SCHOOL FOCUS: Parson Cross Church of England Primary

There isn't a week goes by at Parson Cross C of E Primary where children are not taking part in something 'weird and wonderful'.

Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 9:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 2:39 pm
Toby Willers, seven, and Lennon Sheehan, seven. Pictures by Chris Etchells

Whether it be a school trip, a visitor speaking in class or a lesson with a different - the staff want to open children up to as many opportunities and experiences as possible.

As headteacher Julie Wright runs through all the activities children have taken part in, it's clear to see the dedication to pupils.

Scarlet Holland, seven, and John Thorney, seven.

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She said: "It's fantastic being headteacher here, the kids are absolutely gorgeous.

"Working in a place like this is a chance to really make a difference and connect with families and the community.

"I became headteacher last April and since then the parents have been absolutely brilliant. They come into school for all sorts of weird and wonderful things and are really welcoming.

"The kids are the best and are absolutely fantastic.

Reception class at Parson Cross C of E Primary

"People are always shocked because they know the school is in Parson Cross and assume they are going to walk into a school where behaviour is an issue, but actually our kids and brilliantly behaved.

"They have fabulous manners and it's a pleasure to meet them."

The trips kicked off on day one of the new academic year, with year five and six pupils visiting York's Chocolate Story.

In November, pupils performed at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Music For Youth Proms.

Lillie Smedley, 11, and Daniel Komagum, 11.

Children have also taken part in science workshops with the University of Sheffield, enjoyed a ancient Greek day and made bath bombs.

Residential trips are also a popular feature on the school's calendar.

Year five pupils go to Kingswood Dearne Valley Centre for several days of activities, while year six pupils enjoy a visit to Thorbridge, in the Peak District, during their last week at the school.

Year one and two pupils are preparing to visit Padley Gorge and year five and six will visit Old Trafford as part of a sports topic they are working on.

Lacey Petch, eight.

Other visits have taken place to a local fire station, the Tropical Butterfly House, in North Anston, The Deep, in Hull and the Magna Science Adventure Centre, in Rotherham.

Mrs Wright said: "We do always try wherever we can to link a topic to a visit or experience.

"The curriculum is very much geared around English and maths so we try to keep our curriculum very rich with experiences."

The school has close links with Christ Church, Hillsborough and Wadsley Bridge, and children take part in a nativity and attend church regularly including for a Christingle and harvest festival. The Reverend Phil Goodacre is also a familiar face around school.

Despite the limited outdoor space, pupils are extremely active at the school and sport is a big part of the curriculum.

Mrs Wright said: "We have tried extremely hard to make our school a healthy school.

Isabelle Richards, 10, Jake Widdson, 10, Caitlin Walsh, 11, and Jack Smith, six

"Our breakfast club on a Monday is called Move and Grove and youngsters do exercise as well as getting a breakfast."

The highlight of the sporting calendar is the school's Olympic style sports day at the English Institute of Sport.

Children take part in an opening ceremony with speeches as well as various sports competitions, all cheered on by parents sitting in the stands.

Music is also focused on in school, which works closely with the Sheffield Music Hub.

Children get the chance to learn the cornet and keyboard, and can participate in the school choir, with lots of opportunities to perform at public events.

The Friends of Parson Cross group, which is the school's parent teacher association, works extremely hard in school to raise money through various fundraising fairs and events.

Mrs Wright said: "We also have a really active school council who are always raising money for the school and for charity."

The school council also had a big event this year, following the success of its inaugural Christmas lunch in December 2017.

The group, made up of two pupils from each year group, held several fundraising discos, which were used to pay for a festive lunch for 60 elderly members of the local community.

After raising the money, the children sent out invitations and wrote to local businesses for decorations

Mrs Wright said: "The school council organised everything. We are going to run the event next year.

Isabelle Richards, aged 10, is a member of the council.

She said: "We wrote to different businesses and asked for food and decorations and then we invited people who would be alone at Christmas to it.

"They had a really good time."

A reception class with a campsite in their classroom.
Fletcher Knight, 10.