Our school is very much at the heart of the village and we have very strong links with our local community. We regularly have parents coming into school to help with reading, swimming, visits and a wide variety of curriculum areas.
We use our local community to deliver many aspects of our broad curriculum to make it interesting and exciting for our children. Visitors come into school regularly to work with the children and to help bring our curriculum to life! We have had visiting speakers from a variety of differing religions such as local ministers, Buddhists and the local church warden. We have recently welcomed both Cloud Singh and Dr. Masheed into school.
We use visits into the local and wider community to enrich the children’s experiences, in order to enhance and develop many curriculum areas.
The children regularly use Low Barns Nature Reserve to take part in environmental work such as photography, pond dipping, insect and plant recognition and general nature study. We are hoping that our links with the nature reserve will go from strength to strength over the coming months and years.
All of the children work closely with the village community association. They run stalls for the village fairs in the autumn and the summer terms, and they undertake community carol singing for the switching on of the village Christmas lights every December.
A wide variety of community organisations work with our children on an ongoing and regular basis. The school nurse does presentations with the children and we have visits from the police and fire brigade. The children undertake cycling proficiency and pedestrian training every year in and around the village.
We are always looking for new and interesting ways to involve the local and wider community in the children’s everyday school experiences so that we can make their time at our school as enjoyable as possible!
We recently went to the official opening of the ‘Weardale Tub’. We had local artists in to work with the children on the project, involving the children making their own glass panels of local scenes which are now placed in the side panels of a coal mining tub at the Killhope Lead Mining Centre. Our children had a great time and they also learned a great deal about the local area in which they live.
Last year, our Class Four pupils worked alongside Jack Drum Arts to create paper lanterns to form part of “The Festival Light Parade” in Crook. this year Jack Drum Arts are coming to school on 16th December for their ‘Elf Drummers’ to perform for our children.
Our School Councillors were lucky enough to be invited to the unveiling of our Advent Window display in Bishop Auckland. Bishop Auckland Town Team “The Auckland Project”, planned ambitious and creative displays for Christmas 2019, celebrating the heritage of Bishop Auckland involving the construction of 24 life size models – one for each day of window openings between 1st and 24th December. As well as creating models of Joseph, Mary, Gabriel, the infant Jesus, various animals, a crib and a star, local schools were also asked to create 13 figures of biblical characters Jacob and His Twelve Sons, based on the paintings by Spanish master Francisco de Zurbaran, which have been housed in the town’s Auckland Castle for more than 250 years. Our whole school contributed to the art work for the display. Laura Brenchley, from Auckland Castle, worked with each class in turn to decorate the life-sized wooden figure of Gad.
During Spring term 2020, Class 3 and 4 worked on a community-based heritage project, focusing on farming, wool & weaving. These sessions are being led & run by one of our parents from school.
During Autumn 2020, our Year Six children have taken part in a resilience project and they have also worked alongside Police Cadets on the Mini Police project. Our children have also worked closely with one of our school governors, who is head of the Historical Society, to look at village war graves and background as part of our work around Armistice Day – Nov 2020.