Well as I go round the school I often think that I can see little monsters everywhere – and this term I really can! This blogsite is a real celebration of this term’s topic and I can’t wait to see what happens when the choir get to the Sage and sing with Northern Sinfonia. I was also excited in a staff meeting tonight to see Caitlin’s blog in Y3/4M – wow children writing their own blogs!!!! I of course wanted to make sure that everyone was doing their very best and writing in formal English with the correct punctuation and spelling – and they were!!!!!!!!

I also had a thrill this morning, reading with green group in Miss Collins’ class – what a thrill to see all the progress that this group have made. Well done to Kieran, Alex and Molly.

And Year 6- great grammar!!! You grammargators – you know who you are but who will win the next double biscuit challenge??

Happy Monster Topic

Miss Witherow

Welcome Back

Welcome back to school. It seems like 2 minutes ago I was writing goodbye to Year 6 and now I have just been welcoming our new Reception children back – check out the photos of their first day on the Reception tab on the home page. This morning’s assembly was on the theme of making the most of our opportunities and was inspired by all the great Olympic and Paralympic sports people we have all watched this summer. And it made me think – what opportunities would you like at school? Let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

And thinking of opportunities…. Year 6 have opportunities to take some responsibility. It is your turn to step up and help the school run ona day to day basis. So which job would you like? Here is your chance to grovel/plead/beg for the job you would like to do. The better the reasons-the better the chance. And remember if your computer is broken and you are reading this at school you may handwrite your application on the back of your form.

Film Awards

Last night we shook hands with two men from the Royal television Society because we were winners in the Royal television Society (Junior section) awards for the whole of the North east of England and Scottish Border region.

Everyone in the class got a certificate because they all took part in making it and we were really proud. They were films we made completely on our own.

We watched everyone else’s film and some were sad, some were happy and one was scary. Y5/6 class also entered a film and they got a special commendation which means that their film was really noticed by the judges.

The best bit though was the free food – the donoughts (Callum – only joking-although Hannah agreed) but it was really good watching the films and it was a good experience to see what other people had done.

There was lots of speeches but we were really pleased to be chosen to represent the school and we will definitely be making more films in the future.

You can see our films on the film bit of the blog.

Louis and Callum Y4

And a Happy New Year

I can’t believe that only one week ago I was in the middle of Scotland celebrating what we call Hogmany and you call New Year’s Eve!  And it was a great celebration.  In Scotland celebrating a New Year is about wishing well to everyone you meet.  First footing the neighbours, where the first person to put their foot through the door is said to bring luck to the house for the year and must bring a gift – traditionally a piece of coal for the fire, and remembering friends and family and how lucky we are. For me the new year actually starts in September – I have worked in schools for so long – so really new year is a time to relax and get ready for the hard work in the Spring Term. 

This term is my favourite as we get a lot of work done.  In the second half of this term we are undertaking some very exciting projects about the Titanic, all the classes do their class assembly, the City Hall singing takes place as well as the swimming galas and lots of sporting events can happen as it gets lighter in the evening.  Some children will get the chance to take part in the Shakespeare project of Macbeth and we will be singing at the Sage.

I hope you are also looking forward to this term, maybe it will be the term you learn to read, to write in paragraphs to conquer grid multiplication or to sing in harmony.  Let me know what you look forward to and remember to enjoy it as you go, it will be the only Spring term of 2012 ever!

Happy New Year

Miss Witherow.

Happy Christmas

The children at Benton Park decided to donate their Christmas money to Great Ormond Street Hospital. Instead of the school fund paying for presents for each child we decided that it would be better if we gave that money to a charity instead and this year that is what they have decided.

We have also been really luck to receive a load of gifts through amazon’s wish list giving programme, so if you gave a big thank you and have a look at the blogs in Mrs Turner’s class where the children say thank you too.

Have a great holiday everyone and I look forward to seeing you on the 3rd of January.

Alice Witherow

End of the Term

I can’t believe that it is nearly Christmas and that the term is coming to an end.  It has been a really busy but very successful term.  I have been looking at everyone’s reading this term and have been so impressed with how well everyone has done.  Our new reading policy is really working and I think that everyone, including all the teachers, are liking having lots of new books.

We have had lots of great moments during the term – runners up in the Port of Tyne film competition – the fantastic Christmas shows – the choir singing all over the city – the football team both boys and girls and some great radio shows.  This blog site has been really busy – take a look through some of the blogs from Y5 and Y6 who have been using the radio station to record some of their thoughts about their topic and if you have time take a moment to comment – they will be really pleased.

Next term we will be focussing on our writing so I hope to see lots of great examples on this blogsite as well as in your books.  I am very proud of all of you and your achievements this term and hope that you all have a good rest this holiday ready to come back in the New Year.

I hope that you get snow too, if that is what you want, but me I’m not hoping for any until after school finishes on Friday.  I’m off to Scotland for Christmas and for Hogmany but I hope that all of you have a wonderful festive season and that Santa visits.  See you in January!

Alice Witherow

Brilliant in More than One Way

On Wednesday night I went to a concert at the Sage. It was to see one of my favourite bands – James. However they had done something different and their music had been re- arranged so that they could have an orchestra and a choir accompany them. It was one of the most amazing concerts I have ever been to. I loved it, the singer, the orchestra, the choir.

Because it was so different they didn’t play many of their most popular songs but Tim Booth the lead singer explained to the audience that they were trying something new, that they wanted “to be brilliant in more than one way”.

That sentence was why I loved that concert. They were brilliant in more than one way but I think that is what we should all aspire to be.

On Thursday I am taking to children from Y6 to the Baltic because our film Quayside has been nominated for an award in the Port of Tyne film competition. We are the youngest entrants and it is a great thing for the school to receive even a nomination.

Who would have thought that Primary School children could make such a good film? But then you meet the children at Benton Park and you know – they are brilliant – brilliant in more than one way.

Let me know what you think is brilliant about you and how many ways are you brilliant?  And if you could be really brilliant – nominated for awards brilliant – what would you want to be brilliant at?


The First Half Term

The thing about time is that when you are as old as me there is never enough of it! How come we are at the last week and we seem to have just got back to school? (And yes Y5/6 that was a rhetorical question.)

This week at BPPS we has some visitors from Holland who wanted to visit a really creative school to learn about teaching children to think. And they were so impressed with Benton Park – they really liked Miss Collins – so young and so enthusiastic and they loved being interviewed on the radio by Hannah and Josh.

Everywhere we went in the school children were thinking and thinking really hard! I was so proud of you all – the school looked really fabulous.

The best bit of the term for me however has been visting classes and seeing how much you all learning about reading and writing – I can’t get out of my office door for children who want to show me their work or who are on the best writer’s wall! Fantastic – you are all writing stars in my opinion.

So that was my favourite bit of the term – tell me about yours………I’d love to know before the October holidays start.

Famous for 15 minutes

Andy Warhol, who was a famous artist in the 1960s predicted that everyone in the future would be famous for 15 minutes. This week Benton Park School enjoyed a little bit of fame as school of the week on Real Radio. We also had a visit from Real Radio breakfast presenters, Gary and Lisa – who are famous in the North East. Listeners to our radio programme, will know all about this as we interviewed Gary and Lisa on our show. In radio club on Monday we also spent a lot of time chatting about X factor, a programme that makes some very ordinary people very famous. I was talking to Abigail, who was part of the group who showed Gary and Lisa round and we were discussing how very different famous people can seem and we can forget that they are just people. All that made me think about fame. Who would you really like to meet if you could meet someone famous and why? What is it about them that you admire? If you tell me who you would like to meet and why, I’ll tell you who I would like to meet. Remember first names only on the blog.

And keep blogging. You may not have been famous yet but with the writing that I have read, you might just be!!!

Looking forward to hearing from you……

Time to think and learn

What a lot of comments – thank your for taking the time to reply to my blog. I told Mr Shepherd to take a look so that he could see all the comments about the radio station. I am really pleased that you are all so enthusiastic.  I know that you all want a turn and you will have one… might just have to wait a little longer as we are all learning (teachers too) how to get things started.

I am not in school today as I have been on a course learning and thinking about ideas to make Benton Park an even better school. I like to hear other people’s ideas and to hear about things that get done in other schools as this helps me think about what we could do at Benton Park.

I also sometimes need time and space to just think really hard so that I can learn new things. I need quiet and I need to concentrate. Sometimes I need to try something to see if it works and when it doesn’t I need to change my approach.

I think lots of children think teachers and especially headteachers know everything!!!! But we don’t – just like children we are still learning. So Mr Shepherd is learning how to make the radio station work and he is talking to other teachers – Mrs Turner and Mr Cowen both posted ideas – and together they will learn about how we can make excellent radio. I’m learning too. I’m learning about how we can improve some parts of the school, I’m reading about ideas that other people think or have tried and I’m learning how to make that work at Benton Park.

Next week I will be another year older. But what I have learned about getting older is that it is never too late to learn something new and that learning doesn’t stop when you become a grown up. Schools are, of course, all about learning but I think it is often forgotten that adults need to learn alongside the children.

So this week, tell me what you enjoy learning, blog about what you have learned and tell me how you learn – with others, alone, doing things, on the internet…………I’d like to learn all about your learning!