).

Schools don’t run themselves, decisions don’t take themselves, money doesn’t raise itself, funds don’t allocate themselves. Ardeley is a small school and the burden falls on fewer shoulders. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to have played some small part in the school’s continued success.

I hope there are plenty of takers for the newly vacant Parent Governors position (without it getting too competitive or awkward). As a father working full-time in London, my visits to the school during the week are few and far between, but being a Governor helped me feel a real connection to the school community and relate better to what my daughter was doing at school, feeling we had much more in common than if I wasn’t a Governor.

A snapshot from this year's residential trip to York.

A snapshot from this year’s residential trip to York.

If Ardeley is the only school you’ve sent your child to, it’s quite possible you’ll be unaware of just how special it is compared with other primary schools. What an idyllic location – behind the church, next to the farm, the woods on our doorstep and lunch in the thatched village hall next to the green. It’s Midsomer Murders country but thankfully without the murders – just the odd graze from time to time.

Our class sizes that are often smaller than ones you’d see at expensive private schools, which means the children get much more attention and more opportunities for one-to-one teaching. The flipside is that smaller schools get less funding from the Government, which is why the fundraising by the Governors and the FAS (Friends of Ardeley School) is so vital to preserving and enhancing the ‘Ardeley experience’.

It’s not just about money, it’s about time. As parents, we’d all like to think we do our best for our children. In a school context, the basics are getting them to school on time, driving sensibly down School Lane and ensuring homework’s done on time. But there’s an opportunity to really do your children proud by getting stuck into school life and joining in with them.

Ardeley is a comparatively small community that relies on families to get involved to help give the children the best start in life we can. Chances are, if you’re not helping in some way already, you’re in the minority.

The next time a parent serves you a drink at the interval or helps your child out of the car at drop-off, or organises a football match, Film Friday or the photos from the school play, don’t assume it all takes care of itself.

the mums take the strain

The mums take the strain.

 

I would urge you to get involved and contribute in some small way – you will get so much more back than you put in – as will your child. A small school like Ardeley gives everyone a chance to make a difference. And as many parents don’t realise, it’s as much their school as it is their child’s.

Help with reading, school drop-off, refreshments, Fun Day or whatever. It needn’t be a big commitment but if you can seize the chance to make Ardeley an even better place for your child to begin their learning, why not give it a go?

Let the Sponsored Walk of 2014 Begin.

Do you like these views???

Come Enjoy the Beautiful Views

Please come and enjoy them with our up and coming Ardeley Sponsored Walk on Friday 23rd May 2014.

Preparations are in hand for the traditional Ardeley School annual  Sponsored Walk.  Our lovely Mrs Colman has been planning a route to Walkern and back, approximately 6 miles. There are a few planned pick up points along the way, but as always we don’t expect to need them.  Every year we watch even the smallest legs make the distance.  The Head of Walkern School, Mr Hall, has agreed to allow us to use their school facilities for lunch and toileting so we won’t have to carry our packed lunches either.

For those of you who are new to this wonderful event, it is a fundraiser with benefits and sponsorship forms have been sent home for all to start fundraising.

This year our proceeds from the walk will be shared between the school and our link school in Kenya.  This year, with support from the FAS, we are planning to install an amazing, new wood and rope climbing frame on the field which we know the children will love.  This should be in place for the end of June and our share of the sponsor money will help towards this new facility.

Check out what we have planned for our sponsorship money.

Now this looks fun!

Now this looks fun!

 Check out what your sponsorship money can do for less fortunate children at Kivuria School in Kenya. These are pictures from Mrs Colman’s Art Day in August 2013

 

If you are able to come on the walk and help marshal a group please let Mrs Walsh know as soon as possible to help us to plan the groups.  Refreshments will be available before departure and a cup of tea on return.  The paths are, hopefully,  fairly nettle free and there are no stiles to cross, but we do go along the edges of fields in places which means that pushing buggies would be tricky and please remember that this is a school event so we have to say no dogs, sorry!

So lets get those sponsorship forms completed and get ready for what we be another wonderful Ardeley outing.

Mrs Colman is really pleased to be organising the walk once again.  Ardeley children are so full of determination – always up for a challenge and we are so sure this year will be no different.