Another year is over and it’s ended in style in Parkland. Parkland Parents’ Association undertook the mammoth job of holding the Christmas fayre. It was a very successful event with a significant amount of funds raised. The whole event was extremely well organised and many children and their families and friends came to enjoy themselves and support the school. A big ‘Thank you’ to everyone who supported us, volunteered and worked on the association to organise the evenings’ fun and activities. The pupils and staff have had so much fun this term rehearsing and performing a range of Christmas spectacles! Every child from Rising 3s to Year 6 has been involved. We have enjoyed carol services, pantos and nativities. Our school choirs and orchestra spread the festive cheer to our local community when they visited Hazel Court, Laugharne Court, Parkland’s Church and Singleton Hospital, singing and performing for all the residents. The pupils have been on wonderful school trips, such as to the panto and the Gower Heritage Centre to visit Santa. The year 6s also enjoyed their trip to Manor Adventure where they had a fun-filled PACKED week full of daring and adventurous activities, while on residential there. Earlier on in the term Year 6 were trained by Bikability and learned how to use their bikes safely on the road. Reception have continued to visit their friends in the Old Vicarage Nursing Home also. The school has been developing pupils’ creativity throughout the school this term which the pupils have relished. You just need to look at the Year 6 pupils’ faces on Twitter – you can see how proud they are of their marble runs! What a term and what a year! No wonder the children and staff are exhausted. I’ll leave now by wishing you all a very, merry Christmas, a happy holiday and brilliant new year. See you in 2020!
Parkland staff received training on October 25th from the world renowned Professor Andy Penaluna, who is Professor Emeritus and Research Director of the Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David . He has a wealth of experience and knowledge and came to share this with us. Andy Penaluna’s Swansea TED talk about Education and Creative thinking has inspired debate and new ways of approaching the development of creative thinkers and entrepreneurs in education. At Parkland, as a Pioneer school and an Innovation school, we are creating a curriculum and approach that will give learners opportunities to develop their creativity, independence and their ability to transfer their thinking and skills to new situations, challenges and opportunities.
Parkland staff have been developing their Welsh skills during this term. The second stage of a school wide training program has begun to ensure that all adults working at Parkland have confidence in using and understanding Welsh and are promoting it with out pupils as a living language. We are raising the profile of Welsh at Parkland, and are encouraging our pupils to use it around the school, and to extend their responses in everyday conversation. We have had a very positive response, and the impact is beginning to be seen around the school.
Year 6 pupils had an amazing time at their residential at Manor Adventure near Abernant Lake, they had the opportunity to, canoe, paddle board, experience the zip wire, climb, orienteer, and try archery to name a few activities! All staff who accompanied them were impressed by their excellent behavior and growing independence. They are a credit to the school and their parents and carers.
What a busy and eventful final term we had! We had to bid our lovely Year 6s a fond farewell and we wished them all the very best in their new schools. They celebrated their final year in Parkland in style – visiting London and getting to do many different ‘touristy’ things like visit the Natural History Museum, Tower of London, London Eye and Tower Bridge. They also took a boat trip down the Thames and delighted in seeing Matilda the Musical. Other events of particular note were:
- the orchestra playing beautifully to a packed crowd in the Grand Theatre.
- the year 6s showing great stamina and determination when climbing Pen Y Fan
- our Digital Heroes visiting the Sony Center and getting to grips with Raspberry Pi
- our choir performing to a brilliant standard in the National Eisteddfod
- Mal Pope visiting and watching year 3 and 4s perform a dance (inspired by mining) to his music from his new musical Calon Lan
- every class raising money for the school through their entrepreneurship theme ‘You’re Hired’
- a gloriously sunny summer fete with a whole host of activities – a HUGE thank you to the PTA for their continued support
- the London Conchord Ensemble visited and wowed all the pupils and staff
- year 4s working with pupils in Olchfa creating fair trade recipes as part of an entrepreneurship project
The summer was ended in style with every member of our school, from nursery to reception, performing in the Brangwyn Hall. Each year group performed their own number alongside the school’s orchestra and choir. It was an unforgettable night and thank you to all the parents, guardians and other family members who supported the school. A huge congratulations to the pupils who performed amazingly and did the school very proud indeed.
The Parents’ Association held the annual Christmas Fayre, which was, once again, a tremendous success; £3,580.00 was raised. A huge thank you to everyone who organised and supported the event, whether here to help on the day, before or afterwards. Whatever you did to assist, it is greatly appreciated and will benefit the children within Parkland.
The choir have been visiting people and venues in the community, spreading Christmas cheer. They have sung Christmas songs for the residents of Laugharne Court and Hazel Court and for the patients in Singleton Hospital. The choir sang beautifully and made us very proud of them, as always.
Y5 and 6 played rugby against Ysgol Llwynderw and were fierceless, well done to all members of the team. Fixtures have been organised against Pontlliw and Gowerton in the New Year. Look out for updates following the planned fixtures.
Y6 have undertaken yoga with Jane Thomas, a local yoga instructor. Big thanks to Mrs Thomas for leading the activity with the children.
We held our annual Christmas concerts throughout December this year. All the children were a credit to the school and their families, they sang, danced, chorally spoke, played musical instruments and acted fantastically. Thank you all for your kind donations on the door. This raised almost £1,000.00. We will be using the money, coupled with the money the children raised last year during the enterprise activities to buy playground equipment, following consultation with the children, regarding what they would like.
Following a request from Estyn, governors agreed that I can go on secondment from January 8th until April 4th. The remit of my secondment will include undertaking inspections, working on the development of the new curriculum and working with the Organisation for Economic Development and Collaboration (OECD) on what makes an effective school. Miss Poole and Mrs Leahy, deputy head teachers will share the headteacher role until my return. Miss Rees who has been working in the Year 3 and 4 indie room will cover Miss Poole’s and Mrs Leahy’s absence and Miss Hall who worked in Parkland last year will assume the position in the indie room.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. I hope you have a very enjoyable break and look forward to seeing the children back in school on 7th January.